Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Reasons Why I Love Being an Author {Giveaway & Contest: $20 Amazon Gift Card + Purple Moon!}

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It's often easy to become so focused on what we don't have rather than being grateful for what we do have. There will always be new things we want, new levels we would like to reach.

And although there are higher peaks I would love to achieve in my career, I thank God for how far I have come. However, even if I were never published, I would still be grateful for the art of writing, for the outlet to express myself, to create, and for the joy that it brings.

With that being said, here are my top 5 reasons I love being an author:

1. I get to do what I love for a living. 

I literally grew up imagining what it would be like to become an author one day. And now I get to live that dream. Even if I never made an income from writing, I would still write. The fact that I actually get paid for doing what I love is just the icing on the cake. 

2. The endless possibilities are exciting. 

It’s exciting to brainstorm new ideas for books, articles, and promo strategies. Even though being an author does not guarantee a stable income, I don’t think I would do well in a job that was too predictable.

3. I am my own boss.

Although authors do have deadlines, we’re still considered to be our own boss. I am still the one that creates my own schedule and overall career goals, and I love the flexibility that this brings.

4. I have an opportunity to reach out to others. 

This is probably my favorite aspect of being an author. Writing gives me an incredible opportunity to minister to others through the power of the written word. It is also the perfect excuse to speak to teens at schools and homeschool groups, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.  

5. Writing is a perfect career choice for my personality type. 

It doesn’t bother me to stay at home for a few days in a row while working on my book. In fact, as an INFP, I excel—and enjoy—working on my own. (Not to mention, it is also the same personality type as several famous authors, such as C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, etc.)

 ♡ ♡ 


Now it's your turn to share your favorite aspects of writing! 

Express your love for this craft in the creative outlet of your choice.

The winners of this contest will receive:
  • 1st place: $20 Amazon gift card + Purple Moon ebook
  • 2nd place: 1 autographed print copy of Purple Moon + sleeping mask
  • 3rd place: 1 ebook copy of Purple Moon

Here’s how you can enter: (And yes, you may enter in more than one category.)

1. Post a creative photo on the social media platform of your choice expressing why you love to write. 
The picture can be of you writing, a handwritten note of your favorite aspects of writing, an inspiration board, etc. In the description of your photo, use the hashtags #WhyIWrite and #PurpleMoonBook. (If you're posting on Instagram, be sure to tag me: @tessaemily.) {+1 entry}

2. Write a blog post sharing your top reasons why you love to write. 
Be sure to link back to this post! {+1 entry}
3. Film a video of you explaining and/or showing why you love to write. 
Be creative! In the description, be sure to include the link to this post, as well as my shared YouTube account: @MoonAndArrowAuthors. {+1 entry} 

** Let me know in the comments if you entered and be sure to include the link to your entry(s). **

I'm looking forward to seeing your responses! =) 

 ♡ ♡ 


If you would like to increase your chances of winning a $20 Amazon gift card or a Purple Moon ebook, click here to join the Purple Moon Publicity Team! Three winners will be selected. (And since this giveaway is only open to group members, the chances of winning are high!) 

** All contest and giveaway winners 
will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 17th.** 

 ♡ ♡ 

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving! =) 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When the Journey Becomes Slow

It’s been over five years since I started this journey. Five years of studying the craft, blogging, and pursuing a career in writing. 

Sometimes I get so accustomed to my life that I forget that I am living my dream. I become too focused on what I want to happen in the future—how much further I still have to go—that I forget how God has gotten me to where I am today. 

I found this essay I wrote for my English class when I was 13, the year that God laid it on my heart to write Christian fiction for teenagers. (I didn’t even know the genre existed.) 

It says . . . {Continue reading

{PS: Caroline and I have a new video posted! Check it out: 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing Prompt Contest for Teens & Up

A quick writing challenge (and contest) to help get your creative juices flowing for the new week.

  1. The entry must be between 150 - 300 words. Otherwise, your entry will not be accepted. (In order to see how many words your entry is, write it in Microsoft Word, or you can copy and paste it here.)
  2. The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  3. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. 
  5. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  6. The winner will be chosen based on the judges's preferences, as well as the following questions: Does this entry capture my attention immediately? Does it make me want to continue reading? Is the writing clear? They will also take into consideration the writer's voice and style--not necessarily technical issues, such as grammar, punctuation, etc. 
  7. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)


More prizes to come!
  • 30 points: You will be able to create your own prompt that will be used in Monday's Minute Challenge!
  • 40 points: You will receive a critique based on your current week's entry.
  • 50 points: You will receive a free blog critique and helpful suggestions.
  • 70 points: You will receive an 700 word critique on your novel, short story, article, etc.
  • 80 points: You can help judge one of the contests!
  • 100 points: You will receive a free ebook of PURPLE MOON. =)
  • 150 points: You will receive a personalized handmade notepad. 
Earning Points:
  • 20 points: If you sign up for a month of my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 5 points: If you post a review of Purple Moon on Amazon and/or Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 5 points: If you join the Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook. (You will have the chance to participate in monthly giveaways!)
  • 3 points: If you cast your vote! (See the end of this post.)
  • 3 points: If you post your entry on your blog via ILink, linking back to this post.
  • 3 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 2 points: If you post a tweet about Monday's Minute Challenge, with hashtag #MondaysMinute (You may tweet more than once in a week, however the points will only count for one tweet.)
  • 2 points: If you follow this blog via Google Friend Connect. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you "like" my Facebook page. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you follow my Twitter account. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Become a "fan" of me on Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Follow me on Pinterest. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 10 points: If you win 1st place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 7 points: If you win 2nd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 5 points: If you win 3rd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 3 points: You receive an Honorable Recognition. 
Points Tracker:
  • Angela: 29
  • Anna: 53
  • AnnaMarie: 10
  • Armina: 52
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Christine: 8
  • Elisabeth: 121
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 41
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 121
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 12
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 9
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 59
  • Laura: 9
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 20
  • Mary B: 124
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 26
  • Mickayla: 34
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • SK Lupu: 19
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 202
  • Victoria: 25
*Points are updated every other Monday.
*When you request to use your points for a prize, the points you use will be taken away from your total. In other words, when you reach 30 points, you can claim the prize for 30 points--but it will cost you all of your points. Or you can continue to try and earn points so you can claim a bigger prize.


If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to win, please send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry.

The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!).

There will be no Honorable Recognitions today since there were only 7 entries. Thanks to everyone who participated!

(Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.)

The entries that the judges thought was the most intriguing (based on rule #4) is ... 

Third place winner: 

The wailing winds of the dark forest fueled his inner turmoil. How could he have done this to those who had only ever loved him? Why hadn’t he trusted the man and woman who had taken him in when no one else would? He had taken the word of a woman over theirs. Simply because she was pretty. She had left him, and even then he had not gone back. He was too ashamed. And now…now it was too late. An hour ago the messenger had arrived, breathlessly banging on the door.

Your mother is dying, he said. You must go to her.

The horse seemed to be flying, it so rarely touched the ground. But it was not fast enough for the anxious man who sat upon it.

“Please, God, don’t let it be too late. Forgive me, Mama. I love you.


One small, white hand he held in his own. On the other side of the bed his father held the other. Though his mother’s breath was labored, she appeared peaceful.

“I’m so sorry, Papa, Mama,” he was crying. “I should never have left you. You were right, Alice never loved me. I know because…you do. That’s real love. And I found a woman who truly cares for me too. Oh, Mama!”

“It’s alright, Robbie,” whispered the woman in the bed. “You were forgiven long ago, when we first read the note. You are our son, and no matter what you do, that won’t change.”

He squeezed her hand tighter as the burden of guilt rolled away. “I know.”
Congratulations, Christine! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

I ran from the parlor, throwing a cap on my disheveled mop of hair.
“God, please help me to get there on time!" I murmured, pounding to the barn.
“Come on, girl! Come on!” Polly nickered to my urging. Racing through woods in wintry weather was not what I had in mind when I said fun. Sometimes I just knew Andrew needed a brain replacement.
As we hurried on, a girl garbed in red sprinted into our path. Seeing us coming, she froze; I could never forget her face. Terror would be better than the dull apathy and acceptance in her glowing dark eyes.
“Polly!” I cried in a near scream. “Whoa, Polly!”
My horse veered to the right almost in time to save the girl, but almost wasn’t good enough. She noiselessly sunk to the ground. I jumped off of Polly and dashed to her aid; she hardly seemed stunned. It was as though it never happened except that she wouldn’t raise her gaze.
“Excuse me,” I began, concerned. “Are you all right?”
She seemed startled at my voice, but nodded her head decisively. She blinked and the realization struck me that she wasn’t looking away to be rude. She was afraid to look.
“Are you sure?” I asked again.
She nodded, still staring at the ground. I think she only hurt her ankle.
“Well…” I stood up slowly. “OK.”
Making my way back to Polly, I left the girl in the woods.

She bit her lip to calm herself, her breath coming in short gasps. It was bizarre. It was unbelievable. It was the last thing she had imagined of, but always contemplated on.
Someone… had seen her. The idea that she had always accepted as sure now seemed a little less certain, a little more dubious.
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 
The line went dead, the phone’s beeping stunning me into silence. Liam’s deep voice echoed through my head–
“You need to come. He’s slipping away fast.” He had paused. “He wants to see you before…” Liam had hung up before the tears could began to trickle down my flushed cheeks.
I clutched my car’s steering wheel until my hands went numb and white, staring through my clouded eyes at the red rear lights of the traffic. Choking up a sob, I found myself finally excepting reality.

Dad was dying. 

Dad was dying, and if the traffic didn’t clear up, I wasn’t going to be at his side when he passed on. I bowed my head, struggling to find the words on my heavy tongue. There was only one thing I could think to pray.
“God, please help me get there in time,” I whispered. “If–if it be your will, please.” I let out a heavy breath, and tears cascaded down my face, the teardrops dripping onto my denim jeans. “Oh, God, please.”
A car horn woke me from my despair. I glanced up at the road to see that the cars were moving on and I was the one holding up the cars in the lane behind me. I began to cry for joy and pressed my foot on the gas pedal. Praise the Lord.

Dad died that night. 

It was a peaceful, painless death. My family encircled the hospital bed like protective angels, and I grasped his callused, cold hand in mine, never wanting to let go.
Congratulations, AnnaMarie! Click here for your badge. =)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below -- you will receive 3 extra points!). 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.


1) Your response should range between 150 - 300 words, otherwise it will not be accepted. (Copy and paste your entry here to count the words, or you could write it on Microsoft Word.)
2) The deadline for the contest is the Friday after next.

Choose at least one:

Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.

There were no entries for prompts this week, so these were chosen based on previous posts.
(Please make sure to send in your prompt ideas!) 
  • (Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
  • Write a passage using these items: swing, lake, campfire (submitted by FlyGirl)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by TW)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: Finally, what I had always wanted was going to happen. But would it be the fulfillment of my dream . . . or the beginning of a nightmare? (submitted by His Princess)

Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog (+3 points), please add your link below rather than in the comments:

Submit your prompt idea!:

The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. Here's how this works:
  • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
  • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
  • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 3 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below, Monday through Sunday.

Cast Your Vote!

Here's how it works:
  • You can vote for 3 entries per week, but you may not vote for yourself.
  • You can only click "submit" once per week, so be sure to wait until you have selected your top 3 entries before casting your vote.
  • Please do not vote until at least 7 entries have been submitted. (If you do before then, your vote will not count.)
  • Only the participants of Monday's Minute Challenge may vote.
  • Voting will only take place from Monday - Thursday.
  • We will choose the 3 people with the highest amount of votes, then select another 3 or 4 that we think deserve to win as well.
  • From those 6 or 7 entries, we will then select the winners (including the Honorable Recognitions.)

You will also receive 3 points for voting. So when you are done, please post a comment below saying that you have casted your vote.  

To vote, please enter the names of the 1 - 3 writers you are voting for below (or click here instead):

Current Judge Panel:

  • Tessa Emily Hall (me)
  • Kate Petty
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