My [Faire] Lady: Tips and Tricks for Navigating a Renaissance Faire

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

I went to my first Renaissance Faire this year, crossing a pretty important item off my bucket list. To the surprise of absolutely no one, I had the BEST time. So much so that I plan to be back at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival next year.

My elf ears!

Oh, hi!

First turkey leg.

So, having been to a Ren Fest now, I want to share what I learned/some advice for you guys if you plan on attending a renaissance festival in the future.


Or, if your state's festival does not allow full water bottles, bring empty ones that you can store easily (I like this roll-up one from Amazon). Otherwise, water is available for purchase at the festival. If the festival you're attending is in the summer, water is crucial. Staying hydrated is a great idea anyway, but if it's brutally hot and humid, you'll need the hydration if you plan to stay at the festival awhile.

2. Plan ahead.

Buy tickets in advance. Look at your festival's schedule online and pick out the events and shows you want to see. Want to watch a joust? Make sure you get there early for good seats. In general, if you go earlier with pre-purchased tickets and a game plan, you'll be good to go, and you should be able to do and see all the stuff you want.

3. Bring bug spray.

As someone who has a really, REALLY bad phobia of wasps, this would have been helpful had I remembered to bring some. Same goes for mosquitos or other pests; if this is a concern for your festival location, please put some on prior heading to the festival.

4. Costumes are encouraged, but you can go as minimal as you want.

To my surprise, there weren't as many costumed attendees. Nor were there as many flower crowns as I expected (I only saw three, including my own). I'd recommend a flower crown or a piece you've picked up from a festival previously (i.e. elf ears, a crown/diadem/circlet, etc.) and "civillian" clothes to start with. I got my flower crown here, and it was the BEST. You'll still feel plenty immersed in the medieval fun and action (a friendly pirate called my turkey leg a "leg of squaw" and my friend's stroller for her baby daughter "the smallest pirate ship [he'd] ever seen"). You can always add to your outfit when you're there. I did; I got some elf ears made of gold wire and tiny white metal flowers to match my crown.

5. Get that turkey leg.

Turkey legs are a Renaissance Faire staple. If you want to eat some kind of meat there, I'd recommend this over chicken salad or a Caesar wrap. I mean, it's a Renaissance festival; gotta be immersed in another time, right?

Have you ever attended a Renaissance Festival before? Let me know down in the comments!

Disclaimer: Links in this post are Affiliate Links, which means that I will gain a small commission if you buy any of the items I've mentioned through the links I've placed in this post. Clicking, browsing, and buying come at no extra cost through the links. All opinions are my own, and they are unbiased. If you do use the links, thank you!

I Self-Published a Novella!

Monday, June 3, 2019

First, let's get this out of the way: My novella, "Do Life", is now out online and available for you to purchase for Kindle (devices or the app) and Paperback!


Now, the details.

This particular novella was the project I drafted for the very first Camp NaNoWriMo I ever participated in. Camp NaNoWriMo is a version of NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) that takes place twice a year during April and July. I wrote "Do Life" during the April 2018 session; I drafted 25,000 words in 30 days. To see this first novella I ever wrote out in the world now is pretty surreal and exciting for obvious reasons.

Here's the synopsis:

Jessica Smith has a fresh start: new town, new house, new job, new neighbors. What more could a bright-eyed twenty-something want?

With the rush of these new changes in her life, Jessica still feels like she's moving at breakneck speed through her new career and potential relationships.

But when a tall stranger barges through her door and tells her she's in danger...what will it take for Jessica to risk it all and leave her new life behind?

In this heart-pounding sci-fi thriller novella by Savannah Cottrell, join Jessica as she learns what it means to be human, and what it means to have free will in a world where it feels like all control is lost.

Now, I will say this, too: "Do Life" is very much inspired by one of my favorite video games. I would tell you which one...but you should read it to see if you can guess. ;)

Want to buy and read "Do Life?"

For the Kindle version (readable on Kindle devices, phones, tablets, and your computer), click here.
For the Paperback version (my personal favorite!), click here.

(For some reason, these are two separate listings. I've been looking into having them be combined into one listing, so please pardon this little bit of dust.)

If you read my book, please let me know through an Amazon review!

Y'all have been with me through my writing journey for years now. As always, thank you so, SO much for following along with me. You're the best. And stay tuned for more writing over the course of this year!

Brief disclaimer: the links above are Affiliate Links, so I will make a small commission if you buy my book through the links above. This is ONLY if you buy the book, though, and it's at no additional cost to you. If you use these links, thank you! 

Chicago, I Love You: BTS Whirlwind Weekend Edition

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

So, a couple weekends ago, my childhood friend Maddie and I went on a trip to Chicago to go see BTS.

Let's start from the beginning.

One day, a couple months ago, I got a text from Maddie asking if I would want to come with her to see BTS in Chicago. I love adventures like this, and going to see a K-Pop group was something that had been on my bucket list, so of course, I said yes. Fast-forward through a flurry of reservations and planning, and before we knew it, it was the beginning of May, and time to board our late flight to Chicago.

Several plane delays later, we arrived.

Here's what we did.


Here is what we saw in our 48 hours in Chicago:
  • The Chicago River and the Corncob Buildings
  • The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue)
  • Millenium Park
  • Cloud Gate (The Bean!)

Deep-Dish Pizza

There is a reason why deep-dish pizza is a mainstay in Chicago. Surprisingly, even though I've visited the city before and absolutely adore it, I had never had deep-dish pizza before.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Hello, lovah!

It took an hour for us to have it brought to our table, but good gracious, that pizza was worth it. We had pepperoni, cheese, and bacon, and it was perfect.

(For the curious, we visited Giordano's just off Michigan Avenue.)


Following our pizza adventure - and crashing after 40 minutes' worth of walking around north Chicago - it was time to hail an Uber for the main event: the BTS concert.

This was actually the largest concert I've ever been to. At LEAST 60,000 strong of the BTS Army (fanbase) were in attendance at Soldier Field. Following the concert, I've told several people that this is the closest that our generation has come to Beatlemania: fandom on insane levels for an artist that doesn't look like it'll fade anytime soon.

BTS certainly did not disappoint with their set, either. At least 24 songs - including solo songs from each of the boys - were packed into the three hours we were there. The set design and fireworks were just icing on the cake to how talented these guys are. They're fantastic live!

It was awesome.

Overall, we had a blast in the 48-ish hours I spent in Chicago. Chicago has my heart, always, and I can't wait to be back soon!

Writing Update: Camp NaNoWriMo 2019, Revision Plans, and Self-Publishing!

Thursday, March 28, 2019


So I've been gearing up for another big writing project. Well, actually, several, if you count the revisions and the stuff I plan to FINALLY publish this year.

I guess I need to slow down a bit, huh?

In today's update, I'm going to give y'all a rundown on my upcoming writing adventures! Starting with...

Yes, I am participating in Camp again this year! I will be partaking in both the April and July sessions. I am SO thrilled with the plot so far. 

However, this year, I'm tackling Camp a little differently than I did last year. Besides doing both sessions (which I'm already pumped for), I will be taking this opportunity to write a DUOLOGY. This will be a two-novella series!!

I have always wanted to write a series, and I figured a novella duology would be a SUPER fun jumping off point for my first one. 

I begin writing the first novella April 1, finishing on April 30. Then, I'll start drafting part 2 on July 1, finishing on July 30. 

To say I'm stoked is an understatement.


Okay, I'm just going to get this out there in the open: I am not a big fan of the revision process. I love drafting so much more. Also, in my experience, the revision process was glossed over in classes I took. Not to mention it's much more fun chasing new ideas and plot bunnies than having to revisit less-than-savory sentences, paragraphs, and plot points.

That being said, I've got a bunch of manuscripts (two novels and a novella) that I want to share with y'all. So, this year, I'll be working to revise these drafts and get those stories out there.

Please stay tuned for...


I write because I love creating worlds and stories and sharing them with others. This year, I'm deep-diving into self-publishing again after a year (I missed it!) and getting some cool stuff put out for you guys! Y'all, 2019 is gonna be a great writing year for me, I can already tell.

Again, please stay tuned. I can't wait to share my words with you. :)

Be Present.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

There was one day I was at church for morning worship service when I was next to someone who was on their phone the entire time. It’s become commonplace - in a way - to see phones at church, but I hadn’t seen someone be on their phone for nearly a whole service. Out of sheer curiosity, when this person put down their phone, I decided to count the seconds before they pulled it out again. 

Fifteen seconds. 

Fifteen seconds was the longest amount of time this member - yes, member, since they took communion with me - didn’t have their phone out.

Needless to say, a pet peeve of mine flared up a bit that day. I realize that I’m preaching to myself a bit; it’s easy to wander to the tiny screen if I see a notification, and it's easy to pass time scrolling through feeds and timelines. But there’s something to be said if you can’t give but fifteen seconds to God, let alone people around you, your dinner conversation partner, a concert, a wedding, or anything that involves you engaging with another person.

Recently, I took a trip with my Mom to Northern California. There, we hardly had cell service, let alone a TV with standard cable. While the latter isn't a huge deal for me - I tend to lurk YouTube instead - sometimes, a lack of cell service leaves me disconnected.

Little did I know that disconnecting was exactly what I needed to do.

Mom and I found an adorable pub near our VRBO cottage, and we decided to swing by for dinner before getting groceries for the next day. When we pulled up to the tudor-style inn, there was a whiteboard sign right out front declaring that the WiFi was out. Mom and I just shrugged, walked in, ordered our tea and dinner, and headed into the dining room.

The dining room was very dimly lit to the point where one of the waiters actually came in and lit candles and the fireplace. If we'd had wifi and cell service, we wouldn't have noticed the fact that the same waiter would sing along to various random pop songs, nor would we have noticed the charm of the place. In fact, that's why I don't have any pictures of the pub to show you; we were too busy enjoying the atmosphere and company.

That pub reminded me of something that day: sometimes, I need to put down my phone in order to really enjoy my life and the amazing things around me. As a writer, I'm inspired by experiences and things around me, so this really rings true ihn my creative work. Also, side note, if I hadn't put down my phone and quit filming at the Bastille concert I went to, I would have totally missed Dan Smith, their lead singer, looking right at me from a couple feet away.

Sometimes, in the midst of our crazy-busy lives, we've got to put our devices down and actually stop and smell the figurative roses. Who knows? We might have a story to tell from it.

This was the view at Muir Beach Lookout, near where we were staying. Isn't it amazing?