Losing It

Baby Steps…

 

Today, just like any other Monday, I had class until 9:15. I drive my friend to school now (yes, I finally got my driving license two weeks ago…I don’t know if I ever mentioned that.) and she doesn’t get out of class until 11:45. I could have told her that I was unable to drive her home, but I decided to be a nice friend. It works out because now I have at least two hours to write.

I did so well last week and now this week…nope. I wrote 1,946 words. Bad? No, not at all. Could have written more? Of course. Can I continue writing since I still have another hour? Yes. Am I going to? Um…

Like I said, I wrote almost two thousand words which is better than nothing. I didn’t write at all this weekend (but I should have) so I feel kind of bad that I didn’t write anything today. Of course, when I get home from work tonight, I’m going to sit down at my computer and attempt to get something done.

Do you want to know why I’m not in the mood to write right now? I’ve actually been reading. Yes, I have been reading. Amazing, right? I still have that goal to read 18,250 pages (50 pages a day) by the end of the year and I’m moving quickly on it.

I saw the movie Beautiful Creatures and I bought the book on Saturday. I am already half way through it. It was a great movie and a fantastic read. I read the book most of the weekend. It was relaxing on account that I had a cold all weekend.

I have that I read 932 pages so far. I am currently reading three books at once, so…I’m going to leave it at 932 until I finish one or all of the books because I’m already to getting confused and losing track. This is why GoodReads is a fantastic website. It will help me keep track off all the books I read for 2013 and then I can add up the pages.

Anyway…that is all for now. Hopefully I will get more writing done. I made the mistake of bringing Beautiful Creatures with me to school, so now I feel tempted to read it. Bye!

 

2013: 36,590/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

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Ready…Set…

…Wait A Minute…

 

My laptop is fixed. The internet is fixed. The only thing that sucks about it is that it killed my battery…that thing used to last five-six hours. The other day it was at 50% which apparently is now 33 minutes…but whatever! I have to be thankful that the thing actually works again, right? Right! My flash drive is officially gone, but…think positive! Oh, and the printer still won’t work…again, think positive!

Except I haven’t written anything…I haven’t really had the time. Except I’m stuck at school today for a little bit and I don’t have work today. Well, I’m babysitting today, but that’s only for two hours unlike work. Anyway, here is my point: I have to leave for class in about an hour or so, so I think I’m going to begin writing again. Start fresh. Clean slate. After class, which ends at 11:45, but I have a test so I’ll probably be out of there by at least 11:30, I may write again. Although I have a meeting with my advisor at 12:30, so I might just hang around until then. But when the meeting is over, I’m stuck at school until at least 1:45 before my friend drives me home so I can write after the meeting! Although, my friend has a test as well so I might actually get out of here fairly early…

Anyway, I then babysit 3-5ish and then when I come home: BAM! I’m breaking out my typing fingers again. The other day when I pasted “Sad News” I had the hardest time writing it…wanna know why? I hadn’t typed in so long because I hadn’t been in school and I hadn’t been able to use my laptop because of the internet, and I hadn’t been writing at all. My fingers basically forgot how to type. It really was sad news. I’m having a hard time typing now, but I think that’s because my fingers are frozen.

Back on topic: I’m going to write at any moment I can…or any moment I can get to a computer. When I come home from babysitting, I’ll write. And I shall write all night! I’m not going to school tomorrow, even though I have a math quiz.

Everyone has heard of this blizzard that we’re going to get, correct? It’s starting Friday morning and ending Saturday afternoon. I don’t know where any of you are, but in my area we’re going to be getting about two feet of snow as well as some really harsh winds. I doubt I’m going to have school tomorrow, but if I do, the roads and such are probably going to be terrible by the time I get out of class. My class tomorrow is 9-10:15. So I think I’m just going to skip regardless of whether there is school or not. My main concern is work. Fridays I work 11-6 so if my town doesn’t close school, then I’m going to have to go to work…if it is bad then it will be a good thing I skip school because otherwise my poor dad would have to drive all the way to my school and then all the way back to our town to drop me off at work. I live about 20 minutes away from my school, but that’s without traffic and such. With the snow…it would probably take over an hour just to get there.

But again…back on topic: Basically I’m going to be home all day tomorrow, Friday. I highly doubt I’ll have school and work, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m praying I won’t have work. But since I’ll be home all day with nothing to do, I’m going to write all day. Saturday, too. It’ll still be snowing and I never do anything on Saturdays anyway, so I can just write all day. I think it’s going to be a very productive weekend!

My only concern is that if the power goes out…considering that my laptop only lasts probably a little over an hour now, I’ll be screwed. Although, I have plenty of notebooks I can resort to, but typing is a lot faster. Plus, I have my iPod and I have apps called DraftPad and A Novel Idea. I’ve explained A Novel Idea before, it basically helps you plan out scenes, titles, characters, plots, etc. It’s really cool, really fancy, and free. DraftPad, another free app, is a blank piece of paper and you just write anything and everything. Then when you’re done, you can post it to a website, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail it to yourself, whatever. So I could use that and e-mail it to myself in case the power comes back on. Then I can start where I left off. But then if my iPod dies…eh, whatever.

So I’m planning a productive weekend and I hope it’s productive for all of you people out there, as well! If you’re in the area and you’re going to get hit by this storm…be careful and good luck! I’ll post back tomorrow morning with how well I’m about to do with writing. 🙂

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Heeere’s Kitty!

Okay, even if I wanted to get some writing done right now…I couldn’t.

 

Hunter takes up one half of my desk while Lucy, my laptop, takes up the other half. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem if I was using Lucy to write, but I’m trying to use my wonderful, beautiful rainbow animal print notebook. So…I’m screwed.

Anyway, I just thought that I would pop-in and give you guys an excuse as to why I didn’t write all day today…well, I’m sure I’ll write at some point today, but just in case. There’s my excuse. 😀

Why Blank Pages Stay Blank

This is a short story that I had to write for my English class a few semesters ago. This short story is 100% true. I love to write and I wanted to show my professor that because she knew that I have been planning on getting published soon…hopefully. So I went nuts trying to figure out what to write. In the end, I decided to write about my experiences of trying to figure out what to write. In other words, I wrote about everything I did before I started the actual assignment. So, here it is and I hope you enjoy.

Why Blank Pages Stay Blank

 

            There is a scent of freshly brewed coffee in the air. I can hear the scolding hot liquid pouring out of the machine and into the cup. I can see the steam from the cup rising high up into the air only to vanish within seconds. My head still, I follow the steam with my eyes as it keeps going up and up and then gone. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the light dimming. It’s my computer screen going on the screen saver. I tap the mouse and the computer comes back to life with a blank Word document staring back at me. I stare back for a moment, but the coffee maker begins to spit as it tries to squeeze the last of the coffee grounds out. Finally it stops and the room is silent.

I stand up from my chair, causing it to make a high-pitched squeak. I pick up my green, oval-shaped coffee mug—my favorite mug. I hold it with both hands wrapped around its body smiling at the warmth it surges through my fingers. Dipping my nose towards the mug, I take a deep breath and let it all out in a sigh. I love the smell of coffee. I slightly blow on the surface of the coffee to cool it a little before I take a sip.

Staggering back over to my noisy chair, I place the coffee on the edge of my desk and take a seat. I run my fingers over the black, thin keys of my laptop. I look at the screen and stare at the blank page staring back at me. It says nothing to me so I say nothing to it. I look back to my coffee, which is still steaming. It amuses me, watching the steam. The screen goes dark. I tap the mouse a second time and I swear—blank or not—it was glaring at me. I frown, knowing that it wants to be fed with words. It needs to be fed.

I stare at the keys as though they will start to type on their own. “Well, what are you waiting for?” I say to the keys irritably. I don’t get a response, which is typical. I tap my fingers on the keys without actually pressing down hard on them. I bob my head up and down. I love the sound the keys make when they are hard at work. If only I could make them work for real. Then I could listen to that beautiful sound. It’s almost like music to me. That makes me wonder…what’s on the radio?

Getting out of my seat once more, I walk over to the radio sitting upon the counter next to the coffee maker. I push the button to turn it on and I hear one of my favorite songs. I smile and bob my head more than I did when I was playing with the keyboard. I notice the screen goes dark. I rush back to my computer and tap the mouse once more. My laptop wakes up right away and continues to wait patiently for me to get to work. I sit down and position my fingers on the keys. I prepare myself physically and mentally before I begin to write. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I smell coffee. I forgot about that. I take a big gulp of my preferred drink and turn my attention back to the blank page in front of me. Before I can type just one letter, I notice a small icon blinking at the bottom of the screen.

I have new e-mail. I love receiving e-mails. It makes me feel important. I click the e-mail icon and look at what I have in my inbox. Spam…spam…spam…oh, look—a coupon to my favorite store. I certainly want to use this coupon, but when does it expire? I look up the deadline and then I remember. I have a deadline. I exit out of my e-mail and get back to the blank page that has been pouting for about an hour now. Taking one more sip of my coffee for courage, I begin to type on my tolerant laptop.

I smile at the screen proud that I have written my name. This makes me feel a little productive. I began to start something. But then I begin to get a little hungry. I get back up and enter the kitchen. I rummage through the refrigerator and all the cabinets, yet I can’t seem to settle on anything that I want. I notice the computer screen goes dark once more. I walk calmly back over to my laptop, tap the mouse, and glare at the screen. I know that it goes dark only to get my attention. It wants to annoy me. It’s taunting me.

I stare at my name and the blinking cursor. I pout, knowing that I should have had a lot more work done by now. I sit down and position my fingers once more. I look over to my coffee and take a deep breath. The room is still scented with coffee. I look over to the radio. The music is still playing. I look back to the screen. The Word document is still up. The cursor is still blinking. The page is still blank.

I enter twice and tell myself that there will be no more distractions. I have my coffee. I have music playing. My e-mail has already been checked. I click the underline button for the title and then I pause. What is my title? What am I even writing about? My shoulders go limp as I realize that I was farther behind than I thought. I rapidly tap my fingers on the keyboard lightly in anticipation. I close my eyes waiting for my brain to think of something.

Giving up all too quickly, I put three question marks in the spot where the title should be. I enter twice more and indent once. Then I am back at square one. I hold my head in my hands as my elbows rest upon the desk. I shake my head. I have no title, I have no story, and I have no muse.

The screen goes dark. I slowly lift my head, glaring at my computer, and move the mouse slightly. The blank page looks sad now. It has no words, it has no ideas, and it just has nothing. I glance at the question marks and then I stare at the cursor as it blinks. Even though there isn’t anything there and there isn’t anything to do, the cursor is still at work blinking away. It’s as though the cursor can’t seem to stop blinking. It needs to work. It has to work. It loves to work. It will stop at nothing. The more I stare at the blinking cursor, the more I start to think about this writing project. And then it finally hits me!

I will write about a personal experience. I will write about the truth. I will write about something that most writers have trouble with. I back space a few times and delete the three question marks. I type in, “Why Blank Pages Stay Blank.” And then—after so long—I begin to write.

Computer Versus Notebook

Flash Drive or Pen…?

 

Do you prefer to use a computer for your writing or a notebook?  I think that there are pros and cons to using a computer and there are pros and cons to using a notebook.  However, no matter what the pros are or what the cons are, people will most likely choose one certain one over the other all the time.

A computer has its advantages.  Nine out of ten people type faster than they write, so typing would be an advantage over hand writing.  Plus, there’s spell-check.  If you write on the computer, the computer will tell you whether you’re right or wrong–of course, the computer is sometimes wrong, so you have to watch out.  If you use the computer, you can check to see how many words you have written and you can see how long it is.  I’ll use myself as an example.  A finished manuscript is typed and double-spaced (most of the time).  During my free time in school, I wrote in a notebook.  By the end of the semester, I had filled up an entire one-subject notebook of a story.  When I typed it up on the computer, the manuscript was less than ten pages.  Of course, the story was not nearly complete, but my point is that if you use a computer, you know exactly the length of your novel.

Now there are disadvantages to using the computer.  It’s one word: Internet.  Yes, if you need to research something on Google, then that’s okay.  However, for most people, when they log onto the internet, they stay on the internet for a good few hours.  They forget what they’re doing and then when their laptop dies or they need to leave to go to work or whatever, they remember, “Oh, yeah.  I was supposed to be writing.” Of course, there is nothing that they can do about it.  They shut down, go do whatever it is that life needs them to do and do they get back to the story?  Eventually, but not likely that same day.  There is also the disadvantage of the computer crashing or getting a virus (which, I would say is technically the same thing).  Once that happens, you’re screwed.  You may be able to get rid of the virus, but all your documents are now infected.  That is, if they even made it through the whole crashing process.  You might have lost them forever.  And yes, that is why we have flash drives these days.  You pop it into the computer, save everything onto that and (God forbid) your computer dies tragically you still have all your crap.  It’s magic!  It’s saved!  However, a flash drive is only good for you if you actually have it.

Let me tell you this story from a couple of semesters ago…I was at school.  My sister and I arrived in the early morning, we went to our classes, and then we were gone by, I think, noon.  Maybe later, I don’t know, but the time is irrelevant.  The time you need to know is that at seven o’clock at night, yes 7:00 PM, I decide to write.  I turn on my laptop, I get my flash drive.  Except I don’t.  I look in my bag, all the drawers in my desk, in my room, everything.  No flash drive.  Then it hits me: I used my flash drive at school.  Guess where I left it?  That’s right; I left it connected to one of the school computers in the library.  I was completely panicked.  I was distraught.  I had convinced myself that I was never ever going to see my flash drive again.  I thought to myself, “Well, that’s it!  All those stories…all that hard work…wasted!  I am never going to write again!” No, seriously, I vowed that I was never going to write again if I didn’t get my flash drive back…I’m a very sensitive person.  Anyway, I run up to my bedroom, probably crying I don’t really remember, and I tell my sister everything that happened.  Well, thank the lord that my school library added a new feature.  We can IM the librarians now…if the library is open and someone is on duty, that is.  Lucky for me, there was a librarian online.  My sister spoke with her and apparently a very nice man found it and turned it in to the lost and found.  The next day, we went to school to the Lost and Found and I got my flash drive back.  I don’t know who that student was who returned my flash drive, but I would give him a big bear hug if I ever found out.

So, computers have advantages and disadvantages…more advantages than the disadvantages.  But notebooks also have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Hand writing may be slower, but think of it as a first-first draft.  If you hand write and then type it (believe me because I’ve done it plenty of times before) as you type you’ll be editing.  You will notice spelling, grammar, and even sentence structure mistakes.  As you type, you will fix these mistakes so it’s as though you’re getting a whole draft edited as you format it.  Another advantage: they are portable.  As long as you have a pen that works with you, then you can write wherever you go.  Sure, laptops are portable, but then you have to lug around  a heavy laptop, a flash drive (if you need one) and the cord…remember, laptops die.  Notebooks don’t.

How are notebooks not a good idea?  Smudging.  I guess it depends on the type of pen you use, but when I write, my arm tends to smudge all the previous words I wrote.  And I’m right-handed.  The other problem would be messiness.  It depends on you and your hand writing and it’s not like it’s your fault if you have crappy hand writing or not, but still.  I hand write fast and my hand writing isn’t the best, to begin with.  When I try to re-read over the things I wrote, I get stuck every once in a while trying to read my own writing.  People may not see this one as a big deal, but to me it is.  Once you start writing in a notebook and then you take it somewhere with you to write in your spare time (like I do when I go to school), you need to make sure that you’ll have enough paper left in the notebook to last you through the day.  The majority of one-subject notebooks only have 70 pages.  If you use them double-sided (which I think everyone should) then you technically have 140 pages.  However, it also depends on how big you write…I write like a giant, so I don’t always get the most words down on one sheet.  The point is a computer has an unlimited amount of pages, whereas notebooks don’t.

And there you have it.  I’m sure that there are more pros and cons to both computers and notebooks, but those were the ones that I could come up with.  I think that it depends on how often you write, where you write, how you write, etc., should depend on what you use.  Then again, you need to use something that you’re comfortable with.  Me?  I couldn’t tell you which I prefer.  I use the computer the majority of the time.  That’s mostly because I have an unlimited amount of paper, plus the words get down faster.  However, you will sometimes catch me writing in a notebook.  I need a notebook to write in whenever I can’t get to a computer and it makes me feel relaxed.  It’s quieter because I don’t have the typing noise in the background as I think and try to come up with something to write next…although I quite like the typing noise. I usually listen to music when I write whether I am on the computer or using a notebook, so I’m not really making much sense right now, but that’s just how I work.

Which do you use?