Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Seriously, that phrase has been in my head all day long. And it’s silly because I don’t even think I’m in the mood for a chicken dinner…but I am in the mood for winning! Camp Nano, that is!

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

I’m pretty dang pleased with myself. Not because I wrote 50k (I didn’t) or finished my draft (not even close)…but because I proved to myself that I can do this. I made a doable writing goal for myself. I set up a dedicated writing time and stuck to it for the month. I allowed people to read my baby novel-in-progress. I learned where it was weak and where it was strong. And I found out that it might actually be halfway decent. It might not go to MIT, but I’m pretty sure it can cut it at state college. My little novel, all grown up and having people read it and critique it. *sniff sniff*

I really thought I’d never get this far. I never imagined I’d be so involved in this writing hobby of mine that it would directly affect my life and the way I live it. I never thought I could get up at freakin’ 5:30 in the morning just to write my story down for others to read. Hell, I never thought it would ever be good enough for others to read…I guess what I’m trying to say is just do it. If you have something you really want to create, go for it. Make time for it. Don’t sit around and wait on it to fall in your lap…My only regret in all of this writing business is that I didn’t start doing this sooner.

And now that I’ve gone down the motivational road once again, I suppose I should wrap this up by congratulating all the other Camp Nano winners! I’ve met a bunch of you this month, be it in my cabin, on twitter, or here on good ol’ wordpress. Dang, I almost feel like I’m getting the hang of this social media thing…better knock on wood.

Going into August, expect me to frantically be catching up on my Blogging 201 course that I’ve been filing away for a rainy day. I also promised to post about my second award that was given to me, so that’s incoming. And after that, you’ll probably hear about some of this stuff in random order: novel-writing, beta-readers, characters who don’t do what you want, plotlines that don’t do what you want, my upcoming trip back home a.k.a. let’s find out how a three-year-old handles a flight across the country, my dog’s inability to not be a total spaz, evil diets, treadmill belts, and why my backyard looks like a jungle. It’s been a pretty interesting month and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Until then, have a great weekend, all you lovely faces! Keep on keeping on!

-Christine B.

“I’m Versatile” and 7 More Facts About Me

So remember that time when I said I’d be more active on this blog this month and then abandoned it until now? Yeah, I don’t remember it either…Anyway…

Housecleaning Time! I’ve finally been catching up on all my notifications that I’ve been ignoring this month (curse you and your addictive productivity, Camp Nano!) and found that I was nominated for a couple awards in my absence! Yay! Nothing makes you feel like a great blogger than receiving awards for a blog that you’ve been neglecting all month, heh heh…

But I am seriously so thrilled to get them! They really motivate me to be the best writer/blogger/desert-dwelling hermit-person I can be! So without further ado, here’s the first:

The-Versatile-Blogger-Award

Yes, the Versatile Blogger Award! I’ve been seeing this award floating around on several lovely blogging pages, but sure didn’t expect it to end up here! I’m tickled pink, or maybe more of a magenta.

Lovely writer-person Shannon Noel Brady nominated me for reasons unknown, other than the fact that I think she’s a pretty cool human being. I discovered her blog like, oooohh, maybe the first week I started blogging? Like, Day One or Two? And I’ve been blog-stalking ever since (twitter-stalking too, because if you’re going to stalk, do it properly!). Her fiction really strikes a chord with me and her characters stand out from the crowd, and she’s got a sense of humor to boot…have you clicked her name already? Go do it. I’ll wait.

The rules for this award state that I have to thank the giver (Thank you Shannon, may many dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets find their way to your plate!), nominate five other really cool blogs, and then list 7 things about myself. Challenge accepted!

My nominations are (drumroll please…):

1) Orange Pond Connects : I just don’t know what to say about Orange Pond Connects, except the fact that I jump to her blog at every post. I’m a freakin’ Pavlov dog for this blog. Writer, Dreamer, Canadian…what’s not to like?

2) James Windale : His two books are at the top of my next-time-I-have-book-money-I-will-buy-these list. Interesting topics that are well-researched from a writer who cares.

3) Natasha Nalina : A fun art blog from a bubbly personality. If you’re looking for positive posts and adorable art, check her out! Last time I checked she was making art for a videogame, which gives her +5 awesome points.

4) Caroline Peckham : This blog started around the same time as mine and is infinitely more professional and impressive, so you should give it a look. Caroline is super friendly and I would expect she gives warm hugs. Also, she writes actual fiction-things that you can read (again, blog envy!).

5) Sandra’s Stories : If you’re looking for writing advice, look no further! I have a good number of her informative articles bookmarked, with topics ranging from plot and characters to marketing on twitter and more!

In making this list, I have realized that I am so behind on some of my favorite blogs…guess I need to have a catch-up day now that Nano is almost over. But first, 7 things about me…that I didn’t include in my previous ten facts about me article

1) I used to be a huge weather nerd. When I worked third shift doing at-home health care, I would turn the tv to the weather channel and leave it on all night. And that was during 2011, the year that the US broke all the weather records…I learned more about weather that year than the rest of my life combined.

2) Coincidentally, I dream about tornadoes a lot. I have had some pretty dang epic tornado dreams. I’m not afraid of them, but I do have a healthy dose of respect. I would love to actually see one in person (not bearing down on me of course, more like in a controlled storm-chaser way…)

3) And how do I know I dream about tornadoes a lot? I’ve been keeping a dream journal since 2013. I highly recommend it. Going back and reading my dreams is always a hoot and in some ways, is better than a regular journal. When I read them, I can perfectly place where I was and what I was doing in my life…and they’re hilarious. Please give it a try if you’ve never done it before. It’s so worth it.

4) I really don’t read as much as I should. When I was in school, I read all the freakin’ time. So many books. But now that I have a kid to look after, and writing to do, and video games to play…I usually only read a chapter or two a day. I’ve been trying to work on it, but it doesn’t take priority very often. #shame

5) I could live without television. If left to my own devices, I only use the TV for video games. I do like some shows, but I don’t really go out of my way to watch them.

6) And when I watch movies, I usually watch them in parts. I blame my short attention span for this one. If I do choose to watch a movie, I’ll usually watch about twenty minutes of it (just enough time to eat a meal) and then turn it off. I also have the ability to turn a show or movie off at any point in the plot. Hero hanging off a cliffside? Bad guy about to shoot an innocent? Whatev’s, I’ll find out next time.

7) Hmm, this seventh one is giving me trouble…do I tell you that I love taco salad? Or that I used to be obsessed with wolves to the point where I volunteered at a wolf park? Or maybe that I competetively breed Pokemon…Naw, I think I’ll go with the I’m-in-love-with-water-and-always-have-a-water-bottle-with-me-at-all-times fact. Yeah, that’s a good one.

Well, this has been fun! Thanks again to Shannon for the award which has inadvertantly motivated me into posting again, yay! As for the second award…I’ll save that for another day. This post is long enough already. Thanks for sticking with me, guys!

Happy Writing, Happy Reading,

-Christine B.

Still Alive (and making Portal references)

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know I’m still alive! Living under a rock maybe, but still alive!

Sorry for the lack of posts. Once again, I find myself only being able to work on one project at a time and the recent project has been Camp Nano. My rewrite of my Nano 2014 project is going swimmingly, with me keeping on pace with my self-imposed 1000 words a day goal. I’m surprising myself by how well I’m doing, and I have this blog to thank for it! If I hadn’t spent so much time here last month and saw so many other amazing people doing crazy inspiring things, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. My only regret is being absent from it for the past ten days…

But no more! I’m going to keep on trucking and try to balance out this writing life piece by piece. Even though I suck at it now, it’s important to me to be able to write on different things at any given time. Even though I couldn’t be happier working on an actual novel (I still can’t believe I can say those words), I have really missed the community here.

Anyone who’s commented, liked, followed me recently: Thank you thank you thank you! Once again, I’m sorry that you caught me in a small blogging slump, but I will be catching up on my notifications this weekend and giving you all a bloggy-style visit! Thanks for being patient with me and my crazy hermit ways.

Have a fan-freakin-tastic weekend!

-Christine B.

And, because I can’t get this out of my head after writing the title, how ’bout a little music for the road?

Free-Writing Is the Only Option

Free-writing. I know I mentioned in a previous post that I really hate free-writing. It’s true, I do. But right now, I have a longing, and the only way I know to get it out of me is to free-write. Every writer has to eat their words once in awhile, right?

I really missed blogging yesterday. It felt so strange to not being putting up a blog post after spending the entirety of last month worrying about it on a daily basis. Instead of feeling a sweet relief of not being pressured, I felt like I was disconnected from my blog, like it was being thrown away already. Weird, right? I have multiple other quality posts that are semi-written and that I could’ve worked on for today, but I missed the personal connection. I’ve taken to being obsessed with staying up to date on my reader, as some of you may have noticed as I stalked your blogs. I don’t know why I am doing this. Living vicariously, I suppose?

So I think I’m still going to be writing a post a day. I’m not sure whether I will publish said posts, but my brain now seems to accept that blogging is a part of my life now. And all because of a 30 Day Challenge that I made up for myself. Sheesh, brain, why you be so cray?

In other news, Camp Nano started yesterday and so far, so good. I’m impressed with my cabin’s output already and so glad I made the cabin. I don’t think I’ll ever go into a random cabin again. Everyone is very encouraging and we seem to be spread out during the day so that usually someone’s on all the time. My cabin is better than yours is what I’m hinting at (ha, no, no, I don’t mean that, probably 🙂 )

My project is going well too. I’m doing a rewrite of last year’s Nano draft, and I love it so far. It’s so much better than the original. Also, the story has completely changed so I don’t think there’s much I can salvage from those original 50k words, but that’s life. I’m chalking it up to being one hell of a writing exercise.

So that’s that. Wow, I feel so much better now. Again, I don’t know if I will be posting all my ramblings daily anymore, but at the very least I’m going to be writing them. If simply to keep me sane.

Anyone else have crazy thoughts of blogging madness? Or think their cabin is better than mine? Sound off below!