Greatest Hits of 2014. Or: Stuff I Did This Year and Am Proud Of

*Insert exclamatory lament about the year being over here* But no, REALLY.

Last year I made a list of 14 goals that I wanted to complete in 2014. As is the case with most lists of this calibre, I did not complete all 14 items. There are no (major) regrets here because even though I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do, I was still able to do some pretty cool/different/important stuff. With that said, here’s a list of stuff I did do in 2014.

1. I ran a 5K. Twice, actually! The first one was in July and it was the YA Runs a 5K which was hosted by Melody and Susan, and although I participated ~virtually~, this actually marks the first time I’d attempted to run a 5K while actually calculating the distance. A few months later in September, I participated in the Terry Fox Run and ran an official 5K. Seriously, three years ago, I never would’ve thought that *I* would be someone capable of running a half marathon or even down the block (believe me, I had tried and FAILED). So this was definitely an accomplishment 😀

2. I attended BEA in NYC. JUNIOR YEAR, yo (lol). Yes, for the third time I met up with my beloved bevy and attended Book Expo America. I just realized I never really wrote a post on this blog about it, but Jen put together a recap at the bevy blog here and here which document merely fractions of our fun, memorable. Every year, the bevy becomes more important in my life, and IDK what my life would be without this yearly trip. (I guess we’ll find out in 2016 since it’s moving out of NYC O_O)

3. I won NaNoWriMo! YEAAAAAAH, I wrote a novel! Sorta. I wrote 50K of Verona Horse Mermaid 2, and it’s basically super rough draft and it’s true, half of that may get cut out when I go revise it, but whatever! This year, NaNo taught me that I can wake up super early and devote daily sessions to writing–something I’d never been able to get a grip on before.

4. I got a raise. Okay, it wasn’t any giant astronomical raise, but its my first raise since I started working with this company, and it was a big deal to me. If you’ve ever had the pleasure (…) of being on the listening end of one of my angry work tweets, then you’ll know that I… well, my job is kind of ridiculous in the grand scheme of my life. I mean, catheter technician… LMAO. Despite that, a job is a job, and I do put forth mounds of effort and dedication even though it’s not exactly my (or anyone’s) dream job. So to get a raise–to be recognized for that effort… It was a good feeling.

5. I attended TIFF. Despite the always stressful ticket selection process, I adoooore the Toronto International Film Festival for many reasons. This year I got to see a bunch of really cool, non-typical films: Tokyo Fiancée (a quirky, cute Belgian film about a French-speaking girl who wants to be Japanese), Madam Bovary (an adapation of the classic novel which featured this guy who looked EXACTLY like Tom Hardy but was NOT Tom Hardy), The Imitation Game (my opinions on Benedict Cumberbatch aside, this film was amaaazing. So well done. Oscars, plz), Une Nouvelle Amie (omg, I can’t even get into this but it was French and involved a cross-dresser and it was funny, but strange, but entertaining), and The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (an informative and preciously wonderful documentary on Studio Ghibli and Hiyao Miyazaki). With the exception of Madame Bovary, I adored all of these films and I’m super glad I got to see them because they likely won’t be released here in Canada/North America. Another reason why I enjoy TIFF so much is because it’s the one time a year I get to hang out and catch up with my best friend who although lives just a couple of blocks away, I hardly ever get to see. Just us, and nobody else. Well, except the celebrities. SPEAKING OF, I SAW ANSEL ELGORT IN THE FLESH. What what! Also Max Irons. And Benedict Cumberbatch for a second time…

6. I saw The Lion King, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch on stage. To see a musical I’ve never seen before is always a goal on my annual unofficial list of goals. This year, I got to see two and they were extremely different from each other. The first was the Disney classic: The Lion King. PEOPLE, I CRIED SO MUCH. Like as soon as the first note was sung, I BAWLED. As the “animals” appeared on stage, specifically those giraffes, I was Alice-in-Wonderland-style drowning in a room of my tears. I don’t know. It was just so well done. The second was super cool because I had studied Hedwig in university (my Lit prof was into …nontraditional literature) so I’d seen the movie and knew some of the songs. Then later that summer I’d attempted to watch a stage version, but my friends and I got lost and missed the show. Years later, I was finally able to catch a show and it was AMAZING. It’s one of those shows that you really need to watch to understand because you need to be IN the audience, and when you are, it’s just an unforgettable experience. The cast (only 2 cast members + the band) were great–so great that I went to see the show a second time.

7. I finally watched the last episode of Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack on Titan). So this is a Big Deal because I never finish tv shows save for Battlestar Galactica and LOST (and let’s not discuss those endings, yeah?). For whatever reason, I just don’t like watching the last episodes or I’ll just stop watching a show. SNK isn’t over yet, but for more than a year I avoided watching the final episode until a couple of weeks ago and omggggggggggg. In related news, I think the reason I don’t like finishing shows is because of the inevitable withdrawal after it’s over. Because I’m feeling a COLOSSAL void right now. (Haha, colossal. Get it? GET IT?)

8. My short story was published! YAAAAS! My short story “This Job is Only Temporary” was published in Inaccurate Realities‘ time travel volume in January. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one I’m grateful for. It’s beyond cool that I have an ~officially published~ story out in the world that people beyond my friends and CPs can read. It was also definitely encouraging.

9. THREATS OF SKY AND SEA was published! Now, this obviously isn’t something that *I* did, but it is something that happened this year that I would consider important in my life because I would kinda consider myself like a godmother to Jen’s baby (i.e. her debut novel which you can find more info on hereeee). To quote fellow bevy member KT, Jen is one of “mah people,” as well as one of my CPs, so it isn’t any surprise that I continue to be proud of her for this accomplishment, and cannot wait for 2015 because hellooooo I need the sequel in its entity!

10. STARWARSSTARWARSSTARWARSSS. Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t come out for another year, 2014 marks the year of the official moment when I realized “Holy crap, it really IS returning into my life.” Yes, Star Wars never left my life, but all of the anticipation and waiting on the prequel films to come out had. I thought I was done with that stuff. But nope–it’s back, and this year we got the cast, a title, and a teaser trailer. HELP ME OBI-WAN KENOBI, HOW AM I GONNA DEAL IN 2015?

I”m sure I could come up with 4 other items for a solid 14, but I DO WHAT I WANT. With that said, Idek what’s going to happen in 2015 (except for me watching Star Wars VII~~~), but I really feel like this year was a prequel in itself. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’ll explain more tomorrow.

BYE 2014.

ETA: Dang, this isn’t a greatest hit or something I’m proud of, but I NEED to document the fact that 2014 is the year it was ~revealed that Hello Kitty isn’t actually a cat and WHAT EVEN. I am still like perplexed and shocked and tbh, this really did change me and make me question my identity. (Am I really a human? Am *I* really a cat?)

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When it comes to December, it’s obvious why. Or: HOW IS 2014 ALREADY ENDING?

Super glad one of my 2014 goals wasn’t to keep up with this blog more often because then I would’ve failed hardcore, yo. Anyways, yeah, how is 2014 already ending? How many times in one’s life is the phrase “time flies” uttered? When does one reach the limit to quoting lines from John Mayer’s “St Patrick’s Day” in blog post titles? So many questions!

And are there just as many answers? Probably not, but I suppose when it comes down to it, the answer to any question can simply be summarized as “lol life.”

Anyway, in extremely delayed news, I won NaNoWriMo 2014! Yes ma’am, I wrote 50K in November! The story goes that I was kiiind of having some difficulties in revising ETERNITY CHASERS because you know, time travel resulting in events to occur in supremely specific ways. I knew that events in Book 1 would heavily influence events in Books 2 and 3 (and 4? Yikes.), and vice versa. My solution? To write a suuuper rough draft of Book 2. I know that you shouldn’t really touch sequel drafts until you’ve got revised/critiqued/etc version of the first book in your yet to be completed series, but I made my own exception as I just needed to have a draft of what goes down in the future (or the past) so that I could ~lock in~ what happens during the events of EC. And I’m talking like specific snippets of dialogue, when/where people are on any given minute, the butterfly effect…. Just typical time travel business. November seemed like the perfect opportunity for that, and hooray for I accomplished it! The only problem is that now I’m all ASLKJDLKADFHDSF over certain characters and plot developments because I know what happens to later and I’m like half grinning like a maniac and half lying on the cold hard ground. And that’s all I shall say about that.

In other news, there really isn’t any other news? The past few months have been insane at work. Apparently every clinic, university, and medical distributor has the mad lust for catheters, so I’ve been neck deep in that.

Oh oh oh Star Wars! Less than a year until Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theatres! I’ve discussed this with my sister and I seem to be going through some strange revertigo/nostalgia phase because it is JUST! SO! WEIRD! that Star Wars is… back. Like I never thought I would endure the whole “homg trailers. homg casting. homg new lightsabers,” and yet here I am. It’s just … well, it’s just very “lol life.”


Spirit Junkies don’t cry. Or: Another life lament.

In another life, in another universe–I might’ve been a hobbit. First, I like the idea of second breakfast. Second, I’d love to live that quiet countryside life. Third, and most relevant to this post, I seem to be fond of making birthday-related speeches. Today is not my eleventy-first birthday (although I aspire to reach that age one day just for the sake of exclaiming “Today is my eleventy-first birthday!” just like Bilbo Baggins), but I feel the need to write up a grand lament on my life thus far. Last year, I went into this whole spiel about how I was growing anxious about getting older and how it felt like my life hadn’t really “begun.” This year… I don’t know. I’ve been 27 for less than a week, but I don’t feel any wiser, nor seasoned. JUST OLD.

I’m honestly horrified that I’ve reached the age that How I Met Your Mother‘s Ted Mosby was in the pilot episode where he realized he needed to start settling down. I HAVEN’T EVEN PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS YET. How can I even think beyond that? I know that I can’t and shouldn’t really compare myself to a fictional character (which again is something I have the tendency to do), but as I clock off another year and reflect on my life, it’s hard not to evaluate what I haven’t accomplished so far. Like okay, I have university degree. I’ve one completed manuscript which is just kind of there right now, but I’ve also got one that I’m currently working on that I really really am enjoying. But I also spend the majority of my week fiddling with catheters or dodging the toxic fumes of tetrahydrofuran glue. I don’t really want to accept the present, but in a way I kind of have to?

But I think I can change how I take it. I do try to stay positive and persevere, but I think I truly do have to take Shailene Woodley’s advice to head and heart. I have to “forgive my past, accept the present, and release the future.” Carpe Diem, forget regret, and all that jazz. Sure. But really what I have to do is that I have to make the most of what I have. That’s not to say that I’m just going to remain immobile and just let life do whatever it wants to do to me. I do have control (to a certain degree), and I think as long as I just make whatever the heck drink I want out of the lemons that life gives me, then, to quote the R&H’s Cinderella musical, “I can be whatever I want to be.”

So. That’s my yearly lament. To be honest, this month has been sort of top notch in the lame department. I can’t dwell on that crap, though. I have to keep going. Tomorrow, I’m off to NYC for Book Expo. Although my trip has already taken a slight tailspin into misfortune (flight scheduling issues, therefore having to leave early and missing out on the Bevy’s long-awaited brunch ;_;), I’m NOT going to let that get me down. I’m going to enjoy the time I do get to spend with my friends. I’m not going to go in oblivious carefree happy mode (as if I could ever do that), but I am going to strive to be that so-called ~Spirit Junkie. The robot version of one anyway 🙂

ETA 10:51am – Just before I scheduled for this post to go up, I found out that my flight going to NYC had been cancelled, as well. So now I’m sitting in the airport until the next flight leaves. HAHAHA. Wellllll then, I’ll consider this the first challenge~


Write-a-thon: Springtime 2014 Edition

It finally feels and looks like Spring outside, so what better way to celebrate that by staying cooped up in my room to write all the words in the world? Despite staying up waaay too late last night watching Orphan Black, I’m up on this fine Saturday morning for another write-a-thon. I’m joined by Jen, Angel, Christa, and Candice.

My current word count for Verona Horse Mermaid (yesss, my main focus right now is my time traveling spies story! More on that later…) is 45 124 words. I’m aiming to hit 50K. We’ll see how it goes. Right now I’ve got a banana, a cheesestring, a cup of green tea, AND an iced coffee. I am ready. LET’S DO THIS.

10:46 AM – *Mario Kart sound effects* GO! 45 124

12:30 PM – I’m not much of a traditional coffee drinker, but it’s like I go insane when that coffee is on ice. Anyway, I’ve got 1000 words secured (yays), so I’ll take a brief moment to update this blog about VHM… which is actually now called ETERNITY CHASERS. 😀 I finally came up with a title… in January, maybe? I’ve still been referring to it as Verona Horse Mermaid because I have attachment issues, but yup it has an official title now!  Also, because it’s about time travel and there’s no way I could keep this limited to one novel-length story, I will most definitely be writing two more novel-length pieces about these characters and the whole dealio. That I’ve always known and have a title for, but I don’t think I ever shared it. Although “Eternity Chasers” does sound like a good ~series title, I’ve always known I wanted to go with THE TIMESHADE CHRONICLES. I really like the word chronicle and I think it’s appropriate since this is about time travel and whatnot. Hooray for titles! *edits tags* Aaand back to writing. 46 174

2:06 PM – So I was just in the midst of writing this somewhat dramatic scene between one of the protagonists and a potential love interest and BOOM, the Star Wars main theme song comes up on my playlist. Talk about a mood killer, ahahaha. 46 973

3:30 PM – I didn’t plan on writing this one important scene today, but it happened. And now my brain is all AHHHH from it. So I think I will take this opportunity to take a break from writing to go for a run. 47 804

9:02 PM – Back from all miscellaneous duties and errands! Aaand since my SPACE channel stream for Orphan Black episodes seems to be lagging, I guess that’s a sign I should resume writing. Just about 2100 more words to today’s goal. 48 001

9:58 PM – One of my favourite types of scenes to write are ones that occur midway and on in the story when characters who don’t know each other are beyond the whole initial first meeting. Like scenes with several individuals interacting and all of their personalities coming through. Just as much as I adore reading about bands of characters being awesome together, I also really enjoy writing about bands of characters interacting whether it’s in a social setting or in a predicament. The scene I just wrote is one of those scenes and I know it’s super lame to say this, but I just really love these characters and am so glad to be back to writing about them, as well as ~discovering who they are. 48 880

11:49 PM – It’s nearly midnight and I just hit 50K! I was actually starting to drift off a little, so thankfully I reached my goal before my brain burnt out for the day. 50 038

STARTING WORD COUNT: 45 124

CURRENT WORD COUNT: 50 038

WORDS WRITTEN TODAY: 4914

It’s been a while since I’ve devoted an entire day (more or less) to writing, and I have to say, I definitely miss it. Damn you, work and RL things. My word count goal for this WiP is about 80K (because I know when I start editing my first draft, I’m going to end up adding stuff. It never fails to happen.), so I’m more than halfway there and ahhhhh so excited about that.

Until next time…


Come January, we’re frozen inside. Or: It’s cold, but at least it’s something to write about.

First off, I guess I shall start with HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I honestly feel like I am already halfway through 2014 because so much has happened in the past three weeks. Before you fall off your seats in anticipation for a highly dramatized and detailed telling of my life, I sadly have to admit that it’s nowhere near anything exciting. In fact, it’s more like, “Oh my gosh, every clinic in the world wants to order catheters so I must constantly be wearing this lab coat and overseeing these demands!” Between that, tutoring my cousin on the weekends, and general life chores, I’m definitely feeling like these days are 50 hours long.

But what’s this? I actually do have something awesome to blog about! Three awesome things, actually.

1) My CP/fellow dauntless baby/Floridian friend/pesto aioli enthusiast Jennifer Ellision is publishing her debut novel in May! I feel like a broken record, but I am sooooooo excited for her. Her novel, THREATS OF SKY AND SEA, is awesome. I’m so proud of her dauntlessness and I cannot wait for this book to find its way to various shelves and e-book readers because it is so wonderfully good and deserves to be read by the world. She blogged about the whole decision to self-publish and all other relevant details over at her blog Speaking Jenerally which you can read about here. You can also add her novel on Goodreads! DO IT. DO IT NAO.

2. Just like a good chunk of the characters in GRRM’s A Storm of Swords, my book blog A Storm of Words is now…out of commission. Well, sort of. The site still exists, but I’ve moved onto greener pastures. I’m sad because I still completely adore that blog name and there were many goodtimes had at ASoW, but I’m also relieved and happy. While I enjoy discussing and writing about books, actual book blogging was starting to become… not so fun. The rest of the bevy of dauntless felt the same. Our solution? To combine forces. So we started a new book blog together! It’s already been absolute funtimes and I already feel so much more relaxed. Appropriately named, our book blog is The Bevy Bibliothèque.

3. My short story in Inaccurate Realities is out… today! The fact that people I don’t know will be reading my non-blogging/review/news article writing is just plain scary, but also exciting. I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories in the issue, as well as the interviews with the authors of time-traveling novels. You can find all of the info you need to know about purchasing the issue over on their website here. It’s available in book format, e-book, and pdf. You can also add the issue on Goodreads. 🙂

So those are the bright beacons of light in this otherwise cold month of January. I’m still not over the fact that FROST QUAKES occurred due to the coldness. I’m also still not over the fact that we actually reached -40. I know this is Canada, but come onnn. Anyway, yay to writing-related milestones for myself and my friends!


Lost The Battle. Or: What I Did in November Instead.

It’s just like John Lennon sang: I’M A LOSER.

But really, am I? No, she said, answering her own question. Although I may not have hit that 50K mark within these thirty days of November, I was able to do a whole bunch of other stuff. Since I love lists, here is one of my mini, albeit significant achievements:

1. Doctor Who marathons. This started back in September, but basically with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who on November 23rd, SPACE channel aired marathons and specials every weekend. That’s basically what I did on Sundays, the day I usually reserve for write-a-thons. I would always have my laptop with me, but my eyes were glued to the television screen instead. It was cool because my mom and I were able to ~bond over these marathons and I got to rewatch some of my favourite episodes and relive some nightmares, too (ANGELS. DOLLS. UGH…)

2. Sailor Moon marathons. This was also a thing that I did in November. This might also be a thing I am still doing in December.

3. I wrote a short story. Okay, so here’s probably the biggest item on this list. In November, I spent a good week brainstorming, writing, and revising a short story to submit to Inaccurate Realities. That totally paid off because said short story was selected for the upcoming issue in January. Yay! More details about that and the other stories featured in the issue can be found here. I’m sooooo so excited. While it is beyond awesome that my story is going to be in print, I’m also just really ~in like~ with the story I wrote. I remember finishing it and telling myself that even if it wasn’t chosen for publication, it didn’t matter because I was just glad I wrote it. Now I’m also glad (and nervous) that I’ll get to share this story …with the world.

4. Catching Fire! I saw Catching Fire and it was AMAZING. I mean, there are some casting choices that I’m still side-eyeing, but I was so impressed by the film. Jennifer Lawrence… I didn’t think she could amaze me further, but dang. I also saw Thor 2 early in the month and that film was also super exciting and entertaining. In addition, trailers for Divergent and Vampire Academy. YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

5. The Fiery Heart. One of my most anticipated novels of the year was released in November. Much of the month was spent freaking out over the book’s arrival, freaking out over Amazon not delivering the Kindle version to me (AGAIN), and finally reading the book and freaking out about that. Of course, the book was A+++. Another great book I read in November was Susan Dennard’s “Something Strange and Deadly.” Such a refreshingly enjoyable read with an amazing protagonist and cool setting.

6. Agents of SHIELD and Reign a.k.a. the two shows I’ve become addicted to this fall season. It’s been a whiiiile since I’ve had a “regular” show that I’d watch each week, so to have two of them is a Big Deal. Funnily enough, these two shows get so much flack for being “boring” or “inaccurate” or “pointless,” but WHATEVER. They’re fun.

7. Disney’s Aladdin: The Musical. Toronto is super lucky to get the pre-Broadway run of Disney’s Aladdin musical, and my sisters and I saw a performance just a few days ago. It was MAGICAL. I swear, I couldn’t breathe from some of the Genie’s scenes, especially “Friend Like Me” because I was shaking with laughter. Overall, it was an enjoyable production and I will definitely be picking up the OBCR next year. And Jafar voice actor IRL…playing Jafar. I’ll never get over this fact.

8. 25K of The Neverland Cure. Right. So firstly, I did come up with an actual title for my Neverland Remix story and it’s THE NEVERLAND CURE (although I still like THE NEVERLAND REMEDY. I’m undecided). Secondly, while I didn’t hit the 50K mark, I did make it halfway which I think is a pretty dang good feat considering I spent a total of three days writing. Yes. It’s time for a confession: I only dedicated three days to writing this particular story. No wonder I failed at 50K, right? I don’t even really know if I can label myself as a participant in NaNoWriMo this year because I didn’t slave over my word count every day. I think that’s a blessing in disguise, though. A different year, a different experience.

Some of my non-Nano writing occurred because of inevitable procrastination. Fortunately, I procrastinated by writing the short story mentioned in #3. That definitely makes this one of those bright side/silver lining situations. I am sure there is also a lesson in here somewhere about just going with your instincts. I knew that I should’ve been working on TNC/TNR, but a voice kept urging me to work on the short story instead. I listened to that voice and fortunately, it paid off. 😀

I’m still in deep like with this work in progress and I will probably continue to add to its word count every now and then. Although I wasn’t able to actually write the story, I did make several notes on my phone throughout the month. SO NEVERLAND, I WILL BE BACK.

And so, the moral of the story: I did not win NaNoWriMo this year, but what I did instead was pretty worthwhile. You win some, you lose some. Except, sometimes you also win when you lose. Or something like that.

Hi, December! 😐


It’s ACTUALLY a starless night tonight. Or: Happy October 25th.

Once upon a time, I didn’t really pay attention to the finite details of celestial activities and randomly chose “October 25th” as The Date that STARLESS NIGHT takes place. This is way back when it was called “The Lovestruck 12” (a play on clocks and romantic entanglements) and more about …well, clocks and romantic entanglements. So although the title has changed, the story has evolved, and I’m now full aware that the peak of the Orionids meteor shower is actually on October 21/22, I always think upon today’s date with fondness, especially when it falls on a Friday. A FRIDAY THAT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A STARLESS NIGHT DUE TO RAIN.

Anyway, there is no actual point to this blog post except to note the date and the weather. Also, to post this photo of my daily word calendar which strangely mentions clouds and a storm.

oct25

Ah, I guess while I have this text box open I might as well include on update on life and writing. Let’s do this the point form way.

• I signed up for Pinterest. It’s super addictive. My boards and pins are here

• I posted a snipped of FNTF and the first two chapters of Verona Horse Mermaid on fictionpress just for fun. I think I might post the next few chapters of VHM before the year ends just because it feels so lonely just sitting there in its scrivener folder. It’s definitely the most FUN story to write, so yes. I’ll be updating some more.

• November is one week away and I’m totally planning on writing for NaNoWriMo again. This year I shall be going to Never Never Land! No title yet, but I’m referring to it as The Neverland Remix (simply because that is what it is. It’s not about DJ spinning tracks in Neverland or something)

• I cosplayed as Han Solo in the summer. Halloween is next week, but I’m still not sure if I’m dressing up. Time shall tell.

• During the summer, I attempted Camp Nano in July. I only hit about 12K, but a good fraction of my brain is still highly invested in the story. That WIP is being referred to as The Space Errand. It’s like Medieval Times in Space with some French Rev thrown into the mix.

• Clearly, I have WAY too many works in progress in my life right now. I love it, but my brain is allllll over the place. Thank goodness for Pinterest!

And that’s pretty much it! As I mentioned, Nano is soon and that means there shall definitely be a pre-Nano post of lamentations and freaking out next week. Until then, adieu~