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. 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

Okay so it's the first official day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I jumped head first into this novel writing project. I've got a novel that I've been working on for a few months now, but got so stuck on it that I set it aside. I work on it when inspiration strikes but honestly that hasn't happened in a while, and when it does I usually just write out the paragraphs that come to me in a notebook. I have several notebooks with portions of that novel that need to be typed up and pieced together in the right order. But with Camp NaNoWriMo I've already written 2,423 words in just under 12 hours.

The thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is that with this, when I write I move on. I don't write and then come back and re-write what was already written, with this I am just writing. I've had to change my whole mindset when it comes to my process. Usually I would write a few paragraphs before bed at night, go to bed, and the next night I'd go back to what I'd written the night before and re-write it.

My goal of 50,000 words has forced me to just keep writing. In order to write 50,000 words in 31 days I will have to write on average 1,613 words a day assuming that I can consistently write sixteen hundred words a day. As any writer knows, sometimes we hit rough patches and dry spells where the words and ideas aren't flowing. That's what I've been dealing with while working on the other novel; I'm sure I'll face that with this one as well, bu I have to remember not to go back and take anything out, or re-write anything...that's what editing is for.

Blessings and happy writing,

Megan

Monday, June 30, 2014

Read Whatever YOU Want To Read!!

Warning RANT up ahead....turn back now if you don't want to read my rant....or skip to the bottom for some announcements....

Rant commencing in...3....2....1.....

This Slate article may be old news at this point but go read it, come back here and then we'll talk....

Okay, did you read it? Good.

There are a few points in this article that I'd like to respond to.
1.) The age range of what is considered "Young Adult". According to Ruth Graham (the author of the Slate article) says that "Young Adult" readers are between the ages of 12 and 17. Now, There are several novels that are considered "YA" that I wouldn't let a 12 year old read because of content or language, or any number of factors.

2.)
"Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children". - Ruth Graham 
I think the fact that the author is tossing around the word children is demeaning to the "YA" readers out there. By calling a young adult a child, you've just taken away that label of adulthood you've given them. I don't think an adult should ever have to be embarrassed for what they read. I think if you are a parent you would likely read a book before you let your child read it, as my parents did with the Harry Potter series. After reading this article I asked my dad, "are you embarrassed that you read all of the HP books and his answer was a resounding no...and then he asked for an explanation and I pointed him towards the article.

I don't think it is up to Ms. Graham to decide who should be reading what.

3.)  ***THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS POINT**** Skip to number 4 if you haven't read The Fault in Our Stars or the Divergent series

"Most importantly, these books consistently indulge in the kind of endings that teenagers want to see, but which adult readers ought to reject as far too simple. YA endings are uniformly satisfying, whether that satisfaction comes through weeping or cheering". - Ruth Graham 
No, I'm sorry. This is not entirely true. If this was truly the case ***Spoiler alert*** than John Green would not have killed Agustus Waters and Veronica Roth would not have killed Tris. I think this statement from Graham discounts the fact that "YA" readers can be critical readers, and that they are still in touch with reality. Real life doesn't always have happy endings, and it doesn't get wrapped up for you in a shiny red bow. There are lots of "YA" books with unsatisfying endings, but yet they remain fan favorites.

4.)  "And if people are reading Eleanor & Park instead of watching Nashville or reading detective novels, so be it, I suppose. But if they are substituting maudlin teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something." 

I'm sorry but WHAT?!? This comment from the author makes me a giant squid of anger ( <--- watch the video, you'll understand). 

By the way, this guy up here, yeah he writes YA for any and all readers that want to pick up one of his books. 

So now, she's criticizing adults who read YA and adults who read detective novels. I read both. I (at 21 years old) still consider myself young...and an adult....and a reader. I think no matter what age you are, you can learn something from "YA" literature. Adults and young adults alike have a lot to learn from Gus and Hazel, and yes even Eleanor and Park. There is a lot that can we can all learn from Q and Margo Roth Spiegelman of Paper Towns; lessons about life, and rush judgments, and not getting to know someone complexly and deeply. Just because the narrator is in high school, or college doesn't mean that someone out of that age group can't learn a lesson or two. 

5.)      
"But I remember, when I was a young adult, being desperate to earn my way into the adult stacks; I wouldn’t have wanted to live in a world where all the adults were camped out in mine." - Ruth Graham



Listen, this post is not supposed to be some sort of academic response to the Slate article, if it was I wouldn't be using the "Giant squid of anger" gifs, there is nothing academic about giant squids of anger. This is just to say that a reader is a reader. Whether that person is reading "YA", detective novels, or non-fiction...or a YA non-fiction detective novel. No one should dictate what you read. You read what you like to read. When I was in middle school, I lugged around my dad's World War Two books in my back-pack and read them during silent reading when everyone else was reading the books of the day and no one was telling my "you are a "young adult" that wasn't written for you. So I guess what I'm asking is, why the double standard? 

I guess I just don't think that what another person chooses to read should be looked down upon by someone, and you certainly shouldn't be embarrassed by what you choose to read. Authors write for an audience, I don't think that John Green, Maureen Johnson, or Suzanne Collins would look at an adult and say, "sorry, I wrote that for "Young" adults, you can't read that." Of course they wouldn't! They write so that we can read. Regardless of age, race, or gender authors write so readers can read. Writers write so that hopefully you can find something in their books; whether that is a momentary escape from reality, a lesson about relationships, or even in some cases making a friend because of a common interest in authors and books. 

Readers read so that at the end of a really hard day at work, or a really stressful Monday ( you know what I'm talking about : p ), or just needing to relax at the end of the night we read. We pick up a book and step into a world of someone else's creation. A world void of phone calls with complaints on the other end, a world with out computers freezing up at the most inopportune moments, a world where you aren't mowing the lawn. We read so that for a little while at least we are living someone else's life. We are Q on the search for Margo Roth Spiegelman, we are Hazel in Amsterdam with Gus, or we are Rainbow Rowell's Cath, trying to navigate college without her twin sister....and yes, those are all examples from YA novels, some of my favorite YA novels. 

Writers write so readers can read. It's as simple as that. 

(that sort of segues to my next point) 

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in just under three hours and I'm so excited! I'm going to write a novel, for anyone who wants to read it. Whether they be an adult or a young adult. I don't care who reads it, as long as someone does. Who am I to say that people can't read what I or someone else writes. That's not up to me or anyone else to decide. If you are out of the 12-17 year old range and you want to read something that is labeled as a "Young Adult" novel go ahead...if you want some recommendations check out the authors and books that I linked to, I promise you you won't be disappointed. 

Sorry about the rant, this article just kind of made my blood boil when I read it....anyway, getting ready to start writing in a few hours, I'll post a word count update as soon as I can. 

Blessings and happy reading, 

Megan 



Friday, June 27, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Wow, It's been a while!!

It's been exactly two months since I've done a Quick Takes post, in fact the last one was done for my birthday back in April. I'm linking up with Jen to let you know what I've been up to in the last two months...

1.) I signed my life away....okay, not my life but my month of July, to write a 50,000 word novel. More on that in the days to come!


2.) I've crossed seven books off of my Summer Reading List
  • Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler - The story of a staunch atheist's conversion to Christianity. Jennifer has a way of telling her story that is just so compelling. Once I started this book I could not put it down. 
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I was pretty late to the party with this one, but after getting a free sample of it for my Kindle, I just had to read the rest, and I was not disappointed (have tissues nearby just in case)
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - I absolutely loved this book! It was the first one I had on my list and I finished it in two days. Just like with TFiOS, I was so wrapped up in the story that I couldn't put it down. 
  • Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella - I'd never read anything by this author, but I picked this up at Barnes and Noble from their "Blind Date With a Book" table. I was not disappointed! (the language can be a little salty sometimes...beware)
  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella - recommended by Janssen at Everyday Reading this book had me laughing so hard the whole way through! (It's Kinsella, again the language can be a bit iffy)
  • I've Got Your Number also by Kinsella - another one that Janssen recommended. I am only a few chapters into it, and I think I should have read Twenties Girl 
  • Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana, Jill, Jesssa, and Jinger Duggar - this one was so good! It was (as the title suggests) all about relationships; your relationship with yourself, your family, your parents, your friends, guys, and the Lord. Very well written, and very interesting to hear some of the struggles that the four eldest Duggar girls have faced. 
I have to say, I'm kind of shocked that I've read through this much of my list already! 

3.) I've tested several recipes for a new series here on the blog that I'm really looking forward to starting! In fact, tonight I'm going to test a recipe that I've always wanted to try. I will be attempting to make poached eggs with hollandaise sauce...I'll let you know how that goes...

4.) It's good to be back to writing here on the blog more often, I have to admit that I'd neglected it for a little while and I'm going to try to do a better job of keeping it up. Now that I have a series of posts planned, lots of projects to work on, and 50,000 words to write I'm going to try to update more consistently. 

5.) In the two months that I haven't posted, I read Jen's book Something Other Than God. I'm sure most of you have read it, and I'm so glad I finally did! It was wonderful, and inspiring and I cannot recommend this book enough!! 

6.)       (I'm floundering for Takes.....I can't come up with anything.....) 

7.) Okay, next week I promise I'll do a better job with these!! Thanks for stopping by!! 

Hoping you have a great weekend! 

Blessings,
Megan 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Announcements!

This post comes to you today in four parts:

1.) An announcement
2.) A project
3.) A new series
4.) Another announcement

Part one - an announcement!
For the month of July, I have committed to writing a 50,000 word novel....as part of Camp NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo here is a little background: November is National Novel Writing Month...NaNoWriMo. For the months of April and July NaNoWriMo has done, and will be doing summer camp sessions, and I have signed up for a month of insanity writing. A really good friend of mine (and fellow writer) is taking on this assignment with me, and I'm really glad that we will be cabin mates (in the same writing group) for the month! I'm going to try to update the blog throughout the month and let you know how I'm doing as far as my word count goal, and whether or not I've completely lost my mind yet!! 

Created by me with Studio for iPhone! Love that app!!



Part two: A project
I received a bag of fabric and sewing supplies from a dear lady at church and am looking for the perfect project to use this fabric for. I'm looking for some dress patterns with kind of a vintage feel to them. I'm also working this summer on making a custom dress form (along with writing a novel, and trying to read through that list I posted last week) so that I can make some better fitting dresses! So that was two projects really!

Part Three: A new Series

I'm planning a new series for the blog!! I'm calling it "Homemade" I'll be sharing some of my favorite recipes, either made be me, passed down to me, or from some of my favorite bloggers. I have a few recipes in the works, and one that I will be testing tomorrow night! 

another graphic made (by me!!) with Studio for iPhone

4.) Part Four: Another announcement
Now that I'm at part four I forgot what my other announcement was going to be.....well, that tells you what this day has been like!!
I get to start writing in a few days, I have lots of fun recipes coming up, and maybe a fun collaborative post or two! 

See you tomorrow! 
Blessings, 
Megan  





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Reading List

When this summer started (I know that technically it is still Spring, but I'm on "Summer" break until September), I had a very long list of books to read for the Summer, a large stack of them on my floor, and a Kindle full of new titles....here is my Summer Reading List.




  • Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler - The story of a staunch atheist's conversion to Christianity. Jennifer has a way of telling her story that is just so compelling. Once I started this book I could not put it down. 
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I was pretty late to the party with this one, but after getting a free sample of it for my Kindle, I just had to read the rest, and I was not disappointed (have tissues nearby just in case)
  • Paper Towns also by John Green - I have completely fallen in love with John and Hank Green. I picked up a copy of Paper Towns after binge watching the original Brotherhood 2.0 videos that John and his brother Hank put out on YouTube in 2007. I haven't read this one yet, but after John read a chapter of it in one of his videos I was hooked! 
  • The Expats by Chris Pavone - recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy, this is another one that I have not read yet, but am planning to get to it when I go out of town. 
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - I absolutely loved this book! It was the first one I had on my list and I finished it in two days. Just like with TFiOS, I was so wrapped up in the story that I couldn't put it down. 
  • Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella - I'd never read anything by this author, but I picked this up at Barnes and Noble from their "Blind Date With a Book" table. I was not disappointed! (the language can be a little salty sometimes...beware)
  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella - recommended by Janssen at Everyday Reading this book had me laughing so hard the whole way through! (It's Kinsella, again the language can be a bit iffy)
  • I've Got Your Number also by Kinsella - another one that Janssen recommended. I am only a few chapters into it, and I think I should have read Twenties Girl first...that's not to say I don't like this one though, so far it's great!
  • Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana, Jill, Jesssa, and Jinger Duggar - this one was so good! It was (as the title suggests) all about relationships; your relationship with yourself, your family, your parents, your friends, guys, and the Lord. Very well written, and very interesting to hear some of the struggles that the four eldest Duggar girls have faced. 
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige - a twist on the classic Wizard of Oz story, I couldn't pass this one up! 
  • D-Day: June 6, 1944 The Climactic Battle of WWII - it's a little heavy, both in content and actual physical weight, so more than likely this one will be going on the roadtrip! One of my dad's favorite books, and I love the history of WWII and am always looking for something to read on the subject. 
If you have any recommendations after looking through this list leave 'em in the comments, I am always open to book suggestions!

Blessings, 
Megan