Prepping The Blog For Vacation

I’m going on vacation again! It’s kind of weird to be going out of town about a month after a weekend getaway. I rarely travel so it’s been weird, but fun. This time though I’ll be away for an entire week.

I had 100s of blog comments and tons of notifications from most social media just from being away for 4-5 days. Trust me, I appreciate it. In fact, I loved it! Still, I can only imagine what may happen when I’m away for 8 days.

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I always schedule my posts in advance because it makes life easier for me. I’m never rushing to get a post done or wondering what I should write about next. I plan the posts a month in advance and (try to) write them a month in advance as well… at least the ones that are able to be written in advance.

Knowing I was going on vacation for a week and also it being Camp NaNo, I knew April was going to be busy and fly by pretty quick.

My blog posts for April have been written and scheduled. Buffer is full with my social media posts. The only thing I can’t really do is read, comment, and share the posts on your blogs. Sorry, but I won’t be reading them for a week.

I’m sure I’ll be popping in the comments once in a while and I’ll be on Twitter and maybe Instagram on occasion, but I won’t be allowing social media to take over my time away from the screens to be with my family.

Until the 19, plan on hearing from me scarcely. It’s going to be weird for me, but I need a break from blogging, writing, Camp NaNo… all of it.

I’m off to go soak up the sun, relax, and enjoy myself and my family. I’ll see you all next week and I hope you enjoy the blog posts I’ve scheduled until then!

What do you do when you leave your blog home alone? How do you prep? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Who’s Ready For Camp NaNoWriMo?

Guys. Camp NaNoWriMo begins in 4 days. Didn’t we just go through this in November? How long ago was November, anyway? Didn’t we just celebrate the New Year? How is it already April? I don’t understand.

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I’m excited about Camp though. I get a lot done during the months, but I’ve started so many projects that it’s usually editing or blogging. April, July, and November are the three months of the year that I get a good amount of actual writing done.

I’ve been looking forward to this since December though I’ll be honest I had completely forgotten about it until the beginning of March.

I was planning my April out and then realized it was Camp. I overbooked myself and then I realized I’m going on vacation smack in the middle of the month.

So. This should be interesting.

I have most of my stuff prepped. I have a little more planning I want to do. Not outlining, necessarily, but I want to plan out my days. Since I’m going on vacation I only have 19 days to write. My goal is bigger than 50,000 words too… I may have made a mistake, but I’m willing to take the challenge!

Plus, Camp begins on April 1, duh, but that’s also Easter Sunday. I celebrate Easter. I have church in the morning and then the family is coming to my house in the afternoon. My cousin’s birthday is on the sixth. It’s her sweet-16 and while we’re going to Disney I don’t know if we’ll be doing anything for her birthday.

She’s also getting confirmed on April 8. So that’s going to be another party. Then I’m going on vacation a couple days later. Then April is going to be practically over.

My word goal this year is 80,000 words. I’ll be working on multiple projects, there will be a post on that in a few days. It’s certainly going to be interesting.

I think I’m ready. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Are you ready?

Are you all set for Camp NaNo? What’s your goal and what will you be working on? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Reading On Vacation

I prefer physical books over e-books. I like turning the pages, I like the crinkle of the spine, I love the smell of the ink on the paper. Reading physical books just has an overall good feeling to it.

But I do like e-books as well. I enjoy that I can carry multiple books with me anywhere and I also like that they’re typically cheaper than the standard paperback or hardcover.

I’ve been on vacation all week and I tend to read a book a day when I’m here.

Two years ago I read five books and last year I think I read eight books. I think it’d be cool if I read at least eight books again if not more, to try to beat my own personal record.

No, it’s not a race. I’d rather enjoy the book than zipping through it. Still, it’s fun to see how much I can read in a week.

I’ve been on vacation for four full days now and I still have today and tomorrow to read.

So far, I’ve read four books, each in one sitting. It’s been great!

Do you typically spend your vacations reading a lot? Let me know in the comments below!

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On Vacation We Go!

I’m going on a much needed getaway and the most stressful thing about it has stemmed from one question:

What books do I bring?

Of course, I’m bringing my Kindle, which has loads of books that I have yet to read. But I do prefer paperback so I wanted to bring up a few of those as well.


I decided to bring…

  • Firebug by Lish McBride
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  • Flawless (PLL 2) by Sara Shepard
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Before any of you ask… No, I have yet to read the two Harry Potter screenplays.

I wanted to bring up only three or four books since I’m bringing up my Kindle, but I knew the two screenplays would be quick reads. I could leave them behind, but I don’t want to.

So I picked up the first two books of the Pretty Little Liars series. What if I get into the first one and wanna read the second one?

That’s four books.

But what if I want to read more than Harry Potter and Pretty Little Liars? I decided to bring one more book.

So, naturally, I picked out two more. Firebug and Wink Poppy Midnight are two books I bought fairly recently and have been wanting to pick up since I got them.

I’m off to go read a lot by a lake. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Happy Reading!

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A New Environment


I’m on vacation this week.

I’ve been reading a lot. And writing in my notebook before bed to wind down.

I’ve also been playing a fun amount of video games, swimming in the lake, playing board games and card games, and lost money in a casino.

I hope all of you get a chance torest  and relax and have a vacation at some point this summer!

People Watching

I went on a mini-vacation with my sister and parents this past weekend. It was a great time and we had a lot of fun.

We went to the aquarium (which is my favorite), walked around the seaport, got ice cream, went shopping, etc.

On the way home, we pass by a casino that my parents go to every so often. My sister and I have never been there before, so we decided to stop in and hang out there for a few hours to avoid traffic.

I didn’t win anything, but it was still a lot of fun. In the end I only lost 20 dollars because that lasted me the entire few hours we were there. In that sense I did better than my parents and sister. So I guess that can be called a win.

The place was huge to have so many different gambling areas. It also had its own outlet stores inside. We didn’t shop at all, but we did walk around to look at what kind of stores they had.

It was interesting being in a casino from a writer’s point of view. It’s fun to people watch. To people watch in a casino… Well, that’s a lot more fun.

I feel like the casino would have made a great setting for a story and some of the people would make interesting characters; whether you tried to write their story or if they were just minor characters hanging out in the background.

–The lady in the bathroom: I was washing my hands and there was a woman at the sink next to me. She took out a bunch of 20s from her purse; she must have had at least 1,000 dollars–or that’s what it looked like. She just took them out of her purse and fanned them out in her hand and stared at them as though she was alone. Now, did she bring that money to spend? Or did she win it all? By the way she admired it, it seemed to me as though she won it.

–The lady with three machines: There was a lady sitting at a slot machine and both machines on her right and left were vacant. So naturally she took over all three machines. You should have seen how fast she was pushing those buttons. And from what I could tell, she wasn’t winning anything on either machine.

–The man who drank, smoked, and lost: I think that sums it up; a man sat at one machine lighting one cigarette after another, drinking down his alcohol, and kept losing on one machine. We left that room and when we went back to it later, he was still at the same machine doing his thing.

I don’t go to casinos nearly often enough to label people, but I’m sure you guys can use your imagination. I’m sure you can also imagine what other kind of people were there whether you’ve been to a casino or not.

There are interesting characters all over the place. You just have to watch out for them.

My Kindle Broke

So I went on vacation and brought my Kindle. I read one book on there and was in the middle of another book on the way home.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to finish that book for a little while. I mean, I have the Kindle app on my iPad so I could continue to read it, but I’m bummed out that I don’t have my actual Kindle anymore.

We came home Saturday morning and Saturday night I was looking at my Kindle to see what kind it was. I never had a case for it so I wanted to ask for one for my birthday.

When I turned it on, it said the battery was dead. It was 3 quarters full just that morning and the battery normally lasts forever.

I plugged it in. It turned on, but the light was orange instead of green. I unplugged it to see how the battery was, but it remained on the charging symbol and the light shut off. None of the buttons worked.

Kris managed to shut it all the way off, but now it won’t turn back on. I kept it plugged in hoping that would work. I finally got the green light so I turned it on. The screen remained blank and after a few tries, the dead battery symbol showed up again.

I’m pretty sad about this. I had a lot of books on there that I hadn’t read yet. Again, I can still read it through the app on my iPad, but I want my actual Kindle.

I also wish I knew why it broke. I’ll be two- or three-years-old in December. As far as I know Kindles should last a lot longer than that. But it is the first edition Kindle, so… I don’t know.

I guess I know what I want for my birthday now.

Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted

Last week I went on vacation. Hence, the lack of reading and commenting on others’ blogs. I swear I’ll catch up on that throughout the next couple of days.

I spent last week in a cottage with eight other people–my parents, uncle, two young cousins, two sisters, and brother-in-law. We were right on a lake; calm and soothing.

It was our first time at this particular cottage and it was huge; very spacious. Plus, we had four bathrooms. For nine people that was great. We usually end up with a place with only one bathroom. Having four was luxury.

We went swimming, played games, made s’mores, etc. Overall, we had a lot of fun.

I woke up early every morning to have at least an hour of quiet time before most everyone else got up. I sat in the living room with the windows open. Listening to the waves on the lake was soothing. It was so peaceful that I wish it could be like that all the time.

I read five books while there. I think that’s a record for me.

We went shopping and stopped by a bookstore. I bought a book by Lisa McMann and read it in one day. Two days later we went back to the book store and I bought the last two books in the trilogy. Two days later, I finished both books.

I read two other books and was in the middle of my sixth book for the week went we went home.

I think I have to say that was the most relaxful–yet productive–vacation ever.

Now I’ll leave you guys with our gorgeous view of the sunset:

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Vacation

Friday: It was my last day of work for a week. This week is April vacation, so I get to sleep in all week! Also, I get six and a half hours more for each day. That’s super exciting for me! It was also my dad’s birthday so we went out to eat and had cake, you know usual birthday stuff. It was low-key, but nice.

Saturday: Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble in the morning where I wrote 5,514 words of my Camp NaNo novel. Kris had to bring her notebook because her laptop gave her the blue screen of death. She wrote a lot for it being handwritten, though. We only stayed for a few hours before going back home because my dad’s siblings came over for lunch for his birthday. We rarely see them throughout the year (mainly just for Christmas) so it was a fun time.

Sunday: I was lazy. I’ll admit it. I didn’t get any writing done, I didn’t try to get a head start on my homework like I planned… I just went to church and then sat on the couch. Kris and I did take Chip out for a walk around the local pond, so that was at least something. We were all tired after that. It’s a 45-minute walk and for Chip to be so small, it was a lot for her. But she made it!

This Week: Since I don’t have work this week, I have a lot more free time to do things I want to do. My homework is already just about done (it’s the second to last week, so we barely have any assignments) so I just want to focus on my writing and editing and reading and anything else I need to do this week. Kris and I are going to Barnes and Noble again this morning when it opens. It’s always a treat when we can go there a couple times a week.

My week is cut short, though. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday so that will slow me down for a few days. For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the posts will be the same–a writing quote, a book review, and a Short Story Sunday. They’re all written, so that’s fine. Monday will probably be another quote or something. I most likely won’t be responding to comments right away or commenting on other blogs. I’ll be out of commission for the weekend. Lucky me.

How was your weekend?

Out Of Routine

I love February vacation. I don’t spend six hours of my day at work, so I’m able to get a lot of things done. However, the things I want to get done don’t necessarily get done. I still have homework to do.

So today I did some homework, then went out to lunch (which was fun) and then have been doing more homework. I have two assignments left to do, but I’m done with homework for the time being. I need a break. So they’ll get done sometime tomorrow.

No writing today. I’ve having been writing or editing very much lately because of work and homework and such. I thought I would be able to get a lot of writing done this week because I don’t have work. Except I’ve been thrown off my routine so I haven’t been doing much anything lately.

Tomorrow is Friday, which means vacation is just about over. Next week I’ll be able to get back into my writing routine and hopefully gets somethings done.

Sometimes I feel like my routine gets me in a rut so I look forward to vacation. Then I get out of my routine and I feel so discombobulated.

“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.

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!

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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Going Home

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Today l’m leaving this beautiful place. I was lucky to stay seven full days this time whereas last time we only stayed five full days. Yet, l still feel as though we didn’t have nearly enough time.

I filled up my autograph book. There were still a few characters l wanted to see, but we saw and met a lot; a lot more than our last visit to Disney. Plus we got all the princesses (except Pocahontas). So, in that sense l guess there’s not much else to do.

I bought a lot of stuff for myself. I got a mug and a tumbler cup. The mug is of course Peter Pan and the tumbler is Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney together which is really cute.

Other than that l got a pack of three Tinkerbell notebooks and four novels. Yep. Books, notebooks, and cups. My three favorite things.

I have to hop in the car soon. I’ll be home tomorrow afternoon. Then l have to babysit for the rest of the week, school starts next week, work starts the week after that, and sunday school will start up again one of those sundays.

Back to reality.