Thursday Blues

Every Thursday I go to work for six and half hours and then I babysit for three and half hours immediately after. I don’t get home until 6:30 in the evening at the earliest. Work is good and so is babysitting, but it does make for a long day.

Needless to say, Thursday is not my favorite day of the week.

By the time I get home I’m too tired to do anything. Even to write.

I’ve been getting some editing done here and there lately, but I haven’t done any actual writing. Most of this is because of school, but even with Spring break this week I didn’t get a lot of writing and editing done.

I did great at the beginning of the year in January because school didn’t start yet. So when school ends the beginning of May, I’ll have a lot more free time on my hands.

Of course, just because school will be over doesn’t mean I won’t have work and babysitting on Thursday. In the end, Thursdays will still be long days.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t get anything useful done today when it comes to writing.

But I did write this blog post, so I guess that counts for something.

Long Weekend

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

This past weekend lasted three days thanks to our good friend Martin Luther King, Jr. I know a lot of people who are thankful for him because we get a day off from work/school, but there is so much more meaning behind the holiday than that.

I had an eventful weekend. It was busy, but in a good way. However, I can’t seem to remember Friday. I think I worked Friday and then came home and did nothing. I think Kris and I ended up playing Hyrule Warriors for a good chunk of the night.

Saturday we went to Barnes and Noble. She hand edited the first draft of her novel while I typed up the next draft of Detective Florence 2. We then went to Staples because we needed ink for our printer and we bought red pens because… why not? We went home and I spent the next 2-3 hours planning my Sunday school lesson plan for the following day. I was printing stuff out and my laptop kept losing internet so the connection to the wireless printer kept getting interrupted. I wasted a lot of paper… and ink that we just bought.

I babysat Saturday night for two kids I had at my old preschool. They kept talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. which was nice to hear they were learning about him in school. The 4-year-old told me, “Everyone has skin, but not everyone has the same skin.” Yes, I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Sunday morning I had church and my Sunday school class. The kids were off the wall, but I guess that’s expected from a long weekend. After church I dusted my bedroom and office and just did a bit of organizing. I planned on getting more cleaning done, but I didn’t. While my parents watched football, Kris and I watched two episodes of House Hunters before talking for the next 4-5 hours about writing, friends, high school, life, etc.

I’m including today in the weekend since I did not have work and I have to say it was mighty productive. My parents were out all day, so Kris and I went to Starbucks in the morning and then came home to edit. We’re both in the process of typing up the second draft of our novels. Then we went out for lunch, walked around Barnes and Noble for a bit (because we’re obviously not there enough), then went back home to write/edit some more. I typed up over 10k words of my draft and I’m still going. I just wanted to post on here before I forgot/it got too late.

Tomorrow is Tuesday the 20th which means back to work and… back to school for me. This means starting tomorrow I have to get myself in a new routine and add homework into the mix of everything else. On the bright side, it’s my last semester! Let’s pray I get through it safe and sound.

How was your weekend?

Summer

Write A Lot

I know everyone is different, but according to my calendar today is the first day of summer! I’m super excited. Although, we didn’t really have much of a spring because winter kept trying to come back. Poor spring.

Anyway, yesterday was my last day of work. I’m going to miss the teachers I worked with and also the kids…although some kids I will not miss. Yet, I’ll see the majority of them in September.

But now I can officially work on my reading and writing goals. I don’t have to spend 4-6 hours a day at work, my mornings are free! The family I babysit for only needs me three days next week and three days the last week of august (when I usually watch them the whole summer) so that frees up some time. I still have my sister’s bridal shower to plan, my cousins to hang out with, and Disney to go to, but D will have way more time to write then I usually do over the summer.

This is great because I always lose the July session of CampNaNoWriMo. I’m usually babysitting every single day, sometimes double in one day. Then I have homework. I still have homework, but the classes aren’t bad and I’ve been able to do my homework pretty quickly and easily.

As long as I stick to my yet-to-be-written outline, write every single day, and give my novel undivided focus and attention, then I should be good to go for the July camp.

I’m almost done with editing Detective Florence. I have about 70 pages left. Then I can start my outline for the sequel. I’m super excited about these novels. I can’t wait to get started on camp this year. It’ll be a good one!

Stepping It Up

Writing

Hey everyone!

It’s another one of those posts again…yes, we’re going to discuss “the future” today. Aren’t we excited?

My sister Lisa has a friend who is currently saving up money with her sister to move out of the house. Since she, Kris, and I are all planning Lisa’s bridal shower together and such we’ve had a lot of time to hang out more than usual which is nice. She was telling Kris and I her plans and it got Kris and I thinking…again.

We both love to write. And we do write. But we don’t “write.” I realize I’m not making any sense, but it’s Camp NaNoWriMo right now, people. I was doing so well and then I just stopped. Why? I don’t know…bridal shower and bachelorette planning, homework, work, babysitting, preparing my bedroom to be painted, etc. There is so much to do and not enough time. And unfortunately, with my bills from the upcoming wedding and I’m going to Disney again in August in addition to school bills and such, I need to save every scrap of money I can get. Hence why I’ve been working and babysitting so much.

Writing doesn’t fit in right now. It’s not a priority because it doesn’t pay the bills. It makes me angry because I love to write and want to do it all the time for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to become a full-time writer just so I can go to Disney…I want it as a career because I know I will be happy doing that for the rest of my life.

Thus, Kris and I are bummed; especially Kris because she basically works about nine hours a day in which case your entire day is gone by that point. But by coincidence, the Easter Bunny got Kris a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and gave her an issue to get her started.

This issue had a list of 101 best websites for writers. We’re talking about websites to get the creative juices flowing, writing advice, agents and publishing, general resources, jobs, online writing communities, genre-specified sites, and writing sites that are just fun. It’s the best thing we’ve ever come across. Kris and I were discussing freelance writing on the side until we were able to publish something and this list of website gives us links to find writing jobs.

Neither one of us have looked at all the websites thoroughly, so we haven’t decided which are too fantastic to not join and such. Plus, there’s a lot to choose from and honestly a bit overwhelming because you just don’t know where to start.

As I go through these websites, I will be sharing my favorites on here for all of you writerly people to enjoy.

Since Kris and I have been behind on NaNo and decided to finally step it up into our writing careers, we’re skipping church tomorrow to go to Barnes & Noble and write all day long. So I’m hoping to write at least 10k tomorrow.

I decided to write all day today as well since I was home and wrote 10,369 words. I have to say that I feel so good right now after doing that. My NaNo count is up to 30,721 now. Still behind, but hopefully if I get a good chunk done tomorrow I will be able to hit 50k by the end of the month.

Before I go, I have to shamelessly advertise: Kris started a new blog. She’s still maintaining her Sugar Wolf blog about writing, but she created a new blog called Wagging Tales. She works with dogs so this blog is dedicated to stories and her experiences with the furry, loveable creatures. So feel free to go check it out!

I hope everyone is having good luck with their writing  and NaNo (if you’re participating). Talk to you soon! 🙂

Focus

Focus

 

Today is a good day to do nothing. It’s cold, it’s raining, it’s just all around “bleh.” I slept in until 9:30 this morning (I never do that) and I am still in my pajamas…it’s 12:45 right now. Christmas Eve is tomorrow and my shopping and wrapping is all done. The semester finished about a week or so ago so I don’t have to worry about homework and I’m out of a job currently, so I don’t even have to worry about that. Well, other than finding a new job. Anyway, just because it’s a good day to do nothing and I don’t have anything to do, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do anything. Right?

Yet, I was reading last night and I went to bed when I had about 35 pages left in my book…why? I have no idea. But I decided to finish reading it this morning and I read a page when Hunter jumped on my lap and purred and stared me down while batting my face with his paw. I knew I should have told him that the world doesn’t revolve around him, but instead of doing that, I put my book down, turned on Psych on Netflix, and the two of us cuddled on the couch for a really long time. When he finally decided that he had enough cuddling, he left me in front of the TV all alone. So I turned it off, turned on Lucy, and decided to get a little writing done.

Kris and I have been doing a great job with our writing lately. She started something new that she’s been doing very well with and I’m continuing Detective Florence. I had planned on finishing that novel by the end of November, NaNoWriMo, but I never did. So I was hoping to finish it by the end of December, but I just started writing it again. I don’t know if I’m going to finish it in the next week; especially since Christmas is in two days. I know I’m getting Pokemon X and Pokemon Y among other video games, so I know for a fact that video games are going to be my life at least until New Year’s, if not longer.

Last night I hit 65,000 words on Detective Florence and got up and over 200 pages. I was proud of myself. But then I look at my outline (which I am making as I write the novel), I have such a long way to go. I think this novel is going to go above and beyond 300 pages, I have no idea how many words that’s going to be. It’s getting to the point where I just want the novel to end.

So I’m trying to write as much as I can every day because the next semester for school doesn’t start until January 21, 2014 and I have no idea when work is going to start up for me again. So I need to take advantage of the free time I have right now.

My only issue is that I need to focus on it. Which I have been doing well on, but I know it’s only a matter of time before I get distracted.

Last Day

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” –Dr. Seuss

I know I haven’t post on here in a while (blame my internet), but we’re not going to talk about my writing at the moment. Right now, I feel the need to talk about something very important going on in my life. I tend to have a hard time putting my feelings into words and talking to people about it. I realized a long time ago that I tend to express myself much better through writing than any other way. So I’m going to get a few things off my chest:

As you all know, I am a preschool teacher at a wonderful private preschool ten minutes down the road from my house. I was promoted to teacher status at the beginning of this school year. I was very close to becoming lead teacher, but EEC wouldn’t certify me because I’m not 21 yet.

Anyway, I have had a great experience and I have learned a lot through my fellow teacher and the director of the preschool. Yes, it is just the three of us. This is due to lack of enrollment at the school; therefore we were struggling financially. In fact, that’s why I got bumped up to teacher because one other teacher got laid off due to the money issues.

Does anyone see where I’m going with this?

Due to low enrollment and lack of money, we had to close the school down. We weren’t even able to make it until the end of the school year in June. So today, our last day before winter break, is our last day of school. Forever. After today, I am officially unemployed. Of course, I have a few ideas of what I want to do next, but it won’t be with my kids anymore.

I wrote all the families a note and even wrote a note to my two co-workers. I basically thanked them for everything they’ve done because they all had a huge impact on my life whether any of us realized it or not. I also included the Dr. Seuss quote–call it corny, but I felt as though it was appropriate in light of everything going on. None of us have ever gone through this before. The parents have never had to search for a preschool for only six months before their child goes off to kindergarten. Myself and my co-workers had never been out of a job like this before. And the kids have obviously never had to leave their friends and teachers like this. Although, a lot of the kids are going to same school together, which will be good.

So, yeah…everyone is sad. But we’ve all been sticking together and have been trying to make it positive for the kids. Today we played games and did fun activities with the kids. We had a proper goodbye with them, so it was good. Not to mention the parents filmed the kids saying goodbye and made a video about it. I cried. A lot. In a good way, but it definitely hit a nerve.

Last year we got our pictures taken (one of the parents is a wonderful photographer) and she made collages of all our pictures to make a class photo. I ordered one and my mom told me to write the kids’ names on the back. She said, “You think you’ll remember, but come ten years down the road you’re going to be struggling to think of their name.” So I did. And we took a group photo of the kids this year and I wrote down their names. But honestly, after everything that’s happened, I don’t think this a group of kids I will ever forget.

Now I wrote this poem a little while ago. I found out I was losing my job back in November. I had the thought of posting something on here for all to see to show how much I love these kids and families, how much I’m going to miss them, and just how much they mean to me. So I hope you like it because it came from the heart:

My Inspiration

Every day
When you smile,
When you laugh,
When you give me hugs,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you’re so proud of your creation,
When you sing the songs we’ve learned,
When you make connections,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you play with your friends,
When you use your kind words,
When you share your toys,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you help your friends,
When you’re having fun,
When you’re trying your best,
You inspire me.

Every day
When I hear “please” and “thank you”,
When I hear “excuse me” and “I’m sorry”,
When I hear “I love you”,
You inspire me.

Every day
When I see your innocence
With everything you do,
I am inspired
To be the best I can be.

Happy December!

Where Did The Year Go…

NaNo Winner 3

 

Well, it’s December first. I can’t remember anything that happened this year and we still have a month to go. Needless to say, November was a busy month, but it’s all a blur to me now. The first 17 days of November I wrote…a lot. And I won NaNoWriMo. I had planned on going above and beyond the 50k mark because I wanted to finish the entire manuscript. However, I think I got a little too tired from all that writing before. I hit about 52k and then stopped. But I got a nifty certificate to go with my Camp NaNo ones!

The best part is that Kris won NaNo, too. This was her very first year winning and last night she got home from working 8:30-5:30 and wrote about 5,000 words in order to hit the 50k. She finished around 10:30 at night, but she made it just in time! She and I are going Christmas shopping today. If we find anything we want, we may treat ourselves for winning.

In other news, I started a new project. Yeah, I know…I have too many writing projects going on at once. But I figured that for the month of December I can go back and forth between that one and Detective Florence. I’m hoping that I will be able to finish that novel by the end of the month so for my New Year’s resolution I can say I want it to be completely edited by the end of 2014. Heh, we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, this new project is a collection of silly poems for kids. Random? Totally. Friday night Kris was writing her NaNo novel and I didn’t feel like writing mine. I was in a bit of a hyped up mood and ended up writing a poem about a fat dog named Sit. I would post it to give you guys a sneak peek, but I submitted it to Chicken Soup. They have a new book coming out called “The Dog Did WHAT?”

Now I’m sure most of you have heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Most of you probably have a few of their books. The stories and poems submitted are non-fiction, heart-felt, inspirational. Some make you laugh, some make you cry. Kris thought this poem was so adorable that she begged me to submit it. I don’t think it will get published as it’s obvious that it’s a silly fictional poem. But like Kris said, “The worst they can do is say no.” So I sent it in anyway, but I highly doubt it will get published.

The deadline for entries for this particular book is January 5, 2014. So it’s going to be a while before I hear back (if I hear back at all…I don’t think they contact you if it’s a rejection). So I will post it eventually. But I’m also shooting to make a whole book of these poems and maybe get that published someday. I have four poems so far. Go me!

So I was going to post an excerpt of Detective Florence today, but since I never finished the full manuscript, I’m going to wait. When I finish the novel (hopefully by the end of the month) I’ll post an excerpt of it.

Congrats to all those who won NaNoWriMo this year! 🙂

I Win

And Complete…

 

Well, not complete complete. But I did it! I won! I won NaNoWriMo! I have 50,230 words.

I can’t say that this month hasn’t been easy, but I do wonder why I’ve never won past NaNos before. I mean, this month I have been taking five online undergraduate courses as well as working 40 hours a week, being a Sunday school teacher on Sundays, babysitting on the side, having to continue on with my social life…not trying to sound cocky, but I am really impressed with myself. For once, I had an idea in my head and I actually stuck with it. I forced myself to finish what I started.

Now, the novel isn’t completed. I probably still have another 50k more words to write at the least. But at least I can nab that certificate at the end of the month.

Anyway, yesterday was Saturday and I didn’t write at all. I did homework in the morning, went food shopping, then hung out with my boyfriend for the entire day. I think I needed a break from writing so much (my left wrist is killing me) and there have been a lot of things going on work-wise that has been stressing me out (I’ll explain that one at a later date). Other than the homework that I had to get done because it was due today, I needed a “do nothing” day. But I think it helped because I was able to write so much today. I noticed I was writing less and less every day.

So Kris and I went to church this morning, went to Starbucks, and then we came home and began to write like any other Sunday. However, we both have had a craving for video games lately…she has been playing Harvest Moon and I’ve been playing Pokemon Conquest. So we decided to write for an hour, then play our games for a half hour. Then repeat. It worked because I hit 50k and Kris is now on par with the daily word count (she had skipped writing on Friday and got a little behind).

I created an outline for my novel before NaNo had started, but I didn’t finish outlining the whole novel because November had come. I find it ironic that the last sticky note (each sticky note was a scene) I posted is where I am now. So my non-finished outline brought me up to 50k. I think I got lucky on that one. No writer’s block for me! Well…at least for the NaNo portion.

I’m hoping to finish my novel before NaNo ends, but we’ll see. It seems as though it’s going to be a pretty long one…

I’m hoping everyone else hits their goal! 🙂

Today’s Word Count: 6,467
Total Word Count: 50,230
Today’s Page Count: 20
Total Page Count: 160

October 1st

It’s October Already?

 

Oh, dear Lord…I can’t believe it’s October already. Yesterday when I left work, right before my co-worker got into her car I shouted, “We survived a whole month with these kids! Only eight more to go!”

It’s said because we have very low enrollment. We’re a small, private preschool and have two classrooms. One room is for two- and three-year-olds and the other room is for four- and five-year-olds. We have three kids in the younger room and 12 in the older room leaving our enrollment a total of 15. I was promoted–I have way more responsibilities and I’m also working 40 hours a week now. However, I am still making the same amount I was because we can’t afford to give us raises…we even had to lay one of the teachers off (which is basically the main reason I got bumped up to lead teacher). My paychecks are much bigger than last year, which I am hugely grateful for, but if I was paid what a lead teacher is supposed to be paid…well, I would have an easier time paying for school, wouldn’t I?

Ah, school…one month down, three more to go. My teachers are stupid. Have I mentioned that? All five of my classes end on December 14, but at the beginning of the semester, one professor thought it was a ten-week accelerated course. Do you want to know why he thought this? He thought it was the summer semester, not the fall. Um…I can see mixing up the days of the week, like thinking it’s Friday when it’s really Thursday, but mixing up the months? I mean, there’s a big difference between June and September. Does he not own a calendar? And he (and a couple of my other teachers) re-use lesson plans. I’m all for that, I’m a teacher, I understand what a pain it is and make a new lesson plan. It’s perfectly okay to re-use the same material, but…can you at least proof-read? I mean, this is an English degree, these people are English professors, don’t we know how to proof-read? In one class, the class that was an “accelerated course,” everything is supposedly due June 2013. For another class, this week’s assignments are apparently due in February 2013. I am paying 6,000 dollars this semester. I feel like I’m being ripped off somehow.

But it’s October. And I’m sick. Tomorrow will mark me being sick for a full week. I thought my sickness would start and end in September, but apparently not. I had a really bad cold and from that I got laryngitis. I still can’t talk all that well, but I am doing much better than I was. I know when you get laryngitis the best thing to do is not talk. Yeah, well I’m with a bunch of preschoolers for eight hours of the day. I can’t really rest my body let alone my voice. But as I said, it’s getting better. It’s all a matter of time now.

But I have to admit that I’m sick now rather than later because, well…it’s October. And we all know what October means, right? 30 days (31 days? I was never good at math and never will be) from now it will be the start of…

NaNoWriMoOh, yes! I have been waiting a long time for this. I would rather be sick now during NaNo Prep month rather than NaNo itself. I’ve been sick during November before and it sucked. I wasn’t able to get anything done.

But then I think to myself, “Crap…it’s October 1st.” How am I going to plan? How am I going to make the time with school and work? More importantly, what am I going to write?

Now I have tried to write two novels at the same time before. I’ve tried this a couple of times. It does not work. Not for me, anyway. Especially since I’m at work eight hours a day five days a week and then trying to get homework done in between. Oh, and I have to attempt to have a social life. That’s important…but maybe not for November? I don’t know.

Anyway, I have tried thinking of what I should write. I started this thinking process a couple weeks ago. I thought of something to write, but of course I’m beginning to change my mind. So I don’t really know what’s going to happen because I’m at a loss right now. All I know is that my time is limited because I need to do some serious planning if I want to win. If I don’t plan, I’m most likely going to fail due to being smothered by school and work. At least if I plan, I don’t really have to think. The point of NaNo is to not think and not edit, right? Then again…if you think you’re going to fail, aren’t you setting yourself up to fail?

Oh, well. I never listened to wise quotes like that.

A Lot To Do Or Just No Time?

Sunday School, Work, School, Write, Etc…

I have been very overwhelmed lately. I don’t know if it’s because I have a lot to do, or if it’s not that much, but I just can’t find the time to get it all done. Lately writing has kind of been on the back burner unless Kris and I go to Barnes and Noble and actually have a set day and time to get some writing done. I feel bad about not finding at least some time during the day to get some writing done.

My other sister, Lisa, and I run the Sunday school at our church together. I’m going to say this bluntly: people don’t like church. I don’t know what it is, but this generation is just not full of “church people.” My parish is very, very small. I like it that way, honestly. People say the more the merrier, but I hate large crowds. There are probably about 20 kids total in the Sunday school. I have the prek-k kids and Lisa has grades 1 & 2. Towards the end of the year, no one was coming so we ended up combining our classes. Each week, between the two of us, we’d have a total of four or five kids. The Sunday school consists of mostly younger kids (my class and Lisa’s class). The other two teachers do grades 3 & 4 and 5 and up. They never had a class because they’re kids would never show up.

To make a long story short, Lisa and I have been planning all summer to re-vamp the Sunday school. We found a new curriculum we think the kids will enjoy more as it’s more interactive with them. We’re thinking of ways to improve the snack and we’re going to add a show-and-tell each. For example, on the day we learn about Noah’s Ark, the kids will bring in a stuffed animal of their favorite animal. We’re hoping they’ll feel as though they have a job to do and will want to come to Sunday school. But this is a lot of work and a lot of planning.

Then there’s work. Work starts up again in about two weeks. I got back September 3 while the kids come back September 5. I’m going to be working 31 hours a week. That may not sound like a lot, but last year I worked 18 hours a week. I wanted more hours as I need to get myself through school. I’ll be babysitting whenever I can, too. I’m not complaining, but it’s going to take a lot of time away from writing.

School. School is going to take a lot of time away from writing. If I’m not working, I’m probably going to be doing homework. All I can say is thank God that I’m doing school online. I think I’d be screwed otherwise.

Then there’s cleaning and organizing. This is not a priority, but it’s still something that needs to get done. Kris and I are turning Lisa’s room into an office. We need to clean that entire room and organize it and all that fun stuff. Right now, my “office” is in the basement. I need to organize and clean everything down here because we’re most likely going to get rid of my desk (I bought a new one) and everything down here is going to go up there. This room is going to look so empty…then there’s my bedroom. Let’s not even discuss that.

I am going to write for an hour every morning. But because I’ll be home in the morning (since my school is online) I get the lovely job of getting my cousins ready for–and possibly driving them to–school. They get ready between 7 and 8. That’s the hour I have been writing for. Now that Jackie is going into middle school, she’s going to have to get ready earlier. They’re going to be at my house at 6:30. What am I going to do? Write from 5:30-6:30? I don’t think I can get up that early…I guess I could shoot for writing for just a half hour. If I have more time, I can always continue. But I like having the one, full, good hour.

But I guess I’m going to have to make due with what I have.

Future Thoughts

Playing It Over And Over In My Mind…

This goes along with the obnoxious post that I posted here yesterday.

I mentioned that Kris and I tend to talk about our future a lot. I have no idea what gets us thinking about it, but I guess it’s just the feeling of “wondering.” I haven’t really talked to her in a little while about it, but I have been thinking about it myself lately. I also said that yesterday I was talking to my cat, Hunter about it. He meowed back at me…if only I knew what he was saying.

I said that I had always had a plan. I wanted to be a teacher. Then I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. Well, I still have those plans. I’m working towards those goals. I went to school for teaching and I am a teacher’s assistant at a preschool. I just mailed my lead teacher application the other day. I will be going to school for English starting this Fall and I also have a few novels I have written and completed. I just need to seriously edit them.

But then I really got to thinking and even though I practically wanted to be a teacher my whole life, the other major thing I’ve always wanted to be was a mom.

I babysit my cousins a lot and I babysit for another family a lot. I need mom hours at work and I can’t get them now. But when I’m a director of a preschool and a writer at the same time, how am I going to find time to spend with my kids?

Yes, I know. I turn 20 in about a month, so why am I thinking about what I’m going to do with my kids now? But I feel as though I need a plan.

The other day I was home alone. I woke up early, made a cup of coffee, and sat down at my desk to write. I had my turtle, Raph out of her tank. She was getting into all sorts of messes which distracted me from writing (she likes to go into small nooks and crannies, but we’re in the basement…you have no idea how many spiders are in those small nooks and crannies!).

Raph

I also have my cat, Hunter down there to babysit her. He likes to watch her and lately when he starts going somewhere she isn’t supposed to (for example, the laundry room) he begins to meow and howl obnoxiously loud until he has my undivided attention. The best part is that I don’t have to pay him.

Hunter

Then there’s my pip-squeak of a dog, Chip. Sometimes she sits on my lap while I write and other times she sits on the stairs and barks. God only knows why.

Chip

So I was thinking to myself that I would absolutely love to have that every day. Wake up early, get the kids off to school, get the husband off to work, then it’s just me, the animals (fish is going to get thrown into the mix soon), and my writing. Of course, I guess I would occasionally clean the house, too.

But when I thought of this ideal lifestyle, I realized that no where in there involves teaching. I want to own a preschool. How can I stay home all day writing with my pets while my kids are at school then hang out with my kids, do homework with them, and cook dinner when I’m running my own preschool? This is problematic.

Then I thought maybe I could hold off the directing until my kids are a little older and I can just teach in the mean time. Then again, I only turn 20 next month…when am I having kids? Not for a while, I know that much. So why am I thinking about this so much? I have no idea.

All I know is that there are so many things I want to be doing and there is just not enough time. Writing is the number one priority and I want to have kids and I want to teach. How am I supposed to fit everything together to work perfectly like puzzles pieces meant for the same picture? And I know that there are going to be so many other things that I’m going to want to do, as well. It really sucks not knowing what’s going to happen in the future. I wish I could plan everything out, but I can’t.

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?

The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

Day Four

We Got This….

MePicture: This was the look on my face as I was writing today. Yep.

Needless to say I did not write too much today. I wrote a little at school and then I wrote a tiny bit when I got home, but my grand total for the day is 1,138 words. It’s not even enough for one whole day because we’re supposed to be writing 1,667 words a day. However, I’m not too concerned because my total for the whole story is 14,557 words.

Why was I making this face? Well, I realized that I was getting to drawn into the characters for Saving Each Other. Let me tell you a little bit about them:

Sierra: A petite 18-year-old who has no money, has no job, has no place to stay, and has no parents. Her grandfather, who lives very far away, sends her money so that she can put herself through college. She is currently an undecided major and she gets bullied a lot mainly because one of her eyes is blue and the other is a milky white. No, she is not blind although people tend to assume that. Don’t let her fool you; you mess with her in any way, she will kick you to the curb and never look back.

Blake: A bum 20-year-old who lives in a small apartment with his girlfriend, Jenna. Jenna goes to school in the early morning as well as online for an accounting degree. She works at a bank in the afternoon. What does Blake do all day? He watches TV and eats. However, Jenna has had enough of his laziness and forced him to get a job. She can no longer pay for the bills and rent on her one lousy paycheck. Blake is now working part-time at a preschool with no education and experience to back him up. However, his inner child allows him to get along great with the kids.

Luke: An independent 23-year-old who has no idea where he is going in life. He has a master’s degree in business, yet he is working at a preschool. He, unfortunately for him, accidentally got Blake that extra shift at the preschool. Luke’s father was a wealthy business man who owned a lot of big companies. Luke worked for him and hoped to be just like him one day. When his father passed away, his will stated that the company should go to Luke’s eldest brother. His brother ran it into the ground, thus Luke was laid-off. Luke dreams of opening his own business, but he had no money due to the mortgage on his house among other bills. Luke knows that the preschool isn’t going to be enough for him to start his own business, but it was the only thing that was available at the time.

Do you see how thought-out those background stories are? I’m 26 pages into the novel and the reader already knows absolutely everything there needs to know about the three main characters. Oh, but I left something out, didn’t I…? Oh, yeah! They all (except Sierra) have some sort of power.

That’s what that face is saying: “How did I forget about that part? It’s the whole point of the story!”

Anyway, I introduced the powers and had Luke and Blake discover that they’re messed up and then I stopped in the middle of it because…I don’t really know why.

And that was all she wrote.

 

2013: 96,336/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

 

4,678 Words

Dragging Along…

 

Every time I write, I post on here right after. If this happens in the morning, then I usually say in my post that I’m going to try to get some more writing done later on that night. I never do that. Yesterday, I actually did.

I wrote a total of 4,678 words today, but about 800 words of that if from last night. 800 is better than nothing. Plus, I made up for it this morning.

I still have about 45 minutes before I have to get to class, so I could actually write a little bit more, but I’m beginning to make typo after typo…I just wrote for almost two hours, which is pretty good.

I don’t think that I’m going to get any more writing done tonight. I’m probably going to be dead tired by the time I get home from work. Today is my long day at school and then I have work right after, so it does wonders to my body…

Even though I won’t be using this time to write, I am certainly going to use this time to read. I have about 100 pages left in Beautiful Creatures. I did not bring it because then I knew that I wasn’t going to write at all. I have my boyfriend’s Kindle hooked up to my iPod and there’s a book called Eye of the Wizard that he wanted me to read. I’m just about halfway through that, so that’s what I’ll be doing while I wait for class to start.

As I said before, I am not going to change the pages read thing because I will confuse myself. I am changing the words written…even though I confuse myself with that as well, but I don’t think that I have screwed up yet. If I did, maybe I’ll make up for it because I will hopefully write over 365,000 words by the end of the year…even though I am currently behind. 😉

 

2013: 41,268/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read