WoRd PoW! #12: Words, Meetings, Colors, Cards & Movies

WoRd PoW! #12: Words, Meetings, Colors, Cards & Movies

Well, I meant to update this every week in November, but as per usual, that didn’t happen. But, hey, we’re here now, so let’s talk about the things we love! πŸ™‚

 

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participantWRITING: NaNo was good this year. I didn’t make it to 50,000 words but I did get 29,116. That’s more than half and better than I’ve done in previous years. But really, the take away from this was that I still really love my story and there was no way I was going to be able to write the entire thing in a month, much less in 50,000 words. With all the words I did write, I’m not even half way through the story. I have no idea how long this is going to be, but it was liberating to just write.

I’ve had problems in the past where I over think every word choice and every scene. But I feel I truly let go of that this month. I just wrote whatever came to mind, even if I cringed while I wrote it and knew I’d have to change it, or kill the words, later. It didn’t matter, November was all about getting the words out of my head and onto the page.

That was a lot easier to do with my handy dandy AlphaSmart. I love this thing. *Hugs little keyboard*

 

READING: Two notable things here: 1) I finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I think this was one of my favorites of his. I’ve mentioned this before in my other reviews of Gaiman’s work, but sometimes I feel really disconnected from his characters and stories. It’s not always a bad feeling, but I’m used to being very sucked in to a story and sometimes reading Gaiman feels like a short drug trip that leaves me bewildered by the end.

Well, that wasn’t a problem with Neverwhere. This was pretty solid for me and the characters and world felt real and interesting. I enjoyed it a lot.

And the other cool reading thing is that I got to meet Brandon Sanderson last week! img_6870Β  I love his books, I love his writing style, world building, characters, everything. He’s a genius and I just want to crawl around in his head and figure out how he does it so well.

Anyway, I got to meet him and get a few books of his signed. I brought along my copy of MistbornΒ and ended up buying two new books. The one he was touring to promote Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection and an older one I’ve been meaning to read (an am currently devouring) Warbreaker. Sanderson is such a cool and nice guy. I ended up being near the end of the line and it was close to 11:30 by the time I got to him but he still smiled and talked to me even though he must have been exhausted.

I told him he was a big inspiration for me and then mentioned that I should be finishing up my NaNo. He said he needed to finish his too and then told me to go back to writing. πŸ˜€ I walked out of there glowing. πŸ˜€ Now one of the major things on my Bucket List, after getting published, is to become well known enough that I can be actual friends with the man. *sigh* A girl can dream. πŸ˜‰

 

DOING: Well besides the usual Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas stuff, I found this fun little app called Colorify. It’s basically a digital adult coloring book with tons of different designs, patterns and mandalas. Here’s some of my better ones.

It’s really relaxing and a little easier than actual coloring with pencils and paper, since I can do it while laying in bed.

 

PLAYING: Hearthstone came out with a new expansion last week called Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. I’ve been playing a lot over the last few days. It’s a fun expansion with over 130 cards. I don’t have many yet since I only had the gold I’ve been hoarding over the last month. But I managed to get two dozen packs the first day and enough dust to craft a few extra cards.logo

This expansion introduces a few new card mechanics and combos, like being able to buff minions while they’re still in your hand, or summon a small minion that gets bigger every time it’s summoned, or being able to create your own spells. It’s very fun to play around with.

 

WATCHING: I recently discovered that my local library actually has a decent selection of DVD’s available. I picked up a few the other day, including Jane Got A Gun and Tales of Earthsea.

220px-gedo6snJane Got A GunΒ was fantastic. A tiny bit slow at times, but totally worth it in the end.

Tales of EarthseaΒ was beautiful. Of course, it’s Studio Ghibli, they can’t do ugly. But, I felt like there’s a lot of the story I was missing. It made me desperate to read the book so I could understand it all. Earthsea has been on my To Read list for a long time. I’ll put it at the top now and find it after I finish Warbreaker.

 

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to the last couple weeks. What have you been, or will be, Writing, Reading, Doing, Playing or Watching? Leave a comment so we can squeal about the things we love! Thanks for dropping by!

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WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

 

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WRITING: Well, as you might have noticed I didn’t do my October writing challenge. But have no fear! Nano is here! I’ve been doing this 50,000 words in 30 days challenge off and on for 6 years. Only won once, back in 2013, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

20161031_125751I feel really good about this year. I have this new dragon project I’m really excited about and, with both kids in school, I have a couple hours every morning to write. At my best I can do about 1000 words/minute.

 

 

Tiny confession, I may, or may not, have started writing this novel a week ago. And I may or may not include those words into my Nano total. I’m pretty sure I can do the 50k in 30 days but I’ve got a little buffer if I fall behind. πŸ˜‰

 

READING: So I’ve read a couple books this last month. Here’s a quick list of what I’ve read and my star rating:

13638125Β 5 Stars Β 18739426Β 5 Stars Β 20764879Β 5 Stars

Currently I’m reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. And up next I’ve got Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and Lindsey Stirling’s memoir The Only Pirate at the Party. I’ll do my usual full review of those in the coming weeks. If you want a full review of the 3 books I missed, leave a comment to let me know. πŸ™‚

 

14568122_10101485182619388_5090967211692125511_nDOING: Well it is Halloween and it’s been a fun weekend. We made the boy’s costumes because what the boys wanted was pretty specific. William is a Wither Boss from Minecraft and Jacob is a spinosaurus. Not exactly costumes that you can find at Wal-Mart. We like using cardboard, duck tape and felt.

We also went to our church trunk-or-treat Saturday night and Daniel decked his, already, Jurassic Park themed car to look like an open dinosaur mouth, complete with roaring dinosaur noises. Excuse me while I brag a moment, but we all got awards. Jacob got Scariest Costume, William was Best Overall and Daniel’s bug got Best Trunk. Daniel deserves all the credit, he’s the one that put everything together.

 

thrall319PLAYING: Well of course I’m still playing far too much Hearthstone. I’ve been working hard to build the good decks that can compete in Ranked mode. The highest I’ve gotten is 13th with 2 out of 4 stars. That’s out of 25 levels, by the way. It’s tough because I’m still missing one card in my top deck.

I haven’t played Minecraft in over a month. But I’m excited for the 1.11 update to come out. The new hostile mobs and the llamas sound awesome.

 

love_26_friendship_posterWATCHING: I’ve been in a period piece mood lately, so I checked out the Amazon Original Love & Friendship. It’s based off a Jane Austen novella and it was great fun. All the characters are so ridiculous and crazy, but, as is typical with all of Austen’s work, everyone gets their happy ending. It was an enjoyable little movie to watch.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to this last month. I will be updating this once a week throughout November so you can have updates on my Nano progress. If you want more day-to-day updates you should follow me on Twitter (link).

What have you been Writing, Reading, Doing, Playing and/or Watching? Leave a comment and let’s share the things we love! Thanks for dropping by!

WoRd PoW #9: Staying Organized & Finally Able to Stream

WoRd PoW #9: Staying Organized & Finally Able to Stream

See, told you guys I’d get back on track here. πŸ™‚

 

WRITING: I’m still working on that new story idea I mentioned last time. When I’m jotting down notes I don’t count the words. There has been a fair amount of doodling this time as I’ve sketched out rough maps and stuff. Since this is a fantasy that takes place in a totally different world I get to design how it looks. Really, really wish I could draw because the dragons I’m picturing in my head are pretty darn awesome. πŸ™‚

 

13638125READING: So Jacob has started this thing where he asks to go to the library every Monday after school. It’s impossible to say no to that. This week I picked up Vicious by V. E. Schwab. I read her most recent book A Darker Shade of Magic a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it so I’m excited for this book too.

 

DOING: I recently learned about this new (to me at least) form of staying organized called a Bullet Journal. I’ve been experimenting with it this month and so far I like it. If you want to learn more about it I’ll link to the videos I found on YouTube that taught me about them. 20160831_091057This is mine so far. I’m using this small journal because it’s what I had on hand and I like how portable it is. I found that I’ve done similar types of organizing in the past without realizing it was a thing. But this is a little more formatted. I’m not perfect with it, but I do think it’s helped.

20160831_091205I like having it for tracking my word counts and what days I do write. And the simple weekly planner is perfect for me and my sometimes busy, sometimes easy weeks. The rest of the pages I use to make notes, reminders or just get thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

20160831_091131You can find a ton of ideas on Pinterest, and don’t be discouraged by what you see. Some people get really, Really, artsy fartsy with their’s, and that is not a requirement. You can keep it simple or go all out, whatever works for you.

 

PLAYING: I’ve been doing something new with Hearthstone this week. Blizzard has announced that you can now easily live stream their games (Hearthstone, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, etc) using Facebook Live. I’ve tried it out and it works okay with my crappy computer! The video quality isn’t amazing and I can only do it for about 30 minutes before my processor starts to freak out on me. But hey, it’s streaming and that’s what all the cool kids are doing now. πŸ˜‰

If you’re interested you can follow my gaming persona, KorkySquirrel on Facebook, Twitter,Β and YouTube. I post all the streams on YouTube after the stream is over. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a decent computer early next year, but we’ll see. Being a responsible adult with kids cost money.

 

dpligcj0WATCHING: There aren’t any TV shows or movies I’ve seen recently so I’ll share one of my favorite YouTubers. I don’t watch many vlogs in general and I’m real picky about Mommy Vlogs, the only exception is Linz DeFranco over at TheDeFrancoFam. She is the wife of my #1 YouTuber, Philip DeFranco and they have an adorable 2 year old son. I love how real she is in her vlogs about her struggles with being a mom and having depression and anxiety. She’s not afraid to curse or show her kid throwing a tantrum. She also doesn’t let the vlog rule her life. She vlogs 3 times a week but she’s honest when there are times that she just can’t post because life just gets overwhelming. I love how imperfect she is and normal, just like the rest of us. If you like mommy vlogs you should totally check her out.

 

As always, thanks for dropping by! Be sure to like, comment, share and follow if you haven’t already!

WoRd PoW #8: Dragons, Spaceships, Dogs, Cards & Aliens

WoRd PoW #8: Dragons, Spaceships, Dogs, Cards & Aliens

Ok, so it’s been over a month, but you know me, I always come back. πŸ™‚ I’ve been busy, as this post will show.

 

WRITING: My creative juices dried up over the last few months. It’s been a struggle to write, even this blog (i.e. 6 weeks between posts). But this last week the juices have been roaring through my veins and it feels great! While I haven’t been working on my current Crow novel, I have come up with a new story idea and have been world building. Lots of notes written down and research done. I’m pretty excited about this idea because there’s dragons and I LOVE dragons. The basic premise is like How To Train Your Dragon but with a female lead and the dragons are a lot smarter. There are other major differences but I’ll get into that in another post.

Anyway, writing is happening and that makes me insanely happy. πŸ™‚

 

16278318READING: I’ve read a few books over the last 6 weeks, I’ll list them with a simple star review for now, if you want a fuller review just ask for it in the comments. πŸ™‚

Fortunately, the Milk: 5 stars

Inkheart (re-read): 4 stars

The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done: 5 stars

A Darker Shade of Magic: 5 stars

Just this week I read Armada by Ernest Cline, the same guy who wrote Ready Player One (no, I have not read that one).

Overall I give it 4 stars. It’s a good story and the characters and their reactions to this crazy situation are all very believable. The one gripe I have, and the reason I haven’t read Ready Player One was all the sci-fi/pop culture references*. I got most of them, but there were a few that went over my head. Fortunately, even if you’re a sci-fi noob you’ll understand the story. Most of the references are *Star Wars* based anyway. So if you like gaming and science fiction in all forms you’ll enjoy this book.

 

DOING: A lot has been going on this month. Both of my boy’s started school. William is in first grade and Jacob is in pre-school for half the day. Which means I get about 2.5 hours Every Weekday All To My SELF! Woohoo! It’s been a beautiful thing.

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Rascal & Happy begging for treats πŸ™‚

Also, a month ago we got a second dog. This is Rascal, he’s a beagle mix. We got him from Foothills Animal Shelter (same place we got Happy about 6 years ago). It’s been different having a larger dog. He’s able to grab food off the table and counters and it’s a lot more annoying when he jumps and barks compared to little Happy. He doesn’t bark at everything but he greets everyone with a trumpeting beagle howl when they come home. He’s super, almost aggressively, affectionate and has a lot of energy. We love him, he’s a great addition to our family. πŸ™‚

 

 

nexus2cee_one-night-in-karazhan-trailer-details-optimalPLAYING: My addiction to Hearthstone is still strong. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but I have spent about $60 on this game over the last few months. I’ve bought the adventure packs. The adventures are single player games where you follow a story line and and defeat different bosses. As you defeat the bosses you get new cards that can only be had by plying said adventure. Each adventure rewards you with about 45 new cards total. I’ve played and/or currently playing all of them and it’s totally worth it. The bosses are challenging and fun and the cards you get are super useful. There’s no way I could beat most other players without these cards. Also, I’d rather pay $20 for a fun gaming experience and knowing what cards I’ll get in the end, rather than for just a bunch of random cards.

I’ll do a more in depth review of the newly released adventure, One Night in Karazhan, when I finish it next week.

 

fho3g9oowqh1rw7fcdoiWATCHING: So a couple weeks ago I binged watched Defiance. It’s a show from Syfy that’s already ended 😦 but it was so good. The production value is amazing with great graphics and a lot of cool makeup and costumes (which is part of the reason they canceled the show, it gets expensive covering people in white or purple body paint). I enjoyed every minute of watching it. The story is non-stop, with a large cast of characters, most of them not human. They do a great job of showing you these different alien cultures and how weird Earth is now, without bogging down the story. Defiance - Season 1The characters are all awesome. Lots of strong female characters of different types and wonderfully flawed, yet lovable male leads. You know a story is good when it makes me love the main bad guy and cry when he is being slowly put to death. Like seriously Datak Tarr and Stahma Tarr are some of the most well written/acted antagonist, even characters, I’ve ever seen.

If you haven’t seen it, the whole series is available on Amazon Prime.

 

So that’s what’s been going on for the last 6 weeks. Now that I have this dedicated alone time every day, I should be able to update this on a weekly basis like I always intend to.

Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to like, comment and/or share!

 

 

 

*I’ve heard RPO is full of 80’s and 90’s pop culture references and while I was born in the late 80’s and grew up through the 90’s and into the 00’s, I didn’t get a lot of expose to pop culture at the time because my parents never had cable, TV was only hooked up the antenna half the time and I spent a lot of my childhood listening to oldies music and reading about unicorns. Sooo, I’m pretty sure a lot of things in RPO would go Β over my head.