Category Archives: Books/Classes

November’s Goals

Happy All Soul’s Day!

Today, for some of us, is the start of a new year.  For others, it’s just another day closer to the holiday season.  For some of us still, today starts National Novel Writer’s Month, of which I am participating in.  I’m also in the camp that uses today as the start to a new year, a new beginning and the opportunity to let go of everything negative that has happened in the last 10 months and start over.

Last month, yesterday especially, I have been very negative.  I didn’t even do October goals last month because I was just not with it.  Today, I am with it because, like I said, I am choosing to let go of everything negative and focus my energies on something else.  Negative things will happen, but today is mine.

Enough rambling.

The Day Zero Goals I completed last month were:

  • Disney’s Food and Wine Festival. Ray and I went at the beginning of October.  We made it all the way around and I was mostly sober.  I was walking back to where she was sitting one time with plates from two countries.  If you have ever been able to go on vacation with the person you are spending the rest of your life with, you’ll understand the feeling you get when you turn the corner and they are looking at you with love in their eyes, even when what you are doing isn’t something they would have done themselves.  Best feeling in the world.  Also, FB showed pictures from three years ago this week, from the last time I went.  I look so different from those pictures.
  • Read 100 books. I actually started this up again since I’m at 110 books right now with two more I’m currently reading.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 924.97.  384.03 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight lost:  6.6
  • Books read:  13
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts:  10
  • Complete King Crab Challenge on 10/21/17

November’s goals are fairly straight forward:  lots of writing, vlog, reading, and working (mostly in that order).

That seems like a lot, and honestly, it is.  But there isn’t anything on here that I would take off.  It’s all important to me so I’m going to do it.

Wish me luck!

Listening to:  Staind via Amazon Music

Reading:  Winter by Marissa Meyer and Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit.  Most men succeed because they are determined to.” – George Allen, Sr.

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Books…

Books and more books!

This is the month of books.  So far I have read/listened to five books so far this month and it’s only the 9th.  I have two other books started right now, with several more to get to by the end of the month.  I figured this would be a good time to tell you about them because that’s pretty much what I’m focusing on this month.

I actually like focusing on books.  I love reading; I’m finally figuring out what I like outside of paranormal.  It also gives me something else to focus on besides working and the house.  I can be positive about books.  I can be passionate about books.  I can actually talk about books and the characters, the writing styles and what I like (or hated).  As a writer, that’s super important to me.  If I know the style I like to read, I can write that way too.

This month, I’m doing the Tome Topple challenge (books over 500 pages) and Read-A-Thin (thinning out your To-Be Read list).  There are also books outside of those two challenges that I am reading/listening to.  Here are the video links to my complete TBR lists for all three sets of books.

August TBR: Read-a-thin Challenge– https://youtu.be/zK8rskow3BY
August TBR: Tome Topple– https://youtu.be/U0hWaQBLk_A
August TBR: Other books– https://youtu.be/lvI5ZxrG_g8

Overall, there were 18 books.  Now, there are 20 because I added a buddy read book that I wasn’t expecting and one of my Overdrive holds became available.

That’s what’s going on my life right now.

Listening to:  Eclectic Reads’ Coffee Book Tag

Reading:  Physical book–Shadow the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (great book!) and Audiobook—Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” ― Frank Lloyd Wright

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To the Boy Who Lived…

Today is Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom’s birthday.

If you’re new to my blog posts, Harry Potter and Wizarding World is very much a part of my life and that of a lot of my friends.  My mom was still alive when the first three books were out and after she died, it gave me something to crawl into and remember her by.  Add that to my step-mom became a Harry Potter fan after the movies came out.  We would talk about the Wizarding World; she would call with random questions and I would answer them if I remembered the answer.  She also bought me the 7th book for my birthday present the year it came out.  We both cried at the ending.

On top of my memories of my moms, my sister also has a few Harry Potter based tattoos.  They’re really neat.  I need to go get my Potter inspired tattoo at some point but I’m torn between getting my house crest (I’m a Slytherin) or a version of “Always,” the word Snape utters to Dumbledore in regards to Lily.  Talk about a great love story that explained so much.

I also wanted to do quotes today, so in honor of Harry and Neville, here are my favorite quotes from the Harry Potter series.

“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.” 
–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being–forgive me–rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.” ––Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

“Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.” –Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” –Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” –Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?” –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets

“When in doubt, go to the library.” –Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets

And of course…

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Thank you, J.K. Rowling for giving the world Harry Potter and everything that has come from what you have created.  Happy birthday!

 

Listening to:  J vs Ben:  The Hardest Dumbledore Trivia Quiz Ever

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  Pick an other ones above.

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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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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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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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Research

Most times, I would use that word for writing papers, not necessarily for writing stories.  Right now, though, I’m working on a few stories that I can’t really use personal experience with.  I can’t take a year off from my life and travel around the country, and I haven’t had any luck winning the lottery.  So research becomes a writer’s best trick to writing a believable story.

The Plot Thickens…

The book I’m working on now is about a woman who quits her job, gives away her things, visits her parents and stays there for a week before realizing the lottery ticket she’d picked up on her way out of town was a winning ticket.  Beyond that, she had quit to write and travel.  She just didn’t know what part of traveling she wanted to.  Along the way, she realizes a few truths she had ignored before.  The man she really liked was getting married, the man she hadn’t seen waiting for her in the background was falling in love with her story, and the people she had met along the way in various forms and capacities made her realize how much she had missed that was right in front of her.

Then Research Ensues…

This is where the research comes in because this is where I’m stuck.  There are so many cities to pick from that would be awesome to write about, so many things to do in those cities, and so many ways to write about her journey.  I had thought about doing a foodie trip before, using the mock road-trip schedule I had made a few years ago as places to start with for things like “Diners, Drives, and Dives” and “Man vs. Food”.  While I was trying to come up with that list, I remembered looking through “1000 Places to See before You Die in the U.S.”  Fast-forward and these are the things I’m starting with to help move the story along.

And Things Move Along.

Along with the travel, the main character has goals she wants to do along the way.  One of the guys will find a way to join her in some of her adventures, and the other is only briefly at the parameter of the story.  Research also helps me figure out which goals she can accomplish where.

Whether you are working on a story that you’re stuck on or are trying to figure out that goal you’ve wanted to do for a while, research can be your best friend or your worst enemy, as there is such a thing as too much research.

Sometimes, getting out from behind the computer screen and just doing something is the only research you need.

Good luck out there!

Listening to:  The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

Reading:  Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs

Quote of the Day:

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
― Chad SuggMonsters Under Your Head

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