Thoughts on NaNoWriMo?

I’ve decided on doing NaNoWriMo this year!  For those of you who don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month.  I haven’t done it before, and I’ve had hesitations due to the fact that I usually like to focus on quality, not quantity.  However, since I’m having a hard time getting back into writing, maybe just getting those words down on paper is exactly what I need.  After all, I can always focus on quality in the editing phase, after NaNoWriMo.  I may not succeed in finishing the novel during November, or maybe I will, who knows.  Also, even if I do succeed, this book might not end up published simply because I’m not doing NaNoWriMo to publish another book; I’m doing it for the joy of writing.  And because of that very fact, I’m very excited.  No pressure to perfect a book for readers; just writing to write.  Maybe that’s what I truly need to get into writing again, because it might be the whole process of publishing that is intimidating in the back of my mind somewhere, keeping me from pouring myself into it again.  Next month starts the serious planning stages, and I can’t wait!

I explain a lot more about my thoughts on NaNoWriMo in my latest vlog:

The Coconino County Fair

The county fair rolled into town this past weekend!  My family and I have gone to the fair every year for as long as I can remember.  It’s been a first-weekend-of-September tradition.  However, this year, Joshua and I were able to experience it together as a married couple!  Joshua has lived here in Flagstaff for a couple of years, but he hadn’t gone to the fair until now, so I felt rather honored to be the one to show him around.

The fair lasts four days and though my family and I would typically go on the first day (also known as “School’s Day”–when all the schools took field trips to the fair, including homeschoolers), Joshua and I didn’t end up going until the last day.  We also didn’t go until the afternoon, which unfortunately was fairly close to the end of the fair, so a lot of booths were already packing up.  However, it was still lots of fun.

(I forgot to take pictures other than on Snapchat, so you’ll have to forgive me.)😉

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Upon entering the fair, we immediately headed for the food, because let’s be honest–that’s the best part of the fair.  We both LOVE funnel cakes, which was actually one of the first things we talked about when we initially began dating, haha!  We requested this funnel cake with powdered sugar, hot fudge, and caramel, which was fantastic! (As a side note, it was a bit of a breezy day, which meant I ended up with powdered sugar all over my shirt, pants, skin, and purse!  Haha!  Ah, the joys of powdered sugar.)

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And of course, what is a county fair without cotton candy and kettle corn?  Cotton candy was really just for the nostalgia, but the caramel kettle corn was delicious!  Sweet and salty!

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All in all, it was a wonderful time!  We walked through the food vendors, then continued onto the booths and exhibits as I pointed out various places I had entered items when I was younger.  We didn’t have a chance to go on rides as they are very expensive, but it was still fun showing them to Joshua!

Do you enjoy attending county fairs?  What is your favorite part of the fair?

-Tialla

Our Honeymoon!

We were blessed to have an absolutely fabulous honeymoon.  Though I must say, Joshua and I are both introverts and huge “home bodies.”  Thus, the more adventurous part of our honeymoon–aka, the parts with out of state/out of country traveling–definitely had us wishing for home, even with how much fun we had.

Anyway, our honeymoon started in Sedona, Arizona.  Sedona is an absolutely beautiful place here in Arizona, so if you ever have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it!  The town is surrounded with beautiful red rocks formations and gorgeous valleys.  However, there are some really weird things about Sedona as well.  Such as the belief in vortexes is huge, the amount of palm readers and mystical shops is surprising, and everything is overpriced because, well, tourists.  We knew about all this before deciding to spend the first few days of our honeymoon in Sedona.  However, Sedona is still beautiful and it’s a really cute town, so we planned on it, and we don’t regret it!  In fact, it was our favorite part of the honeymoon.  But Sedona does have another quirk we discovered: everything, literally EVERYTHING is closed at 9, or maybe 9:30 at the latest.  Even Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC–everything.  So weird, and a little unhelpful when you and your newlywed husband want a late night snack.  The only business we found open was a Bashas’ grocery store, so at least we had that!

We also got a free car wash when we drove up with our “Just married” decorations.  It only helped us love Sedona even more!

Here are some photos from our Sedona adventures….

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We saw Tarzan! Honestly, I don't remember much from it, though.

We saw Tarzan! I don’t remember much from it, though.

 

Dinner at "Golden Goose Grill" which was delicious and service was phenomenal! We had the entire patio to ourselves. :D

Dinner at “Golden Goose Grill” which was delicious and the service was phenomenal! We had the entire patio to ourselves.😀

 

Starbucks of course. One of my favorite photos of us. <3

Starbucks of course. One of my favorite photos of us.❤

Our next stop on our honeymoon was the Flagstaff train station!  We took the train from Flag to LA!  It was SO exciting.  We loved it, and are totally planning on taking the train again when we want to travel somewhere out of state.  Way easier than dealing with airports!

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We got a sleeper roomette, which made it so much easier for the overnight trip than sitting upright in coach. ;)

We got a sleeper roomette, which made it so much easier for the overnight trip than sitting upright in coach.😉

 

Once in LA, we took a cab to the cruise ship port!  As first-time cruisers, we were both very confused about where to go, who to talk to, or what to do, and people seemed very reluctant to help.  That was discouraging, but we finally figured it out!

Also, the Queen Mary was right next to our ship in LA.  If we wanted to do another “cruise,” I think we would just go on the Queen Mary because it is stationary!  We had fun on the cruise (the unlimited food and free room service being the best part), but the motion of the ship got to us (not making us sick, just throwing us “off” all the time), and it was too crowded/too rowdy.  It was a party cruise for sure, haha!  And we are too introverted for that.😉

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

First glimpse of our ship!

First glimpse of our ship!

 

The interior of our ship was very much into bronze, gold, and LOTS of colors. A little dated in my opinion, but maybe that's just because it was headed to Mexico!

The interior of our ship was very much into bronze, gold, and LOTS of colors. A little dated in my opinion, but I suppose they were going for a “festive” look since the ship was headed to Mexico!

 

Pano of the very top deck!

Pano of the very top deck!

 

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My favorite part of our room would definitely be the portholes and window seat!

My favorite part of our stateroom would definitely be the portholes and window seat!

 

Pano of Mexico!

Pano of Mexico!

 

We definitely had fun! It was a bit windy so my hubby had to hold my hat. <3

We definitely had fun! It was a bit windy so my hubby had to hold my hat.❤

 

All dressed up for fancy night!

All dressed up for fancy night!

 

Our waiter was so nice on the last night of our cruise!  He had this small cake made for us!

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We had quite a gap between disembarking from our cruise ship and catching our train back to Flag, so we took a cab to an outlet mall.

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Yep, on our honeymoon, we joined all the little kids and saw The Secret Life of Pets. With all of our luggage still with us, because there was no where to put it. The movie was cute!

Yep, on our honeymoon, we joined all the little kids and saw The Secret Life of Pets. With all of our luggage still with us, because there was nowhere to put it. The movie was cute!

 

After the movie we walked outside for a while, found a Barnes and Noble, and browsed there for a bit.

 

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The view from the cab.

The view from the cab.

 

And the train ride back to Flagstaff!

And the train ride back to Flagstaff!

 

After we got back to Flagstaff, we still had another week set aside for our honeymoon, giving us two weeks total.  Unfortunately, Joshua did have to work half-days that week, and even though we didn’t like being separated for that, it was helpful to have something for a paycheck.🙂  All in all, it was lots of fun, and a wonderful time to just relax with each other.  We definitely miss those days of spending every moment together without the need to go to work or anything, but we enjoyed it while it lasted!

-Tialla

The Dry Well | A Writing Update

The Dry Well {A Writing Update}

Some, or perhaps all, of you may have noticed my lack of blogging for quite a while.  A large part of this absence from blogging in the past 11 1/2 months (wow, almost a year!) has been due to God bringing a very special man into my life–the man I now call my husband.  However, it’s been longer than that since my consistent blogging, probably since I published my second novel, “Where Shadows Lie” in June of 2015.  Ever since I decided to take a break from writing at that point, I haven’t blogged very much.  It’s been one post here or there, every month, or couple of months truly.  My blog has become a place for general updates–how I spent my summer, haircuts, big news, dating, engagement, and marriage.

I would like to take back my blog to the place I consistently updated, but I’m not even sure how to now.  It’s been so long, and my life has changed so drastically since that was a priority for me.  I started this blog when I was fourteen and in school and now I’m nearly twenty-one, married, and working.  Life is 100% different in every way.  I feel like I have grown up with this blog, but I don’t quite know where to go with it now.  I don’t even read blogs like I used to–I have severely cut back on my blog subscriptions and I only follow at most five blogs now.  I am more particular about what I put energy into reading, and I hardly update my blog because I just don’t know what to write.  I love my life, but it simply isn’t fascinating enough to share about all the time.  Honestly, I feel like that has a large part in all this: what to write.  And that actually brings me to the topic I wanted to share.

I am a writer and a published author.  Writing is my passion and nothing else quite compares to the thrill of seeing a book go from an idea to a published novel in the hands of readers.

It kills me that I have absolutely zero passionate story ideas to follow right now.  I am dying to start writing a new book and begin that process all over again; to experience the joy of a story unfolding before my eyes as I type away.  The truth is, my imagination feels like a dry well right now.  Perhaps I need to just wait for things to settle down with my marriage and then I’ll have an idea to run with.  People ask me when my next book will be out, they wonder what I’m working on…because surely, as an author, I always have a ready spring of ideas to pull from.  I watch my favorite authors as they release book after book, year after year, and I can’t help but marvel how they have all these great ideas–they never run out!

So, to be completely honest, I’m a bit at a loss right now in my writing.  But I refuse to give up and I am keeping my imagination wide open for an idea that I can latch onto and mold into a story.  I have high hopes that I just need to wait for life to settle a bit, and then it will come to me.  We will see, I suppose!

The same concept applies to blogging.  I still don’t know how to start consistently blogging again because I simply don’t know what to write about.  Perhaps I will post more book reviews here, but even as much as I love books, those reviews don’t feel personal enough for my blog.  Perhaps I will post more vlogs, but I have a hard time filming those because I’m such an introvert.  Or perhaps, through trial and error, I will find something that suits me, and discover my blogging niche.

Until then, thanks for sticking with me, friends!

-Tialla

We Decided on Forever

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Hello friends!

Back at the beginning of the year, I mentioned my boyfriend and how I feel so thankful for him.  Well, God has blessed us further by showing us we are meant to be together forever.  Yes, we are engaged!❤❤❤

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Joshua proposed to me a month ago, and I honestly can’t believe it’s already been a month!  This has been the absolutely busiest and craziest month of my life!  We have accomplished SO MUCH with wedding planning…I don’t even know how we have done it all, but it’s coming along swimmingly!  Our wedding date is July 10, 2016, so just long enough to complete all the preparations.  However, thanks to a couple handy checklists (specifically a wonderfully helpful app called The Knot), we’ve been able to get tons of tasks accomplished already and not get too stressed in the process.  Yes, it’s taken about a month to have a chance to breathe, but it’s been a fun ride.🙂

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I have had a few people ask about the proposal, so I thought I would include that here if you are interested in knowing!❤ I was sitting down to watch a T.V. show with Joshua, and he said he would “be right back,” and left the room.  A few minutes later, he came back with a Hershey’s chocolate mug with a letter taped to it.  When he handed it to me, I removed the letter and as I opened it, realized it was a long, adorably sweet and romantic love letter from my mister.  It took me a few minutes to read, and once I had finished with a smile on my face and my heart overflowing with love, I said, “Aww,” while reaching over to give him a hug.  We hugged for a moment, but then he said, “And…” with a grin on his face, knelt on one knee, opened a ring box and asked, “Will you marry me?”

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It was my own fairytale.❤

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Anyway, I just thought I would update all of you, especially my longtime readers!  We greatly appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes as we continue to prepare for the big day, and as we begin married life together.

Much Love,

Tialla

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Guide to Getting Your Book Published

Guide to Getting Your Book Published

As an author, I’m often asked questions about how to publish a book.  Writers come to me, wondering about everything from the writing process to editing, formatting, cover design, and last but not least, finding a publisher.  Sometimes even a little marketing is thrown in there.  Considering writing and publishing books is my passion, I love answering these questions and talking about this subject.  It thrills me to share what I know and hope that it helps others who are looking to see their story printed and bound.

Due to the fact that I greatly enjoy discussing this topic, I’ve recently written an article with this exact subject over at HomeschoolLiterature.com.  It is a guide to getting your book published, and I basically poured nearly everything I know about the process into the article.  It is filled with tips, links, resources, and more.  For those of you who are looking into publishing your book, I hope it is helpful for you!

Happy writing,

-Tialla