Goodbye 2013!

New Year

 

 

Today is the last day of 2013. How weird is that? I decided to do something special on here in celebration of 2014. I spent most of the morning going through all my blog posts from 2013. I had a good few laughs at the things that happened and there were also a lot of things that I couldn’t remember that happened. Oh, and I wish I counted all the typos I have made in my blog posts…sorry about that!

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to recap on everything that happened in 2013. I know WordPress sends something about views, stats, posts, pictures, comments, followers, etc. But my report is going to be about everything that actually happened in real life. And I know I don’t post every day or post about everything little thing that happens in my life, we can still get a pretty good idea on what’s been going on.

January:
–I was in the middle of writing The Blank Page.
–Dick passed away. Dick was an old man from my church. He did a lot for the church and the people apart of it. He passed away from a long hard-fought battle of lung cancer. It’s really hard to believe that it’s already been about a year since his death.
–We switched from Verizon to Comcast. My laptop still has internet issues because of this. It’s been almost a year of me fighting with my internet connection, too!
–My flash drive died and I lost everything. All the novels I was currently working on and already completed. All my lesson plans for Sunday school, everything for work, all my homework, among other things. I literally lost everything.

Feburary:
–About a week after my flash drive died, I finally got back into writing. I started writing Take Over (as The Blank Page was lost and I was too discouraged to re-write it). I worked on Take Over for the entire month.
–I got my driver’s license.

March:
–I prepared myself to write Saving Each Other for Camp NaNoWriMo in April.
–I continued writing Take Over.
–I sent my picture book Asking Bobby to a publisher.
–I came up with the idea of starting a vlog.

April:
–Wrote Saving Each Other for Camp NaNo and finished it. Began the second part, Seeing Things. I also finished Take Over and began writing The Blank Page again.
–I wrote one haiku a day for the NaPoWriMo, but finished after April.
–I finished my first vlog, but decided not to post it
–I began writing Far Away in a notebook
–I was interviewed by Briana Vedsted
–Did a Booky Questions and Blog Hopper survey
–I made a goal to finish The Blank Page in May, which never went through.

May:
–Attempted to write The Blank Page and the three novels that are written in that novel. None of them got finished.
–Made a writing and editing schedule which stuck for a little while.
–I was nominated for the Sunshine and Super Sweet Blogger awards.
–I began editing Diary of a Lover while my mom began to edit Take Over.

June:
–Finished the fourth draft of Diary of a Lover. I tried to print it out to let Kris edit it, but the printer broke.
–I began to edit Hunter because I didn’t want to start a new project before the next session of Camp NaNo in July.
–My sister Lisa moved out with her boyfriend, my two cousins moved in with my grandparents, and I graduated with my Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
–Began to write a Pokemon FanFiction that is still not finished.

July:
–I decided to write Cybertra for Camp NaNo, but ended up not finishing it in the end. I ended up not being into the story anymore. Needless to say, I lost that NaNo session.
–Kris and I tried out a new writing schedule, but after going on vacation for a whole week, the schedule died.
–Decided to do contests and post stories into books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul.

August:
–Sam, a boy I babysit for, wanted me to write The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel which is about the two of us. I never wrote it, although I had plans to.
–I thought a lot about my future. School, work, writing, etc. Wondered where I was going to be in a few years and how I was going to get there.
–Comet, my uncle’s dog, was put down due to cancer.
–I had a tough time writing so I wrote a silly prompt and it ended up sparking a few new ideas.
–We began to remodel Lisa’s bedroom so Kris and I could have an office. It is now complete and we call it the “Blue Room.” Don’t ask why, we planned on calling it our office.
–I finally got a new flash drive.
–I continued editing and outlining Hunter and began to write and outline Hunted, the sequel.
–My co-worker was laid off due to low enrollment leaving me with a promotion, but it was only me and one other teacher with all the kids.

September:
–Work started as me being a teacher and school started which was my first semester at a new school for my bachelor’s.
–Gloria, a member of my church, passed away.
–I asked for information about Smashwords and got a lot of nice feedback along with others. I still have to finish researching Smashwords, PubIt!, CreateSpace, and Kindle Direct Publishing.

October:
–I prepared for NaNo in November. I planned out the novel using sticky notes, index cards, and a big poster board with Kris.

November:
–I hit 50,000 words on Detective Florence for NaNo 17 days into the month. I am still currently working on the novel. I have a little over 70,000 words so far.

December:
–I won NaNo and I talked about focusing more on my writing
–I lost my teaching job. The preschool closed due to low enrollment and no money. I am still jobless.
–I survived my first semester for my bachelor degree.
–I got the new Pokemon games and a Kindle for Christmas!

So there you have it. A breakdown of everything that happened to me in 2013. But as I looked through my old blog posts I realized probably about 90% of everything I started was never finished. I know I say this all the time, but for 2014 I’m really going to buckle down and get something published. Or get something ready for publication. No more goofing off.

My resolution for 2013 was to read 50 pages a day and write 1,000 words a day. I stopped keeping track long ago, but I know I did not make the reading goal. I most likely didn’t make the writing goal, either. I doubt I wrote 365,000 words this past year. While there were some days I wrote 10k, there were so many other days that I didn’t bother to write at all.

My resolution this year is…

–Finish editing a novel or two
–Read more
–Freelance: Enter writing contests, send stories into magazines, etc.
–Finish what I start

That last one is for everything, not just my writing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and I wish everyone the best in 2014! 🙂

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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.

It’s Tuesday

Tedious Tuesday…

 

Coffee

 

 

Tuesday ends with the letter “Y.” Enough said.

I’m calling today Tedious Tuesday for a number of reasons: School, work, writing, video games.

Okay, I guess the video games isn’t a very big priority. But Kris and I got the new Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies game and we’ve been dying to play it. Due to our conflicting work schedules (and I have homework), we haven’t been able to play it as often as we want. We need to beat it before NaNoWriMo otherwise…our NaNo novels will most likely suffer.

I need to get all of my homework done because I’m not going to be able to do it starting on Friday. Friday is the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I need this weekend to get ahead in my word count. I’m going to have more homework next week which means less time to write. I have today, tomorrow, and Thursday to finish this week’s homework and maybe attempt to jump ahead into next week’s homework, too. I don’t care if I’m ahead, behind, or right on par: I am determined to write at least 1,667 words a day. I think it would be nice to attempt to get in a good writing groove that will maybe carry on past November.

I work 10-6 Monday-Friday. Not really…I leave work when the last kid leaves (provided everything is set up for the next day, which it always is). This year, the kids have been getting picked up early (yay!) so I’ve been getting out of work between 4:30/5:00. The nice part is that I still get paid until 6. Anyway, Tuesdays and Thursday are late because one kid doesn’t get picked up between 5:00\5:30. Not bad, but still prefer to get out that extra hour earlier.

Next is writing. I have gotten a great chunk of planning done on my NaNo novel, but I would still like to see it finished. I can’t really do that if I’m busy doing homework and all that fun stuff. Again, I have today, tomorrow, and Thursday to finish planning. Granted, I don’t need the entire novel planned out. I at least have the beginning and a good chunk of the middle, but I want to make sure that I don’t get stuck anywhere. We all know how terrible I am at editing later on.

Thus, I deem thee Tedious Tuesday! I have homework for five classes, it’s my late day at work, I would like to get an hour or so of NaNo prep done, and because both Kris and I are going to be home today it would be nice if we could also play our game for a little bit.

It will be around 5:30, but I am seriously debating on whether or not I should go to Starbucks after work.

It’s Monday

Monster Monday…

Monday

No, today is not “Monster” Monday because Halloween is coming up. No, today is “Monster” Monday because…well, it’s Monday. Anyone in their right mind does not like Monday. Now if a new school week didn’t start on Monday and I didn’t have to go back to work after a nice two-day weekend, then I wouldn’t mind Monday. Poor Monday. Hated by everyone and is only a part of the week because there has to be some day in the week that needs to get us started on productive activities.

So it’s Monday. The last Monday in October. Thursday is Halloween. Who’s dressing up this year? I’m not. I wanted to, but all the costumes or raunchy and way too expensive for my liking. If my car didn’t break down on me then maybe I wouldn’t mind the money part, but I am still paying for my school bill for this semester, so maybe it’s for the best. However, it still makes me a bit sad because Kris and I usually coordinate together. One year she was a cop and I was a SWAT team member. The year before that she was Batman and I was Robin. But between my bank account starving and our conflicting work schedules, we just couldn’t do it this year. Sad day. Good news is, Kris actually got the day off from work on Halloween. This is the first year in…well, a few years.

On a brighter note, NaNoWriMo starts Friday. On a dimmer note, I am no where near ready for it to start.

Not yesterday, but the Sunday before yesterday, Kris and I had a very productive day. We planned our NaNo novels together. Kris is not a planner. I am a planner. Sometimes. I like the idea of planning and sometimes I plan and sometimes I don’t. When I do plan, sometimes it works out in my favor and other times it doesn’t. However, it was a breakthrough for Kris because she never does anything like that. She just writes whatever comes to her mind. Which is fantastic, don’t get me wrong. However, we wanted to write together and neither one of us wanted to start anything new because NaNo was just right around the corner.

So that Saturday night, October 19, we grabbed a novel and picked random sentences out of it. We then each took the same sentence and used it as the first sentence for our prompts. We wrote six prompts altogether before we got too tired and went to bed. The first four prompts we had the goal to write 200-500 words. The last two prompts we bumped up the count to 500-800 words because I kept going over the 500 limit on the other ones and had to keep editing out words. It was a pain. I’ll probably post these prompts on here soon enough. They’re not A+ material, but they’re decent enough. I wrote each prompt in like, 10 or 15 minutes at the seat of my pants, so you have to expect less than an A+.

Saturday night was a great night. Then Sunday we went to church, went to Starbucks (my favorite place on earth), and we turned on Pokemon Ranch on our Wii (for background noise…if anyone knows/has this game you know how pointless is it, yet still amusing to watch and listen to), and we planned our NaNo novels.

Let me give a little background on this: When Kris was at work one day I found a poster board in my house, got out my index cards and sticky notes, and went to town. On the index cards I made a list of characters, plot points, questions that need to be answered by the end of the novel, etc. On the sticky notes, I wrote events that need to happen in the novel. Then I move them around and attempt to put them in order. When Kris got home from work she saw what I was doing and something must have clicked in her head. So, naturally, we turned on the Ace Attorney game on the Wii and played that.

But that Sunday she grabbed her own poster board and we shared my index cards and sticky notes. Neither one of us “finished,” but since she has Halloween off from work, which is the day before NaNo, maybe she and I can dress up as writers and plan some more.

I hate that NaNo starts on a weekday. Kris and I can’t plan until midnight and then begin writing because I have to get up early Friday morning to get my cousins off to school then I have work 10-6. Meanwhile Kris is working 12:30-9:30 on Friday. But she always has Sundays off. So we decided that every Sunday in November, we’re going to go to church, go to Starbucks, then write until it’s time to go to bed. Except for the first Sunday…I agreed to babysit at 6 in the evening about a month ago. I’m stupid…

Anyway, that’s where we stand right now. Last week before NaNo…AAAAAHHHH!!!!

By the way, look me up on NaNo: Fiery_Sapphire

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.