So I realized that I haven’t really talked too much about my writing on here lately. I can’t really say that things haven’t been going well, but I guess they haven’t really been going all that great, either.
Ever since I got stuck with my novel Cybertra back in July for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve been kind of stuck on all of my writing. I’ve been trying, but I don’t really know what to do with myself.
I went on vacation for a week in July and that was one whole week that I didn’t write. I played Pokemon instead. So that also slowed me down a bit, too. But I can’t complain because I think I needed a break from writing for a little bit.
But when I came back from vacation I realized that I really needed to get back into the swing of things. I have three young adult novels completed, why aren’t I editing them? I have three other novels started, why aren’t I finishing them?
Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble together last week. I took out my laptop and was beside myself. What was I supposed to write? I had no idea. Kris found a cool writing prompt app on her phone in which we both downloaded. She wasn’t too sure what to write, either, so we each picked a prompt. Mine was, “Everything is ruined because…” Again, what was I supposed to write about?
In the end, I wrote a small short story that was about four pages long. I’ll post it on here tomorrow. It was probably the dumbest thing I had ever written in my life. I wasn’t too crazy about the way I had written it, the story line was kind of weird, and the characters were just…odd. It certainly was not my best work.
But it was soon after that that I began to write again. That same day at Barnes and Noble, I whipped out my Hunter & Comet story and wrote a little bit of that. Then, for some strange reason, I got into the mood of writing one of those cliche high school drama novels. I have a couple of ideas for those and ended up starting one. It’s called Union Academy. I have no idea what the plot really is…it’s just one of those drama stories where things never seem to go right for a group of high school girls.
The time we went to Barnes and Noble after that, the latest time we’ve gone, I ended up writing that. And I got a good chunk done, too. So I think I’m over my little writer’s block. Not only that, but I actually started editing Hunter again.
It just goes to show that whatever writing you’re stuck on, just write something, anything. Even if it’s terrible. And it will help.
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.
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?
Kris and I decided to do more writing contests and such.
I’m sure most of you have heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books? This is one of the things we want to do. We pick book topics that we can write a nonfiction story about and send it in. If your story is picked to be in the book, you’ll receive 200 dollars plus ten free copies of the book. I think that’s a good deal.
As of right now, there are two topics that I am able to write for. Stories About Cats and Overcoming Challenges. I could write for the Stories About Dogs one, but I don’t have any real stories that pop out in my mind. I can only think of one story with my cat, Hunter, and my turtle, Raph. I’m going to write about that. I doubt it’ll get picked, but hey–might as well toss in every story I can, right? The deadline for this one is August 31, 2013.
The Overcoming Challenges one I’m going to talk about my high school career–my best friend bullying me, my anxiety disorder, and some of the teachers not believing in me. I don’t know if I ever explained this one here, but I left high school half way through my junior year. I did get my high school diploma, but I went through college to get it. It also gave me a head start on my degree, which was nice. The deadline for this one is October 31, 2013.
There are a couple of other topics I could write for, but there are no stories that pop into my head for them. We’ll see, though; especially since I have time for the two topics I plan on doing. Of course August 31 is going to be here before I know it.
I also heard of another contest through My Journey As A Writer‘s blog. It’s called Cheerios Spoonful of Stories. You can send in an unlimited amount of children’s books. Grand prize is 5,000 dollars. The story is featured on the website as well as handed over to Simon and Schuster publishing to be considered for publication. Second and third prize gets 1,000 dollars. The deadline is July 31, 2013.
I have a few children’s book ideas, but I don’t know if I’m going to have the time to write, edit, and send them in. I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday and when I come back there will be about three days left until the deadline. The book I would love to send in is still being considered by a publisher who only takes exclusive manuscripts. I’m not allowed to send the manuscript anywhere else until I hear from them, or September 7 (it’s a three-month turnaround time and I sent it in on June 7). We’ll see if I have any time this week to write up some manuscripts and give them a good look-over.
There’s also Writer’s Digest competitions. I have done a couple of their competitions before, but never won anything. Of course, I can keep trying.
I also bought a book called 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Not only does the book have a list of publishers and agents, it has a list of contests, as well. Of course, a lot of them have already ended because I was smart and bought the book half way through the year of 2013. But it also has a list of magazines, too. Some pay, some don’t. Some have contests, some don’t. But you can still send stuff in, depending on what they’re looking for.
I told myself I wanted to have something published by my 25th birthday. Of course, when I say something published, I mean one of my young adult novels or middle grade novels or something.
I turn 20 on September 1, 2013. That gives me five more years to get something done. If I can get something published by winning a contest, even if it’s just published in a small magazine, I’ll take it. I would prefer one of my novels, but if it gets my foot in the door, I’ll be happy.
My class is 10:30-2 today. I have work at 2:30-5/6. And then I’m babysitting 6:30-8:30. I have a very busy day today so I thought that I would get up early and go to school early so that I could get some writing done. Because I am obviously not going to get anything done tonight…that would be silly.
So I have been writing more of Take Over and it is still going pretty well. I wrote for about an hour and half this morning and then I kept making typos and began to go cross-eyed, so I I had to stop. I am now up to 15,765 words and 26 pages. Those numbers are only going to keep getting higher from now on. Although, they always went higher, but whatever.
I got to the good part of my novel. Again, I have to post the summary soon, but as I said in the last post, a group of high school seniors plan to take over the school with the help of a random junior who is in their group. Right? Yes.
Let’s talk about characters: none of them turned out the way I have planned on them being like…
1. Roxana “Roxie” Smith. She is the main character and has a lovely head on her shoulders. She pretty, smart, and plays by the rules. She’s popular in school only because she’s Brad’s girlfriend. Roxie’s parents are…interesting to say the least. Her mother is a stay-at-mom because even though Roxie is old enough to take care of herself, her mom feels as though she would be abandoning her only child. Roxie’s father…he’s insane. And he writes for a living. Enough said. Roxie is dead set against the Take Over.
2. Heath “Brad” Bradley Johnson. Everyone calls him Brad because of his middle name because he hates his first name. Brad is a popular guy and is known by everyone. He is friends with everyone, not because he wants to really be friends, but people people adore him. The Take Over was his idea.
3. Jayden “Jay” Williams & Darren Williams. They’re twins who don’t have a mind of their own. They go along with anything and everything Brad says because he’s the “leader.” Jay is more friendly and takes care of all of his friends while Darren just wants Brad to like him. Both are very into the idea of the Take Over.
4. Bella Jones. Roxie’s best friend. She has a huge crush on Darren and will do anything for him to like her. She’s a dumb blonde (even though she’s a brunette) and her parents are…different. Her mother has a big stick up her butt for reasons unknown to even me. She’s unsure whether she wants to go along with the Take Over or not. She wants to follow Roxie’s lead, but wants Darren to like her.
5. Simon Davis. He’s the junior of the group. Why Brad allowed him to hang out with a bunch of seniors? Again, I haven’t thought that far ahead yet…but Simon is super excited because now he’s the most popular kid of the junior class because he hangs out with Brad Johnson. Simon goes along with Brad on the Take Over, but feels sorry for Roxie and he tries to stay neutral while still technically being on Brad’s side.
There you have it. Six annoying characters in all. Neither of them had the personality I wanted them to have. But it’s working so far, so I’ll play along with them…for now. 😉
2013: 30,904/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read
Well, it has been almost (ish) a month since I have posted on here. I remember that my last post I mentioned that I was going to write all weekend (because we had that blizzard) and that I would post again right after the weekend. That went well, didn’t it?
Actually, it did. I wrote during the weekend. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to do and I certainly didn’t write as much as I had the time for, but something is better than nothing, right? I have been writing off and on since then. I’m working on a new novel. Yes, another new novel. I’m not working on The Blank Page anymore. Since I lost my flash drive, I haven’t really been encouraged to write anything that I had already started.
This novel is called Take Over. I thought of the idea while I was at work and then forgot about it. Then while I was in the shower a couple of days later, I thought of it again and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I came up with ideas and characters and everything. It was a fun shower.
I’ll post the summary to this novel at a later time, but the basic of it is that a group of high school students plan take over the school. Not in a mean, bad way, but only because they’re seniors and they want to leave the school as “legends.” They don’t mean anything bad by it, but it soon gets a little out of hand and it’s a riot…teachers versus students. This is what I have been writing lately and it’s coming along quite nicely. I’ll get into more details about the characters and such later, as well.
I decided to switch up my New Year’s Resolution a bit. I decided that I’m going to try to write at least 1,000 words a day. So I should have about 365,000 words by the end of the year. So by the end of February I should have about 59,000 or something like that. Since I wrote a lot of The Blank Page, I’m going to include that word count because I did write it during 2013. So that, (plus what I have for Take Over so far) equals to 27,802 words. A bit behind, yes, but I think I can do it because I don’t usually end up writing just 1,000 words at a time.
I have 12,663 words for Take Over and 21 pages. Hopefully it keeps up going at the rate it’s going. 😉
2013: 27,802/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read