Well, Hello February

Entering the first week of February and we are not looking any better than January. Do you all want to know how my last week of January went… I got STREP. Gah! I haven’t had that since high school. I use to get it all the time when I was younger, but I finally thought my body was getting over being susceptible to it. Guess not.

During the Illness

I discovered after writing my post last Sunday my problem was taking writing too seriously. It was an activity I did to de-stress and to put these characters out in the real world. I loved doing it, like so many of you all experience. However, lately with all the stress going on in my life Writing has now become stress too.

On Wednesday, during my illness, I decided to write. Now I wanted to write and just have fun with it. I still wrote about Dem’rick, picking off where I left it last, but this time I tried not to think about anything. It was once again a lot of fun, but I couldn’t do it for very long, because life once again got in the way.

Blame everyone on…

Graduate school. Guys, I really hate graduate school. We are 3 months away from being finished, and there is so much I need to do. Unfortunately, I haven’t prioritized my time which means that I could be becoming more stressed than I need to be. I use to work on my stuff on Saturday after having class the previous Thursday… but… I may have someone who takes up a lot of weekend time and I love it. So, keep your fingers crossed for me as I approach the end of this program.

You know what may happen… I may just set this story aside until I’m done… I’ll ponder the thought this week and get back to you all. That way I can focus all my attention on graduate school and the stress won’t associate with writing. I like the idea.

Welcome February

I hope you all have a fantastic first full week of February. If you are like me and stuck in the midwest during the arctic blast, then I’m sure you’re excited about warmer weather. Maybe this year our Groundhog will get it right. We can always hope.

After a Week Break…

Back from California

Wow, long time and sorry for the short break. I trust that I told you all I left for California a couple weeks back and there may or may not be a blog post. Well, that happened and a week ago today my Sister got married (which is why there was no blog post). The wedding was beautiful and I couldn’t be happier for my sister. I did some writing the first few days of being there, but the closer we got to the wedding the busier we became. Which is also why I have decided not to post an updated picture of this months progress. I’m a little behind. I ended up taking a break.

I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time on an airplane. The sun was just coming up on Tuesday.

Back from Break

I cannot believe this will be my last post for January. We will be moving into February starting Friday. This month has really flown by and I’m incredibly excited about what is still to come. My hope is that I begin to buckle down and get this novel finished, but there is this overwhelming sense of dread when I think about writing.

The thoughts of unworthiness. That is the only way to describe them. I’m nervous all of a sudden about not being good enough, or these books failing. How pathetic is that? I would get them once in a while but never this bad. Part of me wants to take a break in writing, but what good will that do? This novel will never be published if I just don’t buckle down.

Plans for this Week

Now that I am back hopefully I can get back into the groove. Doing late night writing normally isn’t good for me. I get too lazy. So, the plan is to get to work right after work. Ha, that’s fun to write. I also have some graduate homework to finish before Thursday which I plan to do tomorrow. The weather this week looks terrible, which means possible snow days. Fingers crossed.

Good luck everyone on your writing adventures (or any adventures you all are taking this week)

Week 1 – The First Failure

Welcome to the 3rd Week of January

Hello everyone, welcome back to the beginning of the 3rd week of January and the end of the 2nd. I don’t know if you count Sunday as the beginning of the week or the end of the week? For me, it counts as the end because I work the next day and I count it as ending my glorious weekend.

My boyfriend and I also got into a funny argument about how long we have known each other. He reminded me that we are about halfway through January, so, we have to count it into the months of knowing each other. I said only 3 months not counting January and he said 4. I don’t want to believe we are already at 4 months. But can you all believe we are halfway through January? It’s amazing!

Update on Writing

Now, I haven’t really failed in my task of writing every day if you have taken a look at the calendar. I’m pretty confident that I forgot to mark Monday 1/7 as a writing day, so that will be an update. The real failure was that I had already written this blog post and accidentally deleted it. Worst feeling ever.

This past week was a very busy week with something happening every evening. I also had to prepare my classroom for my departure this week. I will be heading to the glorious state of California this Tuesday to attend my sister’s wedding on Sunday. I am so excited and I cannot believe that it is only a week away. I’m very excited for her, but that also means my writing is going to be limited.

Goals for this Week

My goals, while I’m away in California, is to get up every morning before the day begins and write at least 30-60 minutes. Now, that does depend on who gets up and what plans we have for that day because we normally attempt to do things with my sister and she could have tasks for us before the wedding.

Another realistic goal is to attempt to write 1 more day than I have this past week. I feel like that will keep me honest about writing a little bit more without being overwhelmed.

I hope you all have had a great January so far. Stay warm and safe as we continue this blistering and strange winter. I’m going to save this blog post before it decides to disappear again. Night!

Welcome to 2019

Hello, Everyone!

I cannot believe that we are already in the year 2019. So much has happened last year, and even in the last few months. My life has completely flipped on its head. Many of you who read my last post may have a clue why. I have a boyfriend now who takes a lot of my time, BUT due to both of us being “GO GO GO!” personalities we have goals this year that will help us stay on track.

Goal #1 – Writing

Like the majority of us here in the United States, I have a few new year’s resolutions to kick start 2019 right. One of mine is to write every day in the year 2019. Now, I have already technically failed in that adventure. The chart below is the tracking tool I’m using in OneNote to check my daily writing goal. It’s pretty simple (when OneNote loads correctly), and I am able to check off every day that I write. I have decided that Friday’s are going to be my relax days where I don’t have to write.

What I discovered last year was my failure in writing was caused by my distractions in other things. I never made time to write which meant that it never happened. Now that I have attached a new person into my life it has become even more difficult to keep track of time. So, I wanted a way that I could keep myself accountable for my goals. Writing every day will definitely help finish Algamir as its new and (hopefully) final edit/rewrite.

Goal #2 – Blogging

Now, I’m not going to bore you with all my goals for this year. You don’t need to know that I want to lose weight, exercise more, or eat healthier (those are the top three goals most people make and yes, I am one of them), but my second goal that does pertain to you all is my blogging.

Here is another thing I failed at the last few years and its to successfully stay on track of blogging. Well, I’m going to tell you that you can expect a blog post from me EVERY Sunday this year. What you can expect in the blog posts in an updated calendar picture (IF ONENOTE EVER LOADS) and what I have been writing. If I have time I would love to continue with the short stories, because they were a lot of fun.

Let’s not keep you any longer

So… If you read all this, you will have realized I am having problems loading OneNote. I will have to edit this blog post later to attach the calendar picture, or you will see it next week. I hope you all have a great week, and I will talk with you all next Sunday!

I have the Butterflies…

Hello everyone,

I enjoy reading other articles about how to write YA books. One article I came across through Pinterest was especially interesting. It discussed a lot about feelings and emotions of the YA populations especially when it came to romance.

I’m going to go into therapy and kick up my feet for a minute. I continued to read and it told me to recall feelings and emotions of my first kiss and first time to write into the story for my characters…….. I’ve never been kissed so how was I going to recall that experience. Well everyone– I have butterflies. Also a reason why I’m typing this out at 3am.

I just had my first kiss. It was awkward, nice, and strange. There were times I couldn’t stop laughing and now at 3am I’m thinking of my story, of that article that told me to recall my emotions and I’m ready to write.

So, I want you all to do the same thing. We forget sometimes as writers the awkwardness that is us as humans. The strangeness is a first kiss (with anyone) and even the nervous feelings of meeting someone for the first time. Ignore what Hollywood has done to make intimacy a wonderful and non-awkward thing. (Is that even a word? Well, I’m using it) Channel your experiences any way you can and then write about them afterwards. Even if you’re not going to use them for awhile. Those feelings will come in handy.

Do you want an update?

Im currently in a very slow rewrite of Algamir. I want this revision to be the best one I’ve ever produced and that comes with a lot of time. I have a very nice first chapter and I couldn’t be more excited.

It was great chatting with you all. Now go write those awkward moments.

The Life of… Procrastination

Honestly, I did not have a title until I wrote it. Yup, I’m normally not a procrastinator but when it comes to writing I really am. Correction, when it comes to blogging. Here is an update on life and writing!

Life

If any of you care to know my other life is being a full time teacher. If any of you know what teaching is like here is a little bit about my life:

The last one had me dying because I just said it today!!!! Ahhh, anyway. I’ve been swamped with attempting to differentiate and be a good teacher that other things end up sliding away.

Another life thing that has happened is…. drum roll please…. I have friends! I know crazy right? I hang out with them a lot and while it’s amazing I tend to not get other things done. You see where I’m going with this right?

Wrong!

Writing Update

What you all have been waiting for. While my short stories have paused for a little bit I have not stopped with writing Algamir. After the feedback I received from my writing group, I have taken a hard look and…

(There are no memes about burning my novel…. so, this isn’t funny anymore)

I didn’t throw it away or burn it. I have adjusted how I have written it and took out the majority of flashbacks. My plan is to have two timelines. One of the present and the other the past. Lori (from Between Reads Blog) reminded me that I had this plan for another one of my stories. I guess it’s going to be my trademark. I’m extremely excited and feel that it will fit.

During this edit, I’m focusing on word choice, grammar, and incorporating description of thoughts and feelings. I can’t wait and I have chapter one finished. I’m taking my time and really going through each chapter to make sure it fits just right.

Phew. That was a lot of typing on my phone. Because this is what my Chromebook looked like for the last 20 minutes.

Fine… I understand… you just don’t feel like it today. 😡

Thank you Steve Jobs and the iPhone.

Have a fantastic night and I will blog you all soon!

Taking a Break

As you all have read I finished my rewrite of Algamir and now I will be starting an edit very shortly. Like all good writers should do, I have passed the rewrite off to some people to read. I’m currently waiting for their feedback which will happen at the end of the month. I’ll be doing some other things in the meantime. What things am I doing? Well… let me share.

Skyrim the Elder Scrolls

Yes, I know this game has been out for ten years but it just came out for switch not too long ago and I’m a Nintendo girl.

I got the game right before finishing the rewrite and it took a lot of dedication to finish writing before playing and thank goodness I did. This game has so much going on and I’m lost half the time. But if Miirak steals another dragon soul from me we are going to have some words!!!! Also… my housecarl died. I kept her alive for sooooo long!!! I knew I should have just turned into a werewolf and bit those ice trolls’ faces off but they followed us into the cave.

Sorry…

Artemis by Andy Weir

No, I have yet to read the Martian. It’s sitting on my shelf in my room waiting to be read. It won’t be the next book but it will be soon.

I’m really enjoying this book so far. I’ll have more to say about it soon as one whole blog post will be dedicated.

Friends

I have a life you know, which means that I have friends. They are not my writing friends, although one of them is, the others I met during my self-defense group and I am also friends with one of their wives. They keep me plenty busy as well, I’m surprised that I actually finished my novel.

Tattoo Hunting

That is correct I’m looking to get a tattoo. I have never had one before and thought I would never get one because they are so expensive but I find myself really wanting one. I want something that defines me as a person and speaks to me personally. At first, I wanted to get one that symbols my sister now… well… the picture can speak for itself:

Yup… I want a Zelda tattoo. The heartbeat one at the top was the original I wanted but then I drew the larger triforce with Navi and fell in love. The drawing of Link and the Zelda logo at the bottom was me being goofy after the other two drawings. Not bad for not being an artist. Hopefully one day I can sketch out Dem’rick or Mikalias… or pay someone to do it.

Recap

It’s not really a recap I just didn’t have anything else to put as a heading.

My plan for this week is to get another short story out there. If you have read my other two you should check them out. They are easy reads as is most of my stuff and I think are okay to understand.

P. S. I did this all on my phone because my computer is dead. No battery life remaining until tomorrow. So… I apologize for any crazy grammar or misspelling. 🙏 See proof. Emoji!!!!!

🤣😅❤️😖🤷‍♀️🤤😱😏💃

The Rewrite is Finished!

keep-calm-it-s-all-done.pngYes, this is correct. I am finished with my last rewrite of Algamir! It happened this morning while I was sitting during a dead time during work. My goal was to finish the rewrite August 1, 2018, and throughout the summer I honestly did not think this was possible but here we are. I am now able to sit and make huge editing changes to the novel before the end of the year arrives.

Changes that Occurred

When I finished writing this novel (gosh, must have been last year some time. Strange how time flies) it was at 407 pages and 143,117 words long. I was very happy and proud of the length. I thought that the story flowed really well and the characters went on many adventures throughout. However, that was the problem. The characters were flying to fast through the story and readers could not connect, and that was when I decided to go through a rewrite. I also noticed that a young adult/new adult novel would not be the length of 143,000 words.

I went through the storyline and found significant areas that I discovered could be blended into different parts of the story. The stops that they made were not necessary, which meant they could be cut. This only created the story to have roughly 20,000-word cut, but I decided that was better than anything. A few days ago when I was reaching the end of the novel I noticed a different path my characters could make. They could either head to their next destination which was originally planned, or they could head to the final boss if I wrote it correctly. Hey, the final boss here I go!

At the end of the rewrite, my novel-length was thus: 154 pages and 82,075 words. I cannot believe it! The drastic difference in length is incredible and I understand now why every experienced writer speaks about cutting their novel length. We as writers always have a vision for our novels that when the time comes we never want to change anything. However, it helps to cut and edit, do not be afraid of the knife.

Edit for the Future

As I move on my plan is to make a few more drastic changes to the plot of the story. It is difficult to tell you all here because you have not read my story. There are definite areas at the beginning of the story that needs to be changed and adjusted to allow the novel to flow, and that is what I am going to do. The changes also affected things that happened before the story starts, which means I need to make note of those changes going through the story. 31e970161f59364cc0cc1a78a6e554ec.jpg

By the end of the edit, I actually believe the story length will be slightly longer than the rewrite version, based on feedback I have received from my writing group. My goal is to not be longer than 100,000 words and right now I stand at a great place. I’m very excited to move forward, but I may take a break from this story until I receive feedback from my writing group. This will give me time write a few short stories, which will mean no excuses for being late on them.

What about my fellow writers out there? How are your rewrites going?

10 Questions about Writing

Look at me go! Just going to say that I wrote this at the same time as another one and I feel great about it. I’m testing out the create it and have it post in the future, and if it doesn’t work I’m going to throw a fit. Well… Not really but I will tell Lori about it.

This post is based off of the one from the blog The Rising Author Tag! Melissa Gibbs provides 10 questions for authors to answer and I thought it would be a cool blog to do (I’m lying, Lori gave it to me… hehe). So, here are my answers to the following ten questions.

1. What’s your favorite thing to write about?

Young Adult to New Adult Adventure Fantasy. I love writing about adventures and it is probably due to me being an adventurer myself. Did I ever tell you guys about my hitchhiking experience outside of Amsterdam? That was intense. Met a really nice person at 2 AM. Anyway, that’s a story for a different time. My stories do tend to vary towards slightly Romance, but nothing ends well for the couples half the time, so I don’t like to advertise Romance.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

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Hehe… Behind the Name Random Generator (BNRG) is my best friend.

Now I don’t use BNRG all the time. For example Dem’rick’s name use to be Dmitri, Rylon use to be Roland, and Hjal use to be Harper. Those names I played around with to keep somewhat the same but adjust to fit the world. Now the pirate who arrives in the story is named Nadia which was from BNRG. Di’s full name is Diantea and I created it from Dante, which was her name before the adjustment.

For me I do a mix of playing with phonics and creating names and a mix of using BNRG. I have been using the fantasy creator more often on BNRG to get an idea of a mix of names and forming some things together. Dem’rick’s pet’s name is a variation on BNRG.

3. Can you do other things while writing? (e.g. eating, listening to music, etc.)

Yeeeeeesssss…. Kind of….. I can listen to music but it depends on what kind. Right now I am obsessed with Skyrim and I have been listening to an artist who created music from the video game. It reminds me of another story I’m creating. Most of the time I listen to instrumental music. Studio Ghibli soundtracks are my favorite. You can find a great compilation on YouTube along with a fantastic piano compilation. Other than that I don’t do much while I am writing. If I’m eating I scarf it down like a wolf and then write.

4. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the main character?

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I couldn’t help it. I had to add a picture.

For the longest time I wanted Kit Harrington to play Dem’rick. He has the black curly hair but unfortunately isn’t dark skinned enough. For Hjal I always wanted Chris Rock to play him! It was based on Hjal being goofy and funny and I thought Rock would do a nice job, but now I’m moving away from that because Hjal is becoming a more complex character than I originally created him for and I am loving it!

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Well… I added one of Kit I have to add Chris as well.

Thinking of actors to play my characters is a really difficult thing because Dem’rick is a young adult and so is a lot of the others, meaning that I would have to find young actors to play them. I would want new rising actors to be involved in the movie, but they would have to be good. Almost like Harry Potter where they were all new but still fantastic actors.

5. Do you outline, or make the story up as you go?

A little bit of both. As I’m answering these questions I’ve realized that I have a tendency to go to the middle of all the questions. I do a little of this and a little of that. Great, I’m a wishy-washy writer.

I do a little but of both. I tend to have characters in mind and several scenes that pop up in my head to work through. When I started with Dem’rick 6-7 years ago it was an exploration. I just started writing and it became an adventure. Now the story is so different from where it began because I began an outline of what it should look like. As a more experienced writer, I discovered that creating an outline before writing is extremely helpful. Keeps you on track and to know the story more. That’s why I always reference Lori and her Between Reads. She is a fantastic outliner for her stories, almost too good because she forgets to actually write.

6. Which one of your characters are you most similar to?

I want to say Di. Though I feel like she is the character that I want to be most like than me being similar to her. She wants to protect her home and her family, because she is extremely loyal. However, she finds herself torn between doing what’s right and having to do what’s wrong in order to protect what is right. I fight all the time knowing that the things that I need to do in order to be good is not always the best approach and sometimes a little lie or twist in the truth is better to get what you want. She also wants adventure. She craves to leave her home and wants to experience the world, but she finds herself always being drawn to her homeland. The same is true to me. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I talk about movie, but am torn with the life I have built here.

7. Which of your characters do you wish you had never created?

HAHA! I love this question it cracks me up. I have never regretting any of my characters. I am their god, their mother who would want to destroy their own creation. Now, do I regret how hey have turned out? Yes, I have definitely revisited character outlines and tried to transform them to be better, but I have never wished for a character to have never been created.

8. Do you let other people read your writing?

Yes. The only way that you can become a better writer is to have other people read your writing. I am part of a writing group that reviews each others writing and provides feedback. I really enjoy being a part of this group, but at the same time you need to find people to read your stories who are in your reading genre. The individuals reading my stories right now are not my target audience, which can be difficult.

9. What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters?

Well… I know that Dem’rick really likes hot chocolate. It was something his mother made for him on cold winter nights. Mikulas likes to paint… Man… This is a really hard question.

Hjal is double jointed in his elbows. Never comes up in the stories but that’s why he can always escape from situations because he can twist really far.

10. What is the very first story you remember writing/have record of?

Oh man… It had to be when I was in fourth grade and my friend group at the time wrote a fan fiction of Inuyasha. Now, it involved some of the same concepts with demons and humans, but we never involved any of the characters from Inuyasha, so not really a fan fiction. I still remember all of my characters and several of the adventures they went on, but I am no longer friends with the girls from fourth grade, and I do not have access to any of the stories. The friend who had access to the program we were using decided to “change” the password and forgot it. I call bullshit, she just didn’t want me to have them.

Dem’rick is the first story after that friendship fell apart. I stopped writing throughout high school and my freshman year of college I thought of Dem and his adventure. So, here I am back in writing.

Conclusion

Those were amazing questions. I enjoyed writing responses to them and it was incredibly entertaining to think of number 9 (which at this moment I haven’t wrote, still thinking!). I encourage any of my fellow writing buddies to answer these questions. They might surprise you in your writing journey.

Leave a comment with the link to your questions! I would love to check them out and comment back.