Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Praising God

I'm going to interrupt your day with a short posting on a few things I am very thankful for. God is truly a God of miracles. He has answered numerous prayers of mine, and He has made things happen that a year ago I would never have believed possible.

Number one is most obviously the Kansas trip. We have officially booked our flights, and are now in the process of getting our forms completed and sent in. I was also, by God's grace, able to get my video made for the OYAN Video Contest. :)

I'm also thankful for the many amazing friends that I have. It always fills me with so much joy when something wonderful happens to one of my friends, and particularly if a prayer has been answered. One of my friends just recently got a collection of short stories and poems published. It's called "Scribblings" and her name is L.E.R. Jenkins. Go order it on Lulu! :) Something else truly wondrous happened to another friend of mine, a dear, dear friend. God is enabling me and this friend to meet up this coming summer, and for the first time ever. It has been an answer to BOTH our prayers.

Another item of praise is that one of my other friends, who has been struggling with several health issues for quite awhile, is slowly on the way to recovery. :) I'm very happy for him, and will continue to pray daily.

"I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High."
~Psalm 7:17

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OYAN Summer Workshop 2012 pt. 2

And now... I bring you what you have all been waiting anxiously for. (Or so I hope). Part 2 of my Summer Workshop postings! If you haven't read part 1 yet, you can find it right here.


Let me just start out by saying that it is now official! I am going to the Summer Workshop 2012 FOR SURE!! The Lord willing, of course. But my parents have given me their consent, and all that is left to do is book our flights, fill out all the needed forms and send them with money, and then WAIT!

There are 97 days left until this spectacular event! The time couldn't go any slower, in my opinion! But when I think of all the words I have to write before then, all the chapters I have to accomplish, and all of the stubborn characters I must overcome, it makes the time seem a lot faster. Plus, I have the millions of other things to do, such as finishing up school, preparing for music recitals, critiquing someone's book (which I promised to do a long time ago), reply to important emails, and... OH! And get a video filmed for an OYAN Video Contest I'm hoping to participate in. It's supposed to be a 25-65 second video on how much I love OYAN. Which should be fairly easy, aside from the fact that I will have to face my fear of cameras and speak straight into one. The deadline for the contest is March 31st. Yes, I still have time. But time is running short... VERY short.

Back to where we started! Reasons I'm excited for the Summer Workshop:

1. First and foremost, I'm excited to meet the people! As I mentioned before, the OYANers are like family to me. Now, one cannot simply go through life without meeting family, correct? And having known most of these people for over two years, I feel like the time is way overdue to meet them. I get to meet up with my sisters for the first time! And a multitude of other people. Adrienne, Kenzie, Aimee, Christy, Jess, Lauree, Greg, Matt, Kyle, Mig, Daniel, Pip, Wooton, Braden, Janie. Just to name a few! And of course, I must not forget the infamous Mr. and Mrs. S!! They are the two amazing people responsible for creating this wonderful course. Without them, I would never have known all of these crazy, nerdy, homeschooled writers. ;)
Here ish a website on Daniel Schwabauer: http://www.danschwabauer.com/

2. I'm excited for the sessions. I heard (and watched some) that the lectures last year were AMAZING and truly inspiring. Well, I'm definitely going there prepared for some awe-inspiring talks! This year, we have people like Mark Wilson from Oregon, Stephanie Morrill, who is a fairly well-known authoress (here is her blog: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/), Jeff Gerke, who is an editor, and of course, Mr. S. I'm looking forward to learning a LOT about writing this summer. :D

3. The critique groups. As is the custom, all of the students will be split off into small critique groups where we will, well, critique each other's work! We'll each read off a portion of our novel (O.O), and then receive helpful feedback. We may even have one of the speakers sitting in with us! I think it'll be extremely good for my novel, and for me as a person. I generally don't like reading off stuff I've written to other people, so this should be a great experience for me, and should help me in that area. Also, I've heard it's not just seriousness for 2 hours, or however long it goes for each day. I've heard that it's a real bonding time with your fellow OYANers. Each group comes up with something crazy, and one group (the Laughing Lothlorien Ladies) even created a whole play! The play was to make fun of popular "detached limb" mistakes in a lot of novels. Of course, I can't explain it to a full extent, so you must watch the video!

That should conclude it! Needless to say, I am VERY excited for this workshop and I anticipate it with a great deal of enthusiasm and hope. I can't go a day without dreaming about it. Dreaming about the manner in which I'll meet the people (whether I'll greet some of them with a scream, or a glomp, or just with my usual calm self), dreaming about my first reaction to every aspect of the workshop, and dreaming about the six days of epic epicness that I will be taking part in at last.

May the Lord be with you and give you many blessings this day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Be Inspired...

Whilst I gather up and compile all the needed information for the next part of my Summer Workshop postings, I thought I'd share some videos with you. For entertainment's sake. And maybe (if you're a writer), some educational, writerly tips. ;) The two people in the videos are both my amazing OYAN friends, and I am incredibly proud to know the both of them. I will be personally meeting them for the first time in the summer, when I venture to Kansas for that spectacular event that I believe I've mentioned before. ;)


Here's that girl's blog, which I'm sure you'll enjoy. :)

Here's that dude's blog, if you're interested. He's a really good writer and you can get more tips from him here. :)

I have some really fun post ideas coming up soon! So, in the meantime, keep writing and keep smiling! And, just because it's Monday (and I know how the majority of you feel about this day of the week), it doesn't mean you have to be downhearted! Keep a wide grin on your face and glory in this new day! Think of all the wonderful possibilities of the week ahead. Think of all the blessings God has given you and will give you this coming week. Be joyful, my friends! Take heart! :)

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
~Philippians 4:4

Friday, March 2, 2012

OYAN Summer Workshop 2012 pt. 1

One thing I can say I'm looking extremely forward to this summer is something that has been constantly on my mind. I think of it every day, quite literally 24/7, allowing it to distract me from school, causing me to drift off into long moments of daydreams. Can you guess what it is yet? Some of you might. ;)

The One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop 2012!!!! *pants*

Most of you are probably wondering WHAT that even is. Well, I'll tell you. But be prepared for random bursts of excitement and epicness.

As most of you probably know by now (that is to say, if you know me), I do a writing program called One Year Adventure Novel, or put simply, OYAN. I have written one novel through this amazing, fantastic curriculum, and am writing a second novel using a secondary program to OYAN, called Other Worlds. Other Worlds teaches you about fantasy and science fiction with a distinctly Christian worldview in mind, and leads you through the steps of how to create your own world and introduce different supernatural elements to your story. It is also taught by the same man who teaches OYAN, Daniel Schwabauer, famously know by the OYANers as Mr. S.

Now you're probably asking yourself: "What on earth are OYANers?" Well, they're only a bunch of the craziest, awesome-est, epicest, and funnest people on the planet! (And yes, I do realize some of those are not real words. But OYANers are known for making up words randomly. ;)) This definition probably hasn't helped you any. You see, on the world of the internet, there is a remote place tucked safely into a corner, untouched by all save several hundred teens and young adults who share one passion: that of writing. Many of them also share an undying love for music, art, film-making, and above all, God. On this forum, we OYANers join forces and stand for truth, writing furiously and assisting one another along the way, lifting the wounded and hopeless high, until they are able to stand on the pedestal of victory. We encourage, laugh, cry with one another, have long theological debates, raise cries of alarm as one when our beloved forum is merged into chaos and shuts down. We are a family. A family of writers who are not writers just for the sake of it, but who share one desire: to write words that will change the world. To weave together stories for the glory of God, overthrowing Satan and darkness and spreading truth and light throughout the entire world.

I feel truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. It has changed my life in a multitude of ways. Firstly, when I joined the forum and started OYAN on September 3, 2009, I came to realize that I didn't have to be alone as a writer. I had always thought that the writing life was for older, more experienced people, and that it would be weird for me to write a novel at such a young age. But I found out just how wrong I was. Even people YOUNGER than me had written several novels, and had done so with no shame and no regret. Secondly, I thought I was strange for being an introvert and that I needed to change and become extroverted in some way, to fit in with the majority of the world. But, in my heart, I knew that wasn't and isn't my character and that it would be difficult to change, so I felt discouraged. OYAN changed that. There are many people on there that I can relate to in several small ways, and even in some big ways. :) Getting to know the people helped me to be more confident with who I am.

OYAN has honed my writing skills a great deal. Two years ago, I was such a beginner. I hardly knew anything about writing a novel. Now, I can't claim to know even close to everything, but I know a million more things than I did before I began this curriculum. If I looked back to my writing as of 2 to 3 years ago, I would be disgusted. Absolutely horrified that I wrote something like that. But OYAN has not only taught me how to structure a novel, it has taught me how to structure a STORY and what it is that makes a story, a story.

It's amazing, really, what an influence a little school curriculum can have on a person, considering my mom found it quite by accident during a group discussion at a homeschool group. But I know it wasn't by accident. It was all in God's plan and for some reason, he wanted me to do OYAN. What that reason is, I have yet to find out. I'm extremely thankful God led me to this program, so that I could carry out my dreams to be a writer. To be a small part of the effort we Christians all make to bring the world to repentance. I also give a thousand words of credit to Mr. S for creating the program, enabling young writers to join together as one and encourage each other in their writing journeys and their Christian walks.

This is why I am bouncing in my chair for excitement because of the definite possibility of going to the 3rd annual Summer Workshop and Reunion in Kansas this summer, where the OYANers will meet, some for the first time, others for the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th time. For me, I will be uniting with several great friends for the first time ever. I will be uniting with family. :)

Stay tuned for the next part of this topic, where I will discuss the Summer Workshop in detail and the many benefits of taking this 6-day journey!

Have a GREAT weekend, my friends!