Semi-Hiatus

I’m going to Disney today!

Well, l’m going to Disney tomorrow, leaving today. Kris and l are driving down with our cousins, aunt, and uncle. It takes about a day and a half.

I’m leaving soon so l need to keep the post short and sweet, but l’m going to try my best to update this week. It just won’t be about writing… it’ll be about Disney.

Parts two and three of my short challenge will be posted as the next two Short Story Sundays. They’re all ready written and posted as drafts on WordPress. So, provided l have wi-fi and my phone has service in the hotel (which it should) then l’ll be able to post.

I hope to update semi-regularly to share my trip with everyone, but l can’t make any promises. Honestly, l can’t even promise the short stories just in case.

However, if l am able to post, I don’t know how well l’ll be able to keep up with comments. I may reply to them all, just some, or not at all. I’ll catch up on everything when l get back… which will be August 27 (l think).

I hope everyone is doing well has a great week! Wish me luck for the car ride!

Advertisements

Lucky Seven Challenge

Via Skye Hegyes
Via Skye Hegyes

While I was looking through the WordPress Reader this morning, I came across a post titled “Lucky Seven Challenge” from Skye Hegyes’s blog. I saw the word “challenge” and it intrigued me to see what it was all about.

Apparently, you’re supposed to go to page seven of your work in progress, count down seven lines, and then copy and paste the following seven lines to share with people. Make sense?

So, here’s mine. I took it from my most recent accomplishment, Detective Florence 2.

            I growled at her, but she pretended that she didn’t hear me. I knew she wasn’t going to listen to me if I told her to get back into the other room. She stayed behind me as we were just about to reach the bathroom.

“Didn’t you lock the front door when we left earlier?” I grumbled. I knew I should have been the last one to exit the house.

“Of course I did!” Lilah defended herself in a harsh undertone. She glared at me for only a moment and then she turned her attention back on the bathroom door anticipating the moment when someone came out into the hallway.

Now, I’ll admit that I cheated a bit…this is eight lines, not seven. The seventh line ended in the middle of a sentence.

I have to say that I’m kind of glad where the lines fell. Seven lines isn’t a lot, but you can still tell what is going on the story; or you can at least assume. From this alone, you guys can probably use it as a writing prompt and make up your own ending. 😉

Make sure you go to Skye Hegyes’s blog and check out her Lucky Seven Challenge! Also, feel free to do it yourself and post it your own blog. I’d love to see what others come up with!

More Than Halfway

30,000 Words…

 

Warning

 

 

Today was a fantastic, productive day for me! I wrote over 6,000 words on my NaNo novel and I got this week’s homework all done. The homework didn’t take me as long as I thought it was going to. Yes, it took me a few hours, but I probably would have been able to find time during the week to get it done before today. Then I would have had more time to write. Ah, well.

I didn’t plan on writing as much as I did today. But I learned a lot about my novel today and I think that’s why I kept on going. For example:

1. A few new characters were introduced. One of them being George’s brother and one being George’s former partner–I say “former” because George was laid off from the police department. Let’s keep in mind that George’s former partner, Detective Xavier Barron (this name was pulled out of my rear on account I was writing with the timer going), was never supposed to be in the story.
2. Speaking of Xavier, he is apparently now George’s rival. Every good protagonist needs a rival, right? Well, George has one now. Even though they used to be good friends and again, this was not planned…
3. Not only are the characters learning more about Lilah’s father, but I’m learning a lot more about Lilah’s father. This is good because Lilah’s father’s death is major plot point for the story.
4. Lilah’s elderly neighbor’s husband is deceased. The characters (and again, me) are learning a lot about him–his personality, his background, his death–when he’s not supposed to be a big deal in the story. In fact, this was how much he was not supposed to be in the novel: I didn’t come up with a name for him. But now that he apparently wants his story to be told…I still don’t have a name for me. I wasn’t able to pick a name off my back as easily as I was able to Xavier (and honestly, I think I only thought of that name because X-Men has been on my mind).

So there you have it. It’s the beginning of week two for NaNo and my characters have completely over-run the entire novel. Right on schedule. In other news, my left wrist is in pain. Even though it confuses me because it’s usually my right wrist, but again, right on schedule with week two.

Tomorrow is Sunday, which means I’m going to double-post. I’m going to update my progress and also post a tid-bit on my novel. Last Sunday I posted the summary for my NaNo novel, Detective Florence (Book One). Tomorrow I am going to post a character profile for my male protagonist, Detective George Florence. I hope you guys will look forward to that.

If you want more Writing Buddies, my NaNo profile is: Fiery_Sapphire and my sister Kris is: Winged_Spirit. We have very unique names (to say the least). 🙂

Today’s Word Count: 6,785
Total Word Count: 30,091
Today’s Page Count: 21
Total Page Count: 96

Monday Morning

Two Hours Of Writing…

 

Keep Calm

 

 

Yesterday was a very productive writing day for both my and Kris. We wrote our NaNoWriMo novels together and she was able to make it up to par while I was able to get myself way ahead. It must have been all that Starbucks. 😉

Anyway, I think what really helped us out was that we weren’t looking at the word count in the bottom left screen on Word. I took my Donny, my iPod, and Kris took her phone, and we leaned them up against the computer screen right in that spot. Then I took my phone, set the timer for 30 minutes and we kept going until the timer went off. The point was to see how much we could write in that amount of time. We ended up writing a lot more than we thought–we each banged out about 1,000 words. It made the writing process go by a lot faster and I think we got more work done that way than we would have if we were just typing while staring at the word count slowly going up.

We continued to do that after realizing how well it worked. But every time I wrote for 30 minutes, I realized that I wrote exactly five pages, too. I decided that if it only takes me 30 minutes to write five pages, why not try to get my goal to be “write five pages a day?” (yes, I know the picture says one page…)

I decided that’s going to be my New Year’s resolution. Yes, I know that’s two months away, but I thought I might as well get started on it now. I can get myself into the habit of it so it might be easier to accomplish next year. Especially since it’s NaNo right now, I’m going to need all the pages I can get to boost my word count.

So I wrote for about an hour and a half to two hours this morning. I wrote while my cousins got themselves ready for school and I wrote after they left. I have about an hour or so in between the time they leave for school and the time I have to start getting ready for work.

But it was productive nonetheless. I wrote about six pages and 3,398 words. It was a good morning. I had to have two cups of coffee, but I can blame part of that on the weather (I think it’s in the 40s…ew).

Anyway, if you want to read the summary of my NaNo novel, here it is: Detective Florence (Book One)

Also, I stopped posting my NaNo username at the end of my posts, but lately a lot of people have been asking for it. You can find my NaNo profiles on the “Come Find Me” page of the blog or you can look me up: Fiery_Sapphire (you can also click my username to be brought to my profile). I love having Writing Buddies, so feel free to add me!

 

Today’s Word Count: 3,398
Total Word Count: 14,028

Sunday Updates

Super Productive Things Going On…

 

Start Writing

 

 

During NaNoWriMo, Kris and I decided that we were going to spend every Sunday not having a life. We’ll go to church in the morning, go to Starbucks immediately after, then go straight home to write until we decide to go to bed. Today is the first Sunday of NaNo; therefore, it was the first day of this plan.

We went to church, went to Starbucks, then came home and goofed off a bit. Great start, huh? Due to everything going on at my house (we’ve had to sleep in the living room for the past three nights because the insulation guys were in our room and are still not done), we needed to clean up the living and make our beds in our bedroom so we could sleep in our own beds tonight. We decided to hold off on that until we wrote for a little while. Then Kris says, “What time are you babysitting tonight?” Well, crap…I forgot I was supposed to babysit tonight. So we had to stop writing earlier than intended so we could get our room straightened out, I could post on here, and then get ready to go babysit. I have leave in about a half hour.

So here’s a quick post to update my progress on NaNo. I wrote 6,950 words in about four and half to five hours today. Yay! Kris and I were both super productive. I’ve also been following my outline, so it’s been easy to write. The words keep flowing out of my fingers (does that make sense?) and I haven’t gotten one bit of writer’s block…yet.

Kris and I are hoping to keep this streak up every Sunday during NaNo. I’m also hoping to keep up with writing 1,667 words a day every day (even though I’m ahead), just to get myself into a good routine. But tomorrow is Monday, which means I’m going to have new homework as well as work. So we’ll see how things go. But at least if I can write for an hour or so in the morning, I should be good.

I also decided that during NaNo, every single Sunday I’m going to post something about the novel I’m writing. Today, I posted the summary. I already posted it before this post, you can read it here. I hope it sounds interesting to all of you. I’ve never been good at writing summaries.

Right now my fingers keep making typos because they’re tired from typing so much. I’m going to give myself carpel tunnel. Yep. I’m a writer.

 

Today’s Word Count: 6,950
Total Word Count: 10,630

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?

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. 😉

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. 😀

Day Eighteen

Big News…

 

I know that I skipped the blog post yesterday, but yesterday was my dad’s birthday…and I may have played Pokemon for, oh I don’t know…five or six hours? However, I did write 1,260 words yesterday. It’s better than nothing, right? I wrote those words for Seeing Things.

Today was a better day. I wrote 3,504 words to Take Over. And guess what? Take Over is completed! You guys don’t realize how happy I am that I finished it. Now, as I continue for Camp NaNo for the rest of April, I can focus on just one novel. That novel being Seeing Things, even though it’s just “part” of a novel.

I have to say this: 2013 has been a pretty big year so far. I made a resolution to write a lot more and I have actually been keeping up with that. I finished the first part of a novel (Saving Each Other) in about two weeks. Saving Each Other, I just printed out the part today, is 119 double-spaced pages with 35,076 words. Seeing Things and the other three parts of that novel are going to be just as long. This novel is going to be a big book.

I finished Take Over in about five weeks. I estimate that because I started it at the beginning of March and stopped writing it for Camp NaNo. However, when I picked it back up again it only took me an extra four or five days to finish. Take Over is 219 double-spaced pages with 70,642 words. Now it’s onto the fun part…editing.

So I completed 1/5 of a novel and a whole novel in less than two months. Now I’m onto the second part of a novel I hope to get a good dent it in by the end of the month. I’m putting those words towards Camp NaNo. Which, by the way, from today’s word count and yesterday’s word count is up to 44,069.

I had planned on writing more today because that 3k was written in school this morning. However, I had to babysit (like I do every Thursday), but I ended up going to their house an hour earlier and leaving two hours later than I usually do. I’m not going to explain, but things are chaotic at their house at the moment.

Not to mention that I have a ton of homework. As I said before, it’s the end of the semester so all my teachers decide to give out everything now. I have three chapters worth of homework in math as well as a project, I have two science projects, and I have a essay for my student teaching class as well as write up a few lesson plans. Although, the lesson plans are optional so that’s the last thing on my mind. There’s three weeks left in the semester and all this stuff is due one right after the other. It’s a pain. I quit.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good writing day. I hoped to get to 50k today, but oh well. Maybe tomorrow. Or Saturday. The worst part is that I’m in a big mood to play Pokemon, so hopefully I can just use that as an incentive to get my homework and/or writing done. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I was very close to skipping my science class on Tuesday, but I told myself I would get myself Starbucks if I went to class. And I did. I was happy.

Okay, today exhausted the crap out of me so now I’m just kind of babbling on…I’ll see you all tomorrow!

 

2013: 125,848/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Update This And Update That

I Have Important Things To Say….

 

I have no idea where to start! I have a lot to say and I don’t know if I’m going to remember it all. I had Starbucks today and I am extremely wired! Seriously, ask my sister…and my mother…I was bothering them both. Singing, dancing, making weird noises, walking funny, yelling, laughing, falling on the floor, being loud…true story.

ANYWAY, I have three things to talk about…at least that’s all I can remember that I had to talk about…

First, Spilled Ink is back up for business. About two years ago, my sister and I started a writing website. Life got in the way and we kind of let it die. However, we wanted to get back into it so we made a new website for it. We came up with some new ideas for it, kept some old ideas and scrapped the rest of the old ideas. We hope the website grows a lot and is very successful.

Let me tell you a little about it: There are prompts, tips, writing races, co-authoring, and a role-playing section. There’s a place where members can review and discuss books they have read. Also, each member has their own board where they can post their own stories and other people can review the stories. You know, give feedback and critique. The link is on the Come Find Me page of this blog, but here it is again: Spilled Ink. Please go check it out and if you like, go ahead and join. We’d love to have you. 🙂

Next, I was thinking of adding more to this blog. My sister gave me this idea a while ago and I have been thinking of doing it ever since. I just never got the chance to actually do it. I was thinking about it more today and I think I’m going to really do it. However, I want to get your opinions anyway. So, if you don’t mind, please comment on whether you would enjoy this and want me to do this: once a month, I was thinking of doing a volg (video blog, for those of you who don’t know). So, once a month instead of posting words, you’d get to hear it straight from my loud mouth. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I don’t know when I would actually start doing this, but I thought I would throw it out there and see if you guys would like that or not. Of course, if the majority of you say no I may do it anyway. 😀

Third, I guess I should update about my actual writing, huh? I have been writing bit by bit each day since my last post. Since my last post I have written 7,659 words on Take Over. I plan on writing a little more tonight, but I probably won’t get the chance to update this later tonight and tell you all how wonderful I have been doing with my writing! I’ve been a good girl lately. 😀

I guess I do have more to talk about…fourth, my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble today (hence the Starbucks). We were looking at writing books when we were supposed to be writing. I have been thinking a lot about my future lately and I decided that it’s time that I really start looking for publishers. I have two children’s books written and ready to leave the nest. So I found one of those books that lists publishing companies, agencies, magazines, etc. I wrote down a few publishing companies that represent picture books. So, while I finish Take Over, edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover, and write Saving Each Other for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ll be sending my two picture books off to publishers.

Also, Writer’s Digest sent me a thing in the mail about their annual writing contest. I’ve done it before (and lost, obviously), but that was two or three years ago. I think I’m going to try to do it again this year. I think I’m going to send in a poem. I don’t write poems often, although I would like to. I wasn’t going to bother with the contest again this year, but the other day, in math class of all places, I thought of a poem idea. I think that was my inner muse saying, “Do the Writer’s Digest contest!” Because seriously, when do I come up with poem ideas?

Anyway, that’s that. Send my picture books to publishers, polish off my young adult novels, prepare for Camp NaNo, finish Take Over, do the contest…I have a lot on my plate right now. But I like it. I have wanted to be an author since I was ten and I finally want to get started on it. Meanwhile, I’m going to promote myself as much as possible. So follow me on here, on Twitter (the link is also on the Come Find Me page), and on my other Spilled Ink website. Then sit back and watch me succeed. Because I’m going to make it no matter what. 🙂

 

2013: 72,855/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read