Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

There’s less than a week left of Camp NaNoWriMo. I don’t know where April went, but we’re hitting May before we can do anything about it.

Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up April 2018 | Creative Writing | NaNoWriMo |

I’ve worked on a lot of projects this month – 5 to be exact. I wrote flash fiction for Short Story Sunday, wrote a mystery short story for Perplexed, edited the second draft of George Florence, typed up and published Take Over on Wattpad, and outlined Brave.

Due to being away, I didn’t write or do anything from the 12th through the 18th. But I got right back to work on the 19th.

Day 19: Wrote 2,232 words of Perplexed.
Day 20: Wrote 3,298 words of Perplexed.
Day 21: Edited about 8,995 words in George Florence.
Day 22: Edited about 9,980 words in George Florence.
Day 23: Wrote 1,038 words of Perplexed.
Day 24: Wrote 1,029 words of Perplexed.
Day 25: Wrote absolutely nothing.

I’ll admit I’m starting to lose steam a bit. I’m almost done with the short story for Perplexed and I have just a few more chapters left to edit in George Florence. I’m planning on finishing the short story on Friday and finish the edits on Sunday. The last day of NaNo is Monday, so I should be good to go.

One more week, guys! We can do it!

How did Camp NaNo treat you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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A Million Dreams [Life]

I have a problem. And the problem is that I want to do too many things. When I say too many things, I mean I want to do all of the things.

By things, I mean I want to continue blogging on here and on Double Jump. I also have three other ideas for blogs. If they all come to be that’d be a whopping total of five blogs (maybe more).

I want to keep writing and reading. I want to write for magazines and other blogs. I want to write and publish my own novels. I want to continue writing book reviews and beta read for others among other freelance type work. I would like to, one day, create an online literary magazine and share the work of others, especially new writers trying to get their voices heard.

I want to start a YouTube channel for both this blog and my gaming blog. I want to continue talking and reviewing books and video games as well as convey fun and entertaining information about the two topics to everyone.

There are so many other things I want to do. I want to create comics (with Kris because Lord knows I can’t draw), I want to create a video game, and there’s so much more that I can’t even really talk about. (Mostly because it’s ridiculous. Like, I want to create music and I don’t know the first thing about that.)

I don’t know where all of this came from. I don’t know where I got these ideas. I don’t know why my brain aches to be so creative. One would think writing a couple books and running two blogs would be enough, but no. I want to do more.

I want to teach myself to film and edit videos. I want to teach myself how to create a video game and see what makes my favorite games tick. I want to share my learnings with all of you, my blogger, gaming, and writing friends who have been in touch with me for years now.

But… it’s hard. No one said it would be easy, I knew it was going to be hard. Still, I honestly didn’t think I’d be at this point in my life.

It’s one thing to have almost 5,000 followers on this blog (seriously, thank you guys!) but it’s another thing to sit down at my desk one night – last night – and create a massive to-do list on things I have to get done with what I have now as well as what I need to do in order to start new projects.

It’s a lot and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started on any new projects or to continue old ones. I actually have a publication timeline (as long as I can get certain things in order on time, things should go according to plan).

The downside of it all is money. I quit my job almost a year ago to pursue these many passions. I’m lucky to still be living with my parents who are supportive and encouraging enough to allow me to try this. I had freelance writing and babysitting to fall back on, but babysitting hasn’t been as consistent (their dad got a new job and they don’t need me as often) and the freelance writing… well, that hasn’t been consistent either. Most of the gigs I do are for free to gain experience and while there’s nothing wrong with that and I’m grateful for the opportunities, I still have bills to pay and I feel kind of stuck. The few gigs I have had that are paid haven’t been consistent either.

I by no means am complaining about any of this, even though it seems like it. It’s confusing and a learning curve. I am the definition of a struggling artist and it’s honestly kind of cool to give myself that title as frustrating as it may seem. It’s not easy to teach yourself all these things, let alone doing everything yourself.

I don’t want to say quitting my job was a mistake because I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have this past year if I was still working full time plus babysitting. Nine hours have been added to my day and it’s been wonderful. I can actually have a life too and hang out with my friends once in a while.

I don’t have a lot of bills and the bills I do have aren’t much, which is great. But when I made my list of things to do the other night, I bummed myself out.

I need to find an editor, I need to find a book cover artist. I need to buy certain equipment for a YouTube channel (I can start now and plan to soon, but in the near future I’m going to need some other stuff). I want to have the ability to host giveaways for you guys among other things.

I apologize for this post being too rambly or woe-is-me. I don’t mean to come off like that, if I am, and I don’t mean to complain. I feel like I know most of you well enough and you, hopefully, know me well enough, that I feel comfortable explaining this to you as I try to gather my thoughts.

I think money in general – having enough to get started, because let’s face it, you need to put in money in order to make money, and also getting compensated for all your hard work – is a common problem amongst us writers; amongst artists and creators in general.

When you have the discipline like me to work from home for 12 hours a day creating blog posts, graphics, creative writing, filming, etc., you want to be compensated for your hard work. We put our hearts and souls into these creative projects.

People like it too. I’m grateful for the number of followers I have. I have a good amount of daily views who read, like, and comment on my posts. I have a pretty good relationship with most of my readers and I’ve made a lot of friends.

There are a few people out there who enjoy my Wattpad stories, who have told me they’re looking forward to my YouTube channel whenever I start it (fall 2018, just so you know). There have been plenty of people who have told me they can’t wait for my mystery series to come out. (I’m not revealing my publishing plans yet just in case something happens, but it’s coming.)

This is why I started a Patreon page. I’ll admit I feel a bit odd asking for donations. When I think of donations I think of charity organizations for something more serious than me creating a novel or video series for YouTube. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking for commissions for your hard, creative work. The rest of the world doesn’t really see it as such and creators need to make a living too, right?

I swear this post wasn’t a ploy to ask for people to donate to my Patreon page. I’ve been holding these thoughts and feelings in a for a while and decided I should share them with all of you. I hope most of you understand where I’m coming from. Still, if you want to at least check out the page, please feel free to do so. It’d make me happy.

Like I said, I’m grateful and I can’t believe I’ve come so far in less than a year. No, I’m not “there” yet and there’s a lot that’s slow due to budgeting, but I can’t complain.

Thank you guys, for everything. Especially for making it this far in this post.

Have you ever felt like this before? Whether it’s money or the fact you want to do so much and don’t have enough time or resources to get it all done? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo

This month I’ve been working on a lot of various projects. Camp NaNo is so flexible that some people write novels, short stories, poetry, or even edit their work.

I don’t know if anyone has ever attempted to outline a project during Camp so they could work on the writing part when the month was over. Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been doing and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | Novel Outlines |

It’s no secret that I enjoy outlining my novels. I like to be organized and have some sort of idea where the story may go, even though I know the outline isn’t set in stone.

Usually when I outline I summarize how each chapter would go. I make up scenes along the way, some may stay, some won’t. But I end up with a clear beginning and end at the very least. I also have a basic idea of how long the novel may be.

I’m not doing that this time.

I’m outlining Brave, my next Wattpad story. (Take Over was published yesterday, so go check it out!) It’s a fantasy that I attempted writing before. It was originally a Short Story Sunday I decided to expand upon.

I didn’t get far in it because I had a lot of world building to do. So, that’s how I’ve been doing my outline.

I created a list of characters, wrote the basic gist of the plot, and then I got to work on the make-believe stuff. I created the Kingdoms, towns within them, and jobs that the people can have. I haven’t gotten this far yet, but I need to create a list of routes, forests, lakes, and other places that are within the world the characters may come across on their journey.

Dragons are a huge part of the world and I’ve spent a good amount of time creating different species and coming up with their names. I’ve come up with them on my own though some are based off “real” dragons.

Lastly, when that’s all done, I’ll be summarizing the plot points. I don’t want to summarize each chapter like I have done in the past, but I’m going to list the plot points that keep the characters moving forward. What makes them go on the journey, major dangers they face on the way, finding what they’re looking for, then the final battle.

Honestly, that’s pretty much the gist of the story.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to starting writing it next month.

Have you ever worked on an outline during Camp for your current project or the next one? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Take Over Is Live! [Wattpad]

Happy Monday!

After a busy April of Camp NaNo, blogging, and other projects, I’ve finally published my latest story on Wattpad.

It’s called Take Over and is YA general fiction. It’s not the kind of story I’d typically write, but I had originally written this story for NaNo a few years ago. Like, a long time ago. I can’t even remember.

I liked the idea though and wanted to see it through. I couldn’t see it being published, but I think Wattpad is a good fit for it.

Take Over by Rachel Poli | Wattpad | YA | Fiction |

Here’s what the story is about:

Senior year of high school is all about living it up and making the most of your final year before stepping into the real world. For Roxie Smith, she just wants to get through the school year. She doesn’t mind quietly doing her homework and begin prep for college. High school hasn’t been her favorite fun time and she can’t wait for summer to roll around again.

For her friends and Brad, her boyfriend, however, they really want to leave the school with a bang. They want to be a legendary senior class and they want to go down in history for all the classes after them.

Brad comes up with an elaborate plan to take over the school and teachers disguised as the annual senior prank. Roxie knows it’s a bad idea. She knows it’ll get out of hand. Her friends shun her when she decides to take no part in the take over. None of the teachers believe her when she tries to warn them and she has the whole school against her.

Some say senior year is the best. For Roxie, it’s going to be a long one.

I hope it sounds appealing to you and that you’ll give it a try. This has been long in the making and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

You can read the story HERE. I plan on updating one chapter every Monday through Friday.

I’d appreciate any reads and feedback. I hope you guys enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the story should you read it! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 209: Little

Short Story: "Little" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing |

            Alan wasn’t sure what to do with it when he first saw it. While he was work, his wife had texted him what he would name a gray tabby cat. Alan had responded that he wouldn’t name the cat anything because it wasn’t his. He didn’t hear from his wife for the rest of the day after that.

Naturally, when Alan was on his way home from work, he a little skeptical and a little nervous about what he was going to go home to. He was hoping that he would make it home and no one else would be there except his wife and maybe some dinner on the table.

So, when he walked through the front door of his house and a small kitten lay at his feet, he had no idea what to do.

Alan craned his neck to look at the small creature. The kitten sat nicely in front of his foot, the animal was probably the same size as Alan’s shoe, if not smaller.

Then the kitten squeaked.

“What in the world was that…?” Alan muttered. Cats were supposed to meow, not squeak.

“Oh, good! You’ve met!”

Alan looked up and noticed his wife poking her head into the living room from the kitchen.

“Hailey, what is this?” Alan asked pointing to the kitten. It squeaked again and Alan looked down at it embarrassed for the poor thing.

“He’s our new addition to the family” Hailey replied. She walked away back into the kitchen.

Alan opened his mouth to reply, but he didn’t want to shout. So he stepped over the cat and as if on cue, he started following Alan. He groaned and picked up the kitten holding him in front of his face.

“If I accidentally step on you, you will get crushed and Hailey will certainly divorce me.”

The kitten squeaked one more time and Alan rolled his eyes. He made it into the kitchen with the cat into his arms. Before he could say anything, Hailey cooed at the two of them.

“Oh, you’re bonding! That’s so nice!”

“No,” Alan said putting the cat back down on the ground, “we are no bonding. Hailey, why did you get a cat? And without talking to me about it first, no less,”

“I knew you’d say no.”

Alan pinched the bridge of his nose. This was why his kids had been so difficult growing up. They took after their mother.

“Now that the kids are all grown up and out of the house and you’re working all day, the house was a little quiet and a little lonely.” Hailey continued. “I thought about getting a dog, but I knew you would make it take it back. I figured a kitten was a good starting point.”

“Starting point…?”

“Yes, once we get used to the kitten then we can get another one. Or maybe a dog. We’ll see how their personalities are.” Hailey explained.

Alan groaned. He sat down at the kitchen table shaking his head. “We can’t have a cat, Hailey…”

“Yes we can, and we do.” She said stiffly. She hadn’t once looked at him. She continued making dinner. It was almost as though she had been preparing for this moment all day. “Besides, I did tell you.”

“You asked what we should name it… That’s not exactly talking to me about whether we should get a cat or not.”

The kitten, sitting right beside Alan’s shoe, squeaked again.

“See?” Alan pointed to it. “You didn’t even get a real cat. I think it’s broken.”

“Oh, Alan,” Hailey scoffed. Now she turned around and glared at him. “Chester’s just a kitten!”

Alan leaned forward. “Chester…?”

“Well, I tried to give you the option of naming him and you wanted no part of it.”

Alan looked down at the cat. They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment before the kitten squeaked again.

“I’d name him Smokey.” He said.

“That’s a bear, dear.” Hailey replied.

Alan narrowed his eyes at his wife behind her back. He stood up and sighed. “Okay, I’ll be upstairs… “

“Dinner’s in five!” Hailey shouted after him.

Alan walked back into the living room and climbed the stairs not realizing Chester was right behind him. When he made it to the top of the stairs, Alan heard the kitten mewing and squeaking. He turned around and noticed Chester attempting to get up the first step, but he was too small.

Alan sighed. He walked back down the stairs. He scooped Chester up in his arms and walked him up the stairs.

“Just don’t let Hailey know I think you’re cute…”

Words: 773

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Fairest Of All: A Tale Of The Wicked Queen By Serena Valentino [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino | YA | Fairy tale retelling | fantasy |

I bought the book.


The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…

My Review:

Book Cover |

Similar to the covers of the other books in this series, I love how simple it is and also the surprise on the actual book. The jacket is of the Queen and the cover of the book is her old wicked witch self.

First Thoughts |

I bought this book along with The Beast Within. I love fairy tale retellings and this series sounded good so I picked it up.

Plot |

This plot delves a little deeper into the Queen’s backstory with some twists. A little bit of it stayed true to the Disney tale, but for the most part it was as original as it could be. Honestly, it wasn’t the best twist, in my opinion. Though it did work somewhat and even though it took me a while to get through, it was okay.

The tale can get pretty dark and I think that’s what redeemed it a little more for me. There were actual stakes for the characters, unlike The Beast Within, which was the book I read right before this one.

Characters |

The witches have returned and are causing trouble once again. They weren’t bad plot fodder, but they still annoyed me quite a bit.

I found the Queen to be a great character. I actually really enjoyed her and wished she wasn’t such an “evil” Queen. The cards were laid out against her from the start and I was rooting for her along the way.

The other characters, such as the king and even Snow White, weren’t that memorable to me. I was disappointed that the only character I cared for was the Queen.

Writing Style |

The writing didn’t do it for me. I felt it was pretty bland and there wasn’t much emotion put into the scenes, the description, or the characters. While the idea was pretty good, I felt as though this could have gone through another round of edits or two to make the words really come alive.

Overall |

This was better than The Beast Within. Of course, I realized this is technically the first book in the series while the Beast one is the second. Since I liked the first more than the second, I’ll be interested in the third book. Yes, I plan on reading the third book just to see how it is. I’m curious. But first, I need a break from these books.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I cannot live in fear of losing him, for fear of not living my life at all.” –Serena Valentino, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Buy the book:


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Dazzle [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Set The Scene exercise. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now check out this week’s prompt:

Time To Write | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Dazzle |

Write about something dazzling – whether it’s an object, a moment, a piece of clothing, etc.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing!

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