Thursday, January 26, 2017

Farewell for Now // Going on Hiatus


I know I just posted yesterday, but I wanted to drop a quick note and let you all know that I am officially going on hiatus now. Life has been a whirlwind of activity over the past year, and it's been exhausting trying to fit in blogging practically every week.

As I mentioned about a month ago, I have been planning on taking a break from blogging, just to refocus and relax a bit more, as well as (hopefully) develop lots of new content for you guys. Not gonna lie, blogging has been stressing me out. What with Nano, Christmas, New Year's, the SAT, and then my big blogoversary (as well as a friend's blog tour in between), it's been insane trying to get out posts consistently.


For that reason, I have decided that taking a break is the best decision for me at the moment. I will probably be back at the end of February so it will be a long break. During that time, I will either be commenting more than I am now or...just completely drop off the face of the earth. XD So please don't feel bad if I'm still not commenting. It's nothing personal, I just really need a stress-free break. As much as I love blogging and interacting with you all, it gets taxing after such a long time. My poor brain needs a respite. *collapses*

Anyway, I love you all and hope to be back in a month! Thank you so much for all your love and support! <3


Well, I guess this is goodbye. *sniffles* *cannot resist thinking of "The Last Goodbye"* I'll miss you guys! Don't cause too much trouble while I'm gone. ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Giveaway Winners


*blows a fanfare* *pants because it takes a lot of exertion to blow a fanfare*

Hello, my friends! I am here today to announce the winners of the one-year blogoversary hosted by yours truly. And yes, I said winners, because I decided last-minute to give away TWO sets of prizes instead of one. *blinks because I just made more work for myself* ;P

The prizes each winner will receive are...

// One knitted headband

// One knitted pencil cozy

// Five adorable corner bookmarks

// The realization that I'm a really generous bookdragon (but you guys already knew that, of course)

So...I hereby proclaim the two serendipitous winners to be...


Um, no not you, Edmund. Don't give me that look. *shoos him away* *glares*

AS I WAS SAYING. The real winners of the giveaway are


Christal Schermeister

&

Emily Drown



CONGRATULATIONS, YOU TWO! I contacted you both by email to let you know that you won and ask for mailing addresses. That way you can, you know, actually get the prizes instead of look at them longingly through a computer screen.

Thank you all again for participating in this celebration of my one year of blogging. It seems like such a small amount of time in comparison to all you other blogging wizards, but to me, it represents an important milestone. I LOVE YOU ALL! (Honestly, wish I could give you all prizes but *glances at pocket book* *coughs awkwardly*)

Like I said, I'm sorry you couldn't all win...but no worries, I will DEFINITELY be hosting another giveaway sometime. Still, I love and appreciate all of you lovely people more than you know. <3



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Martin Hospitality Cover Reveal!


Ahem.

Well, look at that. I'm posting a day after everyone else. *cough*

But remember...

(Yes, I do use this as an excuse all the time, thanks
for noticing.)

I actually do have a legitimate excuse (sobbing in a corner taking the SAT and such fun things), but you didn't come to hear that, did you?

NOPE. You came to see the cover of Martin Hospitality!!! Whiiiiich you've probably already seen on the blogosphere somewhere, but hey, I CAN'T HELP SHOWING YOU GUYS. It's just soooo beautiful! *sighs happily*

My good friend Abi Ellison is publishing her novel on February 4th (it will be available on Amazon), and I'M OVER THE MOON WITH EXCITEMENT. EEP. I wasn't one of her beta readers, but I've heard nothing but amazing things about her book.

Without further delay, I present to you the gorgeous cover of Martin Hospitality!


Well? What do you think? Isn't it blissful and dreamy and soothing? (In other words, perfect.) I'm so in love with it right now, and you know you are, too. *nods*

About the Book



Gemma Ebworthy is eighteen, pregnant, and alone. Now that she’s been evicted, she spends the night in a barn, never dreaming that tomorrow could bring kindness of a life-changing magnitude.

The Martins aren’t a typical family—even for rural Kansas. With more kids than can be counted on one hand and a full-time farm, Gemma must make a lot of adjustments to fit in. But despite their many differences, Gemma finds herself drawn to this family and their radical Christian faith.

When Gemma’s past collides with her yet again, she must begin revealing her colorful history. With every detail Gemma concedes, she fears she will lose the Martins’ trust and the stable environment she desires for herself and her unborn child. Just how far can the Martins’ love and God’s forgiveness go?

About the (Beautiful) Author



Abigayle has been inspired to write since she could spell her own name. Her passion wasn’t completing the stories (she did that twice and decided it wasn’t for her), it was jotting down the ideas.

But in 2015, a story grabbed her—one she had to finish. Inspired by a crazy dream in a genre she no longer reads, Abigayle set off on a journey to write her first novel and she hasn’t looked back since.

Writing is her ministry, freelance editing her job, and reading her pastime—all of which prove that God really does know what He’s doing when He inspires a 6-year- old with a pencil in her left hand.

<><><><><>

I'm so excited for February 4th! Abi is a wonderful friend and fantastic writer, and I'm so proud of all the work she's poured into creating this masterpiece and fulfilling her dream. <3

In case you couldn't tell...I'm pretty excited. XD Tell me what you think of the cover in the comments below! And don't forget to check out Abi's book on Amazon starting February 4th!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

One-Year Blogoversary Party!



One year ago today, on January 15th, my blog was born. And although it's certainly been a challenge adding in blogging to my other life activities, I can honestly say that it's one of the best things I've done. Because of blogging...

// I met so many amazingly wonderful friends whom I cannot imagine life without. <3

// For the first time, I shared my writing with other people outside my family.

// My photography drastically improved.

// I was convinced to do NaNoWriMo and thus wrote my first "official" novel.

// I found a ton of fabulous books (my TBR is sky-high now--thanks, guys ;P).

// I discovered a lot of people who like Lord of the Rings as much as I do. (Hey, this was worth noting. XD)

// I branched out and tried new things, such as free verse poetry.

// As cheesy as it sounds, I found a place where I could feel comfortable in my own skin and really express myself in a way that I usually can't in person.

So I owe you all one HUGE thank you! All of you fantabulous people who read and comment on my blog are the reason Sunshine and Scribblings exists. Since I don't make friends easily in person, I feel incredibly blessed to know you all. Each of your comments sends a thrill of delight down my spine and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Your unflagging encouragement and support mean the world to me.

NOW. Enough of the sappy stuff. Let's get on to the celebration! XD


Music



What party would be complete without music? I've begun compiling a playlist for 2017, and this is the outcome so far. I figured you might want something to listen to while reading the post. ;)




Video



I HAVE AN EXTRA SPECIAL SURPRISE TODAY. Another video! And this time you get to meet my sister. :D

We did the Beanboozled challenge (which was awful/hilarious and revealed how wimpy my taste buds truly are XP). It was *cough* interesting...

Be warned, because this video is even longer than my first video. So don't feel obliged to watch the whole thing if you don't want to. (I still have no idea how to edit videos. Anyone have any advice?)




*shudders in memory of the spoiled milk jellybeans* Hope you enjoyed...heh. :P


Q&A



That's right, another Q&A! I know, I know...I'm so original. ;) 

I'm not sure when I'll actually get around to answering your questions (what with my hopeful hiatus soon), but feel free to fire away! I'll be open to questions up till I actually do the post. 

I have a little problem, though. I'm not sure if I should do it in vlog format or a regular blog post. What do you all think?


Giveaway



Last but certainly not least...I'M HOSTING MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!! I'm so excited to do this and have been looking forward to it since October or November. Yep, it's been a while. XD

Since I'm a poor little dragon, I decided to make all my prizes. They aren't perfect by any means, but I think their flaws somehow make them even more personal. This is my little way of showing you guys how much you mean to me. I poured a lot of thought and time into them, and even though they don't look "store-worthy," I'm still proud of my work.

Unfortunately, I can't afford international shipping costs so I'm afraid all my lovely Canadian, Australian, British, and other international friends won't be able to enter. SOWWY. :( Maybe next time I'll be able to do it.

ANYWAY. Here are the pics of my prizes! I'm giving away a knitted headband and cozy pocket thingy (I know, I'm so technical. XD), as well as several different corner bookmarks. *squeals*

My apologies for the dim lighting. Of course, it would rain on the one day I chose to do photography. *rolls eyes* (And nope, books and pens are not included. I doubt the library would take kindly to my sending you some of their books. ;P)


Hedgehog

Donut


Heart


Fox


Polar bear



Knitted bow headband
Knitted pen/pencil cozy
Me modeling the headband. XD

PHEW. That was a looooot of pictures. If you're interested in winning these gifts made by yours truly, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To all of you who have come alongside me over the past year, I'm so so so grateful to know you. You're the reason I do what I do--LOVE YOU ALL.  <333


Did you make it through this post (aka the longest post in history)? If so CONGRATS! You deserve the birthday cake I'm obviously eating. *shares some* Send me all your epic questions for my Q&A in the comments!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

remember the days



remember the days
when we would
watch the raindrops
race each other
down
the
window?
when cardboard rolls
were telescopes
and
plastic bags were
parachutes?
every day was
an adventure
rather than
a
chore
and even
the simplest things
had meaning.
where are those days
now?
they are locked
away in the
treasure chest
of memory--
reminding us
that it is
the little things
which bring the
greatest
joy.


So be honest--what did you think? I don't claim to be a poet, but I just wanted to experiment with some free verse poetry this month. Sorry for the random mid-week post. ;P

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello, 2017 + Recap of All the Epic 2016 Reads


Another year has passed, leaving behind mere wisps of memories. Although the rest of the world continues to hail 2016 as an atrocity of a year, I can't help but think of all the myriad ways God has blessed me.

2015 was an extremely tough year for our family. It started off with a scare that sent one of us to the ER. There were three car crashes. I went to the hospital and endured one of the scariest days of my life. There were other family problems as well. In short, it wasn't our brightest year.

Yet somehow, God gave us another year. A fresh canvas, just waiting for the Painter's touch. Yes, there were splotches and splatters along the way as paint dripped outside the lines. But every moment was planned by the Master. Every stroke calculated so that in the end, a brilliant painting would be unveiled. Each year, month, day, and second adding to the masterpiece. Those seemingly glaring "mistakes" were just shadows in the painting, adding depth and dimension.

All those hard times in 2015 were not without purpose. As difficult as the year was, I know God has a way of using even the most trying times for our good and His glory. And he certainly blessed me greatly in the following year.

2016 may best be described as a year of discovering my identity. Of course, it's easy enough to say that my identity is found in Christ; but 2016 pushed some deep, haunting thoughts out of the shadows and brought them to the forefront of my mind. I had so many doubts that year. Times when I wondered why God even bothered creating a mess like me. I was looking for my identity in anywhere but God. I looked to the world and its expectations, retreating from my Savior and saying I was "too busy" for Him.

So you may be thinking, "Why did you say you were so blessed in 2016? It doesn't sound like such a great year."

Well, if I'm simply looking at the surface of all these things, then yes, it was not the greatest year. But God has been trying to reach out and draw me closer to Him for so long, and I feel like 2016 was the breaking point. Yes, it was a difficult year emotionally as I struggled to find my identity; but it pushed me back to my Savior and for that, I am ever grateful.

And besides pointing me back to my Creator, 2016 was full of so many other good things.

// I started Sunshine and Scribblings and met countless amazing people whom I loved dearly.

// I wrote my first real book.

// I did NaNoWriMo for the first time...and wrote 90k. o.o

// I read 52 books, an accomplishment for this busy student.

// I grew even closer to my bestie. <3

// I saw Rend Collective in concert. (#yes)

// I garnered so many books that I have piles of them sitting on the floor of my room. (That may be a problem? But it's a good problem to have.)

// I spent over a week with my wonderful grandparents during the summer.

// I had the best birthday in I-don't-know-how-long.

// I survived my speech class and discovered that public speaking isn't as bad as I originally thought.

// I met an old friend of mine for the first time in almost 2 years.

All in all, I will say that 2016 was a good year. It was stressful and emotional, but there were so many good memories as well. God has indeed blessed me beyond measure, and He's given me a fresh start in 2017, the year I hope will be defined by a stronger relationship with Him.

Now for the second part of this post. I was tagged by my friend Kaitlyn for the 2016 Bookish Recap Tag. (Thank you so much, girl! ^_^) AND LOOK. I'm actually doing it right after I was tagged! #soproud (Actually, I was already planning on stealing the tag so that's why I'm doing it right now. *cough, cough*)


How many books did you read in 2016? (Exact if you know, or approximate if not.)


I read 52 books! And I'm quite proud of that fact. (One for every week, dontcha know?)


Did you set a reading challenge for yourself and, if so, did you meet it?


Now that I've joined Goodreads, I've discovered the beauty that is the yearly reading challenges. It keeps me on track and helps chronicle all the books that I read each year. IT'S EPIC. My challenge in 2016 was to read 50 books, and guess whaaaaat? I DID IT. YES. In fact, I read 2 extra. :)


What was your most read genre this year? Least read?


I don't have any fancy graphs to show this, unfortunately, but I do know just by glancing at my list of books I read in 2016 that fantasy was the overwhelming winner. As far as least-read...I guess steampunk? I only read one from that genre (Illusionarium, which was mindblowingly good). But there were other genres I didn't read at all so. *shrugs*


What's five of your favorite books from 2016?


OH MY STARS, WHAT A QUESTION. *bangs head against the wall* *groans in pain*

Okay, okay. Lemme think a minute, you cruel question-maker. 
















What's five of your least favorite books from 2016?


2016 was such a good reading year. Seriously, there were only 4 books that I rated 3 stars--the rest were either 4 or 5-star reads. O_O IT WAS A GOOD YEAR, FOLKS, I'M TELLING YOU.

Soooo...I can only give you the four books that I rated 3 stars. #sorrynotsorry













What new favorite author did you discover? (Not necessarily that the author is 'new', but that they became new to you this year.)


Pssh, what is this singular case you speak in? There were many favorites I discovered, not just one. If I had to narrow it down to three (I told you I'm a rebel), I would pick Sharon Cameron, Heather Dixon, and Diana Wynne Jones. Their books are masterpieces.


What's five of your favorite book covers from the year?


YESYESYEYESYES. I looooove book covers. *hugs them gently so as not to bend them* 






How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016? (Exact if you know, approximate if not.)


Hahahahahaha...*chokes*

One does not simply count the books one has collected in a year. 

SERIOUSLY, I BOUGHT SO MANY BOOKS IN 2016, AND I'M NOT EVEN SORRY. Like...like I probably bought at least 50. o.o I'M NOT KIDDING. Thankfully, most of them were bought really cheap so I didn't completely murder my bankbook. *looks at exploding bookshelves* *chuckles nervously* 


What's the longest book you read in 2016?


Emma by Jane Austen was 474 pages, so it cashed in as the winner.


What's the shortest book you read in 2016?


The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry was only 32 pages...according to Goodreads. (It was actually waaaay shorter. Yeah, it was a very short story. XP)


What's your reading goal for 2017?


I'm going to try to up my reading challenge by a few books every year so this year's challenge is to read 60 books. *grins and raises book sword in the air* *which is totally a thing, don't doubt me, peasants*

<><><><><>

I know the rules say I have to tag people...but I feel like a lot of people have been doing yearly recaps and book recaps and such so I'm not going to tag anyone specific. But if you want to do it, by all means, follow in my pirating footsteps and steal it. (I'm such a good example--I learned everything I need to know from Jack Sparrow.)

Oh right...sorry. XP

Well, there you have my very much belated New Year's post. (I'm a wizard, though, so I'm never late, remember?) It's been such a wonderful year in terms of friendships, and I'm infinitely grateful to know you people. <3

Tell me: how was your 2016? Did you find any amazing new authors? (I always appreciate recommendations, even though I'm currently drowning in books...as usual. ;P) What was your favorite cover I showed in this post?