WIP Wednesday [December 2018]

WIP Wednesday: December 2018 | Work in Progress | Blogging | Creative Writing | Writer | RachelPoli.com

I mean… what is December, really? It’s filled with holiday shopping, wrapping presents, prepping for family, gathering with said family and friend, and stress. Lots and lots of stress.

So, what did I accomplish this month? What have I been working on? Nothing really writing related, that’s for sure.

I’ve tried and I’ve little bits here and there, but for the most part I’ve been dealing with real life things. Some good, some bad, unfortunately.

Most of my December work in progress has been prepping the blog for 2019 as well as coming up with a decent timeline and plan for my writing for 2019. Which, I’ll be writing a blog post about soon and also in January.

My thoughts are all over the place at the moment, if you couldn’t tell.

This week has been tough since this past weekend didn’t go as planned so now I feel like I’m rushing to get things done before Christmas. I have a lot of things to do this week that has nothing to do with Christmas so I feel like I’m scrambling. I’m usually in good shape at this time but I only just wrapped my gifts yesterday. Normally they would have been under the tree two weeks ago.

But what can you do?

It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. I see the tree in my living room, the lights outside everyone’s houses, the chill and snow is in the air, everyone is baking… but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time to sit and enjoy it. I hope I’m able to finally take a breath this weekend and take in the festivities of Christmas and enjoy it all because we all know it’s going to be over in a blink of an eye.

So, yeah. That’s what’s happening on my end. Busy with lots of things but writing and sometimes blogging have had to take a backseat. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes.

What have you been working on this month? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Give Yourself Some TLC

It was the day after Christmas
and all was now calm.
No one was stirring
not even my Mom.

The holidays are over and so is 2017 for the most part.

I’ve spent 90% of my life on the computer and internet the past couple of months writing, blogging, and lately getting ready for the new year.

Work certainly takes a lot out of you as do the holidays.

So this is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself. The busy days are over. The stress should be gone.

Even if you have more writing and blogging to do, let it go for now. Take this day (or the week) to kick back, relax, and reflect on what a great job you’ve done.

Reach out to some family and friends you haven’t talked to or seen in a while and catch up. Sit on a couch with any new books you received as gifts, make a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and enjoy. Sit in front of the fire if you have a fireplace. (I do not. Sad day.)

Spend the last week of 2017 recharging. Brainstorm resolutions that you’ll only keep for the first couple of weeks of the new year (as you do). Go out with friends and family.

Remember that you work hard each and every day and it’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to give yourself a little vacation, even if you’re not going away anywhere fancy.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday. Please be well, be kind, and bring in the new year with lots of positivity.

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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 Day After Christmas

Writing Christmas Gifts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day yesterday! I hope it was filled with family and friends. I hope everyone had a chance to sit back and relax.

Of course, with the festivities over, today is the day to really sit back and relax. Take a look at all the new toys you’ve gotten, take it all in, and have fun.

I got a few writing-related things for Christmas, such as the Writer’s Market books in the picture above. I’m hoping to put them to really good use in 2016. I hope 2016 is the year for my writing!

My sister also engraved a journal for me. It says, “Raise your flag let your voice be heard. Put your heart into every word you say.” They’re lyrics from a song and the pen is engraved with the title, “We Are Giants.” It’s by Lindsey Stirling, a violinist my sister and I really love.

 

I hope Santa treated everyone well this year!

WordPress Wish

Wordpress Wish

WordPress changes a lot of things. I feel like they’re changing the format of the website all the time.

The Reader is different now and there are more steps to get to the old WP Admin screen. I don’t know about any of you, but I still use and prefer the old WordPress over the new… even though the “new” is getting kind of old at this point.

If WordPress is going to keep changing things, you know what I would really love for them to have?

Folders.

I don’t know if that would help any of you, but it would certainly help me out a lot.

I write many of my blog posts in advance and I’m a very organized person in real life. It would be awesome if I could be just as organized on my blog as well.

My draft box is so cluttered with upcoming blog posts that it’s hard to keep them all in order. I have a planner to keep track of which posts are to be published on which days, but I would love to organize my categories.

Every Sunday is Short Story Sunday. Every Wednesday is Inspiration Station. Fridays are Time To Write and Saturdays are Book Reviews.

Short Story Sunday and Time To Write are always written well in advance. Inspiration Station I try to and the Book Reviews I only write in advance if I finish the book in a timely manner.

Either way, I would love for my draft inbox to have folders for each feature on my blog. It would make my life easier for when I upload posts.

Did you hear that WordPress? That’s what’s on my Christmas wishlist this 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!

No More School

I hope everyone had a great weekend and a good Monday yesterday. I had a busy weekend with my church’s annual Holly Fair. I work the raffle table every year. It’s fun and I do it with my family and friends from church are there so it’s a good time. Tiring, but fun. I also wrapped all my Christmas presents, so that’s out of the way. In addition to that we got our Christmas tree. The holidays are finally arriving!

Needless to say I did not get any editing done. That’s something that I really need to pick back up again this week, but guess what?

I finished all my homework! The semester officially ends on Saturday, but I completed all my assignments I’m all done with school. I am pretty excited about that!

Instead of waking up, doing homework, going to work, then coming home to potentially write/edit or work on more homework… I can wake up, edit/write, go to work, come home and write/edit some more! Or you know, get other things done, but the time is there if I need it.

I’m still going to be busy, of course. I still have two weeks of work before the break and the holidays aren’t going to let me slip by so easily. I have quite a few Christmas parties this year. Most of my weekends are pretty filled up. It will still be a lot easier without homework in the mix, though.

With that being said, I expect to get a lot done between now and Christmas writing-wise. This morning I finished my homework and then worked a bit on this blog for next year. I’ve been working bit by bit on the blog every day so I’m ready for New Year’s.

That’s where I stand for now. Now I’m off to get ready for work and then come home and… get stuff done, whatever I have to do.

Happy Tuesday!

That Time Of Year Again

Another year of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Did you all win? I hope so. If not, that’s okay. Writing is writing no matter how many words you managed to get down on the page.

Now that the NaNo hype is all done and everyone can finally relax again, we are now into December.

December is probably one of the busiest months of the year. It probably goes by the quickest as well because everyone is always so busy. December is also the last month of the year so people start thinking of New Year’s Resolutions and such.

I have been thinking about 2015 for the past couple of months. Call me strange, but I didn’t want to start anything “new” until the new year because then that would kind of sort of in a weird way make it “official.” Am I the only one who thinks that way?

Anyway, starting in 2015 there’s going to be a few new changes to my blog… posts and layout alike. I’ve been thinking about this for a few months now so I just need to put it all into action. Hopefully you guys will like the new changes. There will be more on that later… as in, the end of the month. All will be revealed/explained New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. Look forward to it… please.

I will say this, though: part of what I’m going to start doing regularly is working on my Detective Florence series.

I started typing up the second draft of Detective Florence back in October and stopped because NaNo started. I had only 140 pages left so now I’m going to continue that. Here’s my plans:

–Type up the last 140 pages of the second draft of Detective Florence by December 15 (10 pages a day)
–Hand edit the first draft of Detective Florence 2 (December 15-31)
–Type up the second draft of Detective Florence 2
Outline Detective Florence 3
Write Detective Florence 3

The first deadline will definitely hold up. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hand edit in 16 days with the holidays and work, but I’ll certainly give it a try. I would like to start writing the third novel by February at the very latest, though. We’ll see how it goes.

Those are my plans so far. 2015 is going to be the year that the first Detective Florence novel is going to be ready for publication… hopefully. I want it to be completed edited and polished by the end of December 2015.

I typed up ten pages this afternoon, so I’m on par for the first day of my plan. Yay! Now I just need to keep this up.

Inspiration Station

“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech

 

Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.

So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!

Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.

Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write Hunter & Comet.

Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.

I decided to write Inspiration Station instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…

Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.

So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.

I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.

I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.

I think Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas

 

Just wanted to send out a quick update. I’ve been doing very well at writing Detective Florence recently. In two days I have written 10,000 words. 5,000 each day.

I tried to write this morning, but I didn’t even write 1,000 words today (although I did get up to 71,000 total) and I think part of that is because of Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve my family and I go to church, come home and eat dinner, watch a Christmas movie, then we open presents from each other. Then, of course, we open the presents from Santa on Christmas morning.

We’re doing things a little differently this year as my sister is moved out and engaged. So she and her fiance will be joining us and they’ll have a lot of presents to open because Santa came early for them as they won’t be here tomorrow morning opening Santa gifts with the rest of us, but they will be here later in the afternoon. My mom’s side always comes over on Christmas while my dad’s side comes over the Saturday before Christmas.

Anyway, I tried to write, but couldn’t because I am just so excited. I barely did anything today in anticipation for tonight and tomorrow. I feel like a little kid and whereas I know the truth, the Christmas magic is still there for me.

Let me just end with this: This day has been going by really slow.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Focus

Focus

 

Today is a good day to do nothing. It’s cold, it’s raining, it’s just all around “bleh.” I slept in until 9:30 this morning (I never do that) and I am still in my pajamas…it’s 12:45 right now. Christmas Eve is tomorrow and my shopping and wrapping is all done. The semester finished about a week or so ago so I don’t have to worry about homework and I’m out of a job currently, so I don’t even have to worry about that. Well, other than finding a new job. Anyway, just because it’s a good day to do nothing and I don’t have anything to do, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do anything. Right?

Yet, I was reading last night and I went to bed when I had about 35 pages left in my book…why? I have no idea. But I decided to finish reading it this morning and I read a page when Hunter jumped on my lap and purred and stared me down while batting my face with his paw. I knew I should have told him that the world doesn’t revolve around him, but instead of doing that, I put my book down, turned on Psych on Netflix, and the two of us cuddled on the couch for a really long time. When he finally decided that he had enough cuddling, he left me in front of the TV all alone. So I turned it off, turned on Lucy, and decided to get a little writing done.

Kris and I have been doing a great job with our writing lately. She started something new that she’s been doing very well with and I’m continuing Detective Florence. I had planned on finishing that novel by the end of November, NaNoWriMo, but I never did. So I was hoping to finish it by the end of December, but I just started writing it again. I don’t know if I’m going to finish it in the next week; especially since Christmas is in two days. I know I’m getting Pokemon X and Pokemon Y among other video games, so I know for a fact that video games are going to be my life at least until New Year’s, if not longer.

Last night I hit 65,000 words on Detective Florence and got up and over 200 pages. I was proud of myself. But then I look at my outline (which I am making as I write the novel), I have such a long way to go. I think this novel is going to go above and beyond 300 pages, I have no idea how many words that’s going to be. It’s getting to the point where I just want the novel to end.

So I’m trying to write as much as I can every day because the next semester for school doesn’t start until January 21, 2014 and I have no idea when work is going to start up for me again. So I need to take advantage of the free time I have right now.

My only issue is that I need to focus on it. Which I have been doing well on, but I know it’s only a matter of time before I get distracted.

Happy December!

Where Did The Year Go…

NaNo Winner 3

 

Well, it’s December first. I can’t remember anything that happened this year and we still have a month to go. Needless to say, November was a busy month, but it’s all a blur to me now. The first 17 days of November I wrote…a lot. And I won NaNoWriMo. I had planned on going above and beyond the 50k mark because I wanted to finish the entire manuscript. However, I think I got a little too tired from all that writing before. I hit about 52k and then stopped. But I got a nifty certificate to go with my Camp NaNo ones!

The best part is that Kris won NaNo, too. This was her very first year winning and last night she got home from working 8:30-5:30 and wrote about 5,000 words in order to hit the 50k. She finished around 10:30 at night, but she made it just in time! She and I are going Christmas shopping today. If we find anything we want, we may treat ourselves for winning.

In other news, I started a new project. Yeah, I know…I have too many writing projects going on at once. But I figured that for the month of December I can go back and forth between that one and Detective Florence. I’m hoping that I will be able to finish that novel by the end of the month so for my New Year’s resolution I can say I want it to be completely edited by the end of 2014. Heh, we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, this new project is a collection of silly poems for kids. Random? Totally. Friday night Kris was writing her NaNo novel and I didn’t feel like writing mine. I was in a bit of a hyped up mood and ended up writing a poem about a fat dog named Sit. I would post it to give you guys a sneak peek, but I submitted it to Chicken Soup. They have a new book coming out called “The Dog Did WHAT?”

Now I’m sure most of you have heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Most of you probably have a few of their books. The stories and poems submitted are non-fiction, heart-felt, inspirational. Some make you laugh, some make you cry. Kris thought this poem was so adorable that she begged me to submit it. I don’t think it will get published as it’s obvious that it’s a silly fictional poem. But like Kris said, “The worst they can do is say no.” So I sent it in anyway, but I highly doubt it will get published.

The deadline for entries for this particular book is January 5, 2014. So it’s going to be a while before I hear back (if I hear back at all…I don’t think they contact you if it’s a rejection). So I will post it eventually. But I’m also shooting to make a whole book of these poems and maybe get that published someday. I have four poems so far. Go me!

So I was going to post an excerpt of Detective Florence today, but since I never finished the full manuscript, I’m going to wait. When I finish the novel (hopefully by the end of the month) I’ll post an excerpt of it.

Congrats to all those who won NaNoWriMo this year! 🙂

Hello 2013!

I Can’t Believe Another Year Has Come And Gone…

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a lovely New Year! I spent last night at my friends house with my sisters…our host fell asleep. But it’s okay, we woke her up 20 minutes before midnight! We watched the people in New York…no one would be able to drag me there for anything on that night. Too many people and it was way too cold. Plus, I like to go to bed right after midnight…even though I didn’t. But that’s besides the point.

Anyway, I got a new little nifty gadget from Santa! I got an iPod Touch. I know some of you probably don’t think that’s a big deal because most of you probably have the iPhone 5, but my phone is an old Sony Ericsson flip phone that I have had for a few years and it still works wonders…even after I accidentally drop it a million times a day. His name is Caleb and I love him.

But speaking of Donny (this is what I named my new iPod), I have used him quite a bit. One of my favorite things is the WordPress App that I have for it. That’s what I used when I wrote my last post oh so long ago. But at least now, I can update while I’m in class at school! Isn’t that great? 😀

But let’s talk about the new year. The past two years I have had the same resolution and both years I started off the beginning of the year really well and followed it. Then half way through the year, I would either get bored or just forget about it. That resolution was to read more. So, I think I might try it again, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I am on GoodReads and the link to my profile is on the Come Find Me page of this blog if anyone wants to check it out (I also have the app for that, too!). I also just joined the 2013 Reading Challenge on there with a goal of 20 books. It told me that I only read eight books last year. That’s kind of sad…but kind of a new record for me, I guess.

Another resolution: write more. I feel as though I say this every single day, but I really am going to start writing a lot more. Here’s a little bit of news for you: I finished Saving Each Other. Remember that NaNo I was trying to accomplish? Well, I finished it in the middle of December. The only thing is that I’m going to try doing something  a little different…

My sister came up with this idea and I’ve decided to follow through with it because I believe it would work out better this way. Instead of Saving Each Other being one book with sequels, I’m going to have it be in one book. Saving Each Other is just the first part. So I guess you can say that I finished one part of a book that’s going to have five parts. So, I edited my To Do List page and replaced “finish Saving Each Other” with “finish Seeing Things.” I also got rid of the whole write 360 pages by the end of the year…I think I got to a little over 200 pages. Not bad, at least.

So this is what I’m going to be doing this year: reading more and writing more. Let’s hope that I can keep it up with school and work!

Happy New Year everyone! And good luck with all your resolutions! 🙂