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!

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