How I Wrote My First Fiction Book

Hello, friends!! 
Today I have a special blog for you from a friend of mine named Livy who puts together this AWESOME magazine for teen girls called Crown of Beauty! She just released another (yes, another!) book, and has been so kind as to share a blog with us about her book, her writing process, and her heart. I think this will be just what some of you need to hear!
Love, Tiffany

A Creative Spirit is a blessing from Heaven. (Really, it is.)

Although, I will be the first to admit, that there are days when it feels like a curse.

Walking around this tattered planet with so many words, visions, characters, and lands, locked up inside your belly can make you feel like an over-due pregnant lady.

The only problem, is that you’ve been pregnant for years. The visions that you’ve seen in your heart, and the characters that you’ve chatted with over tea in your brain, are so vividly real to you.

At first, the idea of writing a novel is exciting and whimsical. Words rush out of your soul like a waterfall, tumbling onto the pages, and you’re ecstatic to release what you’ve been dreaming of for so long! The first twenty-five or fifty pages are like bliss.

“This is going to be a best-seller!” You squeal to nobody but yourself, “This world needs my story! If only Jane Austen could see me now; she would be so proud!”

But then, the hardships hit. Everything freezes up, your brain is in a total fog, and you feel like jumping ship. “This is the worst idea ever!” You scream, ready to throw your story through the paper-shredder.  “How could I possibly be any LESS original than this?! I stink! I am never going to be a successful writer!”

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Putting Power in your Story

by Amanda

Re-post from Thrivefittlife.com — view the original here.

Do you believe that EVERYTHING that happens in your life happens for a reason? Even what we see as bad? I do.

Here’s why.

In a month I am blessed to be going to China to present with Ken Weichert and Stephanie Weichert, which was one of my original goals when I began my journey in the fitness industry. But, I want you to look at the series of events that got me here…

In college, my focus area GPA of my studies was too low to continue in the education major and so I switched my major to Exercise Science and a minor in biology. (Which I considered a FAILURE and haven’t told many people… EVER.)

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The Battle of “No”

by Kimmie

My one and a half year old son’s favorite word is “no.” Raise your hand if you are the least bit surprised. No one? Shocker.

Sometimes it’s a subdued “nah” when I ask him if he wants to finish his dinner. Hey, at least he’s polite about it. Other times, it’s straight out of a scene from Jurassic Park. You know, the one where the Tyrannosaurus Rex chases after the Jeep? Except I’m being chased by an insane toddler who is SO mad that I won’t allow him to play with the broom (#meanestmomever). While I appreciate your desire to sweep, child, you are making a bigger mess and I’m going to have to wrestle this out of your hands later and then you’re going to throw the most epic tantrum ever, thankyouverymuch.

But I digress…

It’s interesting how easy it is for a young child to say no.

It’s black and white; either they want to do something or they do not. And you would think that it should be just as black and white for the rest of us…but it’s not. In fact, there are so many gray areas that cloud what could be a simple black and white moment.

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Bloom Where You Are Planted: Why I Admire Joanna Gaines

by Alyssa Kuiken

To say I’m a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper is probably a bit of an understatement.

If you’re ever looking for me on a Tuesday night at 9pm, you will find me sitting in front of a TV watching the latest episode.

I can’t quite pinpoint one thing in specific that drew me to the show.  Instead, I think it was a combination of things:

  1. Joanna’s eye for design
  2. Chip’s antics and Joanna’s patience
  3. How this husband and wife team truly seems to bring out the best in each other
  4. The love Chip and Jo express, not only for their work and for each other, but also for their four kids

As a result, I’ve been a Joanna Gaines fan since the pilot episode aired. I love watching the transformation that takes place with each renovation Chip and Jo tackle together. I love watching how Joanna thoughtfully decorates/stages each home. And, I love watching for new ideas or tips on how to decorate or fix up my own home.

Here’s the thing, I’m kind of a decorating nerd (for lack of a better word). I love hunting through antique stores for hidden treasures to bring home. I think moving furniture around is fun. And I enjoy the challenge of making a space “pretty.” Basically, I love making a house feel like a home.

So, naturally, when Joanna Gaines wrote a book (along with Chip), I wanted to read it. And I did- twice.

And both times I cried.

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Social Media Tips

by Tiffany Dawn

This week I had SUCH a fun opportunity — and one I hope to have many more times!! I got to share about my journey in growing “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty,” and specifically how social media has helped me grow & market my brand. You can watch it here. If you’re starting a ministry or if you’re an entrepreneur at heart, I hope this can help you as well!! 🙂 ❤

When Dreams Seem a Long Time in Coming…

by Kimmie Plummer

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

This verse sits framed on a shelf in my kitchen — a constant reminder that God provides everything at the right time…even if it’s not my timing.

img_2055Before I go any further, let me tell you a few things about myself. My name is Kimmie and I am a coffee-obsessed, Jesus-loving wife and mother.

By day, you can find me working with companies to help them create training and development programs for their managers and employees. At night, I moonlight as an entertainer and comedy act for the cutest little boy on the planet.

My husband is a pretty awesome guy (if I do say so myself) and we live a normal, perfectly imperfect life together.

But I have a confession: I’m a control freak.

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Fresh Starts Come More Than Once a Year

by Julia Robison

THREE…

TWO…

ONE…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I got back to my house right before the ball dropped, and my dad had the great idea of toasting the new year with orange juice! Whatever you toasted this New Year, let’s have our first candid conversation of 2017. Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year!!

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-4-15-17-pm
First, let me introduce myself:
Hi! My name is Julia. I am an ordinary girl loving and serving an extraordinary God. I am a sophomore psychology student in sunny southern California, trying to balance my desire to study with my desire to go to the beach! I am a lover of doughnuts, all things peanut butter, sunsets, and great conversations over beautiful cups of coffee. I’m excited to walk this crazy jorney called life together with you!

 

So, wow, I love the new year and its promise of a fresh start:

  • brand new music coming from favorite artists,
  • new hair styles (cause you know — new year, new hair),
  • and so many donuts yet to be eaten!

Many people see fresh starts as a chance to become who they’ve always wanted to be, which is why many make “new year’s resolutions.” Whether our resolution is to work out 4 times a week, drink less coffee (or more coffee), or wake up earlier, we want to make a change.

I, however, am not someone who can stick to a resolution.

Honestly, I end up forgetting I ever made it, or giving up two months in… which led to a personal “revolution” (if you will) about new beginnings. It all started during finals week in December…

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A different kind of “more”

I’ve spent so much time asking God for more, instead of thanking Him for what I have.

My prayers often center around this American mentality of “more, more, more.”

  • Please, God, more YouTube followers.
  • Please, God, more speaking engagements.
  • Please, God, more Instagram followers.
  • Then I can glorify You more. (Or, at least, that’s the reason I give. Even if it’s not the truest motivation of my heart.)

There’s nothing wrong with asking for more; in fact, God often challenges us to ask for more — to ask for something so far beyond our own strength that obviously we could never get there on our own. Then we obviously need Him, and only He can fulfill that crazy huge dream. I really believe He delights in that.

But sometimes my heart is full of selfish ambition when I ask for “more.”

  • Sometimes I want more because I want to feel more important.
  • I want to feel seen.
  • I want to feel like what I’m doing matters.
  • And I think that bigger numbers will help me get there.

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