Showing posts from October, 2011


This week, I've been catching up with school assignments and taking a break from reading.  So today, instead of reviewing a book, I'd like to talk about something starting tomorrow: National Novel Writing Month!

Known to those who participate in this event as NaNoWriMo, November is a month of challenges and frenzied typing.  The adult program, for anyone 13 or older, challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in exactly 30 days.  Writers begin this enormous task on November 1, and must 'turn in' their completed first drafts by midnight, November 30.  Time zones are taken into account, and each writer sets their time zone when they fill out their author information.  Forums are available for participants, as are web badges, NaNoToons, and pep talks from several famous authors.

I had never heard of NaNoWriMo until halfway through November of last year, and I figured by that point I might as well wait.  So I did.  In fact, I almost forgot to register this year....…

30 Day Challenge: Day Six - What's In Your Purse?

This is the day I rejoice that I no longer carry those giant bags that hardly qualify as purses.  Let's see what we've got...

My purse is actually a going-away gift from when I left Okinawa.  Yes, it's a real Coach.

(Excuse the mysterious hand on the sanitizer.  It belongs to a baby I'm watching.)

Obviously I have hand sanitizer, a cool little bottle made to fit in the rubbery holder thing Bath & Body Works makes.  It's Sugar Lemon PocketBac and it smells soooo good.  On the other side of the purse, there's a metal clip with gazillions of pressed pennies attached and a few bracelet-type charms.

Inside the outer pocket I have basic stuff: foldable hairbrush, Band-Aids, wet wipe, hairbands, lip gloss, and some trash.  :P  In the main pocket, I have hand lotion (B&B's Carried Away :] ); a few random papers; a mini notebook; more trash?; my favorite Blistex; a Northland card from their display on Wednesday night; two pencils; four pens; and a medicine c…

Friendlight Friday

Bailey from Big House in the Little Woods

...we define ourselves by marriage. Our unmarried years are marked by filling hope chests, overcoming crushes and trying to keep that binding verse: "She does him good all the days of her life." For all practical purposes, we're married to him presently.

This becomes sticky when we start making life decisions. We fear going to college because what if that super cute, super spiritual boy at home won't pursue us if we're in another state? Or we go to college because that's where we find the good ones (to paraphrase godly women). We don't start this project or pursue that interest because, well, it doesn't really look good on a homemaker's transcript. Once precariously in the position of eligibility and yet perhaps on the brink of fifty years of spinsterhood, we stop asking, "What is Your will, Lord?" and start asking, "How will this help me find a husband?"

This is frustrating be…

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits {Guest Post}

For today's post, we have a famous teen author writing our very first guest post.  :D  Melody Carlson is a personal favorite of mine; I've read all of her Carter House Girls and On The Runway series, as well as some of her TrueColors books and one Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?

Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write ab…

N is for...


My boyfriend. :) Yup, the one with stunning eyes and big dreams.

Oh, and that's my brother Eddie on the left.  You know, all three of us have this photo as our Facebook profile picture, and that makes things really confusing. :P 


I've run out of list ideas, and I was browsing Teen Ink when I realized something.  This blog is called Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author, and yet I've only shared one piece of my 'real' work.  So now I'll share a little something I've written each week.  Most of these are posted on various websites.


At times when things are hopeless;

Ones you love are far away;

Remember the cheer and laughter

From a long-gone day.

Read what you wrote in your diary

On a day when you were sad-

Then read what you wrote the next day,

When somebody made you glad.

Look back at a photo taken

Of you with all your friends

Distance can never erase that

Or make a friendship end.

Watch a movie you made at a party

With no real meaning or plot

Hear the laughter and the giggles

And be thankful for all you've got

At times when things seem hopeless;

Ones you love seem far away;

Remember the cheer and laughter

Of a recent yesterday.

Book Review: Taken Away

Taken Away by Patty Friedmann
Summer's little sister went missing in Katrina - and her mother blames her.
Summer Elmwood's parents don't believe in television, or computers, or cell phones, or air conditioning, or caller ID.  They don't believe in evacuation, either - which is how they ended up living in their local Baptist Hospital when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  Summer's little sister, Amalia, was having open-heart surgery a week before the storm... but when Summer's family is forced to evacuate, Amalia is gone.  Now they're living with shallow, selfish, rich Aunt Sharon, and Summer's family is convinced she hid or murdered Amalia.  With a secret cell phone, her best friend Haydn, and a new friend Robert, it's up to her to find her sister.

I had a mixed reaction to this book.  On the one hand, the language and several things about drugs and other activities were simply unnecessary.  Yes, Summer's parents were strange ex-hippies.  Yes, …

30 Day Challenge: Day Five - A Favorite Quote

I have so many quotes I love, and some people who I could post quotes from all day long.  For this post, though, I'll just share the favorites I have on my Facebook profile. :)

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you will never walk alone." ~Audrey Hepburn

The majority of American Christians are so American they can't be Christian. ~radio preacher

"I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve." ~Baron de Montesquieu

And now for a few quotes from Winnie the Pooh, which I shared once before in my friendship photo post.

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye s…

Friendlight Friday

I know this post will be controversial; please, if you agree or disagree, the comment box is open to all opinions.  I have long felt this way about this popular series, but have never found the words myself.  Personally, some of Bailey's posts combined with my own thoughts and this post (its points on books in general and contentment) have made me rethink my stance on several issues.  I'd love to add your beliefs or thoughts to my considerations.

Jane from Reviews by Jane
 Romances today are unrealistic and have absolutely no purpose except make single girls fantasize about what they want to have and married woman uncontent with what they do. Most of them are painting images that are unpractical and are going to leave women disappointed with they life they have. Don't get me wrong, my opinion isn't that love stories are evil. Some of my favorite books have a side romance in them. But when the book focuses only on the passion with no discretion, no boundaries, no…

M is for...

Miniature Cupcakes
This is my last cupcake post for the year, I promise!  But when I came to 'm,' all I could think was 'my' or 'mini'... so then I thought of the millions of mini cupcakes we made for Cupcake Day 2011!

From right: my wonderful mother, who gave up her only sleep-in Saturday this month to get us to the church and bake all day; my brother Jon; and Joseph, a volunteer from the middle school group.  In the left/background area, you can see my brother Eddie's head behind another volunteer, RJ.

My mother's and friend Hannah's hands frosting the first of the cupcakes.

Cupcakes! Yum. :)

And more cupcakes! Only prettier this time ;)

My best friend Ashlee and my boyfriend Nathan passing out cupcakes and flyers to church members by one of the main doors. 


Today, I interrupt my blog schedule to share a very important pro-life day.

I'm not going to write anything today; most of you know my stand on the abortion issue by now, and those who don't can just check out these posts.

Today is an important day in the pro-life world: Silent Solidarity Day.  I'm registered to wear an arm band; maybe next year I can make the vow of silence, too.

Will you give up your voice for a day in honor of those who will never have one?

Book Review: Rippler


Ripplerby Cindey Swanson
What if you could become invisible?  Samantha can - and someone wants her dead.

Just when Samantha Ruiz finally starts making friends and feeling happy again, an alarming problem arises: she becomes invisible at random intervals.  After such an occurrence during a kayaking adventure, a teammate reveals that this is caused by a very rare gene.  She and her teammate, Will, begin an adventure of research and secrets in an attempt to help Sam take control of her Rippler's Syndrome while Will and his older sister try to find answers to the scientific mysteries and strange murders surrounding research of this gene.
For a self-published book, this was amazing.  Actually, for any publication method, this book was amazing.  The cover and description themselves drew me in, and everything kept going up from there.  The characters were easy to relate to and realistic; the back stories were believable and true to the character's present situations.  The plot was or…

30 Day Challenge - Day Four: A Favorite TV Program

This week's challenge is really easy.  I don't watch too much television, but when I do, it's one of two CBS shows that actually aired and were canceled back in the 80's.

Christy was based on a book and was canceled after only 22 episodes - one season.  One of the producers bought the rights and finished the storyline with three full-length movies.  The biggest part of this show was who Christy married - David, the preacher that seemed perfect for her, or Doc MacNeill, the mysterious older man with a troubled past?  Even the actors themselves didn't know the answer until the third made-for-television movie aired.  Two separate scenes - one with each man - had been filmed and the producers decided which to use as the ending.

Beauty and the Beast lasted two and a half seasons, although many fans decided to ignore the third season.  The first season focuses on the growing relationship between hero - a half-lion, half-man named Vincent who lives in secret tunnels under …

Friendlight Friday

Carlottafrom pastor's girl's ponderings

It's taught me that nothing is perfect -- no human, no blog, no situation, and most definitely not my life. When it comes to blogging, there are some trials I share on here, but this is not a dumping ground for every single thing that is going wrong in my life. That is what my diary is for. Honestly, the things that upset me every day are trivial and simply not worth rehashing. This space is a visual journal and a place to be creative, a place to remember the little things and chronicle my photographic journey.
That's not to say that life can get overwhelming; on the contrary, I sometimes succumb to tears just wondering how I can possible be able to get everything done in time. These past few weeks have been incredibly wonderful and at the same time so overwhelming at the same time. Having my sister here completes us, but it's a balancing act, really, trying to fit in work and other tasks that still need to be done while rest…

Abortion Flyer

After this weekend's Cupcake Day, I thought you might like to read the flyer I made.

The Truth About Abortion

Abortion is defined as “the termination of a pregnancy through the death of the embryo or fetus; especially the medical procedure of killing and expelling a human fetus to terminate a pregnancy.” (Webster’s Medical Dictionary)
One out of every three American women will have an abortion by age 45.18% of these women are teenagers.58% are in their twenties.85% are unmarried.
African-American children are aborted at five times the rate of white children.In fact, Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in the United States – was originally founded to rid America of blacks.
About 1.21 million abortions occur yearly in America.It is the most common surgical procedure in the country, and it is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in all fifty states.
Planned Parenthood has released statistics proving that 93% of abortions are performed on healthy mothers with healthy ba…

L is for...


It shouldn't be this hard to find a photo of me very obviously laughing, since so many people seem to take photos while I'm laughing. But, of course, I only have this one since most of my photos have me behind the camera.
Here's another one I found:

Kinda random.  A heart I drew in the snow back in January.  (Snow! In Georgia! After three years on a tropical island! It was amazing... :] ) 

Bucket List (a beginning, that is)

So, my friend Nathan, my brother Eddie, and myself have been hanging out lately and recently mentioned bucket lists.  We tossed the idea around and made a few suggestions before Nathan said I ought to make one as a Tuesday list.  Which brings us to today's post.

As a bucket list is sort of a lifelong thing - growing as you get older and get more ideas, shrinking as you cross off completed items - this is really just a start to my list.  It's a list, nonetheless.

Before I Die
To Do: -graduate from high school -read every book on my To-Read lists -adopt a child -have a pet that is MINE -hold a koala -feed a giraffe -ride on a dolphin's back -own and run an orphanage -be published -look through a telescope -attend a March for Life/SFLA conference/March for Life Youth Rally -own a VW bug or bus To Learn: -Spanish -sign language -crochet -knitting -cross-stitch -sewing (with buttons, zippers, etc.) -screen-play-writing
To Visit: -Israel -England -Italy -Greece -Germany -Austria -…

Book Review: Becoming Me

Becoming Me by Melody Carlson
Diary of a Teenage Girl

When I received an invitation to review this book, I couldn't believe my luck!  The original Diary of a Teenage Girl book by Melody Carlson was available for review?  Of course I immediately requested it, and after much impatient waiting my paperback arrived.  I read through it much faster than most review books; I wasn't disappointed.  The great reviews and talk surrounding this book are definitely earned.

In Becoming Me, a newly sixteen-year-old girl writes about her struggles with new friends, boys, family problems, and life in general.  As she climbs the popularity ladder at school, gains the affection of the most popular boy in school, and discovers a secret that could destroy her family, she shares her innermost thoughts and feelings with her diary.  Through this book, readers gain a peek inside one teenager's heart and laugh or cry along with her.

Just like her other books, Melody Carlson deals with important but…

Devotion By Me

If you have no idea what this devotional was written for, read this.  Oh, and guys?  This is another girls-only day. Sorry :P

Anna has graciously invited me to write the first devotional for this chain, and despite the fact that I've twice tried to write devotionals and failed miserably, I said I'd do my best. Third time's a charm, right?

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to write about until tonight. I've been going through a lot lately. To make a (very) long story short, we have doubly many people in the house this week; I just might be graduating a year early, which means I should be looking into my future right about now; and I, founder of the P.O. Box Club and role-model-wanna-be of church, have been struggling in my spiritual life yet again.

I'll tell you a secret. I am a people pleaser. I only recently admitted this to myself, but it's been glaringly obvious since... well, forever. I am a perfectionist who always thinks about what someone might say -…

30 Day Challenge: Day Three - A Favorite Book

As many of you know, I don't have a favorite book - or a favorite author.  I have a few favorite authors, and some books that I doubt I'll ever forget, but I could never point out any one favorite.

Some of the authors I like are...

~Robin Jones Gunn
~Shannon Hale
~Melody Carlson
~Greg Paul
~Jane Austen

Some of the books I treasure...

~A Family Forever by Brenda Coulter
~Just Ella and Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
~The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale
~Christy Miller & Friends series by Robin Jones Gunn
~Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
~Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is by no means a comprehensive list; just a sampling of literature I enjoy. :)

Friendlight Friday

Sarah Grace from Breezes Through the Meadow
Almost every future homemaker in-training has a vision of what they would want to be like as a homemaker...right ? Or is it just me ? As a little girl, I wanted to be like Laura Ingalls Wilder, the genuine frontier girl. She stuck it out when times were rough. Each day she tackled the tasks ahead, trampled the hardships down, and always wanted to be a help to her family. Did I mention that she paid for over half of Mary's college tuition, and almost never wanted to spend a dime on herself ? She was sacrificing..But, as reality hits, I know that I would never be a Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Read the rest of this post here....

Visit Sarah Grace here.....

Who Wants Cupcakes?

It's a normal scenea kid at school brings in a tray of cupcakes to share with her classmates.  Maybe they're homemade, with rainbow sprinkles falling off onto the tray.  Maybe they're storebought, with the frosting stuck to the top of the plastic box.  She carries them with her backpack and purse into the classroom and sets them on her desk while she puts her bags down.  Once her teacher gives her the go-ahead, she shares the tempting pastries.  Maybe she walks around the room, setting one on each desk.  Maybe she opens the box and waits for her classmates to swoop in and claim their sweet cupcake.

The classmates, of course, wish her a happy birthday and possibly thank her on their way back to their desks.  But then the scene becomes less than normal.

"It's not my birthday," she announces, her voice bold and something very close to flint determination filling her eyes.  She waits for the inevitable question.

The boy three seats back is the one to ask it.  &quo…

K is for...


Haha.  I don't have any photos of kangaroos (why do I always think of animals first?), but I have plenty of kid photos!  This one's Bella. :)  Did I mention she moved while I was at camp? :(

This would be Hannah, my little fourth of July model.  She's Mikaela's little monkey of a sister.

Random child from the church nursery.  His name's Reed. (Or is this one Ethan? They're unrelated, but they look so much alike!)

Finally, Becca.  Who did the 'toe-painting' in the last of these photos.  And who has also moved away.


America has certain days during which we remember things of the past - usually lives lost and tragedies that occurred on that day in history.  One such day that passed recently was the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  Another obvious day is Memorial Day.

Today is a lesser-known one of these days.  Today is the day that Americans remember the millions of lives lost and the tragedies that have occurred since January 1973.  Today is Pro-Life Memorial Day.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, 53 MILLION babies have been surgically and medically aborted - millions more have been killed chemically. This staggering death toll is the direct result of these two decisions.
On the first Monday in October, the U.S. Supreme Court begins its new term. This is a day on which pro-lifers across the nation will mourn the victims of America's hidden holocaust: abortion.
Who will hear the cries of these preborn children? Who will be their voice? Who will mourn theirdeat…

Book Review: Close Enough to Hear God Breathe

Close Enough to Hear God Breatheby Greg Paul
The great story of divine intimacy

Before we start, I just have to warn you: this is the first book I've reviewed without reading it from cover to cover.  I've read the first section and a few random chapters, but I totally forgot about my reading schedule this week and am still scrambling to catch up.  I never like to review a book I haven't finished, but since this is nonfiction and I already have a very strong impression, I'm making an exception. (Also, if I were a normal shopper, my opinion would be made with the first few pages I read - so really, this will be just as honest a review as any other.)

When I chose this book, it was only because nobody else had yet.  I really didn't know what the book was about, or what genre it fit into.  It's not an 'about' book full of facts or detailed timelines, but it's still nonfiction.  It's not a devotional book, but it still focuses on God.  It's not fic…

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day Two - A Favorite Movie

Like I said last week, I don't really have favorites. (I mentioned color and blogger as the two constants: I forgot cereal! - Cheerios, of course.) But I do have several movies I enjoy, so today I'm cheating and sharing more than one. :) I suppose that's a bad idea, cheating when it's only day two...

So, movies I love:

~ Christy moviesI much prefer the television show, but the third and last of these continuations is such a perfect ending.

~ Disney's TangledTheir love isn't first sight (ick). The music is good. The guy actually has a personality and a back story and looks like a person. Also, I have this thing for hair...

~ Disney's Beauty and the BeastAgain, no love-at-first-sight, good music, guy has a personality and story... plus I am a sucker for all things Beauty and the Beast related, as we will learn when we get to favorite television shows.

~ Left Behind trilogyI am in love with Buck. Have been since I met him in the books, and will probably always b…