Kiera, second edition with minor edits (it seriously needs a character guide #lessonlearned), limited edition HARDCOVER FORMAT (complete with dust jackets *chef’s kiss*), new bonus content, and a really, really gorgeous cover which I happen to be finalizing today. 💗
I’ve been having fun learning the ins and outs of hardcovers, a.k.a. watching YouTube videos and messaging veteran authors (you know who you are, and thank you!) and reading numerous articles.
There were jokes about how productive we were all going to be. How many days straight we’d been home. How we introverts had a wonderful, unfair advantage that we didn’t really like going out in the first place.
Then something inside me shifted. Almost without me noticing. My creativity sank into a tired hibernation, popping up occasionally for air then disappearing again just as quickly.
Maybe it was the stress of everything. Or the time consuming art of “coping mechanisms” (that don’t really help, y’all). Or the constant inundation of (albeit really good) art–music, movies, TV shows, everything the world was admirably pulling together in an effort to lighten each other’s loads.
My writing heart slipped away, followed by reading, then finally blogging.
A blog about books and writing isn’t much use if the author isn’t reading or writing. 😉 My daily quarantine slog through life or my mixed up thoughts on social issues (that would just add to the noise) were off-limits. (And the absolute highlight of my year, my Joshua, was a heart-close secret for a few months there. 😉)
So I limped along, dropping just enough posts to hopefully not abandon you all completely. #winning
(Don’t get me wrong, there have been some fantastic highlights this year, just a remarkable shift in some very important areas of my life.)
I felt this “something” change again this month. I wrote a list of things I was looking forward to (as simple as decorating my room for fall) and carried them out with anticipation and enthusiasm. I’ve stayed up late a couple nights reading. I’m blogging again and even scheduling some posts ahead. I’m trusting writing will return soon as well.
Maybe I’m back.
But also… I’ve been baking a lot and stretching my skills and presentation. An old hobby has become a new favorite since quarantine (and multiple seasons of Great British Bake-Off 😍). I’ve been reviewing movies. I’ve been tackling the odd handicraft here and there. I’ve grown very close and very deep with my boyfriend who is both inspiring me to be adventurous in my tastes and deeply valuing who I am.
I’ve seen a world rocked and wrecked and seen people fight over things that don’t matter and things that do. I’ve learned more about myself and how I relate to God and the world, maybe more than ever before.
I’ve been working more on my fantasy novel, and I’m so happy with how it’s going so far! Something weird just happened and somebody evil probably did it, and the MCs are low on food, and also they’re finally talking to each other a little more which is nice. XD
By my nearest count, I just hit 25/26,000 words, and that’s halfway!!! 😀 To celebrate, here’s a teeny, tiny excerpt. Disclaimer: It’s a very rough draft, have mercy, please.
His knowledge of geography didn’t account for not using the roads, but until they were a safe distance away from the main province, Arrow didn’t want to risk it. A question or two to the innkeepers they had encountered was enough to confirm they were headed east.
He glanced back at the Queen, riding silently a tail’s length behind him. So far she had followed him without a question to where they were going, but soon he would need to come up with a better direction than away.
She hadn’t questioned because she had barely spoken. Even to the child when she thought he couldn’t hear. With each passing day of the journey, she seemed to sink farther into herself, only eating when he reminded her by handing her food. He never needed to remind her to feed the child; the child reminded them both.
He broke off a stray branch and threw it to the side. The dog skittered off after it, grasped it in his mouth, and returned to his place beside the horse, carrying the stick triumphantly in his mouth. Arrow smiled slightly and felt his spirits lift.
I love that dog so much. XD
What do you think? Are you currently writing? Tell me about it. 😀
I’m seriously loving how the numbers “2020” look. It’s satisfyingly symmetrical. XD
For the past two years, I’ve been setting word-related goals and sharing them here on my blog, (see how I did on last year’s here), so I thought I’d do it again. 😀 And this is more of a get-this-done-maybe-yes-no-i-hope list than a the-world-will-end-if-i-don’t because I know God has goals for this year I know nothing about yet. 😉
Stick to my topic schedule. Early on in blogging, I set up a weekly schedule of what types of posts I would do, and I really love it, so I hope to stick to it more this year. 😉
Collab with you all more. If you have an idea for a collab post, comment and we can talk. 😀
Reading goals (besides my Goodreads goal :D)…
Consciously feed my heart and mind with books I can learn something from or find some rest in.
Read less. This didn’t go so well last year, so we’ll see. 😀
Finish drafting my fantasy novel. I am loving this project sooo much right now, and I can’t wait to finish it. 😉
Begin The Twin Arrows #3. Whether this just means brainstorming and plotting this year, I hope to get somewhere on it. 😉
(Prayerfully) Find beta readers for “Imperfect”. This one deals with some sensitive issues, so I want to be sure to be respectful to everyone, so finding the right beta readers is gonna be a big deal. 😉
Write some fanfiction. XD I’ve got one planned, y’all, and I’m absolutely in love with it. xD
Those are my bookish goals for the year! What are yours? I’d love to hear what you’re excited about in the comments. 😉
I hereby introduce you to… the Voted Most Likely Blogger tag!
Rule 1: The Doctor lies. Oops, sorry, that wasn’t it…
Real Rule 1: Thank the lovely blogger who tagged you. (Thanks again, Abigail! 😀 )
Rule 2: Include this link to the original tag (phoebeamorryce.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/voted-most-likely)
Rule 3: Use your own lovely Original Characters (OC’s); don’t use a friend’s characters or characters from your favorite fandom. They can be from any project, so long as you created them. For more fun, try to use as many different characters as possible.
Rule 4: Tag at least five lovely blogger friends to play along.
I’m gonna do my best to use characters from my published works and two main WIPs “The Night Archers” and “Imperfect” so hopefully y’all know who I’m talking about. 😉 This is gonna be so much fun!
Most Likely to Become a Poet
Gavynn from “The Night Archers”. While he seems really practical and put together on the outside, he has a hard backstory and some personal angst which pretty much spells poet material. And he does get downright poetic while describing a sunrise.
Most Likely to Dance in the Rain
Destiny!!! The amazing best friend from Kiera. She is a farmgirl princess, and you can bet that she would dressup and go dance in the rain. 😀
Most Likely to Look Good in a Kilt
I honestly don’t know… My artistic Kylee from “Imperfect” could probably pull it off in her own way. Knowing her, she’d probably pair it with a chunky gray sweater double braids.
Most Likely to Get Punched in the Face
It’s a tie between Kent (from Kiera) and Sir Larkin (from The Twin Arrows) for very different reasons. Kent, because, well… He gets pretty obnoxious during the kitchen scene. *shudders* And Sir Larkin because he would be protecting someone else. XD
Most Likely to Drop Everything and Become a Sheep Herder
Destiny, again. Seriously, would she not be the most capable, fashionable, and hilarious sheep herder ever? She already takes care of the family cows, anyway, so I think she’d be good at this.
Most Likely Found in a Library
Brennan is probably my most bookish character to date. I can just picture him getting lost in a library, leaning one elbow on a stack of books while devouring some fantastical but richly deep book.
Most Likely to Sleep Through an Earthquake
I feel like Aric (from Kiera) and Caelan (from “The Night Archers”) would both do this. Aric because he’s a teenager, and Caelan because he’s a teenager and suuuupppperrrr exhausted the entire book. #mypoorbaby
Most Likely to Steal Food from Other People’s Plates
Destiny. 😀 Nuff said.
Most Likely to Cheat on a Test
I don’t know, actually. If you have an idea of who, comment with it.
Most Likely to Say “Oops” After Setting Something on Fire
My dear Canary (from Enjoy the Poodle Skirt) seems most likely to be both klutzy and super calm about weird situations. Also, she works at a restaurant, so I feel like she’d have more opportunity to do this…
Most Likely to Open an Orphanage
Kiera and Brennan would soooo do this together and be adorable doing it. ❤
Most Likely to Run Off to the Circus
I’d say, Drewin (from The Twin Arrows), and not just because he runs away in his book. Even after his character arc, he still craves adventure, so I feel like he’d fit best with the circus.
Most Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
Sir Larkin, hands down. He’s got skills. 😀
Most Likely to Fake Their Own Death
Definitely Ian (from Kiera and my brother’s novel Crossroads). He’s got all the tech, contacts, and reasons to do this. *wants to write a short story now*
Most Likely to Die and Haunt Friends
Joss from “Imperfect”. I feel like if he were to die, his friends (and I) would be pretty heartbroken and be haunted by it happening. And he would definitely go out in a self-sacrificial way…
And there you go! That was super fun (and a little hard) to answer! If you have alternate answers, I’d love to hear them in the comments. 😀
Played dolls and taught my youngest sister to make doll skirts
Welcomed home all my new books XD
Enjoyed our crazy (for the Southwest, anyway) weather ❤ ❤
Deep cleaned the house and weeded the yard
Named my new stuffed animal Book Hedgehog “Oregano” ❤ (Thanks, Perry!)
Loved the movie “The Kid Who Would Be King” (Arthurian legends for the win!)
I also had tons of fun putting together a giveaway, hung out with my amazing nephews, and celebrated Valentine’s Day with my siblings by eating cool snacks and binge watching a kid’s show. I also filmed a really goofy video with Anna and Paul that should be up sometime soon. 😉 We had too much fun. XD
This month, I’m looking forward to overhauling “The Night Archers” and getting it ready for beta-readers, planning a new writing project, sharing part two of my collab with Lilian, and celebrating the beginning of spring. 😀 And whatever else God decides to bring me. 😉
How was your February? What are you looking forward to this month?
This is the story of a girl, her chocolate, and the first draft that brought them together.
Once upon a time, I spied a good sale on candy bars and decided to buy a couple, write goals on them, and eat them when I reached the goals. (I felt so cool writing on their wrappers! XD ) The first candy goal? Finish draft one of “Imperfect”, approximately 3k words away.
(Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. That 3k ended up stretching into 9k… XD I grossly underestimated it.)
A couple days ago, my sister Perry came over to have a writing/editing day with us, and that was the extra encouragement I needed to write the last two chapters. We had a ton of fun together, and my words seemed to just flow. 😀
I tied up the ending, ate my candy bar, and sang “I’m the Happiest Christmas Tree” around the house, announcing too many times to any family member that would listen that I had finished my draft.
Because I’m feeling generous and I can’t share chocolate over the internet, here’s a quick excerpt for y’all…
(In this scene, Kylee is at a highschool soccer game with her family and friends.)
Mom sat down behind me and handed over a bag of popcorn for us girls to share, then handed another to Dad and Esther’s grandparents. It was the first time I’d met them, and I’d already decided that if they were hiring out to be grandparents, I’d take them up on the offer. They were the sweetest, jolliest older people I’d ever met.
Sometimes if I turned my head just right, I could hear the adults discussing the game, and that helped me feel a little less lost. Though I still was a dunce about soccer in general. If I ever needed to start a conversation with Joss, I’d ask him to explain the game.
Esther reached for popcorn, and I hugged it to myself.
“You wants to take the preciousss popcorn?!!” I teased.
Esther laughed and I relinquished it quickly.
We were all mumbling through mouthfuls when just before halftime, something pretty amazing happened. Just feet from their goal, Joss managed to steal the ball, and with the help of number 17, a player after my own height, brought it down the field. Crystal was yelling next to me, and Esther was on her feet smiling.
I clenched my hands tightly and squeezed them together between my knees, eyes never leaving the ball. You can do this, Joss. You can do this. It was times like these when I wished for telepathy powers.
One swift kick and he had it past their viciously awesome goalie. Our entire section was cheering their heads off, and I clapped both hands together. I didn’t need to know much about soccer to know that that had been amazing.
Joss turned and waved at the crowd, and I grinned to myself, turning to look at Mrs. Gilbert. She tore herself from her phone for a second to wave then quickly pressed a button and brought her phone to her ear.
They called halftime, and we pulled ourselves to our feet, stretching and yawning and still crowing over Joss’s move. Esther’s granddad offered to treat us all to ice cream, and as we walked to the concession stands, I added this to my growing list of reasons he was awesome.
There you are!
I’m so grateful to have completed this draft (though I’m already missing my characters), and I can’t wait for what’s next. 😀 Already sequel and companion book ideas are spinning in my head.
Though, if the next candy bar has anything to say about it, it’s time to finish up “The Night Archers” once and for all. 😉
Celebrated the last day of peppermint shakes with a sister and friends
Wrote at a coffee shop with sibs
Made a thank you card
Weeded the yard
Went to the library three times in one week!
Loved “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” with my family ❤
Bought way too many books (I’ll post about later)
Visited a Little Free Library (and got us terrific-ly turned around on the way XD)
I also started a new devotional and Bible reading plan, celebrated three family birthdays, formatted my new short story as a minibook, and ventured into visual arts with a sketch, a painting, and trying to take better pictures. 😉
This month, I’m looking forward to wrapping up the first draft of “Imperfect”, sharing a collab and an author interview with you, and possibly making more thank you cards because that’s still a goal. 😉
How was your January? What are you looking forward to this month?
Loved “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” movie (on VidAngel) ❤ ❤
Made a Christmas card or two
Celebrated Advent with my family
Watched a livestream of my favorite Christmas concert
Shopped and shipped O.o. 😉
Celebrated two family birthdays
Enjoyed “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” with some family members and a friend (super awesome!!)
I also crafted Christmas ornaments, made gingerbread houses with my Generation Rising buddies, hung out with various cousins for the first time in years, attended a beautiful candelight and Christmas Eve service, and made way too much peppermint bark. My Christmas day celebration with my family was amazing and lovely as well! ❤
This month, I’m looking forward to chomping away at my draft of “Imperfect”, keeping up with my new devotional plan, and getting some sewing done.
How was your December? What are you looking forward to this month?
Here we are in a new year. Can you believe it? Today I opened up my Happy Planner and wrote my first words in it. I’m excited for the fresh calendar, fresh month, fresh year. 😉
Last year, I set some word-related goals for myself (see how I did here) and, in keeping with tradition, I’m doing it again! It’s more of a suggested to-do list than a “must happen or else” thing since I’m trying to leave room for spontaneity and the Lord’s leading.
Improve my photography–quantity and quality. I’ve been noticing how much I love pictures in other’s posts, so I want to really step that up in mine when I can. 😉 Update: I didn’t post a ton of pictures, but when I did, I think the quality was better. 😉 I asked for help with some and I started taking book pictures outside, so… 😀
Do more guest blogging and interviews of authors. I’d love to do some more guest blogging, and I will continue to interview other authors. Let’s build some more community! 😀 Update: Nope, this didn’t happen, though I did get to help with several lovely cover reveals.
Strike a balance between reading new releases and older ones. A lot of family members and friends have book recommendations for me, so I’d like to read some of those instead of going for what’s new all the time. 😉 Update: Yes? I didn’t read a lot of recommendations like I wanted, but I did finish a few series…
Read through the Bible in a year with my family. We’ve also just started reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and it’s GOOD. Update: Unfortunately, I didn’t make this one. 😉
Publish two manuscripts. Lord willing, next in the queue are “The Night Archers” (sequel to The Twin Arrows!) and “Imperfect”, a dystopian novella. Super excited about both of these! Update:The Night Archers? Check! “Imperfect”? Nope, not yet. I published “Sincerely, Jem” instead. 😉
Rework an old story for character development. The first few drafts are done, but I’ve realized some characters have zero development/motivation and need it. 😉 Update: This didn’t end up happening, though I’d still love to do it.
Start my fantasy novel. I planned a big one the beginning of last year, and I love it, and I need to write it. 😉 Update: YES!! I’m about 1/4 of the way through. 😀
Leave room for spontaneous writing. A friend I’ve never met (online gift exchange) gave me a really amazing journal from Junktown Revival for Christmas. It’s made of a rescued vintage book about butterflies, and it’s so inspiring that I’ve been doing some random sketching and writing of short essays. I’d love to do more of this. Update: While I ended up writing in different journals (and some on here too), I did write more short essays which was really fun.
Those are my bookish goals for the year! What are yours? I’d love to hear what you’re excited about in the comments. 😉