Coffee Chats w/Amie (e.1)

*lights the scented candle in the middle of the table and sets a coffee mug in front of you*

Today we’re starting a series on this blog, and I’m calling them Coffee Chats with Amie, where I share my heart, and hopefully impact yours at the same time. Today the weather is awful, so I’m so glad you came anyway. There’s tea and hot cocoa in the back, in case you’re not a coffee drinker. So make yourself comfortable.

If you follow me on all social medias, you know I’ve been inactive a lot lately, and if that’s concerned you, thank you. No need to bother your little head over me, but I appreciate it more than you know. Life is a strange thing. Sometimes you feel the need for it to just stop, but you can’t make it. There’s nothing about life that you can grab and force. It’s just a whirlwind that keeps going, sucking your breath from you and forcing you to your knees.

Okay, okay, yes. That’s dramatic. I am an artist, after all. You have to expect some drama from me.

But truth be told, I’m struggling. And you might be, too. That’s what this blog has kinda become. A place where I want struggling people to find hope and someone relatable, hence this coffee chat. In this world of covid and unrest, it seems as if there’s no way to connect with people, especially when it was crazy hard even before all this stuff. So I’m taking a moment to write this, so we can connect. So we can chat in the comments about the topics in this blog post, so that you know you aren’t alone.

*sips coffee*

I honestly don’t know how to follow that up. 😂

I guess it just shows that life isn’t an essay. It doesn’t have an informative and intriguing introduction, it doesn’t always have a clear and full middle. And it almost never has a good conclusion. That’s why I write. Because I can control that. I ca give myself a lovely introduction, and my middle can be as full and as clear as I want.

And the conclusion?

I can write any thing I want.

Control is a strange thing. In a really good song by an amazing artist (yo, NF fans!), there’s a line that says “I wanted to control things and in the end that’s what controlled me.” Each human being on this planet is searching for some emblem of control. That’s why the teenage girl has an eating disorder. That’s why the almost twenty-year-old boy cut his hair and wants to dye it. That’s why the parent is being hyper critical, and there are so many other options.

But I guess control is ironic because liberty means freedom from control, and freedom means . . . being able to do whatever we want whoever we want. (i.e. in control). We can never feel freedom unless we have no one controlling us . . . yet we always want to control ourselves.

What a mind twister.

*sips coffee*

The world around me seems so silent as I write this. People are driving by the house, going on to do whatever is next planned on their Saturday afternoon. My keyboard clinks as I type, and I just know one thing.

We need Someone to control us.

I could ramble on and on about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the chat, but I don’t think I will. I hope you come next time to Coffee Chats with Amie.

~~Amie~~

Why?

I like reason. I like to know everything behind an idea, everything behind a request, and everything behind a rule. Backstories are my specialties, and as a child, my favorite word was a simple question. Why?

The problem for me with the word why started in church. According to my teachers as a child, you aren’t supposed to ask God why. You aren’t supposed to ask why God made giraffes giraffes, or why he decided to make the sun be daytime. You aren’t supposed to ask him why he put you in your family, or why he didn’t send someone besides his only son to die. You aren’t supposed to ask why, even when a family member dies, or someone hurts you so badly you doubt you’ll ever be the same again.

I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to ask why.

And in fact, I still don’t.

As Christians, for some reason we seem to have been conditioned for easy believism. As Americans, we’re taught to take things exactly as they are. It’s all for a test, so as long as you can spout out whatever the teacher was teaching you, you have no reason to understand the why behind the fact.

But we aren’t supposed to just settle for what’s handed to us.

 The Bible says, “Prove all things, hold fast to which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) We are supposed to ask WHY. Why do we believe the Bible? Why do we believe in God? Why does our faith make us act differently than the world around us? WHY?

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Job. I know, I know, a lot of people find it really depressing, but I personally don’t. Why? Because here is one book in the Bible where we see a conversation between God and a man who is suffering. And what does Job do?

He asks why?

And God answers him. Now, God doesn’t answer him with an easy answer, or even with an answer that you and I would want. God answers him, and God asks Job to trust. Because God is the God who hung the moon in the sky and created the great depth of ocean, and all of the things in-between. And maybe when you ask why, that will be your answer. 

I also love the minor prophets for the same reason. Here are small books that are often overlooked by the church today. Books filled with truth, filled with conversations God has with men like you and me. And these prophets as God why. In some of the books, they argue with God, they run from God, and yet. 

God doesn’t strike them dead. He doesn’t turn his back on them. He isn’t enraged that his chosen men are asking him why. 

Instead, he answers them. 

We should ask why. The Christian religion should be full of why’s. We should search for the answers, question the answers, and search some more. We should never settle for a “because.” Unless we know it’s something that just is. Like gravity.

What are some why’s that you are wondering about right now?

~~Amie~~

End of the Year

I had the idea to do some kind of cool end of the year wrap up, but instead I decided to just speak from my heart. I’m listening to Christmas, and the weather is frightful, but I still just have such this load of gratitude, so I thought I would share it with you guys.

This year was going to be my year to live. Ever since I was nine, I’ve looked forward to 2020, and the freedoms I thought it would bring me. *cue audience laughter* Well, obviously that didn’t happen.

But in a way, I did get freedom. I feel as though I was freed from society’s pressures, because I wasn’t in society. I was locked in my house, with nothing better to do than improve myself and find out who I am apart from what others expect from me. And I learned a lot.

2020 has been a hard year, and history books will record it, economic books will mention it, medical history will go down the rabbit hole of Covid, but we are the ones who lived through it. We won’t be in history books, our individual experiences with jobs won’t be related, and we won’t be the ones writing medical history.

But we have lived it.

And I think that we each will tell stories about it to our children and grandchildren.

But back to myself. 2019 was a terrible year, and I had a bad feeling about 2020. (Always trust your gut, folks.) However, 2020 wasn’t like 2019. I didn’t get to travel, I didn’t get to see friends. Instead I made more. I didn’t get to act, instead I became an author. I didn’t get to drive, instead I learned how to cope. I’m still learning, but I’ve come so far.

I wrote about reaching to the stars, and I’ve caught one. It’s beautiful, and it reminds me that it’s possible. It’s possible to do what you dream. It’s possible to be happy, to enjoy life, to drink coffee, to laugh over inside jokes. It’s possible to paint, to create, to be.

It’s possible.

Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy. And for me, that’s okay. I didn’t ask for easy, I asked for a challenge. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. That’s okay, I’ll learn while reading for it.

I don’t know what 2021 will hold. I really don’t have any huge plans or exciting events for it. I just know that whatever it throws, I’ll catch. Whatever it offers, I’ll be ready to explore, to grow, to understand.

I hope you are as well.

~~Amie~~

By the way, I want to hear from you guys. Comment down below your favorite blog posts from 2020, and how you want me to continue my blog in the future. ❤

Trusting the Wind

I’ve spent the last week looking through a lot of my blog posts from the past year. Which naturally led to me spending a lot of time thinking over the past year. And it’s been strange, because I’ve grown so much.

I found me, mostly because I wasn’t looking anymore.

In the past, I spent so much time dictating who I was. I would be this, I had to do this, I would become this, and if I didn’t fit what everyone expected or wanted from me, I wasn’t really being me, was I? Because me was the person who made everyone else happy.

This past year, I stopped telling myself who I was. I stopped telling myself that YOU ARE A WRITER. Or YOU ARE A GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRL. Or YOU ARE A MUSICIAN. Instead, I started asking and just learning.

Who did God make me to be? And how can I accept that?

Instead of denying my problems, I accepted them and tried to find solutions. Instead of denying my wants, I acknowledged them and then went about seeing if it was practical or okay to fulfill them. Instead of putting myself through purgatory, I looked after myself and let myself be.

I wrote this whole post two days ago, and it was around 900 words, but WordPress was sweet and decided not to save it, so I’m just going to write from my heart here, since my heart felt words for the intro were deleted.

I’m by no means perfect. This year didn’t bring about a perfect Amie who loves every last part of her messed up, crazy being. But it did bring about a girl who’s so proud. So proud of herself, because she put in the hard work. She spent time crying, she spent time trying, and guess what? It has payed off.

This year, I let myself be me. I let myself let people and things go. Not because they were “bad” for me, but because I can’t keep up with a million people, and that’s okay. I can’t be everything for everyone, and that’s okay. I’m not rejecting those people. God knows I didn’t mean to hurt them if I have, but I needed a moment to step back, to work on me.

Not in a selfish way. I hope they realize that, I hope they understand that in order for me to be a good friend, I had to step back and stop being an ever-present friend. In order to truly love them, I had to find a way to love myself.

And this year, in a weird and messed up way, when the world is a mess and full of injustice and pain and sorrow, I did.

Not because I’m awesome and spectacular, but because I realized something so simple, yet so profound. I realized that the Creator of this world, the Savior of all the amazing Christian people you hear about, knows me. Little, small, conceited, messed up, hurting Amie. He doesn’t just know me, he loves me with a love so powerful, so strong, so broad, I can’t comprehend it, but I know it.

Oh, goodness, do I know it.

I always knew God was love, but from a lot of the teaching I felt as if God just loved the universal church. Maybe he had a bit of personal love for those great and amazing pastors, like R.C. Sproul or Charles Spurgeon or some love for King David. God wouldn’t love me, a messed up kid who had so much hurt rolled into a suit of armor, right?

*laughs* I was wrong. In knowing God loves me, ME in the singular, it just . . . opened my world. No longer was religion a kind of Bible references and rules and “BE CAREFULS OR YOU’LL BE WICKED.” It was a relationship. It was about knowing God, and letting him know me, even though he already does.

I’ve not only let God know me this year. My mother, even though this has been a crazy hard year for her, has really pulled through. I’ve always felt protective of my mom, as if I have to shield her from the beast within me, from the person that could wound her sensitive soul. But this year, I’ve let her in, and instead of shying away from the hurt, the monster, like I thought she would, she hugged the monster.

My mom has probably seen some stuff with me that no mother would ever want their child to go through, but instead of saying, “I didn’t sign up for this, see you later!” She’s been there to hold my hand. She’s explored with me, intent on finding out more about me, so she can help me. So she can love me to the best of her ability.

My mom is my biggest supporter, and I love her to death.

This year, I learned to love life again. Sure, the news reports suck, but life is so rich. There is so much to see, so much left for me to do, if I just let myself dream. If I stop holding up the regulations and let myself fly, it’s surprising how much God puts into place.

That’s another thing I learned. Christianity isn’t about being a bird in a cage, it’s about being a bird who trusts the wind. God puts us on earth to fly, to make a difference, to worship Him, to experience his world, and to make him known while doing it. Which means we have to fly, while trusting the wind. We trust that the wind and our wings will keep us up.

This year has been full of so many lessons, and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for all of the amazing people who have been helping me through it. I’m so grateful for the people on the sidelines who have been watching and cheering me on during this race.

This year has been on crazy ride, but I’m not sorry it happened. This year hasn’t been full of happy, peaceful days of self reflection. In fact, over half of this year have been days where I’m in bed, or so depressed that it’s hard to function. But guess what? Each depressive spell has gotten a little bit shorter. Each dark thought has gone away a little bit quicker. We’re on a journey, and it’s getting better. It’s been a year full of hardships and learning, but I’m not sorry it happened.

I’m eager to see what happens in this last month, and to see where 2021 leads.

~~Amie~~

Announcement + Fifteen Sale! 🎉

I hope you’re finding amazing Black Friday sales in the midst of today through Monday. I know I’m staring at pairs of boots and wishing to see them appear on my feet at the moment. Also, so many books on sale. 🥺

But that’s besides the point. Today I have three things to tell you. Firstly . . .

WE HAVE FIFTEEN STOCKING STUFFERS!
I am so excited about these adorable little goodie bags. They include one (1) hand lettered card, one (1) vinyl sticker, one (1) scrunchie, one (1) Literary Treasure keychain of Fifteen, and lastly, one (1) handmade felt plush creature of your choosing.  We have twelve different scrunchie designs, and so many plush animals, so go take your pick! (I personal love the lace scrunchies and the unicorn plush)

I know a lot of you did get the pre-order goodies, but if you missed out on pre-order goodies, or you have Fifteen on your wishlist, or you are apart of a secret Santa, or even if you just want it for yourself, now you can get them! 

I’m so in love with these goodie bags, and I hope you are too! They’re $6.99 (though keep checking them. I hear from a little birdie there will be some flash sales in the future . . . ) and you can order them through the button below. On to the next announcement!

Now to the next announcement! 

☕️ Espresso Notes: your daily dose of mental caffeine ☕

Not many people know something about Fifteen. Each and every poem comes with a paragraph explaining my thoughts behind it in a (if I do say so myself) Pinterest worthy quote style. All throughout December, I’ll be sending you those quotes, and short letters from me, to encourage you through the last month of 2020.

I know 2020 has been hard for everyone, and so this is just one more pick me up through the holiday season. Each day you’ll get a free printable, and on December 31, you’ll have 31 printable that you can print out and hang along your wall, or put on your mirror to remind yourself of all the things you learned.

You’ll also get all of the news for flash sales on both the stocking stuffers and Fifteen, as well as being told about other fun events going on. You can sign up for your cup of espresso below.

Lastly, but not leastly, Fifteen is 99 cents on Kindle today through Monday, so go snag yourself a copy. I’d love to hear if you do, so reply to this email or DM me over Instagram. I would love to hear about your favorite poems, or what stood out to you.  ❤

Have an awesome day!

~~Amie~~

Checking In

For all of November, I’ve been struggling to balance all of my responsibilities. What is most important to me? Blogging? Writing 50k words? Keeping my own deadlines? Marketing my book? Doing Live events? Snuggling a baby? Sleeping?

Blogging keeps being put off, as I try to keep up my creativity. I write first, and then I plot, and then music, and then hold the baby, and the read for a bit, and then I need to do this and that and more and when I sit down at eight, there isn’t time to write a blog post, because I have more writing to do.

But today I didn’t have a piano lesson, so I’m here. And I thought that since I don’t have a plan for something deep, I’d just share what I’ve been loving lately, and maybe we can fangirl or something.

Books

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – I’m in love. Absolute, total love. I cannot fangirl enough over this series, because it is AMAZING.

The Splintered Series by A.G.Howard – lsdkjfalskdjfksjdkfjskfjsdkf words cannot begin to explain how much I love this book series. I am totally not book crushing over Morpheus. XD Totally.

In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord – A beautiful and eye opening book about a woman who gave up her life of comfort and safety in America to serve people in Afghanistan.

YouTube channels

Liza Koshy – Who DOESN’T love Liza? I’ve been binge watch her old videos.

Coffee drinks

Honestly, I don’t have recipes, but if it has caffeine, and if it has chocolate, and if it has coconut milk or almond milk, I’m drinking it. XD I made a spectacular mocha and ahhhh. YUM.

Clothes

Anything warm. Period. So sweaters, jeans, sweatpants, hoodies. Anything warm. XD

Things to do

Make a fire – I’m low key obsessed. It’s been the perfect weather, and so I’ve been making a fire and then writing beside it.

Stretching – Do I even need to explain? Super relaxing and I just feel so free once I do it.

Baby snuggles – It’s the best thing, believe me.

On my IG (which you can find here) I will be hosting sprints four times this week. Tomorrow at 1-3 EST, Wednesday from 6-8 EST, Friday from 6-8 EST, and Saturday from 1-3 EST, so if you’re free any of those times, drop in and spend time working on your NaNo project with me.

Also, on Friday I will 1. be starting vlogmas again! (My YouTube is here) and I will be 2. releasing some extremely exciting news. *bounces* So keep your eyes open for that.

I hope to get back to a more consistent blogging schedule soon. 🙂 Drop comments on your NaNo project, what you’ve been enjoying, and what’s on your Christmas wishlist. I would love to know. ❤

~~Amie~~

Tips to Focus

It’s really easy to push things off. In fact, I’m the worst at focusing and the best at procrastinating. In fact, it took me a year to finally clean my keyboard, and I only did that because I was trying to come up with reasons to procrastinate on writing. I’ve found that procrastination is a gift generously bestowed to most teenagers, which isn’t something we should hold onto.

NaNoWriMo is a day away, and in honor of that, I have 5 tips that help me focus and push away procrastination. Let’s aim to win NaNo, and have a productive November.

(Note: I am not an expert, and everyone is different. Find what works for you and stick to it! You ultimately know what is best for yourself.)

1. Write your expectations for the day

And be reasonable.

I’m really good at believing myself to be superwoman. I can do a million things and work all night without batting an eye, right? A regular sleep schedule? HAH. Eating? Why is it necessary?

But I’ve found that I need to sleep, eat, and schedule. Your expectations feed into your priorities. What is more important to you, working on some art or writing a book? Music practice or book reading? I personally try to have three overarching goals, and then fill in with things you know you have to do. When you have expectations, especially if keep them doable, it’ll shape your whole day and set you on track for slaying it.

2. Wake up and exercise

This might be a walk, this might be stretching, this might be a full on HIIT thirty minute routine, it’s totally up to you and your day. As someone who’s constantly jittery, I find that if I expel some of that energy even before it kicks in (The only time I’m not jittery is in the morning, when I actually need to get up. Go figure. 🙄😂) It also puts your mind into a work space, instead of a relaxation, do nothing space.

If that makes sense.

It probably doesn’t. Regardless, waking up and exercising helps your brain realize that you plan to get things done.

3. Fidget toys

I live for fidget toys. When I was younger, I actually hated them, mostly because the ones that I had available didn’t agree with me. They either made noisy clicks, or were the wrong texture, or they were fidget spinners. Fidget spinners and yours truly are not friends.

But in the past month or so, I’ve found some fidget toys that work for me. I love stress balls, but I’ve always popped my stress balls in the past. (It was kinda satisfying, like popping a huge, gross, unattached pimple.) But, I finally found a stress ball that I cannot pop. Isoflex has amazing, unscented stress balls that are filled with moon sand instead of liquid. They’re amazing.

Stress toys are an awesome way to help you focus.

4. Take breaks

Might seem slightly counter intuitive, but I know that when I give myself slots of time to just rest, I often work a lot harder. I find that I love racing. When I find that I have thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, or even five minutes until break time, I’ll push myself harder, to see if I can beat my record from last time.

Sometimes taking breaks doesn’t work for people, because they need to stay in the work mindset instead of flipping back and forth. That’s okay, if it doesn’t work for you, find what does.

5. Figure out your most productive time

Some people scoff at being morning person or night owl, and other people say you can train yourself to be either or, or even both. I’m not here to agree or disagree with them, but I know for me personally, I’m a night owl, but if I don’t want to get distracted, I need to do it in the morning.

I know that if I do something in the morning, my brain is programmed to do it again at night. Not sure how it works like that, but it does. And if I want to do something creative, I need to do it at night. (Unless it’s a huge project like painting.)

Figure out when you’re most productive. You might be better at math in the morning, and better at music late in the evening. There’s no set procedure for every person, it just takes a willingness to explore.

What tips do you think will be most helpful? Do you enjoy fidget toys?

~~Amie~~

Fifteen Giveaway Winner

Hello, ladies, gents, and otherwise unidentified objects.

I’m dropping in quickly to let you know 1. the giveaway winner. 2. About the scavenger hunt. and 3. randomness.

If any of you were at the launch party, thank you so much for coming! I hope you enjoyed it and were entertained by the various games, poems, and fangirling that happened. I honestly haven’t done something that fun since the pandemic shut everything down, so thank you. Thank you all for being there, for helping bring about Fifteen and for the fun moments in-between.

The giveaway winner has been chosen, and I’m so glad to announce that Eliana D. is the winner! I’ll be contacting you, Eliana, as soon as I post this. I can’t wait for you to receive all of your lovely goodies.

So far, one person has completed the scavenger hunt, but they didn’t get the sentence correct. So, if any of you have a free thirty minutes, you can run through all of the blog tour stops, searching for the words. (*whispers* Just look for italicized words. Or some people give you the word at the very end of the post.)

October 10th 

Amie @ https://amieanne.blog – intro post

October 11th 

Kyra @ https://potatoesarebeautifultoo.home.blog – Review

Olivia @ https://oliviaspenn.wordpress.com – Review 

October 13th 

Malaya @ https://lifewithmalaya.blogspot.com/ – Interview

Hailey @ https://haileyhuntington.com/blog-feed/ – Interview

October 14th 

Ryan Elizabeth @ https://ryanelizabethwrites.com – Interview

Liesl @ https://lieslbrunnerauthor.wordpress.com/ – Interview

October 15th 

Carolyn @ https://wordsthatspeak1914.weebly.com/blog/the-lord-reigns – Review

Esmeralda @ https://latteswithliterature.wordpress.com – Spotlight

October 16th – 

Faith @ http://faithpeavey.com – Interview

Bella @ https://bellaputt.com/ – Review 

October 17th 

Maya @ https://mayajt.wordpress.com – Review

Sarah @ (UNKNOWN) – Interview

Breanne @ (writingflyingfree.com) – Interview

Marie @ https://writingincolor632931833.wordpress.com – Spotlight

Fe @ (UNKNOWN) – Reveiw

October 18th 

Emeline @ https://kawaiivillage12.wixsite.com/quillofhope – Interview

October 19th 

Coralie @ https://gracebought.wordpress.com/ – review

October 20th 

Juliet @ https://songsofjoyjuliet.blogspot.com – Spotlight

October 21st 

Hannah @ http://www.precariousbookstacks.com/ – Interview

Kaelyn @ https://kaelynslife.wordpress.com – Interview 

October 22nd 

Abigail @ https://readreviewrejoice.com/ – Interview

October 23rd

Amie @ https://amieanne.blog – wrap up post

LASTLY

This week I’m going to be working on putting my life back in order. (Scheduling, yay!) So, hopefully in the upcoming weeks you’ll have some higher quality posts. HOWEVER, I want to you what YOU want to hear about. So if you have any post ideas, drop them in the comments below, or questions that you would like a whole post about, just comment.

I shall certainly try to do what you suggest.

~~Amie~~

LAUNCH DAY: Fifteen

Today is launch day. I don’t really have much words. The book . . . my book is out. And since I don’t have words, I’ve decided to share the note that is in the back of Fifteen, the note to every reader of Fifteen and my blog. The note from the author.

“If this book were about me, and just about me, the book you’re reading wouldn’t be in your hand. In fact, if it were about me and just about me, I might not be sitting here typing out this note to you, my beautiful reader. If it were about me, and just about me, I would probably have given up years ago, given up on everything.

But praise the Lord, it’s not about me, and it’s not just me. 

God calls us to do hard things for Him. His first call was to give myself to Him, and years later, it was a call to keep living when everything else inside me asked to die. And this year? One of the calls was to publish a poetry book of the lessons that He has taught me. A book to help other teens dealing with mental health issues. 

This book isn’t just about mental health issues. It’s not just about broken, bleeding hearts and hope. It’s about one simple word. Love

Love is what has kept me alive. At first, it was love for my parents, knowing that I couldn’t hurt them. Then it became love for Christ, love for myself, and over time, it has overflowed and become love for you. For other teens like me. For the hurting. 

But if it were about me and just me, I wouldn’t have that love. The only reason I have love for you, love for my parents, love for myself is because Jesus Christ first loved me. Sounds kinda strange, right? But it’s true. And once you realize that and let that love wash over you, fill you, and overflow through you, you’ll understand. You’ll understand why I wrote this book, why I’m still alive, and ultimately why you should live, too.  Because it’s all about His love.”

The scavenger hunt has been going on, but on the 12th there wasn’t a post, so I suppose you might not be able to find the word. Thankfully, I don’t require for you to go without a word. That would be simply rude, wouldn’t it?

I will say that I personally went through all the posts and was able to find the words, so I know you can do it as well. Once you have the sentence all written out, fill out this form. (And hurry! The first one who does it AND gets it right wins.)

There’s still time to enter the giveaway, and if you order Fifteen today, it’ll still count as pre-ordering, if you want to enter the giveaway. So please do! You can enter here.

Lastly, join me, Kara Swanson, Ashley Townsend, and Rebekah Black as we celebrate Fifteen’s launch with a party! It’ll be a LIVE on my IG, from 8-10pm EST. I would love to see all you there.

If you want to order Fifteen, push the button and it’ll take you to Amazon. Unfortunately the paperback is having problems, so the button is for order ebook. If you’d like to order a paperback, hit the other button to go to Etsy, where you can “pre-order” it.

Thank you all so much for your love and support, and for following me along this journey. ❤ I hope you have a beautiful day and a wonderful night.

~~Amie~~