Good Morning, Book Bloggers!

It’s been a while since I just sat down and wrote to you about what’s been going on with me. Since 2017 is now just around the corner, this seems like the perfect time to fill you guys in on the end of my 2016.

Novel #1. I have four chapters of edited changes on print paper that I have to transfer over to the word document before I can print it out and lend to a couple friends. Four chapters stand between me and having a novel that is ready to send out… How freakin’ exciting is that?! The answer is very. Honestly, it’s a bit terrifying and I’d rather keep editing it time and time again, but I really feel that I should just finish and start to send it to different places for consideration. I have this feeling that if I edit again, I’ll keep finding little things and then that’ll encourage me to edit again and again and begin a never-ending cycle that will never allow me to actually finish. Rather than that, I think I’m going to just try myself and my novel by sending it out to numerous chopping boards that will butcher my submission and deign me unfit for writing… Quite optimistic, I know.

Novel #2/NaNoWriMo. I did not win NaNoWriMo 2016 this November. However, I did get out about 30,000 words into the first draft of my second novel (the sequel to my first), so I’m actually pretty proud of that. It was competing and talking with people that made the whole experience completely worth it, though! The site let me contact tons of other writers in the same or similar genres who communicated with me about their own work and asked me about mine in exchange. It was strange to openly discuss my novel with people who I’d never met since I’ve been fairly secretive about details of my novel since I first started writing it. Aren’t a lot of writers like that, though? It’s best to keep your ideas to yourself until you’re certain of it. Well, even though I did feel a bit uncomfortable talking about the characters of plots of my eventual trilogy, it was wonderful to discuss ideas and processes with other writers. Since the end of November, I haven’t added anything to the second book! Why? College midterms/finals/term papers called and I just wanted to relax. (Lame excuse, I know. I shouldn’t give excuses. Really, I just didn’t feel like writing any more of that until I finished the first.)

Reading slump. Congratulations, me! I have entered into a reading slump right at the end of 2016 when I’m supposed to be reviewing 2 books that the author send me a couple months ago. The agreement was that I would read and review them on goodreads as soon as my classes were out. However, right at the end of my classes, I seriously just gave up on books for a while. It was not intentional, I swear! I can’t even bring myself to read manga, though I’m still reading short stories online. Winter break hit and I just about crumbled into a heap of worn out bones and extra fat from multiple Thanksgiving dinners that still show traces in my midsection. Really, I just don’t want to read right now and reading a historical fiction novel isn’t my first choice to get my out of the slump, but I’d agreed to review it. I’m still honored, actually! But it’s just going to be a bit more difficult to bring myself to read it when I just don’t want to read anything for a while.

Holiday! Break has begun and I’ve been having an absolute blast just relaxing and hanging out with friends. I hope that you all have a merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate, I hope that you enjoy the new year! I’ll write again soon with more reviews (of books I’ve already read this month but haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet).

Have a great day, everyone!

NaNoWriMo Encouragement

NaNoWriMo Encouragement

Fellow writers, National Novel Writing Month is already two days in. For those of you who are participating, how are your progressing so far? After today, we should have 3200+ words. I’d been behind on the very first day, so I’m making up for it tonight by catching up and writing a couple extra hundred as a very small cushion for the next busy day.

Don’t get discouraged if you fall a bit behind at the beginning! There’s plenty of time to make up for it, so just be sure to stay as consistent as you can and push yourself to do your absolute best.

Good luck, everyone! Please feel free to comment your opinions or anything that you’d like to say about nanowrimo this year.

Novel Update #11: Transcribing Changes

The last update that I wrote on for The Strain of Rebellion stated that I had finished editing the rough draft. What does that mean? I now am typing up the changes on a copied word document of the original (since I’m sentimental and want a rough draft copy saved with all the errors that I originally made).

How has this been going? Terribly.

Maybe not as terribly as I make it seem, but it’s not exactly pleasant. It’s tedious – going through and fixing words and punctuation. However, there is one part of it that I love; there’s definite immediate gratification in watching the word count steadily rise with each transcribing session that I sit through. Because it was a rough draft, there are details that I left out or bits that needed clarification, so there are some paragraphs that have been added throughout. Just recently, I worked on fixing the fifth chapter. It was filled with added sentences and paragraphs! After only 5 chapters, I’ve already added 1000+ words to the original draft. That’s insane! I had been worried that my original novel length was a bit in want or additions, but I had no idea that editing would bump up the word count so much.

It isn’t as though I’m adding unnecessary bits to get more words, either. Everything that I add is because I firmly believe the book would be lacking without it.

There are also, of course, things that I took out. Whole paragraphs have been cut when working on the second draft. Thankfully, I haven’t had whole page or chapter cuts, yet. I don’t think that it’ll come to that in the future, either. What I cut and added in the first editing session should suffice. However, there are still details that I thought of after editing that I’ll go back and add in as I type the corrections (while simultaneously editing, I hope, so I don’t have to go back through later).

So it’s long, tedious, boring, but gratifying. My goal was to have this all completed by the end of October but other things have arisen to make that most highly improbable.

I’ll update as I continue with this process and let you all know how the book is coming along. I’m so excited to start having test readers soon! Only two people have been allowed to see it and both gave positive feedback that really helped. After going through with the test readings, I hope that there will be helpful criticism to help create a slightly changed third draft. But that’s definitely farther into the future than I want to think about right now!

Coffee Pots & Writer Thoughts

Coffee Pots & Writer Thoughts

Good morning, everyone! Well, it’s morning here in California right now. I just got a pretty strong cup of coffee from my kitchen and I am now going to see how well the caffeine works in prompting some thoughts that I’d like to get down.

I’m going to take this time spent on this blog post to just talk to you, whoever is reading this, about what whatever comes to mind. (I’ll try to keep it semi-related to writing, blogging, reading.)

Have you ever heard “I’ll Drown” by Sóley? I hadn’t either until recently. If you have, way to go, sir or madam, your taste in music is probably much better than mine! The only reason that I’ve heard it is because I go through the sidebar video recommendations on YouTube and came across this video. So it might not be for everyone, but I’ve found that for reading/writing, it’s extremely relaxing and gets me in the concentration zone without forcing myself to sit. As for writing along to this song, it’s pretty unusual for me to listen to music that isn’t from the 40s, 50s, and 60s when I write. Why? That’s just the type of music that goes well in the world that I’ve created for my novel. There were only two exceptions before – “Time is Running Out” by Muse and “Goodnight, Travel Well” by The Killers. These are two of my absolute favorite bands, so of course they are each going to have at least once exception to my writing music rule! If you haven’t heard any of those songs, the links are calling to be clicked on… Don’t resist.

Every few months, I go through phases with manga. In an introduction on a discussion board for an online class that asked what type of things we read, I wrote that if I don’t read manga for at least 30 minutes every night, it’s more difficult to fall asleep. That lasted for about five or six months, and then I went through a dry spell. Now? I’m back at it with manga every night. I don’t know why, but there’s a huge difference between for me between reading novels at night and reading manga. Maybe it’s because there are such short chapters and fewer words in manga? But still, I can go through an entire series in a day (for example, I read all of Beauty Pop yesterday, but I had started much earlier on than I am wont to). It’s unusual for me to read an entire book in a day unless I really sit down and avoid all distractions. Reading manga is more casual for me – it’s a pastime that lets me pass time without dedicating all of my time and focus. Does that make sense? Do any of you read manga and understand what I’m talking about? Everyone reads differently, so I’m wondering if this is a shared thought among manga readers.

Yesterday, I had made the second worst pot of coffee that I’ve made in the last few years since I started making it in the mornings. This morning, I drank what was left over from the morning coffee that was made before everyone left for work. Now, we have decaf (I know, shame) and regular coffee, but I really can’t tell which it is that I’m drinking right now… Either way, this is so much better than the pot that I’d made yesterday!

It’s Friday. I’d better start getting to the thinks that require my attention now. Well, it’s been nice to talking to you about… nothing of any importance? After all, isn’t the point of these types of sites to connect people?

Have a glorious Friday, everyone!

 

NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Who else?  I’m just curious, but are any of you participating nanowrimo this November?  It’ll be my first time joining, so I’m pretty stoked for it.  Before all the wonderfulness that is novel writing, however, I have to finish editing my first before I can start on the sequel.

Here’s what I’m going to be doing (in list form):

  • finish reading Wuthering Heights for my Victorian literature class due in October
  • read Crown of Midnight and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to complete my October TBR
  • finish editing the first draft of my novel – The Strain of Rebellion
  • make the corrections and send out 3 copies to my close friends to reading/further editing purposes
  • outline the general plot points for the sequel – The Era of Awakening
  • start writing the first 40,000 words of it for nanowrimo 2016 on November 1st

Yes, I know that I’m not going to be writing a full novel in the month of November.  Instead, I’m tweaking the goal a bit for my needs, which would be to write approximately the first third of the sequel.  Does anyone else do that?

I’m interested in any comments that anyone has regarding the novel writing challenge, so please comment your thoughts if you have done it in past years or if you will be doing it this year!

Daily Prompt: Zing!

via Daily Prompt: Zing!

[This is a nonfiction entry!]

zing
ziNG/
informal
noun
1. energy, enthusiasm, or liveliness
verb
1. move swiftly
Thanks, Google.
Zing…  Zing.  Zing?
The first time I saw it, I thought it was an example onomatopoeia, but clearly I was wrong.
Zing.  What is there in my life that’s lively or moving swiftly?  To be quite frank, there’s nothing very enthusiastic in my life – no people that I see regularly or events that hype up my daily life, even momentarily.
Zing.  I drive too fast when I’m on the freeway, but I’m fairly certain that that isn’t quite apt.  My close friends and I do tend to send quips zinging back and forth between us quite frequently.
It’s a bit of a weird word.  Most of these daily writing prompts make me think of something from my life or imagination that I can write about, but this is just going to have to be one of those weird responses that is a complete breakage of the third wall.  I know that potentially one person will read this (yes, that means you) and that you’re probably considering stopping pretty soon.  Well don’t just yet!  Bear with me for just a moment or two longer.
During a college creative writing class that I took for nonfiction writing, I had to write an essay of any topic that I chose to write about that told something about myself.  Lots of people wrote about specific instances in their lives that impacted them and the like, but I took a different route.  It was an online class and I hadn’t met but three of the students enrolled in it, so I wasn’t particularly eager to open up about meaningful moments in my life to complete strangers.  Instead, I tore down the third wall – absolutely destroyed it.  It was an appeal to the readers’ sympathies about writing personal essays to be judged by online strangers.  When the idea had first come to my mind, I was so excited that I could hardly hold myself back from starting immediately.  (You could say that the conjured idea added zing to the assignment for me.)
There’s nothing else important, really.  It’s just one of those things that goes full circle.  Zing.

Daily Prompt: Complicated

via Daily Prompt: Complicated

[This is a nonfiction post!]

College.

Yeah… Either you’re one of those students that really loves talking college with others or you’re one of those – like me – who absolutely despises it. I’ll avoid college conversations with family and friends because I know that I’m taking a more different route through college than most everyone else that I know.

I didn’t go to a large university right out of high school like every other one of my friends. While they moved to D.C., Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, etc., I stayed in my hometown and went to a community college. Everyone asked why. That’s what I don’t get! Why did I stay? Well, better yet, why not? But instead of going through all of the positives of staying in a small town to go to a community college when I had graduated third in my class (which is not bragging, since again, it’s a small town without many graduates), I just said there were lots of reasons. Lots of complicated reasons that made perfect sense to me and no one else but me.

Now?

I’m three years out of high school and transferring to the closest university to my hometown so I can stay in small, crappy, said-hometown that I love and don’t want to leave. It may be crap, but it’s my crap. To be honest, I’m scared shitless. I start school in eight days. Eight friggin’ days… Why am I scared to go to a school that pretty much everyone is accepted into – a school that I will be driving to only twice a week to attend? It’s complicated. It’s just really, really, really complicated.

There’s absolutely nothing to be terrified of.

Yet, here I sit.

Utterly terrified.

Would frazzled be a better word?

Well, even that’s complicated to explain. I’m just a little on-edge, but a little more than “just a little.”

I think that at this point, everything just seems too complicated. I felt this way before junior high, high school, and community college, so it does make sense to feel this way now. It’s different. It’s new to me. It’s something that I’m excited about but not excited about. I don’t want to go but I’m looking forward to going. Again, it’s just complicated. In two years, I’ll be done with college a year after everyone else from my graduating high school class… Until then, I just need to focus on the moment and not let the “complicated” freak me out too much. I’ll get used to it, right? Everyone does, don’t they?