Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guess what came in the mail today!

My proof copy of Hidden Pearls! I do have a few missed typos to correct and some tweaking to the cover, but after so long, it's absolutely amazing to hold a hard copy of it in my hands.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Announcements, Questions, & a Pinterest Board

     Believe it or not guys, it's getting to be that time- Hidden Pearls publishing time. Can you believe it? While I'm readying a blog tour, a special week of blog posts, and (maybe!) a giveaway, I'm also going to be knee-deep in Five Enchanted Roses business very soon as well. So, that being said, I might not be posting very much until Hidden Pearls release week.

Speaking of that....do any of you have questions about Hidden Pearls? About my writing process? Anything at all? Instead of an "interview" for release week, I've decided to make it a bit more of an informal Q&A with any questions I get asked. Feel free to drop your questions in the comments below or on Goodreads.

And in the meantime, I've made my The Wulver's Rose pinterest board public, so feel free to take a look!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Guys,Guys, GUYS!

I wish I could be a bit more eloquent, but I'm just a little too excited. :) The winners of The Five Enchanted Roses contest were announced today.....

THERE IS MY NAME IN PRINT. (woohoo!) I am so excited and honored that my story, The Wulver's Rose, was one of the chosen. Congratulations to the other winners, and many thanks to all those at Rooglewood Press for doing this contest. 

You can see more (such as the descriptions for each of the five stories!) at Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Day I (Almost) Swooned

    And no, no handsome men were involved. Well, unless you count my dad, who I think is definitely pretty handsome. But then, I might be biased ;)

    If any of you know my sister, you know that when she gets an idea into her head, it's impossible to get her to give it up. So when she heard that the Red Cross was doing a blood drive at the mall near our house, she was determined to go. As my dad donates blood pretty regularly, he didn't mind taking her as well. I had completely forgotten about their plans until the night before "the day" and by the next morning my sister had convinced me to come along and donate my blood, too. (This convincing mainly consisted of reminders that this was at THE MALL which happens to contain A BOOKSTORE)

Emily (r) and I looking through the Blood Drive info packet

    Totally willing to give up a pint of my blood for a chance to wander the bookstore (who wouldn't?) I tagged along with my Emily and my dad, as well as my mother, who decided this was the perfect picture-taking opportunity. (My mother would have given blood as well, but she has a low platelet count which prevents her from doing so)

They took my dad first, and then I was next.

My dad in "the chair"

    By this time I was getting a little nervous. The nice Red Cross lady took my temperature (do I have a fever? Maybe I have a fever???) and then checked my blood pressure (I DO have pretty low blood pressure normally...maybe it'll be too low...) and my iron levels (I didn't eat a steak this morning, my iron HAS to be low, right?) and then took my pulse (Maybe I won't have a pulse! Oh, wait....) Not exactly pleased with my perfect health, I then sat down at a closed-off computer to answer more health questions. It took rather a long time to fill out all my information because the computers kept glitching. While I was sitting there waiting, I saw my sister wandering around. Confused because I had heard them call her name earlier, I looked to my mom, who shrugged and then told me, "She didn't weigh enough for her age to give blood."

File:Oh really.gif

    By the time I was finally able to go out and sit in the chair to actually give blood, I was just ready to get it over with so I could go to the bookstore. I don't mind telling you that I was VERY nervous when she poked the needle into my arm (I didn't look when she did it. That definitely helped) Honestly, though, it was just a little prick and sitting there while they drained the life out of me didn't hurt at all ;) In fact, I thought, This isn't bad at all. I could do this all day.

Ugh. No, this is not a flattering picture of me.
    But then...she took the needle out and as soon as she did, I began to feel a little nauseous and my vision started getting splotchy. The blood drive had a wonderful supply of cookies, soda, and juice on-hand, so my mom ran and grabbed me a sprite. Another nurse got me some wet paper towels to put on my head. I felt really ridiculous, but I can't deny that it helped. After a few minutes, I tried to sit up.

    This is perhaps the biggest mistake I have ever made. Everything went black. I was still conscious, but I couldn't see anything, and I couldn't really hear anything except for noises that sounded far, far away. I felt sick and terrible and all I could think of was, "I want to go to the bookstore!"

    No, the bookstore did not happen that day.

    It took us almost an hour to actually leave the mall after that because anytime I'd feel better, I'd try to get up and then everything would kind of turn into splotchy black spots and I'd feel dizzy. The sprite didn't help much because I don't like to drink soda, and since I wasn't used to the carbonation it kind of upset my stomach. However, I had some salty pretzels which really did the trick- I really, really wanted some salt. (You know I was craving that mineral!!!)  Of course, I got braces about a month ago so I couldn't actually eat the pretzels- I could only suck the salt off of them. So basically I was lying down in the middle of the mall with cold cloths all over my head, a barf bag on my lap (which thankfully I didn't have to use) while sucking pretzels. Thankfully, I am confident enough to pull this look off. ;)

    I also had some apple juice and a cookie, which helped, too.

    Overall, though, I am really glad I did it. Apparently the blood I donated is enough to save three people's lives, which definitely puts a little lightheadedness in perspective. And my sister got her due a couple days later when she accidentally cut her  finger  and lost a lot of blood (for a finger, anyway). But my dad glued her cut together and it seems to be okay now.

    Also, I got to lay around the rest of the day and watch Audrey Hepburn movies. So that part was pretty nice, too ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Stay-At-Home Daughter Interviews: Emily K.

Can you believe it's been nearly a year since the last time I did one of these interviews? I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy learning about other people's lives. (in a non-creepy way, of course;) This interview is with Emily K, and I think it's a great post to help start off the new year. You can find Emily's blog here.

Emily K.

1. Tell us a little about you and your family.
I'm Emily --  daughter to two amazingly-wonderful parents, and older sister to one pretty awesome girl.  I'm a chronic creator, avid reader, Trekkie, Texan, homeschool graduate, and college senior.  I speak fluent movie quotes (and whale ;) ), enjoy contra and swing dancing, canoeing, good conversations, tea & fuzzy socks, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.
I'm currently working on earning my BSBA in Computer Information Systems from Thomas Edison State College through College Plus.

2. Why did you decide to become a stay-at-home daughter?
Well, I never really had a desire to move out as soon as I finished high school.  I was considering commuting to a college an hour away, but ended up deciding to work on my degree from home.  This has enabled me to maintain the flexible school schedule I've enjoyed so long.

3. Are you and/or your family involved in any specific ministries? If so, what are they?
Not any "official" ministries, but we are always practicing the art of hospitality with our friends and church family.  There is always someone at the house or a meal to be shared.  We also co-host monthly contra dances.  These aren't a ministry per-se, but it has been neat to see so many people have fun through something that the Lord blessed us with.

4. Could you tell us what a typical day of yours looks like?
To be honest, I don't think I have many "typical" days. :P  Every day seems to bring new adventures.  One of my mom's favorite maxims is "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not break." ;)  Lately, my days have been filled with studies, hospitality, travels, dancing, frisbee, and hand lettering projects.

5. What are some ways you like to relax?
I'm happiest when I'm creating whether that be with pen and paper, needle and thread, rubber stamps and ink, or my camera.  Sitting down and letting pent-up creative juices flow is such a great feeling.  Especially when I don't have to worry about how big of a mess I'm making. ;)

6. What is one weakness/character flaw you’re trying to overcome (be honest! :)
I've been learning a lot about trusting in God's timing.  About holding my plans with open hands and trusting that the Lord knows best and that He is holding my future in His oh so capable hands..  My own plans for the latter half of this year were turned upside down so I've had a lot of practice lately. ;)

7. What are some names you’d love to name your future kids?
Hehe... The only reason I have any names picked out is because when my sister was little, she started planning out all her kids and "claiming" names.  I had to start claiming a few or she'd get all the good ones. ;) For boys, I'm partial to: Raymond, Timothy, and Paul.  For the girls: Ashley, Audrey, and Lindsey.

8. What’s the best part about being a stay-at-home daughter?
Getting to be a part of everything that's going on!  If I was away at college, I'd be missing out on so much.

9. Is there a particular Bible verse/story that’s especially close to your heart?
I've been reading a lot in Philippians lately -- it has so many good passages.  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

10. Name a favorite movie that starts with an I.
I.Q. starring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau.  It's a sweet (and mostly clean) romantic comedy that tells the story of a car mechanic who works to impress a girl with the help of her uncle -- Albert Einstein.

11. What are the top 5 songs played on your ipod/mp3 player? (or just 5 of your favorite songs) 
Home by The Piano Guys
The Parting Glass by The High Kings
Another Day in LA by Indigo Swing
Add To The Beauty by Sara Groves
You Are My Vision by Rend Collective Experiment

12. Have you encountered any criticism with being a stay-at-home daughter? If so, how do you handle it?
To be honest, I haven't come across much.  There's quite a bit of confusion regarding my college plans, but most of my family and friends have been very supportive.

Thanks, Emily! 
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