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Hello 2015!

Dude, how long has WordPress looked like this? It all changed since my last post in November. O.o

Anyways, happy new year everyone! For this year, I have a few resolutions that I’m going to do to ensure that 2015 is amazing.

I’m going to eat healthier and exercise a bit more. Anyone who knows me knows how large my sweet tooth is. Seriously, chocolate is the most amazing invention ever, and my family routinely gets bug-eyed when they see how many spoonfuls of sugar I add to my coffee or tea. I’m going to cut down a bit on the sweets and eat a bit more fruits and veggies.

(On that note, does anyone know how to eat avocados? Seems like a very silly question, but I love avocado sushi rolls, so I thought I’d try to buy just straight avocados, but no one else in my family has ever eaten the stuff.)

For exercising, I’m going to take more walks with the pups, my own little spitfire of a dog Chip and my uncle’s beagle puppy, Cookie, that I sit for a few times a week, as well as do some push-ups and sit-ups just to help tone my body. I’m a good weight and shape for my size and height, but it could be better, if only for my health.

There’s also some big changes I need to make for my writing. I’m going to be more active here while trying to model my habits after my sister Rachel’s blog. For instance, I’m mimicking with permission her Short Story Sunday feature. Having that kind of goal will make me write more, giving me more practice and ideas for novel-length stories.

Happy new year, everyone, and keep writing! 🙂

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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Home

 

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Scribble: Common Grounds Cafe

Just a little something that I was typing up to get some writing exercise done. This is probably part one in a mini series. Enjoy! Critique is always appreciated.

Diana Winters was the Common Grounds Café’s new barista, and she apparently didn’t look like the type who could keep up with the daily onslaught of caffeine-deprived customers. At least, that was what her coworker Colin said when she showed up for her first shift.

“You don’t look like the type who can keep up with the daily onslaught of caffeine-deprived customers.” He snapped his gum between every word.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, glancing at her apron and slip-resistant shoes. “I’m wearing the uniform correctly, right?”

“It’s not the uniform.” Colin blew a large, pink bubble. It’s pop made Diana jump. “You look too… nice.”

“Erm, thanks?”

He shrugged and angled his thin torso toward the front doors. Already there were silhouettes and shadows of people huddled in the dim lighting of the early autumn morning, all waiting for their first caffeine fix of the day.  The opening manager, Michael, was slowly unlocking the doors. As he opened them, Diana heard Colin say, “You’ll see.”

Diana’s eyes widened as Michael was nearly crushed behind the door when the crowd surged over the threshold. Customers formed a loose line in front of Diana’s register and five of them began ordering at once. Colin tapped Diana’s arm, snapping her out of her stupor, as the customers cut each other off and began to grudgingly form a proper line.

The woman who won the honor of being first in line raised a thin drawn-on eyebrow at Diana. “Large skinny mocha latte with three extra shots of espresso.” A credit card was shoved in Diana’s face.

“Of course,” Diana said, her eyes glancing at her screen and touching the options to correspond with the woman’s order. Her register mirrored the order screen behind her, and she heard Colin moving around the containers of cups and flavored syrups to fulfill the order. “That’ll be six dollars and seventy-five—“

The woman dropped the credit card on the counter. “Whatever.”

Diana swiped the card through the register and the woman snatched it back. Before Diana could ask if the customer had wanted her receipt, the woman walked over to the end of the counter to wait for her drink, all while staring at her cell phone. Impressively, the woman didn’t bump into any tables or chairs.

“Medium mocha-caramel iced coffee, light on the ice.” A five-dollar bill and a couple of ones fluttered onto the counter. Diana hadn’t even caught a glimpse of the man’s face before he followed after the first customer to wait for his drink.

“Large French vanilla—“

“Um, please, hold on a minute,” Diana said to the third customer while she desperately tried to remember the second customer’s order to input it into the register. She ignored the man’s sigh and the nausea in her stomach as she hovered over the flavor options.

A larger hand deftly tapped the mocha button and the caramel syrup option, swiftly finishing the order. Colin snapped his gum again as he tossed out the receipt that had printed, and he grabbed the medium-sized cup to start processing the second order.

Diana took a deep breath and, with the words, “May I take your order?” ready on her lips, glanced up at the third customer. She blinked and stared at the translucent yellow wings protruding from the young man’s back.

“You ready yet?” the man asked.

“Oh, yes, I’m sorry,” Diana said. “Thank you for waiting—“

“Large French vanilla coffee, cream, extra sugar.”

Diana did her best to keep up with his rapid words, marveling at the sight of his wings. She snuck glances at him while he was waiting for his drink and, judging by the familiar nod that Colin and the customer exchanged, he was not a new customer to Common Grounds.

Although her mother warned her about getting a job in an establishment situated on the Dimensional Crossroads – for who knew what kind of strange creatures passed through the realms of time and space – this was precisely the reason as to why Diana joined the café’s team. Diana wanted to meet extraordinary folk, and Common Grounds was the place to do so. Nestled in the center of the Dimensional Crossroads, Common Grounds was where all sorts of people, races, and creatures stopped for a cup of coffee as they passed through the area.

After all, that was where Common Grounds Café had gotten its name.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Scribbles

 

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April 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 1 Word Count: 1873/50000

Last camp NaNo, I had the word count goal of 25000 to make it a bit easier to reach during my busy work schedule. However, I had reached the 50000 word count goal for this past November, so I figured I could try to reach that again. After all, it’s the same amount of days, and if I did it once, I can do it again, right?

Rachel and I are in the same cabin for this camp, along with 10 other campers. We got a big cabin, haha! Most of us seem to be off to a good start, and hopefully the streak will continue all month long.

Some time ago, I found a 30 Day NaNoWriMo Meme on a random tumblr account. I thought it would be something interesting and motivating to do throughout the month, so I am subjecting you to it:

Day 1 – Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?  If so, which years and what end result?  If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing?  Why do you want to participate this year?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, and have been doing so for a couple of years now. I found NaNoWriMo around 2008, and have attempted to do NaNo since then. I have only ever “won” NaNo once, which was last year, when I really started to take my writing more seriously. I love to write and enjoy creating fantasies and stories, most of which I hope to share with the world one day through publishing. Participating in NaNo helps me practice and churn more words out than I normally would in a month.

Good luck to everyone else in their writing and life! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Home

 

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Define Success

Marva Collins: “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”

Success is generally defined as the accomplishment of one’s goals. Whether that means completing your homework or research paper in a timely manner, teaching your dog how to sit, editing that final draft of your novel, or beating your sister’s turtle in a game of hide-and-seek, the meaning of success varies from person to person.

(I’m not kidding about the turtle. During the colder months, she likes to hibernate, and currently I cannot find her buried among the three or so inches of bark in her tank. She’s probably under her pool, I’m sure, but she is definitely the queen of hide-and-seek.)

I’ve been thinking about my journey to success lately. I considered myself successful when I beat the NaNo challenge with 50023 words (the winner certificate is still on my desk) and when I got promoted to a manager position at work. All of that is well and good, but how is my relationship with success towards my dream of writing?

I have two first drafts of novels finished, and the strong start of a few more. I want to write, to make writing my main focus in my life, to be able to share and live off of my works. To get my name out there, to figure out what this publishing business is all about, to work by my own rules… That will be my definition of success.

I’m going to be 24 at the end of next month. Through hard work, discipline, and a bit of silliness here and there, I will be successful. Let’s see how it all pans out.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Home

 

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Catch Up

Ernest Hemingway: “Write drunk; edit sober.”

NaNoWriMo Day Three Word Goal: 5001
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1702/50000

Starbucks, Coffitivity, and a work-in-progress novel. Life is good.

So, NaNoWriMo is in effect! Yay! I’m already a day behind! That’s nothing new… In my defense, I literally worked all day yesterday then made an appearance at a friend’s birthday party… then came home and went to bed.

Good news is that I have all day today to write. I should be able to catch up fairly easily. It only took me about an hour and a half on the first day to reach the word count goal. Rachel of course is ahead already, which I’m simultaneously proud of her work ethic and envious of her typing speed, haha!

I hope everyone else is doing well! If you’re doing NaNo, look me up: Winged_Spirit. Happy writing!

Also, check out this tumblr. It is one of my new favorite things.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Home

 

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Never Ending Journey

Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Obviously I haven’t been on here in a couple of months. However, throughout those few months, I have finished my novel “Bloodmage,” and it sorely needs editing, but it’s FINISHED! I also got promoted at work, and my older sister is engaged. 🙂 So, happy stuff has been happening.

I’ve been doing my best lately to get more into a writing habit, either by actually writing on a novel or doing character interviews or planning with sticky notes or whatever. November’s NaNoWriMo is right around the corner (like, literally a week), and Rachel and I have been prepping (in between bouts of Pokemon and Ace Attorney, I’ll admit). She found a bunch of poster boards so we each have a poster for our respective NaNo novels filled with sticky notes and index cards for the characters, plot ideas, settings, etc.

Last night while Rachel was at a workshop for work I was writing an “interview” for my main character, and it was FANTASTIC because I had a couple of breakthroughs for the novel when November comes around. Literally, I would stop writing in the middle of a sentence in the interview to throw up a new sticky note onto my poster!

Then Rachel came home and informed me that it’s, “the 4th annual Cat Week on the Ellen DeGeneres Show!” So we watched some cat videos from the show. And a Kevin the Cashier segment. And Ellen’s monologue about bags.

Yep. We’re writers!

On that note, I’m Winged_Spirit on NaNo. Look me up!

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Home

 

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Ten More Minutes…!

Rylee: “I want to hear all about it, every detail. But we can’t now.”

Current Camp NaNo Word Count: 6860/25000

My legs are SO asleep right now…! Of course the puppy wants to lay in my lap as well. That’s not gonna help wake them up!

Anyways, writing is still going good. Despite not writing yesterday, I got back up to my goal, keeping myself on par as well as going ahead by a couple of hundred words. “Bloodwork” is getting to the peak of its climax and it’s still exciting to write. 🙂

Rachel, lately, as been writing for a good hour every morning, and she can get a couple of thousand words from it. I can’t do that. I have found, though trial and error, that I work best with smaller time intervals. I’ve found a handy online timer, set it for ten minutes at a time, and see how much I can write during that. Usually I can average about 400-600 words per ten minutes, which is great. If I do that for about a half hour, I usually go beyond my word count for the day, plus half of the next day’s, effectively keeping me ahead of the game.

The best part is when I forget to reset the timer and I keep going until I’ve reached about 800 words just because I’m so into the story. 🙂

I hope everyone else’s writing is going well! Happy blogging!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Home

 

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