Posts Tagged ‘writing advice’

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

Did you guys think I’d disappeared completely? I wouldn’t really blame you… I’ve been gone for a while, after all. The fact is, being pregnant and trying your hardest to move all in the same month of doing NaNo is hard. It’s made worse by the fact that I found out I’m pretty anemic (ergo, why I’m sleeping all of the time).

I have fallen behind.

And… I’m not going to let it freak me out. So, I’m saying the same thing to all of you who have fallen behind and decided to give up. ❤ Don’t do that! Falling behind doesn’t mean automatic failure.

Yeah, things are gonna be a little harder, and you’re gonna have to play catchup. You’re going to go through a few difficult days if you decide to do it all at once, OR you’re gonna have to slightly up your wordcount and spread it out through the rest of the month. NaNo is only half over, guys ❤ you can certainly still do this.

I keep thinking about the fact that my husband told me that I really needed to do Camp, because I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. I keep thinking about the fact that I certainly won’t be able to do Camp in July, as I’m gonna be having a baby in July and even I’m not that crazy.

I keep thinking about the fact that he’s right, and there’s no reason to give up on myself. Even if I end up only getting half of what I planned to get, that’s still more than what I started out with. When you’re writing, when you’re creating, and when you’re trying? You never really lose!

So, keep your chin up, guys. We’re half through, and I know that you can keep on keeping on, even if it seems impossible right now!

That’s all for now though ❤ I’m actually gonna go and get a few words written, so I can start playing the catchup game. Since I have ridiculous insomnia, maybe I can put it to my favor and get further along than I previously though. Of course, I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about… but that’s the fun of writing prompts, now isn’t it?

Okay, away!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

So, here we go with Camp NaNo (she said, posting her day 1 report a day late. But, alas… that’s just how it goes sometimes. The good new is, I cranked out my words. I set my goal pretty small – 15,000 words for the month. I’m sure I’ll pass it up (I hope I will), but I figured that would be good… since I’m pregnant and in the process of moving before the end of April.

I’m still super excited to try!

I did make a decision about what I wanted to do for Camp though – I was really willy nilly about how I wanted to tackle it. At first, I thought I’d do rewrites on my novel Cerulean Darkness… and then I thought, “No, I don’t want to rush rewrites and end up having to completely rewrite the rewrites… maybe I’ll just finish my novel Limbo during NaNo!”

And then I thought… “But, I don’t really want to rush through that, either. I’d rather have something that I don’t have to rewrite 100% after I’m done with it.”

So, I sat and I wondered for a minute what I wanted to do… and then I realized that it didn’t have to be so complicated. It’s CAMP, damn it. You’re supposed to have fun at Camp, and I have full intentions of having fun with what I’m writing. I’m using this as a platform to get me back into the habit of daily writing, and I’m not going to make it something that stresses me out so that I don’t want to do it.

So, I decided on 30 writing prompts, one for each day. I’ll probably be posting some of them up here for you guys, and I’ll certainly post some of the prompts up (from day 3 on, since I’m not gonna be able to today) so that anyone who is struggling with how to get your words for camp can follow along! The point is to get yourself writing, and the point is to hit your goal! So, I think that’s what we need to do, and I think that we all need to just have a lot of fun doing it! I know that I, for one, am actually excited about the prospect of getting things started. I’m not even going to sweat it if I don’t finish the prompt – I’ll hit the word count that I can hit for the day, and I’ll leave it. If nothing else, I’m going to have the beginnings to 30 pretty rad stories, and I’m super fine with that.

I’d love to hear how Camp is going for you guys, with day 2 closing out. I’m at right around 1000 words so far, 500 a day. I’m happy with it. I’m really satisfied.

Let me know what your projects are, or if you wanna follow along with the writing prompts every day! Regardless, I can’t wait to hear about it!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Tag Thursday

What is today? Today is a Thursday >_> and apparently the day that I decide to get back into my blogging. I’ve feeling great! I’m going to do an update blog after I finish this, but I wanted to get back into this exactly how they’re supposed to be going… so, Tag Thursday it is! I grabbed this tag from Jenna Moreci’s vlog! Enjoy, because here we go!


What kind of writer are you?

I am taking this to mean what genre do I write in? I dabble here and there, though you’ll mostly find me in the young adult area. However, amongst that I’ve done horror, paranormal romance, and high fantasy. I also wrote most of a lesbian sci-fi romance for NaNoWriMo this last year… I pretty much go wherever my muse takes me; it’s my favorite thing, exploring avenues that I haven’t been down yet… because you never know what surprises you’re going to find!

When did you start writing and what made you want to try it?

Shoot, I’ve written for a long time. I’ve always, always loved to read, and even before I was physically putting them down… I was writing entire novels in my head to put myself to sleep, finishing up books the way that I wanted them to end. I wrote my first novel in 6th grade though. I guess what made me want to try it was just the knowledge that there were so many worlds out there that only I could make. I also really, really wanted to make other people happy, the way that books made me happy.

What inspires your stories?

There is no one thing that inspires my stories. Sometimes I just have a dream, and realize that it needs to be a novel. Sometimes, it’s a writing prompt that I see. Sometimes, I go to my husband and I say: I want to write a novel about zombies. Tell me something that would make this interesting… and then he gives me a twist to it, and it turns into a novel. My creativity more than anything else inspires me, and the world around me.

What themes do you explore in your writing?

No particular theme. I feel like those are kind of something that you discover as you’re plotting your story out, isn’t it? I’m not the kind of person who is centric to one theme and one theme only as a driving force. I’m everywhere.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I would consider myself a plantser. I plot, but I don’t plot so heavily that I don’t have wiggle room. I try to leave myself space for discovery while having a clear route from beginning to end – if I just so happen to deviate and see something along the way? Well, all the better, yes?

Where are you in your writing journey?

I… am… in a weird place. I have two novels that I really feel like I could seek publication with if I ever got them properly polished up. I have an amazing support system in my husband and family, and I’m pretty happy with the social media presence that I am very slowly garnering. I don’t know… I’m just on the teetering edge of really going for it, I guess. But being pregnant and wanting to really show my kiddo that you can go for your dreams may be the push that I need.

Have you entered any writing contests, and have you won or lost any?

Uh? Yeah, I’ve entered a few in my lifetime? I’ve won the few that I entered, but it hasn’t been too many? I’m really weirdly private about my writing… which I should get over, since I wanna get published.

Who are your writing heroes?

L.J. Smith and J.K. Rowling. – L.J. because she’s the one who really got me into the genre that I started writing in. Rowling because she was turned down so many times, and look at her now. Honestly, everyone who strives for and acheives their dreams inspire me.

Have you been to a writing conference?

Nope. I should change that.

What are your top three tips for newbie writers?

Ohhh, top three tips, huh? Well, lesse.

  1. Keep writing – that’s the hardest part. It isn’t always going to be good, and it certainly isn’t always going to be easy… but the best thing that you can do is keep writing, whenever you can, because it’s going to make you better, and it’s going to help you to grow as a writer.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism – I’m saying this to every form of artist, from writer to musician to someone who draws. You have to be able to take constructive criticism (not people being a dick, never take that). But when people tell you how you can improve, you need to listen. Never become complacent. Do not stop striving to better yourself. The moment that you think you’re the best you can be is the moment that you will never improve again. The only person you are in competition with is yourself, but you should always try to be a better artist than you were yesterday, and most often than not, constructive criticism and always trying to learn is the way to do that.
  3. Give yourself a break, but only in moderation – Sometimes, things aren’t going to work out the way you think. Sometimes, your book isn’t going to get accepted. Sometimes >_> you get pregnant and are so sick/distracted you can’t write for over two months. It’s okay to give yourself a break, but do it in moderation. Don’t let a necessary break turn into excuses. You know yourself, push yourself as hard as you can without breaking.

And there we have it! That is the Author’s Life For Me Tag! I challenge you all to complete it and link back to me, so I can see your answers!

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

 

Life and Writing

As you can all see, I’m not really back on my blogging schedule just yet. However, I am super happy to say that at 1 day shy of the 17 week mark of my pregnancy, my morning (see: all day, all the time, no matter what) sickness has finally dissipated. This blog is just going to be a lot of me musing, thinking, and a general update on me. Hopefully (fingers crossed) I will be able to get back to my blog schedule after this, though I might just do some random blogs until Monday, and then start fresh (I always work better when I do it that way.)

Anyway, onward to the random thoughts.

First of all, I came into this year knowing that I might have a few days where I wouldn’t be able to write. My expectations for myself were still extremely high… but they were high with a little bit of a learning curve for everything I knew was going on with me. I’m sure that a lot of ladies who are pregnant, especially for the first time, are having to figure out everything. For me… figuring everything out came with a one week break from writing. It was the weirdest thing I’ve done in over a year, because I’ve written every day, consistently, for over a year… but this past week has been crazy. My husband has been extremely sick, and I’ve been fighting off the last of my morning sickness. What I haven’t kicked is the exhaustion that comes along with being pregnant. I’ve gone from insomnia to sleeping for 12+ hours a day. It’s so strange. However, it’s seeming to level out… but my body was demanding that I get that rest.

So, I did something that I wasn’t expecting to do… and I listened to my body.

I have to say it was the smartest thing that I could do. I took a week off, and I’m coming back into writing completely refreshed and rejuvenated. I’m going to recommend doing this to everyone – not just to pregnant women, but anyone who is going through something extremely stressful, or who is very sick, etc. Lower your word count – take some days off if you have to… but listen to your body. I know I’m a huge advocate for writing every day, and I still believe that you should.

But every now and then, you have to take a breath. So pick your days wisely, give yourself a time limit, and just know that when you come back, you need to come back strong.

Moving onward, I really… really… really am seeing a direct correlation between the amount of caffeine that I consume and how much I want to write. I miss my giant cups of coffee – they were my writing fuel. I know that a lot of it is probably a habit that I established. I’d wake up – get a big cup of coffee, drink it and write in the morning… and now I can’t do that. It’s spoiled my habit.

I need to make a new habit. It’s the second thing that I’m really discovering in all of this. We can train ourselves to think that certain signals mean that we can or cannot write. You can’t become so dependent on those signals that you can’t write when you don’t have them. I have to learn to write without my big cup of coffee, as much as it pains me. If you can’t have your certain playlist, your certain writing area, your certain writing beverage or snack… you still need to be able to write. We can fight through it together, guys. I believe in us.

Lastly, I’m going to hit on the current… environment of the world, without really getting into my own political opinion. I know that things are hard for a lot of us – unsure, frightening, scary… and I’m just going to leave you all with a bit of advice (I might write an entire post about my thoughts on all of this later, but not now.) But that advice is this: We need our writers now, more than ever. We need our thinkers, we need our people who will give an opinion. We need the people who can offer stories for people to escape into. We need our creative minds now more than ever before. So please, keep on writing ❤ You’re amazing.

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!

 

Weekly Writing Update

So, do you remember how I was really afraid last week that I wasn’t going to do very well for my word count for the month? I was kind of in despair, kind of thinking that I was doing a poor job. Well, after this week… I feel like there’s a distinct possibility that I could still break at least 90k this month if I really put forth the effort (and don’t find myself completely lost to the Nuka World DLC that comes out tonight for Fallout.)

Writing update.png

So, there we go, and boom baby. Do you see that 10k day :3 Do you see the subsequent 4 and 6k days? I’m pretty damn pleased with myself, to be quite honest. I didn’t think that I was going to break 60k this month… I honestly was worried about doing well at all… and it was that worry that really sent me propelling forward. It’s just proof to the fact that you can honestly do anything, if you set your mind to it.

If you see that you’re falling behind on something… worrying about it and letting yourself get defeated isn’t the answer. Instead, redouble your efforts, and do the best you can. That’s all that you can ask of yourself… and quite often, you’ll find that doing so gets you more than you ever realized you could achieve.

Heh. Honestly though, you just need to do it. Push forward, give it your all. Give it 100%, and then find that random reserve that you didn’t know that you had and give it that, too. You can accomplish such amazing things, if you simply set your mind to it. You can accomplish anything that you try hard enough to attain.

So, just do it, guys. ❤ I believe in you. Believe in yourself!

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 Prompt Response

So, I’m doing it a little late in the day, but I have just completed my response for this weeks Writing Prompt! Apparently I needed to take it to a darker place? I was going to write another Borderlands fanfic, but then I decided that I could go ahead and put out a little bit of original work. So, it may still be inspired a bit by Handsome Jack? But, oh well!

The prompt was to use the following sentence: I told you that I was no good for you.


No Good For You

“I told you that I was no good for you.” They should be words of comfort, but they come out of cold lips. I can feel apathy marching across my body and settling into my center, like some kind of shield against what I’ve done.

Of course, I’ve done this so many times now that I know I don’t feel guilty about it – I don’t even know if I know how to feel guilty anymore.

Still, they’re laying there on the ground and they’re choking on a sob that’s gurgling blood. I think if they could have formed words around the gaping wound that was quickly spilling their life onto the ground around us, my great canvass, they would have asked me why.

Why did I do this – why did I get them close, just to slit their throat. Why did I make them think that I cared, when in all reality, I hadn’t truly cared about another person or thing in a long, long while.

And I wouldn’t have had a clear answer for them – at least, nothing that would have pleased them. I would have told them the universal cop-out of because.

Maybe I could have added on a little more.

Because I wanted to.

Because it makes me feel good.

Because you are nothing to me.

Whatever the because is, it won’t bring them satisfaction. And whatever question they might have had dies on their lips as the light flickers out of their eyes and the blood spilling from their throat edges forward and threatens to stain my boots.

I step out of the way before it can, and feel a slow smile curl across my lips. “I gave you fair warning.” I speak calmly to the body – and I had. They’d approached me and wanted more of whatever I had locked inside. They’d wanted to see the real me…

And I was only too happy to oblige.


So, there we go. I actually really enjoy writing from the perspective of evil characters, killers, etc. Especially on these little prompts – it helps me to have more realistic characters when it comes to writing novel villains… because the one thing that you have to remember is that they have a mind of their own, an agenda of their own, and in their head… they usually aren’t wrong. You have to remember to take the time and think of why your bad guy things that what they’re doing is right. 

Until then, here are the other people have done this writing prompt! You better go check them out!

Other Responses:

WriterNotWriter | Kayla Dore | ProwlingThunder

Make sure to check out those replies! I love seeing how everyone can come up with something different from the same sentence! If you want to be featured on my blog, just do the reply and then link back to me!

I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! Just remember to keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

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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I’ve touched on this particular subject before, but I wanted to have a blog specific to it, so that you could find it easily in my directory. I’ve recently had the subject brought up again… and it’s something that I think a lot of writers worry about.

Originality. 

I swear, if I could somehow make that a four letter word, I would. As writers, we are always worried about being original, about our ideas being out done, out played, out written, over saturating the market to the point of being completely redundant to write.

Someone’s already done this idea. Maybe I just shouldn’t.

Oh, I hate hearing that. Even though I have the thought myself sometimes, I hate hearing it.

I’m going to give you a solid piece of advice, and it’s something that I need to follow just as much as everyone else.

Yes, someone has already done it.

No, someone has not already done it in the way that you can.

There’s nothing wrong with doing an idea that’s already been done, because I can promise you that most things have already been written about. In a platform that has existed for as long as people had the capability to tell stories, I can promise you that every story has been told. The difference is, every story hasn’t been told in the way that you can tell it.

The fact is, there are formulas for every type of story telling. Example:

Fantasy Plot – there are dragons, someone in distress, a quest, and epic magic/and or battles.

Romance Plot – Person A meets person B. They don’t love each other at first, but they fall in love over ____ event.

Horror – The blonde always dies first. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that one.)

But, you see… those things are only formulas… they’re bare bones guidelines, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to make your story generic, just like everything else. In fact, they’ve existed for so long for a reason. 

People like to read stories that follow those formulas.

Yes, we want something different to happen within the parameters of those formulas… and that’s where you come in. You are bringing something unique, that only you have. You’re bringing something that no one else has ever brought to the table before – and that’s your uniqueness and creativity. No one has been inside of your mind (unless you have something you need to tell me about o-o), and no one can make the characters or bring the experiences and emotion that you can bring.

Therein lies the core of this topic – your story will be unique, because you’re the only you who could ever write it.

So, if you’re worried about someone else having your idea? Yeah, they probably have… but that’s not what matters. What matters is the uniqueness that you can bring to the table – what matters is the fact that you’re telling a tale as old as time, and we all want to hear it, because you’re telling it in a new way that only you can bring to the world.

Don’t be afraid – don’t let your fears stop you from writing something that could be amazing. Don’t let your doubts hold you down. You take your idea, and you run with it, my dear writer, because I for one believe in you and everything that you’re capable of doing.

I want to see your story.

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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Oh, hey, what’s that sound? That’s the sound of this writer winning Camp NaNoWriMo with 100 words to spare!

Whoo!

Winner 2016 - Twitter ProfileAs you can see by my winner goodies swag right there, I managed to get my wordcount in. I’ve been struggling with keeping ahead, falling behind… and these past two days, I’ve just really put in the effort to get ahead, and therefore win by default. I actually went 100 words over my particular writing goal (on purpose, because the validation system likes to eat your words sometimes.

So, even though NaNo said I wrote 30071 words, I wrote 30100, and I’m damn proud of myself! Let’s go ahead and get those stats up one more time, and for the last time for NaNo!


When Flowers Fall – 10774
The Second Realm – 1516
Serial Killer – 1019
Cerulean Darkness – 6522
Misc Short Stories – 2045
Untitled – 4032
The Siren’s Door – 1000
Untitled 2 – 3192

July Camp NaNo Total: 30100/30000. ❤ Winner~!


As you can see, When Flowers Fall ended up being my big project for the month. I didn’t realize that I was going to get so into it, but I did! I’ll probably take a tiny pause from writing it so that I can actually plot some of it out now… when Amanda doesn’t plot, we have a few drastic shifts in the story. Like going from third person to first person… and then going from a female main character to a male main character.

Oopose. Oh well.

I’m honestly really proud of myself. This month has been hard, and hot. And just terrible and wonderful all around… but I still managed to do my NaNo. Not only that, but I have over 70,000 words written for the month already… so honestly, I’m doing a fantastic job over all. I’m going to try my damndest to hit 90k before the month is over… so I’ll update you in a few days to tell you if I’ve managed that ridiculous feat… but all and all, I’m extremely proud.

Camp Nano, and NaNo in general is just such a fantastic event. It gives us goals, it gives us community, and it gives us the chance to feel like we accomplish something when we win. As writers – especially those of us who are struggling/haven’t tried to get published/are trying to finish that first novel/etc… we need that boost. We need that pat on the back, and the sense of accomplishment that we can surpass our goals if we put our mind to it. And even when we don’t win, we get to look back at all of the new words that we’ve written… and there is still a sense of validation, because we sure as hell didn’t have those words before.

So, for those of you still running for the end? You’ve got this. No matter how you do, you’ve got this… because you have more words than you started with. Do word wars over the next few days – participate in some crawls! Message friends and have them write with you! Have a virtual write in with your group! Do whatever you need to get in those last few days of words… and know that am proud of you, and I believe in you. You’re amazing.

Keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

146720962256480

I’m sneaking this in here about 30 minutes past midnight, but it still counts for day 21. Honestly, I was out catching Pokemon for the last 4 hours. >_> Yes. Okay. I’m a little obsessed with the game, but it’s not stopping me from getting my writing done!


When Flowers Fall – 6854
The Second Realm – 1516
Serial Killer – 1019
Cerulean Darkness – 6522
Misc Short Stories – 1045
Untitled – 2214
The Siren’s Door – 1000

July Camp Nano Total: 20170/30000


As you can see, I’m doing a great job of continuing to keep on track. I fall behind, and then I quickly step my game right back up. My total for the month is marching towards 60k words, so I’m really pleased with that. I was thinking about lowering my NaNo goal to 25k, but I decided against it. Don’t lower your goal if you feel like you can still reach what you’re going for. Don’t sell yourself short! You can do this. We still have about 10 days left. You can still hit all of your goals. Even if you only write 2000 words a day, that’s 20,000 words if you work hard and keep at it.

I believe in you. ❤

Markiplier believes in you, too.

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!~

Author Amanda McCormick

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