Thank You

Thanksgiving comes once a year, but saying a thank you here and there is never frowned upon. Still, Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to say a quick thanks.

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Thank You to all my fellow bloggers and writers. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through WordPress and various social media. We’ve helped each other on our blogging journey as well as encourage each other through our writing endeavors. The community is awesome and the support is so overwhelming. (In a good way, of course.)

Thank You to all my readers. It amazes me how many people care about what I have to say and enjoy my creative writing. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to continue blogging and writing if I didn’t have any readers. Well, I guess I could continue it, but it’d be way less fun.

Thank You to all my patrons on Patreon. The kind of support and community over there amazes me as well and it’s truly heartwarming to know there are people who believe in me that much and put so much faith in my work.

Thank You to all my friends and family. I don’t think many people I know in real life read my blog (I know some of them do), but whether they read it or not, they’re support is amazing as well. This blog wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have the encouragement from them to keep going and to even take the risk to quit my job and just go for this whole writing thing.

Thank You to everyone. You all have a special place in my heart and I couldn’t do this without you.

What are you most thankful for? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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A Huge Thank You – Happy Thanksgiving

I don’t normally publish personal posts anymore, but today is Thanksgiving so I felt that this was appropriate.

A lot has happened in the past five and half years since I started blogging. A lot has happened in this past year, in just the past few months alone.

This time last year I had decided that I was going to quit my job. I had no idea what was going to be in store for me, but I just knew I had to try to follow my dreams. There was no other time to do it. It was either now or never.

Thank You

I Am Thankful For…

My Family

I can’t express how grateful I am for my family. I am so lucky to have two wonderful parents who support me no matter what. I’m lucky they allow me to live under their roof rent-free while I quit my job to pursue my passion. Which, as we all know, can be a crapshoot because writing isn’t a sure thing.

There are my two older sisters and brother-in-law who are always encouraging me, asking me how my writing is going, and interested in what I’m doing. Then there are of course my two cousins, my Uncle, and grandparents among the rest of my family.

My Friends

I don’t have many “writer” friends in real life. I do have friends in my writing group and I love each and every one of them and value their thoughts and opinions on my writing and just writing in general. Plus, they’re just a fun bunch to hang out with!

But my non-writer friends, the best ones I have, are super supportive even though they fully understand what I’m trying to do. They just know that I love it and they’re happy for me that I’m trying.

My WordPress/Social Media Friends

I’m not going to name any people because there are way too many and I’m sure you know who you are (you better know who you are). I honestly can’t say enough how thankful I am for my fellow bloggers and writers on this site and across my social media. I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of you and have made a lot of new friends. I feel like I’m part of a super important club and I think we have an amazing community going on.

So many opportunities have risen for me through my blog. I’ve been connected with all sorts of bloggers (writers, readers, gamers) as well as authors (self and traditional) and even publicists. I’ve interviewed people and been interviewed by people. I’ve had guest posts on my blog and wrote a few guest posts myself. I’ve participated in blog tours and done cover reveals. I’ve read and reviewed published books and ARC books. My blog and I have come so far and it baffles me, to be honest.

New Opportunities

Speaking of the above, it’s through this blog that I met Emily Green, a publicist. After reviewing a few books for her, I inquired about her work. It intrigued me and she was so nice to take me under her wing. I was her intern for a few months and now I help her with her projects when she needs it. I’ve learned a lot. She’s a wonderful mentor and an encouraging friend. I’m so grateful she took a chance on me.

I’ve also found other places to write. Kris and I started our own gaming blog and have met so many new friends through that. We contribute to another gaming blog writing occasional reviews for them. It’s through that blog and those friends that we have big things planned.

Speaking of writing, writing is another opportunity. I know I’ve been doing that for a while, but if it weren’t for this blog I wouldn’t be taking nearly as many of the chances I take now. My original writing wouldn’t be on the Internet and I wouldn’t be looking into self-publishing and taking action towards my overall writing career.

Old Opportunities

I was writing for a gaming website called Now Loading. I was almost done with the “academy” part of the site. After that, I would have been able to apply to be a verified creator which would allow me to get paid for my articles. Unfortunately, the website had to close its doors. Still, it was fun while it lasted and I learned a lot.

I’m still coming to terms with myself quitting my job. It was getting to the point where I wasn’t as happy going to work as I used to be. I loved the people I worked with and the kids, of course, but it wasn’t helping my creativity. I felt like I was in a rut. Overall, I think it was a good decision that I left, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Two of the three teachers I worked with moved onto a different school so our team (after three years) would have split up no matter if I left or stayed. It just seemed like the right time. But I still look at the clock and think to myself, “the kids are having their snack right now,” or “I would be outside chasing the kids around right now.”

My co-workers were super supportive of me whether I stayed in education or decided to move on with my writing. I miss them, but I’m sure I’ll see them again soon.

Overall

I really hope I’m not missing anything or anyone. 2017 has been a roller coaster – good things happened and bad things happened, but that’s just life.

I think I’m finally on my way to officially having a writing career. I have big plans for 2018 and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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“Working” On Vacation

Every year my family and l go away for the weekend after Thanksgiving. It just happened to become tradition a few years ago and it’s great to get away for a weekend in the middle of work and school. It’s a nice break.

I am not a light packer. Anyone who knows me personally in real life can tell you that. I would pack the entire house if l could. Example: l have three unread books on my Kindle. Before we left l bought a fourth one. Because you know there’s that .5% chance that l would happen to read and finish all three books in two days with time to spare and how tragic would it be if l ran out of something to read? Now, keep in mind that l brought my Kindle in an attempt to save space by not bringing physical novels. So it kind of balances out… l guess.

Anyway, l brought my Detective Florence 2 manuscript along with two notebooks (one blank, one with the outlined notes), the notes and outline for the first novel, blank index cards, blank post-it notes, and about five pens with four highlighters and two sharpies. Again, you need a plethora of pens because there’s that slight chance they will all run out of ink in two days.

Back to the point… l did some editing yesterday and l plan on editing today as well. Now that NaNo is over, l plan to finish editing the second novel, type up the next draft of both the first and second novels, outline the third, and then write the third. I’m in for a fun ride.

So l’m texting my friend yesterday and she asked how l was doing and such. I told her l was editing.

Her response: “Why are you writing while on vacation?”

Now let’s discuss…

I love writing. I am going to do it whenever and where ever l can. It relaxes me. I don’t see it as work. Sure, it would be nice to write full-time for a job, but whether that happens or not it will always be a passionate hobby of mine.

To be honest, l think vacation is the perfect time to write for a few reasons.

1. It’s a new environment. I tend to write at my desk at my house in my office/den l share with Kris. Sometimes, in the same room, l will write on the couch using the ottoman as a desk. Sometimes l go in my bedroom. When home alone, l’ll go in the kitchen or dining room. I even write while taking a bath. If l get a moment alone at work l’ll jot down notes. You can write anywhere you think of.

2. There are barely any distractions. When writing at home l have the Internet. There are many websites l am on that l can get to with a click of a button and before l know it, it’s time for bed. There’s also the cleaning. The dusty room around me just stares me down and it bothers me. There’s mail to get–l love getting the mail. I don’t know why, l never get anything good. If l’m not at work l usually keep an eye out for it. There’s also video games, friends to see, homework to do, etc.

3. There are no other responsibilities. Kind of like the previous point, there is no real cleaning to be done. As long as l clean up after myself before l go home, l’m good. I don’t have to worry about doing homework. I don’t have to worry about anything so my mind is cleared up for everything.

4. It’s relaxing. Why write next to the heating vent at my house when l can write next to the fireplace? There is no fireplace at my house; therefore, l cannot write to the soothing crackling sound. Well… l can, but those sounds are on websites. There’s no pretty flame or heat so it’s not the same effect.

I’m sure there are many more reasons, but this is what l can come up with for now.

My friend loves that l write and she supports me with it. She’s always asking how my novels are going, what they’re about, etc. However, she knows l want to write full-time which would be my career. Career is work. Therefore, she thinks writing is work. Technically yes, as it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a long process and such.

What she doesn’t realize is how much fun it is and how people need a certain passion for writing. Writers don’t see writing as work. Writing is just using the imagination and being creative.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am thankful for my school. As much as I complain, I would not be where l am today without it. I am well-educated and have learned a lot over the years. School has opened my mind to many new things and because of that l want to learn more.

I am thankful my job, the people l work with, and my students. I work with wonderful people who are inspiring to me with all the care and knowledge they bring to the special education world. I love each and every one of my students. Despite their disabilities, they still smile every single day and strive to be independant and do the best they can. I always look forward to going to work and am truly lucky to be one of the few people in this world who actually love their job.

I am thankful for all the past jobs l’ve had. I have met so many people over the years, some good and some bad. However, that taught me the right things to say and do and also that some people are here to stay and some aren’t, but everyone comes into your life for a reason.

I am thankful for the “little things” that l have a warm bed to sleep in at night, food to fill my belly, and a house to keep me protected.

I am thankful for the money l have. I struggle sometimes, but l have the knowledge and control to spend money only on what l need and not what l want. Because of that, l am debt-free and able to pay for school out of my own pocket.

I am thankful for time. There are simply not enough hours in the day, but l am grateful for what l can get done each day. It teaches me how to be productive and organized.

I am thankful for the Internet. Without it l would not write as much as l do. I would not be able to blog, do research, or even my school work.

I am thankful for WordPress, this blog, and all my WordPress friends (you know who you are). I have met so many wonderful people through my blog. Everyone has taught me lot (especially about writing). I love you all for your care and support through my blog and aspiring writing career.

I am thankful for my writing. It means l am creative and have an active imagination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and what l live for.

I am thankful for my anxiety. Without that l would not have found courage and strength in myself. I would not have learned to face my fears.

I am thankful for my church. They’re like my mini family. I am happy to teach sunday school at a great church with a lot of eager students.

I am thankful for my pets Chip the dog, Hunter the cat, Raph the turtle, and Nano the fish. I am lucky to have a great home with a lot of space to give these animals a loving family and long, healthy, happy lives. If l could get more, l would. I plan to someday.

I am thankful for my friends, past and present. People who l am no longer friends with have come and gone for their own reasons. They reminded me that if l don’t have anything nice to say l shouldn’t say anything at all. However, as much as you dislike someone, you should always be polite and pleseant to them. You never know what else they may be going through. My present friends teach me something new every day. They love me for who l am. They support me in everything l do, no matter how silly it sounds. I am lucky to have friends that l can call “family.”

I am thankful for my extended family. All my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the family. I may not see them often, but they’re always there for us and are just a phone call away. I am lucky they are all in-state.

I am thankful for my immidiate family. My mom and dad, who l would be lost without. They have taught me how to be me and become a responsible adult. They taught me everything about life. My sister Kris who has always been there for me and supported me in everything l do. She listens to my writing ideas and plays video games upon video games with me. My sister Lisa who introduced me to the wonderful job l have now, always listens to my problems, and also introduced me to the “classics” such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Alfred Hitchcock, and my favorite Jerry Lewis. She’s always there to sit and watch a good movie with me. My new brother-in-law Nick, who has made his way into my family comfortably and fits right in. He’s interested in just about everything l’m interested in and really cares for Lisa and the rest of the family as his own.

I am thankful for me. All my strengths and weaknesses, my looks and personality, and all the ups and downs of my life. All that makes me who l am.

Today take a moment and think about what you’re thankful for and share it with the world. We all really are lucky for what we have. It’s time we recognize it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Homework Complete

Aside from editing my story draft for my Fiction class and editing my Harry Potter essay for my Rowling & Tolkien class (both due in two weeks, so… whatever), I have completed my homework for the week!

One week’s worth of homework for four classes done in two days. I would like to complain and say it was a struggle, but it actually wasn’t. For some reason, I just didn’t get a lot of homework this week. Maybe it’s because next week we have off due to Thanksgiving? Whatever the reason, I’ll be sure to say I’m thankful for the lack of homework this week at the dinner table next week.

I’m busy after work for the rest of this week, but I’ll be sure to write every morning before work. I get up super early so I have an hour and a half/two hours before work. I’m behind on my word count, but if I can stay focused for those few hours for the next three mornings I’ll catch up no problem.

Saturday will be another Barnes & Noble writing date with my sister. I’m sure I’ll get a lot done then, too. Maybe I can even hit 50k by Sunday. Can I write 22k in five days?

If it happens, it happens. I’m not going to make it a goal. As much as I love writing, I want to take advantage of the lack of homework–it’s almost like getting two weeks off from school.

I have video games to play, people!

My priorities are clearly right where they should be…

In all seriousness though, I plan on hitting 50k by Thanksgiving. That gives me eight days to write 22k. It will be nice if I can do it in five, but eight days is my current goal.

Hopefully not everyone else is behind like me!

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!

Anticipating November

I am patiently waiting for November to arrive because…

–I have a lot of days off from work for various reasons. The first week is a four day week, the second week is a three day week, the third week is a full week (that will most likely drag), and the last week is a two and a half day week. Less work means more writing.

–My Spanish class ends the first week of November. For the rest of November (and the beginning of December) I will only have homework for four classes instead of five. Less homework means more writing.

–Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love food?

–Vacation. My family and I go away for Thanksgiving weekend each year. It will be nice to have nothing to worry about. Of course, I will have my writing supplies with me.

–NaNoWriMo. Writing, writing, and more writing!

November is going to be a busy month. It will go by quick (and it will be the holidays before we know it!).

I can’t wait!

Day 27

28334/50000 Words

Lookie! Lookie! Look at the word count!

Ha ha, I tricked you…it’s still the same.

But this is okay…even though I only have, what? Three days left?

Let’s start with this: The reason as to why I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I went away for the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving, by the way. 🙂 The other reason is because, as you can clearly see from the word count, I have not written anything in a while. This is why:

I went onto my computer and I opened up Saving Each Other last week or whenever it was. It is right at the spot where my outline ended. I also noticed that I tried to write a little past the outline. I have three paragraphs about Blake waking up and being bored while Sierra and Luke are still sleeping. Wow! What an interesting read! As I’m reading this I’m trying to think, “Where was I going with this…?” Absolutely no where! So I told myself that while I was away, I would bring my outline and write a little more in it. Then I realized that I don’t know where this book is supposed to end. Saving Each Other is the first novel of five…or six. I’m pretty sure it’s five, though.

While I was away, I was actually a tiny bit productive because I planned out the gist of what is going to happen in each of the other books. So I realized where Saving Each Other is going to end so I can pick up where I left off on the next one. I started to write a little more of the outline again, but I didn’t get very far. I just kind of came to the conclusion that I’m at the climax of the story, so I really don’t think that I have too much more to write. It will be over 50K words, but I don’t know if it will make it to…say 100K or something obnoxious like that.

Anyway, now that I know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the story; well, I guess I should say I know where to stop, I finally feel like I can continue. My only issue is that I have a little over 20K more words to write and I have three days to do it. I have school work, finals are sneaking up, I’m still working, and all that fun crazy stuff. I looked on my stats on NaNo and it told me that I have to write a little over 5K a day in order to finish on time. Well, this is going to be an issue because it’s the end of the semester and all my professors are realizing that they have a lot more stuff to teach us.

I guess this just means that I’m going to be staying up late for the next few nights. 5K a day isn’t actually that bad. I have done it before. But I don’t think I had school at the time. So I’m going to procrastinate on my homework–I’ll leave all that for December first to do–and I’m going to write in my two-hour break in between classes today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write at all tonight (long story short, my friend’s cat burned her paw and my boyfriend is the only person we know with an aloe plant). Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have no idea if I’m going to have any time to write. My sister and I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword a lot lately and we’ve almost beaten the game. She actually has the day off on Wednesday from work so after my school and my work, we’ll probably be playing that all night. Thursday, I think I’ll be good because I just have one class so I can write while I’m in school, then after work I have the rest of the night. Friday…I’m screwed. That’s the last day to get anything in and I’m not going to be home at all that day.

So I basically only have two days to write (well, I could skip playing Zelda, but we all know that’s not going to happen…Link’s too adorable!) and if I have to write a little over 5K a day, then I guess that means I have to write a little over 10K a day. This is going to be an interesting challenge…I also realized the other day that if I really did write 2K words a day this whole month, I would have ended with 60K. Now in the next few days, if I happen to make it to 60K that would be completely awesome. However, I think I’m only going to focus on the 50K. If I go over, that’s cool. I’m not going to blind myself by the computer screen. Well, I guess I already will be by trying to get to 50K.

On a different note, but I guess it can be half-different because this could be another reason as to why I haven’t been writing lately. I came up with yet another series. I’m not surprised though, I always come up with a million ideas that I never finish…or sometimes even start. But I have to say that I really like this idea and it may just be the next thing that I write. I wrote it down plus with a few ideas for it so that I don’t forget it. However, I am not going to say anything about it now because I know that I’m going to end up wanting to write that today instead of writing Saving Each Other.

As stated earlier, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and weekend and I’ll hopefully update tomorrow with whatever I write today. Wish me luck and I hope all of you aren’t as behind as me! 🙂

Day 19

28334/50000 Words

Well, it’s official. I am behind in NaNo. I have to say that I knew this day was going to come eventually. It was kind of too good to be true that I was doing so well in the beginning.
The thing is, there are four more weeks of school left. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week is only three days, so technically there are only three full weeks left and then there’s finals. Naturally, because the end of the semester is within sight, all my professors decide to dump a load on us students. I have a project in science that is due December 3. Because of NaNo, I already started it and I have to say that it is really easy and it’s not time consuming at all. I just have to fix it up a bit and then put it all together on the poster. I have one more written assignment to do for that class and then I’m done with science (the project is my final). Math…I’m never going to be done with math, let’s be honest. However, I did do the homework that she assigned so I don’t have any math homework until Wednesday. Health, I have a training to do for a quiz grade, but the website won’t work. That’s going to be interesting to tell my teacher especially since she’s get mad pretty easily. Teaching, I just have one more paper to write and my online class…that class takes up no time at all.

So I explain all of this to you and it seems like I don’t have that much because I have most of it done or started already. However, it’s actually a lot more than it sounds, which is a sad thing. Anyway, I’m trying to get all of this done and out of the way so that I can finally start focusing on my NaNo again. I may just bring my laptop or something when I go away this weekend so that I can work on it bit by bit. There’s wi-fi there now, so I may be able to write and even update my NaNo stats.

I think my other problem is this: I never finished the outline in October. The last time I wrote my NaNo (nine days ago…wow) I had finished the outline. Now that I have nothing to follow, even though I still have ideas, I think I’m scaring myself away. I can freelance, but I know that it’s going to turn out terrible. Which isn’t a bad thing–it just means that I’m going to have a little extra editing to do later. But the fact that it’s going so well now, I’m afraid that I’m going to mess it all up.

My other problem, I think, is because I may be getting bored with it. I have noticed a pattern with myself: I start something and never finish it. I come up with ideas and ideas and ideas and I never do anything with them. Before NaNo even started, my sister and I were going to write together. I whipped out my list of novels and looked them over. I didn’t feel like writing anything. I wanted to come up with something new. But I really didn’t because I knew that I should start working on something on the list. Or, I should finish something that I had already started. I’m pretty sure I have at least ten novels that are already started. It’s a problem. They should have a support group for something like this.

Just the other day, I came up with a new idea, which is why I think I might be getting bored with Saving Each Other. I told my sister the other day that I haven’t written anything in a while and that it was really bumming me out. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I am determined to finish NaNo this year. I am determined to finish the entire novel. I am determined to actually edit it fairly soon so that I can maybe get something finally published. But with school and work and Thanksgiving around the corner (especially since I’m going away), it’s going to be tough. I have to admit that I am a little discouraged, but I am really hoping that I push past this feeling and just get the dumb novel done.

Please wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a good one and I hope all your NaNo novels are going much better than mine! 🙂