My Hodge-Podge Series

Today’s blog post is a video about my copies of The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart. I had fun telling the stories behind how I collected them. 😉

Enjoy! ❤

Where do you like to buy books? And aren’t books the sweetest possible gift? 😉

A Joy and an Inspiration

This is the story of a song, how I grew to love it, and how much it will always mean to me. ❤

Christmas 2017 my family and I were gathered together to watch a livestream of one of our favorite Christmas concerts. They had a special guest that year, and his original songs and musical style caught our attention. 

I fell down the rabbit hole of looking for more of his music. At that time he mostly played in other people’s bands, so there wasn’t a ton, but I ran across a video of him performing his song “Joy”. The chorus (the only words I could decode in the lovely jumble of instruments) caught my attention…

“I just want to bring a little joy // make a happy noise. // I can’t hold the weight of the world, but I can carry a tune. // To rejoice in the rain, smile in the face of pain. // Oh! Life’s no easy game, but I choose // to bring a little joy…”

A few months later, I discovered the song again through a free download he was offering. I listened to it obsessively while editing my novel Kiera. The message of using our art to ease and brighten this world was something I desperately needed to be reminded of, and it sort of became my anthem. 

September 2018, this artist released his first full-length album and did quite a few Facebook livestream concerts in celebration and promotion. One time I requested “Joy” and he performed it with just vocals and bass, and I heard the (tweaked) verses even better this time, and the message sank even deeper into me. If the first recording was a rowdy celebration of community and art, this version was one person espousing the same message, very much like my own secluded experience of editing. 

He’s produced many more favorites, and I still watch his livestreams (usually while working in the kitchen for some reason…). His crazy, growing fanbase have been eagerly waiting for more “official” music, and this month he delivered. 

“Joy” by Scott Mulvahill. Studio produced with different instrumentation and some very fun musical moments added. Full of heart and creativity. 

Then last week, he debuted the collaborative music video that showed the heart (and hilarious happiness) of the song. My favorite parts are the harmonica, the little kids jamming, and the chalk piano. 😉

I’ve listened to the song so many times in the past week, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. It brings me joy and reminds me of my purpose. I’m sure it will continue to speak to me at the times I need it most, and I can’t wait.

I hope it does the same for you. ❤

Love and More Love

Do you ever have a moment when something you love is loved so much by other people and you get all happy inside and feel like a happy human floating on a happy cloud of love?

This happens pretty often for me (when someone discovers an underrated indie author or my penpal listens to the favorite songs I bombard her with), but it happened in an even bigger way than ever before this last Sunday.

Some backstory first. 😀

Once upon a time, back in November, I was browsing through new books at the library when I ran across a picture book that looked ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE. ❤ I loved the illustration style, and the story looked like a super sweet portrayal of family life (and a celebration of some pretty awesome hair). I added Hair Love to my overly tall stack of library books and brought it home.

“Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.” (from Goodreads)

We passed it around the whole family, and Mom even read it aloud to share the love. 😄 I really enjoyed the story and–I’ll say it again–the illustrations. Seriously, all the heart eyes. 😍😍

A month or so later, my sisters discovered the short film version of this story, and we had a few showings of that as well. ❤ It’s pretty precious, and I cried at the ending. Probably more than once. 😉 😇

Back to Sunday.

Sunday night was the Oscars, a.k.a. a ceremony where people dress up fancy and talk a lot and get awards for their work in acting, filmmaking, etc. This was my first year really following it and other awards shows because several films/actors I loved last year were nominated for awards. (How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, anyone? ❤ )

Imagine my delight when the nominations came out and Hair Love was one of the picks for Best Animated Short.

And imagine my delight when it won. I cried more, happy tears this time. 😉 It was a beautiful moment of something lovely being loved, and yes, I had that happy cloud feeling again. (And my social exploded with my being happy over it. XD )

The big moment ^^

Isn’t that just the cutest? ❤

Go watch the short film, read the book, love your family, and love the way God has beautifully crafted you. ❤

And celebrate things you love, because those moments are so, so beautiful.

Kiera Q & A Vlog!

Okay, so I filmed a very awkward, rambley vlog answering y’all’s questions about my novel Kiera. It was fun. And awkward. And it includes an introduction to my Funko Pops, so that’s fun. 😉

I am not a fish, in case you were wondering…

Yes, there’s a part two. 😉

Thanks so much for sending in your questions! I hope you enjoy their answers. 😉

Questions?

EDIT: Thank you everyone for your questions so far! ❤ I will be taking more questions until this Saturday, the 12th.

I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be fun to do a Q & A video about my novel Kiera. It is my first novel after all, and there were about two years of agony and ecstasy poured into it so there’s probably a lot of questions I could answer.* 😉 I’ve also seen a few of you ask questions in your reviews, and Goodreads etiquette dictates I shouldn’t reply to reviews, so this could be a chance to answer those too. 😀

So I guess I have some questions…

Do you think this would be a fun idea?

Should it be live or not live? (That sounds creepy, honestly… XD )

Do you have questions? Drop them in the comments if so.

Totally unrelated, but something I’ve been dying to ask, would you all be interested in posts about book covers I like? I’m a little obsessed with the artistry of them. 😉

Purely logistical, questioning post, but I hope you all have a great week! Also, bye September. ❤

*Questions I can answer include but are not limited to…

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you hate editing?

On a scale of 100 to infinity and beyond how much did you love your betareaders?

Any songs, people, events places that inspired you?

How much chocolate did you eat?

Etc.

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)

Answered:

Emails and texts

Author questions on Goodreads

Wrote:

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!)

Edited:

My bookshelf tour vlog 😛

Miscellaneoused:

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?

I Love Duologies

I recently discovered just how much I love duologies (a.k.a. a two-book series). This very enthusiastic video by JessetheReader pretty much expresses my thoughts. 😉

Sensory warning: there are flashing letters right at the beginning and some similar things later. 😉

Two duology recommendations…

  1. Wires and Nerve/Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (fantastic, adventuresome graphic novels!)
  2. Beautiful Blue World/Threads of Blue by Suzanne LaFleur (currently re-reading as a buddy read, amazing books <3)

What do you think of duologies? Do you have any to recommend? (Hint, hint 😉 )

A Fangirly, Suprisingly-Thoughtful-y Vlog with Anna

Last Saturday, Anna and I filmed an amazingly long vlog of us discussing twelve books and their movies. 😉 It was a ton of goofy fun!

Some of my favorites we discussed include The Man Who Invented Christmas (with A Christmas Carol), The Book Thief, and The Giver, but I love them all. 😉

You can catch part two on Anna’s blog tomorrow or on her YouTube channel. 😉

Enjoy! 😀

Which of these book/movie pairings are your favorite?

A Day in My Life As An Author…

Today after making Paleo avocado toast for breakfast ( ❤ ❤ ) and rereading Kate’s Capitol during slow spots, I got together with my oldest sister Perry Elisabeth, my brother Paul, and my sister Anna to make a live Q & A video.

It was all about our lives as authors and siblings, snacks, and some writing/publishing advice. We had so much fun together! XD You can watch the replay here, but WARNING–it’s pretty long. We had a lot of amazing questions and interaction in the comments. 😉 Y’all were great. 😀 (Also, I randomly sang theme songs.)

If you’ve been around on my blog for a while, you know I’ve been reluctant to vlog out of shyness and things, but doing it with some of my favorite people was extra fun and special. I don’t think I was nervous at all. 😀

Oh, and it was weird watching ourselves afterward. We realized our expressions are more similar than we thought. XD

The rest of my day has been spent hanging out with my sister and her family and staying on the phone with customer service to get my computer fixed. I’m gonna need it for my next project. 😉 Looks like the company will be fixing or replacing my computer, so that’s an answer to prayer! ❤

Also, Kiera just got accepted by one of my favorite reviewers, so I’m REALLY excited. 😀 I’m signing copies and getting them ready to send out when I go to the post office for the giveaway box. 😉 (That’s actually the box that’s holding the other camera in the video, so it got a small cameo.) XD

It looks like we’re going to end a day with The Man Who Invented Christmas and ice cream. 😉

Truly an author-ish day. I’m so grateful.