A Look into my Life - October Edition

Friday, October 31, 2014
Greetings to all. :D

I mentioned in September that I would begin this monthly series called, "A Look into my Life." I'll be sharing the highlights that went on so you can get to know a bit more about me. :)


Happenings and Highlights of this Month:

- NEW BOOKS! Good gracious, I got so many new books in October. I'll write up a post on that next month so I can show them to you. :)

- These last few years my family and I have been going to a Half Price Books clearance sale held at the State Fair. There are literally thousands of books, all under three dollars. I got six Christian-fiction books for eight dollars. (all in great condition) That's what I call an awesome deal.

- The play I talked about in my last look into my life post... Six other talented actors and I preformed Shakespeare's Twelfth night with only five weeks of practice, two rehearsals each week. It wasn't much time, but we got it done and had over a hundred people show up for the performance. It was such an amazing experience. I'm so sad it's done. :( Have any of you ever taken part in a play?

- My dad completed his fourth marathon! I honestly don't understand how that is humanly possible... 26 miles? What?

- I've had lots of pizza this month. That just makes me happy. :)

- Instead of Halloween, our Church holds a Harvest Festival for the community. (The temperature is supposed to drop below freezing tonight. *shivers* It is a very nice alternative so kids can still get candy and we can invite people into our Church) Each grade in the youth group sets up a themed room with decorations, games, activities, and of course, candy. xP Our theme for this year was "Super Mario Brothers." I didn't know much at all about that subject, but my friends did a good job of informing me what actually happens in the game.
It went super well, and TONS of kids from the neighborhoods came. Six kids accepted Christ into their heart, which is really exciting. :)

- Katie

What were the highlights of your month? Tell me in the comments below!
(NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!!)

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NaNoWriMo -- An Alternative

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
You've probably heard of it.
90% of my blogs have written up a post about the crazy writing challenge.
It's popular in the writing community. :) ...Just a little.
A short sentence summary about NaNoWriMo if you haven't heard about it before: Write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

I want to do it desperately. I want to join all you fellow writers in this daunting challenge.
But, honestly, I can't. Why? The lack of hours in a day.

November is an insanely busy month for me. With blogging, vacations, Church, piano, school, and other responsibilities, it just isn't smart at this time to take on this task. Ultimately it will make me more stressed, and I don't want other important things (Like sleep! :P) to be dropping because of that.

BUT... There is an alternative! :D

Instead of doing the "official" NaNoWriMo, a few of my friends and I will be participating in NaNoWriMo's Young Writer Program for ages 17 and younger. This way I can choose my own word count goal, which will most likely be a measly 20,000. (I might have to lower it to 15,000)
I'm am super happy that I found this, so I can still join some of the action. I highly suggest that you sign up if you are looking for a NaNoWriMo alternative. Challenging, flexible, fun, and interactive--I can't wait for November to come.

- Katie

Are you doing NaNoWriMo's Young Writer's Program? If so, let me know what your username is so we can become writing buddies!

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Guest Post by Alea Harper - Coming up with Unpredictable Plots

Monday, October 27, 2014
I'm honored to have a special blogger friend of mine, Alea Harper, write up a guest post on A Writer's Faith today!


     The plot of a story is probably the most important element of any narrative piece of writing.  It is what drives the story.  It is the basis of the entire story.  For some, coming up with plots is extremely easy, and for some, it is very hard.  So let's explore some ways you can come up with original, unpredictable plots.

     First, there has to be that spark, the idea that you will develop into a plot.  For me, these ideas tend to come from Pinterest, music, and sometimes dreams.  Other times, it can be the thought of what if these two novels I read combined and was a spy novel?  Of course, while developing your plot, you would want it to vary from the two novels you read but it still sparked the idea.

    After getting the spark of inspiration, it is time to come up with a plot!  A plot figures out the problem in the story and different elements.  It can also be hard to do.  For example, a few months ago, I got an idea for a story I called The Time Division Experiment.  I knew that I wanted it to be a story about a person who lived in 4 alternate universe type things.  It was really one city divided into four walled sections.  Anyways, I really liked the idea but had no idea what the problem should be.  And when I tried to plot it out, it came out to be strikingly like "Truth" by Molly Evangeline.  Something I like to do to help me with coming up with plots is finding something that I have always wanted a story to have, but haven't found anybody do it.


My Photo Alea Harper is a Christian writer (and hopes to one day be an author). She loves to write (obviously), make movies, serve others, and tell people about Jesus! Almost every day, she is on some adventure; whether its joining the Fellowship and defeating Sauron in “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien, running from Emperor
Daicen in “Resistance” by Jaye L. Knight, or going on her own adventure that she writes, something exciting is always happening! You can read more about Alea and her writing at her blog: http://www.elvishpensfantasticalwritings.blogspot.com/

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Firmament Radialloy Review

Monday, October 20, 2014
I have another review for y'all today!


The year is 2320. Andi Lloyd is content with her life as the assistant to her adoptive father, a starship doctor, but her secure world turns upside down when she begins uncovering secrets from her past.

When her father mysteriously starts losing his mind, she finds that she can no longer count on him to guide or help her.

With mutiny breaking out on the ship, and two factions desperate for a valuable secret she holds, she must race to save her father and herself before time runs out.


I only reread books that I really love. Life is too short to be wasted on mediocre books, so when I find a great one, I use up the extra time to enjoy it for a second time.

Radialloy was one of those book that met my reread "standards." When I heard that book three out of eighteen (yes, eighteen) was coming out on October 23rd, I once more had to envelop myself in the wonderful story Grace had written.

When I was reading it for a second time, I knew that I wanted to write a review for it. Reviews are hard for me. How do I sum up all the things I love into a few short paragraphs? It's difficult to describe feelings that books evoke. I laughed at witty dialogue. I grew tense in dangerous situations. I hated the villain. I loved the heroes.

Being a person who never read Sci-Fi before the Firmament series, I had no idea what to expect. Sure, I've watched Star Wars and some Star Trek, but have never found an author who writes clean, Christian, Science Fiction. Needless to say, I loved it. After reading it, I immediately handed it to my sister. I think she may have even enjoyed it more than I did, for now she is writing Sci-Fi stories after gathering inspiration from Firmament.

The writing was well done and easy to follow. In my opinion, I would've liked a little more description in some places, but the plot didn't suffer.

And speaking of the plot...  *grins* Make sure you have a lot of time when you read this book. There are so many mysteries involved. Radialloy is definitely a page turner that will keep you awake if read at night. I do believe my mouth dropped open when certain things were revealed.

I adored each of the characters in their own special way. Andi was a main character that I could relate to, and at many times thought to myself while reading, "I would feel the same way, or act the same way as she does in that situation." And although I did not relate to the character Crash (I love that name) at all, I found him quite amusing.

And best of all, this was a Christian book. (Yay!) Grace makes a big point of God being the focus of the book, and with the character's lives.  I am looking forward to reading all the Firmament books!


The third book in the series is being released on Thursday! I am super-duper excited. :)
You can buy the book HERE on Amazon.

- Katie

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Get to Know Your Character's Challenge - Antagonist

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Get to Know Your Characters Challenge
I am participating in a (very last minute) prompt challenge held at Athelas's blog: Red Lettering.
Here is how the prompt works in her words: Every three months, on the first Tuesday of the month, bloggers are challenged to write something about the specified character type from their novels (whether works-in-progress or finished) and post it on their blogs. The point of the challenge is to help authors learn more about their characters through writing prose, exploring situations in character’s past with their pen (or keyboard).
There were six prompts to choose from, and I decided to use this one:
Your antagonist is between three and ten. Write something that represents their life at that point.
“Joseph, be quiet. Your brother needs to sleep.”

I frowned, sticking out my bottom lip. No one paid any attention to me since he came around. I stared pointedly at the sleeping figure lying peacefully in the crib. He was the one all the relatives crooned over. He was the one who was by Mommy’s side for the whole day. Everyone wanted to see him. I was just a figure in the background.

“I can’t be quiet.” I jutted my chin out, raising my voice.

My mommy’s eyes flashed a warning, a look I knew all too well. “I know very well that you can.”

I rose my arms up in the air, sighed dramatically, and then let my body fall to the floor with a depressing grunt, “I. Can’t.”

There was a short silence. I opened my mouth to fill it, but Mommy interrupted me, “You’re a big brother now, Joseph. You need to help take care of the baby.”

“I don’t like babies.” I rolled onto my back, staring at the ceiling fiercely.

“He’ll eventually grow up. Don’t worry.”

I stamped my foot on the ground. “I don’t want him to grow up.”

Mommy let out an exasperated sigh. “There’s nothing you can do about it.”

The door opened with a cool rush of air. “Daddy!” I cried, scrambling up to my feet and running over to hug him. He smiled, kneeling down to return the gesture.

“How’s my boy?” He said, grinning. But before I could even answer, his attention turned to the baby. “And how’s our little one? Doing well?”

     “He’s doing wonderful. Almost been sleeping the whole afternoon.” Mommy said as they both gazed at the baby, smiling. I was forgotten. And all because of the chubby, crying, bothersome baby. 
- Katie

Things I've Learned Through Writing

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Every writer knows this: writing is hard.

Yet many people take the challenge of writing a novel. When I first started writing, I honestly had no idea how hard it would be to complete a 70,000 word novel. Who knew it would take so much patience and perseverance?

*raises hand* I didn't.

But somehow I finished the journey and ended up with a novel in my hands. (an unedited novel, I must point out.) And on the way, writing taught me a few things.

- Perseverance

I got inspired to write stories when I was little, but they never turned out to be much. I usually got a half a page done, considered that a chapter, and then gave up. But with growing older and having more determination, I finally climbed the first ledge of a towering mountain and breached the half a page chapter point. I was on my way to finishing a novel.

Not quite.

After a couple months I started to burn out rather quickly. I was writing a couple hundred words a day, and that word count was dwindling fast. (Keep in mind that a hundred words is a lot for a girl that detested writing a few months before) The manuscript might have been put aside for awhile if I hadn't discovered Go Teen Writers. (More on that site later. There's too much to put in this post. :P) They held a Five-Day Word War on their blog, and on the spur of the moment I decided to join.

Best. Decision. EVER.

Over that weekend I wrote over 10,000 words and made a huge leap in my novel. I am so thankful that I discovered that blog.

After that rejuvenation of inspiration, (try saying that ten times fast) I continued working on my novel. That was the push I needed to keep going so I could complete the daunting, yet satisfying, task.

I write daily now, and writing isn't considered such a "scary" task as it was before. It's more like a time-consuming project that is SO worth it in the end. I think my perseverance in tasks is bigger than it was before I started writing. If you don't persevere through a project, you'll never get that satisfying feeling of saying to yourself, "I did it. I finished."

- Time Management

You may just need to set aside a fair amount of time to write a novel. But, of course, that's just my tip. Maybe you have a super power which allows you to finish a book in a couple hours. But I'm afraid the rest of us are cursed with human limitations and are unable to do that.

And maybe you don't have mountains of school and other projects and passions that you are interested. You might have unlimited time to do all the writing you want.

I wish I was that way.

But I'm not, so I have to make time through my many activities for writing. Writing is a time-consuming activity, so it is very hard to make time.  I quickly realized that if I wanted to write a novel, that I would need to manage my time more productively. There would be no more taking unnecessary breaks during school (homeschooled), and Pinterest and reading would fall down my list of priorities.

But then summer came along, so without school hanging over my head, it was a lot easier for me to write (along with the help of Camp NaNoWriMo). That's when I finished my first novel.

And now we're back into the busy school year, and I have dived into edits. *ahem* More like rewriting every single written word that I ever imagined up. It's still hard to find time, but I feel as if writing has also helped me manage my school schedule. I am able to plan out my day a little bit easier, and that has greatly assisted me in finishing my school subjects so I have time for the rest of the things I want to do with my day.

- The Skills of...Writing


But seriously. While I'm editing, I can already see a huge leap in progress. ...That's partially why I have to rewrite it all. xP Writing is so useful in life, and my fiction writing skills can be transferred to school essays, papers, and research projects. I'm learning new words I had never even heard of before, and my grammar skills have improved immensely. I'm getting better at knowing where to put a comma, rules of punctuation, when to start a new paragraph--there are so many minute details that are all mixed in.

Writing is hard...

... But I love it.


I am so thankful that I have started writing. It's also taught me determination, how to tackle a huge project, start a blog, tips and tricks in Microsoft Word, a bigger vocabulary, and the knowledge of the publishing process. I'm sure there are a million other things... But my mind is going blank. (There's one thing writing hasn't helped me with: A quick thinking mind. :P)

What have you learned through writing? Tell me in the comments below!

- Katie

Flash Fiction Challenge

Friday, October 10, 2014
Tell me a story in under 1000 words
 Happy Friday!
I'm participating in Rachelle's Flash Fiction Challenge held over on her blog, The Ink Loft.
Each person taking place in the challenge both receives and gives a prompt to another participant.
The prompt that I got from Leanne was to create a story off of the song Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins. (Link leads to the lyrics)


     Snowflakes fell from the sky. The wind hurled itself every which way. It was a kind of night where going outside was not a good idea. It was a night where people were in their house, curled by the fire, sipping a cup of cocoa with Christmas carols in the background. It was a kind of night where your outfit consisted of pajamas and fuzzy slippers. It was a kind of night where you wrapped yourself up into your own world and shut yourself from the outside.
     Not everyone had that privilege. A certain girl knew that feeling well. On this particular evening she was stranded in the view of my house, wearing ripped and tattered clothes, hanging off of her body. Her hair was in knots, and her feet barren of shoes. I watched from my corner of paradise in my warm, heated house. I watched from the window as a man walked past the girl. He didn’t spare her much more than a glance, his shoulders hunched and his hands buried deep in his coat’s pockets.
     The girl’s face was desperate. Her trembling hands lifted in a gesture of help before placing them around her arms, a shiver racking her body, causing her to curl up in a ball.
     A gust of wind beat against my house. I pulled my sweater around my arms, as if the wind was having an impact on the temperature inside.
     “Sir!” She called out, “Can you help me? It’s cold and I’ve got nowhere to sleep. Is there somewhere you can tell me?”
     He paused, and then walks on, he didn’t look back. He started to whistle as he crossed the street, something about him tells me he’s embarrassed to be there.
     I set down my coffee, sinking onto my couch. The girl’s face was tear-stained, and no doubt her feet were tortured with blisters. She couldn’t walk though she was trying.
     What would I do if I was in the man’s place? What would I do if a ragged girl called out to me, begging for help. I looked around at my house, I couldn’t allow such a girl as her into my paradise, could I?
     I glanced back towards the girl. She was on her hands and knees now, pleading for the man’s mercy. You could tell from the lines on her face, you could see that she’s been there. Probably been moved on from every place, because she didn’t fit in there.
     I wouldn’t have time to care for a girl.  I couldn’t allow her to stay with me. People would think me weird and crazy.
    The man was out of distance from the girl by now. I scowled at him. Wasn’t there nothing more he could do? Wasn’t
there something more he could say?
    A voice seemed to tug at my insides, spiking guilt into my mind. Was there anything you could do? Wasn’t there
something you could say? My stomach squirmed. I dared another look at the girl. She was hunched over, her body shaking with sobs. Pity flashed through me. Poor soul. I wanted to help her, but yet I had a job, I had a life… Could I commit to this?
     The image of the man whistling with his hands in his pockets, ignoring the girl ignited a fire in me. I may have once been an image of that man, but I would be no longer. I threw on a jacket and walked out the door with my pink slippers. I almost slipped on the steps with my quick pace of determination, but I caught myself before I could’ve fallen. The cold air wrapped around me like a clinging blanket. I shivered, looking at the girl’s garments. How had she survived this long?
     “Girl!” I half-walked, half-jogged across the street to get to her. What was I doing?
     She raised her head no more than an inch, her emotionless eyes boring into mine.
     I knelt by her side, putting my hand under her arms, “What’s your name?”
     It took a moment before she spoke, and when she did, her words came out rough, “Maria.”
     “Maria....Come with me.” I steadied her as we made our way back across the street, slowly, “I’m going to get you a bath, clean clothes, food, and somewhere to sleep.”
     Her eyes widened the slightest bit. I smiled a proud little smile to myself, glancing to where the man just disappeared out of us. Think twice, man. I thought to myself. Not everyone lives in such a paradise as you.

Thanks for reading!

His Creation

Friday, October 3, 2014

This post wasn't planned... But I wanted to show you the lovely sight that I saw yesterday night.


It had been raining all Thursday long, but finally cleared up around six o'clock. My parents decided to take a quick walk since it was rather nice out. I was writing, but quickly stopped when I heard the exclamation: "Rainbow!"

Yes, right outside our house was a beautiful rainbow. I have never seen anything like it, and I'm so grateful to have pictures to remember it with. If you look closer, you can see that it was indeed, in fact, a double rainbow.

A sight like this reminds me of how amazing God is. His surprises of creation never cease to surprise me, whether it be a rainbow, a simple flower, or first watching a butterfly hatch out of it's cocoon.

It arched so perfectly... It's like a scene you would imagine from a movie.
And finally, my favorite picture:

- Katie

What reminds you of the power of God?

Orphan's Song Review

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Hereby marks a new month, and I have a very exciting post to start it off.
Today, I am review Orphan's Song, by Gillian Adams. It was such a spectacular book, and I recommend you reading it at once! :)


Now Available on Amazon!In a world woven by melody and shattered by discord, a girl discovers that her song contains far greater power than she ever could have imagined. A power that a ruthless soldier and his evil master seek to posses ... and her guardian wants silenced.

When Birdie's song draws the attention of a notorious Khelari soldier, she is captured and thrust into the midst of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song's power.

Ky is a street-wise thief and a member of the Underground –  a group of orphans banded together to survive and fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers.

But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos' shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira.


My Review:

Before I even had the privilege of reading this book, I was expecting big things. I had been reading her blog for a while, and the short stories and writing articles were excellent. I had no doubt that Orphan’s Song would hold my interest.
And Gillian didn't let me down. This book was absolutely thrilling. It most definitely held my interest, and on the way captured a few hours of sleep. *yawns* That’s what good books do to you. :)

Orphan’s Song had balance. It balanced two different plot lines to change the story up. It had enough light-hearted moments to make you laugh, but the seriousness of the situation was still there. Two sides of the scale were being measured, and Gillian evened them out.

When I first started the book, I didn’t even realize that there were two different plot lines. I was quite surprised when the perspective changed to this new character, Ky. But I was surprised in a good way. His story (I won’t say much in worry of spoilers) might have been my favorite part of the book. He seemed like such a sweet boy trying to act as a man. You can’t help but root for him.

And then there’s the other main character, Birdie. One of my favorite parts of her was the talent of the Song she had been given, but yet that was one of the most confusing parts for me. It felt like it was an allegory, but if it was, the point did not come across clear enough for me to understand. This was the biggest disappointment for me, but it was easy enough to overlook so I could enjoy the rest of the book.

There were a few deaths in the book that were quite unexpected to me, but Gillian didn’t go into much detail. Violence-wise, it wasn’t bad at all.

I will be buying this in paperback form as soon as I can so I can add it to my lovely shelf of books. :) I have such trouble finding good, clean books to read, so it was awesome to come across Gillian’s work. I look forward to her upcoming books, and will most definitely read them as soon as I get a chance!


Image of Gillian Bronte AdamsGillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving fantasy author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equine program at a Christian youth camp, but at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. Her love of epic stories and a desire to present truth in a unique way drew her to the realm of fantasy. Visit her online at www.gillianbronteadams.com.
Are you ready to read Orphan's Song yet? You can buy the book on Amazon!
- Katie

Have you read the book? What did you think?