Cheerios and Chicken Soup

Yum…

Kris and I decided to do more writing contests and such.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books? This is one of the things we want to do. We pick book topics that we can write a nonfiction story about and send it in. If your story is picked to be in the book, you’ll receive 200 dollars plus ten free copies of the book. I think that’s a good deal.

As of right now, there are two topics that I am able to write for. Stories About Cats and Overcoming Challenges. I could write for the Stories About Dogs one, but I don’t have any real stories that pop out in my mind. I can only think of one story with my cat, Hunter, and my turtle, Raph. I’m going to write about that. I doubt it’ll get picked, but hey–might as well toss in every story I can, right? The deadline for this one is August 31, 2013.

The Overcoming Challenges one I’m going to talk about my high school career–my best friend bullying me, my anxiety disorder, and some of the teachers not believing in me. I don’t know if I ever explained this one here, but I left high school half way through my junior year. I did get my high school diploma, but I went through college to get it. It also gave me a head start on my degree, which was nice. The deadline for this one is October 31, 2013.

There are a couple of other topics I could write for, but there are no stories that pop into my head for them. We’ll see, though; especially since I have time for the two topics I plan on doing. Of course August 31 is going to be here before I know it.

I also heard of another contest through My Journey As A Writer‘s blog. It’s called Cheerios Spoonful of Stories. You can send in an unlimited amount of children’s books. Grand prize is 5,000 dollars. The story is featured on the website as well as handed over to Simon and Schuster publishing to be considered for publication. Second and third prize gets 1,000 dollars. The deadline is July 31, 2013.

I have a few children’s book ideas, but I don’t know if I’m going to have the time to write, edit, and send them in. I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday and when I come back there will be about three days left until the deadline. The book I would love to send in is still being considered by a publisher who only takes exclusive manuscripts. I’m not allowed to send the manuscript anywhere else until I hear from them, or September 7 (it’s a three-month turnaround time and I sent it in on June 7). We’ll see if I have any time this week to write up some manuscripts and give them a good look-over.

There’s also Writer’s Digest competitions. I have done a couple of their competitions before, but never won anything. Of course, I can keep trying.

I also bought a book called 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Not only does the book have a list of publishers and agents, it has a list of contests, as well. Of course, a lot of them have already ended because I was smart and bought the book half way through the year of 2013. But it also has a list of magazines, too. Some pay, some don’t. Some have contests, some don’t. But you can still send stuff in, depending on what they’re looking for.

I told myself I wanted to have something published by my 25th birthday. Of course, when I say something published, I mean one of my young adult novels or middle grade novels or something.

I turn 20 on September 1, 2013. That gives me five more years to get something done. If I can get something published by winning a contest, even if it’s just published in a small magazine, I’ll take it. I would prefer one of my novels, but if it gets my foot in the door, I’ll be happy.

Just Keep Writing

An Inch Closer…

 

My class is 10:30-2 today. I have work at 2:30-5/6. And then I’m babysitting 6:30-8:30. I have a very busy day today so I thought that I would get up early and go to school early so that I could get some writing done. Because I am obviously not going to get anything done tonight…that would be silly.

So I have been writing more of Take Over and it is still going pretty well. I wrote for about an hour and half this morning and then I kept making typos and began to go cross-eyed, so I I had to stop. I am now up to 15,765 words and 26 pages. Those numbers are only going to keep getting higher from now on. Although, they always went higher, but whatever.

I got to the good part of my novel. Again, I have to post the summary soon, but as I said in the last post, a group of high school seniors plan to take over the school with the help of a random junior who is in their group. Right? Yes.

Let’s talk about characters: none of them turned out the way I have planned on them being like…

1. Roxana “Roxie” Smith. She is the main character and has a lovely head on her shoulders. She pretty, smart, and plays by the rules. She’s popular in school only because she’s Brad’s girlfriend. Roxie’s parents are…interesting to say the least. Her mother is a stay-at-mom because even though Roxie is old enough to take care of herself, her mom feels as though she would be abandoning her only child. Roxie’s father…he’s insane. And he writes for a living. Enough said. Roxie is dead set against the Take Over.
2. Heath “Brad” Bradley Johnson. Everyone calls him Brad because of his middle name because he hates his first name. Brad is a popular guy and is known by everyone. He is friends with everyone, not because he wants to really be friends, but people people adore him. The Take Over was his idea.
3. Jayden “Jay” Williams & Darren Williams. They’re twins who don’t have a mind of their own. They go along with anything and everything Brad says because he’s the “leader.” Jay is more friendly and takes care of all of his friends while Darren just wants Brad to like him. Both are very into the idea of the Take Over.
4. Bella Jones. Roxie’s best friend. She has a huge crush on Darren and will do anything for him to like her. She’s a dumb blonde (even though she’s a brunette) and her parents are…different. Her mother has a big stick up her butt for reasons unknown to even me. She’s unsure whether she wants to go along with the Take Over or not. She wants to follow Roxie’s lead, but wants Darren to like her.
5. Simon Davis. He’s the junior of the group. Why Brad allowed him to hang out with a bunch of seniors? Again, I haven’t thought that far ahead yet…but Simon is super excited because now he’s the most popular kid of the junior class because he hangs out with Brad Johnson. Simon goes along with Brad on the Take Over, but feels sorry for Roxie and he tries to stay neutral while still technically being on Brad’s side.

There you have it. Six annoying characters in all. Neither of them had the personality I wanted them to have. But it’s working so far, so I’ll play along with them…for now. 😉

 

2013: 30,904/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

Day 10

23,081/50,000 Words

 

Huh. It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Well, the reason I haven’t updated this thing is because I haven’t written anything since my last post, which was Day 6 (Tuesday). I had a huge writing day on Tuesday and I was very proud of myself…except that I haven’t written since. This is what happened:

Tuesday I wrote while in school. After school I had that dumb doctor’s appointment. I was there for an hour and a half. I told my doctor that I was still tired, my rash is still all over my body, I’m still coughing (although it’s much better than it was) and I’m still wheezing every once in a while. School doesn’t help because I’m walking around in the freezing cold which probably makes it worse. When she listened to me breath she said that I still have pneumonia, which I figured because that takes a long time to get rid of. So, they decided to check my oxygen level, then draw blood, then get a couple of x-rays and fun stuff like that. Then we found out that everything was normal. So they gave me a second inhaler and sent me on my way. So now I have two inhalers to take.

Wednesday, my boyfriend and two friends came over. Chris, my boyfriend, was going to help my friend Christina with her math homework. Carolyn, Christina’s sister, was having a party at school the next day and she needed to make oreo balls for it. If you don’t know what oreo balls are, you should look it up and go make some; especially if you’re a woman PMSing. They are FANTASTIC. All it is are oreos and cream cheese rolled into balls dipped in chocolate. Can we say Heaven? Anyway, the math online wouldn’t work so the four of us (well, Chris ditched us and sat in the other room because us three girls were getting a little crazy…) ended up making the oreo balls. Except we messed up (if you have ever made them before you’re probably saying, “How do you mess up on making oreo balls?” Well…if you met me and friends in person you’d answer yourself with, “Oh. Because it’s THEM making it.”). So we had to run to the store while it was snowing a lot and the roads were terrible. The car was slipping and sliding all over the place. It was a fun time.

Thursday, I had school and work and was utterly exhausted by the time I got home from work. So I didn’t write or anything because I ended up going to bed around 9:00. Yesterday, Friday, I had school and then work and then I had to babysit. I was going to write while the kids were in bed, but I never ended up babysitting. Again, I was in bed by 9:00. Here’s why:

I got out of my last class with a voice mail on my phone. It was my doctor. “Hi, Rachel! We got the results of your x-rays and guess what? We found traces of mono in your system. You don’t actually have it, but apparently you had it maybe about three months ago. So that’s good, you were sick and didn’t even know it! Even though you don’t have it now, your body may still be fighting a bit of it off because you’re weak from the pneumonia and such and that’s probably why you’re so tired and not getting any better.” I’m thinking to myself, three months ago was August. I was in Disney at the end of August. You mean to tell me that I had mono when I was in Disney? Wonderful. Anyway, I called her back and she told me that I should stay in this weekend and get some extra rest. If I don’t feel any better by Monday I should come back in.

This made me mad because I had to cancel babysitting last night, I had to cancel my hair appointment this afternoon, and I was supposed to go out with Chris and his friend tonight and I can’t even do that. I know for a fact that I am not going to be feeling any better by Monday because I have been like this all week. My nose is really stuffed up and has been all week. Trust me, every single day at work the kids said to me, “Why do you sound funny?” I’m thinking, You sound funny! I can at least pronounce all my words correctly!

Anyway, the only good thing about staying in all weekend is that I get to catch up on my writing. Missing four days, that means I’m down by 8,000 words. So I should be at 25,740 today. That would be the 6,000 I missed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and the extra 2,000 for today. As you can see, I stopped at 23,081 words. I have been writing all morning and I needed to take a quick break. I will most likely get some more writing in later today or tonight. I will definitely make it to the 25,740 words…possibly more. But I updated my word count on the NaNo website and on here because I wanted to fill you all in on what’s going on. Plus I wanted to make it seem like I’m still here.

When I write some more tonight, I may post again. If not, I’ll see you all tomorrow!