Saturday, August 27, 2016

Confessions of a Guy Blogger ~ A Guest Post

Today we have Jonathan from Fishing for Ideas. Not only is he a ninja guy blogger, he's also a friend and quite hilarious. You're all in for a treat. Without further ado: Jonathan! *cue applause*

(Note to the readers of Abi’s blog: this is only the second time I’ve done a guest post before, so it is no fault of hers if I end up bombing this post. So do not unfollow her as she will return as soon as I untie her because obviously I hijacked her blog MWAHAHA I’m done with my rambling.)

Anyhow, shall we begin? (Yes that was rhetorical because I’m beginning no matter what you answer.)

Today we’re discussing GUY BLOGGERS. Yes, those strange creatures with blue and green and brown blogs that float conspicuously through the crowd of girl bloggers with pink and purple and red blogs.

Yup. We’re on the same page now, aren’t we? (also rhetorical; don’t answer that)

There’s a certain amount of mystery about these finicky creatures; a certain amount of wondering. What do these mysterious bloggers use as motivation? Why do they blog? Are all of them agreed on the fact that Pinterest is feminine? WHY DO THEY NOT USE A PINK OR PURPLE BLOG TEMPLATE?

Well my friends, you’re in luck, because I happen to be a guy blogger.

*gasps from the crowd*

No, you did not already know that from the title of this post. If you did then my dramatic effect is ruined and I refuse to accept the fact that my dramatic effect is ruined. Hence you did not already know that. (Don’t question me, I know these things. Also I can hypnotize people and I don’t want to have to do that to you.)

Anyhow. Random sidenote there.


Today I present to you….

Notice the spine, since he claimed he was an alien in Camp ;)

Well. After that introduction I don’t even really need to write a post, do I?


Buuuut I guess since I went to all this trouble to hijack Abi I should actually contribute something substantial.

Alright. Here goes. Brace yourself for the amount of epicness here. Also just a quick disclaimer before we begin: neither Abi or I are responsible if you are completely blown away and have a mental breakdown and need a few days of recovery. Just to clear that up here and now.

(fyi this is where I actually offer semi-helpful/structured information instead of just rambling so pay attention class)


Because apparently we stick out. We’re basically just the ducks paddling through a pond 85% full of swans.  And while normally you wouldn’t want to stick out, in the blogiverse, it just means more publicity. And more publicity = followers. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BLOGGING SKILLS.  (Ok so maybe that helps a little? But that’s not relevant so moving on.)


While some of us are extremely techy, this definitely IS NOT a general rule. Not all guys are super into computers and tech things. Of course those of us who are super techy are the ones who never have problems with their blog. (*cough*notme*cough*). So if the dude’s blog is imploding, he probably broke his blog html so give him a break. (DO NOT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT THIS MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT HAPPEN TO ME) If his blog looks gorgeous and you’ve never heard a reference to any problems whatsoever, he’s got this tech thing in the bag.


But let’s be real, guys. NOBODY DOES. LIKE WHO EVEN HAS TIME FOR THAT? So this point probably shouldn’t even be here because it’s more of a general blogging secret, not just something that applies to guys. Don’t tell anyone I let the cat out of the bag and I won’t have to hypnotize you, ok?


I would give more details on this but basically this post is a perfect example in and of itself. You’re welcome.


I KNOW. ALL THIS TIME YOU THOUGH THERE WAS ONLY FANGIRLS. *pops that bubble* Yes, fanguys are definitely a thing. Although we definitely don’t have the numbers that fangirls do. Basically though this just gives what we say more weight. FEEL OUR POWER MWAHAHAHA.


#SHOCKVALUE. HA I GOT YOU FOR A SECOND DIDN’T I?  Because I’m actually just kidding. Maybe.


WE’RE BRILLIANT MASTERMINDS, WHAT CAN I SAY? We don’t always employ this tactic though. Just sometimes. But hey, if you realized there was a missing reason, kudos to you. I applaud your skills.

Of course, now that I told you all of this, the secret society of guy bloggers will have to send an assassin after me. The same assassin will probably come after you also, now that you have this secret information in your mind. HEAD FOR THE HILLS.

But hey, before they find you, you might as well find out everything you’ve wanted to know about guy bloggers. Anything you want to know? Ask me in the comments! Also, what’s your biggest blogging confession?

About the Author:

Jonathan Trout is a 17 year old homeschooler who loves Jesus, laughing, writing, and reading. He has a tendency to be mildly whimsical, and he’s definitely a ninja. His one weakness is sour patch, and he probably shouldn’t tell you that, but most everyone knows it anyways. Occasionally he writes about himself in third person. The best place to stalk him at is his blog, but be warned because he will probably stalk you back.

Ask Jonathan anything you can think of and then follow his blog!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For

I say that in my best Little Einstein's impression. Today I am requesting beta readers!!! This is a huge step (mainly because I'm behind in editing) so be sympathetic. :P

Today also happens to be my 6 month blogiversary!!! Crazy, right? I could think of no better way to celebrate than to ask for beta readers. *screams*

I understand not all of you may be interested, and that's totally fine, but I encourage you even more than the others to give it a shot. 

For those of you that are interested, I have a couple of restrictions. I have decided not to limit the number, so you're good there. However, you must sign up before September 1 to qualify. Also, you have to be able to finish reading the book in the month of September. It's 33 chapters and 95K long. I know this will be an issue for some of you since you're busy people! But this is essential since I am trying to get this book out before the end of the year. Sorry!!

For those of you who get into it the project and don't think you can finish in time, that's okay. I understand that life explodes sometime and I do want this to be fun for you. But I will no longer be applying feedback after September 30, as I have to move the book to a professional editor by then.

Also, if you're wondering what on earth a beta reader is, you can read that entire post right here. In short, I expect you to follow the deadline and provide me with honest feedback as you read. This is for you to get an advanced copy of my novel and me to get advanced feedback :)

If you need to know more about what you'll be reading, visit My Writings page and check out all the info about Martin Hospitality. It's appropriate for teens and adults of any background, stage of life, and gender. I'll give you a teaser (and my first official piece of fan art) submitted by the lovely Katie Grace. Cause you'll all want to read it since she has, right? ;)

So that's it! If you're still game, let's get going. Some of these questions are going to be redundant. :P

I am so excited to work with you guys!! Spread the word, as I cannot have too many readers!! (I don't think.) Let me know if you have any issues or questions in the comments and I will try to be prompt in my reply :)


How do you spell blogiversary? Are you excited?!?!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Alpha Beta Conundrum

It was very difficult to find a good image for this post because Pinterest only came up with sororities and Teen Wolf (?). I kid you not. All the Greek letters always bring my Math-U-See curriculum to mind. BUT. This post is actually about alpha and beta readers and the difference between them.

Alpha and beta readers are a common sight among us writers. Something I've noticed lately is that the terms are often used interchangeably. So people ask me how I differentiate between the two, because in my mind they're two separate things. Have no fear, I shall solve this conundrum for mankind today.

First, alphas. These invaluable volunteers are really the braver of the two (I think that's why they're called alphas). Why? Because they agree to read your work before it's gone through virtually any editing. In essence, they read the first draft. By first draft, I mean the first solid draft that is actually taking the story where you want it to go. I work in very few drafts, so this was my literal first draft. But in essence, alphas are the first eyes that read your work since your own and they provide feedback. Maybe much feedback.

You may all be wondering why on earth would you give your first(ish) draft to someone?!?! I've done it, and it's really not as bad as you'd think. I had 5 alphas (you know who you are) who got to read the words moments after they were penned and usually without a reread. I found this helpful because if I was having a really bad chapter day, I could leave a big comment of complaints or ask for suggestions at a certain part. If I had no ideas for the next scene, I would ask what questions I hadn't answered and then answer them. That sort of thing. I highly recommend keeping this number to a minimum, but give yourself a variety. My lovely 5 helped me cover all my bases.

Also, motivation! I would not have finished my first draft (probably ever) without the 5 awesome ladies who actually wanted to know what would happen next. People can enjoy even the early stages of your work! Did I have plot holes they had to deal with? Yes. Did they have questions I had to answer because they weren't answered in the draft? Of course. But they all seemed to enjoy themselves and get into it and so did I.

Then come betas. These people come into play once aaaaaall the alpha awesomeness has been applied. I also give the work a solid reread here (what I'm currently doing) so that it's in the best condition I can imagine before I give it to another group of people. So when the betas give me feedback, it lowers my ego and helps me find things that I truly wouldn't have ever seen. After all, I've already given it my best shot. Me, fallible? What?

Again, motivation comes into play here, too. Because, tell me, what is more exciting than a group of friends adoring your precious brain-child right before it becomes a published book?! Nothing. This is as good as it gets. It's the final boost so that you hire a professional editor who fills in the remaining gaps and then boom! hit the printer. I suppose you could limit the number here, too, but I'm going to take as many as can read within my deadline. Who doesn't love advanced copies?!

Alphas tell you the first draft isn't trash and betas tell you the third draft isn't perfect.

I understand that not all of you will use both alphas and betas and that's fine. Judge which one you're utilizing by looking at how far along your book is before you're handing it off. Since I work in only three drafts, I can distinguish pretty well. For those of you who are superhuman and rewrite 14 times before sharing a word, I can understand where the lines blur. ;)

Anyway. Hopefully you now understand how I distinguish these two gems. If you haven't made use of alphas or betas, they're a must!

Do you use alpha or beta readers? Am I the only one who uses both? If you're interested in giving beta reading a shot, hang around, because I'll have a sign up on Tuesday!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ultimate Camp NaNoWriMo

Ultimate Camp NaNoWriMo kinda sounds like it should be a sport, no? Similiar to ultimate frisbee? Anyway. I'm finally getting around to giving you all an elaborate break down of my first Camp NaNo experience. Coincidentally, this also happens to be my 50th post and the last one I shall bring you all as a 17-year-old. You asked for it!

I apologize in advance for what is about to be the longest list of excuses ever.

Day 1 ~ 2,000 // 2,000

Started it off strong and fainted at my cabin mates' awesomeness. Also:

Day 2 ~ 1,113 // 3,113

Still had the initial rush of adrenaline and was trying to pack simultaneously

Day 3 ~ 0 // 3,113

Here, we celebrated Independence Day with family in Fort Worth. Yeah, no words.

Day 4 ~ 0 // 3,113

I had my laptop with me, but decided writing in a 15-passenger van full of siblings isn't worth it

Day 5 ~ 2,905 // 6,018

Back home and back on track

Day 6 ~ 0 // 6,018

So why write when you'll remain afloat without a single word?

Day 7 ~ 1,198 // 7,216

Another trip upcoming, so had to write a little bit

Day 8 ~ 0 // 7,216

Went out of town and had a terrible headache the whole way, so no writing

Day 9 ~ 0 // 7,216

Had my writing conference and hung out with my pen pal friend all day. Staying up late talking to her beat Camp

Day 10 ~ 0 // 7,216

Went to church with my pen pal, went out to lunch, and then headed back home with Mom

Day 11 ~ 2,189 // 9,405

Trying to catch up a little and had a freaking ton of Camp notifications (you know who you are)

Day 12 ~ 0 // 9,405

Stalled out, I guess? I don't really know what happened here :P

Day 13 ~ 622 // 10,027

Had work all afternoon, but managed to write a smidge due to a couple word wars. Do not underestimate their power!

Day 14 ~ 0 // 10,027

Family came into town here, so I did the human conversation thing instead

Day 15 ~ 0 // 10,027

And family left on this day and my motivation left with them

Day 16 ~ 0 // 10,027

I don't know what happened here, since it was the weekend

Day 17 ~ 0 // 10,027

But I guess it happened again here, hehe

Day 18 ~ 2,077 // 12,104

Monday motivation and still 6K behind *hits panic button*

Day 19 ~ 5,115 // 17,219

I highly doubt I could ever write much more than this in a day if my life depended on it.

Day 20 ~ 1,052 // 18,271

Three days in a row! And I even had work again. 

Day 21 ~ 2,072 // 20,343

Boom, four days! Aaaalmost back on track.

Day 22 ~ 0 // 20,343

We played at a friend's house and I had zero energy when we got home

Day 23 ~ 1,197 // 21,540

Weekend, yes, but I felt bad and it was my brother's birthday. So what else would I do but write?

Day 24 ~ 0 // 21,540

I burn out easy, okay? But going to the theatre for Tarzan was the best decision I have ever made.

Day 25 ~ 2,862 // 24,402

Once again, sooooo close

Day 26 ~ 0 // 24,402

But then I skip another day and fall behind just a smidge more

Day 27 ~ 1,924 // 26,326

This was a Saturday that I actually wrote. Can you believe it?

Day 28 ~ 0 // 26,326

But I can never write on Sundays no matter how much I try :(

Day 29 ~ 0 // 26,326

I guess I'll blame this on it being a Monday?

Day 30 ~ 2,708 // 29,034

I didn't want to write but then I finished my story and that posed a problem for the last 1K

Day 31 ~ 976 // 30,010

Boom! I had to get really creative for these words. I made a Note from the Author, title page, and a couple random scenes to hit my word goal. I went to bed happy. ^.^

And my overall stats picture because I know you couldn't live without it :)

All in all this was a fantastic experience, made only more awesome by my 10 cabin mates. I have seriously never laughed so hard or had so much support while writing. My favorite conversation was the one about the Trout brothers beings aliens (specifically rainbow fish from Fiji who tan). The conversation on our hugging rules and how we will handle fame were also pretty darn epic. But that's what happens when 10 members of writer royalty join you for 31+ days of insanity.

The word wars, sharing of ideas, reading of blog posts and chapters pre-publication, rants and rambles,prayer requests, and goofiness were all unforgettable. I made new internet friends, showed off my insane side, and still had friends at the end of it.

To learn more about the short story I worked on at Camp, visit My Writings and look for Andora's Folly.


What did you do for the month of July? Have you done a Camp NaNo post? Also, notice my first homemade header since post #1 I had to do something special for post #50 :)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blogging Olympics Tag

The adorable Noor unofficially tagged me for this one. Meaning she tagged no one specifically (as I am prone to do) and I decided that it looked like fun! After all, I had to find some way to include the Olympics on my blog ;)


Use the Blogging Olympics image (or make your own)
Thank the person who tagged you and list the rules
Answer the Olympics themed questions (feel free to add your own)
Tag others!


That's a no-brainer. USA!!! When we have no competitors, I vote for the home team or Great Britain (and all its derivative countries).
If you could compete in an event, what would it be? 
Probably volleyball or shooting. Or trampoline or equestrian. Not that I'm that great at any of those sports, but I enjoy all of them :)
Favorite event to watch? 
Volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming. My mom and cousin have played volleyball and I love our women's teams this year. Gymnastics because how?! And, again, I love our women's team so much! Swimming has become a more recent favorite of mine. We have so many great swimmers whether they're veterans or up and coming. So fun to see them compete! I also like that this is usually a briefer sport. 
Olympian you most admire? 
Hmm. Probably Kerri Walsh Jennings, the beach volleyball player. I love that she juggles being a Mom and athlete, and she's amazing to watch play. Of course, Michael Phelps is downright amazing and wears the half cocky/half sweet personality well and his baby!!. Our women's gymnastic team has such a great team spirit and two of the girls are from Texas this year (which explains it). ;) And then I was super impressed with David Boudia and Steele Johnson's blatant attribution to faith for their success in diving. That was really inspiring. I just wish everyone wore more clothes in that event D:
What sports do you currently play? 
Hahaha. Yeah. I don't play any sports. Never have, actually. I can hardly swim, can't ride a bike, and have terrible balance when walking on level ground, so . . . not all that athletic. Although I do make a great shortest person addition to a basketball team as long as you want me to keep the ball and not actually get it in the hoop ;) If I picked a sport to enter, it would be volleyball.
Summer or Winter Olympics? 
Summer. They have so many more sports and I enjoy watching most of the ones they show on NBC. I really only like skating and snowboarding in winter.
Ever been to see the Olympics in person?
No. It would be cool, though. I totally would have attended when it was in Calgary.
A sport that should be in the Olympics? 
Ice sculpting for the winter, because they need more sports. Or igloo building. For the summer, baking. I would enjoy watching cook-offs. Of course, I think writing should be an Olympic sport, too, but all viewers would die of boredom :/
What do you think would be going through your head right before you were about to compete in the Olympics?
Extreme awe and terror. The "I'm here" (shock) and "I'm here" (death) feelings.

My question: If you could choose a location for the Olympics, what would it be?
I would choose New Zealand, because it's drop dead gorgeous and unique. I don't know any cities there, so wherever works :)


I tag those of you who do not live in the United States. Off the top of my head, I know that means Emily Mundell and Grace Osas. Anyone else who would like to, go for it! :)


I sincerely hope you are all being more productive than me right now. These Olympics are sooo distracting!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My New Dreams

It's late afternoon already and I hadn't even considered writing a blog post yet. I guess that's what the Olympics will do to you! Today I bring to you a lighthearted post about some writerly things that have piqued my interest of late. Enjoy! :)

We got into this cool discussion in the Camp NaNoWriMo chat that revolved around how nice the famous people we had met were. Think about it. You meet someone that you consider famous and appreciate and you're a complete butterfly wreck. The person is sincere or thoughtful and makes sure to include you. Why does this always come as a surprise? We often underestimate a famous person's humanity.

So we all vowed that when we were those famous people that create out-the-door lines for book signings, we would be the same way. We would be ourselves--human and kind--and show our fans what it's like to be a regular person with a big name. We want to carry on the feeling of surprise when admirers find us genuine and just as jittery as they are. Because that has an impact no one's going to forget. 

I want the kind of fame that allows me to make that impact, even if it's just on one stranger.

My other dream may or may not be more tangible ;) This one actually began with an ad I saw on my Gmail for travel writing. The name alone caught my attention, as I hope it did yours. My first thought was "Is that a thing?" So since I trusted the source of the ad, I clicked it and read about some of the details. It was calling for applications. The whole "do you have what it takes" kind of blurb. But the point was people pay you to write about exotic locations

I guess I sort of knew this in the back of my mind, but I had never thought about people making it their career. Like, "we'll send you if you'll tell us about it" type of career. Because that, my friends, combines my greatest two passions.

I want to be the kind of writer that conveys beauty into the mind of their reader.


There you have it. I want to be that awesome famous person and travel write. What are your crazy dreams?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Solitary Romance ~ A Review

It's been a long time since I've given you guys a review post and I'm excited to hear your feedback on this one. :)

I noticed something interesting the other day: people usually only share their 5-star reviews on their blog. That's not the case with all of you, but I've never read a completely negative review. Don't worry, this one isn't going to be completely negative, either, but it won't be 5-star. And while I'm sure other people will enjoy this book heartily, I will not be able to recommend it in good conscience to you all, my lovely blog readers.

Having said that, the review.

~Back Cover~

Katrina Crimshaw leads a double life as an auditor by day and jewelry blogger at night. When she meets the man of her dreams, again, her life becomes even more complicated. Juggling success under a pen name with her day job and continued encounters with Robert, a man from her past that she adored from afar, proves complicated for the shy bean counter. When an attractive museum director enters her life, all bets are off as the day dreaming Katrina tries to make sense of her predicament.
When passion flares in this second chance romance, will she let love slip through her fingers again? A Solitary Romance is a clean romance that will set readers’ pulses racing and book one of the Only Love Series.


Katrina: With interesting occupations and a completely distracted daydreamer, it took me a little while to decide what I thought of this character. Her occupation as a blogger and her jewelry fascination interested me. I found that the story grew confusing due to her always tuning out the world and that she was a little over the top even for a typical day dreamer and romantic. Still, I think every girl can relate to some degree.

Robert: The old college crush that never went anywhere who happens to be even more distracting than the rest of Katrina's life. This was put to good use and was usually quite funny, but it got a little old and cliche. However, he had a nice personality. He just seemed very undecided on whether he was going to be overly nice or overly cold.

Kiki: Katrina's Hawaiian coworker who provides extra comic relief and assists with Katrina's wardrobe in a pinch. I never grew overly attached to her.

Jim: Katrina's older brother who is on leave from the military. This was by far my favorite character. His relationship to his sister was realistic and I enjoyed his light-hearted and charming personality. He was much more down to earth than the other characters.

Barry: A museum curator who hires Katrina to help him with a gigantic jewelry presentation and proves very young and dashing at the same time. I wouldn't have minded having a little more of this character.


If it said where it was, I actually don't recall. But it was a big city with the primary locations including an office building, apartment complex, restaurant, and museum. While none of these locations were dazzling, they all fit the business world that both main characters were swept up in very well.


Katrina is asked to help the head of the museum display several famous jewelry collections for a grand presentation. Thrilled, Katrina does her best and is gratified when all turns out to be stunning and she gains some credit under her jewelry blogging alias. Meanwhile, she's also trying to balance the disruptive presence of her former crush and now new boss at work. She's determined to secure a good business deal in order to prove herself so he'll stop scrutinizing her. Her combination of lightheadedness and airheadedness are not helped by his presence.


If you remember, I switched to the mushroom system of rating. I decided to give this book 5/10 'shrooms. That may surprise you, given the above, so I'll explain briefly.

I read this book in two days, which is always a great compliment. I did want to know what happened! However, I was disappointed by the end of it. I do understand that this was a romance and probably not one I would have read just from its description. But I agreed to read it and provide an honest review. 

I enjoyed it more than I thought, because the characters were a little hard to figure (which was equally frustrating). However, both of Katrina's occupations went a little in-depth, making it hard to follow or relate. Her passion for design and noticing pretty things appealed but her rattling off details about setting and facets was a little droll, only because I couldn't follow. The same with her auditing job; a little too much detail since the average reader isn't an auditor. The romance elements did stay clean as the book promised, but the end was overdone and made me uncomfortable. However, the characters did intrigue me and the dialogue was excellent, despite lots of telling in between. Unfortunately, the bad overshadowed the good in my mind. But I can't blame this book for not being my genre.

All in all, not something I would recommend to any of you because there was no deeper theme to redeem itself. I had hoped the religion thread might come up and keep Katrina in place, but it kind of dissipated. It was a fun fluff read for a day, though, and I don't entirely regret pushing through with it. It's always good to read something you never would have otherwise. It's a learning experience :)

You can read my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon for a more coherent and professional review ;)


What do you think? Too scathing? I tried to be nice about how much I disliked elements of this book, because there really were parts I enjoyed. Have you ever read a book that you decided to finish and were disappointed? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Goodbye July

Obviously the pressures of life have cured me of the need to post wrap-ups on the last day of every month. I hung out with my family this week instead :)


First came Camp NaNoWriMo. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hit my 30K word goal! I had some very awesome people in my cabin (you know who you are) and really valued getting to know them all better. I have such amazing internet friends! I would not have hit my goal without them :) I'll hopefully have a whole post in detail at some point.

My family went out of town for the 4th of July as usual. We spent the 3rd hanging out with even the most distant of epic cousins and shooting fireworks off a dock over Eagle Mountain Lake. Thank goodness there were very few mosquitoes, and it was hot enough that nobody was outside for too long. The same thing happened last year, so we came prepared with Scrabble this time and at least 8 of us were playing at once . . . on a bed. Yeah, that's how it goes around the two room lake house ;)

The next weekend my wonderful mother drove me to Tyler for a writer's conference. I've already managed a post about this one. It was so refreshing and encouraging. Besides all the lessons I mentioned in my post, I also learned that it's never too late to begin writing. I have actually felt like I could/should have started earlier before. I mean, I've always written. So why didn't I try to finish something sooner?! But I shared the room with primarily senior adults, so it was a cool experience. I may have to reread my notes to get some energy for the great editing project that awaits me :) As part of this trip, I got to meet my pen pal again and do lots of catching up. Late nights, Barnes & Noble, DSW, going to church with her. It was all super awesome. And her mom makes incredible food.

I'm taking guitar lessons! I tried once years ago, but my grandfather bought guitars for the kiddos 10+ and is giving us lessons every week. We just had our second lesson, and it's been so much fun for all of us to figure it out together. In some ways, it's so much easier than piano (duh, chords). But playing individual notes is so much harder! But I'm loving it nonetheless. Even if it does kill my fingers, making typing painful.

I won a giveaway this month! This was my first time to ever win . . . anything, really :P That sounds silly, but from birthday parties to drawings, I've never won anything except spam. So this was super exciting. Check out the goodies from Cara Putman!

On a random note, it rained (what?!) which was great relief from the 100+ heat index. Our front courtyard was so much perkier after the deluge! And I also got contacts. I'm still adjusting, but I'm sick of wearing glasses, and my eyes show no signs of improving! Besides, I want to be able to wear sunglasses when I drive :) My littlest brother also turned two and totally soaked up the attention like he was special or something.



chanterelle ~ noun: an edible woodland mushroom with a yellow funnel-shaped cap and a faint smell of apricots, found in both Eurasia and North America.

Is that word not awesome?! It was new to me in July and I adore it! It is a goal of mind to smell one of these at some point ^.^ If there were other words new to me this month I failed to record them.


That first one isn't from a book (that I know of), I just love what it says about books :) 


~Cover to Cover: 3~

Purple Moon by Tessa Emily Hall
A Solitary Romance by Violet Sparks
Where Do I Start by Molly Evangeline

~Middle to End: 1~

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

~Front to Middle: 2~

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta von Trapp
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Lousia May Alcott


~Words: 30,010~

Editing was on hold for this month. So I did Camp NaNo and wrote an entire short story. I also hit my word goal, which was 30K.

~Chapters: 6~ 

My short story I believe is going to consist of chapters and a prologue. It's all written, I just haven't divided it up yet. I was surprised when I heard people write this way, but it worked really well.

~Progress Update: 100%

I finished the entire story!! This was a secondary goal and I had no feel for how long it was going to end up being. I hoped it would end under 40K and lo and behold, it did. It feels so great to have written something that fast. Quality can come later.

~Biggest Problem: Life~

What, I can't just whole away and write 30K? I can't just wave my hands and my novel will be edited? Lies!


~Followers: 53~

That's +6 without any effort on my part. It's so nice to see people joining the crowd ;)

~Views: 12,234~

That's +2K. What? That's so cool to me. I mean I know I post a lot, but still. Two thousand views in a month? Not bad, you guys. Thanks :)


My July goals were:

1~ Edit for myself and others
I did spend some time reading through my first 3 chapters again and formign a checklist. And I kept up with Gloria's story.
2~ Read 3 books
I actually had no idea that I hit this. Thank goodness Goodreads is keeping track of my reading life XD
3~ Win Camp NaNoWriMo
CHECK! I'm so proud of this ^.^
4~ Go to a writer's conference
Totally happened. And I wrote an entire post on it here.
5~ Remember to post at least once a week

My August goals are:

1~ Completely edit my novel
Ambitious? Yes. But it must be done!!! That averages out to about a chapter a day. Or more D:
2~ Complete Jesseca's "A Question of Honor"
I'm really enjoying this story so far, and I want to knock it out before September comes. Because I have no idea what it's bringing.
3~ Read 3 books (cover to cover)
I'm doing a Twitter Readathon and have pledged two books while it runs this weekend. So I should be able to reach this, especially since I just got 5 library books.
4~ Share a bad review
People only ever share good review on blogs. The bad ones just go on Goodreads. So I'm gonna share a more negative review on Thursday :)
5~ Do a Camp NaNo post
You all want to hear about my ventures, right?


Did in rain in July for you? Did you win Camp NaNo? Has school begun for you? Have you ever read An Old-Fashioned Girl? I highly recommend it! I'm learning so much, even on my 5th read :) I hope your Julys treated you kindly and August doesn't cook you!