Favorite Books of 2016

on Thursday, December 29, 2016
    Okay, so this title may be a bit misleading because not all of these books came out in 2016. These are just the books I read in 2016.
    I used Goodreads to view my year in books. I read 18 books this year, but I'm going to talk about my top favorites.




  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George- A retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this book immediately grabbed my attention. It focuses primarily on the oldest princess, Rose, and Galen, a soldier returning from war who loves to knit. I read this right after I started crocheting, so I loved the fact that Galen was not afraid to be constantly seen with his knitting needles and yarn. This book stayed true to the original tale while not afraid to forge its own unique path as it tells its own tale. The rest of the series, Princess of Glass and Princess of the Silver Woods were retellings of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The first one was definitely my favorite, and I loved the third one as well. I didn't like the second one as much because the ending was super abrupt and I had to read it through a bunch of times before understanding what happened, but these are all books I would highly recommend for fairy tale lovers.

Favorite Movies of 2016

on Tuesday, December 27, 2016
    2016 has been a big year for many reasons, whether good or bad. I've been through a lot of highs and lows, so I'm trying to focus on the highs because far too often the lows win out.
    So here are some of the lows because I need to get them out of the way-

  • Somewhere around 60 celebrity deaths, including Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher from two of the most popular movie franchises of all time.
  • More than 20 major world-altering terrorist attacks, not to mention the daily attacks that happen that are too commonplace for the media to cover.
  • The spike in police brutality and brutality against the police in the U.S.
  • My uncle commit suicide this spring.
  • I didn't finish editing Powerful in time to submit by the end of the year.

    So now I'm reminding myself of some of the highs because that certainly put a damper on things-
  • I was published! It wasn't Powerful, but I still got to check that off my list!
  • The Olympics are always a great way to lift spirits, and Michael Phelps's record number of medals and gold medals is certainly exciting. As is Brazil's participation 
  • The Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter! Yay, Science!
  • The Cubs won the World Series! I'm not a sports fan, but a lot of people can celebrate this.
  • The U.S. held an election, and while the results may not be something to celebrate, democracy certainly is! And a record breaking number of Americans decided to participate.
  • And exactly how many fan favorite tv shows (like Full House, the X-Files, etc.) were rebooted this year? I can't even find a number!

Christmas Party- Writing Tag!

on Sunday, December 25, 2016
    I was tagged by my friend Renée Harvey to play a Christmas game on my blog using characters from my WIP, Powerful to answer holiday questions. Let's go!


1. Who starts karaoke with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and who jumps in for the echo?
 
Navadira! And Luzigo jumps in to be the echo because he can't hear this song and not sing the echo thanks to his brothers.
2. Who’s threatening the kids with coal in their stocking?

Kylanore, mostly because she doesn't understand how this holiday thing works.

Three Collections for Christmas!

on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

    Three groups of authors have banded together to put together three awesome Fantasy Story Collections, and now we're bringing them to you with a chance for you to win paperback copies as well as a $30 Amazon Shopping Spree!
    Read on to find out more about this anthology and enter the giveaway! The giveaway ends on the 28th, so enter now!


The Anthologies:



Blog World Tour- Shannon Donelson!

on Monday, December 5, 2016
    It's that time again! Time for another guest! This months' guest is Shannon Donelson


    Shannon Donelson lives in a small city outside of Buffalo, NY. where they see snow 99% of the year with blistering humidity the other 1%. She lives with her husband, three daughters, two cats, two goldfish, one dog and a partridge in a pear tree. Shannon writes a lot of flash fiction, short stories and recently finished a novel from beginning to end. She loves reading and writing urban fantasy, epic fantasy, horror and crime/mystery. Her blog consists of book reviews, writing advice and some of her own short stories. She is excited to get the blog ball rolling with a new website and content. Add her on Twitter and say hello!

Reasons Why Manuscripts are Rejected

on Thursday, November 24, 2016
    This is another one of my favorite LTUE panels. It was given by Jason King, the acquisitions editor at Curiosity Quills Press as well as the author of the Age of the Infinite series.


    He started off this panel by reminding everyone that while rejections sucks, it's also a big part of being a writer. It's all part of the writing process. After this reminder, he launched right into the biggest reason why he rejects manuscripts.

From the Stories of Old...An Interview with Renée Harvey

on Monday, November 21, 2016
    Hello everyone! Remember how I announced that my writing group was putting together an anthology of fairy tale retellings for publication? Well, it's almost available! And because I'm so excited about it, I invited a special guest, one of my close friends, to share a bit about her piece that is going to be included in the anthology. So without further ado, please welcome Renée Harvey!!!


Renée Harvey is a wife and mother, historian, and writer in Idaho, USA. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in history in 2013, filled with a love of genealogy and pre 1400 a.d. history. Combining those passions, she now primarily tells the stories of little-known people who lived long before. It is her hope that readers will see beyond the cultural differences to the messages conveyed: that individuals matter, and that every person has the ability to choose for themselves the good they will contribute to their world.

A- Welcome Renée!

R- Hi, Allie! Thanks for inviting me.

A- Alright, let's get right to it. What inspired your retelling of The Little Mermaid for the anthology?

Writing Political Unrest Without Boring Readers

on Thursday, November 17, 2016
    It's been a while since I've been able to do an LTUE post, so I'm excited to share this one. This topic is especially relevant to me right now as I'm editing Powerful because one of the main conflicts of the book is political unrest, and the one piece of feedback I get from every reader is that the conflicts go on for too long without any point.

Rose & Thorn Coming Soon!

on Monday, November 14, 2016
    Back when I started this blog, I was working on a novel that was supposed to be part of a trilogy. That novel was called Rose. It was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty set in modern-day France because I love France.
    Unfortunately, the story didn't end up panning out. There wasn't enough content to it to fill up a whole novel. I decided that since it was going to be part of a trilogy where the characters interact, that I would combine all three of my story ideas as novellas into one novel. But I put it off because something wasn't right.


    My other ideas, my retellings of Cinderella and Snow White, also were not panning out. The stories didn't quite make sense and their plots were also seriously lacking in depth. Eventually, I was inspired with other ideas for retellings for both those tales, but they didn't fit along with Rose, because they both took place in medieval times and were set up to be more traditional fantasy stories. So what was I going to do?

How my Anxiety Affects my Writing

on Thursday, November 10, 2016
    I've talked about my depression before, but I don't think I've ever talked about my on-going struggle with anxiety here. Why is that? Maybe because society seems to understand depression better than anxiety, even though both are still highly underrepresented.
    As with depression, anxiety is impossible to understand unless you've personally dealt with it. Unless you've had those voices in your head, those nagging sensations in your heart, you assume it's typical stress. And if you assume it's stress, you assume that people with anxiety are really poor at handling stress.
     While parts of that statement are true (trust me, I really DON'T handle stress well), it's not entirely accurate. First off, there are a lot of different types of anxiety, and some are harder to diagnose, which is why so many people who have anxiety are never treated for it.


Blog World Tour- Heather Hayden!

on Monday, November 7, 2016
    It's time for another guest! You may remember Heather Hayden from a previous appearance on my blog.



Though a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden's not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015 she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and her Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.

It's November!

on Wednesday, November 2, 2016
    Alright, so I've got a few quick things to go over today, including Halloween, NaNoWriMo, and a checklist of my goals. Here goes nothing-
    For those who haven't followed my blog in previous years, I LOVE HALLOWEEN. I dress up every year because it is my favorite part. Pretending to be someone else shouldn't be reserved for little kids. We all need to exercise our imaginations and take a break from the real world.
   That's why I write fantasy novels. And that's why I love Halloween. Here and here are my posts from previous years. I usually dedicate a lot of time to making costumes. Unfortunately, this year there were a few hiccups-namely moving and cleaning out a new living space, still fighting a cold, Husband of Mine fighting a cold, etc. So, we didn't get super creative this year, but I still had fun.
    Two weeks ago, Husband of Mine (who works for Disney Imagineering as a ride engineer) manage to snag us tickets to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disneyland. This is a special event where the park closes early except for those with special tickets, and there's trick-or-treating throughout the park and a special fireworks show and a special nighttime parade. We dressed up for the party (of course!) and partied all night long (or at least until the park closed at 11 pm)

Life Updates

on Thursday, October 27, 2016
    We have a fridge and we have a microwave!
    Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
    Hello, world! I am back! Hopefully. Since my last update (I know, it's been more than a month), a lot has changed. And I mean, everything in my life has changed. 
    First off- We moved! Sort of. We're still living amidst piles of stuff (I'd take pictures, but I think my camera would explode). Let's just say that we're still using paper plates every time we eat, I haven't folded laundry in three weeks, and every room has boxes in it. It's a work in progress. Lots of progress...Like I said earlier, we have a fridge and microwave now installed in our kitchen! Whoo hoo!
    My computer has been fixed too, and it's better than ever! No more tape and wires. Fun! And I've been using it A LOT lately for a secret upcoming project that I'll announce soon.
    And possibly most important, I accepted the full-time position at work. I am no longer a receptionist. I am now an administrative assistant. It's been fun, but since I accepted that position, I've also been out sick twice.


Nurse Astrid says cuddles are the best medicine

Blog World Tour- Lynn Miller!

on Tuesday, October 25, 2016
    I'll go into greater detail about my lengthy hiatus later this week. This post isn't about me, because it's Blog World Tour time! *cheers and applause* I know, I know. How exciting right? This time our guest comes to visit us all the way from South Africa. Everybody, please welcome Lynn Miller!



Lynn Miller lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her love for storytelling started before she was able read or write but she only found the time to pursue this lifelong passion once she sold her software business. Her magical tales weave the blurred grey between good and evil with love, family and friendship.

Bypass

on Sunday, September 25, 2016
    I know, I said I was back from hiatus, but then everything in my life decided to jump in the blender and mix it up again. So this is going to be a fairly rambly post. Here goes.
    First off, I am currently working full time and I will be until mid October. We're in the middle of our busy season and one of our administrative assistants quit, so I'm currently working in the back and the other receptionist is covering my shifts full time. It'll be crazy until after our deadline and someone else is hired and trained, and I can return to my regularly scheduled working.
    I've also officially registered myself for a handful of online classes through Poynter NewsU and soon I'll be a certified editor through ACES (American Copy Editor Society)! Exciting, right? Yeah...Maybe...
    Around the same time I got that call from work, my computer stopped working. It randomly crashed on me and sat there with a blank screen instead of restarting. That was in the middle of the day Thursday, when I was preparing to blog, and I was starting my first class for my ACES certification. So, I spent the day pacing and waiting for Husband of Mine to get home. He took apart my computer and it's currently on bypass until a new part gets ordered.

It's Done

on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    It's done. Yes, you read that right. The second draft of Powerful is finished. I wrote The End for the second time last night around 9:50 pm. Ten whole days ahead of schedule.



    I do have to apologize for my unofficial blogging hiatus as I pushed through to the end, but I was so motivated to finish that I couldn't take a break even to blog. In case you were wondering if it was worth it, I edited 4 chapters on Sunday, and 3 yesterday. I literally could not put my own book down.
    If you missed my lovely presence while I was away, you can always keep up to date on my Facebook and Twitter accounts where I posted daily updates to my progress (in addition to the word count bar on the side).
    I also shared a few quotes that I particularly loved from the chapters I was editing. Here are a few of my favorites.


Blog World Tour- Lesa McKee!

on Monday, September 5, 2016
    Welcome back to the Blog World Tour! This month's guest is one of my good friends from Scribophile, Lesa McKee!



Lesa McKee grew up at her Grandmother's knee, listening to the French folk-tales her animated Grandma Ida shared. A love of stories was born and her imagination took off!


Q: What is your favorite motivational phrase?

A: For writing it’s one I made up - "Every paragraph should hold a spark with some bursting into flames!"

Tweaking the Schedule

on Friday, September 2, 2016
    So I've been a bit busy this week. I ended up working all week instead of just the two days I normally work, so I lost a lot of my editing time. I also encountered some problems with my edits and ended up combining a couple chapters together, which is way more difficult than it sounds.
    Currently, I'm picking through the remains of a chapter where I moved the main scene to the beginning of the book, and now I'm trying to fill in space. Editing is hard. 
    Anyway, despite the challenges I faced, I did manage to get 8 chapters edited during the month of August! What a huge accomplishment! I know, there's still a lot left (16 chapters to be exact), but I have 29 days to finish and I've already edited one chapter so far this month. Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish-

Last Disneyland Trip of the Summer

on Monday, August 29, 2016
    Summer is officially over for us, but we did get one final day to enjoy it. That's right, one last Disneyland trip. Our third wedding anniversary was last week, so we used that as our excuse.



    I know I've talked before about how much I love Disney and how it helps with my creativity and writing. Believing in the impossible is fun, but actually experiencing it is indescribable. 

Free Write #12

on Saturday, August 27, 2016
    It's been a busy week. Sorry that I'm a few days late with this post! But better late than never, right?  Didn't have time for a lot, but I did write this short story, so I figured I'd share!



    The king held up his arms and silenced the cheering crowd. “We have our victor! Please, step forward and reveal your identity, noble knight.”
    The princess yawned.
    Her lady in waiting nudged her. “Perhaps he’s handsome and rich!”
    “Yes, because that would be a refreshing change from all the others who have come to win my hand,” she grumbled.
    The knight stepped forward and removed his…no, her helmet. Long brunette curls erupted from the helmet and settled around the victor’s waist. Finally, she looked up and smiled. “My princess.”
    “Mother?” The princess jumped out of her seat.

Query Letters

on Monday, August 22, 2016
    First, a quick announcement- I was interviewed by my good friend, Krisna, as part of the Blog World Tour. You can see that interview here!
    Now, as I mentioned last week, I started working on writing my first query letter for Powerful and I've received a lot of feedback from my writing group. It's really been an interesting learning experience for me. 


    There are a few different parts of a query letter, and it can change between different agents and publishers. The most important thing is to Look carefully at submission guidelines.

Free Write #11: Hope

on Thursday, August 18, 2016
    I've had this idea sitting in the back of my mind for a while, so I finally decided to write it down as a free write to share here. As always, once I start writing, the story takes over and it always ends up different than what I imagined originally, but I really like this and I hope you guys do too.
    **Edit- Apparently I need to add an emotional warning to this story. Have the tissues ready.**


    He held the baby tighter in his arms. “Can’t I hold her for just a little longer?”
    Karen laughed. “I thought you had homework to do.”
    “I’ll do it later. Go back to sleep.” He looked down at the sweet bundle again and kissed her forehead.
    “Alright, Ben. Let me know when Noah gets here.” She closed her eyes.
    He bit his lip and waited for her breathing to deepen. Delivery had been hard enough. She didn’t need to know yet that her child was fatherless. He cooed at the child until she too closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. “Don’t worry, little one. I’ll take care of you.”

Making Progress!

on Monday, August 15, 2016
    Well, the good news is that my new schedule has been working! I have been able to check off my editing goals for Powerful daily so far, which is really exciting. You can see my word count progress on the side! 
    It's really exciting to be able to give friends and family an official date to expect my finished product by. It makes me giddy, and it's really motivating me to continue to get work done.
    In that spirit, I'm not going to do a long post today. I just wanted to stop in and let you know that I'm still going strong, and making progress. In addition to my edits on Powerful, I've been able to put in some work on my query letter draft. I'm hoping to have that finalized pretty soon. 
    The biggest issue is that every place you submit has different requirements, so you can't really send out a single form letter everywhere. Pay close attention to what the publishers/agents are looking for and make sure you are giving them everything they want
    In other news, Husband of Mine started to teach me how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to help me with marketing myself as a writer. What do you think? Yes, that's my actual signature!



    ~Allie

Powerful Goals

on Thursday, August 11, 2016
    Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is over and I'm back to focusing on Powerful, I realized I needed a set schedule in order to motivate myself to get work done, the way Camp NaNo motivated me to work on A Fairy's Tale
    My writing group recently started working on query letters, and I realized that I want Powerful to be ready to query by the end of the year. So with that end date in mind, I started drafting myself a schedule.


    27 chapters left for draft 2, then I have 2 more drafts to go. And only 142 days left in the year. So what do I do? I make a checklist.

My Birthday Round-Up 2016

on Tuesday, August 9, 2016
    I'm a few weeks behind this year because of Camp NaNo and all the family dealings that came after, but now I'm ready to do a birthday present round up! 

    First- Husband of Mine planned a super fun weekend at Disneyland for my birthday. We stayed one night in the Grand Californian hotel, which is AMAZING, and we spent two days in the parks with family and friends. I got to wear my R2-D2 dress, too. We had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, which was delicious, and I picked out a new shirt. It was a great birthday weekend.

Camp NaNo: The Finale

on Thursday, August 4, 2016
    Well, it's August and July Camp NaNoWriMo is officially over. To be honest, I'm a little depressed now that it's over. I was so motivated to write, and now I'm coming off that high (and still recovering from Disneyland) and now I just feel tired. But at the same time, I'm ready to get back to Powerful so I can finish editing and get some beta readers.



    Remember, I started at 14,089 words, and I needed to end at 39,089 words to reach my goal. Anyway, here's how Camp NaNo ended-

Blog World Tour- Kristen Kooistra!

on Monday, August 1, 2016
    Let's give a big welcome to my next guest, Kristen Kooistra! I've talked about her on my blog a few times before. Here's a short introduction if you don't remember her-



 Kristen Kooistra fell in love with reading at a young age and never resurfaced. She loved solving mysteries, riding across the prairie, and sailing on the open sea. But her favorite books were those that held the fantastical. So when the time came for her to seriously approach publishing a book, it had to be fantasy!

 Living in Michigan (her own winterland) with her husband, three kids, and two cats, she has lots of free time...Okay, so more like she squeezes in writing time late at night when only the cats are awake to pester her.

Camp NaNo Week 4

on Friday, July 29, 2016
    Welcome back to our regularly scheduled blogging! Sort of. Some family things are up this week and we'll be traveling to Utah in a couple days, so I will probably miss a blog post next week. I promise to give you my final Camp NaNoWriMo tally as soon as I have free time!
    Anyway, here's how this week went-


Day 22- Friday was a busy morning at work. For the first few hours, I didn't get any writing done. But pretty soon the phones died down and I had nothing to do. I ended up writing 4,037 words. I know, right? It was awesome. Total- 20,332/17,741

Camp NaNo Week 3

on Monday, July 25, 2016
    Yes, I'm many days overdue for a post. Time has gotten away from me. So here's the deal- There are 6 days left of Camp NaNoWriMo. And I have to hit my 25k word goal. So let's see how this week went-



Day 15- Friday, so I worked. It was an INSANE day. Very busy. I wrote 1,145 words in my free time. Total- 11,372/12,096

Day 16- Saturday was a weird day because we spent most of the day at my in laws' trying to do laundry. Not actually laundry day, but it needed to be done. Except, our washing machine wasn't working so we had to use someone else's. And we took my Brothers in law to play Pokemon Go at the park. Then we went out to dinner. The only writing I got done was adding in part of a scene I forgot the day before. 70 words. Total- 11,442/12,903

Camp NaNo Week 2

on Saturday, July 16, 2016
    I know, I'm a few days behind. But at least I still got 2 blog posts out this week! In case you didn't notice, it's been a bit of a busy week for me.


Day 8- Friday, so I worked. It was a crazy busy day. I had probably 30 minutes of down time all day, but I did get some writing done in my free time, thanks to word wars. Only 338 words, but it's still progress. Total- 6,654/6,451

Day9- Saturday, so I had a lazy day. I don't remember what happened this day, but I didn't get anything done. *sigh* Total- 6,654/7,258

Dealing with Stress

on Wednesday, July 13, 2016
    So it's been an interesting weekend for me. I've been busy, and thanks to my anxiety, I've become completely overwhelmed. But instead of getting anything accomplished, my mind chose to shut off. Fun, right?
    So I finally decided what I wanted to blog about- ways to deal with stress. Lately, I've felt like I'm underwater. Everything's in slow-motion and looks fuzzy. And I can't focus on anything at all. 
How do I snap out of my funk and get back to normal?


Camp NaNo Week 1

on Thursday, July 7, 2016
    Well, today is the end of my first week of Camp NaNo, and I think it went really well. First off, I am finally back on a normal schedule (not living out of a suitcase, not working days I'm not supposed to, etc.) and my headaches are mostly under control. Plus, I've got a really great support group because I have the best NaNo Cabin who runs sprints (or as we like to call them, word wars) every 15 minutes throughout the day for whoever is free to join.



    Remember, my daily goal is 806 words a day (or 2,777 if I only write on days I work). So here's how it went-

Day 1- Friday, so I worked. I had a headache, so I didn't get as much done as I hoped but I still passed my daily goal by 1 word. Total: 807/806.

Blog World Tour- Corinne Morier!

on Monday, July 4, 2016
    Welcome to the Blog World Tour! Over the next twelve months, I will have twelve different fantasy writers as guests on my blog. They will answer a handful of different questions about writing, editing, and the fantasy genre. So, let's begin with my very first guest and one of my closest friends, Corinne Morier! *waves* Hi Corinne! And welcome to Hypergraphia! 



Corinne Morier is a bibliophile-turned-writer with a penchant for writing stories that make readers think. In her free time, she enjoys blogging, playing video games, and swimming. Her motto is “Haters gonna hate and potatoes gonna potato.” You can keep up with her latest by following her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016

on Thursday, June 30, 2016
    Tomorrow is July 1st! That means that it's time to start Camp NaNoWriMo! Whoo-hoo!


    Here's the deal- I work 9 days in July, and I've set myself a goal of 25,000 words. I thought that was fairly realistic since I've done it before for regular NaNo in November. That averages out to 2,777 ish words on days that I work, if I only write then. If I write everyday, then it's 806 words a day. Not bad at all.
    Wednesday, I started a scene and I got 473 words written in like an hour. Add that to my existing word count and I'm starting at 14,089 words. Plus 25,000 is 39,089 words. That's my end goal.
    I'll be updating the word count on the sidebar throughout the month as well as posting weekly updates on my blog and hourly (ish) updates on Twitter and Facebook
    Everyone in my cabin has different goals for the month, ranging from 6,000 words for the month up to 50,000! Most of us haven't ever done this before. Let's see if we can do it!
    ~Allie
P.S. I have a special guest coming on Monday! Don't miss it!

Camp NaNoWriMo

on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
    A lot of things have been going on recently. First off, check out my word counts on the sidebar! I've done a lot of work for A Fairy's Tale recently. I'm hoping to get back to editing Powerful soon, but I've got a few short stories that I'm editing right now so  it's been put on hold temporarily. 
    Second, I've been fighting off a cold for over a week now and it still isn't any better. Basically what this means is that I'm even more exhausted than normal, and my head hurts worse. I have less than no focus on anything right now. Yesterday I couldn't even walk because my head hurt so bad. Work tomorrow should be fun.
    We're house sitting for my in laws, which means we're also dog sitting. We dog sat for them last year too, and the dogs got along great by the end, but it's been a whole year and they just kind of pace around each other uncomfortably. It's entertaining.
    Anyway, I'm trying really hard not to make excuses about why I've been less than productive, because I've been fairly productive recently. I worked full time last week and got a lot of writing done, though not a lot of sleep. Again, the part to focus on is that I am still writing.
    The good news is that I'm preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo starting in July. I've set a word goal of 25,000 words for the month for the first draft of A Fairy's Tale. I'll post weekly updates here starting on Thursday (technically not July, but I work on Friday) with my starting word count, and on Friday when I work, I'm gonna start writing! 



    This is my first year doing Camp NaNo, and I'm really excited. I joined a cabin with a handful of my writing friends, and we're all really excited to get to work! I can't wait until Friday!
    ~Allie

Crazy Week!

on Monday, June 20, 2016
    So I just realized that I don't have blog posts set up for this week, and I'm going to be at work every day and I won't get a chance to blog! 


    I'm sorry! I will be back with regularly scheduled (or thrown together at the last minute) blog posts next week. The good news is that I will get a ton of writing done this week! I'll update you with how many words I write so you know that I'm being productive.
    ~Allie

Minor Schedule Changes

on Thursday, June 16, 2016
    So, I've spent two weeks going through my weekly schedule and I've discovered a few things-

  • I'm far more productive when I'm working.
  • I can get A LOT of writing done in my downtime at work.
  • Apparently you can remotely use Scrivener on a device that doesn't have it?!?! (Going to try it next week)
  • I'm lazy when I'm not working.
  • I actually really like my job.


Blog World Tour

on Monday, June 13, 2016
    I've got some exciting news! *trumpets sound* Starting next month, I'm participating in a series of author interviews that will run through the next 12 months!
    Here's how it works- Every month I have a new guest on my blog, and every month I will appear as a guest on someone else's blog. We have a huge group that is all participating, and it's divided up by genre. So everyone I'm interviewing writes fantasy.



    Some of the authors I know, others I don't. I'm excited to see what happens! The interviews will be posted on my blog on the first Monday of every month, starting July 4th. See you then!
    ~Allie

Weekly Summary

on Thursday, June 9, 2016
    It's been a week since I posted my new schedule, so lets see how I did! Bonus- I got my pillow chair this week! It's super comfortable and it really helps with my writing!



    Friday-
  The plan: Work.
  The reality: I worked! Check!

    Saturday-
  The plan: There was no plan for Saturday because I'm lazy!
  The reality: I was lazy! Check!

Heart of the Winterland

on Monday, June 6, 2016
    Some of you may remember my friend, Kristen Kooistra, from my "A Day in the Life of..." series. She is a mother of three crazy kids, and writes whenever they give her a moment to spare. After some time, those spare moments started to add up and pretty soon she had a book written and edited, and now it's going to be published!


    Her debut novel is called Heart of the Winterland. The story follows five different characters, Princess Calisandra, her companion Voice, the sorceress Amee, Captain Kota, and the fugitive Angel. Here's the preview-

Scheduling

on Thursday, June 2, 2016
    One of my favorite things to do is schedule my days. I'm not super great at sticking to my schedule, but I enjoy thinking that I'm organized.
    So here's the deal- it finally happened! I got hired! Wahoo! Now I get to schedule my life again, and maybe I can get some real work done! I work two days a week, Wednesday and Friday, and if they need me on other days I will work that into my schedule.
    The other fun thing I get to schedule is writing A Fairy's Tale in addition to editing Powerful, critting on Scribophile, and blogging. It's a lot to do, but I'm excited for the work.

Free Write #10

on Monday, May 30, 2016
    I know I was non-existent last week, but it's been a few crazy days. I'm still trying to find a job, and it's only difficult because we don't know when we'll be moving again and where we'll end up so I don't know where to apply for jobs! Life is complicated and I miss being a kid where I could write whenever and wherever I wanted. I always had inspiration and I never had blocks, mental or physical, getting in the way of my writing.
    Now, I have to fight to get any writing done. So, I'm taking today to write something a little different. Here's my prompt-



Q&A, The A Part

on Wednesday, May 18, 2016
    So, I remembered as I was falling asleep last night that I have to answer questions today because I am going to be busy all day tomorrow. Oops. Oh well. Here are the A's to your Q's!


    Kristen asked- 
Q: What's your favorite drink? Just kidding!
A: Dr. Pepper. Like that's even a question!

Q: Other than a writer, what did you want to grow up to be when you were little?
A: A librarian when I was really little, and a fashion designer when I was like 11.

Q&A with Me!

on Monday, May 16, 2016
    Hello, minions *cough* I mean, my lovely readers! Today's blog post is going to be a little different. Because I use a pen name, and I have yet to take an actual author photo that I like, I feel like you don't really know me that well. Except for the fact that you spend all this time reading all of my ramblings.



    So here's the deal- In the comments, ask me any of those burning questions that have been eating away at you. What's my favorite color? Favorite food? Anything you want to know about me, ask it in the comments and I'll answer them all on Thursday. That only gives you three days to ask me questions! So hurry and ask away!
    ~Allie

Fear

on Thursday, May 12, 2016
    Fear is something inside all of us. It makes us human. It makes us real and relatable. But, sometimes we don't know what we fear until we face it.
    I am one of those people who doesn't quite know what I fear. I woke up around 3 am because of an earthquake. I woke up to the shaking, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I grew up living on the San Andreas Fault (we still live on it), so earthquakes don't really scare me. But, I've never been through a really big one. Maybe when I experience a really big one, I'll be scared.
    I don't fear death. I do fear injury. Car crashes scare me. Hurricanes are pretty scary and tornadoes are too, but they are also fairly predictable (unlike earthquakes which don't scare me). 
    When asked what I'm afraid of, I always have two answers- bees and thunder. I'm allergic to bees, so it's only natural for me to fear them. Thunder is my one completely illogical fear, but I can't think my way out of being scared of it. I hate thunderstorms. I usually have to sit with headphones in listening to loud music or watching a loud tv show or movie. I guess I'm also scared of crazy horror movies, but I can avoid those.

The Inner Child

on Monday, May 9, 2016
    I was lucky. Growing up, I always knew what I wanted to do with my life. I've been reading since I was three, and I've been addicted to books since. It was only natural for me to go one step further with the one thing I love and become a writer.
    I started writing my first novel when I was 12 years old. And back then, writing was difficult because I had so many ideas swarming around in my mind. Now, writing is difficult because I don't have enough inspiration. One of the best ways for me to gather together inspiration is to connect with my inner child.
    How do you connect with the inner child? Well, my personal favorite way is to go to my happy place: Disneyland.

New House, New Writing Spots

on Thursday, May 5, 2016
    In case you missed my recent posts, we moved a few weeks ago. For most people it means piles of boxes, maybe some new furniture, and the hope of a new life. For me, it means my whole writing schedule is thrown out of whack. Again.
    The biggest pain about this move was that because Husband of Mine was finishing school, I had to pack everything myself which took away a month of writing time. But now that we're all moved in, the biggest problem is that my writing chair is gone. It's in storage. RIP recliner writing.
    So where do I write now? I'm still in the process of figuring that out. Because we're temporarily living with family until we get our own place again, I not only have to work around new spaces, I have to work around people. The good news is that there is a lot of space in this house.
    First, I have my bedroom to write in.

I'm Baaa-aaack!

on Monday, May 2, 2016
    Hello my lovely readers! I'm so sorry you had to survive so long without me, but I have decided to grace you all with my virtual presence once more.
    We've had a busy couple of weeks. We successfully transplanted ourselves to southern California, though we still have a bit of unpacking left to do. We reconfigured our phones and found a better phone plan. I opened my new Etsy shop. Husband of Mine started back at Walt Disney Imagineering today. And we also suffered the loss of a family member to suicide.
    But now I'm back and ready to blog and write. I've had a lot of inspiration over the past few days, and I'm ready to move forward with both of my projects. It's nice being back on a schedule. I will have to go through my calendar and rearrange my writing routine once more to fit in both editing Powerful and writing the first draft of A Fairy's Tale along with blogging and crocheting. It's a lot of work, but it feels good to be doing something again.


    So here I go back to work! I'm hoping to do another video for Thursday's post, so stay tuned!
    ~Allie

Packing and packing and packing....

on Thursday, April 14, 2016
    I've been crazy busy lately, and I'm only going to get busier as the days go by. If you didn't know, Husband of Mine is graduating next week and we'll be officially moving back to California for good! I'm excited to go back home, but it also means that we're moving again and I hate moving.


    Yeah, that's me right now. Drowning in boxes. Luckily, we knew we were moving and I started packing two weeks ago. But there are only so many things you can pack up a month in advance. Clothing and dishes are not things you can live without, and we have more than enough of those. So that's what I'm packing up now, while trying to maintain my normal life by blogging and writing (which obviously isn't going so well right now). 
    I hate moving. It's the worst. But I've also started refining my résumé and applying to jobs in California because we get to start paying off student loans as soon as Husband of Mine graduates. Yay.
    Anyway, the point of this blog post is to say that I'm probably going to be disappearing soon. There's so much work to do and I won't have time to blog for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to pop in every once in a while, so you know that I'm still alive and that I'm still writing.
    ~Allie

A Day in the Life of...H. L. Burke!

on Monday, April 11, 2016
    It's Monday, again! Know what that means? It's time for another guest post! This week's guest is *drumroll* H. L. Burke!



Hello, I am H. L. Burke and I'm a military spouse, mother of two superhero princesses, guardian of a ginger cat and a German Shepherd … oh and I write. A lot. 

I wrote all time from middle school onward but sort of quit when my first daughter was born.

It took four years for me to find my creative voice again after motherhood, not because I felt stagnant but because being a mom was so fulfilling that it kind of consumed my thoughts … and also because I was still finding my feet as a mother, a wife, a constant mover, and even an adult.

Mental Illness Part 2

on Thursday, April 7, 2016
    Last week was a rough week for me emotionally and physically. My depression was kicking in hard, along with my migraines. Both have caused me a lot of grief. One thing that still bothers me is how few people believe that mental disorders are health problems. 
    We can all agree that heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are health problems, right? All are physical illnesses that hurt someone's health. To save them, we go to doctors and try to find treatment to fix the problem.
    But why is it that people can't agree whether things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or other mental illnesses are actual illnesses that need treatment?
    I speak as someone who has one parent who doesn't believe in mental illness, and one parent who knew something was wrong but didn't know how to help. Recently, a sister revealed to me that she also struggles with depression. Such a little revelation means so much to me because someone else understands my struggle. I don't have a lot of friends that I can talk to about my depression and anxiety, but I'm making an effort to stop treating my own struggles like they have to be secret.
    Everyone struggles with something. I found a quote that kind of sums up what I mean by that.