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?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Goals

November is finally here. It's time for NaNoWriMo. I decided that I wanted to try and write 50,000 words this month, though I'm not sure I can do it. I'm gonna try! :) October wasn't as exciting as I hoped it would be, but it was a good month.

It's time for an update in my goals.

Here are my goals from October:
* Have a spooky Halloween party!

* Decide if I want to do NaNoWriMo in November

* Read six books



Well.... I completed all of my goals! These weren't too hard, but I am almost caught up on my Goodreads Challenge goal for this year. I'm at 40 out of 50 books read. Only 10 more books to go! I did read 6 books last month.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
Return to the Isle of the Lost (Descendants #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Rainbows and Raindrops by Kelley Lynn

I'm really hoping that I can finish my goal of 50 books read in 2016. I just need to keep reading!

Goals for November:
* Write to 50,000 words on "Charlotte"
It's just a working title, but I started this book months ago and never finished it. I really hope I can! I'll be starting with 8,045 words. 


Seventeen-year-old Charlotte "Charlie" Haven is pregnant. Her mom is deployed over-seas, her dad is gone, and she lives with her grandparents and brother, Brian. She struggles with feeling bad for herself and not knowing how to deal with her life circumstances. One day, a boy named William enters the diner she works in. William is homeless and teaches Charlotte how to move on with her life and how to save his.

Only the one goal! That will be enough. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? You are welcome to follow me on my novel page. Good luck if you are! :) How did you goals from October go? Tonight I will be trying to get some writing done and watching "Star Trek Beyond"! If my copy ever arrives. I'm off to stalk the mailman! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG - Why am I doing this?


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.

To make this post short, since I really haven't been into blogging lately, I've had trouble writing. I haven't written anything in months. I don't feel motivated. I'm still waiting on a full request from the last book I submitted. It's hard to wait after over a year, but I'm being patient. Writing doesn't come first when I'm working two jobs and dealing with some personal stuff, stuff that I need to think about less. Gah! Writing. I haven't even found a story that I want to write in a while. I'm a struggling writer. Yep.


I'm really hoping to get motivated to do NaNoWriMo next month! Hopefully I can! What are you feeling insecure about?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Goals

It's 30 days until Halloween! :) My favorite holiday and time of year! I work today and tomorrow, but I have time after that to start my decorating! I absolutely love decorating for Halloween.

It's the first of the month, so it's time for an update in my goals!

Here are my goals from September:
* Read "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

* Read "The Girl Before" by Rena Olsen


* Buy "Captain America Civil War" on Blu-Ray


* Start planning my Hocus Pocus Halloween Party!



I completed all four of my goals! :) Last month went very well. I'm still not getting any writing done and I'm behind on my reading, but I did make some progress. I'm happy with what is going on. I celebrated "Hobbit Day" with my sister, which was wonderful! She finally got to see the last movie and see how it ends. Watching her observe the movie was my favorite part! I did do a little reading last month.

The Girl Before by Rena Olsen
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, #8) by J.K. Rowling

Not enough, but something. I'm falling behind on my reading goals, but I can catch up. :)

Goals for October:
* Have a spooky Halloween party!

* Decide if I want to do NaNoWriMo in November

* Read six books
I have to catch up before the year ends!


Those goals should be obtainable! How did your goals from September go? What are your goals for October? :)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

September Goals

This isn't going to be an update like I usually do at the beginning of the month. For one thing, I'm late posting this at all. I normally post my update on the first. I can honestly say that I only completed one of my goals from last month. I'll show you.

Here are my goals from August:
* Write 10,000 words

* See "Star Trek Beyond"!

* Read three books


One goal. It's something. I guess. But I didn't do any writing or reading. None. I loved "Star Trek Beyond" though. I possibly saw it 3 times. :) Although I did finally manage to catch up on some house work and get my apartment cleaned. I'm still working my 50-55 hours a week. It's just tiring. But that's not the only thing on my mind.

Here's where my post gets more personal.

A few months ago, I went to the doctor for shingles. (I'm definitely glad that has healed.) While I was at the doctor, he wanted to talk about my blood pressure which has always been elevated. It was high enough that he decided not to wait any longer. He gave me a prescription. I admit that medication does make me feel better. I get less headaches and I feel better overall. But there was something he asked me. Before he gave me the prescription, he asked if he could be a little more personal. He asked if I was planning on getting pregnant in the next year because the medicine he was giving me wasn't the best for that and he had other choices. Of course, I made a joke about virgin births and said no.

But his question has stuck for me for a while now.

I'm twenty-seven years old and in December, I'll be twenty-eight. I'm not getting any younger. I'd dated a few guys, but I've always struggled with being in a relationship. I don't like to be too close and I hate being smothered by the person. No, don't text me multiple times to check on me or always want to be touching me. I'm not a touchy-feely person. (On a side note, my sister is the same way.) I'm just not a physically intimate person. It makes it hard to me to stay in a relationship. I just want out after a while. I'm okay being single. I've accepted that I might not get married and I'm okay with that. Some days I want it, but that's pretty rare. I'm happy as who I am.

My adorable siblings :)
There's something I'm not happy about. I have a strong desire to be a mom. I always have. I love children and I work with kids. Ever since I found out where babies come from, I've wanted to be a mom. But I don't necessary just want to adopt. I do love adoption, since I have an adopted sister and brother, who I love to pieces. But there's something about having my own child, feeling it kick, and be mine. I strongly desire that.

I'm not old, but I'm not getting any younger. And I don't think a woman should be forced to be married to have a child. We live in a non-traditional world anymore. I looked into artificial insemination. The cost is quite high. So I looked into doing it on my own with a known donor sperm. I won't go into details, but the male I had talked to, he decided he couldn't do it. That's fine. I gave him the choice, but I didn't realize how much it would hurt. I'm not going to give up on my dream, but it's harder. I don't want to wait until I'm 35 or older to have kids, though some do. I'm the most healthy now and it's better for my body and the baby.

I want to be financially secure first, of course. I'm really working on that. But I can't wait forever. :) I'm still deciding what my new step will be. I know that even though the child won't have a father, I have a great support system who would help raise a child. It'll feel impossible some days, but I can't imagine not being a mom someday.

Sorry if that was too personal, but that's really been weighing on my mind. I believe that I'm a strong woman and I can do it. I just need to figure out how.

I am going to do some goals, but they will be a little less for this month.

Goals for September:
* Read "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

* Read "The Girl Before" by Rena Olsen
I know the author! I can't wait to read her book!

* Buy "Captain America Civil War" on Blu-Ray
I have mine pre-ordered and I'm waiting to get it!

* Start planning my Hocus Pocus Halloween Party!


Hopefully I can accomplish some of those goals and at least catch up on my reading goal for this year. I'm falling behind. Please don't judge me too harshly for being honest. I hope the rest of your Labor Day weekend goes well! I'm off to spend time with a friend and possibly go tubing tomorrow. How did your goals from last month go?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August Goals/IWSG - Finding Time

It's a new month and I've been at my new job for three weeks! I'm really enjoying my new job. I'm working as an infant teacher and starting to bond with the little ones. I'm enjoying my baby cuddles! I'm going to miss the big kids at the school, but I really do like playing with the little kids now. :) Also, I'm cutting down hours at my retail job, so hopefully I have a little less stress and more writing time!

It's time for an update in goals!

Here are my goals from July:
* Write 10,000 words

* Read four books

* Buy a new bookcase

Isn't my new bookcase beautiful?? :)

I love my Captain America figurines!

I completed all of my goals from last month!! Yay! :) I also did get my reading done. Barely. :) I managed to read three books, though I wanted to read more. My to-read list keeps growing!!

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han
We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3) by Jenny Han
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Goals for August:
* Write 10,000 words

* See "Star Trek Beyond"!
I love Star Trek so much!!! :)

* Read three books


-------

Also, 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.

To make this post short, I'm really feeling insecure about finding time to write!! I'm work an average of 50 to 60 hours a week between my two jobs. I love both jobs, but it's a lot of work. It's hard to find any time for writing, which is hard. When I'm not working, I'm trying to find time to relax.


How do you balance work and writing? :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

July Goals

It's July! :) I can honestly say that last month started rough, but it got much better. I did well with my goals! And I have today off work, so I'm planning on hopefully going to see "Finding Dory"! Yes, I'm an adult, but I've waited so long for this movie!

It's also the first of the month and time for an update in my goals.

Here are my goals from June:
* Write 5,000 words
On anything! I actually wrote 10,000 words on a novel and about 5,000 on a fun project. :) It feels pretty good to be writing!

* Write a plan for life changes

I didn't write a full plan, but I did find a job!!

* See "Me Before You" in theaters!


I almost did it! The only goal I didn't get to was the last one. I waited too long and the movie was gone from my local theater before I could get a chance to see it. Though I confess that I saw "Captain America: Civil War", 3 times last month. :) It was totally worth it. I'll just see "Me Before You" when it comes out on DVD. As for reading, I didn't do as much, but I'm still ahead with my goal, so that's okay. :) Here are the books I did read:

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1) by Jenny Han
Robyn (Making a Splash, #1) by Jade Parker

Two books is still better than reading no books. :)

Goals for July:
* Write 10,000 words
On new novel! Or on fun project! Just keep writing!

* Read four books

* Buy a new bookcare
I've had the same little bookcase for years and I'm ready for a bigger one. :)


How did your goals from June go? What are your goals for July? I'm off to get read to see "Finding Dory"!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Starting Now

It's half way through June and summer is... alright so far. I'm applying for jobs and trying to figure out what I want to do. Which involves a lot of staring at my computer, and watching reruns of "Law and Order: SVU". I have been working on one thing.

I'm a part of the YAvengers blog. I'm Thor. :)


It's something that I joined last year, but we've all been pretty busy and the blog has slowed to a stop. I've been working with one of the other members, Captain America, and helping to recruit some new members to the blog and join us! I've wanted to write again. Well, at least to write on the blog again. I haven't had much progress with working on a new novel yet. I'm still a bit stuck, but I'm working on that. I plan on spending my afternoon writing tomorrow.

Writing used to be this passion I had, but as I've been beaten a bit by the world, it has lost some meaning for me. I've become really tired of waiting for a dream that might never happen. I'm trying to find that passion again. I'm really hoping that I can find that passion again. If I find that passion again, maybe the rest of my life will start to fall into place again. It is possible that I'm putting too much pressure on my writing. I know that. But I'm getting to a point in my life where I've been pretty frustrated. Careers haven't been working out, I'm single at 27, working multiple jobs and not being able to pay bills, along with my writing dream remaining stagnant.

It's been hard the last few months.

I've had three friends make baby announcements in two days. I'm excited for them, but throwing a pity party for myself. It was hard when my friends started getting married before me and now they are having kids while I'm still painfully single. It was hard when my friends started getting agents and now they have books being published, when I can't even decide if I'm a good writer. I'm feeling a bit insecure in my life.

I'm trying to make things better, but it's really been a struggle lately. Sorry if this post was a little honest, but this is me and I'm struggling right now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June Goals/IWSG

It's the first day of summer! (I know it's not the official first day.) But in Iowa, June starts the beginning of summer! Today was gorgeous and at my school job, the kids got to play outside as a special party and they had a bouncy house. It was a lot of fun! I got a little sunburned, but I loved being outside.

I moved this past weekend! Which was exhausting and I'm still settling into my new apartment. But I did turn in the keys for the old today and I'm hopefully getting internet at my place on Saturday. I'm borrowing my parent's wifi today. Not having internet sucks. Last month was a bit challenging with packing, work stress, and on top of that, I had shingles! Yep, sucked. But it's healed now and I'm trying to reorganize my life this summer. That's a start.

It's time for an update in goals!

Here are my goals from May:
* Write 5,000 words

* Pack/move to new apartment

* See "Captain America: Civil War" in theaters
Super excited for this one! I'm definitely #TeamCap!


I still didn't get any writing done! Gah!! I really want to get back into writing, but time has been a big issue for me. I did do some reading.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Goals for June:
* Write 5,000 words
On anything! I'm hoping to start a new novel this month!

* Write a plan for life changes
I need to write my plan and get started. :)

* See "Me Before You" in theaters!
I read the book and now I'm read to see it!

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Also, 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.

To make this post short, I'm really feeling insecure about writing at all! I love it, but I'm not making the time for it. :( Hopefully I can change that this month! :)

How do you find time to write when you are unmotivated?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG - Just Keep Trying


 Hello! 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.

 This month, I'm feeling a bit insecure about writing a book that others will want to read. I've written eleven and I've yet to find one that's good enough to be published. I'm trying. :) And I'm not giving up, but now I'm so focused on the novel that I think is good enough and it's become hard to find a novel and not stop writing it after a few chapters.


I keep starting a novel and realizing that... Nope, that one is not gonna work out. I'm starting another new one today and maybe I'll try outlining it to see if it improves. It's hard too when I've been stressed about work and now I'm moving to a new apartment at the end of the month. Add to that, I found out that I have shingles today, which yes, it is pretty painful. Gah!

I'm hoping that once this month is over, I can be a little more settled and not so stressed. I need to get back into my writing time. :) What are you insecure about this month?

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Goals

It's May!! It is almost summer and I'm moving to a new apartment in less than a month. I'll be excited not to deal with the "fun" of living in a building that's undergoing construction. I found a nice little place that even has my own washer and dryer! It's the little things. :)

It's also time for an update in my monthly goals!

Here are my goals from April:
* Write to 15,000 words on "Charlotte"

* Visit Secret Destination on April 9th
I loved this one! I met Billy Boyd, which was AMAZING! You can read it about it here if you haven't.

* Enjoy seeing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"!!!!



Two out of three goals isn't bad! I didn't do any writing last month. I did enter #FicFest, but I'm waiting to find out if I got in. If not, it's always fun entering a contest! I did do a ton of reading last month! (The purple ones are rereads.)

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
Crazy About Love (All about Love #3) by Cassie Mae
The Siren by Kiera Cass
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Even if I didn't really get any writing done last month, I did do a lot of reading! :) I have been pretty consistent with reading. I'm up to 22 out of my goal for 50 books this year. I'm hoping to do more than my goal.

Goals for May:
* Write 5,000 words
It doesn't matter what, but I'm trying to get into writing again!

* Pack/move to new apartment

* See "Captain America: Civil War" in theaters
Super excited for this one! I'm definitely #TeamCap!

How did your goals from April go? What are your goals for May? Have a great Monday!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Just This Once

This past weekend, I decided to do something different.

One of my friends invited me to come see her over the weekend. I spent most of my week, trying to pick up an extra shift at work and switch shifts so I could get someone else to take my Saturday shift. It almost didn't work out. It got under my skin and it irritated me. When I was lying in my bed, I realized why it bothered me so much. I'm gonna be honest with you. Some times my life just sucks. I work 50-55 hours a week, two jobs and two paychecks that never seem to add up enough to pay for rent, bills, food, gas for my car to get to work, etc. I'm exhausted. I'm worn out to the point where I could sit on my couch and cry, but I know it wouldn't change anything. So, I'm strong. I push down the feelings and I continue to work, trying to someday get ahead or enough that I'm not always struggling and stressed. I realized that my life is controlled by my work.

I know that in this world, you have to work to live. But it's become the main thing I'm concerned about. If I'm not at work, I'm getting ready to go work at my other job or I'm trying to catch six hours of sleep between laundry, dishes, cleaning, and trying to write. Sadly, writing comes last and I don't put myself first. It's hard for me to do.

I finally got off work and pushed aside the stress to get in the car for a five-hour drive to Madison, Wisconsin. My friend lives there and she invited me to Wizard World Comic Con with her on Saturday. Let me get this straight, I don't like large crowds of people and it makes me want to seclude myself. I get really quiet and don't want anyone bumping into me. It's my own personal social anxiety. Yes, I can be a bubbly person and I work customer service, so I can talk about the weather until I'm blue in the face, but I'm actually kind of shy and people make me anxious.

Saturday - sorry, I'm trying to stay on this thought. The point is, I met Billy Boyd. :) Billy Boyd who played Pippin Took in The Lord of the Rings, from my favorite book and movie series. We went to his panel and sat in the second row. I couldn't talk. As excited as I was, I felt people claustrophobic. But as soon as Billy stepped on stage, I felt such excitement. He kept everyone laughing the entire time! I loved it. He talked about pranks that he played, such as putting a fish in Sean Bean's car and they never told him, even after he complained his car stunk! :)

My friend is pretty awesome and she really helped me because this was her treat to me, along with a photo with Billy Boyd. I've never been so shaky as I walked up to him and he put his arm around me. It was only a few seconds, but I thanked him and he turned to me with a genuine smile and said "You are very welcome." I'll never forget it.


It's long been a dream of mine to meet someone from the cast of the Lord of the Rings. I'm so happy that it was Billy. He'll never remember it, but it was such an incredible moment for me. I felt special. I can't stop smiling about it. My friends teased me that I looked so star-struck in the picture, but I love it so much. It's that smile because I met a celebrity, yes, but I also accomplished a dream. I made a difference in my life. It makes me want to change my life.

I'm sure no one actually made it to the end of this, but I want to change. I'm tired of the mundane, work-obsessed life. I'm tired of crying in the car or being unable to pay bills. I don't want to throw another pity party. I want to change my life so I'm able to go on trips and meet new people. I'm so tired of not living my life. I'm gonna change it. This month, it's my plan to change my life in some way. I need a change. It's hard, but I want to live my life and have dreams that I can reach. :)

And someday, I'd love to go to another Comic Con and see Billy Boyd again or another actor that I've admired. I'm ready for a new, better life.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Goals

It's hard to believe that it's already April! I'm passing on the A to Z Challenge again this year. I'm late on an update with my goals for this month! I've been a little busy with life, but I'm trying to work it out. I have a friend who really wants me to come visit next weekend, so I'm scrambling to change some work schedules, along with trying to find a summer job too since my school job ends. It's a bit hectic.

Here are my goals from March:
* Write to 10,000 words on "Charlotte"

* Read three books

* Relax some over Spring Break


I didn't get to all of them. Mostly the writing goal. My writing has really been lacking the last few two months. Other than some extreme revisions, I'm a bit stuck, waiting for news on that novel and I'm struggling to work on another one in the waiting period. I did do some reading last month! That helps. The purple ones are rereads.

Flirting with Fame (Flirting with Fame #1) by Samantha Joyce
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare
You Can't Catch Me by Cassie Mae
Dead Girl by Tessa Marie
City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

I'm trying to get back into requesting books on Netgalley to increase my reading of new books and review writing. I have a few now and that's exciting! I like getting to read new books.

Goals for April:
* Write to 15,000 words on "Charlotte"

* Visit Secret Destination on April 9th
If I get to this one, I will definitely let you know! :)

* Enjoy seeing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"!!!!


Hopefully this month will go well and I'll be able to hopefully have a super exciting weekend coming up and to be able to mark something off my bucket list! How did your goals from March go?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Unfinished

Spring break!


Today is one of two days that I don't work at either job since it is spring break at the school I work at. I thought I'd take some time to blog. I haven't done much blogging so far this year, which is disappointing on my end. I've been meaning to do it, but I've become so wrapped up in work and in revisions. I finished those revisions and decided I'd start something else.

I've started two ideas just this month and I don't like either of them. My sister was texting me earlier in the day, asking if I'd started something new. As a side note, my sister is my biggest supporter of my writing. I love my big sis. She loves to read my manuscripts and I share all of my ideas with her. If I could dedicate every book I wrote to her, I would. :)

She's my twin (if only we weren't two years apart)
I started talking about the book I'd started a few months ago, before I dove into revisions of a novel I've been working on a lot. She commented that it was darker than the other books I've written. It is. I think that's why it has been harder to me to write it, but at the same time, I started mentioning some other books I've written to her. I realized that it might not be time to write a new novel. I have at least four novels that aren't awful, but need a lot of revisions, are just waiting on my computer.

Something came to mind. I'm good at writing a first draft, but I'm not big at then revising it once I finish. I set it aside and never come back to it. If I loved those characters so much when I wrote them, why wouldn't I want to make their story better? Why don't I revise those novels and see what lost potential they have? Then I can start something new.

So, that's what I'm going to do! I pulled out a novel that I wrote during NaNoWriMo two years ago and rewrote once, but it needs some love. I'm willing to give it another chance. :) Do you ever find yourself abandoning first drafts of novels? Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG - To Hope

Hello! 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. The awesome co-hosts today are Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard!  Be sure to visit their blogs and thank them!

Last month, I was feeling quite a bit insecure about the revisions I was working on for my novel, "Silent Beauty". I really wanted my revisions to mean something more than just added scenes. Those new scenes needed to be important and contain emotion. I spent all of last month on it. (I'm not kidding, my apartment is a disaster because most of my free time, between the two jobs, went into writing.) I'm really happy with how it turned out!

I really hope that these revisions help my novel and that they help the reader connect with the characters and not just the "good" characters, but understand all of them. I want it to evoke an emotion with them. Much like this!



I know that's a few years old, but a friend shared it today and I loved how powerful it is. I hope I can read something that will make someone feel like that.

Have a great Wednesday! If you are feeling down about writing or revisions, know that it's gonna be okay. Take it one day at a time and give your best. That's what counts. You wrote something and it meant something to you. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Goals

Last month was a short month, but I actually feel like I accomplished quite a bit! I did spend my leap day home sick, but that's okay. I managed to finish some work yesterday.

It's time for an update with my writing goals!

Here are my goals from February:
* Work on revisions for "Silent Beauty"
I'm hoping to go from 60,000 to 75,000 on this new draft. :) I need to rewrite the ending!

* Find a fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day


I'd say it was a very successful month! I'm really pleased how my revisions turned out. I wasn't sure that I could make it from 57,000 to 75,000 but I loved adding some fun scenes and deep scenes with one of the characters. Rewriting the ending was a bit tricky, but it fits so much better! I'm so happy with my book now! I'm even more in love with it, if that's even more possible. :)

As for reading, I didn't do as much as last month, but I was really working hard on revisions. The purple ones are rereads.


City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare
Do You Know the Monkey Man? by Dori Hillestad Butler
The Game of Lives (The Mortality Doctrine #3) by James Dashner
What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

They were all pretty good! :)

Goals for March:
* Write to 10,000 words on "Charlotte"

* Read three books

* Relax some over Spring Break


Some easy goals for the next month! How did your goals from February go and what are your goals for March?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG - Revisions, revisions...

Hello! 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. The awesome co-hosts today are Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend! Be sure to visit their blogs and thank them for co-hosting! :)


I'm feeling a bit insecure about my revisions this month. I'm working on revising my novel, "Silent Beauty". I'm really hoping to take it from 60,000 words to 75,000 words. But I'm a little worried that what I'm adding won't always be right. I know drafts aren't perfect and this book originally started out at 32,000 words. I've come a long way, but I've still got a ways to go! I don't want to add words for the sake of words, but I want to add details that really improve the story.

I'm really hoping to get this revision done this month. I am having fun adding some scenes that really add to the characters I already have, but I'm struggling to add details with my antagonist. Also, my goal is to rewrite a good chunk of the ending.

Also, I started a new novel, but I decided to take a little break on it to go back and do revisions on "Silent Beauty". My new WIP is cute and I want to write it, but the revisions come first! :)

I know I can do it, but I'm a little worried that it might be harder than I thought! :) Here's to hoping I can do it! What are you feeling insecure about this month?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February Goals

The first month of the year is over and it's time for the next one! :) I can honestly say that January wasn't my best month. It was good, but parts of it were just hard. But I'm still going to move forward. Today is a snow day so I'm hoping to get some work done on my book! :)

The best part of my month was getting to talk to three of the 5 grade classes in the school I work in, but talking to them about writing and revising. It was so much fun! They were working on their first one page mystery story last week and the teacher invited me to talk about how a book goes through several rewrites and revisions. They were struggling with having to write a second draft. It was a great experience to share my passions with them! They were all so attentive as I talked about some basic revisions for writers. It's something that I'd love to do again! :) The last class had so many questions. I wish we'd have time for all of them!

It's time for an update in my goals.

Here are my goals from January:
* Write to 25,000 words on "Charlotte", my new WIP
I didn't even make it close to my goal, but I went from 3,330 words to 6,885. Some progress. :)

* Find critique partners
I had two offer to help talk a look at my novel, so I'm counting that as a win. :)


Well... (insert cartoon disappointment sound). Oh well! :) It's not that bad. I did do a lot of reading and starting the year really well! The ones in purple are rereads.


A Girl Worth Waiting For (Worthy #1) by S.M. Smith
Walking the Road to Freedom by Jari Chase Ferris
Effortless With You (Effortless With You, #1) by Lizzy Charles
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling
Jessie's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling
City of Ash (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

Yes, I really did read that much! That's probably why I didn't get much writing done this month... but that's okay!

Goals for February:
* Work on revisions for "Silent Beauty"
I'm hoping to go from 60,000 to 75,000 on this new draft. :) I need to rewrite the ending!

* Find a fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day


Only two goals for this short month because I really want to work on my revisions! :) How did your goals from last month go? What are your goals for this month?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG - I'm a Writer

Hello! Today is the first 2016 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. The awesome co-hosts today are Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, Michelle Wallace, and L.G. Keltner! Be sure to visit their blogs and thank them!

Today, I'd like to re-introduce myself! :) It's a new year and I'm hopefully going to do a better job at blogging this year and connecting with other writers!


Hi! My name is Krista McLaughlin. I work as a special education associate in an intermediate elementary school (third through fifth grade), 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, recent 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 twelve novels to date. 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 silly 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!

Sorry my post was so late today! I'm off to bed! Feel free to introduce yourself to me below!