What have I done!?

That is of course, a rhetorical question…I know exactly what I’ve done…and there’s no going back now.

It’s not earth-shattering, or life changing, nothing is hanging in the balance…I’ve just made some changes.

I scrapped my novel (it’s still on my computer to be revisited later if I feel like going back…I’ve learned that lesson the hard way!).

GAH!!!

It’ll be fine, I know it, I have a new (BETTER!) idea…it’s actually an old idea; this is an idea that I began turning into a full fledged…something…a few years ago and wanted to continue but LOST THE FILE!

So we’ll see what happens.

I hope I don’t regret this.

 

 

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My Google History Is Weird

I’m thinking of making this a series…

As a writer, I’m almost always writing something -whether it’s a novel, short story, finishing a prompt – I always have something going on and sometimes I have to turn to Google for help with research.

So, in this first edition of “My Google History is Weird” we have….

1.) “Anatomy of an aircraft carrier” – this is for a mystery/thriller that I’m working on where my narrator and main antagonist are both former Navy and served together on an aircraft carrier…of which I really only knew one thing, they hold planes and people. This search led to some very interesting results!

2.) “Who is the President of Panama?” – this search was for a research paper that I wrote for my Comparative politics class…(by the way, it’s Juan Carlos Varela)

3.) “Explain it to me like I’m five – image” – because sometimes this is the best reaction .gif to send to someone.

office-article

4.) “Character Name Generator” – because, let’s be honest, I’m awful at naming my characters…I think I should probably just bookmark the name generator…

5.) “What would be the rank of a navy fighter pilot?” – because I know next to nothing about military ranks…I should probably bookmark this page too, at least until I’m done with this project.

and finally, the strangest search in my history, the one that would probably make people scratch their heads the most…

6.) “Civil war battlefield medical techniques”– I knew what I was getting into with this one but I still don’t think I was prepared. This one as you can likely guess was for a civil war era historical fiction project that is still ongoing…however, thanks to google, much of the research is done!

I’m really thinking I might turn this into a series because as long as I’m still writing, I’ll be using Google for help with research and probably turning out more weird searches!

Until next time!

Megan

I am NOT a planner

I am not a planner…at least not when it comes to my writing.

In other areas of my life I am almost an obsessive planner; I have three calendars (four if you count my phone) – this would be a wall calendar, a desk top Post-It brand calendar, and my Erin Condren (very aptly named) Life Planner. I write everything in these calendars – birthdays, meetings, volunteer work, football games…you name it. I. Am. A. Planner.

My writing is a totally different story.

Last semester, I had to write a term paper and two months prior to it’s due date I was required to submit an outline. That meant that I had to plan out each section of the paper, what I wanted to say, who I wanted to interview, and how I wanted it all to flow.

This is kind of a foreign concept to me. Everything thing else I’ve ever written, has been – fly by the seat of my pants – and not – meticulously planned out like this term paper had to be….let’s be honest, even this blog post was entirely spur of the moment!

My first major writing projects, the three (as of yet) unpublished novels on my computer that still need edits and re-writes, were not planned or outlined, they just sort of happened….

That’s why, this November I’m stepping WAY out of my comfort zone and writing something that basically demands to be planned. I’m stepping out of my usual romance/historical fiction/rom-com comfort zone into….Mystery/Crime Drama/Legal Thriller.

This means that I have to know who the victim and perpetrator are ahead of time; I have to know the who/what/where/when/why/how well before the story hits paper. It has already proven to be a challenge in that I have only planned two of my characters…they have wonderful backstories….but I need to move on to the rest of the outline. Wish me luck! This is going to be a very interesting NaNoWriMo as I embark on this personal challenge!

Blessings,

Meg

Hiatus

At least that’s what we’ll call it.

In reality, life got in the way and that’s the reason it’s been six months since I’ve posted anything here. So let’s see, what’s happened in the last six months?

I turned 23 in April.

I visited Disney World in May.

I got a new job in June (same office, different title and responsibilities).

I worked a ton in July (covering my old job and new while they looked for my replacement).

I sprained my ankle on my last training walk for a race in August.

I walked an 8 mile race in September (my first competitive walk/run!)

And now here we are in October! October is typically a month that I will use for planning for NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month…in fact I’m posting here to avoid a serious plot hole that I just found in my story planning…that and the fact that right now my plan only has two characters.

Not only am I working, but school started in September as well and that’s when life starts to get busy and things get in the way, I am hoping to remedy that though! I would like to post here all throughout October and November – use this space as a storyboard, a journal, or a procrastination tool (that should be no problem). This should not only keep me accountable to my (few) readers, but also help spur me along if I get stuck in a novel writing rut.

Along with participation in NaNoWriMo, I am also working on three previous NaNo projects – one I’m in the middle of the long nightmare that is editing, one is being completely rewritten (UGH!), and the third is being neglected because the two oldest projects have issues and the third can wait!

Anyway, all of that is to say that I need to be more consistent in this space, even if I’m the only one that ever reads these!

 

Book Review: I’ll Be Yours by: Jenny B. Jones

If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time you know that Jenny B. Jones is one of my favorite authors! She writes humorous, intelligent YA Fiction that is TOP NOTCH!

Among some of my favorites are the Katie Parker Production series, the Charmed Life series, and A Sugar Creek Christmas to name a few.

I was given the opportunity to read her newest YA novel, I’ll Be Yours in exchange for an honest review…I’ll Be Yours hits shelves on March 22, and trust me, you’re going to want to get yourself a copy!

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She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love.
He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101.
When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.

Harper O’Malley is a self proclaimed band geek (boy can I relate to that),she has scars, she has a troubled past, but she has a family that loves her. Her dad is the local university’s head football coach – life seems close to perfect and then it all falls apart.

Ridley Estes is a star football player with a past of his own; he needs tutoring in order to get to college and play college football…Harper is the girl for the job…on the condition that Ridley will teach her how to flirt.

One of the things I absolutely love about Jenny’s books is how relatable her characters always are; its as though you are sitting down with a cup of coffee and chatting with an old friend! Her books are laugh out loud funny, thoughtful, and sometimes heartbreakingly (it’s a word) real. She knows how to tug at your heartstrings in one sentence and have you rolling on the floor laughing in the next.

Harper is a character that I can identify with (for the most part); a band geek, academically minded young woman with no idea how to flirt with a boy….hello high school Meg! She rescues mistreated animals, deals with torment from her older brother and the boys on her dad’s football team (who are collectively one of the funniest characters in the book!)…but she has a past; she has scars that she tries to hide – both physical and emotional. She has dreams that torment her, and when her…I don’t want to use the word perfect because it has kind of a sarcastic connotation sometimes…maybe ideal is the right word….

When her ideal world…nope perfect works…

When her perfect world falls apart, her past comes back to haunt her – the scars, the dreams, the pain….it got to a point while reading (and yes, I am an emotional person even on a good day so…) where I couldn’t help but cry! I wanted to scoop Harper up like an overprotective big sister and hug her and cry with her! (Again, this is what Jenny’s books do! They make you feel things!)

Ridley is a character that is not quite so easy to identify with – tall, dark, and handsome football player, forced by his circumstances to grow up rather quickly, with a bit of a troubled history.

Ridley and Harper’s relationship initially is all business – she helps him with his academics and he helps her win the second chair trumpet player’s heart.

I want to keep this review relatively spoiler free so I’m going to leave the above statement as is….just the facts : )

As Harper and Ridley face their own challenges, they grow closer together (making Mr. Second Chair a bit jealous). Harper can open up to Ridley about things she doesn’t tell anyone else….and let me just be honest, I prefer Ridley to Mr. Second Chair too : )

Here’s the thing — while not explicitly Christian Fiction, this novel has a few great story lines that deal with forgiveness and redemption…Harper and her bio-mom, Harper and her (adopted) Dad, even one of Harper’s rescued dogs gets a new lease on life.

There is this little thread of redemption that weaves its way throughout the whole book; it brings the characters together in ways you won’t expect, and shows that even in some of the most awful situations – forgiveness is still possible given enough time. Not just forgi

Chalk this one up as another homerun…or touchdown from Jenny B. Jones!

Remember, I’ll Be Yours hits the shelves on March 22nd, or you can pre-order it right now on Amazon.

10/10, would recommend! Check it out, you’re going to love it!

Blessings,

Meg

 

 

Weekend Favorites 

…because I missed Friday…oops! 

1.) Book page jewelry….you guys, these bracelets are my favorite! I’ve been wearing them every day since I got them! A good friend of mine makes bracelets, earrings, and necklaces with book pages and they are awesome! Mine are made from the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird. 

   

2.) Hamilton the musical. A Broadway musical about the founding of our country?! Yes please!! 

  
3.) To Kill a Mockingbird. 

It’s not new by any means; its that book that I go to when nothing else interests me; that book that makes me think every time I read it; the book that taught me about people and human nature. 

  
RIP Harper Lee. 

  
Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend!

Blessings, 

Megan 

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Regret

I have a project that I’ve been working on for 412 days – I started it on January 1st 2015 and it is now February 16th 2016….and I just deleted about 10,000 words of this project.

For a little over a year I’ve been keeping a diary as Hannah Bishop circa 1863 – a year long diary of a woman living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the midst of the civil war. I’m still keeping the diary – April tripped me up a bit and set me back a while behind my planned writing schedule.

As well as using this “Civil War diary” I’m creating a modern day character following her own timeline of events. I came across my original notes for this book a few days ago and was reading through them and comparing them to the work I’d already done on this project and decided to scrap the new in place of the (better) old ideas….so about a third of what I’d written (and by written, I mean typed, this does not include what is written in the actual, physical diary I’m keeping) has been deleted…gone for good…and I can’t decide how I feel about that yet.

On one hand I’m glad that I’m going in a new direction because this new direction has a better flow and makes the story much easier to tell but on the other hand…I just deleted close to fifteen thousand words and set myself back several months…which kind of stresses me out.

31 Gifs That Perfectly Sum Up The Struggle Of Writing Motivational Letters

(.gif via Buzzfeed)

I need someone to tell me that I’m going to be okay and that I did what needed to be done because now that the changes are made and saved….I’m regretting it….

31 Gifs That Perfectly Sum Up The Struggle Of Writing Motivational Letters

(also via Buzzfeed)

….even though I KNOW that this is good for me and is what absolutely needed to be done!!

Friday Favorites

It has been a long while since I’ve written anything so why not start off with a few of my FAVORITE things right now!? 

First things first, Beautiful: A Carole King Musical. I am completely IN LOVE with this soundtrack! When the show makes its way to Detroit or back to Chicago – it is definitely on my must see list…but for now I will continue to rock out to the amazing soundtrack! 

  
I am also enjoying iPad versions of my favorite board games. The best way to relax (for me anyway) is sitting down after a long work day or after I’ve done homework and starting a game. Don’t get me wrong – I love playing irl but it’s hard to get people’s schedules to mesh so that we can have a game night so…I have three of my favorites downloaded to my tablet: Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, and Ticket to Ride. My favorite way to de-stress! 

  
  
Pandemic unfortunately (sometimes fortunately!) is only single player, so you get to play as the whole team, which sometimes is great but if you lose you have no one to blame but yourself! 

I’m LOVING the current season of Downton Abbey and have actually begun a rewatch of the series with season one! My favorite thing is re-meeting the characters; watching Mary and Matthew *sobs* meet each other again, seeing Sybil again *even more sobs* … I’m loving it! 

I have lots of other favorites that probably aren’t worth listing here but, let me know in the comments what YOU are enjoying right now! 

Blessings, 

Megan

Weird…

It’s so weird sitting at home, watching national news and seeing pictures of my town. 

Seeing Flint Michigan in the news is just. plain. weird. 

WATER is a basic human right.

WATER is needed for cooking, cleaning, bathing. 

The WATER in Flint is toxic. It’s poisoning the people who drink it.

Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame our governor SHOULD be actively trying to fix this horrific problem. 

No one should ever have to go without water they can drink…no one. 

  How am I supposed to teach kids the importance of water when half of them live in a home with water they can’t drink!? 
I’m sorry for this crazy, unorganized post….

It just breaks my heart

Absolutely breaks my heart. 

The Force Is Strong With This One…

When I was a young girl I loved Star Wars (I still love Star Wars!), I love the original trilogy; the score, the light sabers, the Falcon.

From age five to about six, I would watch A New Hope (episode IV) almost daily. I had a Princess Leia costume (a white pillow case with neck and arm holes cut out), and a wrapping paper tube light saber. I would play princesses with my cousin and she would dress up in the poofy, Disney licensed dress and I would don my pillowcase and tell her emphatically “but I’m a Princess too! In a galaxy far far away!” 

I just saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it!!) and I felt like I was five years old again! The magic of Star Wars that I once loved (that was dashed away by the prequels….so meesa thinks we won’t talk about those) was there in The Force Awakens. 

Rey is what I wanted to be when I played pretend so many years ago; she is strong and independent, doesn’t need (or want?) a man to save her, she is brave, and she £*~># %#^*+=•¥£>….sorry, I had to stop myself before I spoiled anything!!! 

Finn is amazingly human. As a child I never imagined the men under the Storm Troopers’ helmets – I mean, I knew that there were people under there but I always thought the actual Storm Troopers were robotic somehow. When Finn takes off that helmet and you get a glimpse of the humanity under the helmet I have to admit I was overcome with emotion. Finn wants to change his life and when he meets up with Poe and Rey he sets off on an journey that will do just that. 

Poe Dameron was amazing! He was funny, sarcastic, an amazing pilot (the best in the resistance) and really made you remember the magic of the original trilogy. Watching these three characters be introduced was so reminiscent of A New Hope and meeting Luke, Leia, and Han for the first time which brings me to…

Han Solo. 

When Harrison Ford first came on screen with Chewbacca by his side, I shed a little tear. When he and Leia saw each other for the first time I shed a lot of tears. 

Leia leading the resistance? Brilliant. Carrie Fisher is a gem! 

Let’s talk about Kylo Ren for a minute (no spoilers, I promise!); for quite a while in the movie he is this sinister, masked figure (with a super cool light saber!), clearly doing someone else’s bidding. At one point he removes his mask and Adam Driver delivers some pretty emotional scenes without that mask. There are two scenes in particular that I’m thinking of – I won’t share them here because you guys, I don’t want you spoiled – but good grief Adam Driver’s performance made my heart hurt for Kylo Ren, when he faces ******* inside the hangar (I think it was a hangar, I don’t know) and then when he faces ******* in the forest -both times without the mask – you could just see this raw emotion in his eyes…ugh, it broke my heart. 

The thing is, this is what Star Wars is supposed to be! The Force Awakens had all the magic of the original trilogy, the actors had awesome chemistry – making for great scenes between all of them – and made you feel like they really became these characters. 

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and if you’re like me you’ll hit the person next to you out of excitement (it was just my mom not a stranger so don’t worry). All that is to say that The Force Awakens didn’t disappoint!