Dec 10, 2015

Flight Character Roll Call

     Today, I am gathering the bits and hints about the characters of Flight in one post. Why? Because I haven't written anything since Nanowrimo, and I need some kind of kick in the pants. This story is halfway done. I need to get over the crest of this hill. So, I hope a peek at the main cast will make you want to meet them and make me want to continue writing them. They are pretty cool.

     1. "Phoenix"
          This is the main character. That's all I've revealed so far. My sister wonders if this is a mythological creature; I tell you this so you won't feel alone as I continue to evade that question. 

 2. Benjamin
          This guy does not relinquish his secrets easily. I blame most of my struggles over Flight's plot on him. Very rarely do I get a clear look at his past and what his present goal is. That excites me, because I get to uncover secrets as I write, but it also worries me because I wonder if I'll be able to figure it out before the end of the story. Much of Flight hangs on him, so we'll see how this goes. He's also extremely sassy. I accidentally slipped his last name (which I apologetically stole from a real couple I know) on my Facebook page during Nanowrimo.

     3. Mrs. Highland
          This little old lady was inspired by my grandmother and other elderly relatives. She started out as an add-in to this story, just because old ladies rarely ever play a part in Spec-Fic, but she has grown into a vital character. I've described her relationship with Benjamin as "awkward" and you will get no further definition at this time. 

     4. "Nerd boy"
          I haven't yet revealed this character's name, but I will show you what helped inspire his personality traits and physical features:

I'm told this awesome picture was crafted by this artist:

          Yup. He basically looks like hipster Hiccup. My nerd boy's hair is a bit darker in color, and he's a few years older than Hiccup in this picture.

     5. Mr. Eden
          Oh, Eden. He's another rebellious character. I love him, but he has his own ideas. He pushes me to figure out new plot lines. Look, see?

     Also, he's apparently a pilot? Yeah, didn't see that one coming. 

     Those are all the significant characters I have mentioned so far. There are others in the story, but I will save them for a later time. Flight is, after all, still top-secret. Or something like that.

Yeah, none of the characters I mentioned today have a goatee. ;P

Post Tenbras Lux! 

Dec 4, 2015

Nanowrimo 2015 Summary

     I wanted to write 25,000 words in November, but I failed.

     I only wrote 16,908 words. That's a little over half-way there. 

     Actually, I'm ok with this. November turned out to be a lot crazier than I expected. Come to think of it, life in general turned out to be a lot crazier than I expected. Hm.  

     Anyway, guess what else is half-way there? Yup, Flight! Right now the word count stands at about 28,000 words. 

     It's easy to get discouraged these days. I'm ONLY half-way done, and I KNOW stuff is still missing. I waver between wanting to share this awesome story right now and being convinced that it's not worth the effort I'm giving it. So please pray for me. And if you have any words of encouragement, I sure could use them now. Kamsamnida. 

     On the flip side, thank you to everyone who followed my progress this past month. You guys are awesome!

Post Tenebras Lux!

Nov 2, 2015

Nanowrimo Numbers

     It comes every year, ensnaring writers by the hundreds. It births novels amid a flood of sweat and tears. It is (dun dun DUN)... National Novel Writing Month.

     But I'm only kinda doing it this year.

     Like I said in my last post, this year I am competing for half the official Nano word count. This means I should write about 835 words each day. 

     But last week is making question my ability to reach 25,000 this month. 

     Last week, I happened to have a bit of time on my hands. I hoped to write 10,000 words (and fantasized about 20,000), but the week ended with 5,333 new words. That's basically half of what I hoped for. Maybe shooting for 1,000 a day was too much. 

     Thankfully, I don't have to do 1,000 a day this month. 835 is just a few hundred more words than my original goal (500 words a day). I am both apprehensive and hopeful. 

     Here are a few more numbers for you (just because I can):

     This is Flight's total current word count. 12,000 down, 38,000ish to go. 

     December 31st, that is. According to the Nanowrimo word count tracker, I will finish 50,000 words (Flight's estimated final word count) on December 31st if I write 835 words everyday. 

     This is how many major characters have been introduced in Flight so far. One of them hasn't had time to speak any lines yet, but he will. I love this particular character because he is a nerd.  

     This is how many people are a part of my Support Team page on Facebook. What even. That's a ton! Thank you sooo much to everyone who follows that page! The encouragement is overwhelming. 

Post Tenebras Lux!

P.S. If you're doing Nanowrimo, buddy request me! I love seeing how other people are doing with their writing. 

Oct 23, 2015


     If you follow my Facebook page, you may have noticed that I haven't written anything in about a week. This is because a friend of mine, the lovely Jenny Kniskern of Little Faith Blog, was at my house for a week-long visit. The break from writing was well worth the fun times Jen, my sister, and I spent together.

     One of the first things Jen said to me was, "I want to hear all about Flight!"

     My response was, of course, "Um, sorry. I can't tell you anything until it's done."

     My sister shook her head like a war-weary veteran. "Yeah, Jen, you're not getting anything out of her."

     Now that the authoress of the ingenious Little Faith Book has returned
to her domain, I am plunging back into writing. My schedule this upcoming week will be pretty relaxed, I think, so I should be able to pound out a solid word count. I would love to get 20,000 this week, which would put me about half-way through the draft, but I will need to double my 500 words per day goal to achieve it. As usual, I will be tracking my progress on the Facebook page.

     The week after next will land us in November. Time for Nanowrimo! I won't finish Flight next month (unless God works a miracle), but I will be participating for 25,000 words. It will help me track my progress and interact with any of you who will be writing. Find me on the Nanowrimo site so we can follow each other!

Post Tenebras Lux!

EDIT: Ahem, did I say 20,000 words this week? Sorry, I can't math. That would be about 2,000 words a day. I can't do that! I don't think. I could try. But that would be crazy. 

Oct 3, 2015


     You know you sang it in your head.

     Both my sister and my best friend have communicated their displeasure with the blurring of my Flight notes in my last post. I tell you this so that, if you were also frustrated by the fact that I did not leave my top-secrets notes out in the open air for all eyes to ravage before the due time... you are not alone in your displeasure. Sorry I'm not sorry. 

     Over the past two weeks, I lived with my grandmother. She usually lives with my uncle and aunt, but they went on a trip. I was my grandmother's companion while they were gone.  

     This was a wonderful time for me because I was able to spend some quality one-on-one with my grandmother, who is called "Gramummy" by all of her grandchildren (don't ask me, it was the doing of an older cousin). We ate ice cream, watched movies, and played lots of Scrabble. Seriously, lots...



     It was also a profitable time for me because Gramummy's house is quiet. With six people living in my house, it is hard to find a good place to focus on writing (yet another reason I usually write late at night). I was able to start putting my updated outline to good use.

     Another advantage to living with Gramummy was that I had a living reference for one of my characters, who is an old woman. I loooove writing old people. This character is one Mrs. Highland, and though she is different from my grandmother, they do share some qualities. This was extremely helpful in some of the times when I got stuck. 

     Mrs. Highland and Benjamin have a particularly interesting (and by that, I mean awkward) relationship. Let's just say that she gets frustrated with his secrets almost as much as I do. 

     While I wrote at Gramummy's house, I used Facebook to track my daily word counts. I will continue to do so until the draft of Flight is finished, so be sure to follow my support page. Your encouragement and prayers help more than you know. Plus, I post a little of what I write to help make up for the blurred outline notes. 

Post Tenebras Lux!

Sep 19, 2015

Storm Day

     To brainstorm Flight and get rid of writer's block, I decided to do a sort of storyboard. I chose a day when I could be home and, most importantly, when my sister would be out all day. We share a room, so it was essential for her to be absent while I laid out my top-secret notes.

     The weather was cloudy and rainy -- perfect for a brainstorm. I started the morning by printing all relevant notes on Flight. Look at that stack! That's not even all of my notes; it's all plot-related stuff (no character development) and there were handwritten notes I had to sort through.

     The stack was mostly comprised of random ideas and short scenes I had jotted down. Half of my writer's block problem was that I couldn't remember all my ideas. 

     To create a brainstorm, mind and body need proper fuel. So I made this pretty omelet for lunch. Random fact: I don't like eggs, unless they are mixed with a lot of other good things like cheese or cake batter.

     While I was creating this beautiful meal, someone by the printer asked, "What's all this?" I had left my stack of notes out in the open! Sure enough, my mom was bent over the printer, reading the top note. 

     "Nothing, nothing! Don't look!" I snatched the papers up and hugged them to my chest.

     Mom's smile turned coy. "Oh, I see! Your printed story! I think I saw a chapter title."

     "I wish. The story isn't refined enough to have chapter titles yet." 

     That was close. Whatever she saw, it wasn't integral to Flight's basic storyline.  

     After lunch, I got down to business ("to defeat... the HUNS"). Flight notes got sorted into piles on my bed. As I went through each page, I had to scissor the papers into pieces. I cut ideas I wanted to keep and put them in a pile. Some of the ideas were whole scenes, some were just lines. Old and unwanted ideas went in the Book Box of Rejects (and were later moved to the envelope of rejects). 
Alongside the note sorting, I made a brainstorming list of ideas and possibilities. The list was unstructured on purpose, meant to be a splash page of everything I hoped to capture in Flight's plot. This was necessary because the plot and characters have drastically changed many, many times.
Sorting took most of the afternoon. By the end of it, I needed something completely different, so I dusted my house while listening to Kingdom Pen Radio. If you are a writer, you NEED to tune into Kingdom Pen. Such entertainment which speaks the native language of a writer's heart is rare indeed.
 I made a cup of Teavanna's Youthberry and Wild Orange Blossom tea before jumping back into Flight. Like my Muggle mug? Say "Muggle mug" aloud; it tickles the tongue!

     With my new brainstorming fuel in mug, I began the storyboarding(ish) process. The floor of my room is speckled, which made the papers difficult to see, so I laid a blue blanket down. 
On the blanket, I arranged the pile of Usable Ideas in the plot's chronological order. Not only did it look cool, but it let me see the whole story at a glance. I touched ideas, moved them around in the plotline, saw what worked and what didn't. To wax poetic, I caught the flow of the story.
     The ideas became sparse as the plotline progressed. I had an ending worked out, but the more I looked at it, the more I hated it. Afraid to throw out the whole ending, I put all the information in an envelope separate from the rejects. 

     As the sun began to set, I lit my favorite candle and turned on my sister's lantern lights. The relaxed atmosphere helped me translate the storyboard into an outline. I spent over an hour getting the details on paper. 

     So, was the brainstorming session successful? Yes. I now have a vision for where I am going in 
the story. I know what comes next... mostly. There are still several mysteries. Since I scrapped my ending, I really can't say just what's going to happen there. And something is missing in the beginning; I know what it is, but I don't know how to solve it yet. These unanswered questions are good because they will leave me room to create as I go. The important thing is, now that the cobwebs have been cleared away by the brainstorm, I can go again.
     Post Tenebras Lux!

Sep 16, 2015


    The deadline is a writer's nightmare. We should call it our "flatline," because it's basically the same thing.

     In my very first post about Flight, I mentioned that I would like to have the story done by the time I turn twenty-four. 

     *Insert dry laugh.*

     January, my birthday month, is fast approaching. So, no... Flight won't be done by then. I was crazy to even tell you it might be.

     Actually, I might be even crazier now than I was then. 

     I want to actually make my self-imposed flatline, at least as far as the draft is concerned. My estimated word count is 50,000 - 70,000. If I write 500 words a day, I should be done with the draft in January.

     This is what I told my friend Jennifer Kniskern at the beginning of this month. It is now half-way through the month, and I've been lucky to get 200 words any given day, much less 500 every single day! 

     500 words is not a high goal. I can fly through 500. The reason I am stuck at 200 on a good day is because, when I write in the evenings, I open my documents and do this:

     Trying to get my imagination to work is like trying to spread silly putty over sand with a spatula. It's just stuck! I don't know what to do in the story. I hate to admit it, but I have a bad case of writer's block. 

     It's time for emergency protocols. Cue the siren and the flashing lights!

     I will pull out all of my Flight notes to try and to come up with a vague idea of where I'm going. Hopefully that idea will turn out to be a little more than vague... maybe even turn out to be an outline. It might be like trying to light a spark without a match, but I don't know what else to do. I really want to make my deadline.

     Post Tenebras Lux!

May 4, 2015

New Project: Editor

     I love editing. There is something magical about being a second pair of eyes, watching a piece go from good to better. I catch typos, plot holes, and litterary faux-pas in published materials all the time.

     Last year, I wrote that I was available to be an editor or beta reader. No one contacted me. I thought, "Oh well, I guess God doesn't want me to be an editor."

     A few weeks ago, I read an ad put out by a site called Geeks Under Grace. I didn't know anything about GUG, but the ad caught my eye because they were looking for an editor. I seemed to fit the requirements; my favorite one was "Loves God and loves geeks." That night, I drafted my resume. 

     It wasn't long before I heard back. Geeks Under Grace wanted me to be one of their editors! I have been learning the ropes and getting to know a lot of Godly geeks.

     I am calling this a "project" because it is currently volunteer work. The pay, for me, is the experience. I am learning about editing and working with people who love Jesus. It is so much fun!

     So, come visit Geeks Under Grace! They have a ton of awesome material for Christian geeks of all kinds. 

     Post Tenebras Lux!

Apr 29, 2015

Flight May Kill Me

     Working on the beginning of Flight. This is how I feel about my ability to be a writer tonight:

     Dear Lord, please give me ideas.

     After Darkness I sure hope there will be Light!

Apr 27, 2015

Favorite Film Faces

     Let's have some fun today! I was tagged by Victoria Grace Howell at to participate in the "Favorite Screen Characters Tag" (or "Favorite Film Faces," as I like to call it). Thanks, Tori! 

     The rules are that I have to list my ten favorite characters from movies or TV shows. Afterwards, I must tag ten people (though it might end up more like ten-ish). 

     Ok, here goes! These are not in any particular order. 

 1. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Aragorn holds a special place in my heart. He is my most favorite fictional hero of all! He knows his weaknesses, but he doesn't let them stop him from fighting. 

2. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the Avengers franchise. I love characters who turn out to be more than what they seem. Coulson looks like an cubicle sitter, but he is much more. He is brave and selfless, just like his favorite superhero.

3. Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) in the Harry Potter films. Speaking of more than it seems, Snape is one of my favorite antiheroes. I love how he continually kept us guessing throughout the films. Just when we thought we had figured him out... nope. He may not have been beautiful, but he was one of the few wizards who actually had a heart. 

 4. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in the Pirates of the Carribbean films. Captain Jack is one of the funniest characters in the world. I love how he walks and talks. His outlook on life is unique, though hardly noble. Even so, he comes around when it matters. 

5. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) on Once Upon a Time. Yet another antihero. I wish I knew if he was good or evil!  

 6. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars. He didn't always get it right, but he always tried. 

7. River Song (Alex Kingston) on Doctor Who. She's a sassy secret-keeper. I love how mysterious, brave, and intelligent she is. 

 8. Batman (Christian Bale) in the Dark Knight trilogy. Batman is my favorite superhero because his powers come from his mind and strength. 

9. Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) in The Wizard of Oz. He's a combination of idiot and genius and it makes me laugh. 

 10. Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) in The Princess Bride. How can you not love such a crazy Spaniard? He's so driven and yet so hilarious!

     And now, to name my victims:
     ... Four tags is close to ten tags, right?

     If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! Post your ten favorite film faces on your blog, then comment with the link. If you don't have a blog, you're still it! Comment below with your list.

     Post Tenebras Lux!


Apr 23, 2015

A Letter from your Future Wife


Hey people,

     I'm guest blogging over at Little Faith Blog today! Check it out!

Post Tenebras Lux!

Apr 18, 2015

Blogs for Girls

     Hey, girlfriends!

     I recently discovered two wonderful and encouraging blogs made just for Christian ladies. Let me share a bit about them.

     A while ago, I told you all about my friend Jen, who was running a magazine called 'The Christian Girls Club.' Well, Jen has now started a website for girls: Jen loves to use Disney, crafts, and other girly things to talk about our relationships with Jesus. It's a super fun site. She'll even show you how to make a "Little Faith Book." 

Me and Kristen at the awards banquet.
     The second site is called It's run by Kristen Hogrefe, who is a Christian author I met at the writer's conference (check out her book!). Kristen is a sweet and wise woman. Don't miss the truth and encouragement she is sharing! 

     I hope you girls check out and enjoy these awesome blogs.

Post Tenebras Lux!

Mar 25, 2015

Flight at the Conference

      My sister is not happy with me right now.

     It's because I took Flight to the writer's conference. Prior to going, I submitted a bit of Flight for a scholarship. When my sister found out, she said, "How come strangers can read it, but you won't let me?"

     "Because they're strangers and it's for you."

     I didn't really think I would get the scholarship. It was the first scene I ever wrote for Flight (and one of the only scenes I know will be in the final story), an action sequence with Benjamin and the main character, Phoenix. 

     Somebody liked it. Or maybe they thought I needed to come to the conference and get help. Either way, I got a partial scholarship! If you have ever seen the movie Little Women, you have a good picture of how I pranced around the house ("Five whole dollars! I'm an AUTHOR!"). 

     When I showed the scholarship to my sister, I said, "Look! They paid me for Flight! I told you it was a story worth waiting for!"

     She rolled her eyes. "It would still be better if you let me read it."

     At the conference, I brought the same piece to Teen Track for critiquing. They were extremely helpful and said they liked it.

     I probably shouldn't have told my sister that the Teen Track saw it, but I was so encouraged by their responses. She was even more than less than unhappy ("Savvy?") that some people know a lot more about Flight than she does. 

     Today, my sister asked, "So, wait, is Phoenix a phoenix?"

     "I cannot divulge that information," I said. 

     "Do the Teen Trackers know what kind of bird Phoenix is?" 

     "Uhm... yeeeeees?"

     She slapped me. Apparently, secrets do not make friends. This story better be worth it. 

     Post Tenebras Lux!

     By the way, my sister and I still have a good relationship despite her annoyance with Flight. In fact, she just did make-up testing on my face.
     "Why are you putting primer on my eyelids? I'm not a wall!"
     "No, but you are a canvas. Close your eyes."

Mar 9, 2015

My First (hopefully not last) Writers Conference

Some special writers at the conference (Photo by Christina L.)

     Meeting people makes me sick. It's not that I hate people; I love friends! But meeting new people, even just thinking about becoming acquainted with strangers, gives me butterflies in the stomach. I mumble and tumble through sentences, ask strangely-worded questions, and try to keep my heart from racing. 

     So what was I thinking when I decided to go to a writer's conference?

     Thanks be to God, He has taught me at least one thing in my lifetime; trying to impress people is just another way of being prideful. The nervousness abates more quickly when I focus on the other person. I made a conscious decision to become an extrovert (even if an awkward one) for the few days of the conference.

     I did not have to try hard to make friends. Within the first few hours, I was quickly absorbed into a cult called "Teen Track." Ok, just kidding, it wasn't a cult. It was a series of classes led by author Bryan Davis. 

    Ahem. I said, I got to learn about writing from Bryan Davis. Hello! His Dragons In Our Midst series ranks in my top ten most influencial books for my writing (and my life, which -- for me -- goes hand-in-hand with writing). It was an insanely special privilage for me to be under Mr. Davis's teaching.
The Teen Track (photo by Deliegha S.)

     Apparently, Mr. Davis has been leading the Teen Track at this particular conference for quite a few years (somewhere in the double digits, I heard). Many teens and young adults have returned to his classes year after year. It was encouraging to see how God is using Mr. Davis to mold a new generation of top-notch writers who are after a standard of excellence and holiness. I certainly learned a lot! 

     The citizens of the kingdom of Teen Track are all amazing young people. Spending time with them felt like how I imagine the Inklings felt; having fun, safe in an enviroment of writers with the same goals. It was, simply, a group of friends who freely accepted others -- balm to an introvert's soul.

     Outside of the Teen Track, I found an equally interesting assortment of writers; some not much older than I, one in her eighties! The group was not very large, but each person I met had a unique story. It was so much fun to sit beside, eat with, worship with, and yes, even meet so many people with similar interests.

     But crawling out of my comfort cocoon and temporarily transforming into a social butterfly was
Everybody together (photo by Christina L.)
not the reason I went to the writer's conference. I went as part of my game plan (see the post from September 1st). I am happy to report that this step of the plan was a success. I made important connections, learned valuable lessons, and gathered helpful tools. On top of that, it was a blast! If you are a writer and you ever have the opportunity to go to a conference, do it. It's worth all the nervous butterflies in your stomach.  

Post Tenebras Lux!


Jan 29, 2015

A Beginning, A Muddle, And An End

Hey'a, fair peoples of the internet! I am here bearing tidings and stories!

I have come to embrace the cycle that I talked about in the previous post: Writing, then realizing that I don't know where I'm going. Plotting, then realizing that I don't know what the characters would naturally do. Character Developping, then figuring out enough to start writing again. I figure that I will eventually finish as long as I continue working on it. 

Right now, I am writing the begining (yes, again, shut up). I happen to have three seperate documents in the folder titled "Possible Start", "Possible Middle", and "The End." The first is a couple hundred words, the second is completely blank, and the third has a short list of things that must be accomplished in the story by the end of the book. These are not the only Flight docs (*weary snicker*), but they give a good idea of how the basic story stands in my head right now. It's a muddle in the middle and the ending is far away. 

Speaking of middle muddles, my copy of AVI's A Beginning, a Muddle, and an End was horribly murdered by mold. Such a tragedy has never befallen my library before. I guess that's what happens when you live in the south. Thankfully, came to my rescue again by providing a cheep replacement. 

I've been enjoying J. R. R. Tolkien these past few weeks. I'm reading Carpenter's biography and falling in love with Toller's imagination in a new way. Alongside, I'm reading the new Beowulf by Tolkien. The commentary is a challenge, of course, but it's worth the struggle. I'm learning so much about Tollers, Middle Earth, and even history itself between these two books. 

As time goes on, I get a profound sense of loneliness in my writing. Obviously, writing is usually a work for one. That's not what I mean. The feeling partly comes from reading about the Inklings. I want to be part of a like-minded group, belong to a place where the limits of my knowledge will be pushed, be striving for holiness in story with others. 

So I will be going to the writer's conference. I'm going to learn much about my craft and meet many professionals in my field of study. But I'm praying for an extra blessing. Maybe I will find a group to meet with. Or maybe I'll just find a friend. Maybe God will say, "Not for you. Not now."

Well, I can only be faithful.

Post Tenebras Lux!