Spotting the Light: Sumedha || Creative Spotlight – 8

Hey everyone! It’s time for another Spotting the Light post! Today, we’re interviewing Sumedha!

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Sumedha is a 19 year old Indian studying Computer Science and Engineering in college. Usually in her down time she’s blogging, reading or hanging out with her best friends. She does pretty much everything with her best friends. She loves looking at aesthetic pictures and basically gush about it to everyone.

What do you blog about? (books, lifestyle, etc)

I blog mostly about books, music and bullet journalling. Overall, though, I try not to keep a niche because I love the freedom to blog about anything I want.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I love taking up new projects and trying new things, especially online, so I randomly made a blog one day. I never planned anything but it actually got a lot of views and so I made an effort to do better at it. I recently changed my blog name because the old one was too long and no one could remember it.

Where do you get ideas for what you do?

For my discussion posts, basically anything that I feel ranting about. Once I actually wrote a blog post on a poster I saw at a bank. So basically anything, to be honest. I also DID make a blog post about this so you can check it out to know more.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?

DO SOME RESEARCH. And choose a good, easy name!

What is your favourite piece of content that you’ve put out?

This is always hard to answer! I always feel like I could have done better with my posts. But there ARE posts I’ve loved writing. The most recent has to be my review of the movie Fallen based on the book by Lauren Kate. I’m not salty very often in my reviews but when I am, I totally let go.

Describe your progress, from idea to post

The brainstorming ideas post was the first of my blog posts to share exactly this in detail.
I usually write down my blog post ideas in my bullet journal. If there’s any planning for the content, I write that down as well. I usually don’t have the time to immediately type the post so it sits for a while and when I get the time, I come up with way more things to say. I usually frequently switch between the normal and html screens in my post editor because lately I’ve been doing a LOT of formatting. After I’ve typed it out, I add the images and schedule it. I plan my scheduling dates so that consecutive posts aren’t the same, so as to give a little variety. For example, I’ll do a book review followed by blogging tips and then a discussion post.
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What does a day in your life look like?

I’ve tried to pen down a routine but to be honest, I don’t have one. On the days I have classes, I wake up at 6am and get ready in a rush to catch the bus at 7. I’m at college until 4pm and get back home around 5:30pm, following which I chill for a bit. I start my assignments/work around 7pm or I sit down to plan things if I don’t go out with my friends. I don’t socialise very much but I hang out as much as possible with the friends I’m close to.
I blog on Sundays, typing up multiple posts at a time to utilize time better and be productive. Sunday mornings are for this. Since I have classes six days a week, Sundays are my only down time days so I use it to get things done as much as possible.

What is your favourite book?

This is HARD. My all-time favourite books are Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. My latest favourites are Warcross by Marie Lu and the Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab.

What is/was your favourite childhood book?

I read mostly Indian comics until 6th grade because we didn’t have a proper library near my place. My mom used to bring home comics when she went to other cities for work. The first absolute favourite book of mine is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

What is your favourite song/artist the the moment?

I haven’t listened to any new music lately but what I HAVE been listening to on repeat is the Dusk till Dawn sing-off by Conor Maynard and Anna Maynard. I’m not a fan of Conor Maynard but I like Anna Maynard and make sure to watch the videos she’s in. I was blown away by her voice! I haven’t heard her singing before, so I really like it.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

Chocolate. Whatever chocolate. I’m not a fan of actual chocolates but I love anything chocolate flavoured.

Follow Sumedha here-

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Spotting the Light: Ashley Tahg || Creative Spotlight – 7

Hello everybody! I’m here again today with YET ANOTHER interview! Today, we’re talking with the oh-so-lovely Ashley Tahg!

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IMG_5402 - Ashley HunterAshley is a developing writer, a part time poet, a still life photographer, as well as an avid journalist, and occasional scrapbooker. When she is not doing any of those things, she can probably be found reading or playing video games (she has an obsession with games that give both a beautiful art style and an immersive story world). She’s a strange Slytherin, an introvert who can masquerade as an extrovert, and an INFJ. Also, while not at all connected (currently), she also has a passion for Korean people, media and music and would love to eventually see her life headed in that direction.

What do you blog about?

I blog mainly about lifestyle and books. For me, blogging is a mix between media journalism (book and movie reviews) and a documented, online journal.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I started blogging in 2008, and honestly, it was a place to practice typing (I was homeschooled, and my mom got creative for typing class). All my friends had blogs, and I wanted one. Through the years, my blogging has been mainly a ‘just for fun’ experience, but this year, my tenth year of blogging, honestly feels like a ‘rebirth’ of my blogging experience. I’ve decided to return to blogging and set a new course. I decided, I have words to say and I want them to be heard and aside from my twitter, this is the best place to do so

Where do you get ideas for what you do?

Oh boy…well, that is something I always struggle with. Mainly, I draw from my life, my personal interests, but sometimes that fails me and leaves me creatively dried out still, in which case I can often find ideas in blogging prompts. No shame, folks, no shame.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?

Well, I was 11 years old back then, so…there’s an awful lot I would give in the way of advice, but, honestly, there’s not much I would listen to myself on. There was a very heightened period, about three years ago, when I became very successful in book blogging. I had three or four book publishers sending me books almost monthly for me to read and review on my blog. I got distracted, busy with finding and holding a job, and the book reviewing got cut out of my life (and blog). I see that as a massive mistake and, if I could go back to 18/17 year old me, I would encourage her to not be so job-driven, and focus more on her love of reading and sharing books.

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What made you decide to start writing?

I don’t think I ever made the conscious decision to start writing. I remember being five, six years old and putting together stories from the pictures I drew. Then, being eight or nine and writing stories full of animals and mischief. Storytelling is a part of who I am, just as strongly as any DNA-bound part of me is.

What is your favorite part about writing?

The creation, definitely! I am a world-builder after Tolkien’s own heart and I have often found myself getting so carried away in creating the world, the people, the setting and society of my book, rather than doing any actual writing. There’s just something relaxing about making a new land and new cultures and immersing yourself in it.

What makes a good story?

Strong relationships between characters. It doesn’t need to be a romance, or even a friendship, exactly, but having that chemistry even between nemeses really propels a story forward. Where would Lord of the Rings be without Sam’s selfless friendship for Frodo? Or where would Star Wars be if Han’s begrudged loyalty couldn’t always be counted on? I could go on and on, but whenever a story has characters who fiercely love, trust or hate each other, I always find it enthralling. Also, food. I write so much food in my books because, we humans are obsessed with eating and yet you try and tell me that on a Hero’s mission NO ONE is concerned about food? Nooo, I write so much food and when I find authors who invest in writing and describing food, I instantly know they are a kindred spirit.

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Does writing energize you or exhaust you, and why?

Both, honestly. I go through sprints where I could write all day and never tire, but more often than not, writing is like pulling weeds. I love the worldbuilding, as I mentioned, but writing does not come as easily as creating. I think, honestly, it is because I have this massive, immersive view of how everything is, and sometimes trying to get everything out in word form can tire me.

How many books have you written? (drafts count too!)

10

What is your biggest challenge?

Lighting. Lighting is always the challenge. But also remembering your self worth. Everybody and their aunt is a photographer, it can easy to look at your photos and think ‘someone else could do this better’. And, it’s true, most of the time. But I also think of the second Mona Lisa painting (done by what historians believe might have been da Vinci’s pupil or lover). It is a gorgeous painting and I prefer it over Leonardo’s original. But it will never be as costly or as precious as the Master’s. While my photography may never be the talk of society, while I may never be remembered as anything more than a student of my art, there will be someone out there, somewhere, who finds it beautiful, and that, and the fact that I do truly enjoy capturing still life, propel me to never give up.

What is the most surprising lesson you’ve learned from your art?

Your favorite image may not be the client’s favorite image. Once, I held a photoshoot for a family where the mother was diagnosed with stage three cancer for the third time in her life. When I showed them the pictures, I showed the artistically prefered ones, the one where everything was flawless, where the wind was perfect, the lighting was optimal, and I was proud. But then I got to a picture that I had included just on a whim, it was far from perfect and honestly, I was a bit self-conscious about it. They loved it. It was their favorite and when I stepped out of my artist’s circle, I saw why. It captured them, in all their imperfect, dysfunctional glory. Sometimes, we photographers get so caught up in the perfect image, that we risk losing the right image.

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Where do you get inspiration?

Mostly, photography comes without needing inspiration for me. But theres this guy on twitter (and instagram), Brandon Woelfel (@brandonwoelfel) who is a wizard and photography. His command of light is absolutely magical. He is my greatest inspiration and photography role-model.

What do you want your legacy to be?

“She captured people; their soul, their laugh, their heart.”

What is your favorite book?

Chalice by Robin McKinley (or anything else by McKinley, for that matter)

What is/was your favorite childhood book?

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques was my obsession (and possibly why I am so infatuated with food in books).

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

Absolutely anything that Sleeping At Last puts out is going to get heart-eyes from me. He isn’t just a musician, he’s a real legit artist.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Halo Top’s Mint Chocolate Chip is to DIE for.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’ve had so much fun with this interview! I’d love to find more people to connect to and share passions with (I’m legit the friendliest Slytherin you will ever meet). Thank you so much, Hanne, for hosting me!! I’ll have to return the favor sometime. 🙂

Go check out Ashley here!

Blog || Instagram (@pocket.full) || Twitter (@hushashesspeaks) || GoodReads (@AshleyTahg)

Spotting the Light: Hannah Marie || Creative Spotlight – 6

Hello everyone!! You already know what’s coming . . . another Spotting the Light post! Today, we are highlighting Hannah Marie! She is a YouTuber, blogger, and social media strategist. (Seriously. Check out her twitter. It’s adorable and cheery and I love it!). Let’s get started!

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Hannah Marie is, firstly, quirky & dorky, but that’s the way she likes it! She is an INFJ, a proud Ravenclaw, an anime addict, a YouTube junkie, a pastel princess, a wanderlost child, a total Tweeter, a novelist, a guitar/ukulele player, a song-writer, a wannabe photographer, and an occasional blogger… (RANDOM FUN FACT: She actually lived in Kenya, Africa for part of her life & have had a yearning to keep traveling ever since!)

What do you blog (youtube etc) about?

My blog & YouTube both cover a wide variety of subjects, but they all end up stemming back to my life/lifestyle… I discuss reading, writing, share personal stories, and sprinkle positivity whenever I can! I feel that social media & platforms like Blogger and YouTube (and our lives in general) are all about connections and building relationships with others! That’s what I strive for in my media presence.

What made you decide to start blogging/youtubing?

I started blogging when I started writing seriously, because I wanted to connect with other readers/writers! YouTube happened just recently for me because I wanted to try expressing myself in a new way, and video seemed to be the way to go.

Where do you get ideas for what you do?

I get my ideas from everywhere, honestly! From conversations with my friends to a funny meme I see on the internet, to the books I read… There’s inspiration to be had EVERYWHERE.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?

Consistency and perseverance are the two words I would tell myself. Because I am truly consistent with uploading videos on my YouTube channel every week, I have gained several followers in a shorter amount of time. When I blog, it’s much more sporadic & I don’t have a clear schedule.

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What is your favorite piece of content that you’ve put out so far?

On YouTube, my most favorite piece of content was my “Death of 2017” video, as I was truly able to express my heart on a rather controversial topic.

On my blog, however, my favorite post was probably “My Thoughts on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series” post… Again, it was me expressing my heart on a traditionally controversial topic & I had a good response to it from my readers!

Describe your progress, from idea to post.

I occasionally have ideas at random moments during my day, but typically I just end up having sit-down “brainstorming sessions” in order to come up with ideas for my posts/videos. Whenever an idea comes to mind, I write it out in my Notes app on my phone, where I keep all of my ideas for future content.

Whenever it comes time for me to write/film a new post/video, I delve into the lengthy list of random ideas and try to select one that works for me. What I find acceptable for production at the time usually depends on what’s going on in my life/in the world at the time (relevancy) or what kind of mood I’m in at the moment.

The actual filming/writing process is the most awkward part (but it’s not super hard), because it requires me having to put my thoughts into words that other people can understand/relate to… and that’s what I love best!

From there, I go to editing. This is the most time-consuming & involved part of the process, but it’s extremely rewarding. I feel super accomplished when I’m done, and there’s a sense of pride in finishing a project when I hit that “save” button.

Uploading a project always makes me super nervous, but getting kind feedback always makes those nerves go away! I remind myself that nothing is perfect & that we are all learning how to improve ourselves, so I shouldn’t be nervous or embarrassed of my current work-in-progress.

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What does a typical day in your life look like?

Honestly, I am a very chill, laid-back person when it comes to my lifestyle. At this point of my life, I am an online college/uni student, so a typical day requires some decent amounts of studying & note-taking & reading. But besides that, I end up squeezing in some social-media time and some YouTube-watching time. I might do a tad of light cleaning, some light exercise, eat a couple of snacks and some ramen, and try to write some if I feel up to it. If it’s a filming-day, I set aside some time (hopefully when the sun is out!!) to film my weekly YouTube video. And if it’s a Livestream Day (Tuesday) I carve out some time around my lunch to do a quick liveshow on YouTube!

That’s about it! It’s quiet and cozy & I love it ❤

What made you decide to start writing?

I LOVED reading as a child, and I had sooo many stories of my own that I created, and I wanted to share them with the world! So, it only made sense that I become a writer.

How long does it take for you to write a book?

Up to date, I haven’t completely “finished” a book… but I would say that with my very laid-back schedule with my writing, perhaps a year or two?

What is your favorite part about writing?

I love being able to share my heart on important topics & weave in beautiful messages into my stories!

What makes a good story?

A good story needs 1) Good Characters/Character development 2) An Interesting Plot 3) A Good Message/Theme
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Does writing energize you or exhaust you, and why?

Both, simultaneously… It’s energizing because writing is the one time that I feel that I am able to effectively communicate my feelings & express who I am. But it’s exhausting because it takes a lot of thought for me to focus on what I’m doing & write the way I want to.

 

How much time do you spend doing research?

It honestly depends on the situation/topic… In some cases, I’ve spent hours studying and researching different types of middle-age weapons! And other times, it’s a simple Google search to see how warm it typically is in London in June! Lol!

How many books have you written? (drafts count too!)

12

Do you have a published work?

I actually DO have an article that was published in an anthology/devotional book. The title of the book is Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns.

What was the most interesting part about your publishing journey?

Honestly, the most interesting part was the way it happened! I met an editor of a Christian magazine via Twitter one day several years ago & we started chatting. Then she invited me to go through her special training bootcamp, where I learned all about how to share my message, how to interview celebrities, and how to compose a good article. She instantly recognized my affinity for writing & had me join her team of journalists & bloggers. Eventually, I wrote an article for an issue of the magazine & was blessed enough to have it accepted. And later on down the road, when the editor was planning an anthology of her favorite articles–she asked if I would be alright with having mine in the book, along with a blog post I had written previously.

It was an amazing experience.

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What is your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is carving out time for doing art. Life gets in the way sometimes, so it can be challenging to make time for yourself.

Why do you do what you do?

There is nothing more satisfying than creating something that you are proud of…

What is the most surprising lesson you’ve learned from your art?

Art is simply an expression of your feelings. It’s a form of therapy. It doesn’t have to “look” good to anyone else. Just as long as you express yourself & get those feelings out, it is art.

Where do you get inspiration? (may include your favorite artists, etc)

Again, anywhere and everywhere…

What do you want your legacy to be?

I want my legacy to be one of smiles, laughter, and noticing the little things. Whismy and quirkiness… Soft and sweet… Gentle and soulful… Unique…

When did you start playing music? What instruments do you play? How long have you been doing music? Do you take lessons, and how long have you been taking them?

I started playing music originally when I was 8… I played piano & I HATED IT. So I quit. And when I was 13, I picked up guitar and LOVED IT. From there, I started singing, I picked up the mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and some piano again. Now that I’m 20, I laugh because I haven’t taken music lessons since I was 8, but that hasn’t hurt me one bit! I’m self-taught! However, I give music lessons to little kids as a side-job & love it.
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What is your favorite book?

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

What is/was your favorite childhood book?

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

Lord Huron

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Butter Pecan

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT, WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT

And that’s it! Go give Hannah a follow!

Blog || Instagram: @plottingertwist || Twitter: @PlottingerTwist || Snapchat: @plottingertwist || Pinterest: @PlottingerTwist || Wattpad: @PlottingerTwist || YouTube

Spotting the Light: Evangeline Yackel || Creative Spotlight – 5

Hello everybody! Today is time for another Spotting the Light post! Today, we’re interviewing Evangeline Yackel!

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Evangeline is an INFP, Slytherin, and tea enthusiast. She is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and will try any gross food at least once. Her life goal is to become a Hobbit.

What do you blog about?

I started out blogging every day which I quickly learned wasn’t entertaining when I didn’t really…do anything. Now I blog about books, writing, and random life things.

What made you decide to start blogging?

You know how they say to go against the crowd and march to the beat of your own drum? Well I did the opposite. Blogging was really becoming popular in my group of friends, and so, to feel like I was a part of something, I started blogging. Now, I am so thrilled that I decided to go with the crowd (in that area) because blogging has changed my writing style and it has introduced me to so many wonderful people.

What is your favorite piece of content that you have put out so far?

It’s hard to pick just one (especially because I think I’m hilarious), and I usually tend to pick favorites based on how much fun I had writing it, but if I had to pick just one, I would choose a Top Ten Tuesday post I wrote on Things That Will Make Me Want to Read a Book.

What made you decide to start writing?

I honestly have no idea. I wish I could give some eloquent answer about how I one day discovered the power of storytelling, but I don’t have one. I wanted to be a tap dancer when I was 3, but then suddenly, I decided I wanted to be a writer (probably because of how much I read). Ever since then, there has been no question that writing is all I ever want to do with my life.
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How long does it take for you to write a book?

Am I being lazy? Or am I in the middle of NaNoWriMo? If it’s November, I get super competitive and write as much as I can manage without my hands falling off. My goal is to win in under ten days this year (can you believe that? I think I’m starting to go senile). On average though, I write 1000 words in 12 minutes. Also, I go much faster towards the beginning because that’s when I’m super excited the shiny new book I’m writing. BASICALLY: I am not one to pinned down to certain time measurements (or I’m just forgetful and have never actually tracked how fast I write novels??? …nah).

What makes a good story?

I am an emotions driven person. I judge things based on how I FELT. If I close a book and am left with some sort of emotion (other than “BLECH”), then I count it a good story. Now if you were to ask me what makes a GREAT story, I would require access to PowerPoint, a snack, and hours of preparation.

How much time do you spend doing research?

Oh boy, I love research. I also hate it. It is a fascinating, time consuming thing that used to stop me up when I was writing a first draft. I would get on the Google to look up one small thing, and the next thing I know, I’m learning about the snowfall in Bulgaria! And I’m writing a book in the desert! What I’ve started doing is saving all that research (unless it is so important that the story simply can’t go on without it) for the second draft. Instead of researching for an hour and writing for 15 minutes, I ignore the research. Example: “The CITY SPECIFIC TO THE COUNTRY lights shone with the light of AMOUNT OF WATTS ON AVERAGE LIGHT BULBS in the BETTER WORD FOR CLOUDY evening.” Okay I don’t think I’ve ever written a sentence like that in my life, but you get my meaning.

How many books have you written so far?

7. I started writing when I was 6, finished my 1st book at 12, started blogging at 13, finished 2nd book at 13, finished 3rd book at 14, finished 4th book at 14, finished 5th book at 15, finished 6th book at 15, and finished 7th book at 16. I am just now starting to edit. Help.

What is your biggest challenge?

I love the piano, but MY HANDS ARE JUST TOO GOSH-DARN TINY. And this may sound like an insignificant whine, but trust me, tiny hands makes every complicated piece 10x more difficult.
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Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I love to create. I love to practice the beauty that God put inside me. I was created out of love and inspiration, and so it is my response to His constant love and grace to give Him what I have: my music, my words, my watercoloring. At first I felt that all of that was too small for the very same Creator who made the galaxies and spoke the world into existence. How could my words and art compare? And then I thought about it from the position of a Father accepting a drawing from His child. The drawing itself may not be beautiful in comparison to the Father’s artwork, but it is beautiful to the Father because it came from the child. It was painted (or written or played or whatever) by the hands of His precious child that He adores, and so that thing becomes precious. To Him, it is one of a kind. LONG STORY SHORT (which I have already failed to do lol): I create because He first created, and I cannot help but respond to the Life and beauty that He put inside me.

What is the most surprising lesson you have learned from your art?

I have learned that nothing is wasted. Even though I have so many paintings and drawing ideas that ultimately will never see the light of day (they are currently in ashes….many feet underground), none of those were truly failures. At first, I was frustrated that *this* hadn’t worked out and I had just wasted all this time, but then (after a little more time of stomping around like a two year old who had just been told she couldn’t eat 15 lollipops for dinner), I realized that even Michelangelo had to start somewhere, learn, and have bad paintings. He got better, he rose up in the art world (in fact, he probably used those bad paintings as step stools to climb higher). The lesson I learned was that even though I might feel like something was BAD, it will ultimately be a step stool that I can use to climb higher (and that also means I get to step on it, which will make me feel better).
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What do you want your legacy to be?

(Okay, Uber Cheesy Christian Answer. Here we go.) As much as I love writing and blogging and all of my other interests, I see them as tools. My life purpose is to show others His goodness, and to live every day fully engaged with Him. SO: I want my legacy to be His goodness shining through me, His love overflowing onto others, and His grace touching lives. (Yes, I know it’s cheesy, but I honestly mean every word of it.)

When did you start playing music? What instruments do you play? How long have you been doing music? Do you take lessons, and how long have you been taking them?

I started playing piano because my sister was doing it (once again, #orginalEvangeline), and then for a while she was teaching me what she was learning (that did NOT go well. It ended in a lot of tears, bribery, and yelling), but I quickly decided that piano wasn’t for me and in fact, it was from the Devil. Four years ago, I (on a whim) started learning A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, and fell in love with the piano itself. I have taught myself from tutorials on Youtube (and thankfully, there is much less crying and bribing).

What is your favorite book?

That’s just cruel. Um, favorite SERIES: The Raven Cycle. Favorite BOOK: AHHHHHH I DON’T KNOW

What is/was your favorite childhood book?

This I can answer. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Corduroy. I was fascinated by the little tiny bed that he sleeps in at the end. I also really loved Beowulf (which I read when I was 8. I don’t know why 8 year old me loved it so much. It is quite a gore-y story).
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What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

Sleeping At Last. He is just such a lyrical and melodic master. I am in love with every song he writes and covers. All the heart eyes.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

MINT CHIP. I WILL DEFEND THAT FLAVOR UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you so much Hanne for the chance to be a part of this!!! Your blog is amazing, and I GET TO BE ON IT!!! *deep breath* It’s cool, yo.

Thanks, Evangeline, for being willing to come on my blog and share this awesome interview! Go follow her here!

Blog || Twitter @AnOddWriter || Pinterest @Evangeline Yackel || GoodReads @Evangeline

Spotting the Light: The Miss Charley || Creative Spotlight – 4

Hello everyone! Today, we’re back again for another Spotting the Light post! Today, we’re interviewing Charley! We became friends over a livestream, and now she’s getting a little spotlight on my blog!

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Charley is a college Christian student blogging about her greatest loves: God, books, and writing, with a few things sprinkled in here and there.

What do you blog about?

I blog at The Miss Charley. I primarily focus on blogging about books, but I also expand with writing and pop culture posts every once in a while. On Sundays, I try to post a positive Sunday Thoughts post to start everyone’s week off right. These posts are either a general encouraging/motivational post or more of a Christ-centered devotional style post.

Where do you get your blog ideas, and what is your process of writing a post?

Most of my blog ideas come from other blogs, which means I see a style of post I enjoy and make it my own. Other ideas come from personal experiences or a random thought pops into my mind when I’m having a good conversation. Then my process is a simple one that I should probably make a little more complex. I write the idea down in a list in my bullet journal. When I need to schedule a post, I look at my ideas, write it out, add in some pictures or gifs, hyperlink to other blogs, posts, etc., and then schedule it. I create my own feature graphics and try to incorporate most of my own pictures which can take a little bit longer. Otherwise my creation process is a simple one.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

A day in my life… is crazy. It really varies depending on my work schedule, class schedule, etc. There’s really only one consistency: late nights. In order to blog while the rest of my life is happening, I stay up late which is terrible when you can’t sleep past 8 am.
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What is your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book, but I do have only one auto-buy author who is Sarah Dessen. I absolutely adore her books and will always look to them for recommendations and a relaxing time.

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

My favorite artist right now is The Chainsmokers, which I know is such a cliche response. I can sing pretty much every line to “Closer”. I really love their style of music and have found a few others like them.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

My favorite ice cream flavor: Rocky Road or Cookie Dough. Rocky Road was my favorite as a child for some odd reason, and cookie dough slightly replaced it. But I don’t want to get rid of Rocky Road quite yet. If it’s Halo Top ice cream, though, I love the Birthday Cake flavor. Also, I loath having to pick favorites which is why I add in so many conditions. 🙂

That’s it! Thank you to Charley for the spotlight! Follow her at her links here:

Blog || Ko-Fi (@themisscharley) || Twitter (@themisscharley)|| Instagram (@themisscharleyblog) || Facebook (@themisscharley)|| Wattpad (@TheMissCharley)|| Pinterest (@themisscharley)|| Spotify (Charley Hrobsky)

Spotting the Light: Red Sun || Creative Spotlight – 3

Hey everybody! It’s time for another installment of Spotting the Light! Today, we’re interviewing my friend Red! We’ve been friends for quite a few years now, and I’m always amazed by how she uses her words. It’s a little different from the rest of the interviews I’ll be doing–her interests are rather different from what’s usually on my blog–but I’ll let her speak for herself. 😉

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Who am I?

I go by the alias Red Sun, and you can find me on the internet as either knittingfrenzy18 or bTackt. I have a countless number of passions, but my two biggest are probably writing and video games. My Twitter is @bTackt_. If you want more social links, just google either knittingfrenzy18 or bTackt.

I currently blog in three places:

  • knittingfrenzy18.wordpress.com – This is my passion blog, where I write about things I love. That includes knitting, baking, reading, gadgets, and more. I write book reviews, knitting how-tos, and documentations of my mediocre baking escapades. Although I did not write much last year, there is still a wealth of old posts that I still consider good. I hope to make a return to writing more on this blog this year!
  • btackt.wordpress.com – This is the blog where I write 3000 words at a time about video-game related topics that are on my mind. It’s not particularly audience friendly, although if you enjoy those deeper looks into my mind, there it is. Think of it as sort of an out-loud journal, video games based.
  • tackttabloid.wordpress.com – This is my most professional, esports journalism-based blog. I plan to write polished, professional (as possible) news articles about esports and put them here.

My guess is that the audience of Hanne’s blog would most enjoy my first blog, but in case you’re wondering why I love video games so much, read on.

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What is esports?

Esports is basically video games played at a professional level, in professional leagues, for championships and prize money. It’s much like traditional sports, such as football, baseball, and soccer, but with video games as the competition instead. There is always something thrilling about watching someone else play a game at a high level, regardless of whether you can just play it yourself. (Just because you play Little League baseball doesn’t mean that you have your baseball fill and have no need or desire to watch MLB!) To be honest, I can’t give a good reason for why I love watching so much, but I can say I love watching people compete in video games just the same as my Uncle Ed loves watching people compete in football.

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Why do you write about esports?

Firstly, because I love writing, and I love video games. I can’t help but put my two passions together, it’s natural, see? Secondly, because esports journalism is a young industry, and in the words of Tateh from Ragtime, “an industry is dawning and I’m standing on the brink,” and it’s just exciting to think that I could be one of the first ones in something completely new in history. The thought drives me every day to write better pieces, ideas with quality, and something captivating that people will want to read.

Should I watch esports?

If you already enjoy video games, of course. Give it a try. And if you don’t, you could too. Personally, I had never played the video games I watch in esports when I started watching. I have now started playing some of them because of esports, but when I started watching, I had no idea what was going on. The screen was confusing, and I couldn’t even tell who was playing which character or who was winning. But my fundamental passion for video games made me keep watching, and watching, until finally I understood. I didn’t make any concerted effort to study up on what was happening, or carefully pick apart the screen until I got it, but just the act of watching something confusing more and more eventually made the confusion go away. Don’t be discouraged. However, esports isn’t for everybody. It’s okay if you just don’t like video games; it doesn’t have to connect with everybody.

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And now, back to some other stuff.

Why do you love to write?

I love writing because there’s a element of permanence. I just imagine someone 100 years in the future digging up my blue journals and reading about how life was in the early 2000s and who I had a crush on, and so on. Maybe someone will find my online blog someday and pick up what I can pass on about knitting. Maybe I can bring someone joy or knowledge through esports journalism. Writing is cathartic for me—it helps me never to forget something. It reminds me of how I used to be, and it’s like I’m continually creating a history of me. I can remember a feeling I don’t want to let go of, years after the moment has passed.

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What writing advice do you have?

  • Keep writing. I am sure we have all seen beautiful art and stunning drawings made by people who are skilled at drawing, and sometimes you wish you were that good too. But when you ask them where they got the talent, they tell you they have practiced forever. I think we all know that school classroom archetype who is continually doodling on the margins of their paper, listening to the teacher talk, but doodling. And I am almost certain that those people, bored out their minds for 12 years in school, will become some of the best artists, simply because they were drawing all the time.
    I am not a good judge of myself, but I just realized recently: I have been writing things for years and years. Little journals, little letters, random poems, notes to self; when I am distressed and want to relax, I write something. When I finish reading an excellent book, I am inspired to try to create a magnificent story of my own (it hasn’t happened yet). And this isn’t as visible as someone doodling all the time, but I am nearly convinced that this same effect has happened to me, that my writing has improved by virtue of my just writing. And I still have a long way to go, but this is the beginning. Like I said with watching esports, if you just keep doing something, even if you don’t know what’s going on, you’ll eventually figure it out.
  • On a technical note, my two pieces of advice are this: Have a very clear sense of the audience while you write. Knowing who you’re talking to can really focus your message and your piece. And secondly, make your points clear. Hit everything you want to say in an organized fashion, so that the reader knows when you’ve switched to your next argument.

A big thank you to Red for the spotlight! Find her on Twitter (@bTackt_) or on her blogs.

Spotting the Light: Hailey Hudson || Creative Spotlight – 2

Hello folks!! Today is the second installation of the Creatives Spotlights series that I’m doing, and today we’re interviewing Hailey Hudson! (again, if you’re interested in being interviewed, fill out this form)

(Also, before we get into the post, I’d like to post out – the NEW NAME! The series is called Spotting the Light. We’re spotting the light that young creatives are shining into the world and drawing attention to it! A big thank you to Angela on Twitter for the name because I am insanely uncreative)

Hailey Hudson

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetMy name is Hailey Hudson and I’m a hardworking creative who inspires other creatives to put in the legwork that will make their dreams become reality. I’m an author, blogger, and freelance writer. I work for a local nonprofit that focuses on empowering the next generation through education, I’m obsessed with theater and music, and I want to be a missionary in the States working with kids through sports.

What do you blog about?
I blog about writing, my faith, and my personal life. My goal is to inspire other young creatives to work hard and make their dreams come true, because it’s entirely possible.

What made you decide to start blogging?
I started blogging because I have a lot of things to say, and I wanted a platform to say them.

If you could talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?
Write what you want to read–don’t fall into the trap of thinking that people expect a certain kind of content from you. Surprise them! Write about whatever is on your mind and heart.

What is your favorite piece of content that you’ve put out so far?
This Post: 5 Tips to Writing your Best Fight Scene Ever

What does a typical day in your life look like?
In the mornings, I work from home as a freelance writer, primarily in the fitness niche. After lunch, I work out and do some freelance voiceover work; then I drive to work. My duties at my nonprofit include grant writing, marketing, social media, and tutoring the kids. In the evening, I’m either coaching softball, working on my latest novel, or reading.

What made you decide to start writing?
I honestly can’t remember making a conscious decision to start writing–it just kind of happened. I’m sure that the steady diet of amazing books I grew up on definitely helped, though.

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How long does it take for you to write a book?
How long is a piece of string? The length of time it takes me to write a book varies so much that it’s almost ludicrous. My debut book, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers,” was published last summer, and it took me a week to write. (It’s short!) But I’ve been working on a dystopian novel titled “Angelica” for a year now, and I’m still not done.

What makes a good story?
For me, the characters are what really make a good story. Worldbuilding, plots, and prose are important, but beautifully complex, flawed, funny characters are what make me keep reading.

Does writing energize you or exhaust you, and why?
Writing definitely energizes me–sometimes after an especially good session, I actually find myself jumping up and down around the house. It’s completely invigorating because I know it’s what God made me to do.

How many books have you written? (drafts count too!)
5 (check out the published one, Hope is the Thing with Feathers!)

What was the most interesting part about your publishing journey?
My publishing journey for my first book was very non-traditional. My story won a contest, and the organization that sponsored the contest took my story and published it as a paperback. They’re an organization that focuses on getting high-interest stories into the hands of struggling readers, so most of the proceeds from my book go to help the nationwide illiteracy crisis, which I love.

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Where do you get inspiration? (may include your favorite artists, etc)
I get inspiration from Broadway. I’m a huge theater junkie, and there’s never a time I’m not dancing to a Broadway soundtrack–they’re playing in the car while I drive to work, in my room while I write, and in the kitchen while I make breakfast. The music and stories inspire me, but more than that, Broadway actors and singers inspire me–whenever I watch YouTube interviews of my favorites, I’m always struck by how they go out of their ways to give credit and praise to other creatives, and that’s how I want to live.

When did you start playing music? What instruments do you play? How long have you been doing music? Do you take lessons, and how long have you been taking them?
I was a classical pianist for ten years, and I took lessons for the majority of that time. I had plans for Juilliard, but eventually I just didn’t care anymore. I was completely burned out. Music is still incredibly important to me, however, even though I hardly touch the piano anymore. Maybe one day I’ll find my way back.

What is your favorite book?
My two all-time favorite books are “Little Men” by Louisa May Alcott and “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo. Yes, my reading taste is diverse.

What is/was your favorite childhood book?
My favorite book series was The Young Underground by Robert Elmer. I think they’re out of print now, which makes me feel old. I also loved A Little Princess and so many others.

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?
I’m currently freaking OBSESSED with The Greatest Showman soundtrack. It is absolutely perfect. Pasek and Paul write the BEST music.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Butter pecan.


A big thank you to Hailey for being willing to be interviewed on my blog! Find her-

Blog || Instagram (@haileyh412) || Twitter (@haileyh412) || Pinterest (@haileymom2000) || GoodReads (Hailey Hudson) || FaceBook (Hailey Hudson)

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Spotting the Light: Demetrius Osborn || Creative Spotlight – 1

HI EVERYBODY!!! If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ve seen that I’m doing a new series on my blog, featuring creatives! (If you’re interested in being interviewed, fill out this form) There will be new interviews up on the second and fourth Fridays of every month for as long as there is interest.

The first one we’re going to spotlight today is Demetrius Osborn! I ‘met’ Demetrius on Twitter, through mutual friends, and here we are! So here we go.

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Hi, I’m Demetrius and I am a singer, musician, songwriter, and aspiring music producer. I’m currently traveling the world studying different cultures and indigenous music styles and songwriting. Hopefully putting out an EP with some original songs on it this year! (It’s one of my goals)
What is your biggest challenge?
I would say I have two really big challenges as a musician that keep me from creating.
One is motivation. I am not a very self motivated person and I tend to get REALLY excited about a project in the beginning and then lose interest and never finish it. So something I’ve been working on to combat that is actually setting goals and then having friends who are holding me accountable to the goals I set for myself.
The second is comparison. I so often find myself listening to an amazing musician or incredible songwriter and comparing myself to them and then feeling discouraged because I’m not as talented as they are. So it’s been a struggle to fight against that and to realise that no matter my skill level no one else can create exactly what I create and to remind myself that a lot of these people have a heck of a lot more practice than me and if I keep going I might be able to achieve what they have.
Why do you do what you do?
I really can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve known since I was 14 that I wanted to pursue a career in music because it’s what I love and it’s what I’m passionate about. I don’t think I would ever be happy pursuing another career.
Where do you get your inspiration? (favorite artists, etc)
So many places but I would say Jon Foreman as an artist has had the most impact on my life and has probably been my musical inspiration the longest. I first started listening to Switchfoot in 2012 and I was instantly hooked. I’ve always loved the depth of Jon’s lyrics and how poetic they are, especially on his solo projects but he’s more than just a good musician and a phenomenal songwriter. He’s also a voice in our culture who stands up for what he believes in and stands up for truth and stands up for those who are helpless and hurting and in need, and I find that more inspiring than just excellent guitar playing and beautiful lyrics. I want to be like that. More than just an artist but a voice.
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When did you start your music journey? What instrument(/voice) do you play? Have you taken lessons? If so, how long? 
I’ve always loved to sing and have made up nonsense songs all my life but it wasn’t until I started learning piano at age 12 that I really started my music journey or even realised that I had any kind of musical ability or talent at all. I play piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, bass guitar, cajon, djembe, and I sing. I took piano lessons on and off (mostly on) for 7 years and I took about a year and a half of guitar lessons. Everything else was self taught.
Is there something you’d made that you’d like to share? (Links/attachments ok)
I don’t have a lot that I’ve put out on the internet at this point but I have a few covers on my SoundCloud page that I just recorded on my phone so the quality is awful but if you want to check those out here is the link.
What is your favorite book?
Probably Pride & Prejudice or The Hobbit.
What is/was your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood book was and still is this huge book of all the Winnie the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne that I got for my birthday one year.
What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?
This is a really hard question but I think my favorite song currently is You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes and favorite artist right now would have to be Owl City. I’m so pumped about his latest music project and really digging his new sound for this record.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate chip cookie dough. Or a really good caramel gelato.

And that’s it! Thank you so much Demetrius for being spotlighted on my blog! Find him on Instagram (@xanderbones1), on Twitter (@theDemetriusO), and on SoundCloud.