32 Things that Inspire Me [as a storyteller]

As I’ve been working through this latest draft of my novel, I’ve been hard pressed to stay filled up creatively and mine all avenues of inspiration. So, for this post, I wanted to share some of the things/people/sayings that inspire me as a storyteller (in no particular order).

So let’s get started.

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  1. Pretty books. As in, books that are just visually appealing.
  2. Fire. Give me all the candles. And also the matches. And also an adorable little oil lamp.
  3. Lovely words. I.E. – words that just sound or look lovely. Esperance. Immure. Anathema. Temerity. Duende. Equipoise. Tyro. Aeonian. Chimerical. Those are all English words, and they. are. beautiful.
  4. Isaiah 35. This chapter. Oh, goodness. I want to tell of these streams in the desert and waters in the wasteland and the God who put them there.
  5. Wonder Woman. That’s right. The movie Wonder Woman inspires me so much as a storyteller. Don’t even get me started.
  6. Basically any song by The Gray Havens.
  7. “We write down made-up stories to tell the truths we wish we could say out loud.” – Unknown.
  8. My brother, Caleb.
  9. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. *whispers* It’s just. so. good.
  10. Christopher Nolan. Caleb (the aforementioned brother who inspires me as a storyteller and also just as a person) pointed out to me that Christopher Nolan has directed a superhero trilogy, a movie on interstellar travel, and is now coming out with a World War II movie. And he’s done it all so well. I want tell stories like him.
  11. “You must write every single day of your life. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake the world.” – Ray Bradbury.
  12. The Lord of the Rings. It’s a morally beautiful story, it’s a masterfully built storyworld, and it’s timeless.
  13. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Now I need to go watch this movie again because it’s been a couple months.
  14. The Gospels. This is the story I want to tell over and over and over again, and I want a piece of it reflected in some way in all the stories I write.
  15. C.S. Lewis.
  16. Anything written by C.S. Lewis.
  17. The ocean. I’ve only seen the ocean once, but when I did, just sitting out by it at sunrise was incredible.
  18. Limitless (the tv show). Heroes who are good are not out of style.
  19. Ecclesiastes 9:10.
  20. Empty notebooks. I just want to smell their pages and fill them all.
  21. “You can make anything by writing.” – C.S. Lewis
  22. Nadine Brandes.
  23. Havah by Tosca Lee. The richness of this book, the poetry of the prose, the thought in the story. Agh. So good.
  24. Thunderstorms. Lightning is literally exploding through the air, and water is falling from the sky. People, this is inspiring.
  25. The Dark Knight Trilogy.
  26. The Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes. Are any of us surprised?
  27. Mary Weber. The pieces of her heart I’ve seen through her writing are a-mazing.
  28. Arrival. So, this was kind of weird and not the best movie I’ve seen, but they tried to do something different and tell a story in a way that stretches the mind. Oh, and it’s all about the power of a language.
  29. Steve Laube. I had the pleasure of having an appointment with him at Realm Makers 2015, and then I got to sit in on one of his sessions. Oh. Goodness. He knows the power of stories and the responsibility of storytellers who are Christians.
  30. The Lion King. Don’t even get me started, kids.
  31. Isaiah 6:1-7. I will retell this in any way I can.
  32. My dad.

So that’s it, kids! Those are 32 things that inspire me as a storyteller!

What about you? What makes your passion come alive? What ideas and attitudes and examples do you strive for?

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – there is no post script to this post…. or is there? All our minds = blown.

Children of the Forgotten Cover Reveal

*cue theme song*

It’s not a Monday *theme song playing* and I just posted yesterday *theme song continues* but I’ve got book news to share with all you lovely people.

*theme song ends*

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SO, my faithful followers (and all the rest of you who haven’t figured out how to unsubscribe yet), I’m here in your inbox on a Tuesday.

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Oops, er, uh, wrong gif.

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(though I think we all wish I had gotten us all popcorn)

Charles Franklin, a friend of mine, will be releasing his debut novel–Children of the Forgotten: Anistemi Book I–in August! And today, I have the pleasure of sharing the fantastic cover and blurb with you!


The Blurb:

In a post-apocalyptic world, most people by age thirty have succumbed to The Sickness, a mysterious deadly illness. But the Sickness is not the only enemy for Collin Mann’s city. Hordes of deranged killers live in the hills around it. With few trained protectors, the future of the little city looks bleak.

Collin, fifteen years old, buries those the Sickness consumes. Slight and awkward, he shuns warrior training, avoiding the example of his big brother and guardian.

When killers attack at the watering hole, he’s called to step forward and defend. Instead, he freezes.

He’s ashamed. His people need him to fight. Can he do it? Or would a clumsy person like himself make any difference in the battle for existence?


The Cover:

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The Author:

charles-franklin headshot.jpgCharles was born and raised in Texas. From there, he joined the United States Army and has traveled the world. Along the way, he saw the most beautiful set of eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a girl … and he married her right away. Twenty years later, they have three children and are finally headed back home to Texas for good.

Upon retiring from the Army after 23 years, Charles will continue to serve others as a teacher in the town he grew up in. When he’s not in the classroom, or spending time with his family, Charles writes stories about faith, love, hope, and adventure.

His debut novel, Children of the Forgotten: The Anistemi Book I, will release in August and he has already begun work on the second book in the trilogy. Charles is also writing an action thriller, and has begun outlining another series set in the Anistemi world.

You can find him on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


AND, I have it on good authority that if you sign up for Charles’ newsletter, you’ll get a prequel story for Children of the Forgotten for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! So go check that out on his website.

Well, that’s all I got for today, kids!

What do you think of that swanky cover?? Do you read post-apocalyptic fiction? If not, do you think you might start?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – I also kind of will be receiving AN ARC FOR CHILDREN OF THE FORGOTTEN, so that means I’ll get to read it very, very, very soon. My little gremlin eyes are trained on my inbox, angsting for the ARC’s arrival.

A Tour of My Bullet Journal [the epic conclusion]

First, some housekeeping.

To those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been the last two weeks, you should give my Facebook page a like because that’s where all the Penprints PSA stuff goes up.

NOW. My Bullet Journal.

In past posts, I’ve spoken of why I love The Way of the Bullet Journal. Then, I showed you The Way of the Bullet Journal so you could begin life anew start your own Bullet Journal. And today, at long last, I’m taking you on an ultra secret (okay, this is the internet, so it’s not a secret, but whatevs) picture tour of my own Bullet Journal to conclude this thrilling Bullet Journal trilogy.

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So, let’s begin.

My Bullet Journal is a chunky little dude I picked up at Staples at the end of last year. It’s split into three sections: lined, grid, and blank. I used up the lined part for January to May and tried to use the grid but HATED THE GRID WITH A PASSION. So I migrated my essential collections and such to the third, blank section at the start of June and have been there ever since.

The Basics: Index & Key.

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my little index

My poor little index is still pretty bare because I don’t log my daily/weekly spreads in it. I just put those in a lump of with all the other logs from that month (e.g. June logs: 7-33). Also, I haven’t added all my collections to it yet because… there’s actually no good reason I haven’t logged all my collections in my index.

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my little key

My key is also kind of bare, but I liked the idea of having a legend for all my little Bullet Journal signifiers (and I want to put a skeleton key doodle at the top of the page so it’s extra swanky).

(Also, these pages are kind of thin, so everything just looooooooooves to bleed through. So, be aware, there is some pretty awful bleeding in this tour. I’ll try to get a journal with thicker pages next time.)

Collections.

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2017 Goals

Goals for 2017 is my first collection, and I like to have it right after my key so that I can flip straight to it and review my goals for the year. A lot of purple exploded on this page because purple is sublime.

(Also, I have no delusions about my Bullet Journal–some of the pages look nice, and sometimes things go very very wrong with my handwriting, especially when I’m trying out new styles.)

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Summer Bucketlist and June welcome page

My summer bucketlist (aka: In Summer) is my only other collection at the front of my journal (that’s the welcome page for June adjacent to it, btw).

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elements of a monthly spread collection

The rest of my collections are in the very back of my journal so that they don’t get lost in the monthly logs. This over-the-top, flowy-arrow-thing collection is just a little reminder of what I like to put in my monthly spreads. I don’t use every element every month, but I like having a place to flip back to when I’m starting the month to consider my options.

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blogging “schedule”

I’m including this collection in this tour so that we can all be honest about the fact that I hardly plan for this blog except that if it’s gonna happen, by sweet goodness, it’s gonna happen on a Monday.

And it’s also a little heads up that November’s gonna be a postless month. Guys, please, don’t cry. It’s a long way off, and I’ll be posting every Monday (maybe) until then. I’ll probably start using pencil in this collection just because I change my plans seven hundred and twenty-two times every Sunday night.

As for other collections, I have a collection of children’s book ideas, birthdays of friends and families, flash fiction ideas, blog post ideas, reasons I love my Bullet Journal (is anyone here surprised?), and one of 30 day challenges.

Monthly Spreads.

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July welcome and writing logs

The first 3-6 pages of each month is where I set up my monthly spreads. Here, we have my welcome page on the left with a mini-calendar so that I can just see what days of the week fall on what dates, and after a day is over, I cross it off. Also, I record any momentous events that occur in the month in my welcome page (e.g. – when I signed a contract with Splickety Publishing Group for my flash fiction The Necklace, I logged that on my welcome page for March).

On the right, we have my writing logs for July (those are supposed to be little ink pots with little quill pens if anyone was wondering).

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July to-dos and habit former

Here are the other two pages of my July spread. On the left, there’s just events and tasks for the month.

On the right, it’s my version of a habit tracker; I call it a habit former (I’m so clever, guys). This is where I look back to my goals for 2017 and divide them into bite-sized chunks for the month. Each tiny box represents something; in Savings, each box is $50 put into my savings accounts; in Food Diary, each box represents a day I keep my food diary; under Herbs, each box represents one watering of my herbs; and so on and so forth. My monthly habit former is the main thing that keeps me (semi) on-track for my yearly goals.

Week-at-a-glance (aka: weekly spread).

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week-at-a-glance, feat: a Dutch door page yet to be turned

So here’s my week-at-a-glance spread. I start each week off with one of these. That little half page there, that’s my new love (we’ve only been together for about two weeks, but we’re going strong; I could see this turning into a long-term relationship). It’s called a Dutch door, and I use to list alllll my major tasks/unusual tasks for the week in the middle of my week-at-a-glance so that ALLLLLLLLLLLL my weekly stuffs are within a half page turn.

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week-at-a-glance, feat: a Dutch door page turning

Basically, to make a Dutch door, you just have to cut out half a page from your journal, and it’s kind of scary at first (you know who you are, sensitive, bookish, stationary people). But I love it.

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week-at-a-glance, feat: a Dutch door page having been turned

And here’s the other side of my week-at-a-glance. Basically, Dutch door = pure genius. ANYWAY, my week-at-a-glance is where I sort my tasks and events into their appropriate days and still have everything necessary for the week in one place.

Daily Spreads.

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The daily spread is where my Bullet Journal loses all its color and turns into a lean, mean, scheduling machine. This is where I sort out my daily tasks into a schedule that is completely flexible. Usually, I put the next day’s schedule together the night before, but if I can, I try to put the tasks into each day at the beginning of the week. SO, at the end of each day, I mark each box accordingly: completed (yay!), started/in process (eh), migrated to another day (there’s still hope!), or cancelled (*weeping*).

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I only do daily spreads for Monday through Friday because Sunday and Saturday are usually very fluid. And then under my Friday spread, I have a mini future log where I input tasks for the next week and beyond.

And that’s it, kids! That’s my Bullet Journal as of July 2017!


Do you have a Bullet Journal? If not, are you going to start one??? If so, what does your Bullet Journal look like?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – So this is the end of the thrilling Bullet Journal trilogy, but I’m pretty sure we all know that prequels and spin-offs and sequel series will be happening because it’s the Bullet Journal.

P.P.S. – We’re all going to really casually ignore the fact that the lovely pen vanished after the first two pictures. #oops

P.P.P.S. – I took these pictures at my favorite coffee shop while sipping some yummy chai.

My Worship Playlist

Happy Monday!

A little while ago, I talked a little about why I make music part of my personal devotions time, and some of you asked for some recommendations for songs to use for intentional, personal worship. Well, today I’m finally sharing the list of songs that currently comprises my personal worship playlist.

I’m including some of the lyrics to each song, and if you click on the song, it will take you to the best YouTube version (theoretically, a lyric video) I could find!

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What a Beautiful Name.

“What a beautiful name it is,

Nothing compares to this,

What a beautiful name it is,

The name of Jesus.”

For the Cross.

“Then on that day, what seemed as the darkest hour,

A violent hope broke through and shook the ground,

And as You rose, oh the Light of all the world was magnified,

As You rose in victory.”

O Praise the Name.

“Then on third, at break of dawn,

The Son of heaven rose again,

O trampled death, where is your sting?

The angels roar for Christ the King.”

God, You Are My God.

“No praise can define You,

No thought can contain You, God,

No other one is holy,

No other one is robed in righteousness.”

Be Enthroned.

“And unto You, the slain and risen King,

We lift our voice with heaven singing,

Worthy are You Lord.”

Resurrecting.

“By Your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me,

In Your name I come alive to declare Your victory,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me.”

Captain.

“Jesus, my Captain,

My soul’s trusted Lord,

All my allegiance is rightfully Yours.”

Boldly I Approach.

“Behold the bright and risen Son,

More beauty than this world has known,

I’m face to face with Love Himself,

His perfect spotless righteousness,

A thousand years, a thousand tongues, are not enough to sing His praise.”

Simplicity.

“I come in simplicity, longing for purity,

To worship You in spirit and truth,

Only You.”

In the Garden.

“And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own,

And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

My Worth Is Not In What I Own.

“I rejoice in my Redeemer, 

Greatest Treasure, Wellspring of my soul,

I will trust in Him, no other,

My soul is satisfied in Him alone.”

Fall Afresh.

“Spirit of the living God, come fall afresh on me,

Come wake me from my sleep.”

Be Thou My Vision.

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;

Thou my inheritance now and always.”

Crowns.

“I will not boast in riches,

I have no pride in gold,

But I will boast in Jesus,

And in His name alone.”

All I Have Is Christ.

“Oh Father, use my ransomed life,

In any way You choose,

And let my song forever be,

My only boast is You.”

Come Thou Fount.

“Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be,

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.

O Come to the Altar.

“Oh what a Savior, isn’t He wonderful?

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen,

Bow down before Him, for He is Lord of all,

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen.”

Sweet Hour of Prayer.

“In seasons of distress and grief,

My soul has often found relief,

And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,

By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”

Even If.

“You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good all my days,

Jesus, I will cling to You come what may,

‘Cause I know You’re able,

And I know You can.”

Do It Again.

“You made a way when there was no way,

And I believe I’ll see You do it again.”

It Is Well.

“Whatever my lot,

Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well,

It is well with my soul.”

Call Upon the Lord.

“Jesus’ name will break every stronghold,

Freedom is ours when we call His name.

Jesus’ name above every other,

All hail the power of Jesus’ name.”

You Love Me Anyway.

“See now, I was the man who yelled out from the crowd,

For Your blood to be spilt on this earth-shaken ground,

Yes, then I turned away with a smile on my face,

With this sin in my heart, tried to bury your grace,

And then alone in the night, I still called out for You,

So ashamed of my life, my life, my life,

But You love my anyway.”

Grace Unmeasured.

“Grace unending all my days,

You’ll give me strength to run this race,

And when my years on earth are through,

The praise will all belong to You.”

What Grace Is Mine.

“What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light,

Called through the night to find my distant soul.

And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,

That I might live, and in His name be known.”

To Live Is Christ.

“My great desire is to be with You,

But this is the place You chose for me,

This is the place You chose for me,

To lift my cross and give everything,

This is the time You gave to me,

This is the time You gave to me,

For me to live is Christ.”


Have you heard of any of these songs? Do YOU have a personal worship playlist? Do you think you’ll start one? What do you think about including music in devotions?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – the winner of the paperback copy of The Girl Who Could See is Kat Vinson of Sparks of Ember! Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me, Kat! :D

P.P.S. – also, if all goes according to plan, next week is the (legendary) tour of my bullet journal. You’ll want to hold onto your hats, kids. ;)

11 Things I’ve Done to Avoid Working on My Novel

Procrastination is a thing, kids.

It’s a real issue.

You likely struggle with it (or have struggled with it at some point in your life). I struggle with it. It’s amazing—all the things we do when we procrastinate.

No, I’m not saying it’s okay or cool to procrastinate (even though we sometimes do cool thing when we procrastinate); in fact, I very much advise against it. But, I don’t typically take my own advice.

So I’ve fallen into another procrastination rut, and today I was thinking about all the things I’ve done to avoid working on my WIP. The list is fairly varied—from things everybody does (like mindless hours on social media) to a few slightly more… unique ways to NOT be working on my novel. No, I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

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  1. Doing dishes.

This is lame on a few different levels. First, I’m supposed to be doing dishes anyway, so this shouldn’t be a phenomenon. Second, dishes? Instead of writing, dishes? Instead of plotting rebellions and battling dragons, dishes? Something is very wrong with this picture.

  1. Sleep.

Everyone probably does this, but I got it bad. Napping, guys, so alluring on a day off or a Sunday afternoon. Should I be writing? That would be a yes. Am I going to take a nap instead? Probably.

  1. Marathoning Limitless.

I can justify this a few different ways. Relaxation. Creativity recharge. Unique storytelling. It feeds my mad genius. Blah, blah, blah. (p.s. – you should probably watch Limitless the TV show. It only lasted one season, but that one season was en pointe.)

  1. Planting tomatoes under a blazing, blistering sun.

Yes, those tomato plants did need to get in the garden and all that jazz, but it came down to tomatoes or novel, and I picked tomatoes (and did I mention that that sun was blazing and blistering?).

Also, since planting said tomatoes, I’ve been able to opt out of more than one quick writing session to go water the tomatoes because apparently you can’t just stick them in the ground and expect great things (something about care and horticulture or something or other), and so that has resulted in several occurrences of “Oh, I should go write, but it’s a real bummer *wink wink* that those tomatoes need water to survive”.

  1. Reading various blogs about editing and revisions.

In case you’re new to Penprints, you should probably know that I’m in the editing stage of my WIP. Most of the heavy lifting is done when it comes to big revisions, but there are still a few things that need to change to redirect the story in a better direction. This is where the wonderful internet comes in.

The Story of How I End Up Reading Blog After Blog About Editing:

Me: “I’ve got half an hour of free time! I should go write!”

Also Me: “But do you really know what you’re doing? You should probably do some more research on this whole editing thing before you, you know, actually do editing.”

Me: “But I’ve read a couple books on editing and lots of blogs already! I just have to muscle through this and do it!”

Also Me: “Shhhhhhhhhhh. Just go find some more blog posts that talk about the ten thousand things you have to keep in mind while editing. It won’t overwhelm you at all.”

Me: “Good idea. Overthinking this is definitely the way to go.”

  1. Cleaning my room and study.

In case you didn’t read that right, I’ll say it again: cleaning my room and study. Wut? I thought about working on my novel, and the idea was so frightening to me that I decided to tear apart my room and then put it back together (that was three evenings down the drain this time) so that I wouldn’t have time to go through revisions. Something is very wrong with me.

  1. Starbucks trips with my friend, Amanda.

Now, this may not sound like a bad thing, and it isn’t (it’s that whole iron sharpening iron jazz). However, when Amanda and I get Starbucks, it’s not like an hour of chatting it up and talking about all the things. It’s like three solid hours of greatness. (Full disclosure, I actually see no down-side to this one because relationships trump writing every time, but I felt like I had to mention it because our latest hang out may or may not have resulted in neither of us finishing our to-do’s for last week. #oops #sorrynotsorry) (ALSO, Amanda is the gardening guru who gave me those tomato plants I told you about a minute ago, so there’s that too.)

  1. Lying around on the couch thinking about editing.

This is when I’m “trying to get motivated” because apparently a rapidly approaching deadline is not motivating enough. I sprawl on the couch and think wistfully of how I wish my novel would edit itself, and, please, for the love of all that is good, actually turn out to be the stunning, amazing, earth-shattering novel it is in my head. Too much time is passed in wistful reflection on the couch. Far too much.

  1. Marathoning season 3 of The Flash.

Yeah, this also has happened. I’ll tell my sister, “Arielle, I don’t have time to watch a movie tonight because I have to work on my novel. All I’ve got time for is an episode of The Flash.” But then, five episodes later, no editing has occurred.

  1. Rereading the earliest versions of Beauty and the Beast.

I convince myself this is a good thing because it’s “research”. Lol, it’s not.

  1. Writing this blog post.

First, I spent half an hour trying to come up with something to blog about this week. Guys, I can edit almost a whole chapter in half an hour sometimes. Then, of course, I chuckled manically while reflecting on all the things I’ve done instead of writing and spent the rest of the night (aka: Prime Editing Time) writing up this post on all the things I’ve been doing instead of working on my novel instead of working on my novel (see what I did there?).


So now I’m going to actually go work on my novel and stop procrastinating. Or not. We’ll see.

What about you? What sorts of things have you done in the name of Procrastination? What are some projects you’ve been avoiding? How do you not procrastinate (and you can’t say you “just do it” because that is cruel and unhelpful for those of us ailed with procrastination tendencies)?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – don’t forget to enter to win a print copy of The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson (this giveaway is open only to you, my dear followers).

P.P.S. – I find this whole post depressingly amusing and ridiculous, just so you know.