Author Disillusionment & Delight

It was nearly midnight several days ago and the world was dark around me. My thoughts had started out excited: How long would it be until I could reasonably hope to have a completed version of When Life Hands You Lymes in my hands? What could I do to promote the book? Would the book give the hope I had always dreamed of? 
Before long though, my happy expectations faded as I waded deep in the overwhelming swamp of It’s not good enough. Suddenly a deluge of issues flooded into my brain and next thing I knew I was wondering how in the world WLHYL was ever going to work out. The ending scene was good, but what about those last few chapters? Did they wrap everything up? Or, oh my goodness, wait a second: I never fully closed that issue. Or fleshed out that sub-plot fully enough. Or explained in a reasonable way why she had overcome that problem. 
I prayed. I worried. I tossed and turned in bed. Finally I pulled my phone over and opened a copy of my book. I skipped toward the end and settled down to read. As the words came into focus and I inundated myself in the story again, I felt hope rising up in me. Some of the sentences that I’d written recently and hadn’t even remembered described the feeling I was going for so perfectly that I felt like gasping. In a way, this book had become part of me, and the emotions trickled onto the page without me being fully conscious of what I wrote. 

The hope that I’d fall asleep and escape my nightmare didn’t happen, so at last I propelled my weary body off the mattress and half tripped over to the windows where I opened the curtains. {From WLHYL}

“My dreams have crashed down around me and my world stopped spinning for a time.” I leaned forward “Yet I’ve found that the world is full of music, whether I can play it or not.” At that moment though my words felt fake. I couldn’t hear life’s music, only an awful, crushing silence. {From WLHYL}

Tiny waves of peace lapped at my toes. Yes, the book still had issues. Yes, it was scary thinking of other people going through it and finding mistakes. Yes, I had a lot of work to look forward to with it… Yet in a way this is just the beginning. Although I’d been crafting WLHYL for almost 30 months, it’s still just a baby. And babies need to grow.
I keep having to remind myself that life is full of corrections, and that’s a good thing. Just because WLHYL has a river of issues that need cleared up, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have an ocean of possibilities waiting to be discovered. 
Instead of being cut adrift by the tide of uncertainty and possible disillusionment, I’m choosing to delight in the possibilities and learn and grow and take each step at a time and dance to the tune of some unknown melody. In reality, God has it all under control, and even though I still have quite the road ahead of me, with Him all things are possible. So I’m gonna throughly enjoy this journey and I’m grateful for y’all who are along for the ride with me. 

Soon their music filled the room with a thousand different memories that swirled around me in a kaleidoscope of colors and hues that danced in perfect harmony with each other. {From WLHYL}

NaNo Craziness Has Officially Started

Welcome. There’s a very scary place where only a few venture to travel and that is called Aidyl’s Office during NaNo. It’s quite freaky indeed, but I’m reaching out and yanking you through the doorway before you even know what’s going on so I can babble on and on about what’s happening in this remote and amazing room. 
See, there’s a story taking place. No, really. A story is being written in this very room. It’s actually probably more correct to say “A girl who could possibly pass as a mad scientist is currently secluding herself in a red and tan office while writing furiously and randomly throwing words on to a page with the hope that at the end of the months she’ll look back and they’ll actually make sense.”
I don’t write on Sundays (except for my 100 words) and so therefore even though NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) officially started on Sunday, I didn’t begin my head long dash into the month of writing until Monday morning. Then I went at it with a vengeance. (That is totally not the correct word, but my brain has spilled out so many incorrect words recently that I’m going to act like it is.) 
I had this lofty goal of writing maybe 5,000 words the first day. Then a little while later I decided to change that goal to 10,000 words. Sadly that didn’t happen because I didn’t hit the 10,000 word mark until a little bit after midnight… I know, right? Like, couldn’t the clock have just stopped for maybe 27 minutes? (Or maybe I should have stopped procrastinating earlier in the day? Humm… That’s food for thought.) 
And speaking of food for thought! I’m trying to be healthy. Yes. Very heathy. You see, when I’m sitting here writing and writing and writing I like to also munch. And drink. And lick pens. So this morning for breakfast I had a bowl of crunchy veggies while working on my story. (And pomegranates. If you’ve never had pomegranates I’m sorry and I hope you rectify that soon.) 
Okay, I might have lied when I said “very healthy” because in preparation for NaNo I went out and bought some delicious white chocolate. In fact, I found white Reese’s cups for the first time ever and almost did a jig right there in the store. These chocolates are delicious. I have already gobbled down a few of them and am currently wondering why I only bought one bag. I mean, NaNo lasts a month, right? (I don’t generally allow myself chocolate, people. Or candy for that matter (except life savors) so this is a special treat and I’m enjoying it greatly.) 

Anyway. I shall henceforth end this post soon because I have more words to type out and I have the rest of life to live, too, although I’m trying to forget that fact from time to time so I can focus on my story. It’s a beautiful story full of bitterness and rejected children and hope and love and loyalty and all those amazing attributes. Mostly about princesses though. Princesses who don’t actual exist and others that act as if they don’t exist. (Does this give you a little peek inside my brain? Freaky place, right? But oh, so fun!)

I shall try and share snippets with you some time during this glorious month. For now though, good bye. Be good and don’t forget to dance for pure joy at least once a week. 

Synopsis, Author Bio and Questions, Oh My!

Writing is crawling along, slowly. Very slowly. The synopsis for When Life Hands You Lymes has been one of my focuses and so far I’ve not completely freaked out, so that’s a good sign. And when I say “not completely” that means I have freaked out about one half to two thirds of the way. 
See, the synopsis was going well and I was researching how to write one and felt overwhelmed but at least as if I had everything under control. I glanced through my book, thought about the different plot points and wrote down a quick outline of what all is in the book. After that I typed out a basic (and very, very rough) synopsis. About this time I started feeling pretty good about the synopsis. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. 
Then the thought hit me. This is what is going to sell my book. Gulp. Not the killer first line (haha, that’s a pun since this is the first line: I always go to bed with my room spotless, my hair braided and my pajamas clean; I have a phobia of being found dead in a dirty room.), not the first three pages. Not even the first chapter. I mean, yes, those things will help, but I’m pretty sure the “people” out there read the synopsis first. 

And that’s when I began freaking out and had to remind myself to just breath calmly and keep going because without the synopsis they aren’t going to be seeing the first line of the book and without the first line they aren’t going to see the second line and without the second line… Y’all get the point.

So. The synopsis. I would post it on here for y’all to see, but I don’t want to give away the whole book and when writing a synopsis you’re supposed to tell all the “punch lines”, therefore I decided not to share it with y’all. I still need to do tweaking and I need some people to help me with critiquing it and I’m trying to polish it up so it glows like a bright little candle in the depths of a dark cave. That will attract notice, right?

And while on the subject of being noticed by a publisher, I was wondering if y’all would help me with my author bio. I wanted to include something about Lyme disease in the bio I use to pitch When Life Hands You Lymes. I have two different author bio’s to choose from and I was hoping y’all could help me out by voting for which one you think is better. Thanks! 
#1. Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something author who spent her teenage years reading and writing late at night while fighting Lyme disease. She enjoys hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe and exploring caves. Lydia grew up in a barn, is an enthusiastic writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and has three published books: Cave Secrets of the PterodactylAction Kids’ Cluband Cool Critters of the Ice Age. She blogs regularly at Noveltea

Or 

#2. Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something Lyme disease survivor who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe and exploring caves. Lydia grew up in a barn, is an enthusiastic writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and has three published books: Cave Secrets of the PterodactylAction Kids’ Cluband Cool Critters of the Ice Age. She blogs regularly at Noveltea

One of My Writing Heroes

Back when I was a cute little seven-year-old with missing teeth and pigtails my grandma sent our family a book that had been written by a man who lived in her retirement village. It was called The Tiger Shark Strikes Again and was a mystery involving four kids in Hong Kong. 
My parents were leaving for a week-long trip and so after they pulled out of our driveway my oldest sister sat us all down in the living room and showed us the book and told us that for a treat while Mom and Dad were away she would read us a chapter each day. We were happy and settled down right away to hear the first installment. 
Several hours later my sister finished the last page and we all sighed in contentment, happy with how the mystery had panned out. (So much for reading a chapter each day! It had been to enthralling to put down.)
Fast-forward eight years and I was one of those bookwormish fifteen-year-olds who had devoured the book several times over and enjoyed it each time. After years of having our grandma come and visit us, we were finally going to visit her. We were excited not only to get to see her, but also at the thought of maybe meeting Mr. Bollback, the well-loved author of The Tiger Shark Strikes Again. 
I was beyond thrilled when our family not only got to meet Mr. Bollback (he was a deacon at the church there and came up and introduced himself to us), but then we became friends with him and his wife. 
Over the last seven years I’ve had many delightful conversations with the sweet couple, heard almost unbelievable accounts of their years spent in China and Hong Kong (you should really check out these books he’s written: To China and Back, Exiles of Hope, Red Runs the River,). 
Mr. Bollback also played a big part in encouraging me with my writing, especially early on in my writing career. He not only gave tons of advice, answered lots of random questions, told me I could do it and spurred me on, he also read several of my books, gave me feedback and inspiration to continue on even when it got difficult and even wrote an endorsement for one of my self-published books. 
I was delighted to get to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Bollback again last week and came away feeling encouraged and inspired. Despite having a few health issues they are still standing strong for Jesus and work at spreading His truth and love. At an age when most people feel like they can sit back and do nothing, they are still hosting Bible Studies and helping people learn more about God. (They just celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, how cool is that?!?)

I am so thankful to have people like Mr. and Mrs. Bollback in my life. They have done so much that will count for eternity and I feel blessed to call them my friends.

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And, I thought I’d share with you the sweet endorsement Mr. Bollback wrote for my book, Dusk
Dusk is the first book in the Turglar Trilogy that promises to be an outstanding and fascinating series. 

The author, young Aidyl Ewoh, is a young woman with an unusual spiritual depth to her writing far beyond her years. After reading two or three chapters I was struck by the impression that this is a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress series in the making. 

There are many books appearing on the market by aspiring authors who hope to be a success, but in order to accomplish that they often stoop to a low level of morality. This book is just the opposite. Rather than stoop to such a level, the author lifts you up to a higher plane with a story that is at once fascinating while at the same time instills a sense of peace and joy as you read. 

The land of Turglar was taken over by a harsh and cruel ruler who eliminated the royal family, but two decades later the rumor was confirmed that Princess Shalom survived. With keen understanding of human nature and the Bible, this story reveals the deep longing of the inhabitants of the land for the joy of once again freely reading and possessing God’s Word, the Path Book. 
Families will profit immensely by reading this book together and discussing the spiritual implications of each chapter. Get ready for a spiritual treat that will lift your spirit and fill your heart with anticipation for the fulfillment of God’s plan for our world.
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Check out all of Mr. Bollbacks Jack and Jenny Mysteries here: Smugglers in Hong Kong, Mystery of the Counterfeit Money, Hijacked, Rescue at Cripple Creek, and The Tiger Shark Strikes Again

Questions Jesus Asks – Book Review

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity 
By Israel Wayne 
Find it on: 
First Person
One point of view (plus lots of quotes)
Non-fiction
166 pages 
About the Book
From the back cover blurb 
Jesus rarely answered questions He was asked, but instead turned the tables by asking a piercing question of His own. Questions Jesus Asks goes through a broad spectrum of these, dealing with issues like morality, suffering, humility, faith, and much more. 

– Explore the unique paradox of Jesus’ divinity and humanity 
– Be challenged by the questions Jesus asks each of us 
– Learn more about Jesus and find the answers to your own life’s questions. 

John 17:3 tells us: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” There is no higher purpose in life than the knowledge of God through His Son. Prepare to learn far more about God and the nature of Jesus than you thought was possible. Jesus asks penetrating questions that cut passed the pretense and reach the target of our hearts.

Why I Choose this Book

I met Israel Wayne and his wife last year when I was hanging out at the Creation Museum. It turns out that they know my adopted parents so it was cool getting to talk about writing for a little while. Since then I’ve enjoyed keeping up with him via Facebook.  
Then, when I was at the Museum at the beginning of this month I posted a picture of me with my new book and Israel commented and pointed out that his book was on the same shelf, which was pretty cool. (We also have the same publisher which is so neat!) 
And as if that isn’t enough, then Israel’s book was rapidly climbing up the Amazon Kindle bestseller list in it’s category and was on sale so I snatched it up last week. 
What I Thought About the Book 

I enjoyed reading this book and I learned a lot from it. It takes different questions Jesus asked during His time on earth and expounds on them. It’s easy to tell that Israel did a lot of research while writing this book. I liked it when he would go into the Greek meanings behind the words because he did a great job in explaining them in a way that was easy to understand. Each chapter includes tons of Bible verses and quotes as well as a short personal story to introduce the topic (which were actually one of my favorite parts of the book… I like stories and it made the subject so much more relatable… ;). 
Each of the chapters were engaging and easy to read; I especially appreciated the chapters about riches and prayer. 
Since I was reading the book on my phone I’m not sure how long each chapter was, but they were short enough that I could breeze through them which made it a nice book to carry around and read when I had a few minutes to spare. 

Conclusion 

There was one or two things I didn’t agree with 100%, but that’s a given with pretty much any book I read. Overall I really appreciated the book and the message.  
Rating 
I’m giving Questions Jesus Asked four stars and I would recommend it to people twelve and older. 
About the Author 

Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. The author of Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview and Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Israel is the Director of Family Renewal, and site editor for ChristianWorldview.net. He is a homeschooled graduate, father of eight and author of the previous title, Questions God Asks, which was released in the Spring of 2014 by New Leaf Press.

What I’ve Been Reading

Since we left home on Friday I’ve been enjoying reading. I think the writing side of my brain called a time out and the reading side of my brain called a free-for-all. 
I’ve focused a good amount of time on my non-fiction reading list: 
I read the last half or so of Love Does by Bob Goff and could barely contain my enthusiasm as I shared story after story with my family and quickly passed the book along to my cousin and sister who are both gobbling the book up. Someday I’ll be reviewing it on here. A total Five Star book. Y’all should go buy it and read it ASAP. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sufficiently rave about this guy. 
I also finished the last third of Getting Things Done by David Allen. I had to read this book for work and unfortunately it’s not really one of those books that meshed well with me. (Translation: I had to crawl my way through it and y’all aren’t going to be seeing a review.) 
I also began Home Run by Kevin Myers and John C. Maxwell. Y’all! It’s amazing. I’m only on page 86 of 217 pages, but I’m really enjoying it. I received this book back in February when I was at the Salt and Light Conference. Mr. Myers gave a talk with the principles that are in the book and then at the end of the session each person got a book. I completely recommend this book and hope to review it for y’all after I’ve finished reading it. 
I also started reading Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. I’ve read this book (or at least part of it) before, but that was several years ago. I’m currently on page 106 out of 174 pages. It has a lot of really helpful information and I’m trying to immerse myself in books about writing, so I’m very thankful for this book. 

I’ve also read four fiction books (one of them that I’ll be reviewing on here soon) that add up to 1,215 pages of reading. Combine that with the 376 pages of fiction (It really felt like more! I’m always shocked at how much easier it is for me to fly through fiction compared to non-fiction, even though I really do like non-fiction). That adds up to 1,591 pages which is kinda a lot of reading for five days. (About 318 pages a day.)

One reason I took this reading blitz is because I’m still mind-tired from finishing When Life Hands You Lymes. I have been working on plotting my next book though (which is the second book in the Creation Quest series) and I’m hoping to begin writing it today. Thankfully I have a good grasp on what’s going to happen with this story and it should be really easy to turn out. A couple weeks from now I think I’ll be ready to move on to my next project. Excitement.

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What about you? What are some of the books you’ve been reading recently? I’d be delighted to hear!

Word Crafting: A Job or a Hobby?

After a busy weekend I was tired this morning as I yawned, stretched and began my day. Normally I have my devotions in bed cuddled up under my blankets, but today I was so sleepy that I got up and had my devotions in my chair to ensure I would stay awake.
Underneath all my tiredness though, I have an underlying excitement because after three days of minimal writing work (I was busy with my other job and family events) I get to dive back into the writing groove. There’s nothing like being able to sit at my computer for hours at a time and immerse myself in words.

Word-crafting is a gift. A joy. My job. Sitting down day after day to form words into cohesive and suitable sentences isn’t always easy. It isn’t always fun. But it’s worth it. It’s what I do. And I love that God has given me the opportunity to touch people’s lives through writing. 
Recently someone alluded to writing for me, and others, as just being a hobby, as opposed to writing being an actual job. That thought-process escapes me. Writing is enjoyable, yes. Writing is a craft, yes. Writing is a hobby to a lot of people, yes. But writing can also be a job. Just like fixing cars can be a hobby or a job. Just like baking can be a hobby or a job. Just like raising horses can be a hobby or a job. 
My writing is a job that I love, but it’s a job nonetheless. My writing time is dedicated, focused and regular. I treat it with seriousness and continue even when I would rather give myself a break and do something else. Thankfully I also get paid for my writing. 
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What about you? Do you have a job that people sometimes confuse as a hobby? I’d be delighted to hear about it. Also, make sure you enter the giveaway for my new book. You can get more entries each day, so please, spread the word!