Be a Guest Writer

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Hello All! I am running a call for submissions over at my new website: http://www.devinberglund.com called The Smashing Summer of Writing Gala.

Are you awesome? Yesss… Yes… You are! And because of that I’d love to have you guest post.

Send me a pitch – a few paragraphs on the topic of the post you’d like to write.

Your posts can be anything about writing! So, share that awesomeness! 😄
www.devinberglund.com/contact

What are you up to this summer? I’m on my way to Portland Oregon for a conference!

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I am SNOWED IN!

Snowed in...

Snowed in…

UFFDA…

So… I am snowed in…

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The Gazebo through the glass patio door.

The Gazebo through the glass patio door.

Our hot tub is almost covered.

Our hot tub is almost covered.

Another angle of the hot tub! :P

Another angle of the hot tub! :P

Through the window...

Through the window…

The driveway and trees

The driveway and trees

Was outside a little today, but I think I prefer it in front of the fireplace much more.

Was outside a little today, but I think I prefer it in front of the fireplace much more.

Have any of you ever experienced a Blizzard or been Snowed In? If so what kind of things did you do to enjoy your day off?

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?

The Road Less Traveled – Journaling Day 3

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

Journalling About Your Life

I like to write about all sorts of things in my journal. I like to write about my joys, sadness, and also the choices I have to make. Have you ever come to a cross road in your life? Almost like the road signs that you see in cartoons where it says go this way to such and such and this way to another place? Have you ever felt stumped at which option you should choose?
I remember a time where I didn’t know which way to turn. I was a Junior in college when I decided that I would study abroad in Australia. I wanted to, but deep down inside, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had told my Mom that I was thinking about it, but honestly thinking back on it – I really don’t know if I was really serious. But then my Dad came to visit in Fargo and he took me out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants called “Doolittles”. We sat outside. I remember it just like yesterday. My dad asked me, “So, Momma told me you were thinking about studying abroad in Australia?”
I was shocked. I hadn’t told him that yet. As I responded with a, “Yes!” he smiled and said, “I think you should do it!”

At that moment I figured out which arrow to follow on that sign post. It’s just interesting what a difference it makes when people stand behind you on something.

Encouragement

As a writer, I have always written and created. Ever since I was young my parents told me I could do anything I wanted to. As a small girl who took her passion in creating little fairy people in her sketch books, writing their stories, creating plays and directing her siblings in the play she wrote – my parents never told me to stop it. They told me that I could do it if I wanted to and that they believed in me. They never told me to pick a better degree. Thank goodness. They stood by me and encouraged me. Sometimes you need that support and strength from an outside place.

I think that encouragement that I have had ever since I was little pushed me to achieve my dreams and goals. I am still learning and still figuring out which sign post I will follow- but the less traveled path is the one that I am on.

You ask, “Devin, how can I win one of those amazing journals?”

This contest will be taking place this coming week. I will be giving away 2 journals of your choice for the prizes, but in order to stay in the running you must:

  1. You must be a follower of my blog! :)
  2. Share the blog with your friends on facebook, twitter, your blog, and other sites during the week! (I will get notifications that you have shared so, I will know!)
  3. Comment. Answer the questions & ask questions. You can answer one of them or all of them!! :D
  4. And last but not least, take part in conversation in the comments. The posts will be showing how to dig deep in our journalling and how that helps us in our daily walk!
  5. The contest will begin today and will run till the 29th of September! :)Good LUCK! :) May the Journals be in your favor! :D
  6. The more you share, facebook, tweet, and comment the more of a chance you will have to win one of the amazing journals.

    Choice One

Choice 2

Journaling Questions: How about you?

  1. Who has encouraged you most in your life?
  2. Are you at a sign post on a cross road of your life?
  3. What is one thing nobody knows about you because nobody ever cared to ask? (I care, that is why I am asking!) :) 
  4. Robert Frost write a poem titled The Road Not Taken.  Name a road you’ve always wanted to travel?

Remembrance… September 11th, 2001

I remember…

It was just like any other day. I sat in my second hour period science class in 7th grade. Mr T. entered the room with another teacher. She whispered in his ear, which was weird. I scrunched my eyebrows wondering what was going on and why these teachers were acting so strangely. Without saying a word, Mr T. made his way to the Television in the front of the classroom. My first thought was, oooh, maybe we will get to watch a cartoon in class this week. Because sometimes we got to do that! But then my mind quickly changed when the teacher in the back spoke up, “It’s on channel 7, well…” she paused, “It’s probably on every channel.” I looked back at the television screen to see the news-broadcaster speaking in a stressed tone. Behind her on the screen was a image that would from that day on never leave my mind. It was the Twin Towers. But it wasn’t a shot of the Twin Towers that you saw in many of the Hollywood films that distinguished that the setting of the movie was New York. It was a real life image of dark smoke looming upward from the first tower. I couldn’t believe it. Almost wondered if it was a joke, mainly because it was so hard to believe that this was happening during my life. My dad had gone to New York a few years before and he went to a gift shop inside the World Trade Center and got me a little bronze statue of liberty. I loved that souvenir and it still sits on my shelf at home to this day.

That day had a huge impact on America and all of her citizens. It was a day where students got out of class early. A day where most people spent the majority of their time glued to the television. It was a day that brought fear and anxiety. It was a week where if by chance you saw a plane flying in the sky you were afraid it was going to bomb your school or state buildings. Many people were affected so strongly they pledged they would never fly again.

But, that is the thing… my heart cries out for my country deeply. That day was meant for fear and anxiety. People attacked us when we least expected it and wanted us to be afraid.

I didn’t personally know anyone who was affected first hand by the traumatic events of 911 in New York, but this event in a way affected all American’s in one way or another first hand. It left a deep spot in my heart, but not one of fear. It was a deep spot of being proud of who I am. I saw many people come together and work to build America up again.

I pray that for the next four years. I pray that America, my lovely country will stand up true and strong – who she was set up to be from the beginning… “One Nation Under God…” It will always be. America was founded on God’s soil. :) So, I know the next four years will be blessed… God is in Control!

This is a part from the movie “Luck of the Irish”, but it’s a song from the end. I’ve always loved it.

Also here is a clip from the movie “Remember Me…” I really cried when I saw this bit from the movie… I didn’t expect it.

America will stand… No one can mess with her, because whether people like it or not – she is under God’s wing… God Bless America.

Love, Devin <3

How about you? What were you up to at that very exact same moment? Tell me your story… 

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! :)