Blogs / Life, The Agency Games

The Agency Games: Update on the Third Reader (Blogmas: “It’s a Holiday Gift!)

Hello Everyone!

Today, I am taking a break from our regularly scheduled Blogmas posts to keep you updated on the publishing process for my book The Agency Games. For those of you who are new to my blog (Welcome!), The Agency Games is a nonfiction analysis of the popular Hunger Games series where I investigate human agency and how it affects primary characters such as Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Prim, Rue, Finnick, Mags, Joanna, Beetee, and more!

Anyhow, as many of you might remember, I am currently in the “Peer Review” stage of the publishing process. I have two readers who reviewed my book back in August. One of them loved it and the other was not impressed. So the publication house sent out my book to a third reader to be the tie breaker. However, back in November, when I was supposed to receive my feedback, my third reader backed out due to health reasons and so the clock was set back once again as I waited for the publication house to locate a new third reader.

I am happy to announce that as of this past weekend, the editors have located a new third reader and I should be receiving my feedback sometime toward the end of January in the new year!

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Additionally, the editors have gone ahead and scheduled me a final due date for the revised and improved final draft of my book for April of 2019! It has been a long road, but one that I am so grateful to have the opportunity to walk!

Thank you all for sticking alongside me, encouraging me and supporting me. I sometimes wonder if this book will forever be in limbo (something that will one day happen but not today) and then other days, like today, I can imagine holding that physical representation of all my hard work in my hands. This book has become more than just my “first” book. Some of you may remember that my grandfather is currently dying from cancer and it’s hard, and sometimes, he is not all there. But other days, he is. The other day he asked me when I was going to start publishing my books because he always knew that I would succeed. My entire life, he has pushed me to reach for the stars and I am so grateful for that. He inspired me to work hard and to persevere. In a way, finishing this book has now become a testament to his influence on my life.

Excitement does not begin to describe how I feel. I am one step forward to becoming an official “published” author and I know that I would not be where I am today without the support of my family and friends!

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Blogmas 2018

Blogmas Craft #2: “JOY” Wine Bottle Decor

Hey Everyone!

Today for Blogmas, as my present to all of you, I thought I might show you all how you can create beautiful, holiday wine decor bottles for yourself!

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Now, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (While it’s more fun to use the different shapes for the snowman, you will want to use similar shapes and sizes for the JOY decor)

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After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

 

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these “JOY” wine bottles, you will need three wine bottles of similar height, three branches of red holly, a branch of mistletoe (which you will cut into smaller branches), a glue gun, stencils of your choosing, red glitter squeezable paint, and a ball of twine. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$70 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Creating the Design

After stenciling on the letters of your chosen styling, you will need to fill in the letters with red glitter glue. Make sure to give a thick layer as it will flatten and thin out as it dries. (These will take a full 24 hours to dry).

joy

 

Step #4: Seal in the Design

A full 24 hours later, your glitter letters will have thinned down and you will want to spray the whole bottle with clear sealing spray paint. After this coat has dried (another hour or so), using the hot glue gun you will apply layers of twine to the top of the bottles.

twine

Step #5: Become the Florist Your Always Wanted to Be

Remember those holly berries and mistletoe branches from earlier? Create a lovely Christmas-themed floral arrangement coming from the tops of those bottles as your finishing touch!

There you have it! The whole process takes about 2-3 days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores.

They make great presents too!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2018

Blogmas DIY Craft #1: Snowman Wine Bottle Decor

Hey Everyone!

As some of you may be aware, I sell fun decorative wine bottles on Etsy. They are usually holiday-themed. Today for Blogmas, as my present to all of you, I thought I might show you all how you can create them yourself.

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these snowmen, you will need two paintNow, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (The fun shapes are more fun than just the standard wine bottles in my opinion).

After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

pens (1 black, 1 orange), ribbon of your choosing, a glue gun, holly, and mistletoe. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$50 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Use Stencils to Sketch Out Design

Step #4: Apply Ribbon and Mistletoe

AFTER spraying your snowmen with a clear coat of spraypaint–

Using scissors, cut the ribbon to your desired length. Using the glue gun, apply the ribbon like a cute little scarf for your snowmen. Then using the glue gun, apply your mistletoe.

Step #5: Admire Your Cute Army of Snowmen

There you have it! The whole process takes about two days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores.

If you love these Snowmen Wine Bottles but don’t feel like making them yourself, hit me up! I have a couple left and I’m selling them for $5 (plus shipping and handling)

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2018

Blogmas: Colors Reflected on Wet Pavement

One of my favorite parts about the Christmas season are all the different colors and pretty lights! There is just something so joyful and encouraging about seeing bright multi-colored light reflected off of rain soaked pavement. Don’t you think?

“The wet pavement reflects my heart

Perhaps a bit worn, perhaps a bit damp

But ultimately it celebrates the coming

Of bright, twinkling lights

And warm Eskimo kisses

Shared between lovers

And family alike.”

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Blogmas 2018

Annual Blogmas Contest!

Yep, I might be insane.

I might not have thought this through.

I have 102 things to do!

But no matter, I want to hear from you!

The Annual Blogmas Contest Starts Today!

 May the best Blogmas Blogger win!

How to enter:

  • Create a blogmas post! Your post must be all about Christmas, see my previous post on “How To Blogmas”
  • Once you have created and published your post, drop your link to that post below in the comments. ALSO, this is important, do NOT just drop the link by itself (it will go directly to my spam), so you must also leave a one-line summary of your blogmas post 😀
  • Check out at least two other blogmas posts and comment beneath their links so I can see that you did so (#community)
  • You can only drop ONE LINK, so if you want to wait until Dec 25th to choose that is alright.
  • Must be subscribed (following) to my page to keep up with contest announcements
  • DECEMBER 20th is the LAST DAY TO DROP YOUR LINK FOR THE CONTEST!

 

Prizes:

  • Holiday Spirit! No really, by posting and reading blogmas posts, you should definitely feel some holiday spirit!
  • I will publish my top three favorite Blogmas posts on my Blog Site. The top blogmas post winner will also be accompanied by a short author bio and link back to the winner of course. I have nearly 2,000 followers so this will be good exposure for your blog!
  • A fun time! Christmas is a happy time and hopefully, through this contest you can meet other bloggers and other bloggers can meet you! I can’t wait to read all the amazing Blogmas posts!

 

Merry Blogmas Everyone!

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Blogmas 2018

How to “Blogmas” (Early Release for Dec. 1st!)

You guys know that I don’t regularly post on the weekends. I’m strictly a week-day type of blogger but . . .

It’s December 1st, and you all know what that means!

December 1st

It’s Blogmas Time, Baby!

I’ll freely admit it, I am a holiday-focused kind of person. I love celebrating and decorating and getting together with friends and family. In particular, I love Christmas, I love the cooler weather, the hot chocolate, Christmas carols, celebrating Jesus’s birth, and more. One of the fun blogging ways to revel in the Christmas spirit is through Blogmas!

What is Blogmas? You ask.

Blogmas is when bloggers of all topics (writing, health, fashion, travel, etc.) transform the focus of their blogs to reflect the holiday season. Some of these topics can include: Favorite Christmas Carols, Christmas poem (of your making or sharing your favorite well-known Christmas poem), favorite Christmas sweater/mug, DIY Christmas ideas, letter to Santa, Christmas themed destinations, etc., etc., etc. Look around online and you’ll see the list of possibilities quite literally goes on and on and on and on. . . .

Technically, when you participate in Blogmas most bloggers post a Christmas-themed post every single day of the month. It is their version of an Advent Calendar or a way of counting down to Christmas day!

However, in my opinion, you do not have to post every single day, yes it is fun and if you can do it, more power to you! However, if you want to participate but posting every single day seems daunting, post on your regular schedule and just switch it around to Christmas-themed.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about what you want to do for Blogmas? I came across these wonderful blog posts last year by The Wild Hideaway and Lindsay that were super helpful for me and I think it can help you too! Be sure to check them out!

While their 100 ideas are indeed spectacular, here are five of my ideas!

  1. They may suggest that you share your favorite Christmas poem, I encourage you to come up with and post your own Christmas poem!
  2. They suggest you share your favorite Christmas story, well how about you write your own? It can be a non-fiction memory of your own Christmas experiences. It can be flash fiction. It can be one line or it could be a novel!
  3. Your favorite Christmas Movie based on the book
  4. Favorite Christmas Mug
  5. What is something NEW that you will be doing this year for the Christmas season?

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Who else will be participating in Blogmas? Do you have any ideas of what you plan to post about?

Keep a close eye on my blog in the next couple of days as I plan to host and release the information on my Annual Blogmas Contest!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Blogmas 2018, Blogs / Life

Holiday Blog(mas) Party Weekend

***UPDATE: Hey Guys! So I released my “How To Blogmas” post early today (since it is December 1st after all)! If you guys are curious or having questions about Blogmas, check it out!***

Tomorrow marks the first of December and I could not be more excited!

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Christmas is an extremely special time of the year for me for several reasons. First and foremost, I am a Christian and Christmas is a time for me to celebrate the coming of my Savior. Second, it was this time last year that my fiance proposed to me and I will forever associate the Christmas season with that moment. Third, it is a time for me to be with family, which is more important this year than any other year with my Papa’s failing health. And lastly, I simply love the bright colors and lights and songs of the Christmas season that fill my heart with joy and happiness!

So for today’s Blog Party, we are kicking off the Christmas Season!

Down below introduce yourself, your blog, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, what Christmas means to you! Do you celebrate it? What is your favorite Christmas memory? AND, will you be participating in Blogmas this upcoming month?

 

For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  1. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  2. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.

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Have Fun Everyone! And Merry Christmas! Time to spread holiday cheer! Don’t forget . . .

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This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so don’t miss out!

 

Poetry

Separation Anxiety

Looking forward

His hand in mine

And I’m soaring

But I feel that slight

Tug at my heel

As I look back at the past

I look back at the relationships

That ultimately must change

And I feel my wings flutter and fold

Struggling to stay

airborne.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

Waiting

I’m waiting

For you

For a blue sky

Reflected on an azure lake

I’m waiting for you

For a walk down the aisle

Lined with pale pink petals

And rusted lanterns

With flickering lights

I’m waiting

For you

For the first dance as you

Swirl me about the wooden floor

As layers of lace and tule

Twirl about our bodies

I’m waiting

For the words

That proclaim our everlasting love

For the kiss

That seals our dedication

For the tearful send-offs

And then

Dimmed

Lights.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Managing Your Expectations

As some of you may know, I am engaged and in the process of planning a wedding! In that process, my fiance and I are also underwent pre-marriage counseling (which was been a lot of fun as well as insightful and I recommend it for anyone thinking about getting married). Did you know that recently it has been announced that what kills marriages faster than anything else is unmet expectations?

Now, my blog is not about marriage, however, I could not help thinking how this applies directly to our writing. How often to we come up with grandiose ideas for our novels that will sell a billion copies and make us millions of dollars? Ever catch yourself day dreaming about which actors and actresses would star in your film once that adapt your book into movie formatting? (No one, just me? Anyhoo . . .)

The point is, in our writing too we must manage our expectations. 

Writing is hard and making a break through in the industry is even harder, some might say that it is nearly impossible. So I am encouraging you to “make resolutions” (without the need for a New Year) and to set goals for your writing, but in doing so, make them realistic!

  • Set yourself real goals that you truly can accomplish!Here are some examples:
      • Write Every Day (even if it’s just for 5 minutes)
      • Try to hit a word count every day (even if it’s 20 words).
      • Try to finish as much as that book as possible (even if it’s not the whole thing.)
      • Send out queries to multiple publication houses (but don’t stop writing, waiting to hear back)
  • Don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations.Here are some examples:
      • Starting and Finishing that new idea for a book and having it picked up within the year (yes it can happen, but it doesn’t often)
      • Becoming a millionaire with your first book (Suzanne Collins wrote amazing books for YEARS and was not known until her latest series).

Be kind to yourself and be honest with your writing. Expect that some days will be more productive than others and set realistic expectations so that you do not cause unnecessary hardship.

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s tip, be sure to check out more under the “Writing Tip” tab on my main menu. Have any questions about writing? Feel free to ask in the comment section!

Derek Harvey has a great article expectations in marriage if any of you are interested in reading the article.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.