Tag Archives: writing

Getting through NaNoWriMo

It’s day three of National Novel Writer’s Month-NaNoWriMo for short.

On the website, I’ve participated two years.  Off the website, I think this makes the fourth year I’ve attempted it.  This year, I have a game plan.  Sort of.

Game plan:  Six, fifteen-minute blocks where I focus just on the story for 15 minutes and nothing else.  If I write something in the story that I need to look up, I’m waiting until after the 15 minutes are up before I can.  [Name] means I need to find someone’s name to put in the spot because I couldn’t think of one in the 15 minutes I had.  [City, country/state] means I couldn’t think of where I wanted the scene to be happening right then and there.

So far, this has worked.  This morning I got in my writing before people got to work.  I got here and I was excited to sit down and type out Toby, Kate, Ben “Penny”, Maria, and the other characters I have set up in my current story, title unknown.

It all starts with a journey and ends with one too.  Although where the characters end up has yet to be seen.  Right now though, I’m happy with where I am with it.

Another part of the game plan:  Reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just needs to be good enough that I finish writing the story and reaching the goal of 50,000 words.  After that, I can fluff up certain parts and erase others.  This is just a first draft.

Carry on!

Listening to:  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Reading:  The Passage by Justin Cronin and Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” ― Bear Bryant

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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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August Goals

Happy August!

I did not do much goal related this past month.  Mostly, July was spent focusing on us moving and making enough money to move.  I was actually surprised at how much did read, watched and drove around.  There is something to be said for not worrying about school right now.

July happenings:

  • Miles reached: 645.17 (274.83 miles to Lothlorien.)
  • Weight lost: 8 lbs (Down to 266.8 from 274.8 on 7/1)
  • Books read: 10
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  10
  • Participate in BookTubeAThon, a week long tribute to reading and books.

August’s goals are fairly straight forward.

  • Reach 750+ miles.
  • Lose at least 10 lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading 10 more books.
  • Spend 2 hours 3x a week this month.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Upload 14 vlogs.
  • Sign up/Upgrade Baltimore Half to Baltimoron (5k plus Half).
  • Buy Yule Ball tickets for December 15th.
  • Participate in Read-a-Thin and Tome Topple.

Hopefully, we will know where we are moving to soon.  This whole house process is really, really frustrating ways.  Make sure you have several thousands of dollars saved up.  We thought we had enough but turns out we were wrong.  Hence why I didn’t mark anything off my list this month.  Better luck next time, huh?

Listening to:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  Book is super cute right now.

Reading:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Quote of the Day: “Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” ― Napoleon Hill

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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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Time Sucks

Today is a question day.

Question #18: Which activities make you lose track of time?

  • Writing.  I can easily lose track of time when I’m typing away at a scene I really like.  I just keep going until I think of something else for another part of the story, questions I want to answer within that chapter, or the scene plays out to the end.
  • Cross-stitching. Going through the thread and the patterns help me get lost when I need something patient to do.  I will admit that it takes a while to complete because I find myself stopping every so often and putting to the side, especially when I’m in school.
  • Reading.  Books are my best friend when I’m on the train or stuck in traffic.  Some books pull me in and I want to keep going until I done with them.  Other books take a while to get through, not because the story is bad, but that I find other things to do with my time other than read them.  American Gods or Eat Pray Love are a few of those books for me.  American Gods because it makes you think about what immigrants brought to the new world as far as their beliefs and superstitions.  Eat Pray Love was because I didn’t want to have to sort through my feelings like Liz did.  Now, I don’t have to sort through them as much because I’m in a different “place” in my life.
  • Binge Watching. Since Netflix started doing streaming and I found some shows that I used to watch and loved, binge watching while cross-stitching is a thing now.  I haven’t watched Netflix in while because of work, school, and training.  I do remember I’m almost done with Ghost Whisperer and Once Upon a Time.  I finally finished watching Haven.  Out of all of series I’ve seen, there have only been two series I’ve watched with really satisfying endings:  Haven and Lost Girl.  Neither left me wanting more so if you need recommendations for binge-worthy shows, check them out.  I’m waiting to see what happens with Grimm  Good thing I’m almost ready to start a new cross-stitch pattern now that I’ve sorted through the books to donate, sell, and read.
  • Ubering.  I’m adding this to the list because I can easily spend ten plus hours driving people around over the weekend.  I’ll tell Ray I’ll stop work at a certain time and then I look up after a few trips and it’s closer to that time than I would have liked.  Nights where I’m up almost 22 hours straight mean I’m stopping somewhere on the way home to nap.  I don’t often do it over the week because when I do lose track of time, I suffer the next day.  Getting up at 4:30 a.m. after you get home at 11 p.m./12 a.m. isn’t as easy as it used to be.
  • Social Media. This is another one that’s easy to lose time with.  Pick a reason for any of the time sucks like Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest, and you’ll hit the nail on the head.  I use YouTube for music and following a few different vloggers, among the “how-to” videos and the Super Carlin Brothers.

I should probably mention I used to be a gamer and that helped me lose track of time.  I haven’t played a game in a while.  After about an hour of playing, I would quit.  Might need to do a game run though just to get rid of some frustration waiting for softball to start.

What are some things you do that make you lose track of time?  Let me know because I could always use new ideas and things to check out.

Listening to: Beauty and the Beast Broadway Soundtrack.

Reading:  Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ― Maya Angelou

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Finally…

I finally hit the publish button on one of my book, The Universal Remote.

This fall would have made four years since I started writing the story.  I have stories older than that but that’s the first story I had taken to the finishing point.

Like most things, this started out as a nightmare turned into a full story.  I finally had to come to the conclusion that the first draft wasn’t supposed to be perfect and there would be times when I hated the story.  I hated writing it because it wasn’t perfect or made any sense whatsoever.  But it got me writing and then finishing it.

Now I have to finish my other stories too.  I actually started in on Shadows again over the weekend.  That story has been around since I was 15 in various formats.  I need to gather up all the different to that storyline that seems to be everywhere and condense it to one document.

But first… Here are the links to The Universal Remote, along with the description.  If you read it, please leave a review.

Description:  Would you want to know the future if you could?

Chelsea was getting married when she asks for a sign of when the love of her life would leave her.  The Universe answered in an interesting way.  On her one-year wedding anniversary, she received an unmarked package with a remote. 

Set in Tuscany and mixed with glimpses into the future while also set in the past, Chelsea sees her life unfold over ten episodes while dealing with life changing events in her present.

By the end, she is left with more questions than answers and gets answers to some of the questions she hadn’t thought to ask along with a few heartbreaking secrets.  Knowing what she does brings up one major question, though:  Will knowing what happens in the future change anything in the present?

Links: 

If you are looking for self-publishing information, check out Derek Murphy’s website and YouTube channel.  He has some good tips and tricks for those looking to self-publish.

Happy Monday!

Listening to:  My Writing playlist on Amazon.

Reading:  Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” ― Robert H. Schuller

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