Monday, June 13, 2016

I'm Back! And I've got NEWS!

My actual face RIGHT NOW.
mom hair + crazy eyes = aggressive happiness
Hi, there. Did ya miss me, Interwebs? 'Cause I missed you!

A quick glance through my blog will show, I've been gone for a while. There's a good reason for that. Let me update you on where I've been and what I've been doing.

Growing Family, Moving Forward
In 2013, I had a baby! And in 2015 I had another one! My boys are both walking, talking toddlers and I absolutely love motherhood (but also I am exhausted and a basket case 97% of the time). But the arrival of my tiny humans meant a big shift in my time and priorities. While I never gave up my creative writing, I did have to sacrifice how much time I put into blogging and writing book reviews. I've kept up my reading though (thanks to the miracle of audiobooks). And you can check out what I've been reading on Goodreads.

On top of that, we moved from Fayetteville, North Carolina to Long Island, NY, taking a much needed 34-day road trip + Alaskan cruise in between homes. Our goal was to live in Manhattan, but we wound up in Nassau County, where we've settled pretty happily. Our first northeastern winter was kind to us, if long. And we're an easy 40-minute train ride into the city when we want to go. After we got here, we made a surprising, but exciting, decision for Ray (my husband) to stay in the Army until he retires. This was never our original goal. But things are changing. God has led us on a very different adventure than the one we thought we were setting out on. Our long, long term plans are the same as they were before. For now our plans are for him to finish his master's degree and become a chaplain in the next few years and finish out his 20 years ministering to the military. Which leads me to...

Educational Milestones
I'm proud to announce that after nearly ten years of work in five states, I have finally finished my Bachelor's Degree (in Theology and Biblical Studies in case you're curious). My last class ended in December 2015. But I was able to walk with my class and attend the most random commencement ceremony (complete with weird celebrity cameos and a fire show) at Liberty University in May 2016 (you can see some of my posts about this madness on Twitter). Having been homeschooled for high school, I'd never had a proper graduation ceremony. So this was a Huge Deal for me and my family. I'm hanging my graduation cap in my house and framing my official photos. It was an amazing experience. But most of all I'm so happy happy happy to be DONE. I'm going to be putting this degree to work more and more over then next few years. But that's another topic for another day. Right now, I'm primarily a SAHM with a raging passion for stories. This brings me to...

Creative Projects
I started this blog when I decided to get serious about my writing four-ish years ago. I wanted to make a career of it, and I still do. The project I was working on back then (a dystopian spy novel I adore), though, has sadly been placed on the back burner. I have every intention of returning to it, but not until I'm ready. I'm not ready (read: not smart enough). I've stayed engaged in writing groups and critique partnerships since I started with them seven years ago. My love of writing and storytelling has only grown as I've engaged with other authors, poets, songwriters, artists, dancers, and actors over the years. For a while, I spent more time critiquing and editing others' stories. While I loved doing that, my soul longed to have the time to get back to writing my own stories. I kept notes for all of my Ideas while I was finishing school and running back and forth between playdates and writers meetings. But I had no dedicated time to write.

Well, school's over, baby. And the very first thing I did when I finished was dived headlong into a novel I've been brewing for five years, maybe longer. And I'm happy to say #FantasyNovel is 50,000 words long already. I don't want to talk about it too much, but if you're curious, you can take a peek at my inspiration board on Pinterest which is basically what my brain looks like on the inside. I am constantly living in this world I'm creating, and it's wonderful, and I can't wait to share it with you. But for now, I've keeping it pretty close to the vest. All I want now is to finish it.

I've spent a lot of years getting into projects and not completing them. It's the curse of the ENFP. Jack of all trades, master of none. This is a new year for me. I finished my bachelor's. I finished Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred (and I'm still going every day). I want to change my life. So I'm changing my habits. I write every day (usually during my youngest's nap time). I'm writing in a straight line, scene after scene, not relying on the muse to fuel my creativity. I believe writing is an art and a craft. The art is the easy, inspired part. The craft is the hard, diligent part. I'm learning both. I'm doing both.

On top of my writing, I've recently released some old music on online. Since having kids, my music has taken a huge backseat to everything else in my life. But upon arriving in NY and getting involved in my church's band, I find myself getting back into it. I've missed it. I have another record I never shared with the public that I intend to upload soon. I'll be sure to let you know.

Where to find me:
Truth is, I've been all over the Internet in the past few years. I just haven't been here. Whenever I get a free moment or chunk of uninterrupted time (i.e.: nap time!), I use it to write my novel. But I'm committing to dropping in here more often now. In the meantime, check me out on my other homes on the web.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Bandcamp (if you wanna listen to me) and Spotify (if you wanna listen to what I'm listening to). Let's be friends.

So, tell me what's up with you. I really have missed you. <3

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