Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2 Pieces of Valuable Advice

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There once was a girl named Jaden, an enthusiastic young High School graduate. Her whole life lay ahead of her like a road in the Great Plains. The possibilities where endless, the sky was the limit to what she could do.
3 Months Later...
There once was a girl named Jaden, who was a wandering young High School graduate. Her whole life seemed empty and confusing like a road through the heart of Chicago. Every time she thought she had something figured out, a new turn came up, another stop light, another dead end, and always in the dark...

For some people, this may sound painfully familiar. It might be your own personal story. It's fun to dream big, but reality can often be cruel to imagination. I've certainly discovered that. That's when I learned the amazing value in two pieces of simple advice.

Just Take Things On Step At A Time



The teenage years can be some of the most complicated, and I believe that is when the most simple advice can be priceless.

Just Take Things One Step At A Time

Maybe for you that's something as simple as learning how to write your first resume. Maybe it's finishing that project that's been sitting in the garage for a couple months. Everything you do is adding to your set of skills. Crafts are art, hosting a party with friends is Organization and Management, Cooking is Yummy! If you feel like nothing is happening, make something happen! Be proactive with your life. And it doesn't have to be huge! It can be just one tiny step. But at least you'll be going somewhere.


No, don't roll your eyes at me! I know it sounds Christian-ese, but it's so true. In the King James version, prayer is mentioned 300 times. It's probably important if it's mentioned that many times! Even Jesus prayed. Sometimes talking to God can help us put into words what is truly bothering us. Maybe you're not stepping out because you're afraid.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace if give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Maybe you're worried about what the future has in store.
Matthew 6:43 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble if it's own.
God is looking after you in every circumstance. Prayer is an amazing way to connect with the God who can see around the corners that you can't. 

Have you ever had a time when you felt stuck, lost, or overwhelmed? What was it that helped pull you through it?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How To Write Female Characters

In my book, The Prince of Pirates, I started writing the entire story from my main characters point of view. He's a strong, blunt/sarcastic, adult who is a man in every sense of the word. Towards the end, though, I realized that I needed to add in a girl's point of view so it would appeal to a broader range of readers, and bring more depth to the story. 
(I can't divulge any more because a Spoiler Alert would go off)
The difficulty came in creating a sharp characteristic contrast between the male and female. Because I can only step into the mindset of a man so far, I felt that I needed to make the contrast really evident. I've seen this struggle played out in many other books as well, and it usually ends with the girl being the typical Damsel-in-distress. A total sissy, in a less elegant choice of words. I hated that! Chiefly because that's not how most girls are.

So I changed the way I wrote. Instead of going off of what a man would do and making the girl do the opposite, I decided to pick female characters I admired and see exactly which traits I wanted to use. And guess what? Writing from my new female character's point of view has been loads of fun!

One was Tauriel from The Hobbit.
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I know she's not in the Hobbit book. And I'm sorry for the fans out there, but she and Legolas needed to scram. But, she's there, and I liked her character.
Personalities used:

  • Fighting spirit
  • Slightly Stubborn when she thought she was right
  • Speaking her mind
  • Acting, with or without approval, when she knew what the right thing to do was

My second was Sonora from Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.
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If you haven't seen this movie, you should! (Especially if you love horses)

Personalities used:

  • Knows what she wants and fights for it.
  • Commitment
  • Strength (both in physical situations and mental)
  • Is willing to work hard for what she wants

Third (and forth) was Lucy and Susan Pevensie

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You didn't think I would make this post without mentioning Narnia did you? For the sake of content, I'm going to roll these two up into a ball.
  • Faith
  • Courage 
  • Willingness to fight
  • Protective of those they love
By taking these characteristics, I was able to create a female character that was still a girl, but wasn't going to stand by and let the man be the all-saving hero. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, and there are certainly times when men need to take a stand to protect the women, but the girl doesn't have to faint, or get sick, every time somebody is hurt, or burst into tears when something the least bit sad happens. (unless you're writing a wimpy female character. Then by all means, crank up the water works.) 

I'm going to throw in one caution. Sarcasm doesn't signify strength. All too often I see female characters trying to show off how strong they are by throwing out a few undermining, or sarcastic, lines. This actually shows a lack of security if they have to use words instead of actions. 
Image result for actions speak louder than words

Which female characters do you admire? What is it about them that catches your attention? Feel free to share! Maybe I'll weave it into a new character for my book!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Five Fall Treats

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Once the temperature drops to the 60's, and the leaves begin to change into incredible shades of red and orange, it's time to bring out the cozy sweaters and fuzzy slippers.

But most of all...

Bring on the fall treats!!

And, by fall, I pretty much mean anything pumpkin. Fall and winter are the only two times when I will forego my chocolate go-to's for pumpkin and eggnog yummies. 
(proper English gets ditched as well)

Since the Fall weather is definitely here, that means it's time for all the yummy pumpkin flavors.

These are my absolute favorite Fall recipes that I only make this time of year!

How to make a pumpkin latte that's better than Starbucks PSL at home.
I don't normally drink coffee, but I will make several cups of this a week because it is SO good! (And I make it decaf or I would be writing this at 2 a.m. 

Image result for molasses cookiesPumpkin Dip

This is kind of a secret family tradition that needs to be known by every person on earth! And, if you want a healthier option, you can dip apples in the pumpkin dip. (But cookies are better!)

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Because everybody needs something for a quick breakfast, right?
(Can anybody guess what I'm going to do as soon as I finish writing this post?)

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If you love to bake, you should invest in a Spritz cookie press. They are so much fun, and taste amazing!

OK, I have only made these once because they are kind of labor intensive. But they were probably the best cookie I have ever had! So, if you ever find yourself stuck inside on a rainy fall day, have fun and try your hand at these. You won't be disappointed!

What are some of your favorite Fall treats to make? Have you made any Fall yummies yet? I would love to hear about it, so please share in the comments!