Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beautiful People ~ August

*drifts in lazily* 

People. I have an problem. An issue. Something making me utterly melodramatic because I DONT LIKE IT. What is it? 

It's August 30th. ... ... ... Like, what even? Where did August gooooooo? 

I don't know. *shrugs* It seems impossible, but it is in fact reality so I shall try to keep a stiff upper lip and be adult about it. *nodnod* 

Anywho (as you, smart person, may have guessed by the title...) that wasn't the purpose of this post. If it was I should change the blog name to "Rants by Firefly"...or something. XP Actually, all of that came about because I realized Thursday is September and I haven't yet posted this month's Beautiful People thing-y!! Eek! 

Okay, the main reason this is slightly late is because I couldn't decide what character to do...but after much consideration I've opted for...

Shay Williams!! 

Some of y'all may remember Shay from the short-story I shared back around Valentine's Day, Love Needs No Words? (Part one can be found here. Links to the other parts are under the Stories tab.) Yup, that's her. ;) 

Let's do this thing. XD

Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!) 
Shay is a 21 year-old college student. She has blonde hair, green eyes, and ready smile. :) 

Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance. 
Um...okay, apparently there's hardly any mention of appearance in that there story...? Soooo, these aren't very good, but here they are. XD 

  Daniel quietly admired the serene look on her face as she gazed across the water. He took in every detail of her eyes and the slight upturn of her nose. 

  Tears hid in the corners of her exquisite green eyes. 

See what I mean? ;)

What is the first thing people might notice about them?
Her smile, bright and cheery. And her personality, she's outgoing and bubbly, always eager to make new friends. :) 

What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
A smatter of freckles across her nose and a birthmark behind/below her ear. 

How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
Shay's about 5 foot & 3-4 inches and, yeah, definitely petite. :P

What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
With confidence. That's about the best way I can describe her. ;) 

Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
Probably workout pants and a t-shirt, add a hoodie for cooler weather. Her hair would be down loose or in a sloppy excuse for a messy bun (she, like myself, can never get that one quite right). 

Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
No glasses, but maybe some minimal jewelry. Cute necklace or a charm bracelet. Maybe an engagement ring... ;) Trademark? Flip-flops! 

Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
Nope. Not that I've been told of... ;)

Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
Yes, I would say so. Shay knows she is God's special princess, created in His image, just the way He wants her to be. :) 


Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you enjoyed. ^_^ There will (hopefully) be several more posts this week as I try to get caught up on some tags and such before school starts Monday. 

Until then, 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dear Wildflower...

Dear Wildflower...

Thank you for gracing us with your presence and your bright colors that speak of happiness, light, and summertime. 

Of evenings when the sun remains until late,... 

...when the earth smells fresh after the rain lingers,... 

...or when the wind is tainted by the musky scent of dry dust. 

Your appearance, though overlooked by some, would be greatly missed if you failed to show one summer. 

Your friend and admirer, forever and always.

~ ~ ~ 

Borrowing the theme of some of Jesseca Dawn's recent posts (Dear Autocorrect and Dear Research), I thought I would share a letter to wildflowers with you all today. :) 

What do ya think? Do you have a favorite picture? A favorite flower? 

In Christ,

**All pictures are mine. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Story Idea, Writing Contest, and All That Good Stuff


I've had another story idea. 


If you know me very well at all, you know that this is practically a weekly occurrence. At times its to where I'll announce that I have a new story idea and everyone cringes and groans. Again?! 

Yes. I'm serious. I'm really that bad. 

Someone even went as far as to threaten to hack into my docs. and delete everything except the stories she...erm, they want to read. O.O WUT.

But sometimes I just can't help it. The stories flit and flutter through my mind and I have to write them down. It's what I do. Why I write. Who I am, even. 

Then when I saw about this awesome-sounding upcoming contest hosted by Rachelle at The Ink Loft, it all began again. 

My brain is whirling... 

I grin at random times (okay, I do that anyway. But it's happening more.) as a sudden inspiration reveals itself to me... 

I'm staying up late googling name meanings for the characters... 

And it's such a glorious feeling. To know I'm crafting a story out of nothing, making something (hopefully) beautiful and allegoric (yes, I'm attempting an allegory). 

So far all I know about this story is the main theme, and I'm debating over a few possibilities for the main characters names. There will be lots of hurt and sadness, but also the all-powerful light of God's almighty love. <3 

Ready for a sneak-peek? Here ya go. :) 

God's light shines the brightest in the darkest places. 

Nope, I didn't come up with that one. Bob Smiley did, but I'm borrowing it. :P 

What do ya think? Will you be entering this delightful contest as well? How do you plot stories? And... It's late and I have writing to do, so I'll see y'all later. ;) 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Rising Authors Tag ~ Double Time

Hey everyone! I hope you're all having a good week. :) Eve Estelle from Edge of Night tagged me for the Rising Authors Tag – as did Allie from The Depth of My Faith! Thanks, girls! :D Double tag time! Sounds like fun, huh?

-- Rules... 
  • Write a post thanking the person who tagged you; include the tag, the 11 questions asked, your answers, and in reply to the request of a small piece of poetry or writing, write a brief 150-word story.
  • At the end of the post, provide 11 new questions.
  • Request a brief 150-word story from the people you tagged.
  • Tag at least one person, and include a link to their blog.

-- Eve's Questions... 

What is your favorite type of writing style?

I usually write second-person, past tense. But I have recently been enjoying dabbling in first-person, present tense. :) 

When did you write your first piece?

Um...sometime in middle school. Three or four years ago. 

Have you been published?

Haha, I wish! XD 

Is writing a career or hobby for you?

Hobby...at least for now, :) 

Some writers can write no matter where they are... Can you?

Haha, yep! I pretty much can. In my room, on the porch, in the car. :) 

If you have an "Inspiration Spot" where is it?

Probably on the front porch. With snacks, a drink, and good music. :D 

Do you sometimes become attached to your characters?

OHMYGOODNESS YES!!! Sometimes? How about 'I'm-severely-emotionally-attached-to-every-single-one-of-them-end-of-story'. XP 

If and when you do, is it hard to kill them off?

*sniffs* Killing characters off is soooo hard. Just ask my family. I'll mope around the the house and act all sad and sorrowful. But...I'm surviving. (The certain character is not, but I am. :P) 

Do you do most of your writing on the computer or by hand?

Mostly on my iPad. I write some by hand, but not often. 

Can you describe five characters from a few of your stories? (Or one, due to lack of material.)

Ugh, I'm soooo horrible at describing. ... ...  Okay, I guess I'll describe Joshua, a character from War Tears. :) Joshua is twenty-one and a second lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps. He has curly blond hair, brown eyes, and a ready grin. He is caring and compassionate, and truly has a heart for the lost and reaches out to those around him every chance he gets. He has a twin sister named Joanne (subject to change, I'm not sold on her name yet. :P) 

And finally, what called you to writing?

Hmm...that's an interesting question. I just...started writing one day and haven't been able to stop since. ;) 

150-word story request: Can you show me a piece of your writing?

  And he cried. No, he wept. Shouting out in anger towards the heavens. Pounding his fist into the mud. Screaming to the wind. Beating his palms into anything in sight until blood dripped from his fingers. The pain felt good. Anything was better than not feeling at all. 
  Breathing heavily, exhausted and fatigued from his grief, he slumped against the concrete wall – a cold refugee in spite of the heat. He leaned his forehead against the rough cement and slammed in his palms into it so hard spasms of pain shot up his arms. 
  “Why God?” 
  He sank to the mud against the wall of the compound and wept until no more tears would come. Until the bitter ache in his heart began to soften. Until he thought that maybe – maybe – he could draw a breath without the guilt and grief that threatened to overwhelm him. Until Peace like a river flooded his soul. Until he felt the never failing arms of his loving Savior wrap around his trembling form, whispering to his heart that He was there…always there. 
  For the Lord is near to the broken-hearted. 

-- Allie's Questions... 

What encourages you to write more; Reading A Great Book, Or Reading a piece of a fellow blogger?
Reading a great book. Always. 

What is your favorite word to use in a story?
How about words? ;) Hey, I'm a writer; of course I love words! Eloquent, autumn, frivolity, bouquet, aura, solace... 

Do you prefer to write Fiction or report news?
Fiction. I could never write nonfiction in great length. :P

Have you ever hated one of your characters so much that you killed them off?
Um...no. I can't think of any characters I dislike that much...even the bad guys. B-)

What feeling do you get when you see a blank piece of notebook paper or a blank document sheet?

Favorite Writing Feeling?
Writing a beautiful line/paragraph. Doesn't happen often but, oh, it's lovely. :)

Favorite Author?
Janette Oke, to name one. :D

What do you do to recover from a massive blow in a book you are reading?
Keep reading. ;) That's seriously the best thing in my option. Chocolate is always good too. 

What type of book would you prefer; Hardcover or softcover?
HARDCOVER!!! I love hardcover books soooo much. They're usually more expensive but...I just love how they feel. :) *strokes bookies*

Do you ever become attatched to a character in a book you read?
I think the easy question would be "what books have you read in which you did not become attached to a character?" ;) I get attached far too easily...

What is your favorite book?
That's impossible to answer. :P But...A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin, to name one. 

-- Tag Time... 

And I tag YOU and YOU and YOU! 

Jesseca @ Whimsical Writings

Rebekah @ Rebekah's Remarks

Kaitlyn Twin Thoughts 

Amy @ Amy E. Lane

And y'all's questions are...

What's your favorite writing style? 

Where's do you usually sit to write? 

If you write for long periods of time, does it bother your fingers/wrists/hands?

Do you snack while you write? If so, what's your favorite snack?

Are you published? If so, best publishing advice you've received? If not, do you want to be? 

Writing/publishing wise, where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? 

Do you listen to music while you write? 

What's your opinion of editing? 

Do you enjoy research? 

Do you fiddle with the font style and size of your works? 

And lastly, what's your thoughts on writerly tags? B-) 

150-word story-snippet request: Can I see a piece of your writing? 

Thanks for reading, friends! :) Has school started for you yet? Can you believe summer is already ennndddiiinggg?? *refuses to believe it* 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

My Favorite Month is Gone // July Recap

*comes sweeping in for this super-late-but-I-don't-care-I'm-doing-it-anyway-'cause-this-month-was-epic monthly wrap-up*

July was basically a long/short (it felt like both *shrug*) series of unexpected, expected, awkward, and awesome thingys. I shall now do what all good blog authoresses do and delve into this with y'all. Ready?!

// I snapped pictures of my dog...destroying a box. Then I got the privileged joy of picking up after him... Hey, he was enjoying it! ;) 

// I spent long nights arguing with my autocorrect that 'safari' and 'apple' shouldn't be capitalized when not meaning a browser and a company. 

// Yeah, sure. That's exactly where you're suppose to park. *insert sarcasm* 

// My ears were often full of water from oodles of swimming. :P

// Listened to this conversation... 

Tucker: *is being annoying* 
Mom: You know, they have homes for kids like you. 
Tucker: Smart kids? Yeah, it's called college. 

// The Kid got a bee sting above the eye and his eye was completely swelled shut the next morning at church. *wishes had a picture of his pitiful self* THEN. On Monday (which was technically August first, so you'll get details later) Tucker's friend got stung...same eye. Then I got stung thrice...wrist, leg, underarm. -_- 

// I had a fantabulous birthday. Sweet sixteen!! ^_^ 

Gifts I received! :) A canvas wall hanging, a string garden of succulents, books, chocolate, cards... ^_^ 

AND...I also got tickets to MercyMe in December. MERCYME!!!! *shrieks* 

// Books. // 

I only read six books this month...isn't that utter sadness?? :'( 

Julia's Last Hope by Janette Oke -- 5 stars 
Dearest Jean, Dearest Walter by Rose Holman -- 5 stars 
The Silent Blade by Jesseca Wheaton -- 5 stars -- Review HERE
Jonas & Olivia by Victoria Minks -- 5 stars -- Review HERE
Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero -- 5 stars 
From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden -- 4 stars -- Review HERE

As far as a book haul goes, I got three lovely books this month. And didn't spend a dime! XD 

The Solid Rock by Faith Blum -- Giveaway win. (And I just love her name. ;) ) 
Millie's Unsettled Season & Millie's Courageous Days by Martha Finley, adapted by _____ -- A birthday gift from a friend. :) 

// Writing. //

My profile pic for Camp. Very fitting. *nod nod* 

As far as writing goes... I DID CAMO NANOWRIMO THIS MONTH. XD 

Okay, so... You probably knew that already. ;) But if not...you know now. My goal was 30k and I exceed that by ten awesome words (totally worth mentioning, folks). I had the awesomest cabinmates and it was an epic experience. XD

Also...I may or may not have wrote in a few other side-stories. Just for funsies. Make that three stories, to be exact. :P Bringing my grand total for the month up to... 30,891. 


// Blogging. // 

-- Visit RebekahAshleigh for a humorous narration of the sighting of An Exotic Bird...or Not.

-- Visit Bethany's blog and read her awesome post  lost people 

-- Visit Olivia's blog and be inspired by the lovely post Is There Any Safer Place?

-- Read Amanda's thought-provoking walk through When We Feel Unworthy of Being Loved 

-- Visit Amy's art blog for some tips on organization in your writing. Writing, I'm Slowly Getting Organized

-- Read Emily's uplifting guest post on the subject of blessings

-- Visit Abi's blog for her delightful post Why I Love Snail Mail

// Goals. //

My goals for the month of July were... 

-- Write 30,000 words in War Tears

-- Read/finish at least 8 books. 

-- Make curtains for my room. 

And...only #1 happen. :P August? 

I haven't set any specific goals for this month, but I do plan to get ready for school, write...some, and READ. XD 


So...you know the ritual. Have you read the books, did Camp, read the blog post? What was the best happening of your month? Teeellll mmeeee aalllll peeepppss!!! 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Five Favorite Books ~ A Guest Post

Good morning, all! Welcome to the first guest post here at Stories by Firefly. Isn't that exciting?! :D Lets hear a hearty round of applause for...Joshua!


Hello all! Joshua here, from Literary CafeI’m so excited to be with you on Faith’s fabulous blog. We’ve decided to post five of our favorite book recommendations. (You can find Faith’s post on my blog here). I’m going to work through five different genres, so you can have a taste from each. Let’s jump right in!

Out of the Silent Planet 
(Science Fiction/Fantasy)

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” 
This book is part of one of my all-time favorite series, CS Lewis’s space trilogy.  Although eclipsed in popularity by his Chronicles of Narnia, the space trilogy’s depth, and clarity of thought, characteristic of his writing, amazes me.  Narnia will always be dear to me as a warm fairyland.  However, although this book is set on the planet of Mars (or Malacandra, as it is more frequently called in the book), the poignant lessons it contains are burned more deeply into my heart than most books written about Earth.  His prose is breathtaking, and thought-provoking.  The only cons to this book, in my opinion, are that it curses mildly a few times (but I believe that occurred mainly in the beginning, and by the only nasty characters in the book), and that because it is such a deep novel, and Lewis’s vocabulary was so developed, it will take longer to read per page than most books.

Lord of the Rings 
(Medieval Fantasy)

J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic work has been praised many times, by more capable authors than myself.  But I can’t resist adding my own two cents.  His Christian worldview subtly seeps through the entire work.  The admittedly large book is filled with wise sayings, like 
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Yes, this book is quite a time commitment.  Yes, Tolkien rambles, on every subject from Galadriel’s hair to the hair on hobbit’s feet (literally).  But it’s worth it.  Give it a try.

There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub 

This book, about the very beginnings of the church in Mongolia, is every bit as quirky as its title.  And yes, there was actually a sheep butchered in a bathtub.  Brian Hogan, author of this book, moved himself to Mongolia with his wife, with virtually nothing but the call to be a missionary to a foreign people, and had to deal with an alien culture, third world poverty, and emotional turmoil.  This book covers both the ups and the downs.  It might make you cry, and if you don’t laugh aloud at least once while reading it, you certifiably have no sense of humor.  You’ll have a hard time putting this book down, and might find yourself sighing as you close the back cover.

Mere Christianity 

In case you haven’t noticed that this is the second book on this list by CS Lewis, I’ll go ahead and explain that I am a genuine Lewis addict.  But, this is a good addiction to acquire.  There are plenty of books designed to explain the basic tenets of Christianity.  But I believe that if you have an intellectually-oriented friend, this book is the right one for them.  Lewis uses his razor sharp wit to systematically dismantle the major arguments against Christianity, and make some strong ones of his own, like this:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” 
He doesn’t get into convoluted theology, but simply lays out what he calls “mere Christianity,” the basic tenets of our faith.  I strongly recommend this book to both skeptics, and anyone seeking to bring their understanding of the faith on a deeper level.

Stone Tables 
(Historical Fiction)

This book is the only one on the list that isn’t written by a Christian.  Orson Scott Card is Mormon.  However, this portrayal of the story of Exodus is surprisingly accurate.  The biblical portrayal of Moses, although accurate, of course, leaves many questions dangling in a reader’s mind.  Who exactly is “Pharaoh?”  How did a girl, in a time and place where women had few rights, have the power and motive to pull a despised Hebrew from a the Nile, and proclaim him her child, and royalty to boot?  Why did Egypt give the Israelites some of the best land in the country, and treat them kindly for many years, and then almost schizophrenically decide to enslave every last Hebrew?  Although this book is obviously speculative, it provides a detailed and exciting look at how Moses’s Egypt could have appeared.  You’ll find yourself turning the pages quickly.

I hope that these books inspire you, guide you, and deepen your faith.  If you want more posts like this, come check us out on literarycafe.weebly.com!  :)  


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Camp NaNo July ~ Week #4 & #5

(My upmost apologies for abandoning The Blog for ten amazing days. But never fear, I am here! *congratulates self on corny rhyme*)

Well, folks. 

I have did it. 

I have slayed the dragon, conquered the world, and...COMPLETED CAMP NANOWRIMO MY FIRST TIME EVER. *shrieks* 

This may not be too in depth, but I'm going to go ahead and give you this —extremely overdue — recap. ;) 

Day Twenty-Two // Friday // 1,022

Friday morning I worked, went to Walmart with Mom, wrote enough to stay caught up, and read about 30% of a book. (Which was fantabulous. I miss reading. :'( ) 

Also, Jolly Rancher slushies are AWESOMENESS. And brain freezing material, but ya know...my brain deserves to be frozen after all this writing nonsense. 

Day Twenty-Three // Saturday // 948

Saturday I slept in and didn't write until after 5 PM (no, I did not sleep until then. sheesh. XD) I'm not sure what else I did that day other than chat with a friend and read some more. 

Hannah, my Camp NaNo cabinmate and late-night word war partner was away for the weekend so I had good excuse for not writing...Yeah, I know, my excuses are getting worse and worse. :P 

Day Twenty-Four // Sunday // 2,150

Firstly, isn't that a GORGEOUS number?!? *squeals* 

Sunday was our homecoming at church, so that meant a big meal in the fellowship hall. (With some awesome deserts. XD) I wrote on the way home and was over 1,000 words by the time we got home that evening. #feelingawesome

I continued to write like crazy until late-ish that night, (Hannah is back!!). Also, I misspelled sympathy, and then I spent the evening all...

*is hurting my precious charrie* *is crying* 

*sniffs at the remembrance* Seriously, this book is KILLING ME... 




<3 Cute doggies are basically my life. Basically. 

Day Twenty-Five // Monday // 457

July twenty-fifth, thanks to the radio announcer, is forever etched in my memory as five months until Christmas. WHAT EVEN?! Where has this year gone, people? *is sad* 

Monday evening we left home and went to the campground, a little over an hour from our house. Which is awesome, I love camping. But...*gasp* what if that were to interfere with my writing?! 

Day Twenty-Six // Tuesday // 364 

Tuesday morning I had to go out and work. And then I read...like all day. B-) Twas epic awesomeness. 

Day Twenty-Seven // Wednesday // 260

Wednesday...we were still at the campground...I was still reading oodles. Writing was suffering, but I wasn't too freaked out over it. 

Also, I brushed my teeth with a praying mantis...like it was on the wall of the bathroom and I was brushing my teeth. #awkward 

Day Twenty-Eight // Thursday // 725

So...Thursday night when came home from the campground, but left the camper (because we went back the next week, which was last week, which was awesome, which I will tell about later. ... Kay?) 

I got some writing done on the way home and that night. I'm pretty sure I was back caught up by then. :D 

Day Twenty-Nine // Friday // 1,771

Friday...Erm...I don't even remember. (Exactly why I shouldn't wait so long to write such posts. Grrr.) I worked that morning. I wrote in every spare moment. I was confident that I could finish Camp on the thirty... 

Day Thirty // Saturday // 1,237


As of 11:40 Saturday night, I am officially a Camp NaNoWriMo winner, July 2016. *shrieks* *flails* (As you may have discovered by all the un-readable, confusing, weird language and lack of grammar here, let's just say I've spent a great deal of time in the fangirl circle here of late. :P) 

War Tears (my precious, precious book that I love so much *huggles it*) was, by this time, a grand total of 55,010 words long. Wowsers. O.O  The good/bad part is that it's no where's near done. Now I'm looking at 70-75k as more like reality than possibility. ;) 

WINNER!!! XD Isn't that gorgeous?!?!? :D 

So...yeah. That's how it went, when I won, and all that good stuff. XD I honesty can't think of anything else to share at the moment, so I'm going to skedaddle off of here and...read, write, eat. Ya know. ;) Hehe, kidding, I'm going to watch a movie. :)