No Post Today

Merry Christmas, my friends!  Since I posted two posts over the last 2 days and am now buried in my to be read pile, I'm going to skip posting today.  Enjoy reading your new books, trying on clothes, exchanging items at stores, painting, writing, or whatever your day may hold.

-Alea Harper


The Sky on Christmas Eve ||| a science fiction Christmas short story

Before the story begins, I'm going to shout because IT'S OFFICIALLY CHRISTMAS!  I love Christmas so much.

If you're like me, you're awake scrolling through your computer begging someone to put up new content.  That's exactly why I created this story and posted it at midnight.

Without further ado, may I present a science fiction short story/flash fiction.

            The second Christmas Eve transforms into Christmas Day holds special meaning to me.  Though my house is dark and my parents and siblings are asleep, I am not.  By the light of my phone, I fumble into my snowsuit, slip a hat on my head, and go outside.  I don’t have to look at my phone to know that it’s now midnight.
            The sky suddenly lights up with bright greens and blues.  They dance through the sky like ribbons in the wind.  I lay in the white powdery snow and watch the lights play together.
            Another light joins in, but this one isn’t like the others.  It’s harsh, white, and coming from a specific place.
            “What on earth?” I whisper.  I stand up, brushing the snow from my back.
            The light comes closer and closer until it shines directly on me.  I shade my eyes just as the light turns off.
            “Madalyn Treadway?” a voice booms.
            I jump back.  I’ve always been the only one awake on Christmas Eve?
            “Who is asking?” I ask cautiously.
            “A friend.”  I’ve read way too many books to know that “a friend” may or may not be just that.
            “You’re going to have to give me more information than that,” I say.
            Something steps towards me.  Instinctually, I step back.
            “Do not be afraid.  I am one who brings gifts to families who cannot afford gifts for their children,” the voice—it sounds like a man’s voice—says.
            For some reason, a smile crosses my face.  “Really?”

            The person steps even closer, close enough that I can see his human outline.  "I am Davion, thought you might like to help."
            Before I know what I'm doing, I'm nodding my head yes.
            "Well then, hop in," Davion motions behind him to something that takes my breath away: a spaceship.  "Yes, I realize that I have a spaceship.  Do you want to help or not?"
            I do, but can I trust him?  He does have a spaceship.  I get inside the large metal disk.  The inside has red and green buttons flashing, just begging Davion to take this ship back into space.  Davion presses a few buttons and we're in the air.
            A moment later, we've landed in a quiet suburb.  There isn't any snow.  Are we in Florida?
           "Welcome to Orlando, Florida.  This spot is quite near Walt Disney World," Davion says.  "The child we are visiting is receiving a year-long pass to the parks."
           I grin.  "That's so exciting!"  Oh my goodness, the look on this boy's face is going to be priceless.
           We sneak into the house using some sort of device Davion has.  The only Christmas decoration is a small stocking hanging over the brick fireplace.
          Davion hands me a piece of paper.  "Put this in the stocking."  And I do.
          This little child will be so happy tomorrow morning.  A grin slips across my face.  It is truly better to give than recieve.


10 Things To Do When You Can't Sleep on Christmas Eve

If you're anything like me, you probably have a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve.  After quite a few sleepless Christmas Eves, I've come up with some tips to make my night awake go faster, and actually be something I look forward to.  Honestly, I don't think it would be Christmas without staying awake some of the night. :)

1. Listen to an audiobook.

The past few Christmases, my mom, sister, and I have gone to our grandparents' house (lovingly named Grammy and Grampy's house) on Christmas Eve to stay a few nights.  They only live 12 minutes away from us, but who cares?  I love sleeping over at Grammy and Grampy's house!  Since they only have one guest room, I can't really do anything that requires a light.  Here's where audiobooks come in handy.  (Not to mention your eyes can rest while you listen.)  A couple of years ago, I listened to Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen (narrated by J. Grace Pennington).  It's free online and you can listen to it here.

2. Listen to Adventures in Odyssey.

A few years ago, I listened to a single two-part episode 7 times.  Don't judge.  Anyway, AIO still offers a free episode every day.  That should take up 25 minutes of your night.

3. Read a book.

Still have some reading to finish up before your TBR pile grows from the copious amounts your "reluctantly" accept on Christmas day?  Christmas eve is the perfect time to get that done.

4. Write a Christmas short story (or novel if you're a writing wizard).

I really want someone to write a retelling of A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is a writer who kills way too many characters and generally loves breaking readers' hearts.  Then the Ghosts of Characters Past, Present, and Future swoop in to save the day.

5. Watch a Christmas movie.

I'm one of those people who will binge watch Hallmark Christmas movies.  They're so cheesy and literally all the same, but they're good?

6. Eat allllll the Christmas cookies.

Midnight snacks are great, especially when they involve sugar.

7. Listen to music.

Preferably Christmas music.  My go to Christmas music is by Mannheim Steamroller.

8. Watch the Great Christmas Light Fight.

This show is awesome  (and some full episodes are on the ABC website).  Who doesn't love amazing Christmas light displays?!
Katie Grace and I two years ago at Christmas
light thing at Disney World.Yes, it was cold.
Yes, I was crazy enough to not wear a jacket.
I think I was way too excited to meet Katie
(my first Internet friend) for the first time.  Ahh,
such great memories with my "twin sister".

9. Read a serial story on a blog.

My favorite is Flickering Lights by Rosalie Valentine.  Also, I am working on a special Christmas story that will be posted here at midnight tomorrow night!

10. Watch Vlogs

Some of my favorite book/writing bloggers have some great blogs.  Check out: Katie Grace, Hosanna Emily, Savannah Grace, Hope Pennington (she actually has a whole Youtube channel filled with nerdy Christian goodness), and JostieFlicks (clean comedy videos made by a Christian homeschool family).

Can you sleep on Christmas Eve?  What do you do to keep yourself occupied?


Should Christians Only Write Overtly Christian Books?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the quality of Christian media and how most people turn their brains off when they see the word "Christian".  (For this discussion, head over to Aimee's blog post.)  That post/discussion got me thinking about the subject of Christian books and where God wants my writing career to go.  (I also would like to apologize in advance for the weird formatting.  Blogger has been freaking out on me and won't let me make the text bigger.)  So...let's jump right in.

This weekend, I've spent a lot of time researching publishers for my novella, The Clockshifter.  During this time, I've asked a lot of questions like:

  • Should I write overtly Christian books?
  • Should I write books that share the love of God without being a "Christian" book?
  • What on earth does God even want me to do with my passion for writing?
Disclaimer: This was not brought on by the lack of good Christian publishers.  It only made me think about where God wants me to take my writing and what audience He wants my writing to reach.  I just thought I'd make that very clear.

So...should Christians only write Christian books?

I think the answer is yes and no.  God calls each person to do something different.  I believe God called some people to only write overtly Christian books.  But, I don't believe that it is sinful for a Christian to not write only Christian books.


As Christians, our job, so to speak, is to share the Gospel, to evangelize to people.  (Of course, we can't change the hearts of others, but God can.  I think you understand my point.)  Here is one of the many verses in the Bible about this.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19

In order to reach someone, you must go to them, wherever they are at.  This means writing books that they will read.  Will a non-Believer pick up a Christian book?  Probably not.  Who did Jesus eat with on earth?  The lowest of the low.  The "non-Christians" of the time.  He went to where they were so that they would hear of God's love for them.

Does this mean writing sinful things as good?  No.  As Christians, no matter what we write, say or do, we should never glorify sin.  Our world is getting more sinful each second.  We know the answer, we know that there is hope in Christ.  We know how to tell if something is right or wrong. So I don't think there is anything wrong will telling the world about hope in Christ in a less preachy, less overt way.  So what if your book isn't labeled "Christian"  It's just a label that will most likely deter lost people from reading it.  Make the book cause people to question.  Is there something deeper to this book?  What is the real message?  What does the theme mean?  Why does the theme speak so much to me?  What does this writer have that I don't have?

Think about the band Twenty One Pilots.  They sing songs that make people ask questions about their life.  When looked into deep enough, those songs point directly to God.

I think the real question now is what God wants you and I to do?  Does He want me to write books for a Christian audience or brave the secular terrain?  Where does He want me to shine my light?  Where does He want you to shine your light?

I realize this is probably a bit of a controversial topic.  If you disagree with me, that's perfectly fine  (just please remember to be kind to others).  I would love to hear where you stand on this!  Who has God called you to reach?


How is 2016 Almost Over? ||| Looking Back At My Resolutions

So a little over a year ago, on January 11, 2016, I wrote a post about all of my goals for this year.

I actually completed most of them?!


-Finish The Clockshifter - Check!
-Finish the first draft of To Be Awake - I put this novel on hold and started another one, which I hope to complete by the end of NaNoWriMo.
-Query agents and publishers - I pitched to publishers at Realm Makers, edited more, and submitted again!
-Attend Realm Makers - CHECK!


-Create a blogging schedule (and follow it). - I only missed a few posts, which I think is pretty good!
-Make my blog more interesting for readers - I hope I did this. :)
-Find the right writing style for my blog - I think I actually did!
-Make it as professional as possible - I'll let you all decide that.
-Have at least one person guest post - Check!  Claire Banschbach guest posted on why she writes fantasy.


-Read 100 books - Ha.  Ha.  Ha... *wistfully looks into the distance* This so did not happen.  BUT I did read some pretty amazing books, some of which I will review on here soon.
-Have at least one book signed - Check!  Realm Makers sure took care of that.


-Exercise more - Me?  Exercise?  That's hilarious.
-Read the Bible every day - Unfortunately, this did not happen.  I'm really trying to get into the habit of spending time with God every day.

-Visit Katie Grace again - REALM MAKERS!