• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

Looking Forward and Behind

2015 held so much, the biggest being the birth of my daughter.  Becoming a mother was definitely the best thing about 2015 to me.  It’s been a crazy and exhausting year and 2016 will probably be the same, but I wouldn’t trade any of it.

My mind hasn’t fully grasped it’s a new year. Maybe it’s because I haven’t made any resolutions, but am just planning to keep taking life one day at a time.  I tried setting some new years resolutions last year, but due to things in life that happened and were beyond my control, there were never actually resolved. (I can’t even remember what they were.😛 )  So I have decided to just take everything in it’s stride.  If I finish writing my newest book this year cool, if not, cool.  If I am able to get back in shape, fantastic, if not, *shrug*, I’ll just chase a toddler around for exercise.

New year’s resolutions have never really worked for me. If I needed to make a change, I started right then and there, middle or end of the year or not. Plus, whenever I made a goal of finishing such-in-such novel, or reading so many books in one year, or whatever, something always happened, some unpredictable life event, that messed it all up. So this year no resolutions, just living. Just continuing to work on my health, on writing, on blogging, on relationships and we’ll see what 2016 brings.

Right now I plan on just being a wife, a mother, a home cook, a reader, a writer and clean eating lifestyle liver (and momentary grammar forgetter).  So 2016, shall we dance?

——————-

Check out and subscribe to my new lifestyle blog over at vanillapantryblog.wordpress.com.  There I will be posting recipes, meal plans and tips for cleaning up your diet in 2016!

 

NaNoWriMo and Priorities

(Re-blogged from Instagram)

I’ve barely written 3,000 words so far in my casual NaNoWriMo. My goal was 1k a day, but the only day that actually happened was day number one. This NaNoWriMo was about getting back into writing everyday, about taking steps to finishing another novel, something I haven’t done on about five years. I knew it would be hard with a five month old who’s teething, I just didn’t anticipate how hard.

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Most of last week instead of writing I just went to bed because I was exhausted from being up half the night with an upset baby. Or I read or played a bit of Destiny because I just needed to unwind and relax. (Or did dishes and/or laundry because baby was finally asleep and I could put her down.) Even though I haven’t been able to keep up with my goal, the silver lining is I started. The beginning is written, there are words on paper. Right now my priorities lie with taking care of my baby. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to write in the next couple of weeks, but even if I don’t write another word I’m still coming out ahead.

Someday, when baby teeth are in and nights are once more filled with sleep, I’ll be able to focus more on writing. Until then I need to be okay with my novel being on a back burner.

To all you parent WriMos out there (or just anyone) who are having trouble keeping up because other things keep taking priority, relax, it’s okay. Not hitting the 50k doesn’t make you a loser. Conquering that blank page, no matter the word count, is a victory that puts you in the winner’s circle.

7 Years

A little something for Throwback Thursday…

Seven years ago this week I began my senior year of High School.  I started lesson one in the One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) curriculum workbook and created an account on the student forum, joining the online world as StoryGirl.

Seven years ago on said forum this Washington state girl met this guy named KnightofElyon from Oklahoma.  We started out as fellow members of a small group within the forum community, messaging back and forth about our novels, The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.  Then we started talking about our personal struggles and began exchanging Bible verses and encouragement.  Two years later we met in person.  Over the next couple of years our friendship grew and changed dramatically.  Next month we will be celebrating our two year wedding anniversary.:)

It’s crazy this all started with my mom asking me if I wanted to try a new writing curriculum.  Now here I am, seven years later, married to a fellow OYANer with a beautiful three month old daughter living in Oklahoma.  God definitely works in mysterious ways.  It was a wild ride the whole time and I wouldn’t change any of it.

I love you so much Daniel.  Remembering that time as SG and KOE makes me smile and shake my head in wonder at how God orchestrated the whole thing.

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June 2010, the first OYAN Summer Workshop in Kansas where we met in person for the first time since joining OYAN in 2008.

2011 OYAN Summer Workshop.

June 2011 – OYAN Summer Workshop.

2012 OYAN Summer Workshop.

June – 2012 OYAN Summer Workshop. We started courting the fallowing August.

Winter 2012 - Courting. :)

December 2012 – Courting.:)

 February 2013 - Engagement

February 2013 – Engagement

October 2013

October 2013 – Married!

June 2015 - New addition

June 2015 – New addition!

5 Excuses to Stop Making

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As writers we are full of excuses, and I am no exception.  If there is “good reason” for why that draft still sits unfinished, (or why it hasn’t even been started yet…) we will find it.  Here are five excuses to stop making and just write that book!

1. I don’t have time.

We make time for the things that are important to us.  If it’s important to you, make the time.

2. I don’t know if I can write this.

You won’t know unless you try.  If it’s an idea that is close to your heart go for it.  I’ve learned from personal experience that God plants certain ideas into our minds for a reason.  Some stories were meant only for you to write.

3. I’m not done developing.

One of my favorite excuses.  There comes a time when you need to stop researching, stop putting all those minuscule details together and just sit down and write.

4. I’ll start next week.

Code for, “never”.  How any times have you and I made this statement in our heads and then Monday rolls around and we write zilch? Too many times.  Start today.  It doesn’t matter if today is Friday or Thursday, there is no day like today to start.

5. It’s a dumb idea.

The excuse of desperation.  We’ve grown so use to making excuses for why we haven’t started for so long that know the idea has aged.  We’re so familiar with it, it no longer feels appealing.  Now is the time to silence that’s inner voices and remember why you loved the idea in the first place.  Focus on that point and start there.

There you have it.  No more excuses.  Go write something today!

Our Little Bundle of Joy

She’s here!

Our little Abby was born on June 11th.  She weighed 5lb. 13oz and was 19in long.

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I was in labor for over 36 hours and looking back, I can’t believe I did that.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but the reward was so worth it.  The moment the nurses laid her on my chest for the first time is a moment I will never forget.  I thought for sure I would just start crying then, but all I could do was stare at her and breath because it was finally all over.  God is amazing with how He created a woman’s body to give birth, it’s so crazy, even having experienced it I still can’t help but think, “how?”.

I had an amazing team with my husband, mom and doula, Deanna Norris (if you live in the Oklahoma City area and are looking for a doula, Deanna is wonderful) — and the hospital staff were fantastic.  I wanted to have a natural birth if possible, and thank the Lord, there were no complications and I was able to deliver Abby completely drug free.

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I am so thankful that everything went well.  Apart from how long it was (again, I don’t know how I did it…), it was a really good experience.  I was nervous about being in a hospital with everything I didn’t want, but the staff stuck to my birth plan and just were as sweet as could be.

Abby is doing well, letting mommy and daddy get enough sleep at night and just being adorable during the day.  We are very much smitten with our little bundle of joy.  She’s definitely a keeper.😉

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Our family of two is now a family of three and a new adventure has begun.  :)

Starter Story: Being Content with Where You Are

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I recently found and was inspired by a company called Compass to write about our first home.  Compass is a new real estate company manly working in Washington D.C. and New York City that helps people find the perfect agent, place and neighborhood.  They are doing a series called “Starter Stories” and I wanted to be apart of it.  I’ve been side planning a post along that lines and they’ve helped motivate me to actually sit down and write it.

Expect the unexpected. That seems to be the theme of our starter story. What was supposed to be a paint job and some new carpet turned into a total rebuild. That’s the thing about old houses, you never know what you’re going to find once you start poking into walls or peeking under flooring.

It was going to be ready by the time we got married, that was the plan anyway, then my father-in-law decided to take a look at a spot under the floor of one of the bedrooms. (Good thing he did too.) It was sagging and better be safe than sorry, but what they found propelled them into a two year rebuild. Turns out that corner of the house had slid off of the footing, and not only that, but concrete had disintegrated. (Did I mention this was an old house?) It was a miracle the whole room hadn’t collapsed! As they dug into walls and pulled up floor boards more and more hidden problems came out into the open. Really, it’s amazing the place hadn’t either burned down from the problematic DIY wiring, or fallen over from the places where the foundation had crumbled away.

A work in progress.

A work in progress.

Well we didn’t get to move in after our honeymoon, in fact, we still haven’t moved in, but through it all God has been teaching us patience and contentment. (One things for sure, when God teaches you patience and contentment, He does so very thoroughly.)

So what became our starter place? Well, for the first few weeks while we looked for something, a fifth wheel. Yup, a fifth wheel. It was a cozy place to “play house” our first month of marriage. The only issue was the fact that it was the beginning of winter and in the last week we had a problem with everything freezing. But right when the weather decided to truly turn into winter, we found a place only five miles away.  (God is so good!)  I never thought I could be so thankful for things like a shower and washer and dryer that were in your own home. (Before that we were using my in-laws facilities.) This place is a quaint little one bedroom cabin and it’s where we currently call home.

Our living room and entertainment area.

Our living room and entertainment area.

This little place doesn’t have a bathtub or a dishwasher, but our first winter here, I discovered a new appreciation for hot running water. Turns out the pipes under the house were not buried, so guess what happened when the temperature dropped below freezing? Frozen water lines and no running water. (We solved that issue by leaving the kitchen faucet dripping once the pipes unfroze.) After that, whenever I stood over the sink looking at a pile of dishes, lamenting the lack of a dishwasher, I would remind myself to be thankful for hot running water and the ability to be able to wash dishes.

The pint size kitchen.

The pint size kitchen.

Remember the “expect the unexpected” part? Well once spring rolled around that didn’t change. Once more our move in date was bumped as time and time again we felt like the universe was warring against us as one thing after another delayed the remodel, *cough* I mean rebuild. Yes it’s been frustrating, and there were many a time I caught myself moping because we still couldn’t completely unpack and settle, and once I found out I was pregnant I really became inpatient!

My husband and I have had the “it is what it is” and “we’re here for a reason” conversations many a time through this whole process, looking at the positive (like, hey! We have a roof over our heads and can pay our bills! We’re just fine), and remembering that God’s timing is far better than our own, but I still struggled with being content with where we were. Then the nesting part of pregnancy started to hit and I started stressing out over how in the world we were going to make room for a baby. I complained (yes, I admit it) about this to my husband and he dove right in with a solution. I have to put in, God has blessed me so much through this man I married, and I truly don’t know what I would do without him. He remained calm, and kept me calm as he pointed out furniture we could move, corners we could clean up, and even started on it even though it was later in the day and we hadn’t even eaten yet, just because it would help set my mind at ease. (I love this man.)

Bedroom with baby corner.

Bedroom with baby corner.

Now we have a baby corner, and oddly enough, even though we stuffed more things into our little bedroom, it feels more open. After rearranging the furniture a bit in the living room area, I began to feel better about the space, but then my husband made a comment that changed my perspective entirely. As we were looking at our progress in reorganizing he said, “I’ve been thinking it’s going to be really cozy, the three of us here. It’ll be fun.” Ever since then I just can’t get those thoughts out of my head. I really feel like God was speaking to me through my husband’s words, giving me a different way to look at it. Yes, it will be cozy and now the thought brings a smile to my face.

Patience and contentment are hard lessons to learn and God is a very thorough teacher. Yes there is no storage in this place, but there is a good size upstairs where we can keep things without cluttering the main living area and even have a guest space. Yes the kitchen is tiny and the stove/oven feels like it belongs in a dolls house, but it holds what we need and does its job. There’s no AC, but a window unit keeps us from melting.  Our bed frame might double as a coat rack because there is no closet and sometimes you just have to improvise. So we’re not completely unpacked yet, we have what we need and it will make when we finally unpack everything feel like Christmas.

A bit of

A bit of “home sweet home” decor.

Our starter place didn’t turn out to be the one we thought it would be, but God has put us here for a reason and it’s kept us dry and warm and given us a place to call home.

A New Post is Coming, for Reals…Really Really.

No worries blog followers, for there is a new blog post in the work, there just have been other things that have taken priority. (Like finishing baby prep because I am four weeks out from my due date!)

Hopefully I shall have the post finished and up soon! So stay tuned!  :)

In the mean time, go follow me on Instagram and keep up with me on a more visual level. (Especially if you are interested in baby pictures when the time comes.😉 )

Waiting for June

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The baby corner is coming together and June 12th is fast approaching.  In about six more weeks I will have my baby girl in my arms and get to see the look on my husbands face when he sees his daughter in person for the first time.  God has blessed us so much and I am looking forward more than I can express to this blessing entering the world.  I just have to make it through May!:)

Peace in the Crazy

A little something from my blog archives. We all need a reminder sometimes to stop and listen to that still small voice in the midst of our crazy lives.

A World of Scribblings

If you could see my calendar for this month your head would spin. My head spins just thinking about it! It would be so easy to through the little black thing against the wall and just freak out. Scream, run around the house, then curl up in a dark corner and cry, wondering how in the world I am going to get through it all. And trust me, I’ve come within a hair of doing just that. Why is it in these times I forget, so very quickly, that I’m not alone? Here I am carrying this heavy burden, each step more difficult than the last, dragging myself through the craziness of life. But all the while, a peaceful Voice is calling me to be still and let The One who never tires wipe away my cares.

How soon I forget.

And they that know thy name will put their…

View original post 222 more words

It May Not Look like it, but I am Living my Dream

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Every child is asked this probably about a billion times.  If someone else isn’t asking them, they are asking themselves.  I spent a lot of thought on this topic as a child, mostly coming up with answers for the many adults we asked me.  First it was a nurse like my mom, but I decided I hated needles too much for that.  Then (of course) it was a ballerina, but I didn’t like the costumes.  (There was also the “secret agent” stage where I desperately wanted to learn martial arts, travel the world and kick bad guy butts.😛 )  Next a musician, but musical theory was like taking math and math and I were not on good terms.  For a while I thought about being a singer, but voice lessons were not really an option financially.  Then I discovered writing, but that’s not the dream I am talking about.

Even through all the indecision of childhood reasoning and dreaming, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was the only thing when I thought about my future that made sense to me, that I could see myself doing, the only dream that made me smile with excitement.  But it wasn’t a suitable answer when adults other than my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was as if they didn’t see it as a real dream/job to have and I didn’t understand why.  What did I want to be?  A wife and a mom.

Yes, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up, a wife and a mom.  From a very early age I just knew that’s what God wanted me to do.  My baby dolls were precious to me, and I would swaddle them and hold them like they were real, to the extent I usually didn’t let other people hold them. They were my babies and I was their mommy.  All my Barbies and stuffed animals had a family with a mommy, a daddy and children (or more accurately, a mommy, a daddy, a teenager, a little sibling and a baby.)  I made families out of everything, from buttons to the different sized rods we used for math. (You home-schoolers know what I am talking about.)  I loved it, but whenever I gave my honest answer to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, nobody seemed to take me seriously.

When God also called me to be a writer, one of the things that made me excited about it was that I could do it and still be a stay at home wife and mom.  I could still home-school and be a writer.  I didn’t have to go to school or get a degree, I didn’t have to commute to a job, I could be at home.  I didn’t realize how much I loved being at home until I got my first true away-from-home job (babysitting/nannying didn’t count).  Like any young adult I wanted to get out of the house and away from my family (nothing against my family, they are awesome and I love them).  We’ve all been there, when we think it’s time for us to spread our own wings and leave the nest.  I worked four days a week and for a while it was nice not being home, but it didn’t take long for me to miss it.  I missed having time to play in the kitchen, I had to actually catch up on what was going on instead of being a witness (that felt weird).  It made me feel out of touch with home and my family even though I still lived there.  I wanted to be home again.

When I graduated High School I was bombarded with questions about college, degrees and careers.  It drove me crazy.  I didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t feel God leading me toward college or a degree, but that just wasn’t the norm.  I took a couple of classes just because it’s what I was “supposed to do”, but boy was I one happy girl when I walked off that campus for the last time.  After that, when I was asked if I was going to school and I answered no, I’d get looks that to me said, “That’s strange”, “Is she just not smart?” “Poor lost soul”, even from church members.  It was sad and a tad discouraging.  I was just trying to follow where I thought God was leading me.  I didn’t need a degree to be a writer, a wife and a mom, but I was the only young woman I knew who wasn’t going to school and pursuing a career.

Now however, all those odd looks, wondering and seeking, all those voices whispering and telling me to just go with the status quo are all things of the past.  They are silent and gone, not because people have changed their view, but because I chose to stop hearing and seeing them.  I may not have a degree, but I am studying to be a Godly wife and mom.  Staying home may look boring on the outside, but I have time to pursue my interests, whether they be cooking, reading or writing.  I love being here when my husband walks through the door.  I may not be the most amazing house keeper, but I love keeping house and the satisfaction of looking around a room I just finished cleaning.  And now we have a growing collection of tiny pink clothes, diaper packages and baby bath soap.  My little at home world is growing, and I couldn’t be happier.

It may not be what this world views as the norm, but this is my dream and I am living it.  To you young woman who is seeking God’s will for your life and may being going through that same stage in life, don’t for a minute think that being a wife and a mom isn’t a dream worth having, or a career worth pursuing.  It is.  The path that God has planned for you is more worth while, more fulfilling and better than anything this world has to offer.  So tune out the controversy, set your sights on Him and keep dreaming.

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