Bookshelf: 10 Books That Will Change Your Life

bookshelf part 5 books that will change your life rachel poli

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. Animal Farm by George Orwell

3. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

4. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

6. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

8. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

10. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

Small Changes

From my post yesterday, you would think there would be some huge changes to my blog, right? Well, I thought so too.

My plan was to change the URL and buy the domain name (which I did–yay!) and also to change the layout, fix some pages/posts, and make the blog look more like a website than an actual blog.

So my blog officially has a new title and a new URL which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. Layout-wise, it’s more or less the same. I have done some subtle changes and I’m still thinking about other little changes, but they haven’t been put into effect yet.

In order to customize my theme I need to pay WordPress a certain amount per year. Believe me, the amount isn’t bad at all. However, I just bought the domain name and buying a new layout isn’t just something I feel like I can do at the moment. Maybe next year I will.

In the meantime, the notepad theme is going to stay. Besides, you’re all here for the content of my blog, right? …Right?

With that being said, I am super excited to have a new URL. It makes me feel as though this blog is officially mine. I can’t wait to slowly work at slight layout changes that I can make for free… like I said, I have a few other ideas on how to make the blog look “newer.”

Sorry to disappoint anyone who expected “big changes” like I said there would be because I was expecting big changes, as well. However, I’m happy with what I’ve done for the blog so far.

Here’s to a lot of posting in the New Year!

Slight Hiatus

…But not really.

When I say “hiatus” I don’t mean that I’ll be going away from my blog for a little bit (despite the fact that I already haven’t been on in a little while).  So, sorry for the lack of updates and lack of responses to the comments. Christmas was a busy time and now that it’s all over, I’ve been spending my time playing my new video games (who isn’t?).

Speaking of Christmas, I would love to share with you all how my holiday went and I would love to hear how your holidays went. However, that post is going to be saved for tomorrow… or the next day… or sometime in the near future.

Let me get straight to the point: we all remember that I said I was planning some “changes” to my blog for the new year, yes? Well, one of those changes is to change the blog as a whole.

In 2015 I’m going to work super, extra hard on Detective Florence. I have a schedule for myself through May (pray I stick with it) and it’s all writing, re-writing, and editing Detective Florence. My goal is to start querying the novel by this time next year. Hopefully sooner, but you can’t rush these things.

With that being said, if I’m going to take the next step to become a published author, I want a blog/website that looks more… professional, I guess you could say. Yes, I am finally going to change the URL name and buy the domain name from WordPress.

I think this will be a good step in the right direction for me. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time now and I think it’s finally time for me to take action. After two and a half years, I think Spilled Ink needs a change. I need a change.

I also believe that once this is done, it will be sort of like a reminder to myself. My blog will be telling me, “You’re actually serious about this writing business, so you better not let yourself or your followers down!”

With that being said, I am not going to be randomly disappearing. I will not post once a day every day for two weeks and then disappear for three weeks. We all know that I tend to do that.

I have planned posts; some are written, some are not. However, I will be more active and my blog will be a much better place.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I’m going to be switching my blog over today. That’s December 29, 2014 for those of you in a different time zone or reading this on a different day.

I do not know how long/short this will take. I do not know how easy/hard it will be. Needless to say, my blog is going to be a hot mess for today. Maybe tomorrow, too. I don’t really know what I’m doing.

So, I just wanted this “slight hiatus” to be a bit of a warning… if anyone comes across my blog and it’s all jumbled up and confusing–fear not! Your computer is not broken, I’m just breaking my blog into pieces unsure how to put it back together again.

I’m probably making it sound much worse than it really is…

Anyway, I hope the next time we meet my blog will look fantastic and it’ll be brand new and everyone will love it! Please bare with me while I work on this. Thanks!

Two Awards

Beautiful Blogger

First things first: The wonderful Topaz nominated me for two awards! Thanks, Topaz! The first one is the Beautiful Blogger award. Here are the rules:

1.Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo
2. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back.
3. Nominate seven other bloggers and say a little something about them.

The Howler

Here are the rules for The Howler Award:

1. Display the award on your blog. This can be in your sidebar or on a special award page
2. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog
3. Give 3 examples of things you would like to see changed in the world
4. Nominate (in your own time) at least 5 bloggers that deserve the award
5. Donate the equivalent of $10 to a charity of your choice (optional)

What I would like to change in the world…all of these are easier said than done, but…

1. Fix the economy — seriously, it’s ridiculous
2. Stop war — this is even more ridiculous
3. Stop bullying — I hear way too many negative stories on this subject

My Nominees for both The Beautiful Blogger & The Howler Awards…

1. Random Acts of Writing — A regularly updated blog with many tidbits of writing. She has a few works in progress and is hoping to see them on the bookshelves soon.
2. Readful Things Blog — A wonderful writer, blogger, photographer, book reviewer, etc. She does everything that screams “art” and is fantastic at it.
3. Aspiringwriter22 — I have too many good things to say about Herminia. She is a fantastic blogger, a wonderful writer, and a hard-worker.
4. Permashift — I know I nominated this blog for an award not too long ago and it’s easy to understand why. Her book just came out less than a month ago, so please go check it out!
5. Uniquely Russell — A wonderful poet and writer. He is taking place in NaPoWriMo this year, so please go check it out if you want to read great poems!
6. Luna’s Little Library — Literally the best place for book reviews. Enough said.
7. Lysa Taylor — A wonderful writer. Check out her book trailer on her website (it’s really well done)!

There are my nominees…I could have written more about them, but I think it would be much easier for you to see for yourselves, so you should go check out their blogs. 😉

Thanks again Topaz!

All About Sacrifice

Ten Minutes Here, Half Hour There…

 

Novel In Progress

 

 

Let me start off by saying: I wish I had that doorknob hangy-thingy like in the picture above.

*Ahem* It’s day two of NaNoWriMo. We are no where near the end, yet the 30th will be here before we know it. And because of that, we need to find all the time we can to write. You can’t say, “Oh, it’s only day two. I can write double tomorrow,” or “It’s only day two, I still have 28 days to get it done.” No. it doesn’t work that way. If you procrastinate today, then it’s inevitable that you’ll procrastinate tomorrow.

Being a writer is so much more than just writing. It’s all about sacrifice. Sacrifice time, sacrifice social life, sacrifice your sanity.

Let’s talk about time because that’s been my biggest issue lately. I was happy that NaNo started on a Friday. I work eight hours a day so my only real time to write is in the mornings. Because when I get home from work I need to do homework and I’m exhausted. But it’s also hard to find time in the morning. If I don’t wake up really early, then I can’t get as much writing in as I want to because I get my two cousins ready for school in the morning. Now they’re both old enough, 9 and 11, so it’s not like I need to get them dressed or anything. But I do have to remind them every once in a while. If I don’t shut off the TV when I tell them to start getting ready for school, then a half hour later they will still be sitting in front of that TV.

But since it was a Friday, I only had to worry about that one day. I didn’t get as much written as I wanted to, but I was over the word count goal with 1,717 words. It was a good start. Then Saturday, today, I could write all day. And Sunday I can write all day after church. It’s a good start to NaNo.

I try to write for at least one hour every single day. I was really good at doing that in the summer, but when school and work started I stopped. And I really shouldn’t have. I’m hoping NaNo gets me back into the routine and I carry on with it through November and beyond. But it’s tough to find time when there is no time. The thing is, there is always time.

I like to write for at least an hour. I can bang out about 2,000 words in an hour (depending on my caffeine intake and how early/late it is in the day) and to me that’s a job well done. If I sit down and write for ten minutes, well…what good does that do?

It actually does a lot of good. I finally understand the meaning, “slow and steady wins the race.” Even though it’s not as much as you would like, you’re still writing. You are still getting something written down on the paper and that’s ten less minutes that you need to get done the next time you write for a decent length of time.

The reason I’m talking about this is because I thought this weekend was going to be a breeze. I probably could have made it to 50,000 words this weekend if I could. But plans got changed. And because of that, I’m finding it hard to find time to write.

These guys were supposed to come in the middle of the November to add insulation to the upstairs and basement to our house. Now the upstairs is my and Kris’s bedroom and our office/video game room. The only two places in the house we can hang out, write, have some privacy. Well, these guys had a cancellation so they came Thursday and Friday (Halloween and the first day of NaNo). Where are we going to write? When are we going to write if the guys are in the house and we need to babysit the dog and the cat so they don’t bother the men working?

The basement and the entire upstairs looks like an episode from “Hoarders.” Kris and I have been sleeping in the living room for the past two nights because we can’t get to our beds. By the way, this was supposed to be a two-day job and they’re still not finished. And they can’t come back until Wednesday. Yipee…

Kris and I planned to write every single Sunday in November together. Go to church, go to Starbucks, come home and write until we have to go to bed. We can’t do that tomorrow because we don’t have any place to go. Not to mention that we need to try to clean up the place a little bit.

This is what I mean about finding time. I thought I had all the time in the world and today I have to work on cleaning the rooms a bit and go to my friend’s birthday party later tonight. Tomorrow, I have church, continue cleaning the rooms, then I have to babysit from 6-midnight. It’s tough, but guess what? I did it. I made the goal yesterday and I made the goal today. I will make the goal tomorrow, too…I am determined to!

So ten minutes or a few hours, it makes no difference. As long as you’re writing, you’re getting something done.

Then you need to sacrifice your social life, too. My boyfriend and I haven’t had a chance to see each other a lot lately due to work, school, and other things going on in our lives. We used to see each other practically every single day, too. But even though we don’t see each other as often as we would like, I told him that I’m not seeing him every Sunday during November. I need to write. He understands as this is something I love, something I want to do. I have to do what I have to do in order to make my dreams come true. I’m very fortunate to have someone so understanding and supportive. So on Sundays my only form of human interaction will be with my sister…and the workers at Starbucks.

I can’t come up with any examples of sacrificing your sanity…I don’t think I had any sanity to begin with.

But that’s what writing is all about. Sacrificing everything here and there to do something you love. Something you want to do. It is difficult to find time; especially when you already made plans to write straight through the entire day.

This is why I think NaNo exists. It’s not about whether you can write an entire novel in 30 days. It’s whether you can take on the pressure, the anxiety, the frustration, the sacrifices, and the ups and downs of being a writer. It’s a much deeper test than we all make it out to be. So the question is: Can you handle it?

 

Today’s Word Count: 1,963
Total Word Count: 3,680