Book Musings

Summer Projects

So, maybe it’s not quite summer yet, but with school over and work season already started, it feels like summer to me. Also, the warm weather and sunshine helps confuse the fact that it’s actually still spring. I have received 1 of my final grades, for my stageplay/screenplay class, and that is an A- (81%) overall. Yay! It makes me happy because those are the two areas I want to continue in 3rd and 4th year (I’m leaning towards stage tbh. I really, really loved it). There’s really nothing better than being successful at the things you’re passionate about, you know? I feel like maybe that bachelor of arts is attainable to someone like me, and it makes me want to try that much harder to reach that goal.

My main goal this summer, as much as I’d love to tackle my book, is to try and finish the one short story I –[actually gave a shit about]– wrote for school this semester. I feel like finishing a book during summer is maybe attainable if I wasn’t really busy with work, and travel, and weddings, and house projects, and… and… and… the list goes on. Maybe if I could disappear for 2-3 months I could finally finish the damn thing, but there’s just WAY too much to do. In light of that, I’m aiming for something much smaller. I know small and me don’t do well together. Usually everything winds up being “so much bigger than I anticipated.” *cough* 1 book into 3 books *cough* But I’ve got 3000-5000 words of space to work with right now (the story is currently 7,000 words). I knew when I started this story that it felt like a 10,000 word story, and I cut a lot out for school because I didn’t want to be THAT person. But the story means a lot to me, and I really want to finish it!

I’m so excited about this story. It deals with body image (something I’ve personally dealt with), and so the topic, I guess, means a lot to me. Learning to accept oneself, and defining yourself by more than your weight, or the clothes you wear, and learning not to compare yourself to others. Anyways, I don’t want to actually spoil anything. I’ve started working on it this weekend–the main, bigger scene I wanted to put in the story that I left out because I didn’t want to hand in such a huge story. (It’s a really great scene, guys; I love it so much). So, wish me luck!

Goal: To successfully finish my first short story.

I can do it!



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Book Update

I feel like this has been long coming. Recently things have been crazy. I’ve been posting tons of Life posts, but  my writing posts have been sorely lacking. I wish I had really exciting news like “my book is finally done” but, hahaha that’s hilarious, as if my book would actually be finished… Because I’m a perfectionist, and I also want to add two more scenes in the section I’m working on. The good news is I’ve ACTUALLY had time to work on it, and I’ve been making good progress. I know some author’s have talked about how it took them four years to write their first book. I feel like that’s really easy to do. It’s hard, because as a newbie, unpublished author I’m in school full time for 8 months of the year, and the other four months I’m trying to work and save money for the 8 months that I won’t be working. I get to write, but it’s mostly for school. My favourite time is when I can write full time on my book. It’s when I’m happiest. But now look, I’m back to talking about life stuff, and not book stuff!!

So, book is fantastic! My writing improves every day that I write (practice makes perfect and all that jazz). The main reason why my book has been taking so long this summer is because I’ve been busy working on another project at the same time. I said I wanted to spend all summer writing. Be careful what you wish for, because this is happening, but not on what I expected. I have, in fact, started a new book with a friend. Yes that’s right, I’m 20 chapters deep in the first draft of a new novel. It doesn’t have a name yet, but we’ve been calling the story Winter’s Grasp. Definitely multi-book. There is A LOT of story. A lot of plotting. A lot of gushing, swooning, heartbreak, action, you name it. It’s Fantasy/Romance. There’s faeries. A winter prince. Magical humans. My best category would be NA. It’s too racy for YA, but not quite old enough for Adult. So yeah, that’s what took up most of my June, and half of my July.

Writing with someone is different, but I’ve found I LOVE it!! We feed off each other’s energy, and it keeps propelling us forward to write more. I’ll share an excerpt with you from chapter 1. You can let me know what you think. Again, it’s the FIRST draft! So be nice, hahaha. But I’m so in love with the characters ❤ ❤ ❤ I will try and keep you all updated with news!


Funhouse Excerpt:

She turned down one of the rows to her left. A sparkling light flickered in her peripheral vision, and she turned, the Funhouse entrance staring back at her. The steps creaked under her feet as she followed the flickering lights refracting off the mirrors just inside the doorway, beckoning her in.
Strange shadows danced just out of sight, sending chills down her spine. After several lefts, and a few more rights, Alena realized the lights weren’t getting any closer. She turned around to go back and walked into a mirror.
“Great. How the hell am I supposed to get out of here?” she muttered.
Wasn’t there a saying if you follow the inside wall of a maze it will lead you out? Alena pawed the mirrors along one side, and found herself at another dead end. “I could have sworn I went left here before.”
Ogden had definitely sensed some unwelcome magic in the funhouse, and was busy hunting it down when he came across a girl with black hair guiding herself with her hands. Clever trick, he thought. Still, watching her from where she wouldn’t see, he felt certain she was about to fall into some sort of trap.
Alena looked around at her many reflections. Was there… more of them? She tapped against one of the mirrors, retracting her finger when it shocked her. What the…? Was there some kind of electrical wiring back there moving the mirrors?
“This isn’t funny,” she huffed.
Very clever. Ogden could sense the hidden shadows cursing her for what appeared to have been the use of magic. He was sure that was what he’d seen – felt – but she was only human, wasn’t she? He stepped toward her, looking her over with suspicious eyes.
He looked past her at the mirror she’d tapped. Whatever magical trickery had been there was long gone. Her touch had done it, somehow, and by extension probably saved her life.
A tingle went down Alena’s spine. She spun around, squinting into the dark. “Is someone there?” There couldn’t be. She shook her head. “I’m just freaking myself out now.”
Ogden’s voice was low as he stepped into the circle of mirrors she’d wandered into, though he was speaking beyond her to those who were hiding unseen, waiting on their prey. “I see I’m not the only one enjoying this game.”
Alena stepped back, and let out a startled cry. “I thought you were a demon.”
“Oh? And now what do you think I am?” Ogden wondered.

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The Multi-Year Release Author

This is not a bashing post. I’ve sometimes wondered how author’s can release multiple books a year, one in particular I follow has 4? series simultaneously going on and being released on a yearly basis. That’s at least 4 books/year (although there are also one shots that might add to that), and I don’t mean to compare myself, but everyone does sometimes. I don’t mean that publishing multiple books a year is bad or wrong or makes those books less good, trust me, I have read and loved many a book! It’s just that it got me thinking about myself.

I’m, a year and 6 weeks-ish into writing book 1 and I feel close to being finished, but I’ve felt close for the last 2 months. What’s to say I won’t feel close for the next 6? I wanted to finish it on Christmas break, and then I wanted to finish by the 1yr anniversary, and then my birthday and on and on, but the book will be done when it’s done. I realized a lot of the author’s who publish so many books are one shot authors. They sit down, write the book in one shot and then send it to the editor, but I’m not like that.

I don’t think I could ever be like that. I don’t mean that I can’t sit down and write the book in one shot, because both book 1 and my NaNo book were written in one shot, but the level of personal editing and adding and changing and cutting that I feel the need to do before it’s “perfect” could never allow me to send it to an editor as soon as it’s finished. I miss too much in my rush to finish it. It’s not until I go back again and again that I see everything that could be better about it. I’m not saying those other authors miss stuff for writing it in one shot, I’m just meaning me personally, I miss things. And that’s okay. It’s okay that I don’t finish multiple books a year. It’s okay that it’s taken me this long to slowly poke and prod everything out of book 1.

Ultimately as an author, I need to strive for the level of perfection that suits me, and if I’m a bit insecure and feel the need to take longer to finish a book, that’s okay. I’m still learning what makes a book great, and that’s what I want. I don’t want a good book, I want a great book, so I will keep working until it’s the level of great that I would expect from the author’s I look up to. I want to write the book that people want to read.


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Follow me Twitter

Exciting news!! Alice, Dawson and Lainey have their own twitter accounts now!! I will have one for Lindsay as well as soon as I can set up an email account for her. So if you are interested to see how my characters are in every day life please follow them!!

Alice: @Ali_Heatherly
Lainey: @TerumCutie
Dawson: @Origin_Fire
Lindsay: BodenGal56

I know I can barely keep up with my own social media sites but I thought this would be so cool to see them interacting with each other and I just couldn’t pass it up. So far Alice is the only one who’s tweeted, but once I set everything up on my phone the hashtag shenanigans shall commence! *Cackles*


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Looking up the definition for “Character” it simply states “A fictional person”. Everyone KNOWS this, but somehow it resonated with me. This is certainly not conducive to studying for my writing final, which I should be doing right now, but to simply state Character as a fictional person seems so… wrong, even though that’s what they are. They aren’t real, not in this physical realm of the five senses at least.

I can have whole conversations with characters, trying to flesh them out and find out who they are and they become intimate beings, separate but inherently part of me. They are not me, I cannot control them, they make their own decisions, have their own thoughts, fears, dreams, wants, needs. In the sense of what make people, people, they are all those things, but their bodies do not have flesh and bone in a literal sense, they are but words on a page.

A character is not real. But to me, the solitary writer, most days, they are my only friends.


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On Finishing NaNoWriMo

In April, after having finished the first round of edits in my first book, I had asked myself what I would be able to write if I did not need to spend 12hrs a day, 4 days a week at a full time job. And this month I answered that question. I still had full time school, and other life commitments, but I managed to write every day and I have since accomplished in 30 days what I can’t imagine ever accomplishing again. I officially have the first draft of my prequel book, and it is finished at 69, 544 words. That is over 2000 words longer than my first draft for book 1. And to think, I was originally only going to write it as a tiny novella!

I feel like the prequel will expand quite a bit still. I had to cut out some details from the last chapter in an effort to finish the book before the end of NaNo, but it officially has an ending written so I’m calling it done for now and I can go back and edit some more details come January. My last day of official classes is tomorrow (Monday) and then I will be on holidays until January 6th. I technically have 3 exams, but I won’t be stuck in a classroom every week, so I’m not counting those. I think I will take a couple days off, let me brain refresh itself and then I’m hoping to get back into book 1. The poor thing has been so neglected since the beginning of June when this adventure first started.

It bugs me that I only have ten chapters left to finish. My goal is to have them finished by the end of December. Even with Christmas, I’m sure I can do it! I’ll have a lot of people encouraging me, mainly my dad who has been patiently waiting to read the thing for oh, I don’t know, eleven months now hahaha. So to all my NaNo-ers, congratulations on your accomplishment this month! Even if you didn’t reach 50,000 words, every book has a beginning, and every chapter counts, so you are a winner in my books!


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That moment of success

I must apologize for my recent silence, with end of term coming up I’ve been more than a little busy and this week will be no different. I have my last project looming a week away and it is worth 40% of my final grade. I seem to emphasize that to pretty much everyone I know, but that’s almost half my grade in the class. This project will basically make or break my final grade and I’d like it to be a good grade. But that’s not why I’m here writing this, this post is dedicated to my NaNoWriMo success! Yes, that is correct, I made it to 50,000 words!! In fact I’m currently sitting at 56,730 right now! I don’t know if I’ll make 60,000 words by the end of November since I only have 2 more scenes to write for this first draft, but there’s some extra scenes I want to add in that will bring me over 60,000 words for sure during my first round of edits.

So, what is it like to write a whole novel in 30 days, besides exhausting and temporarily damaging to your brain function. It feels amazing! It’s bragging rights and this huge accomplishment that hangs over your head; it’s proving to yourself that if you actually sit down and write every day, even if its just 500-1,000 words, you can end up with a whole novel on the other end of it. Most of all it’s proven to myself that even on my worst days when I didn’t think I could write anything I was able to force out at least 500 words. There was only one day that I wrote less and I think that was due to actual life being busy. So, my goal is almost reached, I’ll definitely have an ending by Friday and then it will be December. And do I have plans for December, but I can tell you all about that later!

I’ll post at least once more this week to let everyone know what my final word count ends up at. It’s no 67,000 word first draft like Book 1 (which was written in 39 days no less) but I’m still extremely proud of myself. Now I just need to find an agent and a publisher and I’ll be set 😀


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Entering the Second Week

So the first week of NaNoWriMo is past and it is now getting into the second week. I would say that I have stalled, but somehow I’m managing to push myself through the stalled mentality and keep up on my daily word counts. Because of this, I broke 32,000 words yesterday! And if I were to really apply myself I could probably get to 50,000 words by the end of the week. However I don’t think that will be the end of this book. I still have so much more story to write and I feel like it will probably end up more around 60-70k words. Will I be able to write that by the end of November? I’m sure I could, we’ll see, but either way I will have a partial draft to upload to NaNoWriMo so I can get my free stuff and then I can purchase Scrivener to fine tune my draft since I only have the 30 day trial right now.

I have had a really hard time writing other things since starting this. Even this blog post was supposed to be written on Friday night and I was like “I don’t wanna do it!!!!!” And so today I said if I didn’t write it I could no longer talk about entering the second week because it would be half over! I remember when I was writing book 1 I took days off where I didn’t write a single word, or only wrote one paragraph and that’s all I could get out, but NaNoWriMo has pushed my limits. Even when I REALLY REALLY don’t want to write I tell myself I HAVE to get at least 1,100 words out. And even if I dick around ALL day, by midnight I usually have like 1,300 words and then I’m proud of myself and I proved to myself that I can do it.

What does this mean? It means that I could probably pound out book 2 and 3 like nobodies business if I could write full time, but I can’t. What I am excited for is finishing book 1 over my Christmas holidays because I will have 3-4 whole weeks to finish editing my last 10 chapters and having proven to myself that I can force myself to work through the stalled periods, I should have NO EXCUSE as to why I can’t finish 10 chapters in 3-4 weeks!! So I’m going to do it and if I don’t do it I’m going to have to come on here and tell everyone why and I’m going to be embarrassed and can feel like a loser.

Anyways, my advice for those of you who ALSO feel like they are stalling in the second week, I encourage you to keep pressing through your stalled moments!! Even if you have to bribe yourself with an hour of TV (I had to do that one day) or with food (Also did that), bribery works!! Tell yourself if you write 300 words you get something for it!! But keep writing my fellow writers, KEEP WRITING!! You can do it, I can do it, and we will do it together!!


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The First Weekend

It is Monday. I am curious to know where everyone stands in their novel writing frenzy! As of midnight last night my friend and I had passed 21,000 words. Yes, that’s correct. Three days, twenty-one THOUSAND words! I would like to point out, this is over and above our other story we are writing, because yes folks, we are STILL writing our other story. Its a bit more slow going, but I’d add several hundred words on top of our daily NaNo word count still.

My goal is to get my daily word count to 1,000 words a day because I am so busy this month with classes, tests, final projects and my friend is coming with her daughter. I am excited, but stressing out like crazy! So the more I can get finished this week, the better I can feel about the rest of the month. I am almost at my goal. I’m sitting at 1,062 words/day to finish on time. Considering I just came from a weekend where I was writing over 6,000 words a day, 1, 000 should be easy!!

So as we are all getting back into our regular routines and trying to keep our word counts up, I say keep on!! Write those words! Get ahead while you can! Then you can pretend like you wrote 50, 000 words while slacking off 🙂


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The Time is Almost Upon Us

Yes, in just 8 short hours it will be midnight of November 1st. This means all us die hard crazy writers who don’t have to be up in the morning will be sitting at our computers at 11:59 waiting for that exact moment it switches to 12:00 to start writing. Since my husband also decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo this is what we will be doing tonight. He took the day off work tomorrow. That’s right, die hard…. or just plain crazy. We plan on writing as much as possible all weekend since come next week we’ll actually have things like work and assignments.

But once this post is done I’ll be on my way to Walmart to purchase a lot of food that can be made super quick since we won’t be making time consuming meals. I also spent the last two hours cleaning. That’s right, my floors are vacuumed, my counters and stove are clean, the dishes are done. Since I can tell you right now none of that is probably going to get done over the next 30 days. Doesn’t that sound terrible? I know! But with any luck I’ll have a whole novel out of it.

At least I don’t have to feel bad about ignoring my husband, since we’ll be mutually ignoring each other in favour of writing. Now I have to go get ready for my Halloween party. For those of you who start NaNo tomorrow, good luck and happy writing!! We can do this!!


P.S. I’ll try and keep blogging throughout, but if I fall behind you can keep up via Twitter and Facebook!

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