March Wrap-Up

march 2016 wrap up rachel poli

Reading

I ended up in a reading slump this month. The beginning of March was crazy and I barely had any time to sit down with a book. I started reading the first book I planned this month, but it was slow-going for me. So I switched to a different book and read that in one sitting. Now I’m reading another book, bringing me to two books at once. I never do that.

So I was supposed to read five books and only read one. Oops.

With all this being said, I’m going to try to read March’s books and some, if not all, of April’s books.

For an updated list of the books I read and reviewed for March, check out my Reading List.

Writing

I didn’t get much of my writing goals done this month, either. I was supposed to give George Florence a thorough edit. I didn’t. I edited one part of it so that I could send it to my writers group for the end of the month, but that was it.

I also needed to research and outline The Lost Girl for Camp NaNoWriMo, which I did. So that’s good at least.

I didn’t submit to any writing contests only because I didn’t have anything planned and I didn’t really have time to write anything. So that kind of got pushed to the back burner for now.

Blogging

I got most of my April posts done like I was supposed to. I ended up being more blog-focused this month than I was with my writing. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do have  a schedule to balance the two and I didn’t follow it at all this month.

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

March wasn’t that busy of a month, though I made it feel that way at times. I had some family things going on, worked a lot, and there were two weeks during the month where I was just so tired that I had no desire to sit down and write.

The other thing about March was that I was more blog-focused, like I said earlier. Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow (yay!) so I’ve been playing catch-up and trying to get ahead.

I wanted to have my April posts done by the end of the month so I could focus mainly on writing Camp in April. Now that I’m running two blogs, my blogging work is cut out for me.

April is going to be all about Camp NaNoWriMo and my novel, The Lost Girl. When that’s over, I’ll get back into a better routine with balancing editing, writing, blogging, reading, video games, work, life, etc. Wow.

April will be busy, there’s no doubt about that. Come May, I will post an update about my writing. I realize I haven’t talked about George Florence in a while so I think I’m due to let you guys know where I stand on my goals, instead of just a quick outline like this.

Even this post turned out way longer than I expected!

So March was busy, got some stuff done though not what I thought I would get done. April will be even busier with Camp, but I can do it!

Posts to Remember

1. March/April Writing Contests
2. New Chapter
3. Writing Contest Tips
4. Guest: Travel Like a Writer
5. Guest: Mapping Out Your World (World Building Part Three)
6. Guest: Dissing the Queen: The Politics of Editing

Camp NaNo: Last Two Days

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There are two more days left of Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the final stretch. How are your novels coming along?

I hit my 50k word goal about a week ago, but the story is not yet complete. I wrote the ending, but there are a lot of scenes missing in the middle. I don’t know how many more scenes, but I do know the story is no where near complete.

Despite middle scenes missing, I know that a few of the middle scenes that are there shouldn’t exist. It got to the point that I was writing for the sake of my word count.

Anonymous Tip is the third novel in my George Florence series. The first two novels are one case with two sub-cases. This third novel is the beginning of another huge case. Same main characters, different minor characters, different plot, different cases… it’s a brand new adventure for George and Lilah.

While writing this case I realized that it might be better for me to completely edit the first two novels first. Then I’ll start working on the third novel.

So, I’m not going to finish the novel completely yet. I have a head start with 50k words (that’s decent, anyway) and I’ll get back to it when I finish the first two books.

George and Lilah can handle only so much at a time. Apparently so can I.

April: My Creation

For this April’s #YearOfHappy project the goal was to create something. It could be anything whether it’s something that will stay forever, like a scrapbook or something that will only stay for a day, like a cake.

I was thinking about using one of my novels as my creation, but I talk about my books on here all the time. Plus, I write all the time, too. They’re special, but I wanted to do something different. Something I don’t normally do.

Well, I’ve always wanted to be good at drawing. Kris was born with that natural talent like some people are. She is very good at drawing and I’ve always envied that. I try to draw and I know the more you practice, the easier it will become. However, it’s not a big enough priority for me, so I never practice. I just stick to my writing.

We do like to go to Paint Nite, though. That’s where you go someplace and there’s an instructor that shows you step-by-step how to create a certain painting. You always think it’s going to look like crap, but it never does. With the proper tools and right help, anyone can be a painter. Yours always looks different from everyone else’s (including the original), but they’re all the same picture and all look beautiful.

I went to one with Kris and our friend a few months ago and we had a blast. We decided to go again and brought my other sister along since she’s never gone before.

Here is what the original painting looked like:

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That picture was taken at the Paint Nite with the painting on a high stand, so that’s why it’s kind of far away (I’m short) and baseball is on a TV in the background (we were at a sports bar for this event). This is called Sunset Swim.

The difficulty rating for this painting was easy which was a factor as to why we decided to do this particular one.

The background was easy; the sunset and the pinkish-purple water. The foreground is when I mess everything up. However, my mountains came out pretty good and did my ducks… they look like baby dinosaurs, but they’re still cute.

The ripples and waves… well, that’s where I had trouble. My painting still looks good (if I do say so myself), but I did re-name my painting from Sunset Swim to Sunset Party because the ripples came out looking like confetti.

Here’s mine:

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And there you have it. That’s my beautiful creation for April. I hope you all made something lovely at some point this month as well.

Vacation

Friday: It was my last day of work for a week. This week is April vacation, so I get to sleep in all week! Also, I get six and a half hours more for each day. That’s super exciting for me! It was also my dad’s birthday so we went out to eat and had cake, you know usual birthday stuff. It was low-key, but nice.

Saturday: Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning where I wrote 5,514 words of my Camp NaNo novel. Kris had to bring her notebook because her laptop gave her the blue screen of death. She wrote a lot for it being handwritten, though. We only stayed for a few hours before going back home because my dad’s siblings came over for lunch for his birthday. We rarely see them throughout the year (mainly just for Christmas) so it was a fun time.

Sunday: I was lazy. I’ll admit it. I didn’t get any writing done, I didn’t try to get a head start on my homework like I planned… I just went to church and then sat on the couch. Kris and I did take Chip out for a walk around the local pond, so that was at least something. We were all tired after that. It’s a 45-minute walk and for Chip to be so small, it was a lot for her. But she made it!

This Week: Since I don’t have work this week, I have a lot more free time to do things I want to do. My homework is already just about done (it’s the second to last week, so we barely have any assignments) so I just want to focus on my writing and editing and reading and anything else I need to do this week. Kris and I are going to Barnes and Noble again this morning when it opens. It’s always a treat when we can go there a couple times a week.

My week is cut short, though. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday so that will slow me down for a few days. For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the posts will be the same–a writing quote, a book review, and a Short Story Sunday. They’re all written, so that’s fine. Monday will probably be another quote or something. I most likely won’t be responding to comments right away or commenting on other blogs. I’ll be out of commission for the weekend. Lucky me.

How was your weekend?

Camp NaNo: Week Two

Today is day eight of Camp NaNoWriMo, also marking the beginning of week two.

Week two is known as that “slump” week. We start getting bored with our novels. Tired of writing. We don’t want to keep up anymore. People get behind on their word counts, they skip a couple of days of writing here and there regardless of whether they’re ahead, behind, or on par.

It’s still early in the month, though. So we can’t give up.

Planners, you made an outline for a reason. Use it.

Pantsers, you were born to free write in dire times. Now is the time to do that.

This is the part of the month that you just have to say to yourself:

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