February Wrap Up

February goals wrap up

Reading

I read a total of five books this month. One more than my goal.

For an updated list of the books I read and reviewed (not all reviews are posted yet), check out my Reading List.

Writing

I planned on typing up the next draft to George Florence this month, but I ended up not doing that. I want to edit, add, and delete as I type the new draft. So I did research instead. I have to say, the research helped wonders. In fact, I still have a little more research to do.

I didn’t submit to a contest this month. I was too wrapped up with George Florence so I kind of forgot about it. But there’s always next month.

Blogging

I wanted to get most of my March blog posts done. I didn’t. But I got a good chunk of them done anyway. I also started commenting on more blogs as well.

If you would like to be part of my blog, go check out the Be a Guest Blogger page. I’d love to have you! Also, if you need a book review done or just have a book recommendation for me, check out my Book Review Policy page.

Overall

February was a good month. It went by too quick, but I got a lot done considering it’s a shorter month than the rest.

Posts to Remember:

1. February/March Writing Contests
2. How to Name Your Characters
3. Anatomy of a Character
4. Guest: Book Reviewing: Connecting Authors to Readers
5. Guest: World Building: Visualizing Your World (Part Two)
6. Guest: Writers Platform: Know Your Plan

How was your February?

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February Goals

February 2016 Goals

Reading:

I’ve been zipping through books lately so my reviews are a bit behind considering I only post reviews once a week. So here’s a list of books that will be reviewed this month…

1. The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring
2. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
4. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Here’s a list of books I will be reading this month…

1. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
2. Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz
3. Confessions of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
4. Glass by Ellen Hopkins

This list is subject to change depending on what I feel like reading at the time.

Writing:

1. Type up the next draft of George Florence — I need to make some notes and do a lot of research for the second draft.
2. Short pieces — submit to at least one contest or magazine

Blogging:

1. Continue to post daily
2. Comment on more blogs — I always have such a hard time finding time for this. I need to make a better effort.
3. Write March posts

One month of 2016 is down. 11 more to go.

What are your goals for February?

How is 2016?

How Are you 2016

We’re a week into the new year. It’s kind of crazy that this time last week was New Year’s Eve. It’s even crazier to think that two weeks ago was Christmas Eve. Time sure flies and it’s all a blur.

I’ve been doing well with a schedule I came up for myself. I’ve been slowly editing George Florence Monday through Wednesday. I edited a lot on Saturday because I went to Barnes and Noble.

I haven’t been there in a long time because of life and holidays and such. I can finally get back into my routine of going there every Saturday.

Sunday I worked on something with Kris that will be opening next month. I don’t know how many of you will actually be interested in it, but Kris and I are having fun with it and hopes it’s successful.

Today and tomorrow I’ll be working on blog posts. I had one ready to go for today. It was a new feature outside of my blog, but it was for my blog. Something happened so it looks like I won’t be doing it for a while.

Hence this random update-type post. I didn’t really have a back-up plan for what to write today.

Of course, I have plenty of drafts in my posts folder on here, but none of them looked appealing to me this morning. One of the drafts is from April 2014. Seriously.

It’s a post I still want to write and post on here, but it’s not really relevant anymore. I want to wait until Kris and I do that certain activity again and kind of freshen my memory on what we did. Yes, that one is writing related.

So I guess that’s all I have for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday!

How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far?

The Price Of Books

Price of Books

At the beginning of December, Herminia wrote a post titled, “The Disadvantages of Buying Books.” Then we started talking in the comments and an idea sprouted.

One of the disadvantages of buying books that Herminia mentioned was the cost of books. Sure, $10 doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add up your entire bookshelf?

I was going to look at the prices on all the books I own. Some may have been discounted, some may have been gifts, some might not even have the prices on them. Yet, I was curious to see how much money it was.

I didn’t do it because I have too many books and didn’t feel like spending the time to go through them all like that. Surprise, surprise.

So, for 2016, Herminia and I decided to keep track of how much money we spend on books.

When we buy a book we’ll jot down the price we paid written on the receipt. Not the actual price, because we might get a discount and/or pay tax. We want to write the exact amount we paid for.

I might post updates on my blog, I haven’t decided yet. I do know that December of next year I will write a post of the total amount of money I spent on books for the year.

Herminia and Kris said they’ll do this with me, though I don’t know if they’ll post updates on their blog about it at all.

If you’re a book lover and find yourself at the bookstore way too often, feel free to join us. I’m sure it’ll be an interesting experiment to see how much money one person can spend on books.

What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With An Idea
Photo taken from Amazon.

I went to Barnes and Noble the other day and came across this children’s book, What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada.

I thought it was newly published, but later found out that it came out in February of 2014. So you may have already heard of this lovely story.

Kris and I read through the book together and it melted my heart.

It’s about a child who comes up with an idea and doesn’t know what it is or understands what to do with it.

The child says that he keeps it to himself because he’s afraid of what other people might think. Yet, the idea stays with him and won’t go away.

The idea looks like an egg and it’s the only object on the page that is colored. Everything else is black and white. The idea grows with the child as he gets older constantly following him around.

It isn’t until the child finds some confidence in himself and in the idea that the rest of the illustrations are filled with color showing what a wonderful thing an idea is.

This book has such a powerful message that I believe everyone needs to learn. As a preschool teacher and babysitter of various ages, it’s important to encourage our children to be creative, speak their opinions, and do what they believe is right.

As a writer, it’s important to roll with the ideas we think of and be creative with our thoughts. Writing is a risky business and not everyone may not like your ideas, but there will be people out there who will love your ideas and support you and your ideas.

A new year is going to begin soon. Next year will be all about you. Spread those ideas around, do what makes you happy, do what you believe is right.

Some ideas may not work out, but that’s okay. The worst kind of failure is not trying at all.

Prepare For 2016: Writing Style

Writing Style

If you’re like me, you’re probably banking on 2016 to be the year for your writing. You’re hoping to get something published, something accepted for publication, or even just get something query-worthy and start sending it out.

So here’s how to prepare yourself for what’s to come in 2016 because, let’s be honest, we don’t know what 2016 is going to bring.

1. Set a goal.

I haven’t really decided what stage of my writing I want to be in by the end of 2016. I think I want George Florence to be completely edited and start querying it out to agents and/or publishers by the end of December 2016.

I also want to submit short pieces to contests and magazines.

I have a few manuscripts completed that aren’t edited yet so I’m wondering if I should edit those and post them somewhere whether it’s Wattpad or I self-publish it. I have to go through all my options.

2. Figure out what to work on.

Think about what stage you’re on in each of your writing pieces. First draft, second, final? Querying, searching for beta-readers?

Then you get think about your goals. Which pieces can be sent to a contest? Which pieces can be seen by agents?

I would say focus on three pieces max. For me, I’ll be focused on my mystery novel, George Florence, short works for contests and magazines submissions, and I might work on another novel. There’s a particular manuscript that I wrote and fully completed for Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago. For some reason that novel has been popping back up in my head. I guess I’ve let it sit for too long.

3. Find a daily routine.

I set aside an hour each day to get some work done. It’s tough when you have a full-time job and, in my case, a few part-time jobs on the side as well, so an hour is all you need. Sometimes it’s all you can get.

I spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday getting any writing, editing, or outlining done. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are blog days.

I don’t think you can write seven days a week. You’re going to need to have a break in there somewhere. The same goes for blogging. Sunday is considered a blogging day for me, but I usually don’t do anything on that day.

On Saturdays I try to work for two hours instead of one. Saturdays are my only free day where I don’t have work, so I try to get a little bit more done. Unless I stall and decide to clean the house.

4. Find a monthly routine.

You can have a daily routine or you can have a monthly routine. I like to have both because it keeps things organized.

I try to treat some months as “NaNo” months whether it’s NaNo time or not. My monthly schedule that I hope to start for real in 2016 is as follows:

January — Edit
February — Write
March — Outline and Edit
April — Write (Camp NaNo)
May — Write and Edit
June — Outline and Edit
July — Write (Camp NaNo)
August — Write and Edit
September — Write
October — Outline and Edit
November — Write (NaNo)
December — Write (Short Story Sunday for next year)

At the beginning of each month I’ll figure out which piece I want to work on for that month. Some months will be multitasking. For example, for May I can work on short pieces for contests and edit George Florence at the same time.

2016 is about a week away. There’s so much to prepare for.

How are you preparing yourself for the new year? What are some of your goals?