Life Update: Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/March

Woooooooow, it has been FOREVER since I’ve last posted on my dear poor blog and even longer since I’ve done an update! Haha, man, I was on such a great blogging streak for a while there, but it looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon!! Anyways, here is a long, overdue blog post on what’s been going on in my life!

What I’m Writing: 

Faerie Story, what else?!! It really does seem like I’ve been working on this story for about forever. In fact, I started drafting this project just about a year ago (January 2015) and while I took breaks to work on other projects, I’m now spending all my energy on getting this thing into tiptop shape!!! Right now, I’m revising Faerie Story and by revising, I really mean rewriting for the third time. I didn’t actually mean/think I had to rewrite it again, but it kind of turned out that way and I’m actually very okay with it (I’ve probably already told you guys this and forgot I told you guys this… but whatever!!!). I feel like the story is FINALLY on track and going the way I always wanted it to. I feel like I’m falling in love with this story all over again and I’m excited that it’s FINALLY coming together. It’s been a very long process, but I hope in the end, I’ll have something that I can be proud of. I’m super close to being done with Draft #3 and while I missed my deadline (end of February), I’m just happy that it’s almost done. Hopefully after this round, it will truly be revising and not rewriting… again. I’ve still got tons and tons and tons of work ahead of me, but I’m optimistic!!

What I’m Reading: 

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Tides by Betsy Cornwell

I finished Tides just last night! My lovely CP Amanda (AKA MANDA PANDA) actually sent this book to me (and made me cry and sob and feel all good inside) because she knows I’m pretty obsessed with anything to do with mermaids or half-human/half-seacreature stories!! (I KNOW, ISN’T SHE THE BEST? GREAT, THANKS AMANDA, I’M GETTING ALL EMOTIONAL AGAIN!!!!) But I loved Tides! I had such nostalgia for it even though it was my first time reading it because it is exactly the kind of book I would have picked up when I was a kid. It had everything that I wanted and left me with such a good feeling.

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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts was also any amazing read!!!! I had heard good things about this book and so naturally, I was a little wary of the hype. But no worries! I LOVED it!!!! The writing style (though still very clearly YA) totally reminded me of Jane Austen. I loved the hate-to-love romance with Teach and Anne and the entire story took me by such lovely surprise! Highly recommend to everyone!!!

These are my most recent book loves, but other books I’ve read and LOVED LOVED LOVED over the past few months: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, Kings Rising by CS Pacat, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

My Current Music Obsession:

My music seems to be rotating through three things: Taylor Swift, Big Bang, and The Phantom of the Opera, which happens to be my most recent obsession. I’ve been listening to The Point of No Return on repeat for days now and I’m still not over it. Of course, I’m perpetually obsessed with Phantom, but I’m not sure what triggered my most recent round. Anyways, I’ve been watching this version with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karminloo a lot, a lot.

 

What I’m Watching:

I recently finished rewatching Arrested Development for about the bajillionth time (yes, I have FINALLY FINALLY moved on from Friends… for now…) and now I’m rewatching Parks and Recreation. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I forgot how great Parks and Recreation was!!!! For some reason, I still haven’t watched the very last season (I don’t know, maybe I’m in denial) but I figured, I’ll start at the beginning and finally make my way through to the end!!! Love Leslie Knope, love Amy Poehler, love this show so much!!!! I can’t believe that I ever forgot how hilarious it is!!!!

What’s Happening:

Merh…. Not much? Still been working, still been doing the same old, same old routine. I’ve been going to lots of fun book events where I’ve met SO MANY lovely people and authors and found a great community of readers and writers that I didn’t even know was there. I’ve met new friends and writers and I’m so excited about it!!

I got my rejections for PT school, which is kind of a bummer, but honestly I’m okay with it.  I’ve got a good plan for what I’m doing to strengthen my application, which unfortunately means taking some more classes (meh) during this summer, but it definitely won’t be bad at all! I’ll probably also be doing some volunteering and whatnot!

Well, that’s pretty much all that’s been going on with me! I’m hoping that once these revisions are finished I’ll have a lot more time to commit to my blog, but… don’t get your hopes up quite yet 🙂

All righty! Thanks for reading everybody!!! I’ll see you again soon (I hope!!!)!!

Happy First of November!

All right!!! Super quick post today!!!

Just want to say, HAPPY NOVEMBER!!! November is THE month for writing and I wish all those who are participating in NaNoWriMo this month GOOD LUCK!!! Since I’m revising, I won’t be joining in officially, but I will be sucking up all the good energy and motivation for my own ms!!! *Muahahahahahaha!!!!*

Today was another productive day for me (YAY!!) and I’m super happy about it!!! I’m excited for November and I’m hoping to really get down and get going with this revising thing!! Anyways, since it is NaNo month, I thought I’d try to post my progress with these revisions as much as possible (ideally daily, if I can manage, but that already sounds like a goal that would not go over so well!).

And though I’m not doing NaNo, I thought it’d be good to set up a goal for November!! Since I do want to have the third draft of my Faerie Story completely finished by December, I guess that would mean that I would have to revise about half of it by the end of November! So there ya go!!! My goal for this month!!! Let’s hope I can stick to it!! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Happy writing everyone!!! I’ll leave today’s post off with a song that’s been stuck in my head ALLLLL day, thanks to our family’s new obsession with 2NE1! (Don’t worry, we’re still obsessing over BigBang, too! (Haha, in fact, there’s a cover of this song done by BigBang!) Apparently, we’re in a super big k-pop phase…???Or, I guess, it would just be called pop for us… 🙂 )

[Note: Holy crap, that took a long time to find… AS IN FOREVER BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW THE TITLE O__O Anyways, enjoy!!! 🙂 ]

Just Gonna…

UM. Found this awesome Taylor Swift video today… Imma just leave it here!!!!! (I swear, I’m going to start revising right after I post this!!!)

Ugh!!! I love it so much!!!! I have a feeling that I’m going to be watching/listening to this on repeat for a loooooooong time!!!!!! I’m so happy about it!!! I love the acoustic version and I think it sounds so good!!!!

Yay!! Listening to this reminds of my Beauty and the Beauty story I wrote a while back!!! EEEEE!!! It’s making me really excited about it!!!

Anyways, enough of me talking–WATCH IT NOW!!!!! 😀

Post Number 2

HELLO ALL!!!

So I did a sort of downer post earlier this morning, so I thought I’d counterbalance it with a more cheerful positive one!!!

I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD.

As you guys know, my birthday was this past Tuesday. I didn’t plan on doing anything, really, probably just my regular sitting-around-at-home-reading-Sarah J Maas routine, but that morning, one of my best friends, Vanessa, called me to wish me happy birthday and actually sang me Happy Birthday. And then, she drove forty-five minutes to take me to see Inside Out and then to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (where she fed me so much food, I probably didn’t have to eat for a few days (though, who am I kidding, of course I did!))

Vanessa is one of my best friends since high school and still I’m astounded by what an amazing friend she is. All my friends are so thoughtful and caring and so unbelievably kind.

Which makes me feel like really crappy friend because on her birthday, I wished her happy birthday on Facebook and… that was it. I’M A TERRIBLE FRIEND GUYS. I’m shaking my head in disgust at my past self right now. I don’t know what I did to deserve such amazing friends, but I’m so touched that she went through all this trouble to do that for me, just because it was my birthday.

It’s not the new year or anything, but my resolution is to be a better friend. I know this is a flaw of mine. I tend to let my friends go when I don’t hear from them for a while, automatically assuming that they’re not really interested in talking or whatever–which is usually not the case. I’ve lost touch with friends because of this and I do regret it now. Like I said, a REALLY bad flaw of mine that I’m working on fixing. And if anything, I need to keep reminding myself to hold onto my friends tighter, like a squid suction cup thing.

So yeah!!! NEW GOAL that I’m determined to keep!!!!

All right, on to some funny stuff. My dog got a hair cut yesterday. Here are some before and after shots:

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He looks so different!! And even though I know to expect this, I’m always kind of taken aback by it. Hahah, he looks like a completely different dog after his hair cut and it definitely takes some getting used to. But no worries, it actually is him!!!

And this is really random, but I think SUPER funny!!!! I probably laughed at it for a good few minutes. I was browsing YouTube, watching a bunch of Phantom of the Opera/musical stuff (as one does), when I came across this!

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BAHAHAHAHHAAHAHA!!!! I just think it’s soooooo funny!!! I was watching Sierra Boggess singing Part of your World and because I have this strange addiction to reading YouTube comments, I scrolled down, reading and happened upon this. Ugh, I think it’s so hilarious!!!

Well, that’s all the funny I got! I’m going to leave you guys with yet another Bigbang track!! 😀

[Side Note: I was having a dance party by myself yesterday to all these Bigbang songs and I think I got a little too excited because now my neck is SUPER sore. So yay!!!! You guys can laugh at me!!! I totally rocked those dances ;)]

Here ya go!!!

Okay, I’m also going on a run as soon as my poor abandoned iPod Nano charges up!!! Yay!! Hope I don’t get wheezy and I definitely need to try and get into a normal running routine, if I can!! Wish me luck!!! 😀

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Hi guys!!

Sooooo, it’s my birthday today!!! Now, I don’t say that to brag (cause really, everyone has a birthday–what’s there to brag about???) and really the only reason I’m even bringing it up is because I WANT TO PLAY THIS SONG!!!!

(Can you guess how old I am?? Muahahahahahhahahaaaaa)

Woo hoo!!! It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about Taylor Swift, but since we’re on the subject… AAAAAH!!!! There’s going to be a Wildest Dreams music video!!! I’m so excited!!! Wildest Dreams was one of the songs I heard and instantly liked (which is VERY rare for me music-wise) and it’s also one of the songs that I use for my Beauty and the Beast retelling because it’s AWESOME AND I LOVE IT!!!

By the way, I should mention this now: This post is going to be a litany of random thoughts and things I want to do talk about for no real reason in particular!! YOU’VE ALL BEEN WARNED!!!! All right, here it comes!!!

What am I doing on this fine birthday morning?? Unfortunately, working on my PT applications. Actually, it turns out it won’t be that bad… I think I was building it up in my head. It turns out I don’t have that much more to do, but it’s all kind of busy work/annoying little things. I have to get my transcript requested and sent in and for some reason, they make you print out this form and mail it to your schools… Like what??? I’m kind of confused about it because I’m used to requesting transcripts online, but I guess PTCAS is old fashioned or something??? I don’t know, but I’ll do that today and it’ll be off my chest!!! I also should send emails asking physical therapists and professors for letters of recommendation, but uggghhhh, I’m totally dreading it because merrrrrh, it’s awkward… I think I know which professor I’m going to ask, but it’s been over a year since I’ve seen/talked to her and really, I didn’t “get to know” any of my professors very well because–let’s face it–I’m awkward and shy and I don’t feel like chatting up my professors during lunch break or anything. And then I’m debating which PTs I want to ask… I think I’ve decided, but I keep changing every few days, so we’ll see. But this is, again, super awkward because one of the PTs, I haven’t seen/talked to in over a year and then the other PT I’m thinking of asking… I don’t think she liked me much and haven’t talked to her in a while either, but the PT I’m working for now is pretty intimidating and I haven’t been working with him for very long/very often. DO YOU SEE MY PROBLEM??? Merrrhhhhh, I’ve just got to suck it up and do it!!!!!

Another thing that I’ve been thinking about… The main character in my Faerie Story, Leda. I’m worried about her, guys. Not because all of the horrible things that happen to her and all (muahaha), but because I think she might be too quiet and too passive.

If you remember, I went to Jennifer Nielsen’s class at this year’s LDStorymakers and one of my most profound things I learned during that class was that readers will not forgive a stupid character. The other thing she mentioned was that the character has to be proactive.

Leda’s not stupid–if anything, she’d be on the smarter side–so that’s not what I’m worried about. The thing is, she’s really shy, really awkward and pretty much a big pushover. What I’m worried about is that she’s not proactive enough. She does step up and do a lot of things, but many many times, she lets other people get their way, even if it means that she’s getting stomped on.

I’ve read a few books that have had passive characters and it really drove me nuts. I was dying of frustration, like WHY WON’T THEY JUST DO ______??? And it was annoying. Soooooo, definitely don’t want that in my own books.

So I’m trying to figure out how I can keep true to her shy/awkward/quiet nature and yet, still inject more personality to her voice and character. I REALLY hate it when characters are said to be really shy and then they just go blurting stuff out and doing all these brazen things (I see this a lot in some contemporaries) because why would that ever happen? It doesn’t seem like a shy character at all!!! And because I’m really shy (although it probably doesn’t seem like that at all in my blog), I especially hate that because it doesn’t seem true. Granted, I am on the pretty high end of shy, so maybe other less-shy-but-still-shy people can relate to this, but it’s one of my biggest pet peeves when I read. I’m always thinking–*AHEM*–shouting, YOU’RE NOT SHY!!!!

The other thing that worries me is voice. I’ve read a couple of books recently where I could not relate to the character. That is ABSOLUTELY the last thing I ever want to happen in my books. I know sometimes it’s subjective, but let’s face it, a bland/distant voice is never what you should be shooting for. And hence my worry. I’m not shooting for it, per se, but I worry that I write with a blah voice. I especially worry about this with Leda because she’s quiet. She (as of this moment) does have a very bland boring personality. And that’s what really worries me. I don’t want to change her personality, but it does make me wonder… Can passive characters ever be pulled off well?? In a way you don’t want to strangle them??? Ha, if there is, I don’t know if I’m going to be the person to pull it off.

Anyways, do you guys have any ideas with this?? I think I’m going to reread some books with quiet/shy/awkward characters that maintained their personality, yet still were interesting to read about. I’m thinking Laia from An Ember in the Ashes and I’m reading Heir of Fire right now and Sorscha is definitely a quiet character with an awesome voice. So hopefully that will help? (PLEASE PLEASE LET IT HELP!!!)

Or I don’t know?? Maybe I should play up Leda’s smarts??? She’s supposed to be smart, but it doesn’t really show in the book (as of now…) so that could definitely be something I enhance in later revisions. Kind of like Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse (although Leda’s not that smart). Kestrel doesn’t have very many physical abilities (similar to Leda) and therefore makes up for it by her intellect. Maybe that’s what I need to do with Leda… Anyways, that’s my biggest concern right now for my Faerie Story, although there is A LOT of other stuff I need to fix as well.

So that’s what’s been plaguing me of late… Also, something that I noticed yesterday when I started rereading Heir of Fire. OMG!!!!!! First of all, it’s amazing–more amazing than I remember. Sarah J Maas really does get better and better with each new book that she writes. I cannot believe how amazingly she weaves in details and descriptions, backstory, world building, voice, and narrative. WHAT THE CRAP???? How does she write so effortlessly??? So beautifully??? Secondly, it made me realize how shallow my world building is. Sarah’s got so many details, so much information about her characters and the world and the history and everything, that it made me think that I’m REALLY going to have to work on my world building. How does she think of all this stuff??? I think maybe I need to do more research… Except, I think it can be hard to do research on fantasy. I usually just read other fantasy books that I love for research, but should I be doing something more?? Like, watching the History Channel or something about wars or whatnot?? I don’t know… I kind of hate researching though. I wish I had a robot that I could ask questions and it would answer everything beautifully for me, hahaha. What do you guys do???

I feel like I originally had more to say than this, but now I’ve forgotten it all in my angst about Leda. Hahah. Well, this post has gone on long enough, so maybe it’s better this way.

All righty, see ya later!!

I’m Still Alive! (Sort of!)

Hey everyone!!

So it’s been a little bit since I’ve posted and I wanted to say that I am, indeed, still alive. I’m hard at work on these revisions for my Faerie Story and it’s pretty much taken complete control over my life. Not that I mind, really.

But I finished my goal a little early today, so I thought I’d do a quick post on what’s been going on! Like I said, I’ve been revising like crazy these past couple of weeks and I’m actually pretty happy with all the progress I’ve been making. I’m soooooo close to being done guys!!! My goal is to finish by this Friday, but it’s a hefty, possibly overambitious goal, so I’m definitely not going to be whining if I need an extra day or two. I’ll be happy either way!

I have so many awesome plans for when I’m done with these revisions!! Most of which include a ton of binge-reading!! I recently read Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke and OMG GUYS!!! It’s soooooo good!!! I had it on my bookshelf for about a year before I finally decided to read it, thanks to my friend, Anna (Hi Anna, if you’re reading this!!), who told me it was amazing!! AND AMAZING IT WAS!!! Aah, I’m so obsessed with it!! I bought the rest of Erica’s books immediately and that’s what I plan on diving into as soon as I finish these revisions!! Needless to say, I am sooooooo excited!!! I’ve heard only good things about her books and after reading Dissonance, I’m now a SUPER HUGE FAN of Erica’s!!! I’m reading Resonance right now, the sequel to Dissonance, and it’s just as amazing as the first! I’ll have to talk about this in a more in-depth post later, but READ THIS YOU GUYS!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!! (*swings pendulum from side to side* *hypnotizes*)

I’m bummed that I have to go to work tomorrow! I shouldn’t complain because I haven’t needed to go in for… maybe about two weeks? But it’s been awesome just writing/revising all day that I’m being resentful. But on the other hand, I kind of need that money to pay off my student loans, so yay!!! Also, I’ve gotten an urge to buy more books, which I’m somewhat successfully resisting right now, so yeahhhh, I guess working isn’t such a bad idea!

Kay! That’s it for me today. You guys will be happy to know that I am still obsessed with Big Bang (as is the rest of my family) and I shall leave you with one of their songs that is quite fitting for this post!! Yay!!

(UGHGGHAHAHA!!! SO OBSESSED GUYS!!! I LOVE ALL THEIR SONGS!!! Also, yes a more obsessive post on Big Bang, still to come!!! LOOK OUT!! 😉 )

Things are HAPPENING!!!

So lots of things have been happening (as you can probably surmise from the title of this post), which is somewhat odd for me because I feel like very, very little goes on in my life. But here’s what’s been going on!

1. My dog was pretty sick this past Wednesday. We have NO idea why! But he was having pretty intense seizures and throwing up and losing control of his bladder, and all kinds of stuff. So we took him to the vet to see what was going on and he got bloodwork done as well as a couple of x-rays and other tests, but seems everything was unremarkable and nothing unusual was going on. I was super worried for a while there, because he is old (11 years!!!), but fortunately, he seems to be back to his usual bouncy, barky, perky self!! I’m still kind of worried, if only because he’s old and we couldn’t figure out why he was sick, but for the most part, he seems better so my worries are dimmed. The only thing that concerns me now, is that when we went to the vet, they told us Tiger (my dog) had lost TWO pounds!!! Okay, so in human terms that doesn’t seem so bad, but considering he was only six pounds to start with… Yeah, so he lost a third of his weight, which was super worry-making! So now my goal is to fatten him up!! We’ve been giving him chicken and broth, so hopefully that’ll help!

*****OKAY SPOKE TOO SOON*****

Whoops! So I wrote the paragraph above yesterday, but then got distracted and didn’t finish. And well, it seems I have spoken too soon, my friends. My dog threw up at 6am this morning and UGH, it was on my bed. Yeah… So I had to clean that up, which was disgusting because it was everything he’d eaten for the past two days. But the doctor prescribed him some anti-nausea medication that’ll hopefully stop that. (She gave it to us Thursday, but since he wasn’t throwing up, I held off giving it to him–well! We know how that ended!! 😀 )

Also, it’s kind of funny, but Tiger (my dog) keeps throwing up or peeing on CARPET. I mean, he threw up on the shaggiest, most rugged, hardest-to-clean rug ever!! I don’t know why he does this or if it’s even a conscious decision on my part, but it kind of makes me laugh that he chooses the worst places ever to do his stuff. Hahah, of course, I’ve got to clean that, so it’s a little less laughable, but I still think it’s kinda funny.

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2. I got to hang out with my friends Friday (Pioneer Day)! It was a lot of fun! We watched fireworks and went crazy with a bunch of sparklers!! We actually were supposed to go see Inside Out (which I have been DYING to see), but OH DEAR, we had, as my friend called it, an “EPIC COMMUNICATION FAIL”. I ended up going to a movie theater half an hour away from my house. My friend ended up at another movie and my other friend thought we were meeting Saturday and was at Cafe Rio. Hahaha, so yeaaaaah. Did not work out. But regardless, we had a lot of fun just hanging out!! And we agreed to watch Inside Out when it came to the dollar theaters!  😀

(For the record, we agreed to meet at the theater I was at. I’m being smug, but I can’t help it!!)

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3. OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS!!! GUESS WHAT??? SARAH J MAAS IS COMING TO SALT LAKE CITY!!

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ISN’T IT AMAZING???!!! SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH–that’s me!!!! As you can tell, I am SO EXCITED!!! I seriously never thought Sarah would come to Salt Lake City! I met her just a little over a year ago at the LA Times Book Festival, but I’m dying to see her again and get the rest of my books signed!!

Funny story: When I saw that she was coming here, I literally freaked. I was actually taking a test at the time (online) and decided to take a break when I saw her tour announcement! I started screaming and jumping up and down and going crazy (as usual).

And then I tweeted this:

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And look who favorited!!! YUP!!! 😀 None other than the amazing Sarah J. Maas!!!

But continuing on. We were having lunch a couple hours later and my brother turns to my mom and asks, “Were you screaming earlier??” Hahahaha, turns out that was moi. Haha, my little excited scream apparently woke my brother up (who was upstairs in his room). I am shamefully unashamed of that! 😀

So, I’m gonna go buy my tickets soon! And I think there might be a books per person limit, so I’ll have to ask the bookstore about that too! But SO EXCITED!!!! Last time I met her, I acted like a total blubbering idiot, shaking and all, so hopefully I’ll be a little more in control this time, but I can’t guarantee it. But of course, Sarah being the most amazing person ever, did a very good job of not seeming freaked out at my weirdness!

4. This is actually what’s not been happening, and unfortunately, that would be WRITING. With my dog being sick and having homework, a test, and an essay due soon, I barely got any writing done this week!! EEK! Luckily, that’s hopefully what I’m going to be working on today!! I’m revising my Chapter 4! I still don’t know how fast I can work during revising, so I’m having a hard time setting goals, but I’m hoping that once I get into the groove of things, I’ll figure out what kind of pace I work at and be able to see from there.

5. Yay!! My Big Bang CD came this week!! I’m so excited!! My obsession with Big Bang has grown stronger and more obsessive than ever!! I’ll probably need to do a separate post on this, but OMG SO OBSESSED!! I’ve particularly been obsessed with this song….

WOW FANTASTIC BABY!! I think it might become my new catchphrase, hahaah!! This song (as well as other Big Bang songs) have been looping around my head constantly these days. I’ve been going around singing BOOM SHAKALAKA BOOM SHAKALAKA and right now (literally RIGHT NOW) I have Bae Bae stuck in my head.

(And OMG, not kidding, guys, my mom JUST started singing Bae Bae!! What’s happening???!!!)

So that’s been my life these past few days!! I’m determined to get more writing done this next coming week and hopefully actually see some progress!!!

That’s it for today!! (Need to get to revising!) Bye!!