Why I’ve Been Gone and Why I’ll Continue to Be

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Hello, all my lovely readers! First of all, this is not a goodbye post. I will come back! Rather, it’s a summary of what I’ve been doing these past few months, an announcement of the continuation of my hiatus from my blog, and the reasoning why.

What have I been doing?

The last time I posted was January 22nd. I’d finished my Snowflake Method outline for Battle Song and had written about 10k in the first draft (though I did mention that I was having difficulties forcing myself to write). And then–poof!–I disappeared.

I wrote fairly consistently in Battle Song through the first week of February, and then I wrote only sporadically through part of March. I probably added 5k-8k more words to what I had before. I just didn’t feel very motivated to continue–especially as I didn’t feel like scenes were turning out the way I wanted them to.

So…I stopped writing.

Then I went on choir tour in March, and I started writing a novella. If you’re interested in the whole story behind it, you can read this next part; if not, just skip ahead.

((Remember the Iris novella that I did two spotlights on? Iris’s daughter, Aleria, came from a novel that a friend and I wrote together. That friend was with me on choir tour…so I decided that I wanted to write her a story about some of our other characters…which of course grew longer and longer.

((If you’re interested in how the stories connect…in the novel we wrote, Aleria (daughter of Iris) meets this guy named Ryder. He was adopted when he was a baby by a different family. That family had a daughter named Sophie. She died when she was a young girl…but this novella explores what would have happened to her if she hadn’t died.

((So it’s not even real, which is depressing because it’s adorable.))

Okay, back to the story of what I’ve been doing. So, I know a couple of girls at church who also like to write and we started this writing club where we set goals. Anyway, in April, we decided that if we all finished our goals by our next meeting (the first Friday in May), we would get to have a potstickers party.

So I guess I have potstickers to credit for helping me write in Battle Song again. You see, I made this goal that I would finish writing the novella and write three scenes in Battle Song in that month. And I had to do that so that we could get potstickers.

So with potstickers in mind, I kept working on the novella…and it kept getting longer! My stories have a tendency to do it. But I needed to finish by the next meeting…so as I neared the end of that time, I was pretty much writing every day.

When I finished the novella (at 31,026 words–Iris had 24K), I only had two days to write three scenes in Battle Song, but I did it! (For the potstickers, of course.) (Except our meeting has been postponed twice since then, so will I ever get my potstickers? Who knows.)

Since then, I’ve actually been excited about writing in Battle Song, and I’ve written fairly consistently, trying to write about an hour every day. I usually end up writing 4 days a week.

I started keeping a writing log where I keep track of how many words I write in how much time…and then I calculate my average words per minute…usually between 18 and 22. Which ends up being around 1K an hour. I don’t know why it’s so fun to calculate my writing speed…but it is!

Anyway, long story short, I’ve been writing consistently in Battle Song and it currently has a total of 27,686 words.

Other than that, school is out (!!) and I figured out where I’m going to college and I’ve had a lot of choir concerts!


Wait…so you’re still on hiatus?

In short, yes.

This could turn into another long story, but that’s okay. Basically, I’ve decided that I won’t be blogging until I finish drafting Battle Song. I may do the occasional update on writing stuff, but I won’t really be here.

The reasoning behind this? Well…the other day, I was looking through my dad’s kindle and saw the book The One Thing by Gary Keller. And since I didn’t have anything else to do (we weren’t at home, so there really wasn’t much I could do), I started reading it.

It’s actually a book about how to be successful as a business, but…I thought it was interesting and applicable, nonetheless. One of the parts I found most interesting talked about balance and how it’s not always a good thing.

Basically, the idea was you try to balance your life, relationships, etc. but with work-related things, sometimes you have to throw yourself off-balance and completely pursue “the one thing”.

“The one thing”, according to the book, is the thing that is most important, the thing that will make everything else unnecessary or easier to accomplish. I’ve decided, that for me, right now, the one thing” is to finish Battle Song.

And instead of trying to divide my time between blogging and writing, I want to just write, and then come back when I’m done…when I can adequately focus on blogging well.


What will your blog look like when you get back?

I’m not entirely sure yet, but my hope is to post more consistently for sure. I want to really put some effort into my blog and think about what I’m writing.

I have had some post ideas that I’m excited for…there’s this blog series that could be fabulous (we’ll see) that has to do with short stories and possibly some world building posts. Hopefully, more ideas will come as I write Battle Song so I’ll have a whole plethora to choose from when I come back.

If you have any ideas, feel free to tell me!


A short thank you note

Also, I want to thank you all for your support…even though I am crazy and disappear all the time and have these really long rambling posts…you guys still read and comment! I’m so happy that I have made such great friends with my blog who are so kind to me.


Let’s talk, shall we?

What have you been up to in the time that I’ve disappeared? Tell me all about how life is going! What writing projects are you working on?

Do you agree that being off-balance is sometimes necessary, and in what aspects of life? What “one thing” could you work on?

And also, tell me if you want a spotlight or two from the novella about Sophie that I wrote! If you do, I can post those in the next few weeks since it really won’t take too much trouble. And if you have post ideas for when I come back…I’m definitely open to suggestions!

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Blog Tour: Isolated by Jordy Leigh + Spotlight Excerpts

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I’ve tried to be strong… but I just can’t go on. I can’t do it. I’m forgotten. God doesn’t know what He’s doing. Our country is falling apart, and here I am. Dying.

~ from Isolated

Hi, y’all! I’m so excited to be here participating in Jordy Leigh’s blog tour for Isolated and to be able to share a spotlight or two from it with you!

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Isolated (War and Wilderness, book one) is Jordy’s debut novella and the first in a series of four YA suspense novels about–you guessed it!–war and wilderness…and God.


Within fateful hours, she was homeless and an orphan.

Fourteen-year-old Louise Stella flees into the forest to escape an intruder who would take her hostage. But by the time she returns to her house, her country has broken out in war and her home island has become a military base. Sharing the land with enemy soldiers, Louise’s only goal is to stay alive one day at a time. Having no food or water, and little knowledge of how to survive in the forests of Quebec, her biggest adversary is “the Unknown”. Her pride crumbles and she realizes that she can’t sustain herself. She must depend on someone else… but Whom?

Isolated is a Young Adult suspense novella with uncertainty lurking at every turn. It will have you asking the big questions about life and death. Will you come to the same conclusion as Louise?


I had the privilege of being able to read the novella and choose the excerpt that I wanted to spotlight. It is an short but intense novella about survival, war, and, ultimately, our relationship with God as shown through Louise–which is what I want to shine the spotlight on. (Minor spoilers ahead.)

Louise’s family loves God, but she doesn’t understand who He is–and, more importantly, she doesn’t want to. She wants to live her life her own way and be in charge of her own fate.

God, it’s just that I… I hate not knowing things. I hate not knowing how tomorrow will work out or if I made the right choice.

Of course, throughout the novella, as she is forced to survive on her own and goes through many different struggles, there are many opportunities to humble herself.

Some strong feeling reared up in Louise. Hope was a part of it. So was adrenaline. But there was something else, too. Fear? Anger? Sorrow? The enemy base was also her home – the Bible school where she had grown up; her security. She wondered which building had been attacked. Perhaps it was the office or one of the student dormitories. But when she heard the shouts, she knew it had to be her house.

God…

She had no words.

But God doesn’t give up–He never gives up, and that is such a beautiful theme of this book–that God is always there for us, and He loves us more than we can know or possibly imagine.

Louise recalled the bracelets she often made on long road trips. She was proud of them. Is that how You feel about the stars? There was a brief pause, then she ventured another question. Is that how You feel about…me?

There were so many beautiful passages that I could share, words that affected me, that Jordy used to show me–and all of us–that God is there, and that we need Him. We need His love, and we need His power–always.

“You knew.”


Isolated will be published September 11, but you can pre-order on Amazon or add it to your to-read list on Goodreads today!

Also, make sure to check out Isolated‘s landing page as well as Jordy’s blogwhere she authors both spiritual and writing-related posts! Jordy is a great friend and a lovely person to interact with–so leave a comment on her blog and tell her congrats! Also, if you’re interested in learning about her writing progress, make sure to join her newsletter group (link is on her blog).


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From as young as seven years old, Jordy Leigh filled exercise booklets with stories until her hand hurt. She loves a good book, but ultimately she hopes that hers will offer something of greater value than short-lived entertainment. In reading them, may you learn more about the God of the Bible.

Jordy Leigh hopes that Isolated will at once quench your desire for compelling fiction and nourish your soul with wholesome truth.


let’s talk, shall we?

Are you excited for Isolated‘s publication? Have you read it/do you want to? Do you prefer novels or novellas? And make sure to head over to Jordy’s blog and congratulate her!

(P.S. I have missed you all and will hopefully write up a post talking about my absence and all of that stuff soon…)

Spotlight #6: Meet Samuel (Iris, Part 2)

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Spotlights: excerpts, commentary, and random stuff about my current writing. Previous Spotlights can be found here.

If you remember the last Spotlight, I introduced to you a new story that I’ve been calling Iris but will probably be called something else (The Flower of Esclia?). Well, it was supposed to be a short story, but I have 17,000 words so far and it’s still not done.

So it’ll probably be more of a novelette/ novella.

Anyway, I told you about some characters last time, and today you get to meet a new one! His name is Samuel, and he’s quite fantastic. He’s the son of a travelling merchant and was Rosie’s and Iris’s childhood friend. He’s perceptive and…I don’t know how to describe him. You’ll have to read the excerpt.

Random updates on the current writing: The story keeps getting more complicated. Shippiness is at an all-time low between Garic and Iris, but don’t worry, it’ll get better. And I basically have no idea what I’m doing anymore, so I’m making it up as I go along.

All right, all right, I’ll give you the excerpt.

A few minutes later, Samuel sat down next to her and flicked the reins, starting the horses into an easy walk. “The prince is in the back…but he’s right, you know. It looks like it might snow.”

Iris tilted her head to the sky, blanketed with clouds so that neither stars nor moon could be seen. “Maybe.”

“So what’s this about Rosie?” asked Samuel.

This was not how she wanted him to find out. If anything, she didn’t want him to find out at all. Rosie would be better in his memories as free and unfettered, not crippled and locked away in her room. “Last time you and your father left…”

“Yes?”

“About a month later, there was an…an accident.”

Samuel turned to her, dark eyes filled with pain. “What happened?”

Iris took a deep breath. Better to get it over with quickly. “A carriage driver lost control and one of his horses nearly killed Rosie. She survived but…but she has no movement below her neck.”

He was breathing heavily, and she thought she could see the memories running through his mind. Their times together had always been filled with physical activities, with running wild through the streets in a race, or playing tug-of-war, or dancing in the lantern glow of the autumn festival.

That had been the last time Samuel had been there, and Rosie had practically glowed all through those two weeks. And at the end was the festival, where the musicians played and the people of Eyspar danced, and Samuel and Rosie had spent half the night together, spinning around each other and whispering and laughing.

Looking at him, Iris knew that was exactly the memory in his eyes.

“She’s pulled through, though,” she whispered. “You know Rosie…she can find happiness in every situation. I don’t know how she does it, but she does.”

Samuel didn’t answer for a long time, the silence filled by the wind in the grass and the quiet clopping of the horses’ hooves on the dirt road. Finally he spoke. “It’ll be warmer in the wagon. You should go inside.”

It was easy to tell that he wanted to be left alone, so Iris nodded, and he stopped the horses so that she could climb inside.

The wagon was cluttered with wares and barrels and a dim lantern hung in the corner, swaying, illuminating Garic in the only clear spot, leaning against the wall.

She sat down as far away from him as she could, which was only a few feet, and looked down at the ground.

“You’ve been crying,” said Garic.

Of course he’d notice the one thing that she was trying to hide. But what did it matter? It didn’t change the fact that Rosie was never going to stand or walk again. That she could never be who she was once before.

“We haven’t seen Samuel for over a year,” she whispered. “He didn’t know about—” Her voice broke. “About Rosie.”

Iris glanced up at Garic, bathed in warm lantern light, extending his arms to her.

Tonight, when the wind whistled sorrowfully and Samuel’s heart was breaking, she let herself go to him. Tonight he held her, and his solidity dampened the pain, made it bearable.

Tomorrow she would push him away again, tomorrow, but tonight…tonight she let her silent tears fall on him until she fell asleep.



lettuce talk (hahaha I’m so clever)

What do you think of the Spotlight/excerpt/Samuel/everything? Does the block quote format make the text too big? (I’m kind of thinking so.) If you could put the characters into any situation & observe their reactions, what would it be? And randomly, how are you today? What’s been the best part of your day/week?

The Lady of the Vineyard Blog Tour + Character & Author Interview

This is an exciting post because I get to be one of the blogs that opens the blog tour for The Lady of the Vineyard, a novella by Kellyn Roth, who you may know from her blog, ReveriesYou also may have noticed her from the rather long comment chains we tend to make responding to each other’s posts.

Kellyn is a homeschooled author and she’s already self-published one novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret, which is a historical fiction novel. BUT that is not what our post is about. This post is about The Lady of the Vineyard, which…is also a historical fiction novel.

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and can I just take a moment to flail at you about how a cover I made is going to be on a published book? *MUCH FLAILING*

By now I’m sure you’re absolutely dying to hear the synopsis of the book, so no more waiting, I’ll just give it to you:

Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?

The Lady of the Vineyard tells an amazing story of change, growth, and love, and it’s going to be published on September 10th–in two days! But if you don’t want to wait that long, you can preorder the Kindle version on Amazon.

And now, to the fun stuff! I was able to interview both a character from and the author of The Lady of the Vineyard for the blog tour, and so I chose to interview Judy, the serious six-year-old girl this story is about.


Interview with Judy

Did you ever think about your father much before the story began?
No, I guess not. I knew he was somewhere … but nobody ever talked about him. I mean, Aunt Lola did sometimes, but she didn’t visit all that often.
What is your favorite thing about your mother? Your father?
My favorite thing about my mother is that she is beautiful. My favorite thing about my father is that he is wonderful.
Would you rather spend time with other people, or on your own?
I’d usually rather spend time with other people, but I like being with Daddy a lot.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I don’t think I have one yet.
What do you want, more than anything else in the world?
I just want to stay in one place and have everything be the same. I don’t want things to change all the time anymore.

But change is fabulous and that is what this story is about–how hard change can be…and then how amazing the results can become! Isn’t that awesome?

Afterward, I got to interview Kellyn Roth, the author of The Lady of the Vineyard, about…well, author-y things!


Interview with Kellyn Roth

What inspired the characters in The Lady of the Vineyard?
I think for once I made character to fit a story instead of visa-versa. 🙂 Of course, they ended up jumping off the pages eventually, but y’know, their basic personalities were pre-determined.
Who really encouraged and inspired you to publish?
My friends, especially my friend Bailey, were always encouraging me too, and then NaNoWriMo (YWP, of course) is so awesome for encouraging young writers to write and write and write! But I think mostly if helped a lot to get my blog set up and feel like I was official.
What book(s) are you currently working on?
Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 2) is really what I need to focus on what now … but I’m also plotting out At Her Fingertips (Book 3). And … writing random bits of writing based on every plot bunny I can catch.
What was the biggest thing you learned while writing The Lady of the Vineyard?
The Prohibition didn’t happen in England. Or France. XD
Not really. But that’s a hard thing to pinpoint. I suppose one of the things I learned is that oftentimes my philosophical rambles don’t make sense – at least not outside of my head – and it’s sometimes better just to do something that actually makes sense.
And … that didn’t make sense. 😛
What is the best part of writing and being an author?
Being able to control everyone. *evil laughter*


Be sure to head on over to Reveries and congratulate Kellyn on the publishing of her novella and to check out the rest of her blog tour! And if you’re looking for a short and sweet story to read, The Lady of the Vineyard is just the book for you.