Life Sometimes

The past two weeks have been rather interesting. I hate using the excuse, “I’ve been busy” or “life is so crazy.” Because truly, my life is nothing compared to a lot of other people.

But it feels busy to me. It feels insane. It feels like I’m barely staying afloat half the time.

So what to do???

I don’t know. I have no idea. Wish I did.

But really, wouldn’t it be great to go back to being a kid just for one day? Think about it. No deadlines. No school. No laundry. No deadlines. No cleaning. No work. No deadlines. No jobs. No life-altering decisions. NOOOOO DEADLINESSSSSSS.

(I’m really hating deadlines right now.)

Some days I feel on top of the world. Other days, I eat an entire package of Oreos. By myself. *hides face*

Then there are the days when I play this song over and over and over and over again:

(Isn’t it relaxing? I loves this song so much.)

 

All that to say, I don’t have a decent blog post this week. (shocker, I know.) I wanted to, but that just didn’t happen. So instead, I delved into my Pinterest boards and found things that make me laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soooo….how is your week going?? Any Oreo-induced stomachaches yet??? *points to self*

2017’s Word

I’ve never done a one word goal for the year before, but since doing so is apparently a thing, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and do it!

 

My word for 2017?

Why Focus?

I am the expert procrastinator. I get distracted so easily it is honestly embarrassing. I love doing as many things at once as I can just to feel like I’m getting a lot done.

But I rarely get much, if anything, done when I try to multi-task.

What do I want to focus on in 2017?

  1. Relationship with Christ
  2. Relationships with family and friends
  3. College
  4. Writing
  5. Music
  6. Enjoying life

 

Already, my schedule for 2017 is full. A nasty surgery that will force me to slow down for about 6 months, starting school at a local university, getting a second job . . . it all adds up. I know myself well enough to understand that I allow my brain to become overwhelmed. Not proud of it, but it is what it is. Just looking at what this year already holds, I’m seeing a lot of potential to get stressed.

I don’t want that to happen. I want to FOCUS on what’s important. I want to FOCUS on the good amidst the not-so-good. I want my main FOCUS to be on Christ.

 

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Do you have a word for 2017?

INSTAGRAM!!!!

Seriously, Instagram is one of my favorite social medias to stalk. I lllooooovvvveee stalking my favorite authors/people and seeing all the beautiful pictures and videos they take. And now, I have my own!

 

*evil laughter*

 

*creepy voice* Come stalk me, if you wish. ;)

 

INSTAGRAM!!!

2016 in Review

I can’t believe it’s over. Seriously. Didn’t we just do this?!?

*clears throat*

 

2016 was an amazing year for me. It was full of new experiences, new joys, and new friends. Oh sure, there was a lot of crud mixed in there, too. But overall, 2016 was a beautiful year and I’m so blessed!

 

~Top Posts~

My thoughts on Pinterest (which I didn’t make a graphic for…bad me.)

I wrote a letter to my first novel, TORR. (Also, didn’t make a graphic.)

I did my very first (and very awkward) VLOG!!!

One of my most popular posts ever. (and to think I almost didn’t post it…)

 

I launched the Very Awesome Vlog Challenge

And last, but not least, I announce my new book

Also, I went from 6 subscribers to 42. How phenomenal is that?!? Seriously, guys, thank you so much! I would have no blog if it weren’t for you all!

~Writing~

  1. I wrote, edited, and published The Old River Road in 9 months. (okay, yes, some of that was in 2015.)
  2. I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK!!!!!!!! That is my biggest, proudest accomplishment of this year. I can’t believe I actually did it. I never thought it could happen.
  3. I wrote one full novel, called Ocean Hues.
  4. I wrote a novella, called Left to Die.
  5. I started the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum and became and OYANer.

 

~Life~

Lots of life stuff happened this year. Good stuff, just…life. And for the record, I really don’t like growing up. (I should do a post . . . “things I’d tell my 10 year old self”)

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Well there you have it, a pretty dull look at my very exciting 2016. Forgive my dullness. It really was a great year. At the moment I’m functioning on a lot of candy and a very little amount of sleep.

How was your 2016? What was your favorite part?

Happy New Year! I hope it is filled with many joys and blessings! :)

Writing in the Midst of Life

blog-thing

I’m a college student. (Though only part time this semester hallelujah!!). That means 15-20 hours a week are dedicated to school.

I work part time. Another 15 hours each week.

I read 7-10 books a month. (No idea the hours on that.)

I’m a musician. Approx 3 hours a week (I’m in a slump right now).

I’m a martial artist. 1 or 2 days a week, I’m at the Dojang for 3 hours each time.

I’m trying to shave down blogging to an hour or two per month.

Somewhere in all of that, I have to have some kind of family life.

Yet I also want to write.

So how do I do it?

To be honest, not very well. A lot of days, I feel like I’m riding a spiraling roller coaster into “the depth of despair” (as Anne of Green Gables would say).

Other days, I sorta feel like I come out on top.

So what makes the difference?

Let me introduce you to this lovely little device called a timer.

The timer has changed my life. I decide how much time I want to dedicate to a particular project, then split it up into 20, 30, or 50 minute increments, depending on how my brain is functioning. Here’s how it works.

 

After a 20 minute set, I get a 5 minute break. That’s enough for 20 pushups and a fresh cup of water, or 3 TaeKwonDo forms.

 

After a 3o minute set, I get an 8 minute break. That’s enough to make a cup of coffee, do a quick desk tidy-up, or 5 TaeKwonDo forms.

 

After a 50 minute set, I get a 20 minute break. That’s enough to read a chapter of a book, reply to an email, play with the dog…or write 250 words.

 

 

Here’s the most important thing: set a timer for the breaks, too!!!! You’ll regret it if you don’t. (Speaking from experience.)

And also, switch between two projects/school subjects. Twenty minutes on this, twenty minutes on that. I was shocked with how my productivity skyrocketed when I did that.

If I don’t do that, this is what happens.

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*clears throat* *coughs* yeah–not what I wanted.

 

So, this is great and all, but what does it have to do with writing?

A lot!! When I get done what I need to get done during the day, my evenings are free to write. Or edit. Or outline. Or–whatever! But even when I’m writing, I set a timer. Seeing exactly when I’m going to get a break helps me remain focused.

 

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What do you do to keep yourself on track? Have you ever used a timer?

Zee Loveliness

*cue sarcastic grin*

 

I was supposed to have a nice, sparkly post going up today. But THAT NOT HAPPENIN’. It’s 12:30 a.m., and I just finished studying. Life is not being kind to me right now. But that’s OKAY–cuz what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Or it teaches you to be sarcastic or…something.

 

Anyway.

 

No post today. Just me dumb ramblings and poor grammar.

 

I’m leaving for a 5 day trip tomorrow. I have two empty suitcases sitting in my bedroom that need to be filled. I have school to finish before going to the airport tomorrow morning. I have overdue thank-you notes to write. I have applications to make. I have food to eat. I’m all out of chocolate. And right now, I’m rather sore from sparring class and just want to go to sleep.

 

This is making me think of that song from Annie: “To-morrow, to-morrow, I love ya! To-morrow! You’re always a day away.”

 

Sorry I have nothing of substance to share with you.

 

I’m coming to the realization that being an adult is not so fun. This halfway adult thing is already miserable enough.

 

 

PS, does anyone enjoy these incredibly unprofessional lifestyle posts? Or shall I just be quiet when I have nothing to post and skip a week?

So Much Awesomeness

THAT IS A LAME TITLE, I KNOW.

*sigh*

Give me a break. I somehow managed to catch this dumb cold my family got (LITTLE KIDS STARTED IT) and now the cold medicine is making me woozy.

Stupid cold aside, onto the awesomeness.

 

very-scary-awesome-challenge

First of the awesome awesomeness is Mr. Douglas Bond, who has been mentoring me for a few years, interviewed me on his blog. *insert crazy dancing and squealing* Isn’t that wonderful?!? I’m so blessed to have him as a mentor.

 

Second of the awesomeness is I got to meet Miss Jesseca Wheaton of Whimsical Writings!!!! She was visiting Emily McConnell, whom I’d met a few months prior. Emily and I really hit it off back in April, but due to busy schedules hadn’t been able to meet up since. It was wonderful for me to see Emily again, and meet Jesseca at the same time!

img_2860Emily, Jesseca, and I (squinting in the very bright sun ;-) )

 

*sighs happily* We had such a good time together. We met at a coffee shop and talked there for three hours (though it felt like 5 minutes). Emily and Jesseca had to go home after that to be available for some younger siblings, but Emily invited me to come along so we could keep talking. (How sweet is that?!?) We talked and laughed for another three hours–and definitely could have kept on going! It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. We exchanged books, contemplated the woes of focusing on any given project (well–that was just Emily and I. Jesseca is very good at focus and concentration), talked about coffee, played with Emily’s animals, drank apple cider …

And oh my goodness, Jesseca is such a sweetheart. I’m so glad it worked out to get together. We’re already scheming for next time she comes!!! :)

 

Just as a side note, if you ever get the chance to meet any of your blog friends, DO IT!!!!! It is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!

A Time of Rest

Yeah, I know I skipped the August wrap. Sorry. It just wasn’t happening.

 

Last year, about this time, I took a bit of a blogging break. When I came back, I was far more refreshed and ready to carry on gung-ho. I’d been hoping to avoid it this year, and thought I would be able to. But to be honest, I need a break. This month is going to be incredibly busy, with lots of traveling, company, school–you name it. So…

I’m taking the month off!!!

However, I will still be around and available, I just need to stop thinking about blogging for awhile. :)

And the vlog challenge is still on! And I’m still watching it closely, so don’t stop posting your videos! :) I’ll be posting mine when I get back in October. But don’t wait for me! :)

I will return on October 8th. With my VAVC vlog. 

Have a great month!

July Wrap

Yes, yes, yes, I know it is August 2nd. I’m sorry. I’m going to blame this on college (stupid deadlines), and the fact that I got a new computer and for several days was in the limbo of making sure all my data transferred. And I was completely calm as all of my half-finished manuscripts leapt from my old computer to my new one. (LIE!!!! I was a complete and total nervous wreck!!!! But it’s over now, and everything is working fine. My stories all survived.)

 

www.LakesidePublications.com

 

~Reading~

Goal: 8

Read: 8 (Ha! :) )

 

Favorite(s):

Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman

 

~Writing~

Writing (again) fell by the wayside this month. But hey, that’s allowed, right? I mean, I released my first book, so that’s reason enough not to write.

 

~Blogging~

I stayed alive blogging! Whaddaya know. Wasn’t expecting that, but I made it work. Nothing terribly profound, just my blog tour, How I Write, and sweet Jesseca’s blog tour.

 

My goal from last month was to get 5 new subscribers. Guess how many I got? 16!!!!!! 16 people who are crazy enough to let me flood their inbox with posts. How awesome is that?!?!

 

Other exciting news: This blog post marks 120 posts, and 500 comments. How awesome is that?!?! I’m pretty excited. ;-)

 

And, as I said last month, I haven’t yet crawled out of my dark hole of hobbitness yet. I’ve been a bad bloggy friend. (yell at me if you wish). August is looking better!!! (Hallelujah I just want to BREATHE!!)

Coffee makes everything better, right? (And it looks pretty to boot.)

FullSizeRender

HOWEVER, here is a really great post from Go Teen Writers.

 

 

~Beta-Reading~

 

Kendra’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du

 

 

~Life~

There were lots of awesome things about this month.

 

1). My very first book released.

2.) I turned 18. Yikes. Scary stuff. This is how I feel:

ccca14d2b25af4bb24adf64eb1d7d552

3). I spent a week at music camp, hanging out with family, friends, and helping my teacher teach her class of 33 kids. Honestly, I could do a whole post on music camp. It was an absolute blast. If I had thought of taking pictures I would show you, but I was too busy making sure 8 year olds didn’t sit on or trip over their fiddles. Music camp is just the best thing ever. I stayed up until 2:30 jamming. We jammed for 5 hours straight. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever played with people I hardly know. Actually, that’s probably the longest I’ve ever played. It was so much fun.

Also, at camp this year, I managed to dislocate my shoulder while playing volleyball. (And no, I was not playing that aggressively—I actually have a genetic condition that causes my joints to dislocate frequently.) Anyway, thank goodness that didn’t affect my week, and I didn’t realize how much it hurt until we got home at the end of the week.

 

4). I finished one of my college classes!!! It’s soo good to have ONE class, the THREE credits under my belt.

 

5). I spent 5 hours at a trap/skeet range shooting shotguns. And because of my still-healing dislocated shoulder, I decided to shoot what is called “mirror image” or, weak-handed. So the whole day, I shot with my left hand, left eye—totally the opposite of what I usually do. It was good to see what new shooters feel like. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember what it’s like to be new. And believe it or not, I hit more “birds” than I missed.

IMG_4319

 

IMG_19876.) I found a new money dump. (And I’m completely going to blame this on my sweet friend, Abi. Love you, girl!!! :) ) Forthcoming post on this horrible amazing site called ThriftBooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Goals for next month~

 

  • Read some books. (‘cuz numbers are too specific.)
  • Write 10,000 words
  • Announce the project I’ve been working on for the past few months. (I think you’re all gonna like it… :) )
  • Keep plugging away with school. (Though I suppose this one is kind of inevitable.)

 

 

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How was your month? Is anyone else experiencing freak summer storms, featuring marble-sized hailstones?

June Wrap

Yes, I am aware that it is July 2nd. Seriously…life. I can’t believe June is over. WHERE DID IT GO?!? Last month–YUK. It was on the hairy side. BUT. It is over now.

Letter to My Book (1)

 

~Reading~

Goal: 9

Read: 6 (*pfft*)

Favorite(s):

God’s Will by Meghan M. Gorecki

Warriors of the Realms by Chuck Black

 

Really amazing books. Highly recommended.

 

~Writing~

BIG THINGS happened. I got my book sent off to the formatter. When it came back, I ordered my proof copy. Which came early. :)

IMG_1816

My goal was to do 2 binge writing sessions, but I only got about 3/4 of one in. It fell down on the priority list with getting The Old River Road ready to release. That’s okay though. Progress is progress, right?

BTW, this is what happens to me during a binge write:

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.02 PMCharacters shut off couches and sit on lights. *sigh*  All in the name of a first draft.

 

~Blogging~

The ever-elusive VLOG was finally published. And my post about Writing Romance has gotten the most hits out of any other post. That’s pretty awesome. :)

As for other people’s blogs, I did a pretty cruddy job of being a bloggy friend. I was kinda sucked into my own little black hole this month (sorry everyone!). I am hoping to emerge soon, but July isn’t looking much better. August holds promise, though.

 

~Beta-Reading~

  1. Abi’s Martian Hospitality (Which I finished, and it was AWESOME!)
  2. Kendra’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du

 

~Life~

I LIVED. Seriously, I’m happy I’m alive and functioning enough to say that. Never mind the fact that it is 12:30am on July 2nd. Nope, this post was NOT written in advance like I usually do. This month was pretty much just survival. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has these monsterous months/weeks/days where you’re just happy to be alive at the end.

This is what my desktop looked like for the majority of this month. YUK, right?!?

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.42 PM

We went camping for 4 days, so that was a nice little giveaway. Also, I was able to swim in the lake on JUNE 2nd. That’s the earliest I’ve been able to swim in years (I’m a bit soft since I’m so SPOILED to live on a lake).  The weather has been hot. Very hot. Cooler than last year, but still hot. I’m loving it.

 

~Goals~

Last months goals were this:

  1. Survive college. (I’m still alive.)
  2. Read 9 books. (Weeelllll…..)
  3. Plan and execute my next binge writing session. (Kinda sorta life-took-over.)
  4. Send out ARC’s of The Old River Road, order the proof copy, and organize the blog tour. (Done!!!)
  5. DO THE VLOG!!!! (DONE!!!)
  6. Get 20 subscribers. (As of June 29, I have 2o subscribers. WOOT WOOT!!!!)

 

This month’s goals:

  1. Release my FIRST BOOK into the big world of scariness
  2. Write 10,000 words
  3. Music camp (YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!)
  4. Get 5 more subscribers
  5. Be more active on the webernet
  6. Read 8 books
  7. Survive the second half of my first semester

 

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Do you like hot weather? How warm is it where you live?