NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 4 Update

Hello! Sorry, this NaNoWriMo update is coming a few days later than I said, but I was busy working on a whole other post for Monday so wink, wink. Stay tuned for that because I’m really excited about it.

Unfortunately, I did not hit my goal of 20k this past week, but I’m okay with that. I got sick on Thursday, November 25 and luckily, I got over it pretty quickly but I chose to take it easy so I didn’t write again until Monday, November 29.

However, I still got some words down, of course, so let’s just dive into this final NaNoWriMo update and then discuss my writing plans for December!

NaNoWriMo Week 4 Update

Monday, November 22: 579 words

Tuesday, November 23: Apparently I didn’t write this day

Wednesday, November 24: Or this day

Thursday, November 25: 1,045 words

Friday, November 26: No words

Monday, November 29: 1,183 words

Tuesday, November 30: 1,045 words

Words Written in Week 4: 3,852 words

Total Words Written: 17,640 words

Like I said, I wanted to hit 20k by the end of NaNoWriMo and clearly, I didn’t. Things came up and that just didn’t happen! Whether I hit 20k or not though, I still need to keep writing to finish my draft, so either way, it truly doesn’t matter.

That’s a perfect segue into my writing plans for December!

December Writing Plans

  • Write 4 days per week
  • Finish Act II

Aaand that’s it. I just want to keep up this consistent pace of writing every week and constantly add words to my manuscript. Since winter break is coming up, I will have more time since school will be over to write, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself to write more if I feel like I need to relax. (I am planning on taking a week of freelance work so I am looking forward to binging ALL the shows.)

This isn’t exactly a writing plan, but I did want to unofficially announce this before I officially announce/launch this in January…but I will be offering proofreading services again starting in 2022!

If you didn’t know, I used to offer freelance editing services. I love editing and have taken courses on it, as well as practiced with beta clients. However, during school, it just wasn’t feasible. That’s why for 2022, instead of offering all the types of editing, I will just be open to proofreading.

So, if you have a book reaching the final stages, keep me in mind! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That is all for my FINAL NaNoWriMo 2021 update and I hope you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know how your NaNoWriMo went, and what are your plans are for December in the comments below.

Talk soon!

Check out my NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3 Update.

NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3

Happy Monday!

How did week 2 of NaNoWriMo go for you? Did you hit all your goals? Did you miss all your goals?

The important thing is that you’re still trekking along, whether you’re ahead, on track or behind.

Before diving into this update, make sure to check out my week 2 update to hear about how week 2 went and what my goals for this week were.

NaNoWriMo Week 3 Update

Week 3 has probably been my best week this entire NaNoWriMo. I hit two out of three goals, which is good enough for me!

  • I wrote everyday Monday-Friday
  • I wrote at least 800 words per day

However, I didn’t hit 15k. But that’s okay! This week was absolutely crazy. Not just for me, but for everyone who lives in my city. This isn’t writing-related, but this week has been out of a sci-fi movie or book, so I feel like it’s applicable to share.

On Sunday night (November 14), B.C. got hit by a horrible, horrible rainstorm. It was so bad that it wiped out major highways and basically, flooded everything. I live in Victoria on Vancouver Island, and I wasn’t able to go to school on Monday because the road I take was completely underwater…literally.

Some massive semi-trucks were driving through it but they were struggling, and several other vehicles were on the side of the road flooded and broken down after trying to get through the road. My tiny little Volkswagen Beetle would have no chance.

Anyways, thankfully, things dried up by Wednesday, but that’s when the next “disaster” struck. Due to the heavy rainfalls, the Malahat (our main highway connecting us to the rest of Vancouver Island) was shut down for repairs. However, this is how we get certain items, such as gas.

Do you see where this going?

On Wednesday, I had planned to fill up my car around 11 am on my way to school because I was almost empty. My drive to school is a 10 km drive each way, so I definitely needed gas to make it home.

Around 10 am that day, I get a text from my boyfriend: “You might want to fill up your car now. There’s a gas shortage.”

What?

I didn’t really understand or believe him, but I was like okay, I have a lot to do (I had just gotten home from the gym and showered, but now it was time to get started on blog writing for my clients) but I really need gas. So, I went to the gas station, which is about a one-minute drive away from my house and tried to fill up my car. I spent $0.70 before it ran out!

I am fortunate enough to have never experienced this before and it was weird because this is something that I didn’t see coming this soon.

Lots of people had started to arrive at the gas station and I felt a little panicked. I really needed to make it to school that day and realized I was going to need to fight for gas (LOL).

Anyways, I drove a few km up the road to the next gas station…it was completely out of gas. I drove to the one across the street where a small line-up had formed, however, they had gas! I re-filled my car and lived happily ever after.

There are gas trucks filling up gas stations around Victoria, however, people chose to panic and hoard gas so even today when I am writing this (Saturday), there are still people who aren’t able to get gas to drive to work or school on Monday. Thankfully, the gas stations have limited everyone’s gas intake to only 30 litres, but this still causes some complications for people who need extra for work, like my dad does for his landscaping business.

Isn’t that crazy? This is a reminder to never hoard items, whether it’s food, gas, or toilet paper. Only take what you need!

Okay, now let’s get back into the writing stuff.

Here’s how much I wrote each day and my total word count for the week.

Monday, November 15: 1,047 words

Tuesday, November 16: 1,138 words

Wednesday, November 17: 886 words

Thursday, November 18: 1,058 words

Friday, November 19: 907 words

Total Week 3 Word Count: 5,036 words

Total Overall Word Count: 13,628 words

I’m pretty impressed with this and think that this pace of 5k words a week is manageable for me.

Week 4 Writing Goals

  • Write 1,000 words per day
  • Write Monday-Friday
  • Hit 20k

I am going to count week 4 as November 22 to the end of NaNoWriMo, so my next update will be going up on Wednesday, December 1. Therefore, I think these goals are very realistic for me. Especially since the end of November is the busiest month for students like me.

Let me know how your NaNoWriMo is going in the comments below, and I will talk to you in my next update ๐Ÿ™‚

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NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 2 Update

Surprise, surprise, I am back with an update of week 2 for NaNoWriMo 2021!

Make sure you check out my week 1 update before reading this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s just dive into this update because spoiler alert…I did not hit my goal of 10k by the end of week 2 OR my goal of having a 2k writing day.

And that’s okay!

It would have been awesome to hit 10k yesterday, but things just got too busy and it didn’t happen. Once again, that’s okay. I have to keep my head up and keep moving forwards.

Tip #1: Acknowledge “failure” and then move on

At first, I was a little bummed but I asked myself these questions: Does not hitting my goal of 10k impact my story at all? Nope. Does it ruin my story? Nope!

Then let’s just keep going. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Despite not hitting my goals, I’ve decided to still reward myself because I had a great writing week regardless. (I’ll get into the exact numbers in a minute.) I deserve a jade roller and sheet face mask whether for working on my story or because I powered through all my school work.

So, after dinner tonight, that’s exactly what I am going to buy at the store. Treat yo’self!

Now, let’s get into how much I wrote.

NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update

Monday, November 8: 1,184 words

Tuesday, November 9: 1,061 words

Wednesday, November 10: 1,051 words

Thursday, November 11: 801 words

Friday, November 12: No words

Saturday, November 13: No words

Sunday, November 14: No words

Total Week 2 Word Count: 4,097 words

Total Word Count: 8,592 words

Once again, no words were written Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so that kind of segues into my goals for week 3 of NaNoWriMo. (Oh my gosh this is going by so fast.)

Week 3 Goals

  • Write on Friday
  • Write at least 800 words every day
  • Hit 15k

Let’s see if I can hit these goals, but if I can’t, that’s okay! Repeat after me, “That’s okay.”

Okay, good. Now, that’s it from me, but how did you do this past week? How many words did you write? What is your reward for getting through the week? Let me know in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

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NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

Here’s how my NaNoWriMo week 1 went!

Hello! Happy November.

This year, despite my insane schedule as I wrap up my first semester back at school, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2021. I honestly can’t help myself!

For the last couple of years, ever since I start college probably, I have not been as active as a writer as I used to be. If you’ve been here since the beginning, I used to write a lot. Like every single day and thousands of words at a time. Of course, over the years I haven’t had as much time to write, but every time I think about the years I did have the time and energy, it fills me with a warm feeling because I just love writing so much.

And I want to experience that again!

The first tip that I think is essential when it comes to NaNoWriMo, is picking a word count goal that works for you and your schedule. Rather than making this a month that you have to hit 50k, make it a month where you just encourage yourself to write more often than usual. That way, you’re still pushing yourself towards a goal for the month but you aren’t expecting something of yourself that you might not be able to do.

Tip #1: Pick a word count that works for you

So, while I know I will not hit the 50k goal you usually strive for (and you will see why once I get into my update), my goal for this November is to write at least 500 words 6 days a week.

NaNoWriMo Update

I am a morning person, so for NaNoWriMo, I am carving some time in my morning routine to spend writing. This time started out as 7:30-8:30ish am but is now more like 7-7:45 am.

I love to write when it is dark outside so I can pop on some word sprints, turn on my mystical lo-fi music, and have a candle burning, as well as my gold fairy lights on behind me…just picture how perfect that atmosphere is for writing. It inspires me and helps me really harness my creativity.

This is my second tip for NaNoWriMo: Creating a specific atmosphere when writing. This is super helpful because it programs your brain to know that when you set up those lights or turn on that music, it is writing time.

TIP #2: Create a specific writing atmosphere

Just remember, creating your writing atmosphere can be as simple as lighting a candle or having a cup of tea at hand. Don’t overcomplicate it. If setting up your writing atmosphere isn’t something feasible you can do every day, you might want to simplify it.

But this is just something that has really helped me out.

Another thing that has contributed to my first week’s success is Campfire. Campfire is this awesome tool for writers that allows us to map out our plot, create world maps, and build out our characters in a visual way. I use the free version of Campfire to plan out my plot. It’s nice because I can just log on, glance at my plot timeline, and then know exactly where I’m at in my story.

TIP #3: Use Campfire

If you didn’t know, I have been writing this story for…maybe 4 years now. The story has changed so much since then, however, one reason I have only finished a full draft once or twice is that I don’t plot it out. For this NaNoWriMo, I really tried to prioritize plotting Act I, II, and III, but only have Act I and II completely done. So …I need to get on that! But Campfire makes it much easier.

Ok, enough rambling. Let’s dive into my first week of NaNoWriMo at a glance!

Week 1 At-a-Glance

Monday, November 1 – 1,753 words

Tuesday, November 2 – 732 words

Wednesday, November 3 – 532 words

Thursday, November 4 – 444 words

Friday, November 5 – 615 words

Saturday, November 6 – No words written

Sunday, November 7 – No words written

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 4,495

I am impressed with the amount I ended up writing last week. As you can see, I didn’t write at all on the weekend, and that’s because I felt a little tired and uninspired. I had a busy week and knew my body needed to rest, so I let it because that’s the best thing you can do for yourself. (And because of that, I had a really good writing day today!)

I would have liked to hit 5k during the first week, but oh well. I didn’t really have any expectations for week 1 (other than to write 500 words per day), but for the second week, I’ve decided to create some loose goals to help me get a bit more writing done.

WEEK 2 GOALS:

  • Have a 2k word day
  • Hit 10k
  • Participate in a live writing sprint

Anyways, that is all for my quick NaNoWriMo Week 1 update! I hope you enjoyed it, and make sure to keep an eye out for my week 2 update next week ๐Ÿ™‚

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May 2020 Writing Goals

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Happy Monday!

Today, I will be sharing my May 2020 writing goals not only to help boost my motivation and productivity, but hopefully by hearing my goals, you will feel inspired too.

For the most part of quarantine, I have been riding a wave of productivity and motivation. I developed a routine of waking up at 8 am, doing writing-related tasks at 10 am, working out at 12 pm, and then doing school-related things until dinner. It has kept me busy and allows me to get a lot of things I want to get done, done.

However, there has been a few bumps along the way and currently, I have hit one of them. Friday and Saturday are my more relaxing days, but after having a go-go-go routine for five straight days, suddenly doing nothing takes a hit on me. I was overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and being uninspired. It was discouraging, but remembering that I do need to go outside really helped, along with looking at my goals for May. Seeing that list in my bullet journal really reminded myself of all the fun writing and reading related things I want to achieve next month, and this sparked that motivation inside of me. While it is not back to the strength it was before, I am pushing forward regardless. I am also telling myself that it is okay to not always feel productive and inspired!

Anyways, to get back into the groove of things, I think sharing with you all my writing goals is a good place to start.

  • Write 1,000 words for “The Obsidian Butterfly” every day

I don’t know if I have shared this, but my Aztec novella I wrote during March 2020 is titled “The Obsidian Butterfly.” For whatever reason, coming up with a title for this story was not an easy task. I had to edit my story four times before I was like, “Ah yes, this is it.” During May, I want to add to this novella and make it into a novel. So, by writing 1,000 words every day (which is a very manageable daily task), I will tack on 31,000 words and that will bring me to a grand total of 51,000 words by the end of the month. I guess you can say I am hosting my own Mayorimo!

  • Write 2 Flanelle Articles

If you didn’t know, as of March 2020, I am a writer for Flanelle Magazine which is a fashion, design, photography, and culture magazine that posts online and in physical formats too. Last month, I only had time to contribute one article, but this coming month I want to get two articles written and published. I have a lot of fun writing lifestyle and film articles, and also practicing the art of article/non-fiction writing. I want to make sure that while I have more free time, I am devoting a reasonable amount of it to the magazine.

  • Post 3 Blog Posts Per Week

I have been proud of myself for keeping up with posting twice a week, however, now that I have finished school, why not up it to three posts every week? I have decided to post on Wednesdays too, along with Mondays and Fridays at 12 pm PST. Back in the day, I use to post five days a week so I know I can keep up with three for at least the summer.

  • Work On Secret Project Marketing Plan

Oooh, a secret project? No, this is not a new writing project like a short story or novel, but I will give you a clue. It is a business I have been contemplating for a while, and now that quarantine has become a thing, I have decided to take it as an opportunity to use my newfound time to plan and create this project. I am super excited to announce it and that announcement will come soon…May 18th to be exact so keep an eye out for that!


Those are my four writing-related goals for the month of May. I hope hearing about mine brought some inspiration and motivation to your life, and if it did, share with me what your goals are because I would love to know!

If you read my last post, I mentioned some charities that are in need of donations and support during this crisis, and I said I would tell you guys where I decided to donate to in my next post (aka this post!). After some researching and thinking, I decided to donate to an organization in my community, and that is the Shelbourne Community Kitchen which understandably, has experienced a heightened demand for food during these troubled times. Due to COVID-19, the kitchen is feeding twice a month instead of once and also doing home deliveries. I think it is a great organization, and I really wanted to put my money towards my own community. It felt really good to do a little something when at times, like everyone else, I feel a little hopeless.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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#StayHome Reading Rush Wrap Up

Happy Monday!

Yesterday was the last day of the #StayHome Reading Rush, so I thought it was fitting to share all I got read during the last four days. I also wanted to include a reading update with everything I plan on reading from now until the end of the month. So, onto the wrap up!

Spoiler alert, I did not win the readathon.

Last week, I posted my TBR for the readathon and it had three books on it: The Magician by Lisa Maxwell, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and The Selection by Kiera Cass.

The one book I did finish reading was The Last Magician and I loved it! It took me around 150 pages to really get into it, but once I did, I was deep in the world and in love with some of the characters. At several times, the story made me pause and step back from it with my jaw wide open. While the story caught me off guard with its twist and turns, the characters just stepped right off the page. They were flawed and interesting, and I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for Esta and Harte. Overall I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars and highly recommend it.

That was the only book I completed during the readathon. Things got busy with school because I had two final essays due Saturday afternoon and kind of left them until the last minute…so Friday and Saturday were not great reading days. Neither was Sunday, to be honest, but I blame that on work and the Netflix TV show, The Elite (which I’ve been LOVING by the way). I did make progress in the other two books on my TBR though. As of today, I am 270 pages into An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This is another book that takes me a bit to get into, but once Laia goes to Blackcliff, I am sucked in for good. I am so happy I decided to start my re-read of this series now because it is just making me anticipate the fourth book even more.

As for The Selection, I only got 30 pages read during the readathon. I am not too sure if I am going to continue on with it this month or just re-read it some other time. The beginning is also slow, but I do not know if I am in the mood for this contemporary-dystopian type of novel. Right now, my heart is with fantasy. Whether that is urban/historical fantasy like The Last Magician or high fantasy like An Ember in the Ashes (I think it is qualified as high fantasy). All I want is far-off worlds and magic.

So, as of now, I will be continuing on with my re-read of An Ember in the Ashes before moving on to my final two books for the O.W.Ls readathon. I decided to change one of those books though. Instead of reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, I want to pick up Clockword Prince by Cassandra Clare. After reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, I have been dying to pick up the sequel, and it also fits with the prompt of reading a book with a shapeshifter because one of the characters is a Eidolon…but I won’t say which one because spoilers. However, I do still plan on reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, which I am very curious to see if I like or not.

That is all for my Reading Rush wrap up and mini reading update. I had a lot of fun participating in this surprise readathon, and cannot wait to continue on with the O.W.Ls readathon for the rest of April. Let me know if you participated in the #StayHome Reading Rush, and if you did, how your reading went because I would love to know.

Thanks for reading!

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COVID-19: 5 Ways to Support Books during a Crisis

Happy Friday!

During these trying times, you can feel a little helpless at times. Especially since we are all staying indoors, which is, however, the best way we can help. But there are ways to help out others from the comfort of your own home. Local businesses have had to close which can lead to devastating effects but slowly, they have been adapting to offer their products and services in various ways.

Today, I wanted to share five easy ways to help out authors, bookstores, and the publishing industry when you can’t physically go into a bookstore and buy something. Some of these ways are free while others are not, but overall, they will help keep our favourite authors and bookstores afloat until this is all over.

1. Buy Books Online from Local Bookstores

This is the easiest way to help out authors and bookstores at the same time. Rather than buying your books on Amazon, I recommend ordering them from your local bookstore. I know the ones near me have recently began online orders, something they only occasionally did before. While I have been trying to save money during quarantine, I have decided to treat myself once a week. Since I had a couple projects due this past week, I thought it be nice to buy a book from my favourite local bookstore through their online orders. It was a bit more expensive, but honestly worth it since it will help the bookstore stay open. I ended up buying House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig which I am incredibly excited to dive into!

2. Purchase a Gift Card from a Local Bookstore

This is another great way to support a bookstore, especially if they are not doing online orders. This way, they are still receiving money and when this is over, you can treat yourself to a book from there. I also recommend doing this if you want to buy a book but have no idea which one to choose. Rather than wasting money and going through the process of ordering a book you only kind of want, buy a gift card and buy it later instead.

3. Open Up Your Own Free Little Library

I do not take any credit for this idea because I saw it a lot online and thought it was such a great idea. With libraries and bookstore shut down, it is harder for some people to get access to books. If you have a lot of books you do not want (like me), or even just a few, whether you donate to a nearby free little library or create your own, it would make a huge difference to share them with others.

4. Use Library Apps or Buy E-Books

Most libraries have online apps where you can borrow audiobooks and e-books which can be a great free way to support them and authors, while also keeping up with your reading. If not, you can still buy e-books and audiobooks online. I personally do not like reading e-books, but I do like audiobooks so I have been using my CloudLibrary app (used through my local library) to do so. Currently, I am listening to Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare because it is one of my books for the O.W.Ls Readathon.

5. Discuss Your Current Reads Online

Even now, it is important for books to get exposure. So, if you are reading a book that you like, share some of your thoughts about it on Instagram, Twitter, or on your own blog. It will help others choose what to read next and if you tag the author in your post about it (only do that if you write nice things though!), then it can make their day. Reviewing books is also a great activity to keep you busy. I highly recommend it!

Those are five easy ways to support books and reading during the COVID-19 crisis. I hope these tips were helpful and inspired you to offer support to some of your favourite authors and bookstores. Let me know if you do and how you do it!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Classes Are Almost Over…Now What?

Happy Monday!

Today marks the first day of me posting twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) which you would know if you checked out my last blog post…which you definitely should right here!

Anyways, I wanted to do another update type blog post because like the world right now, my plans for the next month seem to change constantly. My online classes are coming to an end on Friday this week, which means most of my school projects will be over then too. However, I do have two more final essays that will be due later on in April. Other than, I will have a lot more time on my hands. I plan on filling it up, of course, and here is what I have on the agenda!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Remember when I said I was going to do a short story collection? Well, that still sounds fun but for all of March, I worked on my Aztec mythology story. I want to spend April turning it into a novel (it is a novella right now) because I am in the mindset to write for it, and also because when I wrote the first draft of the novella, I wrote 5,000 words over my goal of 17,000. I ended up cutting a lot (and still am), but there are so many more obstacles I can add to the story and overall, just more content that I think the story would benefit from. So yes, I am now attempting to have my manuscript reach at least 50,000 words. This means I will need to add around 33,000 more words to it. Being the overwriter I am, I do not think this will be a challenge.

Reading

I decided to participate in the O.W.LS month long, Harry Potter inpsired readathon that happens every year, organized and created by Book Roast on YouTube. I have never participated in this readathon before but I amย soย excited to give it a go because it looks like a lot of fun. It is a really complicated and complex readathon so I won’t try to explain it here, but you can go check out her YouTube channel where she gives an in-depth explanation on how it all works. If you have took part in it before and know what it all means, I am “studying” to be a ministry worker. I have to read 5 books during April which should not be too hard, but also not that easy. I will tell you all the books I plan on reading for the prompts this Friday!

School

This is something I’ve considered since the beginning of the school year, but I decided to take on online class this summer through my university. Since schools closed early due to COVID-19 and had to transfer online, my school has been adapting to this change for their summer courses as well. This means, I have a lot more options. Sadly, there are not many English courses offered this summer and the ones that are available do not interest me. However, I decided it might be the perfect time to take a language course through my school so as of now, I really want to take an intensive Spanish course. I chose against taking one during the fall and winter semesters because I knew I would not prioritize it and therefore, not get what I wanted out of it. Since it will be the only class I take this summer though, I will be able to give it the time and effort it needs. It is intensive which means it will take more hours and days than a “normal” course and is also only a month and a half long. I have to see if it works with my work schedule first, but if it does, that is my plan!

Anyways, that is a little update on what I plan on doing once my classes finish up this week. I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below!

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

Hellooo

Can you believe it’s already almost March? Aka the month before Camp NaNoWriMo! Me either.

Since it is right around the corner, I decided to make a post discussing all my plans and ideas for Camp NaNo since I actually plan on participating. I finish classes by April 3rd and don’t have exams until the 18th and 24th so if all goes as planned, I will have a lot of time to write.

Anyways, time to discuss all things Camp NaNoWriMo!

So, what am I going to be working on this April?

If you have been following my blog for the past 2 years, you would know that during April 2018, I worked on a novel idea centered around Aztec mythology. Basically, I will be continuing on with that. I am starting fresh though. I’ve changed a lot of things about the story and my approach to it, so I am hoping to just get a solid rough draft that gives me a good idea of how I want to go about it. And hopefully, it sticks.

That is not to say I haven’t been working on it all these years though. I worked on it during Camp NaNo July 2018/summer 2018, and I’ve also worked on short story versions of it since. I love the concept, the world, and the mythology, there are just a lot of possibilities and I’ve had a hard time decided which route I want to take it. However, I am just going to keep working on it until it feels right.

What’s my word count goal?

Like I said, I finish classes in early April and only have two final exams later on in the month. That being said, my goal is going to be 15,000 words. I don’t think it is a good idea for me to write 50,000 words after only writing here and there for the past several months, so I decided to give myself a smaller yet still, significant word count to try and hit.

My tips for Camp NaNoWriMo: Time management, motivation, and ideas

While I haven’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo since last year, I’ve still participated in it my fair share of times (and have won a few!) so I thought it would be nice to share some of my tips and tricks for writing all the words.

#1: Set aside time to write

Wow, isn’t this the most basic tip of all?

But in all seriousness, this is a common yet extremely overlooked tip. A lot of the time we plan to write at some point during the day but we don’t slot a certain time to do it. I recommend keeping a certain time in mind when you want to sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, for example, if you put aside an hour at night but get a lot of writing done during the day by chance, then congrats! If you want, you can still write in the evening but you got your writing done!

Just having some sort of time period you plan on dedicating to writing, even if it’s not precisely that time, is incredibly important and helpful to your success with writing.

#2: Create a productive atmosphere

If you’re office or room or kitchen or wherever you write, is a mess, tidy it up a little before you begin writing. I’m not saying you should get out your sponge and mop and deep clean the place, but at least clear the space around you. I am very guilty of not doing this and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my productivity levels, whether I am writing or doing homework, when I take care of the space around me.

#3: Start of your writing session with a warm-up

I used to rave about writing prompts and I still stand by their value! Sometimes I do this when I don’t feel in the mood to write. I will find a prompt on Pinterest that interests me and write a little story for 5-10 minutes inspired by that prompt. It helps to get my creativity flowing and sometimes, aspects of that little story make it into my current project.

Another thing I’ve noticed from doing these warm-up exercises before my writing sessions is I can write for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every single time I write, but I try to save it for when I feel the most uninspired.

 

Those are my plans, goals, and a few tips for Camp NaNoWriMo this April! I hope you enjoyed and found the tips useful. Let me know if you plan on participating in Camp NaNo and what you are working on because I would love to know!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

Happy Thursday!

Today, I thought I would share an excerpt from a short story I am currently working on. It is actually one I have salvaged from my pile of neglected work and it feels so good to be reviving it! I wrote the original idea for this back in grade 10…so almost four years ago, but I’ve always come back to it over the years. Anyways, here are the first 3 or so pages and I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I now have a “My Writing” section of my blog where you can find the work I am most proud of! You can find it on the top right corner of my home page ๐Ÿ™‚


 

Due to the clockโ€™s lack of eyes, it confronts me with the dark reflection of my own. Memories play in the blackness of them, and I force myself to stare past them at the clockโ€™s copper hands which are frozen over the twelve. I tap its face, but it remains as silent as ever.

A faint pulsing fills my ears. I blink. The clockโ€™s smallest hand is beating around its face as if it always has, the other one inching with each passing minute. I drop my pencil and struggle to my knees.

โ€œMom!โ€ I shout. โ€œMom!โ€

I try to think back to a time when the clock worked, not just when it was perched in silence on a shelf. My door swings open and my mother appears, a book dangling from her hand.

โ€œWhat, Adelyn? You have two perfectly good feet as far as I can tell. You could have come to me instead.โ€

โ€œSorry, but do you hear that?โ€

The clockโ€™s tick is delicate; like a babyโ€™s first breath. She listens for a moment and then her brows draw together, a crease folding between her eyes.

โ€œYes. The clock is ticking.โ€

I deflate, anticipating more excitement. Maybe not a shriek joined by a jump, but a smile at the least.

โ€œIt just started ticking. Like, all on its own.โ€

โ€œHmm. It used to all the time when I was younger. It would drive me and your grandmother nuts.โ€ She tips her chin up and sniffs with disapproval.

โ€œWell, I think the ticking is kind of nice. I think grandfather would have liked to see his clock working again, donโ€™t you?โ€

โ€œI suppose, but you know how I am with noise.โ€ She pinches the bridge of her nose and twists her lips. โ€œI already feel a headache coming on. Can you turn it off please, Adelyn?โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t know how.โ€

The crease deepens.

โ€œWell, I need to lie down for a bit until my headache goes away. If you canโ€™t figure it out then we might have to get rid of it.โ€ She jerks open the door and I sigh, returning to my homework. But I canโ€™t help myself from glancing at the tremoring clock every few seconds.

The clockโ€™s tick still reminds me more of a pulse rather than an actual tick. I think of the clock we have in the living room, mounted to the wall and shaped like an orange cat. It used to purr in deep, heavy strokes that echoed throughout the entire house until it drove my mother to insanity only minutes after it was hung up. Instantly, my father disabled it. Now, we just had an orange cat hanging on the wall.

But this ticking isnโ€™t anything like that. Itโ€™s less of an annoyance and more of a reminder that the clock is still alive.

When my door creaks open next, I struggle against the heavy sandbags resting on my eyelids. My fatherโ€™s head pops through the doorway; his eyes are narrowed and his brown hair a wavy mess.

โ€œHi,โ€ I say, yawning.

โ€œHi, Addy. Your mother wants me to ask you if you figured out how to turn off the clock.โ€ I roll my eyes, reaching for the old thing and flipping it around. I freeze.

โ€œThereโ€™s no backdoor.โ€

โ€œWhat? Is that a no then?โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t know! I guess? Thereโ€™s no little entryway to the gears or anything.โ€ I run my fingers along the clockโ€™s back, feeling for the grooves of a door but there is nothing. I only feel and see smooth wood.

โ€œSoโ€ฆWhat do you want me to tell her?โ€

โ€œI-I donโ€™t know. I donโ€™t want her to make me get rid of it!โ€ I peer up at him. โ€œWhat should I do?โ€

โ€œMaybe take it to that antique shop. You know, the one in the town square?โ€

I sit up.

โ€œYeah! Iโ€™ll do that. Thatโ€™s a good idea.โ€ I reach for my jacket, slipping it on, and then for my phone. I type the antique shopโ€™s address in. The hours appear beneath the address and I groan.

โ€œWhat?โ€ My dad asks.

โ€œThe antique shop is closed on Sunday! What am I supposed to do now?โ€ I shove my phone into my pocket and bury my face into my hands.

โ€œHmm, and I doubt there are any other antique shops close by, let alone openโ€ฆโ€

โ€œYeah, and I donโ€™t want to drive around for hours in the dark.โ€

As if in response, the grey sky grumbles in agreement. Speckles of rain begin to cover my window and flashes of light flicker behind the thick clouds.

โ€œSomeone shut that damn clock off!โ€ My mother yells from somewhere in the house, and I wince.

โ€œHow about you just go for a little drive with the clock?โ€ My father whispers and I hesitate, glancing outside the window again.

โ€œAdelyn Willows!โ€ My mother screeches.

โ€œFine. Iโ€™ll go.โ€ I roll my eyes.

โ€œThank you,โ€ my father says, clasping his hands together gratefully. โ€œMaria! Adelyn is going to take the clock out for a bit!โ€

โ€œThank god,โ€ we hear her mumble, and I shake my head, slinking past my father into the hallway. I pair black boots with my green fuzzy socks, gripping the clock to my side with my free hand as I tug them on. It hums against my skin like a heater finally kicking in in the winter.

โ€œOkay,โ€ I mumble. โ€œI guess Iโ€™ll be back later.โ€

โ€œDrive safe, Addy,โ€ my father chimes, shivering as he watches me go.

I sprint across the wet grass when a drop of icy rain hits my face. The clockโ€™s sharp edges dig into my ribs, but I barely feel it against the afternoonโ€™s bitter bite. Autumn wind runs its gnarled fingers through my hair, brushing it into my eyes and mouth. I push against it, but its harsh breath is too strong.

Inside, the car is cool and musty. I contemplate buckling the clock up beside me but decide against it as more raindrops pound against the window. I grit my teeth and start the car, pulling out of our driveway all while tapping my fingers to the steady heartbeat of the clock. I donโ€™t know where I am going to drive to, but my hands are cranking the wheel, guiding themselves.

It doesnโ€™t take long before I realize where Iโ€™m taking myself. My stomach twists and my heart fights against my chest as if it can manipulate me to turn back. But from experience, I know this is a one-way road.

The only direction to go is forward.


 

And there it is! Once I am finished I will share the rest but for now, I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments because I would love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below because yes, I have finally started posting on Instagram again. Anyways, thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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