February 20, 2017

Random Nothings

I suppose the title tidily sums up the meaning of this post, but it still felt lacking without an introduction. Well, here 'tis. I was randomly inspired to share with you all some random things in my life lately. There. I have introduced the post. 


~My new shampoo and conditioner are now a highlight in my life. I used to loathe hair washing (thick hair problems) but now I look forward to it soooo much because this stuff makes my hair so soft and clean and it smells like Hawaii and summertime and flowers and its natural-y. I say "y" because store bought hair products are never REALLY natural.

(I promise the company didn't sponsor me to say this. :P)
Tabletop Inspiration | CeremonyBlog.com | Ceremony Magazine Wedding Blog - Part 19:

~ I'd like to say a few words to the people who owned our house before us about the choice they made to paint our dining/computer room bright red. Fire engine red. I just want to tell them I'm having so much fun painting the said room light green. I mean, who doesn't like having to do so many coats that your arm fell off and you had to take it to the emergency room?*

*This story may or may not be slightly exaggerated.

Okay, it's not that bad....after all, my mom and I are working together on it. But still. Bright red??? Ugh.

~ I've recently been intrigued by the fantasy genre (previously untrod waters, excepting Narnia, Middle-earth, and a few fairytale inspired books) and if you follow me on goodreads you may have noticed this. I've been adding quite a few fantasy books to my TBR shelf.
Any suggestions? I'm all ears. :)


~Library book sales are the best. See that stack down there? Those eleven books? (INCLUDING THE NEARLY BRAND NEW COPY OF Children of Hùron?!?) Yup. Guess how much?
Two dollars.
in the background you can see some finds from the previous library book sale I went to, haha

~I should be editing Princess and the Pea, or writing more Rose and Isaac, or writing the backstory for my villain in PatP, but instead I'm scribbling a new story?? Send help please.

(Also, send extra help because I'm having trouble even with the new story. I feel very low on writing inspiration and motivation....but I want to write so much!)

And the next one, and the next one, and the next one...:

~I've been learning that some days, what you need to do is take a nap. Yeah, I never actually fall asleep, but even ten minutes of close-your-eyes-and-burrow-under-the-blankets is enough to get you through the rest of the day. :)

(Also, putting "Concerning Hobbits" on repeat is a very relaxing source of background noise.)

~Thanks to Jordan's video, I discovered "Fitness Blender". I tried this workout and oh my word I LOVED it. Due to back problems, I reaaally need to focus on strengthening my upper body and this workout. This workout!!! It required absolutely no equipment and was so super duper easy, but at the end I was sweating and felt amazing. It actually got rid of a neckache I had woken up with. So, though I've only done it once so far, I have very high hopes. Definitely can't wait to do it again.
not always, but it's what my heart would rather do haha <3

~I'm going to see Newsies (in cinemas, not on stage)  on Wednesday and eeepers I just can't waaaiiiiit to seize the day and carry the banner and....yeah. :P


~Have you seen this new clip of Beauty and the Beast? Just checking. ;)
(SO excited for this movie....)

~I've been reading The Robe lately and gooodness, it is SO good. Definitely recommend. I love the 1953 movie, but the book is immensely better. :)

Well, that's all my friends. I must leave you, for it's dinnertime. After all, food is my one weakness. *waves*

Is this not incredibly accurate? xD

February 15, 2017

Character Interview: Breaking Glass (Guest post by Jessica Prescott)

Hey, guys!  I’m so excited to be writing this guest post for my awesome friend Natalie, modelled on her “character interviews” that we all love so much.  Today, I bring you an interview between myself and two of the main characters in my World War II/Holocaust novel, tentatively titled Breaking Glass.  It’s set mainly in the Netherlands; and, if I had to describe it briefly, I’d say it’s a coming-of-age story about learning to survive in a world that seems to be your mortal enemy.   

“When life robs you, sometimes you have to . . .”  (AHEM.)

So, without further ado, here it is!  

*Note:  Interview questions borrowed/modified from the Beautiful People meme at Paper Fury.*  

My characters fidget, a bit uncomfortably, on the wooden chairs I’ve set out in my bedroom.  One of them—a tiny slip of a girl with dainty, gold earrings and burning, intense dark eyes—stares suspiciously at the shiny black laptop resting on my quilt.  The other—a big, broad-shouldered man wearing a leather jacket and a cool, guarded expression—stares intently at the girl.   

I’m amused to note that neither of them is looking at me.  
I press the Record button on my tape player and put on my most coaxing smile.  “Thank you both so much for coming.”  The man gives me a polite nod; but the girl just looks at me.  “Could you both start by telling my friends here your names?”    
He folds his arms, his jaw set.  “No.”  
“Oh, come—”
“No disrespect, Miss Jessica.”  He pauses.  “But your friends may not be our friends.”  
The girl nods.  Barely.
I bite my lip in frustration.  This isn’t starting out well, is it.  
“Now, listen to me, both of you.”  I lean forward, speaking in as soothing a tone as I can manage.  “I understand you guys are under a lot of stress, and all that; but there’s nothing to be afraid of here.  This isn’t wartime Holland anymore—get that?”  
“Where is it, then?”  Finally, I’ve at least gotten the girl to speak up.  
“It’s the future.”  
The young man’s face exhibits massive skepticism.  
“No—I promise.  This is the future, and nobody here can possibly hurt you.”  
“Is that true?”  The girl’s deep, dark eyes are scouring my inmost soul—I can feel it.  
The things I put up with from her.  
“It is one-hundred-percent genuinely accurate.”  I do my best to keep the exasperation out of my voice.  “Now, will you please do what I asked and say your names?”  
“Well.”  He studies my face, then seems to make up his mind.  “My name . . . is Dirk van Manen.”  
“My name is Tammi Herschlag.”  The girl won’t look at me.  
“Good, good.  Now we can get on with the interview.”  We’ve wasted at least five minutes, but I know pointing it out will get me exactly nowhere.  “So, first question:  How did you two meet?”  
There’s a pause.  
Dirk is looking at Tammi, and Tammi is looking at the floor.  
Finally, his low, taut voice breaks the silence.  “We met by accident.”   
“He found me.”  Tammi’s fingers are lacing themselves together.  “I was hiding.  And he found me.”  
I make my next question as gentle as I can.  “Hiding from what?”  
“The Germans.”  She jerks her chin up and shoots me a bone-chilling glare.  “Stop it.”
Dirk reaches out a hand to brush her shoulder—his eyes daring me to continue the subject.  I quickly change course.  
“Here’s another question.  How similar are you to each other?”  
Tammi’s eyes still show that tense, hunted look, and she doesn’t answer.  Dirk does, though.  
“We’re not that different.”  He watches her as he speaks, not me.  “We don’t talk much.   Either of us.”  
“So, you like to think instead of talk?”  
“Tammi thinks a lot.  I don’t.  I just . . .”  He breaks off.   
“He just does things.”  The abruptness of Tammi’s voice makes me jump in my seat; even though I should be used to it by now.  “He does things that need to be done.  That’s all.”  
I’m not entirely sure what she means, but I know better than to press for a more articulate statement.  
Instead, I take a deep breath.  “All right, next question.  Who has the strongest personality?” 
They glance at each other, and I see a small, secret grin pass between them.  
At least she’s smiling now.  
I clear my throat and look down at my list.  “The next one’s kind of similar.  Who’s the leader?”  
Tammi’s dark eyes are thoughtful.  “Dirk . . . probably.”  
“I’m not.”  He touches her hand, then grips it.  “You are.”  
She rolls her eyes, but doesn’t pull the hand away.  “Yeah?  So how come you’re always telling me what to do?”
“It’s not like you ever listen.”  His voice is rough with emotion.  
“Okay—okay, then, guys.”  I feel it best to move on before anything else is said.  “Ah, here’s a good one.  What do you do that most annoys each other?”  
“I told you.”  Tammi tosses her head back and brushes the dark, bobbed hair out of her face.  “He tries to tell me what to do.”  
“Because I have to.”  Dirk folded his arms.  
“You do not have to.”  
“You won’t take care of yourself unless somebody makes you.”  The deep, gruff tone can’t mask the tenderness in his gaze.  
I see a blush—a faint one—spreading over Tammi’s cheeks.  
I wait a few moments, then turn to Dirk with an encouraging smile.  “How about you, then?  Anything you find a little annoying?”  
He ducks his head, staring at the floor.  “She . . . won’t tell me anything.”  
Now it’s Tammi’s turn to fold her arms.  “Meaning?”  
“You know.”  His eyes search hers.  “You’ll be crying, or something . . . and I ask you what’s the matter . . . and I get nothing.”  
Another pause. 
“So?”  A dark scowl creases Tammi’s forehead.  “When do you ever tell me how you’re feeling?”   
He frowns.  “That’s different.”  
She tosses her head again.  “Is not.”  
“Next question, you two,” I interrupt gently.  “How long do you see yourselves staying together?”
Tammi hunches her shoulders forward and scowls harder.  “Nobody knows.”  
I look at her.  “What do you mean?”  
“This is war.”  Her voice is hard.  “People die in wars.”  
Dirk shifts in his seat, his eyes fixed on her face.  
“But—you—”  I pause to clear my throat again.  “You’re hoping you’ll live to see peace again?”  
Tammi shrugs.  
Dirk pulls her hand into his lap and doesn’t let it go.  
And then, as an afterthought, he glares at me.  
I cough.  “Last one, I promise.  What would the ‘perfect outing’ look like for you both?”  
“Outing?”  Tammi stares at me.  “Outing?  Are you crazy?”  
She’s a handful and a half.  There’s no getting around it.  “Now, Tammi—”
“I’m in hiding.”  Tammi’s voice is crushingly bitter.  “I don’t go out anywhere.”  
There’s a long pause after that.  
Dirk’s eyes are threatening me with slow torture if I don’t say something to make it better.  
I take in a deep breath, then put on my most diplomatic smile.  “Of course, of course.  I only meant—if you could go anywhere you wanted to, where would you go?”  
“I know where.”  Dirk tosses me a slightly mollified glance, then turns his gaze back to Tammi’s face.  “I’d take you to the beach.”  
She looks at him with big, dark eyes for a moment.  “The beach?”  
“I’ve never been to the beach.”  
“I know.”  I see Dirk swallow a little.  “That’s . . . why I’m going to take you.”  

Whew—that was so much fun to write!!!!  Thank you, dear Natalie, for giving me the opportunity  :-)  So . . . what do you all think of Dirk and Tammi?  Want to read more of them?  Think I should continue working on their story?  

Note from Natalie: Jessica, thank you SO much for guest posting today. Your characters are amazing, and this interview brought a huge smile to my face, Dirk and Tammi are simply precious. <3

February 14, 2017

True Love

This Valentine's Day, I'm as single as I ever was, but this is the first year where I can officially say "I'm single" without sounding ridiculous. (If someone isn't old enough to get married, then I don't think they have any business saying "I'm single". Of course you're single. :P)

Anyways, this is meant to be a short post, about just one thing. (And that thing is not my marital status.)

Whoever you are, wherever you are, however old you are, whatever your relationship status, guess what? You can celebrate Valentine's Day. Because Jesus, the author and creator and definer of love, loves YOU.

~Psalm 136: 1-9~
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
'Heritage' (1984) David Austin Rose. Go for garden roses and David Austin roses to www.parfumflowercompany.com:

~Pslam 136: 23-26~
He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.


See that? His love endures f o r e v e r. And ever. And ever. There is NO end to His love.
Commit that to memory, my dear friends. Jesus will always love you. He's always waiting with open arms for you to run to Him. He's ready and willing and wanting to love you, accept you, free you, cleanse you, redeem you. No one on earth loves you or ever will love you like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, does.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 

~Ezekiel 36:26~


There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us.

~1 John 4:18-19~

If you're feeling blue because of your singleness this Valentine's Day, stop and think a moment. 
You will never be loved any more than you are right now.
That doesn't mean you can't still desire marriage one day. But don't ever think you need some other human's love to really be loved. Because you don't.
You really, really don't.

Happy Valentine's Day, my dear friends.