I’m excited about two word-related things right now…
#1? The other day, I printed off draft one of “Imperfect”. You probably heard me cackling in excitement. 😆 Then I stapled it together in segments of a chapter or two, located my red pen, and got to work. 😉
I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it, but I’m already to chapter six and suuuppppper excited.
Aesthetically messy ^^
I posted this on Facebook, and it’s painfully true…
#2 on word-related things I’m excited about…
Paperbacks will be available this upcoming weekend in connection with a very special blog party. 😍😍
My fellow A Very Bookish Christmas authors and I are releasing our books separately, and I can’t wait for you to see the full amazingness. 😀
Stay tuned for a giveaway and some pretty fun blog posts! See you then. 😀
I’m weirdly over the moon in love with it. XD It wasn’t easy to write per se, but because it’s set in an established world with established characters that I could just play with and maybe because the idea has been living in my brain for over a year… I just wrote and wrote. 😀 There wasn’t any pressure except to keep people in character, and I think maybe I should do this again sometime when writer’s block is attacking me. 😉
Another exciting writerly thing… I GOT PROOF COPIES! ❤ Yes, multiples. I received a copy of my first book and the proof for my most recent book in the same weekend, and if that’s not poetic I don’t know what is. Behold…
(Didn’t Perry do a brilliant job on that cover?!)
Also, my brain has been insaaannnnneeee with ideas right now. More than I could probably ever write actually. I came up with a spy network concept one day and then the next day two twists on the classic mermaid tropes. I’ve got problems, y’all. 😉
Oh, and for another problem, one of my sisters pulled out an old manuscript of mine. It’s one of my absolute favorites, and it’s in need of a good bit of love before publishing. Just seeing those pages brought the story rushing back and a billion ideas of what I could do to work with it. Definitely not in the publishing/writing plan for now, so I’m trying to avoid it. XD We’ll see how successful I am. 😛
I’ve been really tired lately, and it’s seemed like all the books I’ve had available to read next are either really serious or complicated fantasy. Not cutting it for this mood reader. 😉 I decided to splurge and buy some full-price ebooks, and I snagged a light sci-fi and a sweet-looking romance. Brilliant fun. 😀
What has your bookish life been like lately? How do you combat writer’s or reader’s block? 😀
It’s my first time every formatting a paperback, and I gotta say people who do this regularly are NINJAS. I called in my sister Perry for back-up, and she found me the right fonts (and helped install them XD ), helped me fix some weird formatting, and taught me some really cool tips to make it faster. Thanks, Perry!
(Next time should be easier, right? 😉 )
Here’s a sneak peek at the interior…
I am sooo excited, y’all, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon. 😉
I can barely believe we’re already three months into this year and three days into April. And yet, it can almost feel like it’s been three years since Christmas and New Years’ just because of how full and crazy this year has been already. 😉
My own personal full plate has been a mixture of good and bad, exciting and worrying, and through it all, God has been with me.
So if you’d like, picture this “full plate” as a Thanksgiving platter with a problematic laptop, a cake cookbook, headphones, wedding programs, a choir folder, a library book, a Kindle, and sixty-million post-it notes representing my ideas all stacked up on it. 😉
The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe. I love God so much… He’s using this album, the soundtrack to some of the most hurtful times in my life, to heal me now, and the words have been speaking to me so much more than they ever did before.
Searching for Us by Skye Peterson. Guys, this whole album!! It just brings all the tears and joy. ❤
Coffee cake… I found the ultimate recipe and someday when I can find it again I will share it here and yes.
Pandemic masks… Nuff said.
Orange Julius, lowkey, no ice cream. I figured out I like orange juice more with the acid toned down, so milk and vanilla added is amazing.
MINI DOUGHNUTS. Two of my siblings got me pans for my birthday, and I am so happy and I could bake for a billion years. Now that we found flour (my mom is a shopping ninja), I’m going to make some really, really good ones.
What have I been MISCELLANEOUSING?
(Please note, any activities outside of the house happened waaaay earlier this year. I haven’t left the house in almost three weeks…)
Started a job as a virtual assisant (basically a secretary through online and phone calls)
Spoke at a book club with the most welcoming, fun girls ever. ❤
Volunteered at my church in child care and the choir. These are honestly huge highlights of my life, and I can’t wait to get back to them. ❤
Attended two weddings. It was cool to see some friends I haven’t seen in forever.
Packing food with a huge group of friends before everything shut down. It was lovely to volunteer with them.
Celebrated my birthday. It was really the most lovely day I could have asked for, and there were some big surprises I would never have dreamed of. ❤ One of them was my rural neighbors randomly setting off fireworks. We decided they were celebrating me. 😛
I’m continuing to work, write, bake, and hang out with my family. I’m looking forward to participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, reading a new Bible study book my parents gave me, and having more virtual movie watches with my besties. 😉
What are some of your first-quarter highlights? What are you looking forward to in the next few months?
I got batteries for Chanukah (eight nights x one gift per night = eight traditionally practical gifts), and it’s been so amazing. 😉 My Dana Alphasmart electronic typewriter is delightfully ancient and completely useless without batteries, so I’m super happy to have it back in comission. I’ve already writen 5,000 new words (distraction free!) on my fantasy story these past two weeks alone. ❤ It’s been going really well so far, and I’ve been loving fleshing out these characters and their motivations. (More needed on draft two, of course.) I just finished part one this weekend, so now there’s going to be a completely new setting and character dynamic to figure out which is SO. MUCH. FUN.
Also, I really, really love this dog side character that decided to be more important in the story than originally planned. *shrugs happily* And I’m really, really sad about what I’m about to do to some characters in just a couple hundred words. 😦 The life of an author is a complicated mess… (Especially when you accidentally lose two scenes. 😛 Don’t worry, it’s all good now.)
I get to go to a book club this week! *grins hugely* As a guest speaker! *smile falters* Which is honestly so cool, and I can’t wait to meet the girls and answer their questions about my writing and Kiera. 😉 (Don’t tell, but I’ve also put together a few minibook copies of my Kiera short story to share with them. Thanks to a Staples run and Perry’s legendary stapler. ❤ ) The book they’re discussing this month is Resistance by Jennifer Nielsen, so I’m gonna get up to speed so I can follow the discussion. Pray for me that I won’t get too tongue-tied and am able to bless the girls. 😀
Last week, I spent a ton of time* trying to write a synopsis for Sincerely, Jem. The anthology was limited edition, so I needed an individual synopsis for releasing it on its own. Skimming, an hour phone call with back up, and a gazillion drafts later, I posted it on Goodreads. With a release date. And much happiness. 😀
“Dear Reader, My name is Jessie. I’m an expert at introversion and cheesecake eating. (#skillz) I’m trying to become a writer, but gathering inspiration = social interaction, so… no.
The world’s best mail carrier suggested I get a pen pal, so this is the story of that pen pal experiment and the beautiful way it opened my eyes.
Merry Christmas and much cheesecake to you! Sincerely, Jem
This lighthearted novella is inspired by Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster and originally appeared in the anthology A Very Bookish Christmas.” (from Goodreads)
And then it was time for FORMATTING! It’s not as scary as it looks, and I was actually able to do it all on my own this time. My sister Perry has helped me with it multiple times (#ninja), and Draft2Digital is really intuitive and easy to use, so yep. 😀
It’s releasing NEXT MONDAY, a.k.a. 1/20. 😀 (I really can’t wait.)
A long time ago in 2016, some friends and I were commenting on a sci-fi looking outfit. “Woah, that looks like it’s from 2020 or something.” Seconds later, we all freaked out when we realized that sci-fi-sounding date was only four years away.
And now 2020 is today. O.o.
Start practicing writing it on papers now, y’all. 😀
At the very beginning of this year, I want to take a few moments to share some of my highlights from the last one. 😉
In the blogging sphere…
2019 felt a little bit different for me as far as blogging goes. With all the writing/publishing deadlines I had this year, there were some rough patches with fatigue and a lack of inspiration, but I’m excited to see that fading. 😉 Thanks for sticking with me through it! I also did my first vlog with My Face in it and got to reveal a ton of really pretty book covers. 😀
I looked up my stats for the top five posts of last year (minus giveaways/collabs cause those naturally get more hits), and here’s what the numbers show…
Shipping Is the Best is actually one I posted in late November 2018. It was super fun sharing memes about shipping (as in wanting two characters to get in a relationship) and sharing my tips for shipping books in the mail. XD
I Love Book Thrifting (and You Can Too)was disguised as a thrifting tutorial, but it was really just an excuse to get to go book shopping. 😛 😉 (Also another one that was posted late 2018 and took off the next year.)
A Smorgasbord of Writing Music is a collection of some of my favorite songs to write to. (Obvious from the title, but this needed a description to match the others, right? XD)
Legends by Denver Evans was something I was absolutely not expecting, and I still struggle to review it properly. Is it too cliche to say that it broke my heart and put it back together? Knocked my socks off? Asdfjkl; and other random gibbering? It’s full of ordinaryness and identity and identity found in Christ.
The Mysterious Benedict and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trention Lee Stewart is one of my favorite books out of the trilogy (I haven’t read the new book or the prequel yet), and it’s here happily representing all of them. Guys, I love the feel of these books and the characters and the themes so much. ❤
Red Rover, Red Rover by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick. So, I already warned you all that I read a lot of series this year, right? 😀 My summer was full of this book and the other five that followed in quick succession. So satisfying and brilliant and hilarious.
In 27 Days by Alison Gervais gave me so much to think about and I absolutely love the cover. Also, it is reaaaallly heartbreaking.
Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix… How do I explain it? It messed with my classic sci-fi expectations and have me a big dose of hope. 😉
Brainstorming, drafting, redrafting, and finishing a brand new novella in just eight months. I’m so excited to have been published in A Very Bookish Christmas with some of my favorite authors, and I’m so grateful to Sarah Holman for inviting me. ❤
Getting to write some spur of the moment essays to process and/or enjoy some things I was thinking about.
Writing ¼ of my fantasy novel. I AM SO EXCITED about this one! I didn’t expect to be able to get this far on it so soon, so it’s been a nice surprise. 😉
Besides the things I regularly talk about on this blog, life has been full of new experiences. A mixed bag for sure, but I’m sooo grateful for it. We joined a new church, and I’ve been loving the healing/convicting sermons, getting to sing in the choir, and doing volunteer childcare. I also started another online job (which has been a stretching and wonderful gift) and discovered gluten-free flour which is pretty fun. XD
I’m sure that’s a pretty incomplete sketch of all the gifts I’ve been given last year, but God has blessed me so much, and I feel very loved. ❤ Here’s to the rest of this year! 😀
My characters mean a lot to me. I love creating them and I love sharing them with you all. 😉 Just for fun, I decided to “write” Christmas cards to my characters. 😉 Most of them are from published stories, except the last one…
There were garlands everywhere. Swagged across doorways, trailing down window trim, looping around and around the stair railing. Tinsel and bows, twinkling lights and ribbon decorated the garlands, making each one unique yet still coordinated with the others. In the kitchen, there was even a garland hanging from the edge of the island, which Jessie got a good view of every time she braved the crowd in the dining room to get a mini cheesecake.
Ember had done a perfect job making them, Jessie decided. They were creamy white with a crust that was crunchy moments before it melted in her mouth. She took another cheesecake, her last one for a while, and leaned against the kitchen counter to eat it.
As she peeled back the baking wrapper and began to nibble at the heavenly cheesecake, she let herself study the people crowded into the dining room. People of all ages, types, shapes, sizes, levels of noisiness, and levels of nosiness were happy to be there and around each other. Owen had found some other young teenage boys his age to play a board game with, and others of her family were fitting in seamlessly.
She sighed and threw away her empty wrapper, then drifted out to the quietly welcoming living room to see what was happening there.
Only a few people were in this room. Dad sat on the couch holding Baby Noel and talking to Mr. Donovan, their host. He was an older man straight from a storybook just like his house, and his sky-blue eyes twinkled as he spoke. Jessie recognized him from church choir where he stood between Dad and Owen in the tenor section.
Ember and her guy, Ben, had found each other immediately, and now they shared the piano seat and some pretty cute smiles. Jessie giggled to herself and shook her head.
She leaned in the doorway, not exactly welcome in one room and not exactly interested in being in the other.
The shimmering Christmas tree began a staring contest with her, and if she hadn’t been so bored, it would have beaten her sooner. She drifted toward it, finding the numerous ornaments fascinating. Here, a little horse, carved out of wood and handpainted with vibrant red reins and a little face. Next, a crystal star that shone in the light and danced as it hung from a branch.
Jessie moved from one ornament to the next, never touching them but soaking in their stories with her eyes. She reached out to touch one of the tree branches and rubbed it between her fingers. The strong, wonderful smell of pine met her nose. Definitely real.
She’d bumped from one slightly gossipy conversation to another awkward one, and it had left her feeling exhausted and out of place.
She was being unfair, she knew. Strangers weren’t usually comfortable diving right into esoteric or quirky conversations. Which reminded her… she still had last night’s weird dream to write about in her inspiration book.
Glancing around the room like an introverted spy, she tiptoed past Dad and Mr. Donovan to the coat rack. She fished around in her coat pocket and pulled out the notebook. The library receipt she’d found fluttered to the ground, so she stooped to pick it up. The words were too faded to read, but at least it would make a nice bookmark.
She slid it between the pages and returned to inspecting the Christmas 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.
Jessie leaned her head against the wall and pulled the bobby pins out of her hair, letting it fall loose around her shoulders. Now for the dream. She flipped to the sheet labeled “Dreams” and scrawled out her frightening and surprisingly humorous nightmare of that morning.
Apparently a rhinoceros had been wearing heels and began to tap dance all over the dress she’d ironed specifically for the party. Jessie giggled to herself, imagining the picture she would draw if she could, then shut her mouth quickly.
It would be awkward if someone found her laughing behind the Christmas tree.
She looked up just in time to see the first guests trickling from the overcrowded dining room into this one to grab their coats and say goodbye. Time to make her reappearance. Another cheesecake was a good excuse. Standing up, she hid her inspiration book by the side of her skirt and slipped out into the room.
Mr. Donovan was just turning away from shutting the door behind his guests, and his eyes lit in amusement when he saw her. “Enjoying the party, Jessica?”
Jessie flushed. “Mostly. I really like your Christmas tree.”
“Yes, it’s lovely, isn’t it?” He moved toward the tree, clasping his hands behind his back. “My wife takes great delight in decorating the tree for Christmas. She told me, none of this nonsense of perfectly matching ornaments, memories matter more to her. We even left that space between it and the wall so she can read behind it sometimes.”
Jessie looked at the tree in surprise and tried to picture Mrs. Donovan, always so elegant at the church piano, sitting in the same place she’d just been. So Judy wasn’t the only person who would understand her, after all! What a shame the most inspiring person she’d just discovered couldn’t have come to the party.
She turned to Mr. Donovan. “You both did a lovely job. I’m sorry she couldn’t be here today, or I would tell her myself.”
Mr. Donovan chuckled. “You and me both, though I think she’s quite happy where she is right now. Visiting a sick grandchild. That’s another thing that is important to her.”
“But you’ll get your chance to see her again sometime, and maybe then you can tell her.”
I also hung out with my nephews a lot, baked TONS for our church picnic and Thanksgiving, and watched “Harriet”. (It was amazing. ❤ ) I also got to use watercolor paint for the first time (thanks for teaching me, Emma!) and finished my rewatch of BBC Sherlock (on a filter).
This month, I’m looking forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas with my family and continuing to write more of this story I’m really loving. 😉
How was your November? What are you looking forward to this month?