Announcements/Notifications/Updates, Holiday Specials

New Year—New Expectations, Part 2: My 2022 Plans

Happy New Year, Everyone!

The letter sequence 2-0-2-2 has crept its way into calendars, clocks, minds, blog posts, and more. The future has become the present, and we were swept up in it. On December 31st, in part 1 of this 2-part series, I talked about how to fulfill your resolutions. Today I’m going to share with you some of my plans and goals for this year. Even though these aren’t technically resolutions, I’m still going to try to practice what I ‘preached’ about a few days ago.

Even though I know not everything turns out the way I want it, I have several expectations, hopes, and goals for this year, and today I will share several. By the way, some of these concern you, my reader, particularly concerning the future of this blog! As well as upcoming writing-related opportunities and sneak-peaks.

In 2022, I want to. . .

Writing.

  • Participate in Crazy Writing Week, 2022—January 4-11. Crazy Writing Week, or CWW, is an online event where hundreds of writers gather to write like crazy! It is totally free. Two teams compete against each other to write the most words and/or spend the most time on some writing-related activity. It’s a great motivation booster!  (And if you want to participate but not compete, you can join the neutral team. 😉) It used to be three times a year, but now it’s just one time. So this is your only chance for the whole year! Though it starts on the 4th, CWW opens up on the 3rd—TODAY—for people to get acquainted with the community, get hyped up, etc. I’ll be there, and I hope you will too! 😀
  • Finish up the first draft of Beyond the Wolf. I’m so close to finishing the first draft of my book Beyond the Wolf (BtW)! I hope to complete it before January 15—halfway through the month; though, of course, it could end up being 80,000 words or something instead of my goal of 70K. 😑 My goodness, I’ll be so relieved once I’m done with that draft! I’ve been working at it hard for so long. 😅
  • Begin (and then finish) Heirs of Guinn. In preparation for the next writing project after BtW, I’ve started outlining a novella project temporarily called Heirs of Guinn (HoG—man, me and my funny Work-in-Progress acronyms)! I’m much more confident in the plot and characters of this story than I was and am of BtW, so in the future I may perhaps write some HoG sneak peaks—what it’s about, snippets, character interviews, topics like that. I’m excited and I hope you are too!
  • Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—is the more laidback version of the actual NaNoWriMo in November. From what I understand, it’s in July and instead of writing a minimum of 50K words in a month, it’s whatever you want it to be. Most commonly, 20K words. It’d be my first time participating.

Blogging.

  • Reach 100 subscribers (and 150+ by the end of the year). Guys, the RKW is literally so close to 100 subscribers!!! As of now, when I’m writing this, this blog only needs 3 more followers to reach 100. I’m definitely elated about this news! Now I’m trying to decide what to do to celebrate. As a subscriber of mine, feel free to share some ideas of what you want me to organize/do! 😄
  • Write more book reviews. I was given several books for Christmas, and I’m excited to jump back in and start reading more again, as well as do a few book reviews! As I begin publishing reviews, you may notice that most of them will vary in quality and style, as I continue to polish and refine my book-reviewing skills (if I had any to start with). 😎 So if I start getting more ‘picky’ compared to older reviews, it’s because I’m learning to get better at seeing more pros and cons of a book. Future book review possibilities include, but are not limited to: Dehali, Tartarus Chronicles book #2 by Keith A. Robinson (find review of #1 here), The Bruised Dream by Alabama Rose, Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, and *waves hand around* Some Wayne Thomas Batson book (I’m undecided as to which series to read next).
  • Make more posts based on Christian and Biblical morals and beliefs. I have so many drafts in this area of my posts, and I’m finding it hard to stick to one topic for a post and write about that. I have lots of ideas and everything going through my head, and it’s difficult to put them to the paper efficiently, concisely, and truthfully. But I’ll try. 🙂

Reading.

  • Read More. I’ll try to read some of the books listed earlier, as well as others. Reading is fundamental to writing, so what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t read more often?

Faith.

  • Lead a child to Christ. What do I mean by this? Every summer I participate in a training called Christian Youth in Action, or CYIA. It’s an 11 day intense training where youth learn to teach the gospel effectively to children through 5 day clubs. Now, you can learn more about this when I write about it in the summer so I won’t explain anymore. But many of my fellow youth have led children to believe Christ. I’ve never done that. Now, this is something out of my control and I suppose what’s most important for me is to try to reach these kids and what’s most important overall is for them to come to Christ, no matter who leads them.
  • Read the Bible every day. I could have done much better with this in 2021. I hardly read (chronologically) on the weekends, and I’ve missed several days several times. My bible is very, very thick—the thickest book I have—, and with my lack of consistency in other years, I’ve been chronologically reading this holy beautiful book for multiple years. I can’t remember exactly when I started, but it was a while ago. I’ve picked up how much I read every day, and I just finished Ephesians.
  • ‘Pray without ceasing.’ This is tough for me to pray so often. Many times I’ve forgotten to pray when I finished a passage in my Bible. I do need to pray more. And not just about things I want and need, but to thank and praise Jesus. He definitely deserves more than all the praise I can possibly give Him.

Regular Life.

  • Begin learning how to drive. I turn 16 this year, so requesting my dad begin to teach me as well as organize the lessons will be something I need to get myself to do.
  • Begin learning an instrument. My dad wants me to start learning guitar, but taking the initiative to have my mom or someone else teach me and then actually practicing is something that’ll take motivation accountability. I do also want to try out drumming/using a cajón. I know if I try I can do it but it really is hard for me to start up something new and keep it going.

And those are most of my plans, goals, and hopes for this new year, 2022.

What are some of your goals and plans for 2022? Are you excited for this new year? Scared? Nervous? I’d love to hear your thoughts too! 🙂

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Christian Living, Holiday Specials

New Year—New Expectations, Part 1: Fulfilling Resolutions

It’s upon us yet again: a new year. 2022 is just around the corner. Let me rephrase that.

2022 is in just several hours.

2021 is finally over, and 2020 is far behind us! I’m going to be honest, my post for the conclusion of 2020 was maybe a bit unfair to the poor year. It was a year full of immense discouragement, but God also blessed me in several ways. As we begin to look beyond 2021, I’m going to say it: 2021 was a tense, not-so-amazing year, but it definitely had it’s pros, and lots of it.

Now enough of that, hehe. Look, even as you read this 2022 nears us! We all know what a new year comes with. New resolutions, hopes, and expectations. The idea of expecting is the theme in this two-part series. Last year I came into 2021 with thoughts more, say, realistic than others. I believed that it was likely ‘21 would be no better than ‘20. And that worked out well for my brain. Now I’m coming into ‘22 with a similar mindset: Things could be worse than this year, things could be better, or things could stay the same; I will try to trust God fully either way. But I still have my plans for this year—which I will talk about tomorrow in part 2—and I’m sure you do too.

We all know how it is with new year resolutions, that they just never turn out. In a Phineas and Ferb episode, Dr. Doofensmirtch fired a machine that made everyone’s new year resolution the same: to obey his every command. After the clock struck 12, he shouted out an order for all of them to follow him as he walked out the door. When he noticed no one was obeying he asked why. One of them said, “well everyone knows no one ever fulfills their resolutions!” XD Funny show, that Phineas and Ferb. Anyway, it’s true that many, if not most, resolutions do not turn out. But some do. Today I want to explain to you several practices that could save your resolutions from flying off with the wind.

Meditate on Each Resolution.

Before you jump into anything, you need to remember to meditate and pray. Sometimes your emotions get stirred up and you forget to consult with your Heavenly Father. He knows best. Ask Him before you make an important decision.

Start Slowly.

If you get the ‘okay’ from God, then when you start with whatever you’re doing, start slowly. If your resolution is to spend time at the gym and you were planning to go four days a week, start with one day a week. Then once you’ve got that ‘in the bag,’ go two times a week. Then three. Finally, when you know you’re serious about this and you’re confident and strong, go four days a week. Same concept with running goals; writing goals; food goals; etc. Ease into it.

Find Accountability.

We all need accountability in some areas of our lives. For everyone who has a resolution, you need accountability. If you’re goal is to talk to an unbeliever at school about Christ once a week, no one is going to automatically notice whether you are or aren’t doing it—only Jesus, you, and the person you did, or didn’t, talk to. None of your friends or family are going to automatically know if you did it or not, So you need to personally request that someone make sure you did it. Say it’s your best friend. Tell them your goal, and to make sure you aren’t lying about doing it, make sure they are present when you are witnessing.

If it’s about things more personal, sometimes it’s weird to request a person, even a family member, to keep you accountable. But it is vital. You need an accountability partner or mentor especially if it’s something personal.

If you’re plan is to pray at least ten times a day, do you know how easy it is to lie about that? “Hey, did you remember to pray?” “Yeah.” “Nice!” Easy as that. So you need to be honest about it. And remember, God sees you. He knows if you’re praying or not. You can fool any human, but not God.

Even if God is always watching you, you still do need a physical, visible person to help you. Make sure they’re someone either ahead of the game or struggling with you. Not some passive person who hardly understands your situation at all.

You’re human, therefore imperfect.

As you jump into this new year, remember this: you are human, and therefore you. Are. Not. Perfect. You are not superhuman. You’re just not, and you never will be till you reach Heaven. You may not fully accomplish your resolution, and that’s not good, but it’s okay. Feel me? Just repent to your partner or mentor and to God, and try again.

If you keep failing. . . 1. Maybe you’re going to hard. 2. Maybe you need to be kept more accountable. 3. Maybe you shouldn’t even be doing it. If #1 & 2 have been fixed, maybe it’s #3. If so, pray about it more. Talk to a spiritual mentor about it.


Either way, throughout the highs and lows of this new year, trust in Jesus. He loves you, and not only knows what’s best for you, but wants what’s best for you. May you thrive this year, brother, sister, friend!

Talk to you next year! 😉

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Announcements/Notifications/Updates, Interviews

I’ve Been Interviewed!

Hi again, everyone! Yeah, I know, I already posted yesterday, and that was also an announcement, but this is like. . . a more unexpected one— er, it’s, um, a special one— er, it’s— you know what, nevermind. I’ll just say that this one’s even shorter.

Main point: I’ve been interviewed as an aspiring author!! The interview was posted yesterday, on Tasha Van Kesteren’s blog, here. It was awesome to be able to do something like this. I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed before.

So, if you’re reading this, thanks for interviewing me, Tasha!

And that’s all, everyone. 🙂

Actually, no it’s not, sorry. Hehe.

Notice: The RKW is so close to reaching 100 subscribers! I just want to thank everyone who’s subscribed and say that I really do appreciate your support, and I hope that it was and is worth it!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Announcements/Notifications/Updates

This Christmas

Friends, there is so much someone could say for a Christmas post. There’s so much that will be said on Christmas day, I’m sure. I’ve been thinking about it—“what should I post this Christmas? It’s such an important holiday, I need to post something special!” But now I don’t think I actually need to. I don’t want to ‘contribute to the noise’ this Christmas, if you know what I mean. This year I shall attempt to minimize the stress the best I can—because last year, the days that led up to Christmas were just too much for me. And when you’re super busy with family things and wrapping and all, the last things you need are expectations for a great post.

Right now I am tossing away any expectations you may have. I’m not going to post anything this Christmas.

I’m pushing aside all those uncompleted Christmas post and short story drafts and I’m going to try to slow down a bit more this week, if that’s possible. XP

So inclusion to this short post, Merry Christmas, my friends! May God bless you this season. And may you have a white Christmas, even if you’re in Chicago like me where it hasn’t snowed on Christmas day in years!!! 🤪

P.S. My gift to you—which I’m giving a few days early 😅—is the snazzy new graphic thing I made for this post. 😉

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Writing Advice

Your Own Pace

You are running in a 5K and you look around and see all these other people going faster than you. You feel like you’re going slower than them just because you’re not trying hard enough, so you speed up. That increase near the beginning affects you near the end, and you lose your breath and are forced to slow down or even stop. You end up getting a lower score than you hoped. This is because you didn’t really go at your own pace. The same goes for writing—and life in general.

***

We all go at different writing paces. That’s okay. Don’t overwork yourself.

I’m a pretty busy guy myself, so last month (November), while some people’s writing goals were something-thousand words (mostly because of Nation Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo), mine was only at a 100-200 word average per day. That’s okay. I’ve tried to do 500-something a day, and when I was this busy, it just didn’t work for me. And guess what? I’m still making progress. I’m still reaching those milestones. Maybe it’s slow progress. I don’t care that I’m not the fastest writer in the world. I’m fine with the speed I’m at. I’d love to be faster, and I am getting faster, but I’m not going to beat myself up about not being ‘one of the best’.

Maybe you have all the time in the world. Great, go for it! Write hard and long! Maybe you don’t—maybe you’re super busy. That’s fine. Just do what you can. Do your best!

We all run our own races. It’s impossible to run someone else’s race—that’s not how life works. You go too hard, you burn out.

Here are some suggestions that I do hope will assist and guide you in some way.

#1 Take a break.

Breaks are more important than you may think. If something’s stressing you, there is a good chance that you need a break from it. Try taking a week long break from writing, and see how that feels. Maybe what you need is a whole fresh start. If so, try for one month. One month without writing. If an idea comes into your head, write the basics down somewhere then move on. And pray unceasingly whilst you go about your business.

#2 Rearrange your schedule.

After your break, despite your possibly crazy schedule, hopefully, you have a clearer state of mind! If so, take a look at your schedule. What’s there that’s vital, what’s not? Is there a way you could rearrange things better? I suggest you make another detailed list of things that you do regularly but wouldn’t have put on a list. Some things could include brushing your teeth, lunch, and procrastinating school by scrolling on social media. Estimate how long each takes. Is there something you find yourself doing that is, really, just a waste of time?

#3 Accountability.

If you’re like me, you get distracted a lot, which is an easy way to not make progress. Consider getting an accountability partner or a few, a friend or relative maybe. If you spend a lot of time online when you shouldn’t be, have your accountability partner schedule messages to be sent to you regularly. Maybe you’re scrolling on Gmail and then pops up. . . “HEY, GET BACK TO WORK, SILLY!!!” Possibly that’ll bring you back to reality. 😆

If you get distracted by daydreaming, request that a sibling or parent ‘yell’ at you to get back to work regularly.

Something a lil’ bit funny: when I do math I easily get distracted with daydreaming (hey, I’m a fantasy writer—what can I say?) and so often when my mom comes by, she says something like, “get back to math,” or just, “Danny.” And I reply with the same exclamation bringing me back to reality, “oh-oh, math! Yeah!” 😛

#4 Increase your writing speed.

This is not something you can just. . . do, hehe. It takes skill and lots of practice. Here are two suggestions for ya:

  1. Write fast and don’t care about quality. This is geared toward people writing first drafts. Most commonly, the way to go about writing first drafts is just to write, write, write. Not edit, just write. Then, when come the other drafts, you may edit all you want. But, hear me now if you’re writing a first draft: don’t even look over what you wrote when you’re writing, just focus on what you’re about to write. I don’t care if a character says, “I ned that sord, sir. Coud have it?” Instead of, “I need that sword, sir. Could I have it?” You can edit those. . . later. Just practice writing-writing-writing hard, and you’ll likely get faster at writing-writing-writing hard.
  2. The Most Dangerous Writing App. Yeah yeah, I have mentioned this several times before, but from my understanding and limited experience, a few short sessions/sprints of this will help you get in the write-fast-don’t-care-about-quality attitude and feel. What I think is convenient and kinda ironic is that I don’t even need to download it as an app, not on this laptop anyway. I just search it up and go.

***

Dear reader and fellow writer, I pray that this post has been of use to you. Just remember this: you are in your own race! Run it to the best ability, not looking left or right, and let the Author of Life guide you. Do not feel bad about not being as fast as others. Just pay attention to what God says and He will not lead you astray.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Music

Spotify Anniversary

Ah, I’m so sorry this is a day and many hours late! 🤦 There was a lot of work to put into to make this post happen, as will be explained later. Well let’s not waste another moment, and hip hop in!

Yep. Sunday was my 1st Spotify anniversary—I have had a Spotify account since December 5th. It’s been awesome, having access to awesome music. Music is AMAZING. To celebrate, I shall list my top 15 favorite artists. I calculated this by documenting every. Single. One. Of my 562 Liked Songs on Spotify. It took a long while, let me tell you. I wrote down every artist there and the number of songs they have, as well as the names of their songs, and I organized them by number of Liked songs. If there was a tie in the top, the artist that had a higher quantity of songs that I like even more would have the higher rank. It’s as I said earlier, it took a long while.

Genres will be taken from Wikipedia, and will only be provided fo the top 5 (because it’s too much work for me to do all of them, hehe).

Top Five

  1. NF—Yeah, I’ve had several different attempts to calculate my favorite artists, and though it’s varied, NF has always been on top. 😅 Genre: rap, hip hop.
  2. TobyMac—He has a lot of songs and most of them are definitely worthy of a Spotify Like. I assumed earlier that this artist would have this rank. Genre: Christian hip hop, rap, rock.
  3. Lecrae—I was actually kinda surprised by this. Until I realized just how many songs he has made. He’s been cranking out a whole lot of music almost every year since 2006, and so there are bound to be a some songs I Like. 😆 Genre: rap, hip hop.
  4. Twenty One Pilots—Let me tell you, as I was documenting each Liked song, TOP remained at second place for a good long while! They make amazing music. Genre: Kinda difficult to say. . . as you hear from their song Lane Boy, they don’t stay within one genre but go wherever they want to. I’ll just go with what Wikipedia says: Alternative hip hop, electropop, indie pop, pop rock, rap, rock, alternative rock.
  5. KB—For some reason I kinda thought that KB would be second, and didn’t realize how much lower than the top four it he was, but he is still top five, which is, yeah. His music is awesome. Genre: Christian rap, hip hop, pop.

Top 15 (starting after #5)

6. Surfaces—Classic! The duo makes such good music, and it’s not even rap or hip hop! 😛

7. Hulvey—You made it Hulvey!! I was thinking you didn’t have enough songs to be up in the top ten, but you do! You made it higher than David. Wow. Seriously, Hulvey’s music is great.

8. David Dunn—He’d better be in my top 10! This man does not get enough credit on Spotify. He has amazing music.

9. Andy Mineo—Andy, really? I honestly did not think he’d be in the top 10—maybe in the top 15. But I guess I Liked him a lot. *shrugs*

10. Hollyn—Hey, she made it up here too! Good for you, Hollyn. Honestly, her new album Holy Rebellion isn’t that amazing in my opinion, but in a final act, it’s Bird’s Eye View from that album that got her 10th instead of WHATUPRG.

11. WHATUPRG—I never really knew whether he should be in the top 10 or 15, but I guess Spotify ranked him for me, and I have to admit, 11th is a pretty good rank for him.

12. PEABOD—I only recently started listening to him, and he’s really good! It’s funny, because he does rap and hip hop but it’s like nerdy-happy-kiddy rap/hip hop, kinda, heehee.

13. Skillet—I rediscovered them when I got Spotify, from when my sisters would listen to their music way back in the day. They actually have really good music.

14. Trip Lee—When I first got Spotify and discovered all these Christian rappers I listened to Trip Lee a lot, and I still listen to him, but not as much anymore. His music is still good! And still Liked as well. 😎 (Only three “still”s, that’s still allowed, right? Well now four.)

15. Jorge Quintero—Now, I’m not really a huge instrumental-music guy, but I Liked a lot of his songs, so I guess he made it way up to 15th place!

Weeeell, that’s all I have today because I have US History homework to do. 🤓 😭

*Ahem* Anyway, I hope you enjoy music too, because if you didn’t, um, that’d be super sad. Have a good night/evening/morning/afternoon!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Announcements/Notifications/Updates

November Wrap-Up & December Preparations

Hello there! Good old Obi Wan quotes.

I was hoping to have some writing advice for you today, but after some fellow writers went through editing it, I realized that it is, um, most definitely not ready for sharing. I didn’t really have any back-up advice post ready and I could never focus on one helpful topic long enough to finish it, so I thought I’d just wrap up this month with some updates! I’ve divided these updates into three sections: goals, blogging, and reading.

Goals

I had three goals that I shared with you a few weeks ago:

  1. Finish my project Beyond the Wolf (i.e. reach 60K words) by December 15 (52/60, rounded down).
  2. Publish at least 4 posts in the month of November (1/4).
  3. Run three times a week, unless the temperature is below-40° F (I’m starting with this week, because I only ran twice last week).

And here are the updates:

  1. I completed my goal of reaching 60,000 (60K) words sixteen days before the due date! [Screenshot of proof is put after the list.] Although, I didn’t actually finish the book. . . far from it, really. It’ll probably be done by 70K words. *facepalm* I’ll need to put a good chunk of time into outlining.
  2. I was able to publish five posts, one more than the said goal!
  3. I, um, *cough* didn’t do so good in this one. Only two weeks, I think, did I run three times. But I ran a 5K on Thanksgiving morning and I was aiming for 21 minutes, but I beat it by 11 seconds! So, um, yeah, that was cool.
This was through Reedsy.com.

Blogging

Like I said earlier, I have a habit of not putting enough effort into starting and finishing a post, so I have a whole bunch of unfinished blog post drafts piling up in my google docs. 😆

The plus is that I can always come back to them and if I put enough effort in, I can finish. This December I hope to provide you with at least four posts! I have a good idea of what I want for three of them, so I hope that turns out well and works out for you too. 🙂

I also just want to say I appreciate all the support you readers have given me! It really is encouraging. And can you believe that I’m almost at 100 subscribers?? 0-0 This means a lot to me.

Reading

A while ago my friend Laurel tagged me for the Bookworm Tag. I wanted to post my version earlier in November, but as I was going through answering the questions, I realized that, and this is hard for me to admit, I don’t actually read as much as a writer should. I write much more than I read, and it’s good that I’ve had plenty of motivation to write, but I hardly read at all. This December I am going to try to finish reading three books by the end of December, not including school books. I’ve already started reading 88 pages (out of 390, so about 1/4) of The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann.

And there you have some of the inside scoop into my life. May God bless you during the Christmas season! Farewell. See you next week! 😉

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Christian Living, Guest Posts & Blog Collabs, Holiday Specials

Thankful for the Little Things: a Blog Collab

Good morning, fellow humans! So, today’s Thanksgiving, eh? Doesn’t that mean that Christmas season is almost here?? Doesn’t that mean that 2022 is nearly here??? Hold up, what?!

*pauses* Oh, well, back to the topic, Thanksgiving! Politics, history, food, football; what really is it for our culture? *shakes head* Let’s just go to the basics: giving thanks.

Last year, if you remember, I attempted to think of ten things I was grateful for in the shortest time I could. It took me 32 seconds. Now, to express gratitude to the One who gave us everything we have this year, I’m doing a blog collab! I’ve never done one before, and don’t even know how to do it, but I tried. I’m collaborating with blogger Moriah Armstrong, from The Quill!

Wanna say hi, Moriah?

Hey there! I’m so excited to be able to do this collab with Daniel! It’s a first for me, and something I hope to be able to do again in the future. Happy Thanksgiving, by the way! 🙂

We are collectively sharing 50 things we are grateful for, of which we don’t often express our gratitude. She’ll share first, then me.

Alright, Moriah, go ahead!

Okay! Here are 25 things I am very, very grateful to have in my life:

  1. My home.
  2. Air conditioning.
  3. Food
  4. Alllll my little fur babies
  5. My friends
  6. My family
  7. Being homeschooled
  8. Clean Water
  9. Being quick to learn
  10. Writing
  11. The internet
  12. Books
  13. God
  14. Good health
  15. Access to medical care
  16. Nature
  17. My height (I can reach EVERYTHING!!!)
  18. Life
  19. Apple pie (it’s really, really good)
  20. Candles (especially the ones that smell nice…XD)
  21. Love ❤
  22. Sweaters
  23. My bicycle
  24. Chocolateeee. Yum.
  25. Clouds

*nods* Good things to be grateful for!

Now, my turn. Thank you, thanks, thanks so much, God, for. . .

  1. Pencils
  2. My beanie
  3. Comfortable weather (we don’t have any currently, but just the idea is comfortable)
  4. The livelihood of Chicago during the Christmas season (it’s coming, people! 0-o)
  5. The beauty of a candle flame, then of the smoke as it dances away until it fades.
  6. Those people that genuinely respect everyone else as equals (I know a few people like that but I’ll keep them anonymous)
  7. The times when it’s all crashing down around me and You, Jesus, are like “just hold on and I won’t let you fall away with it all”
  8. That this is my 50th post ever
  9. Sounds and smells that remind you of the happy parts of your childhood, and even make you shed a tear
  10. The fact that I have never broken a bone, gotten sicker than a mildly severe cold (surprisingly COVID had almost no effect on me), or had to visit the hospital for any other reason than check ups and visiting others—i.e., that You’ve kept me safe
  11. That You, God, have given me the strength to not. Give. Up. On writing, school, and life in general
  12. The movies classic to our family: Cheaper by the Dozen, tLotR, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, etc
  13. The many hours of hard work artists put into their music to make it amazing.
  14. Peanut butter (it’s legitimately really good)
  15. My planner
  16. Strong winds in autumn days
  17. Cool, delicious water after a long, hot run
  18. Book shelves
  19. Nylon stickers (they’re so much better than regular stickers)
  20. Always green evergreens
  21. Google Earth
  22. My shoes
  23. My grass (I have a little pot of grass in my room)
  24. Cheesecake
  25. Happy family times

And those are our collective fifty. I know we could do so much more, but that would make this post incredibly long.

As a final note, every time you do something, just think, “what can I be grateful for here?” Always remember to be thankful for even the little things. 🙂

Thank you, Moriah, for doing this with me! Be sure to check out her blog, and her version of our collab! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Blogging Tips & Advice, Writing Advice

Four Awesome Tools for Young Writers

Throughout my journey of blogging and writing seriously, I’ve found a few tools that have been extremely useful! Here they are, if you’re considering!

  1. The Young Writer’s Workshop. My goodness, without this online program, I don’t know where I’d be. I ‘d probably have given up. It’s so amazing, but I’ll let the actual creators explain it. 😉 Click on the link earlier to find all the information you need. Let me just tell you, from Alaska to New Zealand (west to east, not east to west 😆) , this community has been so helpful. There’s aid in all areas, blogging, characters, graphic design, alpha and beta readers, you name it! I’ll stop ranting—my words don’t give it enough justice. You get the idea. 🙂
  2. Reedsy. I was introduced to Reedsy by a published friend of mine, and I love it! Reedsy is a website focused on the creation, improvement, and publication of books. One section has a book writing format, organized by chapters and parts, and it also provides stats 🤩 which analyze your progress in words, paragraphs, etc. You can also make writing goals, and it tracks how close you are to reaching them! Friends, it’s incredible. And that’s just the book writing part. It also offers reviews to agents, editors, cover designers, etc. And it’s free! I have a free account. For the first weeks Reedsy also offers free and not-free courses to help you! Check it out, please. 😉
  3. Canva. With this online tool you can make all sorts of images and such for all sorts of things. You can make logos, flyers, book covers, posters, and much more. With a free account (which is what I have) you have access to plenty of images. With a paying account, though, you have access to all the images they offer, and other convenient things, I believe. This is what I use to make my blog graphics. 😄
  4. The Most Dangerous Writing App. Now, I’ve only tried it a few times—I’m planning to use it more often—but I can definitely see how it could really help someone get faster at writing! Here, just try it out a few times (no risks, completely free), and you’ll see what I mean.

And there you go! I hope you’ll consider and that they’ll prove useful. Next week I hope to provide you with some good writing advice. Have a good rest of the day!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Snippets of Writing

Only Her and Her Jesus: a Short Story

Yes, I did it. I wrote a short story. Or, a flash fiction. People have told me it was more an SS, others more an FF. I personally like the idea of an SS better, so I’ll stick with that.

Anyway, I knew, to better my skill as a writer, I needed to force myself to write a short story. Then this amazing idea came to me, and I was so grateful. I also decided to really focus on “show, not tell”, because I really struggle with that. Personally, I think this story helped me so much by giving me good practice, and that was a gift from God.

Now, ladies and gentlement, I present to you. . .

Only Her and Her Jesus


It was quiet in the small, dense forest of the big city. But so alive, to the eyes of the girl, who was quickly becoming a young woman. Goosebumps ran through her skin at every step she took in the crispy leaves. The sparkle in her deep brown eyes joined with the dance of the colorful autumn leaves in the wind.

The girl’s mind was one of revolutionary thoughts, dreams, and goals. At age fifteen-and-four-quarters in public school, she didn’t care that she had no phone, no social media, and no drama or romance, all by choice. Some called her nerdy, lonely-for-good-reason, and lame. The girl’s closest companions were her twenty seven year old youth group leader, her nine year old cousin, her five year old gold and green journal, and her ageless Savior. She turned to the glad joy settled in her soul, grateful for those she had and the forest so close to her.

The welcoming aura of the trees surrounded the youth, and she set out to climb their large branches. Lovingly slipping her worn journal into her backpack, she began to ascend. Each branch taking her closer to the sky, she continued to swing, jump, pull and push herself up. The girl’s gentle movements allowed her a closer encounter with squirrels and birds than most people. Eyes falling upon a family of blue jays chirping and flying together, they settled there and she slowed her ascension to a stop.

The girl’s thoughts drifted to family. A topic that often brought pain. Separated parents and endless arguments and fights between her older siblings caused literal migraines. Daddy on weekends and Mama on weekdays, noise clogging her ears and chaos clouding her mind, all she could do was hide behind a book, journal, textbook, or music. I miss my childhood, God, I miss when my parents were together.

Losing herself in her thoughts, the girl’s grasp loosened and she slipped, but her arms managed to wrap themselves around a thick branch. The sudden movement frightened the blue jays and they flew away. She slumped and curled up against the tree, her thick, curly black braid hanging loose and swaying in the wind.

The words of her mentor, the youth’s adult friend, entered her mind. “Crying is not a sign of weakness. As a universal way to mourn, if you don’t cry when you feel like it, it’s like discarding all the sad things in life. Don’t dwell on them, but don’t ignore them. Don’t be ashamed to cry.” Grateful for the bit of wisdom, she let it all go, and the streams of tears flowed down her cheeks.

A free leaf gently rested on her shaking shoulder, as if to soothe her. Grasping the leaf, the girl held it tightly. Surrendering the pain and her situation to her Comforter, the girl relaxed and let the leaf fly away with the breeze.

Wiping the tear stains away and flipping her braid behind her, the teenager pulled herself up and continued, feeling refreshed. The tree was tall, and perfect to climb. The girl continued, as the size of the tree limbs around her decreased. She reached up, her gloved hands grasping two different branches. As she pulled herself up, a branch pulled down her left sleeve and cut her arm. She lurched backwards, and rested on another thick tree limb. Grimacing, the teenager eyed her scar. Pulling out a napkin she had in her backpack, she wrapped it around the opening. The white cloth turned crimson quickly. Shaking her head, she put the napkin in her backpack, shook her arm, kept the sleeve up, and carried on.

The youth was stronger than given credit for. In the school—the country, for that matter—she was in, her faith and opinions were unpopular. She believed in youth rising up against low expectations, which to her meant attempting to bring her dreams to life, straying away from impure things, and using her tongue only as a weapon for good, based on what she understood from the Bible. She had taken a lot of hate, but didn’t quit what she believed in. The girl was an author and had penned several books. Her in-person voice was weak, but her written voice was louder than most. And when she ever doubted or felt like quitting, she would visit the forest. That day was one of those days.

Her muscles strained, the pieces of sky grew bigger, and the sun got brighter. Finally, she stopped climbing. She turned her gaze from the tree to the world. The forest and city knelt at her feet, so there her soul knelt at the feet of her King. Where the crisp wind and shining sun were unblocked, she talked to her Jesus.


That’s it. Thanks so much for reading! Have a great week. 🙂

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador