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!

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November So Far

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Meet Nano! I bought him about a week before November started. He is the same kind of goldfish as Mikey (R.I.P.), except he’s a smaller kind. I didn’t see much of a difference until I put Nano in his tank and then I realized that Mikey was really big and fat. Anyway, I named him Nano for his size and also because I decided he could be my mascot for NaNoWriMo.

So, it’s the first day of week two for NaNoWriMo. How are we all doing? I hope everyone is up to par on their word counts. Also, today is Double-Up Day which means you should all be doubling your word count and donating to NaNo.

I wrote 3,000 words today. I was going to write more and then… I stopped.

However, my word count is now 19,031 words. I have Monday and Tuesday off of work this week so I plan on going back and forth between writing and homework. I’m hoping to hit 30k by Tuesday.

As you all know I decided to do a collection of short stories this month. Kris gave me the idea to do each short story in 1,000 words. In other words, write 50 short stories in the month. I decided to do that because it’s easier for me to keep track of. If some ideas grow and spark new ideas, I can always add to them come December. Some stories came out good, some came out decent, and some I don’t even think they would qualify as writing. But hey, words are words.

In fact, I used the prompt “magic” for one of the stories and I am now writing part five for it. I thought of a mini idea which may or may not turn into a novel. In the meantime, I’m going to continue writing it in small parts and see where it takes me. If anything else, I’ll use it as a Short Story Sunday project.

So, that’s where I am writing at the moment. I’ve been getting more and more ideas for Detective Florence, so I’m sure I’ll continue on that series once November is over.

My Spanish class is officially over, so I only have four classes to worry about homework-wise until the middle of December. Except, I have essays in three of those classes and a project in the fourth class. Then the usually work and babysitting on top of it all. Plus I may be coming down with something which is just unacceptable.

Nonetheless, I will keep writing my daily 2,000-plus words and try to figure out that homework situation.

I hope everyone had a good first week of NaNo and that it carries on through the second week.

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. 🙂

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? 😀