A Day Of Nothing

I called out of work again today. I was giving myself another chance to get my appetite back. I’m still not 100%, but it looks like I will be going to back to work tomorrow; especially since I was capable of walking around today.

However, even though I had the day off, I figured I should continue resting. Then again, because I was able to wander around without getting too dizzy I wanted to do stuff.

I didn’t get anything done. Resting won.

Kris pet sits for my uncle’s dog, Cookie, three days a week and today was one of those days. As you can see below, Cookie and I were content cuddling on the couch… when she wasn’t running around like a mad man, I mean.

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Since I was in a decent state of mind and Kris and I put eight computer players duking it out on Super Smash Brothers Wii U for background noise (in other words, we were doing nothing), I got to thinking. I thought about everything I did not get to do this past weekend because I was dead to the world.

1. Query Nature According to Bobby — I was going to do one final look over for my childrens book manuscript and then send it out to a few agents this past weekend. Since the start of 2015, I’ve been slowing gathering agents’ information with the help of the Writers Market. This was going to be my weekend to officially get Bobby on his way, but… that’s going to have to wait until next weekend.

2. Shopping spree — I’m little. I’m short, skinny, petite, whatever you want to call it. I stopped growing a long time ago and because of that I have the same clothes I wore in high school (I’m pretty sure two of my sweaters are from middle school). I don’t particularly mind this because the clothes I wear are nice and comfortable. Plus, I can’t wear anything too fancy because I spend most of my time at work… I work with preschoolers. Enough said.

However, as nice as my clothes are, it would be nice to get some new ones for a change. I found a gift card that was a class gift from the parents at my old preschool. I’ve had it for over a year and still haven’t used it. It has a good amount of money on it, so I thought it would be nice to go through my clothes, donate some, throw away others, and then go shopping.

3. Clean — My bedroom, my office, and the bathroom need to be clean. They need a good dusting and vacuuming. Plus, I want to organize my video games, music, and movies. Also, we just got two new cabinets for the bathroom so I need to organize all that stuff because right now everything is currently sitting on my dresser.

4. Barnes & Noble — I can’t stress this enough. I didn’t get to go to Barnes & Noble this week. That’s what I look forward to every week. Sure, there’s next week… but it’s the principle. Also, I needed to go to Staples. I need more red pens. I have one red pen and it’s running out of ink from editing Detective Florence 2. I have many black and blue pens. Heck, I’m pretty sure I have pink, purple, gold, whatever, but I like red pens for editing. It just makes it more “official” to me. You agree with me, right? Say yes.

I think that’s all I had planned for the weekend. I know it seems like a lot and I didn’t expect to get through all of that over the weekend, but it would have been nice to get a few of those things done.

It is what it is. Tomorrow’s a new day and I’m feeling better. So I’ll start fresh after work tomorrow. Plus, this weekend is a long weekend thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr. So I’ll have Monday as an extra day.

I guess everything does tend to work out in the end, doesn’t it?

Goodbye 2014!

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

I feel like I wrote Goodbye, 2013! just yesterday. I blinked and now the end of 2014 is here and 2015 is right around the corner. Time sure does fly.

Last year, I decided to go through all my blog posts for 2013 and highlight them in one post in an attempt to recap and say goodbye to 2013. I am going to do that again to say goodbye to 2014.

Let’s see what happened in 2014…

January:
-I went over my New Year’s resolutions
-I continued to write Detective Florence and completed it
-I came up with the Short Story Sunday feature on my blog
-I started writing Inspiration Station
-I had a schedule of writing 5,000 words a day and changed it to writing 5,000 words Monday-Thursday, editing Friday-Saturday, and relaxing on Sunday
-I discovered the Reading Bingo and challenged myself to it
-It was Kris’s birthday

February:
-I decided to write only 1,000 words a day when school started
-I completed two Reading Bingo squares by reading Coming Clean and The Hobbit
-I continued to post my Short Story Sunday throughout the month

March:
-I planned on editing more than writing to help prepare for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo
-I completed another Reading Bingo square by reading I, Robot
-I was nominated for the Liebster Award

April:
-Camp NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Diary of A Killer
-I discovered the website Noisli
-I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Award
-Easter happened plus I was busy with work and school… I got behind on Camp NaNoWriMo
-I got 1,000 followers on Spilled Ink

May:
-I lost Camp NaNoWriMo
-I discussed what “Success” is
-I joined Critique Circle
-It was Spilled Ink’s two-year anniversary

June:

–Edited Detective Florence in preparation of Camp NaNo

July:

–Camp NaNo: wrote Detective Florence 2
Trying to balance life, writing, work, school, etc.
–I accidentally saved over my Camp NaNo novel (150 pages and 44k words) with my Short Story Sunday with five days left of Camp NaNo
–I wrote 50k in five days to beat Camp NaNo

August:

–I beat Camp NaNo in, more or less, five days
–I updated my Reading Bingo with many novels
–I discussed how my English degree is basically in nothing
–I got a new job
–Lucky Seven Challenge with Detective Florence 2
–I currently had 15 WIPs… yikes.
–I came up with a writing schedule for the rest of the year
–I went to Disney and discovered the “Writer’s Stop” store and met Peter Pan
–Reality checked back in after vacation with school starting, work, Sunday school, etc.
–I wanted to enter some contests, but missed the deadlines

September:

–I turned 21
–School started with a few creative writing classes
–Cookie the Beagle joined the family
–I tried to come up with a routine to balance homework, writing, etc.
–I discuss why I became a teacher, go to school, became a teacher/director or the Sunday school, write, etc.
–I updated everything in my life with my sister’s wedding coming up as well as November NaNo.

October:

–I decided to edit Take Over and plan to write Far Away for NaNo
–I started editing Take Over which I noticed I’ve grown as a writer in the past year or so
–I watched “Authors Anonymous” and the screenwriter contacted me. It also inspired a new potential story idea
–I watched a NaNo video on Blurb
–I decided to give myself a reward of one dollar for every 1,000 words I write for NaNo
–I changed my mind again and decided to write short stories for NaNo

November:

–I bought a new fish named Nano
–NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Short Story Collection and came up with new ideas for novels
–I did my best in balancing homework with NaNo
–I planned on finishing NaNo by Thanksgiving and did it
–I came up with a new novel idea called Fire and Ice
–I won NaNo
–Thanksgiving happened and I made a list of all I’m thankful for
–I compared NaNo 2013 to this year’s NaNo
–I edited while on vacation and discussed how that’s the best time to write

December:

–I came up with a plan for my Detective Florence series
–I finished typing the second draft of Detective Florence
–I wrapped up yet another semester of my Bachelor’s degree and made it out alive and with good grades
–I hand edited the first draft of Detective Florence 2
–I changed the title of my blog, bought the domain name from WordPress, and made some slight layout changes

So much has happened in one year. Some good, some bad, but I think it was mostly good. I’m happy to be where I am right now. I have a wonderful job, I’m going to school, and I’m on my way with my writing. There’s nothing for me to complain about.

Here’s to another great year in 2015!

Petsitting

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Meet Cookie the Beagle!

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but a few weeks ago my cousins got a puppy. Her name is Cookie, she’s a Beagle, and she’s three-months-old. She’s loud, obnoxious, clumsy, and very hyperactive. She’s sleeping in the picture and that’s only because I turned on the TV. Lucky for me, that made her pass out.

I spent my day petsitting her because it was Jackie and Kat’s first day back to school and Uncle Kevin, like always, had work. It was no easy job, I’ll tell you that much. I spent most of the day sitting on the couch instead of at my desk trying to do homework or edit. For some reason, she barked a lot when I was at my desk. She was fine if I sat on the couch. The problem is I have a hard time getting work down on the couch because… well, it’s not a desk.

Cookie kept eating everything. The trash, the plastic bag for the trash, my shoes, my desk, the rug, the couch, the blanket… you name it, she tried eating it. She also discovered she could fit under the couch. So, half the time I was working on the couch I could hear her scuffling around on the hardwood floor under me crying and barking.

Needless to say, I typed up ten pages of Detective Florence today. I have been doing homework the rest of the day. I have most of it done. Most of the stuff I had to do were assignments I couldn’t do with a barking puppy around. My Spanish class, for example, I need to record myself talking. I can’t have Cookie barking and whining the background. My professor and classmates wouldn’t be able to hear me and I probably wouldn’t be able to hear myself. Seriously, she has a loud bark.

For my Fiction class I have to write a few journals and prompts, but I need to time myself. I can’t set a timer and keep pausing it because I notice the dog is eating the rug or getting stuck under the couch. That would just disrupt my creative flow/thinking/whatever the timed writing is supposed to do, thus making the assignment ineffective and pointless on my part.

For two of my classes I have to watch a YouTube video and I also have a test to take. It’s not a real test, it’s an ungraded assessment, but I still want to try my hardest on it. Plus, the test might be timed and I won’t find that out until I start it. I can’t pause it and go back to it later, either. Again… more things I have to do that do not involve a puppy.

I have to petsit her again tomorrow. I’m hoping she’ll sleep a lot so I can get some homework done. Despite all the homework I just mentioned (and that’s not all of it) I’m almost done. I should be able to finish all my assignments tomorrow if I really put my mind to it. Plus, I still have the rest of tonight to keep working on the assignments.

So, tomorrow might not be another big editing day (although I hope to edit at least ten pages again), but at least I’ll get homework out of the way. Then Saturday and Sunday can be spent editing. I think that sounds like a solid plan. I just have to hope it all works out in my favor.

Reality Checks In

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Yesterday we arrived home around 1:30 in the afternoon. It was good timing. But, when I say “home” I mean my cousins’ house. Kris and I waited there for two hours for our uncle to pick us home on his way home from work to bring us home. After traffic we didn’t get back to our own home until about 4:30. It was a long day and I was tired, needless to say.

When we walked into the house we were greeted warmly by our mother and father and our dog Chip was ecstatic. Hunter pretended he didn’t care, but he kept going through our luggage and meowing at us. He’s been following me around this morning. Raph came right out of her box house when she saw me, which made me feel good. Mikey… well, he’s a fish. He came to the front of his tank, but he was most likely just swimming or looking for food.

After discussing the trip with my parents and showing them photos and souvenirs we bought them, I sat on the couch for a few hours before turning in early. I slept well, but I had to get up early this morning because I have to babysit soon. Why I agreed to babysit the day after my Disney vacation is beyond me. Kris was smart and took today off from work pretending she was just getting home today. I should have done that.

So I woke up at about 7:30 this morning. I rolled out of bed trying not to squish Chip in the process and then proceeded to make a small tent with my blankets. When Chip has the bed to herself, she likes to be under the covers. So, when I have to ditch her in the morning I try to make her a fort of some kind. Sometimes she stays, sometimes she doesn’t. It’s been over an hour now and she’s still sleeping under there.

I went down to the kitchen, made myself a cup of coffee, took out a pea from the freezer to feed Mikey (he got sick a few weeks ago so I have to feed him peas now), went into my office, opened the blinds and one of the windows, turned on my computer, fed Mikey, woke Raph up and took her out of her tank, and then I sat down at my computer to blog, surf the web, sip at my coffee, etc.

While waiting for my computer to finish loading, I felt as though I had never left. The routine I just described is the same thing I do every single morning. It’s going to continue to be that way because work starts in a week and a half. The only difference will be that I’ll be waking up about an hour earlier to do it all.

School starts a week from today, work starts a week from Monday, and Sunday school starts on a Sunday in September (I’m the director now and I have no idea when the first day is going to be… great, huh?). Not to mention I have to babysit today, tomorrow, and Friday. My cousins start back to school a week from Thursday and I have to get them ready because I have to drive one of them on my way to work. I also have to find time to write in all of this, as well.

I write better in the morning, but I have to be at work by eight. I have to drive my cousin to school which means I have to leave a little earlier than usual. If I want to write in the morning then I’m going to have to wake up at four in which case I would have to go to bed at about seven or eight. I’ll probably end up writing at night or in the afternoon after work, but then I’ll be tired from the day and then when am I going to get my homework done?

Listen to me ramble on. It truly is like I never left. I’m immediately back to my old routine that has never changed and I’m back to my old ways of thinking… or worrying.

One thing I failed to mention was the fact that I’m sipping my coffee out of the brand new mug I bought myself in Disney. It has the picture of Peter Pan on it and it says “Never grow up.” This reminds me that I did in fact go on vacation and that it wasn’t just a dream. I did get my break from reality, even though it doesn’t seem like it. My break lasted 11 days (granted four were spent in the car…) and through that my biggest and only concern was that I wanted to meet Peter Pan. And I did.

So, yes I do have a lot on my plate. I have a lot to think about and to worry about (even though I worry over nothing most of the time). The summer will be officially over sooner rather than later. It’s sad, but it was the same amount of time I get every summer. It just went by too fast, which is always how it goes.

I turn 21 in less than a week, so unfortunately for Peter Pan (and myself), I’m growing up. I never wanted to grow up (and I still don’t), but age is but a number and considering the fact that I cried after I met Peter Pan, I’m going to say I’m still a kid at heart and that is one thing I hope will never change.

I hate homework, but I’m excited for my classes this upcoming semester. Depending on the professors, I should have a good experience with school this time around. I’m starting a new job in a place I love surrounded by awesome people. While the kids can drive me nuts, they’re great as well and I enjoy their company. Directing the Sunday school will be a challenge, but it’s something I always wanted to do ever since I myself was in Sunday school. I may not be ready, but I’m willing to get through it. I’ll be writing every moment I can now that I told myself what I wanted to accomplish with my writing for the next few months.

So, I guess if it’s something you love and you want it, growing up isn’t all that bad. But, as I stated earlier, my mentality is growing up, but not my heart. I guess you really can have the best of both worlds.

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Tuesday News

Today I went to the pet store to get some more filter cartridges for Mikey’s tank. I was there for a long time because I was looking at the other fish and they have a few new turtles there as well. The betta fish looked lively (which isn’t usually the case) and I wanted to get one or two, but decided against it. I’m pretty sure my mother would kill me if I brought home another animal. They had new turtles there as well and I wanted to get them all.

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Speaking of turtles, I tried to find a log for Raph and they had one that would fit her shell, but it was really big. I didn’t buy it because I felt as though it would take up her entire tank and then I would never see her again. Plus, it was obnoxiously heavy. I did buy her some stepping stones to “naturally” file down her claws. They had a pack of large ones and a pack of small ones. The large bag was opened, so I decided to go with the small. I should have bought two because…well, they’re small. It doesn’t matter though, Raph hates them.

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On top of this, Chip was sad (yes, the black furry thing is her) because she thought the stones were hers and when I told her they weren’t, she kept barking and growling at me and threw a temper tantrum by snorting and rolling around all over the place. Meanwhile, here’s Hunter:

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Now that we’re all updated in what’s been going on in the lives of my animals, here’s what’s been going on in my life: I got a new job!

I’m sure some of you may remember that I lost my job last December because the preschool I worked at closed. Then I became a substitute teacher for another preschool starting last February. Well, they opened a new classroom and were in need of a few people. I got a call today saying I am officially the teacher’s aide for one of their nine classrooms. I am super excited!

So, starting in September I will be working full-time with five courses at school. For those of you who are (most likely not) asking this question: yes, I am all ready freaking out for what is going to happen to my mental state come November for NaNoWriMo. But, I guess we’ll worry about that at another time.

In other news, I came across a blog post last night from Creative Mysteries and from there was a link to Misha Burnett’s blog.

It’s a story challenge in which I urge all you other writers out there to check it out and give the challenge a go. I was going to write and post it today, but after reading the challenge I realized I wanted to give myself some time to think about it. It will most likely be posted for this week’s Short Story Sunday.

Well, that’s it for now. I don’t really anything too witty to say. 🙂

June Is Here!

In case any of you care, I have been thinking about my blog every day since my last post. When it came to a matter of actually posting on it…well, that was a different story. My last post on here was May 18 and the very next day was when my life became a bit hectic for a short period of time.

It was the first day of my summer classes for school. The homework isn’t bad, but for the first week it was. Yes, I typed that correctly. I know the first week of school is usually the easiest, but I’m taking Spanish Two. My professor decided to have us “review” what was taught in Spanish One, which meant doing everything all over again. Yes, workbook activities, textbook activities, plus there’s a show we need to watch so I had to watch seven episodes of that, plus a test after it all, and of course the usual “first week” stuff. I basically did a whole semester of work in one week; it was awful.

It was even more terrible because Tuesday, the second day of classes, my best friend called telling me her father was on hospice. He was only 55-years-old (he would have turned 56 this upcoming Monday) and after years of fighting, his throat cancer got the best of him. He passed away on Memorial Day.

So I had loads of homework, then the stress of “waiting” so to speak. Because of this, my other friend (they’re sisters) decided to get married while her father was still alive. So I had a wedding to go to on Sunday and then the next day, Memorial Day, their father passed away. I practically lived at their house helping with wake and funeral arrangements. I learned a lot about their family and the Marines (yes, their father was a veteran) last week.

This week hasn’t been too bad; work was busy only because we had our end of the year show on Thursday and we had an open house yesterday. Other than that, homework has been on the minimum and I’ve been able to sit back and relax after two weeks of hell. Of course this weekend my friends went away so I have their dog living with me until tomorrow. Their dog is my dog’s sister (real sister, they’re from the same litter) and so far they haven’t really been getting along…so this weekend is a little more than I bargained for.

In lighter news, June is finally here (yes, I know I’m a week late) which means Camp NaNo starts back up in less than a month. I’ve been slowly editing Detective Florence so I can write the sequel for Camp. I have to edit about ten pages a day in order to finish the draft by July. Of course I’ve skipped a few days…so I have to play catch up today and tomorrow. That should be fun.

So there we have it. Hopefully I will have a Short Story Sunday posted tomorrow…I know I’ve skipped a few weeks. Talk to you all soon!

Distractions

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My Camp NaNoWriMo word count is now 4,032. Yay! This took my three and a half hours. Can we discuss this? I mean, I wrote 2,002 words yesterday in about two hours. Today I wrote 2,030 words in three and a half hours. Want to know why? I will tell you why…

I was distracted. *Gasp!* Yes, I was very, very much distracted. I was distracted by my turtle (as seen in the picture above), my cat who wanted to look out the window so I needed to make him a giant step (I moved the ottoman and put a bin on top of it), my dog (who always decides it’s a good time to play when I’m writing), and the internet. Yes, Lucy decided to give me internet on a day I did not need it.

Speaking of the internet, I found wonderful things on there. I was on Twitter (if you follow me on Twitter, you probably know Twitter was a very big distraction for me) and someone posted a link to a site called Noisli. There are different background sounds on there to listen to as you write. It’s great! I used the coffee shop one.

Yet, I will admit the internet did come in handy at one point. As you know, I’m writing Diary of a Killer and my protagonist apparently has anger issues. Like, really obnoxious anger issues. He explodes at literally nothing. He’s in therapy for it. So I was looking up anger management; symptoms, treatment, etc. I found one helpful site, but if anyone has any information on the subject so I can compare, that would be muchly appreciated!

Anyway, I had an iced coffee and I’m wired right now. It’s probably the reason I had such a short attention span. However, it’s going for 9:00 pm and I unfortunately have work tomorrow, so I need to go wind down so I can go to bed soon.

I hope everyone else is having a productive Camp NaNo. 🙂

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.

Happy December!

Where Did The Year Go…

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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! 🙂

Late Night Writings

I’m Sleepy…

 

Writer

 

Note to self: Does better writing in the morning.

The insulation guys came back today to finish up in the blue room and my bedroom. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate well. We had to move Raph into the bathroom, Chip needed to be barricaded in the living room, and Hunter was locked in my parents’ bedroom. Poor animals. Long story short, Chip wouldn’t stop barking so I ended up sitting on the couch with her while playing Pokemon.

So that happened, then I went to work, then I went out to eat with my boyfriend. I got home around 6:30 PM and then began to write. Even though I am ahead in NaNo, I want to write 1,667 words a day anyway.

It took a long time. I was sleepy. I kept making typos. Chip kept distracting me. But I got it done. I wanted to get a little more words in before I went to bed, but I figured that was going to be too much for my small brain to handle. So I had to quit while I was ahead.

I’m going to write tomorrow morning. Apparently I write a lot better when my mind is fresh and relaxed. So I should get a lot more words in tomorrow. Tomorrow should be a much better update.

I hope everyone else is doing fantastic on NaNo!

If you want to read the summary to my NaNo novel, click here: Detective Florence (Book One)
If you want to add me as a Writing Buddy on NaNo, click here: Fiery_Sapphire
If you want to add my sister Kris as a Writing Buddy on NaNo, click here: Winged_Spirit

Today’s Word Count: 1,708
Total Word Count: 19,088
Today’s Page Count: 5
Total Page Count: 62

Lots Of Updates

Good News, Good News, And More Good News…

1. Back in June my oldest sister moved out of the house and in with her boyfriend. Now we have a vacant room upstairs, across the hall from my bedroom. Kris and I share a bedroom. We have shared this room since we were…very, very little. Not our whole lives, but just about. So naturally one of us would say, “I’ll move into Lisa’s room!” Then we would each have our bedroom and our own space. Yeah, no. Neither one of us even thought about having our own bedroom.

Instead we’re going to turn the bedroom into an office/video game sanctuary. Yes, it sounds counter productive, I know. An office is for working and video games are for goofing off, relaxing, and doing nothing. However, we feel as though we’ll figure something out.

My dad has a TV stand for us and Kris and I bought a brand new 39″ TV. It looks awesome! Of course…it’s still in the box. We have to re-do the floor and the walls in the room first. Then we can probably start decorating it. We each bought a desk, we bought a brand new printer (color, wireless, automatic two-sided printing!), Raph is going to move up there with us and we’re getting a new mascot! Yes, I am going to get fish soon. So we’ll have a turtle and three fish in the room with us. Then we’re going to have a couch–our uncle gave us his as he didn’t need it anymore. We wanted to get a mini refrigerator, but dad said no. Sad day.

The room is empty now. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like when we’re all done with it! We’re going to start working on the room soon.

2. Lately I have been working on three things. I have been editing Hunter and I have been going back and forth between writing Union Academy and Hunter & Comet. I have no idea which one is going to get finished first. Well, hopefully Hunter will be the one to get finished first…as that is the novel that is the farthest along. But I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and I got a lot done. I tried to write Union Academy, but I have the character list on Donny, my iPod. I brought Donny. Donny was dead. Oops. So I couldn’t really write it because that novel had a lot of characters and I can’t keep them straight just yet.

So I ended up editing Hunter. I printed out the first draft, then my flash drive died. So I edited the hard copy and now I’m re-typing it. I can’t complain because as I’m re-typing it I’m finding a lot of mistakes I didn’t catch when I looked at it the first time around. Plus, I’m also adding and taking out things I didn’t before. It’s kind of like editing the second draft already.

I’m on page 50 typing it up on the computer. In the hard copy, I’m on page 41 or 42 or something like that. There’s at least a five-page difference between the two. But since the one on the computer is longer, that means I added a good amount of stuff. The question is, is all that stuff good and relevant to the story? Or did I throw it in there because I wanted to mark up the page a little more? We’ll have to wait and see when I finish typing it and print it out again.

3. I had an epiphany when it came to Hunter. I’m in the middle of typing up chapter three and I have mixed feelings on the plot. I can’t tell if the events in the chapters are just happening out of order, or if the novel is just moving too fast. No, I did not print out the novel and accidentally mix up some chapters. The pages are numbered and so are the chapters. I went to preschool. I teach preschool. So…I would hope I know how to count. Well, at least up to ten, anyway…that’s pretty much as high as we go.

Anyway, as I type up each chapter, I’m going to take index cards and summarize each chapter. One card for chapter one, another card for chapter two, etc. When I have all the chapters summarized and the whole novel re-typed, I’m going to play around with the cards and re-order them. Like a puzzle…this will be great because I suck at puzzles.

I just wonder which would be easier: play around with the cards, print out the second draft and re-order the chapters that way, or play around with the cards re-order the chapters on the computer, then print out the second draft. Although, I guess I can cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now I need to work on writing a gazillion summaries (not really, I think it’s only 18 chapters long…but each chapters is really looong…I don’t know why I did that to myself) and finish typing up the second draft.

4. Did I mention I’m getting fish? 😀

Everybody Loves Comet

Comet

I know I have introduced you all to Comet before. He is one of the main characters in my middle grade series, Hunter & Comet. I have just started writing the first one, but I have a few books planned out…if the series takes off.

When my aunt died and my cousins “moved in” (I use quotes because they were over five days a week and slept over three nights a week), Comet tagged along, as well. Otherwise he would have had no company all day while my uncle was at work.

Hunter, my fat cat, and Comet acted as though they hated each other, but they loved each other deep down. One time, Comet didn’t come over for a whole week and Hunter did notice. The first day Comet came back, the two went right up to each other and Hunter gave him a pat on the head (without his claws). Comet didn’t growl at him, either.

The cat and dog were so funny together and it was always great to come up with random scenarios about what the two of them were doing and saying to each other. I loved to watch them interact with each other. This is where I came up with my idea for a novel series. It’s all based on Hunter and Comet from their point of view.

Comet was nick-named (by my mother) Sir Barksalot. As you can probably guess, Comet loved to hear himself talk. I always wondered just how quiet he was when no one was home. Then one day, I was home alone with Comet and my granddad came by. I knew because I heard Comet barking. Granddad said, “It’s funny because when I come by when no one is home, he doesn’t budge. But when someone is home, someone is here for him to protect, he acts all vicious.”

Comet also loved his bones. In his old age, he was getting a bit delusional and believed everyone was going to steal his bones. So he usually growled at you when you went near him, but he was still gentle. It just took him a moment to snap out of it. I think part of this was also because we got Chip, my mini dog, and she loved to take his bones away from him.

Comet just turned 11 this past July, which makes him 77 in dog years. However, he was still a puppy at heart. He loved to jump up on you (he was taller than me on his hind legs) and he sure ran around a lot when he was excited. It could have been because you gave him a bone or something as simple as you just saying hi to him and giving him a quick pat on the head.

However, with his old age came hardships. His hind legs had arthritis and he was recently diagnosed with cancer. The chemo treatments weren’t going too bad, but more complications were found. Comet became a hit-or-miss. He either laid on the floor without a bother or he seemed like his old self. But he stopped eating and it got to the point that my uncle had to force feed him. Comet was getting skinnier and skinnier every time I saw him. They found a blockage in his stomach.

As you can probably tell by me speaking in past tense, my inspiration of my novel series had to be put down this morning. Comet is no longer with us. They were able to help him with the blockage, but my uncle realized that Comet had been through enough. He needed to be put out of his misery.

No one is happy about the situation, but it was what was best for the dog. Comet is in a better place. We’ll all miss him, but we will certainly have no problem remembering him. He may be gone, but I am still going to go through with the series. I have plenty of memories to throw in and will be able to add in some fictional twists, as well. I think the series will be a great tribute to his 11 great years of dog-hood and being a wonderful companion and friend.

Comet

Future Thoughts

Playing It Over And Over In My Mind…

This goes along with the obnoxious post that I posted here yesterday.

I mentioned that Kris and I tend to talk about our future a lot. I have no idea what gets us thinking about it, but I guess it’s just the feeling of “wondering.” I haven’t really talked to her in a little while about it, but I have been thinking about it myself lately. I also said that yesterday I was talking to my cat, Hunter about it. He meowed back at me…if only I knew what he was saying.

I said that I had always had a plan. I wanted to be a teacher. Then I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. Well, I still have those plans. I’m working towards those goals. I went to school for teaching and I am a teacher’s assistant at a preschool. I just mailed my lead teacher application the other day. I will be going to school for English starting this Fall and I also have a few novels I have written and completed. I just need to seriously edit them.

But then I really got to thinking and even though I practically wanted to be a teacher my whole life, the other major thing I’ve always wanted to be was a mom.

I babysit my cousins a lot and I babysit for another family a lot. I need mom hours at work and I can’t get them now. But when I’m a director of a preschool and a writer at the same time, how am I going to find time to spend with my kids?

Yes, I know. I turn 20 in about a month, so why am I thinking about what I’m going to do with my kids now? But I feel as though I need a plan.

The other day I was home alone. I woke up early, made a cup of coffee, and sat down at my desk to write. I had my turtle, Raph out of her tank. She was getting into all sorts of messes which distracted me from writing (she likes to go into small nooks and crannies, but we’re in the basement…you have no idea how many spiders are in those small nooks and crannies!).

Raph

I also have my cat, Hunter down there to babysit her. He likes to watch her and lately when he starts going somewhere she isn’t supposed to (for example, the laundry room) he begins to meow and howl obnoxiously loud until he has my undivided attention. The best part is that I don’t have to pay him.

Hunter

Then there’s my pip-squeak of a dog, Chip. Sometimes she sits on my lap while I write and other times she sits on the stairs and barks. God only knows why.

Chip

So I was thinking to myself that I would absolutely love to have that every day. Wake up early, get the kids off to school, get the husband off to work, then it’s just me, the animals (fish is going to get thrown into the mix soon), and my writing. Of course, I guess I would occasionally clean the house, too.

But when I thought of this ideal lifestyle, I realized that no where in there involves teaching. I want to own a preschool. How can I stay home all day writing with my pets while my kids are at school then hang out with my kids, do homework with them, and cook dinner when I’m running my own preschool? This is problematic.

Then I thought maybe I could hold off the directing until my kids are a little older and I can just teach in the mean time. Then again, I only turn 20 next month…when am I having kids? Not for a while, I know that much. So why am I thinking about this so much? I have no idea.

All I know is that there are so many things I want to be doing and there is just not enough time. Writing is the number one priority and I want to have kids and I want to teach. How am I supposed to fit everything together to work perfectly like puzzles pieces meant for the same picture? And I know that there are going to be so many other things that I’m going to want to do, as well. It really sucks not knowing what’s going to happen in the future. I wish I could plan everything out, but I can’t.

Thoughts On Life

Warning, This Is A Really Long Post…

Kris and I tend to have a lot of conversations about our future. For some strange reason, I was beginning to think about again this morning. Kris was home with me, but she was in the shower so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Except for Hunter.

Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.
Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.

He seemed to agree with me on half of the things I said, too. Well…he meowed a lot, anyway. But together, in the half hour Kris was in the shower, he and I took a long, hard look at life.

I was always the type of person to have a plan.  I always stuck to that plan no matter what and it was very hard for someone or something to change my mind.

When I was in first grade, I was six-years-old,  I loved my teacher a lot. Her name was Mrs. McCarthy. I have two memories from that class: one was that she had a beanie baby named Tiny. Every Friday one kid in the class was chosen to take it home for the weekend. Memory number two is that I remember telling her, “I’m going to be a first grade teacher just like you.” I kept half of that promise. I do want to be a teacher and have wanted to be a teacher ever since.

When I was in fifth grade, I was ten, my sister found the FanFiction website. I wasn’t really all that interested in it, but I wanted to copy her because I was an annoying little sister. I created a story for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because that was my obsession at the time. The writing sucked, to be blunt. My spelling was terrible, I had no idea what grammar was, and for the most part there was no plot. I just threw a little girl into the turtles’ laps and based her off of me. As I got older, I took the story down and re-vamped it. It was popular and I continued on. I found the sister site, FictionPress, which is all original stuff. I posted a few things on there, came up with millions of novel ideas, and thought to myself, “Why post these on the internet when I could get them published?” That was when I got my start at writing.

But I still wanted to be a teacher. How was I to write and be a teacher at the same time? Mind you, at this point in time I thought authors made millions of dollars by just selling one book. I didn’t realize how difficult it truly is. But I thought writing was going to be so much work (which it is), so how was I to write full time all day every day and still be able to teach first grade?

“I’ll be an English teacher!” I finally came to a conclusion. I never really thought about what grade I wanted to teach, but I was gonna go with it for the time being. I love Spanish, too. There was some point in my life where I kept flip-flopping back and forth between being an English teacher and a Spanish teacher.

Then I got to seventh grade, I was 12. My aunt suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. She and the rest of my family were over for my birthday, seeming completely fine, and two days later she was gone. She left behind Jackie and Kat (who were 3 and 1 at the time) and my Uncle behind. Two weeks later we had to put my dog Casey down due to seizures. This was around the time Hunter came into the picture (he was a stray), but that’s another story for another time.

Most of my writing during that time was sad and gloomy. Most of the things I wrote on FanFiction was in the humor section and I got a lot of reviews with people telling me that my work was so funny that they printed it out to share with their friends and such like that. But when she left behind her daughters, there was no one else to watch them while my Uncle was at work, so we took them in. I was the youngest of three and then suddenly a middle child of five. It was the biggest change of my life and it’s not something I would wish upon anybody.

I love my cousins to death and I am glad we did what we did to help them and my Uncle out, but when you’re 12 it’s tough to see just how good of a deed you’re really doing. But ever since then, I was done with change. I didn’t care if it was good or bad, I didn’t need anymore surprises in my life.

But people tell you that when you get to high school, things change. Your friends, even yourself, changes. “That will never!” I declared. I had the best group of friends in the world. Alyssa, Mary, Christina, and Kerri. I had known Christina and Kerri since elementary school and Alyssa and Mary came into the picture in middle school, sixth grade.

But at the beginning of ninth grade, high school…things changed. Just like people told me they would. Mary moved to another town so she went to a different high school. Alyssa went to a vocational school. Only Christina, Kerri, and I were at school together, but while I had a few classes with Kerri, I never saw Christina around. I kept in touch with Alyssa and kept in touch with Mary through Alyssa. But as each day passed, we talked less and less. Now we get in contact with each other once every few months and never hang out anymore.

Junior year was the bulk of when everything happened. I had just turned 16 and while everyone else was learning how to drive, I said no thank you. I wasn’t ready for it and I wasn’t going to be for a very long time. Kerri changed drastically that year to the point that I haven’t spoken to her since. And I changed, as well. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I was straying from the path that I had been on so for so.

Long story short, after Christmas break, I did not go back to high school. I refused to go. My teachers were baffled, my parents didn’t know what to do, and I had no idea what had come over me. I hated the kids in my class, none of my teachers seemed to believe in me, and I was realizing that Kerri didn’t believe in me, either. We got in a huge fight because when she asked me what was going on with me, I told her I didn’t know because I truly didn’t know. She got angry at me thinking I was keeping something from her. That was the end of our friendship.

For the second half of my junior year I stayed home all day and went in after school to be tutored for a while to make sure I finished my junior year. I went into therapy where I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and had to be put on medication. I only had two teachers supporting me and the rest thought it was because I just needed to be in lower classes. I was put in the low classes all my life when I got A’s and B’s. I had to fight to get into the higher classes and now they were putting me down again. I had it with teachers. I had it with school. I was ready to drop out and not bother going to college.

My therapist found this “dual enrollment” program at a local community college. I was able to finish my high school diploma there and the courses would also count towards my degree. I went with it. And I’m glad I did. I not have my Associate’s degree in early childhood education. I’m starting my Bachelor’s in the Fall for English.

I hate change. I always hated it thinking I would never get through, but my entire life has changed in a million different directions and each time I adapted. I went from wanting to be a teacher, to an English teacher, to possibly a Spanish teacher, to finally deciding on being a preschool teacher (working towards owning my own preschool and being director) ,all while being a writer. I went from a group of four friends to just the one (Christina and I chat ever day). I went from being an almost high school drop-out to being a college graduate. And I have plans to get my Bachelor’s in English, Master’s in Business, and go back for a certificate in Special Ed. I went from being the youngest child to being one of the oldest.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that…I’m ready for anything else that life throws at me. I have a lot more schooling to get done and I have a ton of books to get published. Who knows what’s going to happen?

The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”