June: All-Nighter

For this month’s #YearOfHappy, the challenge was to do something you always wanted to do as a kid.

Well, like every other month, I’m tweaking the rules. I decided to do something I used to do as a kid that I stopped doing when I became an adult.

I used to stay up all night with my friends during sleepovers just like any other kid. Of course, when I got older I couldn’t do that because I would have school the next day or work or church. There was always something.

Now that it’s summer vacation for me and I have no more school and work is done for a few months, I decided to stay up all night.

I love staying up throughout the night. I don’t know why, but there’s something lovely about being the only one awake in the house. It’s peaceful and I’m guaranteed privacy.

I thought of staying up to write and/or read all night, but then had a different idea.

Because Kris and I are geeks, we’ve always wanted to have a marathon of the three Lord of the Rings and three Hobbit movies. To watch all six in a row would take a little over 21 hours (this counts for the extended edition to all the movies except the latest one). We rounded up to 24 hours because we need to pause for bathroom, snacks, etc.

If we wanted to watch all six movies straight through right in a row, we would have to stay up all night. So that’s just what we did–or what we tried.

We started with the Hobbit movies to watch the story in chronological order. Plus, we’ve never seen The Battle of the Five Armies and we knew we’d cry. So we wanted to get that out of the way.

By the time we finished watching the first two Hobbit movies, it was about 1:30 in the morning. We decided to go to bed. Neither one of us were really tired, but wanted sole focus on the last movie since we’ve never seen it.

We woke up early the next morning and watched the last Hobbit movie and all three Lord of the Rings movies–which ended around one in the morning.

So, we didn’t stay up all night but we did stay pretty late for two nights in a row.

PuzzleWe worked on a Lion King puzzle while watching the movies so I think that was what kept us up. Plus, we bought snacks before we started the marathon. So we were eating plenty of chocolate and such.

I originally thought I would write or read all night long–be productive. Instead, I ended up spending two days not being productive.

It was nice, though. I’ve been on summer vacation for a week, but that was really the first time in a while that I didn’t have anything planned. It was nice to have plans to do nothing.

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Weekly Wrap-Up 6/15-6/19

Weekly Wrap Up

 

From my June Goals list, this is what I’ve accomplished this week…

Reading:

The reading has been slow-going this month, but I’m almost done with Psych: Call of the Mild by William Rabkin. The review for that will be posted tomorrow.

Writing:

I’m still behind on my rewrites of George Florence. Today is my last day of work for the summer, so I’m planning on spending the next week–basically the whole summer–with my writing.

I have yet to start outlining Hunter for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I have been thinking about ideas and such for it.

Blogging:

This week Kris and I opened our new website, Spilled Ink, which is a writing community to help find beta-readers and get to know one another a little better. If you’re interested, you can always click HERE to find out more.

I also told you How I Began Writing Mystery and I posted questions to ask yourself when writing a mystery in the latest Inspiration Station post.

This Week…

I have a lot of catching up to do. I won’t have work anymore so I’m going to give myself a routine and stick with it as best as I can. That way I can get my writing, reading, and blogging done every day. I heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit.

I’ll test that theory out for you guys.

Weekly Wrap-Up 6/8-6/12

Weekly Wrap Up

 

From my June Goals list, this is what I’ve accomplished this week.

Reading:

I’m still reading, but you can be sure there will be a review posted tomorrow. I didn’t post one last week because I realized it was Six on the Sixth day.

Writing:

I am way behind on George Florence. I had a very busy weekend and kind of slacked off this week. I was extremely tired and had the bright idea of not doing anything after work each day. But I guess sometimes you need a few days to do nothing.

I have another busy weekend this week as well, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to keep up. I’ll try, though.

I also have to work on some contests as there are some deadlines coming up soon.

I’m also going to start outlining Hunter for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. Thanks to all those who voted in my poll to help me decide what to write!

Blogging:

This week I posted a fun video I found of George R.R. Martin “writing” and how easy it is to get distracted. I also posted another Inspiration Station post for Mystery Month called The Perfect Crime.

Overall…

This week hasn’t been very productive. June has always been a busy month for me between birthdays, Father’s day, graduations, end of the school/sunday school years, etc. It’s even busier now that I’ve set writing, reading, and blogging goals for myself.

I plan to play a lot of catch up next week, though. Plus next week is my last week of work so after that I’ll get six and half hours back to each day.

I hope you all had a great week!

June Is Mystery Month!

June 2015 Goals

May Wrap-Up:

If you read my May Goals post, you’ll know that I made a lot of writing, reading, and blogging goals for myself. Before I tell you my goals for June, here’s how I did with my May Goals:

Reading:

–I read all five books I intended to read during the month. If you’re unsure what books those were or would like to read the reviews I wrote for them, they’re listed on my Reading List.

Writing:

–My writing group went well this month. I read some pretty good samples and also got great feedback on George Florence.

–I wrote one Short Story Sunday a day, leaving me with 31 short stories. I now have enough to carry me through the rest of 2015.

–I queried my children’s book to five agents. Doesn’t seem like much, but I think it’s a good start.

–I found some writing contests to submit to for the rest of 2015. I will definitely be sharing those contests with you guys. At the beginning of every month, I’ll share deadlines for the following month to give you guys a good head’s up.

Kris and I finished that writing project we were working on. This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now. We finally got around to doing it and we’re excited that it’s ready for you guys! There will be more on that on June 15, so make sure you check back!

Blogging:

–I didn’t have any blogging goals other than posting every day… Which I did. So I guess I win, yes?

Now for my June goals. I have a lot of new things going on for my blog. One of them being…

Mystery Month Logo

–Mystery Month is going to be throughout the whole month of June. Since there are four Sundays during June, my Short Story Sundays will be a four-part mystery series. Every Wednesday there will be a new article about the mystery genre. I will be reading all mystery novels for my book reviews. My six on the sixth will be a mini mystery. I will also post a summary and excerpt of my mystery novel, George Florence, at the end of the month. I hope you all enjoy this month-long feature!

–On June 15 both Kris and I will be posting on our blogs about the project we’ve been working on. We hope you all enjoy that as well as join! (Yes, I said “join”)

–I’m going to start a new feature on Friday. Usually on Fridays I post a picture or quote about writing or reading or what have you. I will still do that, but I’ll also be adding a little more to it. Fridays will now be known as Weekly Wrap-Up. With my monthly goals I decided it would be best to let you guys know how I’m doing on those goals. So Weekly Wrap-Up will be an update of what goals I’m completed or worked on during that week.

Reading:

–There will be four book reviews in June. In no particular order, I plan on reading…

1. No Turning Back by Tiffany Snow
2. The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos
3. Psych: The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin
4. Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

The books may change depending on my mood. I may also be able to read more than just four, depending on how quickly I’m able to get through each novel.

Writing:

–I’m going to start my rewrite of George Florence. I plan on writing 2,000 words a day on it. I’m going to treat it like a NaNo month. I’m changing the POV and will be following a new character as the protagonist. I know; yikes. But I’m hoping it’ll be the best for the novel. We shall see.

–I need to prep my submissions for some writing contests and remember to actually submit them. Those will be shared with all of you at a later date… Tomorrow.

–I plan on querying my children’s book to more agents. I sent it to five agents in May and heard back from one so far (it was a no, obviously… But at least I got a response!)

–I need to prep and outline my next novel for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I can’t believe another session is coming up so soon. I have no idea what I’m going to write, but I do know it’s not going to be another George Florence novel. I need to focus on the first novel since that’s giving me trouble at the moment. Plus, I have books two and three written. I don’t think there’s any need for me to start on book four.

June is going to have a bit of everything; writing, editing, outlining, querying, blogging, reading… It’s sure going to be busy, but it will be productive and I’m sure I’ll be proud of the results! I hope you guys enjoy the results, as well.

What are your plans for June?

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!

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? 😀

Yay, Updates!

I’m Productive…Sort Of….

 

Yesterday, June 19, I actually got a good amount of writing done. Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble to be productive! She wrote a story that she started a while ago and I edited some more of Hunter. I got two and half chapters done…then our friend coincidentally ran into us again. Last time it was no coincidence, but this time it was. So the last hour or so of us being there was spent mingling with an old friend…and drinking half of his Starbucks java chip. 🙂 He wasn’t too happy about that, but I was.

So I got some editing done. Because I have three stories that need to be edited, I don’t want to start anything new. The only exception I’ll make to that Camp NaNo, which is next month. In which case I will have four novels to be edited. I decided that I am not going to start anything new until all (or at least two) of the novels are completely edited and ready to be published! Only while I’m looking for publishers I’ll start something new to pass the time. While I edit, if I get an itch to write, I’ll write FanFiction.

Speaking of FanFiction, that’s the other thing I wrote yesterday. Last night I hand-wrote the prologue and first chapter to my Pokemon parody Yellow. Then I typed it up because I was curious how long it was going to be. I hand-wrote 2,019 words. I was impressed with myself. The reason I’m hand-writing it is because when I go on vacation in July, I’m not going to be able to bring my laptop. I’ll be editing, but I also want to be able to write somethings, too.

As I stated, I edited some more of Hunter yesterday. I always write when I start the novel, when I finish, when I start editing, and when I finish editing. Then I record the number of pages, chapters, and words. Sadly enough, I haven’t kept up with that with all of my novels. I’m going to start keeping up with it again though when I start Camp NaNo next month. Anyway, I started that novel back in August 2011. Old, right? Unfortunately, I never recorded when I finished it. I’m sure it was at least six months later that I finished it or something.

My point is that it was almost two years ago that I started the novel. I was 17 at the time, but turned 18 less than a month later. I started the novel August 2 and my birthday is September 1. I don’t know if it was the age or I didn’t have my cup of coffee that day, or maybe I had just written a lot that day and was getting tired. But when I edited yesterday, I was on page 129 in the middle of chapter eleven, and I read this line:

“I know that that would James pleased.”

I have to say that I completely died laughing when I read that. I have no idea what I was thinking–well, I clearly wasn’t thinking at all. That line is 100% messed up! I’m pretty sure I meant:

“I know that James would be pleased.”

So I changed it to that. I just thought I would share. Hopefully this gave you all a good belly laugh as it did for me.

Back to business: Anyone who is doing Camp NaNo next month, the cabins are being assigned starting today! I just checked and I am already in a cabin. I have to admit that I am pretty shocked with my cabin. I have always been in a cabin with four other people. So, including myself, the total amount of writers in a cabin was five. Sometimes there were only four of us all together. Four or five total, never three or anything like that. Guess how many people now? Including me, there are eight of us. How crazy is that? I wonder why they assigned so many people to one cabin…I’m not complaining, but I just think that it’s a little weird. I didn’t know they put that many people in one cabin together.

I think I said everything I wanted to say. I’m focusing on editing, only to write FanFiction when I get bit by the writing bug. The only exception is Camp NaNo. I can’t wait for Camp! 🙂

Insert Interesting Title Here

I Have Nothing Witty To Say…

 

I haven’t been doing too well on keeping up with this thing lately, have I? I did a really good job updating practically daily when it was Camp NaNo. I tried to keep that up, but that hasn’t worked. Next month is July and it is Camp NaNo again, so I will most likely get back to updating daily, but then I’ll be going away for a week with no wi-fi. So…there’s that.

June is a busy month within it’s self. I have my aunt’s birthday, my cousin’s birthday, my nanny’s birthday just passed, and Father’s Day on top of that. I was happy that I didn’t have any graduations this year (even though I graduated myself). However, the spots where all the graduation parties would be quickly filled up because my sister is moving out with her boyfriend and my two cousins are moving in with my grandparents. So I have to help them all move from this place to that place and it’s going to be a lot. Not to mention that my house is going to go from seven people to four. Wow.

I have two weeks of work left, which isn’t bad. But I have to find time to prepare for the second session of Camp as well as continue editing my novels. I sent one children’s book to a publisher and I won’t hear back for three months. It’s an exclusive submission, so I can’t do anything with that story for the next three months. I’m in the process of finding more agents and publishers for my other children’s book in hopes to send that one out to multiple places while I wait for the other one.

My sister Lisa, the one who is moving out, she and I are the directors of our Sunday school at church so we need to get planning for next year’s curriculum. Not to mention that we have a dinner going on at my church in the middle of July and we have one to plan for August. It’s a lot of work.

My other sister, Kris, have to start websites for our church to get more people to come in. We’re the only ones who can do it because we’re the only ones who are computer savvy. We also need to start a website for my work. The preschool I work at is connected to my church and the church owns the preschool. Me being a teacher’s assistant at the preschool and the director of the Sunday school, I have many connections. Therefore, people ask me a lot of questions.

Kris and I go to Barnes and Noble once a week to write together. We can’t this week because her day off of work is Saturday and that’s because we need to help Lisa move. Obviously, that’s no issue, but I have no idea when I’m going to get some quality writing time in. This is one reason as to why I can’t wait for work to be done for the summer. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I’ll still have a lot more free time on my hands than I do now.

Oh, did I mention that I’m trying to get into college for my Bachelor’s next semester? Yeah, I have to do that, too…I applied, at least. I just have to make the trip to my previous college to have them send them my transcripts.

I think my head is going to explode. I’m going to go write now…

What An Interesting Day

June 3 and June 4, 2013…

 

Yesterday, June 3, I had a very productive day. A few nights ago I began to edit my novel Hunter. I got half way through page four and then stopped. As you all should know, I hate editing. It’s a tedious process for me and I wish I could wave my magic wand and the novel will be perfect and ready to be published. However, I seemed to have misplaced my wand. How sad.

Chapter one was sixteen pages long so I didn’t even get halfway through the chapter. So yesterday I decided that I was going to finish chapter one at the very least. And I did.

Of course I wanted to get more done, but I didn’t have the time to. I had to get my cousins ready for school, so I was up early and started editing as soon as they left the house which was at 8:00 in the morning. However, I finished editing Diary of a Lover not too long ago and we just bought more ink for the printer so I decided to print it out. It wasn’t until 9:30 that I finally finished wrangling with the printhead of the printer that I gave up. Yes, I said I gave up instead of fixed. It’s still broken and I have no idea what I did. My mom said we’re probably going to have to buy a new computer. So in the meantime, Diary of a Lover is going to collect dust in my flash drive for a little while.

On top of that, I had Raph out of her tank and she kept peeing all over the floor. Not really, it was only twice because I had her walking around for about five hours, so I guess I can’t blame her. But she also kept getting into little nooks and crannies and kept getting stuck and flipping onto her shell. Granted, she can flip herself back over but it still makes me jump out of my seat and panic just in case. Not to mention that Chip kept crying, Hunter kept jumping on and off of my desk, and Comet kept barking. Everyone was at work and school so I expected to have a quiet house to myself. Not when you have two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, apparently.

However, I got through the first chapter of Hunter and I was going to continue, but then I realized that I had a lot to do on my other website Spilled Ink. I figured I could do things on there and get through another couple of pages. The next thing I knew I had to go to work. But at least I got what I wanted to get done.

Today, I took the day off from work because I had a dentist appointment and Kris had the day off, too. So we went to Barnes and Noble. She worked o her novel while I edited Hunter. I wanted to edit two chapters. The only problem with that was that the second chapter was over twenty pages long. Not only do I read slow, but I ripped apart the first chapter and I planned on doing the same to the second chapter, and it was over twenty pages long. Needless to say I only got through chapter two and that alone took me three hours.

I plan on getting the third chapter edited by the end of the night. I decided to come post on here before I started editing. I haven’t posted in a few days…or maybe I’m just stalling?

 

We Got This

One Step Closer…

 

The other day I finished editing the fourth draft of Diary of a Lover. I just have to print out the new fifth draft, give it to my sister Kristen and then she can edit that one for me. So while she edits that, my mom will be editing Take Over and I will be editing Hunter. I have three young adult novels that need serious editing so they’re finally going to be on their way. I’m hoping to make an assembly line out of them between myself, my sister, and my mom.

I know I was in the middle of writing The Blank Page, but I have decided to put that on hold for now. I’m not exactly in the mood to write it as I came up with a couple of new novel ideas. I came up with two new ideas and I’m not sure which one I want to start, but I’m going to write one on and off. I want to edit this month.

Since it is June, I shouldn’t start any new projects now. July is the second and last session of Camp NaNoWriMo. However, I think I might cheat this session again and write a combination of things. So, for June, I will edit Hunter and start…whatever new novel I thought of (neither one of them have a title). Then for July I can continue and finish whatever novel I’m starting this month. Does that make sense?

I’m going away for a week in July and I’m going to be babysitting a lot during that month so it’s going to be difficult for me to start a new project. I think I should be able to write 50,000 words during the month if I write a little extra every day. That’s why I think I’m just going to continue whatever I start this month. I won’t have wi-fi when I go away (I don’t think so, anyway…we’re going to a new place), so I will not be bringing my laptop. I’ll have to rely on writing in a notebook. I’m going to use that time to edit Hunter…if I don’t finish editing it by the time we go away.

I have a plan, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully I can stick with it. 🙂