Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

First of all, I'd like to say that for the first time I've completed my most important resolution from last year. In fact, for the past five years one of my goals for the new year has been to write an entire novel. I can't believe it's taken me this long to just go out and write one, but hey, better late than never, right?

I'm still trying to figure out my resolutions for 2012, but it definitely includes writing another book. Now that I've written one, I've got the confidence to keep going and going and going. I feel like the energizer bunny, lol.

Anyway, I have a skating test on Monday. For those of you who know skating, I'm taking my Juvenile Moves, and my Pre-Juvenile Freestyle tests. I'm skating a two minute program, when I'm used to only a minute and thirty seconds. It seems like a short amount of time, but it's amazing how long two minutes feels like when you're constantly moving.

To make matters worse, I think I'm getting sick. My head feels like it's about to pop, and my throat feels like I swallowed a thorn bush. (Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but still.) So hopefully I won't lose my balance during my tests.

What are you're New Year's Resolutions?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Relaxing and Laziness

I have been super lazy this Holiday Season. I'm not even going to try to deny it. I've been sleeping in until 10:00am each morning (probably because I've been staying up until 1:00 each night...). I've been playing video games with my brother and sister which I never do. And it's nice to be spending time with them, but when I play those games, I'll play all day long. They're addicting.

And then of course, we've been watching a lot of TV shows. We don't actually have cable but we have some sort of streaming through Netflix and Amazon. So we started watching the show called Lost. I used to watch commercials for it when we did have cable, but I was too little to take any note of it. In fact, I thought it looked boring.

Well, I was completely wrong. It's full of suspense and pretty much always ends with a cliffhanger. As a writer, I think it's an awesome show to learn from. (That's my excuse for watching it.)

Anyway, I'm still searching for last minute changes in my book. It's a lot more work than I thought. Every time I finish a draft, I announce it to my family. But my dad keeps asking when it will really be done, and I honestly have no idea. Hopefully soon. He says he'll only read it once it's published, so I've got a lot of work to do.

In conclusion, I've hardly done anything since school was let out. I'm not quite sure how I haven't gotten bored yet... maybe I needed a little break.

How have you guys been spending the Holiday Season?


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Well, I have exciting news! I sent the first 25 pages of my novel to be critiqued by Rachele Alpine. This is the first time anyone other than the people in my family will be looking at it, and I'm nervous. Of course, I was so nervous after an hour of sending her my pages that I had to re-read them. And do you know what I found? 65 errors.

There were minor inconsistencies, like, my MC was missing from school for three days, but in a lot of dialogue she says she was gone for five. I found that I had spelled the word 'once' as 'oce'. In one sentence I wrote two of the same word in the same line, "His dark green eyes eyes...".

I freaked out. Immediately, I got to work fixing all of the errors, but I knew it wouldn't change anything. I had already sent off my 25 pages. I know I really shouldn't have looked over it. I know that no matter how many times I look over it, I'm going to find things to change and that it won't be perfect. But I hate wasting people's time with things I know I could have fixed myself.

Perfection is our enemy. No matter how hard we try, or how close we get to catching it, it's always a step ahead of us. I've heard people say that a lot. Of course, just because we can't ever reach it, doesn't mean we should give up. But I didn't imagine myself sending off my first 25 pages for critiquing with that many errors. Could my entire story be that bad? I really hope not.

Anyway, I'm doing a final read through, and then, to prevent myself from falling into the black hole of editing that could keep me reviewing forever, I'll officially declare that I'm done!! So after that, I'll finally be asking for beta readers.

Have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you're celebrating this December :)


Today is Christmas Eve Eve because it's the Eve of Christmas Eve. Just in case you were confused with the post title.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Inspiration

So, it turns out the 'secret place' that we went to was West Virginia. We stayed at the Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs and I was impressed. I was afraid that since this vacation was mostly just to 'relax', it would also mean doing a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't want to do, and falling behind in editing and all kinds of stuff. But, that was not the case.

We had so much fun, but I have to say, my favorite activity was playing laser tag. There were other families there, so we had a big group of people with us. We split up into two groups and chose teams. After that, the game began. Since I write Sci-Fi and Action/Adventure/Dystopian sort of things, it was pretty good inspiration. I felt like my main character in the heat of battle. Only, the worst thing that could happen to me in there was losing one of my ten lives, where in my story, the consequences are much worse.

I was actually surprised with how good of a shot I was. Sure, I risked my 'lives' a few times, but overall, the girls team won. Of course, after we had achieved victory, the boys tried making excuses, saying that they let us win. But something tells me that that wasn't the case.

Anyway, Christmas break starts tomorrow for me, and I'm looking forward to lots of time to write and get stuff done!

Have a great day!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Honestly, I have no idea where I've been. I usually have enough time to write a blog post on the days I set out to write them, but I guess I've been letting editing get in the way. Not that that's a bad thing, but still, I feel kind of bad. I guess I'm just being lazy because it's the Holiday Season.

Anyway, I have some good news! I finished doing the biggest edit of my novel! Now all I've got to do is read over the comments my mom (over at Imagine Today) made for me and fix those.

We're going someplace secret this weekend. I wish I could tell you where we're going, but even I don't know. My mom and dad won't tell me, but apparently we'll have to dress up all the time. The other 'hints' I've gotten are that the place is South East of where I live, and it's about a five hour drive away. Where could that possibly be?

Either way, I like long drives because I can write in the car. And my super cute Toshiba Netbook has a battery that lasts forever (eight hours). So I think I'll be all set :)

Back to finishing up editing! Hope you guys have a great weekend!


Don't worry, I know that today is Thursday. But I don't think I'll post tomorrow unless I completely finish my book. Just wanted you to let you know!

Friday, December 9, 2011


No, don't worry. I'm not talking about food or animal sacrifices or anything. (Unless you're trying to impress the writing gods or something...)

We all have to make sacrifices to get our writing done. But it can really be hard sometimes. For this entire week, I've been trying so hard to meet my goal of finishing my entire book on the 10th of December, but as tomorrow swiftly approaches, I just don't see how I can possibly edit thirteen more chapters tonight.

I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong. I've sacrificed so much time this week for my writing! Okay, maybe I didn't wake up as early as I planned to every day, but I did a lot of other stuff. I stayed up late to get my work done. I didn't go to the movie theater last Sunday with my mom, sister and dad! I even skipped watching two episodes of the TV show Glee to get my writing done! (I couldn't resist watching the most current episode of Star Wars the Clone Wars with my brother, though...)

So, maybe I set too big of a goal for myself. Or maybe I just didn't execute my 'plan' correctly. Or maybe it was just a bad writing week. It sounds silly, but some days when I'm practicing my violin it's just randomly worse than other days. Same thing with skating. Some days I'm really focused, and other days, I completely lose my balance doing simple things.

It's easy to get discouraged when no matter what you do, you feel like you won't finish soon enough, or won't get good things written down. But, I've found that going around and feeling sorry for yourself isn't the way to get what you want done, done. Trust me, I've tried it.

Luckily, I happen to be in a very good writing mood today, so even if I don't finish on the tenth exactly, maybe I could extend my deadline to the end of the weekend or maybe even Monday. Either way, I've still got a lot of work to get done, so I should get back to it.

What are you guys planning for the weekend?


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Get Out Of My Novel!

I've been editing like crazy, but it's starting to pay off. I'm really excited because I've only got around fifteen more chapters to edit. And even though that sounds like a lot, my chapters are pretty short.

I've noticed that I've got a ton of scene's that are there just for the sake of being there. Sadly, a lot of times they are scenes that I really like. Scenes that have tons of awesome descriptive language but don't move the story along at all.

Before I start editing a scene, I'll read through it as it is. After reading it, I'll ask myself, 'what's the point I'm trying to get across here?' And If I get that point across someplace else already, or there really isn't a point, I just delete it. I've found parts where my MC is walking through a hallway getting to her room from someplace else. And when the point of my scenes are just to show that my MC is going somewhere... well that's not so great.

So what do I do? Tell those scenes to "get the heck out of my novel!"

I guess I've kind of come to enjoy being able to delete things out of my story, because I've got enough words to edit already. So when the entire scene can be taken out, I'm just thankful I don't have to go through it! My favorite part about writing a story is the actual writing part of it. The editing is fun, but I think it takes waay too long.

So the lesson I've learned? Don't keep scenes that are there just for the sake of being there. It seems obvious, but sometimes it's hard to pick them out.

Anyway, I've got to start on my school work now so I can be done with it sooner so I can edit more.

Do you guys have any great editing tips?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Where's the Snow?

WARNING: This post discusses the topic of global warming.

Okay, I don't really know where you guys live, but in the area of Ohio that I live in, there is no snow on the ground. I remember when it used to snow at Thanksgiving around here. But it's already December 5, and I have no idea where it could be.

I'm sorry, but I'm a winter girl. Winter is my favorite season... steamy hot chocolate (mixed with coffee :) ), an inspirational snowy landscape to look over, and not having to go outside... Don't get me wrong, I like being outside but that usually means I have to write on paper instead of my computer. I remember about two or three years ago when it didn't snow until after Christmas. That was probably the most sad thing ever.

(The funny thing is, I really don't like the cold. But winter means I can stay inside, and my mom doesn't really want to go anywhere because it's cold. So that means I can sit around and write all day :) )

Anyway, I'm getting really worried because it's raining outside. I could go outside in a t-shirt and be fine. And if I stayed out there for too long I'd get cold. But I remember when winter meant going outside in a sweater and freezing to death when in contact with the winter air. This is our backyard:

Does this look right to you?
(If you look closely enough, that long rectangular object in the top right corner of the picture is an example of what a bad photographer I am. That's kind of besides the point, but still.)

I know that the human-caused global warming topic is kind of (sometimes very) controversial. And I really don't want to discuss things that go against other people's beliefs, but I personally think that we are making an impact on our environment.

So this December, my goal is to turn off all the lights when I leave a room, take short showers (instead of my usual half hour...) and do everything I can to better the environment! I really want it to snow this Christmas!

So, what season do you guys like? Are you a fan of winter?


Friday, December 2, 2011

Untraceable- Interview with the Author

Hey everyone! Today I am interviewing S.R. Johannes (Shelli), author of the newly released book Untraceable! Let's get started!


Okay, Shelli, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have am MBA in marketing and worked in corporate America for over 15 years doing marketing, communication, and training. I walked off the job in 2006 and have been doing freelance marketing ever since. I own my own marketing company and have worked with Spanx and Goody Hair. I have a hubby from England, 2 kids and a Goldendoodle. I’m actually very boring, which is probably why I write thrillers :) I love being at home, doing yoga, reading and playing with my kids. That’s my everyday.

So how long have you been writing?

(Author S.R. Johannes)
I started right after I had my daughter in 2004. I always say she sat on something. I think since I had 4 months off maternity leave – I started writing while she was napping and couldn’t stop. I hadn’t written much before that. But when I was little I used to write all the time. IN 2006 I left my corporate job and started freelancing in copywriting and marketing. From there I started my own business where I could take the jobs I wanted while writing. It’s the best of both worlds.

Can you tell us more about your book Untraceable?

It's a wilderness thriller with a missing person, a kick-butt heroine, and of course - two hot boys :) what else do you need? Besides Moon Pies.

 What was your inspiration for this thrilling romp through the wilderness?

My hubby came home from camping and said “I was so deep in the woods, someone could do something bad and get away with it.” That planted the seed until I visited the bear pits in Cherokee. I just put those two things together.

I wanted to create a contemporary thriller. I loved James Patterson growing up and there are very few young adult thrillers out there that aren’t paranormal or dystopic. I wanted to create a “stay up late and read” sort of book with a strong girl character who could take care of herself in the real world with no magic or special powers.

What were the difficulties you had to overcome while writing it?

No one else believed in this book. My agent wanted me to shelf it. A publisher wanted me to make it dystopic. So my agent and I parted and I went off on my own. Something inside me needed this book out there.

Did you get published through a publisher or self publish?

I self-published. But I worked very hard to make sure it was of a high quality so you could not tell by looking or reading. Self-pubbing has a tough stigma so I wanted to set myself apart.

Is this your first book?

This is my first book that is published. But I have three other books that have almost been bought by publishers over the last 5 years. A tween paranormal, a teen nonfiction cyber guide, and a MG fairy book. I think I do better in YA though.

What are your upcoming projects?

A special edition is coming on ebook in Jan/Feb with the original ending. Book 2 should be done by summer 2012. After that, we will see. I have a SEKRIT project I'd love to get an agent for but that wont be until fall of next year.

Are there a certain genera you prefer to write in?

Young adult. My voice seems to come natural at 15 or 16. I prefer contemporary books. I can’t do paranormal or fantasy well. I also prefer suspense and thrillers. For some reason I cant seem to write a book without someone trying to get my MC.

Do you prefer writing on your computer or a notepad?

What is a notebook? :) Computer definitely.

How would you describe your main character, Grace, as a character?

Grace is independent, caring but awkward. She connects with nature more than she does with people. She’s a total introvert and would be happy alone for days at a time.

I will say she is impulsive and annoyingly reckless. Exactly like I was as a teen. I didn’t think about the effects of any cause. I didn’t think of consequences, I just did dumb stuff and got lucky. That is Grace. She acts and then thinks.

But no matter what she does, her heart is always in the right place. 

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I see pieces of myself in all my characters.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Don’t give up and go with your gut!

Anything else you want people to know about you or your book?

Give it a try. I know it is not dystopic or fantasy but I think you will not only stay up late reading it but you will walk away forever changed. I hope.

And for a final, random, question. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

Besides food and water - books, laptop (with great wireless plan), and picture of family.

And there you have it! Thank you so much for stopping by today, Shelli!
Alright everyone, check out Shelli's blog to congratulate her!

Her book is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats, and on Smashwords for other ebook editions! Happy reading + have a great weekend!


16 year old Grace was reared in the wilderness. Her first pet was a bear named Simon. Her first potty, an oak tree. And, her first swing, a forest vine. Grace has lived in the Smokies her whole life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything he knew about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. But when Grace's dad goes missing on a routine patrol, unlike everyone in her sleepy mountain town, she refuses to believe he’s dead. When a Cheetos bag and stolen government file materialize, Grace is convinced she’s one step closer to proving all the non-believers wrong.
Then one day while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from imminent danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent, that’s definitely not from her neck of the woods, and a secret. Grace has never felt a connection like this before, certainly not with her ex-boyfriend, the adoring, but decidedly unrugged Wyn. 
Now with renewed confidence, Grace travels deeper into the wilderness that has always been her refuge only to learn that her father's disappearance is not a mere coincidence. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kickass heroine to emerge from an epidemic that’s spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she’s ever loved.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Day of November

Well, today is the final day of November. No, I didn't meet my goal for NaNoWriMo of 50,000 words. But hey, who can say I didn't try? I'm at thirty three thousand something words, so there's no way I can turn back now.

Anyway, I'd like to let you know that my editing has suddenly taken a HUGE leap forward! I'm hoping to be done with my second and third drafts by December 10th, and will be hopefully be asking for beta readers soon after! I'm really excited!! That also means I'll have less time do other stuff, but I'm really close to being ready to query, so I've got a ton of work to do!

Also, I've got some fun news! I'm interviewing Author S.R. Johannes (aka Shelli) on Friday! I've never done an interview before, so this is pretty exciting! Her book Untraceable just came out yesterday so go give her a big 'Congratulations' at her blog! Here's a summary of her book:

16 year old Grace was reared in the wilderness. Her first pet was a bear named Simon. Her first potty, an oak tree. And, her first swing, a forest vine. Grace has lived in the Smokies her whole life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything he knew about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. But when Grace's dad goes missing on a routine patrol, unlike everyone in her sleepy mountain town, she refuses to believe he’s dead. When a Cheetos bag and stolen government file materialize, Grace is convinced she’s one step closer to proving all the non-believers wrong.
Then one day while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from imminent danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent, that’s definitely not from her neck of the woods, and a secret. Grace has never felt a connection like this before, certainly not with her ex-boyfriend, the adoring, but decidedly unrugged Wyn. 
Now with renewed confidence, Grace travels deeper into the wilderness that has always been her refuge only to learn that her father's disappearance is not a mere coincidence. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kickass heroine to emerge from an epidemic that’s spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she’s ever loved.

I'd also like to thank Fairbetty for her awesome support throughout all of NaNoWriMo! She visited my blog and commented every day I posted in November, so thanks Fairbetty! You can visit her blog here at Fairbetty's World.

Finally, today is my official inauguration back into the blogging world! Despite my huge amount of editing I have ahead of me, I am back and looking forward to reading everyone's posts! November has been an awesome month! I just can't believe it's almost December. This year has gone by so fast!

Any new exciting news? Plans for December? (Hope to see you on Friday :) )


Monday, November 28, 2011

Khan Academy

Life has gone back to the 'fairly normal' zone after all of our family members left yesterday. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I got to spend time with my cousins that I hardly ever get to see, so that was fun.

Yesterday, I got a pretty good amount of editing done for me to be pretty happy with myself. Unfortunately, I'm over 9,000 words behind on NaNoWriMo, so I'm plotting my way to catch up. At my current rate of writing, I should hit 50,000 on December 11 :(

Anyway, I thought that I would show you something sorta random today. I get Writer's Block quite often, and I'm always looking for ways to get myself 'unstuck'. So, a while ago, we found this really cool website called Khan Academy, and its got all these lectures and math practices that you can watch or do! Now, I know that it doesn't sound all that great. Who wants to practice math or watch lectures when you could just be writing?

Well, the videos are very interesting, and a lot of times, I'll go through a couple of the math practices when I'm stuck in editing. It works like magic because when I come back to editing, I'm not stuck anymore! They've got stuff from Astronomy and Biology to Finance and Banking. There's practice for basic addition all the way up to calculus, and the best part is, it's completely free! The videos make everything easy to understand (yep, even the calculus). Here's their About page if you want to check it out:

I just thought it was something really cool and worth noting!

What do you guys to do get unstuck?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

Hey everyone! I'm really sorry I haven't posted in a while... as I've mentioned too many times already, I've just been so busy with NaNoWriMo and editing that I've hardly had time for anything else! I promise that once November is over I'll try to post more regularly and I'll definitely be blog-hopping more often.

Okay, so in NaNoWriMo, I'm at 33,062 words meaning I'm 3,062 words behind... and I'm not really sure what to do. I've still got a ton of editing to finish and I know I could get to 50,000 words if I worked through Thanksgiving. But, we're having family over, so I can't be working then.

Secondly, I know where the story is going, but I'm not entirely sure how to get there. Already, I'm seeing things that I've written wrong and that I have to change. I think the romantic tension is moving much too fast, and I have no idea how to slow it down! And at this pace, there might be a train wreck soon.

Anyway, have a great Thanksgiving everyone (and a great end-of-November, just in CASE I don't post until then)!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Wonderful Weekend + Thanksgiving Approaches

Hey everyone! Sorry I'm posting so late today, I had a lot of homework to do today and I'm trying desperately to stay up to date with editing and NaNoing! But, oh my gosh, I got so much done over the weekend, I'm so excited! Well, maybe I didn't get a ton of stuff done, but I still feel pretty satisfied.

GOAL: 50,000
MOOD: Feeling Awesome :)

So, maybe I only got 5,643 words written, but I finally did some editing. And, dearest followers (and new people), I just want to say that I'm really sorry for not checking anyone's blog for almost this entire month. I'll really try to get back into everything after November, but with NaNoWriMo and Thanksgiving coming up, I have no idea how I can get any writing done!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, Let me tell you about a little (big) family tradition we have. Every year my whole family comes to our house to celebrate Thanksgiving. I guess not my whole family because that would just be waaay too many people. But in total, we've got about 19 family members at our house and it's just as crazy as it is awesome. So hopefully I can get ahead in writing because I don't think I'll be doing much of it in two weeks!

Have a great Monday, everyone :)


Friday, November 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 11

First of all, I have to say that it's 11/11/11. November 11, 2011. This kind of day only comes around once every hundred years, so enjoy it!

Anyway, here's my NaNo Status Check:

GOAL: 50,000
MOOD: A little stuck, but getting through

I'm pretty excited that I'm already 20,000 words through my sequel, but I'm a little stuck. I'm all caught up with my skeleton (my extremely detailed sketch), and when I was writing more of it, I got completely stuck. I've had the overall story planned out in my head for some time, but I'm not entirely sure how to get to the end!

As I was writing, I started to feel like some of the conversations were pointless. I started to see that I had already written things that I'd need to cut out. And it kind of hit me that I might not be moving the story along fast enough.

Of course, I'll never give up hope with my writing, but I hit that point that point that makes you wonder who is really going to care. Is my story interesting enough? Is it too cliched? What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong?

It's hard to push your doubts aside. It's hard to ignore that inner voice that begs for a reply. But all in all, I wouldn't be able to turn back even if I wanted to. I already wrote a novel. I've passed the point of no return.

The point is a cliched point of course. But it's a cliche that we tend to forget. The point is that we are doing this because we love it. In the end, it's really doesn't matter who loves what you write, or who doesn't love what you write.

So on that note, I better get back to work!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Last night, was perfect. It wasn't all that cold outside, it was really dark out, and the skies were crystal clear. The moon was huuugggee and just beneath it, was a small point of light.

I was a little surprised when my dad got home from work and he suggested we go outside and use the telescope that I got for my birthday a few years ago. We don't use it a lot, and I was kind of in the middle of writing a super intense scene. But how could I possibly pass up looking at the moon and stars through a telescope?

So my dad, my brother (Ryan) and I all went outside. The lenses of the telescope were pretty dusty, but the sky was so clear that it hardly mattered. Through the scope, you could see the shadows of the craters on the edge of the moon, and it was amazing. We could have just stared at the moon all night, but I started to become curious about what the tiny point of light was under it.

We shifted the telescope and I got it into view. It definitely wasn't a star. It was much too close to be a star. But it was so bright that at first we thought it was Venus. This is about what it looked like: 

After a few seconds of looking at it though, I knew it couldn't be Venus. Venus doesn't have any moons. The tiny points of light around the planet are. I ended up narrowing it down to either Jupiter or Saturn because they both have a ridiculous amount of moons. And then Saturn has rings (at least, rings that we can see), so I decided that it had to be Jupiter.
When it turned out that it actually was Jupiter, I was pretty impressed with my astronomical object identification skills! As far as planets go anyway...

Then we got busy with the iPad, pointing it up at the sky and identifying the stars. (Seriously, there's this really awesome app. that allows you to point the camera at the sky and it will tell you what the object is! How cool is that?!!) We got to see Vega, the Ring Nebula, Altair (seeing that star was awesome because not only is it a very bright star in the night sky, it's also the name of one of my characters :) ), and even our lovely neighboring galaxy, M31 aka the Andromeda!

(Ring Nebula)

(Altair :D )

(Andromeda Galaxy... how inspiring is that!?)

All in all, it was a wonderful, inspirational night!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Uninspiring Weekend

*WARNING: This post was written while the author was feeling a little sorry for herself.

First of all, let me just say, I've been really bad. I've hardly checked anyone else's blog this week or last week and when I have I've had to just skim through everything! I'm finally almost all caught up in school work (after the move and everything it was kind of hard to keep up,), I've got to keep editing, and I'm writing my NaNo novel. So, I apologize for not keeping up with you guys!

Anyway, the weekend was crazy for me. I think everyone else enjoyed it, pretty much because all we did was have fun all of Saturday. And having fun is fine with me as long as it includes writing, but really. It's November. And I've got a ton of work to do. I'm just happy my 'work' is writing, so it's fun. But still, there's a lot of it to do.

We were out and about all Saturday. I had skating all morning, then got home at about noon. I got a few minutes to write and I was getting all kinds of ideas! I was on a roll! Of course, a few minutes into my session, my dad wants to go to the zoo.

Now, I'm not really sure what to think about zoos. I really don't like seeing animals all locked up like that, pacing back and forth and bored out of their minds. But, I also think it's important for kids (and people in general) to be able to see animals that they probably wouldn't ever see out in the wild. I think it gives people a certain respect for nature. So, my theory is, as long as I'm not contributing directly to caging up those poor animals (as in paying the zoo for tickets and such) then I shouldn't have too much to worry about.

So we drove forty five minutes to the zoo, bought the tickets and went in. We stayed there until about four o'clock and by then my feet were hurting and I was in a pretty bad mood. I had two entire novels waiting for me, begging for my attention and there was nothing in the entire universe (at that moment anyway) that I could do about it.

And just as I thought the hopeless 'no writing' hours of the day would be over, just as I thought we were going to go home and I'd finally be able to sit at my computer and write for the rest of the hours of the night, my dad reminded us that we still had to go to the outlet mall.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

You can pretty much guess how the rest of the night went. By the time we got home, I was so tired and uninspired that we just watched the movie The Black Swan then a few episodes of Gilligan's Island then went to bed.

My family kept asking me why I didn't want to have any fun for the whole day. But the problem wasn't not having fun for me! WRITING is fun for me! It's work too, but completely awesome work!

Anyway, how was your weekend?


Friday, November 4, 2011

Novel Inspiration


GOAL: 50,000
MOOD: Partially inspired, and partially tired

Today is day four of NaNoWriMo! I wish I had gotten more work done yesterday but it took me longer than usual to finish my stuff for school.

But, I'm super happy because I got a prize in the campaign! Yep, that's right! I won a nice, big fat 25 page critique from Rachele Alpine over at Freckle Head. The only people I've had look at my story are my best friend and my mom. Other family members have read a little bit, but not all the way through. So, I'm a little nervous!! After my NaNo writing today I'll be attempting to clean up those first 25pgs as fast as possible! (No rush though...)

Anyway, today I thought I'd be like a couple other awesome writers/bloggers I've been inspired by and show you some of the things that inspired me to write my current series/novel. So here I go:

So those are the pictures that inspired me and they might kinda sorta give you a better idea of what it's about (or maybe not...). And finally, for some inspirational music:

This song really just goes for book two, but I've been listening to it over and over in the first part I'm writing. Love this song :)

What random pictures or music got your imagination ticking on your current project?

Have a great weekend everyone! Get lots of writing done!


**Sorry guys, apparently the music doesn't work anymore... I think it got removed from youtube.  So yeah. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Starting a Novel


GOAL: 50,000
MOOD: Completely Confident

Well, seeing that yesterday was the first day in NaNo, starting off with a total of 2,240 words isn't too bad. And in that 2,240 words, I have officially completed my first draft of my first chapter! Yahoo!

Starting a novel can often be hard. I swear, I wrote and rewrote the first line and paragraph about twenty times before it started to sound like what I wanted to say. In my flash fiction pieces for the Campaign, making a good hook wasn't too hard because, I only had to carry on the story for another 250-300 words. In a novel, you're obviously keeping it going for much, much longer.

And then of course, there's always those writerly doubts. Especially coming from editing my book 1, I've gotten used to being extremely critical of my work. And I guess that's okay, but to get anything new done, I've really got to accept that it's not going to sound perfect. I've just got to move on to the next passage.

So how do you start a novel?

I say you've just got to begin. You can't keep thinking that your first line will sound better if you change it one more time. (Even though it probably will). Get what you need to get down then move on. This is only the first draft, after all.

So how was your first NaNo day? And for those of you not doing NaNo, whatchya workin on?

(Getting back to writing now!)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo is Here!

Hey everyone! I'm super excited right now because... NaNoWriMo is here!! My username is just Jessica McKendry so if you want to become my writing buddy click HERE or look me up!

Okay, I should really get to work now!

Happy writing!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Spookfesta & Darkspell Launch

Good morning, everyone! Today is the long awaited Halloween! Well, actually it's tomorrow that I'm waiting for. I keep checking my NaNoWriMo meter to see how many hours I have before I can start writing! I'm at the edge of my seat here! I swear, the moment I finish my school work for the day, I'll be typing away! (That kind of rhymed...)

Anyway, today is also the launch day of Elizabeth Mueller's first novel called Darkspell which can be found HERE on Amazon. Congratulations Elizabeth!

Okay so the prompt for the Spookfesta is:

If I had all the magic in the world, I'd...
Increase technology so that we find a way to travel through space efficiently and not have to wait eighty thousand years to get to the nearest star!

*That's actually not an exaggeration. If you traveled at seventeen kilometers per second (roughly the speed of Voyager 1), and headed straight in the direction of Alpha Centauri (the closest star) it would take about eighty thousand years for you to get there.

With that being said, I think we could use a little magic to help speed up the process there, or we're never going to see a planet outside of the solar system!

Alrighty, go congratulate Elizabeth and check out her awesome book!

Happy Halloween!


How do you like the new blog layout? I think it's a little more sophisticated than before. What do you think?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Day Countdown...

Wow, I knew NaNoWriMo was coming fast, but I just checked my little countdown meter on my sidebar and I didn't realize it was in three days. Okay, I've really got to start working hard.

I'm really not a big fan of writing without an outline. In fact, every single story I’ve written without an outline has remained unfinished. Honestly, if I don’t know where the story is going, I get really bored. You have no idea how much I wish I could just start a story without much of a plan then turn it into something that people love. I think it’s good to be spontaneous. But I guess that’s just not how I work.

So, I’ve got five days to write half of what I like to call, a skeleton. Now I’m sure there’s an official name for it, but I kinda like calling it a skeleton because I write everything down that helps maintain the structure of the story. The fancy and thoughtful language (what I like to call the muscle or meat of the story) can come in later. So until NaNoWriMo begins, I’ve got to be working on my skeleton.

All in all, writing the skeleton is really the part where I get the whole story down and out of my head. I usually break it up in bullet points and don’t write in complete sentences. At the same time, I try to be as detailed as I can be without actually and officially writing the story. And when I say detailed, I mean detailed. It kind of gets to the point of being ridiculous.

Speaking of skeletons, what are everyone’s plans for Halloween? I’m participating in Elizabeth Muller’s Spookfesta and if it weren’t for a reminder email I got, I would have totally forgotten. As far as trick-or-treating goes, I’d much rather buy a bag of Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and write all night long.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Campaign Entries I Loved

Well, the Campaign entries are finally over. All we've got to wait for now are the results. So I thought that today, since it's late and I'm feeling a little lazy, that I would just show you my five favorite entries:

  1. Angie at Live to Write~ On the Beach
  2. Rance at The Action P(r)ose~ All Gods Pilgrims
  3. David Powers King's Ghost by the Seashore
  4. Avery at Creative Type~ Purgatory
  5. Jocelyn Rish's Party Girl
All of them I think have a dark flair to them, which I tend to love. So, go check out their entries and 'like' them on Rachael Harrie's site if you get the chance!


Apologies for the super short post (with not much content, as my dad would put it). Hopefully I'll have time for a longer one tomorrow or Thursday!
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