Plate Update: Muffins, Beta-Reading, and Choir

Plate Update: Muffins, Beta-Reading, and Choir

September is probably one of my favorite months of the entire year. ❤ Summer ended and so many new things began…

Last month’s full plate was full of new gluten-free baked goods. 😉

Here’s an update on my full plate…

Pleasure read:

Underground (four stars)

In 27 Days (five stars ❤ )

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (five stars)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (five stars, edited copy, family read-aloud)

Beta-read (eeek!):

Molly and Anna (four stars)


Emails and texts

This Goodreads question and this one


Meeting minutes for my transcription job (lots and tons)

Book acknowledgments 

A newsletter

Blog posts (the top five being My Summer Reading = Fabulousness; Announcing…; and Happy Autumn!!! +Giveaway.)


“Sincerely, Jem” x 2 (I love my beta-readers!)

(Very dark selfie complete with choir folders)


Made gluten-free banana bread

Joined church choir

Began babysitting for church events (so fun!)

Made a mockup cover for “Sincerely, Jem” ❤

Baked and ate some really good muffins 😉

I also attended an amazing ladies’ retreat with my church, celebrated Pearl’s birthday with family and cupcakes and Rogue One, worked with my beta-readers, enjoyed/analyzed some new movies and TV show episodes, and had some amazing hangout time with my nephews. Also, I bought my first Funko Pop. 😀

(Waiting in line to buy giveaway stuff and a Cindy-Lou Who Funko Pop. 😉 )

This month, I’m looking forward to sending “Sincerely, Jem” to my editor, starting up some new projects, and continuing to read through the Bible. (We’ve been stuck in the prophets for a while–which is actually pretty amazing–but chronologically we’re almost to Jesus. 😀 )

How was your September? What are you looking forward to this month?

Thinking of Christmas…

Thinking of Christmas…

With several emails and immensely helpful comments from beta-readers, feverishly scribbled Post-it notes, and a bullet list in my notebook of possible changes, I worked on “Sincerely, Jem” today and moved it several steps farther. 😉

Just for fun, here’s another excerpt…

The only problem with sharing a room with her sisters, Jessie decided, was that she couldn’t wrap their Christmas presents in there. Fortunately, the garage was nearly always empty, so she’d hauled everything in there and spread it across the workbench. Opening a back page of her inspiration list, she glanced from the list to the Santa’s-workshop-sized mess of fabric, scrapbooking paper, scissors, tape, and grocery bags layered to hide the presents inside. Four down, five to go. Mostly smallish ones for Ember, which gave her a brilliant idea.

Laying out the gold and cream scrapbooking paper, she pushed up her coat sleeves and set to work. The paper was a little stiff, but she bent it into submission and was just taping shut the first package when a rap on the door to the house interrupted her. 

“Come in if you’re not Ember,” she threw over her shoulder.

Mom laughed as she opened the door and shut it behind her. “How’s it going?”

Jessie nodded in satisfaction. “It’s probably really weird to be wrapping out here, but I like it.”

I just realized the other day that it’s time to start thinking about Christmas and Christmas presents which is both exciting and terrifying because that means this year is winding down. (And 2020 is such a sci-fi date. O.o. ) Maybe I’ll use some of Jessie’s wrapping ideas when I start on gifts. 😉

Do you have any favorite present wrapping tricks? Are you enjoying autumn?

Plate Update: Space, Brownies, and Monsoon Season

Plate Update: Space, Brownies, and Monsoon Season

August was a good, FULL month, and even though it’s still two weeks until autumn officially begins, I fell like that was the summer “season” finale. XD (Here’s hoping!)

Last month’s full plate was piled with movie popcorn. 😉

Here’s an update on my full plate…

Pleasure read:

The Pioneer (three stars, excellent sci-fi worldbuilding)

Outcast (family read-aloud for homeschool history class)

Auggie and Me (four stars)

A-Spying We Will Go (five stars)

Once Upon a Dime (five stars)

Penguin Days (four stars)

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (four stars)


Emails and texts

Author questions on Goodreads


8,225 words on “Sincerely, Jem” (originally “Love, Jem”) finishing out draft one!!

Meeting minutes for my transcription job

Book reviews

A newsletter

Blog posts (the top five being Do I Have That Book? Challenge; I Finished a Giraffe; Plate Update; Writing, Reading, Loving Lately; and Meet My Bookshelves!)


My bookshelf tour vlog 😛


Had a friend over to help with a leftover brownie “problem”

Enjoyed some AMAZING thunderstorms

Welcomed home new books

Watched the live action Aladdin with my siblings ❤

Celebrated AnnaStorynerd’s birthday 😀

I also had some amazing family hang out times (including s’mores and a really cool liturgy), shopped the back-to-school sales (because notebooks), watched Overcomer and cried my eyes out at the beauty, and did some training for a new volunteering opportunity at church. 😉

This month, I’m looking forward to working with beta-readers on my Christmas novella “Sincerely, Jem”, enjoying the real coming of autumn, and getting to further incorporate into my new church family. 

Oh, and I still have this cool thing to do…

How was your August? What are you looking forward to this month?



Today’s the day I get to tell you all what I’ve been working on!

*sets off cannon in celebration*

That glowy, gorgeous cover (designed by Jessica Greyson!) belongs to A Very Bookish Christmas, an anthology of novellas written by Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, Rebekah Jones, and yours truly. 😀 (I’m so grateful to be in the company of such amazing authors, y’all!)

Each novella is inspired by a classic book and includes a character who loves that book. Plus there’s a ton of happy, beautiful, and glowy Christmas stuff to boot. 😀

This collection will be available November 28th through the end of December. (Add it here on Goodreads)

The anthology will include…

Molly and Anna by Sarah Holman (inspired by Pollyanna)

Gingerbread Treasures by Rebekah Jones (inspired by a Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Sylvie of Amber Apartments by J. Grace Pennington (inspired by Anne of Green Gables)

Love, Jem by Kate Willis (inspired by Daddy-Long-Legs)

*grins hugely*

And since I can tell you about my story now, here are five things you should know about Love, Jem.

  1. I can’t pronounce or spell the title right on the first try. XD
  2. The main character, Jessie, has two nicknames (that y’all helped choose). Her younger brother calls her Jesster, and she uses Jem as her super-anonymous, super-cool penname for writing letters to her penpal.
  3. Jem is a writer, storyteller, and book devourer.
  4. She is also something of an introvert. 😉
  5. This story somehow includes a ridiculous amount of mini cheesecake. ❤ You have been warned.

I’ll definitely be talking about this story more (and even asking for beta-readers soon), and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I Finished a Giraffe

I Finished a Giraffe

This was me the last few days…

Okay, a lot less evil and a little less tired looking, but you get the idea.

I had come to a pretty bad standstill in my WIP (but I have a deadline) so I pulled out my polka-dotted notebook and set to work writing longhand.

For some reason when I’m uninspired, distracted, or fatigued, switching mediums can be really helpful, and this time I was blessed to be able to just write and write and write.

Last night, I finished draft one!!! I can’t tell you how many times my characters surprised me in that last chapter and how much I nerded out bringing some things from the beginning back around. XD

I’m so excited to have this done, and once I type it all into the computer, I’ll begin reading through it and doing the big edits. 😀

I kept telling my family, “I finished my draft! I finished my draft!” As I got more tired and more excited, apparently the way I pronounce “draft” is a bit more like “jraft”, so I guess I finished a “giraffe”. XD

(And since my book is longer in some places than others and a little bit spotty in others, the metaphor works, right? 😀 )

I can’t wait until I can tell you all more about this book. For now, just know that there’s a lot of cheesecake in it. 😀

Writing, Reading, Loving Lately

Writing, Reading, Loving Lately

Last week, I finally got to pick up my Camp NaNo story again and put in some more words. It’s been so much fun getting to know these characters better and move the story forward. Some big things (and some cute things) have been happening. 😀 Here’s an excerpt…

(Context, during a loooong game of Monopoly, Jessie is brainstorming a Christmas card for her pen-pal…)

Andi yawned and leaned back in her chair. “Is it my turn yet, because I’m still in jail.”

         Kee snapped his fingers and leaned forward again. “Don’t people sometimes write words with elements on the periodic table? That would be so nerdy.”

         “Oooo, I liked that idea. Like a lot. Can you bankrupt me so I can start on it?” Jessie drummed impatiently on the edge of the table.

         “After we break Andi out of jail.”

         Andi made it out of Monopoly jail only to be sent back again, and Kee bankrupted Jessie in another two turns. Jessie gave him a congratulatory handshake and excused herself.

I’ve been shifting my books around a lot this week. I keep buying more books or graduating books I love from the TBR shelf to the “Keep This Forever” shelf, so… *grimaces happily* I wouldn’t be surprised if no two pictures of my bookshelves are alike. XD The two newest books added to my paper-family are a hardback copy of Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney (a book I’ve loved before) and In 27 Days by Alison Gervais (something I’m really excited to try). I blame my bookshelf “problem” on Book Outlet, the same place also responsible for my copies of the Beautiful Blue World duology. Seriously the best site.

Speaking of graduating books from my TBR shelf… I finished reading Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio this week. It’s a companion book to Wonder, and it was soooo amazing. ❤ I’m so glad I picked it up. If you loved Wonder, definitely give it a try. I’ll be reviewing it soonish. 😀

My sister Anna had her birthday this week, and in celebration us older squad went to see the live-action Aladdin. It was my first time seeing it, and I enjoyed it immensely. Will Smith always cracks me up so much, and I really liked the movie’s message and cultural elements. And some of those songs are pretty catchy too. 😀 (I want a pet tiiiiggggerrrr.)

What have you been writing/reading/loving lately?

(Oh, and one of my favorite musicians just released a new song… It’s THE BEST.)

The Story Within the Story

The Story Within the Story

Today’s writing session was particularly fun, since my character got to put her storytelling skills to work. It was basically a story within a letter within a story. Which is almost as confusing as it sounds. XD

As things ramp up in my story, I’m at that funny stage where I have to hold back a bit on the character arc because I don’t want things to resolve too quickly but also I have to keep moving the story along. 😀 Funny conundrum.

In other news, I gave my MC a NASA t-shirt (woohoo!) and worked on the official synopsis for “The Night Archers”. Expect that (and a cover reveal!!!) soon. 😀

What is one of the coolest props you’ve ever given a character?

Halfway and Chapter Titles

Halfway and Chapter Titles

I wrote more on my story today, and I just got to begin the midpoint. 😀 It’s been a ton of fun developing the friendship between the penpals, but I also have something of a plot to move along. (Remember the plot, Kate? This is proof you shouldn’t take writing breaks.)

This means I get to jump out of letters temporarily and write a super fun character-arc-proving scene. 😉 And it happens to be a Christmas party, so descriptions, snacks, and snack descriptions are in my character’s future. 😀 It’s going to be fun. 😉 (Especially since my MC’s penpal just “dared” her to do something.)

My story is long enough I was starting to get lost in the chapters, so I just named them. 😀 Want a sneak peek of the table of contents? (And remember, nothing is final. 😉 )

Aren’t chapter titles so much fun? I love coming up with them, especially when I don’t have any rules about how they have to be. (One word chapter titles are the hardest!)

How was your day?

Letters and Accents

Letters and Accents

Getting in a good wordcount is dangerously easy right now. XD My characters are being hilarious and discussing really interesting things, so their letters tend to be long. *hopes it doesn’t get too long*

One of their favorite discussions seem to be about accents. Which got me thinking, if you could learn any accent, what would it be? And what would you use it for?

How did your writing go today?

A Li’l Excerpt

A Li’l Excerpt

I wrote not a word today, but I did check in with my beta-readers, read the rest of a very interesting book, hung out with siblings, and cleaned the house some. 😉

More words tomorrow, right? 😀

Here’s an excerpt of last week’s writing, just for fun. 😉

Glancing around the room like an introverted spy, she tiptoed past Dad and Mr. Donovan toward the coat rack. She fished around in her coat pocket and pulled out the notebook. The receipt she’d found in there before fluttered to the ground and she stooped to pick it up. The words were faded to read, but at least it would make a nice bookmark.

She slid it between the pages and returned to her inspection of the tree. The space between it and the wall practically invited her to enter it, and she sank down on the carpet.

Her black shoes she’d changed into just peeked out from under the edge of her skirt, and she reached out to rub a scuffed spot on one toe. She had done well being a normal socializing person for the first three hours of the party, but conversationally tiptoeing around small talk and trying not to eat too many cheesecakes around strangers got tiring quickly.