A Very BIG Announcement!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I have big news people. Big, ginormous, humungous news. Drumroll, please...


*insert confetti, fireworks, and my screaming here* 

My short story "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" won the 13-15 age category in One Teen Story's writing contest! You can read the announcement here. And here's a snippet (the same one from the announcement post):

“I hate that I had to sing happy birthday to a blurry figure on a screen that looks like you, but at the same time, with his buzz cut and camouflage…Doesn’t.”

So, dear readers, "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" is going to be PUBLISHED IN AN ISSUE OF ONE TEEN STORY!!! I am SO excited and blessed! God is so good! I am extremely honored to have won, and I would like to congratulate the other winners and thank everyone at One Story for this opportunity. I can't wait for you all to meet Jamie and Rory in "Dear Jamie, Love Rory." =) 

Also, happy early Easter, everyone! <3 I hope that you all have a great Easter weekend! 

P.S. I know this is a short announcement, but don't worry, I will have a regular post coming next week. =) 

Top 5 Writerly Fears

Saturday, March 24, 2018

We're all scared of something, although many of us don't like to admit it. Spiders, snakes, public speaking, darkness... Me? I'm afraid of heights. Any and all heights. Once I rode a ski lift, and that was one of the scariest things I've done. It didn't help that the ski lift was at a zoo and if I fell it would've been into a tiger's cage. *shivers in memory* 

If you're a writer, you probably have some things you fear that send you running away screaming, notebooks and pencils being scattered in your wake. Whether it's a barrage of plot bunnies or the much-dreaded writer's block, here are five things I've noticed that scare writers (or at least the writer inside me).
1. Having to Tell Someone What Your Story is About
"What's your story about?" 

Ah, the dreaded question that every writer faces at one point or another. You either jump at this question, ready to tell all about your story, or you wish you could hide under a rock until you come up with a good answer. This question comes up in casual conversations, all innocent, and to the non-writer, it's a safe question. But a state of panic is going on in the writer's head, and once some coherent answer comes out, one that usually sounds like, "It's about a human being with hairy feet who goes on an adventure," you can almost see the other person saying, "Is that really the best you can do?" 
2. People Not Liking Your Writing
Who ISN'T afraid of people not liking their writing?! This one's pretty self-explanatory, right? THE FEAR IS REAL WITH THIS ONE. 
3. Having to Watch Someone Read Your Writing 
Maybe this is a fear/pet peeve that I just have... But have you ever handed your writing over to someone to read... And then just couldn't sit there and watch? I hate watching people read my writing. If I hand over a blog post/article/snippet, I have to leave so I'm not staring at the reader's face wondering what's going on in their head. I just... I CAN'T WATCH. I'm afraid of what's going on in their heads as I watch. #problems
4. Losing Your Writing
Whether it's the fear of losing a notebook or having your computer crash and take ALL your hard work down with it, the fear of somehow losing your writing is a particularly paralyzing one. All of your hard work and great "quotable" lines that you cleverly made up... What if they were all taken away?! 

This is a fear I recently had to deal with, as my computer was being stubborn. In my terror, I sent myself back-ups of all of my writing documents. But thankfully, nothing tragic happened. Yet. *nervously looks at computer* 
This is probably the king of all writerly fears (bloggerly fears too, if we're honest) WHAT IF I HAVE NO IDEAS!?!??!?!?!? WHAT IF ALL OF THE OTHER GOOD IEDAS WERE TAKEN AND ALL MY IDEAS ARE GONE?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT IF I NEVER GET AN IDEA AGAIN!?! WHAT IF *fill in the blank here*?!?!? Writer's block is serious business... And a serious worry/dread/fear.

 What are some writerly fears do YOU face? Do you have any to add to my list? 
Which of these fears do you fear the most? 

Girl Defined Book Review

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Who knew that March was National Women's History Month? Certainly not me! At least, not until my cousin sent me a sweet text and reminded me. =) And now that I know that March is National Women's History Month, I want to share with you all one of my favorite books on Biblical womanhood: Girl Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird. Warning: You might be surprised as to how radical this book is.
My Rating: Four and a Half Stars out of Five
Back Cover Blurb (Taken From Amazon)

In a culture where airbrushed models and career-driven women define beauty and success, it's no wonder we have a distorted view of femininity. Our impossible standards place an incredible burden of stress on the backs of women and girls of all ages, resulting in anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. One question we often forget to ask is this: What is God's design for womanhood?

In Girl Defined, sisters and popular bloggers Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird offer women a countercultural view of beauty, femininity, and self-worth. Based firmly in God's design for their lives, this book helps women rethink what true success and beauty look like. It invites them on a liberating journey toward a radically better vision for femininity that ends with the discovery of the kind of hope, purpose, and fulfillment they've been yearning for.

My Review
It is my belief that every Christian woman should read Girl Defined. This book has truly changed my view on womanhood. At first, one of the reasons I bought Girl Defined was the pretty cover (yes, that's how shallow I can be xD), but as I started reading, my eyes were opened to the lies about womanhood that our culture has fed me. Culture says that my womanhood doesn't define me, that I can be whoever I want to be. But God designed us as women for a reason. 

In Girl Defined, I was introduced to the idea of women being equal in value to men but purposefully different. Women are just as important and valuable as men, but we have different purposes. Let me try to illustrate this: Just like a paintbrush and paints are equally important in an artist's repertoire (he couldn't paint without them!), but they both serve different purposes. It's the same with gender. There is a purpose to our being womanhood, not some biological accident! 
Womanhood isn't about liberation and domination. It isn't about pink, sparkles, and tea parties. Womanhood isn't a curse to be reversed. Womanhood defined by God is one of the most beautiful things in the world. 

Girl Defined doesn't just touch on the topic of Biblical womanhood. It talks about romance, beauty, and identity. It's full of incredible stories, eye-opening Biblical concepts, and plenty of encouragement. There are also some great study guides at the end of every chapter. It's quite an easy read; I had to pace myself so I didn't read it all in one day! =) Yet it has such a powerful and life-changing message. I encourage every woman to pick up this book with an open mind and allow God to shape her beliefs through the message it presents. Go grab your copy now! 
About the Authors (Taken From the GirlDefined Website)
Kristen Clark is married to her high school sweetheart, Zack and is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries. She is passionate about promoting the message of biblical womanhood through blogging, speaking around the country, mentoring young women, and hosting Bible studies in her living room. In the end, she's just a fun-lovin Texas girl who loves all things outdoors and eats dark chocolate whenever possible.
Bethany Baird is a Texas born and raised girl doing life with her parents and seven siblings. She is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries and is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through blogging, speaking and mentoring young women. To her family and close friends, she is simply a tall blonde girl who loves any form of competition, drinks way too much coffee, and can't get enough of her little fluffy dog.

Have you read Girl Defined or any posts from the Girl Defined blog? What is one word you'd use to describe your view of womanhood? Why? How has God shaped your ideas of womanhood?

Printable Letter Stationery For Your Sponsored Child

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hello, friends! I know, I know, WHERE WAS I WITH A POST LAST FRIDAY?!?! To be honest, I was preparing a post for Friday but got pretty lazy busy and never finished it. So now I'm here with an entirely NEW post about something that I'm really passionate about, along with some fun printables!

I've never talked about this before, but my family sponsors two kiddos through two different organizations. We sponsor a little boy named Simpson through Compassion International and a little girl named Yessica through World VisionI am proud to support both of these organizations and the work that Christ is doing through them. To learn more about Compassion International, click here. To learn more about World Vision, click here.

Both Compassion International and World Vision have great child sponsorship programs. I love being able to sponsor Simpson and Yessica! Child sponsorship not only provides the child being sponsored with things such as education, food, and the chance to hear the Gospel, but also an encouraging and life-changing relationship between the sponsor and child through letter-writing. The relationships built through the letter writing aspect of child sponsorship are truly special. Every time I receive a letter from Simpson or Yessica I get SO excited. I love hearing about their lives, their accomplishments, and their worlds.

Through the letters that I send to my sponsored kids, I try to encourage them and remind them of Christ's love. I try to make the letters a little fun by sending along stickers, photographs, and coloring pages. I also like to use colorful stationery.

To make the letters that you send to your sponsored child a little more colorful, I've designed some printable stationery for you all to use! This stationery is designed with older sponsored kids in mind, but I'll have some new letter stationery and/or templates for younger sponsored kids coming soon. There is a red, orange, yellow, and blue printable for boys and a pink, purple, and blue printable for girls.

TO PRNT: Click the little arrow in the top right hand corner of the widget below. Click the print icon on the upper right hand corner of the new page, then proceed to print. =) If you have any problems printing these, please let me know!
The Printable Letter Stationery 

I hope that you all enjoy using the stationery! =) Do you sponsor a child? If so, through what organization? What is a cause that you are passionate about? Let's chat, friends! 

The Hardworking Creative Website Launch

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Today I am super excited to tell y’all about a great new website that my bloggy friend Hailey Hudson has just launched. It’s called The Hardworking Creative, and I can already tell that it’s going to be AMAZING. Click here to visit The Hardworking Creative and see it for yourself!

Now, you may be asking, what is The Hardworking Creative? Well, there's no better way to learn about it than to read the mission statement! Here it is, straight from The Hardworking Creative!
The Hardworking Creative Mission Statement 
My name is Hailey Hudson, and I’m a hardworking creative who inspires other creatives to put in the legwork that’s necessary to make their dreams become their reality.

This is a place where creatives are celebrated. Whether you’re a writer, painter, filmmaker, graphic designer, violinist, dancer, actor, you name it—if you pride yourself on both your creativity and your work ethic, then you are welcome here. If you’re looking for your people, you’ve found them.

At the age of eighteen, I became an author and a freelance writer. As I looked around, I realized I had many friends who were incredibly talented in various creative pursuits and who hoped to make it big—but they weren’t actually doing any work towards their dreams. Creativity is a fantastic thing to have, but if you want to be successful, hard work as equally as important, and that’s the premise that this website was founded on.

Here at The Hardworking Creative, you’ll find monthly success stories from young creatives just like you, plus more exciting content explaining what the lifestyle of a hardworking creative really looks like—tips on marketing, branding, and social media, and more.

This website is the launching pad for your success. So stick around. I can’t wait to watch you succeed.

The posting schedule kicks off this weekend, so be sure to sign up for the mailing list at The Hardworking Creative! I hope to run into y'all there! =)

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