Author Health: Life…(I’m back from hitouts + Major Announcements)

Well, I’m back.

I do so apologise that I dropped off the blog-sphere with but a few lines of an ominous message saying I’ll be “on a hitout”. 

As I explained in that post, the end of July had been where everything seemed to have caught up with me. 

So in today’s post, I’ll be reflecting on life for the past month, what happened, and what’s going to happen moving forward. Oh, and there’s an exciting contest opportunity at the end, too!

Life. (What Happened): 

First of all, something major happened earlier in May this year with my family dynamic. It wasn’t as drastic or major at first, but the situation worsened, and my “normal world” as a functioning homeschooling family shattered. It was sort of like the snowball situation where a tiny ball packs up more snow and picks up more speed until the thing was enormous. 

To be honest, I wasn’t prepared for it at all, and my faith was tested in a way it hadn’t been before.

This situation also led to a meltdown for all of my college plans in fall (although you could also kind of blame COVID19 for it too) and suddenly I found myself hanging loose. Everything that had been definite a few months ago came crashing down. I didn’t know where I was going, or even what happened. I was completely side-blinded by the situation. 

This, as you could kind of tell, resulted in me taking a break. 

During that time, I tried to spend more time in Canada’s gorgeous nature, stayed home and read stacks after stacks of books, re-worked my WIP storylines, house-cleaned, & c. I also spent a lot of my time with my family and what they were going through, trying to be more present with the situation at hand. 

And most of all, I spent time with God. I revamped my devotion routine by trying out different plans, reading Ecclesiastes in detail (which is one of my favourite books of the Bible), and taking an hour and a half each day for Bible studies with my family. For the first time in three years, I had a chance to get a summer vacation. I hadn’t felt more at peace in the last five years than now. 

I’d been so focused on my life plans, goals and milestones to hit that I missed the most important mark of all: Without God, everything is meaningless. 

Moving On:

So what does this mean to you, dear SJ Barnard readers? 

Well, for one thing, you can throw a toast, since I’ve recovered significantly more than the last time I saw you guys. Yes, you can’t get rid of me yet. 

On a more serious note, thank you. Thank you, dear readers, for sticking around and supporting me. This blog would not have been possible without you, and I’m thankful for the kindness of your readership. I’ve met so many wonderful people on this blog who were genuinely interested and thoughtful. I’ve grown a lot over the course of the year with this blog. 

So from September, I’ll be back with blog posts on Saturdays. I’ll be clarifying the designs of SJ Barnard (only a few last tweaks to do), and I won’t be blogging on Wednesdays. Yup, that’s right. I think we established that I function much better with a once-a-week routine. I have a few ideas in the air (collabs, events, & c.) but we’ll see how it goes. I still have some trouble with anxiety and slight depression, so I’ll be taking things in a more leisurely fashion. 

In the meantime, however, I’ll be blogging and writing and scheming. *inserts maniacal laughter*

After all, that’s what I do best. 

The Writing Contest

Lastly but not least, I was contacted by about a very exciting writing contest! 

The Contest:

Can you write a blurb for a hypothetical book?

This writing contest is all about book blurbs. The twist? We want blurbs about completely made-up, nonexistent books. Get creative!

Write and submit a back cover blurb of 100 words or fewer that sets the

stage for a novel, establishes the characters, and raises the stakes in a way

that makes readers want to find out more.

Let your imagination go wild—and who knows? You may be inspired to turn your blurb into a novel of your own one day.

The award

We will award one prize of $500 to the best blurb.

The submitted blurbs will be judged by our team of query letter writers based on how effectively they hook readers, taking into account the writing style and the overall impression.


  • Your blurb must be original. Any submissions found to contain plagiarism will be disqualified.
  • Submissions must be 100 words or fewer. Please run a spellcheck and proofread carefully.
  • You may submit multiple entries provided each entry is a completely unique blurb.
  • You can apply from anywhere in the world. No purchase is necessary to enter this contest.
  • In applying, you grant us permission to publish your blurb entry on the blog.
  • Please apply by noon (US Eastern time) on September 15, 2020.

Are you excited yet? 

If there’s one thing I love more than reading, it’s reading blurbs. Blurbs (and covers) are basically how I would decide to read a book, and one excellently written gets me excited about the book before I even read it. 

So if this sounds like your cup of tea (and I know it is) go sharpen your blurbing skills. Who knows, it might spark a brand-new story, and you might even win! *drools over the prospect*

Anyhow. It sounds fun, so I’ll have to start weeding through my blurbs. 

Well, this has been a rather information-jammed post. I hope that you’re all doing well, even with the sudden turn life can take. Before I go, I’ll leave you with my verse for the day:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Until next week!

How are you? How was your summer? Are you struggling with life, or are you sort of okay? Whatever you’re going through, I’d love to talk with you!

7 thoughts on “Author Health: Life…(I’m back from hitouts + Major Announcements)

  1. It’s good that you’re feeling better because my weeks have been missing your posting! There’s something about nature that makes you feel closer to God, right? Or that just might be my romantic brain at work once again.

    Liked by 1 person

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