ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING!!!!!

Welp, guys, it’s official. I have been blogging for one year!!!

 

 

 

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor <--- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the little face he makes here. I think this is what clinched it for me <3
Realizing I’ve actually done it!

 

One year of blogging. Blogiversary. Today, lil bloggy turns 1.

 

 

When I was younger I started reading blogs. Younger as in approximately seven. I read them voraciously. I had a whole list that I would go check a few times a week. All that time, I desperately wanted my own. And I almost started one once when I was about nine (like that would have gone well). And then it fell through for some reason and I didn’t really think about blogging again until I was about eleven or twelve, when I stumbled across the blogs of a few people in my age group and realized Hey, people read the blogs of people like me–a general nobody, just trying to survive this crazy world. That’s cool. 

 

So, on May 9th, 2017, I started my first blog and uploaded the first post at 11:30 PM. At the time, I was almost fifteen years old. My first post was a mess (as has been every post since). I still don’t know how to write a decent looking ‘about me’ page, and my beliefs page badly needs redone.  But those can wait.

 

Right now, I’m still discovering the joy blogging gives–the rush when I come up with an idea for a stellar new post. The happy comments you leave me that make me squeal a little and smile and remember why I started. The joy of sharing my thoughts with the world. And I don’t ever want to lose that simple, pure, unadulterated happiness. Which is kind of stupid, I know–but I’m a writer. What can I say? 😉

 

So. What gives you joy? And did you like the revival of my old theme? Just kidding–I was very disappointed to find out this morning that WordPress no longer supplies it. 😦 Oh well…. ;D

 

 

 

–Abilene

 

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A Very Late Update/Goal Release

Hello to all! Sorry for not posting over the weekend like I should have…I have been out of town and very busy after I got back. In an effort to conserve my sanity, I am smooshing both my end-and-beginning-of-month posts into one, and a very short one at that. Basically I’m not doing a long, thought out list–just keeping all my thoughts in paragraph form instead. Hopefully y’all do mind. 😀

 

Anyway, in March, I was not very good at any of my goals. The weather was very iffy, and I’m using that as my excuse for why I didn’t go jogging. I did pretty good on my Bible reading until the end of the month, when I started getting lazy. I didn’t drink nearly as much water as I should have. I failed at my exercise calendar. (These are all huge surprises, right, considering my track record of victories? ;D) I totally ACED my closet organization–it looks amazing. I read three complete books and started two others. I wouldn’t say I practiced piano six times a week, but I tried and I can definitely say my musical talents have improved in the last month. I finished the rough draft of my novel. I did three posts on my blog, none of which were the posts I thought I was going to post. I finished The Rising and The Regime. I didn’t really go that great on eating healthily, but I was absolutely terrible either.

 

 

In April….I plan to stay alive. Save at least $20 dollars (low, I know, but that way I can feel good when I fulfill my goals). I want to finish The Rapture, the very last book in my favorite series. I want to finish Jip. I want to eat three serving of fresh fruit a day. I’m going to post a review of The Rising. I want to perfect Bagatelle No. 25 (aka Fur Elise). I want to do ten push-ups a day. Cut out the soda. Read the book from the library I checked out about the DRC (for novel researching). Read my Bible and answer devotional questions.

 

 

 

That’s about it. Sorry this was so short. I’m preparing for a big hunt tomorrow and things are pretty hectic. Hope you all have a good week! 😀

 

 

 

–Abby

What I’ve Learned About Writing While Writing My First Draft

Well, fellas and females, I’ve got an announcement.

 

It’s officially official.

 

I FINISHED THE ROUGH DRAFT OF MY NOVEL!!!! *cries tears of joy*

 

I started Though He Slay Me as a, oh, maybe twelve year old kid–in any case, many years ago. This novel–I can accurately it has changed my life. It has made me look in directions I’ve never dreamed of. It has brought me joy day by day. It has made my Google search history look a little bit…odd. It has improved my vocabulary, my researching skills, my novels. It has changed my life.

 

I’ve learned a lot of things about writing–and about life–that I’d like share to you because of this journey, which is far from over. I’ve only written the first draft; there’s still rewriting and editing to do–but I feel good. I didn’t know I’d ever make it this far until now. And so, here are some quotes, some funnies, and just some ‘stuff’  I learned about writing and about life while on this adventure.

 

 

 1. Writing is hard.

Now, I know I’ve said this before but…until I really started writing my first draft, I had NO. IDEA. what I was getting myself into. All that writer’s block. All those long hours refusing to open up Word because I knew I wouldn’t like what I saw. All those clacked keys. Granted, I love it, but back then I wasn’t prepared at all.

Become a Writer They Said It Will Be Fun They Said! 3 Ways to Make Writing a Novel Easier #amwriting #KeepOnWriting

But, in all honestly, I wouldn’t change my decision about choosing to become a writer, except maybe do it earlier. It has been one of best decisions of my life.

 

 

2. Everyone wants to read your story.

You have friends. You have to respect your friends, you told yourself. “I mean, come on, self. We can’t just let them down…but they don’t understand what a rough draft is! This is absolute trash…why do they want to read it?!” Now, I’m not saying I don’t like the support, and occasionally I do allow some of my peeps to read my work because somebody is actually going to take it seriously and I think it would be good for them to critique me. But, eventually, I got to the point where I realized something: They are reading a story that will not be the same two years from now. This will be different. It will be better. It will be good. And I don’t want all my friends to maybe not read my work when I get published because “Oh, I already that book last year.” And, I want them to be surprised at how good I can become and not see me stumbling along each step of writing, re-writing, and editing process. I want to blow their socks off.

 

it's a rOUGH DRAFT GO AWAY
This is me now-a-days.

 

3. First drafts are absolute trash

I didn’t really know much about the writing process until I actually started writing this book, and let me tell you….this, the first draft, should be burned. I guess I never really thought about how difficult writing is and how many drafts it takes to perfect a book until I was about ten pages in to my novel. Rewriting? Editing? Sounds great to me now. There are so many plot holes and inconsistencies that I didn’t realize could even exist and are now in my first draft.

http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-it-s-only-a-first-draft-2/

 

 

4. Writing is more than inspiration

Now this is one I struggled with. I mean, to continue working on your manuscript, you have to get in the mood and be inspired, right? Wrong. Do you want to know how I finished my novel? I forced myself to write. I wrote when I didn’t want to. I dragged my reluctant self off Pinterest and made myself open up my word document. I hated what I saw as I scrolled down to the page I was working on. I made myself clack the keys, even if it was only to write a couple sentences or a paragraph. And do you know what? It worked. I hated it,  but it worked. Like Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

 

5. It’s okay to not name your characters after friends

So, I have some friends who mean well. They really do. And because of my love for them, I named some characters after them at their pleading. Not necessarily with my friends’ names, but with names similar names or names they picked out. I even created a character or two just so they could be named after a friend. Looking back, I’ve realized that this was a terribly stupid idea. Here’s why:

 

I just created extra side characters who I would’ve probably deleted in the second draft, as they aren’t necessary to the story at all, except now I’m playing with my friends’ feelings. And, even if I keep the characters, their names–which I thought were great at the time–no longer fit in with the name theme of the story. It just creates problems in general. Now, it is okay to occasionally name characters after friends. For example, in one of my current WIP, there is a character named Lizzie, named after my good friend Liz, who I’ve even considered naming one of my future children partially after. Liz didn’t know I named a character after her, and she wouldn’t have asked me to, anyway, because she’s that type of friend. Lizzie is one of the main characters in said story, and her name completely fits the theme of the book and won’t be changed. I’ve created a rule of thumb for myself: While first drafting, only name characters with names you love, and if named after friends, name them because of friendship, not because they asked you to.

 

6. Writing injury/sick scenes are HARDDD

Because basically you’re just listing off random things you found on WebMD. “She felt nauseated and had a migraine…” IT’S HARD TO MAKE IT SOUND GOOD, MAN. #whati’mrevisingin2nddraft #showdon’ttell

 

 

7. People are realistic and slow to believe in my dreams

So, obviously I already knew this before I really started writing THSM, but this really rocked me the farther I got in. Sometimes it just seemed like the world was out to get me, you know? I’d be having a good day and then somebody would say something about me writing and I’d just be like really? You don’t think I can do this, do you? I can remember times when I felt as if people didn’t believe in me. That they didn’t think I could actually finish my novel, or actually do some good revising, or actually get published. And they wanted me to know they didn’t believe in me. But I’ve finished my first draft. I’m going to do some good revising. I’m going to actually get published (hopefully!). For those who may have doubted me along the way, like I said before, I’m going to blow your socks off. Even if I don’t get published. Because I’m sticking with it. I’m improving, little by little. And, someday, my book is actually going to be good and I look forward to watching all of your guys’ jaws d r o p. 😀

 

8. Research is crucial

Now, I can understand why I wouldn’t need to research if my debut novel was set in a fictional world or in somewhere familiar, like the Midwestern United States. But no. My *hope-against-hope* debut novel is set in not only a different country, but also on a different continent and a different hemisphere. In other words, my characters are on the other side of the world in a place I’ve never been filled with people and animals I’ve never seen and culture I’ve never experienced. You see my problem? Not to mention it would be helpful to know the geographical structures of the country…In my defense, I started this novel when I was twelve, so I wasn’t exactly thinking ahead, but, looking back, I should’ve researched my novel before I started writing rather than after. If I had, I wouldn’t have so much trouble now, having to *cough cough* Google the country to find out more about it.

Pretty sure he’s talking to me!

 

9. You can have too many characters

Yep. I messed up. Like, so many people that I, the writer, can barely keep them straight? Annndd the spot where I introduce them all is a MAJOR info dump. Yuck, right? No wonder first drafts are trash.

 

 

10. Pinterest is a blessing…and a curse

Because, see, at first you’ve got beautiful character inspiration photos like this….

character inspiration

 

 

Robin's friend, Amarie, she was trained by her father to be a swordsman, because he had no sons to train. The boy is her half-brother, her mothers illegitimate child. Her father raised him as his own because he had no male heir.

 

But then you get addicted to reading writing prompts (and maybe making complete plots out of them…oh wait who does that? Ha ha…) like these:

 

Writing Prompt

 

Writing Prompt #29 "Do you not understand the concept of personal space?" "As your twin, I feel it is my duty to remind you that we gave up the idea of personal space the moment we both decided to be stuck in the same small space for 9 months." "If you're referring to when mom was pregnant, I had no say in that." Thanks to @miss._.artsy._ for the idea! #writing #prompt #writingprompts #storyidea #awriterslifeforme #justwrite #dailyprompt #writersofinstagram

 

Rose: I have NEVER BEEN so insulted! Othello: You don't listen much do you? Rose: Oh, shut up.

 

"What if the food's poisoned or something?" "Now why would the food be poisoned?"

 

writing prompt

And then you get addicted to posts like these…when you should be writing

 

What writers really do

 

 

all 37 of them and counting (O_o)

 

Ooh a new book idea! Been there, doing that.

 

 

 

Well, then! That about wraps it up, dearies! Are any of you fiction writers? Can you relate? What is your current status on your WIP? Let me know in the comments!

 

–Abby

 

*All photos are from Pinterest*

 

 

 

March Objectives!

Or, “Things I Say I’m Going To Do But Won’t Actually Follow Through! Third Edition

 

March 1st. The First of March. World Compliment Day. I compliment you all because, if you are reading the rambling posts of a fifteen year old whose favorite hobby is making goals and not keeping them, that makes you automatically AWESOME. You’re welcome. Anywho, I’m here to serve you all some things I’d like to do in my life. This list is reminiscent of my February goals and my February results. So, if you haven’t read those already, go check them out–and if not, you’re stuck here. 😀

 

  • Drink more water–I’ve let myself off the soda ban, but I still would like to drink only a few cans a week. As for the actual water, I’d like to drink at least 16 ounces a day.
  • Grow closer to God–I’d like to continue to faithfully read my Bible and pray.
  • Tone up–This month I’m getting organized and doing this. Fun, right? It doesn’t look too difficult, but we’ll see.
  • Run more–I’d like to go on at least two ten-minute jogs per week.
  • Get/stay organized–I need to redo my closet area. It’s a mess. That’s the main idea for this month.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I’m scheduling a couple of blog posts and writing sessions.
  • Read more–I’m going to finish two books and start a third for a book report. I’d also like to start Jip, His Story.
  • Improve at music–I’d like to practice playing the piano at least six times a week.
  • Write more–I’m finishing the RD of my novel this month! *cheers* I have basically two more scenes and then I’m done.
  • Finish reading the Left Behind Series–I plan on finishing The Rising this month.
  • Post more on this blog–I’d like to do a movie vs. book review of Wonder and a devotional, possibly more.
  • Eat more healthily–I need to cut back on the carbs and sodium…no more french fries!!!

 

 

As always,

Abby

 

February Wrap-Up

Hello to all! I’ve had a great month, and I hope the same for you. I survived accidentally erasing 10k+ words of my novel (and was able to about 8k back), Wonder (I managed not to cry. I didn’t cry for the book, either, if I remember correctly), and the first fifty pages of Emma. I did great with some of my goals and mediocre with others, but feel free to judge me. I don’t mind 😉

 

If you want to see my February goals, click here.

 

 

 

  • Drink more water–I haven’t drank ANY soda since January, and I feel great. I did well drinking my water in most of February. These last few weeks I tapered off a bit, but I still feel pretty good about myself.
  • Grow closer to God–I’ve only missed a few days of Bible reading (which I’ve caught up) and I definitely feel like God has helped in the last month.
  • Tone up–HAHAHAHA. I’m so hilarious. I was less than gung-ho after the first couple of days of sit-ups and push-ups…so, as you can imagine, I slacked off. How surprising. First world problems, right? 😀 And I haven’t timed myself, but considering I haven’t touched my pull-up bar for the last week and a half, I doubt I can hang a minute. Maybe thirty seconds.
  • Run more–So I haven’t really “ran” this month, per say. I know. I’m sorry. I don’t really have an excuse. I did jog somewhat and I go on walks several times a week, but that doesn’t really cut it….
  • Get/stay organized–I did clean off my beside table and did reorganize my electronics, but I must admit that, currently, my beside table and dresser top are less than tidy. However, my dresser top was spic and span for quite a bit.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I scheduled a writing session and a couple of blog posts, but when I actually posted wasn’t on those days, except for today, of course.
  • Read more–I read two novels and am reading two others, one of which is Emma. If it weren’t for Emma, I would have fully finished three or four. As you can tell, Austen is not my favorite author. (Like, a five page discourse on why Mr. Eliot’s charade was the best charade? Really? I can think of other ways to waist my time besides reading that.)
  • Improve at music–I did fair. I passed a few songs this month, so I feel pretty good. I just need to practice more….
  • Write more–Honestly, I forgot I planned on writing 4k. :/ I’m not sure exactly how much I had, because, as I mentioned early, two or three pages from my novel are gone, but I’m guessing I had written at least 2k, probably closer to 3k or 4k. So I did good, I’m assuming.
  • Finish reading the Left Behind Series–Not only did I start Glorious Appearing, I also finished it, along with Kingdom Come, and am halfway through The Rising. Mic. Drop.
  • Post more on this blog–I forgot to review The Majesty of GraceI, like, totally blanked that I was supposed to write a review on that. But I did review The Ascendance Trilogy and posted one other post.
  • Eat more healthily–I did fairly well. Not great, but well.

 

 

So, how did you all do with your resolutions in January? Do you think I should do a movie vs. book review of Wonder? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

–Abby

New Iterations–February Goals

Welcome, my lovely ladies and gentlemen, to my first post of re-stating my goals!!! Boring, I know. But that’s not going to stop me!!! Ha ha.

 

Anyway, as promised, this is a post re-stating my personal goals in light of February. I’ll show my goals for this year with notes applied to this month and how I plan to reach those goals. You can also check out my original goals and how I did with them in January. Thrilling, right? I know. I’m awesome. ;D

 

In February of 2018 I plan to…

  • Drink more water–This month I cutting out absolutely all soda and plan to drink at least 32 ounces of water a day.
  • Grow closer to God–I’d like to stay consistent with my daily Bible reading and pray more often.
  • Save money and buy less–This month, I’m taking a short hiatus from actually saving money. Now, granted, I’m not going on some crazy spending spree but I’m not going to actively try to save back cash for the bank, considering how well I did last month. I’m just taking a break and will pick back up actually saving in March, while this month I plan to just buy a few things and try not to overdo it on either end of the spectrum.
  • Tone up–This month I’m going to try to do fifteen sit-ups and ten push-ups a day, and by the end of the month I’d like to be able to hang for a minute from my pull-up bar.
  • Run more–I want to go for at least two runs a week starting on Sunday.
  • Get and stay organized–I want to re-organize my bedside table and my electronics, as well as keep my surfaces as tidy as possible.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I’m going to schedule several blog posts and writing periods.
  • Read more–I’d like to read at least three novels this month. Honestly, I’d like to read about eight, but as busy as I am that’s probably not going to happen.
  • Improve at music–Starting tomorrow, I’d like to not miss a day of playing piano during the week.
  • Write more–I plan to write at least 4,000 words this month, preferably more, and I plan to finish one of the last scenes in my novel. If I work hard at writing I could easily triple that goal but I’m also a high school student and have other goals I’m trying to work at, so I’m aiming pretty low.
  • Post more on this blog–Like I said, several posts are coming this month, the most notable being a review of The Majesty of Grace, an old childhood favorite.
  • Finish reading the Left Behind series–I plan to at least re-start Glorious Appearing by the end of this month.
  • Eat more healthily–I plan to be pretty good this month and eat within my calorie range on most of the weekdays and some weekends.

 

Talk to me! Do you all set monthly goals? If so, what are they? Do you all enjoy any of my goals, such as reading or running?

 

I’ll be back soon!

–Abby

A Month in Review: Resolution Recap

Hey, y’all. I can’t believe it’s the end of January all ready! Well, actually I can, hence I’m writing this blog post. Ha ha…that wasn’t funny, I’m sorry.

 

So, I KNOW this post will be extremely dull, especially if you haven’t read the first one, but, unfortunately, that cannot be helped, as my new-year-new-beginnings crazy self all ready told you I would do this. So here I am.

 

This month has been PACKED. As the bells toiled 12 in the AM of January first, I was surrounded by my family and church family. I bought a Fit-Bit on the second. I got back at my school work on the fourth (ugh!). This year my church started something special called Winter Warm-Up. Every Wednesday night a guest speaker preaches. I’ve enjoyed that. During the early weeks of January I survived my semester exams with pretty good grades–I think the lowest grade I got was a 90%. Not too shabby. Then, a few weeks in, I caught a cough. It didn’t start as much, but now, as I sit here typing this almost three weeks later, I have a headache. My chest is congested and my sinuses feel absolutely nasty. If I don’t drink enough water my throat is raw. As you can imagine, fighting a cold-cough combination has taken a lot out of me, so I didn’t get as much done as I would’ve liked. Anyway. On to the recap.

  • On drinking more water and no soda–Ok. I gave up soda completely on the second, but then I accidentally cheated and had a ginger ale (I didn’t know it was soda!) on the third. Then, I, with renewed vigor, tried until my friend Emmy had a going away party for college. I had two cups, maybe, of Dr. Pepper and Pepsi then. Then, when I got sick, I drank a two liter of Sprite over the course of several days, and I’m going to be on a hiatus until March 1st. Hopefully. I’m not one for extensive self control when it comes to my taste buds, as you can tell.
  • On my spiritual walk–Even though I have missed and am making up a couple of days of devotions, I really do feel like I’ve grown in the past month. I haven’t prayed as much as I’d like, either, but I feel closer to God.
  • On saving more $$$$—I have $75 dollars that I scraped together in January to put in my savings account, and only twenty of it came from Christmas. I can only think of about half a dozen things I bought in January–one of them being a FitBit (yay I can check that off my list!)–so I feel like I’ve done pretty good in this category.
  • On toning up–HAHAHAHAHA. I did well for about the first week of January. I exercised and had great intentions. But then I fell behind on my fitness challenges…and thought “eh, let’s do it next month.” In my defense, I did do quite a bit of walking at the beginning of the year and did simple exercises such as push-ups and squats for a couple of weeks. And then I kinda slacked off and then got sick and…nope, didn’t happen.
  • On running–I ran at the beginning of the month and then coughing and running at the same time didn’t seem like an extreme sport I was willing to try.
  • On organization–Actually, I’ve done surprisingly well in this category. I re-organized my bookshelves and most of my closet and fixed most of my room when it was in disarray. It’s a little bit messy now as I haven’t had ANY energy for the past week or two, but ya know. It was a good start.
  • On scheduling–I’ve been doing really well with this and have been using my planner. Go me.
  • On reading–So far this month, I’ve read a total of SEVEN novels and am half-way through a Jack London biography.
  • On music–Well, I passed three of my songs last week at my piano lesson. I guess that’s kind of self explanatory.
  • Write more–I’ve written roughly 5000 words this month, which isn’t a ton, but it’s about where my goal was. I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start.
  • On Left Behind–Haven’t read any more of this.
  • On blogging–Check my archives, peeps. I’ll let you be the judge.
  • On eating healthily–I ate well for the first part of the month, but for the past two to three weeks, I’ve eaten terribly. I know. I’m a terrible person who doesn’t meet my goals. Shame on mwah.

 

Overall, I’ve not done terribly, but I’ve not been too good, either. I’m blaming that on chest congestion. All its fault ;D

 

As always,

Abby