Posted in Book Reviews

Final Five Books of 2017

If you had hope, maybe you could find a way to make things change. Because if you thought about it, there were so many reasons to try.
-Gregor and the Code of Claw
Sooooo it’s been a hot minute since I posted one of these, but now that I’ve FINALLY posted my all-inclusive series review on Harry Potter, I feel free to make these posts again. Enjoy!

*SPOILER!* I may include some of the book’s plot/content in my reviews for them, so if you haven’t read one or more of these yet and want to read it without spoilers, then you can just skip down. *

11. * Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins – The final and best novel in the Underland Chronicles. I read this during our first week-long vacation to Holden Beach, so I have some pretty fond memories of feeling the feels while water lapped at my feet, sand in between my toes. Gregor is just such an amazing, three-dimensional, heroic and compassionate character. It was hard to say goodbye to him! Click here to read my official review on this series as a whole.

12. * The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – This is a classic in our family. We listen to the audiobook every couple of years just to have a good laugh. One thing I noticed in this most recent listen is how heartwarming the story is, as well as hilarious. And how the main character, by seeing the Christmas Story through the fresh eyes of the Herdmans, gets a new appreciation for Jesus’ birth, too. I think we all need a reminder every once in a while of just how amazing and special it is that our God would come down to us in the form of a baby, placed in a manger.

13. * Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I finally read Harry Potter for the first time! I read this one over Christmas break. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as I thought it would be, so at first I was disappointed and a little bored by the slow pace, but I enjoyed the climax and resolution enough to decide to continue. SO glad I did! Click here to read my review on the series as a whole.

* Books that I highly recommend have a * next to them

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Posted in The Ponderings of Life

Onward and Upward

It’s that time of year again.

As 2017 comes to a close, I’m looking back on my New Year’s resolutions and patting myself on the back for the ones I reached…and crossing my fingers to do better next year with the ones I didn’t reach.

Here are my 2017 New Year’s resolutions I posted a year ago:

  1. Read 40 books.
  2. Finish writing one book (probably Endeavoring).
  3. Edit Bridget Returns.
  4. Edit and self-publish The Whistler Daughters.
  5. Year after year, I want to become more like Christ–as Colossians 3:12-17 says so perfectly.

How did I do?

Continue reading “Onward and Upward”

Posted in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 25

Here I sit at my computer, sipping some delicious hot chocolate, my nose running because of a cold, listening contentedly to the La La Land soundtrack. This week has been filled with some much-needed time set aside for resting, writing in my Snow White retelling, playing games with family and watching my beloved British dramas. Thanksgiving always arrives just when I need some time to relax as well as time to remember all that I have to be thankful for.

One of the many things I’m thankful for today is that I finished writing the rough draft of my Snow White retelling for the contest on Wednesday (day 23)! After writing the last paragraph, I have tentatively titled it The War Within and I’m pretty happy with it (title and overall story). It is definitely a major retelling of Snow White (i.e., mostly an original story with splashes of Snow White themes here and there), but I did my best and even if it doesn’t get to be one of the chosen 5 for the Rooglewood novel, I am very happy with it and would love to publish it on my own separately at some point. Besides editing it myself, I sent it to a few trusted friends as well as my aunt for some constructive criticism. All that to say, it should be finished by the deadline in mid-December!

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 25”

Posted in The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

Farewell 2016!

Long time, no see! As I’m sure it has been for everyone, it’s been a very busy holiday season for me. But as I near the end of my holiday break and as it’s the last day of 2016, I thought I might write a little post filled with tidbits of news.

First, I never did write a final post to end NaNoWriMo season. NaNo 2016 was very different than previous years, but it went really well. As most of you already know, I reached 50,000 words on the final day in my newest project, Endeavoring, prequel to Everlasting. Each year, NaNo gets easier. I remember when I first truly attempted NaNoWriMo in 2013 and how hard it was to write even 1,000 words a day. Now, with enough spare time, I can write 3,000 words in a day no problem. Since I was so busy last year, I wasn’t expecting to reach the 50,000 again. But I was able to balance studying time with writing time well enough to make sure I was never too behind on my word count that I couldn’t catch up. As to Endeavoring, I’m not quite halfway, so I can already sense how long this book is going to be. But I’m enjoying watching Zechariah and Crystal’s relationship begin to develop and look forward to their future conversations together. Currently, I’m still re-working a few kinks in the plot and rewriting what I’ve already written accordingly. I’m hoping to smooth everything out soon so I can keep writing while free time permits!

Second, as for my 2016 New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Read 40 books. I did not reach this goal. As I did last year, I adjusted my goal to 30 once I realized that 40 books wasn’t going to happen. When I passed my Sociology exam (therefore, all done studying), I counted up all the books I’d read so far and figured out that I needed to read 7 books in roughly two weeks to reach my goal. So I hunkered down and read like a maniac. I’d missed reading so much, anyway, that I really didn’t mind. 😉 We spent Christmas in Canada with relatives, so during our time there and the long car rides there and back, I listened to three audiobooks and read four books. I look forward to writing about my opinions on them next year! 🙂
  2. Finish writing one book. I did reach this goal! I finished writing Bridget Returns, my NaNo 2015 novel, in late September. Hooray!

What are my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. Read 40 books.
  2. Finish writing one book (probably Endeavoring).
  3. Edit Bridget Returns.
  4. Edit and self-publish The Whistler Daughters.
  5. For this last resolution, I wanted to mention something non-book related, but is even more important. Year after year, I want to become more like Christ.  As Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV) says so perfectly:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

A lot happened this year, mainly graduating from high school, going on a mission trip to Kenya and starting my first real job. Next semester, I begin my college classes online. My life has changed more this year than any other year. Managing my time and money has never been more important. I look forward to all the blessings and challenges God has for me in 2017!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?