Homework Is My Life

Homework has always been a priority over writing. I wish it wasn’t, but you know… deadlines. I have a week to do my assignments and I don’t have any deadlines for my writing. Except for NaNo months, but… 30 days is more than seven days. So, again, homework wins.

BUT…

I did really well this morning! I woke up and got an hour and a half in of homework before I went to work. Then I came home from work, did a little more homework for about two hours and viola!

I completed all my assignments for two out of my four classes for this week. For my psych class I have to work on my project (which won’t take long at all) and take a quiz (which takes 15 minutes, but he doesn’t open the quizzes until Thursday so I can’t do it yet). For my Rowling & Tolkien class I need to critique two essays for the two classmates in my group. Again, that shouldn’t take long. I can finish all that (except the quiz) tomorrow morning and after work.

I also have to do the final draft of my Harry Potter essay and do the final draft of the first chapter of Detective Florence (which I sent in for my project in my Fiction class for feedback). Those aren’t due for another two weeks, though. I plan on slowly working on them this week to get them out of the way, but once the homework that’s due this Sunday is completed I am going to take the time to write! Writing will take priority over homework for that time being.

I didn’t write today and probably won’t get a chance tomorrow, but I can write from Wednesday all the way through next week. Next week I don’t have school and only have two and a half days of work because of Thanksgiving.

It’s like a NaNo jackpot!

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NaNo Reward

This semester I’m taking a psychology course called “Learning and Behavior.” It’s all about how we learn, how we behave, why we behave the way we do, etc. It discusses ways to reinforce positive behavior and ways to get rid of negative behavior. My professor wants us to focus on our own behavior, but the textbook focuses on children in a classroom setting; which is fine with me because I’m able to use what I learn from the textbook and use it at work.

But I’m supposed to be focusing on myself. We have a behavior reinforcement project to do. In other words, I have to put myself on a behavior plan.

The first assignment was to come up with a behavior I wanted to increase or decrease. I had to admit, this was a tough decision. I have myself on a pretty tight schedule when it comes to balancing work and school. Then I realized… it’s pretty difficult for me to fit writing into that schedule because I work full time and always seem to have so much homework. So I thought, why not? I decided to put myself on a behavior plan that will get me to write more.

Write It

Of course I always want to write, but there are things that take bigger priority. My homework has a deadline, I have to be at work at a certain time each day, my writing… well, it has no deadline as I have nothing being published and I don’t have a certain time to write every day. I tried doing that and I didn’t get very far with it. The main problem is that I don’t write when I don’t have time and I still don’t write when I do have time because I’m usually exhausted from work and school.

After I decided on this topic and submitted it to my professor I thought, how am I going to do this? This isn’t an ordinary project where I sit down at my computer and type an essay or do research on Google. No, this is something I will be working on every day without even realizing it.

Yesterday, Kris and I were discussing NaNo and rewards. During July’s Camp NaNo session, Kris and I bought Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. We didn’t open it and left it leaning it against the TV. We were only allowed to open and play the game if both of us hit our word goals–50,000 for me and 25,000 for Kris. Due to the game staring us down, we both won and spent many hours playing the game when the month was over.

We decided to do something similar like that this year and reward ourselves for winning.

I told Kris that I was going to give myself a dollar for every 1,000 words I write. In other words, when I hit 50,000 I’ll have 50 dollars. If I only get to 34,659 I’ll have 35 dollars (remember: always round up!). Then I can use that money for whatever I want at the end of the month… it will most likely be for a new video game.

This idea has been in my head for a bit and I just realized about an hour ago that this is my project. My reinforcement for writing will be money. So I guess that solves that problem. I bet my professor is going to just love my project! The thing is I wouldn’t need a reinforcement system for my writing if it weren’t for homework tying me down all the time. Ironic, huh?

Is anyone else giving themselves any kind of reward; whether it’s a daily word count reward or an overall reward for winning?

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! 🙂

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.

Happy December!

Where Did The Year Go…

NaNo Winner 3

 

Well, it’s December first. I can’t remember anything that happened this year and we still have a month to go. Needless to say, November was a busy month, but it’s all a blur to me now. The first 17 days of November I wrote…a lot. And I won NaNoWriMo. I had planned on going above and beyond the 50k mark because I wanted to finish the entire manuscript. However, I think I got a little too tired from all that writing before. I hit about 52k and then stopped. But I got a nifty certificate to go with my Camp NaNo ones!

The best part is that Kris won NaNo, too. This was her very first year winning and last night she got home from working 8:30-5:30 and wrote about 5,000 words in order to hit the 50k. She finished around 10:30 at night, but she made it just in time! She and I are going Christmas shopping today. If we find anything we want, we may treat ourselves for winning.

In other news, I started a new project. Yeah, I know…I have too many writing projects going on at once. But I figured that for the month of December I can go back and forth between that one and Detective Florence. I’m hoping that I will be able to finish that novel by the end of the month so for my New Year’s resolution I can say I want it to be completely edited by the end of 2014. Heh, we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, this new project is a collection of silly poems for kids. Random? Totally. Friday night Kris was writing her NaNo novel and I didn’t feel like writing mine. I was in a bit of a hyped up mood and ended up writing a poem about a fat dog named Sit. I would post it to give you guys a sneak peek, but I submitted it to Chicken Soup. They have a new book coming out called “The Dog Did WHAT?”

Now I’m sure most of you have heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Most of you probably have a few of their books. The stories and poems submitted are non-fiction, heart-felt, inspirational. Some make you laugh, some make you cry. Kris thought this poem was so adorable that she begged me to submit it. I don’t think it will get published as it’s obvious that it’s a silly fictional poem. But like Kris said, “The worst they can do is say no.” So I sent it in anyway, but I highly doubt it will get published.

The deadline for entries for this particular book is January 5, 2014. So it’s going to be a while before I hear back (if I hear back at all…I don’t think they contact you if it’s a rejection). So I will post it eventually. But I’m also shooting to make a whole book of these poems and maybe get that published someday. I have four poems so far. Go me!

So I was going to post an excerpt of Detective Florence today, but since I never finished the full manuscript, I’m going to wait. When I finish the novel (hopefully by the end of the month) I’ll post an excerpt of it.

Congrats to all those who won NaNoWriMo this year! 🙂

And So It Goes On

To Be Continued…

 

As I mentioned in my last post, I won NaNo. Yay!

But I also mentioned that my novel is far from over. I may have hit 50k words, but I still have probably at least another 50k more words to write, if not more. I am writing a murder mystery, after all. This thing takes a lot of planning. I can only imagine what the editing process is going to be like…

Anyway, I continued to write this morning before work. I wrote 2,380 words. I didn’t want to stop at where I left off, but I do have to get ready for work in a few minutes. And I’m not going to have much time to write when I get home from work, either.

I’m glad that I’m still into my novel. I usually have the issue of not finishing what I start. Usually when I write a novel, I get other ideas for other novels and I tend to hop around between novels. I’m actually sticking with this one and I keep coming up with more ideas for it.

Then again, I never finished my outline for the novel and I already wrote everything that I had put onto my outline. So now I’m winging it. We’ll see how this goes.

Today’s Word Count: 2,380
Total Word Count: 52,610
Today’s Page Count: 7
Total Page Count: 167

Day 10

20 More Days…

 

Write

 

I didn’t write as much as I wanted to do today. So I’m glad I got a lot of words in yesterday. Today was still pretty productive, though. I got to hang out with my two sisters and future brother-in-law, so I can’t complain.

Today marks day ten of NaNo. We have 20 more days to go. I hope everyone is doing fantastic on their novels!

As promised, because today is Sunday, I added something new about my NaNo novel, Detective Florence. It’s the character profile for my male protagonist, Detective George Florence. Read it and hopefully you’ll fall in love with him just as I have. I’m also hoping that it will coax you into wanting to read the novel (whenever it’s finished, edited, and published, that is…).

So as I writing today, I realized something…there have been a few years when I’ve tried to write more than one novel for NaNo. Or tried to get to 100k in one or two novels for NaNo. I have about 16k left to write and I feel like I haven’t made a dent in the plot, yet for my novel.

Sure, the plot is moving. But it’s a murder mystery. There’s a lot of things going on. So many questions that need to be answered by the end of the book, but my characters are the ones who need to find the answers so the readers can figure it out, as well. At the pace I’m moving with my word count, it makes me wonder if (without trying this time) I will in fact hit 100k. Or maybe I’m just over thinking things.

But as I said, there are 20 days left. I guess a lot can happen in these next few weeks. Anything can happen.

If you want more Writing Buddies on NaNo, feel free to add me, Fiery_Sapphire, or my sister Kris, Winged_Spirit.

Today’s Word Count: 3,560
Total Word Count: 33,651
Today’s Page Count: 11
Total Page Count: 107

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

T.G.I.F.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday…

 

Keep Calm

 

 

Today is Friday. You guys have no idea how good that makes me feel! I am so exhausted from work, it’s not even funny. Tomorrow is going to be tough because I have to work on my bedroom and my office…the office is officially all set. Kris and I just need to organize it and such and the electrician is coming in next week to finally give us light in there. We’re painting our bedroom soon so we need to go through all our stuff and clean up so it’s less stuff to walk around while painting. Oh, and I guess I should work on some homework, huh? Fun stuff.

But Sunday will be good because I have church in the morning then Kris and I are going to go to Starbucks and spend the entire day writing. I’m hoping to get a lot done. I haven’t written much the past couple of days because I wrote at night instead of the morning. Kris and I worked on our office this morning while it was light out so we could see.

Then Monday is Veteran’s Day so I don’t have work. I again have the entire day to write and get other things done. Like homework…which may or may not happen. Who knows?

But today marks the first day of Week Two for NaNo. Yay! We all made it this far together! Pat yourself on the back if you’ve only gone slightly insane since the start of this thing.

For those of you who are behind, keep going! You still have time to catch up.
For those of you who are on par, great work!
For those of you who are ahead, fantastic!
For those of you who have already won, I hate you. No seriously, if you’ve already hit 50k, that’s wonderful and I applaud you for such speedy work. But I still envy you people for having so much time to write.

Today I ended up hitting my word count because I ended up adding onto a scene from the very beginning of the novel. I was a certain point where the main character needed to know this person very well and…he didn’t. So I needed to cheat and edit a little even though we’re technically not supposed to do that in NaNo. Shhh!

Anyway, we have three more weeks to go. We’ve lasted this long, I think we can stick it out if we really put our minds to it, don’t you think? But I feel like I’ve been doing NaNo for a lot longer than eight days, though…this is going to be a long month, isn’t it?

Today’s Word Count: 2,113
Total Word Count: 23,306
Today’s Page Count: 6
Total Page Count: 75