Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Feels + Concert || May Recap

Recap of the month? Ohhh, right. That thing I wrote, like, three days ago for April. And it's already time to write May's. Makes perfect sense.

(Except not.)

|| Summer Feels

So, y'all, summer has found my Carolina mountains and I LOVE it. Between living the Jeep life (is there anything better than a drive on a curvy road with the top off??), flouncing around in a sundress, and attempting to get a tan...

*happy sigh*

Summer weather + summer clothes? #yesplease <3

|| Randomness

• At work, between lifting/toting/unstacking/restacking 62,964 cases of soft drinks and scooping some incredibly hard chocolate ice cream, this summer is gonna give me some dope arm muscles.

• I went to my first ever country music concert! And Trace Adkins was lit.

• Family friends who live a few hours away visited over Memorial Day weekend, so seeing this was as amazing as always, of course. <3

random picture because the youth group is in charge of the church sign
and I was pretty proud of this caption.... xD

• One week, on my day off, I went shopping with the Mom. Which meant weird bathroom selfies and buying summery clothes and crashing on the couch in World Market.

 • THIS conversation one night with the Dad and the Bro at a home improvement store...
Tucker: *changing his shirt in a parking lot to load fence posts*
Me: *watching from the truck* you’re probably on camera.
Tucker: Hey, this is ‘merica. We don’t wear clothes. Right, Dad?

Okay, so, umm... I honestly considered leaving this section out all together, but then I figured someone would ask, so here it is.

Why? Because I literally read no books this month. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Sadness. I just... haven't had much free time on my hands. I'm hoping to have some unoccupied time in my schedule the next few weeks, though, so hopefully... :D  Me needs a good book. 

Oh, and I did buy a book this month (A Question of Loyalty by Jesseca Wheaton) and grabbed another from the library one day. So I had good intentions!

|| Update 

*weeps because aside from not reading much I haven't written much either* Other than dabbling in a few short stories and, of course, Chasing a Dream, I hardly wrote at all this month. There's been plenty of other things going on, though, so maybe that excuses me...? ;)

But—I am doing the Go Teen Writer's 100-for-100 summer writing challenge which started on the 20th. Twelve days in and I've only missed one day (a grace day is allowed weekly), so going strong!

|| Freedom

Ahhh, so much going on in the lovely world of Freedom. :D

The next-to-last edit is going smoothly and I'm hoping to get the manuscript to my lovely editor by the beginning of next week. And the cover reveal for this baby is TOMORROW.  *cue shrieking*

I also saw this on FoxNews which sounds like an amazing outreach to struggling vets. <3

|| Snippet 

Brian sprints ahead and knocks on the door while I follow Lester up the ramp. Ducking past the swing and crossing the nicely furnished front porch, a gentle voice drifts out the door and meets my ears. “Good to see you, Brian! Come on in and make yourself at home. We’ll eat as soon as Kellon’s gang of tardies show up.”  
I smile, surprising myself. Mrs. Gloria truly loves everyone she meets and actively seeks to make sure you know it.  
As we’re ushered into the house, in the space between the kitchen and open living room, another voice meets my ears. I cast a sidelong look into the kitchen to my left and find myself smiling yet again.  
Sashaying around the kitchen, Miss Lorance manages to toss together a fresh salad while waving a knife and singing along to Lee Ann Womack’s finest at the top of her lungs. 

|| Favorite Posts

Qadash >> Let Him Heal You

The Peculiar Messenger >> Rest in the Lord

|| My Posts

|| May Goals

• Write something.       Technically, yes.

• Get Freedom ready to go to my editor.        Close! Should be done this weekend.

• Blog weekly.        Yup, surprisingly.

• Read 3 books.        *cries and shakes head*

• Resume staying alive.      Another surprise...

|| June Goals

• Send Freedom to my editor.

• Celebrate the 2nd book-birthday of Dandelion Dust.  (Details coming next week!)

• Go on our annual in-country missions trip with the church gang.  #hyped

• Blog weekly.

• Read 4 books. (Why am I so darn optimistic?)

• Resume staying alive.

how was your May? ready for summer? 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Fire Starter Facebook Party { May 25th }

Hello, lovelies!

This week has been slightly crazy and I haven't had time for a "real" blog post, but I wanted to let y'all know about a super cool Facebook party that's happening this weekend. This is the first time I've hosted/co-hosted an online event, so I'm interested to see how it will go. :D

The lovely, lovely blurb ~

Come meet an incredible line up of inspiring authors, bloggers, and entrepreneur's who are taking the dreams God has placed inside their heart, and actually doing something with them! Whether you're a reader, writer, aspiring author or blogger, or just looking for something fun to do on Saturday, THIS is the party for you! We'll be giving away some super fun prizes, hosting Q&A's, party games, and so much more! Come connect, get inspired, and get pumped to change your corner of the world! 

The party runs from 1:00pm until after 8:00. I’ll be on from 7:00pm to 7:30, in the midst of various dream-chasers who will be hosting all afternoon and evening. We're greatly looking forward to it and would love to see you there. Who knows...there may even be free books... *smiles innocently*

Hop over to Facebook to find the event!

can I count on seeing you tomorrow night? are you a fan of Facebook parties? 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Soldier's Freedom vs. Freedom || Title Change Explanation

As promised, I'm here today to explain the reason behind the title change of Freedom (formerly, A Soldier's Freedom).

It's really not too big of a deal, but I want to explain everything to y'all so there's no confusion as we move on toward the cover reveal (signups close in 7 days!) and then the blog tour in a few months.

I have several "reasons" for the change—one being that I was never totally sold on the original title—and I could ramble about it all day. But the cut and dry of it is this...

Marine vs. Soldier

James is a Marine. Not a soldier.

Yes, there is a difference. Marine are, well, Marines. Soldiers are Army. Airmen are Air Force....and so on. Don't feel bad if you didn't know there was a difference—I didn't for the longest time. But there is, and because I want this book to be as true and right as I can make it, "soldier" in the title has got to go. 

Yes, yes, some of y'all already pointed this out to me. Yes, I was aware of it then. But I was hesitant to mess with the title when I wasn't sure how I was going to change it. (Nothing is quite as confusing as when an author changes the title of their book a half-dozen times. A time or two doesn't bother me so much. But when it's continuous? Make up your mind, people!)

I considered A Marine's Freedom, but I've never been a fan of how that sounds. I didn't realize the title I wanted was staring me in the face the whole time...

Freedom IS This Book

...but it was.

Y'all, freedom is this book. It's the word, the theme, the meaning that has been stuck in my head concerning this book for, like, ever and ever amen. It's the essence of all this book is.

I even kept saying I wanted "freedom" to be in the title. (What a droolin' idiot!**) It was literally slapping me in the face until one day (or night—I honestly don't remember) I went, "wait, what if Freedom is the title?" And the rest, as they say, is history.

And one word titles? So much #yassss.

** Pardon the grossness, peeps. It's a joke. One which approximately 0.07% of the people reading this will understand. xD 

Correlating Series Titles

Speaking of one word titles, something else I dealt with while configuring a new title for this book was that I wanted the title of each book in the trilogy to correlate in some way.

Freedom is, or will be, the first book in the Liberty's Battlegrounds series. Book #2 is in the works at an on-and-off sort of stage, while the only attention book #3 has received is a bit of brainstorming here and there.

I wanted each of these books to have titles that make it somewhat obvious that they're connected. At first I was thinking, A Soldier's Freedom, A Soldier's Future, and A Soldier's Faith. But, not only is that a bit redundant, it's easy to confuse.

Right now, I'm thinking each book will have a one-word title, beginning with F. Future and Faith are examples and possibilities that may or may not stick around. ;)

so there's that! 

thoughts on the new title? how do YOU choose titles for your WIPs?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Freedom's Release + Cover Reveal Signups || I.Am.Screaming.

Good morning, lovely people!

As I promised yesterday—and as you've probably gleaned by the title—I have supercalifragalisticexpialidocos things to talk about with y'all.

Let's jump in, shall we?

|| A Soldier's Freedom / Freedom's Release

First off, Freedom—formerly titled A Soldier's Freedom. (If anyone is interested in hearing why I changed the title, drop a comment. I could literally write an entire post on that. xD)

This is something that I don't think I've talked about on #TheBlog yet, and certainly not in detail. I'd previously mentioned that I might be interested in pursuing the possibility of traditional publishing with this particular WIP. I'd been tossing around that idea for awhile, wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it, and went ahead and called upon some fabulous beta-readers to give it a read.

Last fall, while Hurricane Florence was ravaging the east coast, I was perusing beta-reader comments when a thought struck me. What better time to release a book that deals with the darkness of suicide than during the month and week that's devoted to spreading awareness?

Knowing it was a year away, I knew I'd have plenty of time—which I liked. I talked it over with a friend (Kaitlyn from Twin Thoughts, who also happens to be the author of a book that also deals with suicide) who was toying with the idea of self-publishing for the first time. "You should," I encouraged. "Actually, you should dual-release with me during National Suicide Prevention Week."

Even from a thousand miles away, I could see her eyes widen at the thought. We both liked the thought. A lot. We agreed to pray about it for awhile, and make sure it was what He wanted.

A few weeks later, we talked about it again. I asked how she felt about it, after prayerfully considering the possibility. She said "I think we should go for it." (Or something like that. Don't sue me, child. I'm quoting from memory.)

Guess what, folks?

We're going for it. We've been praying about it since last September. We've been making plans since January. We're co-hosting a blog tour that will run during early September. And we're dual releasing these two books—Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense and Freedom by Faith Potts—on September 10th.

Here's the basics: I'm releasing Freedom in September. I'm co-releasing/co-hosting the blog tour with my bestie. And we're opening signups for the cover reveal RIGHT NOW.

Oh,  did I mention we're crazy excited?! <33

|| Cover Reveal

Because half the fun of something is the anticipation, we're upping the hype with a cover reveal! On June 1st, both Kate and I will be releasing the covers of these darling books to the world. And we'd love to have you help us out. Need more incentive? You'll get to see the covers before anyone else (besides, ya know, us) and you'll get shoutouts on our blogs!

Don't have a blog? No problem! We're also offering a social media option.

Scurry on down and sign-up! :D Form closes May 25th.

are you as excited as we are? have you signed up yet? *nudges you*

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pathetic Jokes + Failed Camp || April Recap

Good news!

I'm not dead. You were expecting better news than that, weren't you? Not only am I finally arriving with this post, but I'm here to announce some super exciting things. So stick around, eh? :D

|| Work Schedule 

• A major happening of the month was the official opening of the general store where I work. Today marks 30 days of being open for business, and our grand opening is in two weeks!

• Similar to last month, I took approximately 59,742,658 tired selfies. Which makes sense, since I'm always tired and chugging coffee. Faith needs to admit she isn't invincible. Faith is stubborn. Faith doesn't learn lessons easily.

Note the pile of clothes in the floor, the unmade bed, and the stack of textbooks...

• I usually work the morning shift (6:45 to 4:00, or there abouts), which means earrlllyyy mornings. Well, early for the night owl that—in a perfect world—would go to bed at 2:00am. and get up at 10:00. 

Note the time at which I was setting alarms... xD 

|| Randomness

• The little bro was telling jokes that he didn't know the punch line to... 

Bro: Hey sis. What did the farmer do when his tractor got stolen?
Me: uhhh...track it?
Bro: I don't know, maybe.
Me: Wait, you don't know?!

• Our church youth group produced an Easter skit, which meant many nights of practice. Plenty of soda/cookie breaks. And some corny tag-line puns finding their way to the white board.

• Some precious friends (a fellow family in ministry) visited for a few days. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because I was in the midst of swapping phones while they were here so I took, like, zero. But hanging out with them was so nice. <3

• I created a group text chat between myself and the other three members of my immediate family. With everyone going in different directions, it seemed like a good idea to keep up with everyone. Right? Not exactly. Day One, it resulted in Mom and Tucker talking about random things and exploding my phone while I was at work, and Dad jokingly asking to be removed from the chat AND from the family.

Regardless, #PottsFamSpam is thriving. (Yes, I'm very proud of the name.)

|| Reading

Since I only read TWO books this month, I'm not going to bother with best/worst book sections. xD I hardly have time for reading these days, although I should be able to fit some more in now that I'm finished with school sh'tuff and getting into the rhythm of working full-time.

I did buy a few books this month though, so that was fun! Between an Amazon preorder that arrived (Sweet on You by Becky Wade), an on-a-whim buy from the library's sale shelf (Behold the Man by Bodie Thoene), and a book I bought when an online friend was getting rid of some books (Shaken by Kariss Lynch), I came out with a nice little threesome. :D

Total Reads: 2

|| Update

A quick update...about an update. A major announcement is coming to the blog TOMORROW about my upcoming release! 

The secret has been out among my newsletter subscribers since the beginning of the month, and if you're an avid Goodreads-er, you've probably already figured out the gist of it. But either way, there's more to be known. So check back tomorrow! 

I'm soooo excited to talk to y'all about this. *literally bouncing*

|| Camp NaNo

So, um, I kinda failed Camp? But I'm kinda okay with that? The beginning of the month was slightly crazy while I came home every evening to work on assignments, schedule blog posts, reply to emails, and write until I literally fell asleep at the desk. Just wasn't working out.

But, ya know, it's okay. I don't have time to speed-write The Project right now—as much as I would like to—because I'm working through some edits and my writing time is already limited. But I'm plugging away, and it'll happen when it happens.

I don't know exactly what I wrote as far as word counts go, but it was less than my lowered goal of 10k, sooo... *wince* But see... I'd said that I would talk about the project in this post, adding the little clause of "if" I completed/almost completed it. Which I didn't do.

But, I'm unveiling it anyway. Because y'all deserve better than being lied to. And I need to share my baby to the world. So read on for that.

|| Chasing a Dream it is. Chasing a Dream. My precious, precious baby. This little darling that's got a large chunk of my heart wrapped around it's finger.

It's rodeos and cowboy boots. Horses and dirty pickups. Bonfires and American flags. Injuries and phone calls home. Windblown hair and shy smiles. Finding yourself and chasing your dreams and falling in love.

*happy sigh*

Oh, and speaking of secrets... Other than being kept under wraps altogether for a time, this book has a special secret. It's related to another book I've already written and published. Yup, the main guy of the story is Drew, Ryder's older brother, from Dandelion Dust. Drew-fans, you're finally going to get your story! Chasing a Dream is set 4-5 years before DD, offering lots of backstory on the Traven family as well as some lovely Drew-secrets.

Ahh, I'd love to sit here all day and chat, but regardless, I have #thingstodo. So just because y'all are amazing, I'm going to leave y'all with the far-from-final synopsis, a inspiration collage, and not one but THREE snippets. Feel special, darling people. <3

All he had ever known faded into the rearview as Drew Traven drove away from the family ranch to follow his dream of being in competitive rodeos. He had plans—plans that involved riding bulls for a season and no longer. Then he’d return to the land where he was raised and settle down. Ranching was his heritage, his future. 

But first he had a dream to chase. 

He didn’t scheme to get chosen to travel with the cooperation. He didn’t plan to extend his contract. And he certainly didn’t intend to fall for the judge’s blue-eyed, barrel-racing daughter. 

His dreams took him farther than he’d planned to go. But just how long can you chase a dream before you get bucked off?

|| Snippet

I lift my sin-stained heart with dirt-stained hands. Holding my all up to the God of Heaven, with Whom no stain remains. 
“It is well… Whatever you want, God. I’ll follow You. I’ll chase You first.” 
"That boy's in love with you, Leah. You can see it in his eyes.”
“I know.”
The gate flies open. The crowd cheers when the buzzer rings before he's bucked. 
“He's set on leaving when the season ends.”
Tears prick the back of my eyes as Drew flashes a smile my way from the arena floor. “I know.” 
“You may never see him again, honey.” 
“I know…”
“Ah, c’mon, Lee. You know you won’t sleep easy until you check on your guy.” 
“He’s not my guy, honeybunch.” 
“Whatever. Just shoot him a text and be done with it.” 
I glance down at my phone, tuning out my well-intended roomie. Call or text? Obviously, calling Drew would be the logical adult choice. I pace from the window to the couch and back again, phone in hand. “So… call or text?”
“Oh, yes, call!” This child is literally bouncing up and down on the futon, hands clutching her heart like some starstruck moron. “Maybe he won’t answer and you can leave a msg. Just like Austin!” 
My heart skips a beat. “Austin?” The rodeo was in Austin the night Drew nearly got himself killed… 
“You know, the Shelton song. Girl calls guy and leaves a message on his machine?” Willow shakes her head. “Whatever. You’re not even listening. Just call the dude already.” 

|| Favorite Posts

Belrose Cottage >> Nor No Man Ever Loved

One Name >> Let Me See Your Glory

Lit Aflame || 7 UNSTOPPABLE Ways to Portray God’s Greatness in Your Novel

Chautona Having >> When a Christian Doesn't Look Like One

|| My Posts

|| April Goals 

• Write a book.       *shakes head at overly-optimistic past self*

• Blog 4 times.           *coughing*

• Read 3 books.          *louder coughing*

• Announce 3 super awesome writerly things.     Two out of three isn't bad.

• Don't die.      *insert picture of Faith passed out in the floor*

|| May Goals

• Write something.

• Get Freedom ready to go to my editor.

• Blog weekly.

• Read 3 books.

• Resume staying alive.

how was your april? did you do camp? ready for SUMMER?!