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. 


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.


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.