You’re Growing Like A Weed. Reality Is Even Peter Pan Had To Grow Up.

My little brother Tony, Me, and my baby sister

Are there ever days you wish you could go back in time? So you could be a little kid again?

I know I do!

Especially these days when there are so many big huge decisions that will need to be decided. Way back when I was younger I couldn’t wait to grow up, and now I wish I could just be a little kid again.

No cares… just running around with my sister and brother. Playing outside in the snow during the winter time until dark – till we started feeling the snow melt through our snow pants giving us wet butts. Playing Barbie dolls with my sister. Skating outside with Tony and Cassidy. Ice Skating on the frog pond behind our house in the winter.

Today I just wanted to put up a blog post full of pictures and memories since I am giving away those two journals and am announcing the winners today at the bottom of the blog post.

I loved my childhood so much and I think I took it for granted on how lucky I was/am. Being abroad has shown me that even more than ever.

Daddy and I. I am wearing Daddy’s hunting hat.

I think about how lucky I am to have two parents who love me so much they would do anything for me. Telling me I can do anything I set my heart on. Which is so true.

It’s sad though because as I grew up – I found not everyone grew up in the same type of atmosphere as I had. Not everyone grew up in a home with two parents who loved them.

I am so thankful to God that he placed me with MY Momma and Daddy. And that I have such awesome little siblings – I feel that I have been one of the luckiest girls alive. To have a brother and sister who I call my best friends.

Me, Tony, and Cassidy last year at Thanksgiving! :)

Grandma Doris playing the guitar.

Then my mind also gets home sick for people who are no longer on earth with us today. One being my Grandma Doris.

If I squeeze my eyes shut tightly I remember the first apartment building she lived in (that I can remember, which wasn’t her first apartment of course.) I remember walking in the front door of the apartment complex, running up the three sets of stairs, with the unique smell of apartment and amazing food combined. Grandma would always be waiting with the door open. She would be excited with a huge grin and smiling eyes. Daddy would say “Howdy!”…. It was almost like a tradition for him to say “Howdy!”. :) I remember him saying it every time. Grandma would lean down and fill me and my siblings with kisses.

I remember on Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas we’d watch parades on the television. In the morning she would make us the best cinnamon toast. She made it perfect. To this day, I still can’t make it as good as she had.

Her voice is in my head just as though she had spoken to me yesterday. For lan’s sake or Uffda were two big phrases she used. I remember an embroidered sign hanging near her keys in her kitchen reading  ‘UFFDA’… Ever since I have loved that word and anyone who knows me… knows I use that word in an abundance.

It’s just hard to believe today many years after she has passed that I still miss her and that I can’t see her even though I want to. I remember her smell, voice, face, and smile. A face that I know I will see again someday.

Grandpa Dennis and Tony playing with toy guns! :P

Another face I find myself missing a lot of, is my grandpa. (My Mom’s Dad) He was always such a joker and always knew how to make me laugh.

I remember when we would go to visit for Christmas the feeling of “FUN” that would wash over me and my siblings as we got to go stay with Grandma and Grandpa. I remember it just like yesterday.

We pull up in their driveway. Grandpa is at the door looking out. Waiting for us. As soon as my Dad turns off the car, Grandpa comes out to help us bring our stuff inside. After getting everything in he would grab us in hugs reminding us how we were growing like weeds and that he wished he could put a brick on our heads to make us stop growing. (Thinking back… that would have been nice… but I know that Neverland doesn’t exsist and that in reality… Peter Pan had to grow up.)

I remember the adventures we got to go on with Grandpa. And it’s just really hard to think he isn’t here. I miss him a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journal winners include:

(I need you both to respond to this blog entry in order to win… also I will need your addresses… so please email me at devinberglund(at)live(dot)com and I will send you the journal! :)

  1. Rob Holliday
  2. Abby (I don’t know your last name or blog address…) but you posted on my blog on the 28th of September

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  1. What do you miss about your childhood?
  2. Is there a moment in your life you wish you could go back to? Would you go about it differently?
  3. If you never had to grow up, which age would you like to be forever?

A pointy hat + magic wand + flying broom = A Cliche Witch

Halloween is coming upon us soon. I have been writing and searching for jobs lately – so, I haven’t been able to update my blog and actually write something other than the contest updates for the October short story contest here. But today, I want to write about something that has been on my mind a lot lately… During Halloween you see them dressed with pointy hats. They are flying on brooms with their black cat side-kick and are yielding a magic wand. We see them having warts on their faces like the witch in the cartoon Snow White. And others we see with completely green faces like in The Wizard of Oz. 

Thinking back as far as I can to my first few Halloween’s I know I’ve always been fond of the story idea of witches. It makes me think of the many years I dressed up as a witch for Halloween and went door to door on crisp October evenings with my brother, sister and our friends. Ah, what a fun time… wish I could go back to that and relive it.

I don’t believe in ‘real’ witches who are practicing things in the occult. But, I do find something mysterious and lovely about the fantasy stories involving witches (a completely different thing than those in real life.), but only when they are done well.

Witches are over rated usually – just like vampires in the latest vampire hype. (and to tell you the truth… I hate that… I hate that some authors copy the author who came up with the idea and then afterwards you see a bazillion like-twilights or like-harry potters or like-50 shades. Like really, what happened to originality?)  I know there are a few well done examples where writers have actually done extremely good jobs.

I want to be like that – to break the cliche witch that many stories have. And instead bring to life some crazy unique witches that have a spell-binding story in the air that they breathe, causing readers to love, but hate them at the same time.

In my novel The Mason of Hearts, There are  three witches. These three girls are all quite different, but yet are all in it together. Three sisters start out their journey innocently.

One thing I have found tricky while writing my witches to life is dealing with today’s story witches. The magical powers that you find all over fantasy stories from Disney, The Sword in the Stone, and even Harry Potter.

Finding an actual model of this type of witch is hard to do.

Two witches done well – Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter and The White Witch from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Those are the two witches I think that actually spell-bind their readers in the way that I want to do to my readers. I think they were written wonderfully. Another one that I can think of is the head witch from Roald Dahl’s book The Witches. She frightened me so much as a child.

Photo Credit : Ebay

While writing the witches in my story I want to create something that hasn’t been done before.

I want to make them out side of the box witches unlike any others.

I don’t want their powers to be repeats of the authors before me. I don’t want to use the witch that makes all enemies weapons steaming hot or the witches that melt after water is put on them. I want them to stand out. Just as Bellatrix and The White Witch stuck out to me.

  1. Do any of your stories involve witches? Or magic? And how do you avoid the cliche ‘witch’ or fantasy creature that are all over the publishing world today? 

The Contest

Day 9 – October Writing Contest                                                                                 Photo Credit : http://pinterest.com/pin/190136415488813133/

Join the Fun!

The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza

All you have to do is:

  1. Use the photo to break through the surface and give you echoes of a story
  2. Write a smashing hauntingly amazing short story.
  3. When you finish the story, send it to Devin at devinberglund (at) live (dot) com.
  4.  And the winners will win something and don’t worry – I think up awesome surprises. :)
  5. Are you ready to join us in this journey??

To see the winners from last year, check out these links.

Emily Kunkel – The Farmhouse 
Abigail Anderson – The Monster Inside of Me

Everyday I will upload a new hauntingly beautiful, slightly creepy, and enchanting photograph to my facebook page for your inspiration. Please check it everyday and see if you are prompted to write a short story that has something to do with the photo you picked. It doesn’t have to be word for word what you see – it just has to be creative and creepy since October is the month of Halloween.

I really enjoyed this last year! Once you have written it you may send it to my email with the Subject Box filled in as “Short Story Extravaganza” You have the whole month of October to do this. Have fun!!

A hint of magic…

Currently listening to: silence
Currently reading: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

I know why I have always loved writing… and also why I had loved reading ever since I was little. It was a chance where I was able to escape. Yep, escape from the things around me to a different place where people understood me… yes, those people are characters, but I definitely thought they understood me. My favorite stories to read were in particular – ones involving different worlds and characters who had magical properties.

My all time favorite was “The Chronicles of Narnia” and It actually made me wish that there had been a doorway at the back of my closet and believe me, I checked quite a few times to later find myself crying in my closet that the door to Narnia was closed to me. C.S. Lewis was the writer who made me want to write.

Today was the last day of the Brisbane Writer’s Festival and I went to a writer’s session where three well known authors spoke about writing with a hint of magic. The three authors were : Eowyn Ivey  who wrote The Snow Child, Joanne Harris Who wrote the famous book Chocolate, and an Australian Author known as Kate Forstyth whose newest book, Bitter Greens is out. I really enjoyed this hour long session listening to these authors speak about how they incorporate magic into their real world stories and that is the thing that I so love about writing conferences and workshops – the people think like me… Forsyth said, “Words are magic.”  and I totally agree with that.

I absolutely love it when authors know you are a writer too and they personalize your book with a note of encouragement for your writing! :)

Forsyth spoke about what inspired her to write Bitter Greens, which made me go to the store to buy her book. I can’t wait to read it. She spoke about how she wrote it in the real world, not in fairy tale world, because for people it’s easier to see the magic when it’s in that sort of a situation.

As a young child, a dog attacked her, biting through her tear duct and into her brain. One day her mother dropped off a gift for her, which was a little red book of “Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales” she said that, that book got her through her time in the hospital, but out of all the stories the one that resided with her the most was Rapunzel. She said, “The thought that Rapunzel’s tears healed the prince amazed me, because my tear duct had been punctured which meant i cried a lot.” Forsyth also spoke about how today we all have fortresses holding us imprisoned, it may not be a tower, but it may be a shack in a backyard, a controlling household, or any kind of situation in life that holds us in fear. Her story Rapunzel follows three Points of View from the Witch, Rapunzel, and the woman who originally wrote the story Rapunzel. I am honestly very excited to read this book.

Me and Joanne Harris, Author of famous book Chocolat! :)

It’s just so interesting that so many other writer’s read and write to escape.

Yesterday’s session at the Writer’s Festival was with Kate Forsyth as well, she spoke about “Building Castles in the Air” – it was a wonderful session where we learned about narrative arc and world building. I will most definitely write more about it later.

I promised a better picture of the book heart! :)

After the first session today, I went to a writing race. We wrote straight for an hour and being competitive in writing I typed as fast as I could, always remembering what an Author Friend once told me, “Don’t stop writing, keep spilling the words… don’t stop… keep typing.” And that is what I did the whole hour, I wrote exactly 2,013 words in an hour which brought me to Second Place!! :) The whole group wrote about 19,000 words in total during the hour. This really amazed me that I wrote that amount in only an hour. It’s an awesome way to get a lot written in a short amount of time! Because if I wrote 2 hours a day at that speed I would have written 4,026 words or even better if I wrote 4 hours a day (at 8,000 some words) I would finish my novel in 10 days. I probably wouldn’t do the 8,000 some words goal, but to know that I can type/write that fast I decided that I need to write fast enough to get done with the story.

I like this writing race idea… would anyone be interested in a writing race with me?? If so please comment below that you are interested. It would be exciting to have some writing racers to race along with me! :)

My future writing lounge… I really want it… wish I had it right now.

I am absolutely addicted to Pinterest. On there I have created boards with my future kitchen, future bedroom, future writing lounge, and many other things.  But, today I have been thinking hard about “Writing Spaces”… and I’ve been dreaming about my future writing lounge. Do any of you have a writing lounge? or an office where you work on your stuff? What do you think should be included in a writing space, in order to make it a “Writing Space”?

I have been really hoping and wishing i could have a beautiful writing lounge right now, because then I would have a place for my writing – but, at the moment I can’t. Right now I sit at my kitchen table and write. But someday I will have A safe place, a safe nook away from the world where – well, where I can enter my world (inside my mind). So, here are some ideas for what I want in my writing lounge someday! :)

There is one thing that I have always wanted in my writing lounge one day. I really want book shelves like the ones in “Beauty and the Beast” where there is that swinging ladder that she slid on. I loved it. These are similar and extremely beautiful! 

Photographs: One thing that is very important to me is my memories. So, I will be the type to hang meaningful family pictures up in my studio… but I will display them in interesting ways!

I have always loved the look of the tree frame. It’s an interesting idea.

Words: Being a writer, words are very important to me. I love this idea! I could showcase words by famous authors, role-models and Bible verses.

Since, I am still talking about wall decore – I really wouldn’t mind having a map wall. Traveling has always and will always be important to me.

I saw this and really loved the “metal” cursive handwriting decore! It would be so easy to make your own.

This desk is pretty and simple. I really love the book shelf sides. I would totally use it.

I like vintage decore. This would be a perfect way to never let those flowers die as these ones would last for a long time.

I come from the woods of Minnesota, so when I saw these I absolutely fell head over heels in love! They are neat and I think it’s a cool way to bring nature inside. Since, when I am writing – I get a lot of inspiration from nature.

This is a lit tree that i have in my flat at the moment. I love it! It gives off a very whimsical fantasy feeling.

This would be beautiful as a center-piece on one of the walls.

I really like the nature feeling… so, that will be brought into my writing lounge for sure, someday! :)

I love simple little decoration trinkets that add flair and originality to my rooms.

Maybe I will have a door like this to the entrance to my writing lounge. Although, I really like stained glass windows. It makes me think of my Grandma Ruby’s door into the fire-place room. It was white like this, but had a really beautiful stained glass window in it. So, if I could I will have a door like this, but it will have stained glass windows.

There is just something so amazing about stained glass windows…

Maybe the windows will have curtains with lights in them. :)

Maybe, you can tell I love lights.

Ever since I watched “Once Upon a Time” I fell in love with the wallpaper on the walls of the witch’s house. All the birch trees. I loved it.

So, my mind keeps spinning with ideas of this beautiful room. :) Someday… *sigh*
What are some of the things that you have in your writing lounge? Do any of you have a writing lounge? or an office where you work on your stuff? What do you think should be included in a writing space, in order to make it a “Writing Space”?

Follow me on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/devinberglund/



“All you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!” – Faith – Imagination – Fantasy – Real Life –

You know a lot of people say that fairy-tales and folk-tales screwed up their childhood  on their belief system. The fact that they were told that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, leperchauns, and tooth fairies caused them to fumble when it came to believing in Jesus.

For me on the otherside it drove me to see that “this world can’t be all that there is”. I know that Jesus drives my imagination and that as a story teller i make up characters who will show the reflection of Christ. That is what fairy-tales and folk-lore did to me… The wanting to be in another world where things weren’t so harsh. Where i hadn’t been bullied and where there were mystical beings and talking animals. In all imagination, Fairy-tales, and folk-lore there is always some truth in it.

Yes, i was told Santa brought the gifts on Christmas… But, that didn’t ruin it for me because as time went by i Learned about the real story of Santa… And what had happened down the line when German and English immigrents combined. The people started changing the story as time went by. He was first known as Christ-kindel which was first known as a messenger to give gifts of Christ! Check out the whole story here… they were good intentions.

The other interesting one that we can all think of is the Easter Bunny…. You may ask… Why do we celebrate with a bunny? The bunny also has a name and it is “Oschter Haws”. There were some pagen people in the ancient past who were worshiping their spring goddess Eastre.

Missionaries came to the Land and many of those became Christians, but the pagans festival during the spring was celebrated at the same time as Jesus’ celebration of rising from the dead. And you are probably thinking, “Okay, i understand that know Devin, but, why a bunny? And why does it lay eggs?”

In research it says that the bunny is a massive sign of fertility and new life. Exactly what Jesus died for…. So that we may have eternal life. Makes sense why the bunny is a good logo for the holiday… If you know the whole story.

And you asked, why eggs? Why does it lay eggs.

Jesus died on the cross to give us the gift of abundant everlasting life and that is similar to the reminder of the eggs on easter. Have you ever drained the eggs and painted them? We did all the time at Easter! Once you empty the egg, what do you have?

“Umm, duh, Devin… An empty egg.”

“Haha!!! Yes, an empty egg! And now let me ask you a question…. What happened when Jesus rose from the dead and left the tomb…what were they left with?”

“An empty tomb?”

“Why yes, you are correct!” :)

An empty tomb and empty eggshells. There is truth in all stories and those are only two!!! :D

You are probably wondering why i chose to write about Santa and the Easter Bunny in May… But, I just decided to write a post on this, because these are two very important things in my life. My Faith. Imagination is the other one. In the world today i have seen faith is just pushed aside and people are blind to the truth… Almost like in the new television show that I love so much “Once Upon a Time” where Emma doesn’t want to believe so she can’t see the writer’s leg of wood, so she couldn’t believe that he was pinnochio.

Faith is an important factor to have in ones life. As Peter Pan once put so nicely, “All you need… Is FAITH, Trust, and a little bit of PIXIE dust.” He put it very nicely and you know what? It is true. Jesus taught people life lessons through stories. Jesus walked on water. A real donkey spoke to a man. A real giant whale swallowed Jonah. The impossible turns possible. Have some faith and have imagination. God will show you amazing things when you look through His eyes. And, boy… Does He have some Imagination!! :D

The Created Ones Character Gallery!

Since this is my 101th Blog Post, I decided to post the characters from my book “The Created Ones”!!! What do you think?
I will post more of the characters on sooner or later. :) Today has been a chill day… which is nice because I have needed one for awhile. I spent a lot of time looking for literary magazines and online magazines to submit my writing to. I found a few actually and am very excited to get to work on them. But first of all, I want to remind you all who are partaking in my writing “Flash-Fiction Contest” you have a few days left to finish it up… Friday the 13th will be the last day! :) I can’t wait to read what you all have written! :)

 

I am thinking about some fun things to do on here for the upcoming months… What do you think?
A.) Guest Blogger Contest (where you will enter and be able to be my guest blogger for a day!)

B.) A Writer’s Interview (I will interview another writer!)
C.) A Blog on Writing (Where you will ask me questions and I will write a nice blog entry on writing and answering your questions)
Please Vote! :) and if you choose one of the three be sure to tell me why and if you choose c. be sure to ask me a question about writing and I will be sure to answer away! :)

 

And here are a few of my characters:

 

…the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.

Hello,
I have been listening to the audio books of “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. I so, badly wish that I could have met C.S. Lewis. Sometime after my trip to Australia I want to make a way back to England and see the C.S. Lewis house. It’s just amazing how you can feel like you know a writer from their writing voice. I want to make a difference on a person’s life like C.S. Lewis made a difference in my life.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Have you ever felt that way? I remember always feeling that way when I was in high-school. I was always a little different than the other kids. I always made friends with the under-dogs and maybe I could have been considered an under-dog as well. I didn’t want to be like everyone else and I guess I never was. In high-school I went through some of the loneliest times in my life. I remember coming home from school crying because, I didn’t have many friends. I hid behind the covers of books… Narnia was definitely some of them and I definitely found myself wishing for a greater place, like Narnia. A place where people would except me for who I was. Every once in a while I feel that same way- that wishing I could escape to another place where I could just fellowship with the Lord. Leave the land of people hating others, and stress and drama.

I have been busy writing a lot of my evil characters lately and it has caused a lot of mental and spiritual drain on me today. When you write dark stuff, if ever? Does it affect you in an such ways?

“We Christian writers must paint evil with the blackest of brushes, not to sow fear, but to call out the monsters to be scattered by our light. If Satan cloaks himself as an angel of white, intent on deceiving the world, any attempt on our parts to minimize evil is only complicit with his strategy… Turn to the light; don’t fear the shadows it creates.” -Ted Dekker (At least Ted knows my feeling!)

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are -are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” -The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C.S. Lewis

So, I hope this note of inspiring quotes and a little bit of my backstory all find you well and living blessed! :) I have thought about writing a memoir about my past… would that be something you all would be interested in?