December – The Month of Packing

December – The Month of Packing

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhogs Day? Where Bill Murray’s character had to keep replaying one day over and over until he got it right? Yeah, and it happened to be Groundhogs Day (that is kind of given away in the title.)

But anyways, I sort of feel like December has been a Groundhogs Day of it’s own in a way.

“Why?” You ask?

Well, it seems it’s been a month of packing. Rolling and squeezing things into tight places like containers, trailers, post boxes, and now suitcases. Yep, I decided to write a blog post instead of starting my packing just yet. If you would like to look at my Journey to Perth and back again check it out here.

Photo Credit : ebay

Photo Credit : ebay

There is just something omnious about an empty suitcase. You know what I mean? I mean it’s empty. It hasn’t been filled yet.

An empty suitcase could bring you anywhere.

I suppose you could even compare it to a New Year. It hasn’t been filled yet. Maybe that is what scares me. It seems that is always what has scared me the most in my life. The Unknown… 

2013 holds a lot of unknown stuff for me. I will be going back to the States on the 9th of January. There are a few things I am scared about. Right now, I don’t have a job and I want to find something where I could start supporting myself completely. And I don’t know where I will search. Right now the whole map of the United States is open for consideration. which is a bit scary as well, because it’s a huge country. I recently got used to calling Brisbane home, and used to having my boyfriend only a few miles away.

Photo Credit : American Map

Photo Credit : American Map

What are you packing?

What are you packing in your suitcase for the New Year? Here is my to pack list.

  1. Faith GPS – Faith is an important one. It’s so important to have someone who knows where to go and when you should turn left or right. And I know Jesus knows which way I need to turn. So, I am definitely inviting him on my New Year Trip. And I need to continue to trust that he has it all planned out and that I just need to sit back and relax… he is the Mason of my heart and he knows what I want.
  2. Love –  “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott.
    I find love to be extremely important. I definitely wouldn’t be the same girl today if I hadn’t met Johan. I am so happy to be with him. (I really wish I could just throw him into my suitcase.) lol… but since I can’t do that. I will put him in my New Years Suitcase and dream for the future. We will find a way. Love always does.
  3. Universal Resume/Application – For any business people interested in hiring me… this is just a metaphorical resume and application. I want to be prepared and will pack the determination and oomph to get a good job.
  4. Tennis Shoes – For maintaining my health. That is something that has been made even clearer to me lately.
  5. Notebook – To write in.

Well, I believe I have spent enough time thinking about this for now. I am going to start in my closet to figure out what I want to keep and throw. I will let you know if I have an adventure in Narnia.

I pray you all have a wonderful New Year and that God greatly blesses each of you with health and great happiness.

So, then… what about you? What are you going to pack in the Metaphorical suitcase so you are ready for the New Year?

2012 is coming to an end…

IMG_3618Back In Brisbane

After spending 2-weeks helping Johan’s parents pack their belongings to move to Perth, a week on the road from Sunshine Coast, Queensland to Perth, Western, Australia we are back in Brisbane.

Last night when we arrived back in Brisbane, I felt like I was home. You know that lovely feeling you get after arriving home from a long journey? That is how I felt… *big sigh*

But then that made me think about what day it was. The 28th of December. I don’t have that much time in Australia until I have to go back to America because my visa ends in the New Year. Which is tough for me and Johan, because I don’t want to leave him here. Really wish he were studying in America this next Semester. We will continue standing strong and loving across the distance. We did it for one year – so we can definitely do it for a little while longer until we wont have to be separated by the ocean ever again. He is planning on coming to visit during his next school break and also possibly Christmas! I am sooo pumped about that.

But yes, if you all could just keep us in your prayers that would be lovely.

Before leaving Johan's parents house on the Sunny Coast we decided to get a last picture there. :) It was a beautiful house!

Before leaving Johan’s parents house on the Sunny Coast we decided to get a last picture there. :) It was a beautiful house!

Got to see The Hobbit and also met Gandalf... who knew! :P lol...

Got to see The Hobbit and also met Gandalf… who knew! :P lol…

Johan and I loved the movie a lot!! :) We were still thinking about it days after.

Johan and I loved the movie a lot!! :) We were still thinking about it days after.

At the entrance of London Court, Perth. If ever in Perth - make sure you go there. :)

At the entrance of London Court, Perth. If ever in Perth – make sure you go there. :)

All of us on Christmas Eve. On our way to Estelle's Cousin's house 2 hours out of Perth!

All of us on Christmas Eve. On our way to Estelle’s Cousin’s house 2 hours out of Perth!

In Esperance they have a life size Stonehenge. How cool?

In Esperance they have a life size Stonehenge. How cool?

The Pinnacle Desert - 2 hours outside of Perth. Johan and I took a day trip out of Perth and so enjoyed it. I got some great ideas for my second book. It was so dark and we heard thunder and saw lightening!

The Pinnacle Desert – 2 hours outside of Perth. Johan and I took a day trip out of Perth and so enjoyed it. I got some great ideas for my second book. It was so dark and we heard thunder and saw lightening!

On the way back to Brisbane. Some where over the country... I can now understand why I thought the whole of Australia was just Red Sand... before I came to Aussie. hehehehe... but really!

On the way back to Brisbane. Some where over the country… I can now understand why I thought the whole of Australia was just Red Sand… before I came to Aussie. hehehehe… but really!

2013

The beginning of the New Year is coming up soon… do you all know what you want to achieve in the New Year? I have never been very good at New Year’s Resolutions… but, this year I will meet my goals! :)

  1. Get in shape.
  2. Find a job where I can support myself and start saving for the future.
  3. Finish editing my book by the end of February.
  4. Start looking for Beta Readers (Anyone interested? If you are, note that in your comment below.)
  5. Get a professional editor to go over my manuscript.
  6. Send it off to Agents.
  7. Get signed to a Literary Agency.
  8. Get a few more short stories written for a Modern Fairytale Anthology.
  9. Finish the second Created Ones book.
  10. Start the Third and final one.
  11. Start a single book (name not being released yet.)
  12. Take a trip to Montana to edit and do some writing for this new book.
  13. Build my reader fellowship and platform.
  14. Learn Afrikaans and be able to understand more.

I probably have a few more here and there…

47751_10151258585192771_1694308330_n

I am going to… Are you?

What about you? What are some of your New Years Resolutions?

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Writer at work in the tropics. This place has really grown on me.

Writer at work in the tropics. This place has really grown on me.

Every year around this time my parents put together a Christmas letter. And in this Christmas Letter are pictures, quotes, and fun things that we have done throughout the year. They have put this together since I can remember. This year I managed to write some Christmas cards, but have yet to send them out yet. Tomorrow – I will. My family is in Colorado visiting my brother for Christmas this year! How awesome! Wish we could have all celebrated together, but while they are there… I am here in Aussie with my man. :)

We will be celebrating Christmas at one of Johan’s cousin’s homes about 2 hours away from where we are right now. So it should be a good Christmas.

Then on the 27th we will be going on a tour of the Pinnacles Desert. Which looks amazing and slightly eerie… I will be sure to add pictures and write a following post about it.

Devin’s Top 2012 Moments:

  1. Being able to meet Johan in Singapore before coming to Australia last year.
  2. Living abroad in Australia for a year and enjoying spending as much time as possible with Johan.
  3. Sister coming to visit me in Australia and joining us in a trip to Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It was an absolutely awesome time!
  4. Finished my novel The Mason of Hearts, But, am now up to my ears in edits.
  5. Started on the research and some slight character development for a new book.

What are your top 2012 Moments? :) 

My Christmas Carol

Christmas tree this year. :)

Christmas tree this year. :)

Ghost of Christmas Past

I love Charles Dickens! My favorite work by him is The Christmas Carol. So, I have decided that over the next few days leading up to Christmas I would visit the Ghost’s of my Christmas Past.

The Christmas tree was strung with lights as Christmas music played loudly from the other room. Each of us had a mug of hot chocolate not far away. Tony, Cassidy, and I sat between huge plastic containers as we waited for our parents to hand us the ornaments one by one. It was then that each ornament would remind us of a special moment in the past – like a time machine bringing us back with just a glance. It wasn’t just a bulb.

My three favorite christmas decorations are one little one of a baby bear, it was my first Christmas ornament. Another was a pipe cleaner Christmas tree I made at my baby-sitter’s house when I was little (for my Mom.) and then the other was a belle shaped ornament I made my Dad in Middle School.

Another of my favorites is our pickle. Some of you are probably wondering what I mean about a pickle… haha… well, for as long as I remember it’s been in our family tradition that one person hides the pickle ornament in the tree and who ever finds it on Christmas Eve can open the first present.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were also involved with baking – we baked many cookies. Rolling the gingerbread and sugar cookie dough out flat on the table before we took cookie cutters to them. What had once been a straight long flat piece of dough was now the shape of a little man or woman. After cooking the cookies they filled the house with a lovely warm smell for the rest of the week. Sometimes Gingerbread houses were a part of the fun. Check out this URL for one of my favorite Christmas Cookies. :) YUM… you won’t regret making them! Be sure to scroll down in the link, so you can see what they look like!

While in Middle School and High School, I remember going to our church group where we would also bake cookies and then go door to door to elderly people’s houses to sing carols like The First Noel, Silent Night, Hark the Herald, Joy to the World and then after we’d give them some cookies. There were times that we would all cuddle up in blankets on the back of a sleigh ride pulled by horses.

Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh. Over the fields we go laughing all the way.

On Christmas Eve, before opening presents one of us in the family would read the Christmas story (found in Luke 2). It was then that we would open the gifts – alternating each one between the 5 of us. Smiles, Laughter, and Joy filled the room. But much of my childhood we spent going from one grandparents house to the next with the presents. It was our Christmas. I loved our Christmas.

This year, I will be having my second Aussie Christmas. Which, my first one was nice and I know this one will be too… but, you know what? December doesn’t feel like December without snow. Little kids playing out in the snow making snow angels, building snow men and forts, while having snow wars. That is always how I saw Christmas and the Christmas Season. This song makes sense!

Have a lovely Christmas and blessed season with your loved ones!

(Love you Momma, Daddy, Tony, Cassidy, and Grandma! Have safe travels to Tony’s and have a great Christmas – wish we could all celebrate together this year!)

What about you? What are some of the things you remember from your Christmas Past?

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS FOR WRITERS – PART 3

Here is something for you to enjoy while I am on the road towards Perth, Western Australia. If you want to follow my trip go to the sidebar picture of the airplane and click. It will allow you to follow our trip. Just yesterday I printed out my manuscript! How exciting!!! :)

My Manuscript!!! YAY!

My Manuscript!!! YAY!

Check this out! :)
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS FOR WRITERS – PART 3.

Getting ready for Perth…

Photo Credit : Pinterest

Photo Credit : Pinterest

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all are doing wonderful! I just finished packing up my stuff. Tomorrow morning we will take off toward Perth, Western Australia. (So we have quite a trip ahead of us.) I am going to try talk the peeps into stopping and seeing some sights here and there. :) I will be updating as much as the internet allows me to. It should be exciting and I will update pictures. :)

If you would like to follow my trip you can follow me at this URL: http://trackmytour.com/view/18351/

Would love you along for the journey!

P.S. I printed my manuscript and Johan and I will be going through the edit together of it! :)

Love

Devin XOX

The To Dos and To Not Dos of Editing – Edit Round 1 Update

I just love this picture! Last Halloween I dress like an un-dead writer... and my cat was wondering "What thee heck!?" lol... in between purrs! :P

I just love this picture! Last Halloween I dressed like an un-dead writer… and my cat was wondering “What thee heck!?” lol… in between purrs! :P

Today was an interesting day of edits. It was also a full day of packing. I think I might write a post on what I have learned from packing a container and then I would compare it to things in life. I think it might be really good!

But, back to editing… I never realized how many times I use certain words when I write. This is going to be a short update, but it will be a list of to do’s and not to do’s for editing… that I have learned already in this first week of edits.

To Dos and To Not Dos

So there are more to not dos than to dos… but hey, it’s all in learning! :)

  • To do for next book I write -> I will edit what I wrote the next day before I write, then I will be able to have a somewhat cleaner 1st draft. This draft is a bit messier, because I did it for NaNoWrimo and just needed it done!
  • Don’t switch point of view. I know now that I had a problem with it, but will most definitely correct this habit in this edit. I was writing “She said this or did this…” and then a few paragraphs later it switched to “I said this and did that…” But, I kicked that in the behind today! :) 
  • Don’t switch tenses… I fixed this problem a while back when I was focusing on a short story edit.
  • Don’t use “go to” words… There are certain words that I always “go to” and they are: like, that, was, were, have, just. After editing today I was disgusted by those cheap words.

What about you? What are your editing To Do and To Not Do lists?