Tag Archives: writing

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.

July’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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Filed under Books/Classes, Cross-Stitch, Questions, TV Shows, Uber, Writing

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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Writings…

It’s Friday already.  It seems like a lot happened (and didn’t happen) this week.

Sunday, I submitted my first full manuscript, The Universal Remote, (description below) to the publisher.  Now I wait.

While I’m waiting though, I need to start in on my other stories so I can get another one finished and sent to the publisher for consideration too.

My novels up to this point are:

  • Shadows: Shadows is the story I’ve been posting on here. I’m still only on Chapter 11 or 13 in the final version. Now it’s just getting the pieces I have hanging around melded together to form a cohesive storyline. I think I’m going to take my friend’s advice and make notes… and stop with long winded flashbacks. Go from point A to point Z in a straight-ish sort of fashion.
  • V-Day: V-Day is about heart wishes and how, when two people feel so alone, the Universe steps in and helps them out. It starts a week before Valentine’s Day and follows the lives of Rebecca and Norman, a food critic and a lawyer respectively, through their Valentine’s Day events and beyond. I started writing it after drinking alone one Valentine’s Day. I have two endings for that one but I’m not sure which one to go with yet.
  • The Universal Remote: This one is a little tricky but it’s the only one I’ve actually finished and is on the second draft of. It’s about a writer’s husband is a chef. They’ve been married about a year and they’ve spent that year living in Italy. One theme in my own life is trying to figure out when people are going to exit my life. I took that and used that as the wish Chelsea makes on her wedding day. On their one year anniversary, Eli brings in a box addressed to her with no return address. It’s a remote with a single button that when pressed, shows her the answer to her wish through a series of Twilight Zone-esque episodes. It’s a blend of present and future.
  • Chasing Rainbows: It’s been a while since I’ve even mentioned this one. It’s a lesbian novel I started before one of my friends left. I loved her but she didn’t love me. So I wrote my feelings into a book that I never finished. Tony, the main character, is set up on blind date with Cassie. They fall in love and they make it work for a while, eventually moving in together. Then Cassie starts cheating on Tony with Charlie, Tony’s mom dies and Tony’s family turn their backs on her. They’re very religious and think God has taken the mom from them because Tony is gay. Angel, Tony’s best friend, goes with her to the funeral. They have funeral sex and then begins the fallout between Tony and Cassie.
  • AftershockAftershock is a blend of the Matrix and discovering who you are as a person.  The storyline, once I get the end nailed out, follows one person who is desperate for a change.  She sees her friends having better luck at love and success than she is.  When the chance to change happens, she finds herself with a choice:  Take the money and run or spend the past year as someone else.  In book one, she is a rich girl who gets into drugs and then hits rock bottom before a government worker steps in and wants her help unraveling a drug lord.  In book two, she’s a down and out druggie looking for her next fix, but she gets into a fight with the wrong person.  A trainer sees her fight and tells her he will help her if she’ll fight for him in return.  She agrees and becomes a low level fighter.  In book three, she is in group therapy for cancer support.  She starts realizing she has feelings for a woman in her group, a nurse who is there with a patient and what was friendship turns to love.  In book four, she’s back in the government agency but this time, she’s in a different role.  All she can think about is finding the nurse from before.  In book five, she’s an office worker again but this time she knows what she wants:  the nurse and the boxing ring.  I’m not sure how all of that will work out yet but I’m excited to write it.  Like I said, I’ve got the ending almost nailed down.  Then it’s time to start the research.
  • NaNoWriMo:  I started this for National Novel Writer’s Month 2016.  It’s a story that follows a writing group for the entire month of November, from break-ups and make-ups to new found love and death.

So six novels and a few short stories that include:

  • Gamer’s Girlfriend, my smut novel about a BBW written from the man’s perspective. I don’t have the end for that one but I have two awesome sex scenes already and I know sort of where I want to take it.
  • Drifter, a story I started during Snowmagedon about a woman who somehow ends up on vacation in ski-resort with both men she’s messing around with. They get in a fight, she storms off and nearly drowns before she comes to her senses. She then saves herself to nearly die but is saved…maybe. I have two ending for that one too.
  • The Box is a story that was more of a dream one morning while I was writing my morning pages. It’s about a person who is raised to see only shades of grey and lives in a world that only shows shaded of grey until he runs into a woman who shows him a group that keeps colors alive and well. He is forced to choose between following his heart or following the rules.
  • Heartbreaker is a story about a single young woman who gives up everything to go on the roadtrip of a lifetime. She expects to be gone maybe three months but life has a way of changing our plans, sometimes for the better and other times for the worse. She writes her friend from work so it’s a story about how they grow apart in order to grow together.
  • Breaking Points:  This one is an essay about how and why people “break” in the workplace.

There are a few others that a merely ramblings on paper but these are my top eleven right now. Now to just figure out where to start…

Happy Friday folks!

Listening to: Amazon’s 50 Great Songs from the Last 10 Years Playlist

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling.

Quote of the Day:  “We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans – because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone – because we have the impulse to explain who we are.” ― Maya Angelou

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Filed under Arts and Crafts, Chasing Rainbows, Goals, Shadows, V-Day

Fear of Completion

Remember Thursday when I mentioned that I was almost done with my third goal this week?

Well, that is true.  I’ve just got to do the backstitch on my cross-stitch project and then wash it and then frame it.  I’m not sure if I’ll get it professionally framed or do it myself again.  It’s an awesome project but I found myself procrastinating on finishing it.  Why?  Because I’m not sure what to do next.

I do this a lot.  With my writing, with my projects, with my life sometimes.  Fear of the unknown and unplanned.

Along with the cross-stitch project, I’m procrastinating on the edits for my story.  I have a completed story and the first three chapter are epic, crafted to what I think of as near perfection.  Today, I got an e-mail asking for the rest of my manuscript…the part that isn’t edited yet because I’ve procrastinated on it.  I haven’t touched in over 3 months and now I need to finish the edits by tomorrow night.  I’m about halfway through the book now but this gnawing fear of what’s next eats at me and freezes me.

I am the biggest obstacle to my own happiness and fulfillment of my dreams.  I know this and still I don’t do much to break the cycle that I know is a character and keeps me from going after what I most want and/or need.  Hell, took me meeting Ray last fall before I knew what a true, loving, honest relationship could feel like.  It had only taken 28 years.

Fear of completion is a real thing though.  But moving through it and past it is the only way to get to the next step.  Fear of the unknown changes by learning things and plunging into the depths.  Letting go of the fear is letting yourself experience something, anything, that scares you but excites you.  Skydiving, swimming, cooking, writing, traveling… Go for it!

Listening to:  Hamilton Soundtrack

Reading:  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the Day:  “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” ― Dale Carnegie

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