Monthly Wrap Up: July

 
   It's August, which means its time for the monthly updates. A new series I'm starting even though a bunch of other bloggers do it. I'm a little late. In this post, I'll go over what my writing goals were for July and tell you how those went. This is a longer post, so stick with me, please. *pushes puppy with begging eyes in front of  you*



   Goal # 1: Write the full first draft for Truth Seekers 2

   So, I came pretty close, but unfortunately, it just didn't work out. I'll have to continue the first draft into this month, but that's okay. I should have started earlier in July. I didn't start until about July 11th, which is still a pretty short amount of time. I got further than I thought I would, so that's all that matters.

   Goal #2 : Figure out if I'm changing the title for Truth Seekers

   I don't know if I'm going to change the title. I feel like there is a better title out there, but I don't have a clue at the moment. So this goal was not completed.

   Goal #3: Work on my side project, The Bookkeeper

   I didn't really do this. I put most of my effort into Truth Seekers 2 that I never stopped to work on The Bookkeeper. So, this was not completed.

   Goal #4: Put up at least three blog posts a week

   I think I did pretty well with this. I put up a good amount of posts for July. I'm looking forward to where my blog is going and seeing what the Lord has planned.

   Goal #5: Do the book review post

    Funny thing is, this was supposed to be set for the previous review I had planned and wasn't enjoying. I forgot I put this on my goal list. I did end up doing a book review of a book that was horrible, so there's that.




   Goal #1: Edit and Revise Truth Seekers 1

   *crosses fingers* With having to finish the second book up this month as well, we'll see how far I get doing this. 
    
   Goal #2: Do the Of Cookies and Books Tag
  
  Funny thing about Goal Number two is originally, Julian asked me if I'd like her to tag me. I said no because I didn't understand the tag. I hadn't seen it around much and didn't know exactly how to do it. Well, a few days later, I'm going on over to Faith's blog. She has the tag. I read the tag. I see my name at the bottom. I smile and say, "Funny." Okay, enough of the play by play. I've seen a few more people do it now and I think I get the point. Hopefully. I'll be doing that tag this month once I finish up some library books.

   Goal #3:Work on The Bookkeeper or The Unknowns

   I hardly did anything for it last month. I need to continue building the world. Its fantasy, but different than typical fantasy. I'm also working on another project I call The Unknowns. It will be a battle on which one I work on when I'm not editing.

   Goal #4: Put up only two blog posts a week unless something really special happens

   I say this, even though its kind of going backwards, because I've been neglecting some things in life. I need to cut back a little. So, for the month of August, I'm going to cut back. Writing Wednesdays are definitely one of the posts. The other day could be either Tuesday or Friday. It may vary. 

   Goal #5: Read more books. Maybe stop being cheap and buy The Girl Who Could See

 (I actually have a gift card and I'm going to use it. Review will be up eventually. The Girl who could see is in my Amazon cart.)

   Goal #6: Finish up first draft for Truth Seekers 2

   We'll see how this goes. Maybe because I said it to you guys, I'll actually accomplish these. *crosses fingers*




Food...

   In the food category, I only tried two new things.  The first thing was hummus. I'm looking for healthy snacks and heard about hummus. So, my mom bought me some and I learned something that day. I don't like hummus. The texture is not good. At least in my opinion. Thankfully, we have a neighbor who just so happens to like hummus and the one my parents bought was his favorite kind. So that all worked out well.

The second thing was a smores flavored English muffin. It was amazing. I loved it. Yes, it wasn't a healthy snack, but its a limited time only flavor. :)


Movies/T.V...

   I didn't watch any movies. As for T.V,  my siblings and I watch The Adventures of Puss in Boots on Netflix and the newest season came out a few days ago. We began watching that. Also, for most of the month, my whole family has watched Lab Rats, which is on Netflix. If you haven't seen Lab Rats, I totally recommend it. Its hilarious. As for what I look forward to in August, there aren't any movies. I'm not much of a movie person. However, going back to Netflix shows, Dragons: Race to the Edge season five comes out near the end of August and you can guess what I'll be binge watching.

Books...

For every book I mention, I'll do a one sentence summary. If it has a review, I'll leave a link. The DNFs will not get reviews, but if you want to know more about them, just ask. (Seeing as I did not finish them, I'm not sure I'm the person to ask, but still, I'll answer any question I can.)

The Selection by Kiera Cass: Miss Cass, please learn to describe things. Review.
Bird by Bird: Profane and vulgur. DNF
Grammatically Correct by Ann Stilman: Probably a good tool during writing, but very long and boring. DNF
The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Kline:
Why did the author have to intertwine political and immoral behavior in a craft book? DNF
Book Title I can't remember now because I forgot to look before taking it back to the library and couldn't find it online: It wasn't a craft book, but a textbook for essays. DNF
Matched by Ally Condie: Slow at first, but it became amazing. Review. (Link will be added when the review comes up.)
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey: Diversity shouldn't mean sinful. DNF
Spindle by E.K Johnston: Practically no show and all tell. DNF
Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Weird set up and too vulgar. DNF
Gemina by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I only opened it to see if it was the same set up as the first, so I didn't read it. Does that count as a DNF if I didn't even attempt to read it? I'm going to say no, but I'll leave that up to y'alls digression.



I'm not happy that most of these ended in a DNF, but I'm not compromising my values for a book. I checked out eight books from the library the first time around. Some belonged to The Selection Series, but after that first book, I wasn't going through the others. At my second trip to the library, I checked out five books. Only Matched was finished.

Music...

Okay, so I listened to so awesome stuff this month. All songs are Christian because that's all I listen to. Or Alternative, but I didn't discover any new music in that category this month.

It is Well- Finding Favor
Mountains Must Move- Finding Favor
(Pretty much any of the new songs from Finding Favor.)
All the Wrong Things- Branan Murphy
God Help Me- Plumb
Who Says- Joshua Micah
Smoke- Plumb

Also, I found some instrumental music to listen to that helps me focus during writing when I need to block out sounds in the house. It doesn't distract me, but actually helps me stay in tune to what I'm writing.




Lessons I learned...
   I think everyday brings a lesson we take with us in life. Here are some of the lessons I learned.

   1. You can only control your own actions and not the actions of others.
   2. Finding your purpose can be difficult. Trust in God to take care of you.
   3. You will miss high school. Its hard knowing that as Autumn comes, you won't get to go back to what you've know for thirteen of the eighteen years in your life.
   4. Everyday is a new day to find an opportunity. You may not want to chase opportunity, but if it meant to be, then do it.
   5. It can be hard, but other things take precedence over writing. You'll get that novel done, don't worry. Your family needs you for other things and you can take a break every once in a while.
   6. Don't ever question Lord of the Rings if Gray is around. She will gather an angry mob. She will hunt you down. There will be pitchforks. Should you cross Gray when it comes to such matters, run and hide, though it will be pointless. She will eventually find you. 😂



Quick Story of my life...

   So, August is a special month for me for two important reasons. One, we adopted our dog at the end of August in 2013. Two, I began writing Truth Seekers in August of 2014. I don't know the exact date, unfortunately, but I know that it was this month I began something that would become my passion.

   To celebrate this special month, I'm handing out virtual dog biscuits (and some honey butter biscuits for y'all)  and telling y'all exactly how Truth Seekers was born. Sit back, grab a snack, and enjoy!

   Before August had come, I had already written some stories for a website that had a storytelling section. They're cringe worthy now, but they got me started. The rules of this website is that you had to use things, places, and characters from around the site. Also, because it was a children's and young teen website, you had to keep it rated G. I had no problem with this and began writing about a princess and her family.

   A dark witch/mage takes over the kingdom and the princess embarks on a journey to save her family and kingdom. This story came with several parts and each one was accepted. It was really nice and it gave me some practice. But this was before I found Go Teen Writers and was oblivious to how writing works.

   After that time, I decided I wanted to replace the fake characters with people and make it a trilogy. (I guess you could say I've always liked the idea of a trilogy.) I began working on it and just writing. By this point, I found Go Teen Writers through another blog.  It helped me out a lot.

   One hot, Texas August evening, my family was outside for some reason. I don't remember the reason, but I remember my dad and I sitting near the hose faucet  because my mom was going to signal us to turn on the water.
 
   We were sitting in beach chairs on the front sidewalk, waiting. As we were waiting, we were talking about public schooling. A lot of things had been happening at the time with schools. My dad and I were just having a discussion about government and schools when he said the phrase, "Brainwashed zombies."

   Something in my head clicked. A story began to write itself. Soon after we went inside, I rushed upstairs to write. I decided my princess story would be put on the back-burner and I would put all my attention in this story. I wrote up a first draft and many drafts after that, disliking each one once I began editing so I would start over.

   Finally, I wrote a draft I could approve of. I did what Go Teen Writers recommended and took a month long break before even opening up that draft again. When I began editing and taking notes, I had a clear mind. But, I decided I needed an outside opinion and turned to my mom.

   I'm the kind of person that freaks out if someone sees my writing when I'm not ready. First drafts are for my eyes only.

   I started working on it again, but I'm happy to say that so far, I'm really liking what I've written, which is saying a lot.

   Enough about me. Tell me in the comments below how your July went. What plans do you have for August. I'd love to hear from you. As always, God bless y'all. 😁

33 comments:

  1. I love these kind of posts, which is ironic, because I somehow never do these! BUT I ADORE READING THEM!!!

    That story of your life at the end describes my writing life, except EVERYONE reads my first draft whether I like it or not, because I always forget to lock my computer when people are over, so they always sneak into my room and read through my first drafts (not just kids or teens, actual parents too)and everything! It use to be very frustrating, but now I'm use to it... XD

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    1. Oh, and I love your picture and the font! Good job!!

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    2. Thank you! I enjoyed writing this post.
      That would stress me out. People just sneaking up and looking at my work. *looks around paranoid* XD

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    3. I guess it's the price of having semi accomplishments?? Lol. Everyone thinks I'm going to be famous someday or something... which is very unrealistic! XD

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    4. Hey, you never know. You could be famous someday. Your writing is very beautiful and you capture emotion so perfectly. I'm still fangirling over those snippets. :) <3

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    5. Aww, thanks! I aspire to be like Shaelin Bishop (only a little cleaner), our voices have always been similar, and I've always looked up to her! She's not famous or traditionally published, yet, but someday she will be. I can't say the same for myself, I just love writing, so I write! :D

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    6. I think that should be the core of every writer, storyteller, and author: Write because you love it. That, to me, is important.
      Her name sounds familiar, I'm just trying to remember. I'll have to check her out.
      I think you'll be famous someday. Your writing is already so good. I'll be first in line to buy the book. :D

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    7. Thanks! That means a lot to me!! :)

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  2. HAHA, love the reference to the "mob".

    Sounds like you had a good month! I like back stories, so hearing about how Truth Seekers was born was really cool!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, I felt that was a good lesson to teach people. XD
      Yeah, the month was pretty good. I thought it would be cool to talk about how my book was inspired. Its been fun and stressful to write all at once, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  3. I love Smoke by Plumb! A great song!

    I get you on the hummus. While I like it, it is an acquired texture. Since most of my food dislikes are because of texture, I totally get it when people dislike something because of it. I'll just eat all of yours so you don't have to! Win win for both of us!

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    1. Lol, perfect. My mom found chocolate hummus, but I don't think I will try it. The texture just wasn't my favorite. I'll just stick to fruit for snacks. XD

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    2. Oh, and yes, that song is amazing. I used to not really like Plumb, but her music is starting to grow on me quickly. She's becoming one of my favorites. :)

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    3. I'm not sure I would like chocolate hummus. That doesn't sound good.

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    4. They apparently sell it at HEB. (Texas grocery store.)
      I don't think I would like it either, so I don't blame you. :D

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  4. Well, sounds like you had a great month! I'm with you on DNF'ing because if content- I do it all the time. Illuminae was one where I felt the need to do that. So annoying.

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    1. It is annoying. I had heard that Illuminae was great, but after seeing the vulgarity, I decided, Nope. Not doing that. Also, the set up was weird and I didn't like it, but props to the authors for being more unique in that way. I just couldn't get past the vulgarity.

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  5. I loved reading about your month! <3 What you described about you and your dad seems similar to what me and my dad do and honestly my first ever book was probably inspired by a conversation about government etc. too. :) And the mob reference XDD you made me laugh with that one.

    Thanks for sharing, it's always so interesting to read what's going on for my peeps. :) <3 I hope you have a WONDERFUL August!

    Blessings,

    Anna | www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Anna!
      You saw Gray assemble the mob? It was scary. ;)
      I hope you have a wonderful August, too. :D
      <3

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  6. I have this love/hate relationship with hummus...I don't like it...yet I somehow keep going back for more...something about the texture with pretzels...

    Though I do love the title "The Bookkeepe." Sounds super cool! Truth Seekers sounds really great as well.

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    1. Typos! So many typos....

      Anyway, here's to a successful August!

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    2. Thank you! I have a hard time with titles. The Bookkeeper is probably staying since it kind of represents the entire novel. Not that it matters. I already know I'm not going to work on it this month. I just know it. I'll be too distracted by Truth Seekers again.

      LOL, that's funny. I didn't try it with pretzels. My mom made some corn chips out of corn tortillas and it tasted better on that, but I just couldn't get past the texture. It grossed me out a little. But the flavor wasn't bad.

      If I ever try it again, I'll try it with pretzels. :)

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    3. Lol, I only noticed one. Have a great August! :D

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  7. Now I'm leery of hummus, but those muffins sound yummy.

    Thanks for sharing a little about what inspired your writing. It's neat to learn what triggers different authors' story ideas.

    All the best with those August goals!

    -Ann

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    1. Thank you! Hopefully you have a very productive August, too. :D

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  8. You don't like hummus?? I love it. There's this certain kind of chip that goes awesome with it (I don't remember the name). It's also good on vegetables. My favorite kind is the one with red peppers in the middle, though, they should put the peppers on it all. xD

    I loved reading about your month! I didn't reach very many goals at all this summer. *sigh* Writer's Block was brutal this month. *cringe*
    Did your mom like what she read? When do you think you'll be ready for someone to beta read your work?

    I'm still deciding on what even to write. I did a practice session and came up with a poem that could be used as a little prologue. I read on a site that I think....literary agents (I think those were the ones), disliked prologues. I dunno if that's true or not, but that's what i read. Of course, I think that prologues help get your imagination moving. :)

    God Bless! I hope your August lets you meet all your goals. <3

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    1. That was the type of hummus I had. I just didn't like the texture. Pita chips is what I think you're thinking of.

      My mom hasn't read my work yet. We've been busy, but she asked me when she could. I'm going to let her soon.

      Definitely not close to looking for betas.

      I'm using a prologue. I think it depends on the person. I remember Mrs. Williamson from GTW saying that her agent or editor wanted her to add a prologue. I think its situational to what you're writing.

      God bless you, too, and hopefully you meet your August goals. :D

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    2. Yep, those are the ones. There are some food's that everyone else loves, but I can't stand. Like...mushrooms. *gag*
      Oh, I thought you said something about her reading it. lol Well, I'm sure she'll love it. Your devotion and story summary sounds intriguing. :)
      Yeah, I agree with you. What I read showed that all prologues were disliked, but I totally disagree with that. In my opinion, prologues help catch your reader's interest. Esp. when it's very figurative.
      Thanks, I hope I meet my goals as well. :)

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  9. Ha, I'm not the only person who doesn't like hummus xD I tried some yesterday and found it positively disgusting.

    It was cool hearing about how your book idea came to you! Those stories are always so incredible to hear about :)

    <3
    audrey caylin

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful August, Ivie! <3

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    2. Thank you! Hey, I saw your picture on GTW. Not sure if you saw it yet. Hopefully you had fun!
      Hummus was terrible. I think we tried the Sabras red pepper one. It was pretty bad. The flavor was okay, but the texture was just ... *shudders*

      Hope you have a wonderful August, too! <3

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