when through the woods // fall plans + an announcement

Friends and strangers, today I’m here to tell you about my fall plans and make a very special announcement. (If you didn’t already know that, please refer to the featured image and title of this post.)

We’ll start with the plans, all right?

Read More »

My Reading Spreadsheet // sharing a post by May @ Forever and Everly

Hey, friends! I hope you’re having a lovely Wednesday.

Today I’m sharing a post from May @ Forever and Everly about keeping track of read books! It was very helpful to me, and I’ve started tracking my reads in a similar way.

I use some different categories (for example, I don’t track each book’s publisher, but since it’s important to me, I note which authors are Christians), but I decided to use essentially the same setup and I’m loving it!

// the stories are true //

P.S. WordPress is forcing me to switch to the block editor, and I can’t figure out how to justify text on here! Anyone have any tips?

Forever and Everly

I’m back to annoy and/or bore you. 

I did a post about my reading spreadsheet in 2018, but I’ve changed things since then, so I wanted to do an updated version! I’m only showing half of the sheets I’ve made, my read books and ARCs, but I have ones for monthly TBRs (unnecessary to show) and graphs (sharing at the end of the year).

I’m also going include a list of some Google Sheets functions that I like to use. You can easily find/google these, but I know when I was creating my spreadsheet it would’ve been handy to have a list of them!

This definitely is not a post with a template for you to use. But if you want some great spreadsheet templates, I recommend checking out Fadwa’s or Kal’s!!

Protests in Thailand against the monarchy have been going on since July, but recently several student…

View original post 1,300 more words

flotsam and jetsam | 7

Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door!

And though the world be messed-up and broken, I go, I go, I go to write this blog post. (See the last flotsam + jetsam here.)

Note: I’m writing this on August 2, but I’m going to schedule it for the 15th 😌 and expect plenty of random emojis because I just discovered how to use them on WordPress. After 1.25 years of blogging. 😂

ALSO! I didn’t post any island living this week, and I might not next week. We’ll see. I absolutely intend to finish it, and to continue to post it on Wednesdays (and other posts on Saturdays), because the schedule has been super helpful, but it won’t be every week. 

divider

I spent most of June and July listening to new music. I discovered a lot of songs and artists I never thought I’d like. Here’s a short(ish) list:

  • turning out // ajr
  • he is not safe // ross king
  • addict with a pen // twenty one pilots (content: “addict” + “suicidal”)
  • homeward // future of forestry
  • in case you don’t live forever // ben platt
  • the girl i mean to be // daisy egan
  • i love betsy // andrew barth feldman (youtube)
  • dear me // nichole nordman
  • all you wanna do // aimie atkinson (content: sexual references)
  • hiding in your hands // mallory bechtel
  • wander. wonder. // the arcadian wild
  • forgive us our trespasses // audiomachine
  • never be alone // shawn mendes
  • sound + fury // ella mine
  • grace & mercy // jess ray
  • peace // taylor swift (content: profanity)

But then I started listening to old playlists. (I was tired of my July playlist.) And remembering all the music I used to love.

  • correspondence: a fiction // levi the poet (some mature content)
  • the passing of the elves // howard shore
  • too good // jess ray (content: mention of drugs + self-harm)
  • empty chairs at empty tables // gareth gates
  • this my soul // the gray havens
  • everything ever 🤣 // andrew peterson
  • wait for me (reprise) // hadestown
  • hamilton // lin-manuel miranda (content: profanity, sexual references)

I guess what I’m saying here is, listen to old songs sometimes. Don’t forget the music you used to love. You’ll probably still love it, and even if you don’t, it helped to make you who you are.Read More »

travels in Kentucky // Answers in Genesis + Mammoth Cave + more!

Hey, friends! As you probably already realized from my last post, I have returned from vacation. I spent 10 days traveling in Kentucky, and after a 3-day break, some friends came over to my house for 3 more days. But now I’m back, and I’m here to tell you about my vacation.

I’m going to write this post sort of like a travel journal, with some pictures included. I don’t remember exactly how everything happened, but I’ll do my best (:Read More »

looking back at my book // a glimpse into Remnant’s earlier incarnations, with much laughter

Hello hello, friends (and strangers)!

I wrote this post a long while ago. It was inspired by Sarah Baran (aka The Sarcastic Elf). I highly encourage you to check out her blog if you enjoy mine (or even if you don’t). Crazy homeschooled fantasy writers are the best. Especially if sarcasm is involved.

As the title of the post implies, I’m going to go back through various drafts of my current WIP, Remnant. I’m going to talk about my writing process and ideas. I’m going to share snippets. And I’m going to laugh at myself.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. (I should know, because as of right now, I have already written the post and read it numerous times.)

divider

The Chosen

This whole story starts back when I was eleven years old. Having read LOTR and Eragon recently, I was full of grand ideas of adventure, high fantasy, magic, and (of course) elves. However, I was suffering under the misconception that I couldn’t write a novel until after high school.

. . .

Yes, I know that makes no sense. I have no idea how I came up with that. Unfortunately, it was firmly cemented in my mind and I had never even attempted to write something longer than a few pages.

Until that day, standing in my bedroom, when I had THE IDEA.

Yes, it deserves capital letters. Because even though I no longer like THE IDEA, even though barely any of it remains in Remnant, even though it was honestly a terrible idea…

It was mine, all mine, and it’s the reason I started writing seriously. It’s the reason I am who I am. So thank you, eleven-year-old self, for THE IDEA.

THE IDEA involves silvery magic tattoos that signify power, a race called (wait for it) elves, another one called dwarves, a group called the Guardians (think the Varden, but cooler) who aided both, a bunch of (typically clueless) humans, yet another group (comprised of elves, dwarves, and humans, some of whom were Guardians) called the Chosen, a boy named Joe (it was a placeholder name that stuck around far too long), and a bunch of recycled plots from my previously planned fantasy series.

Because, though I was certain that I couldn’t write a novel, I saw no reason not to plan a novel. Many of them, in fact. So many that, before THE IDEA entered my brain, I had come up with the plot for a twenty-four-book series.

I’m not sure how I planned to write all those while figuring out adult life. But the Eagle-Wing Trail series (Wingfeather Saga meets Kingdom Tales) provided ample material for this The Chosen.

Sadly, none of the very first scene of The Chosen remains (at least not anywhere I can find it). So no one shall ever know of the meeting between Raldin and Taresil. How Raldin, tears in his eyes, handed baby Joe to the beautiful elf (beautiful beyond description), and she, crying and laughing in turn, marked the baby as one of the Chosen and spun him in circles in the forest…

But though this spectacular beginning is lost to history, I do have some amusing quotes from other sections.

For all things pleasant passed away in a time of desolation and sorrow, because those who were called the Chosen passed away into the land of memory… now let us eavesdrop in on one tale that was told… for the Chosen kept the peace and ruled over the land — until an unknown disaster befell them and they mysteriously disappeared…

This is deep stuff, people. At the tender age of eleven, I was already contemplating that dark and desolate place called “the land of memory.”Read More »

the return of the storyteller // updates + snippets + photos

Hello and welcome, meldonyar! (That’s “my friends” in Quenya, if you’re wondering.)

I’m terrible at intros to blog posts, but as the title (hopefully) implies, I have returned to blogging after a month off. It’s been a good month and I’m excited to get back into posting!

divider

// updates //

blogging 💻

I didn’t blog much in May (which was kind of the point), but I wrote several posts (+ post concepts) which I’m going to post in June and July! I did my best to keep up with reading other people’s posts, though.

Taking some time off helped me think about a few things and come to some decisions. Thus:

  • I’m not going to be replying to every single comment on all of my posts. Please don’t feel slighted if I don’t reply to you! It’s just that I don’t always have something meaningful to say, and I’d rather spend time answering questions and typing things I actually mean than forcing myself to come up with a reply to every comment.
  • I’m going to try to publish posts more consistently and schedule them ahead of time. (I still won’t have a “schedule” for posting, though.)
  • I’m going to stop worrying about follows/likes/etc. and focus on interacting and strengthening relationships with the people I’ve already met through blogging.
  • I’m going to try and follow less blogs, but actually comment on posts by the bloggers I do follow.
  • I’m going to do my best to be authentically myself.

reading 📚 + listening 🎧 + writing ✍ + watching 🎥

I talked about these in my monthly newsletter! (You don’t have to be a subscriber to click on the link, and clicking doesn’t subscribe you.)Read More »

hiatus announcement

Hello, everyone!

As you can tell from the title of this post, I’m taking a break (until June 6). I’ll be back then to announce the winners of the Hope in Disaster contest!

I’m focusing a lot on writing my novel this month (I’m hoping to add 18k more to it before June) and I’m stepping back from the social  + platform side of writing so I can concentrate on my craft.

Have a great May and I’ll see you June 6! (And don’t forget to enter the contest!)

sign off

flotsam and jetsam | 6 (Camp NaNo + mini book reviews + some updates)

How are you all, my friends? Quarantine in Michigan has been extended until at least May 28 (I think) and my musical has been officially canceled, so I’m still at home, still reading and writing and taking walks and wishing I could go places. I miss normal life.

But enough about my woes. Despite the (many) downsides of living in 2020, there are a few good things. The first one is that I exceeded my Camp NaNo goal of 20k!

Camp NaNo

 Camp Winner 2020 - Twitter Banner

I wrote 21,708 words in April! I shared some snippets from day 1, days 2-4, and days 5-10 earlier. Here are some of my favorite things I wrote from days 11-30.

poetry

// 13: shadow heart //

My heart is shadowed and uncertain. I’ve been trying to get back to where I was but the sirens call me into sin and seduction and unsatisfaction and my heart is heavy….
My heart is shadowed. Craven and breaking. Someone come pull me out of my aching and raise me to heaven — or I will fall to hell….
My heart is shadowed.
Send rescue.
Send salvation.

I tried my hand at spoken word poetry. I’m not very happy with the result, but I’ll keep trying.


// 14: play //

I’m tired of deception (but that’s unrelated to anything I’m supposed to be writing about)
and this quarantine
and being me
and, well, a lot of things.
I want the world to be healed
Read More »

1-year blog anniversary // in which I ramble and reminisce (+ an announcement)

green and white Hello board decor

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I’ve been blogging (on this blog) for a year now. And it’s been such fun.

I started this blog because I wanted to grow my platform as a writer, but I’ve kept it up because I enjoy writing posts, commenting on other people’s posts, and making new friends. (Of course, I do want to grow my platform, but my favorite part of blogging is the community.)

It seems to be conventional to write a long post on a blogging anniversary (traditionally known as a blogiversary. But not here. Here, we use the full and proper term), often with a Q&A. And one must follow convention (but not too closely, hence the lack of a Q&A section).

Tally ho!

(This phrase has many helpful uses, as demonstrated by the Hawke brothers in the Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes.
In this circumstance, it means “I couldn’t think of a good transition here, but now I’m going to actually write this blog post instead of telling you about it.”)

divider

in which I make an announcement unrelated to this post

Last week I launched my site Maya’s Library, a free personalized book recommendation site. You fill out a form and tell me about the kind of books you do and don’t like to read, and I’ll send you a list of stories to add to your TBR. (If you give me permission, I’ll post it in a blog post there too so other people can see it.) Go check it out!

divider

in which I discuss my changing blog design + name

My blog has changed a great deal since I started. But sadly, I didn’t think to take screenshots of its changes. I do, however, still have a lot of the blog headers in my Canva account.

It was originally called “maya’s magic musings: writer. dreamer. daughter of the king.” and I’m still rather fond of that name. The color scheme was completely different, and I think the theme was Dara, so it looked something like this:

Capture
obviously the content was different. and the navigation menu. and the sidebar. so basically everything was different back then.

Read More »

flotsam & jetsam | 5

Hello, all!

At this point, you probably know what my flotsam and jetsam posts look like. (If you don’t, read some old ones.) I’ve got a lot of random things to write about today.

divider

Lent & Easter

Lent is the season leading up to Easter, during which many Christians remember Jesus’ suffering by fasting, reading the Bible, and praying. My family often gives up screens for this time; however, we decided not to this year because of the quarantine. We don’t watch things much anyway, but it certainly helps to be able to turn on a show or movie occasionally when you’re stuck at home with nothing to do.

brown and silver cross table decor

We still observed Lent, though, by praying and reading the Bible and remembering Jesus’ suffering. If you’ve never tried it before, mark your calendar for 2021 and get ready to more fully appreciate what Jesus did for you. Read More »