I’ve Got My Outline, So Now What?

I’ve Got My Outline, So Now What?

The end of the first quarter of the year is approaching with haste, even though it feels like only yesterday we were putting the finishing touches on our resolutions for the year. My, how time does fly. So far this year, with writing at least, I’ve fared well. Between this blog and my other projects, I’ve accomplished a fair amount. As far as my novel goes, my outline is complete, and the first Camp NaNoWriMo session is just around the corner with only a few weeks away.

With the outline in hand, I’ve been researching in preparation to dive deep into the heads of the characters I plan to portray. For this novel and series in particular, I am not writing Own Voice, which is intimidating. There will be Own Voice rep in it, but it will not exclusively come from the main character, who is a far cry from who I am. Still, I adore this MC, as well as every other single one in this series, and so I plan to do right by each one of them.

Within the next few weeks, I will be inhaling more novels, information, and hopefully some rest, as I continue to plan for Camp NaNoWriMo. At this point, I would like to hit 50K if possible, or write until the manuscript is complete. Whether or not my time or life will allow that, will be better determined throughout the course of April. The minimum goal I plan to set is 30K though. I’d like to write at least 1K a day, and then if I need to, complete the manuscript in May. As of right now, that is where I’m at in the writing process of what will hopefully be my debut novel.

With that being said, throughout the course of April, some Friday writing posts will include updates on my progress throughout Camp NaNo, what I’m learning from it, etc.

So, that’s about it for today. This post is a bit more informal than what I normally write, but NaNoWriMo is just that, so I figured I’d follow suit.

If you’re reading this, are you participating in Camp NaNo? Have you heard of it? Let me know down below in the comments if you like. Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

T.J.

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Blackathon Recap

I suppose I’ve learned my lesson regarding overzealous TBRs. To be honest, I set myself up for failure, because there were multiple books I had begun before the inception of that list. To say that I fell short of my expectations for this month is accurate. However, I did manage to pick up new titles that I genuinely enjoyed and still completed each of the challenges.

What I Did Read:

  1. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert – You can find my review for this novel here. It’s safe to say though, I will be sure to read more of her work in the future.
  2. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 – I thoroughly adored this comic. When I reached the end of the first issue, I wanted more. I will definitely be purchasing more of this series in the future.
  3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – I had been anticipating this book since it was published. Despite the fact that the style is different from what I usually read, I still could not put it down until I completed it.
  4. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – I tore through this book so quickly. As with The Hate U Give, I could not think or breathe properly until I read this book to the very last page. Another amazing novel by Angie Thomas! I’m eager to read her 3rd!
  5. Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess – This book was a last minute addition to my TBR for the month, but I really liked it. The story touches on some tough subject matter, but it is still unlike most I’ve read before. It was a surprise read, for sure!

What I Listened To:

  1.  “Cuz He’s Black” by Javon Johnson
  2. “Waiting” by Jasmine Mans, Alysia Harris, Jennah Bell
  3. What I’ve Learned by Aja Monet
  4. “Balaenoptera” by Joshua Bennett

Each poem was poignant and beautiful. I enjoyed my listening experience with each piece. I highly recommend picking up the aforementioned titles, as well as listening to all of these poems.

As for the novels which I did not get to, they are all books I have wanted to read, and I do plan to finish them all at some point this year, possibly even in March.

Thank you to our hosts for putting this together! It was a really enjoyable month, and I hope to do it again next year!

Seattle & Stiefvater Seminar: A Recap & Travel Blog

Seattle & Stiefvater Seminar: A Recap & Travel Blog

A few months back, I stumbled upon an advert for Portraits & Dreams. I’ve never attended a writing seminar before, but I’m a writer. So, after reading about the class, I figured, well, what the hell. Why not? Following an early birthday gift in the form of a purchased ticket to the event from my spouse, I was then set to embark to the Emerald City for a class on writing by Maggie Stiefvater.

The day came on a windy Saturday when everything seemed to be against my attending. At least, that’s how it seemed from my perspective at the time. Looking back, there were a set of unfortunate circumstances that could have prevented me from attending, but thankfully, I persevered with the support of my loving husband.

After a dramatic morning of Uber screw-ups, and frustrated cursing, I left with a driver who could bring me to my first destination of the day – the ferry terminal. There, I munched on an apple tart and savored my coffee in a local shop as I attempted to swallow the memory of the morning from my conscious thought.

(Not the best picture I’ve taken, I know. Food and beverage made at Fraiche Cup.)

As one does when utilizing public transportation, I then sat and waited anxiously for the ferry to Seattle. The thrum of various energies surrounding me was both exhilarating and a bit nerve-wracking, but there was cascading sunlight and the promise of a wonderful day in the city. With that in mind, I queued in line when called, and then stepped onto the boat which would bring me closer to my destination.

As we boarded, clouds began to roll in and wind became sharper. It was gorgeous still, but a reminder that nature is not to be stopped by the wishes of humans. It does its will, whether we like it or not. Even so, I snapped a few pictures before I took cover in another viewing area on the upper deck.

One of the first pictures I captured while walking onto the ferry.
Closer to our destination, when the clouds and winds became more prevalent.

The boat rocked and swayed with the water, as it moved at the whims of the wind. Otherwise, it was a beautiful hour-long boat ride, which I quite enjoyed immensely.

About 30 minutes or so in, we had a decent view of the journey’s end. However, pictures were not possible until we were within minutes of docking.

Hello, Seattle!

Right after this pic was snapped, it began to drizzle. Still, the precipitation did not douse my parade of excitement. I had made it this far, right? I couldn’t give up now.

Then, we were docking.

Flurries of feet stamped and pressed against the floor as we each tread towards our separate destinations. The venue where I needed to go was not far from the ferry terminal, but it was an uphill climb.

After a few more minor mix-ups along with some anxiety, I finally arrived!

To summarize, as this is an experience best left unspoiled, in short, it was fantastic! Stiefvater knew how to teach, as well as work the room. Her upbeat energy, coupled with her down to earth attitude, made this class a joy to attend. I learned a great deal. I cannot wait to apply the knowledge I gained to current and future writing endeavors. Attending this seminar is one of the best choices I’ve made for my writing career so far. To be able to learn while also surrounded by over a hundred others who love the craft as much as I do, well, it’s energizing, to say the least. If there’s anyone out there considering it, then please, do yourself a favor and purchase a ticket to a future event! It truly is worth it.

Following the seminar, I captured this last picture as I found my way to the ferry terminal once more.

Again, not the best picture, but I love visuals.

Until next time, Seattle.

Prioritizing Goals For A Successful Future

In a world of push notifications and near constant immediate gratification, it can become overwhelming, whilst in the midst of the slew of communication that appears at the forefront of our thoughts throughout each day, to remember certain events or facts. This can impact the way we approach our work loads for the year, the month, or even down to the minute. Unless one is determined to prioritize their goals, then they are more likely to be caught up in the endless waves of the all consuming ebb and flow that is life in this current decade.

How then, one might ask, with the hustle and bustle that accompanies the majority of our days, can that be done? To this, I say, there can be a variety of ways, because no two lives or people are exactly the same. Perhaps, for some, that means post it notes placed around their homes, or reminders set in phones. The point is to keep the project, or projects, in the conscious part of thought.

Each one of us have dreams that we fantasize about transitioning into reality. However, without making space for them in our day to day motions, they are most likely to be cast to the side, in favor of procrastination. It’s easy to do when there are other pressing matters in our lives, such as work, school, or family. The case can be made though, that if there is a goal we are adamant to see through to completion, then finding time in a day is crucial to our existences overall, and nothing less.