Sunday, January 29, 2012

BrainBook 1: Strawberries and Dreams

These are my BrainBooks. And the one on the bottom (with the strawberries) was my very first love.

There's this company called OBON and they sell the most amazing products ever. My mom introduced me to the wonders of OBON when she supplied me with BrainBook 1, and I accepted it because I thought it was really pretty at the time.

My BrainBook came to me at the perfect moment, although I didn't know it at the time. I had just gotten myself through a bout of depression and little did I know, I was about to undergo a bit of actual drama with a group of people I called my friends at the time (long story. Maybe another time).

The point is, my BrainBook was there for me in my time of need. It helped me separate my dreams from reality, but was a place for me to focus on both. Here are some pages from this book, and then, we'll talk again:

In this BrainBook, I pretty much was the epitome of the multi-polar writer. One minute, I sang praises of the writing experience. I glorified writing and being a writer and doing writerly things. And then the next, I hated it all. And then after that I hated everything. And then after that, I could care less. And then after that, I proceeded to talk to myself and ramble in stream of consciousness. 

My BrainBook consisted of three things: journals, ideas, and inspirational jargon. This is how it worked. If I had an idea, I had to journal first. I put the date in the upper right hand corner, the weather in the upper left, and then I wrote about my day--- anything that was on my mind, on my heart, or particularly boring, or particularly interesting. The goal was to fill a page if I started it. Didn't matter how many, but if I put a word on it, I would have to TRY to finish it. Then, I'd start a new page (all of which had titles!) and put that idea down on paper. It could be a brainstorm of a chapter I couldn't figure out, or an idea for a future book, or a song for a particular book, or a transcript of a phone call I had with my sisters about said book. And if I didn't have an idea, but I heard something I liked, that'll go down on a page after the daily entry. 

These things are personal, but nothing that goes down on paper is private. So it was my place to say everything I wanted to say, so long as it was everything I needed to say. 

I needed to add some of my personal life into the book to keep me rooted in the moments of angst, turmoil, and joy I felt on THAT day and in THAT instance. I needed to be free to express my anger, but I needed the constraint of a space that required me to THINK before I put anything in INK. I also needed a place where I could get all of my ideas out onto paper in an organized way so I wouldn't lose them and so I could visually SEE the dream. This first BrainBook was filled with love. It was the one that had the most of my heart. 

If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask. BrainBook 2 is coming to you next Sunday. 

Commenting on Comments
Prerna- Couldn't agree with you more. We MUST work toward our dreams. Work is good sometimes.

Maya- Glad you were inspired! And I almost didn't believe that about Meg, either! One Hundred Rejections is a great blog. :) Definitely keep writing! And definitely keep reminding me to remind you to do it!

Sonal- Thanks, Love! You never fail to inspire me, either, so I try to return the favor when I can. :) Love ya much, Darling!

Arianna- You did?! That's fantastic! I'm glad you liked it and you're welcome. Always, always go for the gusto!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Writer...

Dear Writer,

Thank you for reading this. I hope it finds you well, and I hope you're reading it with an open mind. I also hope that you haven't been completely jaded by the realization that this dream of yours comes with a price. I hope that you haven't given up the gun just because you realized that there's a difference between a dream and reality.

Exhibit A
I am frustrated, Writer, and there are some things that we must talk about. Exhibit A (read from the bottom up) showcases some of these frustrations, but I want to expound upon them. Not everything can be said in 140 characters or less.

There are things you must know. First, you have to understand that if you're writing, you're doing it because you want to. It's not because you're expecting this to be the easy road to millions. You're not doing it because there is some mythical force or literal figure for-cing-you-to-DO-this. The thing that bothers me is that writers are creating myths--- dilusions--- that this is not something they signed up for willingly. Repeat after me: I am writing because I want to.

Exhibit B
Secondly, you have to realize that you must stop. Stop putting yourself in that place that convinces you that you're never going to get there. Stop telling yourself that every rejection means you're not worth anything; start learning from them(see Exhibit B). Stop hurting your chances at creating something great by dwelling on one thing horrible. Stop hurting yourself by pretending you can't become more. Stop limiting yourself by REFUSING to become more (Exhibit C).

Thirdly, you must know that writers write. Writers. Write. And they don't forget this fact any day of the year. Sometimes, we express this by writing thousands of words in a day. Sometimes, by writing hundreds of words. Sometimes we express that by writing one hundred words. Or a letter. Or a poem. Or a quick line here or there.

Exhibit C
But lastly, I want to make sure you understand you have every right to turn in the towel. You are always, at all moments, entitled to change your mind. To go after a new dream. To make a change in your life if that's really what you want to do. But you are NOT, under any circumstances, allowed to be a coward. You're not allowed to run away when your manuscript gets to a point that's a little tough, or when your faith in yourself is dwindling because you're comparing yourself and your accomplishments to those of others, instead of focusing on your visions, and your dreams.

It's okay to be frustrated sometimes. To angst and to whine about these frustrations to the only people who'll really understand--- to a bunch of other writers.

Exhibit D
But it's not okay to let the whining steal your joy. To let the bad spots make you lose sight of the fact that they're just dots in a picture of awesome. To let laziness cloud your judgement. To lose momentum long enough for it to become your excuse.

Because the thing is, Writer... YOU are your ONLY excuse. You are the only thing stopping that shining idea you have from becoming a finished product. You are the only person who doesn't believe that the thing you're working on isn't worth working on, and you're the only one who could change that if you wanted that fact to be different. Exhibit D showcases my BrainBooks. The reasons for my own writerly sanity. Tune in this Sunday, and I'll show you, Writer, the ways of The Book. But until then, find your own sanity. You are not alone, Writer, so please--- do me a favor--- and stop pretending that you are.

With all my love,

P.S. Sharing is caring so if you haven't checked out this post with a bunch of cool linkamajiggies, then go DO so. And also, here's something about THE SECRET PROJECT. It's not much, but on Valentine's Day, you'll love me.

Commenting on Comments
Karly- The cover is DEFINITELY awesome, and I think I will go for it. Thanks, Love, for chiming in. Let me know about YOUR Nerdfighter escapades! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sharing is Caring

When I was little, my mom used this infamous excuse for making my little sister and I share EVERYTHING.

"Sharing is caring!" she'd sing with a mocking smile. For a long time, I hated the phrase, but I believe that it's true, now, because I honestly do find joy in sharing things with my sisters... with you...

So today, I thought I'd share some things. I'll even put these things into categories so you don't have to linger too long in any place that might not satisfy your interest. I feel like I'll do this more often. Maybe once every two weeks? That should be lovely. 

You guys know I'm unhealthily obsessed with music. It keeps me happy when reality cannot. So I'm always looking for yummy things to whet my appetite. Luckily for you, I am ALWAYS finding new things! (That was a joke. You may laugh now, if you wish.)

So here's what I have for you this week:
1. If you like things that are scandalous in a hilarious way, you might try Ida Maria's "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" (which I featured in this post, by the way). 

2. If you like Taylor Swift or Nickelodeon or both, and if you really like it when songs are upbeat and guys are depicted as faboo, you'll love Katelyn Tarver's "Favorite Girl." I know I do. I LOVE it.

3. If you're the kind of person who loves rediscovering music by some of your previously favorite bands, or if you like exploring music from popular groups that kind of got overlooked, you might like One Republic's "Someone to Save You." They just refuse to make suckish music, and I love them for that.

4. If you're a fan of supporting up and coming artists, WHY aren't you in love with Lewis Watson's "Bones" or "#3"?!?! Not only is he British. Awesome. British. And awesome. But he has an amazing voice and really beautiful lyrics accompany his songs. The above links are directly to his own videos (because THIS is how we support them--- by watching their videos, buying their music, and spreading the word!), but here are links to a Bones lyric video and a #3 lyric video so you can see what I mean before you become enraptured with his face (if freckles and shaggy hair is your thing).

5. And if like songs that are just fun to listen to over and over again, please check out Leila Broussard's "Masquerade" because you won't want to stop playing it. Promise.

I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but I am constantly reading reviews and scanning my Twitter Feed to see what's good in the literary world. And here's the general concensus:

So if any of you are looking for something to read, please pick it up and tell me I'd be crazy not to read this book. And if any of you are already John Green fans, tell me this: should I start with one of his earlier books and then pick up TFiOS? Or should I just take the plunge and let him rip my heart out? Let me know.

Let me get all of the stuff that's not about writing out of the way... Now. 

1. Adam Heine wrote a blog post about the secret to becoming talented. I found it very informative, and helpful in its own way. And kind of hilarious because, DUH! That's what I've been saying! (*COUGH!* Just go with it, people). 

2. Bryarly Bishop (who isn't a writer so ha! It gets to go here! HA!) wrote a blog post about her olfactory sense, and I found it very interesting because, as a writer, I should be using all of my senses! Who knows whose nose knows?!

And now for writerly things...

3. YAtopia has been having a week full of awesome posts. The first one that caught my attention was an interview with two REGULAR teens about what they liked to read and how they came to those conclusions. And the second post was about the importance of "Beta-ing yourself up." Two great posts for the price of one blog. 

4. Soon to be author, Natalie Whipple, has two posts I'd like to share with you. The first is a recent post about her noticing an improvement in her writing from when she first started out and now. She provides a link in the post that takes you to a video where she actually reads a sample from a (wait for it!...) zombie romance novel that she wrote many years ago and QUERIED. But even though she's mortified of that novel now, she notices the improvement and, as Prerna says in her post, "The Write Kind of Improvement," "if you've been writing consistently, you'll notice the improvement" just like Natalie did. 

Also, here's a second post by Natalie from a while (a LONG while) back on what to do when you're going to have to rewrite your novel in order to get it to the place it needs to be. Natalie gives fantastic writing advice so I would definitely check out the Writing Advice tab on her blog. FULL of gems, it is. FULL, FULL of gems. 

5. Is it vain to point out that I recently wrote a post about how writers have to write, no matter how much it hurts them? I couldn't have written it without your help, support, and your reminders of this very important fact. So check that out, Writers... If ya wanna.

Okay, really quickly:

1. A good friend of mine recently guest posted on My Ticket Home about her experience with self-harm and what one might do to overcome that. Please check out the post and comment if you can. It's a beautiful post written by THIS beautiful girl and it'd mean a lot to both of us if you checked it out. And while you're there, you should check out this special Daily Dose just about books!

2. Gallagher Girls (and Blackthorne Boys) BEHOLD! The Gallagher Academy has its own, official website! AND Ally Carter has an assistant now named Molly who has been posting fun riddles and excerpts on Ally's blog and has created an Ally Carter Tumblr for fan art and even more excerpts! Check it out!

3. Also, Alex Bennett is doing some cool new giveaways over at Electrifying Reviews. Check those out, should ye wish it by looking at the top of the right sidebar. 

And that's all folk! I think. I feel like I spent a lot of time composing this post, but I honestly believe it's worth it to get the word out about all the awesome stuff I distract myself with throughout the week. So yeah! Enjoy! And let me know what cool things you've come across within the past week or two worth sharing!

Lots of love,
Commenting on Comments
Prerna- It IS an awesome comment and I'm so serious! Copy, paste, and print that thing! When you surround yourself with beautifully inspiring things, you're sure to inspire something beautiful in someone else. :)

Maya- I'm so glad the post made you happy because your comment made me happy. It's very nice to return the favor. :) Thanks for your inspiring comment and your congratulations! Yes, the chapter of evil is DONE, but it needs lots of work. I know that and can't wait to finish this draft so I can go back through it and get 'er done. The "you'll never reach the end thing," came out just as you intended it to. Maybe I was the one who was unclear. What I meant to emote there was gratefulness toward you. The truth hurts sometimes but you were totally right. If I didn't get this chapter done, I WOULDN'T have been able to finish the entire book. And how is one to be an author without a book? I never wanted to "hear that again" because I never want to be the thing that comes between me and my dreams. I was the only one standing between me and the end at that point, and you're the one who totally made me see that. :) 

So thank YOU, Love. Couldn't have done it without you and Aria and Prerna. But especially you because that comment MADE. ME. WRITE. And darn it! I did it. And boy do I feel good. Haha! I'm glad this came as a happy surprise. And I'm glad this comment came through! I meant it--- Blogger better not keep my brilliant commenters from commenting. Lol!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Comment That Disappeared

You guys know Maya. If you don't, she often appears in the "Commenting on Comments" section of these posts.

Well, about a week ago, I wrote this post about the chapter that almost ruined me, and three people weighed in. "Well wait a minute!" I hear you shout. "There are only two comments on that post!"

Why, thank you for noticing! I responded to the two beautiful ladies whose comments did appear in this follow up post about my feelings toward the CHAPTER OF EVIL after it was actually done. But I wanted to do a follow up to that follow up because I found Maya's comment to be quite inspirational and though you have the wonderful advice from Arianna and Prerna in the previous post, only I was able to read Maya's comment. Here's what she said:

"I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the "Leave nasty comments" part. :D I won't do that, but I'll definitely try and cheer you up XD
Imagine chapter thirteen is an angry swarm of bees, hiding inside a huge hive. The bees are really irritating you, because they bzzz their way through the night and you can't sleep. You can't do anything about them in your pyjama's, but you can definitely TRY when you put on the right gear and attack them with a net. But you don't have the clothes bee-catcher gear, so you have to go to the store outside of town to get it. It's a long drive, but if you have severa; passengers with yousomeone, it'll be much easier.
I don't know who said this, but there's an awesome quote that I think applies to you: “Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.” You're strong, optimistic and you CAN do this. Just don't give up. "A dream is a flame that burns out if you give up." Write the chapter, whether it sucks or not. It doesn't matter if it's a horrible as Voldemort's face, or not, because once you write it you can always go back. But if you give up, you'll never reach the end.
This will definitely make you feel better; Determinate, by Lemonade Mouth ( I know, I'm so lame I chose a DISNEY band.) It may not be their best song, but the lyrics are totally inspiring and the part where Adam Hicks raps is crazy cool!
And after watching it, eat nutella straight from the jar, then get to work and DETERMINATE!
xox, loads of nasty comments, Maya (LOL!!)"  

There are two things I want to hit from this comment. The first is this idea of being able to do anything with a support group. Maya says, "It's a long drive, but if you have severa(l) passengers with you... it'll be much easier." I smiled because gosh! Ain't it true! I am so fortunate to have a kind of partner in crime with all this. Aria has been my lifeline and my crutch on more than one occasion. It was with her insistence AND encouragement that I sat down and typed the darned thing up. She wouldn't let me rest. Ask her!

But, boy, am I thankful for that! Am I thankful that there is even a single soul out there who takes the time to comment on my blog, talk to me on Twitter, prod me via email, or do some combination of the three because they care about someone else's sanity. And I'm so glad--- so very glad--- that the someone else you guys care about is me. I mean... that's mind blowing. I may never get to thank you in person for it, but thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being along for the ride.

And though there are other gems in this comment, the second thing I want to talk about is how Maya reiterates what all of you were telling me from the start.

"Write the chapter, whether it sucks or not," she says. "It doesn't matter if it's as horrible as Voldemort's face, or not, because once you write it you can always go back. But if you give up, you'll never reach the end."

Some people are great at giving advice. Others are great at taking and receiving it. But me? I'm the kind who loves to give but can't take it. Wrong, I know. But this was like, "Woah." The combination of Maya asserting herself (did anyone else hear, "Write the chapter... OR DIE" or was that just me?) plus the Harry Potter reference for giggles plus hearing, for the first time, someone who knew very little about my book say "you'll never reach the end," totally sparked this light in me. It was an "ouch," at first, but it was enough for me to know that I never wanted to hear her (or anyone else!) say that ever again.

Because the truth hurts, doesn't it? "A man who does not work shall not eat"--- It's the law of life. And a girl who does not write the CHAPTER OF EVIL will not finish her book. That's how it works. No pain, no gain.

I hope you writers out there copy and save Maya's comment somewhere. Use it to fuel a fire within yourselves. And read the other comments from that whiny post and LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEM. Everyone is saying the same thing. "Just do it!" It's not gonna kill you, I promise.

So, Maya, thank you for commenting. And everyone, thank you for reading. Writers, get to writing. And Blogger, fix yourself so that brilliant comments like this don't go disappearing on me ever again.

"...Get to work and DETERMINATE!" -Maya

P.S. No comments to comment on! But you can still read my last post if ya wanna.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Which I Feel Okay

The Chapter of Evil is done. In fact, here's a screenshot of me being relieved about the fact that it is no longer vague thoughts and inclinations. Ya'll know how Twitter works. You must read from the bottom up to get chronological order (strange logic, I know).

I am... relieved, mostly. Relieved, and slightly exhausted. But I'm also confused. I'm confused because this chapter was supposed to kill me. It was TRYING to kill me, I swear, but yet... Here I am. And I'm also confused because I thought it was supposed to be my worst work yet. But it's... it's actually my most creatively plotted chapters, if I do say so myself. Like... for a chapter, it's quite plotty. It's quite a plotty chapter.

Meaning that although it SUCKS, there is good in it somewhere. It got me to think, stretch my imagination, broaden my mind. It made me envision things I never thought I'd explore, and it's prepared me to be ready to re-envision those things because the way in which I wrote them this first time admittedly SUCKS and they will need to be rephrased and retold.

I am so mad at this chapter. So very, very mad. Because it was SO hard. Why didn't it just finish me off? Why beat me? Strangle me? Wrestle with me? Why taunt and play with me if it weren't going to just be ALL bad? Why show me it had SOME good?

I think it's because this chapter is trying to get me to pay attention to one very important fact. That writers, write. No matter what, no matter... WHAT. No matter how bad their hair looks on the first day of school. No matter how bad their first drafts are. No matter if the apocalypse is supposed to be upon us. We just DO it. It's our jobs, and more importantly, it's in our nature.

And I'm a so-called aspiring author, and you know what they do? They write! No matter if global warming is killing off all the penguins. No matter what people say about their books or their hair (seriously... is it that bad?!). No matter WHAT. Writers write. Authors author. Evil chapters evil. And that's just how it works.

Thank you all so much for encouraging me. Seriously, Arianna, Maya, Prerna, I don't know how to thank you. I would not have gotten through this chapter if I didn't have your love and support. I would have given up and then what? I wouldn't have been able to do this post! And that's boring... So thank you for your love. Thank you for your time and your comments. And I'll have you know, I feel okay. Really, I do. I have to pee, is all, but you know what? I'm okay with that.

P.S. No I'm not hitting on you with this song! This is just my ghetto segue to introduce you to a cool, 18 year old author whose debut novel FALL TO PIECES is due this fall. Look for it! And go meet Vee! She loves this song, and, apparently, "you so much better when you're naked." :)

Commenting on Comments
Arianna- Thanks, Love. You have been my crutch, my first aid kit, my nurse, and my friend during this whole Chapter Thirteen debacle. I'm glad and honored that you'll be the first set of eyes to really look at it and see what's wrong with it. I need your brilliance. And a public congrats on finishing your own "Chapter of Evil!" I know your Ch. 15 was giving you trouble, but hey! You. Are. Done!

Prerna- I DO feel elation! Mostly relief, but there is some elation. One thing's for sure: the end is near. And that's always satisfying. Strange, but satisfying for sure. This fork is definitely different all the time. I'm just glad I WAS able to get over, under, around, past it. 

Maya- I SAW YOUR COMMENT!!! Blogger is being incredibly mean, and I'm sorry for that. But I'm going to do a whole separate post on your comment because it made me so happy so stay tuned. I loved it, and I've saved it, and I have it, and yeah--- don't fret! Thank you for posting something so incredibly sweet, helpful, and inspiring. Love you lots!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Chapter That Will Ruin Me

If you're a writer, then you understand that writing is different for each individual AND for each individual project. There's no way to gauge which parts will be easy and which will kill you... there's no way to stop yourself from feeling a little angsty at some point in the process (unless you're this guy who just thinks he's freaking awesome and that writing a book is just a piece of apple pie).

I am literally three chapters away from finishing PW. Literally. Three chapters. Away. There is Chapter 13, and Chapter 14, and Chapter 15. And then it's done. I mean--- for realzies.

But THIS?!

THIS will be the death of me.

It's not Chapter 13's fault that it feels impossible. It's mine. It's mine because I KNOW what I have to do. I KNOW that this is just a draft (not the first, but, yeah). I KNOW that I have permission to mess things up. But I'm scared. Terrified, really. 

Usually, endings and I get along really well. I know how I like things to be resolved almost every time I sit down to write a story, and things are no different with PW. The hows, the whys, and the whens are all very clear in my head, but, unfortunately, I'm afraid to put these things down on paper. 

It's not... For once, it's not the fear of messing up that's killing me. This chapter, though, is going to set the tone for everything else that comes afterward and I am afraid that, for this chapter's unique setting and ideals and reveals and needs, I am not doing enough to explore these things. 

I know what you're thinking. "Can't you just fix that in editing?" Of course I could fix it in editing, but I'm not editing right now. I'm writing. And I'm not doing a very good job at it. Do you ever have these moments where you have an idea in mind, and you think it's freaking BRILLIANT, but when someone asks you to explain your vision, you just... can't? Okay. I'm experiencing that. And I'M THE FLIPPING WRITER. 

This... this feeling is ruining me. My confidence, my faith--- everything that I put into PW is fading. And that's why I renamed the chapter from "Eyes on the Prize" to "Everything's Not Lost" because I wanted to remind myself that YES! There is hope for you yet, Deserae.


Here we are. 

It's weird being here because it's taken thirteen chapters to back me into a wall. You guys don't know this because you've only been with me for PW and The Girl Book, but I don't really write sci-fi. PW is my first attempt at something extraordinary, and I thought that it would be a failed attempt because my strength is in dialogue, not really in kick-butt action. 

But even though some things need tweaking, none of the writing I've done for PW completely and totally SUCKED. Not until now, at least. And I'm only three chapters to the end. All I can think of is, are you freaking kidding me?! Really, yo? REALLY?! The good thing about this revelation, though, has me on my toes. I'm ready for Chapter 13 to suck and I'm ready to hear what my Beta thinks can help lessen the sucktitude. And above all, I'm ready to get it written so that all of the fixing, chiseling, and polishing can commence. I know it's going to take all of me to do it, but this is my hope: moving forward will at least give me the momentum to cross the finish line and then cop a U to pick up the pieces I've let behind. 

Wish me luck and please keep me accountable. Bug me on Twitter. Leave nasty comments like, "SOOOOOO, how's the book coming?????" KEEP. ME. SANE. Remind me that draft-suck is not novel-suck. Shower me with good quotes, good music, and good company for the next week or so, and I promise to love you forever.

Deal? Too late. You shook on it.

Hug me, you beautiful people!
Deserae <3
P.S. New Daily Dose is up! I might have to rename those Weekly Doses. Sorry about the inconsistency. Daily Dose is just SO catchy! 
Commenting on Comments
Aria- Thanks! And it's good to see Blogger is working again for you! I'm definitely trying to keep my head above water, but I love that you have faith that I can do it--- having support makes me believe it, too. Haha!  "...and look good doing it...." Well, Darlin'... You know how I do. Lol! :) May the force be with me, huh? Ay dios mio... 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting Back in the Habit

It's hard. Life, I mean. Lately, I've been slacking in certain areas of my life because I'm trying to just get by for the time being. And I'm telling you... It sucks.

I hate feeling overwhelmed by things so I prioritize, but I hate having to let go of things I love in order to make way for things that I "have" to do. I might have said this before, but I hate things that I "have" to do. Who says that THESE THINGS are the important things? Who in the world gets to be in charge of labeling all the suckish stuff as mandatory?

I am finally getting back into a rhythm. The next nine weeks of my life are going to suck, but I'm figuring out how to manage them. The next nine weeks of my life are going to demand a lot of out me, but I'm deciding, RIGHT NOW, to be okay with that. The next nine weeks of my life are going to be filled with reading one of these books a week, plus some Brit Lit, plus some Greek. 


The next nine weeks of my life are going to be hectic, but it's not going to be unbearable. They're not going to change me, or take away the things that I love. They're not going to define me, or break me down. They are going to be hard, but hopefully, I'll learn something amazing. But because I'm determined to get back into the habit of blogging and going to school at the same time, bear with me! I'll definitely do at LEAST a post a week, but it might be quiet around here and I thought you at least deserved to know why.

But I still love you guys! Let me know what's new with you.

P.S. We will resume the "Commenting on Comments" thing starting next post, so if you leave a comment, I'll respond! Pinky swear!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Ahead...

I'm eighteen now. No biggie--- nothing new. But the knowledge that I'm an adult entering a new year makes me look back at how productive I've been before now and how productive I want to be in the future.

I was an ambitious teen. I AM an ambitious teen, you know. By thirteen I'd written my first "book," fifteen, I was already looking into the publishing world, sixteen I finished my third manuscript, seventeen I was crazier than ever...

But now I'm eighteen. And 2011? It was a good year. But good can be surpassed. Good can be upgraded. I'm looking for great in my life. The Lord knows my needs, but it's okay to sometimes tell him what I want. And this is it:

For School...
As usual, I just want to get through it. Look. I LOVE to learn. I WANT to get my degree in English Literature and a second one in Classic Lit. But school is not where I want to be forever. Some people say they wish they could go back, but if things were in my favor, my deepest wish is that I could have a life where I learned via experience. The things I want to do--- the things that are on my heart (see the "For Myself" section below)--- don't require a degree! They require action. Taking a chance. They require... gumption, Baby. But because I'm a practical person, I know school is a must so Heavenly Father, just help me get through it.

For My Family...
My big goal is to make an effort to get along with the fambam and to visit them on a regular. I am very close to my sisters but I honestly want to start calling my dad more, and things of that nature. And I wish them every happiness. Seriously. Every happiness, Mom, Dad, Freda, Ziza, Fred... Kia, my love, and Christian, Chris, Derrick, and Ellie, too. I wish you every happiness, even though it may not seem like I do on my grumpy days.

For My Blogs...
My Ticket Home and My Ticket Elsewhere are going to get makeovers some time soon. Elsewhere, though, is the priority and I can't wait to tell you why. I realize that the online world is a world in which I am very loved and very welcome. So I am determined to return the love, and to do a better job of keeping in touch with you guys.

For Myself...
I want to learn a new language. And yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm learning Ancient Greek (which is pretty freaking awesome, just in case you wanted to know), but I gave up on Spanish and I gave up on Hebrew... I want to learn a language that is still spoken, yeah-huh.

I also want to write and edit two books this year. That's doable. So doable.

I want to get out of Cali at least once. There are going to be opportunities--- book conventions, author signings, concerts--- I just want to buck up the courage and go. Which probably means I should start thinking about getting my license. Or, at least, a job so I can pay for airfare.

What are some of your resolutions? I'd love to hear them!

Hearts and hugs,

Commenting on Comments:
Sonal: Thanks, Dear! Happy New Year to you as well, and of course I can't wait to see what you bring to the blogosphere in 2012. :)

Maya: Thanks a million! Mini Z and Z are both doing well. Happy New Year, Love, and take care.

Prerna: You're a Whovian?!?! My love for you has just spanned across oceans. I LOVED the Christmas special. I cried... At least fifteen times. Happy New Year!

Zabrinah: Thanks so much! Take care, and happy new year!