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Friday, January 31, 2014

'Second Son' Cover Reveal!

You have no idea how excited I am today.

No seriously. You have no idea.

Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, one of my very favorite authors, is revealing the (absolutely gorgeous) cover for her second novel today!

And I am so blessed to be a part of it. 

But FIRST, about the author! (Yes, I am putting this part first just so you can't see the cover image on your blog feeds. I'm mean like that. >:)  )

About the Author

Jenelle grew up the oldest of four. Every night before bedtime her father read to her and her siblings, and it was during these times that her love for adventure and fantasy were forged. While she adored the stories of the Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Prydain, the Wheel of Time, and the Chronicles of Narnia; it wasn’t long before her imagination led her to the creation of a world and story all her own.

In 2001, Jenelle completed King’s Warrior, originally titled The Dragon’s Eye, as a project for her father who wanted something new and fun to read to the family at night. This first endeavor gave way to the completion of a four book series that is full of the same adventure that Jenelle grew to love in literature as a little girl. Jenelle graduated from Taylor University in Indiana in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education.

Jenelle has written numerous short stories and many poems, as well as some full length work within the realm of science fiction. King’s Warrior is her first published work and she is currently working on bringing the rest of the series to public availability. Jenelle lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband Derek and two little girls Leiana Arwen and Nathalie Eowyn.

Second Son

In an attempt to manipulate the future, a family and a nation are forced to decide between two brothers. Guided by a prophecy spoken hundreds of years before, the King and Queen of Llycaelon have set their course. Their goal: to fulfill the prophecy and save their nation from a dire fate.

Rhoyan has always understood and accepted his own role as second born and perpetual prince. He looks forward to the day when he will be a warrior in his older brother’s guard. When Rhoyan is sent on a quest filled with unimaginable danger, nobody anticipates the greater repercussions.

As Rhoyan journeys far across the seas on his appointed trial, he will battle creatures of legend, suffer shipwreck, endure captivity, and lay claim to a fallen star. When tragedy strikes, Rhoyan must struggle to return home believing his quest has failed. However, the home he left no longer awaits him and the true test of his strength and character has only just begun.

Long before Aom-igh needed a champion, Llycaelon had a Second Son.

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for, the COVER REVEAL!

(click to view larger image)
Is that not the most beautiful cover ever?!?! When writing this post, I tried to be all professional and writer-y and talk about my favorite aspects of the cover, but I just love the entire painting! And sometimes, I think the best reaction is to just squeal through happy giggles. So that's what I am doing right now. You're welcome to join me! 

I cannot express how excited I am for the release of 'Second Son'. My last post was a review of 'King's Warrior' which is, among many other things, an extremely well-written and moving novel. I know 'Second Son' will be the same, and I can't wait to experience another adventure with some of my favorite characters of all time. 

If you would like to learn more about the cover artist, you can read an interview HERE.

If you would like to learn more about Jenelle Schmidt and her novels, click HERE.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dragons, and Squires, and Wars, Aom-Igh!

Sorry for the cheesy title. I couldn't resist.

King's Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt


***

"When Dark Warriors invade her country, it is up to Princess Kamarie to seek out the legendary king’s warrior and request his aid. The feisty princess has spent her life dreaming of adventure and is thrilled to be tasked with such a quest. There’s only one thing that can dampen the princess’s excitement: Oraeyn. The squire views his task of protecting the princess on her journey as an inglorious assignment and makes no attempt to hide his disappointment.

Despite a rocky start to their journey – in which Oraeyn throws the obnoxious princess in a river just to get her to call him by name – the travelers soon learn that they must depend upon one another if they are to locate the man they have been sent to find.

The adventure merely begins when they meet Brant: a warrior with a mysterious past. He joins their cause readily, his heart smoldering with a vendetta Kamarie cannot completely understand. But whether she trusts him or not, the hope of their world rests on the steel he wears at his side…."

'King's Warrior' has long been one of my very favorite novels. I read it for the first time when I was twelve years old, back when it was titled 'The Dragon's Eye'. I had just discovered my love for fantasy, and this novel only helped to cement it deep in my heart. I don't even remember how many times I reread it! I'm so excited to share this review now that the prequel, formerly known as 'Dawn of the Dragon's Eye', is going to be re-released as 'Second Son'. 

***

'King's Warrior' is very much like 'Lord of the Rings' when it comes to depth, plot, world-building, and characterization. The themes are easy to recognize and easy to understand, yet as the novel progresses, you realize just how deeply interwoven into the story and the characters they really are. This is a spoiler-free review, but I will say it has taken me several re-readings to catch all the little places the themes show up. The theme of "being more than you seem" shows up all the time, and I only now in this past reading realized that. It is in the plot, in the characters, in the world-building...everywhere! Keep a weather eye out for it. 

The plot is everything that is classically loved in a fantasy novel, but with plenty of unique twists. Not just one, but two prophecies prove to be important. Dragons and mythical creatures must be in of course, and they have super duper cool twists to them too. Ancient swords, magical music, enchanted caves, this story is fantasy in the truest sense of the word. The plot itself involves a lot of traveling and visiting new locales and places, a lot like 'Lord of the Rings'. 

That leads me to the next thing I want to mention: world-building! The world-building is absolutely incredible. Like the theme implies, Aom-Igh is not everything that it seems. There are surprises and mysteries everywhere! The novel explores the country of Aom-Igh and it's secrets, leaving you enchanted and yearning. Enchanted cuz it's all just so epic, yearning because you know Aom-Igh is not the only country in the world. It leaves you wanting to explore the Dark Country, Roalthae, the Barrier Islands, and know the history of all these places. Very few fantasy novels can get me interested in a fictional history. I can only think of three off the top of my head: 'Lord of the Rings', 'King's Warrior', and 'Mistborn'. 

The only somewhat negative thing I can say about this novel is that some of the names are difficult to figure out how to pronounce. HOWEVER, there is a handy-dandy glossary in the back that has a brief description of all the countries, people, and places and how to pronounce their names. If you stumble across any name you don't know how to say, just quickly flip to the back and check.

And last but not least...the characters! I love how the characters are larger-than-life and completely fantastical, yet very accessible and relate-able too. It's hard for me to pick a favorite character because they all seem like very good friends to me, and I don't want to be rude to them by picking a favorite! All of the characters are fun as soon as you meet them, but as you travel with them and get to know them, you discover how real they truly are. I never get tired of reading about their adventures. 

If you love 'Lord of the Rings', 'Chronicles of Narnia', 'Phantastes', or any other classic fantasy, this novel is for you! If you like adventure, action, fantasy, and/or clean family fiction, this book is for you too! 

You can buy it on Amazon and Kindle HERE.

Be on the lookout for the release of 'Second Son'! :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Interview with Kamarie!


Hello everyone! Happy Friday! Today, I have the privilege to interview Kamarie from Jenelle Schmidt's epic novel 'King's Warrior'! This interview is part of the author's month-long book release and cover reveal party! 'Second Son', the prequel to 'King's Warrior', is coming out soon and trust me, it is going to be awesome!

(Sorry for all the exclamation points. I'm just so excited!)

Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who I think looks a lot like Kamarie

Kaycee: Hi Kamarie! Thank you for joining me for this interview. Ember and I are huge fans.


Kamarie: Aww, thanks for having me! Jenelle and I are big fans of Ember, too.


Kaycee: What are some of your hobbies or activities you enjoy?


Kamarie: I enjoy riding my horse, Tor, and archery. I also enjoy fencing, but I’m better with a bow and arrow. I like tracking, solving puzzles, and playing the occasional game of Karradoc. I also like just being outside and exploring my country.


Kaycee: What was life like for you before the events in 'King's Warrior' began?


Kamarie: It was pretty boring, really, looking back. I think that’s why I first approached Garen and asked him to train me. He didn’t like the idea at first, but I pestered him for weeks until one day he finally gave in. I never did find out what made him change his mind. Hmmm. I’ll have to ask him about that sometime.

Anyway, I had my lessons. My parents hired tutors to teach me about etiquette and politics, but my parents also took the time to teach some of my lessons. They have always been very involved in my life and my schooling, not like some princesses you read about. I think that’s why they trust me so much, they really know me. (Except for the squire training, at least... well, until the end of King’s Warrior, when everyone found out).

I also spent a lot of time just riding my horse and exploring the beach and the Aura Wood, and reading books. I love books. I don’t have a lot of time to just spend reading, but I do enjoy it.


Kaycee: Can you tell us a bit about 'King's Warrior'?


Kamarie: Of course! Our country is being threatened by invaders, and my father, the king, sends me on a very important mission. At first I thought he was just trying to protect me and keep me away from the battle, but then he explained how important Brant could be to the outcome of the war, so I agreed to take the mission. 

Of course, it would have been more fun if I could have gone on my own, but Father insisted on sending my maid, Darby, and this squire, Oraeyn along. I thought they were going to be complete bores and prevent us from having any adventures at all, but they really turned out to be excellent companions.

We actually find Brant pretty quickly, only to realize that there’s a lot more for us to do before our quest is complete. It’s pretty exciting. We have to dodge enemies, meet the king of the dragons, and travel to the Harshlands (which pretty much lived up to their name).


Kaycee: What do you think was the most important thing you learned on your adventure?


Kamarie: I learned so much on that adventure. The most important thing I think I learned was that I can’t do everything on my own, and I have to learn how to accept help. But I also learned that battles and killing aren’t as exciting as they sound in storybooks, and that peace is far preferable to war. I also learned a lot about myself and my family that I didn’t know before.


Kaycee: 'Being more than you seem' is a major theme throughout 'King's Warrior' and applies to nearly every character. How does it apply to you?


Kamarie: Well, I guess it applies more to how people saw me at the beginning of the story. I’m not really all that special. I don’t have any powers or magic that I know of. But Oraeyn kind of saw me as a spoiled brat at first, and thought I was just this pampered princess who didn’t know anything about real life. And, I’ll admit, I didn’t do a lot at the beginning that would have changed his perspective, and I was so sure he was going to keep us from having any adventures that I wasn’t really very nice to him at first. I really regret that, because that’s not who I am at all. I really care about my people and I don’t think I’m in any way better than them just because I’m a princess. I want to serve my people protect them in any way I can. They are the true strength and beauty of our country.

I think Darby, and even Brant and my parents to some extent, saw me as someone who really needed protection, and as kind of helpless and delicate, but I’m a lot stronger and more capable than I seem. I feel that for me, the story was more about “proving my worth” and proving to myself what I am capable of, than being more than I seem. Or maybe that’s just a different way of saying the same thing.


Kaycee: Let's talk about Brant. What did you first think of him? What do you think now?


Kamarie: Wow. I wasn’t sure what to think. Nobody would really tell me anything about him, and then he was so quiet and unwilling to answer any of my questions. I wasn’t even sure it was right to trust him. To be honest, he kind of drove me a little crazy. All that mystery and silence. He barely ever said anything, and when he did, most of the time it didn’t make sense or felt like he had just handed me a puzzle to solve.

But in the end, he didn’t need words to prove his loyalty and his worthiness. His actions spoke volumes about who he is as a person. He is definitely one of my heroes and I’d trust him with my life.


Kaycee: Are you in 'Second Son'? Can you tell us anything about it?


Kamarie: I make a very small appearance in Second Son, but I’m just a baby. Most of the story occurs before my birth and tells the back story about who Brant is and where he came from. It also tells the story of my father and how he became King of Aom-igh and how he and Brant met.


Kaycee: One more question. This one's from Ember. She threw a fit when I told her she could not join the interview, but I got her to calm down by promising that I would ask you one question from her. She wrote it here on this...piece of tree bark. *sighs* Let's see... "Do you and Oraeyn like each other? Do you get married? You'd better! I totally ship it! I don't like it when my ships sink grrr!" Please don't feel inclined to answer that.


Kamarie: Haha, oh, I like Ember. I think we’d be good friends. 

*blushes* Well, I can’t go giving away Book Three information when Second Son isn’t even out yet, my author might just kill me off if I did that, but I can tell you that I do think very highly of Oraeyn. Especially after how brave and loyal he proved to be on our adventure in King’s Warrior. And, it doesn’t hurt that he’s really very handsome.


Kaycee: Hmm...interesting. *tries to control fangirl urge to giggle* Thanks again for joining us, Kamarie! It's been a pleasure!


Kamarie: Thank you so much for having me!

***

Click HERE to go Jenelle Schmidt's website!

Click HERE to read an excerpt from 'Second Son'!

And finally, click HERE to learn more about 'King's Warrior'!

***

I hope y'all enjoyed the interview as much as I did! Look for a review of 'King's Warrior' soon! :)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

For Upcoming Writers

via Pinterest

A few days ago, I had the privilege to have a long discussion with a bright young lady about how to begin writing. She's almost thirteen years old, enjoys writing stories all over notebooks, and wants to take her writing to the next "level".

First, can I just say that I absolutely LOVE meeting and talking with upcoming writers? I become so excited when I think about all the adventures and stories in their futures. I felt completely giddy during my discussion with her.

Now that I said that, I can move on to what this post is really about. How to "begin". I don't like saying "beginning writers" because it makes it sound like there are "levels" to writers. And, perhaps, there are. But good writers should always be learning and researching and exploring new ideas and techniques. Just because you have already learned some of the techniques doesn't mean you've graduated the hypothetical writer school. The things you can learn with writing never end.

All that to say, I get irritated when I see other writers acting smug and over-confident around "newer" writers simply because they have more experience. Everyone has to start somewhere.

This post is directed for "upcoming writers". "Upcoming Writers" is a term I invented which simply refers to the group of people, no matter what age but particularly pre-teen and young teenagers, who are serious about writing. If you're truly serious about writing, then you will write a good novel, you will have readers, and you will continue to learn. That's all there is to it.

However, it is easy to get lost and scared when you suddenly find out just how big writing can be. This post will, hopefully, make things easier to navigate. Here are some steps that you can do to help make your upcoming writing easier.

(Like I've already said, this is for upcoming writers. If you are not absolutely serious about writing, I would not suggest doing these steps since some of them require money.)

1. The One Year Adventure Novel

This is an incredible curriculum written by Daniel Schwabaur. Even though it was written for high schoolers, I did it in the eighth grade and I LOVED it. This curriculum teaches you everything you need to know to write a novel. It comes with an easy-to-read textbook that also has examples from classic novels to demonstrate various writing techniques or ideas. It comes with a workbook that makes outlining insanely easy. The DVD lessons are quick and precise, explaining the writing in very comprehensible ways.

If you do this curriculum, you will have to write either a historical or contemporary novel in first person point of view. (e.g. I left the house. My cat jumped in front of me. I glared at him. etc.) Some might find this bothersome, but I think it is a good place to start. Fantasy and Sci-Fi require different "rules", first person point of view forces you to truly know your hero.

Also, buying this curriculum allows you to become part of the One Year Adventure Novel forum, a website where you can meet other young Christian writers and discuss elements of writing with them. You can also ask questions about writing so Mr. Schwabaur and/or other writers can answer them. You also get access to the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop. I've never been (it's in Kansas) but I hear it is AWESOME. They also hold contests with epic prizes!

2. Start a blog

You can do this at the same time you are doing the above curriculum, or you could start it before! Starting a writing blog is an excellent way to meet new writers and to go ahead and get yourself out there. It shows others that you are serious and willing to learn. And don't be afraid to write posts simply because you don't have as much experience as other bloggers. Remember, nobody is a pro at this. Just write about new writing things you are learning, write about the books you are reading, write about what you ate for breakfast! Just start writing. 

Also, be sure to begin following other writing blogs and author websites. You can learn so much just by reading blogs and articles! Try to find writing contests to enter them. Winning isn't the point...the point is to work on overcoming the fear you, and every other good writer, has ever had. I don't think it will ever go away completely, but you have to train yourself not to listen to fear.

3. (For Fantasy writers) Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings by HomeScholar books.

True, this is not necessarily a "fantasy" curriculum. But I believe every fantasy author ought to read 'Lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien and 'The Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis. These were two of the earliest fantasies, and perhaps, the most well-known. Both were written by strong Christians and together, both teach valuable lessons about reality, morality, theology, story, and fantasy.

This curriculum teaches you, not only about Tolkien's epic work, but also about the different genres of fantasy, King Arthur, conflict, and many other important literary elements.

4. Read, read, READ

Make sure to read as much as you possibly can. Learn from the books you are reading. Read books in and outside of "your" genre. Decide what you like and dislike about them. Then, write reviews! Think about why the author made certain decisions in his or her writing. What can you learn from them?

5. (For ALL writers) Research

Yep. I'm talking to you too, fantasy writers! This isn't just for the historical peeps! EVERYONE needs to do some form of research for their story. Historical novels obviously need to try to be historically accurate. Contemporary novels need to be accurate too. Fantasy novels need to be grounded in some reality. Sci-Fi novels need to try to at least make their tech sound plausible.

Basically, just keep learning about the world around you. Don't just read fiction books. Read history books and science articles. Go meet new people and talk to them. Be interested. Don't get stuck behind your laptop. You've got to live to write.

And there ya go! Five steps to get you started! I know, I used a lot of words just to talk about those five steps. But hey, I'm an upcoming writer, what do you expect? :P

Friday, January 10, 2014

Interview with Ember...and other such awesomeness!

Hello everyone! Today, Ember decided she deserved her own blog post. Something about not getting enough attention, only being the hero for ONE book, always being underestimated, blah blah blah. After the interview, I have a very awesome announcement, so keep reading!

Kaycee: Well, you got your wish Ember. You are getting your very own blog post.

Ember: And about time, too!

Kaycee: Whatever. Okay, before we get off topic..what is your earliest memory?

Ember: What is this, therapy? I thought we were having an interview.

Kaycee: *sigh* It's just a question.

Ember: Fine. I don't really know. I have this recurring dream that I think is the night the Pull killed my parents and separated me and my siblings. But other than that...I remember playing pranks on the other woodcutters with Dray. We'd put termites in their huts or use charcoal to draw funny pictures on their walls. Good times, good times.

Kaycee: You're such a brat. Moving on. Who is your best friend and would you like to tell us about him?

Ember: Hail Frost is my best friend. I hated him at first, but after he quit slamming me into stone walls and after I quit sassing him, we got to like each other alright. He's grumpy, bossy, rude, and insubordinate.

Kaycee: Insubor...where did you even learn that word?

Ember: Caran. She says I'm insubordinate.

Kaycee: Well, at least I've invented one character that has some intelligence.

Ember: Excuse me?

Kaycee: Back to Hail. Why do you even like him? None of those adjectives seem very appealing.

Ember: He's not always grumpy. And he did make an effort to stop slamming me into walls. Seriously though, I like him because he loves Elethor. He's made mistakes, but he always tries to set things right. I know he would die to save those he loves, and even though that fact irritates me sometimes, I can respect that. I have trouble respecting.

Kaycee: Interesting. Your first real adventure involved meeting Hail and Caran. What did you learn by being around them?

Ember: Don't bother Hail when he's brooding mysteriously in the shadows, and don't eat Caran's food. She starts acting crazier than a fifth Five witch.

Kaycee: Emberrr, we had been doing so good! Can't you be seri...

Ember: Sheesh, I was kidding! Good grief. You authors are so touchy. On my adventure, I learned firsthand that Elethor truly does exist, and that he truly does love me. I don't have much experience with love of any sort. Elethor's love should be overwhelming for everybody, but it's especially so for me.

Kaycee: You mentioned the Fives earlier. Do you want to talk about some of the different species in Holdinus?

Ember: Species? You make it sound so...scientific. But, sure, whatever. I'm a Leverage, so I'm human just with powers that Elethor has given me to use for His purpose. The Fives look like humans too, except all of them have Leverage-esque powers. However, the powers do not work at will and typically only work when a Leverage is around. Fives also have another special power...but I'll leave the 'Hail Frost' novel to explain that. Then there are the Faeries. They are human sized, but they have wings and they can fly. And they have terrible fashion sense.

Kaycee: Look who's talking.

Ember: Shut up. Anyway, where was I? Oh right. Then there are regular humans. There are also ghost dragons and zombies, but I'm beginning to suspect both might be Pull mutations. And there are hydras, and dogs, and cats, and birds, and...

Kaycee: Yeah, that's enough. Okay, last question. If you could meet any fictional character ever, who would it be?

Ember: Oh, that's easy! I would want to meet Kamarie from Jenelle Schmidt's 'King's Warrior'! Oh! And Brant, and Oraeyn, and Yole, and Kiernan, and...

Kaycee: Let's not get carried away. Yeah, they're all pretty awesome, aren't they? But why would you like to meet Kamarie?

Ember: I think we'd get along. She sounds like fun, and maybe she could teach me how to ride Tor, her horse.

Kaycee: Oh yeah...you still don't know how to ride a horse...

Ember: *huffs* Yeah. It's a little embarrassing.

Kaycee: I will take that under consideration. Thanks for insisting upon agreeing to this interview.

Ember: It's been fun. We should do this more often. *gives Kaycee a meaningful glare. Smiles and waves at all the nice readers. Leaves*

Ember Flame everybody. *sighs* In that mess of an interview, she did say at least one reasonable thing.



The novel 'King's Warrior' by Jenelle Schmidt is an INCREDIBLE book. I highly recommend it. I hope to have a review posted soon, but I want to reread the novel first. Why? Well...

The prequel to 'King Warrior' is coming out!

I'm so excited!

The novel is titled 'Second Son' and you can find out more about it here. This novel will follow Brant, one of the main characters of 'King's Warrior'. It is going to be amazing and I cannot wait for it to be published. Meanwhile, I am occupying the time by particpating in the author's Cover Reveal/Book Release party!

If you would like to read more/buy King's Warrior, click on this link to Amazon.

If you would like to learn more about the author and her novels, click on this link to Jenelle Schmidt's website.

If you want to join the awesome Book Release party, click on this link to her blog.

And last but not least, if you would like to get to know Brant a bit better, click on this link to an interview with him. (Trust me, he's a much better interviewee than the ever-darling Ember)

Happy Friday, everyone! :)


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thinking about College

I promised to do a post about this back in December, but I became quite busy and was unable to do so. I'm glad I finally found the time to write this post (even if the time is 10:30 pm...).



Being a Junior, I've had to face a subject I've tried to avoid for years. College. Why have I tried to avoid it? Other than the obvious "I'm too young to think about it!" reasoning, there has been something else bothering me about it.

Writers have very limited college majors to chose from...especially someone like me. I am NOT interested in teaching, reporting, journalism, accounting, editing, publishing, science writing, or most other jobs attributed to an English major. I want to write novels, screenplays, homeschool curriculum, poems, and short stories. That's it.

It is difficult to make a steady income from novel writing unless you make it big like J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. A college degree in creative writing does very little to change that. Publishers don't really care if you have a college degree or not, they only care if your writing can make them money and if you have an agent. You might raise your chances of getting an agent by having a degree in creative writing, but not significantly. All in all, a college degree in Creative Writing seems a bit ridiculous.

After learning all of this, I grew very upset. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I really wanted to go to college, mostly for the "college experience", though I never would have admitted that at the time. It seemed so petty and...normal. However, I couldn't deny the fact that my chances of pursuing writing were better by not going to college.

But then what? I certainly didn't want my life to be limited. If I chose not to go to college, especially in this economy, it seemed like I would be doomed to a life of working at a fast food restaurant during the day, come home to a tiny apartment by myself, write, work on my own marketing, go to sleep, and do the entire thing over again. That thought alone frightened me. I want to see and do everything I can possibly see and do in my life. I want to go places. I want to learn new things. I love learning.

I began to consider other possible options, but nothing could make me passionate. In fact, simply thinking about other possible jobs like teaching or journalism made me get very angry and sad. I don't want to do that. I started to get frustrated and upset.

During quiet time one day, I read Matthew 6: 25-27. "25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

I realized I had been worrying far too much. Isn't life more than money? And isn't life more than a good job, a good house, a good income, and a good 'success'? God made me remember a truth I had sadly forgotten. Life is not supposed to be mundane. Life is an adventure! His adventure. God has plans for everyone, including myself, and I have to let go of my worries and presuppositions to discover what He has planned for me. I know my main purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, and I also know that I feel most comfortable glorifying God through my writing. Why would I stop writing for him simply because it is 'unpredictable'? Why would I make writing a hobby-which for me would be the equivalent of making glorying God a 'hobby'? 

I began looking at Creative Writing again. Then, NC State had an Open House for high school students. My parents and I attended...and it was absolutely incredible. I had already been to NC State for two weeks at a writer workshop, but I only got to see two buildings during that time and I did  not learn anything about their majors or minors during the workshop (which was AMAZING). The campus is absolutely beautiful and it is exactly the "feel" I love. I love the downtown city atmosphere, I love that it is in North Carolina, I love that there is a variety of students who attend the school. (Lots of agriculture and biology, engineers, veterinarians....)

NC State also has a major called 'English concentration on Creative Writing'. The major is a Creative Writing major...and the elective hours that come with it are enough for two minors. I had not even thought of minors yet. Not only that, but NC State encourages students to do at least a semester overseas, which I would love to do, and the place they encourage English students to go is exactly the countries I have always dreamed of visiting- the UK!

It all seemed a bit too perfect. I am praying about it, and I have not received a 'no' from God yet, but I can't say it is a definite yes yet. Meanwhile, I'm working as hard as I can on my school, especially the math, so I can have a high enough SAT and ACT score along with a good high school transcript.

To sum things up, I'm still not sure of what I am going to do for college. I think it is interesting that once I let go of my worries, NC State came to the forefront. It has been suggested by some college advisers I've been to (not ones affiliated with any college. They simply help students determine the right college for him or her) that I should go to a school with an extremely rigorous academic program. NC State has a moderately rigorous (rated 75 out of 100. The advisers were suggesting I go to a 90 or above) program. Which, actually, is a plus for me. I would be learning and discovering new things, but I would still have time to write.

Maybe I'm biased and I am looking at NC State with rose-colored glasses. But I have never been so passionate about any other college. Oh yeah, did I mention that my church is opening a new campus this year within walking distance of NC State dorms??? Yeah. How awesome is that?!

If I do attend NC State, I would like to get my major in Creative Writing and a minor in Marketing. I haven't decided on the other minor- possibly Film & Arts or Cinematography. If I end up working a low-paying job, who cares? God will take care of me and it's not like I'll starve. I might have to go without super fancy clothes and cars, but I think I can handle that. College is an entire four years. A lot can happen in four years.

I think God designed people to have different comfort zones and different trials. For me, I'm a planner and I like knowing exactly what will happen and when it will happen. God is making my future a bit unpredictable so I will have to rely on Him and not my own strength. Maybe there is someone out there who loves taking risks, and perhaps God is making him or her sit down and make a plan.

I don't know what is in my future. But it's gonna be epic! :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season! I know I did!

Everyone is sharing their New Years Resolutions on their blogs this year. I don't really have any other than to simply be a better person this year than I was last year. I know the only way to accomplish this is to grow closer to Christ, so I guess that means I'm going to try to be more consistent with my quiet and prayer times.

But I DO have some writer resolutions! Hopefully, they will work out better than the ones last year. The ones I had last year were a tad unrealistic because I didn't understand what Junior year of High School would entail.

Anyway, here is my list in order of priority.


  • Finish rough draft of 'Flake Frost'
  • Edit and proofread 'Hail Frost'
  • Release 'Hail Frost' to CreateSpace
  • Complete NaNoWriMo
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Begin work on 'Same Star'
The last one I have left rather vague. Being a Junior has proven harder than any other school year of my life. I hear conflicting accounts of Senior year. Some say it's easier, others harder, so I've left me some room for flexibility.

I know these resolutions are do-able. I just have to focus and get them done. Hopefully, I'll be better about that this year than I was last year.

Again, I hope you all have a wonderful New Years Day, and an awesome 2014! :)