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Planning Your Book When You’ve Already Started Writing

On Monday I published a blog about an author, Rachel Arron (AKA Rachel Bach).  And I’ve been applying her ideas for writing quickly. So instead of writing this organically, I’ve stopped the writing part of the writing and started the “Well now what?” part.

I’ve done much more world building than I’ve ever done before. I even drew a MAP. Complete with Marshes, forests, mountains, hills, rivers, lakes. No roads. Yet. I named countries I’ll probably never see (in this work at least). And it was so much FUN.

When I started this. I didn’t have a name for my world. I do now. Or the countries where it took place. Which I also now have. Not only did I draw the map, I added a table. My world is called Livvarden. The table has the country, what it is known for, it’s capital and major cities.

 

Image result for map

not really my map lol. If you want to see my map go to my Goddess Born page.

 

Between the table, map and taking care of the house and children, I spent almost two whole days on this. Yesterday, I named my god/desses (also have a table for them). Today, I’m naming some extra characters (more tables). I’m enjoying all of this, and why didn’t I think of it before?

But all this naming and hashing things out I’m avoiding one thing. The Plot. Probably the biggest part of any book. Rachel Arron makes a list of major scenes. And I started that list then it just…stopped. Right where I had stopped the novel itself.

I’m more or less stuck at this point and can’t seem to connect point “D” (somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 way through) to point “Z” (the ending).

Well, I’ve pretty much covered this step of her writing process. In the next step she fleshes out the plot. And before she starts writing, she’s more or less written the entire novel. no dialogue, but she has this happens which causes this and person a feels like this. I’m thinking, if I skip ahead to this step of the process, I might be able to continue. Then, theoretically, the rest of the actual writing will be a breeze

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

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Strawberry Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was browsing around, killing time, and putting off my final project when I found these. I had to share, partly because strawberries are my favorite food group and partly because they look so delish. I’ll have to try them out soon.

 

Strawberry Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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So Psyched!

A month or so ago, I mentioned that I was applying to grad school. Today, I received the acceptance letter in the mail. I’ll have to admit that I was getting nervous, as January has drawn closer. I went to get the mail, and I flipped through it while at the box and saw the letter.
I can’t even begin to describe the feeling as I ripped open the envelope. The first thing I saw was the signature as the letter was ripped from my hands by the wind. I chased the letter across the lawn and finally caught it next to the fence. I smoothed it out and read the first few words: We are pleased to inform you…and I squealed and jumped. I didn’t have to finish reading the letter to know that it said I was going to Grad School.
In case you are unaware, I applied to the MLIS program. I figured that if I can’t write and publish books, I can at least prepare to have a career surrounded by them. That’s right, even if I never get published, I’ll spend my life around books. It’s a great feeling. You are reading a post by at least a future Library Director (my foci will be in management and automation).
I’m more than excited, I’m psyched. It’s a step in the direction that I truly believe I want to go. I have worked at a library before, and I’m more than just comfortable there, I like it there. I even know that I want to focus my focus on university libraries.
Well, that solved that problem. I’ll be more than happy to have something to do again. I’ve blown past the goals for NaNoWriMo. I’m going to grad school. Now all I need is a phone call telling me I’ve been hired, then life will be perfect. Seriously, that’s all I need: school, a job/career, and a project to write.

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11 the nth degree…and Veterans Day

Firstly, Happy (Hug A) Veteran Day. My dad was in the military, so yeah, I hugged a vet today. If you live in the USA, show your appreciation to Vets and those who are still active duty. Say “Thank You,” treat one to lunch, or hug one.

Now for the main event. Today is 11-11-11, something we heard about yesterday, and today, and more than likely, will hear about tomorrow. What is all the buzz surrounding this day? Sure it looks kinda cool. But what is it that is making everyone go…well…bananas?

First the facts. 11-11-11 is a palindrome. We don’t get many of those in the calendar. Even if it is only a palindrome without the first two numbers in the year (the true palindrome comes 11-12-2111). And it only happens once every century. Well guess what…so does every other day.

For numerology lovers today is symbolized by the number six (11+11+11=33, 3+3=6). This day of love, and the heart, and can be seen as a lucky day to get married. I saw on the news (oddly enough at 11 am), that marriages for today are already up in Las Vegas. People have been flooding to Las Vegas to take advantage of this “lucky” day. Walt Disney world is holding 11 weddings today (I suppose to keep the good luck flowing), as well as many ethnic Chinese couples (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/111111-there-meaning).

It is odd, however that it comes in 2011, which, according to some, is the 11th hour. Many people believe that next year the world will end. I’m not going to go into that right now, but that would make this time we are living in now the 11th hour…that short time between here and the end. This is why I actually wrote this blog. I find it a little odd, just a coincidence to be sure, that this happened.

To me, however odd and “rare” this date, it’s just a day like any other. To many other NaNoers, it’s a day to write for 11 hours straight, a task I find to be impossible because I do have a life, or to write 11,111 words. I’m not sure where they came up with that number since it only has 5 ones in it,  but that too is something I will not achieve today. The only odd thing that happened is that at 11:11 am it was announced over the intercom in the gym that it was “11-11-11-11-11” also oddly enough that started at the 11th second if my clock was on time. But I digress…nothing so far has happened this date. Just like nothing on 10-10-10. The universe doesn’t care about “special” numbers. What will happen will happen. And not because we all have the superstitions that we do about a date. However, I do have one more odd coincidence.

Something odd did happen in 11-11-(19)11: The Great Blue Norther http://www.timeanddate.com/date/11-11.html

So what did you do on this momentous day?

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The Pros vs DIY

So last month, my computer crashed. I took it to the University tech shop and got it restored. I missed my laptop dearly. Well, Friday, I was typing up a blog when my computer suddenly decided that the internet didn’t exist.
Okay. I reset the modem. I turned off the wifi and turned it back on. I got nothing. The next day, my computer took almost 5 minutes just to boot up. I’ll be the first to admit that my computer isn’t up-to-date. Not that I wouldn’t love a new one, it’s just this one was free, so I guess you get what you pay for. I ran a virus scan. Nothing. Everything took such a long time, I figured there had to be something.
The way I saw it, I had several choices. I could take it back to the University tech shop, and maybe not see it again for a month. I could take it to a “reputable” computer repair guy (the only one I trusted went out of business last year). And my last choice is the one I went with: I could try fixing it myself.
Normally, I would have taken it to a reputable guy and gotten it done. However, how can you know you can’t do something unless you try. Now, the memory on this computer was never wiped, and the person who owned it before me was…lets say “incompatible” with technology, although now she wants an ipad for Christmas…good luck with that one. In any case, this comp has always been a little on the slow side. I spoke with some techie guys that I know (thank you! You’ll be my bff whenever I have computer problems!) and they suggested that I wipe the memory and start from scratch. What a great idea…oh wait…doesn’t that sorta require an operating system…and drivers…and and…well…you get the picture. The problem became, not whether or not I had the necessary disks, but whether or not I could find the right ones. It took me three days to find the right disks (each time it reformatted the hard drive, that kinda takes forever) but I got it! I had the talent and I had the tools. And it cost me exactly nothing…okay, so I did make dinner for my techie friends, but I’d say that’s a good trade off.
So now I have what amounts to a brand new computer. It’s faster than it ever was when I received it. I have office 2010 (again free…for installing it for a friend on a home computer). DIY definitely paid off in this case. I’ve been doing much more DIY lately, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that doing it yourself is the better option in many cases. For one, you can learn something new. For anther, it gives a kind of pride that you know you did it yourself. I can still hardly believe that my computer is working so well. I might not have everything on it that I need just yet, but I’m working on it.

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Be Unafraid

Warning: this post may border on the depressing side. It is not intended, but is meant as an honest reflection of my thoughts toward living, writing, and loving.

This week I’ve been away. Concerning a previous post, some may think this is the vacation that was mentioned. It isn’t. While I have written those posts, I set them up for pre-publishing never planning for an unexpected absence. While the tale may be a bit longer than I’m going to give it credit, I’m going to give the rundown from Tuesday.

My fiancé had been sick and getting worse for several days. Twice we went to the emergency room. Twice they sent him home. Twice he went back worse than before. Tuesday morning, I called an ambulance and we went, for the third time in less than a week, to the emergency room. He thought he might be having a heart attack, but it was really his heart rate that he was feeling, making him very short of breath. His heart was in the 150s. For a little perspective, the average marathon runner’s heart rate, during the marathon, is in the 130s.

That day we spent six hours in the emergency room. His heart rate never went down. And they were talking about sending him home, again. I was beyond furious. You do not send someone home like that; they will have a heart attack. They called his attending physician who ordered some extra tests, during that time, my fiancé got even worse. While his temperature never increased, he started shaking violently. Thinking about blood clots, they finally admitted him. We have been in the hospital since then.

Since this excursion was rather unexpected, I did not have time to alter my blog posts to have them published at an earlier date. I wasn’teven sure how long we would be in here, making the alterations (if I was to make them) rather moot. I have been in the hospital for nearly a week. As I write this, although I’m not sure when it will post, it’s Saturday. I have left his side on a handful of occasions, usually at his insistence, to make his life as easy as possible, including taking care that his job will get done even
though he is in the hospital. I have not spent the extra time it would have taken while away to alter the posts, or publish a new one. My only goal: to spend as little time away from him as possible.   And it has been unfortunate that the internet at the hospital is currently disengaged as they are rewiring the internet throughout the building.

That is the back-story to what I really want to write about. My fiancé could have died. Had they sent him home on Tuesday, as they were threatening to do, he would have died. We have both had to come to terms with this fact, since he was diagnosed with pneumonia, among a host of other problems including a Staph infection. We were both terrified, although he has tried to hide it.

But what does this all have to do with being “unafraid?” Life sucks. So take the time to enjoy it. Don’t spend your entire time worrying about money, or worrying about anything. Life has a way of sorting itself out. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on someone or something. Try a new food. Read a book that you haven’t read, and wouldn’t normally pick up. Do something with your life and don’t be afraid that you’ll be rejected, or you won’t like it. Do it anyway, because life is short, sometimes shorter than we originally intended it to be. Take the chance to make your life so much the better because you know that you did what you could to make it so. Don’t let little insecurities hold you back. Push through them and live.

I’m terrified that I’ll never be published, and I know that it hold me back. I’ve written three chapters while in the hospital with my fiancé. I’m not going to let fear of rejection hold me back. I’ll keep writing because I love to. I’m going to try new things and go new places because I want to. I’m not going to let the lack of a “day job” ever get me down again. I’m going to live. I’m going to be unafraid.

 

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Staying true to yourself

Monday was my birthday. And it occurred to me that there were things that I was doing that wasn’t being true to myself. I was doing something, for money, that I knew to be blatantly false, and I could not bring myself to agree with what I was doing. So, after another session of doing what I knew to be wrong, I gave myself a birthday present. I put my foot down and refused to do anymore.

I felt wonderfully free. Don’t get me wrong. I am looking for a “day job.” I just could not longer do what I was doing. I came to terms with the fact that if I’m not being true to myself and what I believe to be right, I’m not going to be happy. And doing what I was doing, just because I’m in desperate need of money, was depressing me more than being jobless.

As I was pondering that, I realized that staying true to myself constitutes more than preventing the spread of lies. It’s also about standing up for what I want to do with my life. I want to write. But, like other aspiring writers out there, I don’t necessarily want to just write. Without a job, without a time limit, so-to-speak, I am not able to write. I want a day job. One that will give me enough leeway to write to my heart’s content.

This got me wondering, if I want to have a life, have a day job, and still be able to write, then maybe I need to be looking at a different kind of job. One that’s more…flexible than a full-time, 40+ hours a week, salary with benefits kind of job. Granted, I kind of need benefits like health care. But, what if I went with a part-time, nor more than 40 hours a week making squat for money kind of job without benefits.

I need a job for several reasons. Perhaps, though, I’ve been looking for the wrong kind of job. Maybe I need the part-time job to be happy rather than the full-time job. I want to be able to have a life, and write and work. Perhaps even go back to school for my masters. How am I going to manage all of that working full-time? I’m not entirely sure I could manage that. Working part-time will give me the ability to pay for my classes without further loans (hopefully). It will also have the flexibility so that I can take the classes I want/need to take without worrying about taking extra time off. While also giving me time to have a life and keeping me busy enough that when I have the time to write that’s exactly what I’ll do rather than frittering all my free time away on blog posts, Facebook, Twitter and other random things.

I suppose then, that I need to find that said job. However, as I think about it, if I go back to school, I may have one already lined up…as a grad assistant at the library. I worked for the library while completing my Bachelors degrees, and I loved it. If I can’t make a living writing, I want to make living working at a library. I had, briefly, thought of being a librarian in high-school, until I realized that it requires a Master’s Degree. But as I came to love, and I mean love, my job at the library, maybe the idea wasn’t so far-fetched.  It wasn’t just the job, I got to help people, and if I couldn’t help them, then I knew who could. I enjoyed working with the other students as well. The downside to this, would be that when I finish my Masters, in Information Technologies, then the job would, once again, disappear. But the more I think, and thought, about it, the more it makes sense. However, in order to take classes I need to have money. In order to work at the library I need to take at least two classes at a time.

I have, however, talked to my former boss, and he said he could continue me as a grad assistant without a problem, so that makes life a great deal easier. And, as the end of my schooling approaches, I can start looking for a job while still employed by the University library. I know that it looks much better on a resume to show that you are currently working, than if you’ve been out of work for six months. Yes, I think that I might have to do just that.

To be true to myself I need to go back to school, get the Masters in Information Technologies and look for a job in the Library field. However, I know this to be true: that it is extremely hard to find a job as a Librarian, and I will have to move out of small-town-ville. It is, in fact, a running joke within that discipline.

However, I also have the extreme fortune of being near the only University in Georgia to be accredited in this particular field. I have already graduated from said University, and it will not be hard getting into the graduate school. I have already taken the GRE and my verbal score was…high. My math scores needed some work though. Still, I have inquired and been told that getting in is not going to be a problem.

As I have been writing this blog, I have been thinking, and perhaps talking myself into this. But I would enjoy working at a library. I know I enjoy taking classes and learning. I also know that if I can’t make it as a full-time writer, then working at the library is something that I want to do. I get to help people, I get to be around books; lots and lots of books. What writer could as for more? Assuming they never become famous.

Staying true to myself is important to me. And now that I know what I want. I need to go out and get it. I have had to stop and reevaluate my life several times. Monday was one of those times. And I think everyone should stop and take a look around them and find out what they can do to make themselves happier. It’s not about money, or fame, or pleasing everyone else. It’s about the personal emotions that each of us carry, and those things may bring some people happiness, but I know that those things alone won’t make me happy. I would like to be comfortable, but I can be happy making less than 15,000 a year. I’ve done it on 6,000 a year. Sure, I could be more comfortable, but that won’t make me happy. And I think I’ve wasted enough time not being happy.

And on that note, I’m going to end my rambling and look a little further into grad school.

 

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