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??

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?

Day 2 – Haunting Extravaganza! 100 Followers!

Day 2 – of “The Haunting October Short Story Writing Extravaganza” Contest

What are you bringing to this Short Story Extravaganza? I imagine that we are all standing at a barn dance. Today I can see that the people are starting to set up the games. There is a poster on the wall with a donkey on it. The man pulls a small grey thing out of his front jacket pocket and then sticks it into the behind of the donkey. In the other corner – there is an apple dunking contest. Small children sit on tables gobbling down candy corn and pumpkins.

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Also, I just wanted to share a quick “YAY” with all of you, because without you my words wouldn’t be leaving my fingers to reach your eyes somewhere in the world. Today my blog finally hit “100 Followers”, which made me so excited, so I thought I’d share it with you!

The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza

I am very excited to announce the Second Day of the “Haunting October Short Story Writing Extravaganza”. This is the second year that I have hosted an eerie but beautiful photo prompt everyday in October.

All you have to do is:

  1. Use the photo to break through the surface and give you echoes of story-ideas.
  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

Photo Credits: http://pinterest.com/pin/26599454018662714/

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!!

How about you?

  1. Are you in? Are you going to enter this contest? 
  2. Also what would you see at a Haunting Extravaganza? Use your imagination! :P 

Hauntingly Awesome Writing,

Devin

Sign up for my contest and check out my excerpt from “The Created Ones” first book of the series!

Hello Everyone!

First off, I would like to tell everyone to go to this website and sign up for the giveaway that I am holding. :) Besides everyone loves free stuff, right? I sure do!

I have been writing a lot the past few days and have also been listening to some writing conference information. On one of these videos the speaker compared video games to writing. It was interesting to here, because I am not a very big video game girl. Well, actually I am not into video games at all. Just ask my brother and my boyfriend. But I really found the speaker’s point true. There are a few things that are very similar. But anyways, I had a homework assignment for that class and I have included it below. I hope you enjoy it. It is from my first book in “The Created Ones” series. Be sure to fill out the giveaway on the link above, because once I hit “100 followers” I will tell you all what my title for the first book will be. I can’t wait for the big reveal! Hope you enjoy!!

 

Homework: Scenario #3 – Your character meets someone who they think they are meeting for the first time. But they have met before, and as far as your character was concerned, it was a painful experience

 

The woman walks into the thrown room with two men on either side of her. Their shoes hit the cobblestone floors sending echoes throughout the room. The men tower over her by at least a head. She stares intently at Dustin and Sara. The woman’s hood covers her head all except for her pure red lips. She starts laughing.

“I knew we would catch up to you both, sooner or later.”

“Who are you?” Dustin speaks as the trio continues toward them.

“Oh,” the woman turns and looks at each of the men on either side of her and gives them a smile, “You don’t know me do you? But the girl to the right of you, I know you.” A silence fell over the room as the woman pulled her hood off her head. Sara opened her mouth in shock of what her eyes showed her. The woman’s flowing fiery red hair sat on her shoulders as she smiled even more.

“YOU…” Sara said while walking forward. Dustin grabbed her.

“Me?” she asked while placing her hand on her chest, “Yes, you are correct… it is me.”

“You, took Evangeline from me.”

“What are you saying? We didn’t take her… we simply decided to adopt her and she helps us do our work these days. So I thank you for allowing her to come with us.” Sara tried pulling lose from Dustin’s grasp.

“Let go of me, Dustin!”

“Sara, don’t…”

“You have no idea…Dustin.”

“Sara, this is just what she wants- she wants us to hate each other so that she has a weak link and so she can be stronger. Don’t listen to her.” Sara whips her head in the direction of the lady, “I never gave her to you. You made it so I couldn’t move from my spot.” Tears roll down her cheeks.

“Yes,” she pauses and giggles, “Well, I didn’t need you.” Suddenly the name came back to Sara.

“Elfria… that’s your name!” The woman’s eyes are filled with a fiery anger as she looks at Sara.

“I should have killed you baack then, when I had the chance.”

So what do you think of it so far? 

Finding Inspiration in the Mountains of Azul

I just got back from visiting the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. My sister, boyfriend, and I went to Sydney first for a few days and later me up with a few friends in Katoomba. I loved Katoomba! It felt like we had just driven into another era. The train station was a cute one you’d imagine could be seen on the English Country-side. After finding something to eat we decided to head over to Scenic World where we would be able to see the “Three Sisters” well!

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I hadn’t ever heard of the “The Three Sisters” until we were planning the trip and still I didn’t really know the story behind them! If you know anything about Australia- there are stories behind everything! The Aboriginal Tales of The Three Sisters is about three sisters from one tribe. The elder of their tribe was trying to protect them from the other tribe so he turned them into stone! A battle broke out between the two tribes and the elder was killed. So he wasn’t able to ever turn them back from the stone. So there they stand today!

We stayed at a very nice house that we rented in the country. It was so relaxing. There was a fireplace. All night we played games and enjoyed one another’s company. That night I slept so well. It reminded me of back home in Minnesota cuddled up in my covers with no noise. The silence was almost like a lullaby to me. Didn’t realize how much I missed it. But, it was super amazing to sleep that well again.

There were moments in the Blue Mountains where I was walking on a pathway and I felt my character’s presence. Now, I can imagine a few people think that might sound a bit odd… but I felt the story. I know it’s there.

While in the Blue Mountains I kept thinking about a few of my characters from my book! Especially Dustin, since he lived on a mountain! Another thing that truly sparked my imagination was our second day in the Blue Mountains! We drove to Jenolan Caves. There is a part in my story where Dustin is walking through the mountain entrance and the cave is the first impression of the land below! Cold, sharp, dark, and scary!

I mean what would you think of the world – if you hadn’t ever been off a mountain and then all of a sudden when you are leaving the mountain you walk through a cave – what would your first impression of the “World” be like?  

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I greatly grab inspiration from all around me while I travel!

Do you get inspiration from traveling? Do you travel?

I know a few different answers I could get from this question! A few being “Devin, I can’t travel because I don’t have enough time or money!”

I have an answer for that though! It doesn’t matter where you are or how much money or time you have! What matters is – do you want to travel? Do you want an adventure?

If the answer is yes, then here are a few things you can do to spread your wings out on an adventure!

  1. Adventure under my nose? 
    Seek inspiration where you are! :) At work? At School? OR on a long drive from one part of the country to another part of the country. Make vlogs along the way. Make your daily life an adventure! When my boyfriend and I went on a road trip back home in America last summer – every few hundred miles we drove we tried to make a new video. In our eyes it felt like we were documenting our adventure.
  2.  Start Picture Noting – I recently started picture noting! All you have to do is have a camera and things around you that inspire you! Take pictures of places that could be in your novel! See people crossing a busy intersection? Or a little elderly man resting on a bench in a park? Take pictures of the things that can bring to life certain moments in your writing! I usually just do this with my iPhone! :)
  3. Take a different route home – who knows? You might find a neat cafe you will love visiting to escape busyness or you may find a relaxing park where you can go after long days!
  4. Read a book – this one is probably a Der-Devin Moment since we all know that when you read you can take adventures you probably couldn’t otherwise!
  5. Write Down Everything when you get an idea! At least before you lose the ideas!
  6. Borrow inspiration from people, things, stories, places, and people! Borrow ideas and make them your own.

What do you do to funnel your inspiration?

Where do you go to get inspired? Do you have a special spot?

Have you ever done picture noting? Or do you have any other ways that capture ideas and inspiration?

“The Light Bulb Effect” the moment I knew…

For the Buccaneer Blogfest, today I am supposed to share with you all the moment I experienced the “light-bulb” moment for my story.

I really like how the idea came about. First of all I am greatly inspired by the things that I see, hear, and experiences and in my dreams I see things all the time.

This story originally came from a dream. Of two human like yet supernatural people (almost like angels) who saved a little girl from these evil soldiers. The little girl was the secret to changing humanity.

I often thought of it in the sense of what if one person held all the abilities to change the complete human race. Then people could change who they are. So people could re-create themselves. I find it to be a story showing love and redemption. And also showing that we have a loving God who made us unique. I see so may people today wandering around trying to change themselves. They are not happy with the “them” that God created.

During the time I got the idea for the book I was taking my fiction writing Capstone course(final writing class in whole major). I wrote the first 8 chapters and I am amazed by how much it’s changed since then.

After writing about 60,000 some words I decided that it couldn’t be just one book… Because there were too many details and stories that needed to be told.

Then I started writing the first book and a few more characters became strong and well known to me. I ended up using inspiration from so dreams that I had, had when I w little. These three characters haunted my nightmares. The first story is majorly focused on life and choosing life over death and blessings ov curses. We all have choices to make in our lives and those choices will lead us to consequences. Eith ending in life or death.

So in a short answer – I seem to get many of my ideas from dreams and also from nature. For instance I just got back from the Blue Mountains and I got some amazing inspiration and ideas for my book.

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?

 
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