Thursday, June 29, 2017

Goodbye June, Hello July!


Hello my wonderful peeps! <3

I am still struggling to understand how June is over and I'm certain I'm not the only one! So what's going on this month for me? Lots!

* Summer Swim Camp

This is insanely fun and a huge challenge! So basically every single morning minus weekends I wake up at an insane five and go to morning practice for two hours, then come back in the afternoon for one hour or more of land practices/clinics. This is all in preparation to compete with local leagues. INSANE.
But so, so much fun! I've made some great friends and really challenged myself beyond what I though I could ever do, also my siblings and I have grown so much closer and more team oriented through this experience. Plus the added bonuses of getting tan, plenty of vitamin d and not feeling like a vegetable. Try writing after intense exercise, it leaves you with a clear, open mind.

*Writing my novel/Camp Nano
Read more about The Spirit Girl here. As far as camp nano goes I can't wait for it to start and I wonder how it will go, to be honest I really have never done this before. *nervous smile of anticipation* .

*Birthday!
I'm turning seventeen in eleven days! Eeeek!!! Where does time go?

*Rebellious Writing 
Am currently working like crazy along with teammates to get this website out to the public by August 9th which is national book lover's day! Look up #RebelliousWriting and support the movement on your own blogs and social media :).

*Tbr's and all the other little insanities that come with summer.

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And those pictures of the beach trip I promised. :) May your summer be even more beautiful than mine has been ;)



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It started out when I was sitting on my bed, bedecked by the usual stack of crumpled papers, notebooks, binders, and planner scattered across the comforter.  I had started the month with high expectations which by the mid of June... *whispers* crumbled. It happens dear reader, it happens. We plan ambitious lists and plans, we dream big  and aspire highly and then one little bad day can bring our high and mighty aspirations down to grovel before us in mockery. It was at that point that a voice in my head spoke loud and clear "True hope doesn't lose with the battle!". And right then I threw down my pen and stared up at the sky through my bedroom window in awe because I was hit with a whole lot of thankfulness to God for that realization.
 Plans fail. Things happen. Circumstances bring you down. But dear, if you have true hope deep down in your heart, please don't let it die out with your battle. He fights your battles! Give your burden to Him, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. <3 He has so much more for you than you can ever know. Remember that.


1. Book/Author of the Month
Terri L. Fivash. This author is incredible and has played a huge part in my life. Her historically  accurate biblical retellings have never failed to leave me with tears and laughter and teach me about what it means to "walk with the Lord". As well as being huge lessons, they are written with plot twists and OMW moments. Begin with "Joseph" or "Ruth and Boaz" and work your way down her series. You will be left amazed! Her books are truly amazing and have taught me a lot. Do know that as these are accurate to the Bible, there will be some gore as well as marriage related parts that are meant for older audiences. However I can vouch for the tastefulness of the content and its masterful handling.
 
2. Song or Artist of the Month
"Oh God, Forgive Us" by For King and Country. A needed message in our overwhelming lives to remember who we serve.
 
3. Food of the Month
Guacamole! I have the most stellar recipe below, it changed me from someone who hated guacamole into guac obsessed.

 4 Ripe Avocados, mashed.
3 Small campari type tomatoes, diced.
Half a small red onion, diced.
A bunch of cilantro, chopped.
Two limes, squeezed. 
Salt and optional pepper to taste.

Mix together and bring on the tortilla chips!  

 
4. Question of the Month
Why do we have hope in tomorrow? (this is the upcoming poem/short story contest subject, so if you are interested in entering than you may write those and keep them private in preparation for the contest! :)
 
 What do you think? How's your summer going? What have you learned this month? Share Below! Whatever you have to say I always really appreciate the messages you leave on my page! <3 :) 


Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy
 and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:29-30) 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Spirit Girl Book Update


Hey guys!
Whew life has been busy for me lately...and it's not about to get any more quiet, so don't be surprised if I disappear for long periods. My summer is currently sand, waves, sore muscles, swimming, LOTR movies. AHHHH LOTR!!!!! *fangirl moment*  Can you believe I didn't watch the movie until now? For once in the long history of book to movie adaptation I am satisfied. Legolas <3 Legolas <3 Legolas <3. I don't like the actor himself, I JUST LIKE HIS CHARACTER. XD.
Ok, I honestly think it might be time to move on...or you might be stuck with my fangirling for a while. ;)


What is your book about?

Well...I could give you the synopsis, but since that's already up on 'My Writings' page then I'll explain beyond that. The Spirit Girl is about voices. Voices we have all heard, the not good enough voice, the stupid voice, the loser voice, the taunting voice. The Devil's Voice. But above all that it's about a much louder voice, God's voice. His Love that roars louder. So basically to summarize it...this is a book about a girl who's lost. She knows she's been forgiven, but she can't forgive herself. She keeps taking it back on her shoulders and it gets her in trouble. She thinks she has to face her mistakes alone but she often fails to realize He's right there to help her. That's the whole underlying theme. 


 Tell us about your MC?

I always love talking about my main characters. :) <3 In this case...River Naomi Montgomery. Her name combined would literally mean "River of Joy". Interestingly enough, my name and hers kind of have correlation because we were both named for things we should accept but struggle to. By the way...if you put my names together, it would come down to "Heavenly Grace". River is a fun, smart, introspective kind of person. But in all ways she is an extrovert and has a really pure heart. She's the kind that would get easily hurt and uncomfortable. Basically she really feels everything she does, she puts her heart in it, even if she doesn't really feel it at the moment. I would tell you guys more concrete, fun stuff, but I'm saving that for a character questionnaire so PLEASE comment questions to "ask my character" below. :) You can ask trivial things like favorite colors or deep things like "What is your greatest fear?". You can also ask what-if questions, that would make things REALLY interesting. Well anyway...I'm sure you all get the idea :)


 How many pages are you hoping to get and what genre is this book?

Currently I am at 56 pages and 14,379 pages. :) I am hoping to get to about 13 chapters that are each twenty something pages so it should be a decent length but not TOO long. I have a nice bullet list which is the best I have ever done for planning. I have never planned out my books before, but I feel like that's what was holding me back. I don't like outlining *whines guiltily* but I know that it's the best for me! 
So as far as genre goes, it is Christian and I guess I didn't want it to come across as a romance but there is a romance in it. It is really clean and River is hard headed when it comes to starting a relationship so it's a lot of fun to write and think about. She is definitely not the easy type but I love what happens in the end. I surprised myself coming up with it, and guess where it came from? *cheers* PINTEREST! See? Pinterest is not THAT bad. XD Yes, yes *grumble, grumble* it wastes your time but here I miraculously end up thanking pinterest for inspiring the best plot turn ever!:P

 Snippets? Pleasssseee...
YES! I would love to share snippets with you! (what shameless questions I seem to ask! XD) *slight blushes* 
I'm putting in the "fancy" ones and then the simple text. It's a lot easier to read that way. (but I just couldn't resist adding in the fancy ones shhh )







I don’t speak much. I hear, I think, I see. Boy do I see, I see so much it confuses me. Words, actions, feelings, and relationships get mixed up in my brain like baking soda with vinegar. I’d like to portray seeing inside as a pleasant artistic thing, but it isn’t. It’s torture, pure torture. The more you know, the more you wonder and the more you doubt. Be careful what kind of knowledge you wish for because many of those wishes come back as curses.

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As we walk along I notice the changes. Desolation eats the country space, weeds and tall grasses overrun the cracked sidewalks and road signs begin to turn lopsided and broken. Houses crumble, doomed by abandonment; their glass panes shattered or fallen in, their roofs caving, their walls falling apart. The sight brings a tinge of sadness to me. The place feels desolate. Final flashes of sunlight shimmer over the atmosphere slowly dying out to the stars that begin to peek their heads out above.
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“When you finish your work this evening, Mike will be wanting you in the back.” She says her voice cold and smooth. The implications break my last resolve into distress and the demons inside break loose, tormenting me to a physical point where my whole body is fighting to keep it in. My eternal scream sounds inside wakening the greatest fear of all, and that’s when I realize. I’m scared of myself.
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How is the writing itself going?

Awesome! I usually lose motivation in writing and get discouraged but this time is quite different. I can credit that to my two AMAZING Alpha readers: Cheryl and Gray! Cheryl has a degree in English and has the best technical and literary advice ever and Gray has self published two books and has super helpful visual and content related advice, so I am covered! Please follow these two! They are dear friends and have awesome blogs <3


Visuals, Aesthetics?

*instantly rushes to get them*
 

That is exactly the way I imagine River except a little more raw, like in the above collage. I wish I could have gotten a smiling picture, that's more her but this is as close as it gets. As far as Eli that is exactly the way I imagine him except not so buff and his hair is more brown then blond. He looks plain when he doesn't smile, but when he does it lights up a room. The adorable husky's name is Storm. <3 
Do you get me with getting realistic character pics? I love to look for them but I feel like many times expectations are unreal. :/ I want my characters to be relatable and raw and real. My guy characters are definitely not all going to be buff and handsome and perfect. My girl characters are not all perfect, gorgeous, and skinny. I want beauty and charm but I seek for realism, for simple everyday characters. I like to focus in the inside, not so much on the outside. But of course dreaming about a character is what makes writing so much fun, so I do plenty of that too :). So the above pics are...let's say the characters at their BEST. :)


Conclusion...

Well I believe I've reached the end of the update! :) There isn't much more to share for now but I will definitely keep updating and answering questions. Coming up I would love to host a cool "Short Story/Poem" contest on my blog so look for that in the future as well as a character questionnaire. 

Thank you all for making it so far with my tired, choppy manner of writing and bad formatting. You guys are saints for coming this far <3. I am currently sitting at the beach library, sand still all over my back and tangled in my hair yuck and my eyes are drooping from saltwater and exhaustion from awaking at 5 and earlier each morning for a month now. So now you can understand my tiredness. XD *yawn*
 


So! What do you all think? Share with me! I absolutely love your comments and shares, they always make my day! Comment questions for my MC to answer too! :)  What are you guys writing? How are your projects going? Let's all chat below!

 



But the Lord is faithful, 
 and he will strengthen you and protect you
from the evil one.  
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Sorceress and The Squid BLOG TOUR



 Hey guys! I'm SO EXCITED FOR THIS! XD
When I fell upon this lovely author's book I was instantly hooked. Not only was the idea unique and interesting but knowing the fun, humorous, writerly Emily...I KNEW this would be an amazing read and I know you will love it too.
 I am so pleased to be participating in her Blog Tour and featuring an Interview! If you strive to be an indie publisher, write books, or want to write books this is a wonderful interview because Emily answers a lot of questions about the building of this book as well as some exclusive content on characters and content! Getting a peak into a published author's life will not only give you more appreciation for their work but also give you insight for yours. Read on!





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In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?



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Emily Mundell is a 19 year old author, artist, horsewoman and lover of the wonders of the wide world. She hails from the Great White North of Canada and has spent her life growing up in the heart of rural Alberta in a close-knit farming community - though she has often entertained fantasies of inhabiting the Shire.

Writing is her true passion – though horses and art take a close second. With fantasy as her primary genre, Emily has been writing stories since the tender age of eight when she finished her first “book.” She is currently working to complete her Creative Writing Certificate through the University of Calgary. An avid bookworm, true country-mouse, and unconventional tree-climber, Emily can usually be found on a horse, working on one of her half-dozen projects, chasing a loose cow, or being swept off her feet by the man she calls her own personal “hobbit.”

EMILY'S SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow her now! 
THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID
Buy it and review it, especially on Amazon!
It boost author ratings and advertising!






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EMILY: First off, thank you so much Anna for featuring me on your blog! I’m so excited to be here answering these fabulous questions. Let’s get started, shall we?

ANNA: How was the "Sorceress and the Squid" born, what inspired you to write it?
 
EMILY: It’s a really funny story, to be honest. A really weird one as well. The very first seed of the story was planted in my head way back in September of 2014. I was having a very very serious conversation with Jonathan (my then-not-yet-boyfriend-now-fiance) about his secret identity as a “ninja squid” who had trained a whole school of ninja squidlings to take over the world. Shortly after this transpired, he asked me to be his girlfriend (rather I kind of forced his hand into coming out and saying that he liked me and then subsequently asking me to be his girlfriend). In the weeks following the craziness of my first boyfriend/dating experience, we followed up on this conversation by titling me as a sorceress who had turned him into said squid and the story just spiralled from there. Downhill or uphill, not really sure. XD

ANNA: How long did it take you to complete this book from first draft to publishing?

EMILY: As stated the story began in late 2014 but I did not start actually writing it until late 2015, which took me through into February of 2016. From there I started editing. I worked quite slowly because I take about four months off of writing in the summer for summer camp. Edits carried over into 2017 until I found an editor, Erin Lodes, to do a copy-edit/proofread for me. She was very thorough and prompt and I had it back in April. Then I got my cover art and started working on the publishing/marketing process for the June 18th release. I had to push the date back once but once things got in motion, it was a fairly smooth process. And now, here we are! So I guess the short answer to that question would be almost two years, but of course I could have probably done it a lot faster if I didn’t have so many other things taking up my attention.

ANNA: What was the hardest thing about writing this book? What blocks did you encounter and how did you fix them…

EMILY: With this book, the growth the story experienced while I was writing was a bit difficult to handle. It was originally planned to be very short, not very serious at all. Just a fun little side-project. As you can see, that did not happen. Honestly, this is not the book I would have pictured being my first publishing venture - yet here I am. As the story got bigger it kept messing up what I was doing, so I had to go back and change/fix things a lot. Also, by the time I finally got through with all the editing I’d probably read it through a million times and was sick to death of reading it! That made proofreading a really difficult thing for me as well.

ANNA: Tell us about your main characters!

EMILY:
Well, I have two main characters: Estrella the Sorceress and Jalen the human warrior/squid. I suppose Estrella is the primary main character, she has the most development while Jalen remains more of a foil to her character. Estrella is over a century old and trained under the Wizard as his pupil in magic for many decades. As his student she became very well-versed in the ancient magic arts and would use her power mainly to help her people. She lived alone in an isolated cabin on a mountainside. As years passed she grew more threatened by an outlying human warrior academy at the base of her mountain and decided to do something about it (against the Wizard's express orders) and that is where the story starts for her. Jalen is a young twenty-something human who was orphaned young when his mother died after bringing him to be trained at the Academy. He has lived there ever since, learning the duties of a soldier to defend his people from the dangerous creatures of the Fae kingdom (Estrella's people). However, he is more of a pacifist at heart and does not want to obliterate them like the rest of the men do. Estrella is a bit on the grumpy side. She does not like dealing with people, especially humans. She is always very thoughtful and has some insecurities caused by a messy past that the book delves into a little. Jalen, always among the best warriors, is very optimistic, bright and cheery - exactly the opposite of Estrella - and the two can occasionally clash. Jalen has many questions about his history and his true trust and loyalty is hard to win because of past experiences with abandonment. As the two grow closer on their journey they begin to build off one another and I think that's one of my favorite parts of the story."

ANNA: What was your favorite part of writing "The Sorceress and the Squid"?

EMILY: Well, originally it was planned to be, as I said, just a silly side project. So I enjoyed the freedom I had in that to just simply enjoy the writing process. I had never really done that before and it was totally relaxing and enjoyable to write. I also really fell in love with the main characters, Estrella and Jalen. They have grown on me since beginning the book and have developed far beyond my original picture of them.

Another enjoyable part of the writing process was (loosely, very loosely) basing the characters on real people in my life and creating a fantasy caricature of them. I think they all enjoyed it and even though it goes against that cardinal rule of not writing about people you know, I enjoyed it too and I think it worked well.

ANNA: What is your advice or suggestion for aspiring authors and self publishers?

EMILY: Such a big question! I think one of the main things is to not give up. Even if it takes years and years for you to get to the publishing point. Relax and enjoy the process, fall in love with stories and characters, don’t be in too big a hurry to finish them and move on. Let yourself learn from them, it’s kinda weird how that works, but it does. As for self-publishing, I’m like, the worst person to ask cause I legit don’t know what I’m doing. XD But I think the main thing, especially for your first time, is to know you can’t really do it all yourself - despite it being called “self-publishing” - and don’t be afraid to ask for help, to get people involved, and to tap into the wonderful writing community that the internet has to offer. I have found an enormous niche of Christian young people (like me) who blog and who write, and that’s been super encouraging and helpful. Look for your “group”, your “tribe,” and stick with them!

ANNA: And last! Your favorite quote or snippet from "The Sorceress and the Squid"?

EMILY: This is tricky...there are a lot of parts of the story that I really like. Some for their humor and some for their seriousness. It’s so hard to choose one without giving away spoilers as well!

One of my favorite quotes that I can share without spoilers is “It’s hard to separate fact from fiction when you weren’t around - it’s hard enough even when you were.”

Probably my favorite scenes/snippets take place at the end of the book in the final few chapters. I really like the flashback scenes into Estrella and Jalen’s past, as well as when Estrella comes to grips with her history and makes a choice (for those of you who have read the book you will know what I’m talking about). I’m afraid I did not write this book to be very quotable at all! XD


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What's left now? GO BUY THE BOOK and REVIEW IT and CHECK OUT WONDERFUL AUTHOR, EMILY MUNDELL'S SOCIAL MEDIA.





What do you think of "The Sorceress and The Squid"? Have you read it? Share Below, your comments are always appreciated and please remember to drop by Emily's blog and follow her!