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! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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_6870ย  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 Mistbornย 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. ๐Ÿ˜€ I walked out of there glowing. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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 Gunย was fantastic. A tiny bit slow at times, but totally worth it in the end.

Tales of Earthseaย 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!

WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

 

happy-halloween-2

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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:

13638125ย 5 Stars ย 18739426ย 5 Stars ย 20764879ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 #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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

13908865_10101384549503958_1448679658704517337_o
Rascal & Happy begging for treats ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ย over my head.

Where Have I Been?

keep-calm-i-m-still-hereThe answer to that question is: Around. I got lazy and then life got crazy over the past 3 weeks. It happens. I make no promises. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what’s going on now? Well it’s April 1st and that means the start of another session of CampNaNoWriMo. CampNaNo is kind of like the yearly NaNoWriMo in November, but instead of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, you can set your own word goals. Camp is, in general, more relaxed than November NaNo. It’s a good place to finish up a project or do edits, that sort of thing.

And in fact, my goal this month is to finish my current work in progress. I’m about 12,000 words in and I always shoot for 50,000 at least. So I plan on writing 38,000 words this month. Not sure if that will get me to the end of the story, but we’ll see.

Now, I know I’ve missed a few episodes of both Fairy Tail and Survivor. I’m not going to play the catch up game, I’m just going to start fresh with the most current episodes.

With that said, let’s talk about Survivor for a minute. It was merge time! Everybody loves the merge. It’s a big mile stone if you’re playing the game and as a viewer it’s fun to see all these personalities get together. The original 3 tribes still stand and are pretty equal. 4 Brain, 4 Beauty and 3 Brawn. Of the 3, Beauty is the tribe in the middle with the swing vote. Brain and Brawn are fighting over who gets who.

There was so much set up in this episode. Lots of people talking, a couple people being stupid and showing their hand to everyone else. Like Debbie just being too aggressive and Scot telling, not just James, but Nick as well, that Tai has an Idol. Dumb move y’all, dumb move.

The Challenge is a typical balancing act with Nick coming out the winner. But the most important part of the Challenge is that Jeff gets everyone to talk about their injuries and possible infections that they’re dealing with. This leads to a house call from the doctor to everyone at camp. Most of the cast is fine, but not Neil.

He’s got this volcano on his knee and the doc is worried, so Neil gets pulled from the game. He still gets to stick around and be on the jury, but he needs that knee seen to first.

It’s a really shitty way to leave the game. It’s one thing if you get seriously injured or work your self to exhaustion, but to go home because you have a boo boo on your knee. Man that’s gotta suck.

And, of course, since Neil went home, there was no Tribal and no need to vote. It also puts Beauty in the majority. They could do something with that, but I’m not sure they will. People like Tai and Julia are really loyal to the Brawn tribe, but the preview for next week’s episode hints at drama within the Brawn alliance. So we’ll have to see what happens. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for dropping by and being patient enough to still come even though I disappear sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Outlining Is My Friend

**Hey, guess what? Yesterday was my birthday. I’m 28 now. I refuse to believe that I’m old.**

Hello dear reader! Have you asked yourself, “If Kricket’s Korner is all about Kricket and her writing, why hasn’t she talked about it yet?” That is a very good question and we’re about to fix that problem right now.

What Is Kricket Writing? Currently, I am working on the first draft on an urban fantasy novel with a working title of White Crow. If you know me or have been following this blog for a while, you might recognize the name. I’ve been working on versions of this story/character for about 14 years, off and on. But this time around, I think we have a winner.

As of this post I amย 8738 words into the first draft. (I’m very behind on my personal goals right now)ย Not sure how long the completed thing is going to be, but I try to shoot for a minimum of 50,000 words. I’m feeling really confident about this story, more so than I have about any project in a while. And the only thing I’ve done different is having a complete outline before I started the first draft.

Creating an outline is what I have spent the last four months doing, slowly. With encouragement from my HusbandMuse, I really pushed in the last month to get this story off the ground. He offered me a great reward system. I set a writing goal every month and if I meet that goal I get to buy a new book. That’s some seriously good incentive for me.

Anyway, my goal for August was to finish the outline. As I said before, this is the first time I’ve had a total outline of a story before writing it. Before, I used to write some, outline a little, write some more, and in the process I felt lost and confused and the story would just wonder away from me. Or I would spend a lot of writing time doing research and being distracted by stupid things.

Spending a good month on just thinking, “Okay, what happens next?”, was very good for me. I don’t have to stare at a blank screen while I’m writing, I can look back at my outline and remind myself where to go from there. Of course, this outline isn’t set in stone. Things can change if I want them to. I like to give my self room for those moments of brilliance you get while writing.

And how do I outline, you ask? It’s pretty loose. I don’t use those horribly formal outlines you’re taught in school with roman numerals and letters and numbers and bullet points and all that jazz. I write “And then…” summaries of what I want to happen in each scene or chapter. I call it “And then…” summaries because there’s a lot of “And then this happens. And then this… And that…” etc. It’s a bare bones sketch of the story, with very little detail and occasional snippets of dialogue. I also note the setting of the scene, which includes time and location,ย and what characters are in it.

outline

It looks something like that^^. The tabs off to the right is the rest of the outline. Yes, I blurred the words so no one can steal them ๐Ÿ˜›

So far, this is working really well. Writing goes smoothly. I’m not wasting time staring off into space. I’m in the writing zone and the words flow a lot more easily.

So, the big question for you is, do you outline or do you pants it? Leave a comment and we can chat! As always, thanks for reading and have a Wonderful Wednesday!