writing

Summer 2017 Quarterly Goals

Hello again friends, it’s certainly been a while. This past quarter has been especially rough for me, and I’ll tell you right now I did not ‘win’ this quarter. I had a rough end of the school year, and now things are still tough as I’m just into limbo trying to get a job unsure of what my next chapter in life is. It’s made it really difficult for me to be productive or write with the stress and anxiety of it all.

I’m hoping having a new set of quarterly goals will help.

But first for the heck of it let’s go over how I did last quarter:

  1. Write 10,000 words of novel- not even close.
  2. Have 5 critique partners- this was a bad goal- wait til done w/ first draft self!
  3. Finish Beta reading- there was a whole issue where she forgot to send me more
  4. Have 200 twitter followers– Boom! More than doubled this!
  5. Start youtube channel with Daniela!-We’re doing this very soon! Look out!
  6. Take promotional photos for said channelWe did this!
  7. Do more makeup art for instagram-didn’t do 😦
  8. GRADUATE COLLEGE D:yup
  9. Talk to someone at career center-lol nah
  10. Apply to 50+ jobs– definitely did more than this haha
  11. Get a job… –sadly no 😦 plz hire me
  12. Read 5 books- only read 3 :/
  13. Start doing something physical for health- I’m not gonna count it
  14.  Go on a dateyup! Still no bf though…
  15. Make treasurer survival guide for next treasurer– did the thing

So that’s 6/15- 2 shy of completing half the goals. Some of these were unrealistic so I’ll try to correct that for this quarter.

And now, my summer 2017 goals:

  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Start youtube channel with Daniela!
  3. Post regularly to this blog
  4. Have 700 twitter followers
  5. Get a job!
  6. Keep being vegetarian!
  7. Learn some new vegan and vegetarian recipes
  8. Do something physical for health
  9. Finish setting up author website
  10. Do some sort of creative project
  11. Go on some sort of outing once a week
  12. Apply to 50 more jobs
  13. Get someone to write music for Wizard of Cloz
  14. Finish Wizard of Cloz

Thank you all for being so understanding and wish me luck on my goals!

marketing

Networking Isn’t so Dreadful After All

Networking. I used to always dread that word. It meant a bunch of people pretending to care about each other just to get a job, or a favor, or whatever.

Now that I’ve begun to network as a writer, I see it totally differently. I LOVE talking to other authors and listening to what they have to say. We’re so trapped in this solitary activity that it’s just so nice to hear about other people going through the same things.

Plus I am legitimately interested in what other people are writing about, there are some awesome ideas out there! Other creative types are definitely the people I jive with the most. It’s cool to talk about random hypothetical scenarios with them mid conversation. They don’t think I’m wasting my time spending so much of it writing.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a writers retreat and had authors and publishers come to speak. I was amazed at how close I got with these people over the course of the day. The were so friendly and willing to give advice, and despite the age difference (and professional difference) I felt like they saw me as an equal.

Last night I participated in Kim Chance’s #Chance2Connect on twitter for the first time and was amazed at how friendly everyone was. All types of writers all at different stages in the writing process came together to meet, give advice, and complain about our shared writing woes. I even found a couple potential critique partners!

I highly recommend looking into opportunities like this and putting yourself out there as a writer. It’s scary at first, but so rewarding!

Let me know in the comments if there are online groups or other hashtags you use to connect with other writers!

writing advice

Spring 2017 Quarterly Goals

It’s that time of year again!

Let’s review how I did on my winter goals:

1. Write at least 7,000 words of pirate novel

Soooo close. About 1,000 words off 😦

2. finish first draft of chapters 2-4 of pirate novel and send out for feedback

Nope, still need to finish 3 and write 4

3. start a writing blog (OH HEY)

Obviously, a strong success

4. start a youtube channel

Not quite, but this is happening soon!

5. do yoga most days of the week

Started out strong… stopped about a month in

6. clean off my desk and use it

HA

7. stay on top of classes (this means at least a C in tough classes, at least a B in easier ones)

Doing this in most, but unfortunately can’t quite count as a win 😦

8. plan and get speakers for the writing retreat

Done!

9. keep up with treasurer duties for theater club

Yup!

10. finish USG requests for theater club

Done and done

11. go to the career center and talk to someone(s) there

I kinda tried…

12. ask people to be references

Yes!

13. apply to 10+ jobs

Did wayyy more than this

14. direct a successful play

Si!

15. go on a date 😉

Surprisingly…. actually did this. Didn’t end up working out, but hey I’m getting out there

16. hold at least 1 fundraiser per club

Mhm!

17. fix schedule

And yes!

 

For those keeping track that is 10/17 completed, so that is a success for the quarter. It doesn’t feel like it because I considered these all things I really had to do, but I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much.

And now my spring goals:

  1. Write 10,000 words of novel
  2. Have 5 critique partners
  3. Finish Beta reading
  4. Have 200 twitter followers
  5. Start youtube channel with Daniela!
  6. Take promotional photos for said channel
  7. Do more makeup art for instagram
  8. GRADUATE COLLEGE D:
  9. Talk to someone at career center
  10. Apply to 50+ jobs
  11. Get a job…
  12. Read 5 books
  13. Start doing something physical for health
  14.  Go on a date
  15. Make treasurer survival guide for next treasurer

Aaaaah graduation is scary and getting a job is scary but one way or another I’ll make it through. Comment below with your goals!

writing

Adventures in Beta Reading

Hello again readers and writers, I’ve been away from the blog for a while because it’s my last semester as an undergrad and my focus needs to be with school right now, but also I’ve taken up the commitment of being a beta reader!

Beta readers are readers who give you feedback on your novel before you publish it so you can make sure readers are reacting to it as intended.

Why beta read if I should be focusing on my novel? Well once I finish my first few drafts, I’m going to send it out to beta readers, and I figured, what better way to learn about the process than to become one myself?

I’ve definitely learned a lot from this experience, and I’ll definitely have more sympathy towards my future betas as a result.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

•Make sure you only choose betas who like the genre you are writing in

If a beta reader doesn’t like what they’re reading, it’s going to be a slow and grueling process to read your material, and even more so to answer questions about it. Make sure your betas are invested when selecting!

•Busy schedules don’t make for good betas

I fall into this category. I’m not always the best beta reader because my weeks are always hectic, and I often don’t feel like answering questions in my free time because it feels like work. Make sure your betas have open enough schedules to commit to this- beta reading is more work than just reading.

•Keep your questions concise and clear

After a beta finishes a chapter, authors have questions prepared for them to answer. Make sure these allow for the beta to write a lot of feedback, but don’t give them super long questions or too many! This will make them stress and not look forward to reading the next chapter and doing it all over again. Ask what you need to know, no more.

•Make sure you expectations are clear

Whether it’s time limits to read, or how you want them to answer questions, make sure the expectations you give are clear. A lot of people don’t know what beta reading entails. ESPECIALLY make clear that you want them to be completely honest. If they didn’t like the chapter, it’s far more harmful for you to lie about it than to just tell the truth. You are giving the writer an opportunity to correct their mistakes, which is what they wanted you for!

 

Overall I have enjoyed beta reading, but I can appreciate the amount of work it is now and hopefully this will help me to create a better relationship with my future betas.

 

If you are interested in beta reading an adventure historical fiction about a gang of female pirates, let me know in the comments! It’ll be a while before it’s ready, but I’d love to know if some of you have interest.

Happy writing!

poetry, writing

Attempting a Slam Poem

I’ve been very inspired by slam poetry lately. Maybe it’s because I’m performing in The Vagina Monologues, but there’s something so beautiful about just getting your feelings out there without worrying about rhyming or sounding good, but saying what’s on your mind and getting a point across. So, here are some feelings:

Since the day we are born

Somehow it leaks into our heads

That we have a place

That we need to change

To be more like her, now her

But never her.

Never speak out of turn

Or your mind

Never put on weight

Never show how smart you are

Never outdo a man

His ego is too fragile

And somehow that’s my problem

Because his feelings, his pleasure

Will always come before mine

 

Well like Michael Jackson

All I want to say

Is that they don’t really care about us

They want us to take off

All of our hair that isn’t on our head

Put on uncomfortable lingerie

It’s not sexy if I don’t feel sexy

It’s not okay unless I say so

It’s my body, not yours, NEVER yours

You have the privilege to touch it if I say so

I am so much stronger than you will ever be

Because I have had to deal with this bullshit

Day in an day out

I have had to overcome a world that said I should hate my body

That I shouldn’t be me

Well I am me

I’m all I have

And slowly but surely

I am coming to love me

And finding people

Who love me for me

Because they’re the only ones who deserve

To have me in their lives

 

Uncategorized, writing

My Vagina Monologue

I recently had the opportunity to join a group of fantastic women and perform in The Vagina Monologues. As I read through the monologues for my audition, I am inspired to tell my own story. There is so much pressure on women to stay quiet and shut up about anything related to vaginas, so sometimes you just need to break the silence.

If you are squeamish about these things I suggest you stop reading, or get over it. Being a woman is an experience that differs for everyone, and it’s important for all genders to understand that.

~

When I reached puberty, my doctor told me “Boys are going to want to touch you now, don’t let them.” He then proceeded to poke and prod me, leaving bruises on my ten year old skin.

You told me that too. You told me your biggest regret was not waiting until marriage, and that I would regret it too. It would feel wrong unless it was with the right person.

But it didn’t.

The first time a boy massaged me there through my clothes he asked “Is this okay?” It felt good. I knew I was supposed to stay stop, but I said “Yes.” I could feel happiness melting through me with each moment. How could this be wrong?

After each encounter I would not feel guilt, but worry that you would somehow be able to tell what I had done. That you could smell it on my breath, like alcohol.

You never knew til I told you part of the truth, and you shamed me. You called me a tease for not going all the way. You said “Don’t you feel gross?” I didn’t. I don’t think I would have at all if not for those words.

Then one day, after you had lifted my ban on seeing him, it happened. His eyes were filled with lust as he thrust his fingers into me. More than usual. It began to hurt, and I tried to pull him hand away but he continued, not noticing the pain I was in. I was to embarrassed of my own body, not confident enough to assert myself to tell him to stop until the pain surpassed a level I could take. I went to the bathroom and bloody clumps on what looked like veins greeted me.

I don’t know what happened to me. I’ve never told this to anyone before. But since that day it doesn’t feel good anymore. His fingers felt uncomfortable. The next guy’s did too. There was little pleasure to be gained. I prayed it was him and not me, that I had not somehow lost that part of myself by not speaking up. I don’t know what has happened to me, but I wish I could talk to you about it. About anything at all. I shouldn’t be so afraid to speak my mind, to tell a man to stop touching MY body. I should love myself, all of myself. I want to love every part of me, the physical, the emotional, my desires, my everything. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. My daughter will know this. I’m going to make sure of that.

 

 

writing, writing advice

Why Raising the Stakes is so Important in Your Story

Ever been reading a story and had a thought like ‘where is this even going?’, ‘I’m so bored right now, when is it going to pick up?’, or ‘this plot is predictable’?

Yeah, you want to avoid this at all costs in your story. And it all comes down to constantly raising the stakes. What do I mean by that? I mean adding more drama, more twists and setbacks, more for the character to lose should they fail. Let’s consider an example:

 Jane Doe searches for the hidden oasis to find herself and her beliefs.

Sounds okay, but needs some sprucing up (aka higher stakes) let’s try something else:

Jane Doe searches for the oasis, hoping to find her beliefs after her people were made slaves.

Backstory is better. Still needs more though.

Jane searches for the Oasis, a place that may hold the key to freeing her enslaved people and reconfirm her beliefs.

Now we’ve got a story. It could still be better though:

Jane escapes from a labor camp to find the Oasis, the one place that may hold the key to bargaining for the freedom of her people. But the king has sent talented assasins after her and the mythical oasis is said to vanish for years after appearing for a week.

Now we’ve got a deadline and enemies to fight, two key stakes that most stories should include. Every story can always use some raised stakes, consider where yours is lacking so it never drags!