Thursday, April 25, 2019

Meet a new character

I've just started working on a new story that I think might turn into a novel, but I've taken a break from the narrative to write character profiles of a few of my main characters and get to know them better. Just for fun, here's a snake peek at one of them. Enjoy! 

Hickory (Hicks) Aaron Phillips 
The first thing I should tell you is why I haven't just started going by Aaron. I mean...I'm a freshman in high school. I'm pretty sure I could dig in my heals and make everyone start calling me Aaron. Well. I could ask my parents and they probably would. And my friends would. My older sisters June and Daisy would most likely laugh at the request and there's no way I could make them do anything. That's not the way the whole youngest sibling thing works. But here's the truth -- in eight grade, the baseball team was playing an away game and after the  game, the team went to get dinner at a diner in town. The waitress at our booth was smokin' hot. Like, we could barely form sentences hot. She asked our names and when it got to me and I said "Hicks," her eyebrows went up and she grinned. "That's a really cool name. Like, it sounds like a rock star name or something." So basically, that was the the end of one day going by my middle name.  
Here are some other things about me: 
 I have a mom and dad and two older sisters. My Dad's a preacher who decided before I was born that he was called to serve rural churches, so I spent most of my childhood in a few small towns in Tennessee and North Carolina. When my middle sister Daisy started high school, we moved to a slightly bigger town, and one only a an hour or two away from Greenville, NC. I didn't mind super small-town life too much, but I can't say that I'm upset to live someplace with, you know, a movie theater and more than one restaurant.
I love Marvel comic books and super hero movies, baseball, music with red-hot guitar riffs, playing drums, fried chicken, cinnamon chewing gum, camping,  and -- don't laugh -- romantic comedies. I know, I know...but I have two older sisters.  
I dislike football, deli meat, cake, heavy metal music, getting up early, cats, growth spurts, bowling, and feeling like I'm going to be permanently stuck in the friend zone.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Wednesday list...

1. What I'm reading...
A few weeks ago I was talking to the mom of one of my daughter's classmates, and we started talking about books. She said she'd recently read a fantasy series that starts with The Watchmaker's Daughter, by C.J. Archer, and y'all I am DIGGING these books. They're a combination of Victorian mysteries and light fantasy, and they're fun, quick reads. I also recently started a book that caught my eye on a library display: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, by Joshua Hammer. It's a story about the preservation of ancient manuscripts in Northern Africa. I'm just a few chapters in, but already it's extremely fascinating.

2. What I'm watching/listening to...
The Amazing Race is BACK!!! This season is a "reality showdown," with contestants from The Amazing Race, Survivor, and Big Brother. I'm familiar with a few of the teams, including one of my all-time favorite crazy Amazing Race team from several years ago (Colin and Christie!!). Jeremy and I also recently finished the third season of The Expanse, and it was everything I wanted it to be.

3. Grateful...
Jeremy and I are traveling to England and France this summer for a week-long vacation, and it's been on my mind this week because we recently booked the train travel and accommodations for our overnight in Reims, France (we'll be watching a Women's World Cup game! U.S. v.s Thailand). I am beyond grateful for the chance to take this trip (with a special thank you for my parents and my niece who are coming to watch our kiddos during that week! Y'all are the best!)

4. A little inspiration...
The song "Brother" by Needtobreathe has been out for a while, but I've become re-obsessed with it lately. It's such an inspiring, beautiful, heart-full song (I realize heart-full isn't really a word, but it's my blog, I'll make up words if I want. ;-) ) anyway...if you need an excuse or push to call someone you love, give it another listen.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

An Ordinary Girl

Hi y'all! Today's bit of creativity is something that I think might have the makings of a cute children's book, inspired by a certain red-headed girl I know who had an early hat-loving phase. It definitely needs illustrations to get the full picture of my idea -- think unconventional and creative "hats", like a bundt pan for a Space Hat and, a crocheted penguin hat with ear flaps for a Racing Hat, and red plastic bucket turned upside down for a Parade Hat. Anyway, you get the idea. Enjoy!

An Ordinary Girl,
by Amanda Waters

Nina is an ordinary girl, who lives in an ordinary town, in an ordinary house, with an ordinary family. She gets up every morning, and puts on her clothes…eats her breakfast…hugs her mom and her dad…pets her dog…and plays with her brother. 
But then…Nina has extraordinary adventures. 
She puts on her Racing Hat… ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Nina zooms around dangerous curves, passing one…two…three cars. Now she’s in the lead! Nina wins! 
She puts on her Cowboy Hat… and rides across the prairie , looking for stray cows or bandits or maybe just a nice place to sit and eat a snack…. 
In her  Space Hat, Nina climbs into a rocket ship for a trip to the moon. 5..4…3…2…1
She puts on her Parade Hat. Toot! Toot! Toot! She plays her horn and marches to the beat.  
She puts on her Snow Hat…brrr! It’s cold out here in the snow. But Nina is warm in her  snow hat, mittens, and snow boots. She builds a snow man and a pile of snow balls and then…. 
Puts on her princess hat. A shiny, sparkly, princess hat. Perfect in a big castle where she can twirl and dance in her tutu.  
Uh oh! What’s this? Her castle needs a repair! So she puts on her Construction Hat… She hammers and saws and uses her screwdriver to make the castle strong and safe before she… 
Finally takes off her last hat, and hangs it up, and once again becomes an ordinary girl, in an ordinary town, in an ordinary house, with an ordinary family.
Which isn’t so bad, really, because even ordinary girls can have extraordinary adventures.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A Wednesday list...

Well, hello! This has been a weird day, and I almost forgot it was Wednesday (I thought yesterday was Wednesday almost all day get an idea of where my head's at this week).

1. What I'm reading -
The past couple of weeks have been sluggish on the reading front, mostly because I was trying to finish a very un-interesting book that I'd committed to reading for my occasional review gig. But I procrastinated by reading a couple of interesting articles including this one in Christianity Today resonated with me because I'm often frustrated with the dismissive attitude a lot of people have toward the middle of the country - those who don't live there anyway. I haven't lived in the Midwest for a lot of years now, but moving away really helped me see and appreciate the region I'm from a lot more, but so many people dismiss it as "flyover country." I've started a couple of new books, one for review that should be interesting (it's young adult magical realism, and just three chapters in we've already met a telepathic dog) and a fantasy novel by Kate Elliott, a long-time favorite.

2. What I'm listening to and watching --
I finally re-activated my CBS all access subscription so I can watch the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, and so far I'm enjoy the second season a lot. I was also introduced to some new music this weekend when Jeremy and I went to a Needtobreathe concert. Is anyone else familiar with Sean McConnell? I am obsessed! His style is folksy singer-songwriter, his lyrics are heartfelt and poignant, and his voice is outstanding.

3. Grateful -
We've had beautiful weather the past few weeks, and I've noticed how well our county parks department takes care of the county parks and playgrounds. There are a few near us that we go to semi-regularly, and they're always clean and well-maintained, even the bathroom facilities! Which is extremely important and not always the case with public restrooms.

4. Something inspiring:
 I came across this article and found it really encouraging, especially to anyone who's ever found themselves awake in the middle of the night longing for sleep. It's not overly deep or profound, but it does contain some beautiful thoughts about God's presence in our lives.

Have a great rest of the week!