Becoming an Author — Authory Updates, Goals, and Whatnot

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Yeah, I didn’t write a hiatus post…but it’s too late now. I was gone (church youth camp), I came back, and celebrations are in order. Or a virtual cookie handout. One of the two.

Anyway…this new post! It might turn into a blog series…who knows. It’s called Becoming an Author, with the emphasis on the unspoken “not just a writer”. You see, I’ve made a few decisions over the past few weeks that mainly culminate to this:

If I want to become an author as a career, then I had better start acting like one right now.

Hence becoming an author.

And I want to talk with you about my goals! And ideas! And how I’m faring after my first day at the “job” of being an “actual” author! (Decent…decent.)

But first, some updates.

So, you know I’ve been working on my Iris novella. I finished that last Saturday (the week-and-a-half ago one) at about a total of 24,000 words. It…was pretty great. It felt really good to start and finish something and to know that I put my heart into it. It was fun. It was emotional. And I’m so happy I wrote it.

(And, you know, if you were one of the people who read the Spotlights and decided you wanted more, tell me in the comments and I’ll email the story to you.)

Besides that, I’ve had a whole bunch of plot bunnies, mostly from my dreams, oddly enough. I wrote a 1500-word story/poem/story-poem that was vaguely Rapunzel based from a dream I had. And it was fun.

But I’ve been talking…to myself, to my family, to friends…and I know that I can’t keep writing short stuff like this. If I want to be an author, I need to write a novel. Like, an actual one. That I finish, and revise, and try to publish.

So, I had a little talk/counsel/thing with my parents yesterday and worked out some goals and a schedule for what I’m going to do this summer, and in the future.

First, I needed money. Because there’s things like college looming in my near future (eek!), and who knows when I’ll actually publish something. So I’m working part-time this summer for my dad & grandpa. (I’m transcribing my dad’s journals and editing my grandpa’s history. Both of which should maybe help me with writing, and I’ll enjoy them much more than some other entry-level job.)

And secondly, I need to write like it was my actual job. Well, not necessarily, because I’m only doing two hours a day. But I’m doing two hours a day! Which means I’ll be doing something consistently with writing, which I have not done in the past.

Also, I’m working on one novel that will hopefully be ready to be published by June 2018. If it’s not publishing-worthy or if I don’t publish it by then, whatever. But I just want to have it as ready as I can make it.

Want to know what it is?

Drumroll, please…

It’s Battle Song, the novel I started last November for NaNoWriMo! And, as a plus for me, there’s already a page for it. (An non-updated page, for sure, and everything’s subject to change, but hey, it’s there.)

Besides the novel ha, I make it sound like it’s so easy to write a novel, I’m also looking to publish a few short stories, whether through magazines or contests. If you know of a good one, please tell me! I’d love to hear it! I have one or two (or maybe just one) stories I could try to publish, so I’ll probably need to write more, but I want to try to get my name out there and maybe develop my craft a little more along the way.

I want to publish at least one short story by September 1, 2017. Because that’d be cool. *nods*

Aside from writing, there’s blogging! Yes sirree, you never thought this day would come, the day when I, Lana, at The Music of Words, would actually make…a posting schedule.

I’m going to spend two hours on “writing marketing” (which is basically just talking to people online and writing blog posts) once a week, and write two blog posts & set them to post. (Probably Saturday, since I don’t have “work” that day.) And then the other day that my post comes out, Tuesday, will also be my blog response day where I respond to comments. Which is only supposed to take 30 minutes. Heh. Heh. Heh.

But, as you can tell, it is a Wednesday, which isn’t on my posting schedule at all. It’s also not in my general schedule either, but I’m writing this during my free time. So if I have a brilliant idea for a blog post, it might appear on a random day. (You can thank me later.)

Oh yes! So, today was my very first day on the job. I actually followed a schedule from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Crazy, I know! (And then I had free time…ahh man, I’m going to love my free time.) So, how did it go?

Well. It went well. (Wahoo for good grammar!)

Okay, it was actually easier than I thought to keep to a schedule, though I was sorely tempted to stop and just finish the book I was reading. (I finished it during my lunch break, instead. And then read another book during my after-five-pm free time. *grins*)

But it was also hard to work on writing. I’m trying to figure out world building so that it’s actually cool (not to mention I think it’ll solve a lot of plot problems), but it’s more difficult than expected. How does one take influences from a real-world culture, put it into a fake world, with certain requirements and characters, and still make it realistic? I have no idea. But at least I’m trying, and that feels really good.


talk with me!

Do you like/not like the Becoming an Author posts & why? What should I do differently in the next one? (less updates, more advice?) Are you excited for my goals as well? What are your plans for the future & what career do you want to go into/are in? What are your best tips for keeping to a schedule? Or for writing? Or just tips for life in general? I’m a willing listener here to all the sage wisdom you have to give. Especially if it’s a little sarcastic. *wink wink*

 

Why I Disappeared + My New Writing Project

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So you may have noticed that I disappeared from the blogosphere.

I mean, it was just a slight disappearance that took up, yeah, about the whole month of April. Eek.

And I know what you’re all wondering: Why did you leave us with no warning? We’ve all been suffering without your fabulous blog posts! Don’t leave us anymore!!

Or something of the sort.

Well, there wasn’t a huge reason why I disappeared…mainly just a culmination of lots of little things that led to me not posting and only commenting on a few blog posts throughout the month.

Here’s some of the reasons:

  • I totally failed Camp NaNo. I don’t know how this affected me, but about the time I stopped writing in my novel, I stopped checking my blog as much. I stopped writing because I got to a point where I didn’t know how to write anything I liked (which I’m still struggling with, a bit).
  • The post I was working on was taking a long time to put together. Like, it was taking longer than my Dares posts do! It’ll still be coming to you, at some point, but I’m only about halfway through it at the moment. (For a sneak peek, it’s about positivity!)
  • Life was busy. Between school nearing the end of the year, choir festival, composing a choral song, reading lots of books, and procrastinating a lot, there just wasn’t any time. (Okay, I had some time. But not a lot.)
  • And…yep. I’m sorry for leaving you without your favorite blog.

But I’m back now, and hopefully for quite a while as well!



And now for more exciting things… I’m working on a new writing project!

Well, “new” might not be the correct terminology. I actually started this project two years ago, during April Camp NaNoWriMo, so it’s actually quite old. But I haven’t worked on it for a very long time, so right now I want to finish it! (Remember, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to finish writing three novels.)

It’s called The Blade (or, at least, that’s what it’s called for now), and despite there being a lot of fighting and war and stuff like that, it’s really about the internal struggles of a girl named Riven, trying to figure out who she is.

It also involves:

  • A sword-fighting teacher who doubles as an counselor
  • A boy with a crooked smile and great letter-writing skills
  • A sash
  • A loyal horse (or two)
  • A desert-y setting with canyons and red rocks
  • A mysterious man in black (yep, like Princess Bride)
  • A magic-less fantasy
  • A war
  • And a lot of heartbreak

And I know you’re dying for an excerpt now, so I tried to find something non-spoiler-y but still something I loved. So here’s this:

“Sometimes Malik sings to me when I can’t fall asleep,” said James, leaning up against the rock.

I stared. This Malik was sounding stranger and stranger. What sort of man would sing a little boy a lullaby to help him sleep? Well, perhaps the same kind who would take a whiplash for him. The kind of man who would love…so why would he be with the Bleeding Sun? “He sings to you?”

James nodded.

“What does he sing?”

“I can’t really remember all of it,” he said softly, a faint blush of embarrassment rising to his cheeks. Perhaps he didn’t want to have me intrude on this memory. Or maybe he just didn’t like singing.

“What’s the song about?”

James drew his finger through the red sand for a few moments before answering. “It’s about falling asleep and dreaming of a castle, and a princess.”



talk to me!

Did you miss me terribly? (Actually, don’t answer that, I know you did.) Did you write any awesome posts that I didn’t read/comment on & should? What was the best/worst part of April for you? How did Camp NaNo go for you? You must tell me everything I missed! And what do you think of my new project? Are you excited to learn more about it?

Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part Two (Characters)

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I fully expect this to be the longest of the three parts of the Enhanced Field Guide (places, characters, and plots). If you missed the first part–Places in Enhanced, you can find that here: Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part One (Places).

Why will this be the longest one? Because I have a whole bunch of characters, both major and minor, and I fully expect that the more I write, the more characters will come up. So when this field guide is officially posted on its own page, I’ll update it with new characters when I start 105_0189-editedtalking about them. For right now, though, all of the characters in this post should appear or be mentioned somewhere in the first book, Enhanced.

Oh, and Kellyn Roth @ Reveries was the first one to guess which character this hairstyle belonged to: Meryn. Despite the fact that the hairstyle does indeed look like a boy’s, it is her hair. (Of course, Kell did just list all of the main female characters after I said it was a girl, so I don’t know how much effort it took.) You’ll get a full sketch of Meryn later on in the post–yay!–and she’ll look much less like a boy then.



POV CHARACTERS

BRIE ELLINGS

I just made up her last name right now. So it’s subject to change…but I kind of like it, so who knows?

Brie is my smol, emotional cinnamon roll who is thrown into this world with no experience and wants nothing more than to save her brother, Seth (see Plots–Rescue Seth and Characters–Seth). She has way too much hair and loves music and singing. She loves deeply and is extremely empathetic.

And because I know you want it, here’s my little chibi drawing of her:

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Isn’t she so adorable? I love her and so should you.

WILL ASHA

Will is extremely computer-savvy, and therefore the Reapers’ hacker. It might be weird to say that he feels some sort of emotional connection with computers, but he does–when he was part of the Delorem Program (see Places–The Delorem Program), computers were really the only thing that he could hold on to.

He also makes horrible jokes and puns that no one laughs at, and he likes cats. Going deeper than that, though, he feels responsible for his cousin, Taira (see Characters–Taira) and worries about her (and other people) a lot.

Fun Fact: In the original draft, Will and Brie were going to be a ship. Now, they’re not, but they do develop a sort of sibling-like relationship throughout the first book because Will likes to take care of people and Brie needs taking care of.

LILIAN SHAZI (also referred to as LIL)

Lil is the only POV character who is an adult, and she is definitely a mother figure to lots of people, but especially Will (see Characters–Will). Because of some time spent in the Enhancement Facility (see Places–The Enhancement Facility), she can’t feel physical pain. However, she has a very sad backstory (which I may someday write a novella about…) and her life is filled with emotional pain that just grows worse as the book goes on.

She always cares about people deeply and grows very attached to them. She notices the lonely soul and gives cookies to those with hurting hearts. And she’s so friendly and warm and inviting that you can’t help but be friends with her and want her love.

Fun Fact: She wears ribbons in her braids in her hair. I seriously use this for every fun fact I’ve done with her. But hey, if you have a good one, do you have to find a new one?

KAI WHITLOW

Kai is the hero. Not necessarily the hero of the story but just a hero in that he sticks to what he believes in, which is awesome. I adore characters like that. Despite being heroic, he’s also a little confused and a little lost about everything. He’s trying to grow up and figure everything out, and without a father, that’s especially hard. (His father died when he was young.)

He also has this desire to be strong and to show that he’s just like everyone else or better…which leads to lots of flirting with girls. (I don’t know whether to facepalm or headdesk.) But he just struggles and it’s awesome.

Fun Fact: In the first draft, Kai was totally honest. Like, he could only remember telling one lie in his life. *claps for Kai* So that’s part of what inspired me to have him be the hero, but yeah, no, he fails as much as the rest of us, don’t worry. He makes mistakes, too, but it’s just that in the end, good triumphs over evil.

MERYN …

Meryn who also doesn’t have a last name, oops. She’s the hairstyle up above, remember? She’s lived in the city (see Places–The City) her entire life, and she is a little spoiled (read: very spoiled). She goes on dates and flirts with guys and loves fashion designing. She fights with her sister Aislynn and also has some loving conversations with her at times as well.

And because I have nothing else to say at the moment, here is a full picture of her:

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She’s actually a little shorter than in that picture, but yeah, that’s a pretty good representation. And yes, she puts pockets in all of her dress designs because she understands the painnn.


MAJOR CHARACTERS (NON-POV)

TAIRA …

She actually has a last name, but I can’t remember it…I’d have to look at the first draft to find it. Anyway, Taira is very blunt and generally rude to everyone except for Will, her cousin (see Characters–Will). She’s rude to him, too, just not as much. And she glares at everyone because other people should not exist she has bad headaches the more she’s around people.

Mainly, she just chooses to stay away from people as much as possible. And she has some good reasons for it, but some would say that they aren’t really excuses. So yeah, she has problems and is very enjoyable to think about.

Fun Fact: Taira was one of the main characters in the first draft. Then, she was just going to be one of the POV characters in Enhanced, and then Brie decided she was more important and took over her spot. But she’s definitely going to show up as a POV in the second book, Cryonic, where you’ll get to see some of her internal thoughts, which will be fun.

SETH ELLINGS

As you may have figured out by now, Seth is Brie’s (see Characters–Brie) older brother. He’s adventurous and always looking for some new thing to do. He might possibly be an adrenaline junkie if he lived in our day. And he loves other people, but he kind of loves nature more. He loves to be outside and exploring the great outdoors, and that’s where he gets the most joy.

Fun Fact: He also has curly hair like Brie’s, but his is a bit more under control. Actually, he’s *coughs* kind of good-looking. I mean, according to the pinterest picture I found.

AISLYNN …

Aislynn is Meryn’s (see Characters–Meryn) younger sister. She’s very analytical and ordered and structured about things, which kind of clashes with Meryn’s very creative way of thinking. Hence fights. Also, Aislynn steals Meryn’s stuff, especially her holographic computer (she doesn’t really care about stealing clothes), and basically they fight a lot but also love each other deeper. Aislynn isn’t very good at showing that love, though. She’s also into science and psychology and loves learning.

Fun Fact: Hawaiian pizza is her choice of pizza. Because you need to know that for the story to make sense.

CHARLES BENNETT

He goes by Bennett (possibly because his name sounds like it’s from a Jane Austen novel–but if it actually is, then tell me, because I could use that) and he’s a politician. Or, I should say politician-in-training  or attempting-politician because he’s only in his early twenties and hasn’t done much yet.

But yes, Bennett has an oversized opinion of himself (which could be because he really is handsome and popular and all the girls flock around him) and he and Taira clash dynamically in the second book which is quite fun! He doesn’t do much in the first book, though, but, you know, he’s there.

Fun Fact: Bennett kind of spawned into the story by accident? I was writing the first part of Cryonic and Taira ended up meeting him, and they clashed so much that I developed him more, and he’s actually really important. For spoilerous reasons.

JETHRO CAVRILLO

Jethro is–do I dare to say?–the villian…ish. I need to develop his role in the story better because he’s kind of not at the moment and he needs to be. (Even though he has a heartwrenching reason for what he’s doing…*sobs in a corner because no one knows my pain because spoilers*)

Anyway, he’s the Lead Enhancer and founder of the Enhancement Facility (see Places–The Enhancement Facility), and he does lots of cruel things. Enough said. Possibly because his personality isn’t developed super well…shhh.

Fun Fact: His name used to be Javier until I realized that a) that was basically like Javert from Les Mis, and b) that Javier was pronounced with an ‘H’ sound rather than being pronounced like Javert from Les Mis. So I needed a new name, and I was reading the Bible…and yeah, even though Jethro is a great guy, I decided his name was awesome and would be used.

JULIUS …

I still don’t know how I feel about the name Julius. Like, part of me says yes, and the other part of me says no, and then the other part of me says yum, orange julius. So I may need to change his name, but I need suggestions. Anyone?

Julius is the leader of the Reapers (and they may be explained in the Other section of the Field Guide, if I do decide to post it?) and he makes elaborate plans but doesn’t share them with people. And then gets upset with people when they tell him something that conflicts with his plans even though that’s because he didn’t tell anyone.

He has a lot of annoying faults like this, and probably the most so is that whenever people try to tell him this, he won’t listen to them. So yeah, he annoys me sometimes, too, but he’s also really cool. He really does have a brilliant and strategic mind, and he does love people, but it’s even harder for him to show it than for Aislynn.

Fun Fact: He does, indeed, like orange julius. He’ll never admit it, though, because, let’s admit it, you can’t ever live that down.

RICK & RUBEN

I figured I should put them together to save times. They’re brothers and look very similar…but their personalities are fairly different. Rick acts stupid on purpose, and he pulls it off well, so he ends up being fun. He also has an obsession with old stories and fables. And he has a ponytail and a gold tooth.

Ruben, on the other hand, is more practical and refuses to laugh at Rick (that’s okay, Rick knows that he thinks he’s funny) and he likes to cook food and make lists and be ready for anything (while Rick takes things impromptu for the fun of it). Basically, he could be a butler?

Fun Fact: Rick and Ruben once broke into a chocolate factory…don’t ask.



Sometimes I forget about how much I love this novel until I think about how much I love all of my characters…seriously, all of them. *hugs them all* Anyway, be sure to watch out for the third part of The Field Guide–Plots! And if you didn’t see it the first part, here’s the link again: Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part One (Places).



Do you, too, ever have the problem of not choosing a last name for your characters? It happens to me all the time obviously. Which was your favorite character? Which do you want to learn more about? I need to choose one to use for Beautiful People this month, so opinions are obviously needed! Oh, and tell me about your characters! What are they like?

Rambles on Writing #2: Things Are Looking Up

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In my last post, Rambles on Writing #1, I talked about how everything in my novel seemed to be falling apart and I didn’t know how to write it and the plot was terrible and blah blah blah all of my complaining. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who encouraged, advised, supported, and commiserated with me in response.

I said I wanted my next post to be more happy and so it is! I am much more happy. There are still things to work on (like maybe actually writing something in Enhanced, but I figured out most of the problem and kind of how to fix it. (I found more problems, too, but mainly smaller ones.)

The main problem with my plot, I realized, was that none of my characters really changed. I’d made all of these lovely little plots for them to go through and struggle with, but they weren’t really struggling because the plots didn’t really affect them.

First of all, I added in the moralistic dimension that my writing had been missing. Obviously, you don’t want a book to end with, “And that’s why you should always…” because that isn’t going to change people. But if you can write a book with inspiring characters and play with the reader’s emotions, then they can learn a lesson from it and apply it to them. That wasn’t happening before, but hopefully it will now.

For that, I wrote down a list of a lot of the life lessons that I’ve learned (or should have learned) and a lot of them just fit with characters. Like, “You can’t change other people, so change yourself,” goes definitely to Taira. And Kai’s is clearly, “Heroism means integrity. You have to keep to your standards no matter the situation or justification,” which is possibly my favorite one.

Some of the others were tricky, like with Will or Bennett, but I figured them out. (“You can make a difference” and “if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything,” respectively.)

Then I took the plot and altered it just slightly so that it would affect all of them personally. Since Meryn is so separated from the rest of them and really isn’t participating in the main plot, she was the main problem, so I spent a couple pages figuring out why their plan would affect her.

And now I’m feeling much better about the plot. There’s still so much to do, but at least I know where I’m going and why it’ll affect the character and so hopefully I have enough to get back to writing on.

I may do a very short and basic outline so that I can figure out what I’m already supposed to have written and included, but I might not and instead just continue where I left off with the better plot. *shrugs*

Anyway, I know this is a rather short and bland post, but, hey, things are working out more and I’m feeling happy about the development I’ve done, so I figured that was worth sharing. (Don’t worry, I’ll have some more exciting posts after this busy weekend.)


Oh, and before the questions at the end of this post, here’s a quick update on blogging that I forgot to post a week or two ago-I’ve gotten to a thousand comments! The thousandth comment was done by Kellyn Roth, who well-deserved this honor due to her many comments on my blog (somewhere around 150 by now. Actually, I lied–nearly 200 comments!). Thank you all for all of your comments and your conversation with me! It’s been lots of fun.


How has your writing been coming along? Have you had any breakthroughs like I have had, are you stuck in writer’s block, or are you still just breezing along with amazing skills? I would love to hear about all of your novels–go ahead, ramble!

Rambles on Writing

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There have been so many thoughts going through my mind recently about writing and my writing journey, so this probably isn’t really going to be a post about Enhanced like I was planning for it to be. (But that’s okay, one of my February dares was to blog what I want to, so I will.) But I will give you a status update on it! And hopefully a post about it soon.

Current Word Count: About 38,350-ish. The exact count should be on the sidebar. Which is about 32% of my goal. I think that’s around where the plot is…*shrugs*

But the problem is that I’m starting to get bored of it… I love my characters and talking about them, but right now I feel like the plot is really…suffering. I mean, I have a plot, but it’s not very prevalent, and the whole book is very character-heavy so far without much action. The first draft of Enhanced was basically the opposite–all action and no character development, so I know I need to find a balance between the two.

The thing is, I’m not sure how long it will take me to find that balance. Do I work on developing that for a little while instead of actually writing so that I can try to fix it, or do I finish this draft because I want to finish it and move onto other things? Don’t get me wrong, I still love the novel, I just…I’m tired of it, like I said.

Another problem is that I’m not sure how to fix it. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but I don’t know how to get to that point without totally changing the plot and maybe even the characters again. I thought I’d had the right plot this time, but now, writing it, it seems way too character-heavy…but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be…gah, I don’t know.

So because of that, I’m instead working on this really dark short story that I started a long time ago with lots of characters who are devious and murder each other. Fun, right? I do enjoy it, but I keep adding more characters and it’s getting longer and longer…already it’s over 15 pages… *nervous laughter*

But when I finish that, I’ll be looking for some people to read it and tell me what they think about it, so if you like the sound of it, then keep that in mind. (Of course, I could procrastinate on the story again for a few months and not come back to it for a while, so don’t get too excited.)

And then…well, I decided to get over my fear of sharing my writing with my family and share some of my novels with my dad to read. So I gave him a list with a little summary of each of them and he decided he wanted to read Raven, my very first novel.

And it just so happened to end up that sometime around chapter five, he started reading it out loud to both me and my younger brother. At first, I was a little bothered, but I love listening to him read, and he did such a great Kergan voice that I couldn’t help but let him keep going…

By a few chapters later, when he told us it was time for bed, my brother kept calling it “that amazing novel” even though he knew the name of it, and my dad said to me, “You know, this is first draft stuff and he’s saying that it’s amazing. That means you could probably start publishing for children really soon.”

I started to say, “I don’t want to publish for children,” thinking about Enhanced, but then my words were cut off as another thought came into my head–the idea I had for a middle grade novel about dragons that I had wanted to write for my little brother specifically.

And I do want to write it. I always knew Raven, despite it being my first novel and not that great in some ways, had a vibrancy and excitement about it that I’ve never been able to replicate…and I guess I feel that if I write that dragon book, for children, then it’ll bring some of that back. And, you know, the thought of publishing soon isn’t bad either.

So I’m in a bit of a quandary (I’ve been wanting to use that word for days now…). I want to finish Enhanced but I don’t want to work on it, in part because it seems actionless and has too much character development, especially when compared to a novel written for middle grade.

I’m thinking about writing the MG dragon novel for Camp NaNo in April since it should be shorter and I might actually be able to finish it in a month…so I think I might do that. Which means I should keep working on Enhanced, but the question is, should I keep writing or try to figure out what core elements need to be changed and…I don’t know, start rewriting it again?

Ugh, I don’t want to rewrite it again. Maybe there being too much character stuff isn’t a bad thing…? I think I might need someone to read what I have so far in order to tell me that. Any volunteers?

*headdesks* Any opinions, advice, comments, etc. are most appreciated since I’d love for help with this problem. Thanks for reading all of my complaining…hopefully next post will be much better and happier!

Review of 2016, Plans for 2017

Creative title, I know. I spent a long time on that one…

I know I’m a little early to be writing my end of year/new year’s resolutions post, but I didn’t really have anything else to write except a couple of updates that I’ll mention really quickly before the whole new year’s thingymajig.

Life updates: Christmas was fun! We decided as a family to open our presents on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, so that we could focus on Christ during the actual Christmas day, which was really awesome. We did lots of singing and service. Then on Boxing Day we exchanged gifts; I got the digital drawing tablet that I wanted and a lot of other fun stuff (like llama pajamas that amuse me greatly). So it’s been a good holiday season so far, and I still get a few more days on break!

Writing updates: For Christmas I also got a Brandon Sanderson book (Arcanum Unbounded) and while I was reading it, I just really wanted to write my rewrite of Enhanced. Because that’s the closest I’m getting at the moment to something as awesome as Sanderson’s epic fantasy.

So I may have put Battle Song on the shelf for a little while. I know I shouldn’t, but…I wanted to write Enhanced, and I wasn’t getting anywhere with Battle Song anyway, so…Enhanced it is. I started yesterday and have written about 3.4K more, so I’m at 7Kish. It’s going well; you can see my progress on the right side of the blog.

Okay, I’m done with the updates; that’s all I wanted to say, and now it is time for the old year/new year stuff!


Last year’s post, if you want to read/skim: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016


Review of 2016

It’s been a good year…well, that could just be me looking at it with rose-colored glasses, I suppose. I feel like I changed and improved a lot socially and as a person, but while my writing is improved, I didn’t really do as much as I could’ve/should’ve. (Which was in part because school is hard and busy a lot, but I also procrastinated quite a bit.)

Since I didn’t make any life goals on my blog last year, I’ll just share some of my accomplishments:

1. I joined marching band (color guard) during this summer/fall! It was a big accomplishment for me because I was trying something new, not to mention something I didn’t always feel good at, since I’m not as good with physical activities as I am with mental ones. But I progressed a lot and made new friends and gained a lot more self-confidence, so it was a big accomplishment for me.

2. I started taking voice lessons this summer, also. For the same reasons as above, it’s been hard but also rewarding. I don’t practice as much as I should…but when I do, I can hear my voice growing better and better! I also had my first voice recital and did very good considering getting up and singing solo in front of people terrifies me. It’s also helped with my self-confidence.

3. I definitely improved on my scripture study–I’ve started reading every morning and I also have a journal to take notes in with my scripture study and while at church, which is awesome.

4. I went on a date. Okay, that shouldn’t be such an accomplishment to go on one single date, but I hardly talk to guys and so I was proud of myself for asking a guy out on a date and having a fun (though slightly awkward at times) time with it. It was a good experience.

That’s all I really have to say/I can think of. So yay! Life accomplishments were definitely awesome this year. Writing accomplishments, on the other hand….not so awesome.

From last year, I made several goals:

  1. Write/finish my Zel novel.
  2. Revise Enhanced (which was at that point nicknamed KT).
  3. Write Cryonic, the sequel to Enhanced (I called it KT 2 in that post).
  4. Do NaNoWriMo again.
  5. Finish novels–I even mentioned it was a priority.

And here are the results of these goals:

1. Write/finish Zel novel.

Ahah. Well. I did write it. Some of it. Approximately 34, 515 words of it. Okay, I’m downplaying this quite a bit because I feel bad that I didn’t finish it this year, but I am proud of what I have of this novel. I really love the setup of this story (Rapunzel as a foreign criminal + awesome magic quest) and my first chapter is great. (Hmm, maybe I should post that as my next Spotlight, even though it has nothing to do with what I’m writing right now.)

So I made progress, but I didn’t quite complete the goal. (Which is the case with most of these.)

2. Revise Enhanced.

Well…no. Not really. At the time I made this goal, I’d only just finished, and I didn’t really know what it entailed. I think I did close to, if not a total of 40 hours working on developing the characters, setting, and plot in order to rewrite it, but I only have about 8.5k written. I love the story, though, and I’m making progress on it now.

3. Write Cryonic, the sequel to Enhanced.

Sort of. I wrote 40K worth of the sequel during Camp NaNo, but then my planning for Enhanced’s revision took over and I wasn’t ever prepared to write it at all. I hadn’t planned out anything when I wrote it, so there wasn’t much of a way to finish it, without first rewriting Enhanced, which didn’t happen, as said before. So nope, not really.

4. Do NaNoWriMo again.

I did do it, but I lost everything. Well…not everything. I won April Camp NaNo writing Cryonic, with just over 40k/40k. But July Camp NaNo, when I was trying to do 40 hours of prep for Enhanced, I only ended with 24 hours/40. (I did finish up those hours afterward, though.) And then November, the official NaNoWriMo, I procrastinated from Battle Song a ton, and ended up with 37.5k/40k. So, I did do NaNo, I just lost more than I ever have.

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Stats for the preparation of Enhanced.

5. Finish novels.

Nope. While in 2015 I finished two novels, this year I finished nothing, which is one of the biggest reasons my writing goals feel unsatisfactory to me this year. I wrote a lot. I prepared a lot, both for Zel and Enhanced and even Battle Song, but not one of those novels (or even my previous ones) did I finish. So while I am proud of what I did accomplish, I’m a little bit frustrated, and I’m going to try to do better in 2017.


Phew. This post is already past 1000 words long and we’ve only just finished with 2016’s review. Prepare for more rambling. Maybe take a hot chocolate break, or rest your eyes with a short nap before continuing.

But…I’m not really sorry. This post was long last year; I have reason to expect it’ll be even longer this year, especially with the inclusion of life goals and not just writing ones. Plus, I’m rambling more than I was last year, even in this middle part. (But there are pictures in this next part, so that makes things better, right?)

Right ho, then, let’s move on to 2017.


Plans for 2017

I want 2017 to be better than this year–way better. Which means I have quite a few goals to share, though more writing ones than life ones. I want to try to keep them better, too…I think I may put my goals on the sidebar of my blog so I don’t forget about them, and maybe show my progress on them somehow…

One of my friends, Kellyn Roth @ Reveries has been doing posts with monthly “Dares,” which is essentially daring yourself to do something each month and following through with it the next. (Basically, a lot like this post, only monthly…because I know how much you all love to read extremely long posts.) Here’s an example of one of her Dare posts! Anyway, I think this would be really fun to start doing and help me to segment my goals into smaller pieces that will help me keep on track. So look forward to those!

Anyway…the actual resolutions/goals!

Life Goals:

1. Continue reading my scriptures every day, and pray every morning and night.

2. Write in my journal at least 6 out of 7 days every week (85% of the time).

3. Start researching colleges and apply for college at the end of 2017.

4. Get my driver’s license and finish my online class (this should be done by February, though).

5. Do an act of service at least once a week.

6. Get a job. I don’t want one…but I need one and it’ll be a good experience for me.

Reading Goals:

1. Read at least 5 books a month and post reviews on them on Goodreads (so a goal of reading 60 books…though I might change that to 75). And…that’s about all.

Blogging Goals:

1. Blog at least 6 times a month (at least 72 posts throughout the year).

2. Keep the sidebar of my blog updated.

Writing Goals:

1. Complete the 365K challenge. In 2015, this was one of the things that really helped me write a lot and integrate writing in my life–the idea is to write 1,000 words every single day for an entire year. I didn’t do that this year because I was going to be doing so much planning, but this year I’ve done a few more things to help me.

Firstly, I’ve decided that planning/developing/researching/etc. for an hour can count as a thousand words. Secondly, I’ve create a color-coordinated spreadsheet that will calculate how many words I’ve written total by only putting in the number of words I wrote that day, which will help me easily keep track of what I’ve done.

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Here’s a little screenshot of part of the spreadsheet.

2. Finish 3 novels, one of which has to be EnhancedThis was one of the things that most frustrated me about last year’s writing: no novels finished. So next year, I’m going to finish three novels, one of which is the rewrite of Enhanced.

enhanced cover

The other two novels, I don’t care what they are, as long as I finish them, but I do have several novels I’ve started that range from 20K to 55k already written, and it would be very simple to complete a couple of them. Specifically, I’d like to finish Riven and Zel, maybe even Battle Song, but if those aren’t the ones I finish, that’s fine. I just need to finish at least two other novels besides Enhanced.

3. Start a maximum of 2 novels. That’s right; I’m only going to start 2 novels this year because I’m going to be focusing on finishing the others. One of these is going to be in November NaNoWriMo, because I always start a new novel for that, which means until November, I can only start one novel. (Writing down ideas/first scenes doesn’t count.) I’m thinking about starting an MG novel about dragons for my little brother, but maybe not. I want to keep my options open at the moment. Although, if I start that one in the next two days, I wouldn’t be starting in 2017 and so it wouldn’t count…heheheh.

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Doodles of the people in the dragon MG novel, though the guy in the middle is definitely inaccurate. I just need to figure out how his personality is and then I can actually draw him. But Mikael and Asta are spot-on.

4. Write a short story/flash fiction every month. This one is less important to me than my novelling goals, but I do know that I need to improve on writing shorter pieces than novels, and it would be really cool to submit one of them to a magazine or contest so that I could get that experience of writing, revising, and submitting on a much smaller level than with novels.

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5. These aren’t necessarily goals, but I do have a couple of things that I’d love to get done writing-wise, though they may not happen:

  • Find beta-readers after rewriting Enhanced. After I finish the rewrite, I want some feedback from people on the overall story and the big things that I need to revise.
  • Get a short little thing published where people will read it just because…like I said, I want that experience, and I also think it’d be really awesome.
  • Plan out and really develop Cryonic so that I’ll be able to write it soon sometime.
  • Research more about publishing options, both traditionally and self-publishing.

Happy New Year, everyone! How has it been for all of you? What are you planning on doing next year? Comment with some of your achievements/goals or link to your new year’s posts! Also, if you have any ideas on how to keep myself motivated, please tell me! What do you want to hear updates on? What novels should I work on in 2017? Etc. Thanks for reading!

Rewriting + An Actual Schedule?

This is basically an update-y post because I have stuff to tell y’all! Last week, I decided that I would start the rewrite of Enhanced, the novel I’ve been talking about for the past long while because I was so tired of just preparing and not actually writing anything.

Turns out that starting a novel is a lot harder than it seems, especially when you keep telling yourself that it has to be good since it’s no longer a first draft. I know, I know, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I think some inner part of me still believes it should be.

So I really haven’t written all that much. I think part of the reason I’ve felt so stuck about writing it is because I had no idea what was happening in the first scene that I started writing. In an entire week, I hadn’t even written a thousand words.

Yesterday, then, I decided that I would ignore the first part of the scene and write the second part, where I actually knew what was happening. I still haven’t written much, since I didn’t have much time, but I wrote a decent amount in the 20 minutes that I had and I’m at a place where I can continue working.

Normally, I’m not the type of author to skip around chronologically (mainly because I know if I do, I’m never going to actually edit and fill the gap with something else) but this time I decided I would have to, and it actually worked.

So, I shall give you more updates as things move along and hopefully some fun Spotlights as well!

Now, onto the second part of my post–a schedule. I’ve said many a time that I’m never going to have a schedule for my blog, but I think that I just might end up having one now. You see, I’ve been procrastinating a lot. And when I start procrastinating, I really get nothing done. And with school and marching band and homework, having nothing done is a really bad thing.

So I decided to limit my time on procrastinatable online activities, such as browsing the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program or flopping around the Internet, which led to me making a little schedule of which online thing I could do each day.

If I can keep to my schedule, I will be blogging on Tuesdays and Saturdays only. (Unless there’s something really important.) This doesn’t mean I’ll still post every Tuesday and Saturday, but I should be on for some amount of time to respond to comments and make posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I will also update my Goodreads on Thursdays and hopefully I will also get a link to that in my sidebar soon.

If I do blogging related stuff on days other than those, I’d actually really appreciate it if you could remind me that it’s not part of my schedule, because that likely means I am procrastinating again and no longer following my schedule.

And one more update-y thing: I should have said something about this earlier, but I now have 54 followers on this blog! We passed the fifty mark! So I just want to thank you all for visiting my blog and reading my posts, and for all the amazing 780 comments on this blog! I love having conversations with you and I’m so thankful that you’ve thought The Music of Words worth a little bit of time. You all are amazing. ❤

Let Me Introduce You to the Cast of Enhanced

I wasn’t sure really what to post about today, but I finally decided that I would talk to you about Enhanced, the novel that I have been preparing to rewrite during this month.

More specifically, the characters. Because I know that even though you may have read the little summary on the page for Enhanced on this blog, you probably still have no idea what it’s about. (If I just read that summary, I’d have no idea what it was about either.) I was originally going to throw my rambling for the entire novel into one post but that might be a little too long…hehe. So instead, you get to meet the main cast of characters…and learn a few things about the novel along the way.

Have fun! (Also the (POV) next to the first five characters’ names indicates that they are POV or Point of View characters)


KAI (POV)

Up first is Kai, mainly because he is the first character I came up with from my very first idea of the first draft’s first scene (which was (fun fact) originally conceived in biology class and then written in choir).

Basic Premise/Role: Kai has grown up in the Outer Regions (think third-world living) that surround the city (think first-world living), working as an agriculturalist. Yes…he’s a farmer. His father died when he was young, but now his mother has contracted some sort of disease that he has no medicine for–that no one has medicine for in the OR (Outer Regions). He decides to travel to the city in an attempt to earn money to at least give her some comfort before she dies–or maybe find the medicine that will save her.

Personality: Kai is…kind of complicated. He’s friendly and will talk to people, but I can’t say he has any real friends, except for maybe his mother. He sort of keeps his important thoughts all to himself, and kind of feels a need to impress people. Especially the ladies. But inside, he’s really not as shallow as he seems.

Fun Fact: Kai’s name was actually chosen by a friend of mine when I asked her to give me a name, though she was actually thinking of the name Ky. I heard her say it as Kai, however, and have therefore spelled it that way since. However, writing this post, I’m now thinking of actually changing it to Ky. I actually had this big long frustrated rant with myself about possibly changing Kai’s name to something else, but I couldn’t think of what to change it to. I do like the name Ky though…so maybe…0.0

Character Interview: Character Study: Comforts


TAIRA (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Though Taira (POV character) was born in the city, she grew up in the OR with her cousin, Will (soon to be introduced). She went with Will when he decided to go back to the city, however, and what she really wants is to fix herself. When she was younger, she was Enhanced (genetically modified) to have the ability to feel/detect other people’s emotions. The thing is, she can’t turn it off, and even just standing a few feet away from a person gives her a headache. Standing right next to someone makes her feel like her head will explode. So she’s determined to go back to the Enhancement Facility and force them to change her back to normal. if that made any sense at all.

Personality: Taira is very grumpy and rather pessimistic (though she prefers to call herself “realistic”). She basically restrains herself from ever laughing or feeling happy because why should she. She does occasionally show happiness around her cousin, Will, though otherwise she keeps it inside. She spends a lot of time alone and is introverted but blunt and can be rude. Quite fun to write, really.

Fun Fact: Well, there isn’t exactly anything “fun” about her…okay, okay. She has a younger brother that she hasn’t talked to in years. (She also hasn’t talked to her parents in years, but eh, the brother is more interesting.)

Character InterviewCharacter Studies: Introductions with Taira


WILL (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Will is Taira’s cousin, and he came from the OR to the city like I said before, and trust me, there’s some reason why he did that, but I haven’t figured it out yet. (I will, though. Haha, I will. So funny. *facepalms*) Oh, also, he comes to the city about a year before the book starts, whereas Kai comes at the beginning. The Reapers (who are like this subterfuge criminal/rebel group that for some reason has only four people in it before this point) recruit him to be their computer hacker. In Enhanced, he finds out that there’s a new computer code and he has to figure out how to use it, which is easier said than done when you don’t have tutorials or books or websites to explain it.

Personality: Unlike Taira, Will is very happy, and he also tends to make stupid jokes. (He actually laughed at the one I did above. I mean, I did too, but that’s irrelevant.) He really likes to talk to people and never really thinks about what he’s going to say before he says it, which makes him simultaneously fun to listen to and also makes you want to headdesk repeatedly. He can get distracted by anything, except when he’s doing computer work–then he’ll talk to you, but only if you talk to him first. Otherwise he’ll just zone out everything.

Fun Fact: These are surprisingly difficult to think of…  Well, Will can actually be serious, though that is rare. And if he were back a few hundred years to our day, he would very much enjoy cat memes.

Character Interview: Character Studies: Will’s Flaws


MERYN (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Meryn is one of my very favorite characters, though I’m not exactly sure why…? She’s just awesome. And also really spoiled. She grew up in the city in a wealthy family, in contrast to a lot of the other characters, and she loves dresses and dancing and music. But her parents have actually lost a bunch of money recently but they’re unwilling to change their lifestyle, which leaves Meryn to try to earn enough money to pay for taxes…well, something like that. I’m still ironing out plot details. It doesn’t help that her younger sister, Aislynn, is also sick.

Personality: Meryn is fun-loving and like I said before, fairly spoiled. She loves to be with her friends, fights a lot with her sister Aislynn, and her favorite part of the week is dancing. The worst part of her life is school, and she mainly just leads a very carefree life…at least at the beginning of the book. She’s…pretty normal.

Fun Fact: In the first draft of Enhanced, Meryn was blind. Now, I’ve decided to alter that so she just can’t see very well out of her left eye.

Character Interview: Character Studies: Meryn’s Hobbies


LIL(IAN) (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Lilian, or rather Lil, which she goes by, is a member of the Reapers. She found them after her young son and husband were taken away by government officials and killed in the Enhancement Facility. Throughout the novel, she’s trying to get revenge on the government and the Enhancement Facility, while figuring out how to live without them.

Personality: Lil, despite what she’s trying to do, does not have a vengeful personality at all. She’s actually really sweet and motherly, but she’s confused with desperation and sadness and all of that. I feel like her personality can be summed up in one word: “mother”. She tends to put others’ needs before herself and tries to see things from others’ points of view.

Fun Fact: Lil always wears her hair in lots of little tiny braids (she’s also black, which is cool, though there’s really not any racial discrimination in the books, so it doesn’t really come up much) and she weaves ribbons through several of the braids. Throughout the book, she occasionally redoes her hair with new ribbons of different colors. When she first appears in the book, the ribbons in her hair are gold-colored.

Character Interview: [coming shortly–this post may or may not be updated when it’s done]


JETHRO

Basic Premise/Role: I suppose you could call him the “villain” of the book, although in my opinion that’s not really a fair title. He’s the Lead Enhancer of the Enhancement Facility and also its founder. He doesn’t appear much in the flesh throughout the novel, but he does play an important role and the characters definitely know about him.

Personality: Jethro is on a conquest for knowledge and to push the limits of all known science through his genetic testing–his “Enhancements”. He keeps most of his thoughts and ideas to himself and has a fantastic poker face. He does not show outward joy in successes, or pain at failures. We could call him stone cold, perhaps.

Fun Fact: He actually travelled to all eight sectors/regions of the Outer Regions when he was much younger, before creating the Enhancement Facility, but he’s never told anyone what he saw or what he thought about it.

Character Interview: [possibly forthcoming, possibly not]


AISLYNN

Basic Premise/Role: Aislynn is Meryn’s younger sister, and basically her role in the book is to be sick. Okay, just kidding. She’s actually convinced that the Pinnacles (the four “presidents,” shall we say, over the city) have a million secrets that they’re not revealing to the people, and she’s determined to figure them out. Of course, Meryn thinks she’s crazy, but she won’t let that dissuade her.

Personality: Aislynn absolutely loves reading and learning new things, and she’s very determined to prove herself right. She feels a little outcast by her peers (which Meryn really doesn’t understand) but makes up for that by reading lots of books and hanging out with Meryn and with her friends. While Meryn loves to go out, Aislynn is definitely more of a homebody.

Fun Fact: According to Meryn, Aislynn has no style, and Meryn is constantly trying to dress her up and make her look all fancy. Also, she likes dogs.

Character Interview: Beautiful People: June with Aislynn


RUBEN

Basic Premise/Role: Ruben is part of the mysterious Reapers and also very underdeveloped, so I can’t really tell you what his role is, exactly. But he does stuff. Important stuff. It’s just stuff I haven’t figured out yet. I think he’s in charge of basic supplies and stuff, and he’s also their cook, but I haven’t worked on developing him yet, so he’s just kind of…there. Yay.

Personality: I’m not really sure how to describe him… He scoffs at teasing and Rick’s (to be introduced) jokes, but he secretly enjoys them. He just…finds joy in being around other people. He likes everyone to feel welcome and happy and well-fed…I don’t know if there’s a specific way to describe him. He’s just Ruben.

Fun Fact: Ruben is famous for his pancakes. Also, he has a fake gold earring that I’m pretty sure Rick gave him…

Character Interview: [non-existent currently, though who knows, maybe I’ll do the next Beautiful People with him]


RICK

Basic Premise/Role: Rick is Ruben’s clone at least I think so? It could be the other way around, I suppose… and could be called the comic relief. He’s very amusing to me, mainly because he does stupid things, knowing that they’re stupid. I also haven’t really worked on developing him yet, so he’s also just there, like Ruben, but he’s also the Reapers’ weapon master–which I really don’t understand. I would not trust Rick with a gun.

Personality: Rick has a very good self-worth, I guess you could say. He does what he wants and he doesn’t ever care what other people think of him, no matter how idiotic he looks or how other people look at him, which I think is admirable, even though he’s not really someone I aspire to become like. He’s daredevilish, makes even worse jokes than Will, and teases everyone mercilessly, especially Lil.

Fun Fact: Want to know why the Reapers are called the Reapers? Because of Rick. He’s fascinated with old stories/legends/fairy tales, you name it. After learning about The Grim Reaper, he decided it would be awesome for them to be called the Reapers…and the name just happened to stick. I think even Julius (to be introduced) calls them the Reapers, which is amusing to me.

Character Interview: [not applicable at the moment]


JULIUS

Basic Premise/Role: Meet Julius Shaw, the gruff and quietly mysterious leader of the Reapers. His role? The leader, the planner, the strategist, the one who makes everything fit together.

Personality: He’s very secretive, and doesn’t give any clues to what’s going on in his head until he finds it to be the proper time. He always has a plan, no matter the situation. He’d be a brilliant chess player and is great at predicting things. However, he’s not very good at showing or receiving affection to/from other people, and he always seems a little bit distant from everyone else.

Fun Fact: He thinks fun facts are a waste of time. But I, as the author and creator of these people, will override his opinion and tell you that he really likes sandwiches. Roast beef, specifically.

Character Interview: [nope not yet]


SETH

Basic Premise/Role: A few months or so before the story begins, Seth leaves the Outer Regions to go find out what the city is like and have a grand adventure. He ends up trapped in the Enhancement Facility with no way of getting out, until Kai comes along and they start forming escape plans.

Personality: Seth is really cool. He’s the “let’s go have an adventure!” type who loves doing things with little-to-no notice and is definitely never over-prepared. He makes do with what he has, and what he doesn’t, he does without. He is a little bit of a risk-taker and loves being in the outdoors.

Fun Fact: Seth has this really awesome walking stick that he carved himself from an orchard tree branch years ago. It has little drawings all over it, and what’s even better is that his younger sister, Brie, really wanted to carve something in it at the time, so Seth helped her carve a picture of the two of them in it. He is the sweetest big brother ever.

Character Interview: [there isn’t one yet, but I should definitely do one of him]


BRIE

Basic Premise/Role: Brie is Seth’s younger sister, and she’s actually kind of what sets the entire story in motion. Once Seth hasn’t come back after his long absence, she decides to go looking for him, in case he’s in some sort of trouble. She almost gives up before finding the Reapers, at which point she finds out that Seth is in the Enhancement Facility and convinces them to help her rescue him.

Personality: Brie is very emotional and acts like a child a lot of the time, though no one can really tell if she’s just never grown up or if she does it by choice. So she’s also fairly innocent and naive, and she finds it hard to alter her small home in the orchard region view of life to the big city, with all its new technology and people and everything inside of it. She has unfailing faith and optimism in people that a lot of the other characters lack in exchange for a more “realistic” view of life.

Fun Fact: Brie is a devoted follower of the religion of Cajinism, and she loves singing, birds, flowers, and all sorts of bright and happy things. She’ll also talk to you all day if you just half-pretend to to listen.

Character Interview: [there isn’t one, but I did do a Spotlight on her last Monday]


Hm, yes, perhaps I do have too many characters…but now you know all of them! And now, for a quiz on everything you learned…just kidding. But seeing as this post is really long already, why not make it a little longer with some updates?

So, first off, I lost Camp NaNoWriMo but it really doesn’t bother me for some reason, and I’m finishing up my 40 hours of prep during these first two weeks of August. You can find my progress on the blog sidebar.

Also on the blog sidebar, you’ll see that I have lots of new books that I read! While procrastinating from Camp, I finished 12 books in July, which was awesome, and I’m working on reading more.

And lastly, apparently now I have a Goodreads created on a whim that I don’t know what to do with… What else do you do with a Goodreads account besides read books?

Anyway, yay for August! How was your July and what did you accomplish?

I’m Back! ~A Report~

Hello everyone! Remember how I said I was going to write up posts for last week and have them set to post while I was on vacation? Ha. That didn’t happen, obviously…but I’m here now and ready to give you an update on how things have been going for me, writing-wise.

So last week I went on a cruise through the Caribbean which was amazing! The ocean was so beautiful–look how pretty the water is:

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While on said cruise, I didn’t exactly do much writing. Did I finish my weekly writing goal? Ha again. Nope. But I did have a whole lot of new ideas for both my writing and for my blog while I was gone.

Firstly, a long time ago I told you about some plot bunnies I had, and one of them was a Little Mermaid fracture where she traded in her beauty instead of her voice to become human and walk on land? Well, that plot bunny came back with a vengeance. And so…what else could I do, especially since I was next to the ocean? I did a little bit of work on the plot bunny, including some character sketches of my MC (who still doesn’t have a name).

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Isn’t she just so beautiful?

Here’s another quick sketch of her looking off towards land:

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Her tail looks really weird in that one…I wasn’t sure how to draw it, but hey, it looks better than my first attempt at drawing a mermaid (which I will not be showing you).

And then I did a little bit of worldbuilding because that’s my favorite, and I decided that the race of mermen were not peaceful, and actually warred against themselves a lot. The greatest of warriors are raised up higher than all the others, and the MC is pretty darn good at fighting. So there’s this picture too:

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I’ll admit I didn’t exactly convey the seriousness and gravity of that merman dying in the corner…because really I just wanted an excuse to use pretty colors and draw the ocean. So it’s a happy picture of the MC killing someone. Yay.

Anyhow, that’s mainly the extent of my work on that plot bunny. Aside from that, some other things I thought about while on vacation:

For one thing, blindness. One of my uncles (who I’d never really met before) on the cruise was blind, and it really got me thinking about the little things that a blind person would have to think about. (It was especially interesting since in my first draft of Enhanced, Meryn was blind, and though she’s not now, she might become blind sometime in the series.)

My uncle sat next to my family at dinner, and one of the first interesting things that I noticed was that my aunt told him what each person had ordered for dinner. As I thought more about it I realized how frustrating it would be not to see something as simple as that. Having sight I never really took note of that, but it helped me realize how much I love to see details and little things like that. So it gave me a bit of a greater perspective on that, though I still can’t comprehend how hard it would be.

This also spurred on the idea of doing another “In My Characters’ Shoes” thingy (I did one a little while ago on Leaving Home), but this time on blindness. I’d wear a blindfold for one day or something…the one thing is I’m not sure how my family would react to that. I think they might laugh at me…but the insight is worth it, right?

I also want to do a Characters’ Shoes thingy on princess-y things or something, like embroidery, since you always hear in books about how hard it is to embroider/how much they don’t like it. (Actually, I have embroidered before, but it’s been a really long time and I’d like to try again.) I’m not sure what other princess-y things that I should do for it though…if you have any suggestions please tell me so I can do lots of fun princess stuff.

Oh, and I want one about swordfighting and other medieval stuff. (I thought it might be fun to try to clean something with whatever kind of soap they used in medieval times and see how hard it was.)

As far as other insights, spending time in the ocean was cool. I got to go swimming snorkeling and pet stingrays and go parasailing, all of which were awesome. The water is so pretty and so blue. In the shallower parts it’s aqua and turquoise and semi-green, and when you get farther out it’s this deep, rich blue. It’s just beautiful.

And under the water is even more beautiful. There’s all these fish, and this pretty green grass growing from the ocean floor, and by the coral reefs there are gorgeous plants and tons of fish in different sizes and colors. It really is a whole new world down there.

I don’t know if there’s anything else other than that that I wanted to talk about… Basically I didn’t do a whole lot on the writing I was supposed to be doing, but I did get a lot of inspiration and ideas and it was just awesome.

Hopefully next post I’ll actually have something other than random updates for you (as fun as these are). And maybe I’ll actually do some of those blog tags I need to finish…*nervous laughter*


How was your week? Have you ever been to the ocean? I thought it was amazing and I definitely recommend it (although saltwater in your eyes is not a fun experience, so don’t do that). Did you find any of my insights insightful to you? Ooh, do you have any ideas for what I should do for an “In My Characters’ Shoes” post (be it ideas for the princess one or a totally different one)? How is your writing going? Do you have any new ideas? Tell me all about it!

These are a Few of my Favorite Words

Since I haven’t finished a couple of the longer blog posts I’m working on, I decided to go with a fun little one, where I share with you some of my favorite words that are either obscure or really fun to say, and their definitions!

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Which did you like the best? Were any of them new to you? Tell me, what are some of your favorite words?