9 Tips And Tricks For College Students

Hullo, friends! So today’s post is a little different. This past semester, I finished my first year of college, and it was certainly a new experience. 🙂 So I thought I would share some of the little tricks I learned in my first year at college. Keep in mind that all colleges and their surrounding towns are different, so you may  not be able to do some of these, but I hope you’re able to find something to help you out. And if you’re not in college, share this with someone you know who is (or bookmark it for future use 😉 ).

  1. Be creative when it comes to food. It is really, really easy to get bored of the same old cafeteria food. If your cafeteria has a salad bar, try using some of the items on there to mix up other meals. Tired of hamburgers? Add some bacon bits and shredded cheese. Bring some salsa from an outside restaurant, or bring your own salad dressing or sauce. Buy Go-gurts and put them in the freezer to have your own froyo (seriously, it is the best)! Building off of that…
  2. More expensive restaurants may equal more meals. Spending twelve dollars on a meal at a more expensive restaurant may not seem like a good idea at first, but take into account how many meals you can get out of that twelve dollars. To-go boxes are amazing, guys! The food is usually more expensive (not to mention better quality) at some Italian restaurants, but they usually also give you bread of some kind and a side salad as part of your meal, which can easily fill you up. And if they have big portion sizes… well, I’ve gotten four meals out of one twelve dollar meal.
  3. Get a library card. By this I mean a card for a public library, not the school library. A lot of public libraries not only have awesome reading books, they have movies, too. All you need is a library card, and you can get free movies! They’ll usually have a shorter rental period than books, but they’re definitely cheaper than Redbox.
  4. Pay with cash. Lots of studies have shown that people who pay with cash tend to spend less. This is sooo true. It’s easier to spend money with a card, because it’s harder to hand over a twenty dollar bill to a cashier than to just swipe a plastic card. Plus, this is better for your finances in the long run.
  5. Save your change. I actually learned about this from my Business teacher, and it builds off the previous tip. At the end of the day, empty out your change from your wallet or your pockets and put it in a jar or container of some kind. You can actually save up a lot of money this way! Change tends to build up without you realizing it, plus this can relieve some of the weight in your wallet or purse.
  6. Ask about student discounts. This is mostly at restaurants, but student discounts are really helpful! Just by showing your ID you can get anywhere from 10-20% off your usual price. This is easy to forget about, but try and ask when you’re shopping or going out to eat. You might be surprised at the places that do student discounts! (You can also try Googling, but keep in mind each location is different).
  7. Get up early to do your laundry. Very, very few college students will get up at seven to do their laundry on the weekends. Take advantage of the empty laundry room and get your laundry done early. Better to get up early than to wait hours for a dryer! (And also, this is just courtesy, but move your laundry right after it finishes!)
  8. Go for a run or a walk. I actually did a whole speech last semester about the benefits of exercise, and one thing I was surprised to learn was that exercise can actually help your creativity a lot. So if you’re stuck on something, try getting some exercise or just going for a walk. It can also help improve your focus!
  9. And last but not least… talk to people. I know, sometimes us introverts like to avoid social interaction, but there are times you want to hang out with people… and you can’t do that if you don’t have friends to hang out with. 🙂 In college, you even have a few basic questions you can ask the people who sit next to you in class, like “what’s your major?” and “where are you from?”. Don’t rely on other people to start the conversation. Put down your phone before class and start up a conversation with the people around you, sit with someone who’s sitting by themselves in the cafeteria, or just compliment someone who’s wearing a shirt with your favorite superhero on it.

I’m sure there are many more tips and tricks out there, but this is a pretty good start! Do you have any college or school related tips? Have you used any of these before? Do you want to see more college-related posts like this one? Comment below with your thoughts!

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Reintegration (Reintegration #1) by Ashley Bogner – Release Day And Review

Hullo, friends! I’m super excited to be sharing a book review with all of you today! I was given an eARC of this to review, and I enjoyed it spook much! Up until lately, I’ve been reading a lot of good books, but Reintegration is the first book in a while that’s made me fangirl and really really enjoy reading it.

As mentioned above, I received a free ARC of this book, but all thoughts are my own, and I wasn’t required to give a positive review (I just loved it!).

Oh. My. Goodness. Where to start with this review????? There are so many things I loved!

Plot

I loved the plot of this book! It was super exciting and kept me reading, but there was also a lot of slower spots where there was a lot of character development, which was sooo good. And just the whole idea of a dystopian society like this (I’m trying to fangirl without spoiling!) and trying to erase someone’s memories to make them fit into society…. It was so good, and such a fun ride!

I also loooooved the plot twists, too. I saw some of them coming, but it was the kind of “seeing it coming” that was really satisfying when I was right.

Characters

I absolutely have to do this in list form. XD

  • Katherine: I usually tend to like side characters more than main characters, but I actually really liked Katherine. She was multi-layered, and her doubt over everything she’d been taught was portrayed in a realistic and believable way. I loved her progression from perfect student to doubt and beyond. You can tell from the blurb that she begins to question things, but it wasn’t done in a cliche or forced way, and her inner conflict was portrayed SO WELL. There were a few times I didn’t like things Katherine did (there was some tension at one point where all I could think was “just ASK HIM!!!!”). Despite that, I really liked her!
  • Matthew: Oh my goodness, I loved Matthew! He was so sweet and innocent, especially post-Reintegration, and I loved his reaction to Chelsea flirting. Also, his morals were great and I loved how they were portrayed as something natural and normal. Also he is adorable and I want to hug him. ❤
  • Chelsea: At first I thought she was just going to be a foil to Katherine and a side character, but I like what happened with her. Without spoiling anything, I have to say that I loved her role in the plot twist that I did not see coming.
  • Haynes: I knew her role in the story as soon as we first met her, and she was sooo good! Honestly, she was very chilling and a good villain, although she did fall into monologuing/revealing evil plan mode a few times.
  • Thompson: AHHHH THOMPSON. Basically he is awesome and I very much want to hug him and protect him. That is all.

All of the characters were so we’ll developed, and I loved all of them (except for the evil ones). I think the only thing I didn’t like was that some of the characters (Haynes and Thompson, for example) were referred to by their last names most of the time, so I don’t even remember their first names. It’s mostly a personal preference because last names seem more distanced to me, but that didn’t really bother me much at all when I was reading it. 🙂

Theme

I don’t usually talk about themes much when I review books, but this book… The terms were at the root of the plot, so I can’t really mention one without mentioning the other. This dystopian society was so realistic because their views on tolerance we’re so similar to those of our society today–these people had just taken this to the next level. I loved the portrayal of right and wrong as absolute (in spite of what society said). Plus, the way guilt was described without being called guilt was just amazing!!! Overall, this book portrayed its theme so well, and I immensely enjoyed it! 

Theories

So I want to talk about my theories soooo much, but I don’t want to spoil the book for those of you who want to read it but haven’t yet. I’ve put them in spoiler tags on my Goodreads review, and you can check them out there if you want to. 🙂

Overall, I immensely enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. It’s a fun, clean story, with great Christian themes and an awesome plot. You can check it out on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, and follow Ashley Bogner’s blog. You can also read more about the book in my cover reveal post.

Do you want to read Reintegration now? (Do it, do it, do it!!!) Have you already read it? Comment below!

Exiles (Ilyon Chronicles #4) by Jaye L. Knight – Release Blitz And Author Interview

Hullo, everyone! I’m here today with an author interview with Jaye L. Knight, in celebration of the release of book 4 in the Ilyon Chronicles!!! I’ve sadly gotten a little behind in this series, but I’m looking forward to catching up at some point in the future. 😀 On to the post!

Author Interview

C.B.: Starting off with a tough question! Which of your characters in the Ilyon Chronicles has
been your favorite to write?

Jaye: Jace! I love Jace. Jace is my precious. Jace will always be my precious. 😀 But that’s
probably pretty obvious to most of my readers. So I’ll make this more interesting and go beyond
the obvious. I also love writing Daniel. He always takes over his scenes. And then there’s Kaden
too. Really, it depends on the day and the scene. Most of the characters have been favorites to
write at one time or another.

Which of the books in the series was easiest for you to write, which was the hardest, and
why?

Looking back now that I’m on the very last book (which is being a royal pain in the
neck), I think Resistance was the easiest. When you first start a series, you have so much
excitement and it’s all so new and awesome. And you’re so pumped about it and anxious to get
to the next books. That really helps propel you forward. Six books in and six years later, you
can’t help getting a little bit tired and looking toward the finish line.

What is one piece of writing advice you would like to give to young aspiring authors?

Just write. Don’t get hung up on trying to get it right in the first draft, just get that story
on paper. You can always fix things later, but a blank page won’t get you anywhere. The best
way to learn is through practice, and the more you can write, the better. So go for it and don’t
worry what that first draft looks like.

Where do you get most of your story, plot, and/or character ideas?

Lots of places. It can be books, movies, music . . . pretty much anything. Ideas for Ilyon
Chronicles came from DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul, Robin Hood, Gladiator, The Hunger
Games, The Mentalist, Thor, and a commercial for a TV show called Unforgettable, among
many other things. I can pick up bits and pieces of ideas from just about anywhere.

You’re stuck on a deserted island! What person, what food, and what one other object
would you want with you? Why?

Is this person fictional or non-fictional? 😉 For non-fictional, I’d have to go with someone
who was good at surviving like Les Stroud or Bear Grylls, because, I mean, that would be
obvious. I do want to actually survive. But as for fictional person, well . . . Aragorn. Yeah, I’d
feel pretty good about my chances of survival with him. 🙂 For food . . . I guess something
imperishable, and it would have to be gluten free since I’m allergic to wheat (so imaginative,
lol). And object . . . something to write on, whether some sort of electronic device with unlimited
battery or a ginormous notebook. ‘Cause a writer’s gotta write. 😀

This was such a fun interview to do! I had no idea about all the different shows and books that inspired the Ilyon Chronicles! 

About the Book

Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to
restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete
people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their
support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep
Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than
ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the
location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding
relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life
threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a
traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new
arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir but, with other
forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

Available now on Amazon!
Add to Goodreads

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website! Plus, the first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th! You can find them on Amazon.

About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict
with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure,
Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest
darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the
age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy. (Also, I got a Jaye’s Ranger’s Apprentice bronze oak leaf necklace for Christmas, and I absolutely love it! You guys should check out her Etsy store. 😀 )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include
an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter
opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Check out the giveaway here.

Schedule

Thursday, August 10

Friday, August 11

Saturday, August 12

Sunday, August 13

Monday, August 14

Tuesday, August 15

Are you guys excited for the release of Exiles? What did you think of the author interview? Comment below with your thoughts!

Winner of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest!

Hullo, everyone! The IDIA Fan Creations Contest officially closed on Monday, which left me with the difficult task of… deciding a winner. I have absolutely loved seeing all of you guys’ creations, and it was so hard for me to just choose one winner. All of the submissions were so awesome, and I got so excited every time I got a new submission. 😀 So I thought I’d share all of the submissions with you before announcing the winner. I’m putting them on here in the order that they were submitted. Enjoy!

Madeline J. Rose – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Change” – Madeline J. Rose

Twinepathy Quote “Antarctica” – Madeline J. Rose

Twinepathy Quote “Friends” – Madeline J. Rose

Aren’t these awesome??? I especially like the mask on the last one. 😀

Esther – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Blaze” – Esther

Twinepathy Quote “Together” – Esther

These two are so pretty! And that second quote is one of my favorites that I forgot about writing. 🙂

Jemma – Character Drawings

Albany – Jemma

Maddie – Jemma

Brooklyn – Jemma

Blaze – Jemma

These are officially the first character drawings done for the IDIA series! Eeeep!!! 😀 I was so excited to see these! Jemma did a great job, and I love how the clothing reflects the characters and is pretty much exactly what the characters would wear (especially Albany’s Flash shirt).

Elizabeth – Character Art

Blaze – Elizabeth

Maddie Through The Peephole – Elizabeth

Aren’t these so amazing??? They look exactly like I pictured them. Plus, the perspective on the picture with Maddie is so cool!

Sara – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Shower” – Sara

Twinepathy Quote “Teleport” – Sara

These are so cool! Pun intended. 😉 I really love the design on the shower quote, and that’s one of my favorite quotes from the whole book. 😀

Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah – Cosplay

Sisters – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Albany and Brooklyn Cosplay – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Brooklyn Profile – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Albany Profile – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

IDIA Comic Book Cover – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

These are so amazing!!! Shay and Sharah did amazing on these pictures! “Day job: Teenager”.  😀 Also, I love that comic book cover that they made. It looks so cool!

 

This was such a hard decision to make, because I really loved all of these! They were all amazing and I am so glad we had so many people participate. I had to actually use a scoring sheet to help me decide. 😀 So, without further ado, the winner is…

Elizabeth with her drawing of Blaze!

Blaze – Elizabeth

This was seriously so close! But I absolutely loved this drawing that Elizabeth did (as well as the one of Maddie 😀 ), and this is exactly how I pictured Blaze! Great job, Elizabeth! I’ll be contacting you about your prize shortly.

And I have to say a very special thank you to everyone who participated!!! You guys are so awesome, and I loved getting your submissions. If you weren’t able to put together a submission this time,  don’t worry! We’ll probably do something like this again. 🙂

What do you think of the fan art? Would you want to participate in another contest like this? Comment below with your thoughts!!!

 

Blaze Takes Over: 6 Pieces Of Advice For New Superheroes

Hey, peeps! Blaze here! So today is the last day to submit your creations for the IDIA Fan Creations Contest, so make sure and fill out the submission form before midnight tonight! We’ve received some awesome submissions, and I think C.B. is dreading picking a winner, with so many amazing creations to choose from.

So, in my last post, I talked about the life of a superhero, and in the comments, Sarah suggested that I give my advice for just-starting-out heroes. I thought that was an absolutely brilliant idea. So I present you with my amazing advice for new superheroes!

Blaze’s 6 Pieces of Advice For New Superheroes

  1. Listen to Data. (This is the one piece of advice Data approved of.) Always listen to what Data says. She’s been doing this all longer than you have, so she knows what she’s talking about. Plus, reading people leads to a pretty big knowledge base, which means she’s much smarter than you. If you disobey her, you’ll figure this tip out the hard way. (I’m looking at you, Jazz!)
  2. Explore your abilities. Not only is it fun to explore your powers, it can also come in handy when you’re on a mission. If you’ve tested your powers to see how far you can go, or different ways you can use your abilities, then you’ll be able to find more ways to use them on missions. That’s how I figured out that I could teleport, after all! That was a very weird day. Side note: Apologies to that Australian person I accidentally teleported behind. That was my bad. I had no clue what I was doing. Sorry. 
  3. Meet new people. People with powers come from all over the world, from very different backgrounds, and unique powers. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. I got to meet an elderly man from China who could speak with animals, and he introduced me to his pet panda. Plus, he taught me Chinese! It’s fun to meet new people and learn their histories. But also make sure not to be too invasive with your questioning. Everyone else wants to keep their secret identities under wraps, too.
  4. Bring food with you. I guess you should probably bring money too, in case of emergency, but food is more important, am I right? Seriously though, you don’t always know how long you’ll be at HQ or if you be able to go get food. I can teleport, but if you can’t, definitely bring food.
  5. Explore IDIA. It’s good to know the layout of HQ, so that you’re prepared for emergencies. Just be careful where you explore, because there are a few off-limits areas, and you could get in very big trouble. There are also a few really dangerous areas, too… so maybe you should explore with a lot of caution.
  6. Have fun. IDIA is a place where you can spend time with other superheroes, and you can be yourself and use your powers. Have some fun with that! Sneak up on other heroes, pull pranks, try to find Anvil’s secret stash of homemade candy… Have fun with your powers and your new superpowered friends! And if you actually try to find Anvil’s candy stash, watch out for booby traps and lots of pointy objects.

And those are my six tips for new superheroes! Did you guys like these? I’ve had fun taking over the blog, so maybe I can convince C.B. to let me present the winner of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest. Don’t forget that today is the last day to submit. Got any questions to ask me? Comment below!

Blaze out! 😎

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Blaze Takes Over: The Life Of A Superhero

Hi, peoples! It’s Blaze here. So for some odd reason, C.B. agreed that I could kidnap her blog for the last week of the Fan Creations Contest. Speaking of which, there are only three days left to submit your creations! You can also go check out some of the awesome fanart you guys have submitted, including some very nice portraits of myself.

So I was trying to figure out what to do with the blog now that I’ve taken it over, and since C.B. said I couldn’t post a snippet from Lightporter (something about spoilers and editing and blah blah blah), I decided to look around for some suggestions, and Hazel West suggested that I talk about the life of a superhero, something that I’m definitely an expert on.

I guess this post is going to be introspective, which I am usually not. So I’ll just dive right in.

One of the top concerns for superheroes is this: who knows that we have powers? For myself, none of my family knows that I have powers, and the people who do know that I have powers don’t know my true identity. To put it more simply, my two identities, superhero and normal, are completely separate. Except for Data, that is. She is the only person in the world who knows who I am when I’m not Blaze.

And since that’s quite uncomfortable territory to talk about, I’m going to move on now.

I have it easier than most superheroes. My power is easier to hide, considering I can turn invisible or make illusions of myself doing other things. Teleportation is also handy for getting out of tight spots, although I have to be careful not to use any of my powers when I’m not acting as Blaze. The nice thing about having my personas completely separated is that it’s easier to just… become a different person when I put my mask on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still me. I’m just a more outgoing and heroic version of me, and I’m more willing to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I feel like this is true for a lot of superheroes, and supervillains, to an extent.

Being a superhero has given me opportunities to do a lot of cool things. I mean, come on, I have teleportation. I’ve traveled all over the world, eaten so many different foods, and made friends in tons of countries (and a few enemies, thanks to some unfortunate accidents). I’ve actually learned bits and pieces of a few different languages as well.

But the best part about being a superhero is working with other superheroes and saving people. That’s the whole point, right? If I don’t use my powers for good, then what’s the purpose of them? Other than going out to buy food whenever I feel like it, that is. Saving people is what being a superhero is truly about.

I feel like that’s enough musing for now. I’m going to try and keep control of the blog for as long as I can, so comment down below and let me know what you think I should post about! Did you like this post? Got any questions to ask me about the superhero life?

Blaze out! 😎

Cover Reveal: Reintegration by Ashley Bogner

Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to be bringing you the cover reveal for Ashley Bogner’s debut novel, called Reintegration! It’s a Christian dystopian releasing August 18, 2017, and I’m super excited to read it. Here’s the back cover copy for the book:

A perfect citizen. A captured rebel. One decision could destroy them both…

As a Regulator, seventeen-year-old Katherine Holliday’s duty is to protect the people of the Federation from a group of violent rebels who have exiled themselves to the mysterious wilderness. When one of these rebels is captured within the Federation, the government leaders propose an alternative to execution, a procedure they call Reintegration. The procedure involves erasing the rebel’s memory and attempting to make him a member of society. The rebel, a young man named Matthew, is not the violent criminal Katherine expects, and she can’t help but befriend him. A few weeks after Matthew’s Reintegration, Katherine realizes the procedure failed and she is now presented with a choice no one else can help her make. Can she warn her superiors that Reintegration failed, which could mean death for Matthew? Or will she defy everything she knows to help him escape—and risk her own execution?

And now, without further ado, the cover!

Ashley Bogner

When Ashley Bogner was in third grade, she decided she would be a published author when she grew up. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and has lived in seven different states. She completed a year of Bible college and in the fall will begin pursuing a degree in Communication Studies. After college, her plan is to work in the Christian publishing industry. When not writing, she can be found baking, posting book reviews on her blog, and watching her favorite movies over and over to the point of memorization. See her blog here.

What do you think of the cover? Do you think you’ll read the book? Comment below with your thoughts! (Also, don’t forget to check out the live Q&A I’m doing this week!)

Live Q&A Post And A Short Writing Update

Hullo, friends! Since July is halfway over (whaaat????) and we only have about two weeks left for the fan art contest (and we have a few new submissions, too!). I have a cover reveal scheduled for tomorrow, but for this week, I thought it would be fun to do a live Q&A with you guys! A while back, I made some post idea suggestions, and many of you liked the idea of a live Q&A post, where you guys post questions in the comments, and I answer them! You can ask me about anything from writing to reading and books, or my own books or anything (within reason, of course). I’ll be answering those questions throughout this week, so ask away!

And while you’re coming up with questions for me, I have one for you! What writing-related topics would you like to see me post about? Comment below with your questions for me and what writing posts you’d like to see me do!

And a short writing update: I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m working on a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press Contest, and I’m super excited about it! I just hit 10,000 words, which means I’m at least halfway done. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see where it goes (and let you guys read it, too!).

Now, enough about my writing! Unless you want to ask questions about it, that is. 🙂 Post your questions below, and I’ll be sure to answer them as soon as I can! And don’t forget to suggest some writing-related posts, too! Thanks, friends!

Inside IDIA: The History of IDIA

Before I get started on this post, I just want to remind everyone that the IDIA Fan Creations Contest is open for submissions! You can see the entries I’ve already received on the new IDIA Fan Art page. Go check them out! They’re so cool, and they may give you inspiration for your own creations. 🙂 Now, on to the post!

Hullo, friends! Remember that poll where I asked all of you what you wanted to see me post? Well, one of the top things was an Inside IDIA series, where I talk about various Easter eggs, characters, and behind the scenes info for the series. I decided that the best place to start this would be with a history of how I came up with the idea for IDIA. So let’s begin, shall we?

I may have talked about the origins of IDIA a few times, but mostly just in vague mentions, never in detail. I was rereading some old stories and realized that the tale of IDIA is one worth telling.

The first thing I came up with was the name: The International Defense and Intelligence Agency. To begin with, it had absolutely nothing to do with superheroes. I actually first used it as a normal spy-type government agency in a sci-fi novella I wrote, partially for a creative writing class. I was honestly really proud of coming up with an acronym that made a (sort-of) real word and sounded official. I finished the book and even used a few characters in one of my Tales From The Writer’s Desk, but I ended up deciding that sci-fi wasn’t my thing and left that novella on my computer to gather virtual dust. (I actually went back and read that story, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Although if I ever decide to publish it, I’ll have to rename that spy agency…)

A year or two later, I came up with the idea (he-he) for Twinepathy, and I was looking for a name for the organization of superheroes. Somehow, IDIA came to mind again, and I decided to give the organization a revamping. Lo and behold, the IDIA you know today was born! I had a ton of help from beta readers smoothing out the organization. The various ranks in IDIA (alphas, betas, deltas, gammas, and omegas) weren’t added in until a later draft of the story, and helped make IDIA more structured and official. So thanks to beta readers and creative writing class, we have the IDIA you know today!

What do you think of how IDIA came about? Have any similar stories? What did you think of this post? Comment below with your thoughts!

It’s Twinepathy’s Birthday!!!! (Cake, Characters, and the IDIA Fan Creations Contest)

Hullo, everyone! I’m so thrilled to tell you that today is Twinepathy’s 1st birthday! It’s been exactly one year since I published the book, and I can’t believe it’s been out so long! So enjoy today’s celebration post, and the launch of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest!

It had been a long week, and all I wanted to do was sleep. My desk had somehow filled with hundreds of papers, and I was afraid that if I moved one, the whole pile would come crashing down. Benedict had tried to keep up with it all, but even he couldn’t keep it all in line.

I glanced at the time on my laptop. Only a minute until midnight. If I’d had my wish, I would’ve been in bed several hours ago, but I had yet to finish the section I’d planned out for today. Maybe I shouldn’t use sleep as a reward for writing, but it seems to work. I sigh as the clock hits midnight.

“SURPRISE!!!!!”

The scream in my ear makes me jump out of my chair, but I trip over my own foot and send the hundreds of papers on my desk flying into the air. Blaze appears next to me, grinning. “Hey, you brought confetti, Bri!”

“Blaze!” I half yell, half moan as I flop into my chair. “How in the world am I going to take care of all these papers?”

He shrugs. “Maybe you should put a speedster in book 3. You’re plotting that, so there’s room there.”

I tug on my ponytail. “Blaze, why are you here?”

Blaze slaps his forehead. “Ah, I forgot to bring in the others. I’ll go get them.” He pauses. “Wait, you really don’t remember? It’s our birthday!”

Honestly, I did forget. With all of the editing and other craziness going on, I hadn’t thought about Twinepathy at all. How in the world had it already been a year since it had been published? “Yeah, I kind of forgot,” I admit.

“How could you forget, Bri?” Blaze laughs, but then he sobers. “But if you don’t have anything planned, what are we going to do to make it special? I just planned for cake.”

An idea flashes into my head, and I grin. “I know just what to do. Let’s let the fans take over!”

Blaze scratches his head. “What do you mean?”

I stand up, pacing. “Let’s have a fan contest! You can host it, Blaze. They can make fanart or fanfiction and win prizes…”

He grins. “I like that idea. When do we start.”

I point at my computer. “Right now!”

Well, hello, wonderful fan people! I’m Blaze, and I’m going to be hosting the first ever IDIA Fan Creations Contest! I mean, I’m the obvious choice, right? To start off, I’ll tell you that anywhere you see words in this color, it’s C.B. speaking. She’s also supervising me for unknown reasons, and insists that this has to start out organized.

Here’s how the contest will work! We’ll be open for submission (any kind) up until July 31st. After that, C.B. will spend a day or two (or as many as needed, since the beginning of August is going to be crazy for me) gathering everything together, and then all of you will be able to vote on who wins! One first place winner will be chosen, and everyone who participates will receive a short story featuring Denver and me! And just so you know, that was my idea. You’re welcome. Below is a basic summary C.B. put together, and you can comment below if you have any questions! You can also ask for me to answer them, specifically, and we’ll hope C.B. lets me.

Oh, and before I go, there are these cool things going on right now called the Silmarillion Awards, and I got nominated for the Most Epic Hero Award. So if you wouldn’t mind going over there and seconding that… After you finish this post, of course. Blaze out!

Contest Rules & Guidelines

  1. This contest is open to an IDIA-themed creation! Fanfiction, drawings, digital art (that includes quote pictures), costumes, pictures of the book, fanmade covers or book trailers… pretty much anything! If you want to know if something counts, just comment below and ask me. 🙂
  2. The number of submissions is unlimited! You are welcome to submit as many different creations as you want.
  3. Please keep all submissions clean! No cussing, inappropriate romance, etc. When in doubt, leave it out or ask!
  4. You must submit your creation by July 31st. I’ll do my best to post reminders in between now and then, but I am human. 🙂
  5. Submit your creation using the form below. If you are not posting your creation online anywhere, just put “None” in the link section, and I’ll send you a reply email asking for your submission. Also, make sure and check whether or not you want your artwork to be displayed on a special fan creations page!
  6. First place will win either a signed paperback copy of Twinepathy or a $10 Amazon gift card if they already have the book. (Note: Prizes may change, and more categories may be added depending on the number of submissions received.)

I’m super excited about this, guys! Are you? Do you have any ideas yet? Any questions? Comment below and chat with Blaze!