Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Life, Writing

Why December Is Always Easy Yet A Busy Month [Life]

Every month I feel like such a broken record.

“I can’t believe the month is already over.”

“I can’t believe we’re at the end of the year.”

“Time has certainly been flying!”

I mean, it’s all true. I feel like I blink and the month is over or the whole year is over. Well, guess what? The year is almost over. We’re already about a week into December. Life doesn’t slow down for anything.

This whole year, I’ve been doing themed posts on the blog. One month I talked about character development while another month I’ve talked about editing and so on and so forth.

When December rolled around, I wasn’t sure what theme I wanted to talk about. Then I wrote down a list of posts and assigned them dates. After that, I realized I didn’t have too many dates left for December. There wasn’t much of a point to me doing another themed month.

I tend to do a lot of end of the year and holiday type posts. Mix that with a couple of guest posts and interviews and then the month is over. It’s crazy how fast the dates fill up.

I always take the time for December to kick back, relax, and look back on the year. I’ve accomplished a lot of my writing, a lot of this blog and Double Jump, my career, relationships, and my life in general.

This is why December is the easiest month and the hardest at the same time.

It’s easy to look back and be amazed at all you’ve done and all you’ve accomplished. You think about the good times you had and even look back at old blog posts and see how much you’ve improved.

Then the hard part of December comes along. I was amazed at the end of 2015 when I made some major changes to this blog. I was amazed at the end of 2016 because I beat my 2015 reading goal, I made more changes to this blog, and I started a new blog.

Now, here I am, amazed at the end of 2017 because I surpassed a lot of my goals as well as made even more changes to the blog than before. All of these changes have improved the blog, my writing, and myself as a person in more ways than one.

So, the hard part of December is this: now I have to think of bigger and better ways to improve in 2018.

Okay, so I don’t have to. But I want to. It’s not good to push yourself too hard, but you have to push yourself a little if you want to learn new things, accomplish new goals, and improve.

I have been working so hard on completely revamping the physical look of this blog as well as come up with new features to add to it both on the blog and off the blog. Yes, outside this blog as in these things will be connected to the blog in some way, shape, or form, but it will not be in the form of a blog post on this particular website.

Some of these things will happen in January (hopefully I make the deadlines I’ve created for myself!) and some will be spread out through the year (again, hoping I make the deadlines I’ve created…).

Not to mention my books. I have four novellas planned to come out on Wattpad in 2018 while I work on four other projects that will… I don’t know if I plan on self-publishing or going traditional, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

It’s all been a lot of planning up until this point and now it’s time that I start putting things into action. Well, November helped a lot with the action too, but December is where most of the magic is happening.

Between the blogging and writing and then of course real life with the holidays and such, I may be a bit frazzled this month. Bare with me.

Do you spend December prepping for the following year? Do you have big plans ahead or do you tend to wing it? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
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Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Reading, Writing

December 2017 Goals

December 2017 Goals

Reading

I’ve gotten ahead on my reading, so I’ll be reading books that won’t be reviewed until January. With that said, for December, I’ll be reviewing:

1. Rot by Aidan J. Reid
2. Going All In by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley
3. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
4. 13 Steps To Evil: How To Craft Super Bad Villains by Sacha Black
5. Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari

I’m not going to list books I plan on reading for this month because… I don’t know what to read yet. You can keep an eye on my Reading List and Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

Writing

Writing is definitely going to take up a lot of energy this month… I’ll be editing two projects while planning a third.

1. Edit The Scribe – This was the novella I wrote last month for NaNoWriMo. Editing is going to be tough with extra research I have to do, but I cheated and started after Thanksgiving. I should be able to have it all done by the end of the month.

2. Edit Unwritten – This is a novel I wrote for Camp NaNo this year in April. I’ve been submitting one chapter a month to my local critique group. They’re seven chapters into the story and I’m going to edit the novel using my own notes as well as their feedback so that for the new year they’ll be reading second-draft material and not first-draft material.

3. Plan Perplexed – This is a short story collection that I’ll be working on throughout 2018. If all goes well, I plan on self-publishing it in 2019. It’s a working title, but the more I say it the more it grows on me… did I mention it’s a collection of mystery shorts? Maybe now the title makes a little more sense to you. It’ll consist of 12 shorts so I want to get any prompts and plots down now so I can dive right into it in January.

Blogging

No post writing for me this month… well, unless I try to get some January posts done. Yeah, I should probably do that.

My main focus of the blog will be to finish updating all the graphics and the new theme. I want to have it all prettied up so that on Midnight January 1, I can ring in the new year with a new and improved blog!

Overall

December may kill me. Challenge accepted.

What are your plans for December? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Reading, Writing

November 2017 Wrap Up

November 2017 Wrap Up

Reading

I read more than I had planned, so that was nice. Be sure to check out my Reading List and catch up with my book reviews.

Writing

I wrote over 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo on my novella, The Scribe. Yes, I changed the title… again. This is the last time, I swear. The first draft of the story is completed. I have no more writing to do. All that’s left now is the editing. I’m excited to dive into that as soon as possible!

Blogging

I did a lot more “planning” than actually “doing” this month. My main focus was NaNo, so blogging and everything else kind of took a back seat. Still, I feel like I have my head on straight. I know what I want to accomplish within the next couple of months. I got a head start on a few of those things, such as updated graphics for this blog.

I also recently published a guest post over on Hanna’s Voice about writing and blogging. Please go check it out!

Overall

November was a good month. I feel as though it went by too fast, but I got a lot done and I feel good.

Posts to Remember

1. Short Story Sunday 186: Write On [NaNoWriMo]
2. 7 Ways To Avoid A Boring Middle For You And Your Readers
3. 8 Tips For Writing A Fantasy Novel

How did November treat you? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Blogging, Reading, Writing

Blog Round Up: November 2017

Blog Round Up: November 2017

Lone Wolf | A Poem
Friday Fiction: The Dance of Death
Let’s Talk About Editing, The Pen is Your Friend
Supernova
Editing Tips Tuesday – Things You Never Thought Need Editing, But Probably Do

There are not that many posts this month because I did a terrible job keeping up with other blogs… oops.

What did you think of these posts? What are some of your favorites from this past month? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Life, NaNoWriMo, Reading, Writing

November 2017 Goals

November 2017 Goals

Reading

I’m ahead with my reading! I feel like I haven’t been ahead in a while. With that said, I’ll be reviewing books this month that I read last month.

1. Into The Light by Emily Stroia
2. Keepers by Sacha de Black
3. The Fragile Thread of Hope by Pankaj Giri
4. Eleanor and The Impossible by M. Miles

Here’s what I’ll be reading this month:

1. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
2. 13 Steps to Evil: How To Craft Super Bad Villains by Sacha Black
3. Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari

Writing

It’s NaNoWriMo! My main focus is going to be on my NaNo novel, The Librarian. (I’ve been calling it Special on the blog so far, but it’s the same thing.) I plan on writing 50,000 words for that novel.

Time permitting, I would like to continue a short story that I’m handwriting. I think handwriting will allow me to not get burned out between the two stories. Still, NaNo will be the priority.

Blogging

October was super productive in which I was able to get pretty much all of my blogging done for the rest of the year. Yep, all through December is done! Except for some posts that I can’t write until the last minute such as updates on my NaNo novel, the Wrap-Ups, etc.

Still, this is going to allow me to focus on NaNo more, but also I’ll be able to work more on the updates to my blog. Which I am super excited about!

Overall

November will be busy. Blogging, writing, and then the holidays are coming up… but it’ll be good. I have big plans for the rest of the year leading into 2018 and then beyond. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all.

What are your plans for November? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Life, Reading, Writing

October 2017 Wrap Up

Reading

I got my reading done for October! Plus more, which was great. I’m a little ahead of the game for November. But the biggest news is that I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I’ve read 52 books and I’ll certainly be reading more.

My Reading List has also been updated for October and September. I realized I never updated it for September even though I said I did… oops.

Writing

Well. There’s this.

I said I was going to outline my NaNoWriMo novel, The Librarian. I did not. I tried, but I think I’m just going to wing this one and outline it as I go along. I’m excited for the novel itself, but my heart wasn’t into the outline. So, I’ll be freewriting, which will be a refreshing change of pace.

I didn’t go through my mystery novel or my picture books either. I didn’t do much “writing” this month, apparently…

What I did do was make a plan for my novels and created deadlines! Yes, I know I’ve done this before, some I’ve stuck with, some I haven’t. If you head over to the My Books page, you’ll see what I have planned. 2018 is going to be a busy writing year for me and it’s all going to start in November.

There will be more information on all this in January though.

Blogging

This is what took up my October. With NaNo around the corner (I’m not sure if I’m ready), big plans for my novels, as well as trying to revamp this whole blog, I’ve been super busy. I’m trying to get everything done on the blog by the end of the year so next year I can focus mainly on my writing.

This month I got through all my November and December posts that I could write in advance. The wrap-ups, blog round-ups, my NaNo updates, etc. are, of course, not done. Still, I got a lot accomplished! Now I can focus on re-doing the blog.

Overall

October was a great month. I didn’t get what I said I would, but I still accomplished a lot. I’m looking forward to the future.

Posts to Remember

1. Get To Know Your Characters [NaNoWriMo Prep]
2. October/November 2017 Writing Contests
3. 5 Ways To Prep For NaNoWriMo Without Worrying About Your Novel [NaNoWriMo Prep]

How did October treat you? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Writing, Writing Prompts

Blogger Prompt Chain

Blogger Prompt Chain

I was tagged by the lovely A.J. Alexander to do this Blogger Prompt Chain, which she created. The idea is to create a “chain” of stories written by writers and bloggers all over.

I think this is a wonderful idea and I was more than happen to be invited to participate.

Rules:

1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from here)
2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered)
4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

Prompts:

a) The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

b) Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene.

c) Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.

d) At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.

e) The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.

My Choice – The Letter All Writers Should Write:

To my sister, Kris,

A long, long time ago I was your “annoying” little sister. I wanted to hang out with you and your friends all the time, I wanted to do everything that you did. So, when you started to write, I wanted to write.

When you discovered the FanFiction website, I wanted to join it too. You were a nice older sister and allowed me writing space on your account.

From then on we both discovered a love of writing and being creative.

I’ve bounced ideas off of you, spent hours talking about a particular project, you listen to my writing woes and accomplishments, and I hope to co-write a novel with you some day.

It’s hard to believe we’ve both come so far with our writing. I never would have imagined I’d go from running various role-playing websites with you to writing novels and running a couple of blogs with you.

Of course, I have many people who support me with my writing (too many to name), but you’re the one who has started it all. You’re the one who has stuck with it, with me, through it all. You’re the one who fully understands what it truly means to be a “writer.”

Thanks for showing me this path and thank you for putting up with me following your lead.

I love you!

Love,
Rachel

My Invitations:

1. Kris Poli
2. Herminia Chow
3. Nthato Morakabi
4. Skye Hegyes
5. J.J. Oliveria

If you don’t want to participate, that’s okay, but it’d be great if you did. And, of course, if you decide to take part without being invited, that’d be great! Just be sure to leave a link to your story below because I’d love to read it.

Thanks again to A.J. for including me and creating this fun chain!

What did you think of this idea? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Reading, Writing

October 2017 Goals

October 2017 Goals

Reading

There will be five books reviews this month. Like last Saturday, there will be two reviews this Saturday. After that, there will be one book review each Saturday.

I plan to read:

1. Beauty’s Kiss (Once Upon A Princess 3) by C.S. Johnson
2. Beauty’s Gift (Once Upon A Princess 4) by C.S. Johnson
3. Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham
4. Warcross by Marie Lu
5. Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

As always, these books will be reviewed on Saturdays and my Reading List will be updated accordingly.

Writing

Last month I gave myself a deadline for all my writing projects. I also chose what to work on for each month. I know that’ll change depending on what I actually get done each month, but we’ll see how it goes. So, for October, I plan on working on:

So, for October, I plan on working on:

1. “Special” – Outline – This is a working title and goes along with the Short Story Sunday series I posted in August. I plan on expanding it into a novel. This is going to be my NaNoWriMo project for November.2. “George Florence” – Organize – This poor novel is a mess. It’s in the editing stage, but I have to figure out where I left off. I also know there are a few holes here and there that I have to figure out.

2. “George Florence” – Organize – This poor novel is a mess. It’s in the editing stage, but I have to figure out where I left off. I also know there are a few holes here and there that I have to figure out.3.

3. Picture book – Time permitting, I’d like to edit one of my picture books.

Blogging

I’ve got most of my October posts done (yay!) and while there are a few here and there that I can’t write until their dates get closer, I’m going to look on ahead into November.

I want to get as much blogging done as I can for November because I want to put the majority of my effort into my NaNo novel.

This will also give me some time to continue updating the look of my blog.

Overall

October should be productive. I think I have a good routine and plan in action. We’ll see how it all goes.

What does your October look like? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Posted in Author/Site Information, Blogging, Reading, Writing

September 2017 Wrap Up

September 2017 wrap up

Reading

I read six books this month. I’d say it was a good reading month! I’ve updated my Reading List with the books I read this month and links to their reviews. Feel free to check that out and see what I read and reviewed this month.

Writing

I had a late start, but I completed my writing goals for this month. My writing goals for September was to figure out what I wanted to work on and prioritize my writing projects.Well, I did just that and made a list of what to work on each month through next May. It may change depending on what I actually accomplish, but I do have a plan.

Well, I did just that and made a list of what to work on each month through next May. It may change depending on what I actually accomplish, but I do have a plan. I made deadlines for each of my writing projects as well and I’m going to do my best to stick with it.

With that said, I wrote two short stories this month and I also edited one of my picture books.

Blogging

I got all my September blog posts done early (the ones I could write in advance, I mean) and that gave me plenty of time to get a head start on October’s posts.

I’ve been working hard on my October posts and are almost done with those as well. This means I’ll be able to focus on outlining my NaNo novel. Not to mention, I can slowly work on November’s posts so for that month I can focus on writing my NaNo novel. Then it’ll be December and then a new year… oh, geez…

Anyway, this has also given me time to work on the physical part of the blog. The makeover is going slower than I thought it would, but I’m taking my time and I think it’s coming along nicely (so far).

Overall

September was a good month. I got my crap together and really figured out a new plan for myself and my writing. I feel like it was a “new beginning” to launch my life as a writer.

Posts To Remember

1. The 5 Elements Of A Short Story
2. How To Fully Develop Your Characters In Short Stories
3. September/October 2017 Writing Contests

How did September treat you? Let me know in the comments below!

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