Monday, July 30, 2012

Writing Inspiration- Sandra Byrd Interview

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a great day. This week for my writing inspiration, I interviewed one of my favorite authors, Sandra Byrd. She is a fantastic writer with lots of advice for young authors. Be sure to visit her website and read her books. Enjoy!

1. Where do you get your ideas from?
A lot of my ideas come from my own interests (which is why I am writing about London right now!) or troubles that God has brought me through in my life.  Sometimes I will read about something that sparks an idea, or I'll have a conversation with a friend that turns exciting ... and it grows from there!
2. How long does it usually take to write a book?
Somewhere between six months (for a YA or tween book) to a year (for an adult historical novel).  But usually I've been researching or living bits and pieces of it for longer than that.
3. How do you as an author overcome writer's block?
Writer's block is usually anxiety or fear.   So I remind myself that I can always edit, and that no one has to see this draft, and that  more people will like the book than not.  I also use something that a friend Jame Scott Bell, calls the "nifty 350." Basically, you make yourself sit down till you've written 350 words.  By the time you reach that goal, the pump is primed, as it were, and you want to keep writing.
It helps to write about things you really love, too, because then you won't lose interest.
4. What inspires you to write?
I always wanted to be a writer to "pay back" in some way the many authors who have provided hours and hours of reading pleasure for me.  So I write for readers  - and because I believe that it is my calling.
5. What is your personal favorite book?
Oh, I don't have a personal favorite, that would be like choosing a favorite child.  My favorite fiction genre to read is historical or historical romance. I also love to read devotionals and biographies and self-help books.
6. What advice would you give young authors who want to be published?
Read, write, be edited, repeat.  Read, write, be edited, repeat!  And don't give up.  Perseverance is 50% of the writing game!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Happy Sunday everyone! Just a little reminder, we will be having a special interview for my writing inspiration tomorrow that you should definitely come back to check out. Anyhoo, today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite worship songs. Take a few minutes to listen to these songs and worship our holy God. Let me know which one is your favorite. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Movie Review

Hello all! I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday. Just a quick reminder, we will be having a special interview on Monday for my writing inspiration that you should definitely take a look at! Anyway, every once in a while I will do reviews for movies, music albums, and books. Today I will do a review for the movie Brave! On opening day my sister, my neighbor, and my neighbor's two little ones went to see this new Disney film. Princess Merida is training to be a princess under the careful watch of her mother's eye. However, Merida does not wish to be a "perfect princess" like her mother wants her to be. The tomboy becomes furious with her mother and makes a decision that seems right at first to Merida, but soon becomes a huge mistake. Compared to other Disney movies, Brave had a bit more of a dark feel to it. I saw that my neighbor's youngest was quite afraid during a few scenes of this film, along with many other kiddos in the theater. I did however like the moral of this little story. The re-mending of the relationship between Merida and her mother was very inspiring. Personally, this is not my absolute favorite Disney Pixar movie. But it was a nice and enjoyable film that I probably will end up buying on DVD.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday's Fashion Finds

Hello all! Hope you had a great week. I am so excited about the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics tonight! It's a tradition for my family to stay up and watch it. In other news, we will be having a special interview on the blog this Monday. Definitely be here to check it out! Anyhoo, here are my fashion finds for this lovely Friday. Let me know what your favorites are.

I just love these nails! I need to try this sometime. 

I'ev been looking for a good pair of cowgirl boots for this fall and this website has a nice selection. A good friend of mine has a pair of these and they are very good!

Loving the summery orange in this outfit. Bright and bold colors are so fun to wear in the summer. 

This dress is too cute. I especially love the idea of bright red lipstick with this gorgeous outfit.

I would totally wear this dress. It has a nice length and is very adorable.

Stripes! The belt is definitely a nice touch.

Love the feel of this outfit. The skirt is just so cute. 

Very neat! I'll have to try this sometime. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Need a Good Book?

Hello everyone! Hope y'all are having a nice week. So one of my biggest probs in life is finding a good book. Because I know I'm not the only one, here are a few book reviews to solve this difficult dilemma. I have read all these books and would definitely recommend them to you. All of these books definitely have solved my no-good-book problems. Let me know what you think!

 Island Girl by one of my favorite authors, Sandra Byrd, is a great read! Here is a summary from This Girl's Veiwpoint
"Every summer thirteen-year-old Meg returns to the berry fields of her grandparents' Oregon farm. But this year everything is different. Back home, her mother is remarried with a new baby on the way, and Meg isn't sure where she fits in the family anymore. And now the comfortable familiarity of the farm has changed, too. There's a new girl, Tia, whose father has been hired to run the farm--a job Meg had hoped her army colenel dad would take over when he retires.During this season of growth, Meg faces the challenges of figuring out what life, family and friendship are all about. And like the vines in her grandfather's fields, Meg strives to be a strong branch that bears sweet, plentiful fruit."

This book covers the Fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23. Island Girl is a part of the Friends for Season series. I haven't read the entire series, but I'm sure they are all probably very good!

 Ah yes, Christy Miller! This book one of my absolute favorites. So you may be wondering, what is this Christy Miller series about? Here's the summary of the first book in this volume, Summer Promise. (This summary can be found of the back of the book)
"Fourteen-year old Christy Miller has the dream summer ahead of her in sun-kissed California, staying with her aunt and uncle at their beachfront home. Aunt Marti loves to shop, and those surfers are cute-especially Todd. Christy promised her parents she wouldn't do anything she'd regret later, and some of her beachfront friends are a little wild. But Todd and his 'God-lover' friends are giving Christy a new image of all things eternal. Can this summer live up to it's promise?"
Summer Promise is one-third of Volume 1. I loved these books so much. I actually have read the first volume at least four times! There are also four more volumes.

And lastly for today, The Hunger Games! The Hunger Games happens to be my second favorite book of all time. (The Bible is my favorite book of all time, just in case you wanted to know) Now, I know a lot of you who haven't read the Hunger Games may think it's just the "next Twilight" and a goofy fad. Although it may be a fad, it is a great book to read. Here is a brief summary of the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games, courtesy of 
"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender." 
The Hunger Games was a great read, and I recommend it. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's Fashion Finds

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are having a splendid day. Here are my fashion finds for this Friday.

For a girl who wears ponytails all the time, these are perfect!

Love this dress! 

I have a sample of this perfume, and it smells great! Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue is my favorite scent.

The stripes really caught my eye! Wonderful outfit. 

Totally adorable shoes! Very stylish. 

Here are fifteen awesome hairstyles that I'm dying to try. I especially like number 11 and number 8

Thursday, July 19, 2012

True Friendship

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a lovely day. So today I was thinking about my best friends. New seasons have started in my life, and now I won't be able to see some of my dearest friends very often. Things like this have happened to me when I was younger, but now that I'm older, I have made friendships that mean more to me. So instead of drowning myself in self-pity about all this, I've chosen to look at things differently. I came upon this lovely quote the other day that I would like to be the heart of this post.

This quote has grown very dear to my heart as I've thought about this new season of my life. I know for sure God designed some of these friendships I have made, which is how I know this quote will become true. In the past year or so, I have been able to see friends from the past, who I thought would be inseparable. But we did separate and things did change. That's how I knew those friendships were not true (and I'm starting to sound like Dr. Seuss...). The friendships I made in the past year or so were ones that I had always dreamed of having. The endless amount of inside jokes, the crazy ideas, the sitting next to each other in every class. But that wasn't just it. I dreamed of having best friends who would help me on my walk with God. Friends who I could pray with and trust them to keep me accountable. Friends who always will pick me up when I fall and be that shoulder to cry on. But also friends who make sure I get right back up and start being the girl God wants me to be. I am so thankful for these friends. I know it can be hard to be separated from dear friends like this. But like the quote says, nothing changes. That's such a helpful reminder. A good friend of mine gave me a tip on how to stay in touch with friends, if you possibly have the same problem as I do. Write your friends letters. My good friend told me something like this, "It's hard to remember a phone call but you can always go back to a letter when you're missing them." I think this idea is an awesome way to be close to your true friends, even when you are separated from them. Before I finish this post, I have to add this. There is always one friend who will never be separated from you if you accept Him. Yes, I'm talking about God. God is with us, and He should be our best friend too. Think about how awesome that is for a minute. The Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all the living creatures wants to be your best friend. He is there for you to talk to Him 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He can help you in ways no human friend could. I am thankful that God put dear friends like the ones I told you about in my life. But you know, I'm even more thankful that God is my best friend. In fact He mixes this whole quote up. He is inseparable from us, and nothing changes. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Fashion Finds

Hello all! Hope you are having a great Friday. I'm having a pretty good one :) Anyways, here are my fashion finds for this week. Tell me what you think!

Spencer Hastings, played by Troian Bellisario on Pretty Little Liars, always has an adorable vintage outfit on. This one happens to be one of my favorites!

Love this dress worn by pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton. 

One of my favorite parts about summer is neon nail polish! I especially love the pink :)

I always have to have some connection to the Hunger Games in my fashion posts :) This Katniss inspired braid is my absolute favorite hairstyle. 

These Quarts Drop earrings are very cute!

Leighton Meester does a great job at pulling off this bright, colorful outfit

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pinterest Finds

Hello all! Here are some of my Pinterest finds for this week. Let me know what you think! :)

DIY Cell phone charger! Pretty cool!

Pudding Pops! These look yummy and they're really easy to make.

Love this room! The colors are perfect. I especially love the little window seat in the back. I have always dreamed of having one of those.

This is pretty cool! Its a swimming pool made to look like a river. 

Fun party lights that are easy to make. I so want to do this!!

Sparklers, a major part of my summer.

Absolutely love this quote. 

Love this quote too. It really makes you think.

Here's something I never would have thought of. Eat marshmallows if you have a sore throat. I'll try that next time I have one!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FCA Camp!

Hello! So this past week, I went to FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) camp at Campbellsville University. I wanted to tell you all a little bit about my experience at camp. I roomed with a good friend of mine from church, who happens to be very excellent at making me laugh! We decorated our dorm with lots of streamers and hid our stock pile of junk food. Then we got to meet our huddle. A huddle is basically a small group (around eight people). They are not co-ed groups. I was blessed to have probably the best huddle leader at camp! She is now one of my role models. Our huddle competed against other huddle groups in many different games during the morning and afternoon. We would also go to chapel in the morning and at night and have huddle group meetings periodically through the day. I learned a lot at FCA camp! I wish I could tell you all every detail of what I learned, but unfortunately I don't have enough time. But to sum up some of the main things, I learned to not worry about what others think of me, to glorify God in all situations, and to be a leader. So what was my favorite part of camp, you may ask? Probably my huddle group. My huddle leader said it best, "Thanks to FCA camp, I now have 8 sisters" Have a happy Tuesday everyone!