New Year’s Resolutions: 2018

Daaaaaaaamn, guys. I seriously can’t get over the fact that tomorrow is the final day of the year. It feels like 2017 went by in the blink of an eye. A lot of things happened and a lot of changes were made, all for the better. πŸ™‚ I feel like this was a fantastic and much-needed year for patching up what was once the fast-sinking vessel that is my mental health. I’m happy to report that I accomplished a lot of important goals I’d set for myself this past year, and that I’m not only much happier, but also much stronger, because of it.

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I had a lot of things I wanted to work on in an attempt at bettering myself and I conquered the goals set before me. Honestly, it’s probably been my best year ever as far as slaying New Year’s Resolutions goes and it feels pretty damn good. I plan on riding that high right into 2018 by continuing to try and better myself. That’s kind of the thing about life, isn’t it? We’re always pushing ourselves, learning new things, and taking new chances.

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So, that said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly my goals are for the new year! I’ve got several themes for my various goals concerning different aspects of my life. Things like reading, fitness, writing, etc. (Knowing me, I’ll probably come up with several additional goals throughout the year, but as of right now, here’s what I intend to work on in 2018:)

Reading Goals of 2018:

  • Finally read the neglected books that have been sitting on my bookshelves, untouched.
  • Venture into reading more poetry.
  • Read 50 books/graphic novels (Last year’s goal was 45, so I upped it by 5.)

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Creative Goals of 2018:

  • Bust my ass to get my writing project ready to start submitting by the end of 2018.
  • Start utilizing art tutorials and online courses to learn snazzy new art skills.
  • Experiment with watercolors.
  • Draw! Draw! Draw! Write! Write! Write!

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Fitness Goals of 2018:

  • Do more cardio, kickboxing, and dance.
  • Drink more water.
  • Find more fun and active hobbies like going to the trampoline park.

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So, that just about covers my personal goals for the new year. πŸ™‚ How about you? Are you planning on making any new year’s resolutions? Did you complete any this past year? I’d love to hear about them! πŸ˜€

Since I don’t know if I’ll have time to hop on tomorrow, let me just wish you all a very Happy New Year! Here’s to what will hopefully be a fantastic 2018! ❀

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NaNoWriMo 2017: Conclusion

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You, guys. YOU. GUYS. It’s done! I know it’s been a couple days now, but NaNoWriMo is officially at its end, can you believe it? After all the late-night writing binges, after consuming more caffeinated beverages than anything of actual nutritional value, and after writing our little hearts out all last month, it is finally OVER!

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We did it, guys! We weathered the storm. If you participated, I’d love to hear how you did. Hopefully everyone got a great experience out of it. πŸ™‚ I think the whole challenge is a positive thing no matter the word count you end with because it is a valuable learning tool as a writer. So, no matter the outcome, congrats on another NaNoWriMo battle fought and survived (and maybe even vanquished!)

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I spent the last couple weeks of November sick, but determined not to give up. Hence why I wound up going on a brief hiatus and have been a no-show around here lately. (Can you tell I started to feel the pressure when I wound up a bit shy of my intended word count by the halfway mark?) πŸ˜› Well, the near-maddening level of work I put into it paid off and I DID cross the finish line. Not in a smooth, effortless gazelle-level-of-grace sort of way, but in more of a frothing-at-the-mouth, crashing through the wall and skidding to a bloody stop sort of way.

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So, that said, by the end of November I finished the challenge by the skin of my teeth with . . . dun dun dunnnnn . . . 50,246 words. I wrote my little heart out. Some of it is pretty rough, but they call it a “rough draft” for a reason, no? πŸ˜‰ There’s plenty more to keep writing for this story, but I’ve got a lot of that figured out already, too. I tend to be a project hopper, always bouncing from idea to idea, but I’m really enjoying writing these characters and their world right now, which leads me into another big announcement as the start of the new year draws ever nearer. It’s something I’m pretty excited about. πŸ˜€

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I’m one of those people who always does the whole New Year’s Resolution thing. For a long time I was ALSO one of those people who made the goals and forgot all about them a month or two into the new year. Last year was different, though. I made a lot of resolutions aimed toward improving myself and I actually did accomplish a lot of them, which was an amazing feeling. I’ll do a whole post about my goals for the upcoming year as January gets closer, but for now, while we’re on the topic of my current writing project, I want to announce that one of those goals is to (by the end of 2018) have a finalized draft of my novel to start submitting to publishers.

NaNoWriMo was a major step in this, but only the first of many that I’ll have to take to make these goal happen. I’m looking forward to the journey though, no matter how stressful it might just end up being. Along the way I may even finally work up the nerve to talk a bit about what it is I’m actually working on. I’m neurotic about only letting people see my stuff when it’s DONE but maybe I’ll lighten up a bit on that. Maybe. lol It’s hard for me to let people see the rough, WIP versions of things I’m making, so we’ll see. Are any of you guys like that, too? I always see people sharing the things they’re working on and I love to see it, just for some reason I’ve always had a hard time showing things until they’re finished. Maybe that is something I should work on, too. πŸ˜›

Alright, time to catch up on everyone’s blogs! I’ve missed popping into WP since I was finishing my writing binge and dealing with a very busy last few days. It’ll be nice to see what you’ve all been up to. πŸ™‚

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2017 Weekly Update: No. 2

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Woo! Half way through the frantic chaos that is NaNoWriMo! It’s hard to believe it’s half over already. How’s it going for those of you who are participating this year? Are you right on track where you were hoping to be at this point? Any tips on what’s working for you so far this go around?

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Not getting sick helps, of course. This is my second year doing NaNoWriMo and it also just so happens to be my second time getting sick during it. Lovely. Yay, tradition, am I right? πŸ˜› Oh well, it and some other things slowed me down this week, but I’m not out of this fight yet! I’m behind where I wanted to be, but I’m not giving up. It’s called a writing “challenge” for a reason, after all.

Alright, that said, let’s get down to business, shall we? Last week my writing update had a day by day word count breakdown, but I failed to track how much was written each day this week, so we’ll just go over the end game number I wound up with this week. I’d been hoping to write an additional 11,669 words this week, PLUS I wanted to make up for the 339 words I was shy of from last week’s goal. Well, it did not happen this week, guys.

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I finished the week with an additional 9,168 words written. With the month being half over at this point, I was hoping to have reached a minimum of 25,000 words by now. After adding this week’s numbers up with last week’s I see I am at exactly *drum roll please* . . .Β  20,498 words!

That’s a whopping 4,502 words less than I’d hoped.

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Oh, well, I feel like if I get my butt back on track and split up the extra words I still need between the two weeks I have left that I can do it. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but it’s better than giving up! πŸ˜›

Good luck to those of you still in the good fight, too. ❀ NaNoWriMo is one tough beast, but we’ve got this, guys! πŸ˜€

Oh! And on a non-NaNoWriMo-related side note, you should go check out this snazzy giveaway Kate over at All the Trinkets is doing for her blog’s 3rd birthday! She’s a great artist and blogger and has a few different giveaway options you can pick from going on right now. πŸ™‚ She’s got an awesome and inspiring blog so be sure to give her some blog b-day love. She deserves it! She also deserves an adorable gif of a hedgehog in a little party hat eating a tiny cake, so here ya go, Kate! πŸ˜›

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NaNoWriMo 2017 Weekly Update: No. 1

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Hey, guys! Well, we’re through the first week of NaNoWriMo. I hope everyone is right on track and having a good go of it so far. πŸ™‚ I’ll try to do one of these writing updates each week throughout the challenge just to touch base on where I’m at and how writing went throughout that particular week.

Here’s my progress throughout week 1 when it came to my daily word count:

November 1: word count of 1,679

November 2: word count of 1,688

November 3: word count of 1,321

November 4: word count of 1,092

November 5: word count ofΒ  1,895

November 6: word count of 1,927

November 7: word count of 1,728

My goal for this week was to reach a minimum of 11,669 words. I accomplished:

11,330 words written in 7 days!

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I came in just 339 words shy of where I’d planned on capping off the week, but hey, not too shabby of a start, right? πŸ™‚ I can catch up. I know I can. As is the case for many people, November has been shaping up to be an incredibly busy (and financially-draining) month. Still, I remain optimistic! I nearly made the first week’s goal, so I just gotta catch up a wee bit and then I’m right on track. πŸ˜€

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How did your first week of the writing challenge go? Let’s talk NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Let’s Do This!

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It’s that time of year again, guys! As many of you know, November 1st marks Day 1 of NaNoWriMo, aka: National Novel Writing Month. (Otherwise known as that 30 day span of time where you never see your writer friends because they’ve gone into that annual highly caffeinated full-blown hermit mode to reach that 50,000 word count.)

Last year was my first stab at NaNoWriMo, and I can honestly say that I went into it all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Something like this:

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And then when it came toward the end of November I suddenly found myself feeling more like THIS:

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Needless to say, things did not go exactly as I had planned. BUT, quite possibly the best thing about not succeeding is learning from your mistakes you made the first go around. That’s why I chalk my first attempt at NaNoWriMo as a valuable learning experience and not a “failure”. As long as you pick up on what hindered your goal and keep at it, it isn’t really a failure anyway. πŸ™‚

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I know that my number one NaNoWriMo nemesis is that damned backspace key. I am a compulsive nut about re-wording things over and over again to make them sound “just so”. (Not a good habit to have when working on first drafts.) Thankfully, I don’t have this habit while blogging. I just wing it and keep going. I’m really going to try to avoid deleting things at all costs. Just keep pushing forward. That’s the goal.

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50,000 words in 30 days is the mission. It can be done. It isn’t easy by any means, but I’m really planning on passing that finish line this go around. Some of you might remember when I decided to challenge myself to a similar goal I dubbed the “Necro Rhino” since my boyfriend and I call NaNoWriMo “Nano Rhino” and this was me resurrecting the challenge in a different month after my little nano rhino bit the dust well below the planned word count. I may have not made it during 2016’s NaNoWriMo, but I did during the Necro Rhino challenge I set for myself, so now that I know I am capable of doing it, I am hoping to go for the gold this time around! πŸ˜€

Another useful tool? Those heavenly caffeinated beverages. Coffee? Sure! Red Bull? You betcha! I can sleep in December when NaNoWriMo is over. πŸ˜›

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Good luck to all of you who are participating in this month’s dash to reach at least 50,000 words! I saw a lot of people make, and even surpass, that goal last year, so don’t get discouraged. We’ve got this, people! ❀

Celebrate Good Times, Come On: Rise of the Necro Rhino!

Writing challenges can be hard. I suppose that’s why they’re called “challenges” to begin with. This past November I took my first shot at slaying the fearsome beast known in the writing community as NaNoWriMo (aka- National Novel Writing Month or “Nano Rhino” if you’re absurd and silly like my boyfriend and I are). It did not go as planned.

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But, hey, instead of letting it getting to me or giving up I took it as a learning experience. I took a hard look at what didn’t work for me and read people’s tips on what led them to their own NaNoWriMo success. One of the best tips I read was: Do not go for perfection. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. πŸ˜‰

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This month I decided to take what I learned and try again at writing 50,000 words over the span of 30 days in a challenge I dubbed The Return of the Necro Rhino. Again, because I am absurd and silly. And also morbid.

I started off strong and then hit a bump in the road earlier in the month when I got sick AND lost power for 48 hours due to some crazy high winds. Luckily I caught back up and have been going strong for the most part and staying right on track. Aaaaand today I finished the challenge by completing just over the 50,000 word goal for the month!! πŸ˜€

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I still have so much work left to do on this book and the rough draft isn’t even fully finished, but a big chunk of it is, and for that I am pretty damn jazzed. I got over a major writing hurdle I was experiencing and feel liberated because of it. I’m also really, really thankful for all of the wonderful support, advice, and love I’ve gotten from you guys during this challenge (and just overall in general). You guys are seriously awesome, and you make blogging such a joy!

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Help Bees Help YOU!

Hey, you! Yeah, you! You like food, right? Well, so do bees. And bees (being the bad ass little pollinators they are) help provide us with so much of the food we eat to stay alive. Cheerios and Veseys Seeds recognize the major decline in bee colony numbers and are giving away MILLIONS of wildflower seeds for FREE to people in the U.S. and Canada to encourage people to do their part and get planting!

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Cupcakes and Machetes and I have already signed up for our seeds so give into peer pressure and be sure to do it too! It’s seriously SO easy. Just click this magical link of awesomeness and get those free seeds!! πŸ˜€

Not a bad deal, right? Everyone wins. Free flowers, bees get some much-needed help, you get to enjoy some gardening when spring hits, bee colonies hopefully grow and flourish and the world gets to continue stuffing their faces with all those delicious fruits and veggies and other nutritious noms.

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We’re all on this planet together, and it’s up to us to take care of one another and the earth itself. Even simple little things like this make a big difference if enough of us get off our butts and do something.

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