Sixteen is launched

It’s RELEASE DAY!

And I could just laugh at the way my life is a ball of chaos. For those of you with me when Fifteen launched, you remember that the book wasn’t available on Amazon on the launch day. For this launch, I SWORE that if it was the last thing I did, I would have it up on Amazon on launch day. 

The world is laughing at me. For those of you in beautiful Australia, you should be able to buy the ebook. For the rest of you? If you want to buy the book, you’ll still have to buy it off Etsy. 

I could be mad. Or frustrated. Not only is the book NOT on Amazon, but the beautiful @ had to step down from joining our launch party tonight. But it’s okay. 

Sixteen is still out there. The launch party will still happen. I have still reached a milestone in my writing career, and it is good. 

Because I choose today to be a good and beautiful day. 

Happy Launch day, beautiful Sixteen. Touch people’s lives and create a change. 

If you want to order Sixteen today, you can do so through Etsy. If you order today through Etsy, you’ll still be able to get the pre-order goodies. (Which include some coffee, an eye shadow palette, an extra poem, and a sheet of stickers.) Hurry, though, because there’s only 12 preorder goodie packages left! 

I hope you all have a lovely May 6th, and I hope you choose for today to be good and beautiful as well. ❤

~~Amie~~

Broken Lens

To be a human is to view life through a broken lens.

Amie Woleslagle

Where is your lens broken?

Where does it shift?

Does it create rainbows?

Or does it cause a cosmic shift?

Eyes made of diamonds

A prism of clouds

The lens reveals more

Than your lips allow.

Where is your lens broken?

How does it tilt

The light waves of sodom

Or the glories of Titan’s hill?

Choose to paint with light

Or dye with glass stains

Build the world with glass

Just to see it shatter away

Our lens is a home

It’s colors our tower.

Being human is to view

Life through a lens

Broken with age,

With other human’s powers.

To be human

Is to view life through a lens.

Author Conservatory Review

In the early months of 2020, I was a directionless writer. I had come to a point where I knew I was good and I could accomplish being a published author. I just didn’t know how. There was no step by step plan. Everyone I asked for advice was too busy for me, and I knew I needed a mentor or some kind of program that was a step further than anything else that was offered at the time.

That’s when I heard about the Author Conservatory, though at the time it was just called Author. As one of the founding members of this program, I’ve been through every change and I’ve watched it grow and blossom into what it is now. And it’s something extremely special.

A conservatory dedicated towards raising a new generation of authors who are business savvy and story sound. A generation of artists who no longer starve because they know what their work is worth and how to reach people with it.

I started Author after one of the hardest years of my life, thinking that 2020 would be my year. As we all know, it wasn’t anyone’s year, and two weeks after I joined the program, I lost my job and ended up staying at home without leaving for the next eight months. But I wasn’t alone, and instead of the isolation and social dryness everyone else complains about, I was so blessed to have a whole community of authors, plus Brett and Kara invested in me and my work.

But now you’re wondering . . .

What is author like?

Author is a dual track three-year course. The first track centers around story telling, craft, and actual writing, where you’ll dive into the roots of plot and structure, learning every last thing you can about having a strong, well-rounded story that will impact your readers for years to come. The second track is business, where you’ll learn how to appreciate your own value and how to create and maintain a pop-up business.

Author isn’t only about the lessons you’ll learn, it’s about the community you’ll join, complete with sprints, movie nights, game nights, book clubs, and more. You’ll find young (and some older!) people who are just as nerdy and invested in the literature world as you are. It’s honestly amazing to see how you can find people all around the world who enjoy the same thing you do, and a great place to create relationships and bounds you’ll have for a long time to come.

Who started the Author Conservatory?

Brett Harris and Kara Swanson are the co-owners of the Author Conservatory. What started as a vision to help young authors has blossomed into a vision to help authors in general create quality works in order to impact the publishing world. Brett Harris is the New York Best Seller author of Do Hard Things, and Kara Swanson is the award winning author of Dust, Shadow, and The Girl Who Could See. But they aren’t the only ones who are apart of this conservatory! Authors like Mary Weber, Sara Ella, Joanne Bischof, and Nadine Brandes all invest in the students, while Steve Laube (agent) and Katie Phillips (editor) each have different roles in the program. Andrew Peterson has even visited before!

What is the Author conservatory like in your life?

When I started the conservatory, I was a high school student, but now I work full-time. When I was in school, Author easily took 15-20 hours of my life. But now as I work full-time, it mostly depends on what stage of the process I’m in. Right now I just finished drafting, and I’m in the second year of Author, so I’m getting ready to jump into editing a novella and working on writing some concepts. Because of this, I’ve spent roughly 10 hours this week on Author.

Brett has done an amazing job making sure that the Author program can fit all different people in all different areas of life. Obviously the more you prioritize Author, the more results you’ll see. But Author is also very understanding about the different seasons of your life.

Would you encourage young writers to join?

Author is a college alternative program. So while I think almost all writers should eventually invest in Author, I do need to caution that Author requires personal maturity. There’s critique, there’s stress, and there’s a lot of investment. I’ve had three times where I’ve thought about quitting, either due to personal life struggles, or just the stress that comes with “never having the right story.” Writing isn’t easy, and while I can testify that Author makes it easier in the long run, there’s still that uphill climb that takes a lot of energy and endurance. I’ve ended multiple critique calls crying, as have most of the students I know. It’s hard to see what you love critiqued, and even harder to be told that sometimes where you wanted the story to head isn’t the best direction to take it. But you have to have the wisdom to realize that in order to grow you must be trimmed, and the instructors are very gracious in their tree trimming. 😉

Now for the good stuff!

The Author Conservatory is hosting a giveaway, and it includes a book from my business, Painted Prose Designs!

All of these prizes are from Author student’s businesses, so even if you don’t end up winning, you can go check out the shops. Information about the giveaway is on the Author Conservatory Instagram. You can find it here.

In summary, Author is a wonderful opportunity for Authors to get their leg into the door and to learn needed skills that go along with writing. Now you don’t have to learn by trial and error, you’ll have mentors and coaches to help you for the next three years of your writing career.

For me, they haven’t only helped my writing life, they’ve helped my spiritual life, and my mental health. I’m so thankful for their influence and input in my life. ❤

Amie

Shush, Please Leave

Shush, please, expectations leave.

You say you don’t care, you’d be proud if I work anywhere

And yet you keep pressing, you keep investing

Telling me to leave all the evil in the world that you see.

I’ll disappoint you, that’s clear

I’ll either be miserable making you happy

Or I’ll leave your world

And make my way to the world that I long for.

Let me be me

Let me be free

Why don’t you trust me?

Why do you hurt the art I create?

Why do you refuse the person I can be?

The human who dwells deep inside me

But you force me to hide away

Tell me to keep it hidden for another day

And Lord, what do you see

When you look deep inside me?

Why do the people around me

Refuse to lift the expectations put on me.

Lord, how can I survive

When these emotions crush me

I want to make them happy,

I want them to smile on me

But I’m so freaking empty

And they continue to hurt and hurt and hurt me

All the while saying that they know me

And that they only see who they want to see,

Leaving a shell of a creature who could be

Brave and kind, reliable and not shy

A person with the ability to change the world,

To make an impact so great it’s untold

But they just want me to be never leave,

They want me to continue to play and be

The actress of the century, playing myself

While only wanting to be the actual me.

When when you stop hurting me?

When will you start loving me?

When will the blood from my heart leave my hands

And wrap around your soul in prison bands

When will the vengeance from above

Finally crush all that you love

And show you that you cannot be a control freak

Or else all you love will break

Leaving you to whisper in it’s wake,

Shush, expectations, please leave.

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. ❤