2017’s Word

I’ve never done a one word goal for the year before, but since doing so is apparently a thing, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and do it!


My word for 2017?

Why Focus?

I am the expert procrastinator. I get distracted so easily it is honestly embarrassing. I love doing as many things at once as I can just to feel like I’m getting a lot done.

But I rarely get much, if anything, done when I try to multi-task.

What do I want to focus on in 2017?

  1. Relationship with Christ
  2. Relationships with family and friends
  3. College
  4. Writing
  5. Music
  6. Enjoying life


Already, my schedule for 2017 is full. A nasty surgery that will force me to slow down for about 6 months, starting school at a local university, getting a second job . . . it all adds up. I know myself well enough to understand that I allow my brain to become overwhelmed. Not proud of it, but it is what it is. Just looking at what this year already holds, I’m seeing a lot of potential to get stressed.

I don’t want that to happen. I want to FOCUS on what’s important. I want to FOCUS on the good amidst the not-so-good. I want my main FOCUS to be on Christ.



Do you have a word for 2017?

July Wrap

Yes, yes, yes, I know it is August 2nd. I’m sorry. I’m going to blame this on college (stupid deadlines), and the fact that I got a new computer and for several days was in the limbo of making sure all my data transferred. And I was completely calm as all of my half-finished manuscripts leapt from my old computer to my new one. (LIE!!!! I was a complete and total nervous wreck!!!! But it’s over now, and everything is working fine. My stories all survived.)





Goal: 8

Read: 8 (Ha! :) )



Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman



Writing (again) fell by the wayside this month. But hey, that’s allowed, right? I mean, I released my first book, so that’s reason enough not to write.



I stayed alive blogging! Whaddaya know. Wasn’t expecting that, but I made it work. Nothing terribly profound, just my blog tour, How I Write, and sweet Jesseca’s blog tour.


My goal from last month was to get 5 new subscribers. Guess how many I got? 16!!!!!! 16 people who are crazy enough to let me flood their inbox with posts. How awesome is that?!?!


Other exciting news: This blog post marks 120 posts, and 500 comments. How awesome is that?!?! I’m pretty excited. ;-)


And, as I said last month, I haven’t yet crawled out of my dark hole of hobbitness yet. I’ve been a bad bloggy friend. (yell at me if you wish). August is looking better!!! (Hallelujah I just want to BREATHE!!)

Coffee makes everything better, right? (And it looks pretty to boot.)


HOWEVER, here is a really great post from Go Teen Writers.





Kendra’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du




There were lots of awesome things about this month.


1). My very first book released.

2.) I turned 18. Yikes. Scary stuff. This is how I feel:


3). I spent a week at music camp, hanging out with family, friends, and helping my teacher teach her class of 33 kids. Honestly, I could do a whole post on music camp. It was an absolute blast. If I had thought of taking pictures I would show you, but I was too busy making sure 8 year olds didn’t sit on or trip over their fiddles. Music camp is just the best thing ever. I stayed up until 2:30 jamming. We jammed for 5 hours straight. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever played with people I hardly know. Actually, that’s probably the longest I’ve ever played. It was so much fun.

Also, at camp this year, I managed to dislocate my shoulder while playing volleyball. (And no, I was not playing that aggressively—I actually have a genetic condition that causes my joints to dislocate frequently.) Anyway, thank goodness that didn’t affect my week, and I didn’t realize how much it hurt until we got home at the end of the week.


4). I finished one of my college classes!!! It’s soo good to have ONE class, the THREE credits under my belt.


5). I spent 5 hours at a trap/skeet range shooting shotguns. And because of my still-healing dislocated shoulder, I decided to shoot what is called “mirror image” or, weak-handed. So the whole day, I shot with my left hand, left eye—totally the opposite of what I usually do. It was good to see what new shooters feel like. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember what it’s like to be new. And believe it or not, I hit more “birds” than I missed.



IMG_19876.) I found a new money dump. (And I’m completely going to blame this on my sweet friend, Abi. Love you, girl!!! :) ) Forthcoming post on this horrible amazing site called ThriftBooks.







~Goals for next month~


  • Read some books. (‘cuz numbers are too specific.)
  • Write 10,000 words
  • Announce the project I’ve been working on for the past few months. (I think you’re all gonna like it… :) )
  • Keep plugging away with school. (Though I suppose this one is kind of inevitable.)





How was your month? Is anyone else experiencing freak summer storms, featuring marble-sized hailstones?

June Wrap

Yes, I am aware that it is July 2nd. Seriously…life. I can’t believe June is over. WHERE DID IT GO?!? Last month–YUK. It was on the hairy side. BUT. It is over now.

Letter to My Book (1)



Goal: 9

Read: 6 (*pfft*)


God’s Will by Meghan M. Gorecki

Warriors of the Realms by Chuck Black


Really amazing books. Highly recommended.



BIG THINGS happened. I got my book sent off to the formatter. When it came back, I ordered my proof copy. Which came early. :)


My goal was to do 2 binge writing sessions, but I only got about 3/4 of one in. It fell down on the priority list with getting The Old River Road ready to release. That’s okay though. Progress is progress, right?

BTW, this is what happens to me during a binge write:

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.02 PMCharacters shut off couches and sit on lights. *sigh*  All in the name of a first draft.



The ever-elusive VLOG was finally published. And my post about Writing Romance has gotten the most hits out of any other post. That’s pretty awesome. :)

As for other people’s blogs, I did a pretty cruddy job of being a bloggy friend. I was kinda sucked into my own little black hole this month (sorry everyone!). I am hoping to emerge soon, but July isn’t looking much better. August holds promise, though.



  1. Abi’s Martian Hospitality (Which I finished, and it was AWESOME!)
  2. Kendra’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du



I LIVED. Seriously, I’m happy I’m alive and functioning enough to say that. Never mind the fact that it is 12:30am on July 2nd. Nope, this post was NOT written in advance like I usually do. This month was pretty much just survival. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has these monsterous months/weeks/days where you’re just happy to be alive at the end.

This is what my desktop looked like for the majority of this month. YUK, right?!?

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.42 PM

We went camping for 4 days, so that was a nice little giveaway. Also, I was able to swim in the lake on JUNE 2nd. That’s the earliest I’ve been able to swim in years (I’m a bit soft since I’m so SPOILED to live on a lake).  The weather has been hot. Very hot. Cooler than last year, but still hot. I’m loving it.



Last months goals were this:

  1. Survive college. (I’m still alive.)
  2. Read 9 books. (Weeelllll…..)
  3. Plan and execute my next binge writing session. (Kinda sorta life-took-over.)
  4. Send out ARC’s of The Old River Road, order the proof copy, and organize the blog tour. (Done!!!)
  5. DO THE VLOG!!!! (DONE!!!)
  6. Get 20 subscribers. (As of June 29, I have 2o subscribers. WOOT WOOT!!!!)


This month’s goals:

  1. Release my FIRST BOOK into the big world of scariness
  2. Write 10,000 words
  3. Music camp (YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!)
  4. Get 5 more subscribers
  5. Be more active on the webernet
  6. Read 8 books
  7. Survive the second half of my first semester



Do you like hot weather? How warm is it where you live?

May Wrap

I cannot believe that May is already over. Didn’t I just write one of these posts?!?

Letter to My Book



Goal: 8

Read: 9 (heh. Beat myself).




War in the Wasteland by Douglas Bond.

Defy by Tricia Mingerink

My own book (again. Kill the typos!)


*Squeee!!!!!!!* Those books were SO good!!! Well, I’m getting rather sick of reading mine, but the other two were absolutely fantastic.




This section should be titled “editing” this month. I pulled several late nights finishing applying my beta-reader’s comments before sending the book to my editor. Since my mother is a fellow night-owl, she comes in and takes photos of me while I’m working. So excuse the messy room. It was 2am and I had been working for 6 hours.



After eleven absolutely glorious days of NO MANUSCRIPT, during which I moaned and groaned and wandered about aimlessly not knowing what to do with myself. It was a serious problem. I didn’t want to dive into another project for a mere couple of days, but I was LOST without one! My family laughed at me. I laughed at me. I guess I depend on writing more than I thought. :)


IMG_1683When the manuscript returned from my editor, applied her comments and printed the monstrous thing to read out loud. (It helps me catch some of those little errors that are easily glossed over while reading on screen.) My mom asked if I could read it to her.




I hate reading out loud. I am embarrassed to share my stories with people in my family (don’t ask why though…I have no idea!!!) Enticing much willpower and summoning up a gargantuan amount of courage, I read out loud. To my mom.


We made it. I did it. The entire book in 3 days.




Yes, I am wearing two pairs of glasses.  Long story.




Well, some pretty exciting things happened this month blogging-wise. I  revealed the cover of my book. I wrote a letter to my book. I got to participate in Jaye L. Knight’s blog tour for Samara’s Peril. I opened sign-ups for MY OWN blog tour. SO MUCH AWESOMENESS!!!

Also, I realized that the post for my blog tour just happened to be my 100th post! How cool is that?!?

From other folk’s blogs:

This post from Chelsea Bontrager really struck me and made me think. I encourage you to check it out.




  1. Abi’s Martian Hospitality
  2. Hope’s Song of the Sword.
  3. Kendra’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du


They are all lovely books. I cannot wait until they are out in the world for all to see. :)





Ugh, lots of life this month. Not all so great, either, but hey…life never promises to be pretty.


  1. I am sick and tired of my book. There, I said it. I cannot wait to be done with this thing. Note to self (and to all of you who will be publishing): book needs to be completely ready to publish 2 MONTHS before release date. Take my word for it and spare yourself some sleep.


  1. I graduated high school. It wasn’t much of a big deal; I graduated on Friday, college classes started on Monday. :) Yes, I am going to have a party, but it will be in July when the weather is nicer for a day at the lake/backyard BBQ. We will be celebrating my graduation, my 18th birthday, and I will be getting baptized.


  1. As afore mentioned, I started college. It was a bit of a rocky start, seeing as I had all of three days to complete a week’s worth of assignments. And I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. BUT. I survived. :)


  1. The reason I had only three days to complete a week’s worth of assignments is because myIMG_3684 family took our very first camping trip of the year. We went with some close family friends for three days of fun, ATV riding, and fellowship in the mountains. And guess what? It rained. The entire time. (FYI, we have a nice cozy motorhome, and our friends had trailers, so everyone was dry and warm.) But honestly, I think it was one of my favorite camping trips ever. Maybe because I so desperately needed the break from work, technology, Wi-Fi, and cell service. Maybe because it was fun to have nothing better to do than play Dutch Blitz for hours. Maybe because I needed to be able to read for hours upon hours without feeling guilty for not doing something else. I don’t know…whatever it was, I had an absolute blast.

IMG_1652Oh, and since it was raining cats and dogs, my personality-twin brother and I decided that we may as well utilize the muddy puddles and go mud riding.

It. Was. Awesome.




  1. The day after arriving home from the soggy camping trip, ALL SIX of my siblings came down with Scarlet Fever. All of ‘em. I held out not catching it for three whole days. Annnndddd I then I got it. However, I was lucky enough to get the more adult version of it, called Rheumatic Fever. Also not fun, but at least I could still functioning like a normal human being.

Funny note—Clara gets Scarlet Fever in The Old River Road, so I was able to make sure I had everything accurate watching my poor siblings in agony for those few days. And I was better able to describe the horrid rash. :)



~Goals for next month~


  1. Get better.
  2. Survive college.
  3. Read 9 books.
  4. Plan and execute my next binge writing session. (Blog post forthcoming on that topic)
  5. Send out ARC’s of The Old River Road, order the proof copy, and organize the blog tour.
  6. DO THE VLOG!!!! (I haven’t forgotten about it! As long as my voice comes back and the Rheumatic Fever rash on my face goes away, I’ll film it this Saturday. Send any questions you might like me to answer by FRIDAY, June 3rd.)
  7. Get 20 followers. Y’all can help me with this one… :)





How was your May? How warm is it where you live? Have you ever had Scarlet Fever (or Rheumatic Fever)? Maple bar doughnuts or chocolate-iced crème-filled?

Life Lately/April Wrap

Well, these monthly wrap up posts seem to be “the thing” right now, and while I try not to do what everyone else does, these posts are so fun to read I don’t see a good reason not to do them!

(And yes, I do know that it is May 4th. Life gets in the way of my desires to post on time.)



~Books Read~

11. Sorry, I don’t have the energy to list them all every single month.


I will list my top 3 favorites.

Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight. I got to be an advanced reader for this book!! Can you believe it!!!! I still can’t! It was so amazing!!

The Ryn by Serena Chase.

The Remedy by Serena Chase.

(I am completely blaming my dear friend Hope for telling me about those last two. And no one needs to know how late I stayed up reading them. They were totally awesome, by the way. :) )



Well, since I had a long day of near panic when I realized how close the release date of The Old River Road is coming in comparison to how much work still needed to be done, I re-evaluated my goals for April.

Total words written: 20,000

Total words edited: 85,000 (that was my whole manuscript for TORR)

I successfully completed my “week of insane writing.” Barely. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. The story just wasn’t flowing right. But I pushed through, and finished with 15,000 words in five days.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.59.34 PMBTW, please tell me I’m not the only one that gets to the “..999” word count and seriously cannot think of ONE MORE WORD to type to finish up my daily amount.

Most words in one day: 5,126

Least words in a day: 216

Most words in an hour: 2,000 (a new personal high!)



  1. Abi’s Martin Hospitality
  2. My own book. (Does that count?)



Well, a lot of life stuff happened this past month.

  1. I got accepted and enrolled in college. *ahhhhh!!!!* I will be taking classes from home through IMG_1439Liberty University. Classes start in 14 DAYS!!!!
  2. I buckled down on high school stuff so I can close that area of my life.
  3. Edited an entire book, hired a cover designer AND editor, rounded up 12 amazing beta readers…and somewhere in there lost my sanity.
  4. Learned how to drive our 36ft motorhome. (Told you I lost my sanity.)
  5. Resumed TaeKwonDo classes. Boy I tell you, I am one rusty black belt. Eight years of no practice really puts a tarnish on that shiny blackness.  :-)
  6. Ate at Chick-fil-A for the second time in my entire life. Seriously, they need to get these restaurants in Eastern Washington. What the heck is up with them only being in the southern/eastern states and in Seattle?
  7. Met an internet friend in person!!! (Hi Rosey!!!!) :-)


~Goals for May~

  1. Finish getting The Old River Road ready for publication. This means going through my beta-reader’s comments, sending it to my editor, going through her comments, then sending the manuscript to the formatted. (WHEW!)
  2. Start college. This one is inevitable, so maybe I should say “survive starting college.”
  3. Plan my graduation/baptism/18th birthday/Mom and Dad’s 22nd wedding anniversary.  These events are all so close together I decided that we may as well celebrate them all on the same day. Why not, right? Now I just have to plan the insane event.
  4. Beta-read Hope’s Song of the Sword, and Abi’s Martin Hospitality.
  5. Read 8 books.
  6. Do a Vlog.
  7. Survive. (This one has been on the bottom of my daily to-do lists as of late.)



Well, there was a lot more that went into April, but that’s all I have the energy to record for now.

So how was your April? Did you do anything absolutely fantastic that I should know about? How do you feel about frozen cookie dough? (Sorry, that was random, but seriously, have you tried the stuff?)



Are you still reading? Good. Keep going.

I have this wonderful idea to do a Vlog sometime in the near future (’cause Vlogs are awesome), but in order to do so I need to know if you have any questions for me. I can come up with a topic on my own if necessary, but it would be far more fun to answer your questions. Please, if you have any questions, leave them in the comment box, or email me with the contact form. THANK YOU!!!