Millennials

Millennials Against the World, or Not?

People think millennials are too fragile and easily offended. They say we are entitled and self-absorbed. I disagree with that idea entirely. Millennials are sick of the stuff this world tries to force us to accept. We’re more civic minded than all other generations alive except the G.I. Generation. We are optimists fighting for the good of all, not just the individual. We’re listening to the progress in psychological studies that say trauma is a bigger issue than past generations admitted.

They swept under the rug that which we want to bring into the light. Racism and sexism are still very real. Previous generations dug under the first few layers and we have found these deeper layers of the same issues, but they look different. Read More

In Defense of Halloween as a Christian

This goes out to all my Christian friends out there who don’t celebrate Halloween, AKA All Hallow’s Eve. Hang with me here for a second. Halloween is the one night of the year I feel normal for wanting to dress up and play out the fantastical stories that run around in my head. It’s the one night of the year scaring people is not only accepted, but expected. I love it. If I didn’t love Christmas and Easter so much, it would be my favorite holiday.

Some of this may come from not growing up going to church every week. I went trick or treating every year though. I did not know it was considered an “evil” holiday until much later. To me, it was when we could dress up as our favorite tv/movie characters and get candy! Read More

Book Releases for September 2016

September is a big month for book releases. Much like early summer is blockbuster movie-time, the back to school month likes to take advantage of shopping sprees. This is a big month. I already read two of these sequels. I have been tapping my foot at the slow pace at which time has passed for September to bring me these books.

3) A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night - September Releases

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir is the follow up to best seller An Ember in the Darkness. This is a great series. I think I still prefer the first book, but there are two more in the series that get to compete for that place. The story did take some twists and turns that made me applaud Tahir. She did not shy away from following through with the threats to her characters. I highly recommend reading this series if you like The Winner’s Series or grand novels emulating the Roman Empire.  Read More

Pants or Pantsing

Pantsing versus Planning: If the Pants Fit

I live in a hurricane of chaos and surprise. I thrive in the twisting winds of change and wild deluge of discovery. Organization is not my default nature. It has taken many years of forced learning to claim any amount of order in my life. As an adult, I mostly feel like my life is now moving with purposeful intention and mild orderliness. I don’t think my life will ever be neat though. I’m not a put together person. I prefer the honesty of a mess.

Pantsing into Your Story

It should come as no surprise I write in a style known as “pantsing”. It means you write by the seat of your pants. I don’t plan, for the most part, or map out the story beforehand. Read More

Pen and Journal

How My Pen Failed Me

I sat down to write a novel. I used my favorite ink pen, the kind the stained a few blankets on which I had left it. A scent of leather from the tan hide wafted with each breeze through the window. The leather bound journal was the perfect vessel for this story. It had to be. The point pressed down to the perfectly flattened yellow page. It pressed in harder. I pulled a sentence across the unlined paper. The period stopped its flow. I hovered over the next sentence. The pen hovered over the page. Read More

Book Series

Treat Yo Shelf: Incomplete Book Series

I recently moved. (I’ve also been on a Parks a Rec kick so that explains the title.) This meant moving all of my books. I don’t know how many I have. There is not enough patience in me for that. What I do know is my books and bookcases were a whole truck load. We’re talking Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck and filled the back/front seats truck load. I have a problem but most writers do.

When I finally got around to unpacking all of my boxes of books I noticed something. I had noticed it before but this time it really stuck out to me. I have way too many half completed book series. By that I mean I am missing 1, 2, or even 3 books of different series! A few haven’t finished yet so I have some excuse. But for all the others?! I have no reasons other than I just stopped. Read More

Time Clock

Passage of Time Since Moving to My Hometown

One month. 31 days. My internal ticker notes I’ve been here for a month. It’s been that many days since I moved away from a city I love. It’s been that many hours since I’ve called my hometown “home” once again. I count and note the time as if it were significant. As if I could do something about it. It seems I’ve always been counting down or up the time. My previous attempts at blogging stand as testament.

Three months at a new job which is no longer new. Twenty days until I come back home after being gone a year. Eight days until I leave the country. Read More

How to discover your story

How to Find Your Story

We all find our story in different ways. This is something that can’t be found by a formula. There are different ways for different folks. That’s the way of the creative heart. However, I think there are universal underlying truths for how to find your story.

What do I mean by “your story”? It goes beyond creating a good story worth telling. It is creating a story only you can tell. It is a story from deep within your very being. It taps into your hope, joy, pain, and rage. It flows from your heart and is entrenched in your soul. There is a lot written about how to discover your voice. I think it is easier to find your voice when you write your story.

Your story does not need to pull directly from your life. Some do, but not all. I prefer to write fantasy and the occasional science fiction. Nothing from my life will look remotely like the stories I want to tell. But the truth of the human experience remains (even if you write about fae or aliens). How do you find you story? Let me give you some guidance on this ambiguous topic.

1) What are your passions?

This is my favorite question to ask people I meet for the first time. It can reveal so much. They might volunteer at after school programs for kids or rescue dogs from kill shelters because they are passionate about those without a voice. A young dad might be passionate about family and decide to stay at home to raise them. A career woman might be passionate about mechanical engineering and find a new sustainable resource for our technology. Some of us have many passions while others have only one or two.

What are you passionate about? If you’re not sure, here are some questions to help.  Read More

Proof of Growing Pains

Hello friends! I have a wildly entertaining #tbt in store for you today.

My writing journey began years ago with journaling and writing short stories. I later discovered the world of poetry in Middle School. With all my angst, raging hormones, and ever revolving romantic dramas, these poems are some of my most prized and despised works.

I was proud of them at the age of twelve. As I grew older, I realized how dramatic and poorly written they were. Their rhymes were simplistic and the rhythmic structure deplorable. But I am grateful for the lessons I learned during that time of my life. I learned how to dig deep into my emotions and let them out onto the page. I learned how to write with honesty, and attempt prose.

Please enjoy these two poems from that phase of my writing journey.

All Because…

My pace becomes increasingly faster,
My mind races for things to say.
I feel a headache coming on,
My body begins to sway.

My eyes dart here and there.
Everything is happening so fast.
Wondering what my next move will be,
I’m still worrying about the past. Read More

Learning to Write through Social Media

Over two years ago I took significant steps in my writing journey. I started my first novel and began to learn more about the craft. I had studied English in college, and even took creative writing workshops. Yet, learning and improving never stops.

I took a dive into the online writer’s community. Blogs, Twitter, Instagram, and many other platforms are filled with writers and book reviewers. It is a well of knowledge, practical how to’s, and inside looks into each writer’s personal journey. It is a community of support in pursuing this crazy thing we do. They have been instrumental in teaching me how to write better, and have courage in my own writer’s journey.

So whether you’ve thought about writing and want to take the plunge or write on the regular and are looking for some helpful tips, here is a rundown of my favorites this community has to offer.

Blogs

1. She’s Novel

All of the posts have very practical how-to’s, some on topics you may be neglecting. I know I was.

2. Better Novel Project

This blog deconstructs bestsellers to help teach us how those authors got to where they are.  Read More