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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Five Weapons with Which to Slay Procrastination

By On June 25, 2016
OKAY SO I'M BAAAAAAAAAAACK. If you stalk my Google+ you know I was having some issues... for those of you who don't, in short I couldn't post. So yeah that's why I haven't posted in a while. But it sort of fixed itself so HERE WE ARE AGAIN.

Of course I still have to work out a few kinks... namely all those empty squares down on the right underneath the labels. None of the boxes should be there.... but yeah it's complicated.


I know how to get rid of them but my blog html won't save. Also for some reason the font colors on this post went a little wacky.... so yeah basically all that was to say buckle your seatbelts because there may be a few more changes around here.

Anyways. 


This has been rants about technology with Jonathan. Tune in next time to hear Jonathan say 'HELP MY BLOG IMPLODED ON ITSELF.'


Let's just jump right into the post, shall we? (What, you mean you thought this entire post was going to be a rant about technology? Don't give me ideas.... )











goals

Goal setting is easily one of the most motivating things ever for me. I don't know why, to be honest. It just is. XD Make sure you don't set goals that are impossible, but not goals that won't challenge you. Aim for the perfect balance of stretched, but not stressed.

lists


Okay so this theoretically is really similar to goal setting. XD But I'm still including it as a separate point because making a physical list is different then just setting a goal for yourself. Plus, I'm extremely fond of lists. (This post is basically just a list. XD)

accountability

Basically this means have people that are willing to yell things like "WRITE OR WOLVES WILL CHASE YOU." (and yes that is a legit quote from my Camp NaNo cabin, or at least a paraphrase of it.) There's plenty of ways you can do this, like posting your word count goal on you blog, participating in Camp NaNo or similar events, etc.

schedules

This can be something as general as "I'm going to write every afternoon." Or something as specific as "I'm going to write every morning between 6 and 7." (not that those times would ever be reasonable for me. XD) The point is to have a time set aside for you to write, because then (hopefully) you'll be less likely to put it off. I'm really bad about this myself so I should probably work on it. XD

habits


Getting in the habit of doing something is easily one of the best ways to make sure it gets done. This sort of ties everything else together nicely. When you're in the habit of setting goals, making lists, and having accountability, procrastination doesn't become much of a problem. And that's what we're aiming for.


Have you ever struggled with procrastination? IT'S CONFESSION TIME. What tends to help you? 

~ Jonathan


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Fingers are on Fire: Here's Why

By On June 15, 2016
WARNING: Following the instructions in this post may or may not result in incoherent mumbo jumbo. And insanity. Only the strong will survive.


Still here?

Good. On to the post.








HOW FAST DO YOU WRITE? And I don't mean how fast do you type. I mean how fast do you invent words and throw them onto a computer screen in an order so as to make them coherent. (coherent is a key word here)

For me, it's typically 300ish words in ten minutes. (and that's word war speed)

But recently(ish) my friend Amanda introduced me to an app that does miracles when it comes to writing speed.

Interested now?

It's called The Most Dangerous Writing App. (If you stalk my Google+ you may have seen it already.) But it has that name for a reason.

A good reason.

*points back to the beginning of the post* REREAD THAT PLEASE. Because once you cross this point, there's no going back. YOU HAVE TO TRY IT.


Okay so since you're still here I'm going to assume you're willing to give this thing a shot.

What is this app?

The Most Dangerous Writing App is really self explanatory. What happens when you click this link (DON'T CLICK IT YET THOUGH) is a screen will come up that lets you choose your session length. I'd start with maybe three or five minutes.

The key is: don't stop typing. Otherwise you LOSE ALL OF YOUR WRITING.

THAT'S RIGHT. IT'S GONE. FOR GOOD.

It's quite motivating, for obvious reasons. Also it effectively kills distractions. (Namely, the internet.) Because you don't have time to do anything else when you're typing furiously.

So with that being said.

Try it. Now. I insist.

I'll even give you the link again: right here


Done?

Now tell me how it went. Did you like it? How many words did you write? Did you survive? Maybe it's not for you. If so, tell me why. I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS. XD

~ Jonathan


Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Benefits of a Spiritual Journal

By On June 11, 2016
Okay so maybe when you see the word 'journal' you go into panic mode. Or, you visualize an emotional diary where you write the name of your crush. (complete with doodles which hold a strong resemblance to hearts.)

PUSH THOSE IMAGES OUT OF YOUR MIND. RIGHT NOW. That's not what I'm talking about here.

Okay, done?

Good. Because today we're talking about a different type of journaling. Spiritual journaling. What is spiritual journaling, you ask?

Spiritual journaling is nothing complicated. Basically all it is praying; in journal form. Recording your thoughts to God. (Although there are definitely other 'types' of spiritual journaling, like non-prayer journaling that has to do with faith. But this post will focus on the 'praying' aspect of spiritual journaling.)

Why should you keep a spiritual journal? Well that's what this post is about.






it draws you closer to God

This is sort of a 'duh', but I'm pointing it out anyways. Also it's rather self-explanatory. So... on to the next point.

it allows you to get things off your chest

Because God always listens. Even when you feel alone, abandoned, bitter, or betrayed, God will always be there. Where human confidants may fail, God is perfect. Not that I'm advocating keeping to yourself and NEVER EVER taking a problem up with someone else (or confiding in people), I'm just pointing out that God is the place to go when you need someone to talk to.

it helps you focus on God

I don't know about you, but when I try to pray when I'm doing something, it's really really hard for me to focus. I get distracted. My mind wanders. But when you're physically engaged in the act of writing down your thoughts to God, it's much harder, if not impossible to get distracted.

it helps you to work through struggles

Okay so first of all if you're struggling with something, I'm NOT saying you should keep it to yourself. That's probably not a good idea. (Talk to your parents.) But then, sharing your struggles with God can really help you to work through anything you might be struggling with. And when you share them in written form, it's that much more easy to sort out your thoughts.

it slows you down

What I mean by this is that sometimes when we pray, we can be a little rushed. (This kind of ties in with the point about distractions.) But when we're writing things down, it forces us to be intentional. To think about what we're saying. We're not concerned about the food on our plates or the fun we get to have when the Bible study is over. We're focused.

it lets you see how you've grown

When you're keeping a journal, you can go back. You can reread old entries. Glancing over some of those entries from last year could really be an encouragement to you. They could show you how you've matured as a Christian.

it helps you remember how God's worked in your life

This sorta relates to the last point, but I included it separately because I thought it was important. We can look back in our journal, and remember how good God is. Remember all the blessings he's given us. Remember how He got us through that rough spot in our walk.



So, with that being said, how do you start a spiritual journal?

The good news it, it's not hard. All you need is an empty notebook and a pen.

The bad news is, it does take up some time. But it's worth it. Take the time to record your thoughts to God. Talk to Him. Tell Him what you're struggling with. You don't even have to do it every day! Just shoot for two or three times a week to start.


Do you keep a spiritual journal? What do you think of my points?

~ Jonathan


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Five Things I've Learned About Blog Design

By On June 09, 2016
I know what you're thinking.

'HE CHANGED HIS BLOG DESIGN. AGAIN.' (Also that's the reason I haven't posted in a while in case you were wondering.)

And you would be absolutely right. *nodnod* Brilliant deduction, Sherlock.

The old one was too tight and cramped for me. I didn't like how the main stream was really narrow. Also, the lines in the background were starting to really annoy me. And I was having some tech issues with that template.

So yeah. That's why I switched.

I thought it would be immensely appropriate to do a post about blog design. More specifically, what I've learned about it.























free blog templates are abundant

It's not hard at all to find a free template that will fit your blog. (Something that goes beyond the like twelve templates blogger provides.) Just google 'free blogger templates' to start. Some of the templates are a little complicated, but most of them aren't too hard to customize. The only hard thing is finding one that you like and that goes with your blog. (Easily the hardest part right there. XD)

google is your best friend

Because while google doesn't have all the answers about everything that ever existed, IT DOES HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS TO TECH ISSUES. SERIOUSLY THOUGH. The key is knowing what to search for.

just about everything is changeable

The only trick with this is finding out how to change things. XD For example, HOW ON EARTH DO I GET RID OF THE TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, AND TUMBLR ICONS. It actually took me a surprisingly short amount of time to figure out how to BURN THEM. XD All in the blog html. (also google helps see above reason)

blog design is actually pretty fun

Okay so at first you're just a little bit frustrated and stuff because you can't figure out how to customize things but then eventually you figure it out. That's when it becomes fun. You can do a ton of things with your blog that you never would have been able to do if you hadn't attempted to use a more advanced template.

blog html is everything

Okay so I literally didn't know a thing about blog html until I got into designing my blog. All those letters and weird symbols meant NOTHING to me. But now, I can look at them and draw something from them. I can tell what a lot of them mean.


So. What do you think of my new design? (Also question: Does the header look strange since it doesn't take up the whole top? Or does it look fine sorta just floating in the middle?) Anything you've learned from designing your blog?

~ Jonathan

Friday, June 3, 2016

Defy Blog Tour!

By On June 03, 2016
Defy Blog Tour Header

TODAY I'M SUPER EXCITED TO BE IN THE DEFY BLOG TOUR. (I'm on the last day too, which is actually kinda cool. XD) So... yeah let's get on with this.

Summary

The war for Acktar has begun.

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope:

The Leader is ready.

(okay does that just not sound amazing? XD)


Aaaaannnnddd now for the cover.

Defy_Cover

Buy the book on Amazon. (pretty sure the link goes to the Kindle ebook, but if you want paperback you can just change the format.)

Dare and Deny Sale Image

Okay so I'm going to tell you to read these two books AND NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME BECAUSE LOOK THEY'RE ON SALE. (due to technical things the sale actually goes until June 4 THAT'S PLENTY OF TIME TO BUY THEM GUYS.)


So finding yourself at the END of the blog tour is a little hard (still cool though) because you've been reading everyone else's reviews and now you have to write your own but you don't want to copy anyone else's. XD

But I shall do my best. :D




**My Review: 5 of 5 Stars**

Okay so first off if you haven't read the other books in the series (Dare and Deny) then you should go do that right now.

Okay, done reading those two? :P Moving on.

Defy picks up right where Deny left out. Renna is trapped in Nalgar Castle with King Respen (NOOOOO D: D: D: XD also he has a new evil scheme unveiled so D: D: ), Leith and Brandi are riding to safety, and the resistance is getting ready for battle.

So this one was probably my favorite in the series. It has more action, it's more intense, and it has THE BEST character development. We get to see a lot more of Brandi in this book then I remember seeing in the other two (although my memory is finicky XD), and she really develops as a character. Also Renna has obviously changed A LOT over the course of the whole series, and of course there's Leith. And Martyn. And basically just all of the characters. (Even the villain which is really good because he's a really uncliche villain so #bonuspoints Oh and he also has a really good backstory so #morepoints)

The storyline was gripping, especially with Renna trapped in the Castle with the evil king (and his new plot D: D: D: D: I could not express my distress over this XD) and Leith/Brandi trying to figure out HOW TO SAVE HER. (also can we all just admit to the UTTER FOOLISHNESS of the prince dude who locks Leith up  SOLELY BECAUSE HE'S A BLADE. UM NO. #notokay)

Also more battles = more action = more awesome. And the author can even do the 'girl-dresses-up-as-boy-thing' without it seeming cliché.

The themes of faith are carried out effectively, without seeming preachy. (Which I've never minded preachiness but it is a novel so this is a plus.)

I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who likes non-magical fantasy. :) (Probably like... 13-14+? Maybe 15+. Not sure though... it did have some torture.)


(hopefully the link works XD we'll see though)


About the Author

DSC09446Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.




Blog Tour Schedule

May 26

May 27
May 30
May 31 – Release Day!
June 1
June 2
June 3

SO WHAT ARE YOU STANDING AROUND HERE FOR? Go buy the books! And make sure to check out the other posts in the blog tour! :)

~Jonathan

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