Ready? Get Set…

The holidays are upon us! Which is pretty much why I have nothing to show craft-wise because I’ve been spending my week sneezing my way through cleaning house in order to get ready for Thanksgiving. After all, Thanksgiving means that the Christmas decorations go up that weekend. At least, it does in our house. What about you? When do you start decoration for Christmas?

What one thing do you look forward most during the season? For me, it’s putting out the mini-snowglobes. Once upon a time, JC Penny’s used to give them out every Black Friday and we have one for every year we’ve been married. Except for the two years, JC didn’t do the snowglobes. In fact, last year they discontinued the tradition, so now we’ll have to figure something else out. Still, I love seeing all the little Mickey snow globes in front of the tv. Makes me smile every time I see them (Hey, who are you calling sappy?).

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Love of Craft

Hey Y’all! I’m Julia Mills the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Dragon Guard Series. I without a doubt admit to being a sarcastic, southern woman who would rather spend all day laughing than a minute crying. Living with my two most amazing daughters and a menagerie of animals keeps me busy but I love telling a good story. Now, that I’ve decided to write the stories running through my brain, life is just a blast!

My beliefs are simple. A good book along with shoes, makeup, and purses will never let a girl down and no hero ever written will compare to my real-life hero, my dad! I’m a sucker for a happy ending and alpha men make me swoon.

I’m still working on my story but I promise it will contain as much love and laughter as I can pack into it! Now, go out there and create your own story!!! Dare to Dream! Have the Strength to Try EVERYTHING! Never Look Back!

I ABSOLUTELY adore stalkers so look me up on Facebook, sign up for my newsletter at JuliaMillsAuthor.com, follow me on Amazon or BookBub. Hey tweet me!

Send me a message!

XOXO Julia

I LOVE making my own swag. Working with my hands gives me the ability to be creative and helps me think through storylines or sticky plots.

I also like knowing that my readers are getting goodies I made myself.

Here’s few pictures of things I’ve made –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an author, I’m best known for my series, the Dragon Guard, but I also write vamps, wolves, lions, witches – pretty much anything paranormal.

My latest story – BANNING: A Dragon Guard Novella is part of The Fountain Anthology that just released Wednesday 11.15.17

Here’s a little teaser for that story

I also rewrote and expanded Dragon Down, Dragon Guard #22 which released 11.12.17.


Here is a little synopsis of the Dragon Guard Series

Welcome to the amazing world of the Dragon Guard! A group of extraordinary men who carry on the honorable tradition of protecting their kin from the forces of old that seek to drive them into extinction. Bestowed with the heart and soul of the long forgotten dragon warrior race and the integrity of those that came before them, these Guardsmen tirelessly work with a single-minded determination to rid the world of an evil so deadly it threatens all they hold dear.

There are no coincidences…

In Her infinite wisdom the Universe has created a mate for each of Her fierce Dragon Guardsmen. A woman that will complete the warrior as no other can. She will bring light to his soul, love to his life and hope to his very long future. The arduously long wait for the woman that will fill their world with all that is good and right is nothing compared to the eternity of love these two will share. Their holy book says, ‘when the two halves of the same whole meet, there will be instant recognition. Their souls will merge, and only then will the man and dragon know complete peace, they will have found their true home. It will be as if the time before they met their mate does not exist. All that will matter will be that they become one in body, mind, and soul with the One the Universe made for them.’

The Universe does not make mistakes…

The strong and sassy women created to complement the men of the Elite Dragon Guard are no shrinking violets. Each possess a warrior spirit, a heart of gold and characteristics that unbeknownst to them prepare them for eternity with their one true mate. The dragon elders say, ‘From the human race, women with great power will be born. Not the power to maim or destroy but the power to love, to heal, to uplift, and to rebuild. The beautiful ones will be created as the perfect complement for the men who take up our spirits. One woman destined for one man, to live on Earth and in the Heavens joined for all times. When the time is right, they shall discover one another. The two will become one, and the woman will provide the man and the beast with love, light and hope. Together they shall provide heirs that will allow our great race to continue for all eternity.’

Fate will not be denied…

Together these two souls will form a bond unlike any other, battle foes old and new and forge a new world where love is forever! Nothing worthwhile is ever easy and this amazing group of heroes and their mates fight with every fiber of their beings to get their happily ever after. Enter the world of the Dragon Guard and be forever changed…

Posted in Books, crafts, Guest post | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mayday?

So basically this past week has consisted of three things:

  • Reading Rough Trade stories as they are published (which I’m loving, by the way. There’s some awesome stuff coming out of RT this round).
  • Binging Supernatural and knitting.

I’m liking it so far, Supernatural. Okay, a little more than like, but not quite at ‘love’ yet. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of Castiel, but I still have about 2/3s of season 2 to watch before he joins the show, according to IMDB.

As for the knitting, I still haven’t settled on whether this will become a blanket sweater or just plain blanket. What do you think of it so far?

Yes, it’s folded right now. Wasn’t in the mood to try to wrangle the whole piece and try to get it all in the picture 😉

Oh, something else we did this week was getting foods we don’t normally eat (but should). I got adventurous and bought an avocado. Mind, I’ve tried avocado in a quesadilla before and did not like it at all, but I do like guacamole. So now we have to try to figure out a way to eat the thing and have me like it. Any recipes/suggestions are welcome.

Same goes for sweet potato. Not normally a huge fan, but they are better for our health so we figured we’d give it a shot. Not counting the classic (which neither of us likes) sweet potato casserole generally had around the holidays, please.

Haven’t gotten them yet, because we couldn’t find any good ones, but – and I hate to say this because yuck – beets.  Anyone have any good ways of eating beets? I do not like them pickled, that much has most definitely been established. I’ve had other ways before but it’s been so long that I don’t remember them, just that I have tried… something.

So  yeah, calling all cooks 😉

Posted in fan fiction, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The “Joy” of Starting Over

Hello, my name is starr_falling, or just Starr. I love reading, writing and cooking—especially baking. There are many other crafts I’ve dabbled in but haven’t really stuck with, and many more I’d like to try.

I’d especially like to try knitting, both because it would produce useful items and it was on of the many crafts my paternal grandmother practiced. Well, technically, I think she crocheted, but as accident prone as I am pointy sticks seem daring enough without adding in hooks. I’d also really like to try out book binding. It just sounds interesting. And I might have a slight obsession/addiction to notebooks.

Picture of 15 notebooks I’ve bought recently.

Some of the notebooks I’ve bought recently.

The idea of being able to make my own journals, exactly how I want them, has definite appeal.

Sadly, a current lack of working oven has meant no baking, and a recent promotion has sapped time and energy for anything else. (Yay! full time pay and benefits. Boo! lack of time and energy.)

Still, there is nothing that can keep me away from my first love— books. Right now, I’m reading “The Furthest Station,” a novella in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I quite enjoy this series, also known as the Peter Grant series, and the interesting take on a magic system. I’m also reading “Fool Moon,” the second book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. While I have enjoyed these books, I’m not sure I’ll keep reading them as I frequently wish to smack Harry, and several of the other characters, over the head. Unless the ending of this book is horrendous I will be reading at least one more book before I decide.

I also enjoy reading non-fiction. Some are books about writing, some are research for stories, and others are just random things that catch my attention.

Picture of a stack of non-fiction books.

Most of these are library books. I LOVE my library!

Like “We have No Idea,” by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson. I’ve also recently started reading manga again, but I’m following too many right now to list them all.

But now I’m just rambling. Which isn’t uncommon for me as I’m definitely a born procrastinator.

I’ve always loved stories. Both the ones I read and the ones I tell myself. It wasn’t until a creative writing assignment in middle school that it ever occurred to me to write my stories down. I’d like to say there was no going back after that, but sadly, that isn’t true.

The fact of the matter is that I often struggle with writer’s block. Most of the time it’s a short period caused by stress, lack of time, and/or distraction that is—relatively—easy to get past if I just take the time and effort to do so. But then there are other times that are less blocks, and more blanks. It’s almost as if I’m empty of words and ideas altogether. There’s simply nothing left in me to fill a blank page. It is much, much more difficult to overcome as trying to force something that is not there is pointless.

At least, that’s how it feels. Thankfully, this has only really happened to me twice. The first time lasted almost five years and I’m not really sure what caused it or what pulled me out of it. I suspect I may have been suffering at least a mild form of depression, but I don’t know as I’ve never had any kind of official diagnosis.

I am only just recently getting over the second bout. It started about two and a half years ago, when my sister received a terminal diagnosis and decided to stop treatment. I didn’t simply stop writing then, buy my words started slowing and each one was harder to produce, until I did stop writing entirely a few months after she died. For awhile, I just couldn’t muster up interest in anything. Then, when I finally managed to work past that, I just couldn’t seem to pick up where I left off. It all seemed so overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start.

So I decided to start over. It’s hard, and sometimes really sucks, but it has been helping. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning all my old works, only that I’m trying new things and coming at things from a new angle.

One of the new things I’m trying is writing original fiction. The last fifteen years of my life/writing have mostly been dedicated to fanfiction. While I love it and don’t intend to give it up, I really want to try writing my own original ideas. I have toyed with this a little bit before, but I’ve never really given the time and effort to my own worlds to really develop them.

I’m also trying out new genres, for both original and fanfic. Namely Horror and Sci-Fi. I love reading both genres but I’ve never really tried writing them, mostly sticking to the much loved and familiar territory of fantasy. It’s hard going outside of my comfort zone, but also rewarding.

One story I’m working on has a large focus on music, which is very outside my typical. I love music, the only time I don’t have it playing is when I’m in the shower or watching TV. But I am not even slightly musically inclined. Having to learn to play the recorder in grade school is the closest I’ve ever come to making music. So it is hard, but also fun. As such, this the next book I’ll be reading—and look, I have the perfect notebook to take notes in!

A picture of the book, Music Theory for Dummies and a note book with music notes on the cover

LOL

I’ve also decided that restarting old habits that once worked for me but that I haven’t done in ages counts as new. Namely, I’ve gone back to hand writing my stories and then typing them up. (See, my notebook addiction is practical.) One of the hardest parts of writing for me—aside from starting—is editing. But for some reason, when I transfer my writing from notebooks to computer, I find I edit as I go along. I have no idea why, but whatever works, right? That’s how this post was written. And if nothing else, I’ll get plenty of practice to improve my atrocious handwriting.

Picture of a small notebook.

This is the notebook I’m currently using as it will fit in my purse so I can write on breaks at work.

Picture of my terrible handwriting in previously pictured notebook.

As I said, ATROCIOUS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly but surely, it is working. I’m easing my way back into writing and finding my words again. Some days are better than others, but it is an improvement over nothing at all, and that is what counts. There will undoubtedly be more hard times to come, but as long as I’m willing to put in the effort, I think I’ll get through them just fine.

You can find my writing at Archive of Our Own and Dreamwidth.

Posted in Books, fan fiction, Guest post | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turning Back Time

So have you remembered to turn the clock back an hour? For once, I did. Before I went to bed. Yep, might be a record 😉

So I didn’t cast on for my sweater yet. Haven’t really been up for it. I did however cast on something else. Either a blanket or a blanket sweater, depending on whether I can figure out how to do it since I’m not using a pattern.

Guess we’ll see what I end up with, right?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading since Rough Trade started on the first. I’m so glad to be able to follow so many lovely stories as they progress. I don’t really read works in progress much anymore, but Rough Trade is and always will be the exception to that.

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Luckynumbers

Hello everyone!

My name is Jennifer and I wandered in today to talk about my very exciting life! Well, moderately interesting life anyway. I work entirely too much these days and I have two very active little boys which doesn’t leave me with a lot of energy for crafting and reading but I try to fit it in when I can.

I do try to keep a couple of books on the go at all times. There are two books I’m currently reading. The first is Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. This is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. It’s a book about a young female assassin in a world ruled by a vicious king. I’m not sure I’m currently in love with the series but the first book was compelling and there are plot lines that I want to know how resolve.

The second book is a bit denser. I’m reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I am a chronic procrastinator and I’m always in search of systems that might make me less so. I discovered this system through the GTD Podcast and have implemented some of the system already. I’m not sure it’s actually helping but the ideas in the book, mostly regarding breaking everything down to an actionable item, are intriguing.

My favourite books include the entire Harry Dresden series and of course, the ever popular Harry Potter.

As far as crafting goes, I mostly knit and crochet these days. I’m trying to stashdown and have been working on projects that fit in my cargo pocket of my work pants. It’s kind of amazing how much knitting one can get done on work breaks. Mostly it’s been Christmas ornaments and baby hats for charity donation:

I’m always working on a variety of things including scarves, hats, slippers or whatever suits my fancy.

My current favorite finished object though is not a fibre art at all. It’s a costume for my youngest who demanded to be a marshmallow for halloween this year:

22885957_10159512300780174_4997000960188054906_n

I mean, how cute is that?

 

If you want to find me, the easiest way is on Ravelry as Luckynumbers. Thanks for taking time to get to know me today!

Posted in Books, crafts, Crochet, Guest post, Knitting | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Moving On

Well, I’ve figured out which pattern I want to use for my sweater. I wanted to make a Rogue initially but I don’t have the mindset for intricate anything right now and I really want to make a sweater for myself so I’ve settled for making a Brick.

Of course, it can’t ever be so easy as deciding on a pattern. I tried to make a swatch to check my gauge and I can’t hit it to save my life. I actually got frustrated enough to drive me to tears. Lucky for me, my friend Nikki was kind enough to help me out and she tweaked things a bit so I can still make the sweater and have it fit me.

I haven’t cast on yet because my body’s not cooperating with anything at the moment. Misery does not lend itself to much, but hopefully, in a couple of days, I’ll manage to get a start on it.

For now, I’m consoling myself by binging Supernatural (I might end up paying for that, though, because for me, it gets a bit too scary at times).

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment