A Sweet Birthday Card

I don’t normally post twice in one day, but this is something that I had to share with you guys.

I turned 22-years-old today. My 11-year-old cousin made me a birthday card. It made me feel pretty special.

Not only did she make me feel good, but it’s also nice to know that she thinks so highly of me. That said, I’m very close with my cousins.

  
This is the cover that says, “Happy happy birthday, today’s your special day, you just got a cupcake, now blow the flame away!”

  
The inside cover. She knows that I love my Ninja Turtles dearly.

  
“Rachel I could never ask for a better sister/cousin than you. You are funny, beautiful, amazing, and anything else you can think of. I hope you have the best 22nd birthday anyone can have!”

Then she turnes my name into an acronym: Royal, star in the sky, Creative, Humoress, Enchanting, Lovely.

No gift can compare to this.

I hope everyone is having an awesome day!

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Editing Day

I edited 50 pages today. That’s a lot (for me) in one day. I did ten pages at a time taking breaks in between. These breaks consisted of me reading or playing my new Ninja Turtles video game. Or…chasing my real turtle, cat, and dog. I had all three of them in my office with me wanting to play each time l sat down to edit. They slept when l was on my own break. They’re good helpers, aren’t they?

I also worked a bit on my Popular Fiction contest for Writer’s Digest today. The deadline is the 15th, so l have to get going on that. I decided to write a short story based off of my Short Short Sunday #18. I revised and edited what l wrote so far and figured out some characters and such. Tomorrow l’ll have to actually write it and see how that turns out.

Tomorrow is also the first day of school, so l’m not sure if l’m going to be able to get as much editing done. It’s only the first day, so l’m not going to have a mountain of homework, but l still have to keep checking on the website. I hope to get a lot done, though.

Only time will tell.

Easter and Other Happenings

Hey everyone! I hope we all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. It was a good day and great weather, too! The Easter Bunny brought me an army of Ninja Turtle Beanie Balls which was awesome, a new SD card for my 3DS, and the Kalos Pokedex as well as the Kalos game guide for the X & Y Pokemon games. I also got bark for Raph so I can finally clean her tank. I’m sure she’ll be happy. In addition to that, Kris got the movie Frozen. Best Disney movie ever!

A lot has been going on. One of the preschool teachers has been out for three weeks straight (plus more) so I’ve been working a lot. I also have school…school has been interesting. I just signed up for classes for the Fall semester. I’m taking a class called Selected Authors…guess who the authors are! J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I get to read Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings for school. How awesome is that?! It’s pretty awesome, yes.

In addition to work and school, I’ve been busy planning my sister’s bridal shower, which is in August. Plus the bachelorette party, which is in September. Then we have the wedding in October. So that’s been holding my attention a lot. I’ve been babysitting a lot, as well. This week is April vacation so I get a break from work, right? No…stupid me agreed to babysit for four different families and before I realized what I had done, it was too late. I babysat for about four hours today, tomorrow through Friday I have another family for about five hours in the morning. Tuesday night I’m babysitting for a third family and Thursday night I’m babysitting for a fourth family. Wonderful stuff.

I’ve also been slowly trying to clean my bedroom. Kris and I don’t go in there much anymore unless we’re sleeping because now we have our office that used to be Lisa’s room. You guys should have seen all the dust and yuckies in the room. It was terrible. But we’re going to be painting and organizing it soon so it needs to be done. Of course, it should be done regardless, but…whatever. I bought the extended editions of the three Lord of the Rings movies so Kris and I have been pretty busy with those. We’ve been addicted to the series since I had to read The Hobbit for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class.

Well, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I’m sure you all noticed writing was not mentioned at all. Yeah, no. I’ve been failing at my writing recently. I can justify it because I have been really busy (except I guess watching three movies that total to over 12 hours probably doesn’t count as a good excuse), but it doesn’t look like I’ll be winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

I started off Camp strong and then I crashed and burned. In between homework and babysitting this week I’m going to really try to kick it into gear, but it’ll be difficult. I’m only at 16,000 or something like that. Kris and I are planning on going to Barnes & Noble on the 27th to write as much as we can though. So can we all keep our fingers crossed for both me and her? That would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and are writing each and every day unlike me! 🙂

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?

Day Two

Like A Snail….Donny

Today was kind of a dud. I hoped to get a lot more writing done because I had a lot of free time this morning. However, I am not going to complain because I met the word count for the day (1,667) and I am way ahead of the game anyway.

Today I wrote 2,635 words bringing my Camp NaNo novel up to a total of 8,985. About 1,000 of that 2,635 words was written in school. As you can see from the picture, I did not have any post-it notes so I used my iPod to block the word and page count. Yes, my iPod case is a turtle. His name is Donny. Yes, he is named after the ninja turtle.

I had four hours before class to write today, but I never did. I have a really bad cold which I have had for about a week now. I tried to convince myself to stick it out, but I said screw it. I ended up going home, wrote for another hour, and ever since then I have just been in a daze. I haven’t done anything productive.

Tomorrow will be a better day, though. I hope everyone else is doing just as well.

 

2013: 90,764/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Ready for Camp?

Two Days to Go…

 

So I realized that Camp NaNo is two days away. Have I figured out what I am going to do? Yes. Have I really planned it at all? No. You see, I thought of this superhero idea. It’s about a group of superheroes that get together and form an alliance like the X-Men, the Justice League, The Avengers (that movie came out not too long ago, if you have not seen it, go see it!)…of course, I have not figured out how the superheroes are going to meet, why they form the alliance, what they call themselves, where they live, etc. It’s a mess. So I decided to do little “prequels.”

Let me explain this before I go any further…we’ll take my FanFiction for example. I thought of this idea years ago, but still have never done it. Everyone knows the Ninja Turtles, yes? Everyone knows there are four turtles: Leo, Donny, Mikey, and Raph. I had four one-shots in mind (a one-shot is basically a short story…no chapters, for those of you who don’t know). The first one, Mikey does something in Donny’s lab, creates a huge monster, and has to get rid of it. The other three one-shots will be along the same thing. Each one of them will accidentally create some sort of creature (I’m not sure how, yet) and have to get rid of it. Then I am going to do a fifth one, which will be a chapter story, and it will be about all four of the creatures coming back out and destroying everything then they have to defeat them all over again. So they’re not really sequels or anything, but you do need to read the chapter story last. Other than that, it doesn’t really matter what order you read them in. This is how I’m going to do this series. I’ll write a story based on someone’s background, the next story will be about another character, and so on. Then the last one will be their beginning with one another. Does everyone get what I’m talking about?

I decided that this group is going to have five characters in it. I thought of three of the characters already. I know a lot of basics with one of the characters, so that is who I am going to write about first. The story is called, Cybertra. Awkward name, yes? Well, she is a technopath. My sister helped me come up with her name because I had Cybertron stuck in my head for some strange reason and I didn’t like it. My sister said, “Why not? You should use it.” I said, “It sounds like a boy.” Then she said Cybertra. I thought it still sounded kind of weird, but we decided that the main character will be deemed Cybertron, but then claim it to be a boy’s name and she’ll change it to Cybertra herself.

So the story is all about her life, how she got started, when she found out she had powers, etc. Now if you love superheroes and things like that just as bad as me, you may be saying, “How are you going to write something like this as a novel? Wouldn’t this be better as a comic book?” I thought that to myself, as well. Except I cannot draw worth crap. I don’t know if this will ever get published or not. I don’t know if it will even come out good because it’s kind of difficult describing battle scenes and such in a novel. However, if it actually does come out decent and people can actually tell what is going on and do enjoy it, maybe I will try to get it published. However, if not, maybe I will hire an illustrator and we could do a comic book together. I would love to have my own comic book out. My sister and I had the idea to do a web comic together a while ago, but that’s another story for another day.

Anyway, it may be a book, it may be a comic, or it may just stay in my flash drive. However, this is going to be my Camp NaNo and whatever happens with it, I’ll be proud of it…even if it is crap.

Now you’re probably thinking, “What about the other four characters?” Well, once I finish Cybertra, if it comes out decent, I will move onto writing about the next character…maybe that will be for the August Camp NaNo. I’m not sure yet, but I still have two months to worry about that. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one.

My biggest concern is that even though I know the basic gist of everything that is going to happen, I have two days to outline this story and to get all the characters together. The summer session of school started yesterday, so I kind of have my hands tied with homework right now. The electrician is coming tomorrow, so I am going to have no power in the house all day. Which forces me to write in a notebook and outline and such, but I’m going to feel so out of place…or I’ll just go to a friend’s house in which case I won’t be able to work on anything at all. We’ll have to wait and see and hope that I have the first half of the story outlined by June 1st.

Is everyone else ready?