Six On The Sixth #7: Summer

Six on Sixth Summer

Seeing
She stared towards the shining sun.

Tasting
Sipping on a large iced coffee.

Touching
Heat burning into her tanned skin.

Smelling
Sunscreen scent drifted through the air.

Hearing
She heard splashing in the pool.

Summer
Summer had made its grand arrival.

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July Goals

July 2015 Goals

Reading:

With more free time this month, I’m going to challenge myself to read two books a week. That means eight book reviews as long as I can meet the challenge. Here’s what I’m thinking of reading:

1. Eclipse by Erin Hunter
2. Long Shadows by Erin Hunter
3. Sunrise by Erin Hunter
4. Paper Towns by John Green
5. I Am the Mission by Allen Zadoff
6. I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
7. Spelled by Betsy Schow
8. I have too many books, I can’t decide. I may have to throw ideas into a jar and pick the book at random.

The books are this list are subject to change depending on whether I feel like reading something else or not. I go to Barnes & Noble every week. You never know what I might find on their shelves.

Also, my Reading List was updated with June’s books.

Writing:

I have to finish rewriting George Florence and hope to get started on editing it when that’s done.

Camp NaNoWriMo begins today, so I have to start writing Hunter to hit my goal of 50,000 words. As usual, I plan to write 2,000 words a day. Whether that will happen or not, I’m not sure.

In addition to that, I want to keep querying my children’s book as well as submit to magazines and contests.

It doesn’t seem like a lot in the writing department, but it will take up a good chunk of my time.

Blogging:

There’s nothing too new with the blog. For my reading challenge, I’m going to keep posting book reviews on Saturday, but I’m also going to post book reviews on Tuesdays for the month as I hope to get two books in per week.

I’m changing my Friday schedule yet again. I don’t know about you guys, but I just wasn’t feeling the weekly wrap-up. I decided to create prompts instead.

Every Friday will now be known as Time to Write and I’ll post a new prompt. I’ll participate in the prompt myself and I encourage you guys to participate as well. If you do, post your story in the comments and I’ll showcase the responses the following Friday before revealing the new prompt. I hope you guys enjoy that new feature.

July is going to be yet another busy month for me, but I’m looking forward to the challenges.

Happy August!

Camp NaNoWriMo has officially ended as of…well, many hours ago. I have to admit that I have never been so happy in my life that a session of NaNo has ended.

Losing 44,619 words of my manuscript five days before Camp ended was probably the worst experience in my life. Dramatic, but true. I was determined to win Camp so I pledged to myself that I was going to write 45k words in four days. 45k because Kris was able to get the first 5k words back for me and I say four days because there was no way I was going to be able to write anything as soon as I lost my entire novel. I needed a brand new day to start fresh.

Monday July 28, I wrote 15,029 words. Tuesday July 29, I wrote 10,019 words. Wednesday July 30, I wrote 5,016 words. Yesterday, July 31, I nearly died, but I wrote the last 15,036 words bringing my novel to a total of 50,112 words. Of course, Kris told me to validate my novel twice because I technically wrote 90k in one month. I just didn’t have all the physical words to prove it. So, I did and my NaNo stats look really weird because I had 44,619 for July 30 and then on July 31 the bar shoots way up and says I have 94,731.

Let’s keep in mind that these last four days I was constantly screaming in my head:

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

It was true. It was fairly “easy” to rewrite the novel because I wrote notes of all the scenes in order as I wrote them the first time around. Of course, before I lost the novel I realized the story was taking a different direction and I was getting lost. I took this rewrite as an opportunity to get my novel back on track and I spent a lot of my time moving the scenes around (I wrote them on sticky notes inside a notebook) trying to make some sense of it all.

It worked. To be honest, I think this version of the novel turned out better than the first. There was just one problem… I had finished the novel before I hit 50k.

I have many ideas for my Detective Florence series and I always pictured the entire series to be in a set of trilogies. Of course, now I’m wondering if the books need to be in sets of twos or many they don’t need sequels to each other at all. However, the first novel is fairly big with about 92k words and about 291 pages, but I’ve only edited the first draft, so it will most likely be less. Now the second novel is about 50k with less than 200 pages.

I think I’m going to write the third book pretending it’s going to stay a trilogy and see where that plot takes me. In other words, editing these novels is going to be just grand! (<—Please note the sarcasm.)

So, now I have another novel written, my third NaNoWriMo certificate, and a very sore wrist. I love writing and wish I could do it all day every day. The binge writing was fun and interesting to say the least, but… I am never going to do that again.

However, if you want to look on the bright side, at least I realized I can hit a deadline if I really set my mind to it.

But… Let’s be real now. Why did I want to win Camp so bad? Well, to complete another manuscript, of course. Yes, but also because Kris and I told ourselves that if we BOTH won (and we did — go us!) we could buy Mario Kart 8. Now I’m just waiting for her to get out of work so we can play it together.

Congrats to everyone who got through yet another month of NaNo! 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2014

“I’m playing Mario Kart 8… Don’t bug me.” –Lilah Williams

It’s that time of year again and we’re all ready three days in! As you all know, I edited my novel Detective Florence last month in preparation for NaNo so I could write the sequel: Detective Florence 2. Yes, it was July 1 when I realized I don’t have any decent titles for these novels. Which is strange because I usually come up with a title and then base a plot off of that. These novels are different for some reason. But…that’s something to think about later. As of right now I need to worry about hitting 50,000 words.

I haven’t written yet today, but I made it up to 5,012 words in the past two days. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know I had a late start on day one. I was babysitting my cousins and Kris opened at her work. I wanted to wait for Kris so we could have a writing session together. She hasn’t written yet today either, but I think she only needs to write another 200 words or something in order to be on par for today. She wrote extra yesterday.

For day two we went to Barnes & Noble to write. We had Starbucks which was fabulous as always. That’s when I hit 5,012 words and Kris…I forget her word count, but I think she’s around 2800–something. Her word count goal is 25,000, so she’s actually ahead of the game.

Kris is still sleeping (she did the over-night at her work last night), but when she wakes up we’re probably going to have another writing session in the blue room, as some people call it. Kris and I sometimes call it our office because it makes us sound important.

I also got our friend Nickie into doing Camp this session, as well. She had never heard of NaNo before this. So hopefully I had a good idea in asking her to join in on the fun!

I hope everyone else is doing just as well in NaNo so far–remember, keep writing every day even if you’re ahead. The more words, the better.

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!

A Dumb Story

Here We Go…

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.

Back To Reality

I Can’t Type…

 

I disappeared for a week, yes. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I went away on vacation. It was very nice to get away. We had a cottage by the lake, but we didn’t swim very often. The weather was not on our side last week. But it was all good because Kris and I stayed in our room most of the week playing Pokemon and watching movies. We watched Wreck-It Ralph twice, Tangled about four or five times, and the Winnie the Pooh movie about four or five times. It was a good week. That, and we finally got our two cousins into Pokemon. They’re 11 and 9 and we’ve tried to get them into it before, but it never worked because they didn’t understand anything that was going on. They still don’t, but they’re getting through it.

It’s funny because Jackie, the one who is 11, pesters us with questions. She wants to learn everything about Pokemon and wants to do it right. If we tell her to do something differently, she hears us and tries not to do it anymore. For example, leveling up only one Pokemon instead of her whole team. Whereas, Katherine…she’s just going to have to learn the hard way. No matter how many times Kris and I try to tell her that she needs to level up all her Pokemon…let’s put it this way: she was in a battle with an NPC trainer for about two hours. Her highest level Pokemon fainted and the rest of her team weren’t at a high enough level. Not only that, but she does’t understand that she needs to go to the Pokemon Center before they faint. She thinks she’s not allowed to go there unless she entire team has fainted.

This just goes to show that slow and steady does in fact win the race. Whereas Kat is farther along in the game than Jackie, Jackie will probably be the first to beat the game because she’s actually going about it the right way. But at least they’ll both learn…eventually.

Anyway, the sub-title says “I can’t type.” Seriously, you have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post so far…being away from a computer for a whole week really takes a toll on my fingers. I checked my FanFiction e-mail and I have a lot of stories to catch up on for my beta-reading. I didn’t open a single one. I can’t type. How am I supposed to correct stories if I can’t type?

There was no wi-fi at the cottage, but my phone still gave me internet. It was great because I ended up playing my HeartGold version of Pokemon all week and I left the guide at home. I brought my Ruby and Sapphire guide because I had just started playing my Ruby over again. Apparently, I changed my mind. But I had my phone to look up the levels of the gym leaders and such. So I was saved.

But that’s not really the point. I was on the internet a great deal, but it was only my thumbs doing the typing. My other fingers got a vacation and now I’m paying the price. I have a lot of correcting to do for FanFiction, I have my own FanFiction to write and I have my own original novels to write. Of course, none of this is going to happen until tomorrow (at least) because my fingers need to get back into the groove of things.

Speaking of writing…Camp NaNoWriMo? What is that again…?

Ugh, yes, I know. I fail. But at least I got something written. Something is better than nothing, I guess. There’s always November…then April…then July again…and so on and so forth.

Well, I’m home now and it’s back to reality…starting tomorrow.

Cheerios and Chicken Soup

Yum…

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.

July Camp: Day Six

Oh, Today…

I was very accomplished today. Because today is Saturday, today is technically a FanFiction day. I told myself that I was going to work on my original novels Monday through Friday and FanFiction on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, since it is Camp NaNoWriMo, I had to work a little bit on Cybertra.

So I got down to business. I came home this morning and beta-read some stories I beta for on FanFiction. I got a little behind so I had five chapters to read and look over from three different people. That took me until 11:00, maybe 11:30. It was a long time. But at least I caught myself up and I got it done and out of the way.

Then, in the mood for Cybertra, I wrote that for a bit. My Camp NaNo count is now 10,066. I’m ahead for the NaNo goal, but still behind for my goal. According to my goal, I should be at 15,000 words today. I wrote 2,436 words today when I’m technically supposed to be writing 2,500, so I was almost there. I was going to try to get back to it later, but I don’t think I will at this point. I wanted to make it to at least 10k and I did, so I stopped.

Then I went onto my FanFiction, which was what I was supposed to be doing all day. I finished the outline for my Warriors fan-fic and also came up a sequel. All I have to do is write the actual story, then I’ll be good to go. I told myself to write for at least an hour every single day. I wrote for way more than an hour, but since it was a FanFiction day, I wanted a good solid hour to be spent on FanFiction. So that’s what I did. I set a timer and got a finished outline done. I could have continued and started writing the story, but I really didn’t feel like it.

Instead, I decided to get back to Cybertra. Yes, I know I just said that I wasn’t going to get back to writing that today because I didn’t. I ended up doing something for school for the Fall semester and after I finished writing this post, I’m going to take a break. I have been writing for about six hours today. Granted, I love it and I feel very productive, I think my brain needs a rest. It’s 90 degrees out so I should probably go outside, get some fresh air, and go swimming or something.

Fresh air…? What is that?