Winter Wrap-Up/Spring Goals

Greetings, my dears! Welcome to another seasonal update!! To think that winter is already almost over!

Anyway, winter was a busy time for me, though not so much in the writing world. But I did a lot of living, so that is always a plus!

But enough with the introduction. Here's what went down!


1. I finished up draft six of The Dawn of a Hero in January. It started off kind of rough, but once I got into the swing of things, I found my rhythm. It was mostly focused on world-building and changing a few parts that didn't really make sense to me. I really feel like this is a much tighter version and I'm really pumped about it. Now I shall let it rest in the hands of my beta readers and let them do their good work.

2. I continued my rewrite of The Fall of Chemmit. I read through it before I started, just so I could immerse myself into the plot, and boy did I start crying. That's saying a lot, considering I never cry while reading. But man, I'm really excited about where this is going.


The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill. Probably my least favorite of all her books, which isn't saying much as I love her books so much. But for some reason it just didn't work for me? I felt like it was too much about her being a writer and some of the little things just didn't feel too realistic to me. And a lot of the dialogue didn't seem fluid to me. Also, no spoilers, but I was super mad at a certain someone for the way they turned out. Like, seriously, man. Really?! 

Who Could That Be at This Hour? and When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket. Exactly what one should expect from LS. A little strange. A whole lot of vague. Lots of random word definitions (which crack me up). Unique locations. An entire bottle of mystery. Lots of fun.

The Book of Lost Tales Part One by J.R.R.Tolkien. I'm finally finishing this up. I started it last year for a buddy read with Jules, but the fell off the wagon completely and found myself dragged along for a few miles before somehow managing to find a handhold and hauling myself back on. So yes, I somehow managed to get back on it, but not without a lot of scrapes and bruises. I also somehow ended up several miles off course and thundering headlong into enemy territory. But I digress...

I really enjoyed reading it, though it was very difficult for me to understand. But it is soooo cool to read Tolkien's perspective on the world. Like, I don't always agree with him theologically, but when he grasps something, he really gets it and explains it better than anyone I've ever heard before.


1. We had our first snow early in the month. I think it accumulated about twelve inches. It was stunning.

This was actually a couple days later. That's mostly frozen snow.
2. The sibs and I went to go see Ralph Breaks the Internet in theaters on a whim. It was glorious. Possibly one of the best decisions I made that year. The entire theater was empty besides the employees. And I don't mean just the one room that we saw the movie in. I mean THE ENTIRE THING. Perks of going on a Thursday afternoon right after it snowed. We were able to have a running commentary the entire time and no one was there to shut us up. I tried to get a picture of the wondrous occurrence, but it was too dark in the theater.

Anyway, I loved Wreck-it Ralph SO MUCH! and this movie was just as good, if not better. Both the concept behind the movie and the theme was mind-blowing and I just love it so much. Basically, if you haven't watched it yet, you need to.

3. Christmas happened, and all that it entails. Gift buying. Gift wrapping. Baking (so much baking). Concerts. All of the Bookstagram giveaways (one of my favorite parts of the community. I'm hoping to take part next year. Does anyone want to do a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway with me?). Seeing all of the smiles when people dive into what you got them. Seriously, that's my favorite part.

I also had some friends over. We baked cookies together and worked out. We then all piled into our UTV and roared across the property like maniacs.  The sister even almost managed to pet Dustfinger, which is a huge achievement when one visits my house. If you even get a glimpse of him, you've won. Both sets of parents got to go into town and have time to themselves, so that was nice for them.

For the past six years, I've done the Twelve Cookies of Christmas, where I bake a different cookie each day for twelve days, ending on Christmas Eve. That day we pack up the cookies into boxes and deliver them to our neighbors. It's a lot of fun, but since it's so much work for me and I barely had the energy to do anything else but bake this year, we decided to do something different next year. #mentalhealthmatters

So much sugar in one picture. Sickening

1. We went on our traditional New Year's Day hike. The trail we were planning on hiking seemed to not exist, so we ended up going to a different one and had a grand ol' time!

Spectacular views!

Settle down, Joe. This isn't America's Next Top Model.
The shlump walk will do.

Only in the mountains of NC will you find bathroom graffiti like this...

2. I got a slightly better paying babysitting job, which I'm pretty excited about. Twin 2.5-year-old boys, which is like, oh yeah! It was such an answer to prayer, as I was trying to find a way to go to Realm Makers this year while still finishing school and taking care of the family. With this, I am able to do everything I need to while still making enough money to go!

Seriously, guys, if there is ever something in your life that you are worried about, believe me when I say that God has it covered. There have been so many instances like this where I've prayed for something, wondered if God heard, then at the most perfect moment the answer is dropped into my lap. You're not going to do yourselves any favors trying to rush things along. Just rest knowing that he's got it and do the next thing.


1. My siblings and I took my dad to a Gardner-Webb men's basketball game for his birthday. What a game it was, too. I rarely have interest in sports at all, let alone actually cheer. Not only was I cheering, I was up on my feet, screaming my head off. It was really close, with our team winning by one point in overtime. The only way it could have been better was if the DJ played "Green Lights" by NF, but I guess the Andy Mineo song that they played will do.

The coach of the team and his family go to our church, so we like to support them when we can. Their son even came up to see us in the stands, though he's at the ripe age of 7 and has to play it cool, so all we got was a high-five and a few exchanged words. But at least he came up to see us. Hilariously enough, we ran into them at dinner that night, which was a pleasant surprise.

Our pastor and one of his sons were at the game too. They had no idea we were there until we were leaving, even though they were sitting right across from us in the stands. I mean, I don't know how they could miss us. We're the most motley crew to be found. But it's cool.

2. Mom and I also finished our purging of our kitchen. We started back in early December, but fell off the bandwagon during Christmas and New Year's. We finally got motivated again and finished the task. It felt so good to get rid of all the little gadgets that my dad lovingly got me, but I never use. I can actually find stuff in my drawers and the stupid corner lazy susan isn't making me cry anymore. I swear I'm never going to have a lazy susan in any of my future houses if I can help it.

3. Jules, Evangeline, myself, and some of our siblings went ice skating near their place. That was so much fun. I haven't been ice skating in 8 1/2 years. We met up for lunch, skated for two hours, then went to a used bookstore, where we spent close to another hour before Joe and I had to head home.

And then I was bone tired and went to bed super early that night. I told my mom that I didn't understand why I was so tired. My dear mother, who understands me so well, replied with: "Well, you had to spend time with people today." And she didn't even say it in an accusatory way like most people do. She said it matter-of-factly, like it was the only logical answer, which is the only way you should address an introvert when they're tired and ready to spend some quality time alone. Because when we say we're done spending time with people for a little while, we're not saying we hated our time with people. In fact, we may have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves like I did that day. But spending time with people does drain our energy and we have to go recharge. So be respectful, y'all, just like my mom. We'll love you for it.

4. After five or so years, I finally got a new pair of glasses. My previous pair were so old, I couldn't even see to operate the TV with them, let alone drive with them on. Even though I love wearing contacts, it got really annoying to throw them in just to drive up to get the mail. So now I got a new pair and can finally see again!! Bonus perk: they don't make me look like an old hag in pictures like my old ones did! And they actually bring out teh blue in my eyes, which is cool.

5. Most of my family and I went to a Piano Guys concert!!! It's been a number of years since we last went, so I suggested that we go again.

Of course you have to have the pre-concert mirror selfie

My sibs!!


They had COFFEE!!!!
Joe and I had two cups each.
Basically the entire thing was amazing and so worth it and I had a ton of fun. But I think Larry the Cucumber can sum it up better than I can.

Found on Pinterest

I told Joe beforehand that if they didn't play Amazing Grace/Fight Song, well, I wouldn't necessarily consider it a complete and utter failure, but I would have considered it a complete and utter failure...

So we get to the last song and Steve starts giving a talk about real life superheroes-- the people who give and give and give, even when it hurts. He told a bittersweet story about how his dad cared for his wife through her battle with cancer, only to lose her, then got remarried, only to lose her to cancer as well. At this point, I knew I was in trouble of keeping it together because it hit a little too close to home.

They then started playing. I did a pretty good job holding it in.

Until these guys came on. Then the waterworks opened up.

I basically bawled my eyes out the rest of the concert. Like, I thought they might get live bagpipe players to perform, but I wasn't sure. But wow!! That was awesome!

It was an incredible evening. I could have been there all night long. But alas, the night ended.

I felt strangely euphoric as we left, but it could have been that I was high on two cups of coffee and happiness.

I tell you, if you have the chance to go see them in concert, I HIGHLY recommend it. They are so worth it. I'm already hoping we get to go back next time they're in town.


Seeing as y'all seemed to enjoy this portion last time, I thought I might continue it. Especially since I find them hilarious...
When you just love puns too much and your brother hates it

Sister skill level: When you know your brother so well, you know how to get him to show up whenever you want with enthusiasm 

When you and your mom start asking the real questions in life...

~Spring Goals~

So there's not a lot to say here.

1. Finish most of school. This will probably be my main focus. I really want to be done. I'm too close to quit, but I really don't want to let it drag on any longer. I want to try and do all of my classes, but I think getting six classes done in eight weeks is a bit much. So that probably won't happen.

2. Finish my rewrite of The Fall of Chemmit. I think I can finish this before my classes start at the end of the month. I really want to take advantage of this time, as it might be the last time I have any significant amount of time between now and who knows when.

3. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm not sure what goal I'll make because of school but I really want to revise The Herbalist's War, along with planning some other things. I guess I'll just see what my work load will be and then go from there. I think maybe an hour a day sounds reasonable. That'll give me time to do some work, without taking too much time away from schoolwork.

4. Participate in Jules's WIP Writing Special. If y'all haven't signed up for this yet, there's still some time. I highly recommend it!! This round we're talking all about our goals (which, clearly, I love)!

Anyway, that's what's on tap for the spring. Please pray that I'll be able to complete my degree. I'm really close and I'm ready to be done, so prayers that I'll have the focus and drive necessary to finish would be appreciated.

On to y'all! What's up in your life? Did anything super exciting happen? Any victories that I can celebrate with you? Any lows that I can pray for? Goals for the coming months? Let me know down below!!


  1. I’ll be praying! Good luck with getting your degree! :)

    1. Thanks so much! I'm really excited to be done with it!!

  2. So sorry for leaving you behind on the JRRT read. I lost my place and panicked.

    But yeah, if bagpipes suddenly came on stage, I'd be crying, too. LOVE bagpipes.

    1. No worries! I'm just struggling to get through it.

      It wasn't so much the bagpipes as much as the song means sooooo much to me and his story hit a chord (pun intended) with me. After working for so long as a caretaker, having those moments of encouragement from people who've been there brings tears to my eyes. Others can try to give uplifting words all day long, but it's the ones who know what you're going through that have the most impact. And that's what made me cry.

  3. That vegan graffiti cracked me up. >.<

    I'll be praying for you. <33

    1. IKR!! I had to grab my dad's phone and go back in to take a picture. It was like, REALLY?! That's what you're going to write on the bathroom wall?


  4. Yessss I love The Book of Lost Tales! In fact, the entire History of Middle-Earth series is one of my favorites. It's just so fascinating to get a play-by-play insight into another writer's thought process like that, especially an author I admire as much as Tolkien.

    Haha, I love those text chats. Your brother sounds great.

    Best of luck with classes and writing!!

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. It's such a cool experience reading them. I love learning about how he came up with everything.

      LOL, he's hilarious!!


  5. Sounds like you've been super busy. Seeing a Piano Guy's concert sounds amazing!
    Those texts are hilarious, especially the dry shampoo one. XD

    1. I have been pretty busy. And the concert was AMAZING!!!! So worth it.

      I laughed so hard when my mom sent me that. It was so hilarious!!


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