• 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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    April 2018
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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

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The 2013 OYAN Winter Workshops

I have returned from Kansas and the 2013 OYAN Winter Workshops.

It would seem I always feel like Frodo after coming back from an OYAN Workshop, wondering how I’m supposed to slip back into life after everything I’ve experienced.  Then I realize… I can’t. I’m not the same, I can’t go back to how things use to be, too much has changed. But instead of a change that haunts the hero for the rest of his life, stealing away his peace and joy of victory, it’s an exciting change, a change that brings a thrill of anticipation for the future, a change that inspires another adventure.

Mr. S. is an amazing teaching.  I always come away having learned something new and this workshop was no exception.  I really felt God calling me once again to boldly stand up in a very controversial area among Christians.  I won’t say what that area is yet, but it’s something He laid on my heart years ago and after this week, I feel like He just reiterated that conviction.   I still have a lot to learn before I can take the steps in really stepping out, but I am clear about what God wants me to do, it won’t be easy, but I won’t be doing it alone, and for that I am so very grateful.

I plan on writing (maybe) a mini series of post about specific highlights from the Winter Workshops, but until then, here are some picture highlights from the week. 🙂

Mr. and Mrs. S in their epic Steam-punk costumes.

Mr. and Mrs. S in their epic Steam-punk costumes with myself and my friend Daniel.


Mr. and Mrs. S. once again.


My critique group – Area 51


The epic chalk board wall we covered in drawings and what-nots.




Me with my two OYAN sisters Adrienne and Sarah.


OYANers are special, that’s why I love them. 😉


Counting Down the Days

Only 10 more days until the One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) Workshops and Reunion!  Toto, we’re going back to Kansas!  (in case you were wondering I really do have a Toto. 😉 )

I can not wait to see my OYAN family again.  They are some of the most incredible people I have ever known.  They have changed my life in so many ways.  I am so grateful to God for bringing OYAN into my life.

Last year was like a breath of fresh air.  Being surrounded by so many loving and like minded people was simply amazing.  I’m looking forward to another week of rejuvenation and fellowship.  It’s going to be an epic week!

Last year there were 87 students + their families.  This year there are over 100 plus family members.   And…. this year I have a video camera!  I have a tribute video already planned with music picked out and everyone.  So this year when I get back, look out for videos as well as pictures. 🙂

One more weeks!!! 😀  Can you tell I’m excited? 😉

Editing Continues…

Edits on Choices continue to crawl along.  Hopefully the pace will pick up later this week.  *fingers crossed*

I’ve been fighting a head cold for about a week now.  Doesn’t help when I work late on the weekends and can’t get to bed early, but a well, such is life.  Thank heavens for Young Living Essential Oils.  Without their peppermint oil to relieve my sinuses I think I just might have died. 😛

Only three weeks and four days until I leave for Kansas!  (I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!!)  I’m beginning to think I’m not going to finish the eleven chapters I have left in Choices, especially if it keep growing on me.  There were only sixteen chapters, now there are eighteen, and at this current rate I wouldn’t be surprised if I have twenty chapters by the end.  But then, it’s growing for a good reason, it needed to.  Kate and Terren’s relationship has been reigned in and made to progress at a more realistic pace, so naturally the book had to grow with it.

Here’s hoping this draft will be done by fall and work on Chances can be moved to my top priorities list. 🙂

Bryan Davis on Revision

Bryan Davis speaking at the 2011 OYAN Summer Workshops in Olathe Kansas this past July.  I thought you guys would like to see this, (even my OYAN readers who were there 🙂 ).

Having been there I can say it was the best talk on revision I have ever heard.  I still have my handout from this and refer to it constantly.  Hope this helps you in your editing endeavors.

I’ll be posting some editing tips that I have discovered through this round of Heart of Hope edits soon.  Passing on my club. 😉

Can you see me? 🙂

Here is a link to the slides handout he gave us.

Check out Mr. Davis’ website HERE.

“Arms. Legs. Neck. Head. Nose. I’m fine. Everyone else?”*

Anyone else feel like they were run over by the last few months? I do, (but run over in a good way). This summer was an amazing journey, taking me from one crazy ride to the next. It’s been a glorious, out of control, insane, memorable and thrilling four months. (I can say that now that it’s over. 😉 ) But really, though there were times I was ready to disappear and wait for the calm to descend, it’s been brilliant.

June-July took my back to Kansas and back to my second family. Friends who are the most incredible people I have ever met. You people are amazing and I can honestly say I love you all.

August took me and my family to California to visit my grandparents and see old friends. I still smile when I think of the new memories we made. I’ve been there a million times, but it never gets old.
September has just begun, but already it has brought so much. My best friend of nearly twenty years was married yesterday. Tears come to my eyes when I think of the joy I saw in their faces as they proclaimed their love to the world and joined hands in marriage. It was truly beautiful.

In the mists of all this I’ve been getting ready for school, working here and there, and slowly forcing my way through Heart of Hope draft III. Time has flown by like a whirlwind of events, scattered days and unforgettable moments.

Through it all, God has been molding and shaping me. I feel as if I’ve changed this summer. I’ve grown in faith and understanding of God’s plan for me. I’ve let go of the dreams He was telling me to part with and have finally begun to trust Him completely and with everything.

Looking back over this past summer there were times I was ready to fall apart, give up, hide in my closet and forget about the world. But I got through; with His help I made it. It feels as if I have just taken a long voyage from one land to another. It’s a new beginning. This summer may be over, but there is so much more on its way and I am ready for it.

What about you all? What new memories, crazy moments, or spiritual lessons have you experienced this past summer?

*Quote from Doctor Who series 4 episode “Midnight”. I just had to use it as the title. 🙂 It fit well enough.

Off on the Yellow Brick Road.

I’m heading off to Kansas for the second One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshops and Reunion!

Am I excited?  Excited is an understatement, I am stoked!  I can’t wait to see everyone again, plus see my amazing sister in Christ/friend from across the pond for the first time in the two and a half years that I’ve known her. 

It’s going to be amazing. 🙂 

Kansas, here I come!


My Year 2010

(Starting at the top, left to right.)

The 2010 OYAN Summer workshop — Mr. and Mrs. S.  The Great Mall of the Plains, Olathe Kansas.  Blueberry Hills, Manson Washington.  My sister’s 16th Birthday. 
The Fair!  Olathe Kansas.  My Best Friends Graduation.  Demonstrating at the fair with my amazing friend. 
Leavenworth Washington.  My 20th Birthday.  The 2010 OYAN Reunion.  Haircuts! 
Rumpelstiltskin play with friends and family.  Kansas trip.  My “new” car.  OYAN Summer workshop — The OYANers!

What were the highlighs of your year?

Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.

I’m back! 😀  My trip was AMASING!  I can’t wait ‘till next year. 🙂 

I learned so much and it was incredible to meet all my online friends.  Already I miss Kansas and everyone who was there. 

The order of events went something like this:

Day 1-Thursday:   Left for the airport, arrived with no difficulties.  At the airport mom and I checked our bags and went to Starbucks.  🙂  The wait to get on the plane wasn’t long at all and before I knew it the plane was racing down the runway and lifting into the air.  We landed in the Kansas City International Airport in Missouri.  Once off the plane we got our bags, found the rental car dealership and headed for Olathe!  (Pronounced O-lay-tha.)  It was cloudy but the country was beautiful!  Rolling green hills and lush forested areas.  It was hot too!  Around 97% humidity and it stayed in the 80’s nearly the whole time we were there.

After trying to get the GPS to work, and navigating the Kansas highways we made it safely to Olathe and to our hotel.  After we got settled we went exploring and found a Wal-Mart and Starbucks. 🙂  By the time we got back to the hotel it was late and we were bushed, so we called it a day and hit the hay.

Day 2-Friday: Woke to clouds mixed with wonderful sunshine. 🙂  Did some more driving around and talked on the phone with a friend, who we were going to meet for lunch along with his family.  After a bit of phone tag we decided on a place to eat and were given directions to get there.  Turned out one road was mixed up with another and we drove in a few circles before finally arriving at the restaurant.  Lunch was awesome!  I really enjoyed hanging with my friend and his family, plus, Mr. and Mrs. Schwabauer “crashed” the party!  As soon as I say them a ran over and tackled Mrs. S. with a hug. 🙂  (Okay, maybe not “tackled”.) 

After lunch, (which lasted about three hours,) we all went back to our separate loggings to get ready for the first part of the workshops that evening.  To make sure we didn’t get lost finding the university mom and I left early.  Half of me was nervous walking into the building where the workshops were being held.  The other half was bursting with excitement!  Here I was, in Kansas!  About to meet nearly all my online buddies!  What a feeling. 

It started with students founding other students, hugs, excited shouts, laughing and “Oh! It’s  you!”s all-round.  It was awesome. 🙂  I think half the fun was finding everyone.  I knew a few by face and others I had to look at their name tags. 

The workshops began with an address by Mr. S which was fantastic and ended with a performance by the Green Leaf Improv. Team.  Those guys were great!  I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt!

Day 3-Saturday:   Cloudy weather again, but still hot and humid.  The first workshop of the day was about how to open a novel and how not to open a novel.  I took lots of notes and Mr. S’s talk was awesome.  Next we broke for lunch which was in another part of the campus.  It was pouring down rain (and I mean PURING!)  A nice thunderstorm was going on and thankfully I got a ride to the lunch hall.   After lunch, the last half of the workshops and critique group.  Critique groups was great and I got a lot of helpful comments and criticism. 🙂 

After all this we all headed for the church where the reunion was being half.  Mom and I were the first ones there.  That night was amazing and loads of fun.  The Schwabauers invited a professional juggler, who was hilarious, and Mrs. S. brought swords!  I was standing by the door when she came in carrying them and we had a little due. 🙂  Lots of pictures were took and we all had a blast.  We played a rousing game of Ninja, (I kept loosing 😛 ) and made lots of jokes. 

The end of the evening was a bit depressing because we all had to say good bye.  Nobody wanted anyone to leave.  In the end it was a bitter sweet Farwell.

Day 4-Sunday:  Mom and I were invited to join the Schwabauers along with another parent and student to go to their home church and we did.  I wish I could go again, but it’s a little far. 🙂  After mom and I went out to lunch with the Schwabauer and two of my friends from the Forum along with their sister.  It was so much fun!  I got to say goodbye properly and that was great. 

It was after three by the time we left the restaurant and mom and I went to the Mahaffie Farm and Stagecoach Stop and road the stagecoach.  Then we went back to hotel and crashed. 

Day 5-Monday:  Went to Independence Missouri.  Went to really cool museum, road in a covered wagon, and walked on what use to be the Organ and Santa Fe Trail.  It was great! 

Day 6-Tuesday: Hung around town, did some shopping, went to the Great Mall of the Plains, saw a movie there, and ate at an amazing BBQ place called Oklahoma Joes.  Went to the Stagecoach Park in Olathe, it was so beautiful, and there was a rainbow. 🙂  

Day 7-Wednesday: Packed.  Went back to the Mahaffie Farm to take more pictures.  Left for the airport and said goodbye to Kansas. 😦 

All in all the trip was incredible!  I can’t wait to go back.  😀 

Here are some pictures.  Enjoy. 🙂

P.S. Now that I’m back I’m going to start blogging regularly again.  🙂 

Lunch at Red Robin

Me with Mr. and Mrs. S.

(Left to Right) Knight of Elyon, Mer-mer, Sharpie, Samii, Snuffles, Amber and Leaf.

Group shot 😛

OYAN Reunion-The Whole Gang

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