I Am Not a Comedian: A (Potentially) Funny Take on Comedy In Writing

Hey warriors! I’ve felt a bit like a lazy person lately, so I decided to use my YouTube overdose to inspire me right back out of the laziness. And no, I totally won’t go right back to AGT after posting this. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my rant on humor writing.


I am not a comedian. Let’s get that straight, first of all. I don’t belong on a stage cracking jokes. The only humorous thing I can crack is my humerus bone and I’m too lazy to do anything that could crack it. However, I am a writer. Which means, in today’s day and age, I have to attempt to master two things against my will: comedy and romance. Occasionally I can avoid them, but if you think about it, they’re the spoiled youngest twins of a big family of genres and every single poor genre with more wisdom has to drag them around with them. I hear them in my head: “Fantasy, weeee wanna go to Wonderland too! Whaaaaaaa!” “But come onnnnn, Contemporary! Let me come or we’ll tell our our friends and all your friends how mean and stupid you are!” “Sci-fi, you need us! Pleeeeaaaase?” Their whiny little voices are simply so aggravating almost every author gives in. And I, the teen writer without any humor, feel obligated to bring them along as well.

Now don’t get me wrong. Laughter is the best medicine and I enjoy a healthy dose every now and then. But when you spend over 50,000 words on a plot with comedy as it’s sub theme, it feels like a whole lot of work for nothing. If I wanted to laugh with less work, I’d go drink too much coffee, hang out with my sisters, and we’d stay up until 3 am. For heaven’s sake, skip the 3 am part and add sugar and exhaustion and it’s even easier. Besides, books are like tacos. Those covers had better be a shell full of good stuff. Just like I hate when fast food tacos are 70% wilted lettuce and cheese, I hate when a book is 70% pointless jokes that ruin good moments and paint overall good characters as stupid.

So maybe I am somewhat anti-comedy. But I still have to write it. If that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’d be writing a 50,000 words book with about 4,000 words of attempted humor max. Because when you get to the parts of life that just aren’t funny, you have the chance of helping them in a different way. Laughter is the best medicine but sometimes you need surgery and not a pill and water. Maybe it will hurt more, but no pain no gain! If you don’t allow yourself to be exposed to the pain, you won’t know how good it feels to be whole… or to become whole. Of course, sometimes a pill is just what you need, but there are too many pills made by fake docs with the weird headlamps and strangely handsome faces that supposedly cure everything when they don’t. Sometimes racking over a little more time for longer term help is better. So I’m not against comedy, just a little careful when I use it.

But as I mentioned before, I’m not funny. My version of roasts often look more like I turned on the flame and ran running for water so nobody gets hurt. I’m so horrible at roasting that, one day, the one guy at my church who could never roast anybody successfully roasted me without getting roasted back. Is it because I’m too nice? Partially. But it’s also because I’m too mean. If I really let all let loose, I would definitely have no friends. Not because I’m inherently horrible but because I just don’t understand the line. I’ve tried to find it, but it either burns too bad or it’s far too kind. Comedy for me is like Peter Pan: always going off on its own only to remind me that it’s in charge and there is no way I’m going to get it to take a bath to wash away the meanness so I can just go run away and leave it be or allow it. Shamefully enough, I have a friend who I beg to read my writing simply so she can roast it and make characters harsher without making them too brutal and dirty. So no, I am not a comedian. But thanks for not asking.

How do I plan to fix my lack of funny? Is it by watching too many AGT comedians? Is it by reading the I Funny books again even though I’m far too old for them? Maybe partially. But the biggest thing I plan to do is watch other people watch AGT comedy and watch other people laugh about jokes from I Funny. I’m going to study the audience and find what makes them laugh. I’m going to learn with my very logic-centered mind the logic behind the cringe, the laugh, and the chortle. I’m going to think about why I laugh at every tenth joke my grandpa delivers over the other nine that make me roll my eyes. And, once I have a little bit more knowledge, I’m going to practice. Maybe that will involve talking silently to a mirror. Don’t judge me. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to be the doctor who uses words not only to cut deep but to administer the slightly bitter but often sweet pill everyone would prefer. Because I’d rather help a stubborn heart a little than help nobody at all.

I am not a comedian. But maybe I can be. And maybe you, the not-so-funny person hiding in the back of the room, can be a comedian too. After all, anything is possible.


Do you think of yourself as funny? What makes you laugh? What makes you cringe? What’s the best joke you’ve ever told? What’s the best roast you’ve ever used? Let me know in the comments!

An Unfortunate Annoucement

Hey warriors! It’s not a usual posting day but I wanted to pop in with a quick announcement: I may not post on all my regular days in the next two weeks. I’ll try to schedule some things, but I’ll be gone on a trip. So if I don’t make it, it’s because I didn’t finish or find time to schedule a post during packing. It’s not because I don’t live you all and don’t love the blog. It’s because I have a real life where things come up and stress exists. So while I’m sorry, I’m also not feeling guilty because it was time for a little break anyway. I can’t wait to come back rested, restored, stronger, and better than ever with more interesting and hopefully enlightening posts! I have so much planned for you guys that I think you’ll love, including something that… might get pretty big. I’ll miss you and I love you guys!!

What posts should I post when I get back? Let me know in the comments!

The “What’s Your WIP?” Blog Tag!

Hey warriors! Welcome or welcome back to Words! Today I get to tell you more about my WIP, thanks to Sara at Sparkle Girl! Thanks so much Sara! (And y’all, go check out her blog! It’s amazing!) This will be a long post but I hope you enjoy it. Let’s dive in! (Also… this post looks much better on the actual site, https://kaleykriesel.wordpress.com.)

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog. (Thanks again, Sara!)
  • Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic.
  • List the rules.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Feel free to add snippets!
  • Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged.
  • Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the tagged.

Tag

Note: This tag is long so I tried to keep my answers short but full of information. This book contains some minor trigger warnings but nothing is explicitly mentioned here.

Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

My main WIP is titled “What Matters Most.” I’ll be talking about it (and its sequel) for the tag today. The sequel’s title is currently No Matter What but I’m not sure it really fits the story yet.

Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

Here’s the blurb for the first book:

Trixie Alcaraz doesn’t understand people. Sometimes people care, and sometimes they don’t. Like her parents, who don’t care for each other and left her with her older sister, and like her sister, who seems so caught up in building a future she hardly sees Trixie. So when it seems that the popular kids at her new school are caring, Trixie happily jumps into their midst… only to find out that she still feels alone.

Clover Montgomery is hard on herself. Even as her blog grows in followers, she can’t help but wish that she knew how to speak to people offline the way her best friend Amelia does, and when people say mean things, she’s prone to believe them. When she encounters bullies, she begins to inwardly tear herself apart.

Amelia Standish feels forgotten. As the middle child and only girl in her family, she wonders if she’ll ever be as popular as her best friend, Clover, or the new girl, Trixie. When she sets her mind to get noticed, it hardly seems to matter who’s doing the noticing; as long as they’re popular, she wants them to see her. When popular boy Wyatt begins to pay attention, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep it that way.

A little bit of chance and their hidden desires blaze into a fire of friendship when the girls meet. But as each is confronted with the question of who they are and what they believe in, things start to fall apart. Is friendship worth preserving if it exposes your brokenness? And how do you save what already seems gone?

I won’t reveal anything about the second book’s plot simply because it isn’t written yet and would spoil the first.

Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?

One is in the works for What Matters Most! It’s going to be a watercolor painting of some key things from the book with some fairy light. My sister will be painting it, once I get a picture of the objects to her. Which… hadn’t quite yet happened. But I’m also brainstorming a similar but different one for the sequel.

How did you get the idea for this story?

I’d wanted to do a story about friendship with three plots that meld into a fourth for a while, but I wasn’t sure how. Then I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo and I decided “Ok, if I’m going to write this, I’ve got to figure it out now.” So I brainstormed some things that affect teen girls today and decided to write a school story as realistically as I could. I didn’t want to load it with stereotypes and mean girls without purpose. But writing a school story realistically when I’m homeschooled is a real challenge. Hopefully I can pull it off. The second book really just came because I couldn’t leave my characters after I finished What Matters Most.

How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

The first is around 50k right now and that’s after the first round of edits. It’s shorter than I wanted it, which is kind of disappointing but I do know some things that I might be able to successfully bring out more to enhance the plot. If they work, I’m expecting it to at least reach 53k. The second might be longer but it will probably be around the same size.

Who’s your favourite character so far?

I want to say all of them but I really have to say Noah Hamilton. He’s in both books, in the first as a side character and in the second as a main character. He. Is. A. MOOD. He looks stoic and unhappy, is extremely intimidating on the outside, and doesn’t speak much. But when he does speak… he’s a total marshmallow on the inside. He just hides it away and sometimes pretends he isn’t. He’s blunt and to the point but not one to hurt with his words without a reason. He’s fiercely loyal and protective as well as gentle and caring. I am obsessed with him…. He has flaws, but man is he the best. Is it bad that I have a crush on a character I created?

What’s your favourite memory related to this WiP?

Ooh… that would probably be the day I wrote 6k and met my NaNo goal. But there’s so many memories of laughing and stressing and pouring everything on this book I don’t exactly have an answer. I don’t yet have much for the sequel, but the first chapter is currently one of my favorite things I’ve written.

Any special person(s) who helped create it?

Oh gosh… I’m going to make you all wait for the acknowledgments page whenever it publishes simply because I have so many people who have helped me and pushed me forward. I’m so insanely lucky.

What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?

I think the least spoiler-y favorite is the scene where Noah and Clover really meet the first time. She’s so scared of him even though he’s just helped her with something. He proves in that moment that there’s a sweet side hiding underneath all the intimidating layers. Clover also surprises herself in this scene, but I think explaining that would spoil. And, as mentioned for the sequel, my favorite scene has to be the first scene in chapter 1. But I won’t spoil…

Can you give us a snippet?

… or maybe I will spoil from the sequel, just a little.

Here’s an edited portion of that scene without major spoilers from Noah’s perspective. Trigger warnings: blood, mention of death.

“I force myself to pack my old guitar into its guitar case slowly, telling myself it isn’t that big of a deal. Guys and girls hang out all the time, and when they’re our age, it normally gets forgotten in about four weeks. I’m dreaming too big. Picking up the case with my right hand, I adjust my hat with my left before walking out the door, through the hall, and into the living room. Nodding at my dad, who’s sitting in the old armchair, I open the front door. “See you, Dad.”

“Love you, Noah,” he says, his deep voice tired. He coughs softly and then falls silent. His eyes are sleepily trying to close, even though his glasses are still on and his book lies open in his lap.

“You too, Dad,” I tell him, not really feeling like smiling now. He over did it at the store stocking shelves again. I can see it in his face, in the way his arms limply sink into the threadbare armrests, in the way he’s just sort of melted into the chair. Frowning, I walk outside and shut the door behind me. Her house is pretty far away, so I start walking quickly, not wanting to be late. The sun that felt so right just a little bit ago feels overly optimistic. A girl shouldn’t be liking me if my dad can’t have my mom because of stupid people. A girl shouldn’t like me if my dad can’t have his leg, an actual part of him. And even more than just a girl, … a beautiful, super smart girl like [her] should definitely never like me. Kicking every crack in the sidewalk in our neighborhood, I ask the cement silently how come I get to have such a good life when my dad can hardly do his job without feeling exhausted. Then I reach The Concrete Block and I force my eyes up and away quickly. I can’t look. I force myself to breathe like I’m fine, but I didn’t mean to see it.

The Concrete Block is a reminder of all I lost, all the stupidity of this world, all the reasons I don’t deserve this. The Concrete Block has splotches of red where nobody bothered to clean the blood and where it’s stained forever. The Concrete Block is where the screams and sounds came from, the ones I heard all that way away and that haunted me for so long since even though I didn’t know the girl. The Concrete Block is where I first really knew what my mom might have suffered when she died. And if I look, I might break. So I don’t look and keep walking, wishing I hadn’t agreed to hang out tonight.

Sorry for any tears caused lol.

Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?

I definitely didn’t see anything from the sequel coming, nor several things from the first book… I couldn’t even begin to list the curveballs if I wanted to.

Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

For WMM I think Abbie Emmons’s cover for 100 Days of Sunlight inspired me most, although I know the quote “When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them,” from Maria Popova sums up the theme of the book fairly well.

When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

Mostly sitting on the floor…. For some reason I work best there. To be specific, I wrote WMM sitting on the floor of the library we have in a corner upstairs. I did most of it in the evenings of last November for NaNoWriMo

Where do you get inspiration for this story?

I remind myself of all the girls out there who keep getting told to ignore what certain people say but still don’t know what they’re worth. I remind myself of all the people reading books that don’t relate to their real lives and wonder “when will I find a book that I can really believe can happen and find help for my situation from?” Those are the biggest ways I’ve been inspired, but not the only ways.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Actually this book has totally changed that. I was a total pantser and now I will never again write a book without plotting it first.

Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?

Not really. I look over the outline and whatever I’ve last written and just dive in.

Are you thinking of publishing this story?

Yes! Both should be out by 2025 at latest, but WMM will be out (hopefully!) next year.

What things have you learned while writing this story?

I can. That’s what I’ve learned. I can write characters I don’t share much experience with. I can write every day for a month. I can write 50k. I can plot. I can write something that can make a difference. I can.


I hope you learned something new and enjoyed this post! I’m going to leave this open to anyone who has yet to share their amazing book with the world. Here are the questions:

  • Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
  • Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
  • Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
  • How did you get the idea for this story?
  • How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
  • Who’s your favourite character so far?
  • What’s your favourite memory related to this WiP?
  • Any special person(s) who helped create it?
  • What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
  • Can you give us a snippet?
  • Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
  • Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
  • When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
  • Where do you get inspiration for this story?
  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  • Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
  • Are you thinking of publishing this story?
  • What things have you learned while writing this story?

Is there anything that surprised you in the post? Anything you’re excited for in my book? Whats your book about? Let me know in the comments!

Middle-of-the-Month Check-In: July

Hey warriors! Welcome or welcome back to Words! How are you all doing? It’s been a month (how, I don’t know) since I last checked in and it’s that time again, so let’s dive in!

Me

  • An amazing friend of mine from Salt Lake City came to visit for the first time in two years! It was such an amazing day…
  • We went on a day trip to Denton, Texas! I’ll be posting about that on my other blog soon, including my shopping haul. 😜
  • I posted for Diamond’s Camp Happy Heart twice this month! Go check out her blog. It rocks.
  • My family finally found time to plant flowers! Between COVID in May and commitments we just hadn’t done it until now. I’ll insert a gallery of photos after this section.
  • The Star That Always Stays came out on July 12! It’s so good so far! I haven’t quite finished it though because….
  • I have a church camp and a conference in the next two weeks! This camp is the highlight of my year…. I love it so much! But two weeks away from home means a lot of planning and packing. It also means that all posts during that time are written and scheduled in advance so I won’t be responding to comments for a little while. But still talk to me! I’ll answer as soon as I get the chance.
  • Last but not least, my family went through our homeschool library! I may do a bookshelves tour in the future if anyone is interested. We have a lot of books. 😅😂

My Blog

My Writing

  • What Matters Most needs more development than I originally thought. I want to give it room to be the best possible so I’m taking a break until I can focus on it and then I’m expecting it to be nearly a year before it will be 100% ready for publishing.
  • I decided that, when I do NaNoWriMo this year, I’ll work on either What Matters Most’s sequel or I’ll work on The Lies I Believed. Since it’s narrowed down it will be easier to plan when October comes around.
  • I wrote two short stories and a poem this month. They are all posted above in the blog section.

You

For those who don’t remember, this portion will be where I feature my favorite little snippets of writing, photography, or art that you guys send me through my contact page! (For photography and art you will need me to respond before you can send the files.) For this month, I’m featuring Emma’s writing!


What is the purpose of a story?

Is it to entertain you, to occupy the dull hours of a night or day?

Is it to help you escape, to live in another’s world for a few hours, only to eventually have to return to your own?

Or is the purpose of a story to teach? Are stories merely nicely-decorated conduits for information, meant to make the learning go down easier? Are they like the flavoring in sickly-sweet cough syrup, which disguises the medicine’s bitter taste but doesn’t quite do it well enough to make the medicine taste good?

Is a story meant to promote a cause? To sell a product? To convince an audience to believe that what you say is true?

Maybe a story is all of these things.

But maybe not.

Maybe a story has one purpose, and one only—to glorify God, the best storyteller of all.

God is the ultimate author. He has written us here on earth so that we may glorify Him, and He is more than worthy of all the glory that our stories can give Him.

And every story bears the mark of its author’s Creator. In the triumph of good over evil, in the sacrificial love of a father or mother for their child, in the anguish of a heart groaning over the darkness of the world, and in the quiet peace that comes when that groaning heart finally sees the light

What is the purpose of a story?

Is it to entertain you? To provide escape or relief? To force-feed you a message, or to advertise?

No.

The purpose of a story is threefold: truth, goodness, and beauty.

With these three together, we will point to the Maker of all, who wrote the story of the world, and by whom our story is continually being written.

Truth. Good stories portray the world as both dark and light. The world is not safe, but the world is not hopeless. In it there is unspeakable cruelty and evil, but there is also unspeakable grace.

Good stories must point to truth. If they do not, then they have failed to display the Maker the way He truly is.

Goodness. A story with no light is no story at all. Yes, the darkness is pervasive, but to show only the darkness is to ignore the better half of the picture. There is goodness in the world, and a good story will show it: goodness standing against evil with courage and strength, and goodness that can never be overcome by the dark.

True stories must point to the good. For how can vice with no virtue show us a virtuous God?

Lastly, beauty. Beauty is the color to the painting of humanity. It takes a cold stone and makes it a marble sculpture; it takes cloth and paint and makes it a breathtaking masterpiece. What is true and good should be beautiful, and what is beautiful must be true and good.

Beautiful stories point to our Creator better than any dry prose. He is true beauty. And how can something remind us of Him—our father, lover, and friend—if it is not beautiful?

This is the purpose of a story. Every good story bears the mark of our God, and our God is true, good, and beautiful.

Perhaps, using stories, we can fight back the darkness and let our light shine more.


That was really thought-provoking and beautiful! Don’t you agree?

I’ll be putting up a submissions page soon (hopefully. A lot is going on, so I won’t promise it immediately), since the contact page is somewhat difficult for files. But next month’s Middle-of-the-Month Check-In is already open for submissions! Make sure you submit your best work in 1 image or 1000 words or less and keep it clean please! I can’t wait to see what you guys have for me next month!

Now I’d like to take this last paragraph to ask you some questions because you warriors are amazing. You can answer as many or as few as you want, but this is my chance to get to know you better and to learn what you guys want from me! So here we go. What have you done this month so far? How are you doing? What would you all like to see from me in this next month? How are your projects going? Let me know in the comments! See you soon!

Snapshot: My Best and Worst Hooks (+ What I’ve Learned)

Hey warriors! This post is the first in what might become a series of snippets from my journey as a writer. This post is on hooks, those first sentences meant to draw you in. A blogger and Ydubber I know, Lydia K, recently posted this post on her blog and it looked like so much fun that I thought I’d give it a go. So here we are today! I’ll be analyzing 10 of my hooks (even from different drafts) from worst to best and explaining why they’re bad or good in my opinion. Then I’ll share some of my favorite hooks from books with what I’ve learned from them! This will be a long post, but I hope it helps you! Let’s dive in!

Note: This is based on my own experience as both a reader and writer. Some things may not match your experience or your audience.


Age 10-12

I began writing when I was about 7, but I really began to treat it as a passion and dream instead of a hobby when I was 12. Not because I knew how or knew what to say but because people began to really enjoy my words and I became more able to write large amounts. Here were some of the hooks of books that encouraged me to think I could:

If, by chance, you read the “Southern Cooking” magazine, you might find a wonderful article.

Cooking Canine, age 10-11


Analysis: This hook is… something. The grammar and arrangement doesn’t present me well because it’s overloaded with comas. The lone adjective I used was nondescript, not drawing much interest.
What I could have done to improve it: If we remove “by chance” we lose two comas that muddy the sentence. We could also replace “wonderful” with a more drawing adjective to make us question what’s within the article.

Maddie Henderson was a student at the prestigious Hailee Quinn academy.

Academy Action, age 11-12


Analysis: We began this one by stating a fact, which is my current favorite way to write a hook. However, this doesn’t leave us with much to question or prove. If I read this sentence now, I wouldn’t want to continue.
What I could have done to improve it: If I had begun with a fact that left room for questioning, the reader would have been forced to continue. “Maddie Henderson wasn’t your average student at your average school,” isn’t perfect either, but by stating something vaguely I make the reader more curious. How do we know this? What does that mean? It encourages them to continue.

“Elizabeth Jackson had always been part of the guardian ponies.”

– The Pony Revenge, age 11-12


Analysis: This one is extremely similar to the previous example and has the same problem. However, I did make it slightly more curious. What are the guardian ponies? Is she a pony? Why has she always been involved?
What I could have done to improve it: This one needs to be vaguer still. “She had always been one of the revenge ponies,” is both clearer and more interesting. Who is she? What are they? We know “she” is a revenge pony, though, which means she is a pony. I prefer it, but that’s a personal preference.

Age 12-14

Once I was 12, I really began typing up my stories. Typing them up instead of writing them by hand was far quicker, meaning I could write much more. I also felt extremely inspired because I could share writing more easily and could get help from new writer friends.

The 13th century scientist Eustace sniggered at the tool before him.

Second Moon, age 12

Analysis: This hook is much better although the subject isn’t vague. Why is he sniggering? What is this tool? What is it for? This hook is one that makes us ask questions by diving straight into the narrative. I enjoy this one.
What I could have done to improve it: It could have done without mentioning that he was a 13th-century scientist in this portion. I could have just said “The scientist Eustace.” I can’t think of any other improvements.

“Intro to Atmosphere’s High School, by Ms. Solar Energy: Welcome to Atmosphere High, home of the Comets!”

-Universe draft 1, age 12

Analysis: This isn’t a good hook at all, at least not in my opinion. It’s full of information we never see again in the story. We never again mention the Comets, so that shouldn’t matter. Ms. Solar Energy never appears again either. Those are about the most fascinating things in this hook. I also repeated “Atmosphere High” twice. It’s wordy and doesn’t have much connection to the plot.
What I could have done to improve it: This sentence really can’t be fixed. It’s the first sentence of a snippet the main character reads from a pamphlet so I could introduce the school. However I didn’t need to introduce it in that way. Always start with the protagonist in a chapter 1. If you do a prologue in third person, you can choose another character, but this strategy can cause us to fall in love with another character first and that can cause problems. The main character is meant to be most important, so starting with them makes it clear who’s priority from the beginning.

The short man with white hair that practically glowed smiled as he stared at the large map in front of him.

Universe draft 2, age 13

Analysis: This is an example of starting a story with a prologue from the perspective of the villain. It works, but it can cause us to start sympathizing with him before we meet the main character. While you do want a villain you can believe in or even feel bad for, they can not be more loved than the main character.
What I could have done to improve it: Why is his hair important? I could easily have made it less central: “The short white-haired man smiled as he stared at the large map in front of him.” I also should have made it clear that he is not the protagonist. I need him to appear sinister or at least a little less likeable. “The short white-haired man smirked at the large map in front of him and gave it a quick nod.” This shows he has a plan and the smirk makes his intentions seem less friendly.

The long braid of periwinkle hair with silver highlights swung back and forth as Foggy Skye walked up the stairs nervously.

Universe draft 3, age 14

Analysis: Again with the hair…. When you start with physical details, the reader is given random information that isn’t relevant to them yet. They haven’t had a reason to care about the character, let alone care what they look like.
What I could have done to improve it: Instead of using the hair for description, it could have set the mood. “The long braid swung back and forth gently across her back as Foggy Skye nervously walked up the stairs,” is a more interesting sentence. Why is she nervous? But it still doesn’t grab me as much. It’s not my favorite.

It was strange, but it was her.

Little Red, age 13-14

Analysis: This is short and sweet, a declaration that we don’t understand unless we read more. This is much better. What’s strange? What does it mean, that it was her? However, the opening scene that followed had little relevance to the plot and did little for character building.
What I could have done to improve it: The sentence itself is good. However, I needed to put more thought into keeping the reader hooked and connecting the scene to the plot. The hook may be the first one or two sentences, but the reader needs to remain hooked throughout the story. Confusion and poorly written scenes don’t help that.

Age 14-15


After I joined The Young Writers’ Workshop my writing greatly improved. I wrote my first novel-length story in less than a year.

As she gazed into the box, Eloise felt a tear fall.

Box of Leaves, age 14

Analysis: This sentence isn’t awful, but it isn’t too drawing either. Yes, we wonder what this box is and why she’s crying, but we don’t care much for her yet. Our first impression of her is that she’s crying over a box.
What I could have done to improve it: This sentence comes across as quite dramatic and unnecessary. It would have been better to write something from just before that moment as the hook. “She hadn’t expected to find the box. But as she gazed into it, Eloise felt a tear fall, frozen in time.” This one is personal preference, though.

“When everyone you love runs from you, you start wondering if anyone will ever stay.”

What Matters Most, age 15

Analysis: This one is the best hook I think I’ve ever written. Why? Because it states a thought as fact that makes you wonder who the character is, why they know this, and how they know this is true. It points us to their past as we dive into the present story. It uses simple language to describe a feeling, meaning it cuts deeper than flowery language. I recently revised this one and currently have no thoughts on how to improve it.

Some Favorite Hooks and Why They Work

These are some of my favorite hooks from best-selling authors.

The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.

The Joy-Luck Club, Amy Tan

Analysis: This one is powerful because it supplies interesting information but leaves us asking questions. Who is she? Why did she buy a swan? What did she buy it for? To find out, we have to keep reading.

“Before you agree to have Joseph come live with you, ” Mrs. Stroud said, “there are one or two things you ought to understand. “

Orbiting Jupiter, Gary D. Schmidt

Analysis: When I read this line, I instantly wonder about many things. Who is Joseph? Who is he coming to live with? Who is Mrs. Stroud? What ought they understand? He also instantly makes Mrs. Stroud seem realistic by using common speech. We also are instantly plummeted into the narrator’s perspective. This is done extremely well.

Henry Smith’s father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.

Trouble, Gary D. Schmidt

Analysis: Trouble immediately begins with the character and a belief he and his family have that directly affects the plot. This is actually one of the character’s misbeliefs. We also wonder who their father is and why he believes this. I definitely am hooked by a story starting with a fact or opinion that needs to be proved.

When did this fairytale become a nightmare?

Dust, Kara Swanson

Analysis: By asking a vague question, Swanson plants the question and more questions in our minds. When did this fairytale become a nightmare? What fairytale? What happened? Who’s speaking? We are eager to learn more.

Conclusion

When writing a hook, consider these points:

  • The hook is the first impression readers get of your story and your writing, right after the cover.
  • The hook should be clear and express your writer’s voice clearly.
  • If you begin with poor grammar and confusing words, your reader will not enjoy your story as much.
  • The hook should not satisfy the reader. It is meant to pull them in by causing them to have questions that are only answered by reading further.
  • A hook filled with information that doesn’t matter to the reader will not draw a reader.
  • A hook that is irrelevant to the plot will lead the reader to the left when you need them to go right. It is more of a flashy distraction than a hook.
  • Be careful who you use first in your story as they are the first person in the story the reader might get attached to.
  • Short hooks and questions that are written well can cause the reader to ask lots of questions in a few words.
  • Too much emotion in a hook is like switching channels to a death scene halfway through a show. You don’t care enough about the character to really feel the emotion and be affected by it.
  • Facts and opinions make great hooks because a reader wonders how the character knows that or why they believe it. If these facts or opinions are meant to relate to your audience, they instantly attract those people.
  • Using a misbelief or past pain in a hook can plunge us into the plot, although you don’t want to do this too quickly. Jumping into ice water isn’t fun.
  • If you are writing in first person, the hook should instantly establish what the character thinks, hears, or sees.

I hope this post was helpful to you! Which hook was your favorite? What was something you learned? Was there anything you disagreed with? What’s your best hook? Let me know in the comments!

Why I’m Taking a Writing Break + What That Means

Hey warriors! Welcome or welcome back to Words! Today’s post is a little more serious than sometimes, but I’d like to update you on some amazing changes to come and the small sacrifices I’m making so they’ll work. Let’s dive in!

What I’m Doing

I’m going to start by explaining what I’m changing so you won’t be disappointed after I deliver the exciting news. To begin with, I won’t be working on What Matters Most for the next month. I’ll work on some other projects and be working toward exciting things, but I will not be revising or preparing to self-publish What Matters Most yet.

I’ll also drop out of Summer of Stories contest, not because I don’t love it but because it’s one more thing to post, one more thing to write, and one more thing to do when I already have too much in all three categories.

I’m not going to post every Wednesday on this blog or on SSS. I already said that on SSS but I forgot my own plan and went ahead and posted yesterday. 😂 But I’ve been posting Wednesday and Friday here, and I can’t keep it up. Instead, I’ll post on SSS one Wednesday and here the next. If I miss a Wednesday, I will apologize but I will not pressure myself about Wednesday Words posts.

For followers of Charlotte O Juice, she is officially saying good bye… kind of. I love her and don’t want to say goodbye, but I currently can’t be under the pressure of a fourth blog, especially one getting 0 views. So Charlotte will live on here, in some way shape or form. It is yet to be determined. But perhaps she should have a photography corner somewhere on the blog?

Why I’m Pausing What Matters Most and What That Means

I’m pausing What Matters Most in order to focus on my platform for a moment. In other words, I’m pausing for you guys. I’m also pausing to give myself a chance to grow and work toward a goal I have for next year.

I needed to take that stress off my shoulders so I can really throw myself into the awesome things I’m working towards!

This means that, when I hit 100 followers, I won’t be self-publishing the book. Not this year. It was my original goal, but I don’t think it would be best for me or my story. I’m sorry if anyone’s upset, but I doubt anyone is extremely disappointed because I’ve hardly given you reason to care for the book. That changes now.

Now for the best part of this post….

What I’m Working Towards

In the coming months and years, I have a lot of dreams. Here are some of my goals in the future:

  1. Launch an email list (Partially started and officially coming very soon! It will contain ways to vote for what I post here, sneak peeks, and exclusive writing Q&As!)
  2. Join the Author Conservatory (and do a post with one of their instructors promoting it, as well as sharing just how much I’ve changed since joining just their community two years ago)
  3. Share more snippets of writing (including bonus snippets for books, with scenes that aren’t in my books or scenes from different perspectives)
  4. Share more How I Write posts (What do you guys need? Let me know in the comments, so I can make sure I get everything you guys need!)
  5. Post more book reviews and interviews with authors (because supporting other authors is literally one of my favorite things to do)
  6. Write a sequel to What Matters Most (that dives into the perspectives of the previous book’s villain as well as some side characters, switching from all girl perspective to all boy perspectives)
  7. Start a writing class that would run for a year (teaching you how to write a novel in a year, using my writing book from my giveaway and other resources all over)
  8. Host a contest or two (because you guys are amazing, and I want to help you show that to the world!)
  9. Self-publish What Matters Most and its sequel around the same time (so nobody has to sit there wondering what happens next.)

In order to get there, I’m going to be working on simply growing for a little bit. Like a theme park where you can’t ride the roller coaster until you’re a certain height, I won’t be prepared to take these leaps and bounds until I’ve learned more. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’ve found even better character profiles since I wrote the post “26+ Things You Should Know About Your Main Characters.” So I’m going to learn for a while, stress less, and try to really store up knowledge and energy for when I start reaching for these goals.

As I do that, I’d like you to come along! Until my email list launches, the best way for you to do that is to subscribe! Another amazing way you can help me out is to comment what you’d love to see from me, what I’m doing well, and what I might want to fact-check or work on. Meanwhile, I’m also hoping to support you! Submissions for my Middle-of-the-Month Check-In: July are open! For those who don’t know, I explained it here, too. This month, there isn’t a theme. But there might be one in the future! Until then, the only rules are to keep it PG, at 1,000 words or less if it’s written, and to submit it through my contact page with your name or username and a blog or social media link. Please do not include the link to your blog or media if it contains content that might trigger or upset someone without including potential trigger warnings. I want to protect everyone here, and I’d rather not have to hunt through your blog to do that. I’ll be choosing my favorite entry and sharing it here on the blog when I post my next Middle-of-the-Month Check-in!


I hope you enjoyed this post and are excited for what’s to come! What posts do you want most from me? What goal are you most excited for me to reach? Are you submitting an entry to my Middle-of-the-Month Check-in? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend, warriors!

Worth It: A Story

Hey warriors! Today I have a unique piece of writing for you. I will warn you that it is a mix of fact, imagination, and a little bit of inner experience. You may not agree with everything I say, still, I hope it speaks to every one of you.


Trigger warning: blood, death, drunkenness, mention of smoking, mention of torture, a romantic relationship, and mention of storms.

A heavy wood beam drags in the sand. Slowly it digs deeper as the one carrying it grows weaker. A soldier walks nearby, eager to taunt and torture the 33 year old man as he carries it onward. In the soldier’s eyes, the man is crazy and weakening. But what he doesn’t know is that, as the man slowly lets the beam down and another man picks it up, this exhausted and bleeding prisoner destined to die is neither crazy nor weak. In fact, this man has already broken through the highest thoughts of his time and is about to do more than has ever been done. All while being hated.

***

In the far future, a woman is surrounded by her peers. She is just over 30 and has never drunk alcohol, not because she’s so strong to resist it but because she’s never been around it and has never been interested in it. She knows it isn’t good for her and doesn’t intend to drink because she believes it’s better not to but she’s never had friends who drink, or at least not friends who cared if she did or not. But tonight she’s surrounded by partially drunk men and women, laughing and joking and telling her to lighten up. Just a sip. One sip. Only one! And it tastes so good… it feels so good…. Blind to the woman getting sick in the corner of the room, unthreatened by weapons but pressured by words, she hesitantly reaches for a cup and slowly presses it to her lips.

***

The man stumbles forward until they reach a hill called Golgotha by Jews and Calvary by Romans, where the solider and another one of the men pound the wood beam into the ground. It’s tall, with another beam across it at the top. Slowly the two men lift this dying man up and jam nails into each hand, piercing them through and through the wood beam. Then they put one of his feet over the other and nail through them both, again piercing both even through the cross. Beside this cross and this dying man are two other crosses, one on each side, with two other men hanging on them. Painfully, the men gasp for breath as gravity slowly pushes their weight against their lungs. They’re going to suffocate before too long, and they know it. But while the other two men are primarily in pain from their lack of air and the piercings in their hands and feet, the middle one has even more reason to be dying: his back is covered in bleeding wounds, as is his scalp. They tortured him to the point where he almost died already today: they whipped him with a sharp lash, leaving deep bleeding cuts. One more lash of the whip and he would have died. They taunted him for calling himself the Christ, the king of the Jews, and wrapped his bleeding body in a purple robe and placed a crown made of thorns on his head. Then, after the robe had dried onto his bloody back, they ripped it away. They took off the crown of thorns. And they made him carry his cross like the other two, the rough and heavy wood digging into his torn back as he walked up hill under the burning late morning sun. Still he has not refuted his claim.

***

The woman doesn’t like the first cup, but as the drunk people encourage her to drink more, she continues. Then she begins to lose herself in the feeling, the freeness of it for a moment. It seems so good… and she continues, feeling like she fits in, like she is a part of the crowd. It feels so good to forget the pain and stress. She begins to party too, looking just like one of them.

***

This man has limited time to live, but in the six agonizing hours he suffers on the cross, he comforts the man beside him, tells one of his followers to look after his sobbing mother and her to look after the follower, and cries out to God for forgiveness on behalf of those killing him. He is in great pain and torment, but not only because of the horrific torture he is suffering physically. No, because in his heart he feels the weight of every sin ever committed. Not his own sins, but the evils of others. Thousands and thousands of people and their millions and millions of sins weigh heavy on his heart. He knows he is dying for these people, these wrongs. And he loves them. So right now, his holy God and Father has left him for the first time in his life. Though he never once sinned, he is covered in the filth of others and his righteous Father is unable to be with him. He cries, “My God, my God! Why have You forsaken me?” but he knows the answer. His Father can do anything but touch sin, and now, as the sky becomes dark and it becomes harder and harder to breathe, His son is sin itself.

***

When the party finishes, her friends drive her back to the hotel she’s been staying at. She opens the door to her room and collapses to the ground, sick and feeling awful. Her boyfriend hears the door and her body hitting the floor and runs to see what the matter is. When he finds her drunk, he’s disgusted. He found her smoking a couple days ago, too. This isn’t the woman he fell in love with! Why did he agree to come on this trip so she could visit friends? He reluctantly puts her in bed and lies down beside her, angry and planning to confront her about it in the morning. As he closes his eyes, he’s given up on her. One more thing like this and he’s leaving. Or maybe sooner. He can’t take this.

***

As he begins to still, he knows that this is a part of the plan. He isn’t crazy. He really is the Christ, the king of the Jews. He isn’t weak, either. He is the only human ever to have lived a life without any sin or failure. Not because He’s been so good out of His own humanity, but because He has God’s life within His spirit, a goal within His heart, and a plan in His mind. He was born by the Spirit in the womb of His mother as a human who is God. It hasn’t been easy; He has been a man of suffering. He spent weeks in a wilderness without bread, confronted by the devil himself. He was taunted by those who thought He blasphemed the God He was, who thought He broke laws He created to last until He came. He was sold by a follower and betrayed with a kiss to the failing leaders of His precious people. He asked His Father to take away this death He knew He would suffer, crying tears so distressed that they were made of blood, but He knew this was the only way. And He knew what would come next. He knew why He needed to die because He never stopped speaking with God. He knew God’s heart well because it was His own. Though humans would never understand fully while on Earth how it was possible, He and the Father were one. And as He ended His human life, He was strong. Knowing this, He breathed His last and His body hung limp against the wooden cross.

***

When the woman awakes, she sees her boyfriend’s suitcase by the door and fear fills her heart. He’s leaving her. She begins to cry softly, hating what she’s done. Why did she give in? Why?
Meanwhile her boyfriend notices the sound of her breathing change from where he stands in the entryway of the bathroom. She’s awake. He feels a twinge of pity. If he leaves, who will she have left? She’ll be alone. But he tries to push it away as he returns to packing silently. He’s leaving.

***

His followers mourn at the loss of their Teacher while the crowd rejoices at being rid of a man they believe to have blasphemed their God. The triumphant cheers of the crowd are cut short. Not only is this man dead, but the ground has begun to shake violently beneath them. Rocks split into bits. Cries rise across the city, whether or not they can be heard from Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. The veil between the Holy of Holies and the rest of the temple, the veil between God and man, is split from top to bottom. It’s as if a hand from above tears it in two. No more is there a barrier between them. In the distance, even more has happened: the earthquake has opened tombs and, though no one is aware, dead followers of this Jesus of Nazareth rise to life once more. They will come out soon, when He too rises to life. In three days He will conquer death.

***

The woman’s boyfriend picks up his suitcase and looks her in the eye. Too exhausted and overwhelmed with emotion and sickness to speak, she doesn’t say a word. But he does.
“You changed. And I can’t do that.” With that, he leaves.
A sob escapes her lips. Desperate for some comfort, the woman remembers a Sunday school class long ago. There had been a loud storm, and the children were afraid. The kind old woman who taught the class had told them that Jesus brought peace in the storm and had told them stories of storms in the Bible where Jesus kept His precious children safe, from Noah to Paul. All this time she’d been running from Jesus, thinking life was meant for fun. But it just got her here, alone in a hotel room and sick from drinking. “Lord, she whispers now. I don’t know what to pray, but I’m sorry. I need peace. Please come into this storm. I keep messing up and I want to be free. Save me from this mess, Lord!” And even as she lies in bed, tears streaming down her face, peace and joy fill her heart. Everything she once believed that kept her from Christ is shaken, every sin that drew her away is now torn into nonexistence. A part of her heart that once was dead now lives, loving this Jesus who can calm the most violent storm. “Praise You Lord!” She can’t stop the comfort. She is safe now. Safe in His arms.

As He floods into her heart, shining His light into the dark and filling the cracks with Himself as the Spirit, He smiles. This is what it was for. This is why He died. Kissing her broken pieces and holding them tight, He whispers, This is why I died. This is why I rose. This was My heart’s desire. To gain you. To gain others through you. To love you as My bride and see your beautiful smile as you begin to reflect Me. All that suffering was worth it, because now I have you. You are Mine, precious child, forevermore.


If you haven’t yet experienced the joy of the earth-shaking veil-tearing dead-raising Son of God, it’s as simple as whispering that you believe He died for your sins and rose that He might live in you as a new life, a different life. If you have received Him, what’s your story? Let me know in the comments!

The Star That Always Stays: Author Interview with Anna Rose Johnson

Hey warriors! Happy 4th of July! I have a special post today! I have an author interview for you and a challenge for you all! Let’s dive in!


About the Book

Image from Amazon

Anna Rose Johnson is the author of The Star That Always Stay. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories—stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend she’s not Native at all—even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade. It’s dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.

Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings—all five of them—are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future depends upon it… and upon her discretion.

But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of Green Gables fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as everygirl problems like first crushes, making friends, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson’s family history.

It’s being published through Holiday House on July 12th, and the audiobook will be released August 23rd. Here’s what reviewers have had to say:

“Inspired by the author’s family history, this gentle novel nimbly and tenderly confronts topics including prejudice, the challenge of blending families, young love, and staying true to oneself.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“[An] introspective, unhurried debut, filled with personal touches. . . .”

—Publishers Weekly

This book isn’t a small accomplishment; it’s a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, which, if you don’t know what that means, sets her up for more potential awards. A huge percentage of JLG Gold Standard Selections win incredible awards and do amazing things. As an author, I also want to reach this point. So I reached out to Anna, and to my great delight, she agreed to this interview about the writing process and inspiration behind the book! My questions are in bold and her answers are in plain text.


The Interview

Where did the idea for this book come from? I got the idea when I was doing genealogy research, and I realized that my great-grandmother’s childhood might make an interesting middle grade novel.

How much planning did you do? How long did it take? Initially, I researched and planned the book for about a week before I started writing, and I completed the first draft during NaNoWriMo in 2014. But when I rewrote the manuscript pretty much from scratch in 2018, I had been planning the rewrite for over six months.

How long did it take to write? The totally rewritten manuscript took about three and a half months to draft, but the revisions took much longer!

What was the hardest part to write? (If you can’t tell us without spoiling, that’s ok 😉) Probably the beginning, since it was difficult to decide where to start the story. I rewrote the opening many, many times before I got it right.

Where there any surprises in writing it? Several times while I was writing the book, I would include a detail that seemed somewhat extraneous, but I would leave it in because it felt right. Later, that detail would become part of an important plot thread, so those were some fun surprises!

When did you think it would be published? I wasn’t really thinking about publication with this book for a long time, not until I began the third draft and I knew that I’d found just the right voice for the story—everything started to click then. I began seriously querying agents once that third draft was complete, and about six months later I signed with my agent. The book deal came a couple of years later!

What is the biggest advice you’d give a writer dreaming of doing what you’re doing? My absolute biggest advice would be to persevere through as many edit rounds as it takes to make the book perfect, and to try to trust God’s timing throughout the process.

How do you think you reached this point? I was definitely blessed by a supportive family and amazing help from my mentors, Brett Harris and Kara Swanson at the Author Conservatory. So many people played a role in helping me to write and publish this book, especially my agent and editor, and I’m so grateful to them!

How did you feel when you got your JLG Gold Standard Selection? I was stunned, and at first I didn’t know if I was reading it correctly! I was so full of joy and shock, it was a delightful day.

What are you most excited for? I’m thrilled for the book’s release day on July 12th, and I’m *very* excited for the audiobook’s release on August 23rd. I love audiobooks and can’t wait to listen to my own story!

What are you planning to do next? I’m currently working on a couple of other novels, but they have to remain secret for now. 🙂

Tell us about the book! Not just the blurb, but the passion behind it! I’m very passionate about this book, because as I mentioned, the main character was inspired by my great-grandmother. That has given this process an extremely special element. It’s also my desire to give families wonderful new books to read that remind them of old favorites like Anne of Green Gables or Little Women.


About the Author

I’m so glad she agreed to doing this interview; her answers were really fascinating and helpful! Here’s a little more about Anna:

Anna Rose Johnson is a journalist, blogger, and seasoned correspondent for Inside Gymnastics. Anna is passionate about historical fiction, the Native experience, and writing for children. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe; The Star That Always Stays is directly based on her great-grandmother. Find her at annarosejohnson.com.


A Challenge

Remember how I said I had a challenge for you all? I have a bit of a favor to ask, in exchange for a cool opportunity!

Because Anna is a part of my writing community, we want her to do extremely well! We hope that even people who don’t buy the book can read it, so here’s the challenge: See how many library requests for The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson you can make happen by June 12! (If you don’t know how to request a book, you can usually talk to a librarian or contact the library through their website.) You can request it in multiple formats at your local library, convince a friend to request it, get a family member to request it, or post about it and get others to request it. Every request in every format you make happen is five points! The person with the most points by July 12 gets a prize

Okay I’ll stop because this post is long. 😂 The person with the most points wins an interview with me over any topic they’re passionate about! I could be raising excitement over your book, promoting your blog, promoting a cause you love, or anything you want!

Of course, even if you don’t choose to take up the challenge, I suggest you preorder the book now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (though there are other places you can get it, too). Be part of the reason this book is able to touch others! Trust me, it’s worth it!


Are you planning on requesting the book? Was this interview helpful? Are you as excited for this book as I am? Let me know in the comments!

A Few Tags….

Hello, warriors! How is everyone doing? It’s extremely hot here, meaning I feel drowsy and lazy most of the day. What’s summer like for you right now? So about today’s post…

Most of you probably realize that this blog was only just born a month or so ago. But that hasn’t stopped a few blogger friends from tagging me already… which means I have three for you today! First up is…


The Liebester Award.

Thank you, Daniel!

Rules:

• Thank the blogger[s] who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. (See above)

• Answer the 11 questions given to you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers.

• Ask your nominees 11 questions.

• Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post.

Questions

1. Where do you find the most inspiration for writing?

I’m most inspired as I sleep, really! So many ideas have come from dreams…. Dreams are really story generators based on everything you’ve done and thought about that day, so they’re customized to me and ready to be butchered into a reasonable book when I wake up. Is that strange?

2. What is at the top of your bucket list?

Hit 100 followers and self publish a book! I’m going to do those soon, hopefully… *looks slyly at my readers* Joking! No pressure.

3. Who or what introduced you to the bloggiverse/bloggisphere/blogging world?

I actually had to create my first blog for school. It was confusing and I had no followers nor did I care for followers, but somehow I ended up here, an author with a successful blog (maybe you wouldn’t call this successful yet, but if even half of my audience wants to read my writing, I have over 25 people who can be affected by my words. For me, that’s a success).

4. Pens, pencils, or mechanical pencils?

Pencils! I would have said mechanical pencils a little bit ago, but there really is nothing like a good old fashioned pencil writing on good old fashioned paper….

5. Would you rather have one majorly famous book published, or several minorly famous books published? (Disclaimer: you’d have the same overall fame and income with either one.)

You know, I’d rather have several minorly famous ones for the same reason I feel successful now. If more of my experiences and more of my effort could touch people, then I’d rather pour out more for just as much spread out then get it cheap. If that seems crazy, it’s because I’m not really in it for money or fake though those would be kind of nice.

6. Hardcover, paperback, or e-book?

Depends. Old books? Hardcover. They’re beautiful! New books? Any form I can read!

7. Is this question true or false? (*confusion*)

It’s a genuine question basically asking if the question exists, so I would say true. Nice, Daniel. XD

8. What is one activity that completely exhausts you?

In all honesty, watching YouTube does. And I do it to relax and regain energy, which is ridiculous…. I don’t make sense. XD

9. What is one activity that makes you feel super energized?

Reading always inspires and motivates me. If you want me to do something, subtly plant a book on the topic on my book cart and I’ll most likely do it soon. BUT I’m also stubborn so my poor mother can hand me a book and my brain refuses to engage for some reason… I do not understand my brain, but it’s ok.

10. What would you say to your favorite author or artist? (Be careful not to idolize them!)

I would ask Gary D. Schmidt what his best character building tips are and if he would do a full interview with me because really, I have so many questions!

11. If you didn’t have these questions to answer, what would you be doing instead?

Answering the next tag or weeding… I much prefer questions to weeds. XD

Nominees:

No pressure to do this!

⁃ I feel obliged to tag Jenna Terese although I shall not force her. Here you are, your majesty. XD (She’s the Liebester queen, if you didn’t know.)

⁃ Rayna

⁃ Shanessa

⁃ Anna

⁃ Liz

⁃ Miriam

⁃ The Froggie Queen (the other Anna)

⁃ Annabelle

⁃ Jehosheba

⁃ Maggie

⁃ D

My Questions

I insist that, if you were tagged, you don’t read them until you answer them. XD

1. How would you describe your blog in twenty words or less?

2. Why did you start a blog?

3. What is the first thing that comes to mind when I ask what you want to do with your life?

4. What is one strange or curious thing you do regularly?

5. Look up from the screen. What’s the very first thing you see and what do you think of when you look at it?

6. What book has taught you the most?

7. If you are writing a book, what is it about? If you aren’t, what topic would you cover if you did?

8. When did you start your blog?

9. What is your biggest blogging tip?

10. What colors are you wearing right now?

11. What is one thing you haven’t told your followers simply because you haven’t had a reasonable place or time to do so?

You are welcome for that nonsense. XD


The I’ll Get Round To It Later Tag

Rules:

• Link back to the original post at Quote, Unquote so the the creator can read your answers.

• Link back to the post of the person who tagged you and thank them (Thank you, Maggie!)

• You may use the included graphic anywhere in your post but don’t have to.

• Fill all 7 categories: (a classic book you have been meaning to read forever but haven’t yet, a book on your shelf you haven’t read yet, a book that you got recently but haven’t read, a book that you’ve had forever but haven’t read, a book that a friend recommended that you haven’t read, a book that you are procrastinating on, and the next book on your TBR (to be read))

• You can either leave this tag open so anyone can do it or tag up to 7 people.

Questions

A classic book you have been meaning to read forever but haven’t yet.

I keep wanting to read Frankenstein and A Tale of Two Cities but it just hasn’t happened yet for either one…

A book on your shelf you haven’t read yet.

*winces* That fits most of them… let’s go with How To Win Friends and Influence People, which I got from my grandpa for my 15th birthday.

A book that you got recently but haven’t read.

Our library recently had a book sale and we got a full set of Harry Potter books… and some other books but since I simply can’t remember their names, I’ll have to go with them. I need to finish the series.

A book that you’ve had forever but haven’t read.

We have an at home library full of books, which is why this is hard for me. (And no it’s not a huge grand expensive room with shelves it’s five shelves in the classroom/study composed of Goodwill finds primarily) I would say I’ve had the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books forever but I never get past a certain point so I haven’t read most of them.

A book that a friend recommended that you haven’t read.

If we count my sister as a friend, that’s too many. Outside of that I really can’t think! I’ll settle with The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games since I haven’t read either and they’re always recommended.

A book that you are procrastinating on.

All of them? *feels guilty* Look, I have a long to-do list…. Uh… I’ve been putting off finishing Peter Pan for a bit now, so we’ll choose that one.

The next book on your TBR (to be read)

*coughs* Peter Pan. *coughs*

Nominees:

⁃ Hattush

⁃ Pearl

⁃ Issabelle

⁃ Daniel (you’re welcome)

⁃ Rosy Marr

⁃ Grace

⁃ Jehosheba (I know it’s the second tag but it fits you… sorry!)

And finally:


The Haiku Tag

Rules:

• Tag Eva @album of amazing.

• Mention the person who tags you (Thank you, Rayna!)

• Add the rules to your post.

• Pick 2 topics to write 2 Haikus.

• Tag at least 5 people.

• HAVE FUN! 💙💙

Topics:

1. Dogs.

2. Fire.

3. Sea.

4. Nature.

5. Music.

(Really fast question: why dogs? Like I don’t mind but it seems a little bit random XD)

Music

Words, but not just words;

A flow from deep within me,

A pulse, not just verse

Nature

God created much:

Wonderful shades of bright green,

Splashed with vibrant hues.

No idea if those were any good, but there we are!

Nominees:

⁃ D

⁃ Shanessa

⁃ Anyone here currently wearing bright red

⁃ Anyone here who loves hiking

⁃ Anyone here with more than one pet dog

Do those count as single nominations? No, I don’t believe so. Am I satisfied? Yes.


Well, that was rather long, but I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Feel free to do any of these tags if you’d like. I don’t mind tagging a few extra people without actually tagging them. XD Did you learn anything about me? Do you have any of the same books on your TBR as I do? Let me know in the comments!