There will be five books reviews this month. Like last Saturday, there will be two reviews this Saturday. After that, there will be one book review each Saturday.
I plan to read:
1. Beauty’s Kiss (Once Upon A Princess 3) by C.S. Johnson
2. Beauty’s Gift (Once Upon A Princess 4) by C.S. Johnson
3. Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham
4. Warcross by Marie Lu
5. Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
As always, these books will be reviewed on Saturdays and my Reading List will be updated accordingly.
Last month I gave myself a deadline for all my writing projects. I also chose what to work on for each month. I know that’ll change depending on what I actually get done each month, but we’ll see how it goes. So, for October, I plan on working on:
So, for October, I plan on working on:
1. “Special” – Outline – This is a working title and goes along with the Short Story Sunday series I posted in August. I plan on expanding it into a novel. This is going to be my NaNoWriMo project for November.2. “George Florence” – Organize – This poor novel is a mess. It’s in the editing stage, but I have to figure out where I left off. I also know there are a few holes here and there that I have to figure out.
2. “George Florence” – Organize – This poor novel is a mess. It’s in the editing stage, but I have to figure out where I left off. I also know there are a few holes here and there that I have to figure out.3.
3. Picture book – Time permitting, I’d like to edit one of my picture books.
I’ve got most of my October posts done (yay!) and while there are a few here and there that I can’t write until their dates get closer, I’m going to look on ahead into November.
I want to get as much blogging done as I can for November because I want to put the majority of my effort into my NaNo novel.
This will also give me some time to continue updating the look of my blog.
October should be productive. I think I have a good routine and plan in action. We’ll see how it all goes.
What does your October look like? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
In yesterday’s post, I discussed how every author puts a little bit of themselves (or something from their life) into their novels. For me, there are numerous things I throw into my novels that are inspired by true things in life. I won’t spill all my secrets, so for now I’ll just explain my good friend George Florence.
George, my protagonist, is a 30-year-old laid-off detective trying to make a place for himself in the world while doing what he loves: helping people and fighting crime.
Being a police officer was something I wanted to do when I was very young. Even when I knew I wanted to be a teacher and writer, I still had a spot in my mind that wanted to be a cop. I wanted to be a teacher since I was six-years-old because of my first grade teacher. I wanted to be a writer since I was ten-years-old because of Kris. Where did this cop thing come from? I have no idea.
When I was little I was always fascinated with that sort of thing. I remember I had a spy kit with handcuffs, a decoder, a notepad, and–the best part–rear-view sunglasses. I was always trying to solve “mysteries” around the house. One time, Kris and I eavesdropped on my mom’s phone call because we were looking for “evidence” in our case, “Mom’s Cooking: Real or Take-Out?” I can’t remember how old we were, but I wish I did.
However despite my fascination, I never pursued it for a plethora of reasons. I’m tiny and have no upper body strength, I can’t stand loud noises, I’m squeamish, and I’m not good under pressure. I just don’t think it wouldn’t have worked out. Of course you never know until you try, but I think when I discovered teaching/writing, my heart changed its mind.
I have written a few novels. Most of them are fantasy-ish with the main characters having super powers. A couple of them are cliche high school drama stories. Each one of those manuscripts (five of them total) are still on the first draft. I congratulate myself for completing a novel, but editing them is just not something I have the motivation to do.
Then I created George. He was a silly character started in a yellow notebook a few years ago at Barnes and Noble when I didn’t know what else to write.
I say he was a “silly” character because that’s entirely what he was. He was originally a detective who did well at his job, but had no common sense whatsoever. He was comical. I didn’t expect to go anywhere with it, but I liked the story. I wrote 32 notebook pages before I stopped and moved onto something else.
Who knew that years later George would rise to the surface and be who he is today?
Unlike my other novels, I completed a first draft easily and then had the urge to edit it right away. I want to continue his story. I want to write more books about him. I want to publish them all. Needless to say, I think I have found my genre for writing.
Funny how it turned out to be a secret passion of mine.
It’s also funny because George was inspired by Phoenix Wright, a character from the Ace Attorney video game series. I played those games and wanted to write my own mysteries and decided to revive George as my main man.
Of course… now that I write this post I realize that George wasn’t originally based off of Phoenix Wright. He was based off of me.
2015 is officially here! It’s time to look ahead confidently and make this year really count.
Did I complete my resolutions for 2014?
Eh… yes and no. One resolution was to read more. I made a Goodreads challenge to read 20 books in 2014 and I read 24 books. I think I could have read more, but 24 was an overachievement.
Another resolution was to write more. I kept up pretty well with my Short Story Sundays on here (I think). I won two out of three NaNo challenged in 2014, and I also got pretty far in writing/editing my Detective Florence series.
What are my resolutions for 2015?
My resolutions are more or less the same as last year… I want to read more than last year. For the 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’m going to pledge to read 52 books. That’s one book a week. We’ll see how well I can keep up with that.
For writing, I’m going to focus more on my Detective Florence series. By the end of 2015 I want to have the first novel ready for publication so I can start querying.
On a side note, I want to start eating healthier. I give myself until the end of the first week, but it’ll be good to try.
What’s up for the blog in 2015?
I’m going to start posting regularly. There will still be plenty of “personal” posts on here. However, I’m going to have a few posts already written to make sure I can keep up with the blog. Also, the topics will be more about reading and writing in general as well as my own writing.
–Sunday: Short Story Sunday will continue. Each Sunday I will post a short story or poem or some other type of my own writing.
–Wednesday: I will post advice and tips about writing. I will also links to outside articles and blog posts about the same subject.
–Friday: Something short and simple, I’ll post a writing quote or picture. I think it’ll be a great source of inspiration/motivation.
–Saturday: I’ll post what book I read that past week and let you all know what I think about it.
–Every “first” of the month: I’ll post either a character spotlight on the characters in my novels or a WIP summary of my current novel. I’m hoping that will be interesting for all.
–Every “sixth” of the month: I will post six six-word stories. This challenge is brought to you by Adam Ickes. I found his challenge a long time ago and decided it would be something to try for 2015.
Depending on what days the dates fall, some posts will be modified as such. For example, if the sixth falls on a Friday I’ll either post the six six-word stories or the quote or maybe both.
There you have it. My new and improved blog for a brand new year. I hope you all enjoy the ride.
Camp NaNo is about a week away. I plan on writing the sequel to Detective Florence which is the novel l wrote for NaNo back in November.
I don’t know why, but l’ve been in a “mystery” mood. So l’m spending June editing the first novel so l can attempt to get my facts straight and remember what actually happened in the first novel.
I’ve been coming up with ideas for the sequel, so hopefully outlining will come easy. I hope to finish editing by this Sunday (if l edit at least 20 pages a day that is) and then l will have a week to plan and outline the sequel.
In addition to editing, l’ve been playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, reading murder mysteries, and watching Psych. Again, l don’t know what put me in the mood, but…it’s been keeping me motivated and on track.
I’m sure most of you have seen this commercial with the camel calling to Mike asking what day it is. If you haven’t, the go check it out on YouTube because it’s hilarious. It’s a commercial for Geico, but I don’t think anyone actually remembers the true meaning of the commercial. We all just like the camel.
I’m deeming Wednesday as Wonderful Wednesday because I wanted to continue on with my alliteration theme. However, today is most commonly known to people as Hump Day. So I will allow both.
The reason I’m calling Wednesday “Wonderful” is because of the fact that it’s Hump Day. Confused, yet? Once I get through today I only have two more days of work. Today’s an early day at work for me as I only have three kids in the afternoon. I should be home by 4:45-ish, as yesterday I did not get home until closer to 6. But today should be a good day and it should be easy (I probably just jinxed myself).
But when I get home today I have a lot of things that I need to get done. We started this new way of progress reports on the kids. It’s in collaboration with a website and we need to do observations on the kids. We observe the children doing anything that ties into their development — math related, science, social/emotional, physical, etc. — and we need to plug it into the website to see if their at the appropriate level for their age. Well, it’s my turn to plug in the observations this month (the other teacher and I alternate months so we can both get familiar with the set-up as this is brand new to both of us) and more than half of them did not save. Angry, much? Yes, I was. I had plugged in over 70 observations and none of them really went through even though I hit the “save” button. So I have to do that.
I also should work some more on my homework. I don’t have too much more that I have to do, but one of my teachers assigned two essays. One is due in November and the other is due December 2. Should I do them? Should I at least start them? Because I already don’t have any motivation for these classes, when November starts forget it. It’s NaNo. But I only have today to do it.
Tomorrow is Halloween. Kris and I aren’t doing anything special, but she has the day off from work. So when I get out of work (most likely around 5:30), we’re going to finish prepping for NaNo. Maybe do a couple of writing prompts or something. Then come Friday…Friday is the big day!
I’m anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time! I feel like I’ve never done NaNo before, but I’ve never officially won before. I’ve won Camp NaNo a few times, but never the original November NaNo. I really feel like I can make it work this year, despite the amount of homework, working eight hours a day, and all that fun stuff. I have a plan and I am determined to stick to it.
Today my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble. We went about our normal routine; we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, Starbucks for drinks, and Barnes and Noble to write. However, we weren’t there for any more than an hour when my dad called. We switched from Verizon to Comcast today and with Comet and Chip at home, he didn’t want to shut them in the bedroom and listen to them bark all afternoon. My sister and I ended up going home and taking the dogs to Nanny’s house where we stayed for about an hour and a half. They have no wi-fi, either so we couldn’t work on our writing at all.
By then, the guy was still at our house, but I had to go to work. So we went back to my house, leaving the dogs, I grabbed my things and went to work. When I got home from work, I had to re-connect the internet and now my laptop is being extremely slow. I assume it’s just trying to get used to the new connection, or I’m hoping so anyway. However, I am in no mood to write now.
While we were at Barnes and Noble, I did write a tiny bit, but it was under 1,000 words. And I never wrote yesterday, so I feel like I’m a bit behind. And because of that, I’m beginning to get annoyed at my writing. I have three novels completed and never bothered to edit any of them.
Well, that’s not true. I’m on the seventh draft of Diary of a Lover, but I never once edited Hunter, which I finished back in August of 2011. Saving Each Other I just finished less than a month ago, so I’m not going to get back into that just yet…I’m kind of sick of those characters.
However, I do have three children’s books that are completed, edited and all, but I don’t bother trying to get them published. Why? I don’t know. That’s what I think I’m going to do when I finish this post. I think I’m going to try searching for publishers and such. At least if I get those three children’s books out there, I would get my foot in the door for whenever I publish a novel, the extra money would be a plus, and maybe it would motivate me a little more to get something else out there.
I asked my sister to edit Hunter the other day. She hasn’t started, yet, but I’m hoping that once she edits it, it will motivate me to edit it and keep at it. Honestly, I wrote that so long ago I don’t even remember what happens in the book. It’s quite sad.
I told myself that, because I’m so into The Blank Page right now, I’m going to finish it. Then once I finish it, I’m going to work strictly on editing for a little while. I know my new year’s resolution was to write more, but editing is a big part of writing, even if I’m not adding word after word after word. It’ll suck because I absolutely hate editing, but if it needs to get done, then I’m going to get it done.
I’m not going to write anymore tonight because I am just not in the mood and I know if I force myself, I’m going to mess up the entire novel. Hopefully, I’ll get back into it tomorrow morning. I had a good routine going: I woke up early every morning, worked on my websites for a bit, wrote for an hour, and then posted on here. I have not done that since Tuesday…but Tuesday I had no school and no work and nothing to do, so I kind of wanted to take advantage of the fact that I could have stayed in bed for the entire day. With all the crap I have been doing lately, no one can blame me for that.
On a good note, I did start my resolution about reading more. Does everyone know the series Warriors by Erin Hunter? Well, there are so many books that I have lost count, but I do have most of them. I have read a few, but I decided to re-read them…especially because one of my RPG websites are based after this series. Last year, I read the first five books, so I decided to start reading them again starting with the sixth book. If I didn’t have work or anything else going on in my life right now, I would have finished it the day I started it. But we’ll take baby steps.
I’ll talk to you all tomorrow…hopefully after I write for an hour. I have work at 1:30 tomorrow, so if I get up early enough maybe I can do a little extra. That would be nice!
NaNo is over. It’s been over for four days and while I realized that it was December, I guess it never sunk in that NaNo was actually over for yet another year. I have come to a conclusion, though. NaNo is my BFF. Yes. Big, fat fail.
I never wrote all those words that I said I was going to write. Even when it got to be only three or four days left, I only wrote an extra 1000 words. I never even broke 30K, even though I was pretty close. However, I did break 25K, which is half. So I guess that’s a good thing.
So my profile on the NaNo website is now going to say I won 2009 and participated in 2012, 2011, and 2012. I was so hoping for another win, but I’m not going to complain. I made it half way at least. Not to mention that I got a good portion of the novel done. The characters are being good (so far), the plot is moving along nicely (so far), and I think it’ll be quite easy to finish (yeah right). I just need to get the motivation to do it.
NaNo and I had a good run this year. I started off doing great, but too much life got in the way. Just because I didn’t get a “win” out of it, doesn’t mean that I didn’t get a good novel out of it…even if it’s no finished. But it will be finished. Maybe when I’m 50. But it will be finished eventually.
I have been thinking a lot about my writing lately on account that I did fail NaNo. I really thought that I was going to win again this year and I really thought that I was going to actually finish the whole novel. But since I didn’t make it to either of those goals, I decided that I’m going to do my very best to write in the months to come.
I have the rest of this week, all next week, and then three more days (finals) of school. My Christmas shopping is already done and wrapped, so once school is out I’ll have all Winter break to type away. My only concern is that I have to study for my MTEL test, which I am taking in January. Oh, and learn how to drive. That’s kind of important. But when it comes to writing, I think I should be good.
For the Spring semester at school I need to come in five days a week, but it’s only three classes. I’ve had all three of these professors before. I know that I’m going to have virtually no homework. So I’m hoping that next semester will be a good semester for writing. It’s just that I’ll probably pick up a few extra hours at work.
Speaking of writing though, I was exploring my blog because I basically just update posts and nothing else on it…so I was looking around and I noticed on the Challenges page there is something that says I was going to write 360 pages by the end of this year. When I made that goal for myself I was in the middle of writing…well, whatever novel it was, and had hoped that 360 pages would have been the whole novel plus some from another novel. I completely forgot about this goal, so I changed it a bit. Basically, it just means that I have to write 360 pages total. Of any novel. So I added my Saving Each Other pages to that count. I am now up to 109 pages. This means that I have to write 251 more pages by the end of this year.
I have 27 days to do this, which should be about 9 or 10 pages a day. I can do that no problem if it’s double-spaced. I don’t know if I’ll actually do that, but I did say that I was going to try to write as much as I can during this Winter Break. Anything I write will go straight towards that page count. Honestly, I can’t even remember why I made that goal in the first place, but I’m going to stick with it. Why not?
I have a huge list of ideas that are swirling around in my head, but I’m going to try my best to finish Saving Each Other first. Then I can freak out about what to edit as the pile is going to keep building up. Right now I have two novels that need to be seriously edited so I can publish them and now I’m just going to be adding on an extra novel.
I Have To Do This and That and…Eh, I’ll Do It Later….
Do you know what really bugs me? Is that when I want to write, I don’t have time. When I have time, I don’t want to write. Am I the only one that this happens to?
I just don’t have the motivation. I want to write, I want to get published, but sometimes I just don’t have the attention span for it. I know how I want to story to end, but sometimes I don’t know how to get there. I know how I want to start the story, but I feel like writing something completely different. As I’m writing something, I’ll come up with a completely new idea for a whole new novel. I start writing that and never get back to the previous one. That cycle continues on and soon I’m stuck with 100 half-written stories and I feeling like crap because I can’t seem to get anything finished.
I looked up my horoscope the other day. I’m a Virgo. Apparently, Virgos are known to not finish what they start. What luck I have! Of course, I’m not all that into that superstitious stuff. I like looking up my horoscope for fun purposes. But the one thing that happens to be true…
I reflected back on my life once I read that small piece of information. I realized that I have never ever seemed to finish anything in my life before. All the things that I had to finish, I procrastinated with. You know, you have a project to work on for school and you’re up all night the night before it’s due and you’re only just starting it. Well, I think everyone does that just because it’s school, but hopefully you get my point.
I also realized that my problem isn’t motivating me to write. It’s motivating me to finish. I have finished two children books and two young adult novels. That’s something, at least. Except I can’t get anywhere with them because I won’t edit them.
I figured out something that gets me motivated, though. My sister and I always go to Barnes & Noble to write. There’s a section of books that’s for writing and publishing and such. I always go to that area. I flip through a couple of the books and I say to myself, “I can do that, I can do that, I can do that.” Truth is, I should really be saying, “I want to do that.” More truthfully, I really can do it, I just don’t.
I am on a bunch of different writing websites. One of them being NaNoWriMo, as you all have heard me mention before. I have been a part of NaNoWriMo for three years. I only won one year, but I’ve still tried the other years. NaNoWriMo has forums for the members to chat with one another about many different topics before, during, and after November. I usually look in there. I read what everyone else writes, especially the “Self-Promoting” section. A lot of people have had their NaNoWriMo novels published. I want to do that. That gets me motivated to write because I want to be just like those people.
So, I get myself motivated, I go home and write. Now let’s just see if I can follow through with it like I have with the four books I have already completed. What gets you motivated? Because just maybe it’ll help me….
On a side note…go check out the Come Find Me page. I added a new link and also made the page look a lot neater! 😉