New Vlog Series: My Writer’s Toolkit

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I am excited to share the first video in a new series on my youtube channel. This series will feature apps, software, books and other tools that have are helpful in my writing lifestyle.

 

The first video feature’s an app that has helped me increase my word count and track my progress. Best of all, the app is absolutely free.

5000 Words Per Hour App Video Here

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I am also inviting you to share your own writing tools. If I select your suggestion and feature it on my video I will give you a shout out on that video. Please share!

Check out the first Video

Making Your Dreams Come True Part 2 : 5 Quick Action Tips

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

You have a dream. Now what? It is time to take action and make that dream a reality. You must accept that it will take work, sacrifice and determination. In order to move your dream from an idea into an action you will need a plan. Here are 5 quick tips to put your dream into action.

  1. Research : Ask yourself what you need to know make it happen.  Jot down areas that you need to research and then collect information. For example: If you dream is to take a trip to Disney World  then your list might include things likes such a researching the cost of theme park, travel options, accommodations, and deciding when to make the trip.
  2. Create Your Action Plan: Now that you have gathered your research you should have a good idea of what you need to do. The best way to create an action plan is to simply ask yourself what is the next logical step and then make a list of each action.
  3. Turn Plan into Goals: Look at each action step and set a deadline for it. Congratulations you have now created some goals. Some of these will be short term goals and others will be longterm. The important thing is that you create realistic goals with achievable dates.
  4. Create Accountability: It is easy to make excuses to yourself but harder to make excuses to someone else. This is a great time to find an accountability partner. This is simply someone you share your dream, your goals, your plan and your deadlines with. Ask them to keep you accountable. If you know someone is going to ask about your progress you will stay motivated.
  5. Set Reminders:  Take those action steps, goals, and deadlines and plug them into your phone and your calendars, and planner. Anything you can create to be a physical or visual reminder will kept your plans in front of you can help you stay on track. Find what works for you. I find that writing my tasks and goals on post in notes and checking them off works great for me. For you, it might be an alert or reminder from your phone or fitness tracker.

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So, there you have it! A few quick tips to help you on your journey.  What other things have helped you achieve your dreams? What big dream are you working toward now? I would love to know!

My Camp NANOWRIMO Plan

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It is the last day of March, which means Camp NaNoWriMo officially kicks off tomorrow.  Yikes! I have officially put off creating my writing plan  until  the very last day. Go me! Of course, I have been slaving away at the total rewrite of the first chapter of my novel. By slaving, I  mean spending hours combing over the same text and questioning every word in a very unproductive manner.  Enough excuses!  It’s time to unveil my camp goal and plan.

*Not sure what Camp Nanowrimo is? Click Here to find out! *

Drumroll please!

Camp Nanowrimo Plan

April 2017

Goal: Spend 30 hours editing, revising, and rewriting the first draft of my YA contemporary fantasy novel.

Weekly Break Down:

Week One: 10 Hours/5-day writing week

·       Complete read through of novel.

·       Make chapter by chapter notes regarding plot, character, and setting.

·       Edit, rewrite, & revise chapters 2,3, & 4

Week Two: 6 Hours/3-day writing week

·       Edit, rewrite, & revise chapters 5 & 6

Week Three: 6 Hours/3-day writing week

·       Edit, rewrite & revise chapters 7 & 8

Week Four: 8 Hours/4-day writing week

·       Edit, rewrite, & revise chapter 9, 10, & 11

 

Strategy for forward motion:

·       If I get behind or stuck on any chapter or scene I will make notes about the problem sections to address later and move on.

·       I will Only allow myself 2 editing passes for each scene.

·       This is revision of the first draft. The goal is not perfection. The goal is to repair plot holes, erase confusion, cut unneeded scenes, strengthen characters, solidify settings and improve readability.

Project:

Everside

30 Hours

Editing

Revising

Rewriting

There you have it. My Camp goal and writing plan.  You may notice that I have broken my hours down and divided them by weeks. Next, I figured out how many days of each day I am able spend writing. This is because April is a super busy month for me. Three weekends of the month I will be making a 14 hour (roundtrip) to Oklahoma for work. That is 42 hours of drive time in April.  Combine that with  6-12 hours workdays and the crazy sleep schedule that goes with my poker massage therapist hours and you can understand that I will not be writing daily.  Lets not forget it is also a month of celebrations that will cut into my writing time – My birthday, Easter, and my daughters birthday. Just typing all of this is enough to make me question my sanity for even taking on Camp this month. But, Hey – I never claimed to be a sane person.

Are you participating in CAMP NANOWRIMO this year? What is your project and your plan? Do you have any tips or advice for fitting in camp to an already overloaded schedule? I would love to hear about it.

Don’t forget to follow my blog and Subscribe to my Youtube Channel to stay up to date! I will have a new video each week with writing tips, book reviews, writing updates and much more!

Happy Writing!

 

Quick Book Review: Rampant


Rampant

By Diana Peterfreund

Hello! Killer unicorns. Yes, this is exactly what grabbed me about this book. I snatched it up after reading the back cover.  The book centers around Astrid. She has never believed her eccentric mom’s stories about killer unicorns but when one attacks her boyfriend she soon discovers her  unwanted role as a unicorn hunter. I love a book with a unique idea or theme and this one certainly has that cornered. Honestly, I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did.

What I liked about this book:

  • Unique idea.
  • Myths about unicorns are woven into the story and that gives it an unexpected depth.
  • Astrid is a strong, believable character who does not want to be a unicorn hunter or killer. She has a strong voice that pulls the reader into the story.
  • Unexpected plot twists keep the pages turning.
  • Tackles tough but relevant to the story topics like rape and virginity in a believable  manner.
  • I loved Bonegrinder. She is the resident pet killer unicorn. Some characters treat her like a pet and others see her as the enemy. The writer does a great job making the reader see the unicorn for different perspectives.

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What I disliked about this book:

  • The romance element. Giovanni and Astrid did not seem to have the right chemistry. I was not invested in their romance. Plot wise, the romance element was needed but it did not make me emotionally invested in the two of them.
  • While I enjoyed that unicorn mythology was woven into the story it did seem to slow the story down at some points.
  • I never fully understood why the throne of unicorn bones was important to the story.
  • Astrid’s mother. I just did not like her or her role in the story.

 

My overall personal rating for this book is 4 stars. It earns this rating based on its unique concept, the way the writer pulled me into the story through the eyes of a strong believable character and there were only a few times I was tempted to skim or skip.  I can’t give it a five because the romance failed me.

Check out my video review here!

 

Who should read this book?

  • Anyone who enjoys first person point of view fantasy with a strong female character.
  • Unicorn and mythology fans.
  • Readers who will not be offended by dealing with topics like virginity and rape. *This book deals with mature topics but is not explicit.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Vlog Update: Video Review of Daughter of The Pirate King now available

 

I have a new video up on my youtube channel. Help me build my youtube audience by subscribing to my channel and sharing with others. So, please hop on over to view my video review of The Daughter of The Pirate King and get a bonus update on my March reading list. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel to stay up to date on my latest book reviews, writing and publishing process, encouragement and writing tips.

My Youtube Channel Visit & Subscribe! Thank- you!

Quick Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King

By Tricia Levenseller 


“There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.”  -Alosa

This is a fantastic easy read for anyone who loves pirates and high seas adventure! I finished this book in less than a few hours. I only put it down a few times to take cooking and eating dinner and then it was right back into the pages again. This book gets a RARE 5 stars from me because I was never tempted to put it down or skim ahead. I also love the characters and the story. This was my owl crate subscription book and it was a hit with me.

What I loved about this book:

  • Alosa, the lady pirate who is a lot more than just the daughter of the pirate king.
  • Fun plot twist and character revelations. I kind of saw them coming but it was still awesome when they unfolded.
  • Alosa runs into a lot of trouble as she tries to track down the hidden map.
  • Fun and believable secondary characters.
  • The layers of romance between Alosa and Riden. They are both fighting their feelings for each other as their relationship slowly develops.
  • The story moved at a nice pace and I did not get bored.
  • I love a good pirate story.
  • Great first person point of view writing. Strong characters and distinct voices make this a stand out.

What I disliked about this book:

  • The entire book was set at sea and mostly on a ship. I would have liked more setting details about the ship. What was presented was woven nicely into the story.
  • Riden is still deeply attached to his brother, even though he is a terrible person. Realistically, I get this but I still wanted Alosa to make Draxen to suffer more than she did.
  • That the next book is not yet available. I will be eagerly waiting!

 

Do you have any other great pirate, ocean, or sea themed books you loved reading? I would love your recommendations!