How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Five Fall Favorites Party!


Please forgive the spill-over into my sidebar, but I want this invitation to be nice and big so you can read all the information. :) This is the first year I've participated in the Five Fall Favorites party, and I'm really looked forward to it. I hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stuck on an Island

I hope you had a great Labor Day! For me, I was able to make progress on a story, which adds a special shine to any day in my estimation. 

The Real Green Gables

Since I last posted, I’ve resettled into a writing routine (as of right now!). What am I working on? A third Marielle novel, this one set on Prince Edward Island. (By the by, exactly one year ago today I arrived on P.E.I. to begin my own adventure there.) I don’t want to share many details too soon because details tend to be fickle and whimsical, but for now, the novel is going well. I know I should be optimistic, but, honestly, I’m holding my breath about how its progress will continue, because for the several months that I’ve had this idea and begun working on it, it evaded my interest and enthusiasm.

Surely you’ve also felt completely unmotivated about working on a project that you know you should be excited about. Days and weeks go by, and you’re feeling more and more unhappy about being “forced” to do it until you just want to slide it off your plate into the trashcan. That was me with this novel. Friends had made some suggestions that added to the plot, and I thought I was set. I began to peck at it but couldn’t manage much, especially on the days I did my editing jobs. I realized this couldn’t go on – either I’d have to get serious about it or drop it altogether. I went with the former because I knew there needed to be a third Marielle installment. And now, several weeks later, it’s captured my heart and I love writing it.

How did I get to that point? If you’re trying to overcome reluctance to work on one of your own projects, writing or otherwise, maybe something here might help:

- After hours of editing, I couldn’t stand to be on the computer anymore once I was done for the night. So I pulled out a good old-fashioned notebook and handwrote a few pages. It was slow, but at least it was progress, and a change of place and position loosened up my creativity.
- Tweaking what I’d already written to match the new plot ideas gave me a context for picking up where I left off after a long absence.
- Photos fed my visual-hungry brain and reminded me why I love Prince Edward Island.
- Research answered some questions and helped me craft atmosphere and details.
- Reminiscing about my own P.E.I. trip gave me inspiration for characters and settings.
- Poetry made me fall in love with words and imagery all over again, and writing tips made me want to try them out on my own creative work.
- Reading some of L. M. Montgomery’s beautiful writing (the P.E.I. author of Anne of Green Gables) inspired me more than anything else – after all, she is the person who ignited my work-in-progress in the first place.

So the next time I feel stuck, I hope can remember to take the time to search for inspiration to fill up my dry well. If we have nothing to draw from, how can we keep producing?

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Spotlight: Gestern Blog Tour



Today I'm excited to spotlight Gestern, the fifth book in J. Grace Pennington's dynamic scifi series, Firmament. Not only this book but the whole series has received rave reviews. I'm looking forward to reading all the books when I get the chance! (I have two waiting for me on my Kindle.) 

About the Book



You never escape your past

Andi Lloyd is more comfortable than most with interstellar travel, but she's not prepared for the perils and peculiarities of a world she has all but forgotten—the planet Earth. As the Surveyor undergoes repairs, her brother August receives a message with news that will send both of them across the world to a place he never wanted to visit again.

Neither of them are prepared to be thrust into a world of political intrigue amid the tangled forests and crumbling ruins of Austria. They aren't prepared to encounter wild animals and endure cross-country hikes. And they definitely aren't prepared to face it all alone.

But despite the dangers they must press on into the unknown to find a way to save Andi's life, to decide the fate of Earth itself—and to rescue a lonely girl who just happens to be their little sister.

Buy from Amazon HERE.

 

About the Author



J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five. Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she's not writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.

 

Giveaway



J. Grace Pennington is offering three great giveaways! One is the CD she listened to while she wrote Gestern. The other two are a signed paperback of the winner’s choice. You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Paperback of choice from Firmament series (2) 


Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on the tour to learn more about Gestern by reading excerpts, reviews, and guest posts!

August 25
Frances Hoelsma – Excerpt
shout outs – Book Spotlight
Laurel's Leaves – Guest Post
The Destiny of One – Review

August 26
Jaye L. Knight – Excerpt

August 27
Kelsey's Notebook – Book Spotlight
Claire Banschbach – Excerpt

August 28
Rachel Rossano's Words – Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Books – Excerpt

August 29
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner







Thursday, August 17, 2017

Vintage Jane Austen Interviews

Most of you probably know about the Vintage Jane Austen project that I was able to be a part of. My contribution, Suit and Suitability, was published as an eBook back in May, and since then two more novels have come out! Paperbacks are planned in the near future.

One of the authors, Emily Ann Benedict, is interviewing each of the other authors on her blog. Since behind-the-scenes is always an interesting topic, I thought I'd share the links to each interview here. You can also find out more about each book through links on her blog.


Emmeline by Sarah Holman

(Emma)





 

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant
(Sense and Sensibility)









Perception by Emily Ann Benedict 
(Persuasion) (This interview is on Sarah Scheele's blog, another of the VJA authors.)










Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele
(Mansfield Park)







I'll post the link to the final interview once it is up!

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones
(Pride and Prejudice)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Where Have I Been? Visiting Other Planets?

For many people, summer is independent of all the other seasons, keeping its own schedule and playing by its own rules. So . . . I don’t know . . . is that a good enough excuse for my blogging silence for much of the summer? Hopefully maybe? I helped with a Bible camp for teens and a music day camp for kids (which finished up in August), and in the interim days was preparing for each one, on top of working my normal jobs. I’ve had a marvelous time!

But, confession: I’ve hardly done any serious writing. (Hence Camp NaNo in July was not an option for me.) However, now that life, from this vantage point at least, seems like it will settle into a straight line again, I hope to return to my writing routine. I started a new Marielle story and am tossing around a few other ideas as well.

Music Camp




Choir Practice
A Musical Game
Learning about the Planets and Decorating T-shirts

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Gustav Holst and his orchestral suite The Planets, but that’s been a bit of an obsession with me lately, as I had the pleasure of introducing kids at the music camp to it since our theme was “Outer Space: The Music of the Spheres.” The Planets is one of my favorite pieces of classical music. Our solar system’s planets fascinate me, so I had a great time discussing both the music and the planets themselves with the kids. If you’ve never heard it, I highly recommend it! It’s made up of seven unique movements; you’re bound to like at least one of them. My favorites are Jupiter and Neptune; my least favorite is Mars.

I. Mars, the Bringer of War. Holst wrote The Planets during WWI, so this ominous piece reflects the destruction and senselessness of war underneath a triumphant veneer.
II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Gentle, melodious tones bring peace and healing, with a sense of sadness for what has passed, but hope for what lies ahead.
III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger. Speedy Mercury is represented by the shortest movement in the suite. The quick, darting theme remind us of a bird.
IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Jupiter is the “king” of the planets as it’s by far the largest. The music sounds like subjects celebrating their beloved king.
V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age. This sad, wistful piece sounds like an old man remembering the glory days.
VI. Uranus, the Magician. One pictures a pompous magician (dressed in blue?) waving his wand around performing tricks.
VII. Neptune, the Mystic. Deep blue Neptune reminds us of the ocean. The quiet, changeful, siren-like music images an underwater journey.

What have you been doing this summer? On my second note, have you ever listened to Holst’s The Planets?

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Coronation Blog Tour

Looking for a unique and exciting debut novel with a beautiful message to read this summer? It’s my pleasure to tell you about The Coronation, by Livy Jarmusch, founder of Crown of Beauty magazine


About the Book

Prince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities. 

Addison’s sisters, Princesses Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, have their struggles with being iconic European starlets of a modern day monarchy. The teen heiresses grace magazine covers, smile for photoshoots, and gracefully glide through important interviews–until a certain American popstar arrives on the scene. Kennetic Energy, the wildly popular band from the United States, is chosen to play at Addison’s Coronation. David Carter, the band’s handsome lead singer, fumbles through awkward moments with Princess Hope–in front of the cameras. When an embarrassing rumor sparks that Princess Hope is dating the young fellow, she is determined to get the band fired from their Royal gig. 

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

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

Check it out on Amazon and on Goodreads! 

 
About the Author
Livy Jarmusch is a dreamer, singer, songwriter and orphan advocate. She loves fairy-tales, the smell just after it rains, golden retriever puppies and peppermint ice-cream cones. If you really want to get to know her, follow her on Pinterest, and if you find yourself repinning everything, you're sure to be the best of friends! To join this princess on her pilgrimage through life, follow on instagram @livylynnglittergirl & Pinterest @livyglittergirl. 
Also, visit her at www.livylynnblog.com.  

A Note from Me

I’ve just begun to read The Coronation, and it’s already pulled me in with its intriguing storyline. I’ll be getting a review up once I finish, so stay tuned to either my blog or my Goodreads account if you’re interested in what I think. 



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Generations

You may or may not have missed my post last week, but I had a good reason for its absence . . . family vacation! We visited my mom’s side of the family. My grandmother’s birthday is in June, and this year she turned 99. She is doing so well for her age! She has always been a reader, and she still devours a quantity of library books every month. 


If any of you have read the dedication of my novel Suit and Suitability, you may possibly remember I dedicated it to my grandmother Irene. She has always been a special person in my life. She was born in 1918, putting her at about a year younger than the middle Dashiell sister, Marion; so the Great Depression overshadowed her youth. But like many of the solid-gold Americans who lived during that decade, she came out the stronger for it. Although Suit and Suitability is not released in paperback yet, I did give her an unofficial proof copy because she was eager to read it. I am so blessed to have her!

Happy birthday, Grandma! You always have and always will inspire me and your many other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!