Writings Part 2

Back in January, I wrote a post about the stories I had written but needed to work on.  Since then, The Universal Remote has been self-published (March) and I’ve started a BookTube channel (June).  What I haven’t done is much writing.

Yesterday, to sort of help break out of the downward spiral of not writing, I had a friend pick a number between one and ten.  I really thought I only had ten stories I had started and needed to work on.  Turns out there are actually eleven storylines written down and one more floating around in my head.

She picked number eight, which is Drifter.  This story hasn’t seen the light of a computer screen in a while.  I wrote it because I was stuck between two guys when I was younger and there was the really bad snow storm in D.C.  Needless to say, it was also the story that had someone telling me that I wrote at a sophomoric level and that my story essentially sucked.  I listened to him and stopped writing for a while.

Drifter was never meant to be more than a short story about a woman who couldn’t face rejection and realizes too late that no one saves anyone but themselves.  I was really in a dark place in my life then.  I’m not in that place anymore but the story is still around.

Since the story is supposed to be short, I needed to check the word count rules.  According to The Daring Novelist, these are the word count lengths used by The Science Fiction Writers of America:

  • Short fiction: under 7,500 words
  • Novelette: 7,500-17,500 words
  • Novella: 17,500-40,000 words
  • Novel: 40,000 words and up

The comments on her blog post has some really good information as well.

So now that I have a word count goal, I guess it’s time to get to writing, right?  Can’t procrastinate forever.

Have a great day.

Listening to:  Amazon’s Long Weekend: Rock playlist

Reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ― Khalil Gibran

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Quotes, Part 2

I did my first BookTube video on Sunday.  I loved it and am looking forward to seeing what I do with it.

Since it’s been a while since I did a quotes blog, here are 10 more quotes that I really love.

  • “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein 
  • “You should date a girl who reads.
    Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
    Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
    She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
    Buy her another cup of coffee.
    Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
    It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
    She has to give it a shot somehow.
    Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
    Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
    Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
    If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
    You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
    You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
    Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
    Or better yet, date a girl who writes.” ― Rosemarie Urquico
  • “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” ― Bob Marley 
  • “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” ― Jim Henson 
  • “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu 
  • “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ― Helen Keller  
  • “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
    A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
    A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
    , Eat, Pray, Love 
  • “You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.” ― Bob Marley

Some of these are long, but they are still really good quotes.  At least I think so.

Happy Tuesday folks.

Listening to:  Hamilton

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  Pick one of the above.

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Books, books, …

And more books.

So I was watching YouTube videos the other day because I was looking for something.  I follow the Super Carlin Brothers; they do a lot of Disney and Harry Potter videos.  One of the videos Jay did was in defense of Slytherin, which if I haven’t said it before, is my Hogwarts House.

YouTube recommended a video by A Clockwork Reader with five book recommendations with Slytherin characters.  She kept talking about BookTube.  I watched a few of her videos and wanted to find out more about BookTube and maybe even becoming one.

Yesterday, I started doing research on how to do a BookTube Channel and have been looking at other people’s BookTube channels.  So far, it’s been Emmmabooks, Little Book Owl, Peter Likes Books, PeruseProject, and ProblemsofaBookNerd.  I don’t know where to start but there were SO MANY books!

Speaking of books…

I’m still on the fence about which story I really need to focus on.  There’s no real reason for being on the fence and there’s really no reason for me not writing, outside of I have little to no motivation.  I started writing a travel story and I may switch up to making it a short story and moving past writing it.  There’s a beginning, a direction, and an ending.  Like other stories of mine, there is research involved and I keep making excuses to not write the story.  Procrastination is the name of my game right now.  I know I’m terrible.

Music has been pulling me in different directions too.  “Mad World” has me going in the direction of office worker looking for a way out.  “Monochromatic” by Mary Lambert had be thinking about an old story I had started about what at the time, was going to be a guy that was subdued in growing up.  He grows up in a house void of color, but there’s a girl who is bright but is sent away before his world go gray.  Listening to that song made me realize a few things about that story that makes me want to go back, change a few things, and finish it, even if it’s just a novella.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend.  We’re headed to Pride this weekend.

Listening to:  ProblemsofaBookNerd’s Another Big Unhaul

Reading: I’m in-between books right now but starting the Saga Series as soon as I get home tonight.

Quote of the day:  “There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” ― Zayn Malik 

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Twelve years…

Today is my twelve year anniversary in D.C.  Twelve years in one metropolitan area; never thought that would happen.

I wanted to come to D.C. though since I visited on a trip with Mountaineer Challenge Academy when I was 16.  Times have really changed since I got here as a very green, not-so-experienced 17, going on 18 year old Job Corps student.

One thing that’s changed is I’ve gone from not having any goals or direction to being goal-oriented.  I used to simply wonder around without much direction.  I had a great boss that sat me down and told me basically to get it together.  She was awesome and my life has been on an up-ward trajectory since then.

Another thing that’s changed is I found a family with Ray.  I joke about Ray being my 10 year anniversary gift to myself.  She came into my life in a time when things were in transition in a lot of places in both my personal and professional life, just when I needed her the most.

It’s not just Ray though.  It’s everyone that she’s brought into my life over the last almost two years.  She’s also made me want to do more things with my life.  I finished a book, I’m doing this blog, I’m moving past a lot of negative things…mostly because I have a family that makes me “put my money where my mouth is.”  I mean just look at my other posts.

When I did this blog in its several interpretations, there were more negative posts than positive ones.  Now, there may be a handful of negative posts scattered among the positive ones.

In twelve years, I have had a lot of changes in my life, from crappy boyfriends and roommates, to great friends and some awesome memories, to just being able to be who I am, boring as it may be.

One more thing of note, I’ve really gotta say “Thank you” to those people who have been there through just about everything because without you guys, I really wouldn’t have made it through the past twelve years.

Happy Wednesday and Flag Day folks.

Listening to:  People talking

Reading:  The Lost by Vicki Pettersson and Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Quote of the Day:  “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ― Zig Ziglar

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Race Day #2

I did it!

Saturday, I completed my second major race, the Baltimore 10-Miler.  It was a beautiful course through Druid Hill Park and then through JHU out to Lake Montebello and back.  Ten miles of officers and people being supportive and plenty of Gatorade and water.  It was awesome… until it wasn’t anymore.  I got to the finish with a broken blister on my right heel again, two rolled ankles, and cramps so bad in both legs.  Oh and my mid-upper back on fire.  Reasons?  I didn’t really train for this one.

Bmore 10 Miler

I finished though… in under the time limit with almost a minute faster pace than the Frederick Half.

Bmore 10 Miler medal

There would have been no way I would have done either of these last year.

So what’s the difference?

Surgery.

In December 2016, I had weight loss surgery.  I was sitting at 396 at this time last year (right picture).  Right now, I’m at 280/281 (left pic).

Comparison

This was not the easy way out.  There is a lot of work that went into getting the surgery.  I started the process a year ago this month in fact.  Every day is a struggle to get through all the fluids and all the protein that I need to intake just to keep going.  Hence the walking more, the getting out more, the doing more things, etc.

Last year, Maryland’s King Crab Challenge was just a thought on a piece of paper of things I wanted to do.  Now, thanks to the surgery and the support I have, it’s a reality this year.  My feet aren’t thanking me for it yet, but my esteem is.

Now to get my legs elevated so my ankle and heel can heal.  19 weeks and 5 days until Baltimore Run Fest!

Have a great week everyone.

Listening to:  Hamilton

Reading:  The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Quote of the Day:  “Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” ― Thomas Carlyle

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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, Weightloss

June’s Goals

Happy June!

Wow.  Just wow.  Can someone tell me where May went?  Sheesh.

This year is going so fast!

I completed two 1001 day goals:

I also complete one non-1001 days goal I thought was pretty neat.

Just because May went fast didn’t mean a lot of things didn’t happen.

  • Miles reached: 439.89 (18.11 miles to Rivendell!)
  • Weight lost: 11.4 lbs (Down to 281.6 from 293 on 5/1).
  • Books read: 26.  Several of these were graphic novels but yeah…
  • Blog Posts: 5
  • Went to Cross-Fit: 6
  • Started passport process
  • Saw Weezer and Fitz and the Tantrums in concert.
  • The three aforementioned goals.

June’s goals are fairly straight forward.

  • Reach 550+ miles.
  • Lose at least 16 more lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading five more books.
  • Finish and frame my cross-stitch project.
  • Do Cross-fit at least eight times this month.
  • Write 10,000 words on any story.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Complete my second race in the King Crab Challenge
  • Go camping.
  • Start Half Marathon training again for October.

It’s going to be another exciting month with plenty to look forward to!

Listening to:  Three Doors Down

Reading:  The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

Quote of the Day: “ People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. ” ― Tony Robbins

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Filed under 1001 Days, Books/Classes, Bucket List, Goals

Summer Bucket Lists

I’ve had the song “Mad World” in my head for the last few days.  The last couple days have been a whirlwind of activities for just about everything.  It’s scary how things change and the things that set certain situations into motion.

I’ve been neglecting my blog, my workout routines, and just having a very blah attitude for the last six weeks.  It’s hard getting back into the groove of things after being in a down swing but here’s to trying.

Graduations are happening this week and next.  What better time to bring up summer bucket lists?

Ideas for Solo Travelers:

  • Explore your city as a Tourist.
  • Take a random road trip alone.
  • Get your passport.
  • Go camping and unplug.
  • Hike a mountain.
  • Go geocaching in your hometown.
  • Treat yourself to a spa day.
  • Go to a music festival and connect with people.
  • Skip rocks on a lake.
  • Try a fitness class at your local gym.

Ideas for Couples:

  • Explore your city as a tourist.
  • Start driving, using a coin to pick the directions.
  • Get your passports.
  • Go camping.
  • Hike a mountain.
  • Go geocaching in your hometown.
  • Try a fitness class at your local gym.
  • Explore your local farmer’s market.
  • Host a dinner party.
  • Plant a garden together.

Ideas for Families:

  • Explore your city as a Tourist.
  • Go camping and unplug.
  • Go geocaching in your hometown.
  • Skip rocks on a lake.
  • Take a family road trip.
  • Have standing Family Game nights.
  • Watch your local fireworks show together.
  • Go to a drive-in movie.
  • Clean out closets and host a yard sale.
  • Have a water balloon fight.

Ideas for Graduates:

  • Take a road trip with your best friend.
  • Go to the beach/senior week.
  • Watch your local fireworks show.
  • Go to a drive-in movie with friends.
  • Clean out closets and host a yard sale.
  • Have a water balloon fight before people leave for college.
  • Pick one thing you’ve never done/couldn’t do, and go do it.
  • Take a camping trip.
  • Do a solo road trip.
  • Read a book I’ve never read before.

Most of these I got off of Pinterest.  If you want more ideas, Pinterest and Google can provide great ideas or even starting points.  For road trip ideas, Pinterest and the Day Zero Project have things to do in each state.  Check it out and have a great summer!

Listening to:  people talking.

Reading:  The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

Quote of the Day:  “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” ― Marie Curie

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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, Vacations/Travel