In Which We Address Cinnamon Rolls and Pumpkin Spice

One of the most exhausting things for me is the ups and downs of my mental health. How one week I can be totally exhausted with no motivation, no desire to eat, no desire to clean, no desire to do anything and little to no creative inspiration, while the next week I can be bouncing off the walls and destroying stress balls.

And somedays, like today, I have no idea what I’m going to be blogging about. 😂 For awhile, I had a beautiful blogging schedule, but since . . . well, the pandemic, I haven’t had one, and I haven’t take the time or mental energy to plan one. I think that’s okay.

It’s okay to sometimes not be scheduled, to sometimes not do everything you feel like you need to do. Sometimes it’s okay to just play with your dog or pace the house.

But this week has been a productive week, and so I’m celebrating. XD I’m celebrating because I haven’t felt like crap, I’ve been able to appreciate the little things, like the dimple in my sister’s smile and the puns I can make out of things people say. (I had to stop myself in one instance, though, when I wanted to make a joke about getting to the root of the matter, because the puns were already running too deep. 😂)

On Tuesday I made cinnamon rolls with yeast, and they were amazing. I love cinnamon rolls almost as much as I love my dog, and since I don’t eat gluten, I don’t get them enough. But I’ve been in a baking kick recently, and so I’ve made them twice, once without yeast and once with yeast.

On Thursday, I decided that I needed a pumpkin spice latte. The problem is that I think pumpkin spice is the most disgusting thing on the planet. However, I reasoned with myself that if I made it at home, perhaps it wouldn’t taste as much as vomit as it does when you get it from a well known coffee chain.

But I had one problem. We had no pumpkin purée.

Now, normal people don’t even THINK about making homemade pumpkin spice latte. Slightly abnormal people would give up when they realized that they were out of pumpkin purée. But Amie? Why Amie doesn’t give up once she has an idea in her head, and so I used decorative pumpkins, made my own purée and made the most delicious pumpkin spice latte I have ever tasted.

Yes, it was worth the extra hour and a half. 😂

You all want an update on Fifteen? Well, I suppose I must grant you your request. All the pre-order goodies are in, and I’m LIVING for them. I mean, how can you get any cuter? I’m such a sucker for any kind of pre-order goodie, so as soon as I knew I was publishing Fifteen, I knew I had to do pre-order goodies.

So I obviously want you to get them, because what’s the fun of keeping them all for myself? If you pre-order the paperback here and take a picture of your receipt, and then fill out this form here, you’ll get your own pre-order goodies. *bounces all around*

Yes, I am low-key obsessed my own goodies. 😂

Now, there’s another announcement about Fifteen that’s coming up, but I’m going to be telling it to my email list first. If you haven’t joined the Newsies, goodness! You’re missing out! My email list gets the first news about my activities, and sometimes, when I’m in a good mood, they get my random ramblings and my favorite things.

I only send out emails . . . once-two times a month, if even then. I’m slightly sporadic, but you know. Work on one thing at a time. If you’d like to sign up for that, you can do it here.

(Go do that before I send out the next email, because guysssssss. It’s going to be full of fun stuff, and I’m so super excited to write it.)

So, all of you followers are looking at me, wondering what on earth this blog post is. I’m wondering the same thing. It think it’s a lot of things. 😂 And it’s definitely not professional in the least, but give me a break. I need a break, or I might break and that would be definitely something.

What is your favorite season? Winter is coming fast and I am SO glad. Please, I need more sweatshirts and comfy pants and beanies. And boots. Though I wear boots year round because I’m a rebel. *salutes.

Ugh, I’m getting off topic again. Welcome to my brain. Are you excited for Fifteen? What is your favorite fruit? Pumpkin spice, is it everything nice or has it come to ruin your tastebuds?

~~Amie~~

Don’t Let it Get to Your Head

“Don’t let it get to your head, don’t let it get to your head.”

But how?

The words surround you, even after you release them all with a puff, the smoke that slipped out hovers above you. You’re unable to drown it out.

So many things to be thankful for, so many things that should blot it out. But you feel like you’ve made another mistake and the voices again have grown too loud.

Maybe those who protect me are wrong. Maybe the other people are right. Maybe I was immature, maybe I did read into it too much, I probably am being dramatic. I probably should just shut up, sink away, let them win again because this is just way too much for me today.

It’s not my fault? What do you mean? They’re all saying I picked a fight, don’t you see? Shush the voices in my mind, shush everything I’ve been told for a time. Even if all was silent and I was floating above, I would be pulled back down by this weight that at my heart tugs.

Don’t blame yourself, it isn’t your fault. Don’t let the hate keep you from moving along. But how can we do that when all along, we’ve been told to be silent and avoid what is wrong?

How do we stand when our knees are weak? How do we keep moving when all we want to do is weep? Paper cuts mar the most tender heart, tears are what it bleeds among its millions of scars. How can we continue moving when there seems no end of the pain that creates a hurricane within?

Forcing a smile and saying okay, though, in a way, I really am okay. I might be hurting by the words that stung my heart, I might be taking a moment to keep from falling apart, but I’m okay. Because I know.

I know that God will use my message in spite of my fear, my hurt, my pain. I know I serve a God who has created all things. I know that even though I didn’t want to go on this ride, God will be there protecting, comforting, pushing, always on my side.

“Though troubles assail me, and dangers afright. Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite, yet one thing secures us whatever betide: the scripture assures us ‘the Lord will provide.”‘

He will provide in the darkest hour or the most joy filled day. His provision might not give you a butterfly and rainbows type of life, but you will still see his fingerprints on every part of your life. Pain might stun you for hours on end, but He’s always there to pick you up and help you begin again.

Some people may seem to have the perfect life, but everyone has secrets they would prefer to hide. Faith doesn’t stop you from having pain, suffering, and doubt. But holding onto God’s precious promises keeps us from giving up and falling out.

Someday this journey will be over. Someday, our messages and our moments will be through. Someday we’ll get to heaven and have to hand over the talents that are due. Did words stop you from using yours? Did people discourage you from investing the talents that weren’t yours, only lent for you to use?

Take a deep breath and begin again today. So that at the end of the journey we can all sing and say,

“When life sinks apace and death is in view, the word of his grace shall comfort us through; not fearing or doubting, with Christ on our side, we hope to die shouting, ‘Our God will provide!”‘

~~Amie~~

(quotations from John Newton’s hymn, Though Troubles Assail Us.)

Fifteen: Cover Reveal Recap

Tuesday was a day, y’all, let me tell you. My dad asks me every week what my highlight of the week was, and I usually answer that I didn’t have one. Well, this week I did.

Tuesday was the cover reveal for my book, Fifteen, and I couldn’t be happier for how it turned out. I’ll be honest, it was kinda surreal until that moment, scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing all the posts that held my book. Very humbling and encouraging.

Because of all the amazing people, I wanted to take a moment and just share their posts and allow you to smile at the beautiful pictures, because oh. My. GOODNESS were some of the pictures lovely.

Guys. *sniffles* Can we just take a moment to explain that Hailey is an amazingly sweet human who has been really supportive of my writing since I met her? I’m so excited about her own writing journey, and if you’re looking for upcoming writers to follow, definitely go give Hailey a follow.

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Cover reveal!!! I’ve always loved poetry that portrays the truths of human struggles and fears, and that is just what @writingamieanne does in her poetry collection “Fifteen” which is available for pre-order now! “Fifteen” is a poetry book about struggles with mental illness. Amie’s poems are gorgeous, touching, and true. I cannot wait to dive all the way into Amie’s beautiful book, #fifteenpoetry! P.S. If you preorder a paperback copy of “Fifteen” Amie has some bookish goodies awaiting you. 😉 Check out the link in her bio for more information on pre-orders, or message me! Blurb: You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.

A post shared by Cerra Cathryn ♥︎ Bookstagram (@windinthewildflowers) on

Cerra is another supportive, amazing human, and she has a BEAUTIFUL bookstagram account. She’s working on this awesome story, so I would follow her if you want updates on it. 😉

If you know of me on this small blogosphere and don’t know about Kellyn Roth . . . I don’t know what to say to you. 😂 Kellyn was one of the first bloggers I started following, and I’m so honored to have her supporting my journey. ❤️

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✨ F I F T E E N ✨ . I'm a day late but I couldn't not share about this beautiful book coming soon! Fifteen is @writingamieanne first book, and is a collection of poetry about finding joy, mental health, and a faith filled journey! Here's the official blurb. . ✨ YOU'RE NOT ALONE ✨ . "You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain." . ✨ . Okay, does that not sound amazing? And that cover! When Amie showed me a glimpse of it I was floored and instantly fell in love! I'm obsessed with the cover and went and pre-ordered myself a paperback copy cause I NEED it on my shelf! And, of course, I'm excited to read the book itself, which sounds just as a beautiful inside as the outside! ✨ Fifteen releases in October and you can pre-order an ebook or paperback copy now! ✨ Link in my bio! ✨ Amie is also offering some lovely swag items if you purchase a paperback, so definitely check that out as well! All the info will be in the link in my bio! ✨ Congratulations, @writingamieanne! I'm so excited for you and #FifteenPoetry! . ✨ . #fifteen #amieanne #amiewoleslagle #newrelease #coverreveal #coverlove #bookcover #poetrycommunity #poetryofinstagram #poetrylovers #poem #poet #poetsofinstagram #poetrycommunity #writersofinstagram #poems #writer #poetsofig #wordporn #writing #spilledink #writersofig #words

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Sarah Grace Grzy has been mentioned before on my blog, and we all agree she’s a queen of Instagram, don’t we? I was touched that she took time out of her busy day to post about my book.

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Hey everyone! Won’t you join me in admiring this beautiful cover of FIFTEEN? That’s right! Today is the cover reveal for @writingamieanne poetry book! 🌹 FIFTEEN is available for pre-order for e-book and paperback (through Etsy). The link is in the author’s bio. 🌹 Also, there are pre-order goodies for those who pre-order a paperback of FIFTEEN. Who doesn’t like extra goodies? These include: an extra poem, a hand painted, hand lettered card with a poem from the book, a FIFTEEN related vinyl sticker, and a keychain of the book by @literarytreasuresco 🌹 All you need to do is take a screen shot of your pre-order receipt for the paperback, and send it to the form which is also in the author’s bio. 🌹 Here’s the blurb: . You’re not alone. You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain. . Isn’t that beautiful? Why don’t you visit Amie and give her some love today! 😄 🌹 Cover by @graphics_by_gracie 🌹 #fifteenpoetry 🌹 #coverreveal #cover #poetry #poetrybooks #poetrybook #poetrycommunity #bookstagram #bookcommunity #mentalillness #poetryofinstagram #poetrylovers #poetryporn #poetrygram #booklover #books #poetrybooks #poetryisnotdead #poetryislife #bookcoverdesign #bookcoverreveal #bookcover #bookcoverart #reveal #poetryauthors #poetrylove

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Hope! Another amazing writer I know. I’m so thankful that she joined the tour. ❤

Can I just say that basically all of my favorite bookstagrammers helped me out on Tuesday? I was so thrilled to see this post on one of my favorite Instagram feeds.

*takes a deep breath* Okay, this Instagram post did make me shed a tear. Kara is one of my favorite authors and she’s also my writing mentor, so to see this post . . . Yeah, you can imagine how wonderful it was.

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So today has been pretty magical… aside from six hours of health and safety training. 🤦‍♀️ That was only magical when I transformed into Harry Potter for a while. I digress. BUT… getting to see my little book baby along side some of my favourite authors in an epic giveaway was surreal?! 😭*cue happy bawling* Without the help and support of stunning author friends (can I call you friends even though Covid keeps me away from hug-tacking you?), I never would have even made it to publication. So it’s time to give back! . . My lovely cohost @rablackauthor.co (who has a fancy new profile pic name?! What?) introduced me to this lovely young poet named @writingamieanne who happens to have a stunning cover that was revealed today. Magical all around!! Like really?? Could this be any more bookstagramable?! Congrats Amie! Can’t wait to see what’s coming down the literary pipe for you! . . Here is her beautiful summary: . . You’re not alone. You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain. . . . #coverreveal #fifeteen #poetry #youngwriters #yaauthor #yabookstagram #debutbook #ireadya

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I was honored to take place in Tara’s book release in May (? Correct me if I’m wrong on the month, Tara. 😂 All the Quarantine months are running together.) and it was such an honor to see this beautiful post. ❤

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✨ IT'S COVER REVEAL DAY FOR @writingamieanne!!! (SWIPE TO SEE A GORG COVER!!) ✨ Today is highly emotional for me because I am just so DANG PROUD OF THIS GIRL! She's one of my writing mentee's and seeing her come so far has been–a breathtaking journey that she walks with such grace and poise. 😍 ✨ I had the honor of reading an ARC of her upcoming poetry book, "FIFTEEN" and can I just say that it's just as pretty inside as the cover? Because it is! I mean, look at that cover y'all!! STUNNING! One of my top favorite covers! 🤩 One thing you may not know about me is that I have written over 400 pages of poety and post them on my tumblr (link in the bio!), but I also happen to be very picky about what type of poetry I like—and FIFTEEN checked all the boxes! ✨ Amie's poetry is as heartwrenching as it is beautiful and authentic! Amie writes from a raw and vulnerable place as she explores the world of mental health through her prose. I cried, felt heard, and seen reading her words and gosh, Amie, you make this author proud. 💜 ✨ FIFTEEN drops October 2020 and Amie just happens to be one of our guests appearing on @the_hope_prose_podcast this fall! 😱 So look forward to that and follow her and the official podcast instagram for more details! In the mean time, here's a little blurb to tease your palete until FIFTEEN's release! ✨ Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self-acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain. ✨ Proud of you Amie and for those of you wanting to pre-order, there is a link in my bio and if you do, you are eligble for PRE-ORDER GOODIES!! 😱 PROUD OF YOU AMIE!! 😭 #positivity #empowerment #anxiety ##asethetic #authorsofinsta #mentalhealthblog #selfcareisalwaysagoodthing #healingyourself #healingwords #authorpreneur #inspire #quotes

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*happiness* I get to talk about the amazing Rebekah. In January of this year (I think, again with the month thing. XD It feels like 2020 has been two years instead of one.) Rebekah was super kinda and gave me some mentoring on the publishing world, agents, and writing in general. I’m so thankful for her and her super sweet spirit. ❤

Here’s another blogging queen who also knows her stuff about Instagram. It was such an honor to be included with back to Hogwarts day celebration!

A beautiful picture done by a beautiful bookstagrammer. I was so happy to have Kate help with the cover reveal. She has a lovely bookstagram page with lots of awesome recommendations.

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Have you ever struggled with anxiety, depression, or mental health? 🌻 I am so very excited to join in the #coverreveal for Fifteen! 😍 🌻 This beautiful poetry collection by @writingamieanne touched me, and I’m so excited for it to be releasing to the world. Also, the cover is absolutely gorgeous! 🌻 Here’s a quick blurb for you: You’re not alone. You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain. 🌻 Doesn’t that sound just lovely? A couple years ago, I went through a really rough spot. I suffered insomnia almost every night, and during the day I was weighed down with anxiety and depression. It was crippling. When I read one of the poems from Fifteen, it described so perfectly the feelings I had. It was inspiring and encouraging, and I’m so excited to see this release and reach out to everyone else who struggles with anxiety, depression, and mental health. 🌻 Psst! Fifteen is available for e-book and paperback pre-order now, and Amie is offering some incredible pre-order goodies, so go ahead and click over to get your copy (all links are in my bio).

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This girl has an aesthetic going, and I hope she never stops. When I stumbled upon Caroline’s bookstagram, I knew I had found a likeminded book reader, and I was so excited when she agreed to help me with the cover reveal.

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Behold, a cover has been unmasked! Fifteen by @writingamieanne will be released in October, and I swear, have you ever seen anything so dang beautiful? I really just want to sit and stroke the cover and flip through all the pages and stare at the pretty art like an overzealous five-year-old. Look, a blurb: • “You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.” • IT HAS POETRY! IT HAS COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS! IT HAS DEEP PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL MUSINGS THAT TOUCH THE VERY SOUL OF BEAUTY! Fifteen is available for preorder in e-book and soft-cover, plus, if you submit your preorder receipt to a special form, you’ll receive special preorder goodies. (‘Cause that’s what the cool kids do these days.) Go check out the links in @writingamieanne ‘s bio, you fabulous humans. • #coverreveal #fifteen #pwettypictuwes #pwettypoetwy #pwettycovew

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Sarah Baran is another amazing blogger turned into an epic Instagrammer. I mean, LOOK AT THE PICTURE.

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✨COVER REVEAL✨ . I’m so excited to help reveal the beautiful cover for FIFTEEN by @writingamieanne . ✨ABOUT✨ . You’re not alone. ⁣ You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain. . #bookblogger #bookphotography #ilovebooks #igreads #bookaholic #goodreads #bookishfeatures #booksofinstagram #booknerdigans #bookstagramfeature #booklove #bookgeek #booklover #booknerd #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #instabook #bookstagrammer #bookaddict #bookish #mybookfeatures #IreadYA #ilovebooks #coverreveal

A post shared by Alea Harper ~ YA Author (@alea_harper) on

Another beautiful post! I love the soft pink of the background. ❤️ Alea is a talented book cover designer in her own right, and I was so honored to see my book on her feed.

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Hey guys! Today I have something super special to share…my friend @writingamieanne is releasing her poetry collection, FIFTEEN! And I get to share the gorgeous cover. Swipe to see it! Here is the blurb for FIFTEEN: ✨ You’re not alone.  You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.  ✨ Doesn't that sound amazing? Here are the pre-order links! Paperback: https://www.etsy.com/listing/848898366/fifteen-a-compilation-of-poems-preorder?ref=shop_home_active_1 Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Fifteen-compilation-poems-Amie-Woleslagle-ebook/dp/B08GP5ZC9D/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=fifteen+amie+woleslagle&qid=1598891714&sr=8-1 And if you pre-order, you get some special goodies…🤩 Here's the link to that form! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSenLfX2Nfb3veRryRdQRydtoSbFcu4kol_EeJvU9tPoXC6Oow/viewform?usp=sf_link

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Ryan is another super sweet writer friend who was kind enough to feature me on her Instagram. It was honestly so amazing to see all the amazing people who mentioned me on their stories and posts.

I was so honored to be spotlighted on Anna’s instagram. She does some amazing blackout poetry on her page, so you should totally check it out.

*is so honored by this post*

I wish I had all the stories from Tuesday, but I only took a screen shot of one, because I as fangirling so hard. (Nadine Brandes, Shannon Dittemoore, and Ashley Townsend all had very beautiful stories as well, and those are the ones I really wish I had pictures of.)

It was such an unbelievable day. People also wrote some blog posts about the cover reveal.

Maya at Maya Joelle did a beautiful post here.

Carolyn at Words that Speak interview me and posted about the cover reveal here.

Kaelyn at Kaelyn’s life has enthusiasm that I definitely need. XD I loved her beautiful post that you can read here.

I was honored to have Jana at Reviews from the Stacks join the tour. You can read her post here.

My sweet friend, Juliet Artman, wrote this very sweet email to her email list, which you can join here.

I have truly been blown away by how much you guys have done to support me in the journey. I never dreamed that the cover reveal day would have so many participants, or that in the days that I followed my little book would be ranking #2 (for a short time, lol) in Young Adult Poetry eBooks, or that it would be ranking #1 in Christian poetry.

I never wanted to release my poems to the world, but God often calls us to do things we don’t want to do. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

That basically sums up my feelings about Fifteen.

If you want to pre-order the ebook, you can do so by going here or if you would prefer to pre-order a paperback, you can go here.

IF you pre-order a paperback, you can get pre-order goodies here. And let me tell you, the pre-order goodies are stinking adorable, in my personal opinion. So you don’t want to miss out on those. (Plus, you get an extra poem that’s not in the book with the pre-order goodies!)

Again, thank you guys so much for being here through thick and thin. I definitely wouldn’t be here without my little blog that started out as Crazy A. 😉

~~Amie~~

What Do You Want To Fix? (Three Ways to Become a Better Person)

“What do you want to fix about yourself?”

“Um. Everything.”

When we look at ourselves, we see so many flaws. Too thin, too large, too many bones, too many stretch marks, too morbid, too happy, too giggly, too quiet, too flirty, too standoffish, too nerdy, too stupid, too opinionated, too indecisive . . . the list continues to build as you stare at yourself, trying to figure out what to fix.

If you struggle with an illness, mental or physical, the list seems longer. Too tired, too sad, too confused, in too much pain, too broken.

It’s overwhelming to choose just one thing to fix, to choose one thing to be thankful for because there are so many things that needs to change. How do we change ourselves and at the same time, be grateful for who we are?

Understand your Strengths

I’m sure most of us struggle with this. I don’t see myself as gifted, or unusual, or strong in any way. It’s hard for me to see any quality inside myself as a strength, especially when you realize that the thing you were probably rebuked about the most as a child can be your greatest strength.

I was a stubborn kid. Like, really really stubborn. When I was five, my mom and I would argue for half an hour over my outfit, and the argument usually ended with my mom backing down. (Since then, my mom has learned to let her daughters explore fashion and figure out who they are by themselves. She says you got to pick your battles, and outfits aren’t worth the battle.) If I decide to do something, I’m going to do it, come what may. But it goes the opposite way, too. If I decide I’m not doing something, I’m not doing it. (Which still at times can get me in trouble.)

We all have strengths that can be translated into annoying or troublesome facts about yourself. For instance, I’m also really distractible. Conversations aren’t my forte, because I’m going five million places in five minutes, and I’ve already found the answer to my question and moved on to a totally different topic by the time you’ve caught up with me. Some people would find this annoying, and at times it really is. I have to work twice as hard to learn from a teacher or to listen to podcasts or sermons. But it’s also a strength because I’m able to more in a day than most people, and I’m positive it helps me with my creative and random ideas.

Identify what you want to become.

We can identify bad habits and weaknesses all day long, tearing us down until we don’t want to do anything because we’re such terrible people. How can we become anyone or anything? But instead of identifying bad habits, we need to identify the person we want to become.

What do I mean by that? It’s easy to list reasons why we can’t become who we want to become, easy to say that we are us, and that’s it. But if we want to become more like Christ, if we want to become a healthy person, if we want to be an actor, a writer, a musician, a dancer, an author, fill in the blank, we need to identify that, and act on it. Once we know, “I want to be a mentally stable person.” Or “I want to be more like Christ,” we can figure out what to fix.

The steps to becoming something or someone is slow and steady work, but it’s not impossible.

Create a path, and don’t give up.

I love lists. Lists, lists, and more lists. I have notebooks full of lists, I have lists on my computer, I have lists beside my bed. When I journal, I journal in lists. Why do I love lists so much? Because for my brain, they don’t overwhelm me. I can take all my fears, all that I know and everything that’s floating around in my head, and spit it out in a list.

A list helps me take baby steps to success and quenches the overwhelming thoughts and anxiety that keep me from taking action. But the hardest thing is sticking to the list. Because it gets boring, and missing one day can’t hurt, can it? And then you miss two days and you get discouraged, wondering if you should continue working on this.

Don’t give up. Maybe you’ll end up taking a week off. Just start back where you started, and continue working towards your final goal. Lists are there to stay, and keep you on track, even if you fall behind schedule, or struggle to stay on track.

~~Amie~~

EDIT: The new WordPress design is not being very friendly for me at the moment, and so you’re blessed with an early post. 😂

Things Friends and Loved Ones with Mental Illness Want You to Know

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Whether your friend or loved one has depression, anxiety, or some other long-term mental illness, there is so much going on in their brain that they want to say to you, but find impossible to say. So many emotions are buried beneath the surface, so much they wish you could know. But when you’re in the middle of these emotions, it’s so hard to tell the people who love you about what’s going on your mind.

Being vulnerable hurts and takes time, especially when you’re confused, hurting, or numb to the world around you. So here are seven things that people who battle with mental illness and mental health would like you to know.

DISCLAIMER: Not everyone with a mental illness will relate with these. I am not a psychiatrist, or have any degree in psychology.

We really don’t know.

We have so many emotions or such a lack of emotion, so we aren’t lying when we say we don’t know. Our rational mind has no excuse or reason for what we’ve done or the way we feel. We wish we could give you a concrete answer, we wish we knew how you could help, how we could help ourselves. We’re afraid to explore our emotions or to poke our dead mind back to life. We’re afraid you won’t believe us or understand. So we just don’t know, and we don’t try to know.

We’re afraid.

So afraid. We’re afraid of ourselves, of failing, of giving in, of giving up, of failing you, of hurting others. We are afraid of waking up and we’re afraid of falling asleep. We’re afraid of letting people see what we’re really like. We’re afraid of how we’ll react to situations that normal people are fine with. We’re afraid that we’ll never get better, that medicine won’t help, that we’ll end up weighing you down. We’re afraid of everything that happens in our mind, and we don’t want it to translate over into our life. At the end of the day, we are afraid.

We’re trying.

You might not like our reactions or seeing us struggle, but think how painful it is to be the one struggling with it yourself. We hate it as much or more than you do and we’re trying so hard. Every day we’re waking up and trying. Some days, it’s more fruitful and we are able to function like you. Other days? Celebrate that we’re out of bed. Celebrate that we’re talking. Be thankful we’re smiling. Because God knows we’re trying.

We try, we take our medicine, if we have some. Or we just sit there, to be with you, when all we want is solitude, all we want is sleep, all we want is to pace around the room and try to quiet our mind as it frantically thinks. But instead, we’re with you. We’re trying, and we’ll keep trying.

We’re tired.

Not only is insomnia one of the most common symptoms of mental illness, fighting your mind and emotions, keeping everything bottled and neatly packed away takes so much energy. But we aren’t only sleep tired. We’re tired of feeling, of not sleeping, or if we’re hyposomniac, we’re tired of sleeping, we’re tired of living like this, tired of being needy, tired of trying to smile, tired of not being believed, tired of feeling guilty.

We’re tired of not being normal, we’re tired of trying to fix ourselves, we’re tired of eating, of feeling, of breathing. We’re tired of hearing our heart thunder in our ears, tired of our breath coming in heaves, tired of a mind that won’t give us relief.

We don’t remember.

When we say we don’t know or we don’t remember, we truly don’t know or can’t remember. It might be something as serious as forgetting what we did at a party, or as simple as not remembering the first half of the day. We don’t remember. And we hate the fact that a part of our life has been swallowed up and dissolved by our minds. We’re sorry that we don’t remember the awesome time we had, or we don’t remember when we first met, or that we don’t remember being hurt or being yelled at. We just don’t remember.

We’re sorry we don’t remember saying something, we’re sorry we don’t remember hurting you. We’re sorry that we can’t answer your questions at the moment, we can’t do our school work at the moment, and we’re sorry we missed another meeting. Someday, we’ll remember it all again.

It physically hurts.

Our head throbs with our heartbeat, our muscles are so tight you could strum them like a musical instrument. Our chest feels like it’s being crushed, our arms and legs weigh a hundred pounds. We’re nauseous way too often. Food is disgusting or we eat way too much. When we say we have a headache and skip dinner, we really have a headache. Every sound, every sense, the air even has a taste. It’s all intensified to such an extent that if we don’t hide, it’ll cause us to explode.

I’m okay.

How can we tell you that we’re dying inside? How can we explain emotions when we’re not even sure about? How do we know if this is what normal people feel like, or if it’s something wrong with us? So we’re okay. Because we choose to press it all down, to hide it for you. Because we don’t want to be that morbid person, we don’t want to weigh you down. We don’t want to hurt you or wear you out. So we’re okay. Because we love you. And we want to be okay.

~~Amie~~

People

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Thoughts have been swirling in me, and I’m just going to let them out. Will I delete half of this post? Probably. Will it matter? Definitely not.

People are important. How can I stress this enough? From my brainstorm partner that brightens my day with her smile, to my friend that pokes fun at me for not having a “guy” but still genuinely cares about me, to the one that I call to have a heart to heart for two hours.

And the people that have burned me. The ones that have caused my eyes to overflow, and stream pain down my cheeks. Those people, they’re important, too.

At one point in my life, I thought I was too broken to heal, too heartless to love, and too hurt to feel. So I pushed everyone away. Those who cared and those who spoke heartless platitudes alike.

Hating humans, blaming them for the pain I felt, and hurting people like they hurt me. Because that’s the only fair way to respond to the pain of life, right? The stronger you are, the heavier your hand, the drier your eyes, the better you are at handling pain.

But that isn’t true.

People help you through pain, they help the wounds heal, help your mind to dwell on things that matter.

This topic is so important to me, because my people are important to me. They make life so much more livable, each adding a different shade of sunshine. And when one tells me that they worry about me, it makes me want to cry. Because it means they care.

Underneath all of our sarcastic banter, underneath me avoiding them for a month, underneath our business, each of us have a heart that needs love. Sure, love stinks sometimes, but it’s so worth it. When you find someone who actually cares, when you finally see that even through the pain, love sets you free.

Let people in. Let people see the you that you’ve hidden underneath layers. Stop trying to be lovable, because when you stop holding up a picture perfect facade, you’ll finally feel free. No longer sweating underneath the layer, you can be you.

And people will love you.

At first it may seem as if no one cares about who you are. But after awhile, God will bring people in your life that care. That want you to live this life to your fullest potential while serving Him.

Please don’t let those who have hurt you, or the circumstances that have torn you ruin the rest of your life. Don’t let them ruin your memories either. There’s always a gem of a good memory, even in the bad.

So take that gem and shine the light on it. It’ll certainly sparkle back.

~~Amie~~

P.S. As my readers, what are some topics you would like to see me write about, talk about, discuss on this blog? I’d love some ideas. 🙂

Freedom Or Liberty?

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The people on the streets cry, “Freedom, freedom!”

People in their homes wish for freedom, freedom.

The veterans look at their sons and say they fought for freedom, freedom.

But when they ask for freedom, they don’t know what they mean.

The French obtained freedom with their Revolution. And what was the end cost?

Freedom from government will bring nothing but anarchy, bloodshed, tears, and more repressive governments. Freedom is not what we need, freedom is not what we desire. Freedom was not what we were promised by our founding fathers.

We were promised in the Declaration of Independence the right to pursue “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Freedom is each man on his own, but liberty. Liberty is freedom of a government that creates tyrannical rules.

Liberty is what is threatened. When we are all free, free from rules, from responsibility, from consequences, no one is really free. We are enslaved to others, we are the slaves of those around us. We are slaves of ourselves.

For we always serve a master.

For some, that master is money, some serve themselves, some serve the government, some serve food, other serve Christ. And when you serve Christ with all that is in you, you are free, and you can truly understand liberty.

You can understand that absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is why anarchy leads to dictatorship. If each man is in control and able to make his own rules, does he have absolute power? Does it corrupt a man to be free, totally and absolutely free from all standards, rules, morals, and obligations?

Americans need to stop fighting for freedom. Instead, they need to take a moment and step back. They need to understand why our founding fathers appreciated liberty. Why men and women risked all to leave their countries to create a new one. Why we are sitting today in a “civilized” and “free” country.

Why would Patrick Henry stand and famously say, “Give me liberty, or give me death?”

Why do we now stand and say, “Give us freedom, or we’ll give you your death?”

Will we never understand that government is not the one that creates evil? Will we never understand that the evil was created way before governments, before civilization, back when Eve disobeyed and brought grief to mankind? Our hearts long for peace, and we’re promised peace with freedom.

But true peace only comes from righteous rules. Rules that protect us from harming other citizens. Rules that protect other citizens from harming us. Rules that are created by a government that is checked and balanced, unable to grow, unable to steal, unable to infringe upon our God given rights.

So will we fight for liberty?

Or will we continue to stand in the streets and cry for freedom?

In Joshua, Joshua tells the people that they must decide for themselves. They must decide whether they will serve the Lord, whether they will stand for the God who has protected them through the wilderness. But as for Joshua? Well, he has already decided.

You must decide what you want for yourself. What you want for your children. What you want for the future of our country.

But as for me?

I stand with Patrick Henry and say,

“Give me liberty or give me death. I will settle for nothing less.”

~~Amie~~

My Message (+ huge announcement!)

I’ve written a lot on here about mental health. At the moment, mental health and Christians who deal with it are very close to my heart. Why? Because I’m one of those Christians.

Especially Christian teens that deal with it.

I’ve talked to lots of people in the mental health and disability communities. A little known fact about me is that I grew up in the disability community. My favorite people didn’t look like me, and I would grow livid if anyone talked down to them, or hurt their feelings for that reason.

And so when I appeared in the mental health community, I wasn’t sure what to say or do. Especially since I was apart of it.

I’m not an expert. I’m not super smart. I’m just a teenager going through similar things to you, and if you’re just starting your mental health journey, I’m in front of you, extending a hand to help you. To give you hope.

I hate admitting I’m not okay. What are you supposed to say to people? They expect you to be okay, they want you to be okay. And someday you just have to realize that it’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to carry the weight of their expectations.

This week I found out that apparently I have anxiety, depression, and dermatillomania. I’ve never considered myself an anxious person, but apparently I am?

(Dermatillomania is the repeated picking of your skin, to the extent that you have open wounds on your skin. It’s related to OCD and anxiety, and yes. It’s really painful and really embarrassing and super super super gross.)

I’ve battled with dark thoughts, with losing the person I’ve always known as me. I’ve struggled with things that I would never wish on anyone else. Even though I wouldn’t want people to go through it, other people do go through it, and so the next best thing I can do? Help the people who are struggling with it.

And so I’m doing something huge.

I’m publishing a poetry book.

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One of the ways to express the feelings that I wasn’t even sure I was feeling was to write them in poetry. To express truths and pain in the same poem, so I would know that even if I felt this way today, the truth is that it would be better.

Fifteen will be launching October 23, and it’s a book filled with poems about mental health. About the pains of trying to be okay, but not being okay. It’s filled with hope, because in the end, you don’t have to live with the demons in your head. You can get help, you can get better. It’s filled with the sunshine that follows the tears, it has the lullaby that soothes your fears.

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I didn’t want to publish Fifteen originally. I didn’t want to put this out here, to have to work on this. But slowly, God showed me that this is my message. These poems are going out there to help you.

Because YOU have helped me so much.

Fifteen will also have hand drawn illustrations (and a few painted ones!) depicting the story as well. My prayer is that it’ll reach your heart and help you in your mental health journey, even if you aren’t a poetry fan.

And maybe it’ll help you understand others or still touch your heart even if you don’t struggle with mental health. Even if that isn’t the thorn in your side.

So raise a glass, my friend! Let’s celebrate this news!

If you’re super excited, go to my Instagram, follow me, and share my announcement post on your story because AHHHHHH. IT’S REAL, FOLKS! AFTER SO MUCH WORK.

Also, if you’re interested in being apart of the cover reveal, GO SIGN UP HERE!

~~Amie~~

Endless Supply

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Some days, I feel like a fish in a dry fishbowl.

I’ve given all my water, drop by drop, to other fish who need it. Projects which are like sponges drain my mind, there must be a hole somewhere inside my bowl. Worry, anxiety, stress, and fatigue leave me gasping.

Some days it seems like I have no mental space to deal with anything. Just a raised voice makes me jump out of my skin, and the bright glare of the sun sends me shivering within. It’s hard to give and give and give of my time, it’s hard to be a servant when you can barely even tell people hi.

But guess what?

We have a way to be filled, even when life and pain and illness drain us. When life seems overwhelming, but there are still people that you want to help, people who have lives you want to pour into, you can know that you have a source to take life and joy from. A fountain that is ever ready to fill you to overflowing.

We don’t have to worry, because we have an eternal fountain filled with everlasting mercies.

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

I was talking to a friend on the phone, and she mentioned the verse about God’s mercies never ending, being new every morning. And it hit me.

My whole life I’ve pictured God’s mercies like sand in the hour glass. I only have so much mercy allotted to my life, and if I use it up before the end of my life . . . So I try to do as much as I can on my own, “saving” my mercies for when I really need them. But that isn’t what the Bible teaches us.

We have a fountain from which we can drink, a fountain that quenches our thirst, and that fountain wells up in us. In fact, it should overflow in us! We should be overflowing with eternal life.

One of my favorite children’s book is actually a wordless book. It’s called “The Flower Man” by Mark Ludy. In this book, and old man comes into a dark and hopeless neighborhood, and one by one, he gives flowers to the people around him, lighting up their world with hope and love. This represents how we should be with eternal life. Everyone we touch, we should be giving them “flowers.”

And we don’t have to worry about running out of eternal life, or of mercy, or of grace, or of God’s steadfast love. We can give and give and give, and still be refilled, if we remember to continually go to the source.

Of course it isn’t easy. But the most fulfilling things in life, the things that grow us as humans and grow our relationship with God aren’t easy. God often calls us to do things that hurt, things that scare us, and things that seem impossible. But that’s when you’re rewarded beyond your comprehension. Because if it had just been you, the results would never have happened.

And the results are definitely worth the cost of the tears and pain.

In Christ, we aren’t fish in a dry fishbowl. We’re fish, caught by the Fisher of Men, and placed in the cleanest water available. And then we’re told to share this water with others. Because Christ has an endless supply.

~~Amie~~