Saturday, October 1, 2016

This is How I Feel About My Book 10.1.16.

Three years ago today in 2013 was the day I signed a contract with Ellechor Publishing Company for my first novel. Things have been really wild since then. Adjusting to being a writer is weird. My company, Ellechor, has been taking a long time to even get things started with my book. With the recent bankruptcy of Send the Light (a major distributor for Christian books), it appears my novel's release date now has to be pushed back even further. Solid distribution is absolutely important to me, so I'm okay with that.

There are other things I'm not sure I'm 'okay' with, though. Things that involve me. I'm twenty now. I was sixteen when I wrote the book and seventeen when I signed. As I'm sure many of you older people know, life changes drastically within those three and four years. Your opinions change, you learn and experience life on a much broader scale. You grow up a lot. You move, and go to college, maybe have your heart broken, get a job, and you see the brokenness of the world at a much more extreme level.
I don't know a lot of older authors so it's hard for me to know if this is normal. But I'm not really sure I agree with everything I wrote four years ago. I'm not sure if it's well-written, I'm not sure if this book represents who I want to be as an author. I'm pretty sure it doesn't.
I've been juggling these thoughts. Weighing one against another and wondering whether my sixteen-year-old writing is salvageable. I've carefully avoided peeking into the pages of my dusty novel, and I've felt uneasy when an email appears in my inbox from Ellechor. Is this it? Is this going to be where I have to decide? 
Having a publishing contract has given me so many incredible opportunities in the writing field and I am thankful for them. Getting signed so young meant the whole entire world to me and it's been such a boost to my confidence as a writer. I was convinced at the time that signing with Ellechor was the absolutely the will of God, and exactly what He wanted for me. I still believe that. But as I look to Him for my future here and now, I am not so sure His will is the same.
I still want to be an author. My heart is absolutely still in writing. But I'm ready to say that I'm not sure this book is meant to be the one. It's been three years now, and I can cancel at any time without consequences. I can't say that hasn't been crossing my mind.
If you all would be praying for me as I work through this, I would really appreciate it. Love you all <3

Here's to October 1st, a day of big dreams and bright stars.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Truth Notebook 8/11/16

It’s far easier to judge than to redeem.
The light shines into the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.
To give you the mind of Christ.
Healing is more about the heart than the body.
Hope against hope.
Jesus brings life to the dead.
Where are your accusers? 
He listens to me.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
No matter the spinning of your world.
Having lost all sensitivity.
I lean not on my own understanding.
The land has known peace.
Walk humbly, fear God.
Truth over lies.
This is how we know what love is.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might be called the righteousness of God.
So it was not you who sent me here, but God.
Seek and offer forgiveness.
If you love, you will break no law.

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Here in the death of Christ, I live.
To the One who brings life to the dead.
Hear our prayers.
If you have anything against anyone, forgive him.
All because we do carry.
Faith is the hope of things unseen.
Bankrupt rainbows.
Do not be far from me, my God.
Into your hands I commit my spirit.
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
"Welcome to life."
These people worship me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.
Man shall not live by bread alone.
Who is this that even the wind and the seas obey Him? 

There will come a time you’ll see
With no more tears
And love will not break your heart
But dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see
What you’ll find there
With grace in your heart
And flowers in your hair

Who’s going to braid their hair?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice.
Obey and seek.
Seek and you will find.
That’s what He promises.The world is passing away, along with its desires.
Lift your feet.
In Him we live and move and have our being.

“I don’t want to forgive,” she admitted.
“I can’t. It will—” she broke off.
“Forgiveness is not death,” Trifine said. “It is life.”
“For who? Whose life? Forgiving allows people to get away with murder.” 
“Whose murder?” Melor asked, in the same tone her tutor had used when she was supposed to know the answer already. 
“Mine,” Perrotte ground out.
“Murdered, and yet, you live.” 

-The Castle Behind Thorns, Merrie Haskell

Friday, July 29, 2016

Articles I'm Breathing

Articles I've been reading this week:

How to Make Connections and Boost Your Writing Career by Rachelle Rea Cobb

This article was so great. I especially appreciated reading through Rachelle's list of ideas for making connections. I'm rather a shy person, and my online skills don't soar. But there's something about having these steps written down that makes creating a social presence seem so much feasible for me.

On Sharing My Summer Stories by Alyson Schroll

I can't express how much I love Alyson's writing. Everything she writes, I feel. There have been a few times when I've felt stressed or anxious about something, and an article or poem on her blog will calm me down. I particularly like this one, and it expresses a lot of what I've been feeling lately.

Whatever Your Politics, Your Clothes Are Conservative by Hannah Sillars

This was just intriguing. :)

If Dreams Were Dresses by Emily Rachelle

As much as I hate to "disclaim" here, I guess I do have to say that I don't agree with everything Emily writes on her blog. Let's not get the words "condemn" and "disclaim" mixed up, though. Emily is lovely, and this particular article is incredible. It urged me to think and forgive. And let's be real, those polo shirts are so classy. I hope one day I can live with as much grace as she portrays.

My Journey Away from Contemporary Worship Music by Dan Cogan

Besides the occasional, "Ouch, this is really cheesy," I don't have anything against contemporary worship music. I did really appreciate and resonate with what Dan had to say, though, and there will probably be more hymn-listening in my future after this.  

How to Get Serious About Blogging by Regina

This is a theme in my reading right now. Hopefully soon, it'll actually become a theme with my blog. We shall see. :)

If you haven't seen yet, I posted the beginning of one of my stories on Wattpad this week! You can view it here. 

What kinds of articles have you been reading lately? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

These are Some Things I Love

These are some things I love:

I love big skies, purple, golden, blue, and filled with fluffy clouds.
I love calligraphy and watercolor paints, and when the two arts are mixed together on paper with flowers.
I love calm music, sad music, guitars and pianos together and scripture in songs.
I love when it rains, so much.

I love to had my window open, and I love light in the morning.
I love mountains when they're blue in the summertime, and fuzzy in the winter.
I love road trips because they excuse listening to music for eight hours, and because you can watch trees.
I love making food, because it's like edible art.
I love harvesting potatoes, because when you pull them out of the earth you feel strong, and when you dig for them, it's like finding treasure.
I love having energy, the feeling of accomplishment, and having a productive day.
I love feeding kittens and holding babies.

I love watering flowers and picking them.
I love how it feels to read books again after a session of medicine.
I love the sound a strawberry stem makes when you snap it off.
I love the shape of birds when you draw them.
I love when I dream of flying.

I love when God's Word calms me down.
I love when my family prays before dinner.
I love walking in the dirt without shoes.
I love the word "kindness" and the idea of grace.
I love days when I feel like myself.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Confessions of a Healthy Non-Teenager

I used to have this silly birthday wish. When the ground began to thaw, chickadees started croaking song lyrics, and little yellow flower buds burst forth their sunshine, I would determine that this was the one.

This was the birthday I would turn fifteen as a healthy kid.

Sometimes the weather would help me get up. I'd be excited to see the sky fill with leaves, and to watch the redbuds transform from tiny specks of blood-color to their rich, open pink. The pollen-warmed air might prompt a rush of energy, and enable a few sprints that were mostly make-believe. This was the ---teen I could be healthy.

But mums and imagination only last so long. With the onslaught of summer, ceaseless medication, and ever-changing symptoms came a deterioration of strength, resolve, and left my little pocket of optimistic health without air.

I never turned fifteen as a healthy kid. I never turned sixteen, or seventeen, or eighteen, or nineteen healthy, either. And I cannot pretend I wasn't disappointed--that spending the majority of my teenage life fighting chronic illness doesn't make me feel cheated sometimes.

But two days ago, I turned twenty.

Twenty isn't fifteen. It's not sweet sixteen, or almost-adult seventeen, legal eighteen, or nineteen's last hurrah. It's not the age I dreamed about.

But it is the barrier in which I leave my sickness behind. It is the number in which I'll get to relearn life, go to college, begin to read again, and run around parks and waterfalls without the burden of exhaustion and nausea and Lyme Disease hanging over my brow. It is where I say goodbye to symptoms and treatment, and hello to a new beginning, a state called New York, and a crazy-loving "adopted" family.

Twenty wasn't the number I dreamed of.

But it's the one I've been dreaming about.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Romans 12

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 

A Christian leader attacked my brother in front of a congregation yesterday.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Once we harbored a mom who was abused by her husband.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 

Someone I love was punched by his parents. 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. 

Someone wasn't given enough to eat today.

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

A Church organization is being sued for covering up sex abuse.

To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him something to drink...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Monday, February 8, 2016

When I Was Nineteen...

When I was nineteen...

* I visited seven new states.
* I got a job writing for the newspaper, and saw my first article in print.
* I drove from Virginia to New York and back, twice on my own.
* I bought my first car.
* I messed up a lot.
* I said "goodnight," and "I love you."
* I said goodbye.
* I moved 600 miles from home to stay with a family I'd never met.
* I trained employees, and learned how to make a roux.
* I got addicted to Jason Bourne
* And laughed a bunch.
* I prepared for my first book release.
* I learned to play octa-ball and "kam jam".
* I bought a lot of coffee
* Sang a lot of songs
* And went to the hospital for the first time.
* I lived at a summer camp.
* I went to a lot of yard sales.
* I breathed spring air
* Lived on berries for a week
* Picked dandelions.
* I toured Chicago for a day, and drove through Indianapolis.
* I slept a lot.
* I made new friends
* Decided to like pizza.
* I heard a thousand new songs
* Dreamed.
* I learned to like the word "adventure."
* I beat Lyme Disease.

When I was nineteen, a lot off things occurred that cannot be written in ink. But that's okay. There's a beauty in having to keep one or two items hidden away from the world's eyes, covered over in the ivy of a secret garden.

And dandelions are nice to remember.