Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Clouds and Sunshine With a Chance of Jesus Calling

So, over the past several months I've gotten the opportunity to read this book:

It's taken me a little while because 1) this is a devotional book, divided up into daily sections and 2) it's really, really good, so I never wanted to move on.

Seriously, this book was amazing. I loved reading it. It seemed that just about every day I read (I would normally read anywhere from several days to a month in one sitting), there was something in there that popped out. So I'd bookmark it, maybe write it down in my diary, and then set it aside. Then when I'd come back to read it, I'd read that same page again, and it'd just hit me again.

Oh, by the way, have I mentioned that I really liked this book? :)

If you're looking for a good gift book or a book for yourself, definitely invest in this one. I just gave away the copy I got from Thomas Nelson on Saturday night at a youth Christmas party, but I will definitely be buying this again very soon... and most likely for several more people as well. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chilly With a Chance of Changes

Well, hi blogworld! No, I haven't died, fallen off the edge of the earth, or been incapacitated in the last few months. Well, actually, I take that last statement back; but more on that later.

Let me just say that the primary reason I haven't been writing as faithfully is college. As unchallenging as my Comp II class can be, trying to keep up with all the different decisions my professor makes can be very, very similar to whiplash. I've managed to make it through, though - less than a month left. I am excited and sad about this at the same time. I'm glad to see this class come to an end, because as I've said, it's not as challenging as I expected college to be when I started this summer. However, I'm also sad because I've made a few pretty good friends this semester that I'm pretty certain that I'll never speak to again after the semester is over. I suppose that's part of college, though.

In the meantime, I've also managed to sustain quite an injury (thus why I took back saying that I wasn't incapacitated, because to a degree, I was). While the toe injury (simply a toe avulsion aka half of my toenail is gone due to being caught in a metal door) was completely fine after a few days, the over-compensating in my walking caused my right knee to swell up to be as large as a softball (and I'm not exagerrating!). This caused me quite a bit of trouble in walking... for days, I was hobbling around and shouldn't have even been walking. It's been a very slow recovery to be where I am now and even now, I'm hardly able to walk without a lot of pain. My knee still buckles quite a bit due to some loose cartilage in my knee and the fluid that is still on it (though the swelling is greatly reduced). I'm scheduled for an outpatient surgery on December 11 at 1 p.m. at our local hospital, so hopefully after several weeks of recovery, I'll be back to walking normally and swimming with my team. The saying "You don't know what you've got until it's gone" is highly applicable in my case. Those of you that can walk normally, let alone run, should be very, very thankful.

Also, I've had some great chances to wet my feet in photography. One trip I took with my friend Chelsea for nine hours and took over one thousand photos. The next I did for a trial client for my portfolio. And next week I am going out to take Christmas pictures for some friends of our family. I am so excited with the reaction to my photography, though it's definitely not the best on the planet. I'm pretty excited though and am looking forward to where this will take me. Be looking for a photography blog in the coming weeks... and maybe even a website... :-)

Lastly, I've been watching a BBC produced show called Merlin. It all revolves around a young Merlin as he serves a similarly aged Prince Arthur. Guinevere is a servant, and Morgana has yet to turn evil, but even though it messes with Arthurian legend, it is an amazing show. It's much cleaner than any American show I've seen in awhile, though it's not perfect... language pops up every once in awhile, but most episodes are without it.

So, in the mix of all this, I've been able to spend a lot of time praying. And in this, I've also been able to learn to listen a little bit. My mom came to me a few weeks ago with an answer to prayer that had a little twist - it required a step of faith. So, after some more praying, I took that step of faith... and it's been amazing to see all that God's done and how even when I feel like I'm going to freefall, He's right beneath me to catch me. I am constantly amazed that God even cares for the little ol' smidge that is me. But it's also very amazing to actually see that He cares for me.

So amidst all of this, I've written a few songs and worked on some music, but I've really not done much writing (save for in my diary, but that's between me, myself, and I). People keep asking me what I've been writing, though, so maybe once Comp II is done for the semester... maybe I'll get back to a certain young 15 year old named Micaela... :-)

Until then,
Audra E.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mostly Cloudy With a Chance of Reassurance

The past month has been a busy one.

At the end of July/beginning of August, I participated in a drama camp through my church, which was awesome, amazing, fabulous, fantastic, etc. I learned SO much, but not just in acting. Every morning started out with a time of worship, and it set a great tone for the day. And not only did we learn how to be better actors, but it also opened us up to hearing the Lord and what He had to say... He obviously had a lot to say to me that week. It was pretty awesome.

Sometime in August, I started my senior year of high school. (It's pretty pathetic that I don't even remember what day that I started my senior year of high school... but I guess that only matters to a detail oriented person like myself...). So far, I have geometry (which is getting more difficult...) and today, I started Composition II at the local community college. I have to admit, English is my easiest subject, but since I failed to sign up until last minute, I didn't know who my professor was until today. Well, the Lord really pulled through for me... my professor is GREAT. I have a feeling that this will be a great semester. He'll probably be more strict than my Comp I teacher was (which isn't a bad thing... but could be if I forget something...), but that's not such a bad thing. It may help discipline me. You know, a little fine tuning...

Mentioning fine tuning, I've had a lot of things happening and going on personally, of which I know are a time for character shaping and fine tuning me personally. 99% of it has been wonderful, but that other 1% (like having to get braces put back on) sometimes feels a little overwhelming. It's been a definite learning experience... not getting caught up in what I've been told, but focusing on growing in my relationship in God right now. Not that it's passed... I still sometimes that I'm very much walking through some troubled times. But today I started a new Bible study (which let me say, was not my choice, and I was NOT very excited about starting it...), and as I got to the closing, the words on written on the page were the EXACT things I needed to read. They didn't give me answers... but they gave me reassurance that I'm making the right decisions. And while everything may not turn out the way I want it to or think it will, there's something beautiful in store. For the time being, I know He's up to something... just not sure what yet.

I found this quote earlier tonight on one of my Facebook friend's profile... and thought it was pretty cool. It was just kind of like, "This is where I am right now... and that's what makes it so great." So, hopefully, this little piece of wisdom will make you think the way it did me.

"Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone."

Until the next writing,
Audra E.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clear and Windy With a Chance of Writer's Quotes

As you can tell, I rearranged the blog this week. I turned 16 on the 16th, so I figured something a little new might be fun. =)

As I was working on the header, I looked up quotes... and found a lot that I liked! I used one by Audra Foveo-Alba (because we share the same first name), but I thought I'd share the other ones that I would've loved to have used.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. 
 ~E.L. Doctorow

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. 
 ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. 
 ~William Wordsworth

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible
 ~Vladimir Nabakov

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. 
 ~Anton Chekhov

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. 
 ~Mark Twain

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. 
 ~Peter De Vries

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. 
 ~Gene Fowler

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
 ~Francis Bacon

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. 
 ~Graycie Harmon

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we? 
 ~Audra Foveo-Alba

The only cure for writer's block is insomnia. 
 ~Merit Antares

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. 
 ~Arthur Polotnik

If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop. If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness. 
 ~Carrie Latet

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head.
 ~From the movie Finding Forrester

If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams. ~Danzae Pace

You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. 
~ Jack London

Until the next clubbing,
Audra E.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of The American Patriot's Almanac

365 reasons to love America!

The fife and drum of history mark the time of each passing day. And within their cadence, personalities, conflicts, discoveries, ideas, and nations peal and fade. American history is no different. From the starving time of Jamestown during the Winter of 1609, through the bloody argument of the Civil War, and to today, the United States is a tale best told one day at a time.
Best-selling author and educator Dr. William J. Bennett is a master of the story that is the United States. And in The American Patriot's Almanac, Bennett distills the American drama into three hundred sixty-five entries-one for each day of the year. Fascinating in its detail and singular in its grasp of the big themes, Bennett's Almanac will make anyone a fan of history, assembling even some of the most obscure details. Even better, it will make of everyone a patriot.

My review:

When I saw this book, I was very excited to get the opportunity to learn more about the history of my country. I thought this would be a great way to learn about the heroic and courageous things that people have done so that I can live in the U.S.

This book definitely helped bolster my patriotism. Because I read all 365 entries in a period of several months, it tended to drag at times, just because it was so much reading. But for something short to read once a day, this is wonderful. I really can't say just how much I enjoyed reading this book. As well as short blurbs on different people, places, etc., at the end of each month, there are "essays", I suppose you could say, that tell about different things - reasons to love our country, the history of our flags, fifty all-American movies, etc.

The only thing that bothered me were the few instances of profanity. I've never been one to want to read profanity in a book. However, people in history were just as flawed as we are today, and I understand the reasons the authors kept the quotes completely intact.

Overall, I suggest this book. It's great to get to read a little about our country's past every day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cool With a Chance of Creativity

Walking you through the original...

the concepts...

and ideas...

and layers...

and layers...

and layers...
(Gee, I think I like layering...)

to the...

final product.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Overcast With a Chance of Thinking

I haven't really felt like writing lately. I've gotten a little lazy. So, I apologize for my laziness. Critique group is tomorrow, so we'll see if that spurs me on at all.


I'm tired. I stayed up til 2:30 a.m. reading this book. I finished it this morning. One of my best friends read it a couple years ago, and I randomly found it at the library on Monday, so I thought I'd read it. It started out really good, but it lost me about midway through. It did give me some insight on racism, though, which seems to be coming up as a predominant topic in the books I'm reading lately. I read Dominion by Randy Alcorn, and that dealt heavily with racism and the stereotypes against blacks. I realized that even though I don't think of myself as a racist, in some ways, I have acted or thought in ways that would be, um, racist. I haven't burned crosses in any one's yard or anything like that, but I do know I've taken a stereotype (say, a Hispanic stereotype) and then everytime I walked past a person that was Hispanic, I ended up labeling them with that stereotype, even though I'd never met them. Or when I hear news, automatically thinking, "Well, that's an Arab, Jew, Iraqi, (insert any nationality or color here) for you." Judging, racism, whatever you wanna call it. Still wrong. I did go out the day I finished Dominion, and made a point of smiling at people as I walked past them... the reactions were funny. :)

I got my letter from our local community college on Tuesday (I believe) saying that they had accepted me for their dual enrollment program. I'll be signing up to take Comp I and American History I classes during their June semester.

Saturday, I'm going biking with my church's youth group. We're going to do the Creeper Trail. Some are biking all the way up, while most of us are just biking the 18 miles down. I'm excited about it. We're dropping Victoria's bike off at the shop today to get the pedal fixed. If I get any pictures that turn out decently, I might post them.


Anybody up for a Dunkin' Donuts stop?


Monday, May 4, 2009

Stormy With a Chance of Rayne

... the Rayne Tour Series, that is!

This daughter of a rock star has it all—until murder crashes her world.
During a concert, sixteen-year-old Shaley O’Connor stumbles upon the body of a friend backstage. Is Tom Hutchens' death connected to her?
Frightening messages arrive. Paparazzi stalk Shaley. Her private nightmare is displayed for all to see. Where is God at times like this?
As the clock runs out, Shaley
must find Tom's killer—before he strikes again...

I should really make a note to myself to check my e-mail more often.

Hypothetically, if I had checked my e-mail, I would've known that
1) I was one of the first 200 entrants in the "Live Like a Rockstar" Sweepstakes
2) Consequently, I won Always Watching and it was being mailed to me
3) Inside the package that I received this morning was above mentioned book

I can't wait to read this book. I had honestly never read any of Brandilyn's books (though my sister has, and I'm sure Brandilyn's writing is great... she's the writing mentor to my favorite author, Erynn Mangum), but honestly, what got me interested in this book was Amberly's name.

I know... weird. I've always liked the name Amberly, though, so when I saw that she had written a series with her mom, I decided to check it out.

Needless to say, it sounds great, and I've already read the first chapter.

And now, I must go to bed. I need to get up very early for work tomorrow morning, and seeing as I went to sleep at 11:30 last night and slept almost 12 hours...

My head made an earlier appointment with my pillow for tonight.

P.S. In case you're interested in entering the sweepstakes, here's some of the info -
Teens age 13-18: Enter the Rayne Tour Series' "Live Like a Rock Star" Sweepstakes today! Grand Prize: $850 night on the town, including dinner for 6 and limo service. First 200 entrants get a free copy of Always Watching.
Go here to enter.

Seatbelt Suspense® for young adults.

Watch the trailer
Read prologue and first chapter
Join The Rayne Tour Series fan club.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunny With a Chance of Critique Group

I have a confession to make.

I'm 15 and I still watch the Disney Channel.

YES, I do watch Hannah Montana (I actually watched six episodes of season three last night). And NO, I don't hate it.

Recently, DC has started a new show called Sonny With a Chance. It's about a girl, Sonny Monroe, who gets a chance to make it big in Hollywood. It took a few episodes for the show to grow on me, but I absolutely adore it now.

Similarly, I'm a girl, hoping to get my chance in the publishing industry. So, I thought it'd be cute to do a spin on Sonny With a Chance.

I thought of "Audra With a Chance" because it has the five letters of Sonny, but it's a little harsh on the tongue, so then I thought of "Audry with a Chance". It also had the five letters, and I even have a friend whose name is spelled that way. But for stylistic reasons, I went with Audrey (plus the fact that I do have little kids that call me Audrey), even though it has six letters. It still has that 'y' ending to it. Thus, the story behind "Audrey With a Chance". Now I just need a theme song...

Anyhoo, today is critique group. I have about 45 minutes before Vi comes to pick me up... and I have nothing written. So... I have to get busy.

Oh, and btw, I'm really liking the new Hannah Montana intro for S3. =)


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Introduction to All Things... Me.

So, the name's Audra. Some of you know me as Elizabeth, and still some of you know me as Audrey (but you're under 5 and most likely don't know this is here; however, you helped name this blog). I'm 15, adore music, and do very crazy things (like wear a toboggan in 84 degree weather and listen to Christmas music in April), but most importantly, I write. It's become like a lifeline for me. Thankfully, I'm joined in this adventure by three very special people, who go by the names of Amber, Monica, and Victoria (otherwise referred to as Rambo, Moni, and Vi.)

My writing adventures started almost three years ago on a Sunday night in August 2006. I had always wanted to edit, but while looking through something, I heard God very clearly tell me to write a book. From there, the rest has been history. I seriously started working on Micaela's Light, a story about a girl struggling to trust an invisible God as her life is turned upside down, last June.

The journey has been absolutely incredible. I started out writing a book, having absolutely no clue as to what I was doing. Trying to shape characters, find my voice, figure out pacing... it's all been a beautiful (while heart wrenching) journey. One that I wouldn't trade for anything. Granted, there are times I'd love to give up and just quit... but writing has become an integral part of me, one that I can't give up.

Welcome to my life.