Quote of the Day: May 14, 2018

Just keep doing the next right thing.–My pastor, Edward Mast.

 

–Abby

 

 

 

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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

 

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*

 

 

 

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

Resolutions

I’m being a nerd and posting my “New Year’s Resolutions” on January 2nd instead of on January 1st. But, here you are. And, I don’t know if any of you watch Blimey Cow, but yesterday Jordan and Josh posted a video about more or less the ridiculousness of New Year’s resolutions. Thanks, guys. Really gave me encouragement to fulfill my goals. 😉

  • Drink more water–I’m a pop drinker through and through. I love Coke and Pepsi Wild Cherry and Dr. Pepper–you see my problem? Starting today, whenever I get a craving for soda, I’m going to drink something else instead of it, especially water, because, believe it or not, I hardly ever drink just plain water. No wonder I’m tired all the time.
  • Grow closer to God–This year I’m trying to read my Bible every single day without fail and spend some quality time with Him in prayer.
  • Save money & buy less–I have an allowance, I deliver papers weekly, and I walk a neighborhood dog and shovel the owner’s snow. This year, I’m buying a loft bed, a Fitbit, probably a gym membership, maybe some ice skates, and possibly a phone upgrade. And last year I spent a ton between a four-hundred dollar investment known as Spike, a trip to the Mall of America, and a shopping spree in Gulf Shores. And a word processor. Also, I’m apt to impulse buy small items that I don’t need and I really need to stop.
  • Tone up–I wouldn’t call myself very overweight but I’m definitely not slim and trim. This year, I don’t necessarily want to drop any pounds but just tone my muscles and get fit.
  • Run more–Running was a sport that I found out last spring I enjoyed, and it’s a great way to get and stay fit. This year I’m going to try to run as much as possible.
  • Get/stay organized–I hate clutter. I really do. But why is my nightstand covered with it? Especially since I’m moving into my cousin’s room in May, I’m going to try to be a more organized person. The problem is, I have too much stuff, so I guess you could say purging is part of this resolution.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I have a love/hate relationship with schedules., but I really need to schedule my time this year, between writing a novel, running a blog, reading voraciously, trying not to fail high school, and getting fit. I even bought a my first-ever serious planner.
  • Read more–This is kind of an odd goal for me, but I really do need to read more. I’ve hardly finished any books over the last several months, and I have dozens on my shelves waiting to be read for the first time and other at the library. This one is more of a get-off-Pinterest-and-read-a-book type thing than anything else.
  • Improve at music–I can hear Lizzie, my dork of a piano teacher, laughing in the distance. But, seriously, this year I would to practice more this year–again part of the scheduling thing–and really improve my skills and knowledge, especially concerning music theory.
  • Write more–This one is a no-brainer. I’m trying to write one thousand words a week on Though He Slay Me until my goal date, March 31, 2018. Currently I still have three hundred left over from last week along with this week’s thousand, so I’m going to really have to work at this. Nobody ever said writing was easy, did they?
  • Finish reading the Left Behind Series–I started reading the teen version in late 2015 and the adult version in early to mid 2016, which is when I finished the teen version. Last summer I started reading the traditional last book, Glorious Appearing, and never finished it. I also have to read the final sequel, Kingdom Come, and the prequel trilogy.
  • Post more on this blog–Last year I really failed at posting regularly on here, though I had good intentions. This, again, falls into scheduling. Besides my two posts a month already stated in my last post, I’m going to post at least two others a month, one of them being a book review.
  • Eat more healthily–I love unhealthy foods. French fries, ice cream, you name it. This year I want to do what’s best for my body and eat better. Salads and kale, here I come.

I”m going to really have to work at these, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a jam-packed year. Do you all have any big goals this year?

–Abby