Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book News and Upcoming Events

Well, folks, it's official: my first book is FINISHED! :D I just completed the final edit yesterday evening. Today, I've been formatting my manuscript and researching the submission requirements on the two agency websites.

Of course, "finished" is a relative term. If my book is accepted, there will be other edits to follow. But this is the last peer/beta reader/Hannah edit for now. ;)

I have to admit, I didn't think about how time consuming this last little bit of preparation would be. Even though I've finished the book, I still need to update my synopsis, create a short biography, and come up with some promotional sentences and "back cover copy" paragraphs (the promotional paragraphs you normally see on the back of a book that capture your interest...or not). ;) All of this is fun, but challenging, too.

I'm pretty sure I have my formatting down, thanks to some help from my writing buddy, Rich. Today I realized I have a lot to learn about Microsoft Word. For the past several years, I've been using Open Office instead, and the two programs are just different enough that it can get pretty confusing.

My hope was to get my book submitted by this week, but I may have to shoot for next week instead due to some other writing deadlines I received from my upcoming Mount Hermon class.

This past week was a little bit on the crazy side, but it was amazing, too.

Warning: Faith-based post here, people. ;) I know not all of you share the same spiritual background I do, so I like to give you a heads up when I can. But this was something I really wanted to share. 

Okay, back to our regularly-scheduled blog post. ;)

Last Monday, the 1st, I was still $400 short on my Mount Hermon tuition, which was due on February 19th. That was also the day I discovered my mom would not be able to do the cooking when I hosted the doll club at my house two days later (she was still getting over a cold). It was the day I found out I had to have the first twenty pages of my second book, plus a synopsis, emailed to my Mount Hermon instructor by February 15th. And the day that I tried to list my Disney Princess Singing Dolls, but half of them were having problems (see my previously mentioned Tone Deaf Belle YouTube Video for further explanation).

This was on top of my self-imposed deadline of the second week of February for finishing my manuscript and submitting to the two interested agents.

To say I was a tad bit overwhelmed would be the understatement of the year. ;)

The thing that stressed me out the most was the monetary deadline for Mount Hermon. Because of all my other obligations, I was hesitant to do a slew of eBay listings. When my dolls all rebelled and started singing off-key, it seemed to confirm that eBay was not a good idea. But I didn't know how else I would be able to get that kind of money together in a few short weeks.

That night, I talked things over with Hubby. I was super stressed, but I remember specifically telling him, "I know if God wants me to go to Mount Hermon, He'll provide a way for me to go."

I prayed about things that night and felt better. I figured if worst came to worst, I just wouldn't go to Mount Hermon.

The next morning, I went into the school office to pay the girls' tuition. Usually, I write the tuition checks at home, where I have a record of the monthly fee (roughly around $700 per month for the three girls). Oldest Gal drops them off at the office on her way to school. But whenever I go into the office to pay, I can never remember the exact amount, so one of the office secretaries usually prints off an invoice for me.

Coincidentally, this was the first time this year I'd gone in to pay.

When the secretary came out with my invoice, she said, "Um, it looks like you owe sixty-five dollars."

I blinked. That couldn't be right.

"Are you sure?"

She showed me the invoice. There it was, in black and white. Total: $65.

So apparently, back in July, someone anonymously paid around $700 on our school account. At the time they wrote the check to the school, I had already paid that month's tuition. The following month, forgetting about the gift, I sent a check in with Oldest Gal, and proceeded to do the same thing every month afterwards.

This is what amazes me. Not only did God provide for Mount Hermon, but He provided for it last summer. Thanks to someone's generosity and my forgetfulness, that money was waiting in our account for just the right time.

Of course, God doesn't always choose to answer prayer so specifically. But when He does, it's so incredible.

I paid $100 so we'd be a little ahead for next month, went back out to my truck, and cried. I was overwhelmed by this incredible, real manifestation of God's love for me. I was reminded again of the ways He'd provided opportunities and opened doors for my writing again and again over the past several years.

You guys have been a part of that amazing journey, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)

Things were still stressful and busy after that, but having that sort of emotional and spiritual boost gave me the added strength I needed to get through the week.

As you can imagine, this nutso schedule of mine has prevented me from doing much in the way of blogging. Every time I sat down to type, it was to work on my book. By next week, this should be different. :)

On that note, I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments on my last post. It was so nice to come back and hear from so many of you. You guys are the best! :) I'll be heading over to respond shortly after this.

And now, on to upcoming events.

First up, another toy review post is on its way. :D I've been really good at not buying extras this past month. Almost everything has gone towards Mount Hermon, bills, and groceries. But today, Target had some new Disney Little Kingdom sets, and I decided I would treat myself to just one of them in celebration of finishing my manuscript. :D

This Aurora set was super cute.

I love that she comes with the three fairies...and what looks like a little book with Maleficent on it. ;)

The two Frozen sets I've been waiting for were there, too. This Ice Skating Set was darling...

...but I think the Frozen Fever Set is my favorite.

So cute! :D

As much as I wanted the Frozen Fever Set, I decided on Rapunzel's Royal Wedding set instead. I already have several Frozen sets, and one Belle, so I just needed some Tangled Little Kingdom dolls to have something from each of my three favorite Disney movies. ;)

The full review is not quite finished, but here's a better picture of the set. I can't wait to share the whole thing with you! :) 

I'm hoping I'll have a chance to get a post up within the next couple of days, but it might have to wait until next week.

In other news, our yearly combined birthday trip for Oldest Gal, Middle Gal, and Little Gal is coming up this weekend. We'll be going to the Disney Store, Build-a-Bear, Toys R Us, Hobby Lobby, Goodwill, and whatever else we find on the way. :) So be looking for a trip post soon. :)

I'm looking forward to finding some of the new fruit-themed Lalaloopsies. It would be wonderful to find some of the new Curvy Barbies, too, but I don't think those will be in stores until early March.

(P.S. For those of you who have been wondering, I'm loving the new Barbie bodies. I'm planning on getting at least one Curvy Barbie so I'll finally have one that looks like me. ;) Here's hoping they eventually release Tall, Petite, and Curvy dolls with Made To Move joints. Now THAT would be perfect.) :D

I guess that's about all for now. Just wanted to let you guys know I'm still alive and well...though very busy. ;)

I'll keep you posted on my book news, toy news, and travel news. Talk to you again soon!


jSarie said...

Congratulations on finishing the book!

Karina said...

Oh, that's wonderful to hear about your book!!!! I really hope to be able to read it one day! It's really nice to see posts from you again, and I loved reading about your answer to prayer! It's so awesome how God provides for us. I'm happy for you, that you will get to go to Mt. Hermon again! I hope you get to do some AG related posts again soon; those are my favorites! =) My own collection has really grown recently! I have an instagram now that you should take a peek at! I am mia.kate.andco on there! Looking forward to more posts! =)

Phyllis said...

Congrats on finishing your book (well sort of anyway!). Let us know when it gets published!

MyLittleMegara said...

What a wonderful thing to happen! You are so, so blessed and I am so thrilled for you!

Farrah Lily said...

Congrats on finishing the book, that is amazing! I never realized how much work goes into writing a novel. I look forward to purchasing it when it is a done deal!!
As for the faith stuff...I truly, truly believe that we can have and be blessed with anything we need. It's the idea of just "letting it go" and not trying to figure it out. We always are provided for no matter what, it's just a matter of shifting that energy off of ourselves and having faith that it will appear in our life at the right time. There is love and hope all around us if we just focus on that instead of what we "don't have." We are always safe and it will always be ok. I loved the story about having that extra money already there...that is amazing and a great example! :)
I saw those new Disney packs at Walmart this weekend and they are so adorable. So far, I've resisted getting any to collect, but the girls each have the single Elsa and Anna and Little Button couldn't resist Ariel in her little boat. They are so cute. I haven't seen the fruit Lalaloopsy minis yet, but I did get one of the curvey Barbie's from the Mattel website. She's gorgeous!! :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

I have a little time before I leave this morning, so I thought I'd come respond to comments really quickly. ;)

Thanks so much, jSarie! :)

Thanks, Karina! I think one of the hardest things about the whole process has been waiting to share my book with all of you. ;) Even if it is accepted for publication, we're looking at around another two years before it's published. But I'll be sure to fill you guys in on all of the details as we wait together. :)

You request is duly noted. I will make sure I include some AG-related posts in the future. :)

I'll have to go find your Instagram when I get backr. I don't have an Instagram account and I'm trying to decide whether I really want to take the plunge and add yet another social media site to my list. ;) But if nothing else, I'll at least go check out your account. :)

Thank you, Phyllis! I'll keep you guys posted!:)

Thanks, MyLittleMegara! :)

Thanks, Farrah Lily. Lol, before this process, I never realized how involved writing a novel was, either. :) It's hard knowing that it's still going to be so long before I see the finished product, but I'm trying to be patient. ;)

I am so thankful for the Lord's financial provision for Mount Hermon. It's been such a blessing to see Him work throughout this entire process.

The Little Kingdom dolls really are so adorable. It's been hard to leave them on the shelves. All of the new Frozen sets I saw at Target were gone the very next day. ;)

I'm hoping to find the other three fruit Lalas on our birthday trip this weekend.

And congrats on getting a curvy Barbie! I can't wait to add one to my collection, but I've been trying to be good and not spend too much, especially right before our trip. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! :)

Katt said...

i love the tangled ever after set because it has rapunzel's short hair,more accurate than any of the wedding merchandise that mattel made. The set is so cute! Eugene's face looks kind of silly but in a very good way, and pascal is so adorable.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Katt! That's one of the reasons I loved this set, too. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine when they release Rapunzel wedding toys and she has her long, blonde hair.

I had the same thought about Eugene, too. It's definitely a stylized, rather goofy look for him, but somehow it works. :)

I'm hoping to have the full review up in the next week or so.