Posted in Life, Writing

5 Awesome Mugs For Writers

The other day I shared some mugs for readers, but we have to add a little fun for the writers as well.

 1. They’re, Their, There Mug

“They’re having their coffee over there.”

I think this is great. I have a mug that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar” and this mug would go right next to that one. I can’t explain how many people still get this wrong sometimes.

 2. Do Not Annoy The Writer

“Please do not annoy the writer, she may put you in a book and kill you.”

This quote actually used to be my profile picture for the NaNoWriMo website for a long time. It’s true. We’re discreet about it, but who hasn’t wanted to kill off someone in their stories?

 3. Writer’s Block

“Writers Block: When your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”

I know some people believe in writer’s block and others don’t, but there are days when you just can’t get the words out. Your characters are being difficult for whatever reason and just don’t feel like showing up to work.

 4. Go Away

“Go away, I’m writing.”

This is one of those “magic” mugs that change when heat is added to it. They are the coolest thing ever. They also have other ones that say, “go away, I’m reading” and “go away, I’m blogging.”

 5. Writer

Basically the many definitions of a writer.

This mug is great and knows the ways of a writer very well. It’s pretty uplifting and encouraging if you’re ever stuck on a certain project.

Do you have any of these mugs? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Life, Reading

5 Fun, Cozy Mugs For Readers

The holidays are just around the corner! Have you gotten your shopping done yet?

If not, here are some great mugs for readers! I’ll be honest, I want to buy them for myself.

 1. Literary Rebel Mug

“Literary Rebel: I read past my bedtime.”

This mug is so plain and simple, but it works. I like the white mugs with the black lettering that says something true and witty.

Because who hasn’t stayed up too late to finish a book they’re reading?

 2. Kindle Mug

Another simple mug, but no words are needed this time. I’ve always loved the Kindle design and never knew there was a mug for it.

Blue is my favorite color and I think that’s a pretty shade on the mug. It just seems like a nice, calming mug to use when reading.

 3. A Day Without Reading Mug

“A day without reading is like… Just kidding. I have no idea.”

Another simple one, but fancier than the last.

You should read every day. Always.

 4. Can’t Buy Happiness

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books, and that’s kind of the same thing.”

I mean, the mug says it itself. I don’t think it’s lying either.

 5. Not Addicted To Reading

“I’m not addicted to reading… I can stop as soon as I finish this book.”

Show of hands, who has never said this before? I don’t think anyone should be raising their hands. This is certainly a mug for everyone.

Do you have any of these mugs? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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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!
Posted in Life, NaNoWriMo, Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday 188: Dear Diary, Writing Buddies [NaNoWriMo]

Short Story Sunday 188: Writing Buddies

            It’s no secret that Kris and I have a love for video games, especially since we have a second blog dedicated to gaming. We also love YouTube and there are a lot of gamers we follow and watch on there. They talk about games, new and old, do reviews, top lists, and most of them have Let’s Play channels where they play through a lot of their favorite games.

We’ve been watching these guys for a couple of years now and we love each and every one of them. They’re funny, informative, and pretty cute as well.

Kris and I sometimes send writing memes to each other through Pinterest and Tumblr, mostly because they’re funny, but we try to encourage each other to continue writing at the same time. Regardless, who doesn’t want a hot celebrity smirking at you while encouraging to do what you love the most?

Last year, for NaNoWriMo 2016, I decided to create a couple of writing memes for Kris. She always had a hard time sticking to one idea throughout the month and that often slowed down her word count. She had taken a couple days off from work because she was able to and our dog was having surgery. She was going to use those days to get ahead in her novel word count.

So, I decided to print out some writing memes for Kris. I figured once she left to drive our cousins to school, I would tape one of them up onto the bathroom mirror. I knew she would definitely see it there. But, I figured, why find her favorite celebrity on the Internet when I can just make my own?

I decided to create writing memes using our favorite YouTubers. I came up with three different ideas, which was perfect because she had three days off from work. I would tape one up on the bathroom mirror before leaving for work each more.

That first day, Kris sent me a text while I was work and I nearly burst out laughing once I read what she wrote. She wrote in all caps about how she just “found Jared in our bathroom” and how I was simply awesome. Of course, if you were reading over my shoulder and had no idea what we were talking about, that conversation very well could have been taken out of context completely—and probably not in a very good way.

I had three days off from work the following week due to the election, a professional day for the teachers, and then Veteran’s Day. So, on Kris’s third and final day off from work, we were admiring the three boys, who were now taped up against our closet door.

“You know, I expect a couple of memes from you when I have a few days off from work next week.” I told her.

Kris waved her hand dismissively and said, “I already have them printed out.”

She didn’t end up just giving me three based on my days off, but she gave me four. I made her an extra one because she also had Veteran’s Day off, but I had two different ideas so I ended up giving her two. We felt the need to give each other an even amount of writing memes so Kris made me another one as well.

But both of us kept coming up with more and more ideas for these memes. And, if we’re going to be honest here, there are about 20 or so YouTubers that we want. Part of the reason we kept coming up with new ideas and pictures was because we didn’t want to leave anyone out and we were trying to get a meme for each one of the guys. Then we would of course come up with various ideas for the same YouTuber.

We have issues when it comes to YouTubers. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

Our closet door is currently filled with various pictures of our favorite YouTubers reminding us to keep writing, that we’re great writers, and that we can do it and reach our dreams.

It’s amazing how encouraging Kris and I can be to one another when it comes to YouTube and video games and writing. Of course, we’re always like that to each other, but we had way too much fun with the writing memes. It got a little too far and if anyone comes up into our room and sees our closet door, I’m not exactly sure how we’re going to explain all that.

In fact, it’s hard to believe that I’m explaining it to everyone who follows my blog.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, though. Kris and I love watching those YouTubers and they inspire us to do what we love each and every day, just like they did and now look where they are. Plus, Kris and I can have a lot of fun and get some good laughs out of it as well.

We still give each other a writing meme once in a while as new ideas pop up and we discover new YouTubers. I don’t think this joke between the two of us is ever going to end. But then again, I’m not sure I want to let it end.

If anything, it’s a great motivator for all the NaNo sessions to come in the future.

Words: 898

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll chat!
Posted in Author/Site Information, Life

A Huge Thank You – Happy Thanksgiving

I don’t normally publish personal posts anymore, but today is Thanksgiving so I felt that this was appropriate.

A lot has happened in the past five and half years since I started blogging. A lot has happened in this past year, in just the past few months alone.

This time last year I had decided that I was going to quit my job. I had no idea what was going to be in store for me, but I just knew I had to try to follow my dreams. There was no other time to do it. It was either now or never.

Thank You

I Am Thankful For…

My Family

I can’t express how grateful I am for my family. I am so lucky to have two wonderful parents who support me no matter what. I’m lucky they allow me to live under their roof rent-free while I quit my job to pursue my passion. Which, as we all know, can be a crapshoot because writing isn’t a sure thing.

There are my two older sisters and brother-in-law who are always encouraging me, asking me how my writing is going, and interested in what I’m doing. Then there are of course my two cousins, my Uncle, and grandparents among the rest of my family.

My Friends

I don’t have many “writer” friends in real life. I do have friends in my writing group and I love each and every one of them and value their thoughts and opinions on my writing and just writing in general. Plus, they’re just a fun bunch to hang out with!

But my non-writer friends, the best ones I have, are super supportive even though they fully understand what I’m trying to do. They just know that I love it and they’re happy for me that I’m trying.

My WordPress/Social Media Friends

I’m not going to name any people because there are way too many and I’m sure you know who you are (you better know who you are). I honestly can’t say enough how thankful I am for my fellow bloggers and writers on this site and across my social media. I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of you and have made a lot of new friends. I feel like I’m part of a super important club and I think we have an amazing community going on.

So many opportunities have risen for me through my blog. I’ve been connected with all sorts of bloggers (writers, readers, gamers) as well as authors (self and traditional) and even publicists. I’ve interviewed people and been interviewed by people. I’ve had guest posts on my blog and wrote a few guest posts myself. I’ve participated in blog tours and done cover reveals. I’ve read and reviewed published books and ARC books. My blog and I have come so far and it baffles me, to be honest.

New Opportunities

Speaking of the above, it’s through this blog that I met Emily Green, a publicist. After reviewing a few books for her, I inquired about her work. It intrigued me and she was so nice to take me under her wing. I was her intern for a few months and now I help her with her projects when she needs it. I’ve learned a lot. She’s a wonderful mentor and an encouraging friend. I’m so grateful she took a chance on me.

I’ve also found other places to write. Kris and I started our own gaming blog and have met so many new friends through that. We contribute to another gaming blog writing occasional reviews for them. It’s through that blog and those friends that we have big things planned.

Speaking of writing, writing is another opportunity. I know I’ve been doing that for a while, but if it weren’t for this blog I wouldn’t be taking nearly as many of the chances I take now. My original writing wouldn’t be on the Internet and I wouldn’t be looking into self-publishing and taking action towards my overall writing career.

Old Opportunities

I was writing for a gaming website called Now Loading. I was almost done with the “academy” part of the site. After that, I would have been able to apply to be a verified creator which would allow me to get paid for my articles. Unfortunately, the website had to close its doors. Still, it was fun while it lasted and I learned a lot.

I’m still coming to terms with myself quitting my job. It was getting to the point where I wasn’t as happy going to work as I used to be. I loved the people I worked with and the kids, of course, but it wasn’t helping my creativity. I felt like I was in a rut. Overall, I think it was a good decision that I left, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Two of the three teachers I worked with moved onto a different school so our team (after three years) would have split up no matter if I left or stayed. It just seemed like the right time. But I still look at the clock and think to myself, “the kids are having their snack right now,” or “I would be outside chasing the kids around right now.”

My co-workers were super supportive of me whether I stayed in education or decided to move on with my writing. I miss them, but I’m sure I’ll see them again soon.

Overall

I really hope I’m not missing anything or anyone. 2017 has been a roller coaster – good things happened and bad things happened, but that’s just life.

I think I’m finally on my way to officially having a writing career. I have big plans for 2018 and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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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 Life, Reading

I Organized My Books… Again

I did it again. I organized my bookshelves.

And when I say I organized them, I mean I was too tired to alphabetize them or put them in rainbow order or anything fancy like that. No, I just went through my books and got rid of some.

Yes, I’m getting rid of some books.

I know a lot of people think it’s a sin to give away books. And honestly, I don’t like to give away books. If only because I want a library in my future home as big as my local library. Still, there are so many books of mine that just collect dust that I’ve never read before.

I took all my books off my shelves (six shelves total between two bookcases). There were plenty of books that I have read before I said to myself, “I’m keeping that,” and immediately put it back onto my shelf.

There were a few books that I had to think about. For example, a few of them I read when I was very young. Would I enjoy them now? Probably not. But I kept them for nostalgic reasons and I’m sure, if I read them again down the road, I’ll still appreciate them anyway.

There were a handful of books that I didn’t enjoy, but I kept them anyway. I like to keep books I don’t particularly care for a few reasons. One, someone I know might enjoy it down the road. Two, if I ever re-read it I might find a new appreciation for it. And three, as a writer, I think it’s good to keep books you like and don’t like. It’s a reminder, in a way, and you learn how you want to write your own stories.

Pretty much all the books I gave away were books I bought years and years ago and never read. Reading the summaries now, I know I most likely will never read them. I’ve held onto them for so long saying that I’ll get to it and never do. Instead of them collecting dust, I’ll donate them to my thrift store or library and other people can put them to good use and enjoy them.

It’s always a good feeling to go through your books. You find a lot that you forgot about.

How often do you go through your books? Do you tend to keep every single one of them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Life, Reading

Reading On Vacation

I prefer physical books over e-books. I like turning the pages, I like the crinkle of the spine, I love the smell of the ink on the paper. Reading physical books just has an overall good feeling to it.

But I do like e-books as well. I enjoy that I can carry multiple books with me anywhere and I also like that they’re typically cheaper than the standard paperback or hardcover.

I’ve been on vacation all week and I tend to read a book a day when I’m here.

Two years ago I read five books and last year I think I read eight books. I think it’d be cool if I read at least eight books again if not more, to try to beat my own personal record.

No, it’s not a race. I’d rather enjoy the book than zipping through it. Still, it’s fun to see how much I can read in a week.

I’ve been on vacation for four full days now and I still have today and tomorrow to read.

So far, I’ve read four books, each in one sitting. It’s been great!

Do you typically spend your vacations reading a lot? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Life, Reading

On Vacation We Go!

I’m going on a much needed getaway and the most stressful thing about it has stemmed from one question:

What books do I bring?

Of course, I’m bringing my Kindle, which has loads of books that I have yet to read. But I do prefer paperback so I wanted to bring up a few of those as well.


I decided to bring…

  • Firebug by Lish McBride
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  • Flawless (PLL 2) by Sara Shepard
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Before any of you ask… No, I have yet to read the two Harry Potter screenplays.

I wanted to bring up only three or four books since I’m bringing up my Kindle, but I knew the two screenplays would be quick reads. I could leave them behind, but I don’t want to.

So I picked up the first two books of the Pretty Little Liars series. What if I get into the first one and wanna read the second one?

That’s four books.

But what if I want to read more than Harry Potter and Pretty Little Liars? I decided to bring one more book.

So, naturally, I picked out two more. Firebug and Wink Poppy Midnight are two books I bought fairly recently and have been wanting to pick up since I got them.

I’m off to go read a lot by a lake. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Happy Reading!

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