Here, Have Some Excuses

No book review today.

This week was crazy hectic for me. I babysat on Tuesday and got locked out of their house in the rain. They changed the locks and forgot to give me the new key.

Wednesday I babysat for the same people and their chocolate lab ate a baby bunny traumatizing myself and the kids.

Friday, the same family, the same dog, walked into the back door slamming it shut on my face. I now have a bump next to my right eye.

I won’t even get into the craziness that happened at work all week.

Those are my reasons as to why I didn’t finish reading my book for a review this week.

…Those are my reasons for not finishing the book I started at the beginning of March…

Wow, that sounded really bad.

…To make up for it, here’s a picture of my turtle yawning. Which is exactly how I feel at the moment.

turtle rachel poli

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No Book Review

Due to school, work, and Camp NaNo, I did not finish reading the book I started this week.

The review should start back up again next week.

In meantime, here’s an adorable picture of my cat and turtle:

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Goodbye 2014!

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

I feel like I wrote Goodbye, 2013! just yesterday. I blinked and now the end of 2014 is here and 2015 is right around the corner. Time sure does fly.

Last year, I decided to go through all my blog posts for 2013 and highlight them in one post in an attempt to recap and say goodbye to 2013. I am going to do that again to say goodbye to 2014.

Let’s see what happened in 2014…

January:
-I went over my New Year’s resolutions
-I continued to write Detective Florence and completed it
-I came up with the Short Story Sunday feature on my blog
-I started writing Inspiration Station
-I had a schedule of writing 5,000 words a day and changed it to writing 5,000 words Monday-Thursday, editing Friday-Saturday, and relaxing on Sunday
-I discovered the Reading Bingo and challenged myself to it
-It was Kris’s birthday

February:
-I decided to write only 1,000 words a day when school started
-I completed two Reading Bingo squares by reading Coming Clean and The Hobbit
-I continued to post my Short Story Sunday throughout the month

March:
-I planned on editing more than writing to help prepare for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo
-I completed another Reading Bingo square by reading I, Robot
-I was nominated for the Liebster Award

April:
-Camp NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Diary of A Killer
-I discovered the website Noisli
-I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Award
-Easter happened plus I was busy with work and school… I got behind on Camp NaNoWriMo
-I got 1,000 followers on Spilled Ink

May:
-I lost Camp NaNoWriMo
-I discussed what “Success” is
-I joined Critique Circle
-It was Spilled Ink’s two-year anniversary

June:

–Edited Detective Florence in preparation of Camp NaNo

July:

–Camp NaNo: wrote Detective Florence 2
Trying to balance life, writing, work, school, etc.
–I accidentally saved over my Camp NaNo novel (150 pages and 44k words) with my Short Story Sunday with five days left of Camp NaNo
–I wrote 50k in five days to beat Camp NaNo

August:

–I beat Camp NaNo in, more or less, five days
–I updated my Reading Bingo with many novels
–I discussed how my English degree is basically in nothing
–I got a new job
–Lucky Seven Challenge with Detective Florence 2
–I currently had 15 WIPs… yikes.
–I came up with a writing schedule for the rest of the year
–I went to Disney and discovered the “Writer’s Stop” store and met Peter Pan
–Reality checked back in after vacation with school starting, work, Sunday school, etc.
–I wanted to enter some contests, but missed the deadlines

September:

–I turned 21
–School started with a few creative writing classes
–Cookie the Beagle joined the family
–I tried to come up with a routine to balance homework, writing, etc.
–I discuss why I became a teacher, go to school, became a teacher/director or the Sunday school, write, etc.
–I updated everything in my life with my sister’s wedding coming up as well as November NaNo.

October:

–I decided to edit Take Over and plan to write Far Away for NaNo
–I started editing Take Over which I noticed I’ve grown as a writer in the past year or so
–I watched “Authors Anonymous” and the screenwriter contacted me. It also inspired a new potential story idea
–I watched a NaNo video on Blurb
–I decided to give myself a reward of one dollar for every 1,000 words I write for NaNo
–I changed my mind again and decided to write short stories for NaNo

November:

–I bought a new fish named Nano
–NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Short Story Collection and came up with new ideas for novels
–I did my best in balancing homework with NaNo
–I planned on finishing NaNo by Thanksgiving and did it
–I came up with a new novel idea called Fire and Ice
–I won NaNo
–Thanksgiving happened and I made a list of all I’m thankful for
–I compared NaNo 2013 to this year’s NaNo
–I edited while on vacation and discussed how that’s the best time to write

December:

–I came up with a plan for my Detective Florence series
–I finished typing the second draft of Detective Florence
–I wrapped up yet another semester of my Bachelor’s degree and made it out alive and with good grades
–I hand edited the first draft of Detective Florence 2
–I changed the title of my blog, bought the domain name from WordPress, and made some slight layout changes

So much has happened in one year. Some good, some bad, but I think it was mostly good. I’m happy to be where I am right now. I have a wonderful job, I’m going to school, and I’m on my way with my writing. There’s nothing for me to complain about.

Here’s to another great year in 2015!

Reality Checks In

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Yesterday we arrived home around 1:30 in the afternoon. It was good timing. But, when I say “home” I mean my cousins’ house. Kris and I waited there for two hours for our uncle to pick us home on his way home from work to bring us home. After traffic we didn’t get back to our own home until about 4:30. It was a long day and I was tired, needless to say.

When we walked into the house we were greeted warmly by our mother and father and our dog Chip was ecstatic. Hunter pretended he didn’t care, but he kept going through our luggage and meowing at us. He’s been following me around this morning. Raph came right out of her box house when she saw me, which made me feel good. Mikey… well, he’s a fish. He came to the front of his tank, but he was most likely just swimming or looking for food.

After discussing the trip with my parents and showing them photos and souvenirs we bought them, I sat on the couch for a few hours before turning in early. I slept well, but I had to get up early this morning because I have to babysit soon. Why I agreed to babysit the day after my Disney vacation is beyond me. Kris was smart and took today off from work pretending she was just getting home today. I should have done that.

So I woke up at about 7:30 this morning. I rolled out of bed trying not to squish Chip in the process and then proceeded to make a small tent with my blankets. When Chip has the bed to herself, she likes to be under the covers. So, when I have to ditch her in the morning I try to make her a fort of some kind. Sometimes she stays, sometimes she doesn’t. It’s been over an hour now and she’s still sleeping under there.

I went down to the kitchen, made myself a cup of coffee, took out a pea from the freezer to feed Mikey (he got sick a few weeks ago so I have to feed him peas now), went into my office, opened the blinds and one of the windows, turned on my computer, fed Mikey, woke Raph up and took her out of her tank, and then I sat down at my computer to blog, surf the web, sip at my coffee, etc.

While waiting for my computer to finish loading, I felt as though I had never left. The routine I just described is the same thing I do every single morning. It’s going to continue to be that way because work starts in a week and a half. The only difference will be that I’ll be waking up about an hour earlier to do it all.

School starts a week from today, work starts a week from Monday, and Sunday school starts on a Sunday in September (I’m the director now and I have no idea when the first day is going to be… great, huh?). Not to mention I have to babysit today, tomorrow, and Friday. My cousins start back to school a week from Thursday and I have to get them ready because I have to drive one of them on my way to work. I also have to find time to write in all of this, as well.

I write better in the morning, but I have to be at work by eight. I have to drive my cousin to school which means I have to leave a little earlier than usual. If I want to write in the morning then I’m going to have to wake up at four in which case I would have to go to bed at about seven or eight. I’ll probably end up writing at night or in the afternoon after work, but then I’ll be tired from the day and then when am I going to get my homework done?

Listen to me ramble on. It truly is like I never left. I’m immediately back to my old routine that has never changed and I’m back to my old ways of thinking… or worrying.

One thing I failed to mention was the fact that I’m sipping my coffee out of the brand new mug I bought myself in Disney. It has the picture of Peter Pan on it and it says “Never grow up.” This reminds me that I did in fact go on vacation and that it wasn’t just a dream. I did get my break from reality, even though it doesn’t seem like it. My break lasted 11 days (granted four were spent in the car…) and through that my biggest and only concern was that I wanted to meet Peter Pan. And I did.

So, yes I do have a lot on my plate. I have a lot to think about and to worry about (even though I worry over nothing most of the time). The summer will be officially over sooner rather than later. It’s sad, but it was the same amount of time I get every summer. It just went by too fast, which is always how it goes.

I turn 21 in less than a week, so unfortunately for Peter Pan (and myself), I’m growing up. I never wanted to grow up (and I still don’t), but age is but a number and considering the fact that I cried after I met Peter Pan, I’m going to say I’m still a kid at heart and that is one thing I hope will never change.

I hate homework, but I’m excited for my classes this upcoming semester. Depending on the professors, I should have a good experience with school this time around. I’m starting a new job in a place I love surrounded by awesome people. While the kids can drive me nuts, they’re great as well and I enjoy their company. Directing the Sunday school will be a challenge, but it’s something I always wanted to do ever since I myself was in Sunday school. I may not be ready, but I’m willing to get through it. I’ll be writing every moment I can now that I told myself what I wanted to accomplish with my writing for the next few months.

So, I guess if it’s something you love and you want it, growing up isn’t all that bad. But, as I stated earlier, my mentality is growing up, but not my heart. I guess you really can have the best of both worlds.

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Tuesday News

Today I went to the pet store to get some more filter cartridges for Mikey’s tank. I was there for a long time because I was looking at the other fish and they have a few new turtles there as well. The betta fish looked lively (which isn’t usually the case) and I wanted to get one or two, but decided against it. I’m pretty sure my mother would kill me if I brought home another animal. They had new turtles there as well and I wanted to get them all.

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Speaking of turtles, I tried to find a log for Raph and they had one that would fit her shell, but it was really big. I didn’t buy it because I felt as though it would take up her entire tank and then I would never see her again. Plus, it was obnoxiously heavy. I did buy her some stepping stones to “naturally” file down her claws. They had a pack of large ones and a pack of small ones. The large bag was opened, so I decided to go with the small. I should have bought two because…well, they’re small. It doesn’t matter though, Raph hates them.

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On top of this, Chip was sad (yes, the black furry thing is her) because she thought the stones were hers and when I told her they weren’t, she kept barking and growling at me and threw a temper tantrum by snorting and rolling around all over the place. Meanwhile, here’s Hunter:

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Now that we’re all updated in what’s been going on in the lives of my animals, here’s what’s been going on in my life: I got a new job!

I’m sure some of you may remember that I lost my job last December because the preschool I worked at closed. Then I became a substitute teacher for another preschool starting last February. Well, they opened a new classroom and were in need of a few people. I got a call today saying I am officially the teacher’s aide for one of their nine classrooms. I am super excited!

So, starting in September I will be working full-time with five courses at school. For those of you who are (most likely not) asking this question: yes, I am all ready freaking out for what is going to happen to my mental state come November for NaNoWriMo. But, I guess we’ll worry about that at another time.

In other news, I came across a blog post last night from Creative Mysteries and from there was a link to Misha Burnett’s blog.

It’s a story challenge in which I urge all you other writers out there to check it out and give the challenge a go. I was going to write and post it today, but after reading the challenge I realized I wanted to give myself some time to think about it. It will most likely be posted for this week’s Short Story Sunday.

Well, that’s it for now. I don’t really anything too witty to say. 🙂

Easter and Other Happenings

Hey everyone! I hope we all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. It was a good day and great weather, too! The Easter Bunny brought me an army of Ninja Turtle Beanie Balls which was awesome, a new SD card for my 3DS, and the Kalos Pokedex as well as the Kalos game guide for the X & Y Pokemon games. I also got bark for Raph so I can finally clean her tank. I’m sure she’ll be happy. In addition to that, Kris got the movie Frozen. Best Disney movie ever!

A lot has been going on. One of the preschool teachers has been out for three weeks straight (plus more) so I’ve been working a lot. I also have school…school has been interesting. I just signed up for classes for the Fall semester. I’m taking a class called Selected Authors…guess who the authors are! J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I get to read Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings for school. How awesome is that?! It’s pretty awesome, yes.

In addition to work and school, I’ve been busy planning my sister’s bridal shower, which is in August. Plus the bachelorette party, which is in September. Then we have the wedding in October. So that’s been holding my attention a lot. I’ve been babysitting a lot, as well. This week is April vacation so I get a break from work, right? No…stupid me agreed to babysit for four different families and before I realized what I had done, it was too late. I babysat for about four hours today, tomorrow through Friday I have another family for about five hours in the morning. Tuesday night I’m babysitting for a third family and Thursday night I’m babysitting for a fourth family. Wonderful stuff.

I’ve also been slowly trying to clean my bedroom. Kris and I don’t go in there much anymore unless we’re sleeping because now we have our office that used to be Lisa’s room. You guys should have seen all the dust and yuckies in the room. It was terrible. But we’re going to be painting and organizing it soon so it needs to be done. Of course, it should be done regardless, but…whatever. I bought the extended editions of the three Lord of the Rings movies so Kris and I have been pretty busy with those. We’ve been addicted to the series since I had to read The Hobbit for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class.

Well, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I’m sure you all noticed writing was not mentioned at all. Yeah, no. I’ve been failing at my writing recently. I can justify it because I have been really busy (except I guess watching three movies that total to over 12 hours probably doesn’t count as a good excuse), but it doesn’t look like I’ll be winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

I started off Camp strong and then I crashed and burned. In between homework and babysitting this week I’m going to really try to kick it into gear, but it’ll be difficult. I’m only at 16,000 or something like that. Kris and I are planning on going to Barnes & Noble on the 27th to write as much as we can though. So can we all keep our fingers crossed for both me and her? That would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and are writing each and every day unlike me! 🙂

Distractions

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My Camp NaNoWriMo word count is now 4,032. Yay! This took my three and a half hours. Can we discuss this? I mean, I wrote 2,002 words yesterday in about two hours. Today I wrote 2,030 words in three and a half hours. Want to know why? I will tell you why…

I was distracted. *Gasp!* Yes, I was very, very much distracted. I was distracted by my turtle (as seen in the picture above), my cat who wanted to look out the window so I needed to make him a giant step (I moved the ottoman and put a bin on top of it), my dog (who always decides it’s a good time to play when I’m writing), and the internet. Yes, Lucy decided to give me internet on a day I did not need it.

Speaking of the internet, I found wonderful things on there. I was on Twitter (if you follow me on Twitter, you probably know Twitter was a very big distraction for me) and someone posted a link to a site called Noisli. There are different background sounds on there to listen to as you write. It’s great! I used the coffee shop one.

Yet, I will admit the internet did come in handy at one point. As you know, I’m writing Diary of a Killer and my protagonist apparently has anger issues. Like, really obnoxious anger issues. He explodes at literally nothing. He’s in therapy for it. So I was looking up anger management; symptoms, treatment, etc. I found one helpful site, but if anyone has any information on the subject so I can compare, that would be muchly appreciated!

Anyway, I had an iced coffee and I’m wired right now. It’s probably the reason I had such a short attention span. However, it’s going for 9:00 pm and I unfortunately have work tomorrow, so I need to go wind down so I can go to bed soon.

I hope everyone else is having a productive Camp NaNo. 🙂

Late Night Writings

I’m Sleepy…

 

Writer

 

Note to self: Does better writing in the morning.

The insulation guys came back today to finish up in the blue room and my bedroom. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate well. We had to move Raph into the bathroom, Chip needed to be barricaded in the living room, and Hunter was locked in my parents’ bedroom. Poor animals. Long story short, Chip wouldn’t stop barking so I ended up sitting on the couch with her while playing Pokemon.

So that happened, then I went to work, then I went out to eat with my boyfriend. I got home around 6:30 PM and then began to write. Even though I am ahead in NaNo, I want to write 1,667 words a day anyway.

It took a long time. I was sleepy. I kept making typos. Chip kept distracting me. But I got it done. I wanted to get a little more words in before I went to bed, but I figured that was going to be too much for my small brain to handle. So I had to quit while I was ahead.

I’m going to write tomorrow morning. Apparently I write a lot better when my mind is fresh and relaxed. So I should get a lot more words in tomorrow. Tomorrow should be a much better update.

I hope everyone else is doing fantastic on NaNo!

If you want to read the summary to my NaNo novel, click here: Detective Florence (Book One)
If you want to add me as a Writing Buddy on NaNo, click here: Fiery_Sapphire
If you want to add my sister Kris as a Writing Buddy on NaNo, click here: Winged_Spirit

Today’s Word Count: 1,708
Total Word Count: 19,088
Today’s Page Count: 5
Total Page Count: 62

One Too Many Stories

Too Many Free Characters…

Meet Leo!
Meet Leo!

Do you all remember when my flash drive died? I was upset and disappointed. Then I quickly realized it was for the best. I had so many novels started on there that were no where near being finished. Half of them didn’t even make sense and weren’t good at all.

So losing my flash drive made me feel as though I was starting completely over, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I told myself that I was going to work on only one novel at a time. Only when I completed the first draft I’d be able to move on. I need to finish what I start.

I was doing so well, then I realized the other day that I have been falling out of my routine. I have three novels started, four in desperate need to be edited, and more ideas attempting to push themselves out of my head. It’s annoying, actually.

I have been doing pretty good. I haven’t been starting anything new other than what I already have started. I’m in the mood for both Hunter & Comet and Union Academy. So I’m going to try to finish those first while trying to edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover at the same time. I just need to print out Diary of a Lover (and give it to Kris) while Hunter has a long way to go before I can give it to anyone else. As stated in my previous post, I figured out what is wrong with Hunter and I desperately need to fix it. So I’m going to do that and it’s most likely going to take a while.

Speaking of my flash drive dying…I know that conversation was a little while ago, but LOOK! This is my new flash drive. He’s rubber and small and adorable and 8GB! And he was 15 bucks. 😉

Meet Leo's other half!
Meet Leo’s other half!

Lots Of Updates

Good News, Good News, And More Good News…

1. Back in June my oldest sister moved out of the house and in with her boyfriend. Now we have a vacant room upstairs, across the hall from my bedroom. Kris and I share a bedroom. We have shared this room since we were…very, very little. Not our whole lives, but just about. So naturally one of us would say, “I’ll move into Lisa’s room!” Then we would each have our bedroom and our own space. Yeah, no. Neither one of us even thought about having our own bedroom.

Instead we’re going to turn the bedroom into an office/video game sanctuary. Yes, it sounds counter productive, I know. An office is for working and video games are for goofing off, relaxing, and doing nothing. However, we feel as though we’ll figure something out.

My dad has a TV stand for us and Kris and I bought a brand new 39″ TV. It looks awesome! Of course…it’s still in the box. We have to re-do the floor and the walls in the room first. Then we can probably start decorating it. We each bought a desk, we bought a brand new printer (color, wireless, automatic two-sided printing!), Raph is going to move up there with us and we’re getting a new mascot! Yes, I am going to get fish soon. So we’ll have a turtle and three fish in the room with us. Then we’re going to have a couch–our uncle gave us his as he didn’t need it anymore. We wanted to get a mini refrigerator, but dad said no. Sad day.

The room is empty now. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like when we’re all done with it! We’re going to start working on the room soon.

2. Lately I have been working on three things. I have been editing Hunter and I have been going back and forth between writing Union Academy and Hunter & Comet. I have no idea which one is going to get finished first. Well, hopefully Hunter will be the one to get finished first…as that is the novel that is the farthest along. But I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and I got a lot done. I tried to write Union Academy, but I have the character list on Donny, my iPod. I brought Donny. Donny was dead. Oops. So I couldn’t really write it because that novel had a lot of characters and I can’t keep them straight just yet.

So I ended up editing Hunter. I printed out the first draft, then my flash drive died. So I edited the hard copy and now I’m re-typing it. I can’t complain because as I’m re-typing it I’m finding a lot of mistakes I didn’t catch when I looked at it the first time around. Plus, I’m also adding and taking out things I didn’t before. It’s kind of like editing the second draft already.

I’m on page 50 typing it up on the computer. In the hard copy, I’m on page 41 or 42 or something like that. There’s at least a five-page difference between the two. But since the one on the computer is longer, that means I added a good amount of stuff. The question is, is all that stuff good and relevant to the story? Or did I throw it in there because I wanted to mark up the page a little more? We’ll have to wait and see when I finish typing it and print it out again.

3. I had an epiphany when it came to Hunter. I’m in the middle of typing up chapter three and I have mixed feelings on the plot. I can’t tell if the events in the chapters are just happening out of order, or if the novel is just moving too fast. No, I did not print out the novel and accidentally mix up some chapters. The pages are numbered and so are the chapters. I went to preschool. I teach preschool. So…I would hope I know how to count. Well, at least up to ten, anyway…that’s pretty much as high as we go.

Anyway, as I type up each chapter, I’m going to take index cards and summarize each chapter. One card for chapter one, another card for chapter two, etc. When I have all the chapters summarized and the whole novel re-typed, I’m going to play around with the cards and re-order them. Like a puzzle…this will be great because I suck at puzzles.

I just wonder which would be easier: play around with the cards, print out the second draft and re-order the chapters that way, or play around with the cards re-order the chapters on the computer, then print out the second draft. Although, I guess I can cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now I need to work on writing a gazillion summaries (not really, I think it’s only 18 chapters long…but each chapters is really looong…I don’t know why I did that to myself) and finish typing up the second draft.

4. Did I mention I’m getting fish? 😀