Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG - I'm Krista

Today is the first meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group in 2017! :)


The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts on the first Wednesday of every month and is run by our Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. This is a place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

I decided that for the first post of this year - I'd reintroduce myself! :)


Hi! My name is Krista McLaughlin. I work full-time as an infant teacher, and I also work part-time in retail. Busyness is a frequent struggle for me! I'm not married and have no kids. I'm a serious Trekkie, Hobbit, Whovian, and Hufflepuff. My nose is usually stuck in a book or I'm scribbling plot notes on pieces of paper at work. I write YA Contemporary novels and have self-published one novella called "Breathless". I'm still working on hopefully finding an agent this year! I've written thirteen novels to date. (see below)

Falling Star - YA Christian Fiction
Down in the Creek - YA Christian Fiction
To Love without Hope - YA Christian Fiction
The Secret - YA Christian Fiction
Nameless/Unless - YA Epic Fantasy
Defiance - YA Urban Fantasy
Breathless - YA Contemporary Romance novella
The Damned - YA Urban Fantasy
Somebody to Love – YA Fantasy Romance
Silent Beauty – YA Contemporary
Nothing Left to Lose – YA Contemporary
Summer of Lies – YA Contemporary
Charlotte - YA Contemporary

Crossing my fingers that one of them is good enough! :)

I thought I'd also give you a little more info on places to "find" me! I say a lot of funny things on Twitter and I do have an author page on Facebook where I post a little about what I'm working on! So, feel free to stalk follow me there!

Feel free to introduce yourself below! Follow me on Twitter and let me know, so I can follow you back!

Monday, January 2, 2017

January Goals

It's 2017! I'm really hoping that great things happen in this year. Last year ended well with my goals and I'm excited to start new ones.

Here are my goals from December:
* Read six books

* Write personal/writing goals for 2017

* Celebrate Christmas with my friends and family


I completed all of my goals last month! They weren't too difficult since it was a busy month with work and the holidays. I managed to read 7 books last month! I wanted to finish my Goodreads goal of 50 books and I actually read 51 books last year! :) I'm happy with how that turned out!


Here are the books I read last month:
The Opposite of Ordinary by Jessica Sorensen
Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
Heartbreak by Skye Warren
The Trouble with Falling (The Trouble Series, #4) by Rochelle Morgan
Teach Me to Forget by Erica Chapman
Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1) by Brenda Drake
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by J.K. Rowling


Goals for January:
* Begin revisions on "Charlotte"

* Start saving money

* Make next decision for "Silent Beauty"


I hope your goals for this year go well! What are your goals for January?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

To the New Year - 2017 Goals

Today is my twenty-eighth birthday. I'm 28 today. Happy Birthday to me!


I'm still feeling a bit...


But another year has passed and a new year is about to begin. Things can change and new adventures can begin. :)

Anyway, since a new year starts tomorrow, I'm sharing my goals for 2017!



Goals for 2017

Writing Goals –

“Charlotte”
* Revise first draft
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again
* Send to critique partners/beta readers
* Professionally edit/self-publish

“Nixie”
*Finish first draft by May

“Summer of Lies”
* Revise first draft
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –

* Read at least 52 books
* Find a literary agent
* Make decision about becoming a foster/adopt parent
* Go on vacation somewhere!
* BE MORE POSITIVE!!
* Finish cross-stitch farm blanket :)


Can I have Chris Evans as a birthday gift?

Those are my goals for next year and hopefully they go well! I'm off to celebrate my birthday with my friends and family! Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, December 30, 2016

In Memory

Sometimes, the safest place we think, is denial. Terrible things happen around us and we don't want to believe it is real. 2016 has been a hard year. Personally, I've changed jobs twice, lost health insurance and got it back but can't afford it, had painful shingles, felt very alone, suffered numerous writing rejections, etc. There's also been a lot of loss of beautiful and talented people. Alan Rickman (Serverus Snape), Harper Lee (author, To Kill a Mockingbird), Elie Wiesel (author and survivor of the Holocaust, Night), John Glenn (the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth), Carrie Fisher (General "Princess" Leia), Debbie Reynolds (mother of Carrie Fisher, who died a day later, Singing in the Rain and Halloweentown), and many more, but these are ones that stuck a chord with me.

I didn't mention the one that affected me the most. Anton Yelchin.


He played Ensign Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot. (Yes, I'm a Trekkie.) Anton played a perfect Chekov, right down to the accent. Anton played a sweet and young Chekov, a genius kid as Bones describes him. He grew over the course of the films to become the Chekov we know and love. But he's gone. He died in a tragic accident, crushed to death by his own vehicle on June 19th.

He was 27 years old. The same age as me.

I think that's why it bothers me the most. We are the same age. He'd done so many great things and achievements. He made me laugh. Anton had so much potential and so much life before him. But death isn't concerned about those things. Death is the great equalizer since we all face it.

I wish I'd accomplished even half of what Anton did in the same amount of years. I know you shouldn't compare yourself to others, but compared to Anton, I've done little to reach my dreams. I want to change that. I admit that I've cried for the boy who had so much more life to live. I can't imagine my life ending like that. I mourn for his friends and family. I didn't even know him, but I miss Anton and I wish he wasn't gone.

It hurts because we were the same age. There's a scene in Star Trek Beyond, where Kirk is commiserating the fact that his birthday is approaching. His birthday, which happens to be the anniversary of his dad's death. And he's upset because he is turning one year older; one year older than his father ever got to be. Tomorrow, I turn 28. Anton will never get the chance to turn 28. I understand some of Kirk's pain.

I know that I may never make movies or be a successful actor with lots of money or that I might never be someone who is so funny and memorable to all who knew him, but I want my life to be better for myself. I want to do great things and to live every day to the fullest. I want to keep trying hard to be a published author and to make others laugh. I want to share life and be compassionate to others. I don't want to be ashamed that I'm geeky or that I own more Star Trek t-shirts than I do heels or make-up. I admit that I have been ashamed of who I am. I've apologized for quoting Star Trek or the Lord of the Rings, or even Star Wars and Doctor Who. But I shouldn't be.

This is my favorite quote from Simon Pegg, a self-proclaimed geek, who even got to co-direct and co-write Star Trek Beyond. His words are liberating for me. :)


Anton lived as someone who knew who he was and he loved being himself. I desire to be the same way; comfortable as who I am and loving who I am.

Life is short, too short. Anton deserved a longer life, but he had a good life and made others laugh. I hope I can do that too.



Despite all of the hurt and pain that has come from this year, I hope things get better. We can cry over what happened, but the important thing is to remember and to move on. To become better people. I hope I can do that.

Rest in peace, Anton Yelchin.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wrapping Up 2016


Another year has come and gone. It's hard to believe, but it happened. It was a year of some good things, but some bad things too. There's been a lot of sadness, losing Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Debbie Reynolds, Anton Yelchin (Ensign Chekov), Alan Rickman... and more. We grieve, but we move on and live with their memories. Hopefully 2017 won't take so many wonderful people away from us.

It's time to wrap up my writing goals from this year!

Goals for 2016

Writing Goals –

“Silent Beauty”
 * Query another round of agents
* Consider self-publishing
* Hire editor/cover designer

“Charlotte”
* Finish first draft by April
* Revise
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again

“Somebody to Love”
* Rewrite second draft
* Send to critique partners
* Consider self-publishing

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –

* Read at least 50 books
* Find a literary agent
* Finish rereading the Harry Potter series
* Learn a new talent
* Start saving money



"Silent Beauty"
I've revised this novel again, adding 24,000 words to the novel, changing the ending some, adding plot depth, internal dialogue, and adding to the characters. I still love this novel so much! I'm really hoping that it can be in libraries and bookstores someday. :) It's still my favorite book that I've written. I still have a little more hope before I possibly self-publish or shelve the novel next year. Time will tell I guess!

"Charlotte"
I started writing this novel, but I struggled to write the first draft. (see below)

"Somebody to Love"
For now, I've decided to shelve it this novel. It's a YA Fantasy book and I think I like writing contemporary better. I might get back to it later.

NaNoWriMo novel - "Charlotte"
I wanted to write this novel earlier in the year, but got stuck and stopped writing it. I decided to write it for NaNoWriMo and fell in love with Charlotte's character. Her love interest, William, is homeless and looking for a friend. Charlotte, a pregnant teen, is desperate to make sense of all of the pain in her life. It became somewhat of a Christmas novel, which I love. I'm very excited to start editing it! I also would like to think of a better title for it.

My favorite moment of 2016, meeting Billy Boyd :)
I didn't finish all of my writing goals or my personal goals, but I made progress. :) I'm writing and reading. I finished writing my thirteenth novel. 13. Maybe that's an unlucky number for some, but I'm hoping it is my lucky number. Overall, I think I did well on my goals! Writing felt harder this year, but I'm glad things are getting better. I did reach my goal of reading 50 books this year! I had to scramble a little at the end, but I finished. :) 

I hope your goals from 2016 went well! I'll be sharing my goals for 2017 on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG - Just keep writing!


 Today is a meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month and is run by our Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. This is a place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

I just finished writing my 13th novel. Yes, my 13th!! I love how this book turned out and I can't wait to revise it. It does make me a little insecure however, but... I know I'm getting closer. NaNoWriMo now adds a feature that I really like. Let me show you my lifetime achievement total at the bottom from last month.



Over 400,000 words I've written for NaNoWriMo. Wow! And not every book I've written was written during that time. I estimate I've written over half a million words spread through my novels and through some fanfiction I've written for fun. Over half a million words! Yes, I do feel insecure that I'm not traditionally published yet, but I'm going to keep writing until I write the novel that will land me an agent and a book deal. Hopefully someday. :)

Just keep writing. That's what I'm gonna do. Maybe the book you're writing right now will be the one to get you a book deal, but it might be the fourth book you write or the twentieth book. We won't know until we try. Just keep writing!! :)


How many novels have you written? What are you feeling insecure about this month?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Goals

I can't believe that it is the last month of 2016! It's hard to believe. I love December! I love Christmas, spending time with friends and family, and I love celebrating a new year! (Also I love my birthday, which is December 31st.) It's time for an update in my monthly goals. I'll update my yearly goals at the end of this month.
My new tree with Star Trek ornaments!
Here are my goals from November:
* Write to 50,000 words on "Charlotte"


 Yes!! It was only one goal, but I completed it!! :) I finished writing my novel "Charlotte". I started it a few months ago, but couldn't finish it. I'm really happy with how it turned out! Normally I'm not too thrilled with my novel at the end of NaNoWriMo, but I still like this one. Hopefully revisions will go well, but I don't plan on starting revisions until January to give time to let the book settle before I look at it again. I also did some reading last month!

Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Erasing Hell by Francis Chan
What Light by Jay Asher
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) - Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling

I read four books. Not bad since I wrote a whole book last month! I'm only 6 books away from my goal of 50 books this year. I need to keep reading!

Goals for December:
* Read six books

* Write personal/writing goals for 2017

* Celebrate Christmas with my friends and family

These should be easy goals to accomplish! I will keep you updated. How did your goals from last month go? What are your goals for the last month in 2016?