Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sharing the Journey Round Up ~ 2015

Wow, so much has happened here this year! Can you believe it's almost officially been a full twelve months since I put up the first post here on Sharing the Journey? :) (Eight days left!)

And -- before we get into all the great links below -- I've got a tremendous bit of news. Last night I FINALLY finished the writing and working edits on A Flame Shall Spring from the Embers (my entry for Rooglewood Press's Sleeping Beauty contest) and sent it in. Come March, we'll find out if it places among the winners, etc., but either way, Lord willing, you'll definitely be getting a chance to read it later this year. :) Super exciting!

First and foremost, thank you so much to each one of my marvelous beta-readers/critique partners. You provided such encouragement to persevere in the tough spots and made the story altogether so much stronger. You're all truly amazing!! :)

(Another character  inspiration picture,
 just 'cause I'm rather fond of it.)

Also, if you didn't get a chance to visit before (or would like to visit again), here's a link for my AFSS Pinterest inspiration board.

Now I'm just plain thrilled about getting back to David's Shoulders soon in 2016. Working on AFSS over the last few months, I've learned so much -- so many new tips and fast writing/style techniques + simply relaxing about early drafts in general -- and Lord willing, my goal is to have (at least) the current draft for ODS done by the end of 2016. (Of course, more would be splendid, but we'll just have to see what exciting things God has planned for the rest of life as well. ;))

And now for our great 2015 round up -- a catalog of the happenings and events here on StJ!

This started it all off.

(Click here for all our other Quotes of the Month.)

2015's Wonderful Writer & Author Interviews

Éowyn Peterson - January 2015

Naomi - February 2015

Rachel Kovaciny - March 2015

Natalie - April 2015

Emma - May 2015

Heidi Grace Salzman - June 2015

Jenelle Schmidt - July 2015

Elisabeth Grace Foley - August 2015

Annie Hawthorne - September 2015

Braden Russell - October 2015

Suzannah Rowntree - November 2015

Emily Ann Putzke - December 2015

Our Inklings link-up started in May:

May 2015 ~ Violets
December 2015 ~ A Christmastide movie scene

Our 3 Things I Love in a Good Story Nutshell Overview:

(I love this list! And I've put together a new page for these, so click here for all the fantastic 3 Things guest posts themselves.)

A character I will remember - Natalie
A mystery - Jenelle Schmidt
A part that makes me cry - Natalie
A strong ending - Heidi
A sweet romance - Natalie
Balanced description - Heidi
Characters I want to be friends with - Hamlette
Family friendly - Jenelle Schmidt
Female characters I can respect and admire - Jessica Prescott
Good camaraderie - Heidi
Good relationships - Olivia
Happy endings - Hamlette
Heroic characters - Jenelle Schmidt
Humor - Olivia
Literature references - Naomi
"My kind" of writing style - Olivia
Not only romance - Naomi
Realistic dialogue - Hamlette
Romantic relationships that I can get behind - Jessica Prescott
Some kind of romance - Naomi
Vivid sensory description - Jessica Prescott

Thank you to each and every one of my lovely followers for joining this adventure -- it wouldn't be the same without you! And a tremendous thank you to all of you who shared and took the time to leave kind comments. :) You all truly made it a wonderful year here and I look forward to spending time with all of you in 2016! :) Happy New Year!

Heidi Peterson is a lover of wide-spreading land, summer dust, white pounding waterfalls, and mountain tops; also of good dark coffee and rich stories. Most of all she's a lover of the One who is the Word, the Word made flesh. You can visit her additional blog (where she shares more about books, movies, and further marvels of life) at: Along the Brandywine.

Visit and contact at: Sharing the Journey // Along the Brandywine // ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An Interview with Emily Ann Putzke

Today I'm happy to be interviewing fellow author and blogger Emily Ann Putzke!

Emily Ann Putzke is a young novelist, historical reenactor, and history lover. Her first novella, IT TOOK A WAR, was independently published in December of 2014. She's the co-author of AIN'T WE GOT FUN which released in May of 2015. Her full length WWII novel, RESIST, will be available in ebook, paperback, and audio on February 22nd, 2016. You can learn more about Emily and her books at

~     ~     ~

1. (Heidi) Some differences and similarities you see between the three major forms of storytelling—literature, music, and film? 
(Emily) In film, you see everything acted out before you. You can be moved to tears and the actors don’t even have to utter a word. In literature, you have to show those emotions in words. And often, that can be even more powerful. If done right, the reader resonates with the character more. They feel like everything is happening to them personally instead of someone else on the screen. Music accompanies both forms of storytelling. As a writer, music helps me write sad or intense scenes, and you would lose something in a film without a good musical score. Film, music, and literature are all similar in their power to inspire and move us to laughter or tears. 

2. How have you seen those three mesh together in your own creative process? 
If I’m stuck while writing, a good historical film with great character development, dialogue, plot, and inspiring music will help me dive into my project again. Picking up a good book never falls to inspire me to be a better writer, and music, as I’ve mentioned before, always helps me create. 

3. When and how did you first begin writing? 
I’ve been writing since I could write. I can’t remember ever not wanting to be an author. I was homeschooled, so books and stories were a big part of my upbringing. My favorite author when I was little was Richard Scarry. I used to copy all his pictures and characters. I wanted to be a writer/illustrator just like him. 

4. What are you currently working on? 
I’m getting ready to publish my first full length novel, Resist, in February. It’s a WWII historical fiction based on the true story of Hans and Sophie Scholl, a German brother and sister who wrote and distributed anti-Nazi leaflets. In the meantime, I’m doing some research for a possible future story idea and working on short stories to keep my writing up to par. 

5. Particular author/s who have influenced you? 
I’ve recently been inspired by John Hersey after reading his book, The Wall. Phenomenal writer. I also love Lucy Maud Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott. 

6. Is there a “non-writing” activity that shapes your writing? 
Reenacting, definitely. I reenact both Civil War and WWII. Living history really inspires me in my historical writing. Sleeping in a Civil War tent, cooking over a fire, waking up to the reveille, all helped me write It Took a War. Getting stopped and questioned by Germans, and getting caught in the action between the French and Germans helps me place myself in the 1940s. 

7. Your opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of digital books? 
Digital books are so convenient. You can get any book you want whenever you want. You can easily transport an entire library of books. You can highlight sentences and look up a word you want to know simply by tapping on it. But I will always prefer a real book over digital. Digital books don’t have that smell that real books have. You don’t have the satisfaction of feeling the weight of the book in your hands and feeling how many pages you’ve read. Also, we as a culture already spend so much time on our screens. Picking up a real book is a nice change from the screen glow. I don’t know … real books are just my favorite. 

8. Do you ever do graphic design to help with your writing? 
I sometimes like to make mock book covers to inspire me, or Pinterest collages and that sort of thing.

9. Do you outline? If so, in a general way or very detailed? 
I usually write out a story synopsis with a tentative ending so that I know where the story is going. I don’t worry about all the details at that point. 

10. Do you work on multiple projects at once? 
Yes, I do, especially when I’m trying to figure out what to write next. 

11. Do you edit as you write? 
I try not to … but sometimes the perfectionist in me has to fix up some things. =) 

12. Certain themes you see surfacing and resurfacing in your work? 
Sibling relationships.

13. A particular aspect of writing you struggle with or a challenge you’ve overcome? 
Plot is a lot harder for me then dialogue, characters, and descriptions. That’s why writing about real people who did amazing things with their lives is a somewhat easier challenge to tackle. I have the plot already there. I just have to bring it to life. 

14. How do you deal with feedback—particularly negative feedback? 
You can’t please everyone. Seriously. You just can’t. I want everyone to love my work, but that’s not an attainable goal, nor should it be my goal. I try to remember that God has given me this gift to touch people’s lives and inspire them, and to not back down just because I got a 2 star rating. Also, reading reviews and comments from people who do love my work really encourages me. 

15. One thing you’ve learned from other writers? 
To be yourself. We all have our strengths and weakness, our passion for certain topics and time periods. Everyone’s writing is different. Rock your style. 

16. A helpful nonfiction book or website? 
Here are three of my favorite writing websites: 

17. What do you consider one of the single most important things to remember (i.e. an attitude or technique)? 
Never stop writing. No matter what. Even if you think it stinks, keeping pushing through and create. “None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.” — Saint Pope JP2 

18. A word of encouragement for fellow writers? 
If you believe God has given you the gift of words, then you need to use that gift. Don’t hide it. Don’t give up. 

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Note from Heidi: Thanks so much for sharing, Emily!

Monday, December 21, 2015

3 Things I Love in a Good Story // Naomi

from Naomi

1. Some Kind of Romance 

I know, I know. I’m THAT kind of teenage girl. The kind of person movie-makers throw a little romance-plot in a movie for. But hey, my brain just happens to work in a sentimental, romantic way – it’s not like it’s my fault, is it? I just love to see at least one character get married; or to have some hand-holding at the railway station somewhere in the plot. Sorry. I just love it. 

I’m not saying books without Romance can’t be good. No, sir. They can. But I tend to appreciate books more when they have some kind of romancey bits in it. (It doesn’t have to be the only thing in the book. I don’t like that. I just like a bit of it sprinkled here and there.) 

2. Not Only Romance 

No, I am not just stating the opposite of number one. Yes, I love Romance. But not when it’s the only thing in the book! I have read several Christian Fiction novels where the story line is all about the girl and the boy. Girl meets boy. Boy meets Girl. Boy thinks Girl is pretty. Girl thinks Boy is rude. And so on. Nothing else but stuff about the Boy and the Girl. The whole book is about their interaction, their romance. 

This makes me a bit… I don’t know, tired? I like to hear about other things too. For example, a family problem. Or a murder mystery. Or the Girl helps her friend publish a book. I don’t know! Just some variety. Not only romance. 

3. Literature References 

When a book has references about literature, or movies, or my favourite musicals – I love that book completely. Like, I LOVE that. I read Dear Mr Knightley with a grin on my face, because Samantha watched Pride and Prejudice 1995 on Thanksgiving. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society made me completely happy because of all the literature lovers talking together. 

I just LOVE those kinds of books. 

Again, I’m not saying I don’t like books without Literature References. Not at all. But when a book has them, chances are really high I’m going to love the book.

Note from Heidi: Thanks so much for sharing, Naomi!

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And... would you like to share three of your favorite things in a guest post? You don’t have to be a writer to qualify! This series is by story lovers for story lovers.
For post specifics/guidelines you can see the initial post here, then send Heidi a quick email at ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com. Don’t be shy. I’d love to have you!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quote of the Month ~ December 2015

~ John 1:14 ~

The foundation -- bringing meaning and value to all our wordplay.

~     ~     ~

Heidi Peterson is a lover of wide-spreading land, summer dust, white pounding waterfalls, and mountain tops; also of good dark coffee and rich stories. Most of all she's a lover of the One who is the Word, the Word made flesh. You can visit her personal blog (where she shares more about books, movies, and further marvels of life) at: Along the Brandywine.

Visit and contact at: Sharing the Journey // Along the Brandywine // ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, December 11, 2015

Inkling Explorations Link-Up // December 2015

Here's for our December Inklings! (Note: if you're interested in participating and new to the blog, you can find our link-up explanation/guidelines + more buttons here. :))

This month's selection is: A Christmastide movie scene

My decision making process this month has been complicated (read 'undecided'), but I finally opted to go with this gorgeous, wintery scene from the classic Lady on a Train with our heroine, Nicki Collins (Deanna Durbin), singing 'Silent Night' long distance to her father in San Francisco.

A murder mystery set in New York at Christmastime, Lady on a Train is quite scary in places and -- with the positively perfect balance of frightfully funny moments and adorable romance -- it's one of my favorite Deanna Durbin films.

Not to elaborate on the costumes and hairstyles...

And I already mentioned the humor, right? I thought I did... :)

And the humor plus the drama.

What think you all? Have you seen Lady on a Train?

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Just leave your own link here in a comment and I'll add it to the post. :) As always, entries are open through the end of the month and I can't wait to see your selections!

Jillian @ a room of one's own
Naomi ~ The Christmas Proposal in Downton Abbey
Hamlette ~ Two (Merry?) Little Christmases
Eva ~ christmas at stalag 17
Natalie ~ A Christmas Eve Wedding
Faith P. ~ "It's a Wonderful Life"
Olivia ~ The Nativity Story

*How to do it*

1. Post the Inklings button on your sidebar.
2. Do a post on your own blog relating to the month's selection/subject (a literary excerpt as short or as long as you like AND/OR—if specified that month—a screencap from a film with an explanation of how the scene builds/develops the story). Link back here somewhere in your post.
3. Come back here and paste your link in the comments box and I'll add it to the post. Then enjoy visiting and reading everyone else's contributions!

That's all there is to it!

(And note: you can visit here for blog buttons and links for previous months. :))

Up next month: A New Year or 'new beginning' passage in literature

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