My novel!

My novel Hafling Diaries is completely typed out! I've posted it on a separate page. You can access it from a button in the sidebar. Have fun, and I hope you like it!



Please enter the polls in my sidebar! I'm in need of some names for my new book (title TBD [to be determined]), and I have nine choices for last names and nine choices for first names. I'm going to do each category like a tournament, with each round having three "players". So, you're going to see a lot of polls on my sidebar for a while.


My best friend's blog!

My best friend has just created her new blog, Kitty Katlyn! I designed the header for her. Let me know what you think.

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Don't forget to celebrate the Reason for the season! It's called CHRISTmas for a reason, you know. =D


Miserable Day =(

Today has just been miserable today. This morning, I woke up at 6:45 for the first time in about a week because my younger sister had to go to children's choir rehearsal. We left around 8:30 to get to church, and we played a little basketball before we started rehearsal. After rehearsal, I played two straight fierce games of fooseball. When our dad got to church to pick us up, a headache started to develop. And lately, my back and neck have been hurting me, and today was no exception. So, on top of having a headache, I had back pain. My headache still hasn't gone away, but my back is feeling a little better. My slight headache has actually developed into a splitting headache, and my muscles have been moving slowly. So, today, I have not been in the best of moods today. I think I might be coming down with something. =(



The Hobbit and Snow

So, today, my mom, sister, and I went to the theaters to see The Hobbit. IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!! I would love to talk all about it, but you'll just have to see it all for yourself. =D I've watched all three Lord of the Rings movies, so I knew a few of the landmarks in The Hobbit. I liked a lot of the humor in it, especially the part where Bilbo and Gollum meet. Overall, I absolutely LOVED the movie and can't wait for more to come out. I have the book at my house, but I'll think I'll wait.
When we first walked into the theaters, it was lightly drizzling rain and barely windy. When we got out, it was pouring snow and very gusty. It is still very gusty, and I can't wait to see how much snow is on the ground in the morning. Maybe less than what is on the ground right now because the wind will probably blow most of it away, just like it has in previous years. I like snow, but not the cold that comes with it. =I


New design!!!

I'm so excited! I did my own blog design! What do you all think? I really, really, REALLY LOVE IT!!!

Edit December 18:
I've revised the buttons in the right sidebar so they are more readable. What do you think of it? I had to change the font, colors, background, and the contrast-y things on the background. But, it looks good, doesn't it?


Sunshine Award!

My little sister Heidi has awarded me with the Sunshine Award! The rules are as follows:

1.   Answer the 8 questions
2.   Nominate 8 people (no tag-backs) and notify them on their blog
3.   Either come up with your own 8 questions or reuse the ones you answered for your nominees to answer

So, Heidi's questions to me:

1.   What is your favorite book by what author?

          I'm not really sure? I would have to say The Oath by Frank Peretti, This Present Darkness also by Frank Peretti, Proof by Jordyn Redwood, The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker, Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, or Illusion by Frank Peretti.

2.   What is not your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

          Hm, I would have to say peppermint tea.

3.   What do you plan to be when you graduate from college?

          I'm not exactly sure, but anything that has to do with music and spreading the Gospel.

4.   What is your hobby?

          Which one do you want to know? I knit, crochet, bead, read, write, blog, play piano, play violin, play accordion, play a little guitar, sing in the second soprano section of my church choir, fill in on the piano at church when people are away, and fly gliders.

5.   Who is your favorite President?

          I would definitely have to say Abraham Lincoln.

6.   What subject in school is your favorite?

          I would have to say science, if it's biology, general science, physical science, or astronomy, it's my favorite! I don't like physics though.

7.   If you were a millionaire, what would be your main use for the money?

          Hm, donate some to charity and missions, get a Steinway grand piano, maybe get a Stradivarius violin, but use them all to the glory to God.

8.   If you had your own business, what would it be for?

          Music education!!!

My 8 nominees:

Leighanna Rose
Rebecca Rae
jaquelyn {the sweetest petunia}
Brittney Ann

My 8 questions to my nominees:

1.   What's your favorite kind of music?
2.   What are your favorite party games?
3.   What's your favorite holiday drink?
4.   What would you say is your worst fear?
5.   What's your favorite hobby?
6.   Who's your favorite author?
7.   Have you ever received any other Blogger awards?
8.   What's your favorite climate?

Have at it, Nominees!


Prologue to my NaNoWriMo novel!


In the scenic town of Talishe in the province of Toristiman in the land of Taulishkie, there lived a thirteen-year-old girl by the name of Amara. She was the younger of two children. Her seventeen-year-old brother was the town handyman. Their father was the blacksmith. Their mother was the seamstress

During the summer following her thirteenth birthday, one walk in the woods changed Amara's life forever.

She'd been idiot enough to obey her brother's request to walk through the woods on the outskirts of Talishe. “Don't you know what people say about that forest?” she asked. “It's enchanted.”

“Yes, I know they say that,” her brother Jonas replied. “That's why I want you to check it out for me. I want to write to Jarvis about it.”

“Jarvis lives a mile down the road; you don't have to write a letter to him when you can just walk down to his house! Besides, why do I have to do it? Are you scared of going in? I thought you and Jarvis were more 'mature' than that. Anyway, I'm not going to do it.”

“You don't understand; Jarvis and I don't have similar schedules. We don't have the time to get together and go on a walk like that.”

“Yeah, right! You don't have time to go on a little walk, yet you have time to wreak havoc at the fairs and dances? Give me a break. Go on the walk yourself.”

“You don't get it, do you? I'm not asking you to do it; I'm telling you to do it. Now, either you do it, and you don't get something from me; or don't do it, and you do get something from me. I suggest you do it, because you won't like what you'd get from me.” Finally, she gave in.

At noon, she set off for the cluster of trees outside Talishe known as the “Enchanted Forest.” The emerald trees, the ebony trunks, and the rainberries seemed almost magical. Amara easily imagined elves, fairies, and pixies singing and dancing among the saplings.

Suddenly, an overwhelming wave of disorientation swept over Amara. She stumbled up to a tree and slid to the ground with her back to the smooth bark. As she waited for the spell to pass, a sprite-like figure flew by in front of her eyes. It's my imagination, she thought to herself, brought on by this spell.

Within a minute, the disorientation passed. Amara pushed herself off the ground and continued her walk through the woods. Five yards from where she'd collapsed, she heard a rustling sound from the rainberry bush to her right. She stopped in her tracks and looked around. Nobody. Nothing.

Then, unexpectedly, a little winged figure darted out of the bush. It was carrying a tiny basket full of unripe berries. It appeared to be a girl.

She had on a crystal blue, flowing dress and tiny silver slippers. Her hair was a thick, wavy, rich black that flowed to her knees. Her skin was a tanned brown. Her wings were a blue-silver gossamer. All these details Amara embedded into her memory.

“Who are you?” a bell-like voice asked.

“You talk?” Amara said, bewildered.

“Of course I do, silly. My name is Lydian. What's yours?”

“My name is Amara. If you don't mind my asking, what are you?”

The sprite laughed. It sounded like a chorus of chimes. “Why, I'm a pixie! Didn't you know that, silly goose?”

“Um, no. I come from Talishe. Most people don't believe in fairies or pixies or elves. Some of the older and younger people believe this is an enchanted forest.”

“What do you believe?” Lydian slowly flew up to Amara.

“Well, at first I did, in a way. I believed this place was enchanted, but I never thought about fairies and elves. That is, until I saw you.”

“Oh, so you know better than that, now don't you?”

“Absolutely.” Amara paused. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” Lydian asked.

“Like I'm some kind of freak of nature. Have I grown a third eye in the middle of my forehead or something?”

Lydian chuckled. “No, you haven't. Speaking of which, could you put out your right hand with your palm up?”

Amara complied. Lydian flew to her hand and landed in the center of her palm. She sat down gently and pulled her feet up beside her.

“Hm, I feel something about you. It's not quite clear, but one thing feels certain: you are part elf.”


Another design challenge!

Here's my entry for Emma's book cover design challenge here:

Hope you like it, Emma!


Photo edit challenge entry!

I'm entering a photo edit challenge here! Here's my entry.


Hope you like it!


Design Challenge

Just so you know, I've now joined NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Didn't know I like to write? Well, now you know.

I'm in need of a front cover for the novel I will be writing, Hafling Diaries. It's about a girl who discovers that her heritage is not what she thought it was and goes traipsing around the countryside, looking for her long-lost parents. She has a pixie and a dragon for friends, and a young man who helps her escape from an evil stronghold joins her along the way.

(Edited on December 10)
Britt over at Designed to Inspire has taken charge of the book cover design challenge for me. I've seen a lot of the entries, and they are AMAZING!


Now this I like

Hi, it's Lena! I've just joined Tyndale Rewards where I earn points toward a free book. I'm not sure what else to say, except that I love reading books, and this is going to be fun!


Recipe Post!!!

Okay, so my mom makes this a lot. She and I are the only ones in the house that can eat it. My dad can't eat it because he can't eat onions, and my sister won't eat it because she doesn't like onions. I've made it a few times, and each time, it was AMAZING!!!!! So, I decided to share the recipe. Here it is:

Your choice amount of onions (I used a thin slice and a half of a red onion)
Your choice amount of spinach (I put lots and lots in because the leaves shrink)
Your choice amount of green peppers (I used about a third of a good-sized pepper)
Your choice amount of mushrooms (I don't like mushrooms, but this is still good without them)
One tablespoon of shredded Parmesan for garnish
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (I used one tablespoon)
One tablespoon of olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)

Put the oil in a small to medium-sized skillet and heat it (Caution: don't burn the oil). When the oil is ready, combine onion, peppers, and mushrooms in the skillet and saute until the onions and peppers are limp.
Add the spinach. Keep all in the skillet until all the spinach is shriveled up but still green.
Scoop contents onto a plate and add the lemon juice. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top for garnish.

The first time I made this, I had just the onions and spinach. The next time, I added the green peppers, lemon juice, and Parmesan. I would have to say that I liked the latter.

Hope you try this recipe some time!


Please pray

About two months ago, a rope holding one end of the hammock that was out in our front yard had broken. My best friend (who moved up north) and my younger sister were sitting on it at the time, and they both got a few bruises. Three weeks ago, we were babysitting a six-almost-seven-years-old girl from our church, and she put up the end of the rope that had broken. My dad pushed it farther up the vertical limb it was tied around so he could mow underneath. A week ago, my younger sister and I thought that because it was higher off the ground, our dad had retied it higher up. So I decided to lie down on it and swing. A few seconds after I had gotten comfortable, the same rope broke AGAIN, this time with just me on it. My entire back hit the ground at the same time. The wind got knocked out of me, and I thought that was it.

Since the end of the weekend now, my back has been painfully sore. At first, I thought it was from my shoulders, which have been a little sore from playing my violin, accordion, and piano. Then I realized that it was because of my fall. Monday night, my back hurt so much, I almost cried and I didn't have any supper. My had massaged my back, and that helped a little bit, but not for very long. I took some Advil before supper and right before bed. My back was fine for most of yesterday. But as it got later in the day, my back started to hurt again. I took some more Advil when I went to bed, and it worked through the night. But when I woke up this morning, my back was horribly sore. I took some Advil not too long ago, and it hasn't started to work yet. Nothing much is working, except for the Advil - for about five hours.

Please pray that my back stops hurting, and that I can start practicing better.


At last!

I've now officially opened my Etsy account! I don't have very much stuff in it yet, but it's finally open. So head on over here!


Where was I then?

Where was I when all this happened? How old was I? What do I remember about it?

I was at home. We were at our home in New Jersey. It was a normal September day. My five older siblings were at school in Pennsylvania. I was playing with my younger sister when my mom got a call from my dad. He was at work an hour south of us. My mom quickly got us in the car and drove to get my brothers and sisters at school. When we were there, my mom talked to a friend of hers about what was happening. Then we all left to go back home. That's where I was and what I remember. How old was I? I was three and a half years old. I don't remember much about it happening though.

I remember hearing a lot about 9/11 on the car radio for months after the attack. Before the attacks, she didn't listen much to Sean Hannity and Rush Libaugh. (I think that's how you spell his last name) After the attack, she listened to them much more often.

All I knew back then was that one day there were Twin Towers in New York. Then the next day, there were no Twin Towers, that they fell down. I didn't understand how or why they were gone. I didn't understand why people would hate America. But that was eleven years ago. I understand almost everything about it, but one thing: why do they hate us?

As former President Bush said, "They can shake the foundations of buildings, but they cannot shake the foundation of America." I don't know if that's word-for-word, but that's basically what he said that night.

My new blog design!

How do you like my new blog design? Britt did it for me. Isn't it great? I love it!


And the discounts go to . . .

The winning name for this item:
Purple Dreams (suggested by 1Lover of Wonderzone BRC)

And for this item:
Dusk Colors (suggested by 1Lover of Wonderzone BRC)

And finally, this item:
Marvelous Marble (suggested by Kara)

Thanks to all who participated. To 1Lover, she receives 50% off any two items in my etsy shop. To Kara, she receives 50% off any one item. 1Lover was the only one to suggest a name for each item. The others suggested names for only the last item. But thanks to everybody else!


Clouds and Rainbow Photo Shoot

Look at the darkness of the clouds! They brought tons of rain that we needed. Look at the corn stalks a few photos up. And this is the beginning of September? The corn shouldn't look like that until harvest time (October I think). It was so cool to see the clouds literally roll in.

On my vacation last month, here's a rainbow I saw after a downpour at my grandparents' house. It was huge! And beautiful. God was so creative to make a rainbow. What do you think? Isn't is so gorgeous?


My Etsy Shop "Trouble"

I'm having a bit of trouble with naming a few of the items in My Etsy Shop here on the blog. For those who can come up with names for the items with "?", I will put the suggested name for the item and the person's name who suggested it in a hat and pull out one name. The persons who win will get 50% off any item in the shop. And the winning name for the item will be used in My Etsy Shop and the name of the persons who suggested it will be next to the items' name. One hat will be for each item. For example (I'll use a landscape picture):

"Purple Perfection" (suggested by "Lena")

Get my drift? Hope you can all give me suggestions. =D This will run until September 10, 2012.

eBook Giveaway!

There's an eBook giveaway going on here. The winner can choose either Kindle or PDF format.


Photo Shoot!

This is a photo shoot at my house last night. My best friend and her family were over for supper, and we also went on a walk. That's where I got some of the pictures.

Sunset across the street. Ain't it so pretty?

 Best friend's younger brother sitting on our hammock in the front yard

Pretty flowers we saw on our walk

Best friend forever!!!!! <3>
Me fixing the rope holding up one end of the hammock

Little sister. She kinda looks high

BFF again

BFF's little brother

Accidentally got the rope instead of BFF

Me fixing the other rope holding up the other end of the hammock

This is when I did my little sister's hair. She wanted it parted on the side. What do you think?

Look! It's the bathroom mirror! =P

House finch on our bird feeder. They LOVE the black sunflower seeds

Random picture of the clouds one Sunday

EUW!!! Dead mole on our walk

Sorry about the last one being a little gross, but I wanted to get a picture of it. We actually saw another one, but I didn't get a photo of it.
I have three videos from last night, but they'll have to wait. They're kinda funny. The first one and last ones are definitely hilarious!