Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo is Officially Over

For the 2nd year in a row, I passed the 50,000 word milestone.  I was cutting it very close this year, and I had spent a good part of the month way behind the goal.  But with 12 minutes remaining on November 30, I validated my word count with NaNoWriMo to have a total of 

50967 words

There's still a lot of work to be done on this one before it's finished, but the story is there.  And in a time when I was struggling to even begin this story, it is a huge accomplishment to be almost 51,000 words into it.  Last December, I pretty much crashed after finishing NaNoWriMo but not this time.  I hope to keep going strong, not stopping until my characters' stories are told.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Are You Ready??

October is almost over and that means one thing:
...well...actually, it means several things (such as it's going to keep getting colder and colder outside, Halloween is upon us, and it makes us realize that this year is practically flying by...I mean, two months until 2014!) but the main thing that the end of October signifies is:
NaNoWriMo time!  The month long write-a-thon where all you do is eat-sleep-breathe writing.
Last year, NaNoWriMo was awesome for me.  I finished out the month with just over 50,000 words, and since then, that manuscript has been finished and edited (and re-edited).  I have a hard copy of this manuscript that I can hold in my hands and know that it's all mine.  That I did it.  For those grueling 30 days, I have something wonderful to show for it.  And that is an  awesome feeling.
So after all of that, you would think I would be excited for this year's NaNoWriMo, ready to start (well continue) another adventure, and ready to take my characters to new heights and places.  But....
This year feels different.  I mean, I'm sure I'm fretting over nothing, but I almost feel like I can't do it again...
Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt I can write another book.  The story goes on, and I will write it.  But 30 days?  Last year was hard...and anyone who talked to me that month, probably hated me during those 30 days (I see you nodding in agreement...), but honestly, for that one month, I didn't do anything but work and write.  I got up, went to work, and as soon as 5:30 hit, I was off to Barnes and Noble or to my kitchen table with laptop in hand.  I'd stay up way too late trying to finish this scene or that (or trying to start said scene), and then I'd wake up and do it all again.  And I can't even tell you how many times I broke down in the Barnes and Noble cafĂ© because I had only managed 250 words that night or because the screen was just as blank as when I started 3 hours earlier.  And yet, I'm supposed to be ready to sign up for that all over again?
Don't get me wrong...the payoff was totally worth every minute. 
And that's what I keep telling myself as we get closer and closer to November 1. 
Apparently I've been slightly unmotivated lately, and it's time for a change.  Having a goal and a set deadline may be exactly what I need to turn things around.  Besides, the book won't write itself, and I may as well join in with everyone else during this month.  We can all suffer...and reap the rewards together. 
I love writing.  This post is in no way to say that I do not enjoy writing or my characters or my story or anything else about writing.  What I don't enjoy is deadlines...and missing therefore, if I don't have a deadline, I can't miss it (see my logic?), but without a deadline I tend to not get much done. 
So even though I am in no way prepared for November (due to the fact that I was going to sit this one out), I am not going to let the opportunity pass by. Am I ready to write 50,000 words in 30 days on a book that I have no idea what's going to happen? No. But am I going to do it anyway? Yes. (Am I sort of being forced into it by a friend? Yes. AM I grateful to said friend for this? Yes. <--I'm saying this now because I'm sure at times in November I probably won't seem very grateful).
So here's to the last couple days of freedom before 30 days of (what I hope is) awesome writing. 
Let's see if we can make it 2 in a row!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Goodbye 23, HELLO 24!!

Last night, I took some time and thought about everything that had happened over the last year.  As my last day being 23, I wanted to remember what kind of year it had been.

And my 23rd year was pretty awesome.

One of the most important things that happened this year was accomplishing a goal that I had been working towards for years. I finished my novel.  Granted, I am still working on tweaking this scene or that, but the material is there.  62,000 words that are all mine.  Characters that wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t created them.  When I look at those pages, I know (even though I’m not published) that I did it.  And that to me, is one of the greatest accomplishments that for a long time, I could only dream of, but now I’ve done. It.

I got my picture taken with my #1 favorite celebrity/person and had an awesome weekend in the middle of nowhere hanging out with the coolest person I know (she put up with my incessant rambling of those precious seconds that I shared with Randy while she was an AWESOME friend and took the picture—so Thank you for that (because I can’t say it enough!))

I went to four other events aside from the one mentioned above, and I got to be an crazy fangirl for a few hours each time.  I don’t care how many I go to, it’s never the same and it’s always amazing.

I saw Maroon 5 in concert!  And they were spectacular! It was one of the best concerts I have EVER been to and I can’t wait to see them again. 

I also saw Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Jake Owen (and of course his wardrobe malfunction happened the very NEXT night after I saw him…) as well as Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, and Jana Kramer, and they were all incredible!

I also got to relive Prom this year by going to the Hawk & Tom SuperProm where everyone (well most everyone) dressed up as superheroes!

I climbed waterfalls!  There are three waterfalls, two near the road, and one set back in the mountains, and my sister and I conquered all three!  And while it was hot out as we trekked through the woods to this third waterfall (which at times we were beginning to wonder if it even existed!) we finally made it and it was worth it.  Not just for the view but for the spontaneous sister day that we had, hiking to waterfalls (and if you knew either one of us AT ALL you would know what a big accomplishment that was in itself), sitting and playing in said waterfall, and then driving up through the mountains and enjoying the peacefulness that it brings.  My sister and I visit the waterfalls on the weekends when we can and it’s almost like a tradition now to go there with her.  I wouldn’t trade our time for anything (unless I could trade the hiking time for more chilling by the waterfall time…the woods are not our friend…)

I also went on a cruise with the amazing girls that I work with, and I appreciate them and my firm so much for what they have taught me.  It is such a difference working somewhere where everyone works together as a team and there’s no backstabbing to get ahead like in retail (and the clientele is a lot better too).  It’s surprising how much stress from your job can affect your entire life.  It’s even more surprising how quickly that can turn around once you remove yourself from that stressful environment.  I know I am very fortunate to love my job and enjoy going to work every day.  Sure, I’m not writing full time, but sadly that doesn’t pay the bills right now.  I still have time to write after work and on the weekends, and I do take advantage of it because I love to do it. 

And in mentioning my cruise, I go on and on about how awesome work is and don’t talk about how fun the cruise was!  I can’t lie though, 90% of the time, I was either on the back Serenity deck or at the 24 hr. Ice Cream Bar…luckily, they were very close to each other.  The Bahamas was fun though and I would definitely go back on another cruise and hopefully soon!  The water is just soooooo pretty!

Even with all I did over the past year, it wouldn’t have meant near as much to me if it hadn’t been for the people I spent those times with, and to those people, and everyone else in my life that I hold dear, thank you.  Thank you for being who you are and for letting me be who I am.  Thank you for enduring my crazy, eccentric, obsessive, weird and nerdy self and for always being willing to join in with whatever crazy scheme I have concocted for us.  I could tell you how much you mean to me, but there aren’t enough words, and there’s not nearly enough time in the world for me to say it right.

So as I start my first day as a 24 year old, I realize that this year has a lot to live up to compared to last year.  But I know and feel that this will be the best year yet.  I can’t wait to see what 24 has in store because I know that the whole world is open to me and nothing can hold me back.

I hope you’re ready!

The Bahamas as we sailed into Port...isn't it so pretty?!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Editing Round 1

If someone had told me a week ago that I would be done with my first round of hard copy edits, I would have laughed in their face.  And not just a chuckle while shaking my head.  Oh no. I would have been curled up, on the floor, laughing so hard the muscles in my stomach would start hurting.

I was so stressed out, and not just from editing.  It just seemed over the past several weeks that I didn't have time to get anything done that I had planned.  Everything I needed to do just slipped through my fingers and the time disappeared.  Plus I had to edit almost 300 pages thoroughly.

I was 100 pages into the hard copy of my manuscript last week (and yes...I started editing sometime in March), and I was leaving for the beach on Friday.  I told myself that this past weekend, I would be free from any and all obligation to do anything at all, including working on my book.  Sometimes you just have to step away from it and come back with a clear and focused perspective.  That was my goal: to do absolutely nothing the 3 days I would be out of town and come back refreshed and ready to work.

I carried my writing bag in my car (only because it had my iPod in it...and it seemed way too logical to just take the iPod out and put it in another bag), but I had no intention of using anything else from that bag while I was on vacation.  So when I opened it up as my friend waited (not so patiently) on me to walk to the beach, I can't even tell you what possessed me to grab the next set of 20 pages that I hadn't started working on yet.  But I did.

And it was one of the best decisions I made.

It wasn't long before I headed back to the car to grab another stack of pages to work on.   When I left the beach that afternoon, I had edited 48 pages! And it wasn't just a comma here, or new paragraph there.  It was intense editing.

And the next day, between the beach and the pool, I finished the last 140 pages.  And I did it.

It was so freeing being on the beach, staring out at the ocean.  The weather was perfect.  It was mid 70s all weekend, with a light breeze.  Plus hearing the waves crashing around you--it was so relaxing that I was able to shut out everything else that had been on my mind for weeks and focus, really focus on the pages before me.  And I was so inspired that I was already thinking about the next one I plan to write once this one is through.

So, if this means that everytime I'm stuck or having a difficult time (or when I enter the editing phase) that I need to take the next weekend and head straight to the beach, then so be it (I will take any and all excuses to spend a day at the beach), but if any of those trips are half as productive as this weekend was...there's no telling what I'll get done.

So now round 1 of editing is done...well, at least on hard copy.  Now, I have to type up all the corrections and changes I made and then prepare for round 2.

Almost there!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope that everyone got in touch with their Irish side today and had a Happy St. Patrick's Day. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Results Are In...

...and I didn't make the cut.

Not going to lie, I am very disappointed.  I know what I said yesterday, and believe me, I've already read it over at least 5 times now.  And I still believe every word I said.  I didn't fail.  But rejection isn't easy either.

The results in previous years had been posted at 9am PST, so I figured I had a couple more hours of anxious waiting until I found out.  But crazy me, I had to check the moment I got into work at 9am EST, and sure enough, the results were up. 

Fortunately, one of the other girls I work with stopped at Krispy Kreme this morning, so maybe I'll ditch the ice cream for doughnuts, and I'll at least try to not cry or get weepy until after I'm home tonight.

I meant what I said though.  I knew my manuscript wasn't perfect, and I've been itching to work on it again.  And now I have that chance.  So I'm going to edit it, fix what parts need fixing, rewrite the scenes that need it and I'll go from there.  I will submit to a publishing house and I will keep trying.  All it takes is one yes, and I will find it.

I believe in my story, in my characters, and in my writing.  One rejection or elimination doesn't change that.