Category Archives: Wednesday Randomness

Wednesday Randomness – Goals for 2016

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It’s that time of the year, to set goals for the next year. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Finish the first draft of the novel I started this year.
  • Blog at least twice a month (which will beat my average for this year).
  • Craft more. This one is kind of generic because I’m still searching for my perfect craft. I keep trying different things but I haven’t found something that totally fits yet…I’m going to keep looking though.
  • Read 52 books. This one is completely overly-ambitious. There are times during the year when I’m too busy at work to read much, but I’m going to give it hell.
  • Stick to the at-home exercise plan I’ve developed.

 

Check out the blogs below to see what all the goals set for 2016:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Kris
Jess

 

 

Wednesday Randomness – Mistakes from My First Manuscript

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This week’s Wednesday topic is mistakes from my first manuscript and how I’ve grown as a writer. Well, I’ve only ever made it through one full novel-length draft, so I guess this will be mistakes from my one and only manuscript. And boy did I make them. 

The first thing that comes to mind is using people’s names too much in conversation, kind of like I do when I’ve had a bit too much to drink. So it made it sound like a bunch of teenagers were constantly tipsy. “Gwen, let me tell something, let me tell you Gwen, I have something to tell you…” It wasn’t pretty.

And then of course there was the word repetition. There are only so many words for boardwalk and pier, and that leads to another mistake. One of the characters kept telling one of the other characters that he should do this one particular thing while he was in town, over and over again she kept bringing it up. Well, he finally did and it was completely anticlimactic. The whole thing was a waste of word count and had no point in the story. The town where the book takes place is real and I felt I had to work in all the known landmarks come hell or high water.  

I also, in a couple of circumstances, decided to cover important scenes in two sentence summaries and instead spend my word count on less important scenes that didn’t move the plot forward. They were still interesting, in my mind, but maybe not as integral to the plot points. 

There were countless other mistakes, but those are the big ones that come to mind. In the writing I’ve done since then, I’ve tried to keep these issues in mind so I can either avoid them as much as possible or at least make more conscious choices about them. I like to think I’ve improved since I finished that first manuscript, at least a bit. 

Check out the links below to see how the other bloggers have come along in their writing:
Jess
Bronwyn
Jessica
Gwen
Kris

Wednesday Randomness – A-Z Recipes

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Believe it or not, I actually completed both blog topics this week. Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years!

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This week’s Wednesday topic is A-Z Recipes, either ones we love to make or want to try making. I had to make up or alter names for a few of them so they would fit certain letters, but I made it work! I didn’t include the recipes or link to them because most of them or either in books or in my head, but if you’re interested in one, let me know and I can write it out in the comments.

A – Asparagus and Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry (totally takes the place of wanting to order Chinese take-out)

B – Basil Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

C – Chicken Fricassee (one of the first “real recipes” I ever tried cooking)

D – Dad’s Chili (I’m very picky about chili, not too tomato-y, although I do make a few changes from his recipe)

E – Edamame Chicken Pot Pie (it’s just Chicken Pot Pie with Edamame in it, but I really like it and it worked for “E”)

F – Fried Chicken (never made it but my Southern roots make me feel like I should try it)

G – Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Panini

H – Homemade Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (these are beyond sinful, I usually only make these at Christmas because they are kind of labor intensive and have ridiculous amounts of butter in them)

I – Invisible Parrot (2 parts Sprite or 7UP with 1 part Malibu Rum and a slice of lime – delicious)

J – Jones’ Family Famous Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (actually my husband’s recipe)

K – Kayleigh’s Signature Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Cookies

L – Lasagna (I love my mom’s lasagna recipe, I’m not big on sauce on hers is not saucy at all)

M – My Grandpa’s Parmesan Chicken (it could be in any Italian restaurant it’s that good, if he would just give me the recipe)

N – Not Your Mom’s Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs (it involves ground chicken meatballs with Chinese Five Spice, pea pods, and sesame oil on the noodles)

O – Orange Tempeh Vegetable Stir Fry

P – Pesto Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

Q – Quiche (never made one, only had it for the first time this summer but I really liked it)

R – Redskin Garlic Mashed potatoes (simple but I love them)

S – Skinny Burrito Bowl (so good!)

T – Thanksgiving Squash Casserole (it’s really just a squash casserole, but I only make it on Thanksgiving)

U – Utterly Delicious Apple Pie Rolls (I just saw these on Pinterest, you use Crescent rolls and put a slice of apple in each one along with spices and nuts, then roll them up and bake them; I can’t wait to try them this fall)

V – Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

W – Walnut Oatmeal Banana Bread

X – Xasperating Pumpkin Roll Cake (it’s so good but very tricky, again a Thanksgiving only recipe)

Y – Yummy Summer Apple Salad (apple, pineapple, butterscotch pudding mix, and whip cream; very easy and tastes like caramel apples)

Z – Zucchini Taco Boats

Check out the links below to see what the other bloggers love to make (or want to try making):

Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Gwen
Kellie

Wordless Wednesday – On My Bookshelf

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IMG_1229 IMG_1228  IMG_1225  IMG_1221 IMG_1215 IMG_1220 IMG_1218 IMG_1216 IMG_1217Click the links below to see what the other bloggers have on their bookshelves:
Bronwyn
Jessica
Gwen
Jess

Wednesday Randomness – A Few of My Favorite Things: Music (Artists/Groups)

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This week’s blog post is another favorite things topic, this time focusing on music.

I listen to music constantly, while I’m working, writing, driving, reading, cleaning, doing anything really. It helps me focus, in a way. Like there’s a part of my brain that wanders but if I have music playing, that part of my brain has something to focus on. And since music plays such a large part in my day, what I listen to is pretty important.

My husband would say I’m stuck in the 90’s. I might agree with that, to an extent. I do like a certain amount of music from that era, but who doesn’t like to listen to what they did in high school? So yes, I totally still have Toad the Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows, and Better Than Ezra in constant rotation. I even saw TTWS and Counting Crows in concert last summer and my little Doc Marten wearing heart soared. Here’s a big throwback to the 90’s…the original Mr. Jones video. Oh my god, I feel so old right now.

I love U2. I know a lot of people don’t like Bono, but I don’t care. I love their music. I gravitate towards the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums, but I also really love All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Thought I’d throw in a little 80’s U2 for your viewing pleasure, I still love this video.

What else? I’ve always loved “oldies,” Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is one of my favorites. I’ve been listening to Simon and Garfunkel since I was in the womb.

I know there are so many more I’m missing, but this gives you a taste of my favorite music. I listen to a wider variety than is represented here, but I definitely lean towards a certain type as my “core” music, I guess.

Check out the links below to see who the other ladies are listening to:
Jess
Bronwyn
Gwen
Jessica
Kris

Wednesday Randomness – Favorite Quotes

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This week’s random Wednesday topic is favorite quotes, I’ve chosen a few quotes on books, writing, and life in general.

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs had some amazing quotes, these are three of my favorites:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Moving away from one person in particular, these are some of my favorite quotes on books and writing…
Writing is hard
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”  – Dr. Seuss
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman
“Art harder motherfucker.” – Chuck Wendig
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” – Beverly Cleary
And finally, some random awesome quotes…
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen King
“Do not confuse my bad days as a sign of weakness. Those are actually the days I am fighting the hardest.” Anonymous
“What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” – Albert Einstein
Check out the Wednesday bloggers for their favorite quotes:

Wednesday Randomness – I Spend Too Much Time…

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I Spend Too Much Time…Raiding Windmills. We go side by side, laugh until its right. Take the darkest hour, break it open.

If you can tell me what song that’s from, I’ll give you chocolate. And no Googling!

But seriously folks, this week’s Random Wednesday topic is – I Spend Too Much Time…

Worrying.

I am a master worrier. I worry about everything. Did I leave the toaster plugged in? Did I lock the door when I left for work? Am I going to lose my job? Is something in my house going to fail drastically? Is my cat sick? I can worry about anything at any time and it can easily spiral out of control. And if I’m not careful I can end up in a panic attack.

I also spend too much time not writing. Every day I leave work telling myself that I’m going to go home and write. Instead I go home and binge watch Netflix, or goof around on the internet, or read. Or sleep. It’s a wonder I ever get anything written at all.

Last but not least, I spend too much time “shoulding.” I tell myself I should be doing this or I should be doing that. All it does is add to my stress level so I’m working on cutting my self some slack. Easier said than done.

Check out the Wednesday blogs below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – Five Words or Less

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This week’s blog post is another Five Words or Less…on My Blog, My Fiction, and My Creative Process.

So, let’s see what we’ve got here.

My Blog – Aimless, needs a new title.

My Fiction – Unfocused, not happening right now.

My Creative Process – Lacking, distracted, squirrel!

Can everyone tell what kind of mood I’m in right now? 🙂

Check out the other blogs to see what they have to say:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Gwen
Kellie

Wordless Wednesday – My Past

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Check out the other bloggers:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
Jess
Gwen
Paige
Kellie

Wednesday Randomness – What Inspires Me from A to Z

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This week’s topic is what inspires me…from A to Z. This was hard. This was very hard. I almost gave up, three times. But I stuck to it, and this is what I came up with. Some of these are writing inspirations, some are general inspirations in life. I couldn’t come up with something for every letter of the alphabet, but I did my best.

A

Books, duh.

C

Dora is my husband’s great-grandmother and she is 102. She has seen so much and lived through so many changes in the world. She’s lost a husband, a daughter, survived breast cancer in the 70’s, and she’s always in a good mood when you visit her. She’s an amazing lady.

E

Fear inspires me, mainly the fear of being stuck forever in a job that I don’t want to be doing when I’m 60. I don’t hate my job, but I don’t want to do it forever. And the fear of seeing myself in that same desk 30 years from now inspires me to keep writing.

G

Hiddleston, Tom inspires many things that I will not talk about here. 🙂

Ireland inspires me, because, well, I should have been born Irish. Something about the culture and history speaks to me. Just looking at pictures of the rolling green hills and rocky shorelines makes me happy.

J

K

Location, location, location – there are many places in the world that inspire me. I was fortunate to travel to Italy as part of a program when I was in college and I got to visit Venice. The Grand Canal is amazing and seeing pictures of it always brings me back there. Cheesy as it sounds, it transports me.

My brother co-runs a small theater company in Seattle. it started out as something he did only part of the year, but it has become his full time job. He has put so much time and effort and creative energy into this venture. I’m inspired by his willingness to do something out of the ordinary and to take this plunge.

New experiences, any new experiences, have the potential to inspire. I tend to be rather hermit-iike in my tendencies, so I really have to push myself sometimes, but I always tell myself that a new experience may be the inspiration I need for a new story.

O

People watching kind of goes along with new experiences, you never know what you might see when you’re around a group of people. And boy can you get inspiration from people you see out and about.

Q

Rainstorms inspire me the same way that sad songs inspire me. Sometimes I get stuck in a melancholy mood and when I’m there, I just like to kind of wallow in and see where it takes me. Some of my best writing ideas have come out of those moods.

Sad songs inspire me to write. There’s something about the mood they put me in, it gets the creative juices flowing. I think they tap into the inner high school loner in me.

Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my all time favorite bands, I love them unashamedly and I always will. There are numerous songs that I hear that take me back to a certain time or event. There are also particular songs that fall under that “sad song” category that inspire me to write. They help me when I’m working on YA stories because I can get back into my teenage headspace.

U2 is another one of my favorite bands, inspirational on many levels.

V

Water in the form of lakes (Lake Michigan specifically) or oceans is incredibly inspiring to me. I can sit on a beach and listen to waves for hours. The first draft of a full length novel I finished is heavily influenced by water, the main character is for sure. I also find it soothing, I often fall asleep to water sounds.

X

Yellow Ledbetter is a song by Pearl Jam. I can’t understand most of the lyrics because, you know, Eddie Vedder. but something about the opening chords of that gives me chills.

Z

Check out the other Wednesday bloggers to see what inspires them. And make sure welcome our newest blogger Paige Prince!
Bronwyn
Paige
Jess
Jessica
Kellie
Kris
Gwen