Monday, January 30, 2012

Is Blog "Published" Considered Published?

If you've been reading my blog for a while (or a month), you know that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to "submit at least two short stories." Thanks to Theresa who sent me a whole list of contests and literary magazines, Charity who writes posts on any contest she thinks worth entering, and Michael who makes sure I read those posts, I have a few places in mind. All of them require the submission to be unpublished.

If you've been reading my blog a little while (or a year) longer, you know that I've posted many short stories thanks to The Chrysalis Experiment. Many of those stories are good or at least have the potential to be, if I do say so myself, and I think they would have a chance at winning or being accepted (whichever the case may be).

My only concern is, if I have posted or "published" the story on my blog, is it considered published? Would I be able to submit it? What do you think?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ARCs: My First + Fever Giveaway

An Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) is something I consider to be a great treasure. There are limited copies and, while the author may get a couple to keep or give away, they are usually reserved for reviewers and other people who will publicize the upcoming book. Also, there is something special about getting the opportunity to read a book before everyone else does.

I received my very first ARC, All Different Kinds of Free, from a giveaway at Michelle Fayard's blog. It was a simple matter of commenting on a post and getting picked by, but I was so excited to be chosen for this prize. It gave me a fluttery, happy feeling.

The book did not. That is not to say that it was not a good story, indeed I enjoyed the plot quite a lot. It was rife with tension and the main character gripped me. I found myself wanting to get through the other various POVs so I could get back to her. Nay, it was the subject matter.

As I have mentioned before, I do not understand why people look down upon other people for their differences, especially skin color. Darker skin is simply an adaption in order to survive comfortably in a hotter climate. And people think (or thought) they can (could) own other people because of this? There is no comprehending it for me. I have thought about it many times and all I end up doing is angering and frustrating myself. I do not get how racism and such cruelty can exist. Frankly, I'm rather glad I don't.

All Different Kinds of Free was a powerful book that told a good story. It shone a spotlight on a piece of history that most overlook. I am glad it was my first ARC experience.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I'm about to tell you how you can get your own ARC.

My critique partner, Christina, is giving away an ARC of Fever, the second book in The Chemical Garden dystopian series and sequel to Wither, away over at her book blog. All you have to do is fill out the form linked in the post for a chance to win. I wish you luck.

Friday, January 27, 2012

YAK Fest - Part 3 [Colin Gilbert and Others]

Part 1 | Part 2

[Note: Part 3 is chronological within itself, but is not when compared to Part 2.]

Over the past few months I have mentioned here or there in comments that I would be going to my first author signing soon. Ellen Hopkins would be coming within three hours of me. On Saturday, January 16th, I went to meet her at the Young Adult Keller (YAK) Book Festival.


"I" is for "Indians."
After the first panel, it was time for lunch. They had food at the event, but we ended up at McDonald's (my father later informed me there was a Chick-fil-A a block in the other direction -.-). After eating, my parents and sister dropped us off and went to visit one of my father's friends.

We arrived a little early for the second panel, so lounged around in the school's cafeteria. There was live entertainment, courtesy of a few (I assumed) students and they announced some of the door prize winners. While sitting there, we made the glorious discovery you see to your left. We assumed Indians were the high school's mascot.

Finally, it was time. We decided to split up. Alisha and Jess went to the Slam Poetry Session. Lizzie and I proceeded to the Speculative Fiction Panel.


Back row from left: Random, Random, Me, Lizzie
Five authors (Samantha Cook, Krissi Dallas, Jeff Hirsch, Cory Putman Oakes, and J. M. Richardson) took part in this panel. Once again a moderator asked questions, then opened the Q&A afterward.

The authors had question after question shot at them: Did you write when they you were young? Ms. Dallas told of reading over her old journals. If you could choose, what world, what book, would you live in? Everyone agreed that The Eleventh Plague (Mr. Hirsch's book) was at the bottom of the list. How did you come up with your title? Who did your cover art? What is your favorite word? The panelists answered everything with honesty and a touch of humor.

When it was over, Lizzie and I checked on Alisha and Jess. Their session wasn't over yet so we headed to the station where they sold the books (courtesy of The Book Carriage). After much deliberation, I bought You by Charles Benoit and Girl Meets Boy edited by Kelly Milner Halls who also contributed. About this time, we noticed people exiting the Slam Poetry Session and headed that way.


Now, while the Poetry Session had sounded interesting, the program informed us actual poetry writing was involved and neither I nor Lizzie was really in the mood. However, when we went to collect Jess and Alisha, they convinced us to stay (turns out you didn't have to write). I am so unbelievably glad they did.

Colin Gilbert, the performance poet, was alone and, while there was a moderator, she was simply there to oversee the session. He performed a few poems (I've posted a video of one below) and recited a couple of his haikus. Here's my favorite (I don't think I got it exactly right. I'm missing a syllable.):
She always said love
was like flying so he pushed
her off a cliff
He also showed us a trick to write quick, random poems. You never really know what you'll end up with, and what kind of ideas will come of it. It doesn't work well for me, but it might for you.
  1. Think of five or six nouns. Set them to the side.
  2. Pick a general category (ie. animals) and come up with five or six nouns that fall under it.
  3. Match verbs to the second group of nouns.
  4. Now take those verbs and attach them to the first group of nouns.
Jess did several variations of one of these poems until she got the following. She says it's about me (she calls me her majestic pony because of my hair).
Scary laughs take chills to my back
Then randomly behind me comes a thwack
I turn and what to see?
But my majestic pony looking at me.
She gumms our shoulders
Sometimes bites
I'd save her from a boulder
Besides all this, Colin said a couple things that struck me. He told us we will get rejected. Nothing new in that. But then, he stated that he liked rejections, enjoyed getting them. I have never heard a writer of any kind say that, even though that's how I felt about my first rejection and how I feel when I think of future ones. The second thing? Everyone is a great writer until they reach the age of eight. Eight is when they start teaching you the boundaries of sentence structure, paragraphs, punctuation. And though I love those things, there was a simple beauty in that.

THE (first part of the) BOOK SIGNING

My favorite out of all seven.
We headed back to the cafeteria for the signing. The area where we sat previously was actually a sort of pit, closed in by a stage, a hallway, the area where their food was served, and another section that might have held tables for eating on a normal day. The tables sitting there on Saturday were for signing.

Though the authors hadn't arrived yet, people were already lining up. Jess and I left Lizzie and Alisha in the pit and went to join them. At first, we were going to get in Ellen Hopkins' line, but because it looped and other lines cut through it, it was very confusing and we couldn't find the end (hey, we're both blondes). We decided to start with the shortest line and work our way to the longest.

While everyone was waiting, they announced more door prize winners. And Lizzie won! Since Colin's line was right by the stairs, I left Jess and rushed to see what she got. She had chosen from the prizes a "bound object" called This Is Not a Book. I had just enough time to jump back in line before the authors showed up.

Colin was selling his book (The Mattress Parlor) at his table. I paid for mine and he signed it: "For a Brooklynn so great she got an extra "N." I loved this because everyone is always spelling my name wrong. Jess got her copy and we headed over to the next line.

Ms. Halls signed Girl Meets Boy and told me to enjoy.

Alisha came up to buy her copy of Colin's book and found that he had run out. He took her money, her address, and promised to send her one. We got in line for Charles Benoit. About this time, Jess wandered off (after leaving me with the two books I wanted Ms.Hopkins to sign, which later turned to four), and Lizzie showed up with my sister in tow, saying my mother had told her to watch her while she went to the restroom.

Mr. Benoit signed You, implementing the title into his signature, as he asked us what school we attended. We told him and moved on to the great adventure of finding the end of the Ellen Hopkins line, where my mother found us.


We got out of there around five and headed home, stopping in Decatur, Texas for dinner. We ate at a small Chinese buffet (I swear without them my family would starve). Unfortunately, about then, my sister, who had just recovered from a stomach bug, informed us that she thought she was going to throw up. And she did (don't worry she made it to the bathroom). The plus side to that is she no longer likes McDonald's.

We then drove the rest of the way home, all five of us kids half comatose. At my house, my friends gathered their things and my mom dropped Alisha at her grandmother's and Lizzie and Jess at Lizzie's townhouse. I cleaned up the living room where we'd slept, took care of a few things, and headed to sleep, tired but happy.

More On Colin Gilbert, Girl Meets Boy, and You:

Colin Gilbert

Tackling tough issues with a positive message, Colin Gilbert has established one of the most versatile performance poetry careers in the United States. The ninth-ranked performance poet in the world in 2009, Colin has performed at almost 400 universities, poetry venues and private engagements, including The Ballpark in Arlington (home of the Texas Rangers), music and film festivals, events for the Dallas Cowboys and even a few prisons (voluntarily, of course!). His high-energy poetry has even made its way into the modern dance programs and advertising campaigns. Offstage, Colin's writing can be found in dozens of literary journals, magazines and anthologies. He is the current Editor of Lamplighter Review and recipient of multiple honors, including the Hughes, Diop, Knight Literary Award, Colin's new, full-length poetry book, The Mattress Parlor, is currently available from Scribble Fire Press. Learn more about him and his work at

Girl Meets Boy edited by Kelly Milner Halls

What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story. -Goodreads 

You by Charles Benoit

This wasn't the way it was supposed to go. You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place? There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen? You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction. -Goodreads 

Afterword coming soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trols, Imps, and Pixes (Perhaps)

As part of my revisions for THINKING OF YOU, I have decided to rename the Waves. The reason being the fact that Waves give off waves. It's confusing, don't you think? Yeah, me too.

I've thought long and hard about what the new name should be. At first I liked Quakes, because don't earthquakes send out waves? I crossed that off the list when I determined it was too much like Quakers. Next, I researched the source of molecular waves. It's light, but that wouldn't work either, so I turned to my thesaurus for synonyms. I found a few. None were quite right. My next idea came from what the waves do - manipulate. Looked up synonyms for that. Didn't lead to anything. Then it clicked.

Control. Another word for manipulate is control. And if you chop off the first syllable, you're left with Trol. I loved it (though I do think Trols looks a little funny).

As often happens, one thought led to another. If I was renaming the Waves, especially something like that, should I rename the Prisms and Shimmers to match? I tried and it actually worked. Prisms simply glimpse waves. I cut off the first two and the last two letters, leaving myself with Imp. Shimmers turn light into pixels in order to see visions. Drop the last two letters, you have Pixe.

I realize those names don't sound very sci-fi or "techy," but I thought perhaps they could be used as slang terms with the scientists using more official terms (ie. Controller instead of Trol).

There is one more option. A friend pointed out that I could research the wave spectrum to find a new name. That idea also sounds appealing (I'm kind of liking the sound of Ultras).

What's your opinion? Do you like these names, agree with the slang idea? Or should I try the spectrum? Please be honest.

Monday, January 23, 2012

YAK Fest - Part 2 [Ellen Hopkins]

Part 1

[Note: Part 2 is chronological within itself, but is not when compared to Part 3.]

Over the past few months I have mentioned here or there in comments that I would be going to my first author signing soon. Ellen Hopkins would be coming within three hours of me. On Saturday, January 16th, I went to meet her at the Young Adult Keller (YAK) Book Festival.


A little late, we found the lecture hall where the Realistic Fiction session was being held and took our seats (after a slight scuffle over who was going to go in first). The five authors were sitting at a table in the front discussing swear words.

From left to right: Charles Benoit, Beth Fehlbaum, Kelly Milner Halls, Ellen Hopkins, and Lori Aurelia Williams

Mr. Benoit said that he did not use curse words in order to reach a wider audience (ie. Catholic schools). Someone, I believe Ms. Fehlbaum, spoke of a reviewer who counted the number of cuss words (77, including "crap") in her book. Ms. Hopkins expressed her opinion that swear words, especially the word "fuck," should be used only when needed, not to give a shock factor. She used an example from her novel Crank, where the main character says "Fuck you" to her mother. She remembered saying that to her own mom and how emotional it had been.

After the moderator (who sat next to Ms. Williams) asked a few more questions, the Q&A was opened to the audience. While I didn't have any questions myself, Jess did ("Do you think of your readers as you write?"). My mother was also very excited and interactive, asking not only questions on publishing (which I should have appreciated more) but for the authors of books that the panelists recommended. She even took notes.


Lizzie, my sister, and myself waiting in line for Ellen Hopkins.
We got in line around four o'clock. If you'll look at the picture to your left, you can see us, right there at the end (and surprisingly, very in the center, seeing as the YAK fest photographer randomly snapped this). And don't we just look close to the front! But you see those people behind us, and the people behind them? Yeah, they're all standing in the same line.

But I waited. Through a curve.

And a normal sized line.

And a curve.

And a normal sized line.

When we got to the front of the line, my mom showed Ms. Hopkins the copy of Campaigner Challenges 2011 she has on her Kindle (hence the first signature). Ms. Hopkins then asked me what I write. I think I muttered something along the lines of "Um, uh, a lot of things?" Luckily, my mother stepped in to save me.

Was it worth it? The three hour drive, the argument with my mother (again, I should have been more appreciative, I blame morning brain), the almost-hour in line, the embarrassment of freezing when talking to one of my favorite authors? I think it was.

Myself and Ellen Hopkins

More On Ellen Hopkins:

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, and Triangles. Her novels are praised by teens and adults alike and she has been called the "bestselling living poet in the country" by She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada. Learn more about her and her books at

Part 3 coming soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

YAK Fest - Part 1 [Getting To The Authors]

Over the past few months I have mentioned here or there in comments that I would be going to my first author signing soon. Ellen Hopkins would be coming within three hours of me. On Saturday, January 16th, I went to meet her at the Young Adult Keller (YAK) Book Festival.


On Friday, after going to Quizbowl practice, I went home, bringing two of my friends with me (hereafter referred to as Lizzie and Alisha). We proceeded to the grocery store for snacks and dinner ingredients and then home, upon which we munched on those snacks and made those ingredients into a dinner. A few hours later (at which time I was growing anxious because she was supposed to have been there soon after we got home), another of my friends (hereafter referred to as Jess) arrived.

The night was then spent on doing makeup and hair (or in my case, just hair), experimenting for the next day. Amidst all the laughing and girly chit-chat, we managed to drag out the pull-out bed and blankets and I got all nine of Ellen Hopkins' books into a backpack. We went to bed later than we should have seeing as we had to get up at seven.


This is what I wore.
In the morning we all stumbled out of bed, our eyelids drooping down past our chins, got dressed, and climbed into the car, books, snacks, and makeup box in tow. I started out in the middle bench seat, but got bumped to the front (my mother has to sit next to you when she's doing up your face) where I took a nice doze for about an hour. And, even after I got bumped back, I continued to do so on and off for the next two as well.

Upon reaching the high school where the event was being held, my father and sister headed inside in search of a restroom and us girls stayed in the car to finish up makeup (of which I gave in and took just a tad), joking about how big of a deal we were making this out to be and freaking when Jess set off the car alarm. We finally made it inside around eleven or so, registered, signed up for door prizes (except for my mother we discovered later), and picked up our programs.

I was disappointed to see that we had both missed the Key Note and Ellen Hopkins as a speaker, but our pamphlets informed us that it was time to pick a session and she was listed under the Realistic Fiction panel...

Part 2 coming soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Prompt #49: He wouldn't have died if he'd known what the word "hydrogenated" meant.

During 2011 I participated in The Chrysalis Experiment. However, I did not finish all 52 of the short stories. So I am continuing to write and post them until I have 52. I hope you're still up to reading them. ^^

            I stand in line. People stretch forever in both directions. I don’t mind the wait. There are plenty of things to distract me. Sea life surrounds the tunnel, our lights unmasking their beautiful colors, reflecting off of their scales, those that have them. I watch in wonder, feeling as if I have been swallowed by a mythical rainbow.
            The names of the various species come to me as they pass by. Sea turtles. Rays. A million different varieties of surgeonfish. Clownfish and octopi. Sharks. Facts about all of them swirl through my head, how they live, how they interact, how they can be used. I shift my backpack around to open it, my school books rustling inside. I pull out my Ocean Life textbook, start flipping through it.
            The call for screenings is random. This one came during school. Most of us are sporting bags or books. Many sit leaning against the glass as they read. I join them, scooting down every five minutes or so, keeping with the line.
            I turn the pages slowly, glancing up, then down, to match the pictures to the real thing. My fingers move along the words as I read. New information lodges into my brain, falling into the whirlpool of details. I am totally engrossed.
            Someone nudges me with their foot. Confused, I look up from my book. Marchen, the boy in front of me, says, “You have to get up, Cocho.”
            I push myself to my feet. “What’s going on?”
            He points toward the front of the line. “They’re storing everyone’s possessions until after the test.”
            And sure enough, an official in white scrubs is pushing a cart down the tunnel, making everyone stand to make room. People slung their packs on the racks or set their books in neat little piles.
            “They’ve never done that before, have they?” I ask.
            Marchen shrugs. “They’ve never called during school either.”
            He was right. I shove my textbook back into its backpack cage and place my belongings on the cart as it passes, barely slowing. A flicker of worry ignites in my stomach, but I douse it quickly.
            The line continues to move forward, quieter and straighter than before. I stare out the glass, but all the names and facts have left my brain, finally sucked down through the vertex. All I can do is count, count each step, one for every person who’s taken their test.
            “Marchen,” I pause as he turns to look at me, “have you ever failed the test?”
            A funny expression crosses his face.  “How should I know?”
            I look away, back to the ocean. “Just wondered if you did. Do you know of anyone who has failed the test?”
            He rolls his eyes. “We’ve done this tons of times. Nothing’s ever happened if we have failed. It’s nothing to worry about.” He turns back to the front.
            A few more minutes, totaling ten steps, and I can see the official who mans the door. She holds a clipboard, checking off names as she lets one person at a time go through to the testing room. She doesn’t say a word. She doesn’t have to.
            Eight more steps, eight more people, and she’s holding the door open for Marchen. He slips inside and she closes the door before I can get more than a glimpse of the white room beyond.
            “Cocho Mar,” I tell her while we wait. She lifts a page, marks that I was here, and then we are both standing, staring at the little pad next to the door, waiting for it to tell us that it’s time. There is a soft bump as an octopus attaches itself to the glass. I can see its mouth, sucking and horrible, out of the corner of my eye.
            The light on the screen turns green. The official opens the door and I step into the white. She shuts the door and I am alone with the walls.
            In the middle of the room, sits a small metal table, its four legs curving in to touch each other. On that table, sits a small cup of water. I walk across the room toward it, pick it up. It is cool and wet against my hand.
            I’ve taken the test many times. I know what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to drink it. Easy enough. But I pause, looking at the bottom of the cup through the clear liquid.
            “Please drink the water, Mr. Mar, so that we may proceed with the test.” The instructions come from the loudspeaker, the same voice that gave them to me in my very first time. A voice I haven’t heard since..
            I touch the cup to my lips and lean back my head, letting the drink slide down my throat. I don’t set the cup down until it’s all gone. I don’t know why I have to do these things. They don’t give us reasons for the things we do. They just tell us to do them.
            The whirring starts, hidden fans mixing the air. I glance up at the vents that cover them, wondering. I take a step away from the table, my neck craned back. There is a muted ding. I frown, looking forward again, at the exit across from me. It should have been louder than that.
            A voice whispers. “Please exit the room, Mr. Mar. Your test is—” The words lose meaning as I step forward, trip, fall, the table going down with me. The floor rushes up at me. It is white, hard, painful, slapping my face. It is hard to breathe through the floor. My lungs work, my mouth gapes, my tongue licking the floor, and I get nothing.
            Someone touches me, flips me over. My face touches air, but air does not touch my throat, my lungs so desperately screaming for it. Spots form in my eyes. One is darker than the others, bigger. Another one appears beside it. They move toward each other.
            I catch very soft words. “Hydrogen.” “Reacting.” “Airway.” “Obstructed.” A prick on my arm and I lose my focus. The spots are disappearing, black consuming them. And then, and then, my chest rises. Air. Sweet air!
            My chest starts to fall as I breathe out, except nothing touches my throat. It all stays inside, making me feel bloated and heavy. Panic makes my eyes roll.
            “It’s not working,” someone yells and they are loud. Too loud. “It’s not working.” Now, not loud enough.
            I know.
            I know I am going to die.
            Turning my head, I spot an empty syringe rolling lazily back and forth on the floor. Whatever was in it, whatever was in my veins, hadn’t worked.
            I know.
            I know what the test is for.
            Past the heads above me, it comes into sharp clarity, one of the vents. The fans have stopped. The fans that launched what is killing me into the room, the hydrogen.
            I know.
            I know I failed the test.
            Wet. Something on my cheek is wet. Someone is crying over me. I can’t hear them, but I can see the movement of their sobbing shoulders.
            And because I know all these things.
            I know we are all going to die.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stress Reducer #1

While I didn't post it in my NYR post, one of my goals for this year is to drastically reduce my stress levels. The last six months of 2011 were quite uncomfortable for me, so much so at times I wanted to rip out my insides. Everything on the planet caused me stress: writing and getting it done "on time," homework assignments that I feared I wouldn't get finished though I was sitting down and doing them, getting farther and farther behind on my TBR list, reading everyone's blogs, finding time to hang out with my friends, even doing the laundry, the freaking laundry!

This year I've decided that none of that matters, at least not enough to kill myself over. I'll work on my writing, revising chapters, writing poems, short stories, but if it doesn't get done today that's okay. Nothing's happening to tomorrow. I've always gotten my homework done, never gotten a zero, I don't know why I'm worrying about it now. The books, and blogs, will still be there when I'm ready. I'm a teenager in high school. I'm going to hang out with my friends. They make me indescribably happy and I feel that makes me a better person. And laundry? I mean, come on, it sucks, but not that much.

Continuing on that theme, I have voided my prior blog schedule. Why? Well, while I have a few ideas for posts, most of the require some thought and time and, with everything else, I can't always do them in three day increments. I also don't like just throwing a post together so I'll have something up (though I have been guilty of doing this). All of this frazzles me, stresses me, so I'm returning to my old style of blogging where as I just posted when I had something to say.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Um... Yeah... So This is Awkward

I've mentioned this before. A few times in fact. Buuut... I thought I would post a little reminder as voting for the Seventeen Magazine 2011 Fiction Contest ends on January 31. Last time I dedicated a whole post to this, I just wrote a short, sweet paragraph and left it at that. This time I'm going to post a set of straight forward instructions to avoid any confusion.
  1. Go to
  2. Sign-up to the site if you don't already have an account. It's free. If you do, sign in.*
  3. Go here and read my entry by clicking "Start at Beginning." The site estimates it will take about two minutes.
  4. If you like my story, click on the "heart" button. This is how you register your vote.
Thank you all so much!

*If you have to sign up, remember to check your email to verify your account.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A More Specific Beginning

Beginnings are one of my favorite things. The beginning of a week (Sunday, people, Sunday), the beginning of a month, and especially the beginning of a year. And today happens to be all three of those. Why do I like beginnings so much? I'm explained it before so I won't waste words.
"...everything is suddenly fresh, like everything has been wiped clean and I can just start over. It also sort of feels like a jumping off point."
-A Hopeful Beginning (January 1, 2011)
Of course, beginnings lead to endings (right after middles) lead to beginnings. And seeing as the post quoted above was a beginning and this post is a beginning, an ending had to occur in there somewhere. The ending of 2011. With that ending comes the fact that the year to accomplish the resolutions I expressed last New Year's is over. Before I move on to 2012, I would like to wrap up all things 2011.

I will be using the same format I used at my Midway Point report.
  1. I will write everyday. I didn't do this. I didn't even build up to doing this. However, I have greatly improved my writing habits. With The Chrysalis Experiment I have managed to write every week excluding a few in the summer. With NaPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo I wrote everyday in April and November. And with Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote the majority of days in August. B
  2. I will write a blog post or in my journal every day. I'm just going to give up on the journal. I've never been able to keep a steady one going and I hate what comes out when I write in them. Journaling just isn't for me. Blogging is more my style and, while I haven't done it everyday, I have erected a schedule for every third day (even if I kind of fell of the wagon the last month or so). Also, I have 169 posts for this year, just shy of a post every two days. B-
  3. I will learn to vlog. I made two videos the whole year. Two. And only one of them was a vlog. I tried to make another video, but I failed because I didn't have the right editing software or knowledge. Editing is very essential to making good videos, vlogs or otherwise. D
  4. I will become more organized with when and what I write (or edit). I really don't know how to assess how I did for this one. At the beginning of the year, I was pretty persistent and organized about how I "edited" THINKING OF YOU. I knew when I was going to write poetry (NaPoWriMo) and when I wanted to focus on a solitary project (ie. Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo). But, I don't think I really accomplished what I was going for. C
  5. I will become better at critiquing others work. Not only am I still a part of the blog Unicorn Bell that I mentioned at my Midway Point report, I also have two new critique partners. Steph Sinkhorn and Christina Bejjani. A
  6. I will not give in to peer pressure or do anything that I don't want to do (excusing homework assignments). Haven't experienced any serious peer pressure. N/A
I suppose I didn't do too terribly bad, but I won't dwell on it. Instead I'm going to take those mistakes and achievements and move on into 2012 by jumping straight into my goals with a vlog stating this year's New Year's Resolutions!

And for those that can't see the video:
  1. I will have THINKING OF YOU ready for query. I need to get serious about my writing. I'm focusing on one project, part of that whole "organized" thing. This is the project I chose because I know what direction I want to go with it and I feel closest to it right now. As an add on to this goal, I also want to have a brief outline of the sequels.
  2. I will have two new first drafts. One from Camp NaNoWriMo (probably doing August) and one from NaNoWriMo (November). One being my untitled princess close story (which I've mentioned once) and the other being a dystopian based around marriage. I wrote two new first drafts in 2011, I can do it again.
  3. I will win National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). I haven't written much poetry since I did this last year, unless you count FOREVER, FROG. I really enjoy poetry and want to get back into it, plus this definitely helps with writing habits.
  4. I will submit at least two short stories to anthologies and/or contests. Last year, I submitted my first Chrysalis story to an anthology. I rushed into it, forgot to put a title in my email and used a casual email address. I also entered a contest hosted by Seventeen magazine. This one I put a bit of thought into and I feel like it's turning out much better. It's still going on (my entry here and instructions on how to vote here). I want to continue to do these things and to put myself out there.
  5. I will read at least one hundred books. I've talked before about how many unread books I have. That number hasn't gone down (quite the opposite in fact) and I would really like it to. I will be using GoodReads to keep track of this goal.
  6. I will post at least one vlog a month. This is a more specific goal than last year's and, I feel, easier to keep track of. I've already started on this particular resolution. -pokes video above-
  7. I will exercise. I talked about my lack of muscle in my summer's goals post and since then we have obtained a Kinect. Exercising while playing games is way funner. Those dancing games really burn after a while. This is my more personal goal.
What are your New Year's Resolutions?