Tuesday, December 27, 2016

DUSTY Officially Published

Dusty is officially published!! Whew, that took longer than expected. It always does. I should stop being surprised by this.

here's the links where you can find my latest novel! :) I'll put the links under Dusty on my books page too. Dusty at CreateSpace  Dusty on Amazon

This book has been to hell and back, if you'll pardon the expression. With most of my works I have one single draft of the story and as I go through edits and rewrites a few things change of course but the story remains relatively the same and I never accumulate more than that one single version. But not Dusty. I have three separate Dusty books because it took me three tries to figure out Dusty's voice and that was just the beginning of the struggle. Dusty's book is the longest one I've written in a while (it's the longest one I currently have published, but I do have one unpublished novel that's just as long). It's a long book for me, and it took basically FOREVER to write. That might be an exaggeration. Honestly though, I wrote Lucy's Legend, the first book in this series, in one single month. And then Dusty decided she needed a couple years to bake. Part of the problem was that I kept ploughing through with the first idea and then the second one, determined to make it work because I knew I needed to tell Dusty's story. When I finally stopped being stubborn and let God show me what He wanted with this book it went much smoother. Then came the major critical comments from beta readers and family members and then my personal identity crisis....Dusty has been through a lot.

It's finally finished though, which I am grateful for. Usually I am crazy with excitement when publishing a book. With Dusty, however, I am just sighing with relief.

Part of that feeling has to do with the struggle it was to get Dusty to the end, and part of it is because my emotional energy is already focused elsewhere. I've been writing steadily in Courageous Heart for several weeks and that is the book that currently has me bouncing off walls in excitement. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Traditions//Moving

I'm currently drinking hot cider and writing by a lovely Christmas tree. I love this time of year! Honestly, Christmas is one of my favorite holiday seasons. I love snow. I love how cheerful and pleasant everyone gets. I love giving presents. I love seeing my family. There is very little about this time of year that I don't enjoy.

It has been a bit different watching the season roll in now that I am in a new house and new city. But I will be back home again for Christmas, so I don't have to face the holidays in a completely new environment. (although that may not be true next year as the rest of my family is moving too now).

I am very excited but also in a way halfway dreading Christmas. The last Christmas at the house I lived in for 20 of my 21 years...I hate change. Have I ever mentioned that before? Probably. Change is not my friend.

On the bright side, I am super stoked for my family to be moving closer to where I am at right now. I have been finding it hard to cope without seeing my mother or having my sidekick (my little sister...also known as my other half...) nearby.

So, as this Christmas will presumably be the last one back in the "old house" as I'm now calling it...I thought I'd share a bit of how we do Christmas in said old house.

We always decorate right after Thanksgiving, which is honestly probably my favorite part about the Thanksgiving holiday...

"decorating" also included making Christmas goodies this year

We do advent every night (well...when we remember...we're not always regular). This year advent has been an adventure since I'm no longer at home and my Dad often isn't either because he's already moved to where his new job is (that's why my family is moving...). So we do advent via Skype these days.

not sure if you can see them, but the faces of my three siblings in this picture make me smile

Christmas Eve we always go to the service at our church (...I'm going to miss that church too. But I've been at a new church for 5 months so I'm getting used to it. Still miss the people back home though...)

I don't have pictures of the actual service, but this is right after the service one year. (don't remember which year...)
Several of my siblings are missing from this pic because not everyone is able to make it home each year.

We do a similar picture to this one, "under" the tree, every single year. :) My mom has a little scrapbook that has every tree picture and it's fun flipping through the pic and watching us all get bigger each year. (that's going to stop soon, the getting bigger that is, because we're basically all adults now, except for my 16 year old sister)

After the service we drive around the city and look at all the lovely Christmas lights. :D That's one of my favorite traditions.

Once we're home we drink eggnog and eat some cookies and have a little Christmas-y fellowship. :)

 Dad reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a family favorite. 

Christmas morning starts with stockings that Mom stuffed the night before. We read the story of Jesus' birth together. At some point during the day we do presents, which is always a production. There are nine of us, (more, now that people are getting married) so there's always a mountain of presents to pass out. It's always fun. I love that part of the day. I love watching people's faces light up when they open their gifts. :)

So...that's what Christmas usually looks like at our house. It will probably be a tiny bit different next year. A different house, anyway. It'll be fun to see what happens (even if I am slightly dreading it...)

My niece exploring her very first Christmas tree

Happy Christmas, everyone! :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Effects of Writing

It's December! I still haven't seen any snow...

I am deep in the writing world these days. I'm actually currently sitting in bed with my laptop and a million notebooks and flashcards as I try to finish Courageous Heart. So what am I doing blogging? Get back to work!

Everyone needs a break now and then, though, so that's what I'm doing right now. Taking a break. Courageous Heart can be a bit of an intense write. I love this story to pieces, but a few hours of writing this book makes me want to drink hot chocolate and then take a nap because my head is exploding and my emotions are frazzled.

Writing my stories tends to have one of two effects on me.

1. I will get so invested in the story that every argument will leave me pacing my room in anger, every time a character cries I will too, so that by the time I've finished a chapter or two I am so emotionally drained that I need a long nap and good cry of my own that is in no way related to the story itself.


2. I will get so excited about the story that I feel like dancing around the house. The sad scenes, the happy scenes, the fight scenes...doesn't matter. It all makes me want to sing and dance.

One of those two scenarios will play out no matter what story I am writing. And today, it's leaning more toward number 1. So intense. I need a good nap and maybe a movie so I can relax and release all this pent up emotion. That's another big problem with writing for me. I tend to take on my character's attributes for a short while. I become them. (I get it, they're extensions of me to begin with...but that's not the way it feels. Go ahead and tell me I'm crazy. I certainly have a lot of people living in my head that I will absolutely tell you are not me) So right now, after writing Cassy for a couple hours--Cassy, who won't let anyone see the real her and hides her vulnerability and emotions at almost any cost--I am so exhausted.

This is a rather random post, but it's what I've got for you today.

Happy writing, everybody! :)

(Dusty is still in editing...but you'll see it published this month, no worries!)