This Week

This week had started out hopeful. Even though I spent a part of a “day off” on Sunday at The Job, I still spent most of it with the hubs. We even went out to both lunch and dinner–amazing!

We spent the 4th mainly indoors. Even though it’s a national holiday, it was basically the only day off I had from The Job to catch up with my writing projects, and also finish one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time: Healer, starring Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it is easily one of the best “TV” shows I’ve seen, hands down.

I say “TV” because I stumbled upon it on Hulu.com and it was like a gift! A beautiful, amazing, shining beacon of happiness and positivity that I can look back on for this week. Because after Monday, the week slowly crumbled and devolved.

(That’s saying something when Monday was the highlight of an entire week.)

Local tragedy where two coworkers died in completely unrelated circumstances days apart…National news coverage of needless, inexplicable deaths…International news coverage of militant attacks in Bangladesh and Baghdad.

My heart is heavy. My eyes are hazy. My mind is numb.
These are not the best conditions to write.

I know I should focus on the positive…that I should count my blessings…that I ought to be grateful for what I have…tragedy happens all the time…etc.

I know all this.

But sometimes, it’s OK to shut down my brain and just sit and feel.
So I read. I’ve been listening and soaking in others’ stories, and pray that others have love, support, and light that they can huddle around to give them a semblance of peace at this time.

Hopefully, next week will be a little bit brighter. As for this week, I’m done.

Happy Birthday Month, Blog!

My blogaversary is this Friday, May 4th (Otherwise known as Star Wars Day. Yes, I’m THAT nerdy). It’s been a really fun two years, and I have to admit that even though I haven’t been the most consistent blogger in the world, I’ve really enjoyed the side effect of blogging, namely, the accountability I have to make progress toward my goals (writing or otherwise).

I’ve enjoyed the blogging community, and have met a lot of lovely writers, readers, and delightful nerds (and in a few weeks, I will actually meet many of you in real life!) who have become some of my closest friends. Because I believe in sharing the love and “paying it forward,” I want to celebrate the month by hosting a little giveaway.

Usually, I would normally host a giveaway for a book or two, but since there are so. Many. Awesome. Books out this month, like Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Drowned Cities or Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, I thought it would be better for you all to pick the book you want!

So, for my Blog Birthday, I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) e-giftcard! (Winner’s preference, of course!) All you have to do is be a subscriber/follower of this blog, and comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations, Michele S!

 

Also, because I want you to know how much I appreciate you, any comment on any post this month, will count as extra entries!

So, tell me…Why do YOU blog? If you’re not a blogger, please feel free to share your goals for this year! If you’re a fellow writer, anything fun and shiny you’re working on?

The End. For Now.

I woke up mere hours since I passed out from reading feeling antsy. Like I needed to be doing something, like getting ready for work, or working on WIP2.

But then I remembered that today is my day off from the paythebillsjob, and I have reached The End of WIP2.

(Would that also explain why I woke up with Lady GaGa’s Edge of Glory blasting away in my mind??)

Though I’m feeling kind of like this…

…it’s a little short-lived because I know I still have a lot of work to do. But, I’ll think about that another day.

For now, I plan on reading my huge stack of books that I promised myself I would read once the draft was finished (and seriously was the ONLY thing that got me to push through and cobble together scenes last night, and bask in this gloriously sunny day.)

P.S.

For the curious, my to-read list for today includes:

  • Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
  • Legend, by Marie Lu
  • Two chapters of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  • and whatever my crit partners throw my way. *stares at Kayla*

This will be SUCH a fun day off!

PPS,

Fun times! Random.org has spoken, and I get to give away a copy of Wanderlove to none other than my #accountibilibuddy, Laura! I’m sure that extra Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy entry helped you out 😀

Speaking of #accountibilibuddies, thank you for all the #badgerbadger love on Twitter, and for letting me badger you! It helped me to focus on writing, for sure! And guess what?? I have LOTS of free time now to hurl these virtual bad boys at you, muahahaha!

SO, What’s been going on with YOU??

Just a Friendly Reminder

I’ve had a pretty productive novel writing week, thanks to a combination of dedicated twitter #accountibilibuddies (hi Laura and DB!), a change of venue, and above all, a mindset of finishing what I start, no matter what the result may be.

The actual work I’m producing is really kind of boring and the dialogue is way stilted, but what I’m learning about my writing process far outweighs the embarrassment of reading my cringetastic writing. And, as a bonus, I’m so proud of reaching my daily page goals, that the feeling of success just motivates me to continue working on my novel some more.

Anyway, here are some lovely inspirational quotes so you can understand what mindset I was in.

 

I’ll eventually get the hang of balancing novel writing time and blogging time, but at least you understand why my posts have been pretty random lately!

Happy goal setting and achieving!

GChatting With Friends. Where the Magic Happens.

If you don’t have trusted writing friends to be a sounding board to your novel-in-progress, get some. Your muse(s) will thank you. Plus, you get to have random conversations like this:

 me: YES do it!

kill MC and make BFF go on a quest!

Melissa: lololol

“and she found a note – “In the event of my death, go on a mighty quest!””

“and lo, she quested. and it was good.”

These bits of brainstorming made possible by NaNoWriMo, Google chat, and crit partner of Awesome, Melissa Veres. (I look forward to my dedication page when your book is finished and published!) 😉

Share The Love

Love Heart

Image by Pink Poppy Photography via Flickr

{This post is part of a continuing feature on my blog. It represents what I love most about Twitter: sharing great content, no matter the source. I love promoting good books I’ve discovered, passing along great advice I’ve heard, and recognizing awesome people I’ve met. So, I’ve translated that love to my blog, and simply called this feature “Share The Love.”}

I traveled around the blogosphere this past week and loved these posts:

I played on twitter and loved these tweets:

http://twitter.com/#!/feedmespeed/status/125057348304764928

http://twitter.com/#!/Zen_Moments/status/125364469953085440

http://twitter.com/#!/Mak_pk/status/126002948118552576

http://twitter.com/#!/emmofittipaldi/status/125704199261536256

(The news of Dan Wheldon’s death was heartbreaking. Prayers go out to his family.)

I borrowed these books from the library, and would love to read them before they’re due back:

  • The Death Cure, by James Dashner
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
  • The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The People of Sparks, by Jeanne DuPrau

Speaking of books, I’ve had two books on my to-read list for quite sometime: XVI by Julia Karr and The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. Coincidentally, the two authors were speaking at a local library this past Monday.

Unfortunately, I was late driving in from my pay the bills job, so I didn’t catch ALL of what they said, BUT, the part that I caught was a fun and interactive Q&A filled with anecdotes about their books, publishing journey, and writing process.

Love the energetic hand gestures! I can't speak if my hands are still!

I really enjoyed the story about the cover model for XVI tweeting Julia and letting her know that the photo was a self-portrait she took when she was 16.

Telling the story about the cover model

And, of course, I got to buy their books and get them signed! Here is Julia, signing my copy of XVI. Notice the ARC of Truth sitting next to her?? All the teens there feasted on the cover and back copy!

"Seek the Truth!"

Smile!

I LOVED this pretty gold marker that Saundra used to sign…

Shiny ink! me likey!

…AND, I loved jibber-jabbering with her all sugarnated (that’s a word)! 😀

Saundra: "Let's do duck faces!"

Thank you ladies for an entertaining end to a seemingly never-ending work day!

*hugs and (duck) kisses*

😀

So Tell Me: Do YOU have any LOVES to share from this past week?

A Picture’s Meaning

{So, I decided to start yet another series of posts for the best reasons of all: because this is my blog, and because I can. It’s simply titled, The Magic of Writing—that indefinable, ineffable relationship between the writer and the muse.}

A picture’s meaning can express ten thousand words.

So, thanks to Rebecca Enzor (and indirectly, Amber West), I became thoroughly addicted to Pinterest this weekend. I loved creating my pretty vision boards, hunting down beautiful images to “pin” to them. I’ve always wanted to create huge vision boards for my novels, and with Pinterest, I created one for each of my works in progress in a matter of hours.

The best part? Finding an image that resonated with a specific WIP so well, that new scenes and subplots emerged from seeing them. I also love that certain images captured a mood that I’ve tried to convey in the past, but couldn’t really grasp, and I’d end up losing that mood or forgetting what it was that I’d wanted to say. Now, I can just click on one of my boards, and relive the moment until I have the right words to express whatever scene I want to write.

(Sidenote: I love all my WIP boards, but the one that’s most precious to me is simply labeled “First,” with images that remind me of my first novel. It gives me hope that one day I’ll have the skill to execute WIP1.)

There are so many uses for Pinterest, and honestly, I have to be careful to remember that it’s a tool to support my writing, and shouldn’t take the place of my novel writing. (SO ADDICTIVE. Srsly.) But, I so enjoy being able to experience my works in progress in this way and keep my muses inspired to continue working (and by working, I mean playing ^_^).

Are you visual like me? Do you have other methods to keep your muses inspired?

(*If you want to see my vision board for my current work in progress, CLICK HERE.) 🙂