Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Video: "Lighthouse" by Audio Adrenaline



I chose this song because it is one of my top favorites.  This week in my devotional one of the prayers was to be the light for others.  Anytime when someone mentions the light (or lighthouse) when it comes to Christianity, this song automatically pops in my head.  I don't think the song actually pertains to the prayer as the lighthouse the singer is referring to is God and the light the prayer refers to is us.  However, this is a very powerful song I think everyone should hear.

The song is from their album Some Kind of Zombie released in 1997 making it almost 18 years old!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Am Lost

I am lost.

I have God.  I have Jesus.  But, maybe I'm not listening.  I feel He's leading me to be a writer.  I prayed and then Stumble Uponed a website about freelance writing.  I do feel God is telling me I do need to be a writer.  I need to write.  I love to write.

You can't just jump into being a freelance writer.  No experience and you aren't going to get the jobs.  No jobs and you can't get experience.  I can't get anything because I have no experience and I can't get experience because I can't get anything.

It's only been a week.  I need to be patient.  I get that.  Honestly, I'm just lost.  I don't know what I'm qualified for.  I don't know where I belong really.  I'm a newbie in this world.

Eventually, I want to have a book published.  I've started preliminary work on a piece of middle grade fiction.  But, until then (I have a feeling it's going to be a long time til then) I need to find other ways to make money.  I can write and I can edit.  But, again, sounding like a broken record, since I've only ever done any of that professionally one time and have nothing to give as an example for it, I've got nothing.

Nothing.

And I feel I'm going to go nowhere.

I cannot despair.  I can't let this get me down.  I have to persevere.  That's the hard part.  I have to work through the hard times to get to the good times.  I have to keep at it.  Keep sending in those applications.  Keep finding places that need writers and/or editors.  Write my own stuff.  Build a portfolio.  Build me.

I don't know what's going to come of this.  I don't exactly have all the time in the world to find out.

I do know God is here to help me.  I stressed out pretty harshly on Sunday but sitting in church I talked to God and He took the burden off my shoulders.  It was like night and day the way I felt before and after church.  I may not have all the time in the world, but I do have some time.

Writing is my dream.  Dreams take time.  Dreams take work.  It's not just going to happen tomorrow.  I have to climb the mountain.  Like they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.  Overnight successes don't just happen.

So, I put myself out here.  I let you see me.  I bare my soul.

I can't just sit here and dream.  I have to do.  Finally, I am doing.

I just hope it's good enough.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Video: Jesus Freak by DC Talk





The song that introduced me to Christian contemporary/rock/radio, everything that wasn't just hymns and gospel.  There was this whole world out there I didn't know existed and it's huge!  I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since it's release.



Every Sunday I will be posting a Christian music video.  If you have a video you'd like me to post contact either through this blog through my email.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Little Girl

I'm working on my next big project.  Right now I'm not really sure what that is.  I know it's with a character, a girl who has no friends.  There's more to it that I don't want to say until the first story comes out, but I think it's good.  I'm thinking it's going to be maybe middle grades oriented or something.  We'll see.  I don't have a plot but I have a character and I'm working with her to see what stories come up.  It's a starting point and I need that.  I haven't had anything in a while.  I was waiting for my muse to hit, for inspiration, and it wasn't going to.  It was waiting for me.  I need to take charge and do something.  So, I'm doing something with this little girl.

The little girl has no name yet.  I hope she tells it to me soon.  I want to be able to fall in love with her so I can spend time daydreaming and imagining.  That's where my best ideas come from.  I think that's one thing that's really hindered me in my fiction writing lately.  I haven't had anything to fall in love with so my creative wheels haven't been spending.  I hope this little girl gets them spinning.

Wish me luck for I hope to do great things with her.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Starting Over

I'm starting over.

I started this blog with no intentions and then it quickly became a book review blog.  Fun at first, it became a hassle.  I hated finishing books because I had to write reviews.  Review writing became a chore.  I love to write and I love to read but I don't like to write about what I've just read, I guess.  I don't know.

What I do know is I love to write and so I'm restarting this blog with the intentions of writing.  I'll write my thoughts.  I'll write about writing.  I'll write.  I like to write.  I do like to write.  Have I said that enough?  I'm not sure.  I like to write.

I have also decided I want to get into freelancing.  I have no experience so it's going to be hard to get into the business, but we all have to start somewhere.  Actually, I do have a little bit of experience.  A few years ago I edited a manual for my uncle's XtreamService program. I didn't write the manual.  I just edited.  It needed a lot of work.  Editing that manual made me realize what I take for granted.  Grammar is my thing.  It comes easy to me.  I'm not perfect so I will make mistakes, of course.  The average person is not so great at grammar.  The writer of that manual often could not construct a complete sentence and I don't think she knew.  Because I'm good at it, I think others are, too.  Others are, but not everyone.

Since I'm just starting out I don't know what to do, but I have been searching the internet.  I've got to look for jobs.  I signed up on odesk, but I feel like with no experience that's not going to get me very far in the beginning.  I have to start.  I can't be afraid.  I know it's going to be slow going but I have to perservere.  I can only do it if I do it.

What kind of freelancing do I want to do?  Almost anything that has to do with writing.  I'll write, I'll edit, I'll proofread, I'll review--well, within its limits.  We'll see how that goes.  I hope that I am able to provide people with the services they need as well as be able to make some money.

Here I go into the world.  I present myself to you.  If you need an editor, a proofreader, a writer, a beta reader, almost anything related to writing then don't hesitate to contact me.  I'm new, but that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing. It just means I haven't done much to pad my resume.  I need that beginning.  I need those first jobs to get me going.  You can contact me via email at leah49@gmail.com.  We can discuss rates when we talk.

I hope to be having fun with you.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Review: Avra's God by Ann Lee Miller





Forgiveness.  Each character in this story has to learn to forgive.  Avra needs to forgive Cisco.  Cisco needs to forgive his father.  Jesse and Kallie need to forgive each other.

This story revolves around four friends attending Daytona State University.  Cisco comes from a broken home and loves the atmosphere of family he finds at Avra's.  Avra has had a crush on Cisco but has always felt she wasn't worthy.

Jesse is in a band and has grabbed the attention of squealing fangirls.  One of them is not Kallie.  She's just a friend...a friend he wants to make something more.  Holding Kallie back are the girls and the band atmosphere.  Is Jesse the right one for her?

I don't know.  I didn't really connect with this book.  I can't really explain what it was, but I never really felt like I knew the characters.  Too much was going on and I was trying to keep characters straight in my mind.  I don't know.  It wasn't a bad story.  I just couldn't connect to it.

I read this book as a review request.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.



This is my last book review.  I have found over the course of doing book reviews that I really don't enjoy writing them.  I love reading, but writing book reviews takes joy away from that.  It even has me dreading finishing a book!  I love to write as well, but book reviews are not something I enjoy writing.  I'm going to miss getting free books, but it is for the best.  I'll find some use for this blog, yet!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dancing With Stars 2014



I didn’t always watch this show.  When it first came out, I rolled my eyes at it (as I do most things).  I think I took it as like lonely housewives watching soap stars.  I can’t remember what season it was that I came across it because nothing was on (no baseball).  I enjoyed it.  It wasn’t until a few seasons ago that I really paid attention and watched it full time.

I have social anxiety.  That is a majorly crippling psychological disease.  It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  If you don’t have it or know someone who suffers from it you don’t understand.  Basically, I’m stuck inside my shell wanting to come out, even knowing how to come, but not being able to do it.  I know how to act in social situations.  I know what I should be saying and doing.  That does not mean when the time comes I will be able to do that.  I lost out on a great guy because I was too shy to form at the very least a friendship with him.  I do take medication and it has helped tremendously but it won’t make it go away.

I’m 31 years old and yes, I do think of myself as too old for this stuff, but I watch Degrassi on Teennick.  I’ve been watching it since season 2 so I think it’s okay for me to be sitting here watching it at season 13.  There were a few seasons in the middle that I missed out due to such things as moving, but I came back.  I’m a Christian and you think I shouldn’t like this show, but I do. 

That show is what brought me to Big Time Rush.  I don’t watch Nickelodeon.  I’m 31 years old and have no kids so I have no reason.  I had heard of BTR when they first came out.  I thought it was a cool idea for a TV show (hey I am a fan of The Monkees and boy bands, I will admit).  I did support BTR in that I wanted them to make it in the industry.   But, I didn’t watch the show or buy their music.

I was actually mad when Teennick (a channel I deem myself too old for but Degrassi) brought Big Time Rush and Victorious reruns to the channel.  They were still in original run on Nick and they were taking away space for Degrassi!  I don’t know if it was because I record Degrassi at night (yes, I still use an old-school VCR) or because I was turning Degrassi on during the day, but I did come across a BTR rerun on Teennick.  It reminded me a lot of The Monkees.  I thought it was cute, clever, and goofy, so I stuck around for more reruns.  I became hooked.  Scott Fellows and his team are amazing.  I love everything put into this show.  It’s unique and detailed. 

So, that’s how I became a fan of BTR.  If you know me you know I have to pick a favorite out of anything I like, but I couldn’t do that with BTR.  I like the guys all the same.  Season 4 came along and I actually watched that in original run on Nick (shh, no one’s supposed to know I’m watching a children’s network).  Episodes like Big Time Tour Bus and Big Time Tests had me falling in love with James’s talent.  I’m a sucker for eyebrows.  I don’t mean big bushy things (sorry, Kendall), but show much expression via the eyebrows (like Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years).  James is cute, but aside from that, being able to act via his face, I loved it.  There are many other reasons I think James is talented (acting, singing, dancing…), but the eyebrows did it.

BTR ended as all good things do.  I was terribly upset that we may never get to see the wonderful talents of Mr. James Maslow again.  As I am a fan of Dancing with the Stars my first thought was “Hey, he could be on Dancing with the Stars.”  I knew it wasn’t going to be season 17 being that he just ended a summer long tour and a four season show.  He needed a break (plus I don’t think BTR had officially gone on break until October).

Without regularity, I visited the official Dancing with the Stars message board during season 17.  Towards the end there was a post (I think it was official) asking who we’d like to see on the show.  I was nervous (as my social anxiety does extend to the internet) but I simply typed in James Maslow and gave it no more thought.  I mean I gave the thread no more thought.  But, I did constantly keep thinking that I wanted James on the show.  I even asked God!  

I’m not a big Twitter user (except when something excites me like James on DWTS) so I missed out on all of James’s hints.  One day I was checking my email and found it was Grammar Day.  I was going to tweet “Happy Grammar Day!” (I have a degree in English, we like things like this), but I got completely sidetracked when I signed on and saw Logan’s tweet about James being on this season of Dancing with the Stars.  My wish had come true.

I could not believe it!  James is a Nick star so that really had me thinking that Disney owned ABC would never put him on this show.  The next thought was I didn’t know how big or strong the Rushers are so I was afraid he would go home very early.  I kept contemplating in my head we’d get such and such many episodes out of him.  I knew he had the talent.  I wouldn’t have suggested him if I didn’t think he could do it.
James is a member of a boy band and I was afraid that would get major backlash on this show. I know, I know they’ve had Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, and Aaron Carter (not a boy band member, but he is a teen pop star and brother of a boy band member), but they aren’t current boy band members.  I didn’t know how people would react to someone whose fans are of the kiddie crowd (more of the teenager/young 20 something crowd, I think).  James isn’t 17, though.  He’s 23.  I think that makes a difference.  Looking back, I think it compares to Corbin Bleu.  He is of High School Musical Fame and that’s sort of recent (but not that recent) teen-pop fangirlishness as well, but everyone respected him because he’s not a teenager and he can dance.

Every week James came out and brought it.  He showed who he was.  He danced.  He listened to the judges and took their advice to get better.  He worked.  He rehearsed.  He didn’t complain.  He didn’t cry.  He didn’t whine.  He worked.  He showed who he was—an incredibly hard working, respectful young adult with great abs who has the ability to put together a great dance.  Every week he was safe!  He outlasted Cody Simpson (the person deemed his rival) and NeNe Leaks.  He outlasted Drew Carey and Danica McKellar.  He outlasted Mr. Olympic Gold Medalist Ice Dancer Charlie White to be the last man standing.

Except for one package that showed him frustrated to the point of cussing there was nothing bad in his packages.  No fighting.  No struggling.  No I-Can’t-Do-This.  No injuries (even though he claims he was suffering from a slight hamstring injury NOT a strain).  Aside from the Peta Showmance they tried thrusting on them thanks to one date back before the summer tour (I have come to decide that platonic is James’s new favorite word), there was completely no drama for this guy.  This is something I really appreciate.  We need more stars like this.  Every day we see a new Disney or Nick star go off the deep end.  It’s refreshing to see one that’s not.

James accomplished so much on this show.  He got the first perfect score!  He outlasted every other male and all but three females.  He’s made friends.  He’s gained fans.  He’s shown the world that he’s more than just a Nickelodeon Boy Band Star.  He’s shown that he’s not just talented on the outside, but on the inside as well.  He’s shown the world what a fantastic muscular body he has and that with a bit of hard work and dedication the chubby kid can become the hot guy.  If you want it go out and get it.  Who you are in middle school does not have to define who you are for the rest of your life (which is good because I had rabbit teeth in middle school and thanks to braces I won’t be defined by that the rest of my life).

I had no reason to be worried.  James Maslow was a part of every episode this season.  He showed he can do it and the fans showed they want him to do it.  When he brought out his salsa dance week two jaws dropped, not just from his abs, but from his dancing.  I loved seeing the message board light up with surprise at his talent (he was known as the dark horse and the underdog early on).  He had my dad asking between him and Peta who was the star and who was the pro.  Heck, my dad’s favorite freestyle was James’s (I think his freestyle was manlier, but I liked seeing him flip).  My dad has no idea who James is.  He knows who Meryl and Charlie are thanks to the Olympics and he calls Candace “the Christian girl from that TV show” (among other things—he’s never had a great memory).  It is cool to see him liking what James does.

Let me make this longer because I love to write. :p  It’s already three pages according to Word.  I could keep waxing poetic about this for days and days.  I may not be wordy when I talk but I make up for it when I write.

James was refreshing on the show.  To quote Paula Abdul, he’s a “breath of fresh air.” I’ve already talked about the no drama, but also he’s a rising star.  He’s young (but not that young) and introducing himself to the world rather than being an outdated, over-the-hill, has-been (OK, no offense to anyone who’s been on the show.  I’ve loved the “has-beens” like Jennifer Grey, Ralph Macchio, and others I can’t remember at the moment.  Also, not every older contestant is a has-been.  They’re just a “not that busy right now so I can take time to do this time consuming show for three months).

I absolutely love the fans.  I write fanfic, but aside from reviews I’ve never really had much contact with the Rushers.  It has been something else.  The @team_jeta account was something else.  It kept us all connected.  It was (and still is) a gathering place for those of us supporting James and Peta..  Seeing every other fan inspired me more.  Without Team Jeta I would not have gotten the courage to try to stay up all night and vote (I didn’t last though—my body telling me I had to go bed somewhere around 2AM).  I would have stuck with my 10+ accounts and let that be.  It was really fun rallying together in support of the pair.  Also, the updates were great.  The pictures, the interviews, the articles…fun, fun, fun.  Thank you, team_jeta!

2014 hasn’t exactly been the greatest year for me.  I’m stuck in a rut I feel like I can’t get out of (won’t go into details on that but it does have to do with my social anxiety).  My uncle had been sick with lung cancer for a long time (he’s a smoker—lesson learned DO NOT SMOKE) and was on his deathbed come March.  He died the weekend before the premiere of Dancing with the Stars season 18.  I will admit, I was really afraid I was going to miss the season premiere (no, I need to see James dance for the first time!).  My grandmother, his mother, my mom’s mom, has been suffering from dementia for a while (she’s 97 years old) and it’s gotten worse lately.  In the course of the season she was admitted into the hospital.  And then this past weekend, the end of DWTS, she was admitted back in the hospital (it’s all blood pressure related).  It makes me think the end might be near for her.  This season has been bookended for me by all that drama (and there was a point when we thought we’d have to put one of our dogs down, but it’s like the minute we told her that she made sure to get better).  Every week has been full of family emotion.  Also, I live and die by my baseball team (Atlanta Braves) and the last month or so they’ve been stinking it up to high heaven.  Dancing with the Stars has been a great distraction from all of that.  It’s given me something to look forward to every week. 

Thank you, James Maslow.  Thank you, Peta Murgatroyd.  Thank you, @team_jeta.  Thank you, fans.  Thank you, Dancing with the Stars.  Season 18 will not be topped (though it would have been better if Harold Wheeler had been there).

P.S. Did you know “fangirl” has just been accepted into the Merriam-Webster dictionary?

P.P.S. I must also add during the season I had the drama of my laptop dying, buying a new one only to find out it’s a major lemon, getting a refund on that, and buying another new laptop.  That is one frustrating process (especially when the delivery guy delivers the laptop to the wrong address!).