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 🙂

Check out my Instagram for live NaNoWriMo updates!

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 😉

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 🙂

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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 🙂

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My Goals for 2021

With 2021 around the corner and me being on my holiday break from work, I’ve finally taken the time to map out my goals for the new year and now, I’m here to share them with you!

I have a pretty lengthy list of goals, but a lot of them don’t have a solid end goal or point. Most of them are just activities or things I want to spend time working on throughout the year. Anyways, before getting into my goals, let’s chat about some tips for creating and achieving your goals.

5 tips for achieving your goals.

  1. Create S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-Based)
  2. Make sure your goals reflect your intentions for the year (for example, my main goal is to grow my freelancing business so a lot of my goals are continuing to study social media marketing, etc on my own time, develop a marketing plan for my business, etc.)
  3. Develop an actionable plan for each goal
  4. Write them down
  5. Revisit them at the end of every month

My goals for 2021.

Writing

  • Finish writing The Obsidian Butterfly so it is ready for editing
  • Keep up blog schedule of posting once a week to each blog
  • Outline 2nd The Obsidian Butterfly novel

Freelancing

  • Have freelancing become my part-time job (get between 20-25 hours of work)
  • Create a social media/creative agency (make a website and new social media accounts)
  • Continue learning about digital marketing through online courses
  • Continue taking editing and writing classes (you can never stop improving!)

Reading

  • Read 30 books
  • Actually read all my assigned readings for school (I slacked a little last semester, I won’t lie)

Lifestyle

  • Travel locally more (if things get better, obviously)
  • Keep up my workout routine of going to the gym 2-3x per week
  • Get back on track with school (last semester, I only took 2/5 classes so I want to make sure I am doing full semesters from now on)
  • Prioritize my mental health (this means continuing counselling, focusing more on self-care, etc.)
  • Save more money
  • Develop a repeatable morning routine (it doesn’t have to be a crazy 1 hour routine, but it could just be reading first thing when I wake up)
  • Spend less time online (since it’s my job to be online, I want to cut down my screen time when I’m not working and spend more time outside or reading)
  • Meditate and journal almost every day

See? I have a pretty long list of goals for 2021 which I don’t always recommend. However, a lot of my goals are small things to implement into my days or weeks or even months. I am really excited to work towards achieving these goals because they help keep me on the path I want to be on for the next year. Like I said, I really want to focus on growing my freelancing business but I also have a lot of lifestyle goals because I definitely neglected that aspect of my life in 2020.

Make sure you check out recent blog post and follow me on social media; the links are all down below. Also, don’t forget to let me know what your 2021 goals are! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: My Post-NaNoWriMo Plans

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NaNoWriMo…But in May!

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Happy Wednesday!

NaNoWriMo, but in May is my way of making up for not writing at all during Camp NaNoWriMo this past month. I decided to give it an official name in the hopes it will motivate me to actually writing during May. Hence, Mayorimo.

Before I jump into what I am writing, my goals, and overall writing plan, I wanted to acknowledge that yes, this is my first Wednesday blog post! If you missed my last blog post (My May 2020 Writing Goals, which you can check out HERE), I announced that I will be posting three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since I finished school last week, I have more time to brainstorm and write content for my blog and I am very excited to do so!

Now, onto my goals, plans, and writing ideas for Mayorimo aka NaNoWriMo in May.

What Am I Writing?

Glad you asked! I am adding to my Aztec novella I wrote back in March. Currently, it sits at around 20,000 words and I really want to expand it into a novel. There is so much in this world and story to explore, and I know the story will benefit from a longer length. In the past few days, I have been brainstorming new plot points and characters to add to the story and it is reminding me why I love this story.

What Are My Goals?

I knew before I planned to do Mayorimo that I did not want to write 50,000 words in one month. During March, I spread myself thin trying to write and edit 17,000 words in like two weeks while juggling school. This resulted in creative burnout for ALL of April and only now, am I finally craving to write for my story. I do not want to be irresponsible and repeat the process that resulted in my burnout, so, I settled on a more attainable goal.

Every day, I want to aim to write 1,000 words. I chose this because I know if I sit down to write, I can easily write this many. And if I miss a day, it will not be too hard to catch up. That means by the end of May, I am hoping to have added 31,000 words to my story. This puts my manuscript at 51,000 words but I have a feeling it will need to be a liiitle longer than that since it is fantasy.

Reward System = NO Burnout

I also decided to try something new during this upcoming writing-filled month: a rewards system. I have preached before in past blog posts about the importance of rewarding yourself with breaks, treats, etc when writing a lot, but lately, I have not been following that. This time, I wanted to change that and reward myself with 30 free minutes after every single writing session.

At first, I debated rewarding myself at the end of the week. However, I hate not being “productive” for long periods of time so taking a day off from writing to do whatever is not appealing to me. It drives me crazy, especially during a pandemic when I am stuck at home all day. If I could go out and be with friends, that is a different story and in that case, I want to be anything BUT productive. However, whenever I try to take Saturday off from Coursera work or writing, I itch to do anything but relax and read or watch TV. I realized I benefit from taking small breaks every day and infusing them with things I enjoy.

So, after every successful writing session (where I write at least 1,000 words), I can take 30 full minutes to read, watch YouTube, play a video game, or catch up on a TV show. Sometimes, I won’t be able to right after, but as long as it is before the evening when I do typically relax more (because I think it defeats the purpose if I take my break when I am already relaxing!) I will call that a success.

My Tips for a Successful Writing Session

  • Find Your Creative Time

Having no school or places I need to be (except work on Sundays) has reminded me I am a morning writer. This is probably why I did not get as much writing done during the school year I think (other than me making excuses) because I had classes starting at 8:30 am sometimes. Spending 9 am – 12 pm on weekdays to work on creative projects has really shown me how productive I can be in only three hours.

  • Create a Writing Trigger

By trigger, I mean find something that you listen to, drink, or smell whenever it is time to write. For example, my writing and editing trigger is lo-fi music. When I hear it, I just feel the urge to write and be productive. That is when I realized it is my writing trigger. It is helpful to have one because it really helps set the mood to write, especially when you do not feel like it.

  • Plan Out What You Are Going to Write

Plan out at least three plot points (they can be as small as your character speaking to another character) you want to write during that writing session before you sit down to write. Even if you have it in your outline, write down the three main plot points you are writing that day on a queue card or sticky note. That way, you are focused on what to write and not distracted by the rest of your story.


Those are my plans and goals for Mayorimo, and also some tips to ensure a successful writing session! Let me know what projects you are working on during May because I’d love to know.

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: May 2020 Writing Goals

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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 🙂

Last Blog Post: The #StayHome Book Tag! (Original)

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The #StayHome Book Tag! (Original)

Happy Friday!

It has been a while since I’ve created my own book tag, so I thought I would make one based off our new quarantined lives. In no way am I making light of this situation, I just thought it would be fun to create a tag based off the ways we are all feeling and living at the moment. If you would like to do this tag, don’t forget to tag me so I can see your answers!

Now onto the tag.

1. Missing the Outsides – Pick a Book with Nature on the Cover

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

I am going to go with a new read for this one, and that is Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. As you can see, the cover is GORGEOUS with Cordeila Carstairs on the cover and her long, red hair mixed in with red leaves. I specifically chose this book because the leaves remind me of fall which is one of my favourite times of the year!

2.  There’s Nothing to Do! – Pick a Book That is Over 500 Pages

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

I am kind of cheating at my own tag, but this book is just so close to being 500 pages that it should count, right? Last week, I finished The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell and LOVED it. However, it is 498 pages. With all the extra content like the author’s note and whatnot, its technically over 500 pages! If I didn’t use this one, I would probably choose another Cassandra Clare book and then this would just be full of Cassandra Clare.

3. Netflix Binge – Pick a Book Series You Want to Read

An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir (Books 1-3) Discussion ...

I am currently making my way through a re-read of this series, and that is the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. I just…ugh, it is so good. Yesterday, I finished re-reading the first book and plan to dive right into A Torch Against the Night sometime in May. The third book, A Reaper at the Gates, came out last year I believe, and the fourth book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, releases in December of this year. I cannot wait to complete the series and see how it is all wrapped up. However, I need to re-read the series first.

4. Video Call Party – Pick a Book with a Large Cast of Characters

The Toll | Book by Neal Shusterman | Official Publisher Page ...

Recently, I read The Toll by Neal Shusterman which is the final book in the Scythe trilogy. It is interesting because there is so many POVs we get to hear from, some who are actual main characters like Citra, Rowan, Scythe Faraday, etc but also a lot who are random people. It really brings the world alive because we get to see snippets of the lives of characters who do so little as pass by our main characters. However, in The Toll, we do get quite a few new main characters; expanding the already big cast of characters. While I didn’t have a super strong connection to one specific character, I did really like most of them.

5. Self-Care Time – Pick a Book That is Your Guilty Pleasure

Best Sarah Dessen Books | POPSUGAR Entertainment

I don’t have one specific book for this, but I have a soft spot for any Sarah Dessen book. Yes, the books are so repetitive and basically have the same type of main character, but I read a lot of her contemporaries in my early high school years when I really needed them. A lot of Sarah Dessen’s books feature characters who have a hard time fitting in and finding their own group of people, and that was really important for me to read.

6. New Routine – Pick a New Release You Haven’t Read, But Want To

Amazon.com: House of Salt and Sorrows (9781984831927): Craig, Erin ...

This is a book I just got in the mail on Wednesday, and that is House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig. This is not a super new book (it came out in August 2019), but I have been dying to read it ever since I heard it was based off the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. When I was younger, that was my favourite Barbie movie and yes, I know the fairy tale is MUCH darker, but that is why I am so excited to explore that part of the story. I haven’t heard really anything on Instagram, YouTube, or on another blog about this book, so I am thinking about doing a review on it. Let me know what you think!

7. What is a Sleep Schedule Even? – Pick a Book that Kept You Up ALL Night

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

Over the last year or so, I have transitioned from a night reader to a morning reader (because I am grandma now who cannot stay up past 11 pm). However, the last book that kept me reading until 1 am was Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. I swear, Cassandra Clare books are the only books that have kept me up in the past too. When Lady Midnight released, I read it in like two days and stayed up all night reading it. They are just so addicting and entertaining that you do not want to put down. I highly recommend Chain of Gold because it is definitely Clare’s best work (along with The Dark Artifices trilogy). Luckily, you only have to read The Infernal Devices trilogy before diving into Chain of Gold, since it does follow the characters’ children.

8. Only Essentials Please! – Pick 3 “Essential” Books From Your Shelf

This was SO hard but I brought this on myself. My three essential books Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (because I love the story and characters, but also because its long!), The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (the atmosphere and characters are to die for), and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (I think I’ve talked about my love for it enough for you to understand why). These books just hold special places in my heart, along with having stories and characters I adore.

 

Well, there it is! My latest original book tag. I would love if you participated and gave it a try because it is a great way to stay connected with the book community. Since this is #StayHome theme, I thought I would use my blog to shout out some ways to help businesses and people who are less fortunate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t feel obligated to donate money if you don’t have the means, but at least check out these awesome organizations!

Save Indie Bookstores (Supports indie bookstores across the U.S. but if you aren’t American, look into supporting your local bookstore!)

Feeding America(Gives to food banks across the U.S.)

Oxfam America (Supplies clean water to people who were struggling even before the pandemic like refugees in camps)

Support Vulnerable Communities (Various Canadian fundraisers to protect vulnerable communities)

Support Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (Various Canadian fundraisers to protect vulnerable communities)

These are just a few of many organizations you can support during these trying times, but there are so many more. I recommend looking at your community and seeing what you can do there too. So far, I’ve only ordered a book from a local bookstore near me, but I definitely want to donate to one of the organizations I listed above. Hopefully, by my next blog post, I can tell you guys which one I decide to give to. Once again, only donate if you can!

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: #StayHome Reading Rush Wrap Up

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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!

Last Blog Post: How I Edit My Stories

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How I Edit My Stories

Happy Friday!

In honour of Camp NaNoWriMo (which I am failing!), I thought it would be fun to share my editing process. I always like reading about how other people write and edit, and I thought it would also be a great way to inspire you to finally sit down and work on your current WIP.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy 🙂

STEP ONE: What Type of Edits Am I Doing?

This is where I like to start off on; asking myself what type of editing my story requires. If you are unaware, the three main types of editing are substantive editing (content editing), copy editing (grammar, sentence structure, etc), and proofreading (formatting errors like a missing period, sentence indentation, etc…small things). Usually, each round of edits I do contains the first two types. I will look for content mistakes as well as grammar mistakes because I find it hard to not change a misspelled word or delete a repeated word if I see one. Proofreading is always left for last though.

Some people like to focus on one at a time, and even recommend doing substantive edits first and then copy edits. I found that for me, I have a hard time ignoring the copy edits so I just do both at the same time. I will say, doing both at once does mean you have to comb through the manuscript a few extra times (sometimes), but I have not had a problem doing that with speed and efficiency. Like writing, it is important to figure out what process works best for you.

STEP TWO: Remind Yourself, or Determine Your Word Goal

As an someone who overwrites, I always write with a goal in mind but sometimes (or most of the time), I easily surpass it. Over the years, I’ve found it easier to just keep writing and worry about that later though. When I finish writing the story, I will figure out what word count I need it to be and that will be another task in the editing process.

An excellent example of this is when I was writing my Aztec story in March. My word goal was 17,000 because it was for a writing contest and that was the maximum word count. However, my final draft was 22,000 words! That is 5,000 words over the limit but yes, I did manage to cut it down to 16,999 words. That is why I recommend not worrying about your word count while writing. Just write. Even if it seems daunting, you really can get your story to wear it needs to be. When reading your story over and over, and editing it over and over, you understand what needs to be in it and what does not. So, go into editing with a word goal in mind.

STEP THREE: Set Daily or Weekly Editing Goals and a Final Deadline

I like to set a page count goal per day when it comes to editing. Although, maybe your goal is to edit for two hours every day. Figure out what works best for you, and what allows you to get your editing done in a productive and timely manner. It is then important to set a deadline. This can help you figure out what your daily or weekly goal too, if you are unsure of how much you need to get done each day/week.

Right now, I am freelance editing and working on a 220 pages manuscript. I was given a month deadline which is coming up this Sunday, but I was able to finish two rounds of edits a couple days early because I stuck to my daily goals. For the first round, my goal was to edit eight pages per day, six times a week. When it came to the second round, I wanted to edit faster so I switched my goal to 15 pages per day, five times a week. It has worked really well and as of yesterday, I was able to finish them. This allowed me to give one final skim through to make sure I did not miss anything, and not feel rushed when submitting my client the edits.

STEP FOUR: Time to Edit!

Once I figure out my plan for editing, I get right into it. I like to edit with lo-fi music playing, whether that is in my headphones or on my computer screen with the ChilledCow videos playing (if you know, you know).

I like to get all my writing related tasks done in the morning. Before, I gave myself from 9-12 but since I am not currently writing anything new (I always decide to take a break during Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo, as I always manage to do), I have switched it to 10-12. Since I am also working with a client right now, that is my top priority so I like to work on that first thing. It takes me anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to get my editing done for the day. It’s nice to have a schedule because then you aren’t spending your whole day editing! As a writer and overall creative person, you have other projects to devote time to. Having a schedule and a goal allows you to work on them.

STEP FIVE: The Final Round

Proofreading is essential and I feel like a lot of people wave it off after they finish four rounds of substantive and copy edits. However, I have caught so many mistakes while proofreading even though I had just gone over it four times before. I like to do at least one round of proofreading, but I do try to do two if I have the time. It’s is incredibly important and should not be overlooked!

If a project is short, like the one I am working on, I like to do two to three rounds of edits. However, if it is longer, I like to tack on an extra round or two. If it is already a polished manuscript though, sometimes it needs less editing because I barely found anything the first time. If it is not polished, sometimes it will need more work and care. It all depends on the project!

 

Those are all the steps I take in my editing process and I hope you found it interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts because yes, I am finally posting to my Instagram again!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Stay Home Reading Rush TBR + Tag

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Stay Home Reading Rush TBR + Tag

The Reading Rush's tweet - "Announcing the #stayhomereadingrush ...

Happy Monday!

The Reading Rush (a week long readathon that takes place every summer) is hosting a shorter, surprise readathon from April 16-19 and I cannot wait to participate. There are four reading challenges along with a fun tag that I am going to answer in this post as well as share what books I plan on reading. I am already participating in the O.W.Ls readathon, but I am sure I can double up on some challenges. If not, what are a few more books?

This readathon sounds really fun and a perfect way to pass the time. I can’t wait to participate so here are the books I plan on reading!

1. Read a Book with a House on the Cover

An Ember in the Ashes - Wikipedia

I had to stretch this prompt a little because I don’t seem to have any books with houses on the covers. So, I settled for a cover that had buildings on it. If they are the buildings I am thinking of, than people do live in them so I think that counts… Anyways, the book is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Yes, I’ve read this book quite a few times, but I am just so excited for the fourth book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, to come out in December. That is pretty far away, but I just love these books and want to dive back into the story.

2. Read a Book in the Same Room the Whole Time

selection-cvr

While I’ve mostly been craving fantasy books, I feel like four fantasy novels in four days is a little unrealistic for me. I think now is a better time than ever to pick up a fun and lighthearted novel so why not give The Selection by Kiera Cass a re-read? I know I can read this book in like a day or two, and I think it will be a great mood booster. It will also be nice to use it as a break between all my fantasy reads.

3. Read a Book Set Somewhere You Wish You Could Go

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

Currently, I am reading The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell but it is not a small book and I feel like by Thursday, I will still be reading it so I am just going to tack it onto this TBR. This urban fantasy is set in New York City during past and present time. Honestly, I would want to visit New York City both in present time and in the early 1900s like the main character, Esta, does. It has been a dream since I was young to go there and hopefully one day soon I can.

4. Read a Book That Will Make You Smile

selection-cvr

I hate doubling up on challenges because I like to challenge myself to read as much as possible, however, I know it is unrealistic for me to be able to read four books in four days because of the ones I’ve chosen to read. I am going to also use The Selection by Kiera Cass for this reading challenge. I’ve read this many times and the cliche, often cringey plot never fails to make me smile. And grimace, but hey, I’ll take it.

 

#StayHomeReadingRush Tag

1. How is Your Reading Going while Staying Home?

So far, it has been going really good. Already this month, I have gotten through two, almost three, books which is usually what I get read in a whole month during the school year. It is nice spending anywhere from one to three hours reading inside and outside, and always making a decent chunk of progress in whatever I am reading. It is helpful having all these readathons too because they motivate me to read even more.

2. Where Have You Been Reading At Home?

I have had two main reading spots lately. The first one is my couch where I retreat to first thing in the morning when I wake up to read. The second one is on my deck because we have couches and other furniture set up out there. Also, the weather has been so nice lately it is hard not to want to spend time outside.

3. Best Book You’ve Read During Isolation?

Definitely Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, which if you have read it, might come to no surprise. The characters and atmosphere are just so addicting that I was stuck reading it for hours and hours every day. It is no short book either, so it took me surprisingly little time to read it because I just flew through it. Which is common with me for Cassandra Clare books. Another favourite I have read so far is The Toll by Neal Shusterman because it was the conclusion to the Scythe series which I am a huge fan of. It was bittersweet but the story took me completely by surprise to say the least.

4. What’s Your Favourite Feel Good Book?

Honestly, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is my feel good book. I always have such a fun time reading it and it makes me so happy. Even though Cath can be annoying, she is a relatable main character for any reader and writer, and overall, the story is adorable.

5. Book You Wish You Could Buy or Borrow from the Library?

I want to buy A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir, the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series because I only own the first two books. I want to complete my collection of her books but when I first read it, I borrowed it from the library to save money. Now, I want to own it!

6. Author You Want to Shout Out During This Time?

The host of this readathon, Ariel Bissett, shouted out A.S. King and I have to agree with that. I’ve only read one of her books, Dig, but she has such a captivating way of story telling that resulted in her book completely destroying and amazing me. I cannot wait to read more of her books and I cannot recommend her enough..

7. What is Your Reading Rush TBR?

I don’t need to answer this because I just did above, but if you are also participating, let me know what you are reading in the comments!

 

Those are all the books I plan on reading during the #StayHomeReadingRush readathon, and also my questions to the tag portion. 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!

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

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