Friday, March 24, 2017

Writing Update ~ A Soldier's Story

Greetings, readers! 

Yes, I know. I've been absent from this blog for nearly two weeks (forgive me?) and I honestly have no excuse. I've been doing school (always), writing some (but not enough), and reading a ton (so maybe that's where the fault lies?). So much for posting twice a week...huh? :P 

Anywho... I'm back now with a writing update! Since this was something that was requested recently, I decided to start doing posts like this where I talk about different writing projects. The setting, the characters, the original inspiration, and pics from the storyboard...maybe even snippets. ^_^ Sound fun? Here goes! 




I originally started this story last year, but wrote less than 2,000 words. Then earlier this month, I came across it while scrolling through my documents, opened it, and just started writing. It's been growing pretty consistently ever since. I'm currently participating in a NaNo makeup, and I'm hoping to get this story finished by the time Camp NaNo starts. :) 

So what is this story I keep rambling about? Well, I'm calling it a short story as it's currently about 10k and I'm hoping to wrap it up by 15-18k. It's titled A Soldier's Story because it's a story about a soldier and I'm super awesome creative like that so it obviously just works. 


The original inspiration came from the below image which I found on Pinterest. *sniffles* 


(In the case that y'all can't read the wording, I'll add it below... It's looking pretty blurry on my end. XP) 

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me." 
"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him." 
"There's something you should know," the son continued, "he was hurt pretty bad in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us." 
"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live." 
"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us." 
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own." 
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identity the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know -- their son had only one arm and one leg. 

(There's also a heartbreaking YouTube video that was made from this story. I'm not going to include the link here because #toolazytogofinditrightnow. But if anyone wants it, say so and I'll dig it up. XD) 


*ahem* So yeah. Now that everyone is heartbroken out there, let's delve into the precious charries. 

James Greene and Alexandria Lorance are the two main characters. Their's are the two POVs in the story and they may or may not be the OTP of the story toooo. <3 They become great friends later into the story, as the story starts with them meeting in the most unusual way. 

James is a marine. He's precious and broken and just... *hugs him* A lot of the story follows his journey as he struggles to find the new normal in his life, coupled with self-consciousness and doubts.

Alexandria (Alex) is a therapist. She's sweet and caring, but also sarcastic and snarky. She's been deeply hurt by a previous relationship muddled with emotional abuse. Because of her past, she's rebellious and has a hard time trusting people. 



Annndddd some goodies from the storyboard! :D 






And...there you have it! :D Writing updates was a pretty popular request on the recent blog survey, so hopefully y'all enjoyed this. I also have plans for the start of a short story series soon, so...stick around, huh? :D 

Does this story sound good? Entertaining? Have I made you want to read it yet? Any votes for me posting it here once it's done? :D 

~Faith 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Imagine This ~ #8

A lovely Sunday night to ye all!! If you're like me, you're trying to figure out where an hour of your life just disappeared to... Daylight Savings time, ugh. It'll take me about a week to adjust. :P 

Annndddd...it's time (and past time) for another Imagine This challenge! :D We haven't had one of these since...September. Wow. Alrighty, here's the details, rules, and picture. ^_^ 


The Rules 
// Write a story based off what you imagine is happening in the picture below. 
// Keep your story around 700-800 words. If it's a little over, that's okay, but please try to stay under 1,000. 
// Send your story to me via the contact form, located at the bottom right of this page. (Or my email address if you have it. :)) 
// The deadline is Saturday, March 25th and I'll post the entries shortly thereafter. 




What is looking at? What is he thinking? Why is he half-in and half-out of the tank (or whatever that thingy is...)? Is that dirt and grime on his fingers? Or blood? Tell me what you imagine!! :D 


~Faith 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bookshelf Tour! ~Wrap-Up~

Hey all! :D How's about some more book pictures, hmm? :D Today I'm going to ramble about my 'special books' -- books that aren't shelved by author. Some of these are large hardback books, some devotions, and some research books. ^_^ 



Alrighty, research first! One the next-to-last shelf on the right side, I have research books and some DVDs. My Time-Life books are stacked on the right side and my soon-TBR is lined up on top of them. :D (My immediate-TBR, however, is on my desk. ;)) 



Time-Life series; World War II 
The Air War Over Europe
The Home Front 
The Resistance 
Prisoners of War 


On the other end of the shelf, I have more research books. :) 


The Good Fight by Stephen Ambrose 
The War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns 
War: A Photo History by Duncan Anderson 
America at War in Color by Stewart Binns & Adrian Wood
An Album of Memories compiled by Tom Brokaw
The Story of D-Day by Richard Holmes 
World War II in 500 Photographs by Time-Life 
Rosie the Riveter by Penny Coleman 



Then on the bottom shelf on my left bookcase I have a stack of books that are too large to stand among the others, my Illustrated Classics, and a couple devotionals. 


The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 
Heidi by Johanna Spyri, adapted by Ronne Randall 
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, adapted by Anne Rooney 
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Ronne Randall 
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, adapted by Anne Rooney 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Ronne Randall 


Little Miss Grace Promise Book
Trouble for Lucy by Carla Stevens (a random picture that, come to think of it, I have no idea why it's here...) 
A Girl After God's Own Heart: Devotional by Elisabeth George 


The Annotated Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 
Laura's Album compiled by William Anderson 
Decent Exposure by Jessica Rey & Leah Darrow 


Favorite book(s): the research books 
Books I haven't read: I haven't read any of the research books cover-to-cover except The Good Fight and Rosie the Riveter + Island of the Blue Dolphins 
Book I've had the longest: Charlotte's Web 
Books in this post: 27
Books thus far in the tour: 359


The bookshelf tour is technically over now, but since this was a pretty popular request on the blog survey, I plan on continuing with similar posts. So what would y'all like to see? My favorites covers? Hardback books? Autographed copies? Indie-published books? DVDs? Recommendations in a certain genre/time-period? Make your requests known!! :D 

~Faith 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blog Survey // Results!


And I'm here! Finally! With the results on the blog survey!! :D (Y'all can really remember what you requested after nearly two months, right? *laughing*) 

Alright, I'm going to give stats/examples of what was chosen/requested on each part, followed by my response to that and plans for the future. Here goes! :D 


What posts do you enjoy seeing? 

Writing updates: 10 of 12 
Short stories: 10 of 12
Random life tidbits: 11 of 12
Writing challenges: 10 of 12
Blog tours: 6 of 12
Bookshelf tours: 8 of 12
Book reviews: 8 of 12
Tags: 9 of 12
Monthly recaps: 12 of 12 
Other: post about villains *rolls eyes and pretends I don't know who that was from* 

There will definitely be monthly recaps each month, since that seems to have been unanimous. XD I'll also try to do more writing updates, short stories, bookshelf tours, and random life posts. I'm going to do less blog tours since only half enjoy those, and most of my book reviews are posted at Chosen Vessels these days. Tags will happen if there is one circulating. 


What would you like to see more of on this blog? 
Hijackings by villains, anything books and writing related, bookshelf tours, faith-related posts, life stuff, stories, my writing lifestyle, Imagine This, pictures by me, blog tours. 

I covered most of this stuff with the previous one *points up*. Imagine This will be making a comeback, and I'm hoping to have one of those or some sort of writing challenge every month to every other month. :D As for posts on my favorite Bible passages and how God is working in my life, those usually go up at Chosen Vessels as well. 


Do you read my other blog (Chosen Vessels)? 

Yes: 4 of 12
No: 1 of 12
Sometimes: 4 of 12
Faith has two blogs?!: 3 of 12 

For those of you who chose the last option, yes, I have another blog. You can find it here. For those of you who do know/read it... Thank you! <3 


Should I continue with my sporadic schedule or do something more planned-ahead with posts 1-2 times a week? 

Scheduled: 3 of 12
Sporadic: 3 of 12 
Either: 6 of 12 

Since half of y'all chose either, I'm going to go with an in-between. I'm not going to set aside specific days, but I am going to try to post twice a week on this blog. :) 


Anything else? 
Be the villain, photoshoot. 

*is trying to ignore all this villain-mumbo* Photoshoot, yes!! *headdesk* I totally forgot about that!! But... *nods* it will be showing up shortly! :D 


Thank you all so much for taking the survey!! I hope you continue to enjoy my posts!! :) <3 
~Faith 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Question of Honor // Book Review


Good morning all! Welcome to another stop on the A Question of Honor bog tour! :) Also, psst! Yesterday's author interview was my 200th post! :D
Today I'll be sharing my review of this amazing historical fiction novel. But first, the fabulous cover and intriguing synopsis... 




About the Book:

A man. A child. A war. 

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met. 

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives. 
Will he choose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.


Find on Amazon and Goodreads


~ My Review 
5 stars 
A Question of Honor is an amazing historical novel with rich and well-researched details, realistic and endearing characters, and a beautifully-woven theme of forgiveness that's sure to stir your heart. 

I remember reading snippets of this book not long after Jesseca started it. It had no title then, and many differences from the wonderful story about to be released to the world, but I loved it. Sometime, I read the second draft, laughing and crying and soaking up the goodness. I beta-read the book last fall and again laughed, cried, and admired the way the story had grown stronger through revision. 

All that to say...I love this story. And what makes up a good story? Characters. Realistic, varying, fictional people who work their way into your heart until they began to feel real -- like they're your friends. Like you're sitting there next to them as they tell you their story. That's the kind of characters fill the pages of A Question of Honor. 

Of the characters, David and Micah are probably my favorites -- although I do love Gil and I have a soft spot for Erich. David is down-to-earth and cool-headed, while Gil is a fun-loving and charming risk-taker. Micah is a lot like Gil in some respects, but milder, I believe. And then Erich -- the villain of the story whom you can't help but love. 
The book has some lovely lady characters too. Joyanna is a precious cinnamon roll in need of love and protection. Elaine resembles the typical war wife, awaiting her husband's return. And Lily, the one who's persevering in spit of all she's been through. <3 

I particularly enjoyed how the story isn't the 'typical' American WWII story, as it is set in 1940 before America entered the war. It was interesting to learn of the Battle of Britain and the courageous men of the RAF -- all of which I knew little to none about until reading this book. 

If you have not yet been convinced that you need to read this book, you need to read this book. *wink* You won't be disappointed. 

May God bless this young authoress in her writing journey!! <3 




About the Author: 







Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.
Website~Blog~Amazon~Goodreads~GooglePlus~Pinterest~Instagram


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Question of Honor // Author Interview

Hello everyone! I am so, so, SO excited to be here today with my friend Jesseca's blog tour for her amazing book, A Question of Honor. This book is...absolutely epic. But I'll tell you more about that with my review tomorrow. ;) 



About the Book:

A man. A child. A war. 

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met. 

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives. 
Will he choose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.


Find on Amazon and Goodreads



Author interview time!! :D 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Ohhh, definitely the first edit! Well, unless I decide to drastically change the plot. The story is down on paper, so I don't have to try and plot, or figure out what happens next. The first edit is also when, for me, a lot of research comes in, which I really enjoy! 


Where did the first inspiration for this amazing book come in? 

Oh, goodness. That was so long ago. The story idea actually came from some pictures on Pinterest, if I remember correctly. The story has changed a TON since then, and it's completely different than what I started out with, in more ways than one. But yes, pictures from pinterest. And an interest in WWII is what sparked the story idea. 


How long did the book's publication take, from first words to publication? 

As best I can tell, I started the story in the end of May/beginning of June, 2015. It was then finished in NaNo 2015, and since then has gone through many edits and changes. When the book releases on the 3rd, it will have been approximately one year and ten months since I jotted down the first words. 

What are your plans for the Questions of War series? Care to share?

Hmm, you would like that, wouldn't you? ;) Well, the series follows the lives of some of the minor characters in A Question of Honor. Ideally I have books planned that would bring us to the end of WWII, but that's only tentative, so I have no idea how that all will play out! At least one book will be about Micah, and another about Rafe, David's brother. I excpect there will be lots of heartache, because . . . well, this is war. But my hope for the series is to show that even when things around us seem to be dark and dreary, God's light can shine hope into lives that have been torn apart. And He alone can bring healing and restoration. 

Thanks so much for the interview, Jesseca! :D 




About the Author: 

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.
Website~Blog~Amazon~Goodreads~GooglePlus~Pinterest~Instagram






Blog Tour Schedule:

Wednesday: March 1st

Angela Watt -- Review/Author Interview @ The Peculiar Messenger
Faith Potts -- Author Interview @ Stories by Firefly


Thursday: March 2nd
Kellyn Roth -- Review @ Reveries Reviews
Faith Potts -- Review @ Stories by Firefly
Kaitlyn K.--Book spotlight/Author interview @ Twin Thoughts


Friday: March 3rd
Deborah C.--Book Spotlight @ Reading in June
Soleil B.-- Book Spotlight @ Reviews by Soleil
Victoria Lynn: Book Spotlight/Review @ Ruffles and Grace
Brianna Henderson -- Review/Author Interview @ Ramblings of a Pilgrim on the Way
Anika -- Review/Author Interview/Book Spotlight @ Anika's Avenue
Rebekah Ashleigh -- Review @ Rebekah Ashleigh

Saturday: March 4th
Livi Jane--Review @ Living for the Other Side
Victoria Lynn -- Author Interview @ Ruffles and Grace
Emily Putzke -- Author Interview @ Taking Dictation
Julia Ryan -- Review @ The Barefoot Gal
Rebekah Eddy -- Book Spotlight/Author interview @ Rebekah's Remarks

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Valentine's Day, Editing, & a Blog Party // February Recap

Last day of February? What even?! This is our short month though, so I'm gonna go with that since I legit have no idea where the last 28 days went. (Oh right. They were tirelessly poured into EDITING ACK.) *coughcough* 



// Life. //  

>> I had lots of random conversations this month, so I shall hereby toss all these at y'all with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. *wink* 

Mom: *leaving to go for a walk* 
Dad: Be careful. Watch out for bulldozers. 
(Apparently this is a concern...?) 

Tucker: *walks in with a hammer* *lays it in front of the fireplace*
Me: *eyes him suspiciously* Was your hammer cold? 
Tucker: *silly voice* Yes, sissy.

Me: *talking to myself in the mirror* Hey, my leg hurts. Stop laughing, it's not funny. You were too laughing. Okay, well a grin is practically a laugh. 

Me: This history lesson is entirely too long. 
Mom: How long is it?
Me: umm...like five pages. 
Mom: oh.


Me: *pats brothers arm* dude, what's in your shirt?

Tucker: *eyeing me suspiciously* my arm. 


Tucker: 38.5 tons

Me: see? I was practically right. 
Tucker: what did you say?
Me: 500 tons 
Mom: *laughing*

Tucker: *walks in and hugs Mom*
Mom: *kisses him* 
Tucker: YUCK!!

Dad: Did you make me cookies? 
Me: No, I made ME cookies. 
Dad: *sticks out tongue* 
Me: *thinking* no wonder I'm so mature... 


>> Our youth group had a Valentine's Day party on the prior Wednesday. All the kids made/brought sweets and goodies, and we served refreshments to the church family. It was a lot of fun! :) 
(On a writerly note...More than once that night, I caught myself calling/about to call this one kid 'Ryder'. Like, why brain?! #toomuchediting) 

>> Caught a random picture of my bro in mid-air. It looks like he's jumping off the roof, but he's not...right? 



>> Valentines Day rolled around which resulted in...a lot of jokes. Nazi jokes with two friends, single jokes within my writing group. I played a joke on a friend... *halo-emoji* But then I got a joke played on me by someone who didn't even know about that at the time, so I guess I got payed back. And I laughed terribly hard over all of it... XD 



>> Another joke that happened this month was related to a Goodreads poll and I suspicious answer by me. (If you saw that, no, I'm not engaged. And if you didn't, just ignore this.) 

>> I became I bit obsessed with taking pictures of feet. And shadows. *nods* 





>> I did homework while sitting in the dentist office waiting room and decided I totally had this life thing figured out. *nods* 

>> I took pictures of my pretty doggie. ^_^ 



>> I got told that I look like my Dad more than once. Which isn't exactly a bad thing, I reckon. ;) 



>> I learned how to make a pencil bun and IT WORKS Y'ALL. 



// Cherishing. // 
While still paying attention to cherishing my time by not wasting it on distractions such as social medias, I began consciously cherishing relationships this month. A main theme of Dandelion Dust is cherishing those you love, appreciating them while you can. We're not promised tomorrow. <3 



// Books. //  



I read 11 books this month -- 5 of which I finished in the last two days. :P 


Courageous Love by Susan K. Marlow -- 5 stars 
The Measure of a Heart by Janette Oke -- 5 stars 
Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts (yes, I'm totally counting editing toward this...but I did read it. ;)) 
Sarah, Plain & Tall by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars 
Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- 4.5 stars 
Waltz into the Waves by Sarah Holman -- 5 stars 
The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- 4 stars -- Review here
The Silver Flower by Rebekah Eddy -- 3.5 stars 
Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars 
Caleb's Story by Patricia MacLachlan -- 4 stars 
Luke -- 5 stars 


And I acquired eight delightful books this month. Thriftbooks, review copies, lovely signed books from indie-authors... Ya know, the usual. ;) 


Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire 
Courageous Love by Susan K. Marlow 
With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall 
Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke 
Millie's Remarkable Journey adapted by Kersten Hamilton 
When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke 
Homefront Hero by Allie Pleiter 
After the Dancing Days by Margaret Roskowski 



// Writing. //  



When sitting down to write this, I was going to say that I didn't write much this month. (Heh.) But as it turns out, my month's total word count comes to 16,737. O.O And nearly 15k of that went into Dandelion Dust (YUS ITS NEARLY 50k AHHH). 

January 15th – February 15th I joined in on a NaNo makeup hosted by Emily M. and Ivy Rose. It was a lot of fun and a ton of word wars. XD 


So yeah, I did a ton of editing this month. I completed my second draft/first edit and it's much better than the first (in my opinion ^_^). My critique partner read the first draft and she LIKED IT PEOPLE. <3 She compared it to a flower garden that need some weeds pulled...which totally may or may not have made my day. <3 On the day I finished the second draft, I placed my precious first draft copy in Mom's – very capable – hands. And she liked it toooo. *beams* 



Editing requires chocolate... :)

Editing has showed me many things, including how much I don't think about some things while writing. Like, I gave a hospital the working-title of St. Patrick's... ST. PATRICKS. *laughing* 

I'm now currently reading through my book for the fourth (or fifth?) time...and, to be perfectly honest, I'm getting a bit sick of those words. So I'm looking forward to place it in others' hands soon... (MONDAY. *shrieks*) 

All my editing notes...purposely blurred. ;) 



// Movies & Music. //  

So, yup. I saw some good movies this month. A December Bride (in February, how comical) was a cute hallmark movie starring Daniel Lissing (Jack to you WCTH fans) so that was an obvious win. 

Priceless was a great movie, starring one of the Smallbone brothers from for King & Country. (Joel, I think? Can't keep the names straight...) Harsh but real, and I really enjoyed it. ^_^ 

Oh look. Faith got a new journal. Whoops, doesn't belong in this section... :P 

Re-watches included the three Sarah Plain and Tall movies and season three of When Calls the Heart. XD 

Also, I really love this song by Tenth Avenue North. Go listen to the epic-ness! :D 






// Blogging. // 

A major highlight in blogging this month, for me anywho, was the delightfully amazing When Calls the Heart blog party I co-hosted with my friend Rebekah!! :D Have fun hunting through my archives if you missed any of that. 





Favorite Posts... 

>> Rachael posted about editing and gave me the initiative to persevere until the end of draft #2 


>> Abi posted 50 spoiler-free facts from her book which I absolutely adored ^_^




>> And of course all the WCTH posts by RebekahA.Lauren, and Micaiah were fabulous. :D 



// Goals. // 

>> Complete the first (and possible second) edit of Dandelion Dust.    Yup, both! 

>> Read 12+ books.     Close. XD 

>> Read a minimum of 15 chapters during alpha-reading.      Uhh...I think I read three? *hides* Better next month I hope... 

>> Keep up the Chosen Vessels posting schedule of quality posts every Saturday + book reviews throughout the weeks.             Did it! One book review, two quality posts, and the monthly SiC chat. :) 


March Goals. 

>> Send Dandelion Dust to beta-readers (and try not to die in the process). 

>> Catch up on emails (AKA give my inbox some love). 

>> Get caught up and stay caught up on my current two alpha-reading projects. 

>> Read 12 books. 

>> Write 10k in various projects. 

>> Keep up my Chosen Vessels posting schedule. 



Hope y'all enjoyed! How was your month? :D 
~Faith