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reading

TBR + Reading Goals

I’ve been in a major reading slump. I mean, I’ve read maybe six books in their entirety this year? Then, of course, Regal Hearts season one, which equals one and a half to two books? Ok, so possibly eight?

I like to blame it on my writing. And honestly, that is a big part of the reason I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been busy with writing, editing, then getting ready to publish… It’s been crazy.

The last time I read a full book was June, when I read The Coronation for Livy’s blog tour. Before that? I don’t remember. So, needless to say, I need to get reading again.

My TBR list has been growing while I’ve been busy. It’s like…really long. Maybe it wouldn’t have looked that way if I’d actually been reading. But since it’s been a while, I’ve got over 15, and that feels like a lot. 

My TBR List.

  1. Out of Time (trilogy)
  2. Prince Warriors (trilogy)
  3. Trials of Apollo (?)
  4. Jedi Apprentice (series)
  5. Micheal Vey (series)
  6. Crazy Dangerous
  7. If We Survive
  8. Theodore Boone
  9. Redeemed (The Missing Series)
  10. Hidden Amethyst
  11. You’ll Be Like Faye
  12. Far Away Faye
  13. Honey Butter

It’s. Crazy. And to be honest, that’s not even all of them.

Ok, and legit, I got the Prince Warriors trilogy last Christmas. Out of Time Trilogy has been on my list for months. And Redeemed? Like, how did I not know there was another book in one of my favorite series?

Reading Goals.

I’ve got some lofty goals, but I’m hoping if I stick to a set time to read everyday, it shouldn’t be a problem. And really, I feel like part of the problem is just picking up the book. Rarely do I not enjoy one, it’s just starting to read it that seems hard. Once I do, I’m practically finished.

August:

  1. A Time to Die
  2. You’ll Be Like Faye

September:

  1. A Time to Speak
  2. Prince Warriors Book 1
  3. A Time to Rise
  4. Prince Warriors Book 2
  5. Far Away Faye

We’ll see after that. If I can get that much done, I’ll be pretty impressed with myself. Also, I need to start with stuff I actually own? So. There’s what im starting with. (Wow, so I just said I’m starting with what I own, but I realized I only have the first book in the Out of Time trilogy…oops.) There are a lot of those books I don’t actually own…that almost makes me feel better? Like I’m not so behind? Lol!

What’s on your TBR list? Any book recommendations

writing

Outlining + School Prep

It’s August.

What?? Like, how is that even possible? It was just June…? And I only thought I was done being busy. Turns out, when the busy-ness is over, the summer won’t just be almost over, school will be starting!!! 

I really need to get back into a good routine so I can be more disciplined when school starts up. I’m trying to keep my schedule and goals light so as not to stress me out and keep me too busy. 

My Schedule.

Honestly, if I could live with a constant schedule, I would. I’m just kind of…schedule oriented? But, alas… I can’t really stay on a schedule when my family’s not on the same page, and there’s just too much spontaneous stuff that comes up. 

But. I’m still gonna work at kind of structuring my day. Here’s kind of a general idea…

  • 6:00 – Walk // Quiet Time

Biggest thing (plus, it kinda decides the rest of my day…). I really wanna get in the habit of getting up (preferably before everyone else), walking, and starting the day in prayer. 

  • 7:00 – Breakfast 

Also, trying to eat healthy, so. But yeah, gotta have breakfast, right?

  • 8:00 – Outlining 

My {book} writing time. 

  • 9:00 – Journaling 

Or just other writing. Random, whatever. Maybe some music.

  • 10:00 – Reading 

READING TIME. This has been something I reallllllyyyy need to make more time for. Like, I’ve been so busy + writing in all my spare time, so. Gotta get back on this. (I’m about to start A Time To Die from the Out of Time trilogy- I’ve heard it’s really good!!)

  • 11:00 – Lunch 
  • 12:00 – NAPPPPPP!
  • 1:00 – Music Practice 

So piano, guitar, cello…I really need to work on that last one, especially.

  • 3:00 – Snack 

The rest is just kind of clean up, and then of course dinner, bedtime routine…

It won’t, of course, look like this when school starts up. It’ll be quite different. But, there’s kind of my hope for getting back into a good routine. 

My School Subjects.

What are you guys taking? I’m headed into junior year (which is insane, by the way), so here are my courses:

  • Bible 

#Perksofbeinghomeschooled WE HAVE BIBLE CLASS! I’m excited about this one. We actually have one Bible course for each semester. Jesus and His followers and Life Management. Our high school Bible classes have been awesome the last two years, and I’m sure I’ll love these just as much. 

  • U.S. History 

FINALLY!!!! I’ve been wanting to take this for forever! I feel like we’re alllllways learning about other countries (you wanna know every state and capital of Africa? No problem). Now I finally get to learn about my country’s history. 

  • Chemistry 

No, however, excited about this one. I’ve always hated anything science. I might not have as much trouble if I weren’t so behind on math…

  • Algebra 1

But I am. I’m taking Algebra 1. And ok, for years, I was great at teaching myself math. Up until eighth grade, I was fine. But then… I just got to the point where I couldn’t understand it by myself. So…..I got really behind. I’m trying not to stress out though. If I have to complete an extra math course before I can go to college or take college courses, it’s fine! …right?

  • English 

Eaaaaaaasyyyyy peasyyyy if I’m allowed to say so. I’ve always done well in English (hence, the whole writer deal). So I don’t really mind it (except diagraming- I hate diagraming). 

  • Spanish

Yo hablo español! But…only a little. I’ll be continuing learning this year, though, so. 

So. There’s how school’s gonna look this year. Writing wise?

Outlining.

Here’s what I’ll be working on for the next little while. I recently bought Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland. It’s soooo awesomeeeeee!! Seriously, it’s been seriously helpful, and I totally wish I’d realized the importance of outline before I wrote my last book (but…I did not know, and I kinda started on a whim). 

Here are some things I’ve loved from it. 

  • What if questions and a one sentence premise. 

The what if questions are really helpful, especially if your idea isn’t so developed. As for the one sentence premise, well. Yes, it’s hard to pack your story into one sentence, and mine is rather long, but it’s really a good thing to do. And, as it mentioned, it’s really awesome to be able to tell people what your book is about in one sentence. So, I really liked this advice.

  • Pre-outline questions.

Questions like, what are several main plot points, and what could go wrong in each point. It gets you thinking about all the possibilities for your story. I found it helpful just analyzing potential problems. 

  • Desire & Conflict.

I know this one is kind of obvious, but I didn’t have a clue the first time I wrote a book. Find out what your character wants, and then put things in the way of him getting it. This basically gives you a tiny, simplified outline. At least, I feel like it does. 

  • Character Interviews.

MY FAVORITE. These are so fun, and sooo helpful. Even the most basic questions help you learn things about your characters you didn’t know before. They help build the plot because you know the characters. 

My Works in Progress.

So, I said before I’m working on the next book in my series, Will: The Homeschool Kids. Outlining is going really well. 

But I also decided to start another project that I’m really excited about, but also really worried about. I guess I’m worried it’s not gonna work out, so I don’t want to build it up? But I’ve also been wanting to write it for so long. 

It’s gonna be dystopian. Kind of. Like, I’m pretty sure. My story line is, well, weird. So, we’ll see what happens. I also have no idea how many book it will be. I’d originally wanted it to be a trilogy, but I don’t know if it’ll be long enough for that. Who knows, maybe when I’m done outlining, I’ll have a substantial story, and it’ll work. 

Do you have any kind of schedule you try to stick to? What grade are you going into? What is your WIP?

writing

Camp NaNo – WRAP UP (July ’17)

So, this was my first time to do Camp NaNoWriMo, and I was going to be working on my first draft for Will: The Homeschool Kids.

But it has been a busy month. I don’t know what the deal is, but my summer is most always busier than my school year. So when all of my school work is finally finished and done, I don’t get much of a break. And this summer was no exception.

This month in particular, though, I had church camp, my birthday trip, helping with Terrific Tuesdays, and then publishing my book. Which, by the way, I had not thought I was going to be able to finish by my goal, so I hadn’t thought it would interfere with Camp NaNo. Well, when I got home from camp that first week of July, my almost completed wip was the first thing I touched. I honestly hadn’t seen it being possible, but I got quite a bit done that second week. My original goal had been July 15 (or publishing before I turn 16). I didn’t meet that exact goal, but I was able to have it all wrapped up and done by July 16 instead!! So, that was exciting. I’m officially an author!

So, being busy was one reason I kind of failed Camp NaNo.

But, I also realized some things.

This book I just published being my first, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was doing. I was new to the whole writing thing. So I didn’t really have a process or plan for myself? It went a little like this:

I got the idea for Daisy: The Homeschool Kids back in like, the fall of 2014. And it really wasn’t much of an idea. Just a couple of characters. But in early 2015, I actually started writing out small scene ideas. Not really an outline, but I guess that’s all I could think of to do. Then in, I think March, I typed out the first draft. And thennnnn….

I didn’t touch it. Like, all summer. So picking it up in the fall? I hated the story. But I tried to do some revising (again, probably not in an organized, careful fashion). And you know what? By the spring of 2016, I actually thought I was close to publishing. I told that to several people, too. I look back at that one and laugh…

I think I wrote a couple more drafts in the middle of the year, again, doing what I thought was revising. And then I don’t think I touched it much late in the year.

So that’s why in January of 2017, I decided to hit the ground running. I ‘edited’ (again, probably no clue, though I knew more earlier this year than I ever have, I guess) my whole book, going chapter by chapter. And I started sending it off to a writer friend in batches starting in May.

Let me just say, her feedback was so helpful. It’s crazy what a reader will notice, and it’s just like…oh….yeah….that needs fixing. It’s definitely a better story because of her suggestions. And then, of course, I published earlier this month.

Ok. I do not want to go through that process again. It ain’t a good one. So when I started writing the first draft for WTHK (and I really did try doing better this time- I had an outline…kind of…), I realized I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. Like, I could’ve been prepared a whole lot better if I’d taken more time with the outline.

So, I kind of stopped. And earlier this week, I got Outlining your Novel by K.M. Weiland. And I am LOVING it! I’m only on like, chapter 4, but gosh is it good! Guys, if you need outlining help, get this book!!! I seriously love it. And it’s also helped me see the importance of an outline. It’s important.

So, I’m gonna take my time with this one, and do it right this time around. I have learned a lot in the last two years, and I plan on putting it into practice. My goal is for this book to blow the other one out of the water, lol! (And it probably will- if I really work hard to practice and work on some things [like description to be specific…], I’m certain it’ll be a whole lot better.) And that’s really my plan for every book I write. I want to see my progress.

Not sure how long outlining will take, given I’ve never really done it before. But I’m gonna work at it until it’s done. Then I’ll kind of get a plan worked out doing my first draft and beyond.

So what do y’all do when writing a book? Do you have a process you’re comfortable with? And help me out- what is your next step after the first draft? I have no clue what mine is… Happy writing, guys!

writing

Sweet Sixteen

So two big things kind of happened this week…

First off, I turned 16!!!!

Oh my word, it’s insane. Like, how am I not still 12? How? I don’t even know. Time just flies by so fast, and that just kind of really hit me when I was 11. So like, every year, I hate the thought of being a year older (and for some reason, I just really like 12 and 16? Yeah, I don’t know.) But I was actually kind of excited to turn 16. I mean, you know, sweet sixteen and all that. Haha, I’ll still probably end up saying 15 when someone asks my age. It just doesn’t even seem real!

So, my birthday was on a Tuesday. We have Terrific Tuesdays during the summer for the kids at my church, so here’s what happened. Monday night, we stayed in a hotel. Then, the next morning, we got up and drove back to the church to meet up with the kids and other leaders. We went to AT&T stadium for a tour- my twin brother was like, really excited about that (yes, I have a twin). And ok, we had to keep an eye on the kids in our groups, but I got to spend the day with my two best friends. So that’s fun!

Later, the Terrific Tuesday group headed back to the church and we stayed around and went to Six Flags!! I’ve finally ridden all the big rides there (I hadn’t gotten to ride the Joker before, so.) Then we went to eat afterwards.

Ok. So, we went to Six Flags with some close friends… Um…when we’re all together, things get a little…fun.

So our hotel was really close to where we ate? And all of us kids headed back over with my dad at like…I don’t know, somewhere 12 AM? We sat. In the lobby. For hours. Gosh, I was so tired, and we were all kind of hyper. And I randomly decided to go do a live Instagram video on my personal account for the first time? So me and my friend got a big kick out of ourselves on there…

Then, somewhere around 2, she and I walked back to where we ate and our moms were still there. Oh my word! So we all headed back over to the hotel, and sat in the lobby for another hour… And we ate some cookie cake that we really didn’t need… I finally went to bed at like, 3…

So yeah, that’s how my birthday went. It was pretty fun!

And guys…like, I’m sixteen now. Like, I’ll hopefully be driving (which really freaks me out) soon, and getting a job! It’s crazy!

Then, secondly… I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK!

Oh. My. Word. Guys, I was so so excited! Like, I didn’t think I was gonna meet my goal of publishing on July 15, but I actually published on the 16th! Two days before my birthday! Guys, it’s just…it’s so cool. Like, how this even real, right? It’s insane! I’ve been waiting for this for years!

I could literally go on about excited I am all day. Haha, I won’t do that to you, though 😉

BUT! Totally go check it out! You can find the link on my page The Homeschool Kids.

So, next….

I’ll be working on the first draft of my next book in the series, Will: The Homeschool Kids (it’s also on that page^^^). Annnnnd… I’ve also got another idea I’m thinking about. A dystopian kind of thing. Thinking about putting a page up for it. Because here’s the things. A lot of my inspiration is just writing what I want to read. That’s how I came up with this idea. So, I know I’d read it. But I wanna know what y’all think of it, too.

So, this post was kind of just me getting excited…it wasn’t really organized I guess? Haha, forgive me, I wish I wrote perfect, beautiful blog posts! Buuuuut….yeah, no. I feel like I just kind of ramble in my posts a lot. I need to get a for real game plan. I just like blogging, lol!

How old are you, and what’s your WIP? Happy writing, guys!

Book Review

Interview with Millie from “The Coronation.”

I am super excited about Livy’s newest novel, “The Coronation,” which was just released last week! I had the privilege of reading it ahead for the blog tour. Thank you so much for letting me be apart of it, Livy!

Ah, it was so amazing! I must’ve cried through half of it. I hadn’t read anything quite like it before (castles, royalty- which I love, but oddly enough haven’t read much of)! I loved the journey of each character in the royal family- and beyond- as they prepared for Addison’s coronation. They each had a story all their own, but they were connected! It was such an exciting read!! 

Prince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities. Addison’s sisters, Princesses Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, have their struggles with being iconic European starlets of a modern day monarchy. The teen heiresses grace magazine covers, smile for photoshoots, and gracefully glide through important interviews–until a certain American popstar arrives on the scene. 


Kennetic Energy, the wildly popular band from the United States, is chosen to play at Addison’s Coronation. David Carter, the band’s handsome lead singer, fumbles through awkward moments with Princess Hope–in front of the cameras. When an embarrassing rumor sparks that Princess Hope is dating the young fellow, she is determined to get the band fired from their Royal gig. 


Meanwhile, Princess Chasity is dealing with her own fragile affairs of the heart. Her new security guard, Hanson Fletcher, is completely captivating, yet entirely frustrating. She attempts to keep the entrance of her heart firmly protected, while following the wisdom of Proverbs 4:23. But can she be successful in guarding her heart, from her security guard?


The Coronation is Book #1 in The Tales of Tarsurella Trilogy.

Definitely worth a read. Y’all totally need purchase it if you haven’t already! Link below:


I’ll be interviewing Princess Millie (aka. THE most adorable member of the royal family), the seventh royal child, in today’s post. 

Riley: So good to have you, Millie! To start off, what is your favorite thing about being a princess?

Millie: Mmm…my Tower bedroom! Daddy said that brave knights used to keep watch from the very spot where I sleep! I love thinking about knights marching around and keeping the castle safe from any bad guys! Plus, my bedroom has the best view of all the stars at night-time when I look out of my telescope.

Riley: That’s sounds awesome! I totally need a bedroom like that. What is your favorite thing to pretend to be in your free time?

Millie: Amelia Earhart, the first woman pilot! or Ellie, from the movie UP! Adventure is out there! I also like being a spy, and a dragon tamer, and a dolphin whisperer…I’m someone new everyday!

Riley: What all do you have to learn in Princess Lessons? What’s your least favorite?

Millie: Ugh, Princess Lessons are the most boring thing ever invented. In Princess Lessons with Mrs. Gram, we have to learn how to walk, curtsy, dance, and serve tea. I don’t know why it’s so important for Princesses to know how to drink tea, but I think it’s stupid. If I were in charge of Princess Lessons, we would do cool stuff! Like going down water slides, and building a pirate ship, and flying to Africa to tame giraffes, you know, important things.

Riley: Agreed! I would definitely prefer your Princess Lessons. So, what is your very favorite dessert?

Millie: I have a lot of favorites! I like to switch up what I’m eating for dessert just as much as I change who I’m pretending to be. But, today, my favorite is Clark’s Triple Chocolate Kit-Kat Ice Cream Cake!

Riley: That sounds delicious! So, Clark, the head cook, is your favorite person in the palace. Do you have a second?

Millie: Hmm, I think my brother Willie. He is great for playing because he listens to all my ideas and always wants to have fun. When all the rest of my siblings are busy, I know that Willie will always come and save the world with me! And I love Pork Chops (my stuffed pig), but he’s already my best friend, so that really doesn’t count.

Riley: How do you feel about the ball? Excited, or nah?

Millie: I’m happy that Addison can become King, but I’m not so happy about all the dance practice and Princess Lessons we have to do before the ball. Oh! But I am excited about the cake Clark is baking! I’ve seen a few practice cakes so far, and they look JUST like the palace! It’s seriously the biggest cake I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to taste it! Addison is the only person in our family who will have a Coronation Ball. Since I am a girl, when I grow up, I wont become queen or anything, so I won’t get a ball. But that’s ok because I’ll just throw a super fun party anyway. A party where we ride elephants and have a massive paint gun war! Now THAT would be a fun ball!

Riley: Wow! That would totally be some ball! Now, for a more serious question. Who is the bravest person you know?

Millie: Both my Dad and Addison are super brave! They fight bad guys everyday at work and keep both the Palace and our entire country safe. They are heroes.

Riley: They definitely have a job that requires bravery! I bet they do it very well, too. Now, Millie, while some of your older sisters might wish to eventually pursue relationships, you love being a child and playing pretend. But do you have any plans or hopes for later years?

Millie: Of course! I have so many plans for the future; I just hope I live long enough to do them all! Jillian said that old people make bucket lists, so I will probably make one of those. And on my list, it’ll have EVERYTHING. I’ll go to every country, meet every kind of animal, and meet a ton of friends. I’ll learn how to fly an airplane, sail an ocean, and even go to outer-space a few times! I’ll travel a lot, but I’ll come home often to visit because I love my family a whole, whole lot.

Riley: Wow! You have quite the bucketlist there, Millie! I totally hope you’re able to do all of those amazing things! Thanks so much for chatting, Millie!



Follow the adventures of Millie, as well as the rest of the royal family, in The Coronation, Livy’s newest novel, which is available on Amazon! *uses Jedi mind trick* You will go buy The Coronation.

Also, follow Livy on social media to keep up with the upcoming blog tour days: 

Instagram: @livylynnglittergirl and @crownofbeauty media 

Blog: Livylynnblog.com

Website: Crown of Beauty Magazine

writing

A New Chapter {or Draft}

So…I have officially started working on the first draft of my second book.

Will: The Homeschool Kids.

I have not yet completed Daisy: The Homeschool Kids, but it is being edited (getting really close!), so I decided to begin my next WIP.

I’m really excited to be starting this for several reasons:

  • Working on the same story for two and a half years is tiring. I mean, being a writer, your mind is always getting bombarded with new ideas! But I’ve had this idea in my head for almost the same amount of time. I’ve been dying to start it!
  • I’ve learned so much about writing since I started my first novel. Something about having a clean slate and a mind full of newfound skills… I mean, sure. It’s not like I didn’t do ok on the first one. I really did my best! And the feedback is helping. But I’ve not started a new project since I started writing. So I’ll definitely be putting what I’ve learned into practice.
  • I really like Will. He’s probably my favorite character that I’ve made. (Creating characters is seriously- to me anyway- the most fun part of writing! And I love Will!) So, I’m super excited to learn more about him, and his personality as I write this draft.
  • I get a chance to have a better process and schedule. If I may say so, I did not do so well the first time around. I mean, sure, I’m editing and close to publishing. But it was a long, drawn out couple of years. I wouldn’t even pick up my WIP for months at a time! I didn’t have a clear vision of how I wanted things to go. I didn’t even know any other writers who could help me along to way! But now, I’ll be able to have set times to complete drafts, hopefully have people to look at it and give feedback earlier on, and also, I’ll know how to publish. I’ll have done it all before. And I can treat it more like a job, with a schedule and set deadlines.

It was always hard to just wait to start it. Because I was afraid, if I did, I’d get sick of working with it, just like with my first novel (luckily, I’ve come out of that phase)!

Now though, being so close to publishing, and waiting for the rest of my novel’s feedback, I feel like it’s a good time to start. I’ve been planning for a while, and I now have an outline (which may or may not help, we’ll see). So! I am super excited to get started!

About Daisy: The Homeschool Kids… My goal is being pushed back further than I’d hoped. I’d been busy with VBS, getting ready for church camp, and I kind of got my book sent out later than planned (my bad- I hadn’t finished it yet). But! I am still editing, awaiting feedback, and hoping to publish sometime before the summer is over. Hopefully I’ll have an update on that soon!

A shorter post today, but I just wanted to share a little update!

How is your WIP coming? What stage are you in? Planning, drafting, revising, editing? Publishing??

writing

Camp Nano – July

I have decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this July!!!

This will be my very first time- I’m super excited, and while I won’t be doing much this first week due to church camp, I can’t wait to get started! 

My project will be the first draft of the second book in my series- Will: The Homeschool Kids.

I can’t wait to start! July seems like a really perfect and ideal time to get going on a new project, and I’ve been wanting to start this for a while. Super excited! 

My outline is kinda rough, but I’m off to a better start than I was last time. And I have to keep telling myself that I can always write another draft and fix up the plot- that’s what drafts are for. To change things up. And I didn’t do things in such a good order last time, so I didn’t really look at my plot and do a good revision. Hoping to have a better plan, schedule, and more patience this time around. 

Anyway. It’s gonna be good to at least start on it. Meanwhile, I’ll be editing Daisy: The Homeschool Kids with the feedback I’ve received.

Is anyone else participating in Camp this July?? How many times have you done it? What’s your project?

Uncategorized

Second Quarter Highlights

Well, looks like we are officially halfway through the year! That’s absolutely insane!! It’s really been a great year, though. And several 2017 Bucket list items have been checked off. It is kind of sad how fast it’s all gone by, though.

So. Here are some highlights from the last three months:

April:

  • To kick off the month, April 1st, we went to a friend’s wedding. It was fun because we hadn’t seen that family in a while. And it was a funny wedding too since it was on April Fool’s Day!
  • We started watching ‘When Calls the Heart.’ (April 2nd)
  • I played piano in my youth group for the first time!!! (April 5th)
  • Easter party in our community! I did face painting for it. And after doing it for about three different events before then, I finally felt somewhat used to and comfortable with it. (April 15th)
  • Easter!!! (April 16th)
  • CHRIS TOMLIN CONCERT!!!!! It was so awesome!!!!! (April 21st)
  • *awkwardly smiles* *awkwardly smiles again* *finally talks* Inside joke with me- this needs to be noted.
  • This is not a good one by any means, but. We had a couple tornados hit. It was scary. Especially since I knew some of the people who saw it / were affected by it.
  • Ranger game & Lecrae concert. Pretty kewl -My Youth Pastor (April 30th)

May:

  • Two of my little sisters’ birthdays, plus a party. (May 2nd, 7th, 16th)
  • I have two nicknames. 😛
  • We finally got to see ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’! It was so so good!!
  • HERE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE HIGHTLIGHTS!!! LIKE, I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE ABLE TO MARK THIS ONE OFF!!!!!! I WENT TO A CASTING CROWNS CONCERT!!! I LOVVVVVVVE CASTING CROWNS!!! And we started sponsoring a kid, and I got a super awesome long-sleeved mint green shirt that says “The Very Next Thing Casting Crowns.” And yes, I will wear it even when it’s the middle of the summer. Oh, and I suppose I should add that Danny Gokey and Unspoken were also there. THEY WERE AWESOME!!!!! (May 5)
  • Homeschool Day at Six Flags! BOMB! #PerksofbeingHomeschooled (May 11th)
  • THIS WILL FOREVER BE REMEMBERED AS THE DAY, THAT I WAS ALMOST BURNT, BY CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW!! Long story, for another time.  (May 16th)
  • The Erwin’s came and sang at my church! Also, we went to see ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’! Loved it! Jack is funny as always! (May 28th)

June:

  • The same family whose wedding we went to? Well, this time, we went to a graduation. Again, it was really awesome getting to see them. (June 1st)
  • I went to a volleyball and a basketball get together for high school homeschooled girls. I have to say I liked the basketball one better. One, because I played basketball for like, five years before I moved. And also, the girls just seemed easier to talk to! Now, I may not actually get to play basketball (that would be totally awesome though, because I’ve missed it!), but it was fun to meet some girls and play one of my favorite sports.
  • VBS!!!!!!! It was sooooooooo much fun! I taught kindergarten with my friend, Haven, and it was just like, the most awesome thing ever! Like, I’ve never done anything like that before! We also did a skit thing every day. I was reallllly stressed out about the fourth day because I was sure I was gonna laugh (I am not good at acting!). But I managed (thank you, Lord!) It was crazy! But I had so much fun getting to know those kids, and teaching them about the God who created the universe!
  • I got feedback on all of my book! This was totally awesome!! Having people read my novel has really helped me feel more confident about it. I’m super excited to be at this point, and I cannot wait to publish.

Coming up:

  • Literally this coming week is youth camp! I am so excited, but it’s crazy to have just finished VBS, and now have to pack for next week! Hopefully I can get it all together. Please pray for me and my youth group this coming week!
  • I’m a part of Livy Jarmusch’s blog tour for her upcoming novel “The Coronation”! It is soooo good! You guys totally need to read it! I’ll be doing an interview with one of the characters on July 12th. So watch for that!
  • July 18th is my 16th birthday! It’s weird, I’m more excited this year than I normally am. Still a little sad thought, that yet another year has passed. Sixteen, though!!!

Goals:

  • Use the feedback I’ve gotten to finish editing my book.
  • Have a good week at camp!
  • Do something fun for my birthday.
  • Go see the Marvel Spiderman movie (It’s still up in the air- don’t know if it’s clean).
  • Learn to (and own, because how else will I learn) play the cello.
  • Read more! I need to get a TBR list down. I’ve been so busy writing, and that’s only one of the many things I’ve had on my plate.
  • Write “Will: The Homeschool Kids” first draft. So excited about this one! (And I’m hoping to do it for Camp Nano, which I’ve never participated in before!!)

How has your first half of the year been? What did you do? Anything fun coming up? Any goals? Ok, and who else is doing Camp NaNo this coming month?? It’s my first time. I hope y’all have a great day!

 

writing

Writing Update 2

Hey guys! How are y’all doing?

I am excitedly busy (can I say that like that? I don’t know. I’m just gonna go with it 🙂 )! The rest of this month and the next are going to be craaaaazy! I’ve got a lot going on, and I hadn’t really thought about how much it was until it just kind of hit me like: Whoa. That’s a lot to do.

First things first. My writing is going really well. I have finished editing chapters one through six of my eleven. Seven and eight (soon enough, hopefully, nine) are in the works as I wait for feedback on chapters five and six- my most recently finished chapters.

Getting feedback has been really great for a couple of reasons.

  1. There are just some things that I, having read it a million times and being the author of it, wouldn’t notice. Readers know what they like to see in characters. Because I know the characters really well in my head, it’s easy to forget to get it down on paper. Anyone know what I mean? It’s like, “Oh, that’s who this character is,” or “This character would do this.” And then I don’t put it down because I just know it in my mind. Tell me I’m not the only one. It’s really hard sometimes. So getting feedback on points where I could build the character better, or just add in some more detail is extremely helpful.
  2. It’s helped me realize that there will be people who will read it and enjoy it. There are people it will mean something to. There is nothing better than hearing that someone likes your story, your plot, or your character. Or they relate to something that the character is going through. It is just one of the most exciting things, and I am new to the whole feedback thing! (This is like the first real ‘have a person read through it’ thing for me!) Ahhh, it’s just so awesome!
  3. It gets me more excited about my story. Gives me a new perspective. I have majorly struggled with just hating my story. It really is hard, because you think like, what if other people hate it too? What if they just have the worst things to say after they read it? What if they don’t read it? What if it means nothing to them? But hearing someone else’s feedback- especially a fellow writer who knows what it’s like to be in your shoes- really helps. It gives a new perspective on your story, really. Getting feedback is seriously awesome! It really does get me excited and motivates me even more to finish.

So anyway, I’ve gotten some feedback on my first four chapters, and five and six are out. I currently focusing on seven and eight. Ten and eleven are done. I just have to fill in the gap.

I’m realizing how lofty the goal I have set is. Now, it wasn’t necessarily so bad when I set it. And if I had the time, it might not feel so crazy a goal. But Life Happens…

I am excited about the things I have coming up. But I certainly have a lot. Things to finish, to prepare for, days I’ll be gone and unable to get any writing done- because even when I do get feedback on all my work, there’s still the final edit!

So, here are some road bumps.

  • Finishing school. Just this week alone is going to be crazy, and I was planning to be almost done by the end of the week. But a lot of it will likely be pushed off to next week. This would be my not so exciting road bump.
  • I’ve got a skit to learn. This is for VBS. Super excited about it. The thing is, normally, memorizing stuff isn’t too hard a task for me. I used to do plays a lot at my old church. But with everything else going on, I have to put some extra effort into it.
  • I am co-teaching a class for VBS. Ok, this is like, really exciting, because I’m a sophomore, I’ve never done something like this before, and I’m doing it with my best friend (also doing the skit with her)! Again, though. Gonna require some time.
  • I’m a part of another blog tour. YES!!!! I love these so much. Seriously, I seem to have jumped onto the blogging train (and Instagram) at the perfect time! And not only because of this, of course. I’ve met so many amazing people. Like, who knew there were other Christian, teenage, (some homeschooled, even) writers! It’s been so awesome! But anyway, I’ve got some reading to do for this one.
  • My church camp is the week before I plan to publish. (Well, on and a half to two, but not much difference.) Yikes. And ok, clearly I set my goal knowing this. The reason for the goal I set is this: I want to have my book published before I turn 16.

I don’t say any of this to complain. All except for finishing school, I’m completely excited to have these opportunities. I’m simply saying, I’ve got a lot on my plate, and I hadn’t thought about it a whole bunch until, well, I thought about it.

I don’t know if I’ll finish when I plan to. Maybe I won’t have a whole lot I need to change, we’ll see. But I don’t know.

I am very excited though. Even if I don’t finish before I turn 16, I’m getting there. A lot of what I’ve just mentioned is big, and exciting, and I look forward to all of it. Getting behind is ok. Most often, my goals are not met. But it’s good to have them because they push me to finish.

And goals are not the only thing. I have been so blessed and encouraged by the people I’ve met. It’s motivated me to keep at it.

Go follow me on Instagram, if you like (rileyalinewrites)! As I said on there, although I’ve decided to take a break from blogging for a while (until the waters kind of still again), I’m active on there. I’ll fill y’all in on my writing, and hopefully encourage you guys in your writing as well. (I’m also on Pinterest if you want to follow me there 🙂 )

Hopefully once everything has kind of settled down again, I’ll have a lot to talk about! I’ll have my second quarter blog post, a writing update, and hopefully soon to follow, a post about my *published* book!

I’ve got a lot going on, but I’m trusting God to help me through all of it.

-Riley

If you’ve got any questions, prayer requests, or just want to talk about writing, feel free to leave a comment! I respond to all comments (unless for some reason you’ve got something ugly to say…but that’s never been the case!) If you’re published, leave me a link to your book, or if not, let me know about your WIP. Bloggers, leave a link as well! I hope you all have a blessed week!

writing

When Life Happens…

Hey guys! Hope you’re doing well { and being p r o d u c t i v e }

I recently set a goal: Finish editing my book by the end of May.

That seemed easy enough. I was really excited, really motivated, and getting realllllllyyyy close.

Well, guess what? #LifeHappens! 

I have been busy, busy, busy! We’ve had a birthday to plan, a funeral to go to, a concert, and so many other things ( all on top of school, which has gotten crazy as well ). Plus, I’ve been behind on blog posts, so that’s kind of stressed me out as well.

I have had next to no time for writing, and when I do have time, I’m so stressed out by everything else, or I’m just not focused or motivated at the end of the day to get anything done. 

So…what do you do when #LifeHappens?

  • Do NOT get stressed out. 

Don’t. Seriously, it doesn’t help anything. At all. I know it’s hard not to get stressed. Believe me, because my plan is to publish my book in two months, and if I don’t get some writing done, it’s not happening. I’m telling myself this just as much as I’m telling you guys. 

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Honestly, being a Christian author is the best. Because like… God had a plan for me. He wanted me to write. So if I’m supposed to write- if that’s one of the ways I’m supposed to glorify Him- then He’s going to help me reach that goal. He’s going to guide me through the journey. I just have to pray for that peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of my stress.

  • Remember: writing is fun, so enjoy it. It’s ok to get behind.

What I mean by that is, if you truly love writing, just write. Just enjoy the journey. If you’re not writing because you like to write, you may have a problem.

Deadlines and not reaching my goals does get stressful. But writing doesn’t- I love writing. And I just have to tell myself that, if I get behind a little, it’s ok. If i don’t meet exact deadlines, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like if I don’t meet the deadline, my chance is over! No!! I just didn’t get it done in the timing I’d hoped for. And you know what? That happens. #LifeHappens, remember? And that’s completely ok! If you miss a deadline, do not give up. Just keep writing. You’re gonna get there, just like I will, even if it’s not the exact time planned.

  • Get back up. Don’t give up.

This is harrrrrd. It’s easy to get discouraged, tired, and just not feel like writing at the end of the day. This happens to me All. The. Time. Literally. Just a couple nights ago, we got home after a long day. I was sitting on my bed, scrolling, lettering…anything but getting out that laptop and opening up that Word document. 

I glared at it. “I don’t like you,” I whispered snarkily as I snatched it up. (No, not really, but…basically!)

I opened my laptop. I opened my word document. And…I stared at the screen. “I hate this story. I hate this. I’m so behind. I’ll never get done by the end of May. No way am I publishing it by July.” 

I typed a little. Went for the easier parts of the chapter. Read over parts I’d written…ughhhh. Typed a little more. 

And I shut it. Because GOSH, it gets hard. 

But if I do that every time I sit down to write, guess where I’m gonna get? No where. Certainly no where fast. Guys, don’t give up. Keep at it. And you know what else? Don’t hate your story. Just. Just don’t. It really doesn’t help. 

Seriously, though. Keep working! Don’t worry about the deadlines you missed! Don’t worry about when you’re going to finish! Just do it! In fact, it’s a lot easier to just sit down and work through as much as you can, because with a deadline? I tend to put it off until the last minute. Then I only get as much done as I have to. If I worked without deadlines, honestly, I’d probably get done a lot more than I had to. (Haha, I’ll definitely have a different plan with the next book!) 

So yeah. That was just as much for me as y’all because this is literally where I am right now. 

– Riley

Where are you in your writing? What’s the hardest thing for you?