Writing Stories By Olivia Haefner

Book Cover of Advent to Epiphany. Photo provided by Olivia Haefner.

Advent to Epiphany

Engaging the Heart of Christmas

Long nights, late phone calls, fails and accomplishments, prayers, self-discovery, building faith and inspiring others, sums up Jacqueline Hullaby and Linea Apsukrapsa’s experience in publishing their first book, Advent to Epiphany: Engaging the Heart of Christmas.

On Oct. 23, co-Authors, Hullaby and Apsukrapsa published their first book on Amazon using Create Space, which is a division on Amazon for self-publishers.

Hullaby teaches French at Kennedy High School. Apsukrapsa moved to America in the late 1990s from Latvia, Europe to continue her education.

“She’s my best friend and can always get me to do things. Linea suggested that we should write a book and we had been talking about it over the phone, so we finally decided to do it,” Hullaby said.

The book is a series of devotionals for Advent that doesn’t stop on Christmas day, but continues all the way to Epiphany. Generally, Advent is a period from the last Sunday in November until Christmas day.

“Jesus came into the world and people who celebrate Advent are thinking he can still come to me today, in a new way,” Hullaby said. “Our goal was to help people focus on that especially at such a busy time. We wanted the book to be interactive in a practical way.”

After deciding to write the book, Hullaby and Apsukrapsa spent about a year looking over texts in the Bible and praying in conversation together, discussing the books ideas.

“Linea was the one who had this deep conviction about writing the book, but we did share the writing responsibilities. It was a very collaborative experience,” Hullaby said.

Almost every Sunday for a year they would talk on the phone about a text and pray, then ask what the text was saying to them.

“The way it flows is when you read something you go into that scene with all your senses. The book describes it as if you were really there,” Hullaby said. “For example, if you were in a stable what would it smell like, what would you hear and see, and who would be there.”

Once finished writing, Apsukrapsa went to a Christian writing conferences and talked about the marketing and proof reading of their book.

After the conference they decided to send the manuscript to an editor. She helped them edit. “We also enlisted someone to proofread our book just because when you’re writing something, you’re so used to seeing it you can’t find your mistakes,” Hullaby said.

Once edited and proofread, the manuscript was sent digitally to Create Space who printed it off. That’s when the two started marketing.

“The book is one of my greatest accomplishments. It’s a long process and a lot of work, but I think it’s very cool to see it in your hand with my name across the cover,” Hullaby said.

It’s an accomplishment for Apsukrapsa too. While growing up in Latvia, she had a very negative experience where one of her school teachers who diminished her writing and told her that she would never be a writer.

Then one Sunday at church, a pastor came up to Apsukrapsa and told her she should really start writing.

“For Apsukrapsa this book was a freedom to have one person say you’ll never be a writer, you’ll never do anything, then to have someone come up to you and say you really need to start writing. The miraculous thing is she’s writing in a second language,” Hullaby said.

The two co-authors have different purposes in publishing this book.

The authors are passionate about leading people to grow spiritually. “It’s been really cool to hear people talk about how the book has touched them. I think that’s the greatest reward,” Hullaby said.

Olivia Haefner

I choose this story to publish because writing it was enjoyable. Hullaby was passionate about her book and it made writing it more memorable. It's not just about a teacher in small town Cedar Rapids writing a book with her best friend, but so much more. I felt like Hullaby deserved recognition for one of her greatest accomplishments.

The Cursed Child is the last of book of the Harry Potter series.

The Last Story Ever.

19 years after The Battle of Hogwarts the story continues. J.K Rowling writes the story of Harry Potter and his family through her new book, “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child”.

The idea began in the form of play and then was printed in play-like dialogue. J.K Rowling, Jack Throne, and John Tiffany collaborated in writing and directing the play of, “The Cursed Child.” The book contains the scenes.

The book is set to continue the story of Harry Potter and his three children, mainly focusing on his youngest son Albus Severus Potter. As a Harry Potter fan myself, I was excited to see what this new book brought to the table. I was intrigued because I wanted to read about Harry’s Children and how they compared to their father.

“Harrys main role in this book is the father/mentor to his son. He helps them deal with the weight of the family name,” Lauryn Vaske so., said.

In this new book we are introduced to many new characters. The actors of the play also look different than the original actors in the Harry Potter movies. When finding this out, I was a little bit disappointed that Harry Potter fans wouldn’t be able to see the originals.

“I dislike the new characters because I really liked the old ones. It’d be weird to read about the new ones, let alone see them in a play, “Madison Friauf so., said.

The book is around 300 pages with two parts in it. The Cursed Child is written exactly like the plays dialogue. I liked how the book was shorter than the others, however I didn’t like how it was written with no description, just conversations. The thing I’ve always liked most about the Harry Potter books is J.K Rowling’s ability to make me imagine.

“I don’t like it as well because it’s a form of screenplay so it doesn’t have J.K Rowling’s amazing writing in it,” Vaske said.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was the first book in the series to be presented on stage. The play premiered on July 30, 2016. It has not yet come to America, but could eventually in the next couple of years. I have no doubt when it does it will be worth the money.

The new book connects to the old seven in many ways, despite being written differently and less descriptive.

“It compares to the old books because it still has most of the same characters and setting like Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. Most of the new characters are literally offspring of the old,” Friauf said.

Harry potter and The Cursed Child is the last book ever in the series of Harry Potter.

“I think the author wanted to show fans an epilog of the afterlife of Harry Potter. She wanted to show the fans that the generation is still living and will continue in the world of magic,” Friauf said.

Olivia Haefner

I choose to publish this story because obviously I'm a huge Harry Potter fan myself, but also I noticed how much my writing has changed this year after writing this. The flow of this story is improved dramatically and I don't have random facts scattered throughout. Its in a very orderly fashion with the most important information at the top. This story just shows my progress and that's something I'm proud of.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.