I Failed

What I mean by that is I didn’t even try.

Last night I was supposed to stay up all night reading for my own planned Readathon.

Well, my friend, who now lives across the country, came home and she’s only home for two days. She has a lot of people to see in just those two days and the last time I saw her was sometime last year.

Needless to say, I decided to be social and see my friend after such a long time.

I didn’t expect to stay at her house too late, but by the time I got home and settled in it was after 10:30.

Kris and I were going to start our reading then, but then we got to talking. We were talking about our writing, about books, about fangirl things, about life in general.

Before we knew it, we were both yawning. We checked the time and… Would you look at that? 12:47 AM.

We ended up just going to bed because while we were both still semi-awake, neither one of us was in the mood to sit down and read for a couple of hours.

So we did stay up pretty late. It wasn’t an all-nighter and we weren’t reading, but we had a good chat. Every once in a while, we end up sitting down for a couple of hours and discuss stuff. It’s usually right before bed, too… Weird.

Anyway, I don’t even have a book review for today. The week kind of got away from me when it came to my reading time.

We’ll try to do a readathon some other time (in the near future) because it is something I want to try. I’m curious to see how long I would last.

I’m a little bummed we didn’t get to do it, but in this case seeing my friend is more important. The next time I see her will probably be around Christmas, but she might not even make it home for that. In which case, I probably won’t see her again until summer of next year. Plane tickets aren’t cheap.

So, sorry for that lack of updates.

I hope you all had a great night!

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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!

Happy Thanksgiving!

image

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!

Authors Anonymous

Authors Anonymous

Today my friend Nickie came over for a visit. A while ago we discovered a movie titled Authors Anonymous. Since Kris, Nickie, and I all like to write we decided to give the movie a shot. When we first discovered it, we realized Kaley Cuoco (Penny from The Big Bang Theory) was in it. So, how bad could it be? As we watched the movie we recognized a few other people we knew as well. It just recently came onto Netflix, so we made a lunch date to watch it together. Well, it has two out of five stars on Netflix and it has 4.4 out of ten stars on IMDB. We figured we’d give it a try anyway and at the very least we could all have a good laugh making fun of it if we didn’t actually enjoy the movie.

You can look it up yourself, but basically the movie is about a group of five unpublished writers who get together once a week for a writing group to share and critique their work. One of them gets signed by an agent and then all hell breaks loose. Jealousy grows in a few of the other group members and everything spirals out of control from there.

The movie was alright. I can’t exactly say I “recommend” it. The movie itself and even some of the acting was “blech.” However, there were some great lessons to be learned from the movie.

There was the one who got signed by an agent because she actually sat down at her computer and wrote. She did the work and put her heart and soul into writing.

Then there was the one who was the “pretend writer.” He edited as he wrote and wanted nothing more than perfection.

There was the “idea” guy who only came up with ideas, but never actually wrote anything. He was a pretty good character, though.

There was the two most jealous ones in the group once the other member got signed. One self-published without any research; therefore, none of his books sold as he never advertised and some things in his novel got messed up. The other one personally went up to agents and basically said, “I’m a great writer! Publish my book!” as she tried to speed up the process.

Then there was the good guy who, like the published one in the group, did everything right; however, he claimed he always had “writer’s block” because he was so focused on everything else going on in his life and… well, maybe he was a bit nervous, too. He had a whole wall with rejection letters taped to it.

That description lacks and is probably a bit confusing, but I don’t want to say too much just in case any of you will actually want to watch the movie. If you do, it’ll be a long hour and a half. But… as you can see, the characters vary when it comes to different kinds of writers. In that sense, the movie was good. If anything, it shows you what not to do when it comes to writing.

Oh, and how not to act when one of your writer friends gets published before you.

Tipping Over

Balance

Life is hard. Can I just throw that out there? Of course, no one told me life was going to be easy and I never expected it to be… I mean, why would I?

It’s not that life in general is hard, it’s all the little bits and pieces that go with it. You just need to work your way through each one, but the trick is that you need to deal with it all at the same time. I can’t say, “I’ll go to work this week and then stay home and write the following week. After that I think I’ll go on vacation!” Sadly, life does not work like that.

So how does life work? I certainly don’t know and I’m pretty sure no one else really understands it, either. What I do know is that I need to have some sort of balance between everything that goes on in my life. That’s one piece of the puzzle solved, but how do I find that balance and implement it? Let me know when you figure it out because every time I find my balance–even if it’s just for a short while–life throws another lemon at me giving me a black eye.

For the past few days I’ve been writing “to do” lists for myself. So far it’s been working, but probably only for a little while. I’ve done this before and soon enough I get out of the routine whether I get sick, something unexpected happens, or I just get lazy.

We all know Kris and I have conversations about life and the future every so often, but with both of us getting older those conversations have been happening more frequently. We’re in no rush to leave our parents, but we want to move out for the experience. We don’t have the money to do it. Plus, I’m still in school so I have a lot less money than my sister does.

I’m going to be 21 in about a month. My friend who is three months younger than me got married and moved across the country. My other friend who is a year older than me (and also the sister of the other one) is pregnant. I feel as though I’m “behind schedule” even though I’m really not. I should be focusing on work and school and that’s what I prefer to work towards. Yet, it’s hard to work towards something when everything else is about money.

I want to be a writer and I’ve written many things, yet none of them pay as they’ve never been published. This is okay, but I’m wondering about when September hits. I will be taking five courses, one is accelerated (which will be kind of nice in a way because then the last month of the semester I’ll only have to worry about four courses), but one of the courses is going to make it feel as though I’m taking seven courses–not five. This course, by the way, is Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling; the class I’m super excited for. I don’t think I’m going to be so excited for the homework, though. Not to mention homework from four other classes, one being accelerated.

should also be working full-time. I say “should” because I don’t know if I officially have the job, yet. If not, I’ll still be a substitute which won’t be so bad with all the school work. Money-wise, it won’t be so good, but I have to take what I can get.

Then there’s babysitting on the side and…oh, yeah writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close and I am at 41k words or something around there. I’m also done and I will win. I was actually hoping to be done by today, but I started reading Harry Potter to get a head start on my class in the Fall and I got so into the series that I’ve just been reading nearly non-stop.

(To throw a lame excuse as to why I haven’t been blogging a lot is because of Harry Potter, trying to win Camp NaNo, and also homework…but the school semester ends tomorrow, yay!)

So with that in mind I have about six days left. I plan on going overboard (but let’s get real–I probably won’t) and come August I hope to edit the first book (I’m writing the sequel now). I edited the first draft in June, but obviously still needs a bit of work.

Good luck in the last few days of Camp, people! I can’t believe the end is near…but at the same time, I feel as though the month of July dragged on. Maybe that’s just me. 😉

Looking For Cabin Mates!

Camp

As we all know Camp NaNoWriMo starts up again for the July 2014 session in less than a month! However, it’s back with a little twist.

There is a cabin feature on Camp NaNo where participants can gather, chat, and encourage each other with their writing. All in all it’s just a great way to make new friends.

Well, they’ve now added private cabins. Instead of suggesting someone to be in your cabin and then maybe getting in the same one, you can start a private cabin and invite specific people to join. If they accept the invitation then they’re automatically in the same cabin as you. The best part is that you don’t need to wait for the NaNo people to assign the cabins. The private ones begin as soon as you have someone in a cabin with you.

I wanted to see how this worked, so I decided to create one. It’s looking pretty sad at the moment because it’s just me, Fiery_Sapphire, and Kris, Winged_Spirit.

So I am sending out a message to all my NaNo/WordPress friends…if you are participating in Camp next month and would like the have the pleasure of having Kris and me as cabin mates, then please let me know. Give me your user-name and I will send you a cabin invitation through Camp NaNo.

We need more friends. 🙂

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!

Two Year Anniversary

Two Year Anniversary

I got a notification from WordPress this morning… Apparently my blog is two-years-old today. How weird is that?

I have a tendency to never to finish what I start; which is just one reason as to why I get super excited to finish a novel–now, if only I could just completely finish them by editing them. 😉

I’m pretty sure I explained this when my blog turned one last year, but I originally started this blog on BlogSpot. The traffic was slow and it was a bit harder to manage. It was still easy, but it wasn’t as laid out as WordPress is. Kris was the one who told me to switch to WordPress. So I did and I am so glad I did.

Two years is a long time and I’m still active on this blog. Of course, I have my moments when you don’t hear from me for a while, but now that I’ve added the Short Story Sunday you guys at least hear from me once a week. Unless I forget to post…which has happened two or three times.

I’ve made a lot of new friends over the past two years and I’ve learned a lot, too; most of all about writing. I’ve gained over 1,000 followers, which is a huge achievement on its own.

So, if I was able to drink I’d say we should raise our champagne glasses and toast to another great year for Spilled Ink. But since we can’t do that, I’ll just give you guys a virtual high-five instead.

Happy Birthday, Spilled Ink!

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?