Archive for December, 2016

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Hey everyone! So, the New Year is going to be ringing in here at California very soon! I’ve been talking to a few of my friends about Resolutions, and I’ve been seeing a lot of people posting their opinions on them via facebook and other social media… and actually putting them into a negative light. I figured that a good way to get my blog on would be to go ahead and talk about resolutions and how I handle them.

In truth, I think that they’re fantastic, if you approach them realistically. People who swear up and down that they’re going to go to the gym every day, twice a day when they’ve never gone to the gym in their entire life >_> Hmmm… see, that’s jumping the gun a bit. I think that making the resolution to exercise at least twice a week is more plausible. For me, I always set two goals, because it makes things easier.

I’ve talked about this before, but this just seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about it again – I have a few goals for myself, and I’m pretty happy with them. I’ll lay my goals out!

Goals Number One: Write 1,000 words a day, every day for 2017. (A note that this may be adjusted up or down accordingly, depending on how things play out over the first of the year.)  Write at least 500 words in creative writing every day. – Stretch Goal: Write 1 million words in a year.

Goal Number Two: Read at least 1 book every month in 2017 and get a review up! – Stretch Goal: Read a book a week for 2017.

Goal Number Three: Finish the first Draft of Limbo, and pick between Limbo and Cerulean Darkness to finally edit for a second draft. – Stretch Goal: Finish both second drafts.

Goal Number Four: Blog Every Day. – No Stretch Goal, but go easy on yourself on the days that you can’t. Try to get out a minimum of at least 3 a week, as long as things are going all right. 

 

So, as you can see, I handle my goals a little differently than a lot of people that I know. I put two levels to my goals – a minimum… something that I know I can handle. It’s still pushing myself to do something new and something that I might not otherwise do, but it’s not so stressful as going all out on something that would be super taxing and easy to fail. The stretch goal is in place so I will push myself. I shouldn’t be taking it easy. I should be trying to better myself.

I look at it this way – if you’re gonna to try to go to the gym… give yourself two levels of it,or a midpoint goal. Say: I’m going to exercise twice a week, even if it’s just a walk. Midpoint to: I want to go to the Gym twice a week and work out for an hour. And your stretch goal can be going to the gym every day. You might not make that stretch goal, but working towards it, I bet you’ll at least hit that minimum goal you set for yourself. Don’t think of Resolutions for the new year as something that you have to do, and the end all to everything. Think of it as something you can do to better yourself, and something that you can accomplish.

And most importantly, don’t beat yourself up over it. You can make the year amazing just by staying positive and having a good attitude!

So, I’ll see you in the New Year, readers! I’d love to hear about your Resolutions and goals!

Until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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The Little Paris Bookshop
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this book. It was one of those novels that looked so perfect from the cover and the premise… and it was something that I thought I would enjoy as a light little read. Sadly, I was mistaken. I couldn’t get through it, and I didn’t enjoy it. The idea behind it was fantastic, and it wasn’t poorly written. I just couldn’t connect with the story or the characters.

I’m going to stack it up to a case of good book, wrong reader, because it seems to have lovely reviews.

View all my reviews

 

That’s all for this review – sorry it wasn’t that long.

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

About Those Holiday Things

Posted: December 22, 2016 in Creative WRiting

Life and Writing

Okay <3! As you can tell from the title and from the fact that I’m still not managing to post daily things… it’s the holidays, and that means that things are crazy. I’m probably not going to get onto a completely regular blogging schedule until the new year, but I will try to have a few posts coming in between those, just to let you guys know what’s going on! I guess I’m just going to spend this blog talking about what to expect in the coming year, yeah?

I have… *checks calendar* like 9 more days? 10? Something like that (didn’t really check the calendar) until the year is up. I’ll have made it to my minimum goal of writing 1000 words a day. I’m really proud of that, but sadly I will have fallen short on my secondary stretch goal of writing 1 million words. Look, I’m going to get to like 900,000 ;-; I was really close. I was almost there… but the things that came up recently (those things that I keep talking about and not quite explaining) have had me somewhere else in my head. Honestly, though, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, and I’m super proud of the fact that I’m going to finish the year out with that 1,000 words a day goal met. I know that I can get there easily, so I’m not worried about failing this close to the end of the year. The only thing that I wish was that I had more time to get in those last 100,000 words… but that’s sadly not possible.

This year.

I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do with my 1,000 words a day goal for next year. I know I’m going to keep it at at least 1,000, but I’m trying to decide if I want to crank it up a little. There were a few days where I struggled for those 1,000 words, but most of the time I managed to do it within a few minutes to a half an hour. I’m wondering if maybe what I want to do is set myself a 1,000 words/one hour a day towards writing goal. I think that could be doable. I’m wanting to get myself a proper writing schedule because I’ve really heard that writing at a certain time every day helps… so I’d like to see if that’s true. It’s something that I’ll be trying out, come the new year.

I’m going to do my hardest to finish rewriting/redrafting Cerulean Darkness before the first Camp NaNo so that I can spend the two Camps finishing my novel Limbo. Ideally, I’ll have two second drafts done and somewhat polished up enough that I can seek out beta readers and actually get going with them. They both have sequels (they’re both duologies) so… it’s something fun and exciting, and that’s the big thing that I want to get done in the next year.

Really, though, I’m just going to take it a day at a time. Making plans is good, and it really helps, but making sure that you do what you need to do in order to take care of yourself is just as important. It’s why I haven’t been around so much in the last bit – taking care of myself is 100% important, though I have missed blogging! I’m thinking of making some new headers for my blogs and getting my schedule a bit more hammered out. If you guys have any suggestions on what you’d like to see, just let me know! I’m always super excited to write things that interest and help all of you just as much as I am the things that I like to write.

Reflecting on this year, it’s been a good year. There have certainly been some ups that were fantastic, and some downs that were horrible… but I’ve grown as a person and as a writer. I have my health, I have my family, I have my friends… and really, isn’t that what matters?

How has the year gone for you guys? Do you have any new years resolutions or goals that you want to set for yourself? I’d love to hear!

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Tag Thursday

Hey guys, it’s December, so I figured I could go ahead and do this. I’m going to try to adjust it to match my book characters instead of being a book tag as usual. I found this on the Goodreads forums, actually! Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?


“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love to hate.

Hmm… out of all of my villians, I think that the one that I love hating is probably Lucifer. >_> Oh, yeah, I mean Lucifer, as in the Morningstar, as in Fallen angel. He’s included in two different series that I’m writing, and even though it’s two different series, he’s actually the same character. He’s so charming, and eloquent, and dangerous… and you have to love to hate him, because he’s everything tempting, and everything that you want him to be… but you know that he’s never going to be any good for you. He’s really fun to write, and I think that’s why I love to hate him so much – trying to make sure that I write a character that’s truly tempting while remembering that he’s evil is just so delightful.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree this year?

Okay, so I’m going to change this – instead of what book do I most hope to see under my Christmas tree, it’s going to be what book would I most love to see finished and printed out, so I could place it under my tree. And for that, I’ve actually been debating this a bit. It’s why I haven’t gone so far as to really dive into a new book yet. I’m not digging my NaNo novel, so I’m actually setting that aside. I’m either going to finish my second draft of Cerulean Darkness, or finish my first draft of Limbo. So either my high fantasy novel, or my Zombie novel. I’m debating between these two, which means that it certainly won’t be done before Christmas, but alas… new years goals, I suppose?

“Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Well, I feel like a lot of my characters do this? I want them to grow as people, after all… but I think the one that does this the most is Rose from my Limbo series; she begins the story really doubting herself, and wondering why she even managed to survive the zombie apocalypse as far as she has… and she grows and develops through the story to be a strong individual who can fight and really make a difference. The transformation of a character is a really interesting thing to write, and it’s fun to make sure you pace it correctly.

“Santa Clause is Coming to Town” – a) Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty list and b) which character do you think is at the top of the nice list?

Ohhh… heh, okay. So, at the top of my naughty list is actually my character Salem from my Fallout fanfiction series. He’s a raider, so he’s basically the kind of person who takes what he wants, how he wants, when he wants. He doesn’t really give a damn about it, either. He’s so fun to write.

As to the nice list, I’ll stick to my realm of Fallout and say that my character Quinn is on the nice list. He does some things that are horrible, but he always does it for a reason. And about 99.9% of the time, he’s being a very, very good boy. He’s mischevious as shit, but he also does everything that he can to save everyone that he can. That’s my baby Quinn though xD

“Frosty the Snowman” – Which book just melts your heart? 

Hmmm… I think that if any of my books got me emotional, it would be Cerulean Darkness that got me the most emotional. I have some big things happening there, and big things happening in the sequel, and it just makes me feel so emotional for my characters. I love to make my babies suffer, but damn xD That rollercoaster gets to me.

“Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

My novel Riptide predominately takes place in the ocean. It’s about mermaids. So… that’s certainly a country that isn’t my own, and I have to say that it’s a really fun thing to write and navigate. That one needs a lot more research though, and I’m not upset about it. It’s going to make it so much more fun to write.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the Christmas joy.

You know, I couldn’t answer this, even if I was writing about books instead of my books. I haven’t read a Christmas book. I am going to try to write a Christmas Short story for the blog though, so maybe that’s what I’ll go with. Story TBD – Christmas Story for the blog xD

“Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spend the holidays with?

Uhm, if I could pick any of my characters to spend the holiday with… I’d probably pick Lex from my Limbo series. He’s kind of pretty awesome, and I feel like we could get into pretty much any shenanigans that we wanted to? I can’t talk to much about it, lest I spoil the fun… but he’d be a pretty damn fun fella to spend time with.


“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Uggh, I don’t really want to sacrifice any of my books? At the moment though, I’d get rid of The Melding – it’s my NaNo novel that I just did. I’m just super not feeling it, and I feel like if I’m going to end up doing something with it, I’d have to completely rewrite it anyway? So burn the pages, I don’t care. I like a bonfire anyway.

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Which book do you think everyone should read?
This just seems self-absorbed to twist into my own writing. I guess if I wanted anyone to read one of my books out of all of them, it would probably be Cerulean Darkness. I think that’s the book that I’m most proud of, and the one that I’m probably going to end up pursuing publishing with first. Either that or Limbo. One of the two.
I don’t know x.x

Anyway, that’s it for this tag. I hope that you guys enjoyed it, and I’d love to see if you do it yourself! Just tag me if you do!

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Currently Wednesday

I found a blog post over on Katyupperman’s blog, and I found that it was something that I really wanted to do! It’s a thing called Currently – it informs people of what you’re currently up to… and I thought that it was time that I got back into doing this!


Loving

The weather. It’s California, so it’s not super cold… but it’s really lovely. There’s clouds, and the sun isn’t out… and it’s chilly so I can have my blanket. Being super wrapped in a blanket or rainy weather is my go-to for when I love to write the most.

Reading

To my shame, I’m not reading anything. I’m actually going to change that, because I also want to get back into the habit of having a weekly book update/thoughts. So… I’ll be getting back into that, and hopefully next Wednesday there will be more to read in this section.

Watching

I was watching a ton of Hell’s Kitchen last night, but other than that… I was trying to get into the Walking Dead? I don’t know, I’ve been really tired a lot lately, so I haven’t been watching TV as much as usual. If you have any good recs for shows on Netflix or Hulu, let me know. I’d love to have a new series to jump into.

Listening To

Zayde Wolf. I’ve been listening to a lot of Zayde Wolfe lately, and I’ve really been enjoying it. Especially his album Rare Breed. I would super suggest checking it out, if you haven’t heard of him yet.

Thinking About

Too many things to list on here. I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s been a lot of stuff going on that I can’t quite talk about yet. That’s the thing that I’m thinking about the most… and it’s been really taking up a lot of my thoughts. However, other than that, I’ve really been thinking about how much I want to get back into daily writing. I’m trying to decide what novel project I want to work on, and I’m trying to get back into the swing of my proper daily blogs. It’s been a little bit of an adventure, and as always I’m going up and down. But I have to say that my writing journey is one of my favorite things, and I’m always happy to share it with all of you.

Anticipating

Christmas ❤ I honestly really love spending time with my family and my friends, so it’s a lovely time of year. I’m also looking forward to 2017, and hoping that the coming up year brings surprises, fun, and good things for myself and the people that I care about. Other than that, I’m anticipating getting right and properly back into my writing schedule, because I’ve let myself get off… and now that I’m starting to veer back on course, it’s making me feel so much better.

 

Wishing

Oh, still wishing that I had my own writing room. My desk is more than just a little cramped – my writing area is scattered with post-it notes and notebooks and loose sheets of paper everywhere. I want a bigger desk, with organizational ability. I want my own writing room, where I can go to concentrate. I’d happily share it with my husband – it could be my writing room/his room to make music… but a creativity room.

That sounds pretty damn amazing to me.

Making Me Happy

Oh, what’s making me happy. Hm… friends, family, the fact that I’ve kind of found this inner peace with myself that I’ll talk to you guys about later. As always, my husband is making me happy. Life has been looking really up for us – he got a full time position at his job (He was working basically full time before as a Special Education assistant, but he wasn’t getting the full time benefits). We’re looking to move (hopefully for the last time) in the next yearish… and all around, life is looking up.

As always, writing is still making me happy. Even though I’m not doing it as much as I did before, and even though I feel a little like I’m getting behind, it still makes me happy. It’s always going to be my peace, and my solace, and sometimes it takes me getting right and properly back into it for me to remember that… but that fact always ends up coming back to me.

 


There we go! This weeks Currently, dipping you back into all of the things that I’ve been doing, but haven’t been telling you about. Hopefully next weeks will have a little more information for everyone, and hopefully I’ll have gotten back into reading. Honestly, I miss that, and I know that it’s super important for my creativity. If you have any good recs, let me know!

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Writing Tips and Tricks

Oh, so my tip is going to involve me actually doing what my tip says… that’ll be interesting. Honestly, I thought that this was one of the best ways for me to get back into properly blogging – with a tip, and that tip is something that I’m going to take myself.

When you’ve found yourself falling out of your writing habits, the best thing that you can do is to just Jump Right In. That’s right – feet first. Don’t think about what you need to plan, or what you need to do, or how you need to do it. Just… just do the thing. I’ve been sitting and not working on my blog, and yesterday I should have started posting again… but I was too busy thinking about how it wouldn’t work properly, and an Update Monday after I haven’t been writing wouldn’t flow… this, that, and one excuse after another. The simple fact is, you can’t wait for a perfect moment. You can’t wait for the perfect thing.

You just have to do it.

I was going to wait until I felt a little better, and then I realized that I’m not going to be any more sick sitting here and writing out this blog than I would if I was sitting here and watching youtube videos. It’s just a matter of being determined and realizing that you’re going to have to do what you need to do.

So, yes, this is my tip for you. File away those excuses for another day – if you let yourself drop off of your writing habits, don’t beat yourself up over it. I still managed to get my 1k a day, thankfully, but I haven’t been blogging or writing very creatively lately. Just jumping back into blogging every day seemed so daunting… but you can’t let that fear stop you from doing the things that you want to do. You can’t let yourself get overwhelmed… and you can’t make excuses. If you’re tired, you still have 10 minutes to write… if you’re cold, warm your fingers up and write for 10 minutes. If you haven’t properly written a blog in a month and you’re afraid that you’re going to do a bad job (Yes, self, I’m talking to you) then just do it anyway.

You won’t regret it. It may not be the best thing that you’ve ever cranked out, if you’re just getting back into the habit of it… but it’s going to be a beginning. It’s going to be a start, and the sooner you shift yourself back into your proper habits, the sooner it’s going to be coming smoothly to you again. Think of it that way.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

 

Life and Writing

Hey guys, it’s been a while, hm? Just as the title implies… I really just wanted to let you guys know that I haven’t abandoned this channel. I have some… very interesting… things happening in my life right now. They’ve been stressful and lovely and all around distracting, and I haven’t been able to be around as much as usual.

However, the main distraction hump is over (for now), and I have full intentions of explaining fully (later), but… for the moment, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m back, and starting next week, I’m going to try to hop onto my proper blogging schedule again. I may adjust what I do on some days – I’m actually thinking that for December, I’m going to post a 4 part Christmas Story over the span of the month… that sounds interesting, right?

I’ll still be doing my writing prompts as well.

Honestly, I just wanted to let you guys know that I was still around, and certainly still kicking. Things have been crazy, but I haven’t let that stop me from getting my 1k a day. Albeit, I’ve only  been doing 1,000 words a day, but it’s still my words, and it still counts. I’ve actually been struggling with it a bit, which is one of the reasons that I’m really excited to get back into the habit of my blogs – these actually helped me a lot. I need to settle back into a proper writing schedule, because I allowed myself to slip after I won NaNoWriMo.

Speaking of NaNo… oh my, I need to do a full-length post on what a struggle that was this year. It was stressful and hard, and full of twists and turns… along with a few ups and downs. I lost things and I gained things during the month, but I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it all. NaNo, however, will get a post all for itself – that’s not for this particular blog. I haven’t even added up my monthly total of writing, so I can’t do a November Writing Wrap-Up for you guys… like I said, the month was crazy.

But yes, I have been writing… expect some Christmas Story to be posted (and don’t expect it to be a regular fuzzy feels, because apparently, I can’t manage that). I’ll be around a lot more come Monday, and eventually, I will get to a post to explain away everything that went down in November, so you guys can understand my chaos xD I’ll try to get up the first part of the Christmas story over the weekend ❤

I’d love to hear how you guys did during November though – NaNo War stories make me feel less alone xD

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!