Archive for June, 2015


The Chadwick Chronicles, Chapter 7

June 6, 2015

Since I had my baby on Sunday, H.L. Burke kindly filled in for my slot this week, so head on over to her blog to read the newest installment!

If you need to catch up or you’re new to the hot potato story, check out the link roundup below.  Follow the hashtags #hotpotatostory and #chadwickchronicles to keep track of it on Twitter!

Character Intros

Bea Brightbolt the sneaky gnome

Princess Y’manya the dragon egg guardian

Thrush Vonsel the traveling dwarf

Rheban the very philosophical dragon


Chapter 1 by H.L. Burke

Chapter 2 by Parker J. Cole

Chapter 3 by Nat Davis

Chapter 4 by Bethany A. Jennings

Chapter 5 by H.L. Burke

Chapter 6 by Parker J. Cole

Chapter 7 by H.L. Burke


Simmer Starters – June 5, 2015

June 5, 2015

The baby is here!!  I’m busy smooching, and feeding, and diaper changing, and cuddling, and feeding, and feeding the little bundle of love.  But, I have some great Simmer Starters to share this week, too.  Enjoy!

Failure Only Exists If You Let It (Karin Beery at Ralene Burke’s blog) – An important reminder that we can either look on bad experiences as horrible failures…or great learning experiences.  Perspective makes all the difference!

Is Vice More Interesting Than Virtue? (Kathleen Hull) – “Since at least the age of Milton, whose Satan in Paradise Lost allegedly outmatches the other characters in depth and dynamism, artistic depictions of evil have often been associated with power and interest. So it’s not surprising that many critics approached director Kenneth Branagh’s rococo new version of Disney’s Cinderella on the stepmother’s side. ‘Bad always sizzles more than good,’ Manohla Dargis proclaimed in the New York Times. Other critics noted with genuine puzzlement that the title character manages to be compelling in spite of her moral goodness. Where is the dramatic appeal, they wondered, in a conventionally virtuous character?”

“Let’s Talk About Genre” (Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation) – A fascinating conversation between two famous literary men.  If the opening doesn’t hook you, keep skimming…you’re sure to find some interesting tidbits.

Whispers of a Self-Obsessed World (Your Mom Has a Blog) – Love this insight.  “Somehow, through the past many years human society has determined that being brave means that you put yourself first. You are strong and courageous when you leave your husband so you can be happy. You are brave when you abandon your children to chase your dreams. You are a role model when you tell off a store clerk or stiff a waitress or write a passive aggressive status about someone on Facebook. Whatever you do that tells the world you don’t have the least amount of concern as to what anyone thinks, that is brave.”

How Should We Respond to Caitlyn Jenner? (Jon Bloom) – My favorite article thus far on this topic.

We Talk About What We Love (Rico Tice) – Another DesiringGod post. Convicting on so many levels, especially the topic of evangelism!  “When we worship an idol, we turn God into a divine waiter. He is there to deliver our daydream to us. We touch base with him on a Sunday; we put our order in via prayer; we might give a decent tip in the collection plate. But God is essentially there to give us what we feel we need — our idol. And we get furious with him if he doesn’t deliver.”


The Liebster Award

June 1, 2015


(This post isn’t going out until Monday, but as I write this I’m currently in labor with my fourth baby.  Yay!  Blog updates in coming weeks may be sporadic.)

Fellow blogger and writer Heather L.L. Fitzgerald kindly nominated me for this award!  Thank you, friend!!  Heather blogs fantastic musings about literature, short fiction, and updates about her upcoming trilogy, The Tethered World.  Check out her blog by clicking on her name. 🙂

She explains the Liebster Award thusly:

“A Liebster is a ‘pay it forward’ sort of blogging chain mail. Liebster is German for some lovely traits such as endearing, welcoming, and valued. Those are kind compliments to pay via this nomination! It is also to encourage readers to discover new blogs.”

Here are the rules I am asked to post:

– Answer the 11 interview questions
– In that post, link back to the person who awarded you.
– Choose 11 other bloggers to award, focusing on those with 200 followers or below.
– Link to those bloggers in your post, then go and leave them comments to share the good news!
– Be sure to ask them 11 original questions.

So, here are the 11 questions Heather asked me and her other nominees!  At the bottom I’ll tag some blogs and ask their bloggers 11 questions of my own. 🙂

The Questions

Why did you begin blogging?

Long story…  I kept a private journal sporadically my entire childhood, and then very faithfully, nightly, from when I turned 16 until I got married.  Then I abruptly…stopped.  I just wasn’t motivated to do it anymore, especially once the babies started coming!  I started blogging again as a way to harness all my rambling thoughts and share them with others – particularly my husband.  I’m very introverted, and most of my “inner life” stays bottled inside unless I write it down; at one point I realized that some long-distance friends heard more about my daily musings than my husband did, because it just never came out my mouth, and we talk face-to-face instead of in writing!  So blogging was a way to record my thoughts more generally, for him and for any others who are interested.

Also, blogging is a great way to build up a future audience for my books.  Not gonna lie. 😀


What is your favorite blog topic?

If I had to pick a single one, I’d pick the Christian life.  I also love blogging about YA sci-fi and fantasy, and general philosophical/theological musings about fiction and stories.

Do you think life imitates art or is it the other way around?

Probably a bit of both!

Coke or Pepsi?

Raspberry lemonade. 😛

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What’s your favorite background music while writing?

Sweet, sweet silence.  I can’t concentrate otherwise!  I have to bury myself deep down in my character’s point of view to write properly, and any background noise is distracting.  This is why I write at late night hours after all the kids are in bed.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given?

“Give yourself the freedom to draft poorly,” which I’ve heard in numerous places but especially from my crit partner.  I’m nitpicky and very polished about my own writing, and sometimes make no progress because I’m too busy revising and cleaning up what I already have.

If you could travel anywhere to get inspired for your next novel (or writing project) where would you go and why?

Well, you said “next” project, and not current project….so…space? 😀  After TKT, my other work-in-progress is a futuristic dystopian series about persecuted Christians hiding from the totalitarian government by living in deep space.  Current spacecraft is wildly different from what they have, but it would still be educational!


Do you read outside of the genre you write in? Why or why not.

I don’t tend to, mostly because I gobble up speculative fiction hungrily and don’t have much of an interest in other genres.  Sometimes friends recommend or write books outside the genre, and I read those – it’s always good to peek outside your genre sometimes!

What’s your favorite dessert? Feel free to post the recipe!

Ooooooh, this is hard!!  Honestly?…a Ghirardelli brownie.  You know, from the box mix.  (I am not ashamed!)  Preferably warm, with a big dollop of ice cream on top. 😀  I love almost anything chocolaty.  Ice cream, dirt cake, chocolate pie, and seven layer bars also come to mind.

If someone made a movie about your life, who would you choose to play you?

Ummm, Emma Watson?  I don’t keep track of many celebrities in my head, so I had to pick from the limited repertoire I do know. 😛  She doesn’t look THAT much like me, but I think she could pull me off, if that makes sense…

What would be the theme song to your movie?

Probably something I composed myself. 🙂  I have a large collection of songs, hymns, and piano pieces I composed once upon a time.


Here are my 11 questions, and my nominees below.  I apologize for lacking 1 nominee, and I hope my questions are creative and fun!…labor is picking up and I’ve gotta write fast! 😉

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

What makes your heart sing about your current WIP or creative endeavor?

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to, and why?

Speaking of travel, what’s your favorite mode of transportation?

What is your ideal dinner/supper?

What was the first story you ever wrote?

Do you like poetry? If so, what kind?

Tell me about a treasured childhood memory.

Now tell me about a moment in your life that changed you forever.

If you could become an expert in anything overnight, what would you choose?

The Nominees

I am passing this award on to these 10 fun bloggers!  Please feel free to pass it on and/or do the post or not, friends, however you feel inclined!

Kessie Carroll

J.L. Mbewe

Nadine Brandes

Defender Log

Rebecca P. Minor

Janeen Ippolito

Teddi Deppner

H.L. Burke

Nat Davis

Parker J. Cole