Thursday, December 24, 2015

Announcing WINDSHIELDS! + NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

In this final post of the year, I have some news to share. I mentioned about two months ago that I had an announcement to make regarding OSAI. Here it is:

The anthology for the 2015 creative writing class (which includes me) has been released.

Once more, there is a picture of each contributor and three pages worth of work from them. I have one flash fiction piece and two poems included. I'm quite proud of them.

If you would like more information about the anthology or if you perhaps want your own copy, links are on my Publications page.

Hopefully, I'll have news of more publications soon. I submitted three poems to two literary magazines on my campus and am currently waiting to hear back. I submitted a short story to a contest being judged by Ellen Hopkins as well. I don't really expect to win, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have my work read by one of my favorite authors.

I would also like to tell y'all how my NaNoWriMo went, now that it's nearly the end of December. I finished with a word count of 17,718. Of course, that's no where near goal. However, I am not disappointed. This is kind of what I expected. And 17k is nothing to scoff at. It's a big chunk of a novel, a whole beginning. Something I wouldn't have if I hadn't tried NaNoWriMo this year.

As I said, this will be my last post of 2015, but I think I'll be posting again soon. I'm currently working on my goals for the upcoming year, which involves some serious thinking about priorities and what I want. I may have some decisions to share.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

My College Life & NaNoWriMo

Today is November 1, the first day of NaNoWriMo. I am currently at 1,128 words and still only about 85% sure I'm participating this year.

I've been grappling with this decision for two months, going through a series of highs and lows. At times, I was super excited at the thought of writing, of creating a novel. At other times, the mere thought of extra work, extra pressure, made me want to curl up into a ball and sleep for four hours.

Because college is different from high school. Here, it seems like the work never ends. I know every assignment I have to complete by the end of the semester, which means even when I'm caught up, I feel like I have something that needs to be done. This makes fitting in writing seem impossible.

However, for the last few weeks I've been keeping track of how much time I actually spend on homework and studying. It's about twenty-one hours a week, meaning I do school work about three hours a day. One hour on top of that for writing doesn't seem like that much.

So, I've scheduled an hour's worth of writing every day this week except Wednesday, since I have a test on Thursday. We'll see how it works out.

I might not be winning NaNoWriMo this year, I might not even come close, but I think I'm going to try.

(P.S. I should be posting another update soon regarding OSAI.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) 2015 + I'm Going to OSAI!

Hello, everyone! I have a couple of things to share with you.

First, NaPoWriMo was a huge success. I wrote the usual 30 poems and loved almost all of them. I also did 31 "blackout" or "erasure" poems. If you would like to see any of these poems, you can go to my Wattpad or my Tumblr. The "blackout" poems can only be seen on Tumblr, however.

I think that part of the reason I'm so happy with this year's poems is the "theme" I chose. Every year, I tend to write quite a few love poems, whether fictional or autobiographical. This year, though, I decided I was tired of writing about boys. I wanted to write about me. For myself.

So I did. I've grown a lot this year, and I feel as if the poems I wrote really expressed what I've learned about myself and what makes me happy.

Second, I finally, finally, finally made it back into the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. It starts this Saturday and I am so excited. Also, a little nervous.

Most of the people I met in 2012 have aged out. I'm worried about making new friends. On top of that, I'm having doubts about my writing. What if I get there and have no ideas? I'm telling myself that these fears are silly. Everyone is so nice there and look at all the poems I just wrote in April!

Despite my jitters, I still can't wait to go. To meet new people and create new things. To appreciate what other people create. My supply list has me curious. It's a bit more than the usual "notebook and pencils." On top of that, there's going to be a costume party and I never miss a chance to dress up in my Rapunzel costume. I just got back from a trip to my parents' house so my suitcase is already mostly packed.

While I wait for Saturday to get here, I'm going to try and work on THINK OF ME. I've been attempting to straighten out the plot, but I've decided that the only way for me to really figure out what works is just to dive in.

[P.S. Remember, for more up-to-date news on my writing (and maybe some pictures at OSAI!), check out my Tumblr.]

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Presence on Social Media is Changing + An Update List

It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm not too worried.

At the end of last year, I decided that blogging isn't the best fit for me anymore.

As the years have passed, my post numbers have dwindled down to a few a month, if any. I no longer read others' blog posts every day or even every week. I don't look forward to blogging like I used to. I don't enjoy the stress being "behind" puts on me.

I also can't express myself the way I now want to. This is my senior year of high school. I graduate in May. After that, I'm going off to college. These are exciting times and I want to share them. I've established Paper Mountain as a writing blog. I can't do that here.

I'm not deleting my blog or never posting again. But I'm making some big changes.

First, I'm unfollowing all of the blogs I'm currently following through GFC. The ones I really enjoy I'm going to subscribe to through email, but that's only a handful.

Next, I'm going to post updates every few months, but other than that, you won't see me much here. Feel free to still leave comments. I'll respond to them. There are a couple posts in my drafts folder that I've been meaning to finish forever. I'm still deciding if I will.

Finally, instead of this blog, my focus will be on Tumblr and Youtube. These platforms are the ones I take pleasure in and feel help me fully express myself. If you want to keep up with me, those would be the places to go.

And while I'm here, I might as well catch you guys up on a few things.
  1. Instead of my goal plan, I now have a "progress report." It's an Excel spreedsheet set up like a calendar. When I write, I record what I worked on in the day-appropriate square.
  2. I'm currently taking an online writing course. "30 Days of Writing - Write Yourself Alive." It's almost over and, while its teachings weren't exactly for me, it's gotten me thinking about a few things. Maybe I'll share them later.
  3. My audition for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute is this Saturday at four. I'm considering posting my portfolio on Wattpad. If I do, I'll put up a short post with the link for anyone who would like to check it out.
  4. I know I've been saying this forever, but I still want to post THINK OF ME on Wattpad. I'm hoping to get some work done on that in March.
  5. April is, of course, NaPoWriMo. I'm giving myself more of a challenge this year but more on that later. I'm not sure if I'll be posting my poems here as I usually do. They'll definitely be on my Tumblr and maybe Wattpad. I'll put up a short post about that as well closer to April.
That's everything that's going on with me right now. I hope all of you are well.

Monday, December 01, 2014

ANYONE? by Angela Scott is Here!

I have followed Angela Scott's blog for years. She's sweet, witty, and, above all, hilarious. She's also a brilliant writer, and today I'm proud to help her share the news about her newest release, ANYONE?.

The end of the world?

That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy….

Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.

Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.

Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.

But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?

This book is definitely at the top of my Christmas list. However, if you're not quite as patient as me, here's where you can buy it right now:

And if that's not enough amazing news, Angela is hosting a giveaway with four great, ANYONE?-themed prizes! Check out the Rafflecopter widget below to find out how to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it.

Learn more about Angela: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Friday, October 10, 2014

October, the Month of Outlining

Last week was crazy. Our homecoming was Saturday night and the buildup kept me insanely busy. On Wednesday, my choir performed and Lizzie and I led the singing of our school's Alma Mater at our homecoming assembly. Then, there was the Friday football game where my choir sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before kickoff. Both performances required rehearsals. Along with that, I helped make locker decorations for those choir members who made All-Region, attended Quizbowl practices, and prepared for the dance itself.

And I don't even know where this week went. It can't possibly be Friday already.

Unfortunately, all of this means I'm starting my NaNoWriMo planning a little late this year. For those who don't know, October is my month for NaNoWriMo planning. I almost always have a concept picked out months in advance, but October is when I take the time to flesh it out. To craft plot and add characters along with figuring out my world. But today is the tenth, and I haven't started.

Not on paper anyway. I don't have the right supplies yet. But my brain has been throwing around some ideas. I haven't experienced any major epiphanies, but it's something. And the "on paper" planning will be happening soon. I'll be running by Office Depot tomorrow after my SAT to purchase the perfect orange notebook.

On top of that, the first chapter of THINK OF ME will be premiering on Wattpad on Oct. 31st and there is still much to be done. Before I continue on with the second draft, I want to revise my plot in order to fix the problems I mentioned last month. This means I'm going to have to move forward with the third draft before the second is even close to complete. So, along with my outline revision, I'll be revising chapter one, sending it to critique partners, then revising it again.

Besides working on the actual story, I need to decide what I'm going to do about the cover. I'm considering paying to have one professionally made as, later this month, I'll be receiving money for passing my AP tests. I also need to figure out TOM's posting schedule for next month since NaNo will be going on. I don't particularly want to be trying to edit and revise in the middle of such extreme rough draft writing.

In conclusion, October's going to be a month of outlining with a dash of revision. Life has been off-the-wall busy lately and probably will continue to be for an indefinite amount of time, but I'll find a way to make it work.

What are your plans for NaNoWriMo? What else are you working on? How do you like my new blog layout?

Friday, September 19, 2014

KNIGHT OF LIGHT by Deirdra Eden (Blog Tour Post + Giveaway)

Last month, I was contacted by Eden Literary, the team assigned to organize Deirdra Eden's blog tour for her new book. They asked me if I would like to participate. Of course, I said yes! Scroll down to see the cover, read the summary, watch the book trailer, learn more about Deirdra, and enter the awesome giveaway.

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, KNIGHT OF LIGHT is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as BRAVEHEART meets SUPERNATURAL. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, THE TRADITIONAL APOCRYPHA, THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, and THE KABBALAH. “The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the BOOK OF ENOCH mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

About the Author:

My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures.

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online: Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Wattpad | Pinterest.

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