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.


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.