Like 10 months ago, it maybe sorta looked like I was making my blogging comeback. Welllll as has become evident in the past year… stuff doesn’t play out how you plan, expect, or want it. I mean, we all already know this, but it definitely is worth remembering. You really do never know what life is going to throw at you, and you don’t know where you’ll be or where you’ll go.
You also can never trust when someone says “Oooh, get ready for my comeback~~!” because sometimes entertainment agencies lie and your current favourite boyband is exiled from releasing a new album for an entire year.
So. Do I want to recap what’s been going on with me? Meh. 2016 was a loooooong year, and one that definitely changed me, but it would take another year in itself to reflect on that. So instead I’m just going to focus on the present because if anything that’s the Major Thing I took away from 2016 and it’s something I’ve been getting better at with each passing year. Not dismissing the past, but growing and learning from it. And trust me when I say that 2016 was definitely a learning experience. About everything, but mostly myself.
I started this blog 5 years ago (omg what) to document my quest to become a published author. That is still 100% totally one of my life goals, and a major part of who I am… but since then life has sort of took a sliiight shift. This sounds super dramatic, but it’s actually just me being unnecessarily cryptic about what I did last year, lol. (One day, I’ll blog about it.) Anyway, my blog shall soon be reflecting this so-called shift because 2017’s concept (hahahahhh) is simply just… making the most out of life. I know that’s super cheese and #basic, but I can’t find a better way to describe it right now. Tbh it mostly just means I’m going to be blogging more about dramas and food–something I’ve wanted to do for a while! But you know. Life.
Okay, so YAY. It’s good to be (almost) back! See you soon… for realz.
Happy New Year! Yup, you’ve read that right because as embarrassing as it is, this is my first post of 2016. I would like to say that my life has been quite eventful since I last blogged, but the word doesn’t entirely seem right. It’s not like a lot has happened-happened, but I definitely feel… like a different person. It’s barely mid-March (beware the Ides, yo) but I already feel like I have learned a lot this year. It’s almost like I’ve truly tapped into who I am? Whoa, that sounded a tad bit deep there, Lindsey. And it’s way too early for that. But seriously, I keep using the phrase “next level” to describe many instances in my day-to-day life, and I really do think I’ve evolved in a way. I’ve also been playing a lot of Pokémon Yellow (fyeah it’s back!) and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, so it could just be that.
Last November, I jokingly told my family that I was going to start a new blog in which I documented my quest to find the best bibimbap in the Greater Toronto Area. This past January, I finally finished watching Gundam Seed and Gurren Lagann, and I realized I have A LOT of thoughts on anime. Yesterday, I realized that I kind of really miss blogging. I think what all of this means is that I just miss writing. Anything. About time traveling spies or addictively great books I’ve read or how I’m still not over Heroes.
About certain boy bands that have taken over my life.
This is not the part when I declare my return to blogging–whether it be book blogging or whatever. But mayhaps it is the part when I declare that I do miss it. Where I’m going from here, I’m not entirely sure–but I AM GOING SOMEWHERE. See you soon.
What? WHAT? Yes, after much debate (with myself) I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year… Well, not officially anyway. As much as I love how the mad bouts of productivity and sky-high word counts that I magically (robotically?) seem to dole out every November or during other write-a-thon events, I’m trading in my word count for an email that I can send to my CPs/beta readers finally declaring, “Hey, I finished revising my novel. Have at it!” Basically this year I’m taking a page out of Jen Ellision‘s book and participating in my own little National Novel REVISING Month (NaNoReMo).
Whenever I had to write an essay in high school or university, I would write like the wind, but when it came to revising? HAHAHAHAHA. This is honestly Classic Lindsey, and since I don’t have an ~official deadline for my novel, obviously I’ve been taking my sweet time in revising it. I keep procrastinating for whatever reason and ohhhh how tempting it is to start fresh on a new project. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. This year I’m going to finish what I started three years ago. This year I’m going to finish what I put on hold EVERY YEAR because of NaNoWriMo.
In other news, that schedule I made for myself back in late September? I haven’t been sticking to it as strictly as I hoped, but I’M NOT MAD AT ALL. Of course on the week I decided to create that daily schedule, my workplace declared that we could start banking extra hours to allow us extra days off during the holidays. Sometimes I go in early, sometimes I stay late. Strangely enough, my unpredictable work schedule still allows me to follow every item on my daily schedule… EXCEPT THE MORNING WRITING SLOT. I was able to get in about a week’s worth of sessions before I switched to sleeping an extra half hour instead LOL. That’s something I’ll need to work on this month.
Today is November 1st. The plan is to make yet another daily schedule somewhat similar to the NaNo 1667 words per day one. Today, I think (I HOPE) I will go to a Starbucks or something and just focus on getting that done before anything else. Wish me… Strength. Pots of coffee. And candy.
Oh, how I wish this was a blog post about my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel FEAR NOT THE FALL, but it’s actually a post about the upcoming season–the fall. Tomorrow is the first day of my if-I-have-to-choose-only-one-favourite season. There’s just something about first days and last days that get to me. Maybe it’s my seemingly existent obsession with deadlines and the cruel mistress known as Time, but whether it’s the first day of a month, season, whatever–I just like to schedule my life around these firsts and lasts.
So what’s on the menu for the first day of autumn? A brand new schedule! Last November–during NaNoWriMo 2014, actually–I had a really great daily schedule that I pretty strictly stuck to. I REALLY enjoyed it, and I got so much accomplished that month. Since then, I haven’t really been able to stick to a writing schedule just because my days are all over the place despite having an 5 day, 8 hour work schedule.
My ~goal for the next two and a half-isn months until winter/Christmas/holiday madness takes over is to stick to my daily schedule without fail. …Okay, there will probably be a little bit of fail just because I’m not a 100% robot. For the most part, however, my goal is to not stray from this schedule. I mean, if my life is gonna continue to be semi-mediocre (why in the world haven’t my mutant powers kicked in yet??), I might as well routine the heck out of my upcoming days, right? Right. Sure. Yes.
And so, I’ve composed a rough schedule that I sorta kinda already stick to save for the writing/revision slot. Usually I just do that whenever I feel like it, but I think in order to accomplish other goals and stay focused, I need to designate a time slot to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Below is the schedule, more or less, which yes, I am documenting in this post so I will be more inclined to follow through, hehe.
6:30am – wake up!
6:35am – actually wake up.
6:35-7am – tend to dogs, brush teeth and MAYBE COMB MY HAIR, make tea/coffee/breakfast, change into non-pajama clothes (i.e. clothes that are socially acceptable out of the house)
7am-8am – write! revise! whatever, as long as it involves words.
8am-8:30am – work commute and misc other stuff (chasing dogs around the house, etc)
8:30-5 – work work work x_x
5-6 – misc post-work stuff (grocery shopping, errands)
6-7 – work out!
7:30 – dinner…
and after dinner… whatever. Netflix binge session. Reading. Anime marathons. More revisions or writing if I am so inclined.
I feel like Springtime is traditionally that whole ~rebirth~ season because of flowers blooming and George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and Thumbelina growing her wings. With that said, I’m not entirely sure what Autumn is … Like the pretty orange-brown calm before the dead of winter? Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones? Whatever it is, for me I’m making it a time to
indulge on pumpkin spice everything get back into a groove. Not just with writing, but with everything–eating, working out, reading (ugh, I have been in such a reading funk lately -_-), my social life (LOL), and whatever else in between.
And there you have it. So now I’m gonna make like an autumn tree and LEAVE… because homg, I need to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, ahahahahahaha.
As someone who is currently undergoing this insanely mad process of revising the first draft of a novel, I find myself freaking out on a daily basis. Thankfully, we live in a time of THE INTERNET which allows those of us who are fortunate enough access plenty of resources. One of my all-time favourite and automatic go-to sources for when I need a… fix?* Susan Dennard. And so, because I adore making lists, here are 5 reasons why you should sign up for Misfits and Daydreamers.
1. Book news and fun stuff.
Well, first off, if you are a fan of Susan’s writing (hi, me!), then OBVIOUSLY you should be signed up. Not only do you get book news, but you can get really fun stuff like excerpts from yet-to-be-released titles, as well as a first look at never-before-seen content. Let me tell you, I ogled the TRUTHWITCH cover for a good ten minutes on my phone screen when that beautiful little gem appeared in my inbox.
On top of bonus content, when you sign up you can also get an extra scene from A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY or a guide to writing a query letter from scratch.** It’s basically like receiving a birthday gift when it isn’t even your birthday (unless it happens to be your birthday, which in that case: happy birthday!).
3. Advice of all sorts.
Writer’s Block? Show versus Tell? Criticism getting you down? It’s your lucky day because there’s advice for pretty much everyone. Of course, every writer is different so one person’s advice may not always apply, but help is help! And sometimes a push in the right direction is all you need. Finding out what works for other people can help you realize what does or doesn’t work for YOU. My personal favourite piece of advice from Sooz was on the power of ritual and routine, to making a schedule and sticking to it like a drill sergeant. DOING SO TRULY HELPED ME AND I GOT SO MUCH ACCOMPLISHED, omg.
4. It’s the real deal.
Susan’s newsletter is 99.9% probably the most honest and informative newsletter I’m currently subscribed too–and I am subscribed to several newsletters of authors, lit agents, pub houses, and other book-related areas. She truly provides an insider’s point of view on the publishing process and with her own experiences as an author (pre and post publication). Sometimes (probably more often than naught), the art of writing and the business of publishing is gritty and muddy. Sooz tells it how it is.
As a writer and aspiring author, my personal favourite thing about her newsletter is how encouraging it is. Like I said, she’s brutally honest about the publishing world and the writing process, but not in a Chef Gordon Ramsey way in which you feel like you’re a failure and probably will never amount to anything because your beef wellington is undercooked AGAIN. No way. Susan encourages you to keep writing, keep revising, and keep working. To persevere. And most of all, that it’s okay to feel discouraged at times. I can’t even count how many times I’ve felt crappy or frustrated over some writing related hitch, but then after reading Sooz’s newsletter, I immediately felt better and that HEY, MAYBE I *CAN* DO THIS.
Sooooo what are you waiting for? Go forth and subscribe by clicking the banner below~~~
*Fix like a shot of inspiration or a mental nudge. Not like a drug fix. Unless you’re reading this in the year 2525 and there’s a legal drug that allows one’s productivity and writing skills to sky rocket.
**I chose the extra scene because while one day I will have to delve back into the world of query writing, I am a member of the Eleanor Fitt fan club, so there was no way I could resist more from the series xD
One of my 2015 goals should have been updating this blog more often than the 5 odd times each year, but ahh sometimes I just feel like I have nothing to ~report, you know? Like at this point in time and space, I’m not writing 24/7 or even 15/6 due to working FT and other Life Duties. Progress is steady, but slow-ish… and do I really need to blog about revising a single chapter or finally conquering a pesky paragraph of dialogue? I mean, that’s what twitter is for, right?
DESPITE THE ABOVE PONDERING, I’ve decided that I should definitely document progress or whatever at least once in a while, sooo here goes~
The first draft of my current work-in-progress ETERNITY CHASERS has been written. Right now, I’m doing the first round of revisions, i.e. my own read-through and my own major editing of the entire manuscript. Basically during the first draft stage, I write like the wind. It’s almost like word vomit except not as gross, but pretty messy. WORDS EVERYWHERE which basically equals me devoting a lot of time to clean up. That’s how I roll, and that’s what works for me. It’s just a slooow process since I tend to go into perfectionist mode and will literally spend days on a single paragraph until I think it’s as good as it can be.
I’ve split ETERNITY CHASERS into four parts (the first five chapters can be found here actually!), and right now I’m hardcore revising the second part. Yup, I’m not even half way through which is frightening to me. Like am I EVER going to be finished? WHY IS THIS TAKING ME SO LONG? DOES IT MEAN I’M NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS? WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE BLAH BLAH BLAH. You know how it is. Whenever these questions plague me, all I can do is think about my 2015 Rules to Live By. Be positive! Shake it off! Keep trying! Endurance is key and I need to keep going NO MATTER WHAT. I know I can do this, and I want to do this. And in time, I will.
My current goal (ahahhahaha goals) is to be finished revising this by the end of summer. Crossables crossed that by the end of August, I will be able to email my CP(s…? More on this below) and be like, “YO, MY MS IS FINALLY READY FOR YOU TO READ AND TEAR APART. HAVE AT IT!”
Yeaaah, so as of now I only have one official CP (the dauntless/wonderful/hilarious Jen Ellision). Jen is and has been super helpful and encouraging with all of my random, manic texts and emails. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t care about finding other CPs because I already have a great one. However, I know that I need at least ONE other. I do have beta readers (hi, family! hi, friends whom I pushed this task upon!), but I know I need someone else to crack open my MS, help mend the cracks and polish this baby up. I am not entirely sure where to begin the search, but this is definitely something I will have to think about soon.
Aaand that’s pretty much the status of Writing Things.
In other news, I’m off to New York City on Tuesday for BEA 2015! This will be my fourth year attending and excited would be a grave understatement for my feelings about this upcoming trip.
Most years I make a ist of goals to accomplish from January to December. This year, I’m going to try something different. Instead of making a check list that will probably make me go insane by November when I realize that I’m nowhere close to completion, I’m going to make a list of rules to abide by. It’s true that maybe I’ll still go insane, but whatever.
This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time that I make reference to this autobiography I had to write in fourth grade wherein one of the chapters was about the future and what/who/where we wanted to be in 2015. GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN, it is now 2015. In order to make 9 year old Lindsey proud of Lindsey in 2015, these are the rules that I’ve come up with in order to ensure that I can be the best possible version of …myself.
1) Be positive.
Completely easier said than done, but it’s something I truly need to try to do at all times. Of course there will be moments that I want to rant forever about sheer dumbness or maybe I’ll just be in a mood, but I want to try my best to keep my spirits up. Positivity also means squashing negative vibes, and I don’t just mean my surroundings (because hello, you probably can’t do that unless you live in a utopia, and even then…). I mean that I also want to rid myself of negativity. I really want to diminish the negative attitude I have and the comments I make about whatever stuff or people. I think I’m generally OKAY when it comes to this… but well, anyone who is being honest with themselves will admit that nobody is ever 100% polite in the privacy of their own mind, if you know what I mean.
2. Live and train as if I’m preparing for the apocalypse.
Time to brush up on my zombie-hacking skills! That will be accomplished by living a healthy lifestyle. I’m very on/off about this, as I’m sure many people are. Some weeks I’m ON THE BALL with exercising and eating healthy. Other weeks, I’m a cookie monster/chip fiend who can conquer an AYCE sushi dinner without breaking a sweat. This year, I want to continue what I’ve been doing for the past few years, but the only difference is that I want to keep it up. Obviously there will be days when you gotta treat yo’self, but I’m only getting older (oh gosh help) and I do have to start taking better care of my body. Plus, I’m serious about the apocalypse. Like I don’t want to die because I wasn’t able to outrun an alien creature or something.
3. Shake it off.
I’m very much an ~in the moment~ kind of person where my mood can drastically change with a single word. And I mean like, Bruce Banner transforming into the Incredible Hulk split second change. Paired with Rule #1, I seriously do need to learn to shake things off. Or more bluntly, not give a shiz. This is especially true for when I have to socialize with friends, family, co-workers, or just people in general. Too many times have I let something so insignificantly minor get the best of me and ruin my day. I need to not beat myself up over whatever life decides to throw at me or what people say to me.
4. Keep trying.
Master Yoda may have be the head of the Jedi Council on Coruscant, but I’m gonna have to agree with Kanan from Star Wars Rebels–the whole “Do or do not. There is no try,” thing is …Just no. The reason I dismiss his lesson is because sometimes YEAH, YOU’RE GONNA FAIL. Sometimes stuff just isn’t going to work out for you. Sometimes it’s gonna hit the fan and whatever goal you set out to accomplish isn’t going to be perfectly completed with a pretty bow on top. That’s the reality of life. And that’s why I have to keep trying.
5. The past is in the past.
(Did you sing that line Queen Elsa-style? Because I did.) In accordance with Rule #3, I need to stop dwelling on what’s already been said or done. Even if I had a time traveling device, I can’t actually change the past because that wouldn’t solve anything–I’d still have the memories. And that’s the major kicker here. Life happens, and people change. Relationships rearrange themselves. Sorry Ryan Gosling, but sometimes it really IS over (I’m still holding out for him to get back together with Rachel though, ahhh). Memories should be cherished, but I can’t let them dictate my life. I need to realize that I’m a different person now and whatever held true in 2005 or 1995 means nothing in 2015. I need to stop lamenting on how much easier or interesting life was back then and instead I need to focus on living in the present day. To quote another line from Frozen: Say goodbyeeeeeeee to the pain of the past!
Aaand there you go. I don’t think I’m asking too much of myself, right? Right?! Although these are all LIFE rules, I think they can each be hammered down to specifically reflect my quest to publication as well.
In summary: Endurance is key and I need to keep going NO MATTER WHAT.