Category: Life (page 2 of 2)

10 Amazing Things About Camp

I mentioned two weeks ago that I went to a camp and it was amazing. Anyway I thought I’d tell you just why it was amazing and what exactly I got out of it.

  1. I got to spend time with great people
  2. I don’t really get out a lot, so seeing people is always good. And these weren’t just any people, they were fun, encouraging people. About half were people I’d met before, but not seen for a long time. And despite it being a small camp we had people from all over the world.

  3. I got to observe people interacting
  4. This one’s a writer thing. Watching real people inspires characters sometimes. I’m not necessarily directly basing any characters off real people, but I pick up little things that I use. And I get to observe more than I would with random strangers, but the people are still new to me so I notice things.

  5. My room-mate was a writer
  6. Of all the people I could have been put with I was with the lovely Jess of Jessie Grace blogs. I think God’s hand was in it because I do have a bad tendency to judge by appearances and I might not have really talked to her if this hadn’t happened. Since I have been wondering a little if I am even supposed to be a writer this encouraged me a lot. What other reason would God have for sticking me with a fellow writer?

  7. The teaching was amazing
  8. We had a whole lot of good solid Bible teaching. Sometime I get caught up in studying complex controversial things. This wasn’t that. It was about how we live in Christ, and came straight from 2 Timothy. We were encouraged to get up early and read our bibles and given tips on how to make it more worthwhile. I felt as if I got my focus and enthusiasm back.

  9. I was inspired to be adventurous and trust God
  10. Though it wasn’t actually the main focus of the camp the thing that hit me hardest was the fact that we need to and can fully trust God in anything. There was a hypothetical question that we had as an icebreaker: If you had unlimited money, where would you go and what would you do? One person gave the answer that God doesn’t have limits and if he wants us to do something he will supply the means. That along with other things about trusting God had made me want to do more than just sitting at home writing. But it has also made me realize that I don’t need to worry about doing enough. I do intend to do some new things, which will in turn give me more life experience to draw on in my writing.

  11. The weather and scenery were amazing
  12. It’s the beginning of winter in Australia, but it wasn’t quite too cold. Also though it almost rained one day it never quite did. And just look at the view we had: beautiful mountains and a bright blue sky.

  13. There was some dancing
  14. I had wanted to write a scene with dancing in Girl of the rumours, but despite watching many videos of renaissance dances I really didn’t feel up to the task. Then we had some dancing at camp and I got it written. Besides it was fun despite the fact I mostly watched.

  15. There were enough people to play games requiring large groups
  16. We played a bunch of different games, mostly indoors, but we also had a soccer game. I’m not a huge sport person, but I do enjoy joining in a game of soccer. (despite the fact I’m not very good and stay in deep defence) I hadn’t gotten to play any since this same camp the year before. And this time I was on the winning side. Also I won a game of Cluedo.

  17. I came home with more energy than I went
  18. I had fully expected to be exhausted after camp since that’s what happened last year. But I wasn’t. I felt invigorated. Maybe I didn’t stay up so late as last time or maybe I’m in better health. Or perhaps ‘the joy of the Lord was my strength’. Anyway I wasn’t tired out and that’s a good thing.

  19. I finally shared Samara’s Peril with my brother
  20. I made him wait and actually managed to keep from spoiling it for him. But I decided the wait had been long enough. While I drove he borrowed my phone and read. When my other brother drove, I read aloud. Sharing books is fun.

Speaking of camps, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo again. This time with a goal of 25,000, my biggest yet. But I realized recently that writing really shouldn’t take up that much time. I can sometimes write 300 words in 15 minutes. That mean my total writing time per day only needs to be an hour for my goal.

Who else is doing Camp NaNo? Does anyone need a cabin to join? If so tell me and I’ll get you an invite.

Liebster Award

I got nominated for the Liebster award by my friend Annie Twitchell. Go check out her blog at:

Here are the rules:
– Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
– Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award. To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.
– Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
– Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.- Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

My Nominees:
Kendra E. Ardnek
Amanda Beguerie
Alea Harper
Sierra Joane
Hannah Heath
Daniel Thompson
Morgan Huneke

My Eleven Questions from Annie:

#1 – What’s the ‘outdated’ phrase that you use the most?

I really have no idea. I can’t think of any phrases that I particularly favour.

#2 – What was the name of your first character you created?

There was a princess named Grace, but she wasn’t really a character. It was really about three princes who never had names since I didn’t write more than a sentence or two on that story. Other than that I really don’t know.

#3 – About how many books do you read a week?

About one or two. Plus books like A History of Venice that I try to read every week and take forever.

#4 – If you were a dragon rider, what colour would your dragon be?

I am actually a dragon rider, at least in this forum. My dragon is blue and cream.

#5 – You’re in a fight. What’s your weapon of choice?

Staff, it’s less likely to injure people permanently.

#6 – How many times a week do you use sticky notes?

Less that once.

#7 – When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone?

Probably in 2014, maybe longer.

#8 – How many story ideas have you come up with in the two and a half minutes before falling asleep?

Not very many, unless ways to improve my current story count. Then it’s a larger unspecified number.

#9 – Text or phone call?

If an email counts as text, then certainly that. Otherwise it would have to be phone call and very rarely. I do not use a phone for communication.

#10 – Do your characters have conversations with you?

Not really.

#11 – Stars or hearts?


Eleven Random Facts About Me:

#1 I am a bit of a heath fanatic sometimes. I don’t take it too seriously though and I’m sceptical of most of the ideas out there.

#2 – Almost everyone I know in person calls me by my full name.

#3 – I haven’t read any of the books that live on my shelf this year and I might not.

#4 – I do not own physical copies any of my most favourite books.

#5 – I hate wearing pants.

#6 – I love sewing.

#7 – I once owned a pair of hand-sewn pant and loved them. That was then, though.

#8 – The only tea I like is ginger. However tea and I have had a very limited acquaintance.

#9 – I live in the country and love it, but I’m not a farm girl.

#10 – I bought a pair of hiking shoes. They’re brown with pale pink, but cost half the price of a pair that didn’t quite fit which were cheaper in turn than a pair that did fit.

#11 – I don’t have any sisters. (So why do I keep trying to write about characters who do?)

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:

#1 – What is your favourite book of the Bible?
#2 – Do you like maths?
#3 – What is your favourite thing to do outside?
#4 – What is your dream house?
#5 – Who do you look up to most?
#6 – What is your favourite word?
#7 – What are your five most prized possessions?
#8 – Is there a question you really wish someone would ask you?
#9 – What would you do if you had one month to live?
#10 – If you could live under water, would you?
#11 – Light or dark blue?

And that’s that. Any blogger reading this may consider them-self nominated too. I’m sorry for missing you.

I hope everyone found that interesting and I may have another post on Friday.

Beautiful People: Arthen and Leisa, and sailing

It’s this time of the month again. The time when I tell you about my characters. Or rather the Beautiful People linkup. Because it’s February It’s romance themed.

The two characters I’m doing are are Leisa Rosir, and Arthen Stute. Both of them are secondary characters and their relationship isn’t a very important part of the story but it is there nonetheless. I was going to let them speak for themselves, but they are both rather quiet people and would just freeze up and not say anything in front of each other.

How did they first meet?

They knew each other as children, but they met again more recently when her father, Captain Rosir sent him with a letter for her mother. And also to stick around and be helpful in his spare time.

 What were their first impressions of each other? 

Arthen was surprised by how much Leisa had grown up since he’d last seen her. Also he noticed that she was much more dignified and restrained than her sister. She saw why her father had praised him for his steadiness, and that there was strength under his quietness.

How long have they been a couple? 

Well technically they’re not quite a couple, but they’ve been spending time together for a few months.

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? 

They’re pretty committed. Her father is behind their relationship, so that’s a good sticking force. Besides, they do like each other. I think they’d get through secrets and disagreements and they’re pretty stressed at the moment. It’s bringing them together not pushing them apart. Arthen would die for Leisa and though Leisa doesn’t seem very brave, she surprises even me sometimes. So I think she would.

 List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

This is a tricky one, but he knows she likes inventing new twists on dishes and hates wasting anything. She thinks his habit of sprinkling cinnamon into his drinks is really odd. (Yes, I did just make that all up on the spot.)

Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?  

Not really. Leisa’s mother is a little uncomfortable with any young man hanging around her daughters, but she doesn’t have anything against him. Aydel(her sister) doesn’t completely like him and think he’s making Leisa insufferably good at first, but she isn’t around for long and later she is quite happy about it.

What would be an ideal date? 

If things are ever peaceful again, they would love to just do some simple things together, go for a walk in a safe part of the forest, walk through a village and talk to the children. Those kinds of things.

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

Arthen is stronger and wiser then Leisa and she looks up to him. Her desire to learn fits well with his knowledge. On the other hand He is a bit of a wanderer, while she is very domestic. When he goes off into danger, she worries. Or she would worry if she knew what he was doing.

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

The best times would be when he was repairing the roof and answering her questions about God’s word. And later praying together. The worst would be when there was a conflict between his duties and her needs. Details would spoil the story.

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

Possibly married with children. Neither of them is quite sure how they think of the the other though, not yet at least. What they really need is a bit of danger to make them realize it though. Or time of course, but that’s not likely to happen.

I wanted to find a picture for each of them, but after much searching I still failed to find anyone who looks like Arthen, so I’ll just give descriptions instead.

Arthen, or Stute as I often call him, has mid-brown skin and dark hair and eyes. He has a small neatly trimmed beard, smiles when he is relaxed.He is of ordinary height, whatever that is and almost always where a broad-brimmed hat and dark green and brown clothes.

Leisa is fair and blond and often wear blue along with natural linen coloured clothing. He eyes are a fairly nondescript grey. She is not particularly tall.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about them. How do you manage romance in your writing? Front and centre? Hidden away in the back? Hate it entirely?

P.S. This post is late because I went sailing this morning. And because I didn’t write it ahead of time. Anyway, as I was saying, I got  to sail a boat, a catamaran to be exact. After drifting around in the bay for an hour and getting nervously close to some moored boats, Dad (who was in a different cat) came back and told us we needed to pull the sheet(sail) in close. After that we actually started getting somewhere on the odd moment when there was a breeze. Remember that, if you ever are sailing into the wind, pull the sheet in.

Beautiful People – Writers edition

Well, after being away for over a week and basically spending the beginning of the year strangely, I feel a bit disoriented. Because conferences with full catering are nothing like normal life. It’s like being in another world that operates under completely different rules. Except that rain still makes you wet and it’s still hard to talk to strangers.

Because of that, I can’t come up with anything wonderful and I’m just going to do the beautiful people linkup. I have already answered some of these questions partially, so I hope you won’t mind me repeating myself.

What were your writing achievements last year?
I actually started writing.  I proved to myself that I can meet goals sometimes.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
Finishing my first book, which is going to involve a lot of work.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
Dialogue. I have a tendency to let my character ramble all over the subject. I need to work on being more concise.
Scene structure. I really don’t know much about that at all.
Simplicity. My ideas always seem to become huge and complicated in order to support a whole plot. Writing faster. Everything is going really slowly at the moment. If I want to get three books drafted this years I need to speed up.
Being more organized with my writing time.

Are you participating in any writing challenges?
I intend to do both Camp Nanowrimos and maybe even full NaNoWriMo.

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I do have a writing partner. I haven’t actually sent her anything though. Soon I hope to be at a stage where I will want to do that.

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year?
Yes. I have a stack of four on the floor near me and I actually am going to buy a couple.
Or are there specific books you want to read for research? 
The History of Venice is partly story research and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more things.

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this? 
The unnamed protagonist of my second story. I know next to nothing about her. I’ll have to start by fleshing the story idea out a bit more and figuring out what I need her to be like. Then I’ll have to be creative.

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack? 
I will be either editing or completely rewriting. I’ll do the first edit when I type my hand written draft into the computer.

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 books that actually teach you the truth about reality. Subtly and in fun ways of course.

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

One book ready for beta readers and a couple more roughly drafted.

What do you all think I should try to write this year? Even give me your crazy ideas.

It’s the end of the year.

My last post of the year. This year has been exciting. I started writing. I started a blog. I made friends with a bunch of really wonderful authors online. Thank you Hope Schmidt, Faith Blum, Kendra E. Ardnek, Rachel Steele, Shantelle Mary Hannu and others. I really appreciate your friendship and encouragement.

I went to my first youth camp and made a bunch of great acquaintances there. Our family started fellowship with a new church. That has been a great experience. We had to look deep into what we actually believe, which has made my faith grow.

And I was given lots of great Christmas presents. I got money to buy writing books, I’ve just got to decide which ones. Recommendations are welcome. Also I got new sandals, camping crockery, a file box, a pair of Dutch clog slippers, some brightly coloured socks, though they were actually a birthday present, and a nice little head lamp, in our gift swap. I took it from one of my cousins, but he got something just as good, so I didn’t spoil anything. It’s all part of the fun anyway. And I got two lovely new purple plastic cups. My previous one was over 10 year old and I was used to it but it’s nice to have a new one.

Writing goals for next year:

  • Finish the first draft of The Weaver and the Brigand.
  • Work on revising/rewriting it. That’s going to be a really big job.
  • World-building for my second story.(and many more) It’ll be fun.
  • Outline second story
  • Writing second story, hopefully in time to:
  • Outline sequel to Weaver and Brigand before November.
  • Write that for NaNoWriMo
  • Generally improve the quality and speed of my writing
That is probably way too ambitious. I’m stuck at the moment, because my plot seems to be broken.
I am also going to start some kind of serial story. Adel and Leisa used to make up stories together when they were younger and I thought it would be fun to write some of that down. They won’t be terribly original, but I hope you will enjoy it.
Other Goals:
  • Write reviews for the books I read in 2015
  • Finish my projects for LibriVox
  • Find someone local who really needs a friend
  • Be a better friend
  • Find creative business skills
  • Find some way to bless my community or neighbours.
This has been a year of discovering the world of Christian indie authors and free ebooks so I think I’ve read more books than usual this year.

Great books I read in 2015:
  • All the published Ilyon Chronicles, by Jaye L. Knight 
  • All the Makilien books, by Molly Evangeline 
  • All books by Kendra E. Ardnek, especially Water Princess, Fire Prince
  • 4 Hymns of the West books, by Faith Blum
  • Virtues and Valor, by Hallee Bridgeman
  • The Five Unnecessaries, by Laura Campbell
  • The Eyes of Everia series, by Serena Chase
  • Annabeth’s War, by Jessica Greyson
  • A Dream Not Imagined, Shantelle Mary Hannu
  • Brothers and Betrayal, The Destiny of One, and Waltz into the Waves, by Sarah Holman
  • Creighton Hill, by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
  • Dreamlander, K. M. Weiland
  • The Forest at Edge series, by Trish Mercer
  • By Darkness Hid and To Darkness Fled, by Jill Williamson
I’ve also read stacks of books on diet and nutrition, listened to The History of England from the Accession of James II, The History of Holland, Early Kings of Norway, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and many other books. There are some other books I’ve read that aren’t worth mentioning.
Next year I hope to read a whole lot more history, a little bit of fiction, and do a lot more Bible study.
I’ll be away next week so there won’t be any post for you. You all have a great new year and I’ll be back in a bit over a week with exciting stories. I’m going to the Creation Super Camp. 
To end the year, I’ll be finishing a 3000 piece puzzle with my family
(yes they do actually make them that big),  eating brie cheese and watching a new movie. What do you all do to finish off the year? Has anyone got any interesting goals for the coming year?

Living Joyfully

Hello readers,

I decided to do my posts out of order. I had planned to talk about reading, but sometimes, you just want to talk about life. (There I go talking about myself in the second person again)

Even when life is hard, we should still be able to find some joy. Christ has rescued us from death and sin and that ought to be enough. And then there are so many simples joys in life. Things like lovely weather, cooking, or gardening.

A little while ago I harvested the first garlic for the year. I like growing garlic. It’s so simple. Just stick the cloves in the ground and seven or eight months later you pull out whole heads. One on them was a little early and there’s lots more coming. I harvested another head today in fact. I am very glad I planted as much as I did, because we probably aren’t going to get much else this season. We have a problem. Our plants are being eaten.

By mice we thought. Because we knew we had mice. But we weren’t catching any. Even with a get-the-peanut-butter-and-fall-into-a-bucket-of-water trap. something was getting the peanut butter though. And now we know what it is. Rats. So we got the rabbit trap set up and we are waiting for night to come. But at least rats don’t like garlic.

The same day I harvested the garlic I was also making bread, and I took some photos. So here they are. I make bread because then I can know exactly what’s in it. Or not in it. It doesn’t have a lot of things in it. But it’s really good.

Anyway this post doesn’t seem to have a great point to it, but life is like that sometimes. Not everything seems to be hugely important. But we do it anyway and we find joy in it. Not because of what we are doing, but because of who we are, children of the living God. May you find joy in him.

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