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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Moving to Wordpress...!

My latest post was in March 2016??? O_O

That probably merits some explaining. Ha. Well, long story short, Astrid Naomi Carroll was born :) and I went into social hibernation for many reasons, but mostly because I was overwhelmed, and when I get overwhelmed, all things social die first. Sorry.

As for Astrid, she is a healthy and (mostly) happy almost 8 month old. Last night I determined--again?--that her toddler years will be fearsome because she is ridiculously stubborn (where does she get that from?! >.>) and quick to tell us when she's not thrilled about something. The struggle is especially real when it comes to changing her diaper. *sigh*

This post is actually more of a tip of the hat to YOU, dear reader. Thanks for joining me on this sporadic journey! Now that it's 2017, I've decided it's finally time to move to Wordpress--a complete reboot. It's been fun, but I've been contemplating the move for a while.  

To everyone who read the mad, oft-random and rambling posts of mine, THANK YOU. Your support goes beyond words. Thanks for sticking around!!

If you're free and willing, I invite you to celebrate the move/reboot of DaybreakInAutumn with me. First post will be live January 31st!

Here's the link to the new blog :)!

If you want to find it later without following this link, the domain is currently 'daybreakinautumn' instead of 'lynannecarroll'.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's a...

Last post of the month of March...! 

I'm always saying things like this, but I can't believe it's already April. April 2016. How crazy is that?!

This post is really my way of reaching out to people about the newest addition to my family, coming (Lord willing) in June. I'm so excited *_*! 

I announced to work and family very early on because of symptoms—nausea, difficulty breathing (prenatals helped), and a hyper-sense of smell. Ok, *a* sense of smell, because before I became pregnant, I didn't have one. But it was still intense. I actually had to bring dryer sheets to the grocery store because I couldn't take the smell of particular sections (I'm looking at you, deli, seafood, and meat -_-)...

Anyway, I'm currently 28 weeks along—aka 7 months—and wanted to share some pictures of our gender reveal. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's basically a fun party where people come together to eat a few snacks and discover the gender of the baby. We decided to do a chocolate theme because it was in February, and used the famous Gump line on our invites (Life is like a box of chocolates...). Then we (translation: the fam, at their insistence) wrapped up a bunch of hershey bars. Only one was colored in and would reveal the gender.

I wish I'd caught the reveal on video T_T. It was so funny and sweet (pun not intended...but well played lol)! The person who got the winning candy bar was so excited she screamed and then, out of breath, was unable to share the information with everyone else until she took a moment to regain herself. It was a wonderful feeling, having someone as excited as us about the baby. I will treasure that moment for many years to come!

Here are some pics:

The food was delicious ^_^. Also, plentiful
The cupcakes I slaved over. If you ever decide to make your own frosting, reconsider. Trust me.
(Did you notice someone made off with a blueberry?)
Each table had a super cute centerpiece and a different candy.
I quickly banned myself from Skittles b/c necessary.
So many hershey bars...
It's a GIRL!
Wait, what?
 (Just kidding. It looks like that was what was going through our minds, though)
I imagine I was getting onto Chris for not smiling. It worked! :)
I look hesitant about something...
My favorite blooper pic: super confused!
I think our niece was doing something crazy LOL

 Welp, that's it! Hope you enjoyed the virtual reveal (even if you already knew the gender). I'll be posting again Wednesday (or...whatever day is the 7th) for PAD!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Forbidden Wish Jessica Khoury *Review*

As a huge Khoury fan, I was so excited about this novel I obviously pre-ordered and dove in the moment it was released. (And yes, I did attempt—more times than I'd like to mention—to get an arc, but was tragically unsuccessful.) 

I love Khoury's style. I love the thrill ride she invites me on with her exquisite pacing, the immersion I experience by absorbing the world she's built via lush, lyrical prose, and the unique angle(s) she presents. All of these and more are reasons why I'm so conflicted (and sad) about this review. 

I would like to say that I absolutely, with-all-my-heart-and-soul loved The Forbidden Wish...but I'd be lying. 

The Forbidden Wish is easily Khoury's best work: the characters are flesh and blood, living and breathing in the pages; the pacing, as always, is phenomenal, and the plot riveting—some truly wonderul twists!—not to mention the brilliance of the subject matter (retelling of ALADDIN? Can you say radiance??!); her trademark prose (aka gorgeous) continues to impress; and there isn't a plot hole in sight. 

It's extremely well written and well-thought-through. I loved the characters and their complexity (and quirks). I loved the spin on Aladdin. I loved the immensity of scope involved in making the world and its rules believable. 

What went wrong?

Well...that's just it. In the world of YA, Khoury has hit a triple homerun. The novel fits the genre perfectly and I can see her topping charts and receiving well-deserved praise for her work alongside uber-popular authors. And again, the work truly is fabulous. So it's less what went wrong and more what went right

One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with Khoury's work—aside from her impressive storytelling ability—is that I could always count on it being original and easily distinguishable from its YA counterparts. Were her other novels as advanced in terms of style and execution as The Forbidden Wish? No. Origin had a few questionable aspects, Vitro's romance was a bit lacking at points, and Kalahari's characters, while endearing, needed a nudge to cast off. The Forbidden Wish has none of these issues. 

Instead, Zahra's voice, while acceptable and fitting and well done, disappoints solely because it sounds so similar to others in the YA world. Same goes for the romance...even for the themes. I feel like a loser and a betrayer for writing this review T_T, but these are my honest sentiments. I'm happy Khoury penned a great novel. I'm sad that, to me, it can be lumped in with so many other greats instead of beaming from a pinnacle. In my eyes, Origin will always, always  be set apart—same goes for Vitro and Kalahari. But The Forbidden Wish, for all its wonder, lacks that trademark spark. 

In case I haven't made this clear: there is literally no fault to be found in TFW; the novel is exciting and well worth the read, especially if retellings are your thing. My issue is completely personal (and subjective). I don't want to deter anyone from picking up this book because IT IS PHENOMENAL and deserves every morsel of praise it receives. And cover. love <3 <3 <3...! It just wasn't what I was hoping for. 

Final Verdict: 

| Website |

About the Author 
Jessica Khoury is of Syrian and Scottish descent, and was born and raised in Toccoa, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. She currently lives and writes in Greenville, SC. Jessica is the author of ORIGIN, VITRO, KALAHARI, and THE FORBIDDEN WISH.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Charging (somewhat weakly) into April

I haven't given up on posting consistently, but putting it bluntly: I've been put out lately. Whenever I think about the blog, I'm just, maybe later...

And I know that's kind of lame. ...Ok, very lame? 

Still, with all the things that have changed—mainly having a baby due in June (*nesting* and house preparation, exhaustion, financial stress, worrying and praying and more worrying because worrying is what mothers do, eating all the things and having the weight—but not the appearance, apparently; “all belly”—to show for it) and Chris' workplace deciding they'll still have him work full time, but only 30 hours (translation: he now works 3 days a week and they think this is remotely acceptable for the breadwinner of the family...uhhh NO, try again ::hulk smash::)—life has been messy, and blogging has been one of the smaller concerns on a growing list. 

That said, I'm still just as ambitious—or, if you prefer and are a realist, CRAZY—and have decided to take on my first Camp NaNo adventure and embrace the PAD Challenge for the second time. I'm planning to revise ~50% of Whispers and Murmurs during Camp; already have my fabulous cabinmates picked out, and am loving it. And of course I'm planning on being a boss at writing poems :D haha.

I'm also flying to Vermont in 5 days to see family for the first time in almost 4 years. April is a busy, busy month...

So...what now? 

  • I'll post my review of The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury before the month is up.
  • Also our gender reveal...because the pictures amuse me and why not? (:
  • In April, I'm going to post my PAD accomplishments here once a week, just as I did last year, and will be sharing information about it tomorrow because GUYS, PAD is so, so fun. Even if you don't fancy yourself a poet, you should try it out. 
In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys spring break!!


About Camp NaNo and PAD:

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

Young writer? Check out Camp deets here
PAD...with Robert Lee Brewer:

PAD stands for Poem-A-Day, so this is a challenge in which poets write a poem each day of April. Usually, I’ll post a prompt in the morning (Atlanta, Georgia, time), and poets will write a poem in response.

Some poets share those poems on the (Writer's Digest) blog in the comments; others keep their words to themselves. I don’t require comments on the blog to participate, but it does make it more fun when poets are firing away on the blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Gift Of Forgiveness

A long time ago—say about 6-7 years?—I approached my mother and asked her forgiveness. I have no memory of what I said or did that I felt compelled to apologize for, but I do remember that I was prompted by the Spirit to do so because it was the upstanding, righteous thing to do...and I also recall that it wasn't anything major.

Her response?

I don't know. I'll have to think about it.

I don't know if I'll ever be ready to forgive you.

Without any hint of melodrama I can assure you her response speared my heart. I came to this person—my own mother—with an open, hopeful heart expecting at least a grudging 'ok'. Maybe an 'I'm still angry, but I forgive you.' Or maybe even 'I'm not really ready to forgive you yet, but thank you for apologizing. I just need some time.'

I don't know

I can still hear the venom in her voice as she said these words with a bitter, satisfied look in her eyes. The message was clear: I deserved to feel terrible for what I'd done/said. And feel terrible I did, but not because of what I'd done; I was sincerely apologetic. There was nothing more I could do. My conscience was clear.

I still felt terrible, however, because of the denial. To her, there was little to no hope of pardon, a thing which she took immense satisfaction from. I was stunned, of course; when someone bares their heart to you like I did to my mother, you don't sit there and question whether or not you know if you can forgive them, too busy considering how much saying so will hurt the other person. It is cruel and unusual punishment of the worst kind. 

That moment so scarred me it nullified everything else surrounding the occasion (hence why I can't remember what I was even apologizing for). In the years since, I've never asked someone for their forgiveness. If I wrong them I simply apologize and move on. But I don't ask for their forgiveness. The wound went too deep. The only One I can manage to ask without the words sticking in my throat until I give up is
God, Who is trustworthy and always graciously forgives me.
You're probably wondering why I'm bothering to tell you all this.  

This is why: because forgiveness is precious. It is hope and redemption, and to deny someone—especially someone who is sincerely repentant—those things is despicable and shameful.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SPHERES #2: Yellow **NaNoWriMo Excerpt(s)**

So this past month I participated in NaNoWriMo, which was STELLAR. Seriously. I had so much fun taking a much-needed break from the ultra-structured Whispers and Murmurs and moving into the more spontaneous territory of the second book of the series, Yellow. Working with Yellow's protagonist, Kara, was nothing short of thrilling. 

Kara is one of those characters whose charisma grips you and refuses to let go...and you are totally ok with it. Also, not going to even try to deny this, she's so easy to work with. She lets me know exactly what she wants, where she intends to go, and doesn't waste time deliberating *long hard stare at Nikaiya* which is almost the complete opposite of Nikaiya, who, while reckless at points, is a strategist at heart and “wastes time” thinking about, well, pretty much everything. I'm making Nikaiya sound annoying. She's really not; just difficult to prod into cooperating... 

Yellow also proved easier to navigate despite—ironically—being much more convoluted. We're talking timey-wimeyness here, peeps. But unlike in Whispers and Murmurs, where literally everything is structured down to the word count per chapter, Yellow offers an abundance of wiggle room provided all the key scenes are put into the novel. Obviously I have an order to it; just a much more lenient one. 

(Short glimpse into the somewhat stifling structure of W&M: each of the 32 chapters is exactly 3,125 words total exactly 100,000 words.)

I put forth that I wanted to share a few bits of my efforts—efforts which resulted in about 20k! Woot considering circumstances, which I'll again hopefully be announcing soon. Next week? :D—and now I'm finally getting to do so. Yay!

What you're about to see is the unadulterated rough draft of rough drafts—meaning none of this has been edited at all. Not for grammar or spelling, syntax, or logical please keep that in mind while reading! Don't be too worried, though; my grammar isn't impeccable but it isn't atrocious, either (same goes for spelling). And brackets? My lifeline for brain farts. I love brackets. 

To avoid some spoilers and such, I had to blot out a character's name (sorry!). I'm really excited—and a bit nervous—to share this because 1) as expressed above, it's NaNo-style rough; and 2) I'm afraid to be giving away too much at once before I've even finished the draft! Nevertheless, this is something I wanted to do to give a peek into my first NaNo experience. 

Hopefully you find it encouraging—maybe enough to tackle NaNo yourself next year?! 

Here's my (also) rough synopsis. It desperately needs help, but will suffice for the moment:

For Kara, a girl who’s cursed with the rare and volatile affliction known as Ipsen's Syndrome and who’s haunted by the tragic event that triggered its manifestation, existence is a nightmare she longs to wake up from. Despite numerous treatments, counseling sessions, and continuous outpouring of love from her family and few remaining friends, she has yet to recover. In one last attempt to at least lessen the effects of the curse, Kara’s parents allow her to travel to Mydoria with a family friend.

Upon arrival, the pair is shocked; Miaka, the eldest princess, insists Kara accompany her if she desires to receive healing—and miraculously, once the process is complete, Kara’s migraines are gone. Thus when Miaka requests the pair’s aid in helping Nikaiya accomplish her quest, both willingly oblige; Mikael, because he believes this journey could be the answer they’ve been searching for; Kara, because she has been given a sliver of hope, and wishes to thank Miaka.

Shortly after departing Mydoria, Kara encounters a priestess from Hikari, and is challenged to confront her precarious past—to come to terms with what happened, and with what could be: to embrace the redemption she's really been searching for all along—if it exists.

She could refuse.

But if she does, she'll lose herself and those she holds most dear—for good this time.

Onto the Story...
*Mikael's name will probably change :)

Tidbit #1:

When I listen carefully, I hear the flow of water. The water underneath us…it’s moving. And much faster than it should be. My legs threaten to give way beneath me as Mikael’s shouts pierce the air. It hurts to breathe. His voice echoes along the river, carrying an eerie note of foreboding. Run, he’s saying. RUN!
I spin, forcing my legs to move back to *****. He must have seen the river breaking from atop the slope. If we don’t get off the ice, we’re all going to die.