Monday, January 27, 2014

Turning Goals into Reality

January, what an exciting month! A time for new beginnings, promises to live better, create lists, get organized. That time of making resolutions and embracing them.

Well, my January has been full of recovering from Christmas, having the time of my life out of town at a friend’s house, and then coming home to the flu. Not much of a chance for making those resolutions and turning them into reality. But, thankfully, the flu has left our household and life is settling back into normality. And though January is almost behind us, it’s never too late to make those New Year’s resolutions!

I have a few things I really want to work on this year, and though usually by around February or March all those exciting goals and resolutions start deflating, I really do hope to keep with these.

Like last year, my biggest focus is writing. I would LOVE to make a career of it, God willing, but to make a career of something you have to really put your heart into it and WORK. Lots and lots of work. Some people think being a writer is a dream job because you just get to sit at home on the computer all day. Haha. . .hahaha. . .ha.

There is nothing to writing

Writing is hard, guys. So hard. But I love it. I couldn’t imagine life without it.

For now, my main project will be writing the first draft of Fallen Matter. For a bit there I couldn’t decide if that’s what I wanted to do writing-wise for 2014, but now I’ve decided it absolutely is. This story has snagged me, taken over my life, and seems to have no intentions of letting go. I’m loving it! So write it I shall! I would love to have it completely written and edited by the end of the year, but who knows if I can manage that. We’ll see.

Fallen Matter Cover

With that in place, I had to figure out how to keep myself writing. I do love to write, but sometimes I’m just so unmotivated. I’m the kind of person that has to have goals to follow to keep me doing tasks. NaNo is my best friend because of that. But for the rest of the year I’m kind of alone on the writing front, no goals set. Thus I decided that I would try to write at least 500 words every day. My biggest problem with writing is starting it each day. Once I’ve forced myself into starting, I usually don’t want to stop, but I never can seem to get into it until I’ve written at least the first few hundred words. So by making a goal to write 500 words a day, I’ll be forcing myself to write, and then, hopefully, I’ll end up writing much more than 500. Once I’ve written about that many I just want to keep writing. So it’s a win-win! I’m not holding myself completely to it, I’m giving myself some leniency. If I miss days here and there, that’s fine. There’s just going to be some days where I can’t. But it will at least keep me writing when I can. I see professional authors say that you should write every single day, no matter what, so I’m hoping this will get me into the habit of it.

Get Started

Writing isn’t all about writing though. If I’m going to attempt publishing, I also have to LEARN. Last year I spent a lot of time reading blog posts and articles and what-not on the craft, and all that information I learned has become invaluable to me and helped my writing to amazingly high degrees. This year I hope to spend even more time learning. I want to retain it though, so what I’ve done is made a document on my computer where I type out any information that I want to make sure I remember. This way I’ll always have everything I found super helpful right on my computer and easily accessible. I think it’s going to be immensely useful.

Last year one of my resolutions was to write a blog post every single week. I’m very excited to say I actually managed it! So I’m going to try my very best to continue that this year. Usually I try to get a post out on either Monday or Tuesday, but that’s never totally solid, it could be any day of the week. But those days will probably be the most likely ones to find a blog post from me.

Life isn’t all about writing though. I’m ashamed to even think about how much time I spent doing writerly things last year. I kind of pushed aside life to do it. I want this year to be different. Yes, I want to still focus on writing, but my family, friends, and most importantly God are far, far more important of course! So this year I’m going to try to balance out these things. I’m basically the worst at time management. I want to learn how to do better. I want to exercise regularly, be with my family more, keep up better with friends, spend much more time with God and grow my relationship with Him, and just LIVE. Smell the flowers, giggle with my sister, smile at strangers, soak up God’s world, embrace life to its fullest. Because life is short, and I don’t want to waste it. I’m honestly going to try my very best to manage my time to its fullest.

So that’s what my goals for 2014 are. But if none of it turns out, that’s okay. Because sometimes God interrupts our life. And isn’t that the best? When God interrupts our silly little plans and steers us towards something so, so much better?

“However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in.”Oswald Chambers

Whatever comes this 2014, I’m so happy to know God is standing before me through it all. His will be done!

Friday, January 24, 2014

20 Random Facts About Me Tag

Belle over at In My Life made a fun little "getting to know you” tag that I couldn’t resist snagging. Tags are always fun! And if you don’t follow Belle, you should! She’s such a sweet person and has a delightful blog.

20 Random Facts About Me

1. What are three of your hobbies?
Writing, obviously. Does reading obsessively count? I do it so much I think it qualifies as one of my hobbies at this point. *nods* And playing the piano.

2. What is your favorite season?
Used to it was Spring, but that’s switched over in just the past year or two to either Fall or Winter, I can never decide between the two. Probably Fall, it’s such a fantastic time. I still love Spring though! Honestly, I love all the season, except Summer is sometimes miserable. I hate the heat.

Fall Reading

3. Heels or sneakers?
Er. . .neither? I rarely wear heels but I also almost never have on sneakers. Boots (without the heels usually) is my favorite thing to wear! Flip flops are great. And any cute little flats. But I guess I’m not answering the question. I’ll go with heels, I wear them more than sneakers.

4. Casual or Fancy?
Casual is nice around the house, but I love getting all fancy!

5. What do you prefer, a Birthday party or a girls sleepover party?
Sleepover! I always loooooved sleepovers. They were just the best! Some of my best memories are at sleepover parties.

6. What do you enjoy posting about more?
Writing! I think you’ve all probably gathered that by now though, haven’t you? Although sometimes I just like posting total nonsense about lemons and the like.

7. How old are you?
*hobbles forward on cane* 2,459 years ago, a person was born. Her name: Not Lauri. Ahem. There was a person born 21 years ago though, and I happen to be it. But sometimes I feel 2,000 years old. And then other times 4 years old. Rarely do I actually feel 21. Hee.

Never Grow Up

8. When is your birthday?
Somewhere between January 1st and December 31st. Or is it? *cue Twilight Zone music*

9. Do you like the thrill of a roller coaster?
I’ve actually never been on a roller coaster. I know, shocking. I have a heart condition and doing such a thing might be too strenuous on it, so I just avoid them. But that’s fine, I think I’m too chicken to try them even if I could. I doubt I’d enjoy it.

10. Do you like watching movies in a theater?
YESSSSS!!!! One of my most favorite activities is going to the theater!

Old Theater Chairs

11. What would be your ideal job in the future?
Companion to the Doctor. *nod seriously*

Tenth Doctor

Okay, okay. Full time writer. That would be fabulous.

12. Are you into sports? If so which ones?
Sports? Hahahaha! Everyone that knows me knows to steer clear of that topic while around me. I SO am not into sports. Bleh. Just not my thing. Nothing wrong with sports at all, I just can’t seem to get into that sort of thing.

13. In a football party, which are you, the one that jumps while shouting if your team almost scored? Or the one who isn't that interested in the game, and prefers to eat the snacks while talking to friends?
Thankfully, I’ve never been to a football party. But I think now you can all guess which one I’d be. I should probably mention football is one of my least favorite sports. I can make no sense of that game for some reason. But, yeah, I’d totally be just talking to everyone and eating all the food. : D

I'm That Girl
14. Did you play Playdough as a child?
As a child? I still play with Playdough! That stuff is amazing! Hehehe. Okay, so sadly it has been quite a long time since I’ve played with any, but I still love it. When I was little I used to play with it alllll the time!

15. What are your favorite clothing stores to shop at?
Ross is a fabulous store. Cato is also great. And I’m pretty fond of Belk. But I’m not picky. If it has reasonable prices and nice clothes, I’m happy.

16. Are you a bookworm?
MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! *chokes on evil laughter* Ahem. Why yes, yes I am. *cough*

17. Which do you spend more time on, a book, or the internet?
Sadly, I have to say the internet. I spend far too much time on the interwebz. Farrr too much time. . .

Too Much Internet18. When did you decide to start blogging?
Back in March 2011. I thought it would be a lot of fun to have a blog, as well as keep me doing some writerly things, so I decided, “Why not?” And I’m so glad I did! I’ve made amazing friends here in blogland and it has vastly improved my writing. Not to mention it’s just fun!

19. On your honeymoon which would you rather go to, a rustic lodge in the mountains or a sunny beach house in Florida?
Lodge in the mountains!!! No doubt about it. I looooove the mountains, but I am SO not a beach person. Give me forests and mountains any day over the beach!

20. What are five of your favorite movies?
Oh my. Let’s see if I can do this. . .
1) The Lord of the Rings trilogy (yes, counting them as one. Shhh.)
2) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (not Desolation of Smaug though, meh.)
3) The Avengers
4) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
5) The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (I would say The Hunger Games trilogy but, ya know, the Mockingjay movie doesn’t exist yet.)
Eek, that was hard. So many movies I wanted to put. I apparently have a lot of favorite movies.

That was a lot of fun! Thanks, Belle, for putting this together.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Years Tag

This tag seems to be floating around the blog world and I couldn’t help but take part in it. I might be a little late, but better late then never, right?

Far Better Things

What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Rewrite a whole entire book. It was a big leap for me. As you probably know by now, I’ve always been terrified of rewrites. *shudders*

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yessss! My bestest friend had her first baby. A little baby boy and the cutest one you’ll ever see. AND my cousin had the most precious little girl. Yep, it’s been an awesome year!

Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

What countries/states did you visit?
Nowhere, really. Not much traveling this year.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Health! I deal with so many health issues. I’d give anything to just simply be healthy for 2014.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
May 4th, the day my best friend’s baby was born. ^_^ That was an amazing day.

Did you move anywhere?
Nope, nope!

What was the best month?
Oooh, that’s a tough one! I really enjoyed almost the entire year. I think I’d have to go with November. I had such an AMAZING NaNoWriMo. I’ll never forget that crazy month.

NaNo 2013 Banner
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Basically everything I got done writerly-wise. I wrote two full books, edited/rewrote another one, and just learned all sorts of things that will aid in my writing from here on out. It was a great year of writing!

What was your biggest failure?
To counter the last question, I’d have to say managing my time. I sort of spent too much time writing and not enough time living. This year I’m hoping to learn how to balance those things out.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
No injuries, but I’ve been suffering illness since 2011, and some my whole life. Like I said earlier, I have a lot of health issues.

What was the best thing you bought?
Honestly, all I can think of that I bought this year are books. I bought a LOT of books this year, any other money I had went towards getting gifts for other people. Possibly the Blood of Kings Trilogy by Jill Williamson. I loved those books far too much and will probably read them a thousand times over. Well worth every penny!

Blood of Kings Trilogy
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Um. . .I don’t know. . .? I’ll say my mom. Her constant kindness and patience always merits celebration.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
That’s classified. ; )

Where did most of your money go?

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting my first car and babies being born! : D

What was the best concert you've been to this year?
Sadly, I did not attend any concerts. Very sad indeed. Maybe this year!

What song/album will always remind you of 2013?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey soundtrack. I got it fairly early-ish in the year and have been listening to it since. A special extended version of Song of the Lonely Mountain especially. I don’t even want to think about how many times I listened to that thing. 

Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? Happier, actually.  Much, much happier compared to the year before.
2. thinner or fatter? The same there.
3. richer or poorer? Um. . .I’m just in general usually pretty broke. So probably about the same.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise, eat right, just all that general healthy stuff. Definitely need to work on that. But hey, it’s a new year, right? 

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spend so much time on the computer. On Pinterest especially. I joined it this year (er, in 2013 I mean) and have spent embarrassing amounts of time on it since. I can’t seem to stop. o.O

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Again I’ll go to The Hobbit soundtrack and the special edition of Song of the Lonely Mountain by Neil Finn. It’s just amazing. If you haven’t heard it you can HERE. It’s definitely worth a listen, trust me!

How did you spend Christmas?
On the day before Christmas Eve (Christmas Adam?) we had quite a bit of family over to our house for supper, gift giving, and just fellowship with one another. Then on Christmas day it was just us and my mom’s mom where we had a fun time opening gifts and all, then that evening we went out and looked at some Christmas lights. We had a really pleasant Christmas this year. ^_^

Navi on Christmas
How are you spending New Year's?
In my boring fashion of staying home. My little sis and I watched Doctor Who while we waited for midnight to hit. But, then again, when you put the two of us together and add Doctor Who in there “boring” isn’t quite the right word. We get a little. . .hyper together, especially late at night. Hee.
Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
The phone? You mean that device of fear and torture? Why would I ever use such a thing?? Ahem, okay. Well, probably either Mom or Dad, they’re the only ones I’m ever brave enough to talk to on the phone.

What was the best book you read?
*blinks* Evil question. EVILLLL. Although, I think I sort of already answered that. The Blood of Kings Trilogy by Jill Williamson. To Darkness Fled (book 2) was my favorite, so I guess that one. I also reread Howl’s Moving Castle, which happens to be one of my most favoritest books on the universe so. . .we’ll just call it a tie.

Did you fall in love in 2013?
YES. Wait, does falling in love with books and fictional characters not count? . . .Oh. Then no, I guess not.

What was your favorite TV show?
*siiigh* Y U ask these things?? I have three: Merlin, Doctor Who, and Sherlock, all of which happen to be BBC shows. What can I say, British television is so much better. I always say Merlin is my favorite but I don’t even think I watched any of it in 2013. The series ended on Christmas of 2012 (*commence tears*) and I just haven’t been able to hold in my emotions enough to rewatch it yet. Don’t judge! So for favorite TV viewing of 2013. . . Probably Sherlock. . .or Doctor Who or. . . Dash it all! This is a hard question! I love them all. ALL THE THINGS. I think honestly I love them all equally, it just depends on what mood I’m in.

Doctor Merlock
What did you want and get?
I got my first car in January!!!

My Car
What did you want and not get?
Health? I don’t know, I’ve been pretty satisfied this year.

What were your favorite films of this year?
I would love to say The Desolation of Smaug but that was such a disappointment. Catching Fire, absolutely! There are not even words to describe the amazingness of that movie. They followed the book more perfectly than I’ve ever seen in a book-to-movie adaption. It was amazing. Peter Jackson should have taken notes. >.> Let’s see, what else came out this year? Monsters University was cute. Despicable Me 2 was FABULOUS. That was such a hilarious movie! Oz: The Great and Powerful! Looooved that one! Oh! And Frozen of course!! I mean, who doesn’t love that movie? Goodness, there were a lot of good movies this year.

Catching Fire Movie Poster
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 21 (yes, I’m an “official” adult now *cue scary music*). I hung out at my grandmother’s house with the family, opened presents and such there, had lunch with good friends, and then that evening went bowling with the church group and then went to Wendy’s afterwards with the group where chaos ensued. It was a FANTASTIC birthday!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Fashion? Huh, well, I love wearing cute things but I don’t know if I’m all that great at it. I usually wear jeans and a cute top. I also love scarves and wear boots absolutely any chance I can get. And capris are my favorite during the summer. I wouldn’t say I wore anything special though.

What kept you sane?
Sane, what? I’m a writer, sane doesn’t come with the title. Okay, okay, let’s see. . . Reading always keeps me sane. Also cleaning, it’s my therapy. On the other hand though, if I go too long without getting a chance to clean I go a bit crazy. I’m way OCD in that area. I’ve got to have everything clean all the time.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy most?
Well, I dislike celebrities in general. I don’t get into all that in the least. They’re not exactly people I’d want to base my life off of. But. . .well. . .

Benedict Cumberbatch (3)

Benedict Cumberbatch (2)

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch. *COUGH* Don’t judge, you know you love him too.

And Colin Morgan, always.

Colin Morgan


And let’s not forget David Tennant.

Tenth Doctor

Tenth Doctor (2)

Tenth Doctor (3)

Okay, okay, I’m done. Promise.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting published? Becoming totally healthy? The TARDIS appearing in my front yard? I could do this all day, but I won’t, because I don’t think we should focus on what could have made life better, but on the blessings we had. 2013 was a really lovely year for me, and I am so grateful to God for all He has already given me.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Pssssh. I am SO not into politics. I’m not even going to try to answer this question.

Who did you miss?
There were way too many people I didn’t see much or stay much in contact with this year. From internet buddies to friends I know in person. There are so many people I miss. *sniffles*

Who was the best person you met?
I didn’t really meet many new people this year, and I guess I shouldn’t count fictional people, should I?

Tell a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Being a perfectionist and OCD, I tend to stress about things a lot, tiny, meaningless things that most people wouldn’t even think about. I’m a person who lives by lists and order, or wants to anyway, so when my plans get thrown into a loop I get upset about it. Over the course of the year, God has been teaching me to just let loose and not worry about plans and order. Sometimes things happen that change plans. In fact, more than likely something will go completely against the plan. So I’ve been trying to work on not letting those little hiccups bother me. God has much better plans each day for me than I do. If He wants to interrupt it, then I should embrace the change, not sulk over the fact that things aren’t going exactly how I planned them. Still a work-in-progress, but compared to this time last year I’m doing a lot better.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
”Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” --The Real World, Owl City
Because I spent the majority of the year in the novels I was writing than in the real world. *winks* Okay, really, I don’t know. I’ve never really used song lyrics to sum up my life before.

Reality is a lovely place

Five personally significant events of 2013:
-January 2nd, the day I got MY FIRST CAR.
-Two babies being born. (Probably should count that as two events, but they were pretty close together.)
-Two books being written. (Also probably should count as two *cough*).
-One book edited.
-NaNoWriMo in general (but that might count as one of those books being written).

Five things I want to do in 2014:
-Get much further on the road to publishing, or get published, but I’m pretty sure I still have quite a few years of work before that happens.
-Get into some healthy habits.
-Read more books than I did last year.
-Learn to manage my time better.
-Grow my relationship with God.
There are a whole bunch of things I want to do this year, but those are the main goals I have for now.

Five people I'd like to know better in 2014:
Huh. Well, I’m pretty close to my friends and family. I don’t know, maybe I’ll meet some people I’ll want to grow a relationship with this year. We shall see. Anyways, this is a pretty personal question, dontcha think? ; )

I have all sorts of plans and hopes for 2014. I honestly think it’s going to be a great year. But I have to remember, my plans are not God’s plans. I want to take His hand and let HIM lead me, on whatever twists and turns He wants to. Because HIS plans are far, far better than my own. Whatever Your will for 2014 is, Lord, lead on!

Happy 2014, everyone! I do hope this is a blessed, amazing year for you all and that God will never stop showing us His wonder.


Saturday, January 11, 2014


Ever since the New Year hit, I’ve been seeing all over the place people choosing a single word to live by for the entirety of the year. I don’t know how I’ve missed this until now. When I saw it, I fell in love with the idea.

I think we could all use a word to grow in. A word to draw us closer to our Savior. A word to shape us into better people, to make us more like Him. Something to use as the foundation of our year, to expand on.

I knew I wanted a word.

I was reading a blog post on it on New Year’s day and made this decision. Just a few hours later, I was saying my prayers for the night and not even thinking about this new idea. While praying for a friend to have strength and courage, my words halted.


The word flashed in my mind’s eyes like a neon sign. It stuck to my brain and would not let loose. I could not think of anything else. Courage. . .courage. . .courage. . . That single word ran through my head over and over again. That’s when I knew.

God gave me a word.

In His amazing love, He showed me immediately, without me even asking, the word He wants me to live by for 2014.

He wants me to Be Courageous.

Sometimes I’m not courageous at all. Most of the time, in fact. I’ll get in my little comfort zone and not have the courage to venture out, to explore His mighty plans for me. I fall into this far, far too often, these past couple of years especially. I like being comfortable, living in my happy, quiet little world. But there is so much more out there. It takes great courage to be a child of Christ. We cannot live for Him if we’re unwilling to step out into the world bravely.

The word excited me. I do like to be comfortable, but deep down there’s an adventurous side to me that longs for moments to reach for my courage. It’s also a bit terrifying. What’s going to come upon me this year that will take courage to face?

But the wonderful thing about courage is that it’s not something I draw from myself, but HIM. THE LORD is my courage. And no matter what comes my way, He will always be there to lean on, to draw strength from, to give me COURAGE.

I’m extremely excited about 2014. I have a feeling God has great plans for me. New, wonderful things. And through them I want to be COURAGEOUS.

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”
Psalm 31:24

Be Courageous

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