Sunshine Blogger Award (Part One)

So Kenzie over at Smudged Thoughts and Kit at Come, Rest a While nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! Thank you so much!! I will be doing part one with Kenzie’s questions on this blog post and a part two will follow with Kit’s.

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Heeellllooooo to whoever is reading this!

So before I begin with this post I am so super sorry about my terrible ability to consistently post articles. And I know that I am saying this at the beginning of literally every single one of my posts so far but *thinks about a legitimate excuse* Christmas….? Yeah, that isn’t really an excuse- sorry!! BUT I did invest in a bullet journal to try and organize my life so hopefully that will make/ motivate me to actually post things.

Anyways, sorry again and on with the blog post!!

So Kenzie over at Smudged Thoughts and Kit at Come, Rest a While nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! Thank you so much!! I will be doing part one with Kenzie’s questions on this blog post and a part two will follow with Kit’s.

These are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you
  2. Answer their 11 questions
  3. Tag 11 people
  4. Give them 11 questions to answer

So let’s begin!

Would you rather have the power of invisibility or be able to fly? Why?                               

Invisibility for sure. Because I am an extremely nosey person and I HATE heights. Plus I’m super clumsy so I’d probably just keep bumping into birds if I could fly.

 

What is your element? (Fire, water, wind, earth, electricity etc.) Why?                                                     

Okay so I actually had no idea for this one- I kept changing my mind, ugh I am SO indecisive! So I ended up taking a test. I know, I know, I feel like such a cheat. But ah well. Anyways, the test told me that my element would be water. So, urm yeah, water I guess?

 

Are you more prone to fall in love with:  fantasy or reality? Why?                                                                 

If it is a type of book/ movie that I love it would most definitely be fantasy because reality is boring! Well not boring per say, but I would rather go to Hogwarts than an ordinary school. But, saying that, there are a lot of things I’d rather do in reality, for example I’d rather battle with a squirrel than a dragon. Not sure why I’d be battling with a squirrel though- perhaps I stole their acorn….? I don’t know, that was a bad example.

 

What is the weirdest memory you can recall?                                                                                  

Probably when I woke up to find one of my hamsters sat on my face. Okay, so let me explain! This hamster (Teddy) was, what I am going to call, a homing hamster. At night I would open up his cage/ house thingy and he would free range my bedroom (after hamster proofing it) then in the morning he would come back into his cage to go to sleep. He was also very clever in that fact that he was potty trained so my room didn’t become a hamster waste yard each night. So anyway, my bed is about half a meter away from the floor so he couldn’t get up it, but that night my duvet was falling off the bed. He must have turned into some type of super-hamster and climbed up onto the bed from when he proceeded to climb and sit on my face. That memory came out sounding weirder than I expected, and don’t judge me- I swear I am not some crazy hamster lady (actually, that is a lie, I am, I am definitely a crazy hamster lady- judge me all you want internet!) Oh dear, I think I should just stop writing now….

 

If you were to fall down a rabbit hole, where do you hope it would spit you out?                            

Well, I mean anywhere but in a muddy hole surrounded by ravenous rabbits would be pretty cool.                                                                                                                                                                

 But I would love to pop out at Hogwarts cause, ya know, magic.                      

            

Do you have a muse? If so, describe him/her. If not, post a picture of the object closest to your left. (Why, yes, we are turning this into some strange game. What were you expecting?)                         

Yay for games! I’m gonna go for the picture one.                                                                          

This Seagull box thingy:

FullSizeRender (1).jpgMy friend bought this for me a while back and when you open the box two seagulls pop out on springs and the box makes a seagully sound.                                                  

 

 

 

 FullSizeRender (2).jpgBut my little cousin once found this box and quite liked it. In fact she liked it so much that she wanted one of the seagulls. So she pulled on it. Needless to say, the spring got all twisted and broken.                                                                                                                

So now the box won’t close and whenever there is a slight movement in the room, like a door opening, it makes the seagully sound. It is extremely frustrating but I do not have the heart to throw it out- because the little seagulls are sooooo cute!

 

Name a book that made you feel like you were walking on sunshine (WOOOOOOOAAAAAH!)  

*Manically dances to the song*                                                                                                           

Most definitely ‘The Summer I turned pretty’ trilogy by Jenny Han (although I have only read the first two so far…). It’s one of my favourite contemporary book(s) and although it is not exactly happy and sunshiney all the time, when it is, it’s so nice and happy and AMAZING!! 

 

Which would you rather become famous for: a bank robbery or a murder? (I’m running out of questions, guys…)                                                                                                                                              

At first I thought bank robbery- I don’t want to murder in reality- only the poor victims of my writing.  But what if they were a super bad person and the murder was actually benefiting the world a great deal? I guess I would choose whichever one was more morally right in the situation. But would I still murder someone even if they were bad….? Ugh I don’t knooooowwww!!

 

If you could make one of your fictional characters real (completely visible to the entire world, even) which one would it be? Oh, and don’t forget that whatever you write about them actually comes true. In real life. (Duhn duhn DUHN!)                                                                                                               

I’m super tempted to say one of my evil characters so that they could wreck havoc upon the world *laughs manically*                                                                                                                

 But nope- cause I don’t want to die.                                                                                            

 Probably Charlotte, because she is a badass character and I don’t think she has done anything terrible. I mean she has killed a bad guy or two, but apart from that she’s all good!

 

Would you rather die fighting for what is right, or live knowing you let innocents perish?      

Probably die. Cause I don’t want to have many innocent lives on my coincidence. Although I say this, but I’d probably just freak out if a situation like this were to happen, and I’d most likely just crawl up into a little ball into a dark corner and hope nobody notices me…. I’d make a great superhero….

So that’s it for the questions, and I have probably scared you away by the answers. AH WELL! Onto the people I nominate:

  1. Vivian over at Writing With Style. I absolutely love her blog and she has some AMAZING bookish and writerly DIYs!
  2. Ditrie over at Ditrie Marie Bowie. She has great and informative articles on her blog which I definitely recommend you check out!

There are also a TON of other people which I want to nominate but they already have been nominated. So I have a rather weak list of two blogs, but anyone who wants to do the tag, just do it! ANd please make sure to put a link in the comments so I can read it- I’d love to!

So here are de questions:

    1. What is your favorite book and why?
    2. If you had the chance to be immortal, would you be?
    3. Describe your favorite character you have written.
    4. If you were an animal what animal would you be? Why?
    5. If you had the chance to live in a dystopian fictional universe of your choice would you? (But all the problems would remain unsolved)
    6. Name one (or more!) odd writerly thing you do.
    7. What book do you really want to be turned into a movie?
    8. What was the weirdest thing you wrote about?
    9. Would you rather write something which you are really proud of but everyone hates, or write something you hate but everyone loves? Why?
    10. Invent a worldwide event/ holiday and describe it. (Running out of ideas over here!!)
    11. Pitch your current WIP (Work In Progress) in exactly 11 words (Sorry!!)

And thank you again Kenzie for nominating me!!

Getting Back on Track of Things: (NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 13)

It’s almost halfway through NaNoWriMo, the first-week excitement has gone and the harsh reality has set in. Writing 1,667 words a day is hard. Especially when it is on top of all the other things which you need to do each day. But those of you who are still on track- or at least still writing, I applaud you.

It’s almost halfway through NaNoWriMo, the first-week excitement has gone and the harsh reality has set in. Writing 1,667 words a day is hard. Especially when it is on top of all the other things which you need to do each day. But those of you who are still on track- or at least still writing, I applaud you. 

My Current Word Count: 13,356

Amount of Words Behind: 8,310

I am sorry to say that I am behind in my word count. And I mean super behind. In fact, a few days ago I had nearly completely given up hope and decided to quit NaNo. Every time I began to write I came up with some excuse not to- whether that be watching Lilo and Stitch (Oh my goodness Stitch is the cutest little thing- I cried!! This is my family, it is little and broken but still good. Yeah, still good. ) spending ages online shopping for a new phone case (Yes, I admit I bought a Lilo and Stitch phone case….). Anyways, yesterday I was over 10k words behind my target. But then I realized- failure is not an option. It’s NaNoWriMo! So I sat my butt into a chair and began to write. It was mentally painful- I did not know what to write and everything I seemed to type just sounded terrible. In the end, I decided to start the novel again (But of course I decided to include the words which I had written before in NaNo. The words were terrible, but they are still staying on my word count- I can’t catch up that much!). From starting afresh, and from a different character’s POV, I started to enjoy writing the story again. I’m still super behind but I am adamant to catch up and complete NaNoWriMo.

So why am I telling you this? Well, first of all, because you absolutely need to watch Lilo and Stitch (the film one- not the tv series. I mean come on…)! And also to show to that it is hard and exhausting to keep on writing this much per day, but you just need to keep persevering throughout the month- in December you can rest (And get all Christmassy!!). Also switch up where you write- whether it is a different room or writing in a coffee shop, I find it makes writing seem fresh and newer- causing me to write more. In addition, get in touch with people participating in NaNo (but you are reading this so I guess you already are!) especially in the NaNo forums as that is where a lot of participants (myself included) lurk. For additional motivation I definitely recommend going onto NaNoWriMo Word Sprints on twitter and doing some word sprints along with many other people as it is such a good incentive to write when others are at the same time as well as getting to share your word count each sprint. Also get candy. Candy is good, ooh and caffeine….

Apologies that this blog post is so very short, and late (agh, I swear this all I am saying at the end of each post!) But I will make sure to have a little updatey blog post thing in the next few days of my progress of trying to catch up as well as motivation for you guys! Also, I’d love to be your buddy on NaNoWriMo! This is a link to my profile. So good luck with your writing and watch Lilo and Stitch!! Bye for now and I leave you with a quote from Stitch which is in no way relevant to this post (cause why not?!).

-Ohana means Family..png

How to Beat Procrastination

I’d just like to state that instead of planning my NaNo novel I am procrastinating by writing an article on procrastination. Oh the Irony….

Anyways, with NaNoWriMo coming up, there is going to be a whole lot of words needing to be written and a dark looming deadline for when they need to be done. We all know what comes with that package- procrastination.

I don’t know about you but I am a HUGE procrastinator even with the simplest of tasks. If only it were a subject at school- I would get 100% for sure. But in NaNo we MUST wave the procrastinator monster away (Well, at least for most of the time- Netflix would be impossible to give up).

That being said, here are my top tips for beating procrastination:

  1. Turn off your phone. Or the wifi. Or both. A study made in The University of California shows that it can take your brain up to twenty-five minutes (25 minutes and 15 seconds average) to get back to the task at hand after being interrupted. I’m sure we all know how tempting it is to watch that new youtube video that just popped up in your notifications or reply to a text your friend sent you about the new Harry Potter film (*fangirls*). But that quick reply often leads to a conversation and what was just going to be a sneak peak at the video can lead to a full blown youtube marathon. And even if this isn’t the case- that you have enough self-control for it to just be a quick reply or sneak peek (in which case I respect you deeply) the point is that you still would have been distracted and your concentration taken away from your writing. So prevent these distractions by putting your phone on silent or you could always isolate yourself from humanity by living in a rainforest.

2. Have breaks. You can’t keep concentrated on one thing for hours on end unless you are some type of robot. What I suggest using is the Pomodoro Technique. This is essentially where you do work for a certain time and then have a break before getting back to that work. For example, you might write for fifty minutes and then have a ten minute break. There are timers for this online and apps which you can download. I would highly suggest this technique as it gives your brain time to rest and for you to have a little break instead of solidly doing work.

3. Have a designated space for your work. If you have a desk which you use solely for work, then this will get you into the mindset for that and make you less likely to procrastinate as you are in a space specifically for work.

4. Go to a different environment. Okay, I know this sounds a bit (well, a lot….) contradictory to point four, but I mean somewhere public. If you can, move your work outside to somewhere like a coffee shop. I find that if I am in a public space I feel forced to write as I don’t want to look lazy and there isn’t really much else to do. So instead of procrastinating, I take a big sip of a steaming hot chocolate and get back to writing. Ah, bliss.

5. Make sure to have all the things you need nearby so that you do not have to cut into your precious writing time so that you can get up and fetch them. This can be from pencils to a  glass of water and a healthy  snack to keep you going.  And by healthy I mean chocolate. And candy. Lots and lots o’ sugar….

6. Just have a break. If you really aren’t feeling in the writing spirit and you can’t bear to write then don’t. After all, you are doing it for enjoyment, right? So have a break, and that can be as long as you want/ need. There’s no point writing if you are not enjoying it unless, ya know, it’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and you are super behind. Then you MUST push through the pain and write those words!

So that’s it for this article. I’m afraid it is/ was (agh, which participle?!) quite short, but that is because I ran out of ideas/ started procrastinating. Also, I am SO sorry for the lack of photos, but I didn’t want to upload this late again! There will be pictures next week- promise!! Anyways, bye for now and I’ll be back next week with another blog posty article thingy magig. Toodles! (Agh, I love at word SO much!)

Why I Write

This was going to be my first blog post, but I ended up tucking it away into the far depths of my hard-drive. Recently I found it and I thought that I’d edit through and post the cheesiness! So without further ado here we go!:

This was going to be my first blog post, but I ended up tucking it away into the far depths of my hard-drive. Recently I found it and I thought that I’d edit through and post the cheesiness!  So without further ado here we go!:

Since this is a writing blog I thought it only saw fit for me to write about, well, why I write.

Of course, there could be thousands of reasons- because “I want to get this draft finished” or “I’m entering a story competition”. But that’s not what I mean. Sure that may be the reason I am writing at the time, but why am I ‘getting that first draft finished’ or entering the story competition?

I write because I get to explore different worlds- create and discover different people. When I write, I’m writing from other people’s point of views- as if I’m slipping into their fictional brains and taking over. It’s like an escape from reality, where anything can be possible.img_0342

There is a famous quote by George R R Martin that says ‘A reader lives a thousand lives’. When we read we discover new worlds; new people. And when we write, we develop a stronger connection to these fictional worlds and characters. They’re ours- we created them. I guess I love to write because I’m in control. I don’t mean that in a creepy dictator like way, but when we write we get to create and sculpt the story into what we want. Of course this isn’t always the case- sometimes you start to write something with an intention of what it will turn out to be, but when it is finished it ends up completely different. Something which we hadn’t imagined. This is the beauty of writing that I love. You can end up with something completely unexpected, but better than you could have ever imagined.

Writing is an art.  It may not look so from the countless pages of writing on a manuscript, but when you read it you discover the true art inside. When you write, you don’t get that straight away- like with anything. But it would be boring if that was the case- if everything turned out perfect straight away. After you spill your guts, and sanity, over the said piece of writing you will be left with a true piece of art.

You progress with your writing- and you can watch it do so. Even if it is a piece of writing written a year, or a week ago I find that my writing is always changing. Progressing into something neater. Last year, I wrote my first ever draft to a novel. When reading it through, I could see a definite change in my style from the first paragraph to the last. My writing sounded neater and more evolved than what it started out as. And this was a HUGE change. I was amazed
to see how much I had actually progressed in the writing of one draft of a novel.  It’s a great feeling to read back on some of your old writing pieces and see how much you have progressed- it shows that you are improving. Although I find it terribly cringy reading back on some of my old works! But that’salso a good sign, I can pick out (some) errors; I know how to improve it. And that just shows how my writing is always evolving. And I know that if I were to read this article again in a year or so, I will be able to pick out many errors (and probably laugh very much at my past/ now present self….)!

image1-1

Another reason I write is the community. Whether it’s the local writing group or the huge online collection of writers, it is a major motivation. With just one search you can find thousands of writers like you; inspirational writing blogs and, well, anything really! NaNoWriMo was what inspired me to start writing on a large scale. And of course, NaNo is coming up SUPER soon, which has got me terrified (I have no idea what to write!). If you don’t know what NaNo is, it is a huge annual writing event where writers worldwide attempt to write fifty thousand words in one month (November). If you aren’t already signed up then DO IT NOW!! Doing NaNoWriMo is a super fun (and daunting) experience and you will gain so much from it (Plus you can say you wrote a novel in a month- that’s a pretty amazing achievement!).

But overall I write because I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t. It’s like breathing; I just can’t not write (double negative!) and (as cheesy as it seems) it is a part of me.

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all of the things that I'm afrai.png

Apologies for the lack of posts and the terriblness of this one which has as much helpfulness as a pen without ink. I promise that I will get back on top of things and start posting at least once a week!

My NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

My NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

It’s October, so we all know what big event is looming- and I don’t mean Christmas or even Halloween. Before you know it, it will be November and NaNoWriMo will begin. If you don’t already know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. During this event, writers worldwide attempt to write 50k words in one month- November. This is a highly dangerous event for writers, and warning: Four out of five writers lose their sanity during Nano (The fifth one surely has to be a robot- or at least a cyborg…). Anyways, here is my NaNoWriMo survival kit to help you survive November! DISCLAIMER: As stated before, will not be held responsible for any lost sanities (or marbles). Apologies, but I am not able to stop the most likely inevitable- it’s NaNoWriMo. If you’re lucky Santa will bring you your marbles back- but you are a writer, if you haven’t already gone mad then it WILL happen soon.

A Backup for your Writing:

You need something storing your beautiful words other than your trusty laptop or computer- if that breaks then what are you going to do? Something like a memory stick or SD card can be used, or you could use a word processor that syncs across devices. For example, I use Google Docs and I can access this from any device. As well as this, if you have to manually save your documents, make sure to do that often. If your computer was to crash or a power cut to happen your unsaved words could be lost. Forever. That’s the last thing you want to happen during NaNo where your every word counts.

 

FullSizeRender.jpgCANDY!!:

Ah, the only thing in this universe that can truly set my heart aflutter. You have to write 1,667 words a day- you are going to need something to fuel all that work. Naturally, candy, chocolate and anything packed with sugar really, is the best choice. It is guaranteed to give you a sugar rush if you eat enough and, well, it’s candy! Who doesn’t love sugar?!

A Writing Playlist

I don’t know about you, but when I write, I have to listen to music. This just seems to give me more inspiration, as well as the required motivation I need to keep going. Plus it is always fun to have a little break from writing to jam along to a favourite song! I always make a playlist for each novel I am working on, so I often start with just a few songs and as my story grows (and NaNo progresses) so does my playlist.

Cosy Clothes

You are going to be spending a lot of your time writing during this month- so make sure you have something comfortable to wear. And, no, your clothes do not have to be a fashion statement, besides, sweatpants and hoodies are all the range for NaNo participants.

Forest

No, I am not suggesting that you get a forest (although, that would be awesome!). Forest is an app which you can get for IOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome and Firefox. It is free for an extension on a laptop/ PC etc. But you have to pay £1.49 for the app which is annoying! With Forest, you can block certain websites that you have chosen, and in this time a virtual tree will grow. If you go onto a blocked website in this time you can give up, but the little picture of the adorable tree is enough to change my mind (seriously, the tree is so CUTE). If you do give up, your tree dies and Forest makes sure to show you the picture of the not so cute dead tree which you helped murder *shudders*.  With the app each time you successfully grow a tree it is put into your forest, and you can also unlock new types of trees to make the forest more varied. So, in conclusion, through emotional blackmail it forces you to write! Yay!

So that’s my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit! What’s in yours? I would love to hear, so please comment below 🙂

Writing with a Chromebook

Recently, about three months ago, I bought a Chromebook as a replacement for my old and dying laptop. I decided to get a Chromebook over a laptop because it was lighter, inexpensive and more portable opposed to an average laptop. This is because Chromebook’s run on Chrome OS which is cheaper and requires less hardware than most laptops which typically run on Windows.        

 I settled on buying the Toshiba Chromebook because it is a good quality Chromebook, with a decent screen size compared to most at 13” and it also has a great battery life at about seven to eight hours, which is a priority for me as I often take it places where I have the inability to charge it.

 

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Toshiba Chromebook

 

Memory/ Storage

Compared to a laptop, Chromebooks don’t have a large memory size (2GB at an average), but there is an SD card slot, so you can buy an SD card, which is very inexpensive, and that gives the Chromebook a larger memory as you can save documents etc. onto the SD card instead. I actually find this nicer than having the storage just on the laptop as you can take out the SD card and put it into devices and transfer documents. Another benefit of this is that you can buy larger storage SD cards than those which a laptop typically has, and you could even buy multiple ones if you were to run out of space- but that is highly unlikely, especially if you are using it solely for writing.

Word Processors/ Google Docs                                                                                                               

The main problem that a lot of writers don’t like about the Chromebook is its inability to run scrivener. I don’t use scrivener so this wasn’t a problem for me, but if you do use this programme then it is definitely something which you need to put in consideration.

The built-in word processor in Chromebooks is Google Docs. I actually think very highly of Google Docs and it is the main word processor I use (I also like to use Hemingway App, but the majority of the time I just use it for editing). However, there are many other word processors which you can access online or download from the built-in ‘Web Store’. You can even get  Microsoft Word for Chromebooks on it. But Google Docs is pretty much a simplified version of Microsoft Word. There aren’t any functions that I wish were on Google Docs; in fact, I find it an easier programme to use opposed to Word, as it doesn’t have those complicated functions- which not many people use anyway!

There are actually a few functions which Google Docs possess that I find useful, and Microsoft Word (2010) lacked. In Google Docs you can share documents with people, and there are multiple ways you can share it with them. First, you could have it set up so that they can write whatever they want- so you are co-writing the document. I have found this very useful and have used it many times in the past. Another way you can share your document(s) to have it that whoever you share your document with can edit what you have written, but what they edit pops up in a different colour and you, the main author, have to approve of what they have done before the document changes properly. And the last one is so that the person you are sharing it with can just view it, and are unable to change the document. You can actually use these functions yourself which I have found useful as often I tend to delete a ton of writing then regret it, so when I’m editing I can just put it on ‘Suggesting’ mode and I have to go back and approve of it before I decide to delete the text forever.

Another function which I love is that it saves automatically. It does this quite often- about every fifteen, or so, seconds. This has saved me so many times, for if I run out of battery or such, it’s already saved and I haven’t lost all the writing which I had done after saving. This function has been a complete lifesaver; I cannot count the number of times it has rescued my word from being lost!

The last function which Google Docs has which I use a lot is the ability to highlight text and write notes. It just has the note in a little speech bubble off of the page, and I use this all the time. Before, I used to have a notebook which I wrote down notes for what I needed to edit when I was reading through my work, but using this function is so much easier and less time consuming.

 

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Toshiba Chromebook

 

Writing in Large Quantities

One downfall of Google Docs is that I’ve found when I write large quantities- normally over about twenty-five pages or so, it starts to lag. It keeps freezing, so it’s hard to scroll up or down- which is a huge pain for reading over or editing text. There also becomes a delay in the words you type. What I have done to get around this is that I make a folder for each project which is this type of size, and I divide my writing up into different documents so that the page doesn’t start to lag. This is an inconvenience and can be a real pain at times, but once you have it sorted out it isn’t too bad.

Writing Offline

Although Google Docs does open up as a web browser, you do not need to have an internet connection to create, continue or edit a document. But you do have to set this up before you go without the internet- but you only have to do it once. This can be done by going into Google Drive and clicking the button which states: Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline’. This then makes the last one hundred files you last opened available offline. I find that this is enough for me, but this could be a problem depending on how many files you have and how often you tend to open old files etc.

Overall, I am impressed with the Chromebook and I find it great for writing, especially for its portability as I like to take it places with me to write on the go. I would recommend Chromebooks for writers, but really it is up to the individual and what you want your laptop/ Chromebook for.