Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites: Writer's Edition

Happy Friday, welcome to Friday Favorites, and my first post in a couple months. I've been quite for a while because I have been working on a few different projects that I let take priority over the blog. Anyway, now that I'm making some progress on one of my big projects I am hoping to be more consistent in my blogging. To start, I'm going to share some of my favorite writing tools, tips, and tricks....I'm linking up with Andrea to share my Friday Favorites....enjoy!!



Editing

It sounds nuts but editing is one of my favorite things! It always has been. I love being able to read my work again and it's a kind of stress relief for me to tear my work to shreds with my red pen.

In July I wrote a novel. An actual, honest to goodness, novel. I have spent the last few months editing that thing to death. I cut several scenes, added several scenes, and have been terrorized by grammar. The first round of editing is finished and a proof is on it's way to my house in the next few weeks. I'm hoping that I managed to find all the little mistakes, fixed everything that needed fixing, and if all goes as planned I will be publishing (!!!) sometime in November. Now, I know that I said up above that I edit with a red pen, but in all actuality I use whatever pen I can find lately I've been using these beauties that Andrea recommended on her blog.

Stabilo Point 88 Pen Sets color parade adjustable set set of 20


These are great for editing! The fine tip allows me to make notes in the margins, make rewrites, and the best part is that they don't bleed through the paper which was a major selling point for me! 

Favorite Writing Music

I love to work with music on in whatever room I'm in, but if I am actually writing at my desk (which in all honesty is very rare), I love to listen to anything that is instrumental. Right now the staples are Bach's Cello suites, and the score from Pride and Prejudice. 





Favorite Ways to Keep Writing


There are several tools that I use to keep me writing; Write Track, is an online resource that helps you set goals and stick to them when it comes to creating content whether that is writing, photography, illustration or any other kind of creating. It allows you to set your own goals, update them just like you would a FB status, and it has helped so much with reminding me to edit a little bit everyday when I'm finished with school stuff. I'm a senior in college, I work, and I volunteer every week at the elementary school near my house so a reminder to work on my project when I have time is pretty helpful because I don't usually make time between work, school, church, and volunteering. Even if I only spend a few minutes editing or writing each day, at least I'm making some progress.

The NaNoWriMo site is awesome, especially in November when you can track your word count by the day. I am the kind of person that is motivated by actually seeing my progress so seeing my little line graph creep up each day is really satisfying and very motivational.

Friends and fellow writers are honestly the best resources that you can have as a writer. They keep you on track, act as a sounding board when you have issues with your plot, and can talk sense into you when you feel bogged down and want to quit. I have a great friend who is also a writer and I have to tell you she puts up with a lot from me. When I was writing my first novel I would send her the most random texts and messages asking about what she thought about certain characters and what they would do in certain situations.

Favorite New Book

This one is not a tip or a trick but I have to tell you about the book that my best friend just published! It is called The Ripple Affair and here is the description from Amazon:

Edward Engel is many things. A prince to inherit a throne. A man betrothed to the beautiful Lady Antoinette. A dashing warrior with no equal in skill. And a man with enough secrets to make his entire world crumble. His life remains uninterrupted until he meets Malina, the daughter of a neighboring king, who quickly sets her gazes upon the prince and his heavy crown. After a drunken night of passion between them, Edward hopes his meeting with Malina will become just another secret to bury, never to be known to anyone but him and the princess. But it takes two to keep a secret, and Malina is not one to let a man get away so easily. Will Edward be able to keep his secrets intact, or will his affair with Malina create a ripple effect that goes beyond the bedchamber

I want you to understand that this is Christian Fiction; it deals with infidelity, but is ultimately a redemption story. You can buy the book HERE (Kindle edition coming soon) and you can find out more about the author HERE. Like I said The author is a great friend of mine - in fact she's the one that convinced me to start writing again - if you are in need of a good book or a new blog to add to your subscriptions check her out and I promise you won't be disappointed (not that I'm biased or anything!).  


Those are my Friday Favorites for this week! I'm going to try to get some posts scheduled for the month of November because I will be working on the sequel to the novel that I just finished editing. I will keep you posted on the publishing process and you will be the first to know when it goes on sale!

If you made it this far without me boring you too much I would love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite book, favorite author, or do you yourself write? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by.

Blessings,
Megan

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Favorites

Good evening and happy Friday! I'm liking up with Andrea today for Friday Favorites; I'm lat with it because I forgot to schedule a post for today and was in the office all day today but I did remember to jot down a few favorites this week to share so here goes....



1.) My Fitbit Flex. 

I am totally in love with my Fitbit Flex and the app that goes along with it. I love that it tracks my steps, calories burned, and even my sleep patterns. I wear it all day every day and on days when I don't want it seen on my wrist (lets face it, it's a little clunky) I link it to a belt loop on my pants and wear it discreetly...but it still measures everything. 

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2.) Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte

Target had these on sale 2 for $6.00 so naturally I bought two...and I will probably head back to Target for two more! You just add milk to the Latte concentrate and serve it hot or iced...I've had it both ways and I LOVE it iced! 

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3.) Checkerboard Slipper

Living in Michigan I'm pretty used to crazy weather but we had a crazy cold front move in yesterday and I was off work so I stayed inside, with tea, an episode of Gilmore Girls, some knitting, and these awesome checkerboard slippers on my feet. I would love to tell you where you can find the warmest, most comfortable slippers around but sadly I can't link to it. My grandma made me these. She's been making these for members of our family for as long as I can remember - sometimes a new pair every year. I hadn't had a new pair since I was in third grade...thirteen years ago. Finally last year she made me a new pair and I wear them just about every cold night here in Michigan - so from September to May : )

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That's all I've got this week because - admittedly - I forgot about posting this week. I wrote a note in my planner to remind myself to post on Fridays, so hopefully next week I'll be more prepared. 

Thanks for stopping by today, sorry for the quickness of the post. 

I hope you all have a great weekend with family and friends! 

Blessings,
Megan 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen Years Ago

I have to admit that until nine o'clock last night, I didn't realize what today was.

Thirteen years ago I was eight years old.

Thirteen years ago I had just started third grade, and was pretty stinkin' excited.

Thirteen years ago I got up and walked to my bus stop, and one of the morning flights from the airport not far from the house took off and flew over my head, just like it did every morning.

Thirteen years ago I went to gym class and came back to my teacher in tears.

Thirteen years ago I came home from school and none of the evening flights went over the house.

My small Midwestern neighborhood was eerily quiet that night thirteen years ago; no planes flew overhead, no kids played in the yards, no one was out walking.

Parents had to answer tough questions that night thirteen years ago; they tucked their children into bed and hugged them a little tighter. In the days and weeks to come families had to say goodbye - to loved ones lost and loved ones heading off to fight.

First responders from across the country volunteered to clean up the fallen towers, to fight the lingering fires, to come alongside a city - a country - that was hurting.

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Today I am twenty one years old.

Today I am in the first week of my senior year of college...and I'm still pretty stinkin' excited.

Today I woke up and had breakfast with my mom - watched that morning flight go over my house just like it does every morning.

Tonight I will sit in my living room and watch the evening flights overhead just like I do every evening. I will hear the sounds of kids laughing and playing, people will walk their dogs, and ride their bikes.

Parents are still answering tough questions - these days dealing with math, history, science. They tuck their children into bed, hug them tight, praying over them. Families are still saying goodbye to loved ones lost and loved ones heading off to fight.



In some ways not much has changed from thirteen years ago. Morning routines are the same, planes still fly, parents still answer the questions their children ask, families still say goodbye.The landscape has changed, the country has changed and is changing, the history books have changed. I think in some ways we were all changed by the events of that day. I would be lying if I said that thirteen years ago I wasn't a little nervous when the planes started going by the house again.

This country will forever carry the scars from that day and the days that followed.

To the police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and rescue workers I say 'thank you'.

To the men and women who serve our country in the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force, Coast Gaurd, and National Gaurd I say 'thank you for keeping us safe. For defending this great nation.'

To the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, friends, and loved ones who lost someone on that day or in the days that followed I say 'your sacrifice will not be forgotten'.

To the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, friends, and loved ones who sent someone off to defend our country I say 'thank you for your faith, your courage, your bravery'.



There were several times when the words wouldn't come, where I felt that my words wouldn't help, or be heard. There have been times where I was at such a loss for words and only tears would come.

My prayer today is for the families that were touched by the tragic events of this day, my prayer is for our nation - still healing, still facing uncertainty.

Hug the ones you love today.

Blessings,
Megan


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back To School

Happy September (a few days late...oops)!!! I love September; school supplies "bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils" (name that movie), Pumpkin Spice everything, leaves changing colors, football - college and high school (I live across the street from the field where our district's HS team plays Friday home games are the best; you can hear the band and the PA guy), canning, Christmas Concert prep for choir and orchestra, Bible Quizzing starts in September, and (of course) my fall semester starts! Wow! September is packed with great things!!

I started my fall semester today - I'm taking one class (YAY!!) online (YAY!!!)...it's algebra (BOO!!!!). I am not a math whiz by any means; I can do "everyday math" - addition, subtraction, money math - but give me equations with numbers and letters and multiple operations and balancing equations and fractions and...and...and.........

I WIG OUT!!

 I get so stressed when it comes to algebra....it's crazy!! Luckily for me, with this class I have lots of help here at home. My dad is a college professor who just so happens to teach algebra (along with statistics and economics), so more than likely I will be having him help me out this semester...because I'm going to need it...big time!!

I much prefer English Lit., History, and Biology. Which leads me to my summer reading list . I finished my entire summer reading list!! This is the first year that I made a list to read through for the summer and I will be the first to admit that the list was a little daunting at first and at one point I almost gave up, BUT on Sunday night August 31st I finished the last unread book on my list!!! I'm thinking I might review a few of them or at least write up some recommendations.

Happy September my friends!!

Blessings,
Megan

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites

It's been a month since my last post, and I really feel bad that I've been neglecting this space but my mind has been on other things lately. Today in an effort to make up for lost time and fill you in on the last month I'm going to try something new....Today I'm linking up with Andrea (who I found through Shay - the Mix and Match Mama) for Friday Favorites...here we go!



1.) Gilmore Girls and Ben & Jerry's -

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after a long day of things around the house breaking down, the dog getting into a patch of burrs (and subsequently being covered), spending time at the laundromat, and using conditioner to remove the burrs...I sat down with a pint of B&J and a watched a disk's worth of Gilmore Girls.

2.) Paper Towns by John Green


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I'm kind of late to the The Fault in Our Stars party, but once I'd read TFiOS, I wanted to read more by John Green. The first book of his that I found after TFiOS was Paper Towns. I'm on my second reading of it, and I love it just as much - if not more - than the first time I read it. (^^The above pic was taken at the laundromat last night...my washer may not work, but last night I had a half hour of uninterrupted reading time...it was wonderful!!)

3.) The Lizzie Bennett Diaries


The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is an online web series on YouTube. It is a brilliant adaptation of Pride and Prejudice...I highly recommend it! 

4.) FedEx...I admit this one sounds a little crazy...but it also justifies my month long absence. You see for the month of July I was working on writing a novel. I finished the novel on July 27th and immediately ordered a printed and spiral bound copy of it from FedEx so that I could begin editing. So far in August I've had a few people beta read for me, and have been working almost daily - between work and normal everyday life - on editing. Right now a good friend of mine is beta reading for me and it makes me nervous to know that someone besides my mom is reading it...I don't really have a picture to go with this one...

Except maybe this one!!! 
In addition to editing my first novel and working on self-publishing (which is a little daunting !!! ), I'm also working on writing a sequel. So let me apologize in advance if my posts are sporadic and infrequent....that on top of the fall semester starting in a few weeks is making me a little crazy, and adding a lot to my schedule but I promise to post more than once a month!! 

That's it for me for Friday Favorites....I hope I did it right, I hope you enjoyed it, and I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings, 
Megan 



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Procrastinating Is Fun...

...but also destructive to my productivity.

Typically when I'm writing I will write a few sentences then browse Pinterest....write a paragraph then hit up Facebook because a notification just came in and I don't want to miss anything important.....finish up the chapter I've been working on for a week then start writing a blog post that I never finish because I just got an e-mail from the office and I have to open it.....cut out a thousand words and numb the pain of that with an episode of something mindless on TV....re-write the cut thousand words and play a game of Two Dots on my phone, or look through (insert social media application here).

My daily average for my novel has been 2,000 words per day, until I hit a snag in my plot and then my productivity slows. I picked my pace back up today hoping to hit 50k in the next eight days. I'm close, and growing closer by the day but sometimes when my plot doesn't move I get sucked in by other things when I should be wading through the sinking sand that is background information to come out to the walkway on the other side where my plot speeds up again.

Eight days and 6,637 words left...I can do this.


Blessings,
Megan

PS. Please pray for my friend S.J, she has been in labor for around 36 hours now and is really struggling. Say a prayer for her, her husband, and stubborn baby boy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Update!

Good morning readers it's Wednesday!!

We are half way through the week, and I am half way to my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words! In fact as I'm typing this my current word count is 31,105 words...so more than halfway. It's pretty cool being able to track my progress on the NaNo website, seeing my daily average climb each day, and knowing that when I sit down each night at my computer I'm creating something. 

It may be something that is only read by me, I may pass it along to a few friends, I may tuck it away for safe keeping, or I may even edit for publishing someday. Even if I am the only person to ever read this novel it is still something that I wrote, that I created, that I poured my heart and soul into. I recently read a post by a good friend of mine, and fellow WriMo. Basically what she said was that everyone has a story. For a long time I had stories in my head but thought that they would never be good enough to share, that nobody would ever want to read them, that I would never be good enough to write them down. 

If there is one thing that I have learned from her, and from Camp NaNoWriMo it's that I do have a story to tell, and that someone will always be willing to listen to it or read it. I have loved being able to just sit down and write and not worry about a potential audience or a potential publisher...I'm writing this story for me, and it's made the process so much easier. I'm writing a story that I would want to read. A book that if I was it in the store I would buy it and read it. I'm not worried right now about what people will think when they read it or how they will react. Right now the only reader that matters is me...and it's taken me a long long long time to learn this lesson.