PROJECT CANVAS Cover Reveal + Blog Tour - interview with contributor Hosanna Emily + Giveaway


(If you'd like to see the cover design process for this cover, make sure to check out my guest post on the Project Canvas blog!)


An international writing community.

61 authors
11 countries
6 continents

Are you looking for advice on how to create the perfect villain? Do you need the courage to put your story down on paper?  Find this and more in Project Canvas, a writing resource written completely by teen and young adult writers and compiled by Caroline Meek and Olivia Rogers.

Project Canvas includes:
71 short chapters, each written by a different author
bonus interviews with authors such as Tessa Emily Hall and Q. Gibson
world building and character development worksheets
and other helpful resources!

“This is a writing teacher’s dream – not a how-to book, but more of a literary testimony and homage to the process of writing.  A sweet balance between the practical and the spiritual, Project Canvas is concise enough for daily meditation, yet robust enough to move the writer’s soul beyond the temporary.” –Brian Dolezal, professional development and spoken word coach at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Project Canvas will be available for purchase through Amazon on November 15.

Interview with HOSANNA EMILY

Sorry, I'm having some technical difficulties with the video and need to re-upload it. Please check back later!

About Hosanna

Hosanna Emily is an ordinary girl following an extraordinary God. She’s a seeker of beauty in the midst of life, whether through creating emotion through ink on paper, dancing under the stars, using sign language in songs, or offering a hug. As a writer, Hosanna wants to showcase the glory of God to the world while reaching out to love others. She published a novella at age thirteen and continues to write stories and share her heart on her blog, Having a Heart Like His. She lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere with her family of 12.

About the Project Canvas Founders

Caroline and Olivia have been friends ever since kindergarten, when they met in a homeschooling group.  Their writing journey was a slow evolution over the course of many sleepovers, games of pretend, writing stories together, and finally publishing some of them.

Caroline Meek is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Project Canvas. She’s originally from Kansas City, Kansas, where she co-authored The Drawing in of Breath and attended Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences. Caroline has a passion for bringing writers together and is currently studying English & Creative Writing on the Publishing track at the University of Iowa. She’s been published in The Kansas City Star, Ink Lit Mag, Wordsmith, and blogs at Of Stars and Ink-Stained Things.

Olivia Rogers is the co-founder of Project Canvas. She’s originally from the great state of Kansas, where she showed sheep, competitively debated, and also became involved in politics. Olivia believes that writing is the gateway to change. She’s currently studying Political Science and Philosophy at Kansas State University, with the goal of becoming a lawyer and continuing to advocate for others.

Project Canvas Links


Project Canvas is running a Rafflecopter giveaway from November 1-15th! CLICK HERE for a chance to win FREE COPIES of Project Canvas and more.


Hey, here's a writing contest!

Hello, everyone!

I know I haven't been consistent in posting lately. My life is pretty crazy, and I don't have many post ideas. So, I'm not sure where this blog is going to go.


Project Canvas (look out for the book on November 15) is hosting a writing contest for handwritten works!

The deadline for this contest is October 19, and winning is another thing to put in a query or book proposal! For all of the submission guidelines, please check out their website!


ROMANOV by Nadine Brandes Cover Reveal (it's beautiful)

Raise your hand if you're an Anastasia fan.

*Aggressively raises hand*

Actual GIF of me holding Romanov.

Anastasia is my favorite musical of all time, so obviously I was super excited when Nadine announced that her next book is a historical fantasy Anastasia retelling. Seriously, I think I screamed.

Then I screamed again when I got the email with the cover. (I got it when I was waiting for my art history class to start...which is funny because this book cover will definitely go down in art history.)

So...without further ado...let's reveal this cover!


The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.


May 7, 2019

I know, this book needs to take a "Journey to the Past."
(Someone stop please me from making bad Anastasia puns.)

You can preorder the book now, so you can have this book in your hands as soon as May 7 comes around.


The Worth of a King BLOG TOUR - Character Interview with Christa

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.
Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.
Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.
The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

Character Interview

Alea: If you could bake only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Christa: It would probably be the cream cake as, apparently, I make the best cream cakes in the world and Adrian would never forgive me if I gave them up.

Alea: Mmm. Now I want cake... :) When you were little, what was your favorite thing to do with your best friend, Adrian?
Christa: Actually, when I was really little, Adrian's younger sister, Lily, was my best friend. It was only after her death in the plague that Adrian and I bonded in our grief. We would explore the forest together - we even found a special meeting place alongside the creek. We've spent so many long hours there, just talking about anything and everything.

Alea: Wow! I'm so sorry about Lily! What is the weirdest present someone has given you?
Christa: Adrian's younger sister gave me a Zovordian knife, once and made me promise to tell no one that she did so. Not particularly out of place for her, but I never figured out why she did it. 

Alea: That is an interesting gift  :) What is your favorite food?  
Christa: Vegetables. 

Alea: Is a surprise birthday party fun or your worst nightmare?
Christa: It's a luxury that I'll probably never get, given that my cream cakes are apparently the best in the village and you cannot celebrate anything without them.

Alea: A wizard and a group of dwarves want you to help them reclaim their dragon-infested mountain. (Yes, this is a Hobbit reference.) What do you do?
Christa: I would go to Adrian's father for advice, as he is Zovordian and the Zovordians have an ancient war with the dragons. 

Alea: What is the most embarrassing baking mistake you've made?
Christa: One time I used sour milk for a cream cake - it didn't come out right at all and was a complete disaster.

About the Author

Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon 


How to Bring Characters to Life (explained by someone who used to not understand it)

I'm a very cut and dry person. I like to be able to follow the 3 Step Formula To Perfect Results. I'm the person who doesn't understand how my English teacher figured out the author's thoughts on an issue from reading a fictional piece, but I understand how to get an answer in Algebra using PEMDAS.

For all of you like me, I'm sorry to break the news to you, but developing characters and making them come to life is NOT cut and dry because people aren't cut and dry. Why isn't it cut and dry? PEOPLE ARE COMPLEX. We are intelligent creatures made in the image of God. We are fallen creatures born with a sin nature--a natural desire to serve ourselves. On top of this, no two people are exactly the same. Everyone is different, and that is beautiful. But...that kind of makes it complicated for writers. Unfortunately here isn't a worksheet or Myers-Briggs site that will magically help you make awesome characters. However, I'm here to try to shed a little bit of light on this subject for the rest of us who struggle with understanding abstract concepts.

1. Figure out how he/she talks and thinks.

I know that this isn't a super deep thing to start with, but it's pretty important as you discover a character. We have to start from the outside in. Think of a movie. One thing that sets movies apart from books is that we only see how a character acts and reacts, we don't get to see their thoughts and emotions. The impression we get of them comes from the actors' portrayals. This brings me back to finding the character's voice.

When we find the actor's voice, we find the "actor portrayal" of the character. It makes the character come alive in our minds, which is key.

Is he he sarcastic? Does he tell jokes a lot? Does he rarely speak, but when he does, it's powerful?

Now, move on to how does he think? Some people talk to themselves...I think to myself. I literally have thoughts that go through my head. That's part of my voice.

So...how does the character think? Does he say one thing but think something completely opposite? Can he speak smoothly while internally freaking out? What comments does she make in her head?

For examples on all of this, just look at the world around you. Gather ideas from conversations at a coffee shop, from those awkward family reunions, or even from that one family in Walmart with the kids that are constantly fighting. Also, look into yourself. How do you think? Do you make sarcastic comments to yourself as you talk to others? Can you be completely cool and totally freaking out at the same time?

2. Discover his/her greatest fear.

In a lot of books, the main way a character grows is by facing his fears head on and conquering through them. That's what makes a hero a hero. Using the character's voice as a guide, (and probably your story idea. This is one concrete thing you can do.) decide what his/her greatest fear is. If the character is quiet and reserved but always has great comments playing out in her head, maybe she's terrified of being unwanted. Find all of the masks this character hides behind. Maybe the character says his greatest fear of snakes, but if he goes deeper, he discovers it's actually of dying. Right now, you don't have to figure out the backstory of why she's terrified of X, just figure out the what. (And some fears just come naturally with who you are as a person. My greatest fear is death, but that came literally from me just being alive. I didn't have a near-death experience as a baby to make this my greatest fear; it's just because that's the way I am. Also, this one central fear stems into a variety of other fears like fear of heights or fear of dangerous-looking things. I'm just more of a timid person because of this.) Also, a character can have a couple of deep, great fears.

3. Find the walls in his/her heart.

Everyone has walls built up for various reasons. Find those walls. Sometimes it takes writing an entire draft to discover these, but they're crucial to the story because they affect every interaction that character has. Does this character suddenly shut down whenever she talks to her dad because he's broken and broken her heart numerous times? Who does he open up to? How long does it take for him to open up? Does he wear his heart on his sleeve?

4. Find his/her greatest desire.

What does he want more than anything in this world? To be loved? To be happy? To find something more in life? This is the time to look to the Big Things, not just the "goals" everyone hears writers talking about. Goals are temporary, but these are desires etched into the character's heart.

I also want to address one thing here about antagonists. EVERYONE. I repeat, EVERYONE has a hole in his heart. Everyone. And everyone tries to fill it with something. People try and try and try. I don't care if you're a saint or a super villain, everyone has a hole. You may think your villain just wants power power power, but WHY does he want power? Again, this isn't a time for backstory, this is why. What is the hole he keeps trying to fill? Does he think power will make him happy? Does he think having power will finally make him feel loved? Villains aren't mindless evil robots.

Stepping aside from writing for a second, there is only one thing that can fill this hole. One. Thing. Nothing in this life will satisfy us. Not money, other people, our reputations, fame, or whatever else. The only thing that can fill the un-fillable hole is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. Why else would every single person long for something greater than this life? Why is the material world never enough? Because we were MADE FOR MORE. However, because of the Fall in the Garden of Eden, we can't become more and we will never be able to become more. That's why God sent His Son, Jesus, to take our place on the cross to atone for OUR SINS. Everything GONE. Once we accept the gift of Jesus's sacrifice, we are CHILDREN OF GOD. God fills that "love" hole with love. He fills the "happiness" hole with joy. HE FILLS THE HOLES.

5. Figure out appearance, likes, dislikes, hobbies, occupation, and all the surface level stuff.

This is the probably the best step for all of your worksheet people. This is the basic, cut and dry stuff like eye color, height, hobbies, occupation, and favorite movie. This is the stuff you learn when you first meet someone. Make sure to keep in mind all of the previous steps. It would be pretty contradictory to make the person who's terrified of snakes a zookeeper assigned to the reptile room. (Unless that's the whole point of the story. If that's the case, have at it.)

6. Figure out the character's backstory.

Okay, now that you know this character's heart and a little bit of surface level stuff, it's time to figure out what happened to them before the story. I put this step after the surface level stuff because that surface level stuff affects this step. How did she get to where she is now? I feel like this is pretty self explanatory, and there are plenty of other resources on this, so I won't go too into detail.

7. Just write.

Remember, this is just the first draft, so it's okay to keep discovering more and more about your characters as you go. You're "becoming their friends" and "getting to know them" as you see them respond to different events and characters. Watch them grow and see where it takes you. If you have to adjust your plot or planned outcome, so be it. Let the characters remain true to themselves, otherwise the story will feel forced.

How do you develop your characters? Do you have any tips to add to this? Who are some of your favorite characters? Which villains do you think are well written?


5 Things I Learned From Writing My Most Recent Novel

Writing is a learning process. For me, at least, every novel is different and requires a greater set of skills and disciplines. (Isn't this the case for anything creative?)

Here are five things I Am Stardust taught me about writing.

1. Don't rush.

Sometimes I want to just rush through the first draft just to get it finished. However, this leaves me with a ridiculously fast pace that's really hard to fix and a messier first draft. Yes, first drafts are supposed to be messy--hence it's alternate term, the rough draft--but it's easier to edit a more complete manuscript.

2. Plan out action scenes.

This is just something that makes the first draft easier for me. Planning out the things that are going to  happen in the scene before I write about them in more detail helps the pacing. (And like I said in the above point, it makes it easier to edit later. I'm all for easier editing.) If I have a plan laid out, the scene intimidates me less, and I don't rush through it as much.

3. Enjoy the frivolous scenes that may get cut later.

I Am Stardust taught me to enjoy the small scenes that may get taken out later. That time when you took a break from the main plot so the main characters could go get coffee may just make you fall even more in love with the story your heart desires to tell. Does it really further the plot? Who cares. This is one thing you shouldn't dwell on when writing your first draft. Write the scenes your heart wants to write.

4. Try to get into the story every day.

Yes, this is one of those things that EVERY PRO WRITER SAYS, but it's really important. Staying in the story helped me keep the feel of the story and it's characters in my head the entire time. I didn't have to go back and remember who they are and what they want. I kept the story fresh in my mind. (This doesn't mean you have to write every single day no matter what, but keep in the story as often as possible.) Again, this not only helps your motivation, it also keeps a cleaner first draft.

5. Don't be afraid to make it personal.

I Am Stardust turned out to be a very personal story. A lot of the internal struggle my main character goes through is similar to something I went through a few years ago. Obviously the circumstances are different (I didn't become a superhero lol), but the heart of the story is the same.

What have your WIPs taught you about writing? How has your writing process changed?


Where Have I Been? Life Update and Belated 4th Blogiversary

Hello friends!

So...this year I haven't been blogging every Monday. A lot has been going on, but I'll try to summarize it.

1. I graduated high school!

*celebrates* I am FINALLY done with high school! (honestly this is a huge reason why I haven't been posting. High school takes up an enormous amount of time. Also, whoever told me senior year is supposed to be the easiest lied.) I am so excited for college and this next stage of life. (And also kind of terrified, but I'm trying not to think about that until August.)

2. I've been taking time to grow as a Child of God.

Yeah...God still has to do a lot of work on me, but recently I rededicated my life to Him and I'm working hard on my relationship with Him. It's hard, but so far, so worth it.

3. I'm working on growing as a writer.

Last year was a pretty bad writing year. I didn't write very much, and honestly, I wasn't very interested in writing either. I guess I didn't feel the need to write? (This is part of the reason my posts have been few and far between this year.) However, now I love writing even more than I did when I first started a long time ago. My WIP has taught me so many valuable things about writing, and it may have even given me a system. It has taught me to take things slowly in the story and really let stuff organically develop. This is my first cohesive novel that is over 50,000 words and still going strong. (My deadline is Tuesday...so I'm kind of on a mad dash to the finish.)

4. I got back into filmmaking.

Okay, so I kind of fell in love with filmmaking again. A few months ago, my English teacher gave the best assignment in the world: make a movie based on a book or short story. Oh, and make a movie we did. I worked with two amazing partners and friends, and the three of us (including 9 other cast members) recreated 3 scenes from Pride and Prejudice. (Don't worry, everything is word for word from the book.) Did we go a little overboard on this assignment? Definitely. Was it a blast? Yes.

What have you been working on while I've been gone?


Read to Find Jesus, Not Just to Find the Story

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been M.I.A. recently. That's mostly due to graduating high school and attending festivities related to that.

Anyway...on to the post.

A few days ago, I had a long conversation with one of my best friends, Hosanna Emily, and she said something that really stood out to me.

She told me to read my Bible to find Jesus, not to find the story.

That really got me thinking. You see, I've never really known how to read my Bible. I just kinda figured it was like reading a book, and Sunday schools always teach us about Bible stories.  People always tend to focus on the story instead of asking this question: What does this tell be about God? How does this point to Him?

Most Christians already know the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den and Jonah's story, but do we understand how each word points to our Creator? Now, I just want to pause and say that I by no means am saying that this is the tried and true method for understanding the entire Bible. Only God can reveal things to you, but I encourage you to look beyond the story and scrutinize every single word to find His truth.


Guest Post on Savannah Grace's new blog, Inspiring Writes

Hello everyone!  Instead of posting something here, I decided to send you over to Savannah Grace's new blog, Inspiring Writes, where she interviewed me on writing and design!  I'll be hanging around the comments there and answering your questions too!

(Graphic courtesy of Savannah Grace)

Also, her blog is awesome and you should follow it. :)


Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Update

Camp NaNoWriMo is halfway over. *cue screaming*

I'm working on getting over my writer's block.  It went away at the beginning of the month, but it's slowly coming back.  I attribute that to the difficult scenes that are coming up (some including a bank robbery shhhhh).  Also, I'm dealing with pacing issues.  I know I can fix that stuff in editing, but I'd rather not have too?

Life's also been pretty busy.  No, Camp NaNoWriMo doesn't help with that, BUT it does make me feel more productive.  I know that I'm still a writer even if I don't write every day, but it's hard to believe it.  Camp helps keep me on track and feel like I'm being productive, even if I'm just barely plugging along at my book.

I try to write every night before I shower, no matter how late it is.  It helps me relax, and I write faster with sleep as my motivation.

In other news, I completed the Pride and Prejudice movie (which I turn in tomorrow!) and helped film and edit a book trailer for C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters directed by my friend Jessica.  Both were fabulous projects and made me realize how much I miss filmmaking.  (So, yeah, I'm planning on making another movie this summer!)

This month, I've had to learn how to say no (or wait) to things.  I really like doing things for people (especially if people ask me to do something creative for them), and I feel badly if I do have to say no.  However, I don't have time to commit to so many projects.  I've had to do that a few times this month and it's something I need to work on.

Word Count Progress

So far, I'm on schedule (by the time I post this, anyway).  At the beginning of the month, I wrote a lot more to give myself some wiggle room.  Sadly, I've used that up...

How is Camp NaNoWriMo going for you?  Are you on target or do you need to catch up?


Live a Bold, Fearless Life

I want to share something super personal with you today.  So I'm writing this post as Megan (my real name), not as Alea.

I struggle with fear A LOT.  Seriously, all the time.  I get it when I have to do something outside of my normal routine; I get it when I have to write a fight scene (I'm super bad at describing them); I get it when I only have one chance to get something right.  You name it, I'm scared of it.  That's pretty much how it goes for me.

Since my freshman year in high school, a year after my parents divorced, I've had a strange urge to dye my hair copper red. I never did, but the desire would not let me go. I found myself hoarding pictures of red hair I liked and adding “someday this will be my hair” as captions. For some strange reason, I wanted to do this drastic, almost unheard-of thing.  Maybe it was because I wanted to become a “better version” of myself. I'm not really sure.  However, I never summed up the courage to actually do it.  I was scared of what others would think of me if I did, and I was scared that it wouldn't look good on me. (Mostly the first, though).

Just as a side note, I do like my natural
hair color.
So, it remained my secret desire tucked away in the corner of my mind where I only went when I dreamed of my ideal self.  In my imaginary redhead self, I was independent and unafraid to take risks.  In reality, I was slipping into a place of deep depression and anxiety, and I didn't run to God for help.  In fact, I didn't run to anyone for help.  I burrowed deep within my heart’s self-built walls to slowly die from the pain.

I stayed isolated until the summer before my senior year in high school, when I agreed to go on a mission trip to Peru.  My heart screamed at me not to go, but I could not bring myself to tell my mom and sister.  If I said something, they would see the fake that I was.  Part of me wanted to know God, but I did not feel His presence and never felt an urge to read the Bible.  On the second day of the trip, I met a woman with a fire inside of her that showed in the words she spoke and the glimmer in her eyes.  From the moment I first spoke to her, I knew I wanted that same fire.  She told me to ask God to reveal himself to me on the trip. Something about her motivated me to do just that.  While in Peru, God pressed on my heart the lie that I was living.  I was not really a Christian.  I struggled with God until July 4, 2017, when I surrendered my fear, depression, anxiety, and ultimately my life to the One who gave His life so I could live.

My ideal, “red-haired self” evolved from a “brave” girl to someone unashamed of her faith who boldly serves the Lord she loves with all her heart. Life is not about having a certain hair color, it is about living boldly. It is about blasting through my comfort zone and living completely for God. It is about making conscious decisions to make Him the center of my life and not being afraid to share it. It is about trusting God enough to help me go off to college and learn to be more independent. It is about stepping out of God’s way and not letting myself hold me back from what He has planned.

Now this essay--this mission statement--sounds great on paper (or on a computer screen).  It makes living out this lifestyle seem easy, doesn't it?  Haha, no.  I actually wrote this around September of last year just after I visited the college I want to go to. I actually used it (with a few modifications) as my college essay to submit to this college. I decided to live fearlessly months ago, but I never followed through.  I sunk back into the numbness.  (Going numb is my way of coping with difficult and scary things.  The problem with this is you don't feel anything--good or bad.)

Recently, I began reading Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson.  I'm halfway through it now and I relate so much to her.  In this book, she shares many of her struggles with intense fear (which are very similar to my own) and her ways of not letting fear get to her.  She shares how ultimately, we can't conquer fear on our own.  She really pours her heart into this book, and anyone who reads it can tell that her faith is authentic. Her story has encouraged me to begin my journey again.  I don't know what that will look like, but God has something amazing in store.

This morning (I wrote this post on Sunday), my pastor talked about getting ready to be used by God.  This is truly amazing because that's really what this journey is all about.

I hope this post can be an encouragement to you.  I want you to know that you're not alone in your fear and that as a Child of God, you can overcome it!  It takes a lot of work (hey, I'm only working on it), but it will be worth it.


How to Survive April Camp NaNoWriMo 2018

April is actually the worst month for Camp NaNoWriMo.  The school year ends in just a few weeks and teachers like to pile on more work (and essays ugh).  So...here's how to survive Camp this year.

1. Set a manageable goal.

This seems very straightforward, but it's actually hard to do.  I really want to bang out an entire novel, but that's very unrealistic and overwhelming to me.  That's why I set a lower goal that I'm pretty sure to complete.  (Hey, a little progress is still progress!)

2. Join an epic cabin!

Find people who will inspire and motivate you.  Find the people who will word sprint with you at those times when you really don't feel like writing.

3. Write.  Every.  Day.

Seems like a no-brainer, but some nights you will just want to go to bed.  Tell yourself that you can't go to sleep until you write your allotted number of words for today.  Remember that once you let it slide by once, it's easier to let days go by where you don't touch your WIP.  Discipline is key.

4. Save a little time to refuel.

How to you fill yourself up creatively?  Save some time for reading, watching a movie (don't get too sucked into electronics, though), and reading your Bible.  Don't completely burn yourself out!

5. Sometimes the words will flow (and actually sound decent!) and sometimes they won't.

During those times when you know you're using "said" way too much and start every single paragraph with your MC's name, KEEP GOING.  You can fix that later.  That's what editing is for.

6. Remember that Camp NaNoWriMo isn't the most important thing in the world.

(Forget this tip if you have an actual deadline.  Then it is the most important thing.). I have to remember this too.  Especially if you're in school, keep Camp NaNoWriMo as a higher priority extracurricular activity.  If school is super demanding right now, consider lowering your goal.  There's no shame in lowering your goal if you have a lot of very important things happening.  Don't kill yourself over something that's supposed to be fun/productive.  (Writing probably isn't your job yet, even though you're supposed to consider it your job.  Sometimes it's okay to treat it like a hobby.)

Do you have any tips to surviving Camp?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


What have I been up to?

Oh look, I dropped off the face of the earth again.  #oops.

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of change for me, both internally and externally.

For about six months, I've had writer's block.  There were a few exceptions in there, but I've had writer's block for a majority of that time.  I took a long break from writing--both fiction and blog posts. (Unfortunately I've still had to write essays for school.  Also, I had to do some edits on The Clockshifter, but I wouldn't consider it enjoyable because of my writer's block.). These last six months have also been a waiting period for me.  What kept me going was that I could change my situation in just a few months.  So I kind of just rode the wave.

Last night, I started writing again because of this incredible post that Stephanie Kehr shared with me. It really dissects why people write and how it can help with healing.  Definitely give it a read.

I also got accepted to my dream college!  This is a major step for me because for a while, I wanted to live at home and go to a community college.  God has been equipping me to go out into the world and live boldly for Him.  This has been an incredible, yet difficult journey.  (I wrote a journal entry a while back about living boldly.  I actually ended up using it for the majority of my college application essay.  I'm using this as my mission statement and my battlecry.  I use it to remind myself how much God has changed me and that I need to live fearlessly for the rest of my life.)

In other news, I started filmmaking again.  Today I'm filming a few scenes from Pride and Prejudice for an English assignment.  This is going to turn out amazing because I have AWESOME, talented team members.  One of my partners is incredible at music composition, so this movie will have an ORIGINAL soundtrack.  She is one of the most musically talented people I know.  My other friend did an INCREDIBLE job writing the screenplay.  It's EXACTLY like the book (as in, the dialogue comes directly from the book).  We also recruited some awesome future movie stars and found some costumes to use.  (As I write this, I should be finishing up the storyboard.)

I am also reconsidering redesigning this blog again.  I don't feel like the purple fits me anymore, so I'm working on something new.  Stay tuned for that.  Also, look for more fresh content coming your way (once I think of something to blog about).

Thank you so much for sticking with me even when I "abandoned" this blog!



The Internet is Killing My Writing (and productivity in general)

Lately I've noticed that I spend much more time scrolling through social media than I do anything else.  And I'm not really doing anything on there; I'm not getting anything of value out of it.  (Obviously, I still need to go on there sometimes to work on my platform, but that's the exception.)

I've grown to hate social media because it takes so much out of me.  I scroll through it like a mindless zombie, and when I close the tab, I still feel like a zombie.  Despite this, I can't seem to stop scrolling through my social media accounts.

I'm addicted to my electronics.

As a society, we laugh at the cliche picture of a group of teenagers at a restaurant all on Snapchat.  However, we don't do anything about it.  We shrug it off and blame it on the "changing times."  Yes, times are changing, but we must use these changes for good.  God did not create us to live in a virtual world, he created us to enjoy the real world.  By talking to each other through technology, we aren't "really" talking.  (Also, let me say that I'm not against online friendships.  I have a couple of really good online friends.  I'm just saying to spend as much time face to face with people as possible.  Video chatting only counts for far away friends.)

Does anyone else notice the same thing?

So, if I seem less present on social media for the next few weeks, it's because I need to get back to work.  I need to ramp up my focus on my relationship with God, schoolwork, college applications, SAT prep, and rewriting The Clockshifter.

Okay, now please turn off your Internet and do something productive. :)

(This is probably the one time I'll ever tell someone to get off my blog.)

Let's work together to actually do something about the world's electronic addictions.



Two posts in one week?  Wow, maybe I am getting back into the swing of blogging. :)

Kendra E. Ardnek is preparing to release her newest book, The Worth of a King, and here's the cover...

...you didn't think I was just going to post it, were you?

...keep scrolling...

....a little more...


Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.
The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.


“He loves her,” was the only answer Adrian had. The answer that had been eating at him for three weeks.
Jerolin was quiet a moment. “Prince Delaney? Well, I’m hardly surprised. She is quite beautiful. Any man could fall in love with with a mere glance, and I’d wager that he’s had far more than a mere glance.”
Adrian threw a glare at Jerolin, not sure that he liked that tone in his adopted brother’s voice. “And she seemed rather fond of him.”


This was a bit of a different cover design process because Kendra didn't give me very much to go off of.  It was kind of a trial-and-error process, but I'm pretty pleased with the end result (and it was a very fun, experimental process).  (Also I'm excited to read the book!)

When I first started making it, I really only had a title.  This was a while ago while Kendra was still writing the book and I wanted to design something.  This design went through a few iterations before we abandoned it.


I wasn't sure what look Kendra was going for, so I made two concept covers.

The one on the right looks a little like something from a nativity scene.  I'm very glad we didn't pursue this concept.  We did go with the black and gold concept...we just made a lot of changes.
This was the first thing we came up with.


We adjusted the words to the bottom of the cover and played around with the coloring.

And this is the final result!


Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She's been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. "Finish your story, Kendra," is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that glorify God and His Word.
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