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A Hike Around the Blogging World and How Many Siblings Am I Missing?

Mirror + feet selfie with my two littlest sisters.
 June has been one of those months that's been packed full of plans, most of which I managed to complete despite all the curve balls life threw into the mix.

Fun and exciting, if not somewhat stressful and very exhausting.

The major-minor disappointment: My novella did not make it as a finalist in ACFW this month ;/ But I was happy for its month of being a semi-finalist.

Now onto the fun things:

I MET UP WITH SOOOO MANY BLOGGER FRIENDS AND DID A TON OF HIKING! 
 Erudessa from The Flowering Vales and I first met through a knitting forum site called Ravelry.com. We eventually started writing letters and sending packages to one another ... and finally, since we only lived four hours apart, my family went up to see hers. We both have tons of kids—they liked to get onto us for having one less than they ;p—but we had tons of fun.

I've since been up several times to see them, usually with another sibling. But the beginning of June I made the four-hour drive by myself and had a fantastic time catching up with her and her older sister, Arielle from The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls.


Erudessa on the left, and Arielle on the right. According to one of their brothers, we are a bunch of suffering psychopaths ;D which I kinda like ;D 
 Natasha Atkerson from A Modest Fashion Blog and I used to both blog for A Pinch Of Classy. Technically, I'm still a fashion blogger at APOC, but I've been so bad and haven't posted there since December ...

Anyways, Natasha and I have "known" each other for a good four years or so, and only live an hour apart. BUT WE'VE NEVER MET UP OR SEEN EACH OTHER! I decided to finally remedy that this June and went to visit her church and go on a short hike afterward. So much fun! And so glad I finally went to see her. Also, her art is amazing, y'all, and her sister is indie published in fantasy and Natasha made her covers. Super spectacular!
 Jessi from Jessi L. Roberts and I first met at the 2017 Realm Makers conference and have kept in pretty steady contact ever since. Mostly we love talking conspiracy theories together, and it's so fun because we can get as serious as we want without the other person thinking we're too insane ... or at least, we don't judge each other ;p

She told me about a one-day writer's conference that would be happening forty-five minutes from where I live. So I told her she had to come to it with me. We both live in the same state, but she's seven to eight hours away.

She came and we went ;D
We already knew Kyle Shultz, author of The Beast of Talesend, would be there. But we met another girl who'd been to Realm Makers. The four of us were the only young people, and Realmies, so of course we sat together ;D
A lady I work for was having a grand opening for her boot shop on the same day as the conference. I thought I wouldn't be able to do both ... but when we got home, there was still time. Poor Jessi, who probably thinks I'm crazy for liking fashion and weird fashions at that, was dragged along. But there was a free photo booth set up, so we got some fun pictures with my sisters!

Writing in June:
So, as I already said, I'm not a finalist in ACFW. But that doesn't mean my writing isn't still making progress! I'm working on my nano novel for GTW 100 for 100, and wow this novel is just making me so happy! I think it's going to be one of my better ones ;)

I emailed two agents about my novels, and I've written an average of 600 words a day (not my best, but June has been crazy).

But ... what's really exciting (to me) is this: 
 
 Last month I mentioned signing the contract for my article that's going into this book. Now the preorder link is available. My article is to all the extroverted writers who want to write for people, not just themselves.

Annie Twitchell is looking for advanced readers for this book, so if you like, you can sign up here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehHhbivXk800AiJKYdW9lAdlx8ufT1Qe4nBi3V7beQNoXDBg/viewform

I've still been receiving AMAZING feedback from beta readers for "Let Me Meet Death Dancing". And by feedback, I mean 4-5 pages of why they love my book ;0  I'm trying to keep humble, but it does feel good to finally have written something that the majority of my readers like.

I printed my book out to send to my great-grandmother (she requested a copy ;p) and look at how HUGE it is!

Work Was Work Which Meant I Slept Great
I have blue tooth earphones (yes, this is going somewhere) that I use for listening to audiobooks and podcasts while cleaning houses.
I either keep my phone in a pack belted to my waist, or lying nearby.
I keep my phone on vibrate so notifications don't distract/ annoy me as I clean houses.
One day I lost my phone.
We couldn't call it .. because I keep my phone on vibrate.
So I was without a phone and audiobooks for the rest of the day and the next day ...
BUT ...
My alarms still work when the phone is on vibrate.
I have alarms set for 4:50am, 6am, and 7:29am.
They rang under one of the lady's boys' beds. Ten years old and forced to get up to turn off the cleaning lady's alarm ;p

After that I accidentally texted the lady that I clean for that I love summer so much ;0 Yeah, my life has those sort of exciting moments, too.
 Mostly, cleaning is just about looking for the opportunity to capture artsy photos (when no one is around to judge me).
The boy I babysit hiding from the rain, wanting neither to come inside or get wet. ;D
Because of something that happened in our family (I'll share below) I had to take my little sisters to work with me a few days. The first picture in this post is of them at work with me, too. Those days were long for both them and me. I have a couple houses every day. When I could I put them to work. One house, the lady I clean works with me, so it wasn't practical having little girls following me the whole time. So I laid a blanket under the tree in the lady's yard and told my sisters to stay on it—I gave them a box full of food, school work, and coloring stuff.

Life, because that's what living is full of:
June started perfectly because I was able to meet up for tea with this amazing friend of mine. Elizabeth should totally have her own blog ... her Instagram is amazing, and so is every word she speaks. I always leave her feeling refreshed and alive, ready for life once more. 
 My bedroom carpet was disgusting. I don't know if Catherine inspired me with all of her bedroom remodeling posts or what, but I finally decided I could take my carpet no longer. I made my sister help me, and we tore it all out one day after I got home from work. I have four younger sisters, and we all share the upstairs, though it's kinda partitioned into rooms. But the carpet is all the same.
So, once done with mine, we spent a few days tearing out everyone else's, too.
 
I bought this jumper a few months ago, but have just got around to wearing it. It's made by a local Montana lady and I just love her Instagram page and can't wait to buy a wool jumper from her ... she should have them available in the fall ;D

And now for the fun part ... 
Most won't think to count, and those that do might not know that there are two siblings missing in this photo ... 

Last year my dad was in a very bad car accident that crushed his entire body, and it's supposed to be a miracle that he lived and that he's walking as well as he is now. But his balance isn't the greatest, and he still can't do much work. Some friends of ours who are auctioneers said they'd put a benefit auction on for us, which we held on Father's day.

All of us kids in the above picture were the ones that helped with it. My dad wasn't able to be there (I'll explain why in a moment), so my brothers did all the heavy lifting, and I took care checking people in and giving them their numbers and handled all cash and checks and customer service.
Overall, it was a decent auction. I love the sort of work I do (I don't always love some of the annoying people that show up along the way ;p).

You see, the reason my dad and two sisters are missing from the picture, and the reason I've had to take my little sisters to work with me is that my mom's been in the hospital for a couple weeks with health complications. Also, she was pregnant ...

We didn't make the pregnancy public, because people can be very hateful about that sort of thing. "Don't you already have enough kids?" or "Don't you know there's a way to prevent that from happening?" Since people want to be that way, we see no point in telling them.

Anyways, the baby was born six weeks early due to my mom's health. The baby is perfectly healthy, but he'll have to be in the hospital a little while longer. He's our twelfth sibling; the seventh son. His name is Joel Amoz, named for my Dad's little brother that died recently.


Something I Hate
So, I probably shouldn't share this story. But it's too horrible not to ...
FROM OUR AUCTION:
Lady: Makes big deal out of the fact that my little brothers are handling guns and that the older ones are wearing pistols (all unloaded).

Me: Stop being ridiculous.
Lady: We should ask the sheriff about it.
Lawyer friend: Let the boys do what they want.
Lady: But they'll scare people and we won't make as much money ...
Me: Let them leave. We don't want those sort of people here, and we don't need their money.
Lady: Oh, you're preaching to the choir, I'm just saying ...
Me: *rolls eyes and thinks, lady, if you're the choir all your notes are way off key*
SERIOUSLY, SOME PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND STOP HELPING STRIP AWAY PEOPLE'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ;0
Clarification Edit July 2, 2019: I don't hate this woman or anyone. In fact, there's nothing that even needs to be forgiven. I simply didn't like the attitude or rudeness portrayed that day and that ticked me off. In the future, if I ever see the lady, I'll treat her as if she'd had a bad day (for all I know, that may be totally it as I don't know her that well personally) and I'm sure we'll get along just fine (on my part, at least). 

And ... 

Something I Love 
At the writer's conference, they talked about how every writer is different and how some people learn/ write differently than others. And so we need to be careful about spreading myths that might be true for some, but really depend on the context.
The one that got me the most is that "You must write every day". I believe that as a writer you should write every day and I've told so many this. But ... even I have times (rare though they are) where I don't write. And I don't write as much on the weekends. And yeah, as an extroverted writer, with a crazy work schedule, I have a pretty fixed routine that works great for me but wouldn't for others.
I guess, the conference convicted me.
And I'm one of those weird people that like being convicted.
So, I'm going to be more careful when giving writing advice (or any advice).
As a result, I came up with this little metaphor:
If you need a screwdriver, and someone hands you a hammer, you have the wrong tool. It's not that the hammer isn't a tool or even that it's a bad tool, but each tool is designed for a specific purpose and place and person. Make sure you're giving the right tool to the right person, or the job will never get done. 


How was your June? Have you met up with Blogger friends before? Have you read anything by Annie Twitchell (let me know if you sign up to be an advanced reader!)?

Comments

  1. There's so much fun stuff in here that I can't choose which part to comment on. So I guess I'll just say... awesome post! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  2. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW LITTLE BROTHER, Keturah!!!! He's beautiful!!! Absolutely precious!!!

    (And heh. I can understand getting that ridiculous attitude. We only have seven and that gets a rise out of people...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Megan! He is pretty cute ;)

      (haha, it's terrible isn't it? ;p But I guess those people can be ridiculous about kids if they so desire)

      Delete
  3. Wow sounds like a great month for you! I haven't meet any bloggers, besides you. I think it would be fun though. :)

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! I guess that's true ;) You should meet some others ... most are quite fun ;) I hope your graduation was great! Sorry I couldn't be there, but I was needed with the baby that weekend.

      Delete
  4. Congrats on your new brother!! That's wonderful news.

    Also, yay for meeting blogging friends :) It's so awesome when that happens, especially when you realise they don't actually live that far from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!!
      It is so much fun! It's funny though, because I kinda live out in the middle of no where, so who'd think that there'd be so many people around me?! But yeah, it's nice ;D

      Delete
  5. We've met two of the same blogging friends: Erudessa and Arielle!! They are awesome!

    Your little brother is adorable!! Congratulations!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's so neat! I think I remember you saying that. If you don't live too far away I'll come see you too ... email me if you're actually interested in me coming ;)

      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. I've never met any blogger friends, but I got to meet an old pen pal of mine a couple months ago! That was super fun. :D

    Oof, I'm so sorry I haven't got around to reading your book you sent me yet! I have that and my sisters' books sitting there waiting for me to read them and I keep forgetting. *headdesk* But I will get to them eventually! ;P

    Congrats on your new brother! He's such a cutie. :D

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh pen pals are so much fun! Many of my best friends started out as pen pals ;)

      Oh, don't apologize, but thanks for letting me know you still have it and haven't forgot ;) Take your time.

      Thanks!!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thanks ;D He should be coming home soon now!

      Delete
  8. YOU MET WITH SO MANY BLOGGER FRIENDS BUT NOT ME?!?!?! >:(
    :P

    That writing conference sounds awesome and your siblings are so cute!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's your fault for leaving so far away ;) But hey, I plan to go to a writer's conference in Texas sometime in the near future. If I do I'll make sure to stop and say hi to you ;)

      Yes, it was awesome! Thanks! :)

      Delete
    2. UM, YES PLEASE DO! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME XD

      Delete
  9. J+M+J
    I'm sorry to hear that about your father, and your mother having to be in the hospital too.... But....
    Congrats on the new sibling!!! Oh what a lovely wonderful gift from God....! Don't let anyone ever convince you it's anything else! :)
    Yes, it is a shame what people do to wonderfully large families nowadays, but indeed, I feel bad for them, for they have no idea what they're missing.... (The people that is)

    The Doorman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They all came home today, so all is well! ;D
      Thanks! And yeah, people have never been able to be successful in telling me things I don't want to hear ;p Mostly, that's been a good thing in my experience ;)
      It is a shame, but yes, it's their loss and we can't force them to live fuller lives, can we ;)
      Thanks for commenting!!!

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you had an amazing june.☺ Twelve kids is not that many.☺ (My family is small, but we often hang around big families.) I have never met blogger friends, but I have only been blogging since February.☺
    ~Lilly
    tidbitsofahomeschoolgril.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *tidbitsofahomeschoolgirl.blogspot.com

      Delete
    2. Yeah, 12 kids doesn't feel like that many to me, either ;) Wow, only since February? Well, I hope you're enjoying the blogging experience. And who knows, we might end up meeting some day ;)

      Delete
  11. Wow sounds like June was crazy but great! Congrats on your article being added to Annie Twitchell's book, that's so exciting! Wow congrats on having a new baby brother, that is so exciting! I understand how people can be... I have a big sister and four young brothers and when we had my youngest brother some people probably thought we were a little crazy, but I don't think they understand. I can't imagine my life without Ever (short for Everett). It felt like a piece of our family was missing and then he was born and suddenly our family was complete. So congratulations. That's such a joy and so fun to have a new baby in the house. I miss having a little one in the house (Ever is 8 now).

    www.melodypersonetteauthor.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, crazy but fun as you say! And Ever is such a great nickname! It is fun having a baby ;)

      Delete
  12. Here's me, late as always...

    But anyway, great post and congratulations on the new baby brother!!!

    Here's wishes to another fantastic month!!

    ~ Lily Cat (Boots) | lilycatscountrygirlconfessions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Late is better than never! That's what I tell myself every time I catch up with past posts ;)
      Glad you enjoyed the post nevertheless! And thanks!
      July is my favorite month of the year, so yeah it's been fantastic! Same to you ;)

      Delete

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