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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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A Mouse and a Leap of Faith

“Everybody needs a leap of faith… When are you taking yours?” – Nickelback’s “What Are You Waiting For?”

I must have been a dog in my past life.  A feisty little dachshund, to be exact, if one was to ask my coworkers.  Years ago when I had applied for and gotten the position to work at a dog day care and hotel, no one from my family and circle of friends had been surprised.  With my love of animals, it was a natural choice.

It had been a shock when, about four years later, I had announced that I was quitting.

I still loved the dog day care, and I hadn’t grown sick of it at all.  It was the first job that I had never dreaded to wake up and go to, and I had seriously considered making a career out of my position in that company.  Yet, I had other dreams that had been collecting dust in the back of my heart and it was about time that I took a leap of faith to make them come true.

Writing had always been a passion of mine.  My room was littered with notebooks, pens, and how-to books on crafting rich tales.  My Internet personas boasted of half-finished fanfictions from video games and movies, and of stories that were always works-in-progress.  There was no reason why I could not turn those works-in-progress into full-fledged novels.

My epiphany happened while vacationing with my younger sister in the most magical place on earth, Disneyworld.  With how busy the dog hotel was, especially during the times of year when schools were out and families were on vacation, that Disneyworld trip had been the first vacation I had taken in over a year.  It was at the end of August, a blazing time in Florida, and my sister and I sought out the indoor attractions and shops while collecting autographs from the face characters.

One such attraction that struck both my sister and me with inspiration was a certain gallery exhibit in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.  We goggled at the artifacts that detailed Walt Disney’s life and how he created a monumental company that has always touched the lives of so many people.  It rekindled the spark of our dreams with writing. After all, Walt Disney was able to follow his dreams with just a mouse.  Why couldn’t we do the same with just a pen?

My sister and I have had many frank discussions regarding our dreams with writing ever since seeing that exhibit.  She has over a half a dozen first (and sometimes second and third) drafts of novels while balancing her full-time job along with school.  I have had only two completed first draft manuscripts.  Even though my work schedule had always been more sporadic than hers, she at least had the focus to complete her stories.  I still had the attention span of my past-life dachshund when faced with a squirrel.

I made a decision before the end of that Disney vacation.  With no debts to my name, I had a decent savings account that could allow me to take a few months off and work on my writing dreams.  A mere month after returning from that vacation, I left my job at the dog day care and hotel with bittersweet feelings.

Dogs are pack animals and most thrived with socialization and being around familiar faces.  I felt as if I had left my pack to try to establish my own, and I wasn’t sure about all the rules of the wild.  However, I had taken my leap of faith and, though it may take me a while to learn how to fly, I will soar.

I may have been a dog in a past life but, with my stories, I believe I have many lives ahead of me. I wasn’t going to keep them waiting any longer.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 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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NaNo Day 5 – Atmosphere

Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

NaNoWriMo Day Five Word Goal: 8333
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8514/50000
My NaNo Profile: Winged_Spirit

Yay for being on par with NaNo! I’m a little ahead with a couple of hundred words from the daily goal, which I am proud of.

Rachel and I tend to try to write together when we can, and lately the place where we write is at our kitchen or dining room tables. During the summer, we always tried to go to our local Barnes and Noble during my day off. We’d hit Dunkin’ Donuts for a quick, sugary breakfast, then order drinks from the convenient Starbucks that was inside our B&N before plopping ourselves at a table and firing up our laptops. It was a fantastic writing atmosphere, with all the reference books we would ever need and easy access to caffeinated beverages.

I admit, half of the time we distracted ourselves, but it was all in good fun and we always made some sort of progress on our writing dreams, whether it be typing up a new chapter, creating character lists, or editing the first draft of a novel.

Being the school year, Rachel has her homework to worry about as well as her full-time hours at her work. I recently got promoted and, while the work isn’t too different, there are definitely more responsibilities on my shoulders along with some interesting hours. During this month, we do our best to keep up with each other’s progress, asking about word counts and character tidbits when we do see each other. We’re doing our best to devote Sundays to each other, grabbing Starbucks after church before heading home to write for as long as we can.

It would be easier if our den/video game room was all set up for us to use. Lately we’ve been having gentlemen work on the house’s insulation, and they’ve been cutting holes in the walls upstairs where our den and bedroom are located (we had to sleep in the living room a few nights due to this). Those brand-new desks we have can’t be put to use with our writing just yet! Hopefully everything will be all set soon.

Rachel and I have contemplated staying at the Starbucks we visit after church to do some writing. It’s fairly small and cozy with awesome workers and a little lounge area with a FIREPLACE. I want a fireplace. There are outlets under most of the seats and tables. I do feel as if we would be a bit too loud for the place, though. It’s why we don’t go to write at the library, haha!

For the most part, we’ve been doing well making up our own “writer’s atmospheres” at home. We get distracted often enough, of course, with the animals and kids (and parents, haha — Hi, Mom!), but as long as we can keep writing, then I guess the atmosphere works in our favor.

Happy writing everyone!

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Home

 

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Left or Right

Me: “What is the difference between ‘all right’ as two words and ‘alright’ as one word?” Rachel: “I have no idea.”

That basically explains how my sister and I go about our writing. We just go with the flow, occasionally throwing ideas and stuff (like paper balls and straw wrappers) at each other amid distractions and getting actual writing done. It’s Saturday, a day of the week that I rarely have off of work, so we woke up early enough to go to Barnes and Noble as it opened to snag a table to write with our laptops. We were there from 9 to, like, 2ish, and we both made our word goals for the day. YAY!

I’ve been doing pretty well keeping up with my NaNo goal, not only for word count, but for sticking with one story as well. Usually when I attempt NaNoWriMo I get happy just getting some words written, whether they’re for this story or that novel or my random comic book attempt, etc. I’m doing my best to stick with one story and see how far I get on it.

I guess this is what I get for being a “pantser” kind of writer. I go where my story takes me with barely any outlines. In fact, I’m lucky if I have an idea for the story endings! The last time Rachel and I were at Barnes and Noble, we found a book called How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir, and there was one part that described “right-brain” writers and “left-brain” writers. I was definitely left-brain while Rachel was a right-brain writer. One of us focuses on the details, the other likes the big picture, and there were plenty of other ways to tell them apart. It was quite interesting, and totally made sense when describing Rachel and me. We both love to write, but the way we create our stories can be so different. Despite these differences, it’s tons of fun having someone to join on this writing journey.

It’s like one of those parties from role-playing games: “You have written 1000 words! You’ve gained a level! You’ve learned the move ‘Spell Check’!” I’m not sure what levels Rachel and I would be at. She would definitely have a greater Speed stat than I with the rate at which she types. Perhaps I would have a stronger Vocabulary stat, haha!

I hope everyone else who is on their own writing journey has a friend or twenty to join them on this quest. Happy writing, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Home

 

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