Living in the Happiest Place on Earth…

I have been sooo busy editing lately, I have come to the idea of sharing some pictures of my families vacation with you. I mean, everyone loves pictures, right? :) Later this week I will post a longer post. You know what? I never thought editing my manuscript would be as tough as it is. My mind has been so tired and full of thoughts and stuff that I thought you’d all enjoy the pics and I figured it would be a good break for my mind!

While in Florida, I also have a wonderful chance to go to Cocoa Beach Writer’s Conference. It was so much fun and I learned so many awesome things. Met great writers, agents, and even some publishers. I will writer more about this a bit later!

I also got a beautiful gift in the mail this week and it totally rocked my world. It was from my boyfriend. I will share some pictures this week! So, ya all come back now, ya hear! :P lol… Enjoy the pictures! :D

Me at MGM Studios, Disney World, Florida.

Me at MGM Studios, Disney World, Florida.

Disney World - Cinderella's Castle

Disney World – Cinderella’s Castle

Village in Magic Kingdom. Disney World, Florida.

Village in Magic Kingdom. Disney World, Florida.

My lovely sister and brother who came down with us. So lovely to see them again!

My lovely sister and brother who came down with us. So lovely to see them again!

My lovely parents who I am thankful for!

My lovely parents who I am thankful for!

I love this shot soooo much! It is Rupunzel's tower.

I love this shot soooo much! It is Rapunzel’s tower.

Mexico, Epcot (The Worlds)... We ate supper here one night! :)

Mexico, Epcot (The Worlds)… We ate supper here one night! :)

Inside Mexico... :)

Inside Mexico… :)

The romantically lit up tables inside Mexico! :)

The romantically lit up tables inside Mexico! :)

Skyping with my love. We were both wishing he had been with me in Florida. Know he would have loved it! :)

Skyping with my love. We were both wishing he had been with me in Florida. Know he would have loved it! :)

At Norway in Epcot (The Worlds) This is a Norwegian Stave Church! So big in Norway and also in Minnesota/North Dakota. My Heritage. I love these churches!!!!

At Norway in Epcot (The Worlds)
This is a Norwegian Stave Church! So big in Norway and also in Minnesota/North Dakota. My Heritage. I love these churches!!!!

"The Three Amigos" together once again! :)

“The Three Amigos” together once again! :)

Hope you all enjoyed the pictures! :)

How about you? Have you ever been to Disney World or Disney Land? If so what was your favorite moment in one of the parks??

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?

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?

Buccaneer Blogfest 16-18th

Hello Everyone, I want to apologize that I am a tad bit behind on the Buccaneer Blogfest, but late is better than never, eh? Yesterday I was in a car all day and got back to Brisbane at a pretty late hour. We drove from the Blue Mountains so it took about 13 or so hours to get back to Brisbane. For the Buccaneer Blogfest I was supposed to post a paragraph from my work in progress. This is from my current work in progress, which currently has a working title. Hope you enjoy it though!! :) I am really excited about this story and the characters.

Dad always told us stories about the land below. He always told us the stories of his adventures in the land. Sure for some it may have been interesting or exciting, but to me it was frightening. Frightening, because I don’t want to leave the Mountain and go to the land below. I want to stay on this mountain forever, but Dad has made it known ever since I was little that I would follow in the families traditions, which meant that I also have to leave the mountain. It’s what our family line has been doing for as long as anyone can remember and is threaded deeply in our people’s history and culture. As soon as a boy becomes my age and finishes school, he must go down off the mountain and train. Even though I have fought against the idea ever since I was young, I must follow through because that is what we do. That is a Preventer’s life.

What do you think about it? Where do you think it is going? Let me know! :)

Today I am going to the Jersey Boy’s performance at the Theatre here in Brisbane. I will be sure to let you know how it went! I am excited about it. It’s hard to believe that Cassidy will be leaving. I will really miss her. Makes me miss my family.

For the Buccaneer Blogfest I am also supposed to introduce you to someone very important to me. His name is Dustin.

Devin: Hello Dustin, Thank you for joining me today! 

Dustin: Yes, no problem at all. 

Devin: What would you say the greatest step in your journey has been?

Dustin: Well, I am a Preventer. Some people may not know what that means, but putting it in simple terms – I am a warrior of sorts. I lived on a beautiful mountain, before I had to leave it to live with my uncle. He is also a Preventer, but he fell so much in love with the country below that he stayed with his wife.  I am currently taking a break from training. Not all of the people on the mountain are Preventers though and that is the part I was extremely jealous about. I kept asking myself, “Why me?” “Why do I have to leave when there are so many others that would just switch places with me in a heartbeat?” So, I would have to say that has been my greatest step. It was scary because you see – before that moment I had never been off the mountain much a like all the other guardian kids, but I had heard stories about all the gruesome and horrible things that happened – which no Guardian lives by or respects.

Devin: Yes, I can understand how that would have been hard. Even though there has been trial and heartache is there anything that you have really enjoyed? or learned while being at your Uncles?

Dustin: Yes! But, I haven’t been here long so I suppose I will be learning a whole lot more in a very short amount of time like about sword fighting and controlling my gifts and powers while surviving down here while trying to blend in without pulling to much attention my way.  

I have certainly enjoyed hearing my Aunt and Uncle’s stories. I can’t imagine having growing up like my Aunt. She had a tough child hood.

Devin: I always love listening to parents, family, and friend’s stories! Could you share with us her story? 

Dustin: Uh… sure, I guess. Well she was born with a magical gift where she can control things with music. She loves music so much that today she has music playing on her harp at all moments throughout the day. 

She had a brother and he also had a magical talent – although I really don’t know what his gifts were. There parents knew about his magic because he rebelled and lived the life. Her parents had at one time used their magic but said they would never use it ever again and because of that they pushed their son away. Not on purpose, but by accident. By doing so he ended up getting mixed up in a bad crowd or rather with one woman in particular. The people in that village new her as Lady Aaron – a witch of sorts. All awhile this was happening my Aunt was growing up and practicing her music and talents. Her parents praised her and loved her talent with music. Although they didn’t know that her music was her magic so they were fine with her magic because they were unaware of it’s true strength and purity. 

One horrible day she was sitting in the barn’s roof and looked through the open door from behind a hay stack. She could see her parents down below. They were working in the tree grove and garden. In the distance she could see 3 women in red capes walking their way. She identified them as the witches daughters. They started killing her parents in a gruesome way and when they started coming for her – that was the moment she was the most scared. 

Devin: Oh, my! I really can’t imagine how that would have been!

Dustin:  I know, me either. Because while growing up on the mountain we barely had such horrible things happen. If something bad happened the person would have been dealt with in a strict way. There is a story that my Dad told me when I was younger about two Convict Guardians. I am not sure if the story is real or if it is rather a folk lore or such. But the two Guardians went bad and started killing a few kids and because of that the guardian Preventers took them half way to the entrance of our mountain where there is a cave and it is very dark and cold there.  They were dealt with there.

Devin: How were they dealt with?

Dustin: They were turned into black trees that will always watch people go to and from the land below to the mountain as a reminder that they will never be able to see the mountain or be in total peace again.

Devin: Wow. Well, that is quite an interesting story. 

Dustin: Thanks, I am glad you are enjoying it. 

Devin: I really am! Thank you for joining us today, Dustin! 

Dustin: It was truly my pleasure!!

Let me know, what do you think about my character – Dustin? Are you interested in knowing more about him? Let me know what you think?

 
This is a Blog Hop!


 

How to use your life experience to make real-life-like characters… 2nd Day of Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise

The past few days have been days where I have had issues starting to write. Sometimes it’s a combination of “I don’t feel like writing!” or “I don’t want to write, right now.” or “How am I going to say this in an interesting way.”

Day two of Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise – 

First of all before, I give you the report on my writing. I will let ya know how my weekend went. I went to the Sunshine Coast on the weekend with my boyfriend to spend time with his dad. It was a nice relaxing weekend and a very nice break from the city. On late Satday night I had gone to bed a tad late and then a few hours later, Johan knocked on my door asking if I’d like to go watch the sun rise. I was so lethargic and tired, but I am glad we did, because it was definitely beautiful. :)

This is what it looked like, at first.

A bit later. It was amazing how fast the sun peaked over the horizon. It was so nice, and we listened to “Here comes the sun…” by the Beatles. It totally fit the mood. :)

So, I believe that it was most definitely worth the getting up to go see it.

It was so cold up there. I am so happy that I wore a sweater and sweatpants. Here are Johan’s frozen little fingers from taking so many pictures. But, he had thought ahead before and made Hot Milo. (Which was amazing!!) and warming…

I was so proud of myself because this weekend, I designed my own landing page for the welcome tab on my facebook writing page. :) Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, if you aren’t following me on my facebook page, press like to follow.

This is the picture that you will see on my welcome page if you have “liked” me. :)

When Monday rolled by – I was really tired and didn’t really wake up at 5am. I mean this was expected that there would be days when I didn’t want to wake up to write, right? Well, it happened. But, even though i hadn’t woken up at 5am… I still made sure I got my word count in. I wrote 1,555 words. Another thing I really learned extremely yesterday (Monday) is the pain that my character was suffering.

I was writing and found a song that really connected me to my character Elfria, when I get further into the book I will be sure to share a little bit with you all.
Here is the video, by the 2 Cellos. It is titled: Hurt.

I listened to it and while writing, my fingers started typing faster and my eyes got wider as my character came to life. Her thoughts became mine and her feelings – well, I was feeling them.

My character was dealing with the first time that she was crushed. You know that horrible moment in your life when you like someone and they don’t like you back? Well,  I have experienced both types. The first option is feeling crushed because you like someone and they simply just don’t like you back like that. The second one, is that you like someone and they play on your emotions and cause you more pain – while leading you more astray. They will never love you, but they don’t care about bringing you down a rocky path if they can enjoy playing on your emotions. So, that is what my character was going through. Which reminds me of a quote I came across by Ernest Hemingway just recently. (I want to apologize for his language… but it is true.)

You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.
But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it. -Ernest Hemingway

This is a quote stated like a true writer who experienced some hard times. So, Day 2 of my writing Routine Exercise is being dedicated to pulling from your own experiences to write.

Pulling from your life to write

  1. Remember –
    Think back on emotional (good and bad memories) and write down things like.
    “I remember when my cat died.”
    “I remember when I saw my boyfriend for the first time.”
    “I remember when I lost my best friend.”
    Do- Write down a bunch of “I remembers” and go through them and pick one at a time. Then write the experience out.
    Remember to write about how you felt, who was there, how something happened.
    Maybe it’s not a memory that brings back emotions to you, it could also be a song, smell, or food.
  2. Literally use your own feelings – the book that I am working on is a paranormal/fantasy book, so of course it is set in a different world and there are magical creatures in it as well. But, that doesn’t mean that my “Real Life feelings” can’t help me in my “other-world” writing.
    Do– When you feel happy, sad, depressed, lonely, or any other emotion write about it.
    Sit down and write it.
    Write it to get past it… and you will be amazed at how you will be able to use those distinct emotions and feelings in your writings.
  3. Place yourself in your character’s shoes – what is he/she dealing with?
    Relate to her/him – by thinking back to moments when you also dealt with similar things.
    Do– Read over an area where your character is dealing with an emotional issue. Then think back, to a similar time in your life. Is it realistic? (e.g. Is your character really as sad as they should be about their mother’s death?)

I hope that these tips help you when writing about trials and emotional times that your characters may be going through.

Do you struggle with writing about your character’s problems and emotions? If so what kind of things help you get in the mood of your characters? Music? No Music? Anything else?
 

Here Johan and I are in the sun-rays when we were watching the sun come up on Saturday morning. It was beautiful! :)

A Relaxing Day Away at Mount Glorious! :)

I woke up on Cinco De Mayo not completely sure what the day held before me and Johan. I decided that I would make Johan a delish mexican dinner to celebrate Cinco De Mayo- but Johan came to pick me up and I thought we were going to Coles (The grocery store) because I was quite low on food and what not. Then we started driving and he said we aren’t going to Coles. I then asked, “Where are we going, then?” and he smirked like – why would I tell you that!? lol… then he asked, “Well, where would you need tennis shoes, water, and shorts?” There were countless things running through my mind like “gyming” (That Idea got thrown out completely, because as much as I know I should do it – I didn’t want to at that moment) and then I said “hiking?” and he said mayyyyybe!

We started driving and all of a sudden all around us we got the feeling of being in the country instead of the city. Which is a lovely feeling. I was raised in the country and I have realized how much I miss it now living in a city. Soon we stopped at a car park and got out. There was a sign that said D’Aguilar National Park and that there was a rainforest circuit walk. We started walking. It was so peaceful with no loud noises. The birds sung and their songs echoed through the vines draping from the extremely tall trees. It was such a gorgeous evening. We ended up going deeper into the woods and the deeper we went the darker it got. Also the colder it got.

At the end of the hike the rain forest was getting much darker and thoughts of bears and wolves started filling my mind only to be reminded that they don’t live in Australia. Then we heard an eerie bird screeching that sounded like a shrieking baby. It scared us. I have no idea what it was though. Our imaginations were fumbling and twirling with thoughts of a witch in the forest who wanted to eat us. That’s what happens to my imagination. Give me something to think about that is slightly scary and I could drive myself crazy with those thoughts of what it was…

We made it back to the car and as we drove back to Brisbane there was a point where we stopped at a stop light. We both heard something and looked at one another. What was it??? It sounded like the Demon Baby Bird that was in the forest. After having shocked faces and then realizing our thoughts were just our imaginations and that the noise we had probably just heard was the breaks of a passing car or something. We laughed for quite a while.

I am so thankful for such an a amazing boyfriend who surprises me with little things like this. :) Sooo thankful! :)

I may have mentioned it before, but I am taking a writing course from “Writer’s Digest University”. It’s a course on freelance writing. I finished my first assignment today and now I need to figure out how to confront a business about doing freelance work for them. I have currently done two brochures and they are so amazing!  I love them… So, I hope the companies do as well! :)

Well I must scoot!

Much Love,

Devin

ciao

Finding the true America – with “One Nation Under God” – National Day of Prayer

Hello Everyone,

I am an American who is living abroad in Australia. It is the 3rd of May, here in Australia, which means that it is the 2nd of May in America right now. On the 3rd of May in America – it is The National Day of Prayer. It’s something that is held very close to my heart. I remember when I was in high school it was a big thing to meet at the pole early in the morning for the prayer of our nation. I think history and culture is very important for American’s. The most important thing though, is belief. If it’s not a belief in God, many American’s have a belief in their people – they believe in their people, their strength, and their Hope. Although, those are all good things to believe in – they are not the main things that the American forefathers started America on. America was a place where people ran to for religious freedom and to start anew! The land was set on Christian ground.

Just lately, there have been some things that I haven’t been so happy with, with my country. The President and some of the things that he has been involved in. As a Christian, I was appalled at what Dan Savage said at a Journalism Convention (You may also watch and listen to what this man says.”
This was supposed to be a talk about Bullying and Anti-Bullying… and yet, He was bullying. I found that, that was extremely wrong. It says that Obama supports this man. So, if you agree with me that it was wrong, please visit this website and sign the petition to the President.
(If you agree with me, that this is wrong – but you can’t sign the petition because you aren’t an American – then don’t feel left out, because you may help as well… America needs as many prayers as you can send out. So, if you are a prayer warrior… please meet all the other prayer warriors across the world at the feet of Jesus on our knees. Change only comes when many people unite in Jesus’ name. So, let’s all make a difference with our Nation’s brothers and sisters – because that is what we are. :) I know that I will meet all of you someday and I am very thankful for all of you.

I am not the happiest with my countries government and the current situation that it is in. In my title “Finding the true America…” I wanted to bring out the picture of The True America… The true America isn’t what you see on the News. It isn’t Obama speaking on the news or the other politicians. It isn’t the multiple news stations fighting about who you should vote for. The TRUE America are the people who stand up – They are the people willing to make a difference. They are the people who don’t want their country to get lost in the mess of the world.  It isn’t what you see in the open – That isn’t the TRUE America. The True America is the quiet one, the one waiting to stand up for what is right. The huge company of hidden voices waiting to be heard, screaming in the silence to be heard.

Join me and thousands of other believers across the globe to pray for America the next two days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Yw6KqJ34Q