Monday, March 26, 2018

The Spring Cleaning Writerly Challenge Tag

Can you guys believe we’ve made it to spring? (Probably not judging by the frigid temperatures…) Hoooow is it nearly April? Pretty sure Christmas was yesterday!

But since spring is pounding on the door like an uninvited guest (seriously, I want it to still be January!), I suppose I better let it in and offer it cookies and tea or something. (Please don’t waste your precious lives trying to make sense of my analogies.)

In honor of spring arriving and the urge to spring clean, my frabjous and brilliant friend Deborah O'Carroll has created a spring cleaning tag. But we’re not talking housecleaning. Nooo. This is WRITING CLEANING!

As a total neat freak and a writer, this tag is pretty much the most me tag I’ve ever seen. It’s basically a quick challenge to get our writing/writing plans organized and return our enthusiasm for our WIPs! Because ya know all those big, thrilling goals we had in January? Well, they maaay have tapered off a bit at this point, amiright? NEVER FEAR. If you’re struggling to keep up with those big, writerly plans, this challenge is just the thing to get you pumped and organized again. Deborah is a GENIUS.

If you want to get a full explanation of how the tag works, you can check out her ORIGINAL POST to get all the details. But it’s not complicated, I promise!

Alrighty, lets get to some (writerly) spring cleaning!



  • Link back to the person who tagged you. (Deborah herself tagged me. Thanks, Deb! <3)
  • Share the picture. (*points to pic above*)
  • Answer the questions (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer. (Almost to that part!)
  • Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky). (*see end of post*)


. . . THE TAG . . .


1.) Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies:
Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

In a extremely shocking turn of events, I’m actually sorta kinda mostly keeping up with my 2018 goals??? Like…WUT. This never happens! But here we are.

I know I’m falling so short on many though. So let’s reexamine them and see how I’m doing.


Working on it! In fact, I’m roughly halfway through the draft, and making fairly good progress. Which is good, since this was my main goal for 2018. I need to get this thing into tip-top shape and ready for…querying. *gulp* I’ve been doing quite a bit of rewriting with a lot of bits and then more tweaking and polishing with others, so it’s been a mix of uber major editing and easier stuff. And…strangely? I’M LOVING IT. Every bit of it. Sure, I’ve had a few headaches, but after every single writing session I feel excited about the story.

Yes, editing is hard work, but GUYS. It’s the most satisfying feeling in the world seeing a WIP you love shape up into something even better. My young self would never, ever believe it if she heard this but…I like editing. Actually, I kinda love it. I KNOW! I don’t know who I am!

Anyways! BT edits are definitely fully underway and going well so far!


My other big goal for this year and biggest dream for this season in my life and…IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!!!! I am officially registered, been plotting the trip there with my awesome dad (who has graciously agreed to drive his directionally-challenged daughter), and have even listed out all the things I need to do/get done/buy/prepare for the event. REALM MAKERS THINGS ARE HAPPENING. At the beginning of the year it was still a hopeful dream, NOW IT’S A REALITY AND I CAN’T STOP SHRIEKING IN EXCITEMENT ABOUT IT.

This is also why I’ve actually been getting on top of editing. Because I gotta get Burning Thorns polished enough to pitch at the conference. Deadlines give me anxiety but they also push me to DO THE THING so yay?


Erm…okay, I’ve kinda failed on these things. I have looked into the agents that will be at Realm Makers though. I’ve actually decided to wait to do some of this until after Realm Makers, once I get some professional input on my book. There are some query-ish type of things I need to prepare for the conference though. So yes, that is one thing I need to get going on! But the actual looking into literary agents and querying thing will probably be a second half of the year goal. I think I’ll feel much more prepared after Realm Makers. *nods*


Again, shockingly, I’ve mostly been keeping up with this. o.O I’ve definitely missed lots and lots of days, but for the most part, each evening I do some stretches and things. Seriously, WHO AM I???


Eheheheheh. Not sure this one is going over well. Especially these past few weeks. I just never seem to have enough hours in the day to do all I want to. I’ve got to make more time for reading!


Well, obviously I can’t do this yet. *grins* BUT OF COURSE IT’S HAPPENING. Annnd I have two particular books that have been fighting to be my NaNo 2018 novel (yes, I’m already totally making NaNo plans #Obsessed), and both of which have bombarded me with plot ideas. So I’m more or less pre-planning for NaNo? Or at least brainstorming…?


*cricket, cricket*

Welllll. Remember how I said I don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done? Yeeeah. My plan was to unplug by 7 or 8 every night. And, actually, I was doing just that back in January. But at some point in February things fell apart, I got busier, editing BT became more demanding, Realm Makers plans started gettin’ serious, annnnd yeah. These days I’m barely clocking out by 10. O_O AND IT’S NO GOOD. I have basically zero time to read or just unwind and I’m feeling the negative effects it’s having. So much stress and exhaustion. So this is definitely one I need to brush the dust off and get back into! Recharging time is SO IMPORTANT. (<--- Preaching to myself.)


Mmmm… Half and half on this one. Originally I was thinking about doing hourly goals, but that hasn’t happened once. :-/ BUT every day I start off by writing out a to-do list which has helped SO MUUUUCH. You guys have no idea. I think it’s 97% why I’ve been able to stay more or less on top of things. That urge to check off every. single. thing. by the end of the day is STROOOONG.


Intentional—my word for 2018. And…I’ve stuck to it-ish. That whole Realm Makers deadline has been my biggest push to be intentional about my writing and get things done, and done well. For once, I’m being serious about pursuing my dreams. THIS IS HUGE, GUYS. I have never been one to do hard things and intentionally make my dreams a reality. But this year I have been extremely motivated (again, can probably thank Realm Makers for that) and getting things done. And I’m realizing I’m a much happier person because of it. I feel productive and accomplished and braver and more confident with my writing. I still fall so, so short, but I can see growth taking place this year and I hope to continuously be intentional about my dreams and my entire life in general. Not for just this year, but the rest of my life!

Wow. That was…longer than it should have been. But I love how this tag made me examine my big goals and reevaluate them. So basically…


  • Editing Burning Thorns
  • Attending Realm Makers
  • Exercising (ish)
  • Participate in NaNo (brainstorming!)
  • Organizing my Time (we can pretend I’m doing okay???)
  • Living Intentionally (trying, at least!)


  • Research Literary Agents and Work on a Query Letter (Yeah, definitely need to do more there, but will probably get real serious about it during the second half of the year.)
  • Read More (MUST. MAKE. MORE. TIIIME.)
  • Unplug More (Or unplug at all. SHEESH!)
  • Organize My Time (Yes, this is one both lists because I can aaalways do better with this!)

A bit half and half there, but it’s so good to really look at my goals and remember what I should be working on. Plus I’ve got you guys keeping me accountable! *grins*


2.) Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

    • a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
    • b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
    • c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
    • d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
    • e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

I love the comparisons here! I’m definitely polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases a.ka. making Burning Thorns as pretty as I can make it a.k.a EDITING!

Although, like I said, my potential NaNo novels have been bombarding me with ideas. (Because whenever I edit or do something that’s not first drafting, the plot bunnies attack ruthlessly. Is that just me???) So just the smidgest hint of blueprinting on the side.


3.) Treasure From the Back of the Closet:
Share one to three snippets you love!

Well, since my focus is Burning Thorns, I guess I’ll pull out something from that. I’ll share some rewritten scenes for funsies!

Her feet went before her mind, veering from the muddied road to the meadow where wet blades of grass scratched at her ankles. Through the blur of rain, a mass of pure blackness covered the way ahead. Ominous, daring her to draw any closer. Only the rattle of the prison wagon pursuing behind pushed her forward until the dark splotch took form. Twisting, gnarled trees appeared before her, deformed behind sheets of rain.

She halted just at the edge of the trees—the Forest, named thus because something so old needed no other name. It had stood at the center of Elda Grae long before even humans began inhabiting the continent.

Nightmarish stories of wicked creatures and dark fae slithered through her thoughts with an icy chill like the rain down her back. The land of the fae was no place for a human.


Rose did not know how long she stayed in that state—neither awake nor asleep, stuck in a dark restlessness in between—but when she opened her eyes the dim light of dawn cast the Forest in a hazy green. Her eyes ached from tears, and she could barely move her cold, stiff body.


The Dragon thrust her out the door, and once more their eyes locked. All his years of pain, anguish, loss, regret, poured from that single gaze. His lips parted and closed several times before the quiet, strained words came out. “You are no longer welcome in this castle.” Licking his lips, he grabbed the edge of the door. “Goodbye, Rose.” With that, he shoved the door and it closed with a resound click.


Lolz. Look at all that drama. XD


3.5.) Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

Confession: I don’t actually use a physical “writing space”. I basically sit in my recliner during all my writing. *sheepish grin* Sure, I have a desk. But why use that when I can sit in a big, comfy chair?? And I pretty much keep all my writing work and notes and all that fun stuff on my laptop itself. So yeah.

BUT. Just about a month ago ago I created a doc called “The Writing Space” for all my writerly thoughts, and it has basically been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

A lot of amazing people keep writing journals or physical notes and all that fun stuff. I’ve tried…for years. But, despite my unhealthy love for pretty journals, I never keep up with them. I’ve lost many a plot bunny due to forgetting to jot it down. Eventually, once I realized how many ideas I was losing due to my laziness of using pen and paper, I took to keeping notes on my phone. But, as I’ve discussed, I’ve gotten much more motivated and intentional about my writing this year. Thus I decided it was time to get ORGANIZED.

I sat down, made a new Scrivener file, and titled it “The Writing Space”.

I think I need to pause here to scream about MY COMPLETE AND UTTER LOVE FOR SCRIVENER. I am a perfectionist. I love things to be organized and all together. I like putting things in categories and listing them and color codes and all that delightful stuff. And guess what? SCRIVENER DOES ALL OF THAT. I honestly can’t even fully express my obsession with this writing program. It makes me want to work on my stories just so I can use it. THAT’S HOW FABULOUS IT IS. Yes, it does take a bit of time to learn, but it’s so worth it. I adore Scrivener with my entire being!

With that out of the way… BEHOLD.



See that binder on the far left side? (You can click the pic for a full view.) That’s all the documents and folders and folders within folders. It’s basically like having a bunch of word documents all in one place!

ANYWAYS. As you can see, this is where I keep my hodgepodge of writerly business. My goals, my story ideas (why are almost all my ideas retellings though???), character name ideas, magazines and contests I want to look into, writing tips I’ve gathered and want to remember, interviews I’ve done on the blog, blog posts ideas, etc. Since it’s fairly new, I’m still adding stuff as it hits me. I don’t even have ALL my story ideas on there. Just the ones I bothered to make notes of on my phone and then copied over to there. There are pleeenty more in my head that need jotting down!

But basically, this is a place I can keep ALL THE  WRITING THINGS, and it motivates me to keep up with it. Because it makes my organizing-loving self happy! (Have I mentioned how much I love Scrivener???)

Essentially, I “spring cleaned” my writerly thoughts into that document. And though I did this weeks ago, I can count it, right? #Cheater

WELL. For a tag with only 4 questions, I sure turned this into a monster post. (What’s new?) BUT I LOVED THIS TAG! It was both motivating and eye-opening. It helped me see my accomplishments, but also look at the things I need to work harder on. I told you guys Deborah is a genius!

Now to pass this on to others! *rubs hands together in glee*


Sarah @ Sarah Plain and Average | Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings | Victoria @ Wanderer's Pen + anyone else who wants to steal the tag. GO FOR IT! (But nooo pressure to those tagged or anyone else to do this.)

Here are the Questions
(For copy and pasting purposes)

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

Thanks for putting up with all my writerly ramblings! You guys keep me constantly motivated to pursue my dreams! <3



Tell me some of your 2018 goals you’re totally rocking! I’d love to cheer you on. If you’re working on a writing project, what stage are you on (editing, writing, brainstorming, etc.)? How’s it going? What do you use to log those slippery plot bunnies and writing thoughts? (Am I the only one who totally fails at keeping up with journals?) Annnd is it feeling like spring at all in your neck of the woods?

Monday, March 19, 2018

{Sage Blog Tour} Interview with Jamie Foley + Giveaway!

GUUUUUYS. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Like five-year-old-in-a-candy-store pumped. Why? Becaaaause…

Sage, book 3 of the Sentinel trilogy, has just released!!!

OKAY. SO. You’ve probably seen me talking about this trilogy on multiple occasions for months on end now. I first read Sentinel (book #1), last summer and instantly fell in love. I then proceeded to devour the prequel novella, Viper (though I believe it’s titled Vanguard now) and the second book, Arbiter. In which I wept once I was done because I had read all the books available and book #3 wouldn’t be out for a while.


These books, guys! I can honestly say they’re some of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. I’ve never come across anything like them. They’re set in a apocalyptic-ish world based heavily on ours (as in, there are cell phones, cars, normal modern day stuff), but the catch is some people possess very unique special abilities. Throw in some military intrigue, a crazy awesome plot, snark for daaays, utterly complex and loveable characters, and…yeah. SIGN ME UP. I feel like my description isn’t even doing these books justice… The overall feel is so DIFFERENT. Truth be told, it almost has a Final Fantasy vibe (for my fellow nerds who have played those video games)—people with unique powers and fantasy elements thrown into a modern-like world. I DON’T KNOW. They’re just really epic books! YOU NEED TO READ THEM.

Buuut if I haven’t yet convinced you to stop everything you’re doing to go purchase them, stick around. Because I have more exciting news.

Jamie Foley, the author herself, is here today for the official Sage blog tour!


Jamie graciously allowed me to interrogate I mean, AHEM, interview her. She shares some positively fascinating tidbits about the story, her writing, and her own life. By the end you’re going to be clamoring for her stories. Trust me!

So enough from me! Let’s go started. (But do stick around to the very end, because I have even more fun for you. *grins*)

. . . JAMIE FOLEY. . .

Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She’s terrified of plot holes and red wasps.

Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, TX and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads


. . . THE INTERVIEW . . .


The Sentinel trilogy is such a unique story. How did you come up with the idea for these novels? What was your inspiration?

Aw, thanks! It's hard to pinpoint one source for my inspiration, but the overall feel is probably based on a hodgepodge of Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and books by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker.

Several events in the story either come from my own experiences or those of people who are close to me. One character deals with a fatal illness—that's inspired by my little sister, who was 6 when she was diagnosed with leukemia (I was 12). She's a super-fit personal trainer now, but it impacted our family dramatically when I was growing up. We're so much stronger because of it.

An event in Arbiter brings up a cliche-feeling amnesia episode, but amnesia was anything but cliche for me. I was involved in a 10-car pile-up caused by a speeding 18-wheeler when I was writing that book—my car was the second one to be hit, and I shouldn't have walked away from it. I had a massive concussion and still suffer with memory issues to this day. 

The miscarriage that a character refers to in Sage is based on my personal experience. 

It's not all crazy awful stuff, though—the marriage relationship in Sage is based heavily on my own. Basically, I have the best hubby ever, and I have to keep pinching myself to remind myself that it's real. :)


Your delightful cast of characters is so colorful and complex. Do you have a favorite out of them? Who proved to be the most fun to write about?

They're complex, all right :P Sorvashti is probably my favorite overall, if I have to choose. Darien is fun to write because he's just covered in cheese. And Zekk's POV is always fun because he's so low-stress and slick.

I feel most connected with Jet. I wanted to go into the military when I was growing up, but my Korea-veteran grandfather forbade his first granddaughter from enlisting. I chose to respect his wishes. Jet lives out that path that I never got to take.

Jet is so stubborn, though. He was the biggest pain in the butt to write about, because when I'd be writing, he'd decide that he wanted to do something different than I'd planned. He didn't care about my outline. I had to change major parts of Arbiter and Sage because of him. *grumble*


In your stories, the characters have specific abilities called “Aether Gifts”. If you could have one of the gifts, which would it be and why?

I'd be an exorcist! I love MMA and trained in Krav Maga for a while (I need to get back into it). I think the exorcist gift goes best with that. It can throw people with other gifts off their game by stealing their aether.


What do you wish your readers to take away from the Sentinel trilogy? How do you hope they’ll feel after reading the finale?

I hope readers will realize that, in fiction or in real life, goodness and joy can come out of even the darkest situation. When a reader finishes the finale, I hope they'll be crammed full of happy feels.

And I hope they won't kill me for what I put the characters through to get to the happy ending. *innocent smile*


Which of the books in your series gave you the most joy to write? And which one was the most challenging?

The prequel novella, Vanguard, was my overall favorite to write because it was the shortest, and we get to see a mentor character (Jet) as a rookie. We also got to visit a different part of the world and different cultures within it.

Sage was difficult just because it was so long, but I think Arbiter was probably the most challenging because I was trying to avoid the sequel slump. It's just such a wild ride... I felt like I was balancing on the line between creating a terrible middle book and rubbing my reader's nerves raw.


Tell us a little bit about your writing process. What are your favorite and least favorite parts?

I'm a 'plotter' instead of a 'pantser,' which means I meticulously plan out my books before I write them. I first do a skeleton plot, then an outline, then a detailed outline for each chapter, and finally pre-writing before I actually write (these phases are explained in my non-fiction book, The Busy Mom's Guide to Writing, which comes out on March 30, 2018). 

My favorite part is probably tied between worldbuilding and pre-writing funny dialogue. My least favorite part of the writing process is—surprise!—editing, but I have the best alpha readers, beta readers, editors, and proofers ever.


What do you enjoy most about publishing? And what part do you find the most stressful?

Both questions have the same answer: reviews. A good review will make me giddy, but authors compare negative reviews to rat poison for a reason. One careless reviewer who doesn't realize their words are like daggers can agonize a writer for days, or longer. I have friends who've nearly stopped writing because of mean, ugly, vicious reviewers.


Which authors influence and inspire you the most? 

The authors who influence me most nowadays are my current favorite authors and friends: S.D. Grimm, Mary Weber, Nadine Brandes, and Sabaa Tahir.


Do you have more stories cooking up for us to look forward to? If so, can you give us some hints about these future novels?

Yes ma'am! I'm working on 2 new fantasy series—both will be epic fantasy. One is called Emberhawk, which is planned to be a 3-book series that will happen a couple thousand years before Sentinel. It will be more heavy on the romantic suspense side of things, involving elementals and tribes on the brink of war. You might even see an immortal character from The Sentinel Trilogy in it.

The other upcoming series is called Runes of Kona. It's planned as a 6-book series on another planet called Kona, and as you might have guessed, it involves rune magic. And royal bloodlines. And talking trees. And void dragons. hehe.

But since it will take me a while to get these new series out, I'm going to write a short story for The Sentinel Trilogy to tell Zekk's backstory—it will be available for free for my newsletter subscribers only (sign up at That will come out in fall 2018.
I'm also planning a follow-up book to The Sentinel Trilogy called Sifter, which will tell the story of the children of the heroes 18 years after book 3: Sage. That's planned for release in 2019. :)


Lastly, what’s one piece of advice you would give all the aspiring writers out there?

Write because you love it, not for any other reason.



. . . About Sage . . .

Ancient elementals awaken, fracturing a dying world to its core.

Teravyn Aetherswift returns to the land of the living, but everything seems unfamiliar… including her little brother. Zekk offers help, but can an alluring Lynx be trusted?

Sorvashti finally has everything she ever wanted, so the last thing she wants to do is run after traitors. But she won’t leave Jet’s side—unless the horrifying truth about his mother tears them apart.

Darien is sick of being used and lied to. But if he stands up for what’s right, he’ll pay the price with his life… or the lives of those he loves.

Amazon | Signed Paperback | GoodReads


What’d I tell ya? Inspiring and fascinating, am I right? If you want even more fun, there is a whole group of fantastic bloggers featuring book spotlights, reviews, and more interviews! Do stop by and immerse in all the Sage fun!


. . . Blog Tour Schedule . . .

 Saturday, March 10th

Monday, March 12th

Tuesday, March 13th

Wednesday, March 14th

Thursday, March 15th

Friday, March 16th

Saturday, March 17th

Monday, March 19th

Tuesday, March 20th

Wednesday, March 21st

Thursday, March 22nd

Friday, March 23rd

Saturday, March 24th

. . . GIVEAWAY . . .

Before you dive into all those delicious links and head over to Amazon to snag yourself a copy of these books, I have one more bit of exciting news. Jamie Foley is featuring a GIVEAWAY! *throws confetti*

She’s generously giving away 3 (count ‘em, THREE) digital $10 Amazon gift cards!

Who doesn’t want an Amazon gift card? (To spend on books, obviously.) All you have to do is sign up for Jamie’s newsletter and you’ll be entered. Easy peasy.



Whew! So much excitement. (Seriously, guys, I can’t even properly express how thrilled I am over this book's release!)

Huge thanks to Jamie for letting me interview her. And for writing these brilliant books! I can’t waaaait to dive into Sage! *dances*



The obvious question: HAVE YOU READ THESE BOOKS?! If so, are you as excited as I am that the finale has released? (And can we talk about that cover? *droools*) If you haven’t read any of them…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Off with you! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

7th Blogoversary Celebration Day 2: A Thank You Letter and Part Two of the Q&A Vlog

HELLO AGAIN!!! It is day two of Musings of an Elf’s two-day 7th Blogoversary Celebration (say that 5 times fast) and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

(If you  missed it, don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post where I showed you guys my first ever blog post (and hid in a hole from embarrassment afterwards) and shared part 1 of the Q&A vlog.)

Today, March 14th, is Musings of an Elf’s official birthday. On this day 7 years ago, I hit publish on that first post and entered the great, wide, crazy, AMAZING world of blogging. And I’ve never looked back!

Yesterday I talked about how creating this blog really shaped me as a writer and brought out my passion for writing even more. But it’s not just the writing aspect of the blog that has helped me grow. It is also the community.

It is…YOU!

There aren’t enough words in the world to fully express my gratitude for each and every one of you. But you better believe I’m gonna try anyway!

For Musings of an Elf’s official birthday, I want to share a letter. A letter to you, my dear, treasured blog followers. My friends.



Dear Friends,

When I first started this little blog simply for a way to stretch my writing muscles and start growing an author’s platform, I had no idea…no clue of the joys that were to follow.

It started with the blog comments that put a smile on my face every time one appeared. It took some time, but as I wrote more posts, more began to pop up. Then I ventured out to those blogs, I discovered linkups, more blogs, writers and like-minded people. It amazed me how many people out there shared my interests. How many people loved the same books I did, how many wrote the same types of stories I wrote, how many understood the ups and downs of being an aspiring writer or merely just loving stories.

I soon discovered the blogging world was full of kind, passionate, beautiful people. And over time, these people became my people, my friends.

For years, I struggled with confidence, with thinking I was alone. I rarely showed my true self because I feared no one would understand, or just think I was plain weird.

But then, one by one, you each entered my life. Slowly but surely, I grew less fearful of sharing my passions. I learned that if I turned on my “fangirl mode”, you wouldn’t raise an eyebrow and judge, instead, you fangirl/boy-ed right along with me! I could talk excitedly about my beloved books, movies, and TV shows—embrace my full geekiness—and be welcomed for it.

Then, as I met more and more people like me, I decided to attempt sharing things about my writing—something that had before made me want to go hide under my bed forever. I started out talking about writing-related things, then I…*gulp* began to post snippets. I opened up about what my stories were about, introduced my characters to you, wrote more writing posts.

And do you know what you did for me? You encouraged me.

Every single one of you rained encouragement over this self-conscious writer. You took away my fear and shame, and instead motivated me, inspired me.

As time went on, I formed closer bonds, joined a beta group, actually had people read my entire stories and I got to read theirs. Before I knew it, I was a full-fledged writer. It wasn’t a hobby, it was a lifestyle, and one that brought me joy every single day.

My little blog morphed into a writing blog with the greatest support group I have ever had: YOU.

Because of you, I went from a self-conscious teenager who had dreams of being a writer but never did much about it and always felt alone in that aspect of my life, to someone with solid plans of pursuing my greatest passion and the most amazing writer friends cheering me on all the way.

And all I can say is…THANK YOU! Thank you for the endless encouragement, the accountability, the interest in my stories and drive to continue pursuing publishing them. Thank you for all the enthusiastic comments and sweet emails. Thank you for your posts and stories that bless me and make me smile and inspire me every single day.

The impact each and every one of you makes on my life has been phenomenal. It puts me in awe to think that, out of the billions of people in the world, God brought me to each of you. He truly is a loving God!

Thank you for being the beautiful human beings that you are. I love you all!


NOW THEN. We aren’t quite done with the celebrations yet. It is time for part 2 of the Q&A vlog! (And, don’t worry, this one’s a bit shorter than yesterday’s. Heh.)


(Part 2)

This starts right where I cut off the first part, but I apologize for the weird lighting. Filming took muuuch longer than I thought it would and I started losing sunlight. So things get a bit yellow as the video progresses. Sorry ‘bout that! Maybe one of these days I’ll learn how to actually make a professional video. (But I wouldn’t count on it…)

(Also, at the end I call my blog Musings of the Elf instead of Musings of an Elf because I’m a potato and apparently don’t know the name of my own blog???)

This video features what my favorite season is, the great mystery of why I’m nicknamed Lauriloth/Lauri, my favorite mythical creature (betcha can’t gueeeess *grins*), my thoughts on standalones vs. series, which five books I would save in a disaster, what my favorite The Legend of Zelda game is, and moooore! Lots of fun stuff! (Seriously, I love everyone’s questions!)

You can view the video on YouTube HERE if the embedded version isn’t working.

Before I go, I have one more exciting thing to share with you…

REALM MAKERS 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Yesterday I registered and…just. I can’t believe this is happening. Excitement doesn’t even cover what I’m feeling. If you’re going, TELL ME, because I want to meet you all!


Alrighty! That wraps it up. This has been so much fun!

Once more I have to mention what a blessing you all are to me. I do this blog because of YOU! You are all the best! *GROUP HUG*

Can’t wait for all the more blogging years to come!



Let’s chat blogging. What is your favorite thing about blogging? Do you have a special blogging memory? And, since this is a party, the question must be asked: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CAKE???

Thank you all for celebrating with me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

7th Blogoversary Celebration Day 1: #MyFirstPostRevisited Tag and Part One of the Q&A Vlog!

Happy Tuesday, my friends! Yes, I am posting on a Tuesday instead of Monday. That’s because this is a special week.


Tomorrow (March 14th) is the official blogoversary date, thus I will be posting today and tomorrow! Because why celebrate one day when you can spread the party for TWO days?! Can we just pretend we’re all hanging out in a room full of party decorations and eating cake together? Yes? YES.

Today, to celebrate, I have two fun things going.

Thing #1: I’m doing the #MyFirstPostRevisited Tag in which I’ll be sharing my first ever post with you guys (O________O) and then hide in a hole from embarrassment. #FUN But since it is the 7th anniversary of when I created this blog and put up the first post, I thought now would be the perfect time to join the tag.

Thing #2: PART ONE OF MY Q&A VLOG! *trumpets and fanfare* But why am I splitting the video in two? You see, erm…remember how I said I didn’t want to make the vlog super long? Eheheheheh. WELL. A lot of you asked me questions! Annnd the full video ended up being 45 minutes long. O_O That’s literally the entire length of a full TV show, guys!!! And ain’t nobody want to watch me talk for 45 minutes. THUS I split the video in half and shall be sharing part 1 today and part 2 tomorrow (so if this one seems like it ends suddenly and the other one starts suddenly, that’s why). Yeeeah, I know, making short videos does not seem to be my forte. But HEY, don’t blame me. I had some 40 questions to answer.

Okay, okay, actually, I was THRILLED over all the questions and am so honored. I do apologize for the length of the videos though. I did answer the questions more or less in order if you want to skip around and find your question and not watch me babble on and on. *grins*

ALRIGHTY. All those disclaimers aside… LET’S GET TO THE CELEBRATING!





  • No cheating. You must highlight your first post. Not your second post, not one you love… the first post only.
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs). - Victoria @ Wanderer's Pen tagged me for this one. THANK YOU SO MUCH, TORI! Don’t worry, no ladybug curses for you. ;D
  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine, but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tag five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post. – *points at pic below*
  • Include “the rules” in your post.
  • Completely silly rules that I’m making up as I type:
  • Write your post while wolfing down your favorite dessert.
  • Do 10 cartwheels after you hit “Publish.”

(Gotta love these rules!)



Hello to all those reading this!^_^ My name is Lauriloth and this is my first-ish blog; ‘ish,’ because I started a blog about 3 or 4 years ago and never did a thing with it. But this one is all new and fresh and I -hope- to actually use it! ;)

My biggest obsessions are elves (fantasy elves of course, not Christmas Elves :/), fantasy, Lord of the Rings, writing, reading, and the piano. But most of all Jesus Christ! I have a completely beloved little grey poodle named Navi (who is most spoiled), and a laptop whom I call Larry to which I will be blogging from. My favorite color is pink and I love pizza (but who doesn’t?).

Writing (and reading) is my biggest past time and a major hobby of mine, so I thought making a blog might help improve any skills I might possess (if any) with writing. It might also strengthen my passion for it. So I think it is a win, win either way. Plus, blogging seems like tons of fun!^^

What will this blog be about? That is a good question…too bad it does not have an answer. All right, it sort of does. Basically this blog will be about whatever my insanely random mind thinks up to post. There might be some posts about my current interest, may it be a TV show, movie, song, book I have become obsessed with, or maybe just the color pink or a post about pencils (which I am both very fond of, just so you know). There will probably be plenty of things the Lord has shown me that I would like to share with others. As an avid reader, I am going to try to put up book reviews whenever I can; there will most likely be plenty of those. And you can count on lots of random musings from this elf.

So how does one end a blog post? How about with a question for you to think about or comment on? Questions are fun.

Why are pencils so fantastically fantastical?

(I have a thing for pencils…)

Well then.

The first thing that strikes me is the fact that it looks like a 10 year old wrote it when, in fact, I was 18. EIGHTEEN, GUYS! It’s so immature it’s just laughable. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time! (Especially with the pencil thing. Wow. I mean…yes, I adore pencils, but ya know.)

I’m still very much the same person in many respects though. Fantasy, elves, Lord of the Rings, writing, reading, pink, pizza—yep, all my favorite things! And my poodle Navi is still the love of my life. (Fun fact: She turned 11 last week!) I did retire my laptop Larry a few years ago though. The poor thing was getting pretty ancient. And my plans for this blog shifted over the years.

As you can see, the original plan was just to blog about…anything. Whatever popped into my head. But as my passion for writing grew it, erm, took over every aspect of my life and that’s almost solely what this blog is about. And I’m not even sorry. Bwahaha! Though I will throw out the occasional non-writerly/bookish post. Buuuut it’s pretty rare! *grins* (But seriously, some of my early posts were so random. o.o)

Hopefully things are a bit better quality around here. Though the maturity levels are questionable but HAHAHAHAHA! Who needs to be a mature adult? Not me, that’s for sure!

In all seriousness, it’s fascinating seeing how things have shifted and grown since my first post those 7 years ago. Notice how I said writing was a “past time” and “hobby” of mine. THINGS HAVE CHANGED. It is now LIFE. Thus this whole blog forming into a writing/book blog.

Really, a huge reason I decided to pursue writing as a full-on career is because of blogging. As the blog grew and I immersed into the writing community, my love for writing grew as well.

When I hit publish for that first post on March 14th, 2011, I had no idea the impact it’d make on my life. Musings of an Elf isn’t just a blog. It has shaped who I am today.

So yes, that first post (and the many posts following *cough*), were immature and embarrassing. But I don’t regret any of it.


Allison @ Allison's Well | Tracey @ Adventure Awaits | Skye @ Ink Castles | Deborah @ The Road of a Writer | Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate  (If any of you have already done this tag, I apologize for my goldfish memory.)

With that done, on to the next section of the post. The first part of the Q&A vlog!

(Part 1)

I had an absolute blast filming this and answering all of your brilliant questions. I’M SO EXCITED TO FINALLY SHARE IT!
Just remember, this is PART ONE, so if I didn’t answer your question here, it should be in the next part.

In this part you’ll learn about my favorite books, who I’d want to meet if I could travel back in time, which of my characters I’d switch places with, if I prefer indie or traditional publishing, lots of fun Lord of the Rings questions (you guys know me so well), and many more fun tidbits!

(Also, I apologize that this one cuts off really suddenly. I tried to fix it, but couldn’t get it quite right so…yeah. Still veeery much learning this whole video editing thing.)

If the embedded video doesn’t work, you can watch the video on YouTube HERE

Here’s the picture I mentioned that inspired the entire Colors of a Dragon Scale series:


And thus concludes Day One of my two-day 7th blogoversary celebration.

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for more celebrations and Part Two of the vlog!



What do you think of my first post? Pretty entertaining, right? XD Did you enjoy the vlog? (Sorry for the length. Ahem.) Thank you all again so much for the questions. I’ll see you tomorrow with more blogoversary fun!

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