May Goals

May 2015 Goals

April has come and gone and boy, did it go by fast. Spring is officially here (let’s hope the weather stays nice) and school is officially over for me which means that I’m going to have more time on my hands. More reading, more writing, more blogging.

That being said, I decided to set monthly goals for myself to get myself into a better routine. I’ll still be spending six hours of my day at work, but that’s all scheduled so it’s easy to set goals.

Reading:

With five Saturdays in May, that means five book reviews. These books may change depending on my mood, but as of right now here’s what I’m thinking of reading:

1. TTFN by Lauren Myracle
2. L8R, G8R by Lauren Myracle
3. The Sight by Erin Hunter
4. Dark River by Erin Hunter
5. Outcast by Erin Hunter

The Lauren Myracle books are books two and three of the Internet Girls series. I already read and reviewed book one, TTYL.

The three Erin Hunter novels are the first three novels of six in the third Warriors series. I haven’t read that series in a while so I decided to get back into them.

As stated, those books may change. Books may also be added depending on how quickly I can get through those five novels.

With that being said, my Reading List was updated with April’s books.

Writing:

For my writing group I need to edit parts two and three of the first George Florence novel. I need to look at part two and the critiques I get on that and then look at part three to send in by the 15. Then I have a meet with the group on the 30 so I also need to critique their pieces by then.

I have to type up the next draft of George Florence 2 and take a closer look at that and the first novel. That way my next edits can possibly be the last.

I plan to write one Short Story Sunday a day giving me 31 short stories by the end of the month.

I’m going to start querying my children’s book. I’ve been slowly gathering information on different agents over the past few weeks, so I think it’s time to get rolling on that.

I also may or may not try to find some contests and magazines to submit to depending on if I have time to write submissions or if I already have something to submit.

Kris and I are also going to start working on a big project–not a book, but it’s writing related. There will be more on that much later, though.

So, there’s a lot of editing and querying to do this month and only a little bit of writing. I have too many manuscripts written, but not edited. I may or may not leave the writing to NaNo months for the time being. We’ll see.

Blogging:

Nothing has changed on the blog. I’m just going to continue posting every day hoping each post is better than the last.

Overall, May is going to be a super busy month. Between reading, writing, blogging, and work, I have my plate full. At least I don’t have to worry about school anymore… I can’t wait for my diploma to arrive in the mail!

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Birthday Weekend

Friday: Friday seemed like a long day. I was anxiously awaiting to get out of work not only for the weekend, but so I could get to my friend’s house. My friend had a baby about a month ago and I was just meeting the baby for the first time. It was a good afternoon because I got to hold a baby (it’s been a long time) and I got to see my friend. I haven’t seen her since her baby shower back in November. I have school and work to thank for that.

Friday night I came home and worked on my writing group’s critiques. They were due Saturday morning, so I naturally left them until the last minute. It’s funny how deadlines creep up on you.

Saturday: I had my first writing group meeting. Technically was the second one, but Kris and I missed the first due to a prior commitment. We were nervous, but it went really well. Including the two of us, there’s seven of us total. Small, but I like it that way. It was good to have my work being read and critiqued by others than family. I got great feedback, both positive and negative. The next step is to edit that part again so I can edit the second part and send that for next month.

My cousin had a birthday party to go to so I went with my mom to drop her off and then we were food shopping. For once, we finished shopping in a timely manner and then had an hour to kill while we waited for my cousin’s party to be over. Once we got home, my mom thought it would be a good idea to go out to dinner. Kris and my dad didn’t feel like going, so Mom and I went to Panera. I was barely home on Saturday and wasn’t able to get anything done I originally planned. However, I spent the majority of the day with my mother (and we don’t get a lot of time to do that often) so it was good.

That night we gave my mom her birthday gifts early. We got her a Blu-Ray player and a new iPad. So I think she was pretty content.

Sunday: It was my mother’s birthday, plus Palm Sunday. So we went to church, which was extra long because the service was an extra half hour and then the Sunday school kids had their annual Easter egg hunt. We ended up being at church for an extra hour.

I took my Spanish quiz (that again, I left until the last minute) and then we went out to dinner. There was 11 of us for dinner and the waitress was slow and not very good, so we were there for a little while. We went to The Outback, so I can’t complain–the food is always awesome.

Then we went back to my house for cake for Mom’s birthday.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Busy, but relaxing at the same time.

This Week: I need to outline a bit more for my Camp NaNo novel. Camp starts in two days. With that being said, I need to finish my homework in a timely manner. Plus, I need to work on my Detective Florence manuscript for my writing group.

April is going to be a busy month; especially when it comes to writing. I hope I’m able to get a routine down and stick with it–even if it’s just for the month.

How was your weekend?

March: Inspiration Board

The March #YearOfHappy was to create an inspiration board. The idea was to create an actual board and hang it somewhere where you can look and admire it every day.

I’ll admit I cheated with this one.

I decided to use my virtual board, so to speak. I add things on there all the time, so why not share it with everyone here? It has everything on there that inspires me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have a board for it.

That’s right… I’m talking about my Pinterest.

I currently have 93 boards. All are things that inspire me. Here are just a few:

Writing (I have writing, research, vocabulary, names, editing, characters, and blogging)
Teaching (I have a general teaching board, plus many different units in their own individual boards, plus special education)
Sunday School
Reading (I even have a board for the books I’ve read)

Considering that I have 93 boards, that’s not even a dent. I have different video game boards like Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda as well as different movies (The Lord of the Rings) and TV shows (Once Upon A Time).

All 93 boards inspire me in more ways than one. If you don’t know me personally, you would just need to look at my Pinterest profile and you’ll get to know to me in an instant.

So, if you want to see the kinds of things I love then I suggest you check out my Pinterest profile.

I add to my boards all the time and I’m sure there will be more than 93 boards in time.

Thursday Blues

Every Thursday I go to work for six and half hours and then I babysit for three and half hours immediately after. I don’t get home until 6:30 in the evening at the earliest. Work is good and so is babysitting, but it does make for a long day.

Needless to say, Thursday is not my favorite day of the week.

By the time I get home I’m too tired to do anything. Even to write.

I’ve been getting some editing done here and there lately, but I haven’t done any actual writing. Most of this is because of school, but even with Spring break this week I didn’t get a lot of writing and editing done.

I did great at the beginning of the year in January because school didn’t start yet. So when school ends the beginning of May, I’ll have a lot more free time on my hands.

Of course, just because school will be over doesn’t mean I won’t have work and babysitting on Thursday. In the end, Thursdays will still be long days.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t get anything useful done today when it comes to writing.

But I did write this blog post, so I guess that counts for something.

Writing Weekend

Friday: I didn’t do much. I’ve had a head cold for the past week so after work on Friday I didn’t do much of anything. I had the opportunity to go to the movies, but when you have an off-and-on headache that doesn’t want to quit, a dark, loud movie theater is the last place you want to be. Instead, I took a bath and started reading a new book.

Saturday: I felt much better, but still under the weather. I managed to get a few things done, though. I started editing the first part of Detective Florence‘s second draft. The edit was due on Sunday for my writer’s group. Of course I left it until the last minute. It was in my mind all month, but the 15th of the month always seems so far away until it’s staring you right in the face.

I also continued to read the book I started on Friday. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would, yet I couldn’t put it down at the same time. Go figure.

Sunday: I skipped church due to my cold. It was nice to have an extra day to stay home and do nothing. I finished typing up the edited second draft of Detective Florence and sent it off to my writer’s group. Then I spent the majority of the rest of the day reading that book.

Kris is house/pet sitting this week for our neighbors so I went over to their house for a couple of hours last night just to hang out. A new episode of Once Upon A Time was on, so we watched it in their gorgeous living room.

On a side note, I finished reading that book this morning. I’m going to give it a review once I finish reading the trilogy and do all three books at once. Given the ending of the first book, I think that would be a better way to do it. I have a love/hate relationship with that book, so I have no idea how the rest of the series is going to go.

This Week: I plan on starting my outline for Camp NaNo next month. It’s something I should have already started, but of course I didn’t. It’s spring break this week for school, so at least I won’t have any homework to do.

I also plan on getting some of my April posts done so I can focus more on NaNo next month.

In addition to that, I need to continue writing and editing Detective Florence 2 as well as read and edit the stories my writer’s group submitted. There’s only four, so I think it will give me a chance to really take my time with each one.

How was your weekend?

Critiques Are Hard

We started workshops this week in my Creative Writing: Nonfiction class. This is what I’ve been looking forward to all semester and it’s finally here. I’ll be critiquing nonfiction stories by my classmates and they’ll critique one of mine.

Four people were due to post their stories this week so everyone else is due to critique these four stories.

Only read and give feedback to four stories… not bad homework, huh? Of course it can be tedious depending on how long and how well written the story is.

Hence, critiquing is hard.

I’ve never written an actual critique to anyone before. I don’t even know what I’m doing when I edit my own novels half the time.

This is my second class doing a workshop. So I’ve gotten feedback from professors and classmates before. However, there are some classmates who see it as what it is: homework. In other words, you may or may not be getting the most out of your classmates because in the end, it is homework.

With my first real life critique group coming up at the end of the month, I really want to nail my critiques for my classmates. I see it as more than homework and I’m sure some, if not all, of my classmates do as well. I want to help them by giving structured feedback and I want them to do the same for me when I share my story.

I’ve done two of the four so far and both took me at least an hour to do.

Last night I pulled Kris away from whatever she was doing and asked her to read my critique. I wanted to make sure it made sense, I didn’t sound mean, and that they were valuable points to mention.

The thing is you can’t critique a critique.

Everyone has their own preferences. Everyone reads differently and understands what they read differently. What I liked about the story, another classmate might have thought it didn’t work. What I didn’t enjoy about the story, another classmate might absolutely love.

A critique is a matter of opinion. After much consideration and looking through all the critiques, in the end the only opinion that matters is the writer’s.

Trivia Night!

Friday: Friday was a long, but good, day. I had work in the morning and then later on that night I went to a Trivia Night with everyone from work. There was a fundraiser going on for the town I work in. There were teachers from most of the town’s schools, parents, and general residents of the town. Let me tell you… the place was packed. The Trivia Night was at a venue walking distance from my house and I’ve been there a few times before. I have never in my life seen the place so full of people.

It was ten rounds of trivia, but at the end of round four only the top 50% kept playing. Needless to say, we stopped after round four. My work had three tables called Material Girls, Uptown Girls, and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (we were dressed up as the 80s). Material Girls came in dead last, Uptown Girls (the table I sat at) came in second to last, and GJWHF came in fourth to last. The main point is that we had fun and that’s all that matters!

I got three questions right and two of them were book questions, so I was proud of myself for that. If there was a trivia night dedicated to books and authors, I would so do that! That would be so much fun.

Saturday: I was down for the count. I stayed up late Friday night because of the trivia night and I was exhausted all day Saturday. I didn’t really do anything too exciting–I cleaned up a bit, went food shopping, and printed out the second draft of Detective Florence.

I have to edit the first chapter of that by March 15 for my local writer’s group, which will meet the last Saturday of March. You never really think how quickly the 15th of the month comes up until it’s the 8th and you realized you only have about a week left to get it done… oops.

Sunday: I went to church and we talked about helping people, being nice to people, and what it means to be happy. It was a good lesson, if I do say so myself.

Kris and I started playing a new video game and we wrote for a little bit. I tried to organize some of my writing things and I worked on this week’s blog posts. So… hopefully those will be good.

This Week: I hope to get my homework done as soon as possible for this week. The following week is Spring Break so I want to have as much time off from school as I can get to focus on writing for the time being.

I also have to edit the second draft’s first chapter of Detective Florence by March 15 to pass it into my local writer’s group. In addition to that, I hope to get some outlining done for my Camp NaNo project.

Those are my two biggest writing goals at the moment. If I can get more done, then I definitely will.

How was your weekend?