Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

Everlasting: Free for the First Time Ever!

Good afternoon, fellow book lovers. 🙂

I have some exciting news to share today! While I have put Bridget’s Journey up for free on Kindle a couple of times over the years, I have never done so for Everlasting. But this weekend (Friday, August 10th-Monday, August 13th) Everlasting will be FREE to download on your Kindle or Kindle app for the FIRST time ever!

Everlasting Free on Kindle

This YA fantasy is perfect for those who love the Lord of the Rings trilogy or The Princess Bride as those were my two main influences when I wrote this book. If you want to read the synopsis or even an excerpt from the Prologue, head on over to my Everlasting page and check it out!

Then, when you’re ready, click the link below and you’ll be ready for an adventure with a missing princess, a farm boy, dragons and fairies!

 

Feel free to share this blog post to anyone you think might enjoy this fantasy adventure!

 

 

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Posted in For Fellow Writers, Words Upon Words

The Book Tag

I read Ashley’s post of this really cool Book Tag on Inklings Press a while ago and I just had to do it myself!

Rules
You must be honest.
You must answer all the questions.
You must tag at least 4 people.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Either the Little House on the Prairie series or the American Girl Samantha books. Both of which Mom read to me when I was young. Very fond memories of listening to each!

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current read: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren. Second in the River of Time series. It’s a very easy read–I read the first half in about two days (which is fast for me 😉 ). I enjoy her descriptions of Italy and the concept of two modern-day girls transported to the 1300s and accidentally falling in love is really fun. But, even though Gabi’s thoughts are hilarious, the main characters are overall pretty flat. It has potential to be more than just a teenage-angst-romance…but it isn’t, really. That said, I’ll probably finish the series as I’m intrigued to see how Gabi and Marcello can stay together seeing as they belong in, you know, two different time periods and everything. 😉

Last read: Belgravia by Julian Fellowes. I was intrigued to read a novel by the writer and creator of Downton Abbey (one of my favorite TV shows) and I was not disappointed! Told in the style and vocabulary of Jane Austen, but with Fellowes’ own unique characters and plot twists. Although there were perhaps a few too many POVS, I loved how deeply we dived into the characters’ flaws and attributes. In Downton Abbey and Belgravia, Fellowes reminds us that past or present, people are motivated by the same emotions: “ambition, envy, rage, greed, kindness, selflessness and, above all, love”.

Next read: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. I’m more than halfway through reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. It’s very different than I always thought it was, but overall, I’m enjoying it so far!

Continue reading “The Book Tag”

Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life

My Journey as a Self-Published Author

As most of you saw on my Facebook page, yesterday marked my fourth anniversary of self-publishing Bridget’s Journey on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Wow. It really seems like yesterday I was editing this book with a friend of Mom’s in her kitchen, pestering Sandrine to finish painting the cover and crying over how difficult it was to get the formatting just right. It seems like yesterday that I held this book in my hands for the first time. It seems like yesterday that friends and family overwhelmed me with their support and encouragement. For once, I believed in myself as much as they believed in me.

Now, four years later, I’ve sold probably about 40 (or 50? I’m not good with numbers) of paperbacks, countless Kindle editions and I even published a second novel. Four years later, my books are still up on Amazon for anyone (friend or stranger) to pick up and read the words that I wrote. Four years later, my books are in my church and public libraries. Four years later and I’ve written three and a half more novels. Four years later and I still love to write.

Continue reading “My Journey as a Self-Published Author”

Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life

My Passport to Pinterest Tag

Today I wanted to try something new!

A fellow writer and blogger that I met through Lumerit’s (my college) Facebook group tagged me in this fun post idea! Here are the instructions to this fun activity that Rayleigh detailed in her post (which you can find for yourself here):

 

Created & Tagged by Livy at Livy Lynn Blog.

About the Tag-From Livy:

Pinterest is my happy place. My darling boards are sprinkled with puppy dogs, castles, the rainy streets of London, and LOTS and LOTS of pink! Pinterest is such a wonderful place to express yourself, share your personality, and design a visual haven of all the things you adore! So naturally, loving Pinterest as much as I do, I decided to create the Passport to Pinterest (Bloggers Tag!)

As bloggers, I know we’re always brainstorming fun new post ideas. So what could be more fun than mixing your enjoyment of blogging, with your passion for Pinterest?

Rules:

1. Open your Boards.

2. Open http://www.random.org (Or any random number generator website or app of your choosing.)

3. Enter the number of pins on your first board. For example, my first board is “Hair {S T Y L E S}” with 35 Pins. So I typed in the number 35.

4. Click “Generate.” (I got 4)!

5. Find that number pin on your board (I used my 4th).

6. Share the image of that Pin in your new Blog Post, and a little blurb about why it’s important to you!

7. Continue the process with ALL or as many of your boards as you like!

8. Tag another blogger! (Or two, or three…or ten! The more, the merrier! :D)

(Link back to thank the blogger who tagged you!)

I don’t believe I’ve ever posted about Pinterest in the past, so this should be a fun way to introduce you to my Pinterest life (granted, I don’t use it as much as most people 😉 )! I have quite a few writer friends who like to utilize Pinterest as a sort of visual storyboard to ignite their creativity, but I think I use mine more as a place to organize my many fandoms. Not ashamed. 😉

Continue reading “My Passport to Pinterest Tag”

Posted in For Fellow Writers, Words Upon Words

Less is More

Well, here I am after a whole summer of no blogging. In my last post (in May!!) I mentioned wanting to get better at blogging more frequently and proceeded to do…not that. However, I have realized time and time again that we can do nothing to fix how we have acted in the past…but we can attempt to do better in the future.

This month and last I have thought a lot about different posts I’ve been wanting to write up about a plethora of topics. And then there was a day when I wondered if my blog needed a more distinct focus. Looking over the collection of blog posts I’ve made over the past two years, I have written everything from an account of my summer adventures, book reviews, writing updates on current and future projects, NaNoWriMo, mission trips…the list goes on and on. The only recurring theme is my desire to follow the Lord’s lead in my daily life and to continue writing the stories that are constantly buzzing in my head. And I recently decided…that that’s okay. So, my blog is a little bit random in both the timing of its posts and its topics. My personality is kinda like that, too–I like and do a variety of things at a variety of times. Why don’t we just go with it? 🙂

What I want to focus on today is a phrase I’ve been dwelling on for a number of months. Pretty much ever since my aunt edited Everlasting with me two years ago. Any of you who have read my work recently know that I have a habit of being…a little wordy. The more I write, the longer my novels get…which is a natural process–but to an extent. The first book I ever finished was perhaps around 60 pages. My second was closer to 100. Bridget’s Journey was 200 pages once printed and so on.

When I finished writing Everlasting in 2014 (I believe) it was around 125,000 words long. Aunt Andrea helped me get it down to 120,000, but regardless, when printed, it is close to 350 pages. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. When I hold that thick book in my hands, do I feel a sense of accomplishment? As in, I wrote ALL of this? Yes, of course, I do! But is there a time and place for it? Another yes.

When reading through the red notes Aunt Andrea sent me for Everlasting, the phrase she repeated most often was: remember, less is more. I’m not sure I fully appreciated what she was trying to tell me until long after I had published Everlasting. I know not all writers are like me, but I personally get very attached to certain scenes and paragraphs. And when someone (who is obviously outside of my head) shakes their head and says… “that’s a little convoluted” or “I think you could say the same thing in half the amount of words”…I take it as an offense. Or I just don’t want to let go. “But I worked hard to put those sentences together!” I think. Or, “But isn’t that such a great sentence?” or “doesn’t it sound so good, though?” Maybe. Maybe it does. But is it necessary to tell my story? Not always.

Why is the phrase Aunt Andrea had to repeat to me over and over so important? I think the main reason is this: when I’m trying to tell a story with a certain set of characters going through a certain set of circumstances, in my attempt to tell my story in a beautiful, exciting or descriptive way, the true message or meaning of my story (in part or as a whole) can get lost. Lost in all those words. For example, when I was describing Azalea’s wings transformation or her farewell speech to her friends at Fairy Meadow, the true awe of those wings or the poignancy of her speech can lose its shine if I go on and on either about things that don’t matter or about something I’ve basically already said ten times over. If I take twelve okay sentences to say something that I can write in three to five, then are my readers really understanding the importance of the main message?

I am a visual person and I like to be mentally prepared for anything I come across. When I’m reading a book, I like to know exactly where my characters are, how old they are, what they look like, etc. Only then do I feel at peace and ready to go on whatever adventure lay ahead of them because I can picture them clearly in my mind. Hence, that desire leaks into my own writing. So, I over-write.

When I finished writing Bridget Returns almost exactly one year ago, it was 136,000 words. But as a sequel to a 50,000 word novel, I knew it didn’t need to be longer than Everlasting. So I went back and edited in January. Now, I’m editing again. I started several different subplots when first writing this novel, but many either didn’t come to a conclusion or the conclusion wasn’t very satisfying. How much better could Bridget Returns be if I spent my time solely focusing on a main three to five plots instead of having scattered attention over ten to twelve? That’s what I’m hoping to find out.

I hope I’m slowly (quickly??) learning to apply the concept of “Less is More” in my writing life and that the next time I edit a book with Aunt Andrea, I will be better able to accept her comments and be willing to see what my story could be instead of what I think I want it be. Because it can always be better.

The more talk, the less truth. The wise measure their words. Proverbs 10:19