Thursday, June 20, 2019

Language of Worlds: SOPHIE

Hey guys! Today I'm  excited and a little intimidated to present another Language of Worlds post!

Why am I intimidated? Well, these things always challenge me to really dig deep into my characters and ask questions I never would have thought to ask. It's great, though, and today I'm answering these questions for Sophie, the protagonist of my book Fall Into Time

So before I get started, in case you didn't know: The Language of Worlds is a really cool linkup created by Liv K. Fisher. You can answer the questions on your blog and add your link with all the others! The original post for this month with all the questions and more details is HERE.

And you can read a little bit more about Sophie and Fall Into Time HERE.

1. Your character goes on a leisurely stroll. Where to?

Sophie's house is surrounded by woods and has a long road leading up to it with trees on either
side. So she would either stroll down that road or maybe through the woods around her house.

2. What's their favorite food? Why? What does it taste like?

I'm not certain about the specifics, but it would be something her mom makes. And it would be some kind of comfort food that she's been eating since she was a kid.

3. Describe their typical day.

She would wake up early and go to work at the Dragon's Cave, a cafe in her hometown. After a full shift waiting tables, she'll go home, catch up on any leftover homework, have dinner, then it's off to night classes. Then when she comes home it's probably a snack and late-night game or talk with her brother before going to bed.

4. When are they most productive? Morning, evening, or sometime in-between?

Probably in the morning. She's definitely a wake-up-early-and-get-stuff-done kind of person.

5. Who are they closest to?

It's a toss-up between her brother Parker and her best friend Lily.

image from pinterest
6. Have they ever lost someone close to them?

Ooooh... this is a really tricky question because of mild spoilers. Yes and no. xD I mean, at the beginning of the book her uncle dies. She's not super close to him, but his death triggers some emotional trauma for her, so it counts.

7. Describe their education.

At the time the story takes place Sophie's in college. Or the Alanderian version of college. I'm still working on some of the details about this. But I think it'll be pretty similar to universities in our world... only with classes about unicorns and earth-powered technology, and gryphons casually parked outside where cars would normally be.

As far as her childhood education, it would be pretty similar. Like I said, schooling is fairly close to how we know it.

8. What is their talent?

She's really good in school and has a way of connecting with people. So she would probably be a really great teacher.

9. When do they doubt themself? What makes them do so?

When she has so much to do and not enough time to do it. She feels like she can't handle everything and just wants to have complete control over her responsibilities.

10. When do they feel most comfortable/cozy?

When she's at home with her family with nothing to do.

A drawing of Sophie I did a year or two back.
And that's Sophie! I hope you liked her and I look forward to sharing more about her and her story in the future. She's really special to me and her story is something that's really important for me to write.

Also, wish me luck because I'm going to TRY to do Camp NaNo again in July! I did it in April to finish Roots to Claim and while I didn't quite finish, I made it to my goal of 15k and brought myself close enough to the end to finish a few weeks later. I'm having a bit of trouble getting back into Fall Into Time after being away from it for months, so I'm hoping Camp NaNo will be the boost I need to get back in full swing. First, though, I've got to actually do some planning to figure out where the heck I need to be going with this story. xD

What did you think of Sophie? Can you relate to any of the things she's dealing with? Have you participated in Language of Worlds? Oh, and would you rather go to a university in Alander than one in our world? xD

Thursday, June 13, 2019

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR (Aladdin flash fiction!)

It's that time again-- time for another piece of fairytale-inspired flash fiction thanks to the ladies at Fairytale Central!

In case you forgot, Fairytale Central features a new fairytale every month, and Arielle posts a writing prompt inspired by that fairytale on her writing blog for us to work with! Last month was the super-fun Rapunzel prompt, and this month the fairytale is Aladdin!

Here's the prompt:

In the piece of flash fiction I wrote for last month's prompt, I introduced you all to Trentley and Jynnia: the MC's I will be using for all of these prompts that I participate in, and also the inspiration for a new book series that I will hopefully begin writing later this year. (But shh, don't let me start thinking about that yet!) I couldn't wait to force write these guys into different sticky situations inspired by different fairytales. I hope you guys enjoy my Aladdin story!

(note: Remember that while connected, these stories have no real bearing on each other. I'm just writing them for fun and while I'm using them as inspiration for the series I want to write later, there are plenty of plot holes and untold background information because I repeat: these are just for fun.)


 "Jynnia, it's a lamp!"
 Jynnia huffed and puffed, shifting her yards of thick brown hair to the other arm. She glared at Trentley as he sprinted back toward her, carrying a shiny object he had just retrieved from the creek they walked beside.
 "What are we supposed to do with that?" Jynnia said, eyeing the lamp.
 "You don't sound as enthusiastic as I'd hoped," Trentley said.
 Jynnia groaned and plopped down on the ground right where she stood, dropping her hair and sighing as she stretched her arms. "Sorry," she said. "Carrying around fifty pounds of hair does that to a person."
 Trentley sat down beside her on the ground, holding the lamp in front of her excitedly. "Jynnia, don't you understand? We can use this to get rid of your hair!"
 "You really think that thing will work?" Jynnia playfully pushed the lamp away and stared off in the other direction.
 "Jynnia." Trentley reached to take her chin between his fingers and gently turned her to look at him. When her eyes met his, he tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. "Really?"
 She smiled and relaxed a bit, giving a short laugh. "Yeah, I guess if having Rapunzel hair for the past week has taught me anything, it's that strange things can happen."
 Trentley winked at her. "Now you're getting it. I'm rubbing this thing."
 Jynnia shifted in the grass to face Trentley. Something really awful could happen when he rubbed the lamp. Or, something really cool. Either way, she had a front-row seat.
 Trentley placed the lamp between them. They both stared at the object for a few seconds. Trentley inched his hand forward, then jumped back. Then he jumped forward, nearly bumping Jynnia's head with his in his hurry to rub the lamp before he could change his mind again.
 A great wind rose up from the mouth of the lamp, knocking Jynnia and Trentley onto their backs.
 "Trentley!" Jynnia cried in alarm.
 Trentley sat up. He did not have to look around to see what stood-- floated?-- directly in front of him.
 "So you've summoned me."
 The smoky, bluish-tinted figure wavered before them, thick arms crossed over a bare chest. The strange man's face sported a mustache and a sour expression.
 "Y-yes." Trentley scooted closer to Jynnia, not taking his eyes off him. "Are you a... genie?"
 "Of course I am. You rubbed the lamp, didn't you?" The genie held his hands up, an impatient look on his face. "So what is it you want?"
 Trentley and Jynnia shared a look of awe. "You mean we have three wishes?" Jynnia said.
 "I'm willing to take some away," the genie said in a warning tone.
 "O-okay," Trentley said. He glanced over at Jynnia and then back at the genie, swallowing and standing up. Jynnia stood beside him. "We wish to--"
 "Don't say take away my hair!" Jynnia hissed.
 "--We wish that Jynnia's hair would go back to its normal length."
 The genie lifted a sharp eyebrow and looked at Jynnia's hair as if noticing it for the first time. But he closed his eyes and clapped once. Something like a crash of thunder cracked the very air around them, making Trentley and Jynnia double over and cover their ears. But when it was silent again, they opened their eyes to see that the mass of hair was gone.
 Jynnia ran her hands through her short, messy, but natural locks. "Yes!" she cried. "Thank you!"
 Trentley breathed a sigh of relief. "All right, genie," he said. "Now for my second wish."
 The genie gave a slight bow as he awaited Trentley's request. Jynnia looked at him in surprise. They had barely had time to adjust to this one.
 Trentley glanced at her. "I want to know what happened back in that tower."
 "You have to say it in wish form," the genie said. "But I must warn you, you're dabbling in very sensitive magic. You were changed by this tower, yes? The wrong move could damage a lot more than just your pretty girl's hair."
 "We have to know," Jynnia said, taking Trentley's hand. They both ignored the fact that the genie seemed to know exactly what they were talking about. "There's something up with that tower and now there's a lamp with a genie in it."
 "Now that I know Jynnia's back to normal, I won't let this go," Trentley said. "Now, I wish to know what happened in the tower."
 The genie bowed and clapped again, and another great boom split the air. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an object fell to the ground between Trentley and Jynnia and the genie.
 Trentley hurried toward it.
 "Be careful, Trentley," Jynnia said.
 The genie watched him, his lips pressed into a thin line. "My dear boy, don't you know the old saying: If you are saved from the lion don't be greedy and hunt it?"
 Trentley stopped before bending to pick the thing up, and looked the genie straight in the eye. "But, dear genie, don't you know the saying: If a wind blows, ride it?"
 He grabbed the object, and was immediately thrown backward by the second rushing wind of the day.


Whew! What have Trentley and Jynnia gotten themselves into now? Guess you'll have to wait until
next month to find out. ;D In the meantime, go write your own flash fiction based on the Aladdin prompt! Remember, you can find the prompt here.

What do you think the object is that fell from the sky? Is it going to help Trentley and Jynnia or get them into even deeper trouble? How would you cope having sixty-foot hair for a week? xD And has anybody seen the new Aladdin movie yet?? Because I'm so excited to watch it!!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Review of the Out of Time Trilogy by Nadine Brandes

Hi guys.


Which is of course not in reference to the actual review, but rather the books that I'm reviewing.

Because this past month, I read the OUT OF TIME TRILOGY BY NADINE BRANDES.

I had heard sooo much praise for this trilogy from other people in the blogosphere. I was dyyyying to read these and if you remember, they were on my list of books to read in 2019. So you can imagine my excitement when I finally got them!

This trilogy blew me away, guys. It really did. And I couldn't figure out a way to make this review neat and coherent, so I really don't know what you're about to read other than a disorganized list of my thoughts on the whole thing. xD

(I was so excited to start the first book that I read ALL day just to finish the book I was reading-- I'm talking like 200-300 pages-- so I could start A Time To Die that night. xD)

(Also, spoilers will be announced and you'll have to highlight them to see them.)


This trilogy is about Parvin, a girl who lives in a dystopian world where everybody has a Clock that tells them how much time they have left to live. There are also Radicals, who choose not to use their Clocks or perhaps lose them and are unable to get another one. Radicals are often sent across the Wall, which separates the civilized world from that which was destroyed many years ago. Nobody really knows what's on the other side, but they know people go there to die.

Parvin believes the sentencing of the Radicals is wrong, as a sort-of Radical herself who shares her Clock with her twin brother. Eventually she is sent across the Wall herself, and there God teaches her so much about His love and faithfulness, and plants a desire in her heart to free her people from the oppression of Clocks and the Wall.

Parvin. Was. Amazing.

SO much love for this girl. At the start of book 1, Parvin is so hopeless and has so little value for herself and her life. She hopes her and Reid's shared clock belongs to her so that she can die in a year and he can live. She feels she's wasted her life and the only thing she can think to do is write an autobiography so that she's remembered.

But then her faith in God begins to grow. She goes through trials. She goes through some pretty awful stuff. (Y'all who have read the books know that one thing we're both thinking of.) Yet in the middle of all of this, she grows stronger. She fights on and questions God and doubts herself and her faith, but every time she still comes out stronger.

Watching her grow and change and slip into the role of a leader is absolutely amazing. She's such a believable hero. That role doesn't just fall in her lap, or get handed to her; it finds her and she finds it and claims responsibility and it's fantastic.


Okay. So Jude and I were not friends when we first met.

I mean, his entrance? Great. even though he could have shown up just a LITTLE bit sooner But I just didn't care for him for the majority of this book. I didn't hate him; it was just hard for me to really click with him and ship him with Parvin when he was so moody and hateful to her sometimes.

By the end of the series, though, my appreciation grew for him a whole lot. I still think he needs to chill out and have an attitude check, but really, where would we be without him?

Oh, Willow.

This girl just needs a good ol' bear hug.

She's the spunkiest, sweetest little sidekick. She and Parvin grow to care about each other a whole lot and I didn't really think I would love her so much but here we are.

And then stuff happens and in the last half or so of the trilogy... JUST SOMEBODY BRING THIS CHILD TO ME SO I CAN HUG HER AND GIVE HER COOKIES.



So in the first book I didn't really have any attachment to this guy because he just wasn't in it a whole lot. He had a part, but he was just so far away I didn't really feel like I knew him.

But yeah, he's definitely one of my favorite parts of the story now. (spoiler ahead) And his and Parvin's relationship? YES. YES. ONE OF MY FAVORITES. Jude who? (spoiler over)


Oh boy.

I don't want to say much, but prepare yourself to hate the smell of lemons.


I can't actually remember if we were given her first name? But I love Parvin's mom. In the beginning she's the kind of person you're not sure how to feel about, so hard and seemingly uncaring. But then as time goes on you start to understand her a little more; she's just a reserved, no-nonsense kind of person. She does care about Parvin, more than Parvin realizes at first. And I love her.



I had really high expectations for this one, because of all the good things I'd heard about it. And it did NOT disappoint. It was a fantastic beginning and set the bar really high for the rest of the trilogy.


6/5 (I do what I want)

This booook. I think I've said it multiple times already, but I have to say it again because it's just so ironic: A TIME TO SPEAK LEFT ME SPEECHLESS.

Seriously. I can't remember the last time I was so totally blown away by a book when I finished it. Parvin's leadership in this one is just amazing. And this book in particular has my favorite God-moments, when Parvin hears Him speaking to her. My very favorite one of these is:

But Willow! Father! Tawny!
It gave me chills.

I just can't even tell you how much I loved this one. Definitely my favorite of the trilogy.

AND THEN THAT ENDIIIING. Talk about having me almost crying on the edge of my seat!!




The beginning of this book had alll the stuff of an amazing finale. You know, that opening scene that has you pumping your fists going "YEAH MAN YOU GOT THIS! YOU'RE THE STUFF!" and also feeling the feels because you know it's almost over.

The only reason I don't rate this one a full 5/5 is that I'm really picky about finales. And after that second book, to meet my standard of finale satisfaction, it would have had to be absolutely incredible and blow book #2 out of the water. Maybe it did for some people? Just not for me.

But it was still amazing, guys!! Don't get me wrong. 10/10 recommend for the sled dogs These characters' determination to fight through and trust God and free their people is just extraordinary.

The ending satisfied me. It was a little different from what I expected, but it was victorious and full of hope. It was beautiful.

(spoiler ahead) I just want to take a minute to talk about Parvin's relationships with Jude and Solomon. When she met Solomon, of course I thought he would be her love interest. But then she met Jude, and I thought, oh, now she's either going to be with him instead of the first guy she met or not fall in love with him and be with Solomon. Either way, it's a different twist. But then Jude died, and I thought, great, now she's going to just go from loving Jude to loving Solomon because Jude's out of the picture.
But I actually really love how this was handled. I mentioned earlier I didn't support her relationship with Jude because he wasn't that great of a person to her sometimes. But when she starts to fall in love with Solomon, she realizes that the love she has for him is different from her love for Jude. She even refers to her love for Jude as a "discovery love". And this makes total sense because think about it, she's never had a close relationship with a guy before (other than her brother), and Jude shows up to save her and they travel together through thick and thin so of course she's going to care about him. But there's no question that Solomon is the one for her. This was a really long, rambly way of saying it, but I just liked how the whole romance thing was handled. (spoiler over)

Overall, this is for sure one of my new favorite trilogies. (Maybe my favorite. Who knows.) It's one of those stories that I'll be thinking about for a long time. The ones that actually get deep inside your soul and work on you. I can't say I've read very many books that legitimately inspired me, but these did. I love these books sooo much.

These are also some of the first books that have given me a book hangover. I miss Parvin already. Oh, and a day or two after  I finished, I was working on my own book and I have this one character who's in law enforcement, and in my head I called him an Enforcer. xD

So I hope you guys enjoyed my (very unstructured and random) review of this amazing trilogy. Also a quick shoutout to the author! I only discovered her and her books pretty recently, but I just adore her. Watch her YouTube channel; follow her Instagram. She is just the bubbliest, happiest, most adorable person and it's not surprising that she writes such inspiring books. You just can't help but smile when you watch her videos. I can't wait to read her other two books, Fawkes and Romanov!

So have you read the Out of Time series? (You should.) Who was your favorite character? Favorite book? Do you have any other trilogies to recommend? (I love trilogies!)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

MAY 2019

May's almost over! Which is kind of crazy? But at the same time it kind of feels like it went by at a normal pace. Not too fast, not too slow. xD (obviously you guys only read my blog to get my opinions on the pace at which the months go by)

Unfortunately May being over means June is next, which means summer is almost here... although where I live it kind of already feels like summer? I don't hate summer, but I don't love it. BUT the good news is, since summer's almost here, that only leaves three more months until fall!!! xD (I think I've mentioned before that I love fall and start missing it the very second it's over. So that's my mindset about summer. xD)


It was definitely a great reading month.

I finished the Remnants trilogy. Still didn't wow me (I don't know why, but they just didn't have that touch for me) but the last book was pretty good. My favorite thing about these books was the bond between the characters. They were all so close and brave and cared about each other so much. (Also, can I just say Bellona and Vidar? MY FAVORITES.)

Remember last month when I was talking about the first Remnants book and I said dystopian must not be for me?

Well... that's clearly not always the case because I read the first 2/3 of the Out of Time trilogy AND I ADORED IT!

I have been wanting to read these for so long. I'd heard they were amazing and I am not disappointed. I just started the third book and maaaan, they're great. (Review to come!)

My favorite book I read this month was A Time To Speak because it bRoOoOkE me. In the good way.


This month I've been working on my NaNo novel Roots to Claim (yup, still that). And...



I started this story in November, so it took me about six and a half months to finish it. Although I didn't write in it much every month, so maybe more like three and a half months? xD Either way, I'm super happy because it's the first first draft I've finished in a while.

It came out with roughly 83k words. I already know the ending is going to change, but heck, the whole thing's probably going to have to change a ton. But I followed through, didn't skip any parts like I have in the past when writing first drafts, and got all the way to the end. Even if the entire story changes tomorrow, I still reached the end. :D

I also won second place in Melissa Gravitis' writing contest! If you haven't read my flash fiction piece yet, you can here-- and go read all the other winners too, because they're seriously so good!

Words written this month: 14578

I had no idea until I figured my word count for this post that I wrote almost as much this month as I did for Camp NaNo last month!! That's pretty cool. :D


I've been listening mostly to my playlist for Roots to Claim, which you can find here. Some of these songs, man, they give me chills when I think about them in relation to my story. Particularly Brother, Shed A Tear, and Give Me A Sign. GIVE ME A SIIIIGN, THOUGH. *cries*

Also, this technically came out last month, but I've been kind of addicted to ME! by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie. xD It's just so catchy and peppy and has a super fun video  and yeah, it's silly but I've missed the more positive, fun stuff Taylor used to do. *shrugs*


This month I went to the Arch in St. Louis to meet an old pen pal of mine!

We met online and started writing letters close to ten years ago. I hadn't talked to her in quite a while and then she texted me to say she was going to be in my state. We weren't sure it was going to work out, but about a week later we lined it up last minute. I left work early (always a plus) and my parents took me to St. Louis. (They basically dropped everything and whisked me up there. Which is

We didn't have time to do a lot more than just say hi and talk for a few minutes, but I was still so glad we got to do it! We were each other's first pen pals to meet in person.

I can't remember if I've brought this up yet? But I started a Bookstagram this month! You can follow me @bookwieldingemily.

Here's the latest picture of my child dog:

yes I know you wanted this you're welcome


This month's blog posts:


I've been blogging for nine months now, and blogging weekly for five months! Only three more months until my first blogaversary. :o

Overall, I had a good month and I'm SO happy I finished the first draft of Roots to Claim. As pumped as I was about writing and as much as I want to get started on Fall Into Time, I'm making myself take a few days off from writing first. Take some time to read and recharge. On June 1 I'm planning on going at FIT with a vengeance. Muahahaha.

I hope you guys had a good month and your writing projects/whatever you're working on is going great! Have a great June!

What did you do in May? Any plans for June/this summer? Oh, and share some recommendations with me for great writing music, or songs from your story's playlist!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Dragons, Time Travel, and Sass || or a look at my next writing project

Heyyy guys! So this week's post is a little different and kind of random, but I'm super excited to share it with you.

This week, I'm introducing you guys to my story Fall Into Time!

It's not a new story. I first started drafting it for NaNoWriMo in 2016. BUT this is the first time I'll really be telling you guys about it! And the reason I decided to write this post is that I'm ridiculously close to finishing draft one of last year's NaNo novel Roots to Claim that I won't stop talking about and Fall Into Time is my next goal to work on. So I thought I'd 1) get back into the groove of it by yelling about it and 2) introduce you guys to it since you'll probably be hearing me continue to yell about it in the near future.

I have no plans or outline for this post so it's probably going to be too long and rambly and make no sense at all but I'll just jump right into it. xD All pictures are from Pinterest.


(This title is not final, it's just a placeholder until I come up with something good. xD It really doesn't even make sense, I was just looking for something that had the word "time" in it and came up with that for some reason.)

So, basically Fall Into Time is about an almost-college graduate named Sophie Drake who gets sucked into the future and has to find her way back home. There's lots of sass, regret, mythical creatures (evil unicorns, anyone?), and there may or may not be a cyborg dragon who has more
personality than you and I do.


And here's the link to my Pinterest board, if you want to see more. There's not a lot to it, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. https://www.pinterest.com/bookwieldingemily/fall-into-time/

This story takes place in Alander. Alander is a fantasy world (I kind of maybe picture it as a planet? not too sure about some worldbuilding stuff yet) where people ride dragons and gryphons as commonly as we drive cars, everything runs on minerals from the earth rather than electricity, and a dude makes a mechanical dragon to take down unicorns. Basically I picture it as a fantasy world with
sci-fi elements. (Like time travel. Hehe.)

Aaand now I'd like to introduce you to Sophie Drake, my protagonist!

At the start of the story, Sophie is about to graduate college. (Or whatever the Alander equivalent of college is. I'm not really sure yet.) She likes to be in control and hates feeling like the passing of time is something she has no say over. At this point in her life, everything's changing too fast for her, and she's starting to fear what life may have for her tomorrow.

2023 isn't the actual year the story takes place... just the year I chose to keep track of time for now.

In the middle of all that lovely stuff, Sophie gets sucked twenty years into the future. So, that's fun.
Enter Asher I-can't-remember-if-I-gave-him-a-last-name-yet.

Sophie meets Asher in the future, because he accidentally brings her there. #rude

He's trying to figure out a way to time travel because he did something in the past that he seriously regrets and he doesn't think he can be happy until he fixes it.

Asher's smart, quirky, and lovable, although rather exasperating at times. He's also got a bit of a temper on him and tends to throw stuff when he gets mad. Behind his good-natured exterior he's deeply scarred by his decisions in the past.

Then there's Gemma.

The daughter of Sophie's best friend, she isn't born yet in the year Sophie lives, so it's a shock when Sophie meets her in the future. Gemma's selfless, loyal, and kind of ditzy. She's terrified of everything that starts happening around her when Sophie arrives (see dude below), but really wants to help Sophie so she tries to be brave and sticks with her.

Aaaand then there's Jax.

(this isn't exactly what he looks like, but you get the idea.)

Basically, Jax is a cyborg dragon with wayyyyy too much sass and a glitch that really gets on his nerves. He's actually super annoying and likes to burn holes in houses and stuff because he's #dramatic. His goal in life at the moment is to stop Asher from achieving time travel because it will keep Jax from ever having been created.


(keep in mind this is a first draft so these snippets are not perfect and some wording might be off or just plain bad but it will get better) (also these are not in order)

Okay, wow, so that was a lot of snippets and probably overkill. But it's fine. 

Also do you ever just go reading through your story and even though it might be a total mess you look at it and think "dude that's really good". xD

This story is still in the first draft stage. Yeah, I know. I've been working on it for almost three years and still haven't finished the first draft. If I've never mentioned it before, I reallyyy struggle with finishing first drafts. (Which is why I'm so stoked to be pages away from finishing Roots to Claim.)
I still have a lot of worldbuilding and character development to work on. I'm excited to get back into it! I love this story and my precious children and I've left them hanging way too long. (Poor Sophie's
been in the wrong year since November 2016...)

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed a sneak peek into Fall Into Time! Hopefully sometime in the next few months as I work on it, I'll come up with a better title. xD

Who do you think your favorite character from this story would be? Does Alander sound like a place you'd want to live? Do you have trouble finishing first drafts too, or does it come fairly easy for you? Chat with me!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Six Things I've Learned Since Graduating High School

Tuesday marked three years since I graduated high school.

Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm a high school graduate. That I went to Florida and walked down the aisle with approximately 400 other homeschool grads and had one of the best weeks ever.

This week I'm feeling kind of nostalgic. And since it's graduation season, I want to share with you a few things I've learned since graduating high school.

I read these books during my vacation to Florida when I graduated.


Like, super fast. I felt that when I found myself walking across a stage in a cap and gown, and I feel it today, exactly three years later.

I barely felt like I was a teenager for five minutes.

I stop and think sometimes about the fact that I'm twenty-one, out of school, and have a job. It's still so surreal to me.


The last year or two of high school was pretty hard. I had a hard time keeping up with all my work and still having a life. As a result of that, I put subpar effort into some things. Fortunately I didn't get bad grades my senior year, but I know I could have made them better. And if I could change one thing about my high school years, that might be it.


It's natural; you spend all your school years longing for the day when you're out of school. Nothing wrong with that. But now I realize that I 100% took it for granted.

I was homeschooled. That means I got to sit at home all day in the comfort of my room and work at my own pace. I didn't get to sleep in every day, but I didn't have to get up early. I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family than kids in public school did. Now I'm gone all day five days a
week and I feel like I don't get nearly enough time at home.

And even off the homeschool spectrum... being a student holds a higher level of comfort than having a job and working forty hours a week. At least for me.


Once you've graduated, there are all these looming responsibilities in front of you. Get a job. Go to college (if you so desire). Learn how to adult. It's a lot of pressure and it happens really fast, and it's intimidating! Maybe even downright terrifying.


Because once I learned how to cope, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Still scary, but possible. And that's
all that matters.


I'm not the only person who's ever had to do this before. I'm not incapable. And I'm not as awkward and uncertain as I thought. Am I still those things? Oh, yes. Absolutely. But hey, I didn't think I could do it and now I can. That's all I can ask for.

And now, when I'm at work basically running the place (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) and working my way up? Yeah, I never thought I'd think this was so easy. But here I am, as if I was never afraid of getting a job at all.

So for all of you who maybe are still in high school, or getting ready to graduate, and are looking at the future like it's a big scary blackhole... take heart. It's not that bad. Take a deep breath, allow yourself to mess up, and trust God that He'll carry you through. Because if it wasn't for Him, I'd still probably be in the fetal position wishing I could time travel back to the age of eight.

Also, here are a few songs I listened to over and over during my senior year:

"Brave Souls" was kind of what I considered the theme of my graduation trip. I was ecstatic to be done with school, but terrified to move on. So I listened to this song and tried my best to be a brave soul.

I got through. I'm where I am today, and I pray you get there too.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Tower and a Fantasy (Rapunzel flash fiction!)

Hey guys! So I'm sure you all know by now about the amazing Fairy Tale Central. Every month the lovely ladies over there (Arielle, Christine, and Faith) feature a different fairy tale. And not only that, but they're also sharing a writing prompt for each month, too, based on that month's fairy tale!

The prompts are posted on Arielle's blog Intuitive Writing Guide at the beginning of the month. Rapunzel is the featured fairy tale for May, and I was so excited to write some Rapunzel-inspired flash fiction!

This month's prompt has a little twist; you base your piece around this line...

And then choose one (or more!) of these lines to follow up!

I'll let you read the original post to better explain it. 

Now I'm sure you have some ideas stirring around in your head like I did! Stay tuned for my flash fiction based on these prompts!

I decided to create characters and use them in the future prompts, too, like the original post suggested. I don't know if I'll take part every single month, but whenever I do, the characters you'll meet in this story will be in those too! I loved that idea and I can't wait to incorporate Trentley and Jynnia into other fairy tale-inspired prompts. I don't know if it'll be kind of a series or a bunch of
stand-alone scenes, but I know it'll be lots of fun.

Aaaand... I also got some MAJOR plot bunnies for a series about Trentley and Jynnia as I was writing this. *hides* Yeah, that's all I need right now-- not only an idea for a book, but MULTIPLE books! 

Buuut such is the way of a writer, I guess. Maybe I'll share the details of said (currently nonexistent) books in the future, but for now, just suffice to know it has to do with fairy tales. ;) But you probably
could have already guessed that.

ANYWAY!  Enough of my blabbering. Here's my story! Hope you enjoy!

     * * *

 "Hey, Rapunzel, let down your hair!"
 Jynnia appeared at the window at Trentley's call, and stood there looking down at him with an eyebrow raised.
 "Show me some credentials. I don't let it down for just anyone."
 Trentley laughed, rubbing his neck as he looked up the steep wall of the stone tower. He put one hand on a hip, feigning irritation but unable to keep the big smile off his face. "I don't have any credentials," he said. "But what if I tell you I'll give you a kiss when I get up there?"
 Jynnia pursed her lips, tapping her temple with a finger. "I don't know," she said, her hand sliding up to run through her short, messy brown locks. "I literally just finished brushing it."
 "Oh, come on!" He sprinted up to the door at the base of the tower. Jynnia had used it moments earlier, but Trentley shook the handle as if it were locked. Backing up to look at her again, he called, "I'm locked out! How else do you expect me to get up there?"
 She had disappeared from the window, but Trentley heard her voice echo, "That doesn't sound like my problem. Do I look like a ladder to you?"
 Trentley could not stop laughing at the sheer childishness of their behavior. This was what finding a tower in the middle of the woods did to them. "Oh, come on, Jynnia, just let down your hair!"
 He heard her sigh, then footsteps nearing the window. When she appeared, she was wearing a vibrant purple dress, much different from the muted green one she had been wearing a moment ago. Strange that someone would abandon such a lovely dress in an old tower. He began to say something about her playing dress-up, but she spoke before he could.
 "Fine," she said, and flipped her hand in the air, pretending to toss a long mane out the window. "Now you can come up."
 He took off toward the door, this time throwing it open. "Hey, I like that color on you!" he yelled before entering the tower. A moment later he heard a muffled cry and shook his head with a grin. Jynnia had thrown herself into this role all too wholeheartedly; a damsel overtaken by his compliment.
 As he ran up the spiraling stairs, he found himself struggling to move as freely as he had been before. How curious. He looked down to see if something restricted his strides, and started a bit to see not the old worn-out pants he had put on that morning, but a new, pressed pair he had never seen before. And his shirt! Not the well-worn tunic he was so comfortable in and was sure he had just been wearing-- but a stiff coat with gold buttons. The costume of a prince!
 "Where in heaven's name did these clothes come from?" he said aloud, and briefly wondered if he was dreaming. He certainly had not been wearing this an hour ago! "Jynnia?" he called, remembering the dress she had donned moments ago. He heard her scream, and broke into a run.
 He skidded to a stop, nearly falling, when he stepped on something slick. He bent to look closer and clapped a hand to his mouth. Hair! Dark brown hair the very color of Jynnia's! Trentley followed it with his eyes; it went on up the staircase and underneath the door at the top.
 Jynnia cried his name. He bolted up the remaining stairs and burst through the door.
 Jynnia was standing with her back to the window, gripping the windowsill with white knuckles. She breathed heavily as she gazed down at the flowing purple dress she wore. Her old green dress was nowhere to be seen.
 But what really made Trentley's head spin was the hair that flowed from Jynnia's head, covered the floor in soft brown waves, and trailed out the door.
 The two looked at each other for a moment, having no words to say. Jynnia was the first to speak.
 "What... have... we... done?"

     * * *

And there you have it! It's not perfect, but I'm excited about the ideas it spawned. They might deviate almost completely from this scene, but that's okay! And I already love Trentley and Jynnia.  I never write such sappy couples, but these guys are going to be fun.

I hope you enjoyed my story! Now it's YOUR turn to go take part in this month's writing prompt!

What do you think of Trentley and Jynnia? (And what in the world do you think happened when they went into that tower?!) Are you participating in the writing prompt this month?