Happy Book Birthday

 Each moment I just had to take a breath and remember why. Why I’m doing this.

God knows it isn’t because I wanted to have a poetry book out there for the world to critique. Fifteen isn’t for me. It’s because God has called me to do it for you. For the people who need to read it, who need a helping hand.

Blog post, Oct. 2020

It’s been a whole year since Fifteen was published, a whole year since I wrote those words, and so much has changed since then, and yet, so much is the same. It’s strange to look back and see exactly what I was thinking during that time period, what was going through my soul as I readied myself to launch my first book.

I’ll forever be proud of Fifteen.

It’s the story my heart needed to tell, it’s what I wanted everyone around me to hear and believe. The poems that fill Fifteen are poems that tell a story, a story that I felt everyone has lived, everyone has understood.

The story of a person breaking, but trying to tape themselves back together. The story of a person who loses it, but then realizes that they don’t want to be the person sunk in depression anymore. They don’t like who they are anymore.

So they start picking up the pieces and learning. Learning what it is to be a person in a world that is broken. The story is about finding joy among broken things, finding love in broken people, and loving your broken body.

Today I’ll be doing my very first book signing at a coffee shop, and I couldn’t be more excited to be able to talk to people about my book. I can’t wait to see people holding my book, flipping through it’s pages. It’s something to know that people ordered my book, it’s a totally different thing to see it in people’s hands.

So happy birthday, Fifteen.

I’m so glad you’ve been in the world for a full year. I’m so glad you’ve been able to touch people, and I pray you touch so many more in the future.

~~Amie~~

I Wish I was You

photo credit: Maddy Crone Photography

I wish I was you.

I was that my nose didn’t scrunch up when I laughed,

I wish my eyes held the weight of the world attached.

I wish I was poised

I wish I didn’t make so much noise

I was I was just a tiny bit more like you.

I wish my heart was guarded all of the time

I wish my mind didn’t automatically go to rhyme,

I wish I could stand and capture a crowd

I wish I wasn’t quite so loud

But all my wishing doesn’t change

That I’m myself and strange

But I continue my thoughts and wish I was you.

I wish I had not freckles to mar my nose

I wish that my bottom lip wasn’t wide and rose.

I wish I was neat.

I wish my room was constantly clean,

I wish my hair never missed the beat,

I wish I was you.

I wish I didn’t need medicine to breathe,

I wish my movements were full of grace and ease.

I wish I was short,

My height scaring and bearing down,

I wish I didn’t make my strange sounds.

But all my wishing doesn’t change

That God created me this way,

But my thoughts continue to filter and glitter

Wishing I was you.

We’ll See

Not going to lie to you, adulting is hard.

And it think it’s hardest because I’m not an adult yet. I’m still a child, but I’ve been forced to grow up sooner than anyone else. Legally, I’m a minor. Physically, I’m a child. Mentally, I’ve been an adult since I was ten. And now I’m even living a somewhat adult life.

What defines an adult life?

Waking up and knowing you have to make breakfast. Knowing that your to-do list is longer than you want to believe, and everything on there has someone relying on you.

Blogging took the back burner as I’ve started working way more than I ever have in my life. I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity, and for the people that I work with, but it has been hard. Exhaustion is a real thing, it’s not something that only comes from depression. It actually comes from being happy.

I don’t want to say I’m done with this blog. It would be like forcing closed a chapter that I’m not sure if it’s ready to be closed.

But I do know that blogging isn’t my top priority, or the thing I wake up to in the morning and feel as if it must be done.

So here I am, unsure how to continue.

It’s been so quiet for so long in the comment section, that half of me doesn’t believe anyone reads these posts to begin with. So we’ll see.

We’ll see how often I post, and if I post at all. We’ll see what the Lord puts on my heart and where he asks me to share it.

We’ll just see.

~~Amie~~

When Spring Comes, Where Does My Sadness Go?

The drip, drip, drip of the rain fills my brain

But the release of the air scatters the rain

The flowers glisten and glossem before they blossom

The bees trace the trails that have been laid before

My heart follows the robin on it’s journey far

But I’m still and I’m still me

The problem is that its spring.

The blue of the sky that is painted

Matches the blue of my serene mood

I spin and I spin taking it in as if it were food

And the silence is noisy in all of it’s glory

But I still have an empty feeling inside.

Though a cotton tailed rabbit chases it away

The laugher of a child and the smile of the wind

Changes my soul from within.

Moments pass, and I look around

Wondering at the crazy sounds

When spring comes in all of it’s glory,

When March brings her flurry,

Where does my sadness go?

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. ❤

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~~