Thursday, December 29, 2011


Sorry for the delayed blogs this week. Things have been SUPER busy on my end lately. Hope everyone made it through the holidays in one piece. I did which is always a relief..... So, until next year, I say good riddance.

I have been diligently working on many things which is exciting. None of it has to do with writing unfortunately, although I did sit down and set up my writing goals for the next year. More on that in a few minutes.
I am getting married in April, and I have been doing yoga and walking my crazy dog to try to get into shape. I mean I realize that April is 4 months away, and there is no possible way that I can get myself into tip top shape by then, but I am at least taking small steps to better my health....... Oh, and the way I look in jeans :)
Also, my dog, -yes she's cute isn't she? Thats the only reason she isn't chinese food yet- decided that she wanted to be aggressive the other day and that is a no go in my book. She has a hard time remembering that I am the boss. So now I am doing dominance training with her, and its oh, so fun. I pray that you get a well behaved dog who loves you and does everything you want her to do whenever you command it because this sucks. I have had to completely start over on everything that I have taught her in the past year, because apparently it was the wrong thing for my dominant little bitch. Oh the joys of owning an animal.

My new years resolution is to be a better time manager. Do more with each day. And that includes writing. I'm not a goal setter. Given my history with it, I am no good. I figure I have enough disappointment in my life, without setting myself up for it voluntarily. However, a good friend of mine asked me the other week, How do you expect others to take your writing seriously when you don't take your writing seriously, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. So, I decided to set myself a time. 7-8:30p.m. every single night to simply write. Anything. Just to be on my computer, locked up somewhere, probably my sun room and write.

I just got done reading this book the other night. I have to admit that I adored it! This is Emily Casey's debut novel, and I really look forward to reading anything else she prints! Its about a girl who gets trapped in a fairy tale. Very similar to Beauty and the Best.  Her writing style was very easy to read and understand what was happening. The characters were incredibly real. And she left a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the book, which is the perfect set up for a sequel! Buy it. I promise you wont regret it.

Just incase you have any doubts, watch this trailer, and I promise you will be hooked. Thats what got me.

Anyway, I have dinner plans to attend, so I best be off. I probably wont blog until the new year, so everyone be safe and enjoy!

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending
 Maria Robinson quotes 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tis' the season to be jolly?

Christmas is annoying. Growing up in a Christian home, I know that there is more then just gifts to celebrate, but its still a frustrating and stressful time of year. Even more-so when you have family drama to contend with, but thats not something I'm ready to talk about, especially here. I just want to complain for a hot second, and make you listen, or, uh, read.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of writing lately, if not for bettering my muse, then simply to take my mind off of things, and it has been helpful. I have really zeroed in and gotten things done. Which is huge for me.

I kind of decided to take a step back from my W.I.P. for now until after Christmas. I need a breather. Its getting difficult for me to write, and I know that when it gets to the point where its not fun to write anymore, no one is going to have fun reading it. So I am taking a break and reevaluating where I am headed with it.

In the meantime though, I have been working on a few non-fiction pieces. A friend of mine gave me the idea, that if I want to truly get serious I should try sending some non-fiction pieces off to magazines because not only would I get experience in writing, and writing tightly and precisely, but there is a good chance I could get paid for it as well. So, win, win!

She recommended this book to me and I have to say that it has given me so many ideas. I realized that I have the potential to write so many things, so many life experiences that could fit perfectly into the pages of said magazines.

As well as doing research for that little project, I have sent a resume and writing sample to Demand Studios and lets talk about how nerve wracking that was. I have never had someone read my work for publication, much less a complete stranger. Bah. And the resume? I was selling myself left and right because I don't have any real work experience in writing I had to focus on other things that I do have experience in that could maybe help me with that job. Although it was scary, I can only learn from this experience, and get better, right?

Anyway, I just thought that I would write a quick blog to those three of you who actually stop by and read it. Merry Christmas. Hope yours will be better then mine :)

"Do one thing every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Today I felt that a blog about not writing but war was appropriate, so bare with me on this one.

I don't really ever get involved in politics. My dad always told me that as an American I should use my rights and take politics seriously, try to change things that are un-American. My dad is a republican. I am not. I do not follow politics at all, to the complete disappointment of my dad and my fiancee. They make me nervous and frustrated.

I can say though that I live by morals. Mostly. Sometimes my morals get cloudy, and sometimes I don't care about them. But I can tell you that I do not like violence. I think that no matter what its uncalled for. Self protection is the only exception, but you wouldn't need it if everyone followed the no violence policy. Therefor, while I am appreciative that other people are willing to fight for our freedom, for our rights, for my right to speak my mind, I am anti war.

I try to remember that if I were an Iraqi and my country was being run the way theirs was, I would desperately want someone to step in and take care of it, but the other part of my mind asks, is it any of our business? If thats the way it has been run for years, and thats how they are used to being treated, then how is it our responsibility to step in and change it? In a way I suppose that its kind of like the abusive lover that you continue to return to. Well, maybe not, but thats the best I can come up with right now. Don't get me wrong, I am all about everyone being treated equally and like civilized humans. I do not under any circumstances believe that anyone should be ruled over and treated the way that some people get treated. I am just having a hard time seeing how killing a bunch of people solves that. Its like teaching your child not to hit by hitting/spanking them. Where is the logic in that?

I just don't know that it was our job to send all of our boys into very dangerous situations that had nothing to do with us. I have been blessed in that I know no one personally who died in this terrible war. But just think if you were the mother, or wife, or daughter of someone who died. They say that they died defending our country, but they didn't. They died defending someone else's country. Someone else's rights.

And, like I said, I don't really follow politics at all, so maybe I'm talking out of my ass, and if I am then don't read anymore of this post, but what does that have to do with us?

We got the man that reeked havoc on America. Why should the families of the men in the service continue to have to worry about their loved one's when their job should have been done?

War frustrates me. When I think of it, I think of little boys on the playground throwing rocks at each other for fun because one said or did something to offend the other. Its childish and unnecessary.

So I'm glad that as of today, its mostly over.

One more thing that got me thinking, and then I promise that I will be done with this, and we can go back to having fun: My fiancee closely follows politics. He is very knowledgeable on all things politics. He has very set in stone thinking and morals, and I appreciate that about him, although I don't follow it at all myself.
He said something to me the other day that really got me thinking about rights of everyone, not just Americans.
He said: What if we offended the Chinese, so to "monitor" things and keep their people safe, they stuck bases all around American soil. They reeked havoc whenever they felt necessary, and we had to live in fear in turmoil because of it, disrupting how we are used to living? It would never fly. So why is it that America gets to have bases all around the world to "monitor" things and keep us safe? Why do people in other countries have to live like that? I do not believe that we are any safer in America by their pro-cautions.

But maybe thats just me.

One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.

Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976), Autobiography (1977)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kickin' it old school

So I haven't written today. 


I say yet, because in all honesty I do plan on doing some writing. I've just had a few set backs today. Really. Ok, well, kind of.

I worked from 6-2 today, then I got home and my laptop was dead, so I had to charge it completely, as any good Mac owner would. 

The plan was that while my laptop was charging, I'd take a quick shower, do a little cleaning and then get to writing. My boy works overtime tonight and wont be home until 7, so I figured I'd have a TON of time to myself, you know, to get stuff done. Namely writing. 

Instead, I made a pot of coffee, jumped on Facebook, called my mother, called a friend whom I'm meeting tomorrow for a writing chit chat, which I'm super stoked about, drank a pot of coffee, texted my hair appointments that I have tomorrow to figure out exactly what my magic fingers are creating, played with my puppy for a while because she has been sick and I feel bad for her, finished reading my book, which was entertaining to the very end, and I'll talk more about in a minute, but this is the one.

And then I found the Alicia Keys station on Pandora. I couldn't very well take a shower and gamble missing a great song. Don't pretend that you wouldn't postpone your shower in favor of some old school music. You totally would too.

Needless to say I was still sitting around in my nasty work clothes well past 5pm. So reluctantly, I jumped into the shower, made myself some dinner -leftovers- poured a glass of wine, and blew my hair dry while I was waiting for it to be done.

I ate, jumped back on Facebook, and now here we are, still jamming out, sipping a glass of wine, and putting off writing, because, well, I don't know why, I just don't feel like it today I guess. 

Which is not an acceptable answer, and I fully intend to get to it, even though its ten till 7 and the boy will be home soon. 

Why is it that when you have the most time to dedicate to writing, you don't do it? I don't anyway. I'll admit it. It seems that the times that you can buckle down and let the creative juices flow, you find 8,000,000,000 other things that you can do, all of which do not include writing. I hate that.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is actually writing. Sitting down and making yourself do it, regardless of whats going on around you. Do it anyway. Sit. And. Write. No. Matter. What. Free nugget of advice from me to you, oh, and for me as well. 

Anyway, this book. Cracked me up. Totally. I think because I could totally relate. I was Tracey. Before I got engaged that is. I felt for her. And sometimes I wanted to cry for her. I was so frustrated for her, and so happy for her. 

Funny how sometimes you don't feel like you can admit the truth. The completely psychotic gremlin that you truly are, until you read about it in a book and can accept that you aren't the only one in the entire world that felt those feelings that you did or do feel.

Even though I hate that I was that girl, and believe me, I was worse, I can admit it, and move on to wedded bliss. Or something. I don't know, I'm not to that part of my story yet. 

This part really doesn't have much a point I suppose. It just made me feel better to know that I wasn't the only one in the world who was in love with someone, and couldn't figure out why they didn't want to spend forever with me. But the tricky part of our relationship was that he did, and does, and I cannot wait to spend forever with that boy. 

So, anyway, now that I got all personal, I'm ready to be done blogging. Oh, and I need another glass of wine because I accidentally drank all of the wine in my glass already. Oops.

So, writing.......!

The total history of almost anyone would shock almost everyone.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whoa. Whoa!

So I have been dragging my feet about this whole organization thing when it comes to writing. I really do enjoy the whole fly by the seat of my pants style that I have started using.  BUT, as it turns out it was only good for the first part of my book. Now, this whole week I have been stuck. Its so frustrating because I have a four day a week 6-2 job, and I also do hair on the side, so the time that I can dedicate to writing, its helpful for it to be productive.

So, I started reading that book below. Its been so helpful, full of ideas. Last night I decided to sit down with index cards, as was one of her suggestions, and try to think of scenes to write to finish my novel. I'm so close, only 30,000 words away. And while that may look like a lot, if I know where I am going with my novel, I can pump those words out in no time.

Here, I have to admit, that I was a little reluctant. Like I said, usually the words and plot twists just come to me. I don't have to do any planning. So I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to think of anything to write if I knew in my head that I was being organized. However, it went really well. I think I'll have to do that more often. Its nice to see in black and white, cut and dry, what needs to happen first in order for the next thing to happen. I ended up with 23 index cards to almost finish my book. I haven't decided one tiny, big, part of the ending yet. But it will come to me.

In the meantime I am excited to have found an organizational tool to help me finish my W.I.P. I have the day off so I am going to spend it writing, and hopefully I'll get quite a bit accomplished!

"Fall seven times rise eight." Japanese Proverb

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Plot 1, Nicole 0.

I am not the best planner. Oh, I can be, don't get me wrong. I can have notes, and lists of things to accomplish. Actually I work really well with lists, in the real world. Well, mostly. Sometimes I still get away from them and do other things.

 In the creative world not so much. I like to have a goal to work towards, but I find that if I have things too set in stone, I lose some creativity along the way.

I am working on my organization skills during writing though. You'd be proud. And I think it has helped my writing. Its a lot easier for me to concentrate on tiny chunks of my story rather then the entire thing. I have started using a program called Scrivener and I absolutely love it. Its very creativity orientated and helps me organize my thoughts in a way that works well for my specific writing style!

Ideally I'd like to get to the point where my brain can come up with things exactly when I want them, but right now, in my life, thats not how things work.

Today I sat in front of my computer willing the words to come to me for two hours. Do you think my brain was kind enough to cut me a break? Nope. It was an asshole today. 

The thing is, I know where I want to go with my story, I know what my plot twists are. I just don't know how to get there. And its the most frustrating thing in the world.

So, needing a break, but not wanting leisure time, I fired up my Kindle to see what kind of books I had archived on writing. 

*Side note: I have a bit of a problem with buying books on Kindle. I have so many books on there, and a lot of unread ones too. Its a bit of an obsession and I fear that my fiancee will one day send me to K.A. -Kindle Anonymous- for my problem.*

Anyway, I stumbled upon this book:

I read a lot of blogs about writing, and one of the blogs that I read recommended Holly Lisle's website, so I signed up for her emails. Then a few weeks later I ran into an old neighbor, who lives next door to my parents. She is working on publishing a few novels, and we started talking about the writing process. She also recommended Holly Lisle to me. So I got on Amazon and did a little shopping. 

I had completely forgotten about that until this afternoon, when in a complete state of failure, I desperately read the first part of the book.

Instantly I was intrigued . She is a very good writer. She writes so that dummy's like myself can understand what she is saying. And she had a lot of good points early on, which I love because I lose focus quickly. 

She says, "A plot is not some fixed and finished document that you work from and follow like a blueprint. A plot is a messy, chaotic combination of your logic, your passion, and your Muse's magic that is, at best, as stable as quicksand and as reliable as that uncle on the other side of the family who may show up on time and in his best suit, or who may show up three hours late drunk off his feet and singing You Shook Me All Night Long.
You deal with this by bracing yourself, making sure your sense of humor is turned all the way to Extra-High, and breaking out your Muse-taming toolkit."

I loved it. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I cant wait to finish this book! In the meantime, maybe I should go sit in front of my novel for a little longer, maybe my Muse will show up this time.

Happy is the man whom the Muses love: sweet speech flows from his mouth.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Since I have started this whole novel writing adventure, I have been doing extra reading about the craft. I just got done reading
Will Write For Shoes
Will Write For Shoes 
buy from: Amazon | Borders |Powell’s | Indiebound | B & N
Hardback · September 5, 2006
Paperback · August 21, 2007

Thomas Dunne Books
Hardback: ISBN: 0312358997
Paperback: ISBN: 0312359004

It was very helpful and informative, however, it also seemed too cut and dry. 

I'm not a person who likes rules very much. I'm a "rules are meant to be bent" kind of girl. I usually don't go all out and literally break every rule ever placed in my life, however, I do tend to bend them as far as I can without being caught, or, if I know that I'll be caught, without getting into to much trouble.

Lets take the hairnet situation at work. I work at an Assisted Living Home. I do work in dietary, however I do nothing with the food, yet, I have to wear the dreaded hairnet EVERY SINGLE DAY. They fall off all of the time. You'll find them on your back, or all over the floor. And they are a really terrible brownish redish color that absolutely does not blend with anyone's hair. Therefor, they are lucky if I put that thing on once a week.

The speed limit is a whole other ballpark: Its really more of a guideline than anything, right?

Anyway, I'm not a very good rule follower. 

Now, keep in mind that I am no published author. I haven't even finished my first novel, but I am close. Yeeeeeeee!!! Uh, sorry about that.

While this book had lots of wonderful ideas. Actually the ideas were endless. And, it opened my eyes to a lot of things that I didn't necessarily notice or think about, I was just a little bit tiffed by all of the rules.

I am aware that you have to have some kind of a guideline, something to aim for. And she does says over and over that she is a really organized control freak, but thats not how I work so I didn't find some of her suggestions helpful to how I write.

That being said, it really was a fun fast read. Informative, even if I didn't agree with everything, and obviously well researched. I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

I do believe that the biggest thing that I have learned since starting this journey is - drum roll- you actually have to sit down and write. Something. Every. Single. Day.

Wow. I know.

Ok. So you probably figured that. I'm not sure why I had this notion in my head that if you came up with this really great idea for a book, even if you didn't have a complete plot line, it would just write itself, based on that genius idea. Dumb, right? 

But seriously, sitting down every single day to write is difficult. Sometimes I have nothing to say. Sometimes, I just straight up don't feel like it. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I'm to busy.

But it makes me happy, and gives me a sense of accomplishment like nothing else in the world. And I'm a better person when I am writing. My fiancee likes me a lot more because I am chipper and excited. Its really a win, win.

So I have to sit my ass in the chair every single day, and write something. 

And I have for the past month. I know thats not a lot, but it is for me, so I'm excited about it. Just let me have it!

So my challenge: Every day this week, sit down and write 250-500 words on your work in progress.

Do it, I will. Probably. You wont regret it though. Promise.

If I'd observed all the rules, I'd never have got anywhere.
Marilyn Monroe

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I deleted my old blog. My whining doesn't really need to be broadcasted. Instead, I decided to write about writing. So, this is a blog about my writing. My struggles, my triumphs, my crazy caffeine intake, my inspiration.
It will probably be peppered with funny stories from the Assisted Living Home I work at, my crazy dog, and my pretty funny life in general.
I also want to talk about books. I love to read, so I do it a lot. I want to know what you are reading, so that I can read it too!

I figured we should start with a bit of a history lesson. So here goes:

The History of Nicole as told by Nicole

I started writing stories at age 6. Oh yes, I had an overactive imagination. Even all the way back then I loved to imagine a life so different from my own. Not that mine wasn't fantastic, because I had an abnormally good childhood, and really, it wasn't until I was 16 that shit started to get real. But thats another story for another time. I was always intrigued by people. By lives. And I always thought that it was fun to make things up. On the long trips to my great grandparents house, I used to sit in the back seat of my parents maroon mini van, and watch the houses go by, imagining what the lives of the people inside of them were like.

Writing has always been a very private thing to me. Although I can remember a time way back then, when as soon as I would finish a story, I would run downstairs to find my mom so that she could tell me how great/original/hilarious/clever, said story was.

However, the older I got the more private it became. I'm not really sure why. My sister was the only one I would allow to see my writing. And she hated to read.

I guess I always figured that normal kids write stories, its their job to imagine. But as you get older, you are supposed to start acting more like your mom, so imagining was pointless. What did writing have to do with child rearing anyway? And that was the ultimate goal, right? So I did it in private. Like something that I was ashamed of. Its not even that anyone made me feel that way, its just what I thought.

The other side of that could be that I was protective of it. I couldn't handle someone rejecting something that I loved so dearly. So I just didn't show anyone. I figured that I'd beat them to the punch.

I did NaNoWriMo for years. If you don't know anything about NaNoWriMo you should. Click here and do some research so that you are ready in November. Anyway, I did it for years, and no one knew. How sad is that? I figured I would fail at it anyway, so there was no point in sharing it with people. Oh, also, I didn't want anyone to know that I still wrote, so there was that. I was afraid to show people my work because of people's thoughts and religious views. I was afraid of being judged. Judged for my language, my content, my story line. I don't know. I guess pretty much everything.

Anyway, I've gone on like this for far to long. I'm ready to stop. I am engaged to marry the most wonderful boy you could ever imagine. And he loves that I love to write. He encourages me to do so. He helped me win NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, this past November. And I love him so much for that. Because of him, I am ready to face my fear of failure, and rejection. I still don't want to disappoint my mother, but I've got to live life for me now. I am ready to plunge ahead into the unknown because its what I love. And I feel complete when I am creating something. So, go me!

Thanks for listening. I'd love to hear your stories.

So, go!

I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to. 
- Jimi Hendrix