Tuesday, June 27, 2017

His Plans Are Always Good

It's a Tuesday, and here I am blogging! I am quite proud of myself, actually. :) Let's see how long I can keep this up.

On a more serious note...

Today I just wanted to share what's on my heart these days. Mainly, just this: God has a plan.

I don't always understand His plans. Sometimes I get impatient with His plans, sometimes I get frustrated and discouraged, and sometimes I am overjoyed and thrilled and excited by His plans. Regardless of how I feel, however, He does have a plan and it is a good one. Even when I am discouraged or I can't see where He is taking me, I can always trust that His plans for me are good. He is a good and loving Father and whatever is in store for me in the months and years to come, it will be good. And more to the point, it will be for His glory.

I'm at a bit of an odd place right now. On the one hand, everything about my life seems perfectly in place. My genuine love for children is fulfilled in my nanny job. My passion for writing is taking me wonderful places in the books that I am writing. Everything seems to be exactly as it should be. On the other hand, my books aren't selling the way I'd want them to, certainly not enough to live on or pay any bills I might have. I've been struggling lately because of that.

I've always felt that this was what I was meant to do. Write stories, use them to brighten people's lives and point to Jesus. That feeling hasn't gone away. I do still strongly feel that writing is something I should be doing. But lately I've discouraged by the fact that my books aren't selling. It's almost like the devil is whispering to me, "How can your stories be a witness for the Lord if no one is even reading them?"

Learning to trust His plans, whether that be writing or doing something else entirely with my life, is not always easy. But the peace I have when I do let go and let Him have control is amazing. It's beyond words.

For now, I'll continue writing the stories that I know He is putting on my heart. What the future will hold, who can say? Whatever happens, I will rest in my Father's safe embrace and simply let Him carry me wherever it is He wants me to go. :)

Have a lovely day, dear readers. And trust Him. He knows what He's doing. :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Newest Novel//Kaelyn

So, in the world of writing, I have news.

In my last post, I talked about schedules, mostly about how I am now using one to keep me motivated and on track with posting on my blog and other social media. I also have a schedule, more of a two-year plan really, with books I plan on writing and when I will outline, write, edit, and publish them. Well, because of said two-year plan...I've been writing more than ever before. And it's amazing!

The Tragedy of the Traitor is with my editors and will be coming out in September!! The last Robin Hood book, The Story of Gisbourne, is written and in the waiting pile now. My third Finding Hope book, Queen of Caradale is finished and is now waiting for my editors as well (I don't think it would be fair to overwhelm them with more than one book at a time). I've never written a book as fast as I wrote Queen of Caradale...which could be an indicator that editing will be a nightmare. Now that I have the Finding Hope trilogy completely finished, and the Robin Hood series done as well, I'm moving on to new things. This is a bit scary and also thrilling! I've been writing the Robin Hood series for four years, so it will be strange to be doing something different now, but I'm excited!!

The next book that I want to tackle is my own. I'm going to be writing a work of fiction based off of my own life experiences. (Although my character is NOT going to be named Amanda...that's just an awful character name). I've mentioned this book before, and the story behind it, so I won't go in too much detail. The book I'm going to be diving into now is about a girl called Kaelyn who was sexually abused as a child and addicted to porn as a teenager. She's going to overcome these things through the saving power of Jesus Christ. My hope and prayer is that my story will be able to minister to other girls who have gone through similar situations.

I have a feeling writing this book is going to be more than a little emotional for me...but it will be good. Therapeutic, at the very least.

So anyway, that's what's new in my writing world!

Have a lovely Tuesday, everybody! :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Schedules (Face-Palm)

So...remember when I said I wasn't going to be blogging regularly?

Okay, so I finally had a face-palm moment and decided that instead of constantly apologizing/complaining that I have too much going on to blog consistently I will simply make myself a schedule.

Yes. This should have been my first approach to the problem. It wasn't. Still, better late than never, right? 😉

I already had a schedule for my author vlogs on YouTube, which is likely the only reason I've been consistent with that. So now I'm scheduling everything. Why didn't I think of this before? Silly me.

I'm going to be blogging on Tuesdays and on Saturdays. However, Saturdays will be touch-and-go depending on what my days look like each weekend. So really, expect Tuesdays and then sometimes I'll give you a Saturday gift. 😇

You learn something new everyday, folks. I'm learning that schedules are brilliant, absolutely brilliant. 😏 (also I found the emoji button....)

Happy Writing, everybody!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How Do I Develop Writing Ideas?

I know I said not to expect me to be blogging as much, but here I am. I do want to be consistent, I just said don't expect it of me.

Today I wanted to answer the question: How do I develop my writing ideas?

I don't actually have a good answer to this, and certainly not a succinct one. How do I develop my ideas? Well let's start at the beginning.

My stories come to me at various times and in a myriad of situations. I got the inspiration for my Finding Hope series while I was reading The Giver. I know exactly where I was when that happened. Whereas with my Robin Hood series, I can't pinpoint an exact time when the story entered my head. Sometimes I'll be watching the Olympics, or a movie, or people-watching and a story idea will just come to me. I can picture a character in a setting and the story is born. On rare occasions I get story ideas from dreams. Sometimes story ideas come from discussions and banter with friends. Conversations that weren't about books but then a story comes out of them. Sometimes stories happen when I buy a car. Don't ask me to explain my brain. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes...and cars, apparently.

It's always different for each book. The ways stories come to me are vast and varied. After I have a story in mind, I write it down. Not the just the idea, but the story itself.

When a story enters my head, my brain starts working on overdrive and unless I want to explode, I have to get the story out. So I sit down and write, furiously write, until I run out of juice. Usually this leaves me with two or three chapters of a story written. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but generally around two or three chapters.

After that, I outline and plot the story using the chapters I have written as a starting point. I dive into character profiles, emotional journeys, story arcs, research (especially for historical novels), and everything in between. My two or three chapters already written usually introduce me to the main character, the main conflict, and a couple of side characters (usually family members or close friends). Once I start outlining, I flush out the characters I already know, and then work through all of the unknown factors of the story. Once the story is fully outlined, I write it.

That's how I create stories.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Excuses, Excuses

Wow, it's been a bit since my last blog post. I have blogged since that post, just not on this blog. I've been filling in on my sister's blog for a couple weeks while she's been out of town and away from technology.

Still, it's been a while since I posted something on my blog. I think part of that is because it's becoming increasingly harder to 1) keep up and 2) find topics to discuss. Both of those things are a struggle for a variety of reasons. I'm a busy human being. I am a full-time nanny, which is no laughing matter. I am an author, and have been doing a lot of writing (more than usual). I have my Youtube channel now where I do author vlogs and talk about writing things. That last one is what has made it hard for me to come up with things to talk about here on my blog. I struggle deciding on a topic anyway, but deciding on TWO topics (for a blog and a vlog) in the same week is nearly impossible.

All that is to say, keeping up with everything is a struggle.

One of the biggest reasons my blog has fallen to the wayside is the amount of writing I have been doing lately. My focus has been solely on my books. I created a two-year plan for when I would outline, write, edit, and publish various novels over the next two years. It's been extremely motivating. I wrote basically an entire novel in two months. Which leads me to a writing update...

The Tragedy of the Traitor is finished!! It's being sent off to my editors and beta readers now! And now I'm going to focus my time and energy on writing the third Finding Hope book: Queen of Caradale.

I am super excited with my current pace of writing novels. It's been great to write every single day and get a lot done. I'm insanely eager to see where my stories are going and how the Lord is going to teach me through the writing process! :)

I guess this is kind of an apology, kind of a bunch of excuses, and also a heads-up if I don't blog consistently in future.

Happy writing, everybody! :)