The Get To Know Me Tag [writer’s edition]

Happy Monday, friends!

Today I am finally (finally finally) doing a tag that has been sticking to me for a few months now. Way back in March (or something like that), the lovely Savannah Grace tagged me with The Get to Know Me Tag: Writer’s Edition, and I am finally doing it.

So here we are.

The rules:

  • link back to the person who created the tag (Savannah)
  • thank the person who tagged you (Savannah)
  • tag eleven bloggers (I don’t know if I can do eleven, but we’ll see)

Fun fact about Savannah:

She and I are Splickety buddies! Her flash fiction, Shoot Straight, and my flash fiction, Our Family, were published in the same issue of Splickety!

And she’s since been published with Splickety twice. Yeah, she’s that cool.

And now for me actually doing the tag (question: is that what we call it? “Doing” a tag? Or participating in a tag? Or something else????).

the get to know me tag.jpg

[Vital Stats & Appearance]

(pen)Name: Rosalie Valentine (it also happens to be my real name).

Nicknames: Rosie, Rose, Seeta, Honeywheat, and Sourdough (thank you for those last three, brothers).

Birthday: July 30, 1998 (aka: I’m very close to leaving my teen years behind me, which is oddly somewhat unsettling).

Hair color and length: Brown and down to my lower back (and straight like there’s no tomorrow; it won’t hold a curl or wave for more than half a day so woe is me if my life one day depends on having texture in these brown locks).

Eye color: Hazel!

Braces/piercings/tattoos: Pierced ears (I got my ears pierced for my fifth birthday).

Righty or lefty: Righty all the way (though who hasn’t had the ambidextrous dream?).

Ethnicity: A lot of European blood with just a little Cherokee mixed in.

[Firsts]

First novel written: Truly, a Cinderella retelling novella (and that was right before it got cool to write retellings).

First novel completed: I’m not sure if setting aside a story because it is irreparable counts as completing it, but we’ll just go with that. That would be Truly as well.

Award for writing: N/A

First publication: A flash fiction for Havok magazine back in 2017 titled The Necklace. It’s still one of my favorite stories I’ve written. :)

Conference: Realm Makers 2015!!! This is where I first met Katie Grace for the first time! I literally cannot imagine my writing life without Katie because she inspires and encourages me in so. many. ways.

And I finally met Nadine Brandes at RM 2015 after I was on the launch team for A Time to Die (A Time to Speak was coming out in just a few months at that point, and I was DYING with questions). And I got to ask Steve Laube a bunch of questions in a mentoring session. And I met Victoria and Jordan there too! And Jill Williamson for another mentoring session!! So many amazing things happened at Realm Makers 2015. :)

Query/Pitch: Possibly False Gods by the end of this year. We’ll see where it’s at after this draft and then what alphas and betas think. But guys, my heart is so ready for the world to meet these characters and this story; I cannot wait to see what God does with it (especially since it’s the most direct, not-subtle-at-all story I’ve ever written).

[Favorites]

Novel (that you wrote): Lol, False Gods for sure.

Genre: Between flash fictions and novels, I’ve dabbled in science fiction, various kinds of fantasy, contemporary, and YA. My default seems to be fantasy, but there’s a sci-fi story-possibly-novel that I am dying to write.

Author: Just one? It’s impossible. I’ll go with two—Anne Elisabeth Stengl and Nadine Brandes.

Writing MusicIt really varies on the story! A lot of my stories/characters have tailored playlists depending on the genre and situation. Lots of film scores (Hans Zimmer and Trevor Rabin are some of my favorite composers).

Time To Write: Early morning or late night it seems.

Writing Snack/Drink: Gummy bears, granola bars, coffee with enough cream to make it tasty, chai or lavender lattes, and water.

Movie: This is where I cannot do one or even two. Prepare for a list, kids. The Dark Knight trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Lion King.

Writing Memory: Hmmmm, this is an interesting one. My favorite writing related memory was probably when I got the email telling me that Havok wanted to acquire The Necklace.

My favorite memory of writing is probably when I drafted the climax scenes for False Gods. So much of me and what I’ve learned about God is in the story and the themes and the characters, and so when it was all coming together for the first time, it was all rushing from my heart to my fingers in a way that doesn’t happen very often.

Childhood Book: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and the Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl are my childhood.

[Currently]

Reading: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes (which, by the way, releases in less than two weeks!!!!).

Writing: A flash fiction to submit for the Realm Makers live critique and False Gods editing/revising.  The flash fiction has to be 300 words or less, and it’s related to one of my other stories (but I won’t say which because it would be so fun/cool for you guys to one day figure out which story/character it’s connected to). And my project for Camp NaNo this July is False Gods again. We’ll see how it goes with Realm Makers in the middle of it.

Listening to: The Piano Guys because I somehow forgot about them for two years and just rediscovered them last week! And re-listening to my 2018 and worship playlists a lot recently.

Watching: Lost in Space—the new one that Netflix made. I’ve seen four episodes and like it so far!

Learning: To have faith over fear and to dream better regarding everything, including my writing life.

dream bigger 1

(how did you not see this gif coming?)

[Future]

Want To Be Published: Yes! So very much! … but I’m in no rush. I keep submitting short stories and working on novels, but it’s not consuming like it used to be. If I get published again, it will be when God wants it to be, with the story he wants it to be, and with the publisher he wants it to be. Until then, I’m at my leisure.

Indie or Traditional: It varies! For novels, I want try for traditional first, but as far as some short stories/flash fiction collections, those might be self-published.

Wildest Goal: Get False Gods published and into the hands of people like me, who have doubts and struggles like me, who need to hear Asha and Adele’s stories like I have. My best hope and prayer for my writing right now is that God will use False Gods to do in others what he’s used it to do in me.

It’s crazy how much Jesus has changed my desires and goals for writing over the years. At one time (and sometimes still), success was writing and selling lots of books; now success is writing stories with God and seeing what he does with them—in me and in others.


I hereby tag:

Thank you so much for tagging me, Savannah! This was fun!

What about you? What is your childhood book/series? And leave your strangest nickname in the comments too, because I need to know. ;)

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – another memo of High Command is going out this Friday (not last Friday like I said it would on Instagram because I forgot that last Friday was still in June and that it won’t be the first Friday of July until this Friday. #oops)

P.P.S. – anyone else kind of appalled that it’s July 2 today? Like, where has the first half of the year gone? Riddle me that.

The Sunshine Blogger Tag

Lisa from over at Inkwell tagged me a couple weeks ago in The Sunshine Blogger Tag! It’s a fun tag with simple rules:

– Answer the eleven questions you’ve been tagged with

– Create eleven brand new questions

– Tag up to eleven people

So thank you for tagging me, Lisa! You came up with some fantastic questions!

Let’s get this party started.

sunshine-blogger-tag

Question #1: What would be your second choice career (other than that of a writer)? Or, if you aren’t going to be a full-time author, what’s your job choice?

Well, writing doesn’t pay well, and so I’m going to have to do something along with writing/blogging so that I can live, buy books, and eat food.

food 5

 

food 2

food 6.gif

food gif

food 4

What, uh, oops, I got a little distracted. AHEM.

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently (not eating, the whole second job thing), but it’s all still very much up in the air right now. I’m thinking possibly (emphasis on “possibly” here, people; major emphasis) massage therapy, Spanish interpretation, freelance editing, or graphic design.

Buuuuuuuut, I’m thinking probably not those last three (I know, like, can I just please make up my mind on what’s even going to be on the “possibly” list for goodness sake???) because I like tactile work, something that I would do as much/more with my hands than my head because it’s earthy and honest and hearkens back to simpler days. (Though, there’s a distinct possibility that whole last bit is just a mental thing I have in my little romanticizing heart.)

Question #2: Out of all the people you personally know (not internet friends) who has been the most encouraging/enthusiastic about your writer’s life and your works?

Haha, this one is easy: my Dad. He reads everything I write. After each blog post, he sends me an email with his comments and thoughts on the topic of the post/the post itself. He reads all my flash fictions, and then he rereads them a bunch of times when I hand him draft after draft after draft so that he can give me his thoughts. And I think he read the Alpha Draft (aka: Draft Four) of Beasts in two days. He’s always incredibly encouraging and offers such fantastic advice and helpful (and gentle) criticism, and he wants me to do what I need to do to be able to write as much as possible. He is, by far, my biggest fan.

Question #3: How would you want to die if you were to be killed by the villains of a fictional world you accidentally entered?

Ummmm, very quickly. That’s about all I’ve got for that one.

no expert gif

Question #4: Who’s your favorite animal character of all time? (Out of a book, friends, not a movie.)

Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah (or, more simply, Bree) from The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. Oh, goodness, this horse. So much tude. So much sass. And also very vain and arrogant until he meets Aslan, which is something I relate to personally.

Question #5 Are you more excited about writing the dedication or the acknowledgements in your book?

Probably the dedication. I think the dedication is for the heart of the book, and the acknowledgements are for the village that raised the book.

Question #6: In one sentence or phrase, describe your writer’s life motto – preferably using symbolism and metaphors. It can also be your mission statement kind of thing.

Okay, I’m going to share my super secret writing manifesto that I will probably be putting on my new business cards (whenever I get them) and plastered all over my author website (whenever I get that set up).

Here we go: stories that are sweet aromas to Christ and signal fires to the world.

It may get tweaked, but that’s the general idea.

Question #7: Pick one song that best describes what you aspire to be.

Hahahahahahaha–easy.

To Live Is Christ by Sidewalk Prophets. Go watch the lyric video. Get chills. Cry. Lose your life in Christ. Thank me later.

I was going to share a few of my favorite lyrics in this post, but then when I was trying to choose, I realized that the whole song is my favorite lyrics, thus, we came to a conundrum. So excuse me while I paste the entirety of the lyrics below.

If I rise, let me rise on You,
Not on all of my successes, my esteem, or my pursuits,
If I lose, let me lose my life,
‘Cause if I belong to Jesus, the flesh is crucified.

For me to live is Christ,
For me to live is Christ,
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

If I grow, let me grow in You,
Wilt the seeds of wanting more,
Rippin’ pride out by the roots,
And if I’m still, let me hear You speak,
Not the tone of my transgressions,
But the song of the Redeemed.

For me to live is Christ,
For me to live is Christ,
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

My great desire is to be with You,
But this is the place You chose for me,
This is the place You chose for me,
To lift my cross and give everything,
This is the time You gave to me,
This is the time You gave to me,

For me to live is Christ, For me to live is Christ,
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain,
I’ll never be the same, I’ll never be the same,
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

But, basically, just go watch the lyric video.

Question #8: Do you listen to podcasts? If so, what are your favorites?

Yesssssss! I’ve recently been listening to podcasts more and more! So, my current favorites: Bright Eyes (sci-fi podcast), Ask Pastor John, Sermon of the Day, and TED Talks Daily. I get my fiction fix from Bright Eyes, edification from Ask Pastor John and Sermon of the Day, and then random curiosities from TED Talks Daily (though, I’ve found that TED Talks tend to be politically correct and leftist a lot of times, but there are still some good ones, like the one about creating safe artificial intelligences).

Question #9: If you had to rename your blog, what would you call it?

Renaming the blog?

who me.gif

Lol, that’s never happened before. Don’t be absurd.

Anyhoo, if I had to rename it at this point, it would probably be something like Chirospasm (because it means “spasm of the muscles of the hand; a writer’s cramp”, and that’s basically my life), Glass Houses (a suitably mysterious blog name), Of the Soul (a suitably overly existential crisis name), High Command (because, seriously, you guys getting emails from “High Command” would just be too good), or The Pale Blue Dot (after the picture of earth taken from space that shows earth as “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”).

Question #10: What would you want written on your tombstone? (Got this one from a biography where a girl said she wanted “She lived life to the fullest” written there. Something of that sort, friend.)

If I were to have a tombstone, I would want Philippians 1:21 (For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.) or Psalm 27:4 (One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.) carved on it.

Question #11: You know you will die in one year. What do you want to do in that time?

One year to live (in no particular order):

– read through the Bible one more time

– visit all my family

– write and publish a collection of flash fictions

– write one more book

– memorize Philippians

– quit apologizing (verbally or internally) for my tastes, interests, callings, or anything that is not actually apology-worthy

– get a tattoo (shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone; actually scratch that and see the previous item on this list)

– sing my soul out more often and not care how it sounds or who’s listening

– reread the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes (shocker)

– make a disciple or two

– wear sweatpants in public with no shame because life is truly quite short

– get rid of my smartphone

– NF (not finish) books more often because I don’t have time to waste on books I find “meh”


Questions for the peeps I’m tagging:

  1. What is the last 5 star book you read? What made it a 5 star read?
  2. What makes you feel most alive?
  3. Name a fictional character who as impacted you in some way.
  4. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with all the extra time (besides write or read)?
  5. In one sentence, share your philosophy for life.
  6. Use a gif to describe your default mood.
  7. What are 3 little things that make you incandescently happy?
  8. Are you primarily feeling or logic driven?
  9. What is the thing that makes you write even when you hate it?
  10. If you were a dictator, what 3 main policies would characterize your regime?
  11. What song do you always play on repeat?

Katie Grace of A Writer’s Faith, RubySky of The Sea Calls Us Home, Moya Tobey of An Existence Transcribed, and Alea Harper of Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writingstag, you’re it. *sunglasses emoji*


Now, let’s talk, kids. What are your answers to some of these questions???

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – I feel like I’m forgetting to tag someone who I really want to tag, but I can’t remember for the life of me who it is. This is frustrating. So, I might tag another person if I can remember. Or I may never remember. I guess we might not know.

P.P.S. – and have you watched that To Live Is Christ lyric video yet?

The Wisteria Writer’s Tag: Penprints Edition

There are a lot of writer tags running around the internet these days, and the one I’ve been seeing the most of is the Wisteria Writer’s Tag. Today I’m participating in it because the darling Alea from Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings tagged me last week. You should go check out her blog (talk about swanky photoshop skills over there, plus Alea’s just amazing).

Here’s how this tag works: thank the person who tagged you, answer their ten writing questions, add your own set of ten questions, and tag some more people.

So here we go (hold onto your hats, ladies and gents, because Alea came up with some pretty swanky questions, and I came up with some significantly less swanky answers).

SONY DSC

1. If you could be the author of any published book, which one would you pick and why?

Hmmm. This one is tough. Part of me jumps immediately to A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes (surprise, surprise), but part of me wants to say Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. And yet another part of me goes then non-fiction route and says Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous. I say one of those three because I wish that I had my spiritual ducks in a row enough to write any of them.

2. Do you ever daydream about your book at school/work?

The better question is when don’t I daydream about my stories at work. One of my jobs is at an antique shop, and that place seems to be the perfect place for my muse to come out and chat. I wrote almost all of Flickering Lights in my head while I was at work. If it’s a fresh idea, I’m definitely dreaming about it in my head.

3. When do you write best?

At night. Once everyone else has gone to sleep. The house is silent and dark. I strike a match, light my favorite taper candle, and get to work. I think this works best for me because there are no interruptions or distractions; it’s just me, God, and my writing.

4. What are your favorite writing snacks?

Dove chocolate, sparkling grape juice, cream soda, gummy bears, and apple juice all feed my muse (I know, I know, the healthiness is overwhelming). Apparently (and unfortunately), my muse seems to detest healthy snacks. (For non-writer peeps, a muse is a thing we writers like to think we have, but it’s all in our heads… like our books.)

5. Is writing easier after reading something?

Excellent question! Not really. Usually, after I’ve read a book, my head is full of that story, and it’s hard to focus on my own. However, if it’s a book on writing craft, like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, then I am eager to jump into my writing right away.

6. What does your dream book cover look like?

Covers. Oh. I honestly haven’t been able to dream up a suitable cover for my WIP (that’s a work-in-progress, my non-writer lovelies), but I’m thinking possibly red on black. Possibly some claw marks somewhere? Or a black rose? Or both? Beasts (my WIP) is the darkest thing I’ve ever written (sorry, Mom), and so I don’t think the cover would be all that cheery, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what would fit the story. Ugh, and now I really want to come up with a brilliant cover that will knock off a bunch of socks.

7. Does your writing style resemble that of your favorite authors?

Probably not. I want it to, but I’m not there (yet?). I think I have a slightly sardonic tone akin to Robin McKinley (maybe, MAYBE). I try for the richness in Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s writing but that’s a major emphasis on the try. I want to be able to pack a spiritual punch like Nadine Brandes, but alas, still working on that too. My writing style is mainly weird, and so I’m going to have to stick with my first answer that it probably doesn’t resemble that of my favorite authors.

8 . Coffee or tea as writing fuel?

Tea and hot chocolate all the way (what is that you say? Hot chocolate wasn’t an option? To which I say: whatever). I’ve tried to like coffee so hard so many times, I just…. can’t. I want to like it, but… no. It’s like coffee is an affront to my nature (shhhh, let’s keep that between you and me because some people are coffee crazies and would tar and feather me for calling coffee an affront). So I take a mug of green tea with two tablespoons of French vanilla creamer because I’m a sugar junkie in case you hadn’t noticed.

9. NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo.

I don’t have a preference. Possibly neither. *gasp* *gasp* *gasp* (My dear non-writer peeps, it’s against some ancient unwritten law for a writer to even possibly dislike a form of NaNo.) Here’s the dealio: I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) way back in 2014, and I won (50,000 words in 30 days, whoop whoop!)! And then I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in both April and July of this year and failed miserably (less than 20,000 words in 30 days, less whoop whoop…). It was rough. I’m trying to figure out if either NaNoWriMo works for me or not… so, yeah… I’m just going to let this sentence trail off some more…

10. Share your favorite sentence from your WIP.

I can’t do just one, but I’ll settle for two. I’m doing my favorite descriptive sentence and my favorite sentence regarding a character.

A descriptive line: The sun drives away the clouds of the night, sparkling through thousands of tiny droplets of water, millions of tiny prisms shifting with the morning light as it overtakes the horizon. – Beasts

A character line: If purple was a creature, Faye would be it. – Beasts

And that is the Wisteria Writer’s Tag: Penprints Edition.

Thank you so much for tagging me, Alea!

Now, I tag…

J. L. Mbewe.

Brittany on New Authors Fellowship.

Gabriela over at A Heart Redeemed.

Victoria from Wanderer’s Pen.

Katie at A Writer’s Faith.

Here are your questions:

1. What was/is the inspiration for your current WIP?

2. What does your writing process look like? Plotter? Panster? A little bit of both?

3. What is one thing you do well in writing? Description? Characters? Dialogue?

4. What is one thing you struggle to do well in writing?

5. How much does your relationship with Christ impact your writing (if at all)?

6. What inspires you to keep writing and write better?

7. Do you get lots of ideas or just one every now and then?

8. What is your go-to book on writing craft and why?

9. What stage are you at in your WIP?

10. What do you think makes a book good/worth reading?


I’m officially dropping a bookend on this post, my dears!

Have you heard of the Wisteria Writer’s Tag? What are your thoughts on NaNo vs. Camp NaNo? Do you snack and write (are they sugary snacks, because if they are, we’re basically twins)?

P.S. – let’s not even begin to go into how many parenthetical phrases I used in this post.