Good-Bye 2018 by Liz Bradford

So Long, 2018!

WOW! 2018 is over! Here comes 2019…


What a year it’s been. Ups and downs. Insane stress and anxiety. But also joys and accomplishments I had only dreamed about.


The year started out rather innocuously. But then May happened… I’m still in shock at the crazy twists that month threw at me.

  • My three year old going into anaphalactic shock after eating flax seed. We knew she had food allergies, but flax? Apparently. I’m grateful for epi pens.
  • I gained a sister(-in-law)!!!
  • I decided to bite the bullet and self-publish my books (and signed up for Self-Publishing School).
  • My grandmother died…

I don’t want to do May again…

 

But let me back up.

 

As many do, I really enjoy choosing a word to focus on for the year. For 2018 I chose the word ZEAL. I was going to attack 2018 with zealous determination, especially when it came to my writing career. And holy cow, did I! But not the way I had anticipated. My goal had been to find an agent and move towards traditional publishing. Then I had the idea for another series (Check out this post). My thought with that series was to self-publish it as I moved The Detectives of Hazel Hill series towards traditional publishing. So, I started looking into self-publishing.


My husband then challenged me. “Could you have the first one published by Swordgirl?” (Swordgirl is a women’s conference I attend every year.)

 

My jaw dropped. “Maybe the following Swordgirl? There’s no way I can have it ready by October!”


I was still thinking timelines according to traditional publishing. It is truly amazing how much you can get done in five months if you set your mind to it. Oh, and have God’s backing. (I could NEVER have done what I have accomplished in the last seven months without Him!)


I’ll try to keep this long story short… after watching a webinar Chandler Bolt did and getting a free coaching call with someone from Self-Publishing School, I walked into my husband’s office to ask about money… I fully expected a “we can’t afford that!” instead I got “Who am I to stand in the way of what God has called you to?”


WHAT?!?!


I did it. I signed up and learned the ins and out of self-publishing. I published my first book by Swordgirl in October. And then a Christmas novella by Christmas (I was beginning to wonder if I’d have it done in time). WOW!


This year has been full on JOY and TRIUMPH!


But this year has also head an intense amount of stress and anxiety.
Honestly, I’ve never really struggled with anxiety. Of course, like most, I’ve had spouts of anxiety from time to time, but never would I have classified it as a struggle in my life. And I know it doesn’t come even close to what some of you experience from day to day. But the burning and tightness in my chest… I really wish it’d go away.


Whenever I feel it coming on I have to turn the music on and start worshiping. As my friend Mackenzie says, “Praise is the devil’s kryptonite!”


This year has also been marked with grief and regret.


I miss my grandmother. But what hurts the most, is that she’s not missing from my daily life. I wish I had made a point to connect with her more. We lived so far away, and that made it ‘easy’ to be distant. We had never been very close, but I didn’t do anything to change that. It struck me most poignantly when my cousin was telling me how she had taken my grandmother out for drinks. I wish that had been me. But my cousin lived near her, and I didn’t. That conversation made me realize how important it is for me to help my kids be close to my mom and dad. And that proximity really makes a difference.

Goodbye 2018 by Liz Bradford
My brothers and I with my grandmother


I’m glad that the last time I did see my grandmother I was able to tell her goodbye, knowing it was likely the last time I would see her. Although, I wish I had tried harder to see her again. I wish I could have made it happen. But I’m also glad that the last time I saw her she didn’t seem as sick as I know she was.

But she’s with Jesus in heaven! Praise the Lord.


What a year! Oh, and the year did include another trip to the ER and another dose of epi for my three year old. I loathe food allergies.


While 2018 held so much awesomeness, it held enough “yikes” for me to be done with it. Bring on 2019!!!


I am full of aspirations for 2019! Really, I may be crazy…

An Answer to Prayer? by Liz Bradford

An Answer to Prayer?

I woke up one morning a few months ago with an idea for a story. As it has happened before, I had a shadow of an idea from a dream I had. I went about my morning and watched our church service on my computer since someone was sick and we were staying home. I didn’t give a ton of thought to the story, yet.

 

As I listened to the sermon, I was challenged to pray a big prayer. A prayer bigger than I had ever dared to pray. I prayed it… and moved on with my day.

Read More

It's Over - Curriculum Breakup by Liz Bradford

It’s Over! Breaking Up with Curriculum

Dear Curriculum,

 

I’m not going to beat around the bush; this is exactly what it looks like, a dear John letter….

 

We had a good run. You looked so great with your glossy pages and beautiful pictures, but you just aren’t right for me. I always thought you were amazing. You have a solid Christian base, and you’re everything I always thought I wanted… however, it’s just not working.

 

It’s not you… it me. Or maybe it is you… Read More

Another Idea?!?!

It happened again… I thought I was pretty solid in my ideas and my plan for my books… but then I got a new idea… Really, another one?

 

After I wrote my first full book, Not Alone, I decided that it would be the first book in a series. Immediately I knew the series would be three books. I had three characters that needed their stories to be told. It took me a few years to get to writing the third book. I had a baby and my brain turns to mush when I’m pregnant, so writing took a backseat for a while. But when E was a little over a year old I was finally able to fully jump back in the saddle and start writing again (I had been doing some heavy duty editing of book one). But as I started flushing out what I was going to write in book three another idea came to me.

 

Where’d the idea come from?

 

Read More

Different Approach to Spelling by Liz Bradford

A Different Approach to Spelling

I will always remember the day. I was in fourth grade (one of the two years I wasn’t homeschooled and went to a private Christian school). It was Friday afternoon, and I sat back in my desk only half listening to the teacher. After all, it was the time every week when she passed out spelling tests. She always announced the grades of those who got a 100 or higher (bonus word were extra points), and then those kids would go up and get a piece of candy from the jar. Now, my name NEVER got called. I was lucky I wasn’t failing spelling. Seriously, I couldn’t spell to save my life. But that day… I had to do a double take Spelling You See Review by Liz Bradfordwhen she called my name off. A 103%??? How is that even possible!?! I jumped out my seat and bounded to the front of the classroom to get my test and a piece of candy. I got a piece of candy! I carefully selected a piece of gum (you know, those hard ones that come in the cheap bags of candy?). Well, I chewed that thing until my jaw hurt and then kept chewing. Even set it on the side of my plate during dinner and popped it back in. Didn’t throw it out until bed time. That piece of gum was precious to me. All because it proved I wasn’t a complete failure.

 

But I still hated spelling. I hated studying for a test. I hated trying to memorize a stupid list of words that I knew I was just going to forget anyway. Of course my only hope was to memorize them, because that was at least one thing that came more easily to me. Read More

My Story - Liz Bradford

Not What I Have For You – My Story

This is my story. A story I tell with the sole purpose of giving Glory to GOD. I pray that through my story He will touch hearts and help you know that He is good and works in our lives for our good and His glory.

College me in Paris

 

***

 

She walked into the student center with a spring in her step. The new semester was off to a good start, so the second half of her sophomore year held a lot of promise. She and a group of other students were headed to a camp for the weekend to lead worship for a group of high school students, and she was excited. Read More

Liz Bradford's Review of Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Cold Shot – April’s An Author’s Take

(No spoilers here! This is a review not a synopsis. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!  😉

Also, this post contains affiliate links. By clicking and purchasing you help support my family at no additional cost for you.

In last month’s post, I mentioned that when I start a good story I don’t stop. Well, that’s exactly what happened with Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey!

This book has been sitting on my kindle since last summer when I got a great deal on it. I’ve been wanting to read it but hadn’t made the time. Well, I finally made the time. And let me say, it was time well spent! Dani hooked me into the story quickly, and her characters compelled me to keep reading. I started it a few nights ago when I went to bed, but I was so tired that I feel asleep within two pages (I was so sad; I wanted to read!). But I picked it up easily the next day and finished within three days. Spent most of the day Sunday reading the second half. I couldn’t put it down.

 

You meet the whole cast of characters for the series (well, almost all) within the first chapters and fall in love with each one. Dani developed each character thoroughly enough that there was no confusing characters. She described each character to give you a clear picture of what they looked like, but also left enough space for you to picture them in your own head. I don’t like it when author’s give too much detail about a character’s appearance, but I also want to know what the author sees when they think of the character. Dani nailed it!

 

The story is told in third-person close (the point of view that uses she, he, etc., but keeps the narrator’s voice as what one character is thinking and feeling per scene). As many author’s in this genre (like myself), Dani uses multiple points of view. Most of the story is told from Finley or Griffin’s, the main characters, points of view, but some scenes are from Parker’s or Avery’s (they are the main characters in book two); as well is some scenes from the villain’s POV. I like her use of the villain’s point of view as it gives the reader an increased sense of urgency, revealing things the main characters have no way of knowing. She does so in a way that doesn’t give away the end, but makes you really curious. There were a few points where I was like, “Wait, what?” but, as I knew they would, the pieces all fit perfectly together once I knew more of the story. She wove it together perfectly.

 

Her style of story telling is very similar to my own. Her characters are real with genuine struggles and authentic faith. With enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat (without giving you a heart attack), enough mystery to keep your mind spinning trying to guess what’s going on (without confusing you), enough romance to warm your heart (without making you want to gag), Dani painted a beautiful story.

 

Dani Pettrey is now one of my FAVORITE authors! Thanks, Dani for a great story! I’ll be diving into book two tonight!

 

As of 4/4/18 the kindle edition of Cold Shot is only $.99!!! That’s a steal! Click here to pick it up!

Story Ideas

Where’d That Idea Come From?

Many people as writers, “Where do you get your story ideas?”

But some days I’m like, “How do you not have ideas?” 🙂Story Ideas - Liz Bradford

 

If I had time to write all my ideas I think I could fill an entire library!

 

Most of my ideas are inspired from something else.

 

Other stories work as a type of spring board for my ideas. I’ll watch a show or read a book and a little piece of a character or storyline will jump out at me, and I’ll follow it down a little bunny trail. Or I’ll see a news article, and the same thing happens. Sometimes the idea comes out of seemingly nowhere. Sometimes the story idea will even come out of a dream I have. I’ll play the scene or character out in my head and see where it takes me. If I find something worth pursuing, I’ll write the idea down. I use Evernote a lot for this since I can just turn on my phone and type up a new note. I also have a binder that holds all my ideas and notes until they can take on a life of their own, but I’m using Evernote more and more since it syncs with my computer, and I can just copy and paste into my writing program. Read More

An Author's Take by Liz Bradford

March: An Author’s Take

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking and purchasing you help support my family at no additional cost to you. Thanks!

Cicero said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” I’m inclined to agree. And what would a writer’s blog be if we didn’t talk about books! 😉

A room without books is like a body without a soul. – Cicero

I love books. I love the way they look. I love the way they smell. And mostly I love reading! I’ve never considered myself to be a voracious reader. But once I discovered reading could be fun when I was in fifth grade, I’m always looking for a new book to read. If only I had time to read all the books that I keep downloading on my kindle…

 

Read More

Trusting the Master Author by Liz Bradford

Trusting the Master Author

What’s your story?Trusting the Master Author by Liz Bradford

What are the events in your life that have brought you to where you are today?

And who is writing your story?

 

Are you trying to write your own story? The way you want it? Our culture tells us that this is what we should do. Write your own destiny. Be whoever you want to be. Become whatever you want.

This sounds great, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we shed the expectations of others and be our own person? Well, yes… but… Read More