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Archive for the ‘Non-writing activities’ Category

I was in the break room some few days ago, furiously scribbling away in my notebook.  A lady passes me, sees what I am doing, and mildly asks, “Writing a book?”

I respond timidly, “Trying to, at least.”  (Mind the colloquialism.)

She, rather surprised, stares and essentially says, “Oh, that’s great!  I thought you were just were working on homework; I was just kidding.  But keep at it and get the hell out of here!”

The conversation made me smile for the remainder of the day, until I was met with some rather unkind people, as is what usually happens when I go to work.

In other news, with my current project, I’ve broken the 40k word mark and completely filled an entire notebook.  So now, I’ve retired one notebook and started on a new.  It’s pretty exciting for me.

Meanwhile, I am learning just how time-management skills are important with work, school, a speech, two papers, and a bad addiction to writing and video games!  Too bad I lack them.  The time management skills, that is.

Also!  Have a picture of me and the Boyfriend!  It’s his birthday today!  And my grandfather turns seventy-six as well!

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Close friends, family members, and the Boyfriend–especially the Boyfriend–know that I have a problem.  I like to think myself as strong willed, determined, with a good head on my shoulders. But this good head on my shoulders has an off switch when it comes to books, particularly when a chance comes to acquire books.

I’m not sure how to explain it.  I’m a sucker for those Sale bins at stores and book stores alike that hold nothing but the books nobody liked for a few dollars.  MUST BUY TWO.  Used books at Hastings… for a dollar with the purchase of one other book? SEVEN.  My school particularly likes putting unwanted textbooks on a table with a sign reading, “Free.”  Mostly textbooks about college help for reading and writing, a few on applied calculus, and some poetry pamphlets.  I know I took at least twenty.

This. . . habit is also inclusive to the digital world.  When I received my Kindle, my first course of action was to visit Amazon’s Kindle/ebook store and download every possible book that was free and sounded remotely interesting.  It didn’t matter if I would never read a glossary on the insect world or certain fairy tales of the Sanskrit, this was a vast pool of information and fiction that I could own!

And that’s another problem I face.  There is a large percentage of books that I pinch that I do intend to read.  Books that like to stack themselves into large piles in my room and trip unsuspecting passersby.  However, I lack a certain will to read.  Starting my senior year of high school, I just haven’t read that much, which is a real shame because I enjoy reading.  The process has become similar to writing.  My exhausting life has left little to no time or energy to pursue such interests.  So often, I am forced between reading or writing.  And it’s hard to find time to do that between working, sleeping, schooling, studying, laundry, eating, driving, sleeping again, napping.  I’m forced to choose and unfortunately, the essentials of life get in the way.

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I follow various writing communities on Twitter, mostly for the tips and tidbits on writing, networking, and publishing.  I find it interesting to read articles and quotes that draws perspectives from many other writers, editors, and publishers.  One specific company-slash-group is an account called Writer’s Digest that reminded me of a less user-friendly version of Jon Winokur’s @AdviceToWriters.  They had quotes, articles.  One particularly tweet interested me– something about blogging and networking.  I clicked on it.

Apparently Writer’s Digest has an “online university” where you can take various classes on how to blog correctly for nearly $200 a course.

Rip off.

Ridiculous, no other explanation.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, I can understand freelance writing classes– those can be expensive.  (I can easily recall one author’s personalized writing workshops that were pricey, but understandably so).  But this Writer’s Digest University… I don’t know if I would call it a scam.  Rip-off?  Yes, definitely.

I did a brief browsing through their “course list”.  “How to Build Your Blog Boot Camp” lasts three days for $199.  Then, “28 days to Your First WordPress Site” lasts 28 days for the same price.  Definitely a rip off.  I mean, using WordPress doesn’t take a particular know-how.  And WordPress provides countless tutorials, and the interface is very friendly.  Hello– speaking from experience.  This is my first WordPress site.  I’ve had it a little over a month.  No problem.  Blogging?  So long as you hold an air of professionalism, blogging is easy.  Networking’s more difficult, but you can EASILY find FREE articles that give you pointers on how to do that.  You don’t need to pay two hundred bucks for common sense.  It’s a rip off and it angers me beyond words.

If you’re a writer getting out, new, starting out, be careful.  Don’t waste your time with that sort of thing.

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Because I am nonsensically ambitious, and because Lulu was hosting a special for 100 free mini business cards at moo.com, I am getting business minicards, with six different designs.  It’s not much, but it’s pretty nifty, in my opinion, for free.  Only paid five dollars for shipping.

Now, it just takes forever for them to arrive.  I’ve got two weeks, I believe?

But, I’ve got a new camera.  So I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go on this planned photoshoot to design the cover for my fantasy book project.  Perhaps that is ambitious of me as well.  Knowing my luck and procrastination, though, she’ll probably be off to college for the semester before I finally have the time to do anything.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck in post-apocalyptia and unable to return to fantasy until I sort out a silly magic issue.  Also, have an article on Publishing Lingo, because I have an increasing headache that makes it difficult for everything else.

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Many a time, as a self-proclaimed writer, I am most unfortunately plagued with the inability to write. As paradoxical as it appears, this is usually the case and stands to reason behind the ever slow ascent of my current word count (which has in fact not changed since I have previously logged here). The explanation behind this is my lack of available time to squander on what is lamentably still considered as a mere hobby. And impractical, according to the Boyfriend, for the impending zombie invasion-slash-apocalypse. No matter how many times I rectify his false assumption as ‘nonsense’, he persists in clinging to his narrow-minded bilge.

That is unrelated, though. As obstinate as he is, the Boyfriend is not the source of my complaining, which will be rightfully attributed to the monotonous throes of ‘real life’. This brutal reality that I speak of often convinces unsuspecting and naive scholars that it is necessary and pertinent to obtain useless degrees in order to sustain oneself. This process requires great sums of money that the government believes you have hidden away in a shoe box buried in your auntie’s backyard. Unfortunately for me, I have no such auntie. I am grateful, however, for the financial aid I’ve miraculously received in order to finance two years of my useless degree. The rest I shall have to earn, working my current part time job that more than likely won’t grant me employment benefits until I turn in my two weeks’ notice to go off and finish the rest of my worthless degree. And gas. That’s expensive as well, particularly since my current mode of transportation remains to be inefficient with fuel.

The point of the above paragraph is to emphasize how desperate I am for money, and since people with money do not normally hire quiet young ladies to sit and do nothing, I find myself going back and forth to my job. This current occupation of mine often requires the cooking of chicken and the slicing of Cajun roast beef.

Anywho, I’m sure any person of limited sanity would understand the necessity for a stable income.  College student, in need of a new vehicle of automation.  I currently work in the deli of a massive corporation.  My average day consists slicing meat and cheese, cooking various types of chicken, bagging, labeling, preparing food trays.  The works.  It’s not a bad job, to say the least.  As of my third week of starting it, I have not yet experienced a rude customer.  (But of course, now that I’ve said something. . .)

All that is to say how, even averaging thirty hours a week for part time, I do not have much time for writing.  Before being a deli sales associate, I was working in child care, watching preschoolers up to fifth graders in after school and summer programs.  That was a rather enjoyable job, something I found very rewarding.  I was quite sad when I had to leave.  (I won’t bore you with the details, but changing jobs was better for me economically, financially, even if difficult emotionally).

With working in the after school program, I did manage to find time between classes and work to squeeze in writing.  Mostly, I would write while I was at work.  Of course, that does sound bad when I put it into writing, to admit that for spare moments of my time I was focused with jotting down a sentence or two instead of keeping a sharp eye on that one boy who always dared jumping off the swings.  It wasn’t much writing, but it was something that slowly accumulated over time.  Then, summer hit and I had about two hours a day to read or write as I pleased while the kids were at nap.  That soon changed when I started working in the deli.  It was one thing to scribble down epic adventures while little children snoozed.  It’s another thing entirely to do so when you’re constantly on your feet, sporting plastic gloves and a hair net.  There is no time for it.  And if there is, pulling out a notebook in the middle of the deli would not necessarily make a good impression.  So I save it for break or lunch if I am not previously engaged elsewhere.

I’ll be starting a summer class in July (don’t ask me when because the date escapes me).  Thus, robbing me of any more spare time that could be spent on writing down my current novel project.  It is odd to think that it is during the summer, when students are supposed to be enjoying a break that I have little to no time for writing.

I am persistent.  I will keep writing and I will finish.  Point in case—it’s taken me forever to finish this just one blog and I’m pretty sure I’ve managed at least five hundred words on the current project in that time.  Forever here means the time span of about five days.

Also, since I seem to be making a habit of certain things, have a video starring Jessie Cave and Evanna Lynch in Jessie Cave’s fictional series, Bookworm.  The Potterer.

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