Monday Musings #13

Outback

(I started this on Monday. It took me a day to finish it haha!)

This is my first year teaching, and I have one big complaint to make:

Why do we have to raise kids to only be expository writers and not creative writers?

This is the biggest complaint of all teachers, right? We have to teach to a test, not teach our kids things they’ll use in real life. Not all kids are going to grow up to write academic papers in their career for their entire life.

Should students be writing expository often? Obviously. Most college writing is expository in nature and it should be mastered before you get there.

But how do we raise the next JK Rowling when creative writing
is barely touched in school?

Continue reading

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I Read 6 Books in 2017…

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But I accomplished so many other things I had never planned for, so is that really something to be ashamed of?

Hello friends! Long time, no post!

So I logged into Goodreads on 12/29 and was so depressed when I saw how far from my minuscule 30-book goal I still was. 30 books is barely one per 2 weeks. I had friends accomplish their 75-100 book goals! What! Continue reading

Stop Being A Negative Nancy

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I wish the world was full of more positivity. Can you just imagine? Where instead of saying, “Hey, you’re doing that wrong,” all the time, we say “Hey, great job doing that today. Thank you for your effort!”

Instead of “omg her hair looks hideous,” we say, “omg! I love your shoes!”

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself at work. Wouldn’t that one positive comment sit with you for the entire day or week, and make you want to work harder? Or at least more happily? Continue reading

Fiction Friday (on Wednesday) #6

FICTION FRIDAY

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted one of these!

So I’ve decided to focus on reading this year. Especially now that I have made the decision to pursue my teaching license. I realized that I’m going to have to teach books to students (instead of being taught), and that in order to do that, I probably needed to read those books myself first haha.

I googled middle school reading lists in Texas and found one district website that might be helpful. You can check out the list here if you’re interested.

I decided to start my reading adventure with The Giver, and now I’m working my way through the entire series (which I did not even know WAS a series until I got to the end of the original). Only the first two show up on the reading list, but now I want to see how this ends. 🙂

I’ve also got a lot of books that either followers have sent me, or that I’ve received from Kindle First, that are still sitting on my iPad unread, so I’m trying to work through some of those as well.

So far this year, I’ve read 4 books. I update and rate everything on my Goodreads account (feel free to add me).

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If you can recommend any books for me, particularly grades 6-8 (heck I may hate middle schoolers but I’m hoping to try those out first), leave them in a comment below! 🙂

2016 Year in Review

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So I scrolled back through my blog posts and found the one where I listed my goals for 2016. So here we are, in the last week of a very up and down year, and it’s time to look back and see what kind of accomplishments I made.

Here we go:

Blogging:

  • Get 500 followers
    • Accomplished. I currently have 507 followers. Yay!
  • 10,000 views
    • Close but no cigar. Had I not stopped blogging, I’d probably have accomplished this one. But 9,100ish views is not something to scoff at!
  • Have an active following, where no one is afraid to comment and discuss!
    • I would consider this accomplished. 
  • Continue posting a few times a week
    • I was doing great until we moved. But that’s okay.
  • Never forget a Monday Musings
    • Nope. MM died out pretty early in the year lol
  • Post at least 20 book reviews
    • Did I even post one? 
  • Bring in more followers to the blog from Twitter
    • I did bring in significantly more readers this year from Twitter than last year. So check.
  • Get 250 Twitter followers
    • 415 as of right now. Check!

Writing:

  • Finish a second draft of Cover Up
    • I need to finish the first draft too, LOL
    • First draft was finished. Second draft was never started.
  • Finish the first draft of Where I Belong and start editing
    • This was not a good writing year for me.
  • Write two additional pieces of short fiction per month
    • Not even one.

Reading:

  • Read 30 books (I know it’s not much, but it’s more than I’ve read in a loooong time)
    • According to Goodreads, I read 17 books this year. I averaged over 1 a month, and that’s an accomplishment to me.

Personal:

  • Get married!
    • CHECK!
  • Feel good in my dress (I’m really trying to get it taken in, but we’ll see)
    • I was never NOT going to feel good in my dress.
  • Save another $1,000
    • We saved a lot, spent it all on the move, and are back over $1,000 in savings. So check!
  • Go out and do things with new people
    • Seriously I need friends here
    • I never accomplished this in Roanoke haha

I’ve posted about my slump already for the year. But I’m over the negative thoughts. I may not have been able to mark off all my resolutions for this year, but I made a lot of progress in life this year. I built this beautiful blog. We moved to Texas. Brad and I are finally married.

Next up: big moves with my career. A house. A new dog (or 3).

Bring it on, 2017. I’m ready for you!

On Being In A Slump

Friends!

Ok so here’s my personal, honest post about life.

I haven’t written anything since NaNoWriMo last year. I haven’t read a book since July.

I’m in a life slump.

See after we moved, I ended up back waiting tables for awhile so I could take some time to get used to living in Texas again, and so I could figure out what my next move was career-wise. I have a bachelor’s degree and, um, a lot of a debt from college.

I let myself get into my own head.

I considered the librarian option, but to commit ANOTHER $20,000+ dollars and 1.5-2 years of my life towards getting a master’s degree is a huge commitment. And what if I hate it?

And then I considered the teacher route. I can do alternative certification in Texas pretty quickly, and the salary for teachers where I’m at is pretty good. Starting in the mid-50k range. But what if I suck at teaching? I know it’s all things I’ll learn before they actually let me teach, but lesson planning terrifies me. And being responsible for that many kids for 180 days/year. THAT’S SO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY.

I laugh at myself because I know that whatever path I choose, I’m going to be great at it. Sure it’ll take some getting used to. But I immerse myself in everything. Many nights, I enjoy waiting tables. I meet many different kinds of people, I’m a good worker so I have a good relationship with my staff and managers, and I make pretty good money when we’re busy. But I can’t do it forever. Some weeks I make $200. Some I make close to $500.

I need stability. And so does my husband! I need to have stable hours, stable income. We have so many goals. To buy a house by Spring 2018 (and then get another dog, yay!). To be able to travel. Kids? Not sure about that one yet but we’ll see.

I’m so glad for my super support family, friends and husband. Working the opposite hours lately has been hard for us, but we’re making it. I feel so much pressure from MYSELF to make a decision about my future now.

I’ll be 25 on Thursday. We start a new year 2 weeks from today. I really want to start the new year with a plan.

So that’s where I’m at.

I really want to get back to blogging regularly. Touching base with like-minded people feels so great. I WILL pull out of this slump.

But first I have to wrap Christmas presents and write my thank you cards. LOLOL

-Danielle

It’s November 2nd

and I have not started my novel yet.

I have not plotted, I have not even figured out what I want to write about.

Am I panicking?

Nah.

There’s a lot going on in life right now. Good things! I’m married! I’m taking steps towards my future. I’m making decisions about life. I’m happy!

I’m also at jury duty as I write this. I’ve only been officially a resident here for 2 1/2 months and I already got a jury duty summons. Just about sums up my luck haha!

So if you’re signed up for NaNoWriMo this month and you also have not written anything, have no fear. You are not alone, friend.

But we WILL get to that 50,000 word mark. Even if it takes just a teensy bit more effort on a few of the days.

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Using Writing Software

So considering that I am not the most dedicated year-round writer as of yet, I have never played around with different writing softwares before. But I was scrolling through the NaNoWriMo Sponsor Offers today and decided I was going to utilize one of the free trials to see if this helps enhance my novel-writing experience.

I know Scrivener is the big one that a lot of people use. I see posts about it all the time from blogs I follow. I watched the introduction video and honestly felt super overwhelmed. Maybe one day I’ll be more in tune with software of this kind that Scrivener will have what I need, but right now, I’m looking for something really straight-forward.  Continue reading

It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again!

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Greeting, loyal followers, and long time no see!

Holy crap, it’s already October!

So in the last 2 months, we’ve obviously moved and settled into our new home in Texas. I’m stuck waiting tables again while I deeply consider what it is I want out of my future. The teaching certification is still on the table, I’m just trying to figure out if that’s REALLY the commitment I want to make.

I have troubles with commitment.

NOT to my fiancé, Brad, though. We are still getting married in less than 3 weeks! The 22nd of THIS MONTH is the big day! Things are falling into place, and actually living in the same town as we’re getting married in has been such a relief on everyone’s sanity. Continue reading

Eight Week Challenge: Update 7

the caffeinated writer

Ahh craziness all around. We’re leaving in 10 DAYS. I’ve been crazy busy packing, going through my last week of work, and just mentally preparing myself to say goodbye to these beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

As such, I do not have much of an update for my eight week challenge. As much as I figured this would happen, I really haven’t focused on any of my goals recently. I finished one book, started another but probably can’t finish it before we leave (and it’s a library book so…) and while I’ve been packing (a workout!) and walking (thanks Pokemon G0!), I’ve been kinda eating whatever I want.

😦

But it’s fine. I’m midway through the last week of the challenge, and while I probably won’t be able to say it was the most successful, I know that I did make some accomplishments. But I’ll go through all that sappy stuff next week when I do my final update.

This is all I have to say in this post today, as it’s getting busy and I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. I can’t wait until I’m moved and settled in so I can get back to regularly posting on my own blog, as well as get back to reading more of the blogs from friends I follow.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!