The Ghost of Christmas Present

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

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

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

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

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

Devin’s Top 2012 Moments:

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

What are your top 2012 Moments? :) 

7 things you probably don’t care to know about me…

I was tagged by two other writers (Stephanie and Kelsey) on their blogs to participate in this chain blog message… to write 7 things that most people probably don’t care to know about me. What? *sarcastic smile* People don’t want to know things about me? Well, here is my attempt at writing 7 things that some people probably don’t want to know about me.

1. I had 2 nose surgeries. Yep, and it wasn’t because I wanted one. During the whole process, I was thinking about Michael Jackson and for the life of me I didn’t know why he would go under a surgery just to change how his nose looks. Me on the other hand – I had a deviated septum, and apparently also had a broken nose. Which, I can’t remember ever having my nose broken, because the doctor said I would have remembered it (as it would have hurt). Having the surgery once didn’t solve all the problems, so I was lucky and had to have the surgery for a second time. I remember the first time I had it was on the 22nd of December. So, right before Christmas. I even have embarressing pictures of me in one piece pajamas… you know the kind with footies… and I was not little like you are probably thinking. I was probably 17 or 18.  And besides the embarressing pajama’s I had tape holding cotton under my nose. And yes, that was also caught in the photos as well.

2. I love to eat sliced tomatoes with sugar on top of it. I swear I got this tradition from my Grandma Doris. But it’s a total tradition, in our family – well, at least for my Dad and I.

3. I find something peaceful about cemeteries. I like to go walk around in them. My inner muse speaks to me in the quiet places. Some people would probably think that I am crazy. But, it’s the truth, none the less.

4. I hate the cheesy commercials with odd colours and sqeacky voices. If it is unbelievable, I am not going to buy things from you.

5. A major pet peeve of mine is leaving any sort of food uncovered in a fridge. I don’t want the smells of other foods attacking the smells of the other food. I don’t want to taste the pizza when eating the cake.

6. I dislike touching the handles in bathrooms after washing my hands. Okay, let me just say I don’t if there are paper towels. But I am freaking out if there are no paper towels. Thank God, when someone is coming in at the same time as I am going out.

7. I love tea. So, if you know of an interesting tea tell me about it and I will check it out! :)

So, now I have to pass the flame to 7 other writers. Let me see… and who will I pick… Drumroll please… It is….

1.My creative boyfriend

2. A lovely writing friend from college April Matson

3. My creative Mother (who is an artist – Check out her site as she will be giving away some amazing art.)

4. A writing friend from College, Emily Enger

5. Another lovely writing friend, Mandi

6.  A Blue Monkey Writing buddy, Ashley

7. Another Blue Monkey Buddy, Andrea

Hope you all enjoy these little things about me, even though the point was to tell you 7 things that you probably don’t care hearing about. :P

“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

Don’t do what everyone else is doing! :) Finish that book…

I read this awesome nugget of great information from Jeff Goins blog! It’s a wonderful writing blog, I thought I would post this and encourage you all to chase after your dreams. To finish that novel, and work on it during the Holidays, but of course spend that precious time with those you love and dedicate some time later while “nothing is stirring, (in the house) not even a mouse…” to that manuscript. :) I had planned to finish my novel on the 27th… but I have no idea if it will be done at 80,000 words by then. :P But, I am going to try shoot for a few thousand words tonight. :)

Don’t Go On Vacation

In many parts of the world, we’re getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Even for those not observing the holiday, many are about to take off a week (or more) of work. Families will get together to exchange gifts, eat food, and nap excessively. A lot of my online friends are encouraging you to rest, to take a social media break and be present to those you love. Yes, do that. Be present. Be available. But don’t go on autopilot.
One Way to Get Ahead
Have you ever seen the movie Iron Will? It’s your typical “underdog” story about a young man who enters a cross-country dogsled race to beat the odds and save his family.
Do you know what he does to succeed? It’s simple: Each night, he shaves an extra hour of sleep off his schedule, until the last night when he doesn’t sleep at all.
When others are sleeping, he is working. And he wins.
This is one way to break out of the constant feeling of falling behind: Work harder; show up more often. It’s not easy. It will require sacrifice. But it will also bring about results.
What If You Did This?
During a season when much of the world is going to sleep, what if you didn’t? What if you tackled that manuscript you’ve been procrastinating working on? What if you got up early or stayed up late? What if you started a new project, read a book for fun, or started working out? This is the secret to beating the status quo: Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Do what you know you need to do. This Isn’t for Everyone

Some people will read this and get the wrong idea.They’ll think I am advocating for workaholism or antisocial behavior. Not at all.What I am encouraging is for you to live a life you won’t regret. So many times, I’ve wasted my energy on things that don’t matter. I’ve squandered opportunities with distractions and comforts that didn’t add up to much in the long-run. This season, I’m compelled to be different — to pursue my passion and create a life I don’t have to escape from. Yes, I’m going to enjoy myself. I’m going to rest up, turn off email, and eat some sweets. But I’m also going to finish my book. I’m going to run five times a week. And I’m going to write as many blog posts as I can, so that I can begin the New Year ahead of schedule, not behind.

This may not be for you. You may need to take some much-needed rest. And if so, please do that without one ounce of guilt. But for those who have projects we know we need to work on, I hope we find a way to invest in our passions. They’re worth it, aren’t they?

I would love to encourage you with what Jeff has said. What are you working on this season?  Please leave a comment with a brief explanation of your project, It’s always cool to hear what’s going on in your world so that I know that I am not alone! :P

Have a wonderful & Merry Christmas,

Devin

Breaking Dawn-Guest Blogger “Emily Kunkel” will be featured soon-October Writing Contest Winners-The Created Ones

It’s been a while since I have written… uffda! Well, a lot has happened since my last blog entry! My writing facebook wall has ‘130’ followers!!! Yay!! So, to celebrate – I will post an excerpt tomorrow… what is it that you want to hear? I have also been writing away with my story “The Created Ones” although, I must catch up. At the rate i wrote last week… I will finish the first week of December. This story has been quite a journey, for sure. It’s been quite hectic. I love it and yet hate it at the same time… I guess that is a writer’s journey!

I got super inspired yesterday when I went to the Last Twilight movie. It was amazing!! I haven’t read the whole last Twilight book; i will have to! I only read a few chapters before I set it down. I know a lot of other writers who do not appreciate Stephanie Meyers and say that she is a poor writer – I really loved the books, but hated the character Bella. Then by the last book i hated how she kept making Edward and Jake sit on a teeter totter for her attention. So, I kinda did agree with her poor writing style at times. But, yet I still loved the last movie and did enjoy the books. It really inspired me and made me think about my story… I need it to be as riveting and real-life-like as I can make it! I hope that it comes across that way!!

Then I had a writing contest on my facebook and on my wall in October. It was a Nightmare writing contest! I have two winners and will be posting those soon, sometime after Thanksgiving! :) I will also have a guest blogger! She won one of the prizes! I can’t wait for you to meet her, her name is Emily Kunkel! :)

Other than the writing life- I have been trying to stay focused. My boyfriend is currently in South Africa visiting his brother and sister who still live there. I extremely miss my man!!! It’s crazy!! 41 days till I see him again! I guess the days are slowly decreasing. I feel like lately I have a countdown always occurring in my life. lol…

I will be posting my excerpt sometime today! :)