What Goodbye Hasn’t Taught Me (And What It Has)

This is taken from a writing exercise that I completed at the Young Writer’s Workshop at Messiah College. Registration for this year’s workshop is currently open! Click here to learn more. If you would like to support the scholarship fund for this workshop, please consider purchasing a copy of The Young Writer’s Workshop Journal: Messiah College 2019. It features works by myself and my friends from last year’s workshop, and a purchase helps other writers have the opportunity to go to the workshop! Click here to get a copy.

Goodbye Hasn’t Taught Me…

  • What staying in one place for more than three years feels like.
  • How to leave or be left without pain or tears.
  • Why some goodbyes don’t feel like goodbye.
  • That goodbye gets easier as time ticks away.
  • That home is a place.
  • Where I’m “from.”
  • How to forget.

Goodbye Has Taught Me…

  • How to leave a place you love for a place you know only by name.
  • Home is people, not a place.
  • That leaving or being left by people is a thousand times worse than leaving a place. 
  • Why savoring every moment is important.
  • To look on the bright side.
  • That watching your home fade into nothing is as painful as watching a part of yourself slip away.
  • To remember that not all goodbyes are sad ones. 
  • Goodbye doesn’t always mean the end. Sometimes, it means once upon a time…

What has (or hasn’t) goodbye taught you?

My Friday Favorite Five

I’m starting a new blog series today: My Friday Favorite Five!

Basically, every once in a while (and on a Friday, of course) I’ll be sharing five of my favorite thing, from quotes, songs, recipes, and books to random little things like mugs of cocoa and colored pencils. ❤ Here we go….

ONE: Little Women Anything and Everything

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite books of all time. My lola took my sisters and I to see the new movie in theaters, and we loved it! IT IS SO GOOD GO WATCH IT (especially since it is now on digital!). Also, the soundtrack is the greatest to turn on while studying, folding laundry, or really just doing anything.

And I can’t not mention The Little Women Cookbook by Wine Moranville that my sister got me for my birthday. ❤ So far, I’ve made Jo’s gingerbread cake, milk toast, and Hannah’s turnovers.

TWO: Cozy Socks

The cozy socks from Old Navy (which are now no longer available :() are my FAVE. I have a bunch of them that I have stocked up on over these last couple winters. I wear them all the time, and they are so cozy and comfy!

THREE: Mechanical Pencils

I don’t think that I would be able to get through high school or even WRITE without mechanical pencils.

FOUR: Chai Lattes

I have a new obsession y’all: CHAI LATTES. Chai lattes, hot or iced, are DIVINE. I’ve been trying to make them at home, and they’re not as good as some I’ve had at coffee shops, but they satisfy my craving.

FIVE: These bits of truth.

“I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I do know who holds tomorrow.” -Unknown

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7

What are some of your favorite things right now?

The Stone of Enchantments by Elise Mayor Book Review

It’s time for a book review!

I am so excited to be reviewing a book by a friend of mine today! The Stone of Enchantments by Elise Mayor (and illustrated by Trinity Jade) is the first book in The Wayfarers series. Avid readers of the middle grade and fantasy genres will find this book to be a real treat. I sincerely enjoyed this novel, and I am sure that you will too. Read on to learn more about the book and what I thought of it.

My Rating: Five Enchanted Stones out of Five

About the Book…

The lives of the four Carrington children–Sylvester, Anne, Jeremy, and Jenny–are forever changed when they stumble into an extraordinary world–inhabited by elves, dwarves, and even griffons! The siblings are quickly thrust into a grand adventure, a wild quest for the Stone of Enchantments. Their only chance of returning home, they are forced to battle obstinate kings, savage creatures, and harsh conditions in order to bring back the Stone.

Click Here to Buy The Stone of Enchantments in Print or Kindle on Amazon

My Thoughts…

Griffons and dwarves and elves, oh my!

The Stone of Enchantments by Elise Mayor is a book that truly takes readers on an adventure with the characters. The characters themselves are interesting and fun to read about. However, I do have to admit, while I love all of the characters, my favorite character is Jenny Carrington (read the book and you’ll see why!).

The fantasy world, from the worlds of the elves and the dwarves to mountains and valleys, is truly fascinating and imaginative, and it makes for an even more exciting adventure. The illustrations by Trinity Jade add to the fantasy world and storytelling. I especially love the colorful cover illustration. The plot of The Stone of Enchantments itself is engaging and will keep you reading. It can be hard to put this book down!

If you love fantasy, beautiful illustrations, Narnia, or a book that will transport you to another world, then The Stone of Enchantments is the perfect book for you. I think that middle grade and fantasy readers will love this book, and that you will too. Go grab your copy, and let me know what you think! 🙂

What is one of your favorite fantasy novels?

3 Questions That Every Homeschooled Kid Hates

I am homeschooled.

I have been homeschooled since preschool. Now, as a senior in high school, I will honestly say that I am so grateful for this. I have loved all of the opportunities that being homeschooled has given me, and I would not change a thing about my education (unless we are discussing skipping geometry…). However, there is something that I hate about being homeschooled.

That something is questions like the following and the reactions and responses that they elicit.

I am sure that I am not alone in this! Here are the questions that I hate….

Where do you go to school?/What school do you go to?

This question is no fun because it opens up the floodgates for these questions…

Do you like that?

Okay, let’s take a step back here. If I said that I went to such-and-such high school, would you ask me something like, “Well, do you like that whole public school thing? Do you like your school? Are you getting an education?” No, you wouldn’t ask me that, because going to public school is “normal.”

How do you make friends/socialize?

I’ve been asked about my socialization at least a thousand times. To be honest, this is kinda insulting. By saying this, people are insinuating that I have no friends or that my social skills are nonexistent.

Homeschooled kids are not some oddity to be questioned.

We are normal kids. Just because we do schoolwork at home does not mean that we are weird or should be incessantly questioned.

If you want more homeschool truths, check out this video by Blimey Cow “How to Respond to Homeschool HATERS.” I laughed SO HARD but also could not help but admit that it was SO TRUE. Definitely give it a watch!

Homeschool friends: What’s a question that YOU hate?


18 Things I’ve Learned in 18 Years of Life

One: Dream big.

Two: The world does not revolve around you.

Three: You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down. You’re going to mess up. And that is okay. When you do fail, give yourself grace, get back up, and try again (maybe even in a different and better way). Take comfort and rest in the fact that you serve a God who loves you no matter how you fail, a God who will never ever fail you.

Four: Worrying does nothing but drain you of your joy, your life, and your time. Cast all your cares on Christ.

Five: Forget the mirror. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Remember what He thinks of you when He looks at you, His creation. Beautiful.

Six: Treasure your good memories of the past, but do not let the bad ones define you. Look forward to the future, but do not focus on it only. And remember: Treat the present as a gift.

Seven: Love is hard, but love is worth it.

Eight: Give thanks.

Nine: Life is short. Eat the cake. Dance in the rain. Take a dare. Go on the trip. Say yes (or say no!). Live life to the fullest, because every day is a gift.

Ten: Home is not a place. Home is people. Home is family and friends. Wherever I am with them, I am home. I can be in the high desert of Utah or the mountains of Washington, and as long as I am with my people, I am home.

Eleven: You can do anything, but you cannot do everything.

Twelve: Being the odd one out is not a bad thing.

Thirteen: Hold on to hope.

Fourteen: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. -A.A. Milne

Fifteen: Stories have the power to change the world.

Sixteen: It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to use up a box of Kleenex or cry until you cannot cry anymore. It’s okay to curl up under your covers and just cry.

Seventeen: Write the story of your heart. ❤

Eighteen: You and I are loved by God with a never-stopping, never-giving-up, un-breaking, always-and-forever love. Always.

The Stories and Sketches Creative Tag

Hello, everyone!

I hope that you all are having a fantastic weekend. Today, I am very excited to be doing a creative tag created by my friend Elizabeth Anne of Stories and Sketches. This looks like a lot of fun, so let’s jump right into it! =)

What is a Creative Tag?

Elizabeth Anne explains it best: “A creative tag is a blog post, in which the author asks a list of questions about creativity, and ‘tags’ a group of people, who then answer the questions on their blog.”

The Questions…

  • What is your favorite way to create? 
  • What is your favorite quote about creativity?
  • How do you overcome “creative block”?
  • What inspires you to create?

My Answers…

What is your favorite way to create?

My favorite way to create is through words. Specifically, I like to use the mediums of poetry and prose (fiction and nonfiction) to create with words. Check out the “My Stories” tab at the top of my blog to learn more about some of my stories! 🙂

What is your favorite quote about creativity?

I have so many quotes about creativity (specifically writing) that I love. Here’s just one of them:

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

-William Wordsworth, English romantic poet

I like this quote because I believe that it applies not only to writing, but to all creative disciplines. ❤

How do you overcome “creative block”?

I’m really bad at this sometimes, but I overcome creative block by finding more inspiration or pushing through it. In my opinion, the best ways to overcome creative block are to create and see what happens, to get more inspiration, or to take a brief break.

What inspires you to create?

Many different things inspire me to create. Here is a list of some of them:

  • A cause or issue that I feel passionate about raising awareness for or resolving.
  • Other forms of art, such as paintings, songs, pictures, or other stories or poems!
  • Places that I have visited.
  • Stories that people tell me.
  • …And, many, many other things!

I Tag…

Hanna @ Taking My Time

Penny Wood @ Jane Austen’s Lightsaber

YOU! I would love for all of you other creatives to take advantage of this tag. ❤

What inspires you to create?

Musings: Outside a Georgia Chipotle

It was outside a Georgia Chipotle on a grey day–a heavy, humid, sad-feeling one.

Dad was inside a nearby store grabbing something, and Mom stayed in the car with us kids. Naturally, as a six year old girl, I had enough curiosity to kill nine cats and then some. I stared out my car window at a homeless man and his dog across the parking lot. The man held a cardboard sign. I don’t remember what it said.

I watched, fascinated, as a man in a nice outfit–if my foggy memory allows me, it was a blue button-down shirt, tie, and slacks–came out of the Chipotle with a drink and a bag. I assumed that it was his lunch.

It wasn’t his lunch.

He walked right over to the homeless man and gave him the drink and lunch sack. 

“Why did that man give him his lunch?” I asked. Mom gave some answer about loving others and asked if I wanted to give the homeless man something. Frightened at the thought of approaching a stranger, I said no. Besides, he and his dog had a nice lunch now… Right?

Soon, Dad came back to the car and we drove away from the homeless man and his dog. It was a small thing from a long time ago, and yet all these years later, I can still remember.

I will never forget the man that gave that lunch away, because ever since then, he has inspired me to be like him.

Hope that you all are inspired by these musings of mine. Stay stellar, my friends! ❤