For the last two years, I’ve been on what I could only describe as a personal journey. Almost like a Hero’s Journey (or a Writer’s Journey 😉 ).
The beauty of the Hero’s Journey model is that it not only describes a pattern in myths and fairy tales, but it’s also an accurate map of the territory one must travel to become a writer or, for that matter, a human being.
With the Spring semester finally over, Summer break has arrived!
This means I have more free time than I’m accustomed to, but no worries. I know exactly what to spend them on: late night reading, intensive video gaming, more reading, binge watching, long writing sessions, more reading, new creative projects–oh, I’m getting chills just thinking about it!
Anyway, it’s been kinda quiet on my side of cyberspace. And, to be honest, I missed writing blog posts and connecting with the blogosphere (It’s been too long you guys!). I’m going to use this week’s coffee share to tell you about…lets call them my little “adventures.”
School eats up the majority of my time, so it only makes sense for it to be the first on the list. Ignoring the stressing over midterms and rushing through an assignment twenty minutes before class part, I did experience some pretty awesome things this semester.
One of the six classes I took, also the most challenging and fun, was astronomy. Studying the different properties of the planets within our solar system and analyzing the H-R diagram were two of my favorite topics in class. Not only that, but it was awesome to have classmates who struggled but encouraged each other not to give up.
We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.
Carl Sagan, Cosmos
However, the highlight of this class was the field trip at the beginning of May. It was at a beautiful park with a huge lake in the center of it. The local astronomical union set up telescopes right before sunset to view the stars. Sadly, it was too cloudy to see anything. I did, however, get to see the sun before sunset via a solar telescope.
Also, I observed and got harassed by the rude locals: geese.
While astronomy awakened an interest in me that I didn’t know I had, English will always hold a special place in my heart. I had to do a ton of reading during my British Literature class–which I loved! The best part was that my professor structured the class like a book club. We didn’t just read, we discussed (to which I met a few word nerds).
I also acquired a new role model: Doris Leasing. The woman had a lovable attitude, check her out.
There was no shortage of fiction as British Literature kept me reading all semester long. I’m currently rereading Middlemarch as some chapters were skipped during the semester for the sake of time (yes, I’m a nerd like that).
I also picked up Cinder from my college’s library seconds after discovering that it actually had a fiction section hidden WAY in the back of the library. It’s now my new hiding spot.
Sometime in March, I stumbled on a book sale in the college library. The moment I saw the Book Sale sign I was like, “Oh, yeah. Definitely going in here.” Imagine my excitement when I learned everything was a dollar. I would’ve spent all day sifting through the piles of fiction and writing reference books, but my ride was waiting for me (sigh).
In my haste to choose the best books I could find before someone else snagged them from me, I picked up The Professor at the Breakfast Tableby Oliver Wendell Holmes thinking it was a Sherlock Holmes novel (ugh!). Good thing I actually read the back flaps of the two thrillers: Ties that Bind by Phillip Margolin and The Burning Wireby Jeffery Deaver.
Later, my family and I stumbled on a small business in my neighborhood who sold used soft covers for $0.50 and hardcovers for $1.
Oh yeah, I took my time with this one.
None of the books were in order, so it was basically a scavenger hunt–but I did find some gems! I found The DaVinci Code (I barely remember the movie adaption to this book so I thought, “Why not?”), Lost Symbol, and Angels & Demonsby Dan Brown. I noticed Brad Meltzer’s political thriller The President’s Shadowright before I dashed to the register. Score!
May 2nd was my birthday and I spent two weeks doing extra work to free the three days after. They were supposed to be my lazy days, but it didn’t work out. Finals were just around the corner and I made the decision to sacrifice two of three for studying.
I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
Despite this little quibble, I had an awesome birthday week. My parents bought me Horizon: Zero Dawn (an awesome sci-fi game with a beautiful world and story) and my friend got me a gift card to Star Bucks. I also went to the astronomy field trip I talked about earlier and saw Guardians of the Galaxy (I love that movie *sniffle*).
In other news, I picked up a new handlettering hobby during December. It’s so much fun and oddly relaxing. Check out one of my pieces:
And, of course, I’m still writing. I’m working on three projects at once, but Ruin has been making headway. I sent it to my Alpha readers back in March and am now going through their responses. At this point, it still needs a lot of work, but it has come a long way.
So, anyway that’s what I’ve been up to these last four (?) months. What have you been up to?
I have a nasty habit of setting a repeat goal only to not complete it. During the summer, I decided to break that habit by taking on an accountability challenge.
And it was an experience!
The objective was to make a list of goals for the summer quarter (June-August) and then complete half of them by September 1, 2016. Then, to keep myself motivated throughout the quarter, I have to publicly announce my successes and failures to you guys.
That’s what today’s post is about. So, lets see how I did.
Summer 2016 Goals
I set a total of ten goals, so I need to complete FIVE for the summer to be successful. They were…
1. Finish Editing Ruin
Oh I edited Ruin alright. Edited it, rewrote it, and edited it again, but am I done? No.
I still have a few continuity and structure errors that I’m working on, so I’m counting this one as a loss.
2. Outline the sequel to Ruin
Have I laid the sequel out scene-by-scene? No, but I do have a rough idea of the major events that’ll take place in the sequel. I just need to fill in the blanks.
3-4. Start Drafting/editing Retaliation
I didn’t get a chance to work on this project at all since I was waaay to busy with Ruin.
5. Read 2 (or 3) Books
A win, finally! I probably read more than I wrote (oops!), but that’s okay. I spent my entire spring semester reading critical texts and classics, so some modern fiction was a nice change of pace.
Yay, another win! I wrote a total of three shorts (1000+ words) and two flashes (100+ words). I’ve never completed a short story before, so this was an enlightening experience.
Lesson: writing a short story is just as difficult as writing a full length novel. Go figure!
7. Write a (or 3) Guest Posts
I wrote a piece on criticism that Luther M. Siler from Inifintefreetimewas gracious enough to post on his blog. You can check it out here.
8. Post once a week
Nope. I fell apart at the beginning of August. 🙁
9. Be more active on social media
I set out to be moderately active and I did. Woot!
10. Get Podcasting Equipment
I can start recording episodes at this very moment! I have the editing software, microphone, and a recording strategy all set. Alas, I’m going to set my podcasting ambitions aside for this quarter.
Yay, 5 out of 10! Not bad for my first time.
Fall Quarter Goals
The end of the year is almost here, and I don’t want my biggest 2016 goals to spill into 2017. With that said, my goals are…
1. Read 2 (or 3) books for fun
I love being an English major. I get to read tons of critical texts and write about them (yay!), but I also like modern fiction. Managing two books this semester should be enough to keep me from wanting to bang my head against a table.
That and I really wanted to beat my Goodreads challenge this year!
2. Write 12 blog posts
The idea is to post once a week (preferably on a Wednesday), but I doubt I’ll have a stellar record this quarter especially during midterms and finals. Writing a total of 12 posts should be enough to keep my blog alive while I stress over my GPA.
3. Write a blog post series
I got an idea and I can’t wait to do it! Be on the look out.
4. Completely finish editing Ruin
This is it. This quarter is when I finally finish editing Ruin—no excuses!
I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…
5. Outline Retaliation
Retaliation is a sci-fi novel that I’ve been working on since 2012 (yes, that long! One of my biggest flaws as a writer is that I’m constantly rewriting my work). I’m hoping that I can do this during October so that I can…
6. Compete in NaNoWriMo
I love NaNoWriMo! It’s like a holiday for writers.
I didn’t compete last year so I’m going to do it this time around with Retaliation.
I know, I know. I have a short list of goals this time around, but that’s only because I have to make room for my studies. Hopefully I can complete all six, but the goal is to finish three by December 1st.
I was scrolling through my WordPress reader one typical morning and found this blogging tag on Sophie Dishman’s The Journey Begins. I thought, “This would be an interesting post to do” but never did it because of…you know, procrastination.
Since I’m bogged down with my writing projects (hence why there wasn’t a post last week…oops), I figured writing a fun post wouldn’t hurt.
The way this tag works is that I have to answer the twelve questions below and then “tag” another blogger.
Alright, so here’s the questions:
1. Where do you blog?
On my laptop (sometimes on my kindle). I don’t have a place dedicated to blogging—or writing for that matter. Simply put, I write wherever I’m comfortable which may be at my computer desk, living room couch (or floor), garage, and etc.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your posts?
That’s a question that not even I know the answer to.
Sometimes I get ideas from other writers and writing communities that I follow via social networking sites (that’s how I got the idea for the post you’re reading and this Bookshelf Tag!).
It’s a rewarding feeling when I log onto my blog or open up my email to find awesome messages from my buds! It’s a wonder that there are people out there who even read what I write and I’m truly grateful to them. Vik Tory Arch and Kaleiyah-P are two such people. Both nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award and said that they liked what I do here on the Tavern.
Thanks gals! I’ll do my best to keep my posts coming for peeps like you.
Ok so the rules are…
You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. You must list the rules and display the award.
You must add 7 facts about yourself.
You must nominate 15 (or more) other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
7 Random Facts about ME
My favorite color is green
I like stories where the villains are relatable
I’m a clutz so you shouldn’t trust me with anything fragile