Monthly Highlights - September 2016

September 29, 2016

   This year feels like it has been insane. Like ... where did it go? How is it the end of September already?!

   -We went to a harvest festival and watched the parade, which was tons of fun (albeit extremely sunny and incredibly crowded *shrugs*).   

   - I celebrated my sixteenth birthday on the eleventh, which was ah-mazing (I haven't spent all the money I received yet, but my awesome sisters bought me some books, a gazillion pens, and an Evenstar necklace. They knew me so well XD).

   - And (as you can plainly see) I started this blog - I'm super excited to see where this goes *nods*.

   - We went to an archery range with a group of friends and had an amazing time - I can't wait until we go again. I think I'm addicted XD.

   - I got new bookshelves! (yes, this totally deserves to be notated) I used to have one (which was nailed to the wall and was so full of books that we were a little worried that it would break and fall down on me in the night ...), and then my awesome dad built me two new ones. They are epic *nods*

   - IT'S FALL. Seriously, that's something of note for me. I love Autumn so much, you guys. Who cares that school has to start -  which other season has falling leaves, a cold scent in the air, and the distinct feel of adventure? (plus, the night falls early - good for making shadows out in the driveway or curling up with a book)

   - The 100-for-100 challenge ended, and it feels super weird not to be trying to force out a million words a day. It's just not right. Maybe I should have just kept going!

   - I worked on Killing Snow's sequel ... until 100-for-100 ended. I haven't touched it since :D.

   - I've also been working on random poems/writings on and off. They'll probably end on here soon enough.

   - I began studying a book, just for fun. WELL, I guess it's not quite studying it (because that would be so weird for me to choose to randomly do), it's more like reading it and scribbling notes everywhere in it with my gel pen. It feels so naughty, writing in a book like that XD. 

   - LOTS of trying to plot what I want to write for NaNoWriMo 2016. I'm considering just becoming a WriMo rebel and writing multiple stories at once. And, since we're on the topic ...

 The Game (I have more info on it on my 'Writings' page)

Unnamed (as of now)

   And those would be the two I'm deciding out of.

   OKAY so I did not keep track of the books I read this month. At all, really. It was probably about nine, but we'll just skip this section for this month *nods*. (I will say that I finished the Lunar Chronicles series this month and am starting on Stars Above. That just seems important)

   - 5 Things I Love About A Time To Die, in which I unleash my inner fangirl for this book that I should have discovered a long time ago.

   - The Pray For People And Country Tag, an epic tag that I made into a free-for-all, so go steal it. 

   - The Tolkien Tag - 2016, ALL the Tolkien things, people. All of them 

   - Book Review - A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes, which is my first book review I've posted. I plan to post more.

   - Hiding, one of my favorite poems I've written. 

   - Beautiful People - Ryan (2016), I fully intend to join in October's BP, because they're amazing.

   - The 100-for-100 Challenge - I Survived, in which I explain how I made it out alive (I think).

   - The Thing About Rules And Writing and how they don't always need to go together.

   - Let The Scribblings Begin, where I welcome you to my newly-founded blog


   -Thirty followers. The meeting of this goal is up to you guys :D.

   - PLOTTING MY NANOWRIMO NOVEL(S). This seriously needs to happen. I mean, I don't fully plot out my novels (who even does that?) when I'm getting ready to write the first draft, I just like a vague idea of where things are going to go. And as of now ... well, let's just say that I don't really have much of an idea at all.

   - Turn one of my poems into a song. That would just be cool *nods*

     And that would be my September. Assuming I come out of October alive (I'm being crushed by schoolwork), I'll be back with another Highlights post in a month.


~ Savannah Grace

How was your September? What books do you think I should read/review in October? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?  

5 Things I Love About A Time To Die

September 26, 2016

   Not only did I sign up to review A Time To Die, I signed up to be part of the blog tour - which means I get to post about this awesome book twice! Here are five things I love about A Time To Die ...

1. Parvin 

   Seriously, Parvin (the main character) is AH-MAZING. She's strong, but she has her moments of doubt and fear and has to lean on God to get through them. And she most definitely wasn't a flat character (which is good, seeing as she's the main character ...) It's a first-person book, and it's so easy to feel her emotions. Basically, she's just an awesome character. Actually, you know what? ALL the characters are awesome.

2. Characters 

   What, I can't talk about characters twice?
   Nadine is a master when it comes to characters. She had so many, yet each of them was extremely different from the next. All of them were well fleshed out, and it was amazing to read about all of them. I would pick up the next book for the characters alone, despite what the plot might be!
   Oh look, and here comes my next point ...

3. Plot 

   The plot was incredible. The end.
   But seriously, the plot was just ... yeah, no words. I was on the edge of my seat with this book pretty much the entire time. I just didn't know what was going to happen next! And I never saw the plot twists coming (most of the plot twists had me internally leaping up and down and shrieking 'what?!'), which was pretty nice, seeing as I figure out plot twists in other books half the time and then I'm annoyed at myself.

4. Worldbuilding 

   The world building wasn't the best I've seen, but it was still wonderful. Everything was just so ... dystopian and epic. All the work she obviously put into it payed off. Because normally I'm horrible at imagining the world the way it's supposed to be, so you have to be great at worldbuilding to make me see stuff straight XD. And Nadine did a pretty good job! So that was nice *nods*.

5. The Ending 

   Yes, this gets a whole point to itself.
   The ending was incredible and gave me ALL the feels. I seriously didn't know what to do with myself (except, ya know, go out and buy the next book pronto). Things happened, which I won't mention because spoilers, and then there was a horrid cliffhanger that made me want to scream (or ... go get the next book, so ...). Anyways, ignoring all the things that the ending did to my poor heart, it was amazing XD.

   Basically all I can say is: if you love dystopian (or Christian stories in general) go get this book. And I promise that this was my last A Time To Die rant, at least for a little while XD.

~ Savannah Grace 

   What is a book that you thought ended really well?

The Pray For People And Country Tag

September 24, 2016

   Okay, I just have to say that whoever came up with this tag is a genius. A tag to pray for people + a country? Epicness *nods*.  Thanks a ton for tagging me, Hosanna!

The Rules: 

   - Thank the blogger who tagged you 
   - Copy and paste the rules 
   - Pledge to pray for one person and one country (or city) every day for two weeks
   - Tag two bloggers 
   - Have fun! 

   #1 - One person - okay, those who know me know that I can be a bit of a rebel when it comes to rules. I'm not picking one person, I'm picking a whole family. I pick the Rothfuss family, who is currently getting ready to adopt an adorable little boy from China. (love you guys!)  

   #2 - One country - I choose South Korea. I'm a quarter Korean, so it just seemed natural for me to pick that country to pray for :D. I'd love to go there someday! 

   I tag ...

   - Hanna Rothfuss @ Taking My Time 
   - Christine Smith @ Musings Of An Elf
   - you 

   Steal the tag, my lovely minions. 'Tis a good idea *nods*. 
~ Savannah Grace 

The Tolkien Tag - 2016

September 22, 2016

   It's that time again! The birthday of our beloved Hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins - and Hamlette's annual Tolkien blog party! Hop on over to her blog if you're a Tolkien addict, there's tons of fun going on over there! (be aware that I have spoilers for some of the Lord Of The Rings + Hobbit movies in this post. I warn you about them in the post, but ... just sayin'.)

1. How Many Books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read? 
   Five - well, kind of. I read The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, The Return Of The King, The Hobbit, and I skimmed through the Silmarillion. SO maybe it's more like four and a half. 

2. Have You Seen Any Movies Based On Them? 
   All three Lord Of The Rings movies + the three Hobbit films. All of them are epic *nods*. 

3. Are There Any Scene/Moments That Make You Cry?
   Well, I never full-out cried when watching any of the movies or books (I just ... don't cry when it comes to books), but when *SPOILER* Thorin dies *END SPOILER* in Battle Of The Five Armies and when *SPOILER* Frodo leaves Middle Earth *END SPOILER* in Return Of The King ... well, I blinking away tears and trying not to cry the whole time.

4. Are There Any Scenes/Moments That Make You Laugh? 
   ... mostly all of the amusing ones with Merry and Pippin :D.

5. Have You Ever Chosen A Middle Earth Name For Yourself? If So, What Is It? 
   Yes, I have (shows you how much of a Tolkien geek I am XD). My sisters and I all made up Elven names for each other - mine was Kaluinmir (I think. It had something or other to do with blue gems (my birthstone is a sapphire)).

6. Who Would You Want To Party With/Marry/Fight To The Death? 
   Party with? The four Hobbits (well, probably, anyways). Marry? None of them - sorry, I want things in Middle Earth to stay EXACTLY like they are. Me marrying one of the characters would mess it up XD. Fight to the death? Well, presuming I wouldn't be the one dying ... Saruman.     

7. When Was The Last Time You Visited Middle Earth, Via Books Or Movies? 
   *scampers away and watches a bit of Return Of The King* Just three seconds ago :D. 

8. Do You Consider Gollum To Be A Villain? Why Or Why Not? 
   Huh. This is a tough question. I would say ... no. He used to be good, but was tempted by the Ring and fell into darkness. You could see that Smeagol was fighting it, and the darkness was not entirely Gollum's fault. It was mostly the Ring's. So no, even though Gollum is bad, I wouldn't consider him truly a villain.

9. How Would You Sum Up What Tolkien's Stories Mean To You In One Word? 
   Inspiration. Tolkien's stories are an inspiration.    

10. List Up Ten Of Your Favorite Lines/Quotes From The Books Or Movies.

   ... and we only scratched the surface :D. 


   Now, in honor of our favorite Baggins' ... 

Happy Birthday, Bilbo And Frodo! 

~ Savannah Grace

   And all you Tolkien fans who wish you could really go to Middle Earth on this happy Hobbit day - check out this post, pronto. Just do it.

Book Review - A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes

September 20, 2016

4 1/2 STARS

Title: A Time To Die (first book in the Out Of Time trilogy) 
Author: Nadine Brandes 

   I've been told for such a long time that I absolutely had to read this book - and when I saw that Nadine Brandes was asking for people to review it as part of her launch party for A Time To Rise (the last book in the trilogy that comes out this October), I jumped on the chance. 

   And I'm so glad that I did. 

   This book was all that I expected it to be and more (it would have got a solid five stars except for a few dry bits in the first half of the book). Nadine managed to give me feels by the fourth chapter, and I was rooting for Parvin the whole time. 

   The plot was stunning, the characters were fleshed out, and I never saw the plot twists coming. It was well-paced, and very intense; I loved every second of it. The Christian message was perfectly weaved in, Nadine did an amazing job with that. And it ended so well, even if my heart wasn't sure what to do with all the feels forced upon it! I'll definitely be reading the second book soon.

   Anyways. It was a wonderful book that I would recommend for ages thirteen and up, due to the intensity and some things that were a little more mature. A Time To Die definitely earned four and a half stars - and if you ever have a chance to read this book, do it

   Seriously, just do it.  

Summary (take from Amazon)

 How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

Author Bio

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.  


Check out Nadine's pre-order page for A Time To Rise, visit Nadine's website, and buy A Time To Die at Amazon.  

~ Savannah Grace

Have you read this book before (you should!)? What did you think? 


September 18, 2016

You look into the
but it only tells you 
you have so much 
and a mirror cannot show it 

 you ask people, what do you 
what do you think of 

but how can they 
tell you
if you keep the real you 

you keep it like a 
this real you 
like it is something to be 
ashamed of 
but it is 
who are you?

i am raindrops and dewdrops
starlit nights 
and thunderclaps in a storm 
faeries in the forests 
and misty mornings 
when you can almost touch 
the rain  

autumns nights 
and all the songs i've ever sung 
and indigo 
and ink from my fingertips
i am the smell of earth
and the sound of a horse's hoofbeats 
and music notes inside my 
and so much else that I haven't yet discovered 

and I am tired of
listening to the mirror's lies 

~ Savannah Grace 
  poetry style inspired by abbiee


Beautiful People - Ryan (September 2016)

September 16, 2016

   OKAY so this character is very spoiler-filled because he's from the sequel to Killing Snow, my current novella. We'll see how this goes.

   He looks JUST a tad like this - when he's pretending to be tragically sad, which probably means he's trying to make someone else laugh with his antics. He's a typically happy character.

   Also, he's also a fairly new-ish character and his story is still in zero-draft form.This should be fun *nods*.

1. How did you come up with this character? 
   He just popped up, all ready for me to write him - I honestly think he had been waiting. But he's polite and waited his turn. It was nice of him.  

2. Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to
break the fast? 
   He's been starving alright. He was orphaned at age ... I think it was around age seven? Then when he was ten-ish (eleven-ish?) someone took him in. But he had to scavenge for food and stuff for those three years. Not sure what he would have eaten - probably whatever he could find. No room to be picky. 

3. Do they have a talent or skill that they're proud of? 
   Hmm ... none that I can think of, at the moment.  He's okay at sneaking around (in a pinch) since he lived as an orphan for three years.

4. List three things that would make them lose their temper. 
   1. Someone hurting/insulting someone he loves
   2. Being betrayed
   3. Someone being treated really unjustly   

5. What is their favorite type of weather? What's their least favorite?
   Huh ... he's not super picky about the weather, really.  

6. What is their Hogwarts house or MBTI personality? 
   Gee, this one is hard! For Ryan's Hogwarts house ... I would say Gryffindor? And I think his MBTI might be ESFP, but I don't quite know XD. 

7. Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future? 
   Most likely it would be the present problems (his life - well, let's just say it isn't easy at the moment).

8. What is their favorite thing to drink? 
   Uh ... water? I could see him drinking soda though, if it was an option that he had a lot. 

9. What is their favorite color? Least favorite? 
   Favorite - sky blue. Least - dried-blood red. 

10. What is a book that changed their life? 
   I don't know - Ryan isn't a very big reader.

    So there we have Ryan I'm-not-telling-you-his-last-name-because-spoilers. Hope you enjoyed :D. 

~ Savannah Grace 

   So there we have Ryan. His life's tough, but he's figuring out how to get through it. What do you think?

The 100-for-100 Challenge = I Survived

September 15, 2016

   Okay, so the title may be a bit of an exaggeration.

   I barely survived.

   ... you probably want me to elaborate, don't you?

   I WROTE 70,391 WORDS. Over the course of 100 days.

   Just had to get that out there. Now I can explain what the 100-for-100 challenge was.

   Basically, it was a challenge held by Go Teen Writers to write 100 words (of the same story, unless you had to switch for some reason) each day, for 100 days. You were allowed one 'grace day' each week, and one 'grace week' during the whole period.

   I added an extra bit to the challenge that said 'take no grace days' and another that stated 'never write only 100 words'. AND I MADE IT. I might have written only 101 words sometimes, and I desperately wanted to take a break after I finished the first draft of my novel (read: I was exhausted) ... but I decided to stick with the plan.  I think that may be why I was able to write 70k words XD.

   SO I basically forced myself to write 100 words every single day, no matter how busy (or tired!) I was. It was so hard sometimes, but I'm so glad that I did! I definitely upped my word count, and it got me in the habit of writing everyday.

   And even though I'm feeling a little empty of words right now (hey, 100 days of hard writing will do that to you), I'm incredibly glad that I joined the 100-for-100 challenge. I now have a third-draft novella being beta-read, the zero-draft startings of it's prequel and sequel, and a whole lot of satisfaction.

   Totally worth it *nods*.

~ Savannah Grace 

   Have you ever done the 100-for-100 challenge (or something similar)? Do you think you would?

The Thing About Rules And Writing

September 13, 2016

   I've heard lots of rules about writing. Don't use too many adverbs. Show, don't tell. 

   And if you've been writing for awhile, I been you've heard a lot too - the same ones and others. 

   I wrote a story a couple years ago. I got it through the first draft. I was writing it for a contest, and I tried to follow the guidelines that would make it win. I looked it over a few times. I was a newbie writer. And then I edited that story.  

   I ripped that story to scraps - taking out every weasel word, trying to remove every adverb, trying to follow every single rule that I knew, and following them to the very letter. 

   I sent it to some friends and let my family read it. They said it was good. I thought it was good. But something felt ... off. Wrong. I didn't really love this story.

   And then, after the contest had ended (I hadn't won, obviously XD) and I began writing a story that I really loved, I realized what I had done wrong last time. 

   I was trying to win a contest. I was writing only to win that contest. I was writing a story that I enjoyed writing, yes - but I wasn't writing the story that I really loved and wanted to tell. 

   Of course, that was only part - I mean, it's still possible that I could still write a good story, even if it wasn't a story that I was feeling as connected too it as I could have been, no? 

   WELL ... I also made another mistake. 

   I followed every rule to the letter and took the pieces of me out of my story. I wasn't writing the way I wanted to write any more.               

   And turns out that this learning experience was vital for me. 
   I learned that (GUESS WHAT) you don't need to follow the rules. 

   Well, okay, let me rephrase that: you don't need to follow the rules all the time. 

   You don't need to take out every single weasel word. You don't need to remove all the adverbs. You can tell instead of show - sometimes you need to.

   Learn the rules and break 'em like a pro.

   Your writing is your art. Don't let anyone steal the unique things that make your writing yours. Especially yourself. Because you know what?

   Letting yourself steal from yourself ... well, that's pretty much cheating.

   And cheating just isn't fair.

~ Savannah Grace

   Have you ever written a story you've really loved, a story you just knew was different from the rest? 

Let The Scribblings Begin

September 12, 2016

   Hello all! Welcome to my blog, I'm Savannah Grace.

   It would seem that all my ideas for my first post have flown away to Neverland, so let's do this spontaneous-style, shall we?

   First of all, you must know that I don't think I could survive within the written word (I live and breathe it) and Jesus Christ is my savior.

   I love Lord Of The Rings, and Fantasy + sci-fi are my preferred genres - there are no rules to play by! I've been writing for about six years. I started when I was about ten, and got more serious when I turned thirteen.

   I am ISTP. Introvert on the outside, extrovert once you get to know me really well. 

   I've been privately blogging for about three years, but now I'm expanding my horizons and I hope you'll come along for the ride!

~ Savannah Grace