Show and Tell Tuesday: Resolutions and Goals for 2015

Happy Tuesday morning friends! I’m linking up with Andrea today for a little Tuesday Show & Tell, and sharing my resolutions and goals for 2015, so lets get to it! 
1.) I know that it’s cliche to do a “new year, new you” kind of resolution but that’s where I’m going with number one: no soda for a year (and beyond). Several years ago I cut out soda completely and it was the best I’ve felt in a long time, so this year I’m resolving to drink mostly water with the occasional tea (iced and hot). 

2.) Blog more consistently – and thanks to Andrea and her Show and Tell series I think that might just happen! I plan on linking up for the Show and Tells that I am able to answer – this is one of those times where I feel weird knowing that I read a lot of these parenting blogs even though I’m not a parent…I found Andrea through Shay at Mix and Match Mama and have since fallen in love with both blogs. I love how deeply rooted they both are in their faith and I am so encouraged by their posts even though right now in this phase of my life I’m not a mom. I love the daily encouragement from these wonderful Godly woman! 

3.) Read more. I read quite a bit but with school and work and writing….and more excuses that I could give you but won’t, I didn’t read nearly as much this year as I would have liked. With the start of my winter semester today I had the opportunity to look over the course calendar and this class has a fairly lite work load which is WONDERFUL! I’ve got two books started right now, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Stephen W. Sears’ Gettysburg.

I am absolutely loving both right now! 
4.) Finally, I resolve to take the leap that I’ve been so scared of for so long and Just put my book out there, finally push the button and publish! I have about five chapters left to edit, then the changes need to be made in the actual manuscript and then I will be ready. I think my own fear and insecurity is what’s been holding my back and I’ve been passing it off as ‘procrastination’ but that is all going to change! New year, New year can mean more than getting healthier for me it also means letting go of anxiety and insecurity and this is step one in doing that. Have a sneak peek….
It’s really scary knowing that in a few weeks this book will go from being an idea in my head and words on a computer screen to something that the general public – strangers – can hold in their hand and read…and review…and critique…but I need to forget about that and just get it finished! 
Happy New Year dear readers, thank you for sticking with this little blog even when it seems like I’ve given up!
Blessings to you all this new year, 
Megan 




Help! I’ve fallen…

…into the (seemingly) never-ending pit that is EDITING…and REVISING…and REWRITING…and STARTING A NEW PROJECT……!!!!

Okay, so let me break that down for you.

Editing/Revising/Rewriting – Books one and two of the Love and Baseball Series: The Unwritten Rules and Stealing Home. Now technically I’m still writing book two, Stealing Home, but I am in the pre-production stages with The Unwritten Rules. Hopefully I will have The Unwritten Rules ready to go in January but I will keep you posted because my intended release date was a month ago…oops.

Starting a new project….I am still planning a third book for Love and Baseball however I am going to take a short break between books two and three to tackle an entirely new project…in a very new-to-me genre. I’ve always been a big history buff – thanks in large part to my dad – and one area of history that I have always been fascinated by and have studied quite extensively from middle school and beyond is the civil war. I’ve been planning a historical fiction novel almost since NaNoWriMo ended last month – I have a notebook full of research and don’t even get me started on the desktop sticky notes (you know the ones on a Windows PC): I have them color coded for each book I’m writing – Green for Love and Baseball books 1-3, yellow for the Civil War novel that still has no title, and pink for random thoughts for other possible stories….my desktop is a hot mess, but a color coded one : )

I’ve finished reading The Ripple Affair – expect a full review soon….but between now and the time I post a review go check it out…you won’t regret it – call it a stocking stuffer!

Thank you readers, for sticking with me even when I take super long annoying breaks from blogging. My fall semester is finally over, my books are (finally) winding down, and I have a nice little break between now and January to work on blogging consistently and finally publishing.

Merry Christmas!

Blessings,
Megan

7 Quick Takes about Writing, Sherlock, and Crazy Weather

Happy Friday! I’m glad to finally be getting back to the blog….I feel like I’ve been neglecting it for a while, but I have a good reason….that I will tell you all about later : )
Until then, here are my Quick Takes for the week:

1.) Housekeeping note: I took the blog back to it’s original design and layout….the green was getting to be a little to much for me, and honestly this look fits me better, and really fits the content of the blog better. Who knows, I may end up changing it again!

2.) There is something to be said for sensory memory! When I study, I almost always listen to music; for one unit of study (usually 8-10 chapters) I will listen exclusively to one album of all instrumental music. I’m taking online classes, so the studying and reading is all on my own time; I usually sit down with my notes and book and turn on that music for the duration of my study time. When I take my quizzes or exams at the end of units, I’ll turn on that same album in my room while I take my exam and the results cannot lie! I have gotten better results while listening to the music that I studied to than nothing at all! For this last unit it was the soundtracks from the first two Hobbit Movies; last unit it was the soundtracks from Sherlock; this last unit it will likely be the Star Trek (reboot) Soundtracks. This method of using sensory memory has always helped me….and it helps that that’s what we were just talking about in this class so I already knew a lot of the concepts : )

3.) Okay, no more psychology talk today….I posted earlier this week that I’ve been avoiding writing, going so far as to not even turning on the computer. I’ve been fleshing out the ideas for my novel in my head, knowing that once I sat down and pulled up the document I’d be making changes….lots and lots of changes. I was sitting in church Wednesday night waiting for orchestra rehearsal to start, and inspiration struck; I took out my phone and opened up a new note….I proceeded to write almost a full chapter right there in the pew before rehearsal. I knew that I’d have to add those changes to the whole document, and that if I didn’t I’d never be happy with the progression of my story.

The changes I made meant losing about five pages total…so my page count is down by half, but I’m happy with the way the story is moving. Before making the changes I felt that the story was too neat, too perfect. Everything was wrapped up for me in a nice little bow (because I’d written it that way) and I wasn’t happy with it….there needed to be a little chaos, some conflict, something other than this perfect plot progression from A-Z…now if I could just figure my characters out a little better….

Via: tumblr

4.) I write late at night….most nights. I will usually spend an hour or so writing just to get the ideas out of my head. A friend of mine gave me some good advice that has really helped me along, she said “Jump around, don’t write chronologically.” This advice has helped me so much with moving my plot. I have already written some of my major plot points and can work backwards from there to fill it in, and move forward with some kind of resolution. I mentioned writing late at night (of course to me, 10:30 is late….), I also sleep with a pad of paper and pen beside me to write down whatever ideas I come up with when I can’t sleep…I haven’t read them yet to see what I wrote but I have four pages from last night alone….I can’t remember what any of them say, so I may not use any of it but it allows me to get the ideas out of my head before I forget them!

5.)**There may be SPOILERS in this take if you haven’t finished Sherlock S3, you’ve been warned** It’s been nearly three weeks now and I haven’t talked about this yet….I think I needed some time to emotionally prepare myself for this topic…the Sherlock series 3 finale. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! The entire season was pretty amazing, but that finale had to be one of the best episodes they’ve done! I was so pleased with the whole season; the character development, the story lines, and the humor. I thought that they handled his return nicely; the reunion scene still gives me goosebumps….Martin Freeman is spectacular, and the emotion in his performance of the reunion scene was simply amazing. I loved seeing Sherlock carry out his duties as best man in the Sign of Three; giving his speech while also solving a murder was quite comical, but then you have His Last Vow. The Magnussen was a more chilling, terrifying villain than Moriarty because there was no way to stop him. The way they handled John and Mary’s situation (I really don’t want to spoil this if some of you haven’t seen it) was wonderful. John had his moments (months) of anger toward her, but still forgave her for her past….and then…AND. THEN. THE. END!!!! I am very interested to see what becomes of Moriarty’s “return”. Is he really alive (I don’t see how he can be, he clearly should be dead)? I can’t wait to see how that is handled in series 4…..when we eventually get it! 
Via Pinterest 

6.) The weather forecast for today is snow, rain, ice, and possible thunderstorms. Welcome to Michigan! Yesterday it rained, snowed, freezing rained, snowed, and then we even got some thunder and lightening. Some of the snow is melting which means for the first time in MONTHS we are starting, yes only starting, to see some grass. We still have drifts of snow that can be measured in FEET not inches, but spring is slowly making its way here….I am so ready!!! (Just a note: As I’m typing this it’s snowing, and hour ago it was raining)

7.) I’m linking up with Jen for Quick Takes today, and debating whether or not to link up for her 7 posts in 7 days….what do you think??
Enjoy your weekend, and if you live someplace warm: Walk barefoot outside from me, I miss being able to do that! 
Blessings, 
Megan

7 Quick Takes: 2/8/13

Happy Friday! As always, I’ll be joining up with our wonderful host Jen, over at Conversion Diary…..and away we go!

1.) Last Saturday I spent all day writing, and writing, and writing and….well, I think you get the picture. I was alone at home and I had my computer in the living room, and I decided that I would put something on the TV just for a little noise….I went to NetFlix and I thought that I would see what all the hype is about with Downton Abbey.

I have seen the light! I watched all of season one on Saturday…all of it! I’m finally beginning to get caught up now on season three, and I’m wondering why I didn’t just start watching it to begin with back when it first started! I have gotten myself totally hooked, and I am falling in love with these people! It has made for some great TV watching!

So.Much.Love for this show!
2.) My research paper is finally finished, and (as I figured would happen) I didn’t stick with my original topic. I thought that the topic of Religion would be easy, but boy was I wrong. I had no problem finding the research to go along with that topic, but putting my thoughts into words was SO difficult for me! I finally just picked an entirely different topic: Parents’ Relationships. I used my own mom and dad as an example, and incorporated Alfred Bandura’s studies in Observational Learning……basically I said that kids learn from watching mom and dad, although I said it in more technical terms….I can tell, that this is where my heart is at. Not necessarily this developmental stuff, but Psychology in general, I can talk about it for hours, and I never tire of reading about it! I’m in for a fun ride!
3.) Sunday we had a preview rehearsal of the concert our Worship Arts Ministry will be presenting for Easter, and I was totally blown away by the music! It is a really good mix of some new contemporary worship songs, and traditional hymns of the church! The orchestration is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the horn part!
4.) I’ll admit this to you….please don’t judge me. I’m writing this late Thursday night….as I’m looking out my window, all I can see is swirling snow. According to weather maps, I am right smack in the middle of this “Massive snow storm”. Local stations are calling it “Snow Storm 2013” and the National Weather Service has even named it. Let me ask you this, when did we start naming something other than a Hurricane? I don’t know, to me it just seems silly….but that said, if you are on the east coast I know that you are about to get hit much harder than us here in the Midwest. Please, please, please stay safe, and warm. Don’t go out in this unless it is absolutely necessary. This stuff may look pretty, but it can turn dangerous in an instant! Stay safe!
5.) I’m hoping to head out soon to score myself some good deals on fabric, using my new student discount at Joann Fabrics. I have these grandiose plans of making a “vintage inspired” skirt. I have a plan, and a pattern, now I just need the fabric….that’s what I’m still trying to decide on. Solid or print? Pastel, dark, neutral? If I go with a pattern what should it be? This is why it has taken me so long to pick a fabric…I cannot decide what I want. Help!
6.) The cold bug has hit our family and two-of-three are down for the count, myself included. Mom and I both have it, however she is much worse than I am. Dad (lucky duck), seems to never get sick when her and I do, but so far we don’t have it so bad (knock on wood). Hopefully this is it and it will vacate the  residence soon…if not we’re in for trouble if dad gets it. 
7.) There are some things that need no words….and this, I believe, is one of them…..Take a look: 
By the end I was crying like a baby! This kid is amazing! I can only hope that his story will inspire people to think differently about handicaps. Honestly, I do not have words for how incredible this story is! I hope you enjoyed it as much as me! What an inspiration!
As I said at the beginning, go see Jen, and everyone else for more Quick Takes! Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!
Blessings,
Megan