Character Conversations #7: Take From Fairytales

Every month, I write a writing prompt post, to encourage you guys forward in your writing and character crafting. I call these posts “character conversations!” Today we will be talking about fairytales!

Don’t you just LOVE fairytale stories?

I feel like a lot of times in life people might say “Why get so into fairytales. Life isn’t a fairytale. Come down to earth and live in the real world.”

I’ve heard people say that to others before.

But, how untrue. I feel like if anyone were to understand the trials of reality, it would be fairytale people and creatures, if they were real. I mean, look at it this way… Ariel the little mermaid in the original fairytale, actually never ended up with her man and turned to sea foam at the end of the story. Cinderella’s step sisters cut their toes off so they could fit their feet into the glass slipper. Morbid, right?

And don’t even get me started on Hansel & Gretel OR Pinocchio. Those characters would all KNOW the realities of the real world.

Our world is grim at times and inside the fairytale stories, all those characters know that. And those characters have a lot to offer when it comes to inspiration.

I want you to choose a character from a fairytale that you love. Make it a unique one.

Let’s use Maleficent for example.

I absolutely love the movie Maleficent. It shows the story from her point of view. I want to encourage you to write about a character from a fairytale that you love, but here’s the twist. Use one of these ideas.

  1. Make your villain your hero.
  2. Make your hero your villain.
  3. Tell the story from your villain’s POV.

Reach into who they are from the original fairytale and create a new life for their character. Maybe it could even be an origin story for how said character became the character we all know today.

Let me know how it went. Share it in the comments!



Character Conversations #6: World Rules & Traditions

Holiday season got me thinking about our world rules and the traditions we have. This is also true for the stories we read. In each story there is a unique world, whether it’s set in our world or in a fantastical world with it’s one set of rules and traditions.

That’s something I want you to think about this week.

Grab your story world & break out the rules and traditions

For example, I’m going to use Harry Potter. As you all know it’s set in our world, but yet in a world of ours where magic reigns. Continue reading “Character Conversations #6: World Rules & Traditions”

Character Conversations #5: A World Of Saints & Sinners

This is the fifth installment of the Character Conversations series. If you haven’t read the other installments, that’s totally fine. You can read them here: convo #1, convo #2, convo #3, convo #4, although they will make sense if read out of order.

We live in a world with beautiful things and horrendous things. It’s a world of beauty and pain. It’s filled with saints and sinners. You can find that out by just stepping outside into the real world or by watching the news at any given moment.

[Tweet “Our world is a world filled with beauty and pain,  & saints and sinners.”]

Last month, Johan’s grandpa passed away. It was really sad. He went in for a surgery and made it through that just fine, but all of a sudden when he was in the healing process, his heart just stopped. It was so tough, especially since Johan was here and the rest of his family was in South Africa.

a world of saints and sinners

In that same week, our town was hit by a horrendous crime that made everyone very uncomfortable and took away that safe feeling that a small community has. A pregnant woman went missing. And then they found her body. Continue reading “Character Conversations #5: A World Of Saints & Sinners”

My Favorite Novel Writing Tips

There have been countless times that people have asked me what I do to plot my writing. In this post, you’ll learn what my favorite novel writing tips are when it comes to plotting.

Ever since I was little, I struggled with outlines. I tried writing them in high school and didn’t do so well, teachers tried making me do them, I tried again in college, and even again while trying to find a good method for getting a little more organized when it comes to writing my books, so I end up with a cleaner 1st draft!

I struggled to find something, because I was not an outliner. I was what you’d call a pant-ser.

[Tweet “These are my favorite novel writing tips when it comes to plotting.”]

But now, I’ve found something that’s really helped me, well actually two things! Here are my secret novel writing tips:

novel writing tips


The Novel Writing Tips That Helped Me The Most

The first novel writing tip is from the Snowflake Method. A friend mentioned it, when I was writing my first book, which I had to edit a thousand times. (Not exactly, but close to it. It was a MUCH MESSIER first draft than the book I just wrote using my new method.)

[Tweet “When I didn’t use a method to keep track of my plot, my first draft was a lot messier.”]

So what is my new method? (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to get your download so you can try my new method.) Continue reading “My Favorite Novel Writing Tips”

Mary Kay Fast Fun Facts

Hello Lovely Lady!

You may be reading this because:

  • You were recently at a skincare class of mine or another lady’s and you are considering starting your very own Mary Kay business.
  • You are about to go to a skincare class and your consultant shared this link with you, so you’d know a little more about Mary Kay and what it offers.
  • You may be watching this with your husband or mom so you can get a second opinion on whether Mary Kay may or may not be for you.
  • Or maybe you are just watching this to help your beauty consultant win an awesome prize.

Whatever your reason is, for reading and watching this, I’m beyond thrilled and excited to have you.

In this blog post you will learn a little about me, my Mary Kay business, I’ll also share some fast fun facts with you about Mary Kay, and then I’ll leave you with a couple questions to get you thinking.  Keep watching this link, as I’ll attach a Facebook Live video in this blog post as well!

A Little About Me & My Mary Kay Business:

Last night was my Business Debut Party! 🎉 We had a lovely turn out! I absolutely love the fellowship that Mary Kay creates. My director, Deb, awarded me with my Perfect Start Charm (for giving 15 facials to 15 women), my Power Start Charm (for giving facials to 30 women in 30 days), and my Pearls of Sharing Pearl earrings for sharing the opportunity with 3 lovely women. What other business rewards you like this for a job well done? Now I’m working toward my pearl bracelet and necklace! I want to give a warm thank you to all the ladies who were able to show up to help me celebrate. Also want to thank my mom for all the help setting up with delicious desserts and punch! ❤️ you @aberglundart! And also, thank you @intentional14 for the charms and earrings! I absolutely love them!!

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I never thought I’d be selling Mary Kay. Honestly, I never thought I would. I kinda looked down on the whole direct sales thing, which I had no clue. But that’s where I came from. I knew I would work for myself somehow, someday. And I wanted that to be sooner than someday. BECAUSE REALLY, we only have one life, am I right? Continue reading “Mary Kay Fast Fun Facts”

Third QTRly Goals: How’s This Quarter Almost Over?

Can you believe there are only a couple months left till it’s 2018??

That pushes me into high gear. I need to accomplish many things before the new year! How is it that the month has vanished so quickly? The time disappears in the small moments throughout the day. It went by so fast that we are almost done with the third quarter of this year, and all before I even had a chance to share the 3rd Quarterly Goals post with you guys. So here it is.

In order to review, my 2nd quarter went pretty well. There were things I did pretty well, and there were other things I wish I would have done better on.

This week and weekend we had a lot of fun. We were able to finish our green card process with the green cherry on top of the immigration sundae: the green card interview. 🍒 __________ Besides that we were really happy to get away for a long week/end away. We’ve needed it. We slept in, had breakfast in the mornings, set off at our leisurely pace, went on hikes, and took a surprise trip to Wisconsin, went on a lovely dinner cruise, and last but not least spent an amazing time with my husband chatting about our lives and dreams! _________ This weekend showed us more than ever how much we want to work for ourselves so we can live the lives we’ve always wanted to. No waiting till 50 to live the dream. We are starting now!! ⭐️

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Review: The Second QTRly – 2017 Goals

January, February, and March:

  • Wake at 5am. (Haven’t perfected.)
  • Write a minimum of 6 hours a week. (I did get about 6 hours of writing done a week in this quarter.)
  • Finish current WIP. (Yep, dunno!)

Finished my WIP read through today! Whoop whoop! Tomorrow I begin the first round of revisions!!! 🖍

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  • Do something special for someone I love every week. (12 month goal: Relationship. Be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend.) (Didn’t do as good as I’d have liked to.)
  • Run 4 days a week. (Nope, didn’t do as well as I’d have liked to.)

  • Market basic product. (Nope.)
  • Start creating a roadmap for a second product. (Nope.)
  • Guest post on blogs and podcasts. (Not Yet)
  • Do a Bible study daily. (Not as well as I’d liked to.)
  • Read more. I want to read a minimum of 10 books. Really want to start focusing on getting more words read so I can improve my own writing. (Didn’t do as well on this sadly.)

This is a really good book! Absolutely love C.S. LEWIS! I would have loved sitting down with him over lunch to talk writing and life! Total role model!

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Since last quarter was both good and bad, I want to break down this next quarter into smaller chunks. Because it seems that I am thinking I’ll get more done, than I actually am.

This Quarter: Third QTRly – 2017 Goals

July, August, and September:

  • Wake at 5am.
  • Minimum of 6 hours of writing a week.
  • Grow my business on and offline.

Had an amazing skin-care party today! It was brilliant! Had 6 lovely ladies trying on skin-care products and makeup! 🙂

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  • Blog Consistently
  • Get current WIP edited and to critique partner and beta readers.
  • Lose 10lbs by walking 10k steps a day and tracking my food intake.

  • Fully chase freedom. (I’ll share more on this in a later blog post.)

Last night, I had a lovely evening with my Mary Kay sisters. We made vision boards for the upcoming months. Some of the things I focused on with mine are: 1. I want to grow my business and achieve the red jacket position before the end of the year. 2. Ultimately I want to work for myself full time so I can spend the majority of my time with my family and doing stuff I love. This will give me flexibility and allow us to live the life we’ve always wanted to! Working for myself will also get rid of the person on top and allow me to run my business how I like. 3. Want to get our house and pay it off quicker than 30 years. 4. I want to get my book edited and submitted to agents still this year. 5. We want to get Johan’s parents here for Christmas. Right now, in my business I’ve been working to raise money for number 5 on my list.

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  • Start the first draft of SOHCAB

Even though this QTR sort of snuck by me. I am going to accomplish great things. I’ve learned a lot lately about setting goals and making sure to meet them without setting a new date for the goal to be accomplished. No more of that.

Character Conversations #4: Get Character Ideas From The News

Every month I like to put out a new blog post that has to do with creating believable characters. If you haven’t read any of the posts yet, be sure to check them out here, here, and here.

The news is everywhere, isn’t it? It’s on the radio, TV, in newspapers & magazines, as well as almost everywhere online. Since the news is overpowering and everywhere, why not use the news to collect character ideas?

I got this idea the other day when I was searching online for something. A news story popped up about a man who fosters terminally ill kids.

In the article, there was a video. He said, ““The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”

When I read that, I got extreme goosebumps. I felt a story.

Start Collecting Stories From The News

1. Take some time every week to look through the news. 

Don’t spend too much time on news everyday or you might get depressed.

2. Look at news from other countries.

I really like looking at the BBC. Sometimes stories are waiting outside of the main news avenues that you are usually looking at.

3. If you get newspapers or even magazines, take a glance through them. Read the areas you don’t usually read. 

Take ideas from those sections and connect it to something you do like writing about.

4. Take notes where you are. If you are out and hear something that is happening, take notes in your phone.

Story ideas are everywhere. You just need to listen for them.

My Example:

From my example up above, I would be inspired to write two characters. An elderly couple, who takes in children that others normally wouldn’t. Here are my characters.

Here goes:

“Honey, are you ready?” Glenda called from the kitchen. In the study, her husband, Calvin sat at his desk and traced his finger around the face of a little girl who wore pigtails. On his desk were countless other small frames filled with different faces of kids who had been in and out of their house. Deep down inside he’d wished that they’d left to live with happy families to live the rest of their lives. But that did not happen, because he and his wife had decided to take the children that were sick and dying. It was a tough calling, but they were children who needed love. 

Calvin stood up and set the frame back on the desk. He turned the light off on his way out of the room. His wife, who wore an ebony dress and a locket, hugged him.

“We should probably head to the church now. So we can say good-bye.” She said. He felt an intense gurgle in the pit of his stomach. This was never something he enjoyed. Whenever they left, it was the hardest saying goodbye. It broke his heart every single time. 

Now It’s Your Turn…

Find a story in the news that inspires you to create a character. Then, write your character. Share it with us below, in the comments if you’d like!

Why I Left A Career In Publishing

There comes a time in a writer’s life where they need to make a very tough and important decision.

First off, a little back story: I went to college for English/mass communications with a certificate in publishing. I did multiple publishing internships and built a great portfolio (online and offline). Besides being an author, my dream was to work in publishing. For the last four years, I’ve been working in some form of publishing, which was a dream come true!

I’ve worked as an editor/writer at a couple different magazines.

While enjoying my last magazine job, I started feeling like I wasn’t dedicating enough time to my writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I was writing.

And writing a lot.

But I felt like I wasn’t chasing my writing dreams of being an author.

That’s when I decided to make a decision. A hard one.

I decided to find a job outside of publishing, so I could spend more time focusing on my writing goals.

So that’s what I did. I found a job where I could pick my hours and leave work at work, so I can focus on my writing.

I was just listening to a publishing podcast the other day while running, and they were talking about that same situation. They noted as well, that there comes a time in a writer’s life where they have to make a decision to either stay in their publishing role writing and publishing things that aren’t their projects OR find a way they can write and publish their own projects.

I am super thankful for the publishing jobs I’ve had in the past and really feel like I learned a lot and improved myself as writer. But am so thankful for the time that I get to chase my dreams as a published author now.

What about you? Are you a writer (who wants to be an author) who is working in publishing? Or were you once?

Character Conversations #3: How To Create Characters From Your Imagination

Over the past couple of weeks here, we’ve been having character conversations (for the character convos intro, click here) where we talk about creating and writing believable characters and how to make them come to life.

You’ve learned different steps and tips on how to create unique characters that feel real, even if they are fantastical.

Character conversations 3 how to write believable characters

A couple weeks ago, you learned how to create a character from yourself.

Today you’ll learn how to create characters from nothing. That statement might come off as a bit strange, but what I mean is… that you are going to learn how to create characters from your imagination and how to look for characters in your daily life.

Alright, Let’s Begin Creating Memorable Characters

1. First off, where do you get inspired?
Brainstorm a couple of the different places.
Here are mine: the woods, the mountains, and on road trips with people I enjoy.

2. Now pick one of those places. (I will pick the woods. Wish I could go to the woods right now. So restful.) What place would you choose? Where would you go?

3. When you are in that place, sit down, shut your eyes, and listen. What do you feel? What do you hear?

4. After sitting there for awhile, take out a notebook and write those things down. What you were feeling? What you heard?

5. Ask yourself questions like:”What kind of characters live here?” (My Example: Trees live here.)

6. Create a character from your choice.
For me, my character is going to be a tree.

Now, it’s time to ask the question that all writers ask, which is: “What if?”

For mine:
– What if trees could talk?

– What if trees were filled with wisdom from the history they’ve seen?

– What if trees were protectors of man kind, I mean they do give us oxygen to breathe?

Write all your “What if” questions on paper.

Now… write about your character. Write a paragraph about them. Put them in their setting and give them some thoughts and maybe even a conversation.

My piece:

A meeting only happens once a month, when the whole moon brightens up the sky. A tall hooded figure walks through the forest. His long cape trails on the forest ground amongst the foliage.  With each step, he took the ground lit up with more vibrance. The greens became greener. The pink flowers shown brighter. Once into the middle of the forest he stopped. Wind whispered through the forest, shaking the leaves of the trees around him.

“I know.” he said, as if he were speaking to them. In a matter of moments four other tall men in hooded capes appeared around him.

“What are we going to discuss this month, King Spruce?” Elmwood King asked.

“There’s been a disturbance in the world. A pain. The creatures have been fighting and peace has been fleeting. How shall we help them see what’s important?”

What paragraph did you write? What character came alive?

My Second Quarterly Goals 2017

Since my word for the year is “Reach” I want to be reaching goals, reaching out to God, myself, and others, while reaching who I want to be.

long distance relationships

Three months ago, I decided to set quarterly goals. If you’d like to see that post, here it is.

My First Quarter:

January, February, and March:

  • Write at least 6 hours a week. (12 month goal: Write a complete book and reach out to agents.)
    How it turned out: I am sad to say I didn’t accomplish this the best at the beginning of the quarter, but by mid-February I started picking up the heat and wrote a ton of words for my current WIP.
  • Start exercising 3-4 times a week. (12 month goal: Lose weight and get healthy.)
    How it turned out: I was crushing the exercising, but got sick a couple times so that kind of put a damper on getting to the gym.
  • Get a basic product up online to make passive income from. (12 month goal: Make at least $500 extra a month through online business.)
    How it turned out: I felt like I was working toward this goal at the speed of a tortoise. That’s something I need to improve for the next quarter. I just need to do it, but I did create a new opt in for the website newsletter. I will share more on this later! 😀
  • Do something special for someone I love every week. (12 month goal: Relationship. Be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend.)
    How it turned out: For the first couple of weeks this was easy. I really enjoyed doing things to serve and make people know I love them and care. When I was sick, it took a dive, but once better I picked it up again.
  • Make something new weekly. (12 month goal: Build my creativity.)
    How it turned out: This is harder said than done. For a couple weeks I was really hitting the goal of creating something new every week. I got to create some extra cool paintings and art pieces.
  • Do a Bible study every day. (12 month goal: Get closer to the Lord.)
    How it turned out: This didn’t go well at all at the beginning of the quarter. I started reading daily or closer to daily at Mid-February.

What went well?

I came up with some great ideas and got some things achieved. I didn’t get everything finished off my quarterly goal list, but I started and finished some projects.

-Did Facebook Live on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a book club during the lunch hour.
-Will have written at least 20K words for my current WIP book by the end of the month.

Really enjoyed writing by hand today at lunch. Wrote half a chapter all by hand. Feels so good!

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-Finished writing a product for my website. It’s going to be the new FREE opt in for my website.

What didn’t go well?

After the fact, I felt like there was no follow through with some of my projects. When I get home, I don’t feel like working on projects. Am more tempted to sit back and put my feet up. Maybe it’s a lack of motivation.

What should be improved?

Go to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier. Then I can work on my passion projects before the day even begins.

I’d also love to set up a healthy morning routine to read my Bible, eat a nice breakfast, and a good chunk of time to get some writing done.

Second Quarterly Goals of 2017 – (April, May, June)

  • Wake at 5am.
  • Write a minimum of 6 hours a week.
  • Finish current WIP.
  • Do something special for someone I love every week. (12 month goal: Relationship. Be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend.)
  • Run 4 days a week.
  • Market basic product.
  • Start creating a roadmap for a second product.
  • Guest post on blogs and podcasts.
  • Do a Bible study daily.
  • Read more. I want to read a minimum of 10 books. Really want to start focusing on getting more words read so I can improve my own writing.

What are your 2nd quarterly goals for 2017?