A Writing Space That Works For You

There’s something about being in the perfect spot to crank out the words of your next best-selling novel. Everyone has a certain “spot” where they find themselves the most productive.

Charles Dickens wrote at his desk.

Virginia Woolf wrote in her basement.

Stephen King wrote Carrie in his laundry room on his wife’s typewriter while she was working the second shift at Dunkin’ Donuts.

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Review: Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin

Synopsis: In Eden, the truth can have deadly consequences.

Brooklyn Anderson knows it looks bad. She was found wiping down a gun. Her father now dead. His blood on her hands. The incomprehensible nightmare has started.

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Seven days earlier, Brooklyn had returned to Eden to care for her beloved father, who lay helpless in a hospital bed. Her estranged sister, Ginny, said he fell. But as Brooklyn soon realizes, Ginny is prone to lying.

Former Eden resident Darius Woods was in the hospital too. The famous actor had written a screenplay that would lay bare all the secrets of the town, but within hours of his return, someone shot him.

As the Woods investigation proceeds, and Brooklyn starts to question everything she believes about her family, her neighbors, and her home, secrets and lies begin to unravel. But nothing can prepare her for where those lies will finally lead.

And sharing the truth of what happened the night her father died might just make things worse. 


Review// E.C. Diskin reached out to me to review her newest book, Desperate Paths, because I thoroughly enjoyed one of her previous novels Broken Grace (click here for the review). Upon reading even just the first few pages of this new one, I knew I was in for a fun ride once again.

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Making Writing a Habit (or, How I Have Failed At It)

I have to give a round of applause to the people who have made writing something that they do everyday, even with full time jobs, kids, dogs, other hobbies, etc.

Every month I create my new planner spread and tell myself I’ll write just 5,000 words this month. Then I write zero.

When a big writing event comes around, and I know have support and people checking in on me, I write, but the last few years, it hasn’t been as much as I would like to. I’m mostly referring to NaNoWriMo. Last November, even with my students cheering me on, I got just 13,000 words in. Now I am so extremely proud of those 13,000 words, and they’re the beginning of a project that I am SOO SO SO passionate about.

I’ve spent the last month really planning out how to make this the best thing I’ve ever written. I feel like I have a huge opportunity with this novel and I want to do it justice.

Step one to doing it justice:

I NEED TO FINISH IT.

I’m on summer break, so I set the measly goal for myself to finish this novel. I’m at about 15,000 words. I can see it going to about 75,000, but I’m not dead set on a certain word count.

I’m one week into summer vacation, and I’ve written ZERO.

I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for July, but part of me is recognizing that my lazy self will probably not write anything until July 1st now, and if that happens, I won’t finish this this summer.

Writing is not a habit for me. My habits are watching Food Network and obsessively checking Facebook. I wish my habits could be working out, eating right, and writing, but alas.

I know I can correct this on my own. It’s as easy as just WRITING EVERYDAY.

But since it took me two hours to even write this, I guess that means I’ll start tomorrow. (and hence, my issue ha…)

If you make writing a daily (or almost daily) habit on top of the rest of your life, kudos to you. I aspire to be you. I have 8 weeks left of my vacation to change my habits before real life (teaching 7th graders) comes back around again.

Wish me well! (or tell me your secrets!)

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

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 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.

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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!

Eight Week Challenge: Update 6

the caffeinated writer

I just noticed while scrolling through my blog trying to remember what week we’re on, that the only posts I’ve had lately are the 8WC or Fiction Friday. So that’s kind of boring. Ultimately though, until we move, that’s probably all it’s going to be. I’m not doing much right now besides reading, SOME writing, and POKEMON GO. But more on that later.

Time is sure flying by on this challenge! 2 weeks left of the challenge means 2 weeks left at my job! Eek!

So here is my end of week 6 update: Continue reading