The Very Awesome Vlog Challenge #2, Oct-Dec Edition

The VAVC is a bi-monthly link-up that anyone can join! All you have to do is answer my three questions in your vlog, post the video and add your link to the link-up below. Also, make sure to grab the image and link back to this page in your post.


(To learn more about VAVC, click here)


Questions for the Oct-Dec challenge:

  1. What book (other than the Bible) changed who you are as a person?
  2. How long have you taken writing seriously?
  3. What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?


After you post your video, don’t forget to come back and add your link to the widget on the Vlog Challenge page.


FYI, I’m aware that I totally screwed up and didn’t post the link-up widget right. I’m working on that. It *should* work this time around.

Also, if my blogging friends don’t do this–especially the ones who have said that they really should–I’m gonna start tagging you!!!! ;)  *evil laugh*

Ready, set, GO!!!! I wanna see your vlogs!

Beautiful People–June Edition

Here we are, with another round of Beautiful People!

I’m telling you, this one is GOOD. It’s the childhood edition. Childhoods have a huge impact on characters, so this one was super good for me to write. And guess who the character is from? (Hint, hint.) Yup, Ocean Hues! You’re probably getting sick and tired of these characters by now…so sorry. Its so good for me to be doing these, as I need some inspiration to get this story finished, and deepen the characters. I’m almost done with the first draft! *WOOT! WOOT!*


What is their first childhood memory?

Chelsea has fleeing images of her mom, but the first real “memory” is when her daddy asked her what they should name their new fishing vessel, and she said, “Cora Lee for Mommy!” It’s the only time she remembers her dad crying. (She was three.)


What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

Best would be sitting on her daddy’s lap in the wheelhouse of the Cora Lee doing schoolwork and watching the deckhands below. The worst would be

What’s something that scared them as child?

Two things.03fe7e016479f460472b8666b0600e82

Number 1, gummy worms.(She has three boy cousins, two of them older than her. Imagine the stories about innocent gummy worms?)

Number 2, sleeping in a room by herself. Maybe it started after her mom died, and her dad started letting her sleep in his bed. Or maybe because there was always a stray cousin ready to have a sleepover.


Who did they look up to most?

She looked up to her aunt Kendra, who was the only mother figure in her life and taught her girl things in an all-boy household.

Favorite and least favorite childhood foods?

Favorite would be raw broccoli, and least favorite is shrimp (still is).  :)

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?

She wouldn’t take her close-knit family, unusual as they are, for granted.

dd88c1ee08afc5915dba7daa947b01daWhat was their childhood home like?

It’s a beachfront cottage on a quiet, secluded beach on the Washington coast.



What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

A combo of curious and devious, and probably a hint of wild. When raised by only a dad, next door to three boy cousins, she had to learn to hold her own.

What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?

Her relationship with her dad is pretty special, especially so because she doesn’t have a mom. She doesn’t have siblings, but her three boy cousins are the closest things she’s got, and they all get along very well, even in their adult years.

What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

She wanted to be a crab fisher like her daddy. And she married a crab fisher. :) Next best thing.





Are you getting sick of Chelsea yet? Should I switch to another character to interview for these things?

What kind of a child were you?

Beautiful People-May Edition

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_nHere we are, back again with the May edition of Beautiful People. This month, I am so excited to introduce you to the main character of a current WIP, Ocean Hues. Meet Chelsea Sanders.


How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?4a13d7b872c2edb3d810f26a2437ab9b

She smiles frequently, and yes, she would smile at a stranger.


What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

The cruelest thing was her Grandma saying that she was “appalled and humiliated” to be seen with Chelsea. Her reaction…hmmm…her reaction was shock and ‘smoothing over’ at first, then lots of tears after it sunk in.


What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

Kindest thing? Hmm. Probably that he (her daddy) is proud of her and will love her no matter what. And that her mom (who died when Chelsea was a toddler) would be proud of the young woman she’s become.

She responded by getting pink cheeks and growing very quiet. Not a typical Chelsea reaction, I assure you.


What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

Naming the Cora Lee. It lasted because Chelsea’s mother had just died, and it’s the only time she remembers her daddy crying.


41w+q-o2f9L._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. Everyone should read this book, but Chelsea needs it extra bad.


Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?

No, she hasn’t been seriously injured. Yet. That might change through the course of the book. :)


Do they like and get along with their neighbors?

Yes, though in New York the neighbors aren’t exactly friendly. She gets along better with the garden workers than the homeowners themselves.


On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?

Eight. She’s the sort of person I want to know.


If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?6166c066d9dce664a48a48fc2bf74b59

Hawaii. She’s used to Seattle, Alaskan, and New York weather. Somewhere warm is her dream.


Who was the last person they held hands with?

Hehe…with Rhett Newman at the airport, saying good-bye.




Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world? Are any of you doing this Beautiful People link-up? Let me know in the comments…I’d love to read about your characters!



Beautiful People – March Edition


Beautiful People March Edition is all about one of the main characters in my newest contemporary novel, Rhett Newman. Rhett is in the Secret Story I’ve been talking about over the past few months. I know, I haven’t said much about this particular story, but because it is my Camp NaNo (April) project, I’m going to introduce you to the story in TWO WEEKS. This is just to whet your appetite. ;P

4dd65b8bb9dc4b2c829fbd7b1a75513bWhat first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?

I don’t remember exactly what inspired Rhett…I just know I needed a really sweet guy to balance out my feisty main character. So, I based him off my oldest brother and dad.

Describe their daily routine.

Onboard the Cora Lee (a crab fishing vessel), there isn’t much of a routine. Rhett eats and sleeps when he has the chance; whenever he isn’t out working the deck.

At home in Ocean Shores, he wakes up, makes a bowl of cereal and a fried egg, makes a cup of coffee, and sits down at his one-chair table. After that, he reads his Bible, dresses, and heads to the Sanders’ home. After doing whatever odd jobs need to be done, he eats lunch with one of the Sanders’ families. The rest of the day is spent working or hanging out. Then he heads back to the apartment and goes to sleep.

If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?

Rhett is 20 years old. He wouldn’t be joining any high school. ‘Nuff said.

bccbc4e8b360d4060fe632c87406c606Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…

His bunk on the Cora Lee.

Living in an apartment.

His car (it drops parts each time he hits a pothole).

Macaroni and cheese.

How do they react in awkward silences?

Rhett isn’t too terribly talkative, so silence really isn’t awkward to him. That and it’s rarely quiet with Chelsea around.

Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?

Yeah, he can swim. I don’t know how he learned…why does it matter? His dad threw him in a lake. There…that sounds good.

What is one major event that helped shape who they are?3a32e28be9a481b8ed762bf1273aabce

The death of his family. All of them, on one night, in one horrible car wreck.

What things do they value most in life?

He values his own life pretty dearly, especially after the tragic death of his parents and sister. Other than that, he values the friendship of the Sanders family. Chelsea and her father especially. His Bible is also very important to him.

Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?

Yes, he does believe in giving second chances. I wouldn’t call Rhett’s slowness to share his heart with others a trust issue, but maybe that’s what it is.

Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?

Take a break from whatever it is he’s doing, go for a walk on the beach…talk to Chelsea. :)


Would you want to be friends with Rhett? Do you enjoy these Beautiful People posts?


Beautiful People–Valentine’s Edition

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_nWhen I saw the topic for the February Beautiful People, I had almost made up my mind to skip it all together. None of my fictional couples are extremely well-developed yet, so I didn’t have much to write about.

Then I remembered the story that’s been taunting me since last September. My NaNo project, the topic of my nightmares…(Okay, maybe that may be a slight exaggeration ;-)  )

Yes, I’ve been talking and whining about Clara’s Story here on the blog for quite some time. Writing about real people is extremely difficult for me; trying to fit in all the little details can be stressful. Of course, I had to use some “storyteller liberties” in the book. Most of the answers below are according to how the book has been written, but I threw in some fun facts as well. :-)


How did they first meet?

In a mud puddle.

Well, not quite. William bumped into Clara and sent her flying into a puddle. He was nice enough to help her out of it.

What were their first impressions of each other?

Clara noted that William was rather handsome and tall, and strong enough to pull her out of the water without much effort. William’s first impression was, “She isn’t crying or yelling at me, but she’s standing here dripping wet in the freezing cold. I might be able to get along with this girl.”

How long have they been a couple?

Not long at all…though by the time the book ends they’ve been married for more than twenty years.

How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?

Extremely committed. Divorce wasn’t an option back then. Yes, they would die for each other…William almost did.

List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other.

I’m not good with quirks so I’m going to do interesting facts instead. (These are all facts, not fiction.)

–I don’t actually know what year Clara was born. According to census records, she could have been born in 1866, 1867, or 1868. For the book, I split the difference between those years. Henceforth (until I find a more reliable document), her birthdate is November 22, 1667.

–William had never chopped wood until he was nearly 30 years old.

–Clara was the baby of her family and incredibly devoted to her parents, yet she willingly left them and followed William to Spokane when asthma nearly took his life.

–William was the only surviving child of his biological parents. (He has one half-brother.)

–Aaannnddd I can’t think of anymore so there ya go.

Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?


What would be an ideal date?

In Chicago? A fancy dinner and starlight walk along the shores of lake Michigan. In Tumtum, probably an afternoon away from their passel of sweet kids.

What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?

Quite similar in most areas. Clara tends to be more of the spitfire personality-wise, though William does anything and everything to ensure his family is safe and well cared for; but he does it in a more quiet manner than Clara.

What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?

Best moments always seem to happen in the kitchen. :-) Worst moments…those seem to have something to do with the kitchen as well.

Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?

Next few years? That’s kinda tough, as I haven’t decided for sure where in their lives I am going to end the book. Factually speaking, they were married for fifty years before William passed away.


And, for your enjoyment, here is the ONE photo I have found of William and Clara together.

IMG_1314Yes, they are old. :-) This photo was probably taken around 1935-ish. Isn’t it sweet? Their smiles tell it all.

And this photo is of William, likely taken when he was around 19 years old.

IMG_1318Is he not handsome? ;-) (I think he looks like he’s trying hard to be serious.) From talking to people who actually knew him, I learned that apparently he was quite the tease and always cracking jokes.

Beautiful People Jan 2016 Linkup

I don’t typically enjoy doing linkups, but this one looked like fun. If you want to do this too, just click on the button above and follow the instructions! It’s fun!

(I don’t know why is says number 1 in front of each of these questions. It won’t let me change that. :(  )


  1. What were your writing achievements last year?

I spent several months editing Never Alone book 1 and came up with many ways to make the story 10 times better. (It will be going through a complete re-write later this year.)

I participated in NaNoWriMo for the very first time, and won! *squeals!*

I started 2 new novels.

  1. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

My top priority this year is getting Clara’s Story published. After that, I need to finish writing and prepare the Secret Story for publishing (it will be published in 2017). That way, I can devote at least 18 solid months to Never Alone 1 to get it finished and ready to publish in late 2017 or early 2018.

  1. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

My editing strategies. They really stink and it takes me twice as long as it should.

Writing in Deep Point of View.

Writing is First Person.

Shortening my word counts (this may or may not happen). ;)

Finding time to write amidst school.

  1. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

I’m planning on doing NaNo in April. We shall see about July…that will be my first semester in college so I might not do it.

  1. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

Beta-reader wise, I am so-so. I want to expand that over the year.

  1. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I need to read The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, and I will re-read Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

  1. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

As bizarre as this sounds, I need to get to know the main character of my trilogy, Callie Nickly, better. Yes, I’ve been working with her for the past four years, but so much of her personality is mysterious and confusing to me. I will achieve this by re-writing the first book and re-structuring the second.

  1. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Edit. I’m planning on indie publishing.

  1. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

More appropriate contemporary fiction about real-life people with real-life problems. As much as I love reading and writing historical fiction, the ever-growing need for Godly contemporary is pressing me.

  1. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I hope to have Clara’s Story published, Secret Story ready for publication, and begin the re-write of Never Alone book 1. That should be enough to keep me busy for awhile. :)


What are your writerly goals for 2016? I want to hear them! :)