Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Special Announcement

It's the big announcement y'all've been waiting for!

The Shared WIP Tag is back!!!

Calling all NaNoWriMo participants, this edition of Julian Daventry's Shared WIP Tag is going to focus on your NaNo novel!!  You can use this tag as part of your very own NaNoPrep or simply just to get yourself excited and motivated.
 
(And who doesn't love talking about their writing at any given chance?)

How Does It Work?

Simply send me a message!  Drop me a comment, email me (if you already have my email), or send me a message via the Contact Me form on the right side of my blog.  I will add you to the list of participants.

Secondly, the participants will work together via Google Docs to create sets of questions for everyone to answer.  If you join late, that's fine - you can still be part of the tag, but you'll just miss out on the fun of choosing the final questions.  This will be done throughout September, and we will draft our answers during October, thus building the excitement for our NaNo novels.

Then, during November, everyone will release their own answers to the questions on their blog, usually on the same day, if at all possible.  We link to each other's posts, and NaNo madness will ensue!
 
Still confused?  Check out my Shared WIP Tag page on my blog and check out the previous posts.  Then go ahead and let me know you wanna be part of it, because it's lots of fun!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How I Ride (a miniseries)

A brief little wrap-up to my series, featuring my horses (who I don't think have actually gotten their own post yet???)

 

I don't really do anything fancy with my horses.  We aren't on the show circuits or the rodeos.  Not that I'm a bad rider, or that my horses are wild.  Far from it.

 

 
Short Rides at Home
 
 

Most of the time, I'm just riding around my house.  I swing on bareback after work and ride down the road before dark.  I race around the row of apple trees lining the driveway.  I give my little sisters and the neighborhood kids pony rides and mini lessons.  I might hitch the cart and trot up the road. 
 
That's as laid back as my rides get.
 
 
 

 
 
 
My Personal Trails
 
 

This is where it gets crazy.  The trails we've cut back behind the house range from let's drive the Jeep through the woods to isn't this a deer path? to I think I just swallowed a spider when that last branch hit me in the face.

They're not maintained very well.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Local Trails
 
 
 
I have a 6 mile trail in town, and it's wide, rolling, and relaxing.  There are always other people riding their horses, so it's fun to go and show off my horses and admire others in return.

But the other trail...a 30 mile one...I can go for miles and never see another soul.  The trail is beautiful, winding along creeks, farms, and the mountains.  But it's narrow.  I usually get my knees squished between horse side and tree at least once every time.  It's rocky (made sure the horses have shoes!).  And it's relaxing.

I just gotta watch my knees.



Carriage/Cart Driving

I drive up and down the road, and even to town, when I feel like it.  There are also a few local trails where I can take carts, and I also have some driving buddies that I occasionally meet up with and we challenge each other to some cones courses.


Jennifer's House

She has around 6-8 miles at her house, and has a number of young kids.  And do you know what kids like?  Galloping.  And guess what her trails are?  Hay fields, and the roads leading to hay fields.  So guess what we do a lot of?  Galloping.
 
 
 
The Horse Resort
 
 

There's a place about an hour and a half away I go to about once a year.  They've got hundreds of trails up in the mountains, and you can camp in a tent or RV, or rent a cabin.  They've got barns to keep the horses in (and some cabins have their own private barns). 

It's fun.  But the trails.

The hard ones are straight up and straight down, and in poor condition because hardly anyone ever goes on them.  The easy ones are covered in mud because they're flat and used so many times.  The maps are confusing and the trails incorrectly marked.  We get lost every time we go.

But it's fun.  Really.  It is.


Ride and Ties
 
 
Two people and one horse.  One takes off on the horse, galloping madly down the trail, leaving the other teammate behind.  After a while, the rider dismounts, ties the horse to a tree, and starts running.  The other person catches up to the horse, mounts, and takes off, passing the other person.

Repeat until race is finished.

 
 
 
Obstacle Courses
 
 
hese are fun, too.  And the horses seem to enjoy them.  I've done ones in arenas, and ones where you go along a trail.  But you're judged on time as well as how well you and your horse complete the obstacles.







Mounted Archery

Fairly self explanatory.  Arrows + Horses = Galloping off on your horse while firing arrows into the sunset.

This is my newest "horse thing" so I haven't gone to any official events.  I just set up my own course and trot the horses along, shooting arrows.  But it's fun, because my brother will actually do it with me.

 

 

 
 
 
Shows
 
 
I don't show a lot, and when I do, it's usually just benefit shows.  I enjoy watching others in the ring, but since I'm not strictly English or Western, it makes showing a little difficult (which class does an Australian saddle fit into? lol). 

But I know where my horses and I truly shine - trying new things, tackling challenging trails, and bringing smiles to little children.
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus: Meet my Horses
 
So I don't think I've ever actually introduced my horses before?  I mean, I've shown pictures of them and all, but never given them a post to themselves before.  To be honest, I've tried to not bring them up too much, since this is a writing/reading blog, not a horse blog.

I've put this off for far too long.




 
Cord is my first horse, now a 28 year old Paso Fino gelding.  He was a retired show horse when we got him, and he has faithfully taught me so much about trail riding, showing, and just being around horses.  He is now semi-retired - technically for little kids only, but I can still swing up and ride him bareback around the house for a short ride.




Spirit was my second horse, a Tennessee Walker.  He's the perfect trail horse, and standing at a big 16.3 hands, anyone can ride him, adults and children alike!  He has smooth gaits, and is patient and tolerant of beginners.  He's slowly moving into retirement as well, since he's 21 years old, but he still enjoys trail riding and being loved on.








Pepper is my dream horse.  He will do anything I ask him, be it a Ride and Tie race, mounted archery, driving, representing the Friesian breed at the fair, or just babysitting my little sisters.  He is an attention seeker, and loves being around people.  He's done a lot for an 8 year old, and has become my go-to horse for anything and everything!



Bree is my newest addition, and my first ever Quarter Horse!  He's tiny, at 14 hands, and is like a huge puppy dog!  He follows me around, begging for attention.  He's young, at 5 years old, and already is a solid trail mount.  I look forward to introducing him to some more things and turning him into an all-around horse.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Lit Alfame Blog Tour // Interview

Today marks the last day of the Lit Aflame blog tour (kind of the last, anyway - there's a surprise post up tomorrow).  And today I threw a few questions at Julia, which she was kind enough to answer...
 
 
 
What made you decide to start blogging?
 
For a long time I’ve wanted to blog, because I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts, rant about books, and overall make a difference.  But it took me finding the community of Christian bloggers to finally push me over the edge and get me started!  (Yes, I honestly had no idea there were such blogs as
the ones floating around this community until a bit earlier in the year).  PLUS I was getting serious about writing, and wanted to begin gathering my empire for whenever I release my books. So yeah….  Since then it’s grown into so much more though.
 
Where did the name come from?
 
Aha, the name….”Lit Aflame”, yesss, that is a interesting subject.  Seeing I was suppose to change it once I started my official blog, and as you can see, my official blog’s name just happens to be “Lit Aflame” still.
 
I began with other name’s I liked much better, but all of them were already taken!  People I tell you, this was a horrible crises, at least for someone as impatient as I.  Because, guyz, I had to actually spend time THINKING about it.  *cue gasps* yes I know, it’s horrible.  But I had to, and you know what that got me? 
 
Blogger’s Blog-domain-block, yep, bloggers, you don't want to meet this guy. EVER.  Anyway, I pounded my brain about for awhile, coming back with nothing but frustration, I gave it to God and asked Him to show me the right name.
 
And I sang a little song and all my problems magically disappeared.
 
 
 
Um no, and you people who believed that can go sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, you should know that sort of thing only happens to Disney Princesses and I happen, despite my perfectness for the job, to not be one (note: that would be the worse job in all the history of worse jobs for me... I don’t even like Disney princesses).
 
No, it took me a few days of ponderings, but at last it came to me, “Lit Aflame”,  because hadn’t my “life” prayer pretty much been for God to make me a flame - a burning light in this dark world?  And didn’t I want to actually live a meaningful life and do something for Christ?
 
So yes, Lit Aflame became the name.  Because I want to live my life “lit aflame for Christ” and shine brightly for Him.
 
So yes it must be admitted, I did it with the thought that this was just a temporary title, I thought it sounded weird and stuff….so I was going to do something “better” when making my official blog, but, really, the name fits rather well.  Plus it sorta grew on me.
 
How did your family and friends react to your "I'm going to blog!" announcement?
 
HAH.  Y’know I’m sorta a hermit who lives in a hole and never comes out.  Which means when I first made the blog I didn’t really, exactly tell anyone.  At least it wasn’t really talked about or anything until I made my official blog, and you know that includes purchasing a domain and everything.  I’m not the announcy type, but that info still got around, and it earned me some gasps about the amount of money I was spending.  Yeah, mainly wide eyes and incredulous looks.  Heh.  And as for “outside” family and friends…. Um, they have no idea...and I don’t exactly have any friends. Well, I mean, my siblings are my friends. so…….
 
What's been the hardest thing about blogging that you've encountered so far?
 
Getting subscribers?  XD.  But really, I don’t know. . . other than that I’ve been really enjoying it, maybe the amount of time it takes?  Like, each post seems to consume SO much time.  It’s like some weirdly likeable monster that eats time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.




Oooh!  I just had the GREATEST thought for an answer!  The ABOUT ME page, I am being completely
serious here, that thing has cause me more woe and heartache than anything else.  It’s ridiculous.
 
Have you found anything super easy that you thought would be more of a challenge?
 
Huh, I’m not sure. . . .  I don’t know about it being “super easy” but coming up with content to post twice a week isn’t as hard as I had thought, I mean it can get a bit hard, but it’s actually not too bad.
 
Where do you see yourself with blogging a year from now?
 
Ahhhhhh, my dream would be 1,000 + subscribers and a monetized site.  But I think we all know that has a chance of being highly unlikely.  So basically, a year from now, I hope to have at least 200 subscribers with a few certain things released for purchase (right now these things be secret….sshhhhhhh).
 
Maybe I’m aiming too high, as it is I want 50 subscribers by the end of 2018, but at least I’m aiming for something.  I mean, I can’t get anywhere if I don’t at least try.
 
Meet the Interviewee: Julia S.
 

 
Julia is a 15 year old born again Christian who believes if the Bible says it it’s true, and a Bookworm who knows that words have the power to change the world.   She juggles her small business, writing, and college while living on a farm in Texas with her parents, seven siblings and a ton of animals.
 
Her goal in all that she does is to bring glory to God and to live a life lit aflame for Christ.  She hopes to encourage others to do the same.

Blog: Lit Aflame
Instagram: @litaflame

Celebrate the Launch of my Blog with me!



Hiya!  This week we’ve been celebrating the launch of Lit Aflame, my new blog.  There’s even a giveaway!  So don’t miss out!  Today is the LAST day for the GIVEAWAY, so HURRY!

Click below for the giveaway - LAST DAY to enter:


Check out the other blog stops around the blogosphere!  You don’t want to miss out on these posts! :


Sunday:
 

Monday:

Tuesday:

[Guest Post] 3 Things You can learn from God's Smuggler [Saver of Memories]

Wednesday

Thursday
 

Friday
 

Saturday:

Thursday, September 06, 2018

A Warning

I can't remember what year it was.  2007 or 2008, I think.  But I remember the day clearly - it was a Sunday morning.  I was playing with my friends at church when my dad called me over.
 
"See that little girl over there?"  He pointed to a blonde-haired girl, sitting by herself in one of the rows of chairs.  I had never seen her before, so her family must have been visiting.  "Why don't you go over and say hello to her."
 
Now my dad is famous for making sure I greet people - visitors, people in old folk's homes, neighbors, you name it.  I've gone to say hello to strangers so many times at his bidding that I've lost track.
 
This time would surely be no different.  I went over and said something, which I don't remember.  Probably some sort of greeting.  I might have made the comment that she has the same name of one of my cousins.  Asked her if she liked horses (a standard conversation starter of mine when I was little).  I don't really remember what happened.
 
I also don't remember what I did when this girl and her family returned to church the next Sunday.  And the one after that.  And again and again until they had been going for years.
 
I just remember that Sarah Rodecker became my best friend - a friend to share adventures with (like impromptu Psalm sings, horse riding trips, races, trips to theme parks, farm work, and vacations).  A friend I can share prayer requests with.  A friend who always points me to the Lord and somehow manages to deal with my occasional memory glitches and sugar highs. 
 
So exercise caution when greeting strangers.  They might stick around and become your best friend.
 
Happy birthday, Sarah!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

How I Read (a miniseries)

Seems like every week I hear about an amazing book.  Maybe someone's doing a blog tour for a new release.  Someone else is posting a review.  And everyone is always talking about the books they've been reading as they post their Monthly Updates.

 

So it's not hard to believe that my "reading process" starts here:

I Hear About an Amazing Book

After reading a review that consists of "ASDKJFHSDKLJFH MY POOR HEART EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!" I think, "Okay, sounds like a good read."  I type my comment "Cool!  This seems like my kind of book.  I should go check it out."

I Forget About the Book

Yup.  I go to the next post on my blogger list and my memory shelves the book somewhere in the deepest pits of my brain - likely that leaky room with the key that doesn't always fit in the keyhole.

I Hear About the Book Again

Someone else has an amazing review.  The cover sparks something in my memory, and I remember - yes, I wanted to look into this book!



I Forget About the Book Again

Apparently I managed to get into that leaky room only to pull the book off my brain shelf, wipe the cover clean, and put it right back.  The sticky note on which I scribbled "look up book" gets stuffed into my pocket and ends up going through the washing machine with my pants.

I Hear About the Book a Third Time

And this time I have the sense to pull it up on Goodreads.  I read some reviews, shrug, and add it to my "To Read" bookshelf.

 

I Forget About the Book a Third Time

I know you're waving your hands in the air and shouting "Again?!?!?!"

Trust me, I'm doing the same thing.

Discover the Book is On Sale

Maybe I've found yet another blogging review.  Perhaps someone mentions it on FaceBook.  Maybe I finally remembered about it and went to look it up on Amazon.  But in any case, I suddenly find myself at the Amazon page, where the price is marked down.

Buy an eBook Copy

"Why not?" I say, as I click the purchase button.  "It's on sale.  If I don't like it, I haven't spent a ton of money on a paper copy.  And if I do like it, I can buy a hard copy and support the author."

Forget I Bought the Book

I'm currently unable to laugh at this anymore.  Now I just feel embarrassed.  But I won't lie and say I immediately read the book.  This is the cold, hard truth.

Remember I Bought the Book

I keep lists of books in my Bullet Journal.



I try to update my BJ once a week or so, and while I'm taking inventory, I come across the book I purchased.  "Oh, I did buy it!" I say, adding it to the appropriate BJ list.  "I should read that soon."

Forget I Bought the Book Again

*nods miserably*

Finish Current Read and Scour Shelves for Next Book

And look what's been sitting around patiently in my kindle library??  You guessed it!


Slowly Start Book

I'm always slow getting into books.  Perhaps because I'm getting back to reading fiction after a break of almost two years of not reading much but Christian Non-Fiction (and some re-reads of old favorites).

But I keep at it.  The MC might not be up my alley.  Maybe the plot doesn't draw me in.  Maybe the world confuses me a little.  But it's not that bad, really...

Fall in Love

Usually around halfway through, I tumble head-over-heels into the book and devour the rest in one final sitting.  The characters bring smiles to my face.  I want to dive into the storyworld.  The plot is amazing.

My Brain Dies

After I read the last line of the book, I turn my timer off and just stare at nothing.  I am a puddle of emotions.  I feel like crying, running a marathon, writing my own book, and taking a nap.
 
Rant and Rave About the Book
 
I somehow manage to write a review.  I cross it off my list.  I fangirl in an email to Sarah, who understands.  I babble mindlessly to Evan, who nods patiently.
 
I Discover Another Book
 
And like a hyper-active child I'm off on my next journey.
 
Anyone else take forever to look into, buy, and read their next book?

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Guest Post // 3 Things God's Smuggler Taught Me

Today I have a special post by Julia from Lit Aflame!  Her blog has finally gone live, and in celebration, this week is full of exciting posts (and a giveaway). 
 
(Also, her name is similar to mine, so isn't that super cool??  Now everyone can go about getting us confused...)
 
3 Things God’s Smuggler Taught Me
 


It is not by chance that I am giving away a book called “God’s Smuggler”, this book is AMAZING.  It is quite frankly, the most inspirational book that I have read and obviously my favorite.  It has so many good lessons and reminders and Brother Andrew’s life was just, WOW.  So today, I thought I’d share with you 3 things that God’s Smuggler has taught me (and can teach you).
 
1. God is still doing the impossible
 
Well, yeah, I mean of course, I knew this, it’s just…..reading this book made it more “real” y’know?  I just remember the first time God did a miracle for Andrew, it just, does it sound weird to say that it took my breath away?  God’s amazing, y’all better know that. So whenever you hear someone say, or you yourself think that “God doesn’t do the impossible anymore” think again!  God is still alive, God is still right here with us, He is still working.  And He is still GOD.  He still does the impossible today! And don’t you let anyone convince you otherwise.
 
 
 
2. God will take care of His own
 
Oh yes, we always saaay that we know that God will take care of us and all that, but you and I both know that there are some times when we doubt, or even forget His promised care.  Sometimes we let ourselves fall beneath the swathing fear and we lose sight of God’s hands.  When we take our eyes off our Savior and look to the enemy it is easy to forget and despair - but the Bible says “fear NOT”!  We have the ALMIGHTY GOD on our side, fighting for us.  We needn’t fear the storm nor the enemy any more.  We can lift our chins and straighten our shoulders, what do we have to fear?  He who is in us is greater than they that be in the world!  And really, as the Bible says, if God be for us, who can be against us?
 
 
 
3. It really is all about HIS love
 
Sad to say, sometimes we hear about God’s love so much, that it grows dull and loses it’s effect. But you know, WITHOUT His love for us, Jesus wouldn’t have ever died for us, without HIS love for us you and I would be doomed to hell.
But we’re not, because HE LOVED us.  Sometimes you can lose sight of the WOW in that, especially when it’s common knowledge as you grow up.  There is one quote in particular from this book that I shall never forget:
 
 
 
I LOVE that up there, and he’s right.  We need to be more fluent in the agape “language”, agape is the highest form of love - it’s the love Jesus has for us - the agape love is the type of love that kept Him on the cross.  It’s the highest, most unconditional love out there.  And it’s the sort of love we as Christians need to be showing to everyone around us, no matter who they may be.  So that through us and the love we show, the lost may see Jesus.
 
Meet the Author:
 
Julia is a 15 year old born again Christian who believes if the Bible says it it’s true, and a Bookworm who knows that words have the power to change the world.   She juggles her small business, writing, and college while living on a farm in Texas with her parents, seven siblings and a ton of animals.
 
Her goal in all that she does is to bring glory to God and to live a life lit aflame for Christ.  She hopes to encourage others to do the same.
 
We’re celebrating the launch of my new blog!
 
 
I am on a quest.  Or that is, I was.
 
That's right, I was on a quest, though it wasn’t the dragon slaying sort (I prefer to ride them). But it was a very important quest nonetheless!
 
My poor young self of a few months ago started a free blog, to make sure I wanted to actually do this blogging thing. Turns out, I LOVE blogging, so then the time came to pull out the matches, scoop the Ice-cream, and get serious about blogging!
 
Why am I bothering you about this? Don't you have much better things to do than have your precious time wasted by me? Uh, well, yeah, literally anything would probably be more worth your time than reading this -- but let’s be honest here, you would much rather waste your time listening to me talk than do anything productive, right? (no? Just me?)  ANYWAY the thing is I AM BUILDING AN EMPIRE!
 
*cough* I mean, I'm launching my "official" blog.
 
Obviously.
 
And I have just come back from my quest of gathering a group of wonderful bloggers to help make the launch special (one of which you are reading this at now).
 
Again, why am I bothering you?
 
Because celebration! I mean come on!  You can’t launch anything without having a party, right?  So here at Lit Aflame we are having a week long celebration and if I do say so myself, it’s purty awesome.  Because, guys, there’s a giveaway!  I LOVE giveaways!  Nearly as much as I love Ice cream.  The only sad thing is… I can’t enter my own giveaway, the good thing?  YOU can!
 
Plus a post every day this whole week!


 


 

Here’s this week’s schedule and blog stops:


Sunday:


Monday:


Tuesday:





Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


Saturday: