Thursday, April 27, 2017

Camp NaNo Update #2 (Week 4) // I WON CAMP NANO + Eating Ice Cream at Midnight


I have a very important announcement to make.

Wait for it...

Oh come now, don't scroll. CAN'T YOU BE PATIENT?

*clears throat*

*coughs*

*scratches head*

...What was I going to say again? *taps chin thoughtfully*

OH YES.

I HAVE WON CAMP NANO!!!! Yes, you read that right. The same person who was complaining last week about being behind has now hit 30k for the month! This is a pretty momentous occasion for me because last Camp, I set a goal for 30k and didn't end up hitting it. BUT THIS TIME I CONQUERED THE BEAST.

I kind of went crazy the past ten days, as you can tell. XD

And you know what? I finally fell in love with my story. It took me a while--most of the month actually--but it finally happened. The plot is moving in directions I never expected (pros of being a pantser, hehe), and I'm LOVING my characters so stinkin' much. Not gonna lie, I miiiiight like them more than the ones in my previous novel. (Don't look at me that way, Lieutenant Bradshaw.) They are so much fun to write, and they seem to have more depth this time around. Perhaps that's a result of using first person? *shrugs*

I'm still playing around with different POVs right now, but so far, I'm finding that doing two first-person POVs feels really natural for my story. However, that might end up changing later. We shall see once I edit it. ;) I really appreciated all of your guys' feedback, so thank you so much for that!

Now to explain the other part of the title. Prepare for epicness. *smirks*

So last Friday, I determined to write 5k in one day. This used to be nothing for my NaNo-conquering self, but that was back in November when I had glitter running through my veins. Somehow, though, I STILL MANAGED TO WRITE 5K. This bumped me up from 13,000 words to 18,000 words in one fell swoop.

I was warring in my hangouts group with my buddies (because that's basically the only way I can write), and when I hit 5k, my amazing friend Julia got this brilliant plan: why don't I sneak downstairs in the dark to get ice cream?

It took some convincing and motivational squirrels, but I did it. 

It could have been more epic if my sister hadn't still been up and had the lights on (thanks, sis :P). But I ended up sneaking downstairs, turning the lights off on her, scampering back upstairs, and then coming down again to raid the freezer in the dark. *laughs*

(Pinterest)
It was birthday cake ice cream SO OBVIOUSLY I HAD TO DO THIS. My cat about tackled me because she was so happy to see me, but overall, my mission went well. 

(Pinterest)
(I ended up bouncing off the walls at midnight sooo yeah, thanks, Julia. XD)

SO YES. I wrote 25k in 10 days and won Camp NaNo. I'm honestly so excited right now! My novel isn't done, but I'm thinking about trying for 10,000 more words this month (wish me luuuck) and then maybe finishing my novel next month? EEP. It's coming along really well, and I'm very pleased with it so far.

With all that rambling out of the way, I'll bestow a couple snippets upon you. Never fear, I will share more in the future. ;)

~ ~ ~
PERI

Exhaling a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, I retraced my steps and headed back home. I glanced up at some of the businesses as I passed. The florist, the bakery, the café . . . none of them had positions. Probably not worth trying them again.

“What’s the matter? Your bookshop-destroying friends not show up?”

Oh yay. It’s him again. 

I shot him my most menacing glare, which was not-that-menacing. Felix gave me an impish smile in return. Darn him.

“And you call me nosy,” I muttered.

Felix had parked his killing machine in front of the café and was looking at me with his usual judgmental look. This time, however, his annoying side seemed to be making a bit of an appearance.

“Need a ride?”

“I have legs, and I’m perfectly capable of using them.”

“To walk in the street, you mean,” he shot back.

Of course he would never let me live that down. Shaking my head, I tried to walk past him, only to feel his hand dragging me back to the car.

“Thought we could talk about that job position again,” he said, jerking his head toward the car.

I narrowed my eyes. “You said that was closed.”

“I also said that the sidewalk was for pedestrians, but you didn’t seem to heed that.”

“Would you please stop talking about that!”

He grinned in satisfaction. “Ah, the lady does know how to say please. I’m surprised that you have any traces of proper etiquette.”

“You’re impossible.”

 “I prefer to say that I’m impossibly brilliant.”

That just furthered my justified lack of regard for him. He had to be some kind of idiot to think I’d work for him.

“Well, thanks so much for your consideration, but I think I’ll pass,” I said, gritting my teeth in what barely counted as a smile.

His eyebrows went up so high I thought they would fly off his face. “You’re refusing my job offer?”

“You didn’t necessarily offer. Besides, I thought you would rather die than hire someone who would destroy your precious, immaculate bookstore.”

He strolled around to the other side of his vehicle and hopped into the driver’s seat. “Putting words in my mouth. Unsanitary habit.”

~ ~ ~


FELIX

I dusted off the cover of my notebook and glanced around me. Peri was deep within the bowels of the store, causing more destruction, undoubtedly. Her penchant for organized books was driving me insane.

With her out of sight, I untied the leather cord binding the journal together and cracked open the spine. Taking a pen, I turned to an empty page and jotted some notes in it.

The sound of a low-pitched growl made me turn my head. I smirked. Pizzicato had somehow forced himself out of his home into the main part of the store and was glaring at me from beneath his fuzzy brows.

“What is it?” I asked, ignoring him and turning back to my writing. He made an annoyed squeak, demanding my attention.

I huffed and slapped the journal shut, tying it closed and sliding it back in my desk’s hidden compartment. Blast this hedgehog. He never lets me get anything done. I picked up the spiky fuzzball and set him on my desk. “Are you hungry?”

At that, his countenance perked up. A little hedgehog-grin emerged on his face, and he nodded just slightly. I reached behind me to open the minifridge that I kept stocked with strawberries, jelly, and yogurt—Pizzicato’s favorite treats.

Sliding out a carton of yogurt, I peeled off the lid and set it in front of him. He attacked it, licking up the thin coating of yogurt so fast it was a wonder he could even breathe.

“I don’t know why I bother keeping you around. My grocery bills are excessive because of your unstoppable appetite.”

He paused just long enough to glare at me. I shook my head and chuckled.

Just then, Peri poked her blonde head around the corner of a bookshelf. “I’ve got a pile of books for you to sort through.”

“I thought that was your job,” I said, eyebrows raised.

“I’m not the one who has so many books hoarded that it would take an army just to count them.”

“It’s called collecting, Peri. Everyone should own too many books for them to count.”

~ ~ ~

PERI

The other man pulled a pistol out of his jacket and pointed it loosely in our direction. Not aimed directly at us, but his message still rang loud and clear. He was in charge, and we were stepping into dangerous territory.

“My name is Marc Widells, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, Peri.” He swung the gun around his index finger, smiling as he flipped it in circles. “And I’m not used to being cheated.”

All the air in my lungs seemed to vaporize. My lungs constricted painfully, and I tried to make myself speak in an even tone. “I’m sure we would be able to work something else out.”

Marc chuckled again. Somehow his laugh seemed even more dangerous than the weapon in his hand. “I’m afraid that deals aren’t always the answer, Peri.”

Felix stepped in front of me then, his arm protectively shielding me. “Stop beating around the bush and be out with it, Mr. Widells.”

Marc pursed his lips and cocked back the pistol. Click. “Let me make it absolutely clear to you.” He stepped one foot closer and pointed the gun directly at Felix’s chest. “You’re in my house, and you’ll play by my rules.”

Heart beating faster, I placed my hand on Felix’s back, trying to gain strength from him. Instead, all I felt was even more fear. He was just as terrified as I was.

In the low lighting, I could still make out the triumph lighting up Marc’s expression. He glanced back at me with a wicked grin. “You have ten seconds to gain my interest.”

~ ~ ~

*casually leaves you hanging there* #sorry XD

How goes Camp NaNo? JUST FOUR MORE DAYS LEFT, PEOPLE. Have you ever had ice cream at midnight? And what is your opinion on my characters? (I'm quite adoring them myself.)


Thursday, April 20, 2017

10 Truths and 2 Lies Results + Ramblings + Sunshine Blogger Award


The results of 10 Truths and 2 Lies were, uh, rather interesting...

Apparently I made the questions too hard?? Because literally no one guessed the two lies. I feel a bit bad because I didn't even know they were that hard. SORRYYYY. If it makes you feel better, even my sister and bestie couldn't get the answers right. #ouch (Don't worry, I actually think it's quite hilarious that I could trick you all mwahahaha.) I wish I could give you all a prize as consolation, but sending out fifteen prizes is a little too much stress for me. XD

SO. I guess I'll try this again sometime but make it slightly easier? Ahem. *coughs*

The two lies are actually:

5.) I used to wear contacts. (Gosh, no. The thought of putting things in my eyeballs terrifies me. *shudders* I got glasses when I was 11, though.)

8.) My biggest fear is spiders. (Haha...I am terrified of them, but needles are my number one fear. I'm absolutely a mess when I go to the doctor's.)

Some of you said you wanted to hear the story behind the other ones...so I might explain that in a future post if you're still interested. ;)

// In Which I Ramble //


- Apparently I reached 500 followers on Pinterest a week or two ago. WOW. I've had my account for two years now, so it definitely didn't happen overnight. But my aesthetic boards have been infinitely more popular than I thought they would be, and they've probably contributed about 130 followers in the past two months. IT'S CRAZY.

- I'm still behind on Camp NaNo, but I reached 12k last night! Still 8k behind, but I'm hoping to change that over the weekend. This week has been uncharacteristically slow since my psychology class is done (HALLELUJAH), so I'm using that extra time to add to my word count a little.

But for some reason, I'm finding it so hard to write this novel. I can't get seem to get the plot moving, and it feels awkward writing in only one point of view for some reason. I just feel like it's not totally working out?

In fact, I wanted to ask your guys' opinion on something: what do you think of dual first-person POVs? (In other words, having two characters use first-person.) I have mixed feelings about it myself, but I feel like this story is just not working as it is. First-person feels natural for one of my main characters, and yet, I really feel like the other one needs his own POV. Should I switch to third-person and do POVs for both characters? Should I do dual first-person POVs? Should I stick with what I have now? I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW. I would really appreciate your guys' honest opinions!



- I got a Kindle Fire this week, and I'M LOVING IT. Seriously, it's the best. I've had my iPad for almost five years now, so it's nice to have a newer tablet where I actually have space to install Spotify and Pinterest apps. And the best part? It was free. My orthodontist gives out these tokens for things like wearing the t-shirt they give you, arriving on time to your appointment, taking care of your teeth, etc. So I saved all my tokens to get the Kindle Fire! I maaaay be a little in love. <3

- I'm way ahead in my reading challenge this year, thanks to spring break. I've already read 25 books, and I'm really hoping I can continue this pace. Most of the books I've read have been really good, too, so that's a plus. (Though I'm really not sure what to think of the one I'm currently reading. The MC is driving me a little insane. -_-)


// Sunshine Blogger Award //


My sweet friend Tracey tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Award about a month ago, and I couldn't resist doing it. After all, this is Sunshine and Scribblings. ;)

Basically, I just need to answer the questions, ask 11 new ones, and tag 11 people. Ready? Let's do this!

(Found on Pinterest.)


1. What's the most addicting app on your phone?


Wellll...my phone doesn't have any apps on it since it's a TracFone (look that up, kids ;)). However, I refer to my iPad as my "phone" because it is essentially a lot like an iPhone. *shrugs* 

I'd have to say that Spotify and Pinterest are my favorite apps, by far. I just got them on my Kindle Fire, and I use them a lot now. Also, I quite like Color Switch, even though I'm not addicted to it. I only play it occasionally now, but it's pretty fun.

2. What's a song that speaks to your life right now?

Oh, look! An excuse to use my Spotify app. *cough*

*pulls up playlists* Carry Me by Urban Rescue (aka one of my favorite groups ever) has really been speaking to me lately. I also have an entire playlist of music from this month that I've been listening to basically 24/7.




3. Do you have a book or movie that's your "happy place"--a fictional world into which you retreat when you need a breather? What is it?

ALL OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE, PRECIOUS. Those movies give me all the warm fuzzies of being home in the Shire, and the characters are like family. <3

(Found on Pinterest.) Isn't Frodo's smile sweet??

As far as books are concerned, probably The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall. This series has quickly become a favorite of mine, and I always feel so happy when I read them. 

4. What's a book you were (or are) looking forward to so much you're scared to read it, for fear it won't live up to your expectations?

A few examples come to mind. The Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl and any Ted Dekker books. At this point, I have now read three Goldstone Wood books, andddd...I was really disappointed.

I don't know why, but I just don't like them. It is a painful process for me to read one. And the worst news? I bought most of the series when it was discounted so I'm stuck with them. (No, I'm not giving them away because they still cost $20 on sale. *faints*) I feel like there's something wrong with me because I don't like them, and it's frustrating. But hey, at least their covers are photogenic. :P

I still haven't read a Ted Dekker book yet because there's so much hype surrounding them, and I'm honestly scared I'll have the same reaction as I did to Tales of Goldstone Wood. I will read one soon, though, because Dekker is the keynote speaker at Realm Makers. 

5. If you had to have all of your past memories wiped except for one day, which day would you choose to remember?

WHY THE HARD QUESTIONS? Ugh...let's see here.

I would have to say either the day I finished my first novel, Moonlit Mirror, or the day I went back to Disneyland for the first time in nearly 8 years. Those two days were both amazing. <3


6. What question would you like to ask one of your favorite authors?


To Wayne Thomas Batson: WHEN WILL BOOK THREE OF THE DARK SEA ANNALS COME OUT?? *clears throat* (I've been waiting for years and haven't heard anything. #ineedmorebooks)

To C.S. Lewis: Would you have written more about Susan? I'd like to believe that you had more to say about her.

To Jane Austen: Did you ever laugh out loud while writing your novels? (Come on, they're brilliant and hilarious. I've gotta know.)


7. If you had to describe yourself as one of the four seasons, which would it be?

Just going to say it, I love this question. 

I'd probably say I'm the most like fall. I can be warm and colorful and expressive, but also reserved and cool.



8. What's your personality type? (Myers Briggs, DISC, whichever test you prefer.)

I'm an INFJ. (And I'm 99% introverted. Yeahhhhh. :P)

9. An envelope containing $500 shows up on your doorstep. On what do you spend it?

Well, if that happened, I'd probably be a little weirded out. (Because that just feels like ransom money or something. XD) 

I'd be that boring person and save most of it. But I'd definitely spend some of it on books. Obviously. *nods*

10. Would you rather be trapped in a lamp, a tower, or an enchanted sleep?

OOH, these are really creative questions. I'd have to say either a tower or enchanted sleep. In the tower, I could do stuff like write, read, blog (assuming there's wifi up there XD), and play violin. However, in an enchanted sleep, I could dream all kinds of crazy stuff, which is always fun. 

11. Which Disney villain(ess) do you find the most scary?

Clayton from Tarzan is mildly terrifying, as is Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog (though I've only seen that movie once and don't remember it that well). Probably one of those two, although I was always freaked out by the scene in The Great Mouse Detective with Sir Rattigan in the clock. THAT WAS FREAKY, OKAY?

My Questions


1. Do you like to read an entire series at once or spread out the books over time?
2. Would you rather be stuck in the past or the future?
3. Have you ever had dream re-runs? (In other words, the same dream twice. XD)
4. What is your favorite vacation you've ever taken?
5. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite flavor?
6. If you found the entrance to Narnia, would you tell anybody? Who would you take with you if you did?
7. Waffles, pancakes, or neither?
8. Do you use the Shift key or the Caps Lock key every time you capitalize something? (Odd question, but it's something I always wonder, haha.)
9. What is one smell that never fails to make you happy?
10. Have you ever been rollerskating?
11. You've gone into hiding and have to conceal your identity. What new alias would you adopt?

My Victims


Christine || Musings of an Elf
Miss March || Sunshiny Corner
Morgan || Turning the Page

(I actually followed the rules this time and tagged 11 people! Aren't you proud??)

Thanks so much for the tag, Tracey! It was loads of fun to do. ^_^ Oh, and to all those I tagged: don't worry if you don't want to do the tag/never get around to it. Believe me, I of all people certainly understand. XD

Well, you made it through this post. *gives you cookies* Any advice on my novel's POV problem? What is your MBTI personality? 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Camp NaNo Update #1 (Week 2) // Traveling + I'M SO BEHIND


(I'm just going to admit that I totally forgot about posting today like ooooops.)

HELLO, ALL. I have been meaning to do a Camp NaNo update but...well, life has been crazy and writing has gone out the window.

As you may or may not know, my goal for Camp this month was 30k. That equates to writing 1k a day, which means I should be at 13k right now. HAHAHA...nope. Currently, I'm hiding behind my measly 5,207 words and feeling like a total writing failure. :P

For some reason, Camp is always way harder for me now than regular NaNo. We always seem to have a trip planned, and I end up not writing at all while I'm gone. *headdesk* It's so frustrating, and I wish I could figure out how to motivate myself/find the time and space to write. But...I just can't.

UGH. I'm in a hard place right now, guys, and I'm trying to remind myself that it's okay. I'll get over this slump hopefully when I get back from our trip.

Anywayyyy, now that I'm done sharing some of my struggles, would you care for a couple snippets? I only have 5k to choose from, so don't expect anything that great. XD

~ ~ ~ 

I began picking my way through the stacks of books, careful not to knock over any of the precariously high towers. A bright blue binding to the left snatched my attention. Curious, I bent over and removed it from the shelf. Something skittered across my hand, making me yelp and drop the book in surprise.

“I would really appreciate it if you didn’t drop any priceless antiques on the floor.”

I jumped again and whirled my head to face the source of the voice. Looking annoyed, a young man of about twenty years observed me from his position leaning against a shelf. His hair was a color I had never seen before. It was neither red nor blond nor brown . . . rather, it was stuck somewhere in the middle of the three. He observed me with a critical eye, looking me up and down with disdain.

Feeling uncomfortable beneath his gaze, I felt color flush my cheeks. Great, make him think you’re blushing. That’s really smart.

I cleared my throat and glanced at the blue-bound book on the floor. “Sorry about that. Something startled me. I thought maybe a mouse was hiding in the book.”

A look of offense crossed his face. He scowled at me and picked up the book. “That mouse was Pizzicato. Maybe he wouldn’t have startled you if you had the sense to not disturb his home.”

“Who’s Pizzicato?”

He rolled his eyes. “Haven’t you read the sign?” When I didn’t give a reply, he continued, “Pizzicato is a hedgehog, and if you had bothered to look at the sign before you burst in here uninvited, maybe you would have known that.”

I bristled. His rudeness was beginning to make me angry, and I felt my fists clench involuntarily at my sides. “Well, excuse me, but the sign didn’t exactly say ‘watch out for hedgehogs hiding in the bookshelves.’ Maybe you should keep a better watch over your pet instead of letting him run rampant in a store.”

Smirking, he said, “Pizzicato is not my pet. What a horrifying idea.” He slid the book back into its position on the shelf and wiped his hands off on his pants. Squinting, he regarded me again. “What do you want anyway?”

Biting back a bitter response, I said, “I’m looking for the owner. There was a job posting in the window that I was interested in discussing.”

“Ah, so you do read. How shocking.”

I crossed my arms, tempted to shove him into one of the bookshelves and start a book avalanche.

~ ~ ~

Finally, I saw a figure zipping across the lawn between the schools. With his surprisingly long legs and unzipped jacket, I could already tell it was my brother. I felt a smile tug at my lips. My little squirt of a brother would be taller than me soon, but I wasn’t quite ready to admit that.

He bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time even with the slippery surface. Panting, he shook the water droplets from his dripping brown hair. “I sure hope you brought your umbrella for once.”

I ignored his question and motioned at his unzipped jacket. He hurriedly zipped it up, shooting me a look that clearly said he wasn’t happy.

Starting down the steps, I held my hand above my head like a visor, hoping that would at least somewhat protect my glasses from becoming splotched with rainwater. Nothing was worse than having blurry vision from a pair of splotched glasses.

Quentin raced behind me, pulling ahead and jogging backward to stare at me. “Hey, did your legs shrink or something, Peri? ‘Cause it’s pretty easy to beat you nowadays.”

I snorted. “Sure it is, Tinner.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “You promised you wouldn’t use that nickname anymore.”

“Well, maybe I wouldn’t if you didn’t act like an idiot half the time.”

He rolled his eyes and took off in a run. “Last one home has to eat the leftover casserole!”

Just the thought of that burnt ham, asparagus, and potato casserole sent me flying down the street, splashing water on my brother’s face as I passed him.

“Bon appetit!” I called over my shoulder.

~ ~ ~ 

*coughs because my snippets seem really lame*

Well, that's really all I have for you right now. Sadly, Camp NaNo is just not working out for me right now. I'm over 8k behind, and I doubt I'll be catching up that much until after Easter. :P If you want to keep up with my wordcount, stalk me over here and send me emails telling me to write. XD


How is writing going for you all? If you're doing Camp, is that going okay? Also, what is your opinion on sibling relationships in books? I personally find them a ton of fun to write. ;)



(P.S. You still have time to try to win a special prize from yours truly! Just check out my 10 Truths and 2 Lies post here.)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

10 Truths and 2 Lies


By the time you read this, I'll be on the road heading on vacation. (Care to guess where I'm going??) And since I knew I would be gone on my typical posting day, I decided to do an easier post.

Today I present to you...10 Truths and 2 Lies! 

If you're wondering, "what the heck is that?" then allow me to explain. Nadine Brandes did this on her blog a couple weeks ago, and she opened it up to other people to do as well. Basically, it's just what it sounds like: I state 10 truths and 2 lies about myself, and you have to guess BOTH of the lies. You only get one try so make it count! :) The person(s) who correctly guesses both of the 2 lies will receive either a corner bookmark OR a copy of one of  my own art pieces.

So? Shall we get this show on the road?

1.) I've never broken a bone.

2.) I've seen dolphins in the wild.

3.) I slammed my head in a car door before.

4.) My least favorite season is spring.

5.) I used to wear contacts.

6.) I've ridden in an ambulance.

7.) I used to have a pet cricket.

8.) My biggest fear is spiders.

9.) I've lived in four different states.

10.) I get carsick.

11.) I've been in a dust devil.

12.) I hate tomato sauce.


Well...it actually take way longer to pick these than I thought. #fail

Here are the choices for your prizes. You could have a drawing of Frodo, Mary Poppins, or a surprise. OR if you want a corner bookmark, you could have a fox, heart, or a surprise.





Have at it, friends! I wish you all the luck in the world. ;)

Which ones do you think are lies? Leave your guesses in the comments below! I'll respond to comments/email winners once I get back from vacation after Easter.