New Chapter

I have written plenty of posts where I discuss how plans change, schedules are disrupted, and routines need a break once in a while.

Yesterday was voting day so I had the day off from work. I was excited because I wanted to spend the day relaxing, reading, and writing.

Yesterday was March first, so it was a new month as well with new goals. I didn’t have to babysit either so I had the entire day to myself.

Well, as we all know, plans do indeed change and sometimes they change completely unexpectedly.

My sister wasn’t due to have her baby until March 7 and they always say the first child is late.

Except for my nephew apparently because at one o’clock in the morning early March 1, we got a call from my sister saying the baby was coming.

I spent the majority of yesterday at the hospital with my family until my nerves couldn’t take it anymore. I went home with Kris where we sat on the couch and ate our feelings until her dentist appointment. We weren’t sure if she should cancel it or not, but we figured it may take a while and her appointment wouldn’t be long at all.

We decided to go to the hospital right after the dentist. She was taken in at 4:26 and came out at 4:50. Our nephew was born at 4:49 PM. Due to traffic (and our lack of directional skills) Kris and I didn’t get back to the hospital until 5:20 where our mom was texting us to “hurry!!!” and “run!!”

So we ran. Through the parking lot. Where I yelled, “Auntie’s coming!” and nearly ran over some guy that had to be at least two feet taller than me. Oops.

Apparently the nurse came in around 5:15 saying he was here, but gave no other information.

Around 6:00 my brother-in-law came in to bring the grandmothers into the room where Kris, myself, our friend, and sister-in-law waited eagerly for another ten minutes.

Then we were finally allowed to see our nephew, Daniel Richard.

It was a whirlwind of a day. I was utterly exhausted (and still am). I panicked all day, had anxiety (I don’t like hospitals and it was a bit freaky to see my sister hooked up to machines), cried off and on due to excitement and nerves, and ended up eating candy from the hospital for dinner.

I didn’t get home until around 8 PM where Kris and I just watched YouTube for the rest of the night. I think I dozed off during a couple of the videos.

I called out of work today to spend some more time with my family. I needed to sleep in, too. I slept in longer than I normally do.

So I didn’t get any work done yesterday and I know I won’t today, but we all started a new chapter in our lives. Kris and I get to join the “Auntie” club, my parents get to join the “Grandparents” club, and Lisa and Nick get to join the “Parents” club.

It’s completely strange, but I’m liking it so far.

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Six On The Sixth #12: Family

Six on the Sixth Family

I completely forgot to post this on the sixth! Oops… Enjoy!

We play games with each other.

We can talk and we listen.

We always stand by each other.

We laugh, cry, and get angry.

Sometimes we’re near, sometimes we’re far.

But we will always be together.

A Sweet Birthday Card

I don’t normally post twice in one day, but this is something that I had to share with you guys.

I turned 22-years-old today. My 11-year-old cousin made me a birthday card. It made me feel pretty special.

Not only did she make me feel good, but it’s also nice to know that she thinks so highly of me. That said, I’m very close with my cousins.

  
This is the cover that says, “Happy happy birthday, today’s your special day, you just got a cupcake, now blow the flame away!”

  
The inside cover. She knows that I love my Ninja Turtles dearly.

  
“Rachel I could never ask for a better sister/cousin than you. You are funny, beautiful, amazing, and anything else you can think of. I hope you have the best 22nd birthday anyone can have!”

Then she turnes my name into an acronym: Royal, star in the sky, Creative, Humoress, Enchanting, Lovely.

No gift can compare to this.

I hope everyone is having an awesome day!

Vacation

Friday: It was my last day of work for a week. This week is April vacation, so I get to sleep in all week! Also, I get six and a half hours more for each day. That’s super exciting for me! It was also my dad’s birthday so we went out to eat and had cake, you know usual birthday stuff. It was low-key, but nice.

Saturday: Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning where I wrote 5,514 words of my Camp NaNo novel. Kris had to bring her notebook because her laptop gave her the blue screen of death. She wrote a lot for it being handwritten, though. We only stayed for a few hours before going back home because my dad’s siblings came over for lunch for his birthday. We rarely see them throughout the year (mainly just for Christmas) so it was a fun time.

Sunday: I was lazy. I’ll admit it. I didn’t get any writing done, I didn’t try to get a head start on my homework like I planned… I just went to church and then sat on the couch. Kris and I did take Chip out for a walk around the local pond, so that was at least something. We were all tired after that. It’s a 45-minute walk and for Chip to be so small, it was a lot for her. But she made it!

This Week: Since I don’t have work this week, I have a lot more free time to do things I want to do. My homework is already just about done (it’s the second to last week, so we barely have any assignments) so I just want to focus on my writing and editing and reading and anything else I need to do this week. Kris and I are going to Barnes and Noble again this morning when it opens. It’s always a treat when we can go there a couple times a week.

My week is cut short, though. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday so that will slow me down for a few days. For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the posts will be the same–a writing quote, a book review, and a Short Story Sunday. They’re all written, so that’s fine. Monday will probably be another quote or something. I most likely won’t be responding to comments right away or commenting on other blogs. I’ll be out of commission for the weekend. Lucky me.

How was your weekend?

Camp NaNo: New Characters

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I wrote 3,010 words this morning. My official word count for Camp NaNoWriMo at the moment is 19,034 words. I would have liked to hit 20,000 words this morning, but I wanted to post on here and then I have to get ready for work (technically, I should be getting ready for work now).

I think it was on day two or three of Camp that I introduced a new character into my novel, Anonymous Tip (which is  a George Florence novel).

I didn’t expect her to come into the story. I didn’t think she would even exist. Her name is Celeste and she’s the mother of two side characters, so obviously she exists because those other two characters had to come from somewhere, right? Yet, she wasn’t supposed to make an appearance and she managed to push her way through anyway.

If you knew her personality, which is a stubborn and head-strong, you can easily see why she made herself known in the novel.

It’s a good thing because poor George and Lilah had a case, but they didn’t have a client. Well, this woman barged into my story and into their lives and now they have a client. So, I guess she has a purpose after all.

This morning, another new character came into play. I debated on introducing her to the series eventually, but I didn’t think it would be in this novel.

Her name is Ingrid Florence. Yes, George’s mother.

She and Celeste butt heads a lot. So, naturally when Celeste made an appearance, Ingrid felt as though she needed to join in as well.

Ingrid hasn’t actually been in the novel, yet. She left a message on George’s answering machine, but already I can tell that she too has a strong personality. Yet, she seems a lot nicer than Celeste.

I wonder if Ingrid and Celeste are going to end up in a scene together? I’m sure that would be interesting to see.

How are your novels coming along? Have any unexpected characters come for a visit?

Babysitting, Birthdays, And Blogging

Friday: I babysat in the early afternoon for a couple of hours. The dad got surgery on his ear so I was needed to keep the peace while the mom was at the hospital with him. I kicked butt in Monopoly, watched the boys play some video games, and watched the oldest dye his hair pink… yeah. In my defense, the parents said it was okay and he’s not my child, so… anyway…

Mom and I went food shopping and then we all went out to dinner. Then to Barnes and Noble. It was a good day with the kids and a good night with the family.

Saturday: Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning to write (I swear, we should just live there). We got kicked out of our seats because some people reserved the table, but that was okay. We went upstairs and found a table by the writing books and didn’t get much done there. It was way too quiet… we always sit by the cafe and I always claim I can’t work with people talking (I usually listen to instrumental music or nothing at all), but apparently the background noise of the cafe is a nice atmosphere.

Then we went to our sister’s apartment for our brother-in-law’s 30th birthday. We stayed there for a few hours before it started snowing (again!) and we went home. I planned on being productive after getting home, but that didn’t happen.

Sunday: We went to church for the first time in two weeks (because of all the snow storms). The corner of the Sunday school room is leaking and the entire Sunday school closet (with all our books and supplies and such in it) was soaked. Nothing was damaged and there was no “flood,” but the carpet was soaked and part of the ceiling fell through. Plus, there was a huge puddle in the light fixture. I am officially done with snow.

Also, I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’ve stopped commenting on your blogs (or have been extremely slow at it) and that I’ve barely been keeping up with the comments on my own blog. I don’t know why I’ve been slacking in this department. However, I spent the rest of Sunday afternoon on my blog typing out posts and going through the blogs I follow.

You won’t believe how many blogs I follow that don’t even exist anymore. I unfollowed those as well as some blogs that haven’t been updated in months (in some cases, years). I hate unfollowing people. I feel like a jerk. However, it got to the point that I was following more people than I could count and some blogs I didn’t even know what they were until I clicked on their link. It was just something that desperately needed to be cleaned out.

With that being said, I’m going to try to set aside some time each day (or maybe every couple days depending on my schedule) where I can catch up on blog posts. I can give myself some time to read through each post and comment on them like every fellow blogger should.

I have to organize my flash drive, my blog, my writing stuff, everything… it’s kind of crazy. I think that’s why I’ve been so slow lately; I have a lot going on and I don’t know where to start on working through it all. I’m working on it slowly, but surely.

This is yet another reason as to why I can’t wait to be done with school… eight more weeks!

How was your weekend?

Exciting Updates! (Not Really)

Today is day three of February vacation. For the past two days I’ve spent it doing nothing, cleaning the house, and getting little bits of writing done here and there. I am proud to say that I actually did something today!

As Kris stated, “We’ve gotten our social quota for the year… we’re done!”

Last night, my sister Lisa and her husband texted me asking if we wanted to meet them for lunch. So, we did. They were a little late due to the DMV, but it was all good.

Kris and I went to Barnes & Noble in the morning. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to go there multiple times a week. We always go on Saturdays because Sundays we have church and I’m at work the rest of the week. We both brought just our notebooks again. It’s been a nice change of pace handwriting instead of typing, even if typing is faster. However, I wrote over 1,000 words today in about an hour. I think that’s a pretty good accomplishment.

What am I writing? I have no idea… it was an idea I got from a short story I wrote back in November. I have no idea where it’s going or why I decided to continue with it. However, a plot is slowly forming in my head so I’m going to stick with it for now. Maybe it’ll turn into a new novel idea or maybe it’ll turn into a more lengthy short story that I can submit to a contest or something. We’ll see.

Then we went to Kohl’s because we both need new clothes… and we needed to kill some more time while we waited for our sister and brother.

Then we went to the mall (which was where we were meeting them for lunch) and we wandered around aimlessly there. After about two hours, we ate lunch and sat there and talked for about an hour and a half or so. Then we finally parted ways.

After eight hours, Kris and I staggered home and boy, has it been a long day! It’s been a good day, though. We saw some family, wrote a bit, and got new clothes.

You can’t go wrong with that.

Goodbye 2014!

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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!

“Working” On Vacation

Every year my family and l go away for the weekend after Thanksgiving. It just happened to become tradition a few years ago and it’s great to get away for a weekend in the middle of work and school. It’s a nice break.

I am not a light packer. Anyone who knows me personally in real life can tell you that. I would pack the entire house if l could. Example: l have three unread books on my Kindle. Before we left l bought a fourth one. Because you know there’s that .5% chance that l would happen to read and finish all three books in two days with time to spare and how tragic would it be if l ran out of something to read? Now, keep in mind that l brought my Kindle in an attempt to save space by not bringing physical novels. So it kind of balances out… l guess.

Anyway, l brought my Detective Florence 2 manuscript along with two notebooks (one blank, one with the outlined notes), the notes and outline for the first novel, blank index cards, blank post-it notes, and about five pens with four highlighters and two sharpies. Again, you need a plethora of pens because there’s that slight chance they will all run out of ink in two days.

Back to the point… l did some editing yesterday and l plan on editing today as well. Now that NaNo is over, l plan to finish editing the second novel, type up the next draft of both the first and second novels, outline the third, and then write the third. I’m in for a fun ride.

So l’m texting my friend yesterday and she asked how l was doing and such. I told her l was editing.

Her response: “Why are you writing while on vacation?”

Now let’s discuss…

I love writing. I am going to do it whenever and where ever l can. It relaxes me. I don’t see it as work. Sure, it would be nice to write full-time for a job, but whether that happens or not it will always be a passionate hobby of mine.

To be honest, l think vacation is the perfect time to write for a few reasons.

1. It’s a new environment. I tend to write at my desk at my house in my office/den l share with Kris. Sometimes, in the same room, l will write on the couch using the ottoman as a desk. Sometimes l go in my bedroom. When home alone, l’ll go in the kitchen or dining room. I even write while taking a bath. If l get a moment alone at work l’ll jot down notes. You can write anywhere you think of.

2. There are barely any distractions. When writing at home l have the Internet. There are many websites l am on that l can get to with a click of a button and before l know it, it’s time for bed. There’s also the cleaning. The dusty room around me just stares me down and it bothers me. There’s mail to get–l love getting the mail. I don’t know why, l never get anything good. If l’m not at work l usually keep an eye out for it. There’s also video games, friends to see, homework to do, etc.

3. There are no other responsibilities. Kind of like the previous point, there is no real cleaning to be done. As long as l clean up after myself before l go home, l’m good. I don’t have to worry about doing homework. I don’t have to worry about anything so my mind is cleared up for everything.

4. It’s relaxing. Why write next to the heating vent at my house when l can write next to the fireplace? There is no fireplace at my house; therefore, l cannot write to the soothing crackling sound. Well… l can, but those sounds are on websites. There’s no pretty flame or heat so it’s not the same effect.

I’m sure there are many more reasons, but this is what l can come up with for now.

My friend loves that l write and she supports me with it. She’s always asking how my novels are going, what they’re about, etc. However, she knows l want to write full-time which would be my career. Career is work. Therefore, she thinks writing is work. Technically yes, as it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a long process and such.

What she doesn’t realize is how much fun it is and how people need a certain passion for writing. Writers don’t see writing as work. Writing is just using the imagination and being creative.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am thankful for my school. As much as I complain, I would not be where l am today without it. I am well-educated and have learned a lot over the years. School has opened my mind to many new things and because of that l want to learn more.

I am thankful my job, the people l work with, and my students. I work with wonderful people who are inspiring to me with all the care and knowledge they bring to the special education world. I love each and every one of my students. Despite their disabilities, they still smile every single day and strive to be independant and do the best they can. I always look forward to going to work and am truly lucky to be one of the few people in this world who actually love their job.

I am thankful for all the past jobs l’ve had. I have met so many people over the years, some good and some bad. However, that taught me the right things to say and do and also that some people are here to stay and some aren’t, but everyone comes into your life for a reason.

I am thankful for the “little things” that l have a warm bed to sleep in at night, food to fill my belly, and a house to keep me protected.

I am thankful for the money l have. I struggle sometimes, but l have the knowledge and control to spend money only on what l need and not what l want. Because of that, l am debt-free and able to pay for school out of my own pocket.

I am thankful for time. There are simply not enough hours in the day, but l am grateful for what l can get done each day. It teaches me how to be productive and organized.

I am thankful for the Internet. Without it l would not write as much as l do. I would not be able to blog, do research, or even my school work.

I am thankful for WordPress, this blog, and all my WordPress friends (you know who you are). I have met so many wonderful people through my blog. Everyone has taught me lot (especially about writing). I love you all for your care and support through my blog and aspiring writing career.

I am thankful for my writing. It means l am creative and have an active imagination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and what l live for.

I am thankful for my anxiety. Without that l would not have found courage and strength in myself. I would not have learned to face my fears.

I am thankful for my church. They’re like my mini family. I am happy to teach sunday school at a great church with a lot of eager students.

I am thankful for my pets Chip the dog, Hunter the cat, Raph the turtle, and Nano the fish. I am lucky to have a great home with a lot of space to give these animals a loving family and long, healthy, happy lives. If l could get more, l would. I plan to someday.

I am thankful for my friends, past and present. People who l am no longer friends with have come and gone for their own reasons. They reminded me that if l don’t have anything nice to say l shouldn’t say anything at all. However, as much as you dislike someone, you should always be polite and pleseant to them. You never know what else they may be going through. My present friends teach me something new every day. They love me for who l am. They support me in everything l do, no matter how silly it sounds. I am lucky to have friends that l can call “family.”

I am thankful for my extended family. All my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the family. I may not see them often, but they’re always there for us and are just a phone call away. I am lucky they are all in-state.

I am thankful for my immidiate family. My mom and dad, who l would be lost without. They have taught me how to be me and become a responsible adult. They taught me everything about life. My sister Kris who has always been there for me and supported me in everything l do. She listens to my writing ideas and plays video games upon video games with me. My sister Lisa who introduced me to the wonderful job l have now, always listens to my problems, and also introduced me to the “classics” such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Alfred Hitchcock, and my favorite Jerry Lewis. She’s always there to sit and watch a good movie with me. My new brother-in-law Nick, who has made his way into my family comfortably and fits right in. He’s interested in just about everything l’m interested in and really cares for Lisa and the rest of the family as his own.

I am thankful for me. All my strengths and weaknesses, my looks and personality, and all the ups and downs of my life. All that makes me who l am.

Today take a moment and think about what you’re thankful for and share it with the world. We all really are lucky for what we have. It’s time we recognize it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!