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.”

Back To Reality

I Can’t Type…

 

I disappeared for a week, yes. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I went away on vacation. It was very nice to get away. We had a cottage by the lake, but we didn’t swim very often. The weather was not on our side last week. But it was all good because Kris and I stayed in our room most of the week playing Pokemon and watching movies. We watched Wreck-It Ralph twice, Tangled about four or five times, and the Winnie the Pooh movie about four or five times. It was a good week. That, and we finally got our two cousins into Pokemon. They’re 11 and 9 and we’ve tried to get them into it before, but it never worked because they didn’t understand anything that was going on. They still don’t, but they’re getting through it.

It’s funny because Jackie, the one who is 11, pesters us with questions. She wants to learn everything about Pokemon and wants to do it right. If we tell her to do something differently, she hears us and tries not to do it anymore. For example, leveling up only one Pokemon instead of her whole team. Whereas, Katherine…she’s just going to have to learn the hard way. No matter how many times Kris and I try to tell her that she needs to level up all her Pokemon…let’s put it this way: she was in a battle with an NPC trainer for about two hours. Her highest level Pokemon fainted and the rest of her team weren’t at a high enough level. Not only that, but she does’t understand that she needs to go to the Pokemon Center before they faint. She thinks she’s not allowed to go there unless she entire team has fainted.

This just goes to show that slow and steady does in fact win the race. Whereas Kat is farther along in the game than Jackie, Jackie will probably be the first to beat the game because she’s actually going about it the right way. But at least they’ll both learn…eventually.

Anyway, the sub-title says “I can’t type.” Seriously, you have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post so far…being away from a computer for a whole week really takes a toll on my fingers. I checked my FanFiction e-mail and I have a lot of stories to catch up on for my beta-reading. I didn’t open a single one. I can’t type. How am I supposed to correct stories if I can’t type?

There was no wi-fi at the cottage, but my phone still gave me internet. It was great because I ended up playing my HeartGold version of Pokemon all week and I left the guide at home. I brought my Ruby and Sapphire guide because I had just started playing my Ruby over again. Apparently, I changed my mind. But I had my phone to look up the levels of the gym leaders and such. So I was saved.

But that’s not really the point. I was on the internet a great deal, but it was only my thumbs doing the typing. My other fingers got a vacation and now I’m paying the price. I have a lot of correcting to do for FanFiction, I have my own FanFiction to write and I have my own original novels to write. Of course, none of this is going to happen until tomorrow (at least) because my fingers need to get back into the groove of things.

Speaking of writing…Camp NaNoWriMo? What is that again…?

Ugh, yes, I know. I fail. But at least I got something written. Something is better than nothing, I guess. There’s always November…then April…then July again…and so on and so forth.

Well, I’m home now and it’s back to reality…starting tomorrow.

I Have Issues

Today Was  A Joke…

 

Today was the first day in a long time that I have nothing to do. So I told myself that I was going to wake up early, take a shower, and write. And write, and write, and write some more. Except things didn’t go exactly as planned.

I’m stuck.

I didn’t get a chance to write at all this past weekend. There were some times here and there I would have been able to squeeze some words in, but I didn’t. Normally I would have or if I didn’t, I would have been freaking out about why I didn’t get anything done. Not this time. I didn’t feel like writing and that was that.

I’m going to assume I burned myself out when it comes to writing. But this burn out couldn’t have come at another time? It’s in the middle of the July, I have Camp NaNo to finish. Not to mention I’m already losing next week because I’m going on vacation. I don’t need to lose two additional days.

So I told myself today was going to be an all day writing day. I can’t tell you how many words I have written because I literally have no idea. I am so burned out that every time I tried to write today, I said: “Screw it!”

I’m writing Cybertra for Camp NaNo and I’m ahead of the NaNo goal, but 11,000 words behind my own goal. Two days and I’m that far behind…what? I forced myself to write it and I got about 540 words done. Then I realized…I’m just not into the story anymore. I still love the characters, the plot is good, but…well, the plot isn’t going as well as expected. I feel like I want to keep the prologue then scrap the whole rest of the novel. But that’s over 20,000 words…is it worth it to do in the middle of Camp? Is it wort it to do it at all?

I heard (I forget where) that you should never delete your writing whether you’re going to use it or not. Good writing is writing and bad writing is still writing. Not to mention there might be something in there that you will like later on. I hate deleting things I write because then I just feel bad. I mean, it was a good idea at the time I wrote it, right?

So I didn’t delete it, but I’m definitely not going back to the story any time soon. Which is sad because I was in love with it when I first started. I think I just need a break. Maybe next month I can get back to it. But now how am I supposed to finish Camp NaNo?

I tried writing a couple of children’s picture books…I finished one, but it sucks. I attempted to write another, but I got about two lines in and that was that. I started Hunter & Comet, the first book of a middle grade series I want to write. I wrote about a page and couldn’t get into that, either.

I looked at my list of stories to write. Maybe I just need something brand new? None of those ideas appealed to me. At the moment, anyway. And I’m afraid to start any new young adult novels because I already have four that need to be edited.

I tried writing some FanFiction. I wrote about a page then quit.

It’s about four o’clock in the afternoon, I have to get something written. I want to get something written. But it’s not going so well. And I’m afraid today is going to be a bit of a waste since I’m probably not going to have another day to write all day like this one in a long time.

July Camp: Day Eleven

Haven’t Posted In A While…

 

Sorry for the long wait. Even though it’s only been about four days…I have been super busy with babysitting lately. Seriously, I feel like a mother between the two families I watch plus my cousins.It’s exhausting and annoying. Today I had to spend an hour listening to him play his trumpet at a private lesson. I stayed because he was nervous about being alone with the teacher. But now I have a splitting headache. And I have to go back out and babysit the other family.

So it’s a good thing I decided to write for an hour every morning. Otherwise I probably would not be getting anything done. I am way too busy and when I’m not doing anything, I’m too tired to write or…well, do anything. Honestly, it’s taking a lot of energy to write this post right now.

So my Camp NaNo count is 25,139 words. I got up to 25,010 this morning. I wrote just a tiny bit when I came home because I was hoping to actually be on par. With my goal of writing 2,500 words a day, I should be at 27,500 today. I thought I could write some extra in between babysitting gigs, but my head hurt too much.

I have more to say, but I’m going to save them for another post. You guys are lucky I wrote this much. 😉

Cheerios and Chicken Soup

Yum…

Kris and I decided to do more writing contests and such.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books? This is one of the things we want to do. We pick book topics that we can write a nonfiction story about and send it in. If your story is picked to be in the book, you’ll receive 200 dollars plus ten free copies of the book. I think that’s a good deal.

As of right now, there are two topics that I am able to write for. Stories About Cats and Overcoming Challenges. I could write for the Stories About Dogs one, but I don’t have any real stories that pop out in my mind. I can only think of one story with my cat, Hunter, and my turtle, Raph. I’m going to write about that. I doubt it’ll get picked, but hey–might as well toss in every story I can, right? The deadline for this one is August 31, 2013.

The Overcoming Challenges one I’m going to talk about my high school career–my best friend bullying me, my anxiety disorder, and some of the teachers not believing in me. I don’t know if I ever explained this one here, but I left high school half way through my junior year. I did get my high school diploma, but I went through college to get it. It also gave me a head start on my degree, which was nice. The deadline for this one is October 31, 2013.

There are a couple of other topics I could write for, but there are no stories that pop into my head for them. We’ll see, though; especially since I have time for the two topics I plan on doing. Of course August 31 is going to be here before I know it.

I also heard of another contest through My Journey As A Writer‘s blog. It’s called Cheerios Spoonful of Stories. You can send in an unlimited amount of children’s books. Grand prize is 5,000 dollars. The story is featured on the website as well as handed over to Simon and Schuster publishing to be considered for publication. Second and third prize gets 1,000 dollars. The deadline is July 31, 2013.

I have a few children’s book ideas, but I don’t know if I’m going to have the time to write, edit, and send them in. I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday and when I come back there will be about three days left until the deadline. The book I would love to send in is still being considered by a publisher who only takes exclusive manuscripts. I’m not allowed to send the manuscript anywhere else until I hear from them, or September 7 (it’s a three-month turnaround time and I sent it in on June 7). We’ll see if I have any time this week to write up some manuscripts and give them a good look-over.

There’s also Writer’s Digest competitions. I have done a couple of their competitions before, but never won anything. Of course, I can keep trying.

I also bought a book called 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Not only does the book have a list of publishers and agents, it has a list of contests, as well. Of course, a lot of them have already ended because I was smart and bought the book half way through the year of 2013. But it also has a list of magazines, too. Some pay, some don’t. Some have contests, some don’t. But you can still send stuff in, depending on what they’re looking for.

I told myself I wanted to have something published by my 25th birthday. Of course, when I say something published, I mean one of my young adult novels or middle grade novels or something.

I turn 20 on September 1, 2013. That gives me five more years to get something done. If I can get something published by winning a contest, even if it’s just published in a small magazine, I’ll take it. I would prefer one of my novels, but if it gets my foot in the door, I’ll be happy.

July Camp: Day Seven

Still Behind…

 

Well, that’s a lie. I’m not behind on Camp NaNo. Today we’re supposed to be at 11,296 or something random like that. I’m past that number. But when it comes to my goal, I should have been at 17,500. I got to 15,110 words. I wrote 5,044 words today. That’s pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I’m exactly one day behind. Which means tomorrow I’m going to be two days behind. In order to catch up I have to write about 5,000 words tomorrow. I don’t think that will be too much of a problem because I write for an hour every morning. I have to babysit until one, but after that the rest of the day is mine. I’m hoping to get another 5k in.

Today is Sunday which means I had to work a little bit on my FanFiction today. I didn’t feel like it, but I did work on it for an hour. It doesn’t look like I did too much…I typed up the stats that goes before the prologue. It’s six pages long, it took a while. If you read Warriors by Erin Hunter, then you’ll understand that the stats are a list of the clans and characters and such.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for today. I got a lot done and now I am going to go hang out in my bedroom before Kris gets home (we share a room).

This was a boring post. Thank you for allowing me to waste these past five minutes of your life that you will never get back. 😀

July Camp: Day Six

Oh, Today…

I was very accomplished today. Because today is Saturday, today is technically a FanFiction day. I told myself that I was going to work on my original novels Monday through Friday and FanFiction on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, since it is Camp NaNoWriMo, I had to work a little bit on Cybertra.

So I got down to business. I came home this morning and beta-read some stories I beta for on FanFiction. I got a little behind so I had five chapters to read and look over from three different people. That took me until 11:00, maybe 11:30. It was a long time. But at least I caught myself up and I got it done and out of the way.

Then, in the mood for Cybertra, I wrote that for a bit. My Camp NaNo count is now 10,066. I’m ahead for the NaNo goal, but still behind for my goal. According to my goal, I should be at 15,000 words today. I wrote 2,436 words today when I’m technically supposed to be writing 2,500, so I was almost there. I was going to try to get back to it later, but I don’t think I will at this point. I wanted to make it to at least 10k and I did, so I stopped.

Then I went onto my FanFiction, which was what I was supposed to be doing all day. I finished the outline for my Warriors fan-fic and also came up a sequel. All I have to do is write the actual story, then I’ll be good to go. I told myself to write for at least an hour every single day. I wrote for way more than an hour, but since it was a FanFiction day, I wanted a good solid hour to be spent on FanFiction. So that’s what I did. I set a timer and got a finished outline done. I could have continued and started writing the story, but I really didn’t feel like it.

Instead, I decided to get back to Cybertra. Yes, I know I just said that I wasn’t going to get back to writing that today because I didn’t. I ended up doing something for school for the Fall semester and after I finished writing this post, I’m going to take a break. I have been writing for about six hours today. Granted, I love it and I feel very productive, I think my brain needs a rest. It’s 90 degrees out so I should probably go outside, get some fresh air, and go swimming or something.

Fresh air…? What is that?

July Camp: Day Five

Almost One Week Down…

 

Raph's Note

 

I went away for the Fourth of July with my boyfriend and his family. This meant I had to leave poor Raph behind. Of course, I was only gone for one full day. However, Kris took good care of her. She was at work when I came home and when I went down to the basement to say hi to Raph, I found this note. It says:

“Hi Mom! I drove Kris CRAZY this morning when she was trying to write while I was out. You would have been proud! Despite that, she gave me some AWESOME cucumbers and lettuce. She did not, however, change my pool water. You should get on that. I’m sure you had fun in NH, but I bet you missed me! Love, Raphie.”

Now, as you all know, Raph is a turtle, not a dog or a cat. When I first got her, I did a lot of research on turtles. Everything said turtles have no memory at all. They only remember who feeds them and what hurts them. That’s it. Other than that, they don’t really “feel” anything else.

I was surprised when I went down to take her out because as soon as she saw me, she seemed to get really excited. She tried walking through the glass wall of her tank. She always does that when she sees me because she knows when I come down stairs it either means she’s getting food or she gets to come out of her tank for a bit. So I thought nothing of it. But when I took her out, she kept curling up by my foot. I kept moving her away so she could get some exercise, but she kept coming back. Finally, I picked her up and put her on my lap while I wrote. She actually stayed there. I was surprised because she hates sitting on my lap. I think she hates it because it’s not a flat surface and, since we were sitting on my desk chair, it was high up.

So Raph isn’t a cat or a dog, but I think there is some sort of bond between the two of us with all the interaction I give her. So I don’t really believe all those people on Google who said turtles don’t feel anything. I think she noticed that I was gone. Or maybe I’m just over-thinking this? Oh, well. I’m going to pretend that she missed me. 🙂

Anyway, I wrote while she sat upon my lap. I was right on par with the NaNo count, but my word count…I was behind. By a lot. NaNo is 1,613 words a day, I’m trying to get 2,500 words a day. Because I missed yesterday (and I haven’t been writing 2,500 words a day…) I needed to write about 7,000 words in order to catch up to my own goal. According to my goal, I should be at 12,500. I wrote as much as I could before my cousins came over (but I kept getting distracted…) I wrote a total of 2,027 words leaving my Camp count at 7,630. Not bad.

I’ve been trying to write for at least one hour every single day. I had about three hours to write and even though I kept getting distracted, I did in fact write for a full hour…I think. I’m pretty sure. I don’t see how I couldn’t have written for at least one full hour.

Anyway, tomorrow my goal is supposed to be 15,000. Do we think I can catch up? Eh, we’ll see.

July Camp: Day One

Yay for Camp!!!

 

I have a lot to talk about today, so listen up:

1. My sister Kris and I decided to come up with some sort of schedule. It was actually her idea, but I thought of the idea a while ago (er, years ago). Of course, that was all mine was–an idea. I never even tried it for one day. But yesterday she came up to me and told me to help her stick with something. She showed me a “to do” list of hers. On that she stated she wanted to set a daily goal (words, pages, time, etc.) and do it every day. Monday through Saturday would be spent working on originals and Sunday would be FanFiction days. When I came up with this, I decided I was going to do FanFiction on Saturday and Sunday and originals would be Monday through Friday. I mentioned that to her and I don’t know if she’s going to do her way or my way, but either way we’re going to do it together. Since she asked me to help her make sure she completes this to do list, I decided that I’m going to do it, as well.

Yesterday, which was Sunday, we went to Barnes and Noble for our weekly writing session. I ended up working on my FanFiction because, well it was Sunday, a weekend day. For writing in a notebook, I got a whole lot done. Today is Monday (and the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo) so I worked on original. But since Camp started, I started something new instead of editing Hunter or Diary of a Lover or anything like that. I’m writing Cybertra. I’ll post the summary on here by the end of the month.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to write for at least one hour every day. The morning is really the only reliable time I have just to myself. So I decided that every day (all seven days of the week) I’m going to write from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. That started today. And man do I wish that I started something like this a long time ago! I had the most productive day! I woke up at 6:30, took a shower, made an iced coffee, and wrote while I had Raph getting her daily exercise and I got my morning caffeine dose. My timer went off on my iPod after an hour, I took Chip for a walk, then I got myself ready to go out. I had to babysit toady from 9 to 3. It was great. Not to mention that by 8, I was wide awake, felt refreshed, and ready to take on the day! If this was any other normal day, I would have woken up around seven, realized I needed to take a shower, but say “eh, I’ll do it tonight,” then count down until I had to leave the house all while moping around in my bed watching TV…I’m really not that lazy, but sometimes….

Right.

2. As stated, today was the first day of Camp NaNo. I’m going away this week (leaving Wednesday afternoon and coming back Friday afternoon). So I can write on Wednesday and Friday, but I’ll miss Thursday. One day isn’t bad. But I am going away again the last week of July. The 20th to the 27th. I’m going to bring a couple of notebooks with me and work on FanFiction that week. Yes, I will be breaking my schedule, but I can’t bring my laptop. So I decided that I want to try to finish Camp before I leave. That gives me 20 days instead of 31. Of course, I’ll still have a couple days when I get back, but still.

This means I should write 2,500 words a day instead of the usual 1,613. I wrote 1,616 today. At least I met the standard quota. If I didn’t have to babysit today, I probably would have written a lot more. I have to babysit again tomorrow (double time…9-3 with one family and then 4-7 with another family). Wednesday I’m babysitting, then leaving. Thursday I’ll be gone. Friday I can write when I get home. All next week I’m babysitting 9-1. It’ll be tough, but I think I can make it work. I can at least be able to make it to 50k by the end of the month, if not by the time I go on vacation. I will do it!

3. My novel is weird. Seriously. I had a completely different vision in my mind for Cybertra and it…well, it took an unexpected turn. Don’t get me wrong, I love where it ended up going, but I was shocked…and was laughing. A lot. I can’t post the summary yet, so you’re going to get lost when I tell you this, but…in the novel, the father builds robots to help people in need. Elderly people, police force, etc. He makes 100 robots at a time and when they all get shipped to a big company that sells them places, he makes a new batch of 100 robots. But, in the prologue, his daughter is six and wants to keep one. All the robots look exactly the same on the outside. The only way to tell them apart is by their personalities. And…well, one of them, the one they end up keeping, has a very different personality. He wasn’t supposed to be this animated. He was supposed to act more…robot-like, I guess you could say. So I can’t give you a summary, but here’s a small excerpt from the prologue:

 “No, no, no! You must hold your pinky up. Haven’t your mother taught you any manners?” a small little girl wearing a pink, frilly dress with a sparkling tiara on top of her head, held up a small plastic tea cup. Her pinky was in the air and she tried to speak in a grown-up, mature tone.

            “I have not had time to learn manners. My apologizes,”

            The man poked his head through a door in the crack of where the young girl and her guest played on the floor of her bedroom. He opened the door a little more to see her smiling and laughing.

            “Well, it’s a good thing you came here, then.” She giggled.

            “Hannah?” he opened the door all the way.

            She froze. Her eyes grew wide as she shifted them back and forth between both of the gentlemen in her room. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered something.

            “Hannah,” the man sighed. He knew exactly what she was saying to her robot friend.

            “Oh, right! The inspection!” the android jumped off of the floor. “Excuse me, Mr. Noel! I must go see Mr. Noel! I am late…I am very late!” he brushed right by the gentleman and disappeared down the hallway going to the basement.

            Mr. Noel shook his head. He lifted his clipboard and muttered to himself. “Fix attention span on number four…”

Leo is what Hannah names him. He wasn’t really supposed to have a name, either. Oh, well.

Happy camping, everyone! 🙂

Yay, Updates!

I’m Productive…Sort Of….

 

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

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

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

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

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

“I know that that would James pleased.”

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

“I know that James would be pleased.”

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

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

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

Too Busy For My Own Good

I Have Too Much To Do….

 

I believe in my last post I was complaining about everything that I had to get done instead of actually talking about my writing. Yeah…the problem is, I can’t really talk about my writing when I haven’t really been writing.

This past weekend was pretty busy. I can’t remember what I did Friday (isn’t that sad?), but I know that I was at work all day. Saturday morning I had to help my sister move into her new apartment. That didn’t take up too much of the day. Sunday, yesterday, was Father’s Day and the last day of Sunday school. So I had church in the morning and then I had my mom’s side over for a cook out. Then Kris and I  kicked back at the end of the night and played Super Smash Brothers Brawl together as we were both too exhausted to do anything productive.

I still have to start the websites for my work and for my church. I still have to start writing lesson plans for Sunday school next year. I have to clean my areas of the house and I have to continue writing. I have to study for my MTEL. I have to send in my lead teacher certification application. But wait, there’s more! …I’m not going to list any of the rest, though. None of this needs to get done as soon as possible or anything like that, but it would be nice to get them all finished sooner rather than later.

I did get a little writing done yesterday, though. Kris and I decided that we’re slowly going to work on a book together. So I wrote the prologue. Now she just has to write the first chapter. By the way, whenever this book is finished, it’s going to take a really long time to edit. Not because there are two people working on it; therefore there are two different opinions on what should happen, but we have no plot in mind. We are literally just going with the flow. Currently, the novel is called Titleless. Yep.

So I’m working on that, I’m still working on editing Hunter, I have to figure out what I’m doing for Camp NaNo next month, I have been beta-reading a lot of stories lately on FanFiction, and I have been kind of wanting to get back to writing FanFiction. I think I’m going to try working on that soon.

I do know what I am going to be writing for Camp, but I have a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. It’s a superhero novel called Cybertra. I think I have mentioned this idea before on here because I thought of it a long time ago. I just never went through with it. However, after seeing Iron Man 3 in theaters a few weeks ago, it’s put me in the mood to begin the series. I just have to plan a few things out first.

Other than me being ridiculously busy, I don’t think I have too much else to say since I haven’t really been writing too much lately. I plan on getting as much done as I can this week (this week is my last week of work). Then I can focus on babysitting (since I will have no work all summer, I’m going to need as many babysitting jobs as I can get) and writing. So, naturally, I spent all morning before work playing Pokemon and then Super Smash Brothers Brawl online with my boyfriend. Great morning, huh?

But at least I’m updating my blog. That’s technically writing, isn’t it?

Insert Interesting Title Here

I Have Nothing Witty To Say…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What An Interesting Day

June 3 and June 4, 2013…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We Got This

One Step Closer…

 

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

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

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

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

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