How Was your NaNoWriMo?

Hi Everyone – I’ve been a bit MIA on this blog as of late…and I don’t know why.

It could be because I started a full-time job this fall, and I just don’t feel inspired after a long day of sitting typing at a computer. Also, about mid-November I was sick for like a week with a cold, and that about wasted my November.

On the positive side, though, I have been writing more as of late. I think it all started after watching Outlander one Sunday. I was curious about the books and I went on Diana Gabaldon’s website, and something I read of hers inspired me.

It was what she said about the first book of Outlander. She said she wrote it because she wanted to see if she could write a novel, and Outlander was just a trial, a for-fun novel.

Well, several books later and a successful TV Show and she is still writing. I guess it made me realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. It might not be as awful as you think it is, and if it is awful…who cares? It was meant to be a draft, right?

If Diana Gabaldon can do it, well then so can I. Plus, my writing process seems to be a bit similar to hers. I tend to just wing it…I’ll have a rough outline, but otherwise I tend to be at the whim of my characters: “alright, guys, where do you want to go next?”

How was your NaNoWriMo? Any words of wisdom for the rest of us?

(Also, my NaNoWriMo wasn’t all that successful, but I got some more useful scenes written for my novel-in-progress and that’s something!)

NaNoWriMo Day 8 Update: How’s It Going Guys?

Hi Everyone! How’s NaNoWriMo going?

I haven’t got so much of a word count in, but I have been plugging away at 30 days of world building, which I found on this blog here.

Basically you spend each day working on the different aspects of creating your world. So far, I’ve created a climate, created a rough sketch of map, and selected what races will be in my world and how they will interact, etc.

The planning is so detailed and it’s been a lot of fun so far. Some of the stuff I’ve already come up on my own, but before I started doing the exercises I hadn’t even thought as far as climate and how weather (like a bad storm) could help drive a plot point.

Kind of neat! I think tonight I will do my world building exercise, (Economy and Politics!) and get down to some actual writing for once. I tend to not want to sit at my desk, because I sit at one for work all day long, so here I am propped up in bed and it is working so far.

How is everyone doing? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep writing?

Happy Writing Everyone!

NaNoWriMo is less than a month away!!

So, apparently October is Preptober…

and that means that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!!! (National Novel writing month.)

I have actually never heard of Preptober before, but I think it is something new that started last year. Now, let’s hope this year’s NaNoWriMo goes a lot better than lasts, eh?

Have you signed up for NaNoWriMo yet? Well, what are you waiting for!!

Should I Review Outlander?

I just had a thought: should I review Outlander on here?

Photo credit: Starz

Every Sunday I tune into Starz for a new episode…it’s become my replacement show to fill Game of Thrones. (Not so much, Mike, though, I think he thinks it is too girly…Star-crossed lovers and all that.)

But maybe it’s something I ought to consider. Any watchers out there?

I have not read the book series…(I know, shame on me.) But there it is. I’ve been enjoying this season 3, and maybe if there’s some interest out there…I’ll have something to talk about.

What do you guys think? Anyone else love it as much as me?

Happy Writing all!

Fear of Failure: The Struggle is Real Tonight

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God, I need to get motivated! Having a hard time tonight. Everything I was supposed to do, didn’t happen. All I did was eat food, watch TV, and accidentally fell asleep at like 7 o’clock and slept like an hour.

But when it comes to certain things, I am starting to realize that the fear of failure is holding me back. Every time that I tell myself all those wasted hours watching TV I could be writing, ends with me usually watching three of four more episodes of said TV show and then feeling guilty.

The same goes with applying for jobs. Temp jobs don’t last forever you know, they ARE temporary, but I see a job posting and think: what’s the point? Everyone is always more qualified, more well-spoken, always better than me.

A lot of this boils down to self-confidence too, hmm…

Anyway, I always seem to feel myself resurfacing to the What’s the point? I’ll just fail anyway.

My boyfriend’s favorite saying to me seems to be: You don’t know unless you try.

But lately, I feel like the past few years have been me trying and trying and nothing comes of it. I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of what happens when nothing comes of hopes and dreams…

How stupid, I know.

I can’t seem to shake this feeling though, tonight. And this feeling has me having trouble starting something, too. I’ll stare at my revamped resume and be like: do I really look like I’m a quality specimen? The person they’re ultimately looking for?

I certainly don’t feel like one sometimes. (Sigh.)

Same goes with writing, too. I’ll stare at the page and I feel like my characters stare unflinchingly back at me. In some sort of eternal pause, waiting for me to direct them across the page, but their stories are at a standstill…so they stare at me, and they judge me.

I decided early on that I wanted to be a writer. But that doesn’t mean that writers automatically know how to write a novel. This is difficult stuff, really.

I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but…sigh.

What do you guys do when fear gets you down? Do you struggle with some of the same fears I do?

Cleaning; and Editing My Story

img_20161120_130352703_hdr.jpgObserve the picture at right…my stack of books piled next to my bed.

This happens every once in a while; the books pile up and it is time to do some cleaning. This goes along with the vacuuming, and laundry and yes, being an adult is waay over-rated sometimes.

Along with cleaning, though, I’ve been trying to edit one of my stories today and this becomes its own sort of cleaning…

You have to clean the sentences; trim down the wording until you have clear, precise language and what you are trying to say isn’t bogged down by excessive adjectives or adverbs.

Oh, beware of the too many adverbs! These are the ones that you have to watch out for.

What I’ve learned, though, is that I am terrible at editing my own work! I know that many authors have expressed that it is a major suck-fest to edit and I would have to agree.

It is fun sometimes when you can see the clear direction that a story is supposed to go on the page. Sometimes you know know how things are meant to be…and sometimes not.

This is when the frustration comes in.

I’ve gotten into the habit of jumping around and then going back to the point in a story that I find particularly irksome at a later date. This helps because then you come back to the page with a fresh mind and sometimes new ideas.

What about you guys? Got any great editing techniques out there?

Will You NaNoWriMo this Month?

Whoa, honestly, where did last month go? Seems like these fall and holiday months always slip right by us, you know? Next thing we know, its middle of February and feels like the cold will never end. Sigh. 
Anyway, I totally forgot that today was the first day of Nanowrimo. I should have been planning and outlining and creating some kind of character list. Last year I worked on a novel that’s been in the works for awhile, and its definitely grown so much since then. And even though I never made my word count goal, that focus I had on that story for a month really paid off. I think I’ll do something similar this year.

Here are some reasons why I think all writers should participate in Nanowrimo at least once in their lives:

The brainstorming possibilities. 

This goes without saying. When you are forced to write a lot in a short amount of time, you have to make a lot of decisions for your characters. This makes you explore possibilities in your story that you might not have thought of before.

You learn how to write a novel.

If this is your first try at writing a novel in the month of November, no worries! There are a lot of first timers out there and they are here to help. You’ll be learning about plot, crafting a beginning, middle and end, and sometimes you’ll learn that some stories start out in the middle. 

If you have questions, remember: you are not alone.

Get online, create an account and feel part of the community of writers. Invite your friends, make some friends and celebrate! This is the month for writers! 

Will you Nanowrimo this year? I’d love to hear about it!

Do You Use a Novel Writing Software?

home-office-336377_1920Was having a thought the other night…maybe I should start using a novel-writing software to help organize this story I’ve been working on lately.

Googled some last night and got a few ideas, but I have no idea which one to choose. There are a few online options: Litlift and Novlr. But not sure those would work for me.

I downloaded a free program called ywriter5 last night and it doesn’t take .docx files and that won’t work considering I write in Microsoft word.

Just need something to help organize my thoughts.

Any suggestions? Do you guys use one?

A Year’s Worth of Books

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Today is a quiet and lazy day. I am worn out from the last few days, and so I am relaxing in front of the fan in my office and thinking about what to write. I was able to have lunch today with a friend, and she gave me this little book where you can record the books you’ve read and what you think of them.

img_20160530_151420369.jpgIt reminded me of what I did last year around this time. In the post I listed all the books I was able to read in five months and what I thought of them. This time its been longer, though. This is really for my benefit, mostly, as I have a terrible memory.

What could I have possibly read in a year??

Here we go, and in no particular order…

Audio Books I’ve listened to:

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle

Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth

I Was Here, Gayle Forman

Matched, by Ally Condie

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, by Michael Scott

The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner

The Color Magic, by Terry Pratchett

The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, by Brian Grazer

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide, by Peter Allison

img_20160426_163707562_hdr.jpgAnd other books, not on audio:

The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Iron Warrior, by Julie Kagawa

Winter, Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

Hmm…not a bad list, although its clear I need to read more books that aren’t on audio. I think its time to focus on reading some more adult fiction, non-fiction and science fiction and fantasy. And this doesn’t include the Harry Potter series that a listened to again this year on audio. (I think I have an obsession!)

What do you guys like to read? Read anything new recently?

Happy writing (and reading)!

The Liebster Award Nomination!

Thank you to Dainelle Hunter for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It means a lot to me that you thought of me. 🙂 I hope this gives readers more of an insight into my writing and what this blog is about.

www.adashofsalter.com_

The rules are as follows:

1: Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2: Make a blog post telling 11 facts about you.
3: Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.
4: Prepare 11 questions for those you will nominate.
5: Nominate 11 new bloggers (those who have less than 200 followers) by commenting in one of their blog posts.

11 Facts About Me:

~My favorite TV Show of all time is Firefly. (FireflyThe fact that it only had one season is an atrocity.

~I only write with one with kind of pen. (Gel pen, black ink, pilot G-2 07.)

~I hate memes where the sentences are deliberately spelled wrong, drives me nuts! (Like: ‘he’s doin me a hurtin’….grrrraaggh)

~I like to write movie and TV show reviews.wpid-img_20140602_185717984.jpg

~I love libraries and books stores.

~I am a tea drinker, love tea.

~I love being outdoors; the trees, the quietness.

~I have an obsession with nicknames. A lot of my characters have nicknames. I think its interesting how people/characters are much more than the names they are given, and the ones they’ve grown into.

~I am a dog person. I like cats, too. But if I were to have one pet it’d be a golden retriever, lab, or a mix.

~My favorite color is now purple. (It used to be blue but my grandma passed recently and that was also her color.)

~I own about five different Star Wars t-shirts.

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Answering 11 Questions for being Nominated:

1. Why did you start blogging?

  • I started blogging to get myself to write an least something a day. I wasn’t writing anymore and it worried me. I would go weeks without writing anything. I started blogging just to get back into writing.

2. What do you love/ hate about blogging?

  • I love how freeing blogging is. It really is like writing in a diary, you can feel free to be yourself and that’s that.  I hate that I don’t have the time to write daily or more quality posts.

3.What is your philosophy?

  • I’d say…Live life to the fullest, no regrets.

4.What career are you pursuing/ What is your occupation and why?

  • I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Ideally a writer, who actually makes money. 😛 Right now I’m in data entry.

5.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • Hopefully published! And working on other projects.

6.Who is your favorite fictional character?

  • I’ve always loved Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is supposed to be the bad guy, but by the end of the show you can’t help but love him. He’s so pathetic and amusing.

7. What is your favorite movie?

  • I have a lot. Inception, Star Wars (of course), Princess Bride, Guardians of the Galaxy are probably the top faves though.

8.What is your favorite book/ quote?

  • I am a big fan of Maggie Steifvater. All of her words are great. But I really loved this one from The Dream Theives:

“There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.”

9.  What is your zodiac sign?

  • Gemini.

10. What is your biggest fear?

  • Fear of failure is a big one for me.

11. Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

  • I had a dream I was a dolphin once. I was leaping in and out of waves, it was so much fun and exhilarating…and then I woke up.

Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite book of all time?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite kind of food?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. What is your favorite thing to do during the Summer?
  8. What is your Zodiac sign?
  9. Do you believe in the supernatural? (Vampires, werewolves, ghosts?)
  10. Describe your strangest dream.
  11. What would you say is the best thing about you?

And that’s that! I can’t wait to read what you guys come up with!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 🙂