March Goals

March 2016 Goals Rachel Poli

Reading:

Here is the list of books that will be reviewed this month.

1. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
2. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
3. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
4. Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

Here is the list of books that I will be reading this month.

1. The Ables by Jeremy Scott
2. Beginning of a Hero by Charles Yallowitz
3. Blessing by Anna Quidlen
4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Bonus: Now Writes! Mysteries

This list is subject to change. I can’t control myself when I go to the bookstore every week.

Writing:

1. Edit George Florence — I think I’ve done as much research as I need to (for now). Now I need to type up the next draft and edit that as I go.
2. Outline The Lost Girl — Another Camp NaNoWriMo session is just around the corner. I’m going to work on a new project. More information on that will come next month.
3. Short pieces — Submit to at least one contest this month.

Blogging:

1. Continue to post daily
2. Comment on more blogs
3. Write April posts

March is going to be a busy month. But I guess that’s just preparing me for next month.

What are your goals for March?

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Hello, 2016!

Hello 2016

Another year has come and gone. I have no idea where the time went, but I’m going to try to keep track of it this year!

Did I complete my resolutions from 2015?

I pledged to read 52 books on the Goodreads Challenge and ended with reading over 52 books. I didn’t read one book a week like I was supposed to, but I still managed to hit my goal… I hit it early, too. So my resolution to read more is checked off!

I wanted to have George Florence completely edited and ready to be queried by now. I worked on the novel throughout the whole year, but it’s still not ready. One reason for this is because I completely rewrote the novel with a new POV last summer. So I kind of started from scratch. So that resolution gets a half check.

I also wanted to start eating healthier… I’m not even going to mention whether that gets a check or not. I’m sure you know the answer.

What are my resolutions for 2016?

I made a list back in November of new things I wanted to do and try in 2016. I’m not going to post that list here because it’s in my journal and private, but if I do them I’ll be sure to write about them on here. So one resolution is to check off some items from that list.

Reading: I want to read 52 books again, one book a week. I am hoping to surpass last year’s goal though. I would like to read 60 books, but I’m not making promises. I’ll be happy if I hit 52 again.

Writing: I want to completely edit George Florence and prepare it to be queried. Now that I have my writers’ group, it shouldn’t be too hard. Hopefully.

I also want to edit a novel I wrote for Camp NaNo a while back (the title may sound familiar to some of you) called Take Over. Once that’s edited I may post it on Wattpad or even try to self-publish it. I haven’t decided yet.

I want to continue working short stories and enter more contests and submit to more magazines. It would be nice if I could submit something at least once a month. I make no promises on that, either.

What’s up for the blog in 2016?

Blogging is more or less the same with some slight changes here and there.

–Sunday: Still Short Story Sunday
–Wednesday: Still Inspiration Station
–Friday: Still Time to Write
–Saturday: Still Book Reviews (book reviews may occasionally happen on Tuesdays as well)
—-I also put up a new policy on reviews. You can learn more on my Book Review Policy page.
–One Tuesday and one Thursday a month: Guest Bloggers will make an appearance. There are still slots open if you want to check out my Be a Guest Blogger page to learn more.

Once every other month there will be a Grammar Check instead of an Inspiration Station. Also, once every other month (the months without the Grammar Check) will have the Bookshelf series at the end of the month where I compile a list of themed books.

I will also continue to post my monthly goals at the beginning of each month, my monthly wrap-up at the end of each month, and a list of monthly writing contests.

I’m going to continue to post every day (if that didn’t seem obvious enough). Like I said, the daily posts are still the same for the most part with some slight changes and add-ons here and there.

I hope you enjoy these changes and new features!

I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2016!

What are your resolutions?

Goodbye, 2015!

Goodbye 2015

I can’t believe that tomorrow is 2016. I have no idea where the year went.

I think I had a successful 2015. I had originally hoped this year would be the year I would have something at least ready for publication, but it didn’t work out that way. I’ve been productive so I’m still one step closer.

Maybe 2016 will be my year.

Let’s recap 2015…

January

–I worked on the second draft of Detective Florence which is now titled George Florence and completely rewritten
–I found a local writers’ group which I’m still attending
–Most popular post: Writers Group Wanted (of course, as I just stated, I found one!)

February

–I continued to work on my George Florence series by editing the second book and outlining the third.
–Most popular post: The Write Idea

March

–I continued to outline the third George Florence book titled, Anonymous Tip
–I prepped for Camp NaNoWriMo for April
–Most popular post: Camp NaNo: What To Write?

April

–It was Camp NaNo
–I wrote 2k words a day on Anonymous Tip
–Most popular post: Four Types of Writers

May

–I attempted to write one short story a day (I don’t think I actually did, though)
–I didn’t work on my novel to take a break after Camp NaNo
–Most popular post: Critiquing Tips

June

–I started my rewrite of Detective Florence” changing it to George Florence
–I outlined Hunter for Camp NaNo
–It was Mystery Month
–Most popular post: June/July Writing Contests

July

–I wrote Hunter for Camp NaNo
–I wrote a little bit of George Florence as well
–I started Inspiration Station every Wednesday
–I started Time To Write every Friday
–Most popular post: July/August Writing Contests

August

–I continued to write George Florence 
–I discussed all about beginnings, middles, ends, and prologues/epilogues
–Most popular post: August/September Writing Contests

September

–I edited George Florence
–I started outlining To The Fullest
–Most popular post: Setepmber/October Writing Contests

October

–I continued to outline To The Fullest then changed my mind
–I started outlining Second Chances instead
–I prepped for NaNoWriMo
–Most popular post: October/November Writing Contests

November

–I wrote 2k words a day on Second Chances for NaNo
–I won NaNo
–Most popular post: November/December Writing Contests

December

–I attempted to write one short story a day (didn’t happen, but still hit my goal)
–I discussed about organizing and preparing for the new year
–I made writing, reading, and blogging goals for the new year for myself
–I worked hard on lots of changes and add-ons for my blog for the new year
–Most popular post: NaNoWriMo 2015 Vs. 2014

Apparently, I need to keep up making the list of writing contests. You guys really like those posts.

I’m surprised to see that I consistently worked on George Florence throughout the year. I plan the do the same next year with hopes that it will be ready to start querying by the end of 2016.

But I’ll talk more about my 2016 goals next year… or tomorrow.

I hope your 2015 was just as fabulous as mine.

Happy New Year, everyone!

First Day Of School

Homework

I started school today. I have five classes. I have about a billion assignments to do already. But… can I really complain?

Yes and no.

I’ve been looking forward to all my classes. I’m taking Creative Writing: Fiction, Writing About Place, Selected Authors: J.K. Rowling & J.R.R. Tolkien, Learning & Behavior, and Spanish. English, psychology, and Spanish. We all know I love English and creative writing, I’ve always had an interest for psychology, and I enjoy learning Spanish (regardless of whether or not I’m good at it).

The teachers (as far as I can tell) are pretty good, as well. My Selected Authors professor is 100% a nerd, which is awesome. She’s been doing a lot of fan-girling for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The professor for my Writing about Place class is nice as I’ve had her for another class. She knows her stuff. My professors for Fiction and my psych class seem to be good, as well. Spanish… I think she’s nice, but I can’t tell because everything is written is Spanish, so who knows?

All of my classes are online, so I don’t have to deal with people. That’s a plus. I’ve done the discussion boards for every class so far and my classmates seem interesting, engaged in the classes, and nice. I’m still happy I don’t have to see them in person, but if I did it wouldn’t be a bad thing. We all know how anti-social I am. I do much better over the Internet. I suppose that’s probably a bad thing, though.

Anyway, I’m listing all pros, aren’t I? Oops, I’m sorry. I forgot to mention all the homework.

To put it simply: I’m going to drown in homework this semester.

It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Would you expect any less from an English degree? No, of course not. However, the weeks are always Monday-Sunday. We get our assignments on Monday, they’re due the following Sunday, and repeat for the next week. It’s Wednesday which means we have two less days. It’s always like that at the beginning of the semester, but my professors have always taken that into account. They always give us just a small icebreaker discussion board, give us a chance to get our textbooks or if we already have the book we can start reading to get ahead. They give us a quick assignment due by the end of the week, but also more assignments which are due to the following week. It’s almost as if we get two weeks for the first week… does that make sense?

Not these professors, though. They’re all treating it like a normal week saying, “Careful! We’re already two days behind, so make sure you get everything in on time.” Yeah, thanks…

My psych professor is a different story. He wants us to call this “Week 0.” He gave us a discussion board and called it a day. We’ll get into the real class starting on Monday. Needless to say, I got all my psych homework done for the week.

I only edited ten pages of Detective Florence today because of school. I hope to alternate between school and writing tomorrow and for the rest of the days to come. Do a bit of homework, edit… do a bit of homework, edit… so on and so forth.

Just wait for work to get added into the mix on Monday. That will be super fun!

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.