A New Year

on Thursday, December 31, 2015
    2015 is ending on a pretty good note. I finished my first draft of Powerful, and I'm halfway through with the edits for the next draft. I'm happy with the progress I'm making on my writing.
    2016 will hopefully be a big year for me. I'm registered to attend LTUE again in February. Last year was an amazing experience. I learned so much and I have been so motivated since then. This year I'm hoping will be even better. The guest of honor is Shannon Hale! I've got to get a new picture with her, and some new signatures (maybe on my manuscript?) while I'm there. I'll probably be attending every panel she's on just because. In case you didn't notice, I'm really excited!
    Husband of Mine is going to graduate in April, and we'll head back to California after that. This semester will be a big push for both of us. While he's busy with classes and work, I'll be focusing as much as I can on my writing. 
    Since he's returning to classes next week, I'll be returning to a writing routine. The only problem is that my currently existing routine is not tailored to the demands of an editing routine. I'm also trying to focus more of my time to Scribophile so I can keep up with other writers. So here's what my new schedule looks like-

Books and Stuff

on Monday, December 28, 2015
    I've spent the majority of the past few days reading. The Dragon and the Scholar series by H. L. Burke is a series I have been dying to read for over a year now, and I'm so excited to finally have my hands on the books. If you want to check out my reviews, they're on Goodreads! Dragon's Curse, Dragon's Debt, Dragon's Rival, and Dragon's Bride.
    Apparently binge-reading books is an after Christmas tradition that I have because I was looking back on old Facebook posts and I do this every year. 5 years ago I posted, "4 Books in 3 days......nothing like being anti social for a good series of books." Which is super ironic because I was going to post almost that exact same thing tonight after I finish Dragon's Bride (the last book in the series). I guess I'm just awesome that way!
    While I'm currently reading my days away with awesome books, Husband of Mine is busying himself with designing my book cover! I only had to annoy him constantly for a couple of days to get him to work on it. I'm so excited! 
    About four months ago, I was going through writer's block while in the middle of writing Powerful. Sometimes when I go through a block, I try to channel my creativity through other outlets. One of my favorite things to do is to draw scenes from my book. While I was trying to figure out which scene I wanted to draw from Powerful, I started doodling the Laetorian crest since it's mentioned in the book specifically. So I drew a quick sketch that looked like this-


Merry Christmas!

on Friday, December 25, 2015
    This week has been crazy busy for me! Family came to visit and their flight home got delayed after a whiteout snowstorm, we had a wedding, and now it's Christmas! Whoo! I haven't done any writing recently, but I figured I'd share a bit about what I got for Christmas.  



    What I received-

Free Write #7

on Thursday, December 17, 2015
    Recently, I've been wrapped up in major edits for Powerful. I printed out my first draft of the manuscript and I'm going through it on paper with my pink highlighter (for things that that need to be changed) and my yellow highlighter (for things I like and want to keep) while I'm penning comments and questions on sticky notes. While I'm doing that, I've been critiquing my friend's third draft of her novel on Scribophile.
    Basically, I've been in crazy editing mode for weeks. While it's nice to finally let my inner editor loose on my writing so I can tear it apart and make serious improvements, I do miss just being able to write without worrying about perfection.
    So today I'm shutting off my internal editor and doing a free write. This is a prompt I found a long time ago, and I've been saving it for a time I need to get out of my MC's head and take a look at my story from a different perspective. I get to write from a completely new voice. This will be a lot of fun for me. 
    Here's the prompt:


Tweettering By A Twitter Dummy

on Monday, December 14, 2015
    I am terrible with Social Media. Except for Pinterest. I love Pinterest. But Pinterest isn't about communication, it's saving things for myself. I may love writing, but I'm terrible when it comes to dealing directly with people. In case you didn't know, I'm an introvert, so I love finding any reason I can to avoid people. 
    Blogging is one of my ways to avoid talking directly with people because I can ramble on for however long I want to without getting interrupted. Then I get a few comments from friends and fellow bloggers and a couple of shares on Twitter throughout the week. But there's not much I have to do once I click "Publish" on a post. It's nice.
    Facebook is pretty easy to handle since it's very low maintenance and I only have to post a few times a week. I don't like spamming people with random stuff that they may or may not have interest in. Especially since I don't have a published book yet and I don't have a ton to offer except for blog posts and funny writing jokes.
    But Twitter is hard. It's all about quick interactions and hashtags. I don't understand hashtags! I don't like interacting with people! I'm slow! I'm not brief! I don't like bombarding people with post after post about myself! But it seems to be an essential part of gaining a following as an author and befriending other authors. 


Titles

on Friday, December 11, 2015
    Over the past week, I've been brainstorming book titles with some of my writer friends. For me, Powerful came easy. The title was there before I even started writing. But for other books, it's taken quite a bit of time to name. I always give my books a temporary working title, but coming up with the right title is sometimes more time consuming than the actual writing the book part.
    

    There are a few different ways to title a book. First is titles based on character's name. For example, Jane Eyre or Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It's an easy way to label your book without giving any of the plot away.

Characters

on Monday, December 7, 2015
    Why do we like certain characters? What makes us feel like we understand and relate to certain characters more than others? How do we as writers create characters that readers will like?


    Character development is arguably the most important part of a novel, tied with plot development. It's so important because of how closely linked the plot is with the character. They have to develop together. Which is why plotting out a novel is so hard. Where do you start? Characters or plot? It usually ends up being a mix of both.
    At LTUE, I attended a panel on Character Development. One of the first questions asked was where do you start? The consensus? There's no one way to do it. You need to know about the characters to develop the plot, but as you plan, nothing is set in stone. Characters goes through editing just like the rest of the story. They evolve with the plot. 

My Year in Books

on Thursday, December 3, 2015
    This past year I've read a lot of books. To be fair, the majority of the books were books I've read before, but I thought it would be fun to share what I've read. These are in no particular order because I don't actually remember when I read all of these.
    My year started off with me rereading my favorite series, The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. Enna Burning is my favorite book and I read it at least once a year.



    Sometime around that same time I also read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was good, but the undefined magical limitations led to a lot of confusion on my part.


The First Draft

on Sunday, November 29, 2015
    The first draft of a novel is a huge deal. It's a major accomplishment for any writer to achieve. You spend hours and hours plotting and planning and staring at the computer screen in a crazed caffeine induced state. And writing that last sentence is when all your hard work pays off and you're finally done. You can say to the world, "I wrote a novel!" And you can share everything you've done with the world.
    But in reality, finishing the first draft is only the second step to writing a novel, and you're not even close to be ready to share your writing with the world.



    In high school, I ran track. I was a sprinter. I ran the 100, 200, and 400. The 400 was my favorite because it was all about pacing. You couldn't start off sprinting because you'd be dead by the end. So you'd start off at a more mild pace and save the sprinting until the last leg.

Famous First Lines

on Tuesday, November 24, 2015
    The hardest part about writing a book is always the first chapter. We write it over and over again because there's far too much pressure on a single sentence to capture attention, and a couple thousand words to do too many things. It's the readers' first impression of a story, and first impressions are important. 
    Here's what a first chapter is supposed to accomplish-

  • Introduce action and conflict
  • No backstory
  • Ground the reader in the setting
  • No backstory
  • Introduce an intriguing character
  • No backstory
  • Leave the reader wanting more
  • And one last thing- No backstory

    Yeah, maybe I made a big deal about the whole backstory thing, but it's the one piece of advice you see all the time for first chapters. And it's also the hardest.



NaNoWriMo 2015 Week 2.5

on Wednesday, November 18, 2015
    I was supposed to post some inspiration today as it is midway through the week but I have something far more important to share.
    I finished Powerful.


    That's right. I finally finished. The idea came to me September 2014. I wrote the first first chapter the day I got the idea. And I planned out the first few chapters, then I stopped because it was distracting from what I was working on. I didn't return to it until December when I was doing more thorough plotting and character sketches, but I didn't actually start writing it (for real, because the original first chapter was mostly me spewing crap to get all my ideas out) until January 18th, 2015. I finished the first draft November 17, 2015. 

NaNoWriMo 2015 Week 2

on Sunday, November 15, 2015
    Here's my stats so far:

Week 1- Started at 64,497 - Ended at 81,093 - Wrote 16,596
Week 2- Started at 81,093 - Ended at 91,383 - Wrote 10,290

    Not as impressive as week one, but still good. I passed the 90,000 word mark, which was super awesome and I celebrated yesterday with a 44 oz Dr. Pepper with a shot of blackberry from the nearby soda shop, and I relaxed and watched some tv to recover even though I wanted to plow through another chapter. See? I learned my lesson about pushing myself too hard and I took some time to relax and recharge. It slowed my pace, but I'm feeling a lot better now that my headaches have calmed a bit and I can actually focus.

Take Care

on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
    Today I'm taking a "me day" because I've started to wear down. I was crazy productive last week because I was riding that NaNoWriMo/writing the climax/caffeine high and I was crazy. But what happens when you spend a week staring at a computer screen writing and doing nothing else? You burn out.
   

    I made the classic mistake of pushing myself too hard and not giving myself enough time to relax. I can feel it in my neck too. My muscles are way too tense and it's giving me really bad tension headaches. And my biggest problem when I work myself too hard is that in my exhaustion, I oversleep to compensate. So rather than staying productive, my brain shuts down and it becomes too difficult to focus. 
    I was good for a little while because I'd reward myself when I reached my goal (which was usually writing a chapter) by reading for a bit or watching a new episode of a tv show. And I know exactly when everything changed. I went on Hulu to watch the new episode of one of my shows only to discover that there wasn't a new episode. I had all this excited energy to burn and nothing to do with it, so instead of finding some other way to spend my break, I turned back to writing. I got three chapters written that day, which is awesome, but I kept riding that productivity wave and stopped giving myself time to breathe.

NaNoWriMo 2015 Week 1

on Monday, November 9, 2015
    Well, the first week of NaNoWriMo has ended and here's where everything stands so far:

Week 1- Started at 64,497 - Ended at 81,093 - Wrote 16,596

    That's pretty awesome, right? I got 7 chapters written out of the 15 I had left. That's right, I got almost halfway through my entire November goal in 1 week. I had some really great writing days, and some pretty bad writing days. The good news is that I'm still writing.
    

Writing is Hard

on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
    Any artist knows that their work is hard. Painting, writing, music, etc. These tasks are so difficult because progress is hard to track. Any designing is done purely in the mind, and sometimes thoughts are too convoluted to sort out and put onto paper.


    So many people read books and think, "This can't be that hard." I mean, how many times in school did you have to write papers and essays? All you have to do is keep talking but on paper. It's easy!
WRONG.
    First off, you need characters. Then you need a setting, plot, character development, conflict, resolution, world building, genre, etc. Not to mention somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 words. And it all has to fit together so perfectly that the genre makes sense with the setting, the setting influences the characters, who influence the plot, which in turn causes character development, creating the conflict and eventually leads to the resolution. 
    It's almost like thinking forwards and backwards at the same time while sitting on your head and trying to keep all the blood from rushing to your brain while flying a pig when you can only look in a mirror so everything is reversed. Or a much simpler comparison- keeping the house clean when you have kids.

NaNoWriMo 2015

on Sunday, November 1, 2015
    Happy November everyone! You know what that means- That's right it's National Novel Writing Month! Hooray!


    In case you missed my NaNoWriMo posts from last year, you can find all 9 here. It consists of Pep Talks taken from NaNoWriMo's website and updates on how my writing went. Last year my goal was to get 20,000 words written by the end of the month and I ended up writing 20,226 words. I posted a weekly breakdown on December 1st. My goal was small because this was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo and because I was working at the time.

Halloween (A Little Early)

on Tuesday, October 27, 2015
    For those who didn't follow my blog last year, I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Almost as much as I love Christmas. I blogged about it last year and shared some of my costumes over the years. 
    Once again I'm going to reiterate that Halloween is awesome because of all the candy and dressing up in costume. It's fueling for a writer to get to be someone else for a day. That's why in past years I chose to dress up as characters from whatever story I was working on at the time. 
    This year was a little different. I thought about dressing up as Kylanore and forcing the husband to be Luzigo, but we didn't have the money to spend on costumes like that. Maybe one day I'll get to dress up as her.
    To go cheap, we were going to dress up as Chuck and Sarah from the tv show Chuck because it's one of our favorite shows that we watched a lot when we first started dating. But again, something came up and we had to do a last minute change.
    What came up? A little surprise I'd kept under wraps until last night when our apartment complex celebrated Halloween with trunk-or-treating. This surprise demanded that we change our costumes to fit. But since we were under a time crunch and a money crunch, we had to do with a quick and easy $5 costume (yes, it only cost $5).

Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2015

on Monday, October 26, 2015
    I know, November is still a week away, but I'm not doing a proper NaNo anyway and I'm starting a little early because I really want to dive into the end of Powerful
    Our apartment complex is celebrating Halloween tomorrow (and I'm super excited for this year but I'm saving that for a later post), so I figured once that's over I have no more excuses not to write (except maybe cleaning the apartment). I spent last week catching up on all my tv shows, finishing the trilogy I started far too long ago, plotting, crocheting, stocking up on soda and candy, filling the car up with gas for trips to B&N, and doing everything else I possibly could to prepare for November. 



    I found some great articles about prepping for NaNoWriMo. Here are the links: In It to Win It, Getting Ready, and How to Prepare.

Interviews

on Wednesday, October 21, 2015
    I've been interviewed again, this time by Jasmine Walt. Here's a little bit about her before you read more about me-

I’m a devourer of books, chocolate, and all things martial arts. Somehow, those three things melded together in my head and transformed into a desire to write. Usually fantastical stuff, with a healthy dose of action and romance. My characters are a little (okay, a lot) on the snarky side, and they swear, but they mean well. Even the villains sometimes.

When I’m not working on my next book… well, honestly there’s not much else I do aside from writing because I ghostwrite as my day job. But when I’m not chained to my keyboard you can find me trying not to impale myself working on my dao sword form, raiding my dad’s pantry spending time with my family, or binge-watching Bones on Netflix.


    Jasmine and I connected on Scribophile where she was looking for writers to interview for her blog. Previously she interviewed Ashley Capes
    Back to me, here's a link to my interview where we discuss dealing with Hypergraphia and writing Powerful

Giving and Taking

on Tuesday, October 20, 2015
    A few updates on my life before I dig into my topic-

  • I'm being interviewed again! Yay! It'll be up later this week, and I'll share it here for all you lovelies to read about my ridiculousness.
  • I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo! This will be my last attempt to push out the end out my novel. I've got about 50,000 words left, so hopefully I can use NaNoWriMo to my advantage and really crank out the ending. This may mean I blog less because I might have to turn off the wi-fi so I can actually focus rather than Pinteresting and Netflixing the days away. I don't know yet, we'll see when November gets here.
  • I'm not sick anymore! Whoo! That means that I can get back to being productive instead of laying on my couch in the darkness because my head hurts and I can't stop coughing.
    Due to the creative energy I've got coursing through my body after being sick for a week, I'm pumped and ready to continue writing. It's exciting. As I write, I post my novel chapter by chapter on Scribophile for fellow writers to read and critique. I get lots of good feedback on everything I post. But what exactly does good feedback mean?

For Boys, For Girls, and For All

on Thursday, October 15, 2015
    I was trying to find an image to add to this post, so I searched, "Children's Books" and the first option that popped up was "for girls". The seventh suggestion was "for boys".
    Curious, I clicked on the "for girls" to see what popped up. I was bombarded with one color- Pink. Every single book was drowning in pink. So I switched over to the "for boys" to compare. There wasn't a noticeable color choice for the covers, but something did stand out to me- There was a distinct increase in the distinction between "boy books" and "girl books", meaning books were specifically labeled "for boys" or "for girls". This ranged from coloring books to potty training books to a variety of Middle Grade novels. 
   So why is it that books have to be separated for boys and for girls? Why is it that books for girls have to be distinguished by bright pink covers? Why do we judge kids if they pick a book we wouldn't necessarily pick for them?

Stories For All

on Monday, October 12, 2015
    Forgot to write a blog post yesterday as I was busy catching up on my reading. I'm kind of glad I did, because this morning I went online to find out that it is Stories For All week.
    Stories For All is a movement started by Bloomsbury and Shannon Hale (my favorite author) to stop gender stereotyping books to readers. This is based off of two assumptions made by society-
  1. Boys cannot enjoy a book if it is about a girl.
  2. Men's stories are for everyone, but women's stories are only for women.
    Based off these assumptions, book recommendations for boys are usually very selective. Boys are taught to believe they cannot read books written by a female author, about female characters, or about anything considered feminine. They are made fun of if they not only choose to not read a "girly book", but also if they don't loudly protest anything considered "girly". 


    You see what I mean? It's an everyday, widely accepted part of our culture.

Staying Creative (When You're Busy)

on Thursday, October 8, 2015
    I haven't really been focusing on writing so much lately, and it's really hard on me because I want to stay as creative as I can while I'm busy. If I don't stay creative, then when I find more time to seriously focus, I'm usually stuck in a block. While there are many ways to overcome a writer's block, I'd rather avoid it in the first place. So how do I stay creative and focused when I'm busy?



    There is more than one way to be creative. I named my blog Hypergraphia because when the creative energy overwhelms me, I tend to write over other forms of creative output. But when I'm not in a situation where I can write, there are other ways I can funnel my creativity to keep it flowing rather than blocking the energy.

Busy and Tired...

on Thursday, October 1, 2015
    Don't have a ton to post today, and I haven't written a ton either. I had a string of migraines last week, and migraines make me very unproductive. So I watched a bit of tv, did some reading, and I crocheted a lot. 
    I didn't stick to my schedule at all last week, and I'm not doing a great job of keeping up this week either. I'm trying to keep up on critiques on Scribophile since I'm not writing. If I can keep up on karma, then once I get back into my cycle I can write uninterrupted for a while. And that would be really nice.
    I've got family coming this weekend, so I'll miss 1 of my blog posts next week. But hopefully after that, I can get back on track with my schedule and keep writing. My goal is to finish the first draft of Powerful by the end of the year, and I'm still going to do that. I'm really excited to finish. I've gotten a lot of really good feedback from some friends, and once I finish this draft I'll be ready to move right into the next one with some improvements.
    That's really it for now, so I'll leave with this.


    ~Allie

Banned Books Week 2015!

on Monday, September 28, 2015
    Apparently it's that time of the year again! Remember my posts (this, thisthis, and this) from last year? I had a lot to say. I'll always have a lot to say when it comes to restricting someone's right to read.


    If you'd like to see the lists of most frequent challenges, you can find it here thanks to the American Library Association. The link also shows a list of the most common reasons why a book is challenged. The ALA's website has a ton of information about banning and challenging books, and there's a list of events in honor of Banned Books Week.
    I'm going to tell another very personal story now, one that doesn't necessarily have to do with banning or restricting access to books, but one that I still think fits with the idea of Banned Books Week. I may not be a widely published author, but even I've been banned.

Writing for Young Adults

on Friday, September 25, 2015
    A while ago I realized I never really finished my series on the LTUE panels I attended. I know that was back in February and now it's September (almost October), but I've had a lot of other things to talk about since then. And now I'm a day behind my schedule and I've run out of blogging topics, so I'm digging back into my lovely, old journal of randomness for something to talk about. Be warned, though, the recollection of these events are a little rough due to the fogginess of my memory. This is mostly me rambling about topics they mentioned.


    This panel consisted of Tyler H. Jolley, Bree Despain, Kasie West, and Clint Johnson. They talked about a few different things that are commonly associated with YA novels, but Character and Romance seemed to be the two main things.

The Middle

on Monday, September 21, 2015
    I'm hitting that point in the middle of my writing where I usually get bored and pitter off. You know, that almost halfway chapter of Rose where I realized that there wasn't enough to the story and so many things needed to change before I could finish, so I stopped and moved on to the next thing?
    Except I'm not getting bored. I'm getting more and more excited to write. So much is happening and I cannot wait to put everything into words. Usually I only get dragged into this kind of suspense when I'm reading, but the fact that my own writing is pulling me in proves to me that not only is this story is worth telling, but it's also ready to be told.

Better Words

on Thursday, September 17, 2015
    First things first, I have to brag and point out my word count! 48,635 words, and 16 chapters written! Just 18 days ago I was at 28,676 words and 9 chapters. That's almost exactly 20,000 words in 18 days. And I'm planning to get at least 1 more chapter written this week. So yeah, I'm gonna brag about it.
    Now to the point of this post- My last post was all about description, but I noticed that I skimmed over one fairly important and super helpful part of improving description. Words. One of the easiest ways to improve description is by improving your words. 
    All I said about that previously was to have a thesaurus handy. I've also found some charts that I like to keep handy for when I need a better word for those that are commonly overused.


And How Does That Make You Feel?

on Monday, September 14, 2015
    In trying to stumble upon inspiration for this blog post, I found a lot of advice on improving dialogue. I thought about using that, but honestly I would have no idea what advice to give. Unlike description, dialogue is one of those things that comes super naturally to me. I get a lot of compliments on how real my dialogue is, but I don't really know what I do to make it so special. Until someone told me, I had no idea my dialogue was even any good. 
    And that's how I picked my topic for today- Description, my arch nemesis.  I could compile a lot of advice on how to enhance description in writing because it's something I have to work at constantly. Every few hundred words I have to remind myself that description needs to be included because if I don't, I'll forget and it won't get included. I am terrible at it.
    One of the reasons why Shannon Hale's books are my favorites is because of the beautiful way she describes everything. It's poetic and flows so perfectly. It's something I don't think I'll ever be able to do, but I'm still going to work at it so I can get better.
    

    This advice is gathered from fellow writers because my own advice sucks.

#Quill

on Wednesday, September 9, 2015
    I'm on a roll this week. I'm busting through everything on my schedule a day early. "Why?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you! Being on this schedule has made me crazy productive, and I'm finally channeling my hyperactive restlessness into something fairly productive. Although, I am feeling a bit like I've had too much caffeine even though I've only had one can of Dr. Pepper. I promise.
    Anyway, I'm a day ahead of my schedule so I'm trying to stay that way because I'm super excited to write the next chapter of Powerful and if I can get this blog post written, then I can take tomorrow to write. So now I'm writing this blog post a day early.
    

Progress Report!

on Sunday, September 6, 2015
    I thought I'd give a brief progress report summarizing how my week went when comparing it to the goals I set.


    Sunday- A
    Goal- Write blog post and set to post on Monday.
    What I actually did- I actually wrote a blog post and posted it on Monday! Yay!
    Monday- A
    Goal- Write chapter 10.
    What I actually did- Wrote chapter 10! Also, I discovered that the best place to write is in our lazy boy recliner. It's super comfortable, has a good view out the window, isn't directly in front of the tv so I'm not tempted to watch Netflix, and props my feet up (my favorite writing position) while still supporting my head and neck so I can see my computer. It's really comfy, and I got a lot of work done.
    Tuesday- A
    Goal- Laundry and crocheting.
    What I actually did- Laundry and crocheting! Yeah, it kind of took me a while to get laundry started, but I got it washed, dried, and folded, and I crocheted a lot. It was my destress day, and boy did I need it. I was exhausted by the time that day came around and it was really nice to be able to relax a bit, but I also took a lot of the time on my break day to prep for writing my next chapter. It kept me focused on my writing while taking a break.

Free Write #6

on Thursday, September 3, 2015
    I've been procrastinating this post all day long. I literally crocheted until I ran out of yarn. And I justified my tv watching because crocheting is productive, right? While it is somewhat productive, it's not on my schedule for today and four days in I'm already finding excuses to not get work done. I had a migraine this morning, so I'm not feeling super well, but that doesn't mean I can't write a simple blog post. Bad Allie, bad!
    Luckily, my schedule today (yesterday, by the time this is posted) included a dog walk, so Puppy of Mine and I went out and I was able to clear my head for a bit and feel less like a shut-in. Even though I very much enjoy not leaving the house, it's bad for my productivity. Since I finished my last chapter on Monday, I've been trying to work on mythology for the Four Kingdoms. I had planned out some basics, but was trying to come up with some actual myths. Unfortunately, I discovered some inconsistencies in my planning and I had to make some major changes before I write my next chapter tomorrow (which will be today by the time this is posted). So I got everything sorted out and everything makes sense now, but I still need one more myth for my chapter. But I'm struggling with a block (thanks, migraine) and I don't have it written yet, so I'm going to do a free write to clear my mind.
    Here's my prompt. Remember that story, Misunderstood, that I've been writing off and on for 7 years (can be found here and here)? I'm using that again. Sylan is the mute brother of Moxi (my favorite character who I use for everything), and Lord Drazen is the evil warlock. Moxi is a sorceress, Sylan has the power to see people's memories by touching them, and Helen is a healer. Taynen is Moxi's boyfriend. Every scene is a different POV, but chances are I'll never finish this and it'll never make it farther than being published here on my blog, so I don't really care.


Book Reviews

on Monday, August 31, 2015
    Not too long ago, I wrote my first ever book review. I've never been afraid to post a rating, but actually writing a review is a different story. It's very intimidating to put into words what you did and didn't like about someone else's brain child. I know what my writing means to me, and to have to say anything bad about someone else's writing is scary. 
    I'm a hard person to please, and I don't expect anything I read to be perfect, which is why reviewing books is so hard. Everything I have to say is my own personal opinion and the chances are slim that someone else will have the same exact opinion as I do. I like the stories that I like and I don't expect everyone else in the universe to like those same stories. Everyone has different tastes. And that's what made my first book review so difficult. 

My Actual Plans

on Friday, August 28, 2015
    I'm still making some last minute changes to my weekly schedule, but I'm not planning on starting it until Sunday. I'll go through one week of my new schedule while making notes about how every day goes, then come next weekend I'll make any changes I need to.
    Here's the visual I made so I can more easily track my writing progress-

My Plans

on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    It's been a little while since I posted, and I did warn you that I would disappear for a while during the move, but I was delayed for a bit longer than I thought because it took us a few extra days to get our wifi set up. But now that's fixed and we've unpacked (almost) everything, and I'm ready to resume a normal life. Well, normal for me.
    Husband of Mine starts school on Monday, so we're still trying to cram in as much relaxing in pajamas and Castle marathons as we can. Once school starts, though, I'm going to try really hard to work out a weekly schedule for myself so I can hopefully become more productive with both writing and organize the rest of my life. 
    I've been searching for different ways to creating a writing calendar so I can have a more visual way of seeing my goals and progress. Apparently it's not a common thing, though since I only found one I really liked. 

Write It Down!

on Sunday, August 16, 2015
    If I had to sum up my week in one sentence, it would be this:


    Yeah...writing's been a little rough. Currently, I've thought of four different ways to write this chapter and I wasn't sure which version to go with, until I forgot two of my ideas. I was interrupted while writing things down, and procrastinated finishing. So, of course, it didn't get done. 
    Luckily, I had a friend I could talk things through with, and she actually gave me a much better idea to use in my chapter. So now I'm working on that new idea while preparing to move back to Utah. I'm also crocheting like crazy because my sweater project is (finally!) almost done! After hitting the halfway mark, I had to rip the whole thing out and start over. But now I'm almost done! Whoo!
    Before I return to my crocheting, I'm going to point out on the side bar that Hypergraphia is now on Twitter and Facebook, as well as Pinterest! Exciting, right? I've finally branched out onto some new social network-y interwebs. Follow and like my page. Share with your friends. I share a lot more writing tips, quotes, laughs, and a daily word count so you can follow my daily progress.
    That's all for now. Stay awesome!
    ~Allie May

Just Write!

on Monday, August 10, 2015
    I've been virtually nonexistent since my weekend at Disneyland. It wore me out. We were so tired that we came home 5 hours early. I'd like to say that since then I've recovered, but I'm always so tired that I can't tell.
    Since then, I've had a hard time working on my writing. Between all the things I have going on and my exhaustion, I've used every excuse I can to avoid writing. And that's bad. As a writer, I need to be writing every day. Not just thinking about writing, but physically sitting down with a pen and paper and writing words. So I fell back into one of my bad old habits of procrastinating. And now I'm working my way out of it, starting with a blog post.


*Important Updates*

on Sunday, August 9, 2015
    Sorry that I disappeared after my wonderful weekend of Disney, but I've been working on a few different things and now I am back to announce some very important updates-
    You may notice that the url of my blog has changed! Indeed, attentive reader, it has. **If you subscribed to my blog posts, then you will have to resubscribe because the url has changed** Do not fear, dear reader! All you have to do is enter your lovely email address into the box that says Subscribe and you will now receive emails whenever I post. Hooray!
    After much deliberation, I have decided to publish under a pen name. Since this is my writing blog, I decided to change the url to reflect my author name. I figured that made more sense than having a writing blog that isn't affiliated with my actual writing. I'm not just crazy (well, mostly).
    We officially have a date for the move back to Utah, so starting August 21st (or slightly before), I will disappear again. I should only be gone for a week, and then you will all have to deal with me again. Starting again in September, I am planning on keeping to a strict schedule with my writing and blogging. I need to be more disciplined so I can get this book written. That's supposed to mean that I will be more disciplined with my blog posts as well. Hopefully. But that's why I started this blog, to start me with better writing habits and get rid of the bad habits that hinder my writing.
    

    That's all for now! I'm returning to my chapter to keep writing. Stay awesome!
    ~Allie May

Other Books

on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    In my last post, I shared a picture of all the books I collected for my birthday and mentioned the bag of books I got to take from the library I volunteered at before summer began. Here's a picture of those books. I was going to take more, but was worried about having room for them all in the car on the way back to Utah at the end of the summer. 



    Here's the list-

I'm Ba-a-ack!

on Monday, July 27, 2015
    Yes, that's right! It is me! The wonderful and completely flaky Alyson who promised two blog posts a week and has maybe delivered once this whole summer. *hangs head in shame*
    Thank you to my readers who are patiently waiting for me to keep posting when my time is not my own this summer. Only a few weeks left until the trek back to Utah when I'll actually be on a schedule and can keep posting regularly.
    Anyway, the Road Show is over and the kids were amazing. I wish I had a video or a photo to share with you, but I don't. I was too busy. The kids chose to use Toy Story as their inspiration, and it was amazing. Out of all the groups, our was the best (obviously), but ours was definitely the hardest because we had 28 kids participating and everyone else had under 18 kids. The kids are all aged 12-18 (one of ours turned twelve last week, so she was technically 11 when it started). The hardest part was having enough parts for every kid. That's where Toy Story came in. We had a Woody, Buzz, Small Fry, Jessie, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, Aliens, Rex, Army Men, and we also used Bonnie's Toys from the 3rd movie so we had Dolly, Mr. Pricklepants, Buttercup, Trixie, Barbie, Ken, and the barrel of monkeys. It was insane.


    Some other ideas people used were Guardians of the Galaxy and Inside Out. The kids had such a blast writing their script, songs, and choreography. There was also a group of kids who didn't want to be on stage so they did lights, sound, sets, and props. I'm so proud of everyone who participated.

My Life This Week

on Monday, July 20, 2015
    I've had a very busy past week, and I'm gearing up for another one this week. I've had ZERO time for blogging or writing, which I hate, but it is what it is.
    I set a goal for myself for July, and I'm still working on fulfilling that. My goal was to write 5 chapters this month. So far I've got two and a half. I'm halfway there, so I'm making progress, but I wanted to be done with this chapter before too long. I've also been working with a few people on their novels, and I've had a few more people look into Powerful to get some feedback on my edits and my new stuff. It's been going good, and I'm happy with the feedback I've received. It helps me set up a distinct direction I need to go with my edits, and it reminds me that my book is still awesome. I'm pumped for it, as long as I have the energy and the caffeine to keep writing. I'm also excited for one of my close friends to start sending out queries on her book. It's amazing.
    All of my time has disappeared from me since my last post. Since then I've been writing my butt off (I'm at 28,000 words!), and I've done my fair share of reading. I'm racing my 13 year old brother in law through the Kingdom Keepers series (which I read part of when I was his age), but I only get to do that in my spare time which is almost none.


Writer's Sketchbook 14

on Sunday, July 5, 2015
    I know, a writer's sketchbook post! Something that actually has to do with my writing! Yay! 
    So this week I got 2 chapters done. That's right, 2. In 1 day. I'm so proud of myself. Too bad the rest of the month will be ridiculously crazy and I will be super busy. I set a goal for myself to write 3 more chapters this month so I'll have written 5 total. 
    Anyway, as I was working on chapter 9, I realized that I forgot one minor detail on my blog. I missed one character. He doesn't show up until chapter 9, but I stopped posting chapters on my blog so I didn't get to do a big intro for him. So here's my big intro for him.

Burk Lon

And Now It's July!

on Thursday, July 2, 2015
    I love July. July means hot days and cool pools. It means smoothies and s'mores. It says prepare for fireworks, watermelon, and ice cream. But most importantly, July means my birthday, and my birthday means a whole slew of new books! Remember last year? You can understand my excitement.
    So while I'm excitedly writing and reading the days away, I figured I'd share some inspiration with you. 

June's Almost Over??

on Monday, June 29, 2015
    The days are moving by too fast. Some days I feel like I don't have enough time to get anything done. There are far too many things on my list to do, and I'm still not sure if I'm making progress or if I'm just staring at the blinking curser on my computer screen for hours on end.
    This weekend was super busy because I spent most of it in the car driving to my cousin's wedding and reception. This cousin was my college roommate until I got married, and there was no way I was going to miss her wedding. 
    I also got a fitbit last week, and Husband of Mine and I are competing to see who can get more steps in a day. Whoever wins gets a dollar from the other person. We're tied right now. I've won $2 and he's won $2. 
    Between sitting in the car, visiting with family, crocheting, trying to get my daily steps in, and the wedding and reception, I feel like I've accomplished nothing for days. And the best part is, for the past 4 nights in a row, I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night. Yeah, I'm living off caffeine right now.
    Anyway, the point of my complaining is not to be annoying. Seriously, I'm really not trying to be annoying and whiney. It's to explain why my blog posts are still barely trickling in. As I'm still working on serious edits for Powerful, I find I don't have as much time to dedicate to my blog. If I have a few hours to sit down and write, it's either going to be for my blog or for Powerful. Which one am I going to choose? 
    So I'm here to say that I am still alive and still writing. I've got 500 words down for chapter 8 (which is me splitting the earlier version of chapter 7 into two chapters and expanding on the big reveal at the end) which is some serious progress. Today, I'm hoping to sit down and get a ton more done. I want this chapter to be finished by tomorrow (Wednesday by the latest).
    But since I already started this blog post, I figured I should at least get something down on it. So I compiled some inspiration for you.

Worldbuilding With Magic

on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
    For those of you who have been reading along, my friend Elise (Magic Writer) has been doing a series on Worldbuilding, and I've been promoting for her and sharing some of my own tidbits. I really like the series she's done because I've never been able to actually put into words how I build worlds, I just do it. It's nice to have guidelines to follow to see how well I did for my writing. Sometimes I discover things I missed, and I've found myself being more assertive about making decisions because they have to be made at some point.
    For example, as I was reading through some of Elise's advice, I discovered that I hadn't yet thought about the capitol cities of each kingdom. As I was going through chapter 7, it talks about how the people know Luzi so well, but no one knows Kyla. One of my readers asked how the people knew Luzi. Well, I decided that Varn and Laeto are very similar because their capitol cities (and castles) are major areas where many people go to visit. The royal families are well known and visit the general public often. Their castles are tourist attractions, and parts are open to the general public. In my last post I talked about the Varnan castle and how the center is a giant temple where many people go to pray. One of Aya's brothers is a priest there. Laeto's capital city is a market, very similar to Central City. The castle is in the center of a giant town and many people go inside the castle to meet with the royal family, give them gifts, and ask for help. Tykra and Zetalon, however, are different. Their castles are not parts of major cities, and are very isolated. The royal families rarely affiliate with their subjects. It's something that Kyla appreciated as a child, but grows to dislike. It makes sense for the story. 

Picture This

on Wednesday, June 10, 2015
    I'm super excited to release the first images of my cheesy attempt at making maps for the Four Kingdoms and Central City. Keep in mind, these maps are still in the early stages and are subject to change as I figure more things out and finish the book. Not everything has been named yet either. Most of the cities are unnamed still (hence, "Laeto's Capital City"), the sea in Tykra is unnamed, and the mountains in Zetalon are nameless as well. I've still got a lot of work, but I'm really excited about what I've accomplished. Take a look.
    **Blue is water, so the sea and the rivers, the green arrows are forests, and the brown triangles are mountain ranges. The black line indicates the split in the kingdoms. The yellow pentagons are the castles. And I've already made an error, because Vayua's bounty should be Vayu's bounty (it's the name of the head Varnan God, and I misspelled it *hangs head in shame*). I also forgot to label Zetalon's castle.

More World Building

on Tuesday, June 2, 2015
    Look! Two posts in one week! Hooray!
    This is a long overdue post about more world building, thanks to my friend from England, Elise, who you might remember as the Magic Writer. Since my last world building post, Elise has written  two more posts in her world building series. The first one is on characters and brainstorming initial character traits and everything that needs to be considered when setting up the society in your world. It lists off things like your main character, magic, government, other classes of people (like servants vs. wealthy and ordinary people), races (humanoid vs. fantasy creatures), and the roles of men and women in the society.
    Powerful has an interesting way of looking at all these world building things. It's got quite a few different classes depending on which part of that world you're looking at. It's got four different kingdoms that all have unique set ups, then there's the Four Kingdoms overall. It's hard to simplify down. The main thing that jumped out at me, though, was that she mentioned gender roles. It's actually a fairly big point to my story. Tykra (Kyla's kingdom) doesn't really have distinct gender roles. Kyla doesn't run into any problems because she's female. Luzi doesn't pay any attention to gender roles in Laeto, because for him to rule he has to be married and they usually rule as a couple. As soon as Luzi gets married, he'll become king and his new bride becomes queen. In Zetalon, women hold the majority of the power. The monarchy is passed down from mother to daughter or the next closest female relative. Varn is different though. Aya is struggling with the traditional gender roles for her kingdom. Women are child bearers and rearers. They do occasionally hold jobs if needed, but they are not associated with the government in any way. Aya wants to be part of the government, so she is working hard to change the ways of her kingdom.

Popping in Again!

on Monday, June 1, 2015
    May has not been my month for blogging. Bad Alyson! 
    Just an update, Husband of Mine has started his internship, and things are going great for him! I finished reading Grave Mercy (which I mentioned here). It took me a lot longer to finish than I hoped, not because it was boring, but because I've been so busy. I finished my crochet projects, and now I'm working on the large stack of sewing projects that have accumulated over the past few months. Ripped pants, broken zippers, bandanas for the dog, and a new dress. I'll post how that's going once I actually start on it (I haven't even bought fabric).
    I've been working on revamping the end of chapter 7, but the writing gods have not been on my side. I ended up starting the chapter over 7 times, and filling two notebook pages with my name written over and over again. Yes, I've been very productive. But, the good news is that I'm starting to win over the writing gods once more so hopefully this block will go away. 
    So for now, I'm going to post some pictures of what I've been crafting, then I'm going to fold laundry and get back to my chapter.  First up is the elephant lovey that I made for my best friend's baby. (I cannot find the pattern for it anymore! The elephant head and arms were taken from this pattern.)


Busy week!

on Sunday, May 17, 2015
    It's been a while since my last post, so I figured it was time for a quick update as to what I've been doing-
    I started a new job! Whoo! I stopped nannying back in December, and applied a couple of places, but because of my trips to the doctor and Physical Therapy, I didn't really focus on looking for a new job. About a month ago, a relative called and offered me a position working as a scheduler from home. Basically what I do is organize a list of businesses by location, make phone calls to schedule appointments, and send out reminder emails. It's boring, but I get to work from home! I love it! I'm on my own schedule and I can work in my pajamas. Even though the company I work for is based here in California, I can continue working when we head back to Utah in August. 
    I started writing again. A little. Kinda sorta. Well, I sat down to work on revamping the ending of Powerful chapter 7 when I got interrupted and couldn't remember the end of the sentence, "I used to think..." so I'm still working on it. But I've gotten the pen and notebook back out, which means I had some downtime. After another week of work (and seeing my best friend again on Saturday!), and Husband of Mine starting his internship, I'll actually be on a regular schedule which means I'll have more time for writing.
    I've been crafting! I learned to crochet. I tried to take up knitting a while ago, but never really got into it. Crocheting is only slightly different, but it seems to go a lot faster for me. When I finish my projects, I'll post pictures of them.
    I also started reading a new book series. 

I'm Back!

on Thursday, May 7, 2015
    I'm back! Hooray!
    I've been so busy that I haven't even been able to post that I wouldn't be able to post because I'm too busy. We moved back to California for the summer. Husband of Mine has a super awesome internship with Walt Disney Imagineering (Can you say summer of Disneyland?), and after that's over we're heading back to Provo so he can finish up school. 
    

    While he's doing that, I'm also starting a part time job from home so I can work while writing. This is going to be a very busy summer. I'm hoping to get a lot of writing done. I've made good progress so far, and I want to keep working through it because it's going to be awesome. 


    That's all for now! I'm still crazy busy, but only slightly less busy than I was last week. I'll post when things calm down a little after I start working.
    ~Alyson