Concerning Book Reviews (and future events in the life of mwa)

6:00 AM

*cracks knuckles* Alright. Let's do this.

(because all posts start with knuckle cracking. let's be real, guys.)

There are two things I want to talk to you about in this slightly random Tuesday post.

First Thing:
I am not big on book reviews.
However, I do know that they are good for writers to write, and good for authors and their books to receive. And I also know that a lot of people read book reviews.

So I decided to do a thing. I like short summaries, and I don't like negative reviews, so I thought, "Hey, why don't I just pick five things about each book I read that are worthy of noting and mention them, along with my rating?"

Thus, the Five Things About (insert title here) was born.

If you follow my goodreads, you might have noticed these. I started doing them about a month ago. They're usually very short, and I try not to write bad reviews. Bad, as in, critical. At least, not highly critical. If something really irked me, I might mention it as one of the five things, but I try to keep reviews generally positive. I am honest, however. I don't write ugly reviews, but I will give books low ratings.

Which leads me to this: I will not post book reviews on Stan.

My goodreads exists for me to keep track of books I've read and to write reviews. Stan exists for me to write about writerly things and encouragement and stuff. I will make a few exceptions, but in general this will be my code. Someday I might start a book blog, but Stan is not that.

And now, for the ...

Second Thing:
My June is very busy.

I know, I know. It's shocking. I actually have a life. What? When did that happen?

I have quite a few things going on in June. Two camps and a writing workshop (*screams*) and several babysitting jobs. So, I probably won't post much ... at all. I will try to post on the fourth and the twenty-fifth, so you'll hopefully get at least two posts out of me. XP

I know you will sob and mourn my absence, but I will return, I promise! And I will give you a nice, big motivational post to spur you on to accomplish all the Things, and I will tell you wonderful tales of my experience at the Writer's Workshop. (here's the link. You should, like, totally go. XP

Any-who. That's all for today, stalkers.

How do you feel about book reviews? Are you doing anything this June/summer?

Fruits of the Spirit

What is Peace?

6:00 AM

Today is another theological post because WHY NOT, GUYS. GOD IS AWESOME.
Back in March, I posted about joy. If you read it, you’ll have seen that I am undertaking a study of the fruits of the spirit. I’m on patience now, actually, but I realized I hadn’t written down my thoughts and what I discovered about peace.
So. Here they are! 

Also: I have a format now. *snorts and pushes glasses up nose* Because I’m so smart. I have developed three questions that I ask during each study. 

1: What is (concept)?
2: What does the bible say about (concept)?

3: What does (concept) look like in our lives?

These three questions are so important. I will now, to the best of my abilities, give you the answers I discovered over the month-ish long study.

What is peace?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines peace as, "A state of tranquility or quiet: as (a) freedom from civil disturbance (b) a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom." The verb form of the word is, "To be, become, or keep silent or quiet."
Some other definitions include, "A stress free state of security and calmness that comes when there's no fighting or war, everything coexisting in perfect harmony and freedom," and, "Harmony in personal relations."
These definitions have one big thing in common: they require the absence of something. Absence of war. Absence of harm and slavery.
In other words, to fully receive the peace as is defined by the world, you either have to be completely ignorant and oblivious to everything, or live in utopia.
World peace is basically impossible.
So what kind of peace is God's peace? What did Paul mean when he listed it among the other fruits of the spirit?
God's peace, as is the case with His love and joy, is quite different than the world's.
The world requires absence of war. But it is our very human nature to fight. We are constantly at war. Maybe not physically, but our spirit is in a nearly constant battle with Satan. We battle temptations and weaknesses each and every day of our lives.
How can we have peace if that means no war?
This train of thought leads to answers to the second question.
What does the bible say about peace?
Jesus tells us in John 14:27, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And later, in 16:33; "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."

So here, Jesus tells us several things. First, our peace is not what the world would give us. Meaning, no, he's not going to relieve us of war. He's not going to take our trials and our hardships and give us a perfect, undisturbed life. We're going to have trouble in this world. It's just life.

But He's given us instructions. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious for anything. But for everything, through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Pray. Pray a lot. If you have worries, just talk to God about them. Remember Matthew 6:26. "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. are you not of more value than they?"

God takes care of everything else! Look at His marvelous, delicately balanced creation! What makes you think He'll ever give up on you?

What does peace look like in our lives?

This has been the hardest question with every fruit so far. How to apply it? How to let it change you?

There's no easy answer to this. The main thing is to meditate on it. When you are afraid, when trials come, remember who God is and what He has already done for you. Remember the eternity awaiting you in heaven with God. Remember that He loves you.

In the end, everything is going to be okay. You have to remember that. No matter what, God wins. Paul has it spot on in Romans 9:38-39.

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Take a deep breath. We're going to be okay. In the end, God still wins. And, as His children, we win too. If that doesn't give you peace, I don't know what will.

Your turn! How would you define peace? What are some of your favorite scriptures about it? What do you think peace should look like in our lives? Please tell me your thoughts! <3


The Woes of Word Warring

6:00 AM

And so, the unintentional blog post series begins!

Well, sort of. This is the second post about writing woes. So, I mean, last week would have been the beginning but ...

Ehem. Never mind. I do what I want.

Most of you, in one form or another, have at least heard of Nano. NaNoWriMo, where everyone tries to write 50k in a month, or Camp Nano where people can choose their own goals and are in cabins and stuff. It's a great way to get you writing.

One big part of Nano (at least for me) is word warring. Now, if you don't know what a word war is, allow me to give you a definition. *beams*

Word War: A fierce, epic battle of blood and guts and incoherent fangirl screaming in which much coffee and ice cream and chocolate are ingested.

Hehe. He. Ehem. Not funny? Fine. *flips hair* I wasn't trying to be, anyway. Hmph. *sassy snap*

Word War: Where two or more writers designate a time (anywhere from five minutes to an hour) to write. Whoever gets the most words 'wins'.

Sounds fun, right?

It is. And it's great motivation. It's great for pounding out allllll da words.


(there's always a but.)

Word wars can be kind of ... *whispers* dangerous. And, since it is dangerous, it has created some woes. Woes that make it fit into this unintentional blog post series.

So. Here are some woes for word warring, in which I will hopefully give you insight on how to overcome these lies and also convey the real purpose of a word war.

Woe 1: "I am a loser because I can't write fast enough."

This is really the main point I want to address today. Word wars are great, but their usual definition (the one I gave above) is deceiving.

You are racing and battling to write a lot of words. But, unless the writers you are warring with write at the same pace as you, your goal is not to beat them.

Your goal is to beat yourself.

If you don't already know what your pace is, I want you to find out. Next time you sit down to write, set a timer for twenty minutes and write for all you are worth. Don't stop for anything. Just write.

However many words you get in that amount of time is going to be close to your average pace. You can do it again and officially add it up and actually use math (whaaat?), but even just doing it once gives you a good idea.

However you do it, find your pace. Say you write an average of three hundred words every twenty minutes. So, when you sit down to war, you need to say to yourself, "I need to write over three hundred words."

You want to break over your average. You want to pass yourself. It's not fair to beat yourself up about losing to someone whose average words per twenty minutes is twice yours. In that case, it's almost impossible for you to beat them.

Don't beat yourself up about being a slower writer.

Everyone has their own pace. Find yours.

Woe 2: "I have to write good words."

Haaaaha. Ehem.

Yeah, no. If you're word warring, don't expect your words to be perfect. If you're writing to get the words down, if you're writing for speed, don't beat yourself up about not writing magic. It's okay. You can edit later.

Now, there are also edit wars. I've been doing those lately for draft two. While I'm doing a lot of rewriting, I'm not as careful about how well written my stuff is yet so I pretty much plow ahead. When I get to draft three, that's when my goal will drastically change from quantity to quality.

Woe 3: Change in Pace

This is something that happened to me. After completing the first draft of my WIP and taking a nice long break, I came back to start draft two. I was warring with some friends and I was like, "Okay guys. I'm editing now, so I'll probably get more than usual. Just so you know."

Ha. Ha. Ahaaaa.

Yeah, no. My average word count for a twenty minute war was cut about two hundred words at least. This came as quite a shock to me when it kept. happening. every. war. I was like, "What's wrong with me??? What's happening???"

Don't freak out if your pace changes as you change drafts. Editing/rewriting (at least for me) takes much more thought and focus than first drafting. Hence the slow in pace.

Woe 4: "I can't do anything else. ANYTHING. AT ALL."

Okay, this is a lie. Yes, you can go pee. Yes, you can go take the screaming kettle off the burner. Yes, you can eat chocolate. Yes, you can acknowledge your mother's existence. (That would be wise. just saying. Unless you want to get grounded from writing. Does that just happen to me, or ...?)

Now, the goal is to ignore everything else and write for the designated time. But this doesn't always happen. That's okay. Just don't get on social media, don't take unnecessary ice cream grabs (those are for after wars) and do your best to be a good writer and write and not play Sudoku.

Woe 5: "I have to write fast."

What are you warring for?

Are you warring to get the words down? Then yes, you want to write fast. Obviously. But if you're warring simply because you want to write with other writers, this does not necessarily apply to you. You don't have to write fast in a war. The important thing is that you focus on writing. Or brainstorming. You want to be working to get further along in your story. Brainstorming, writing, editing, playing Sudoku. You want to end up in a different spot than you were when you started.

Progress. Effort. Focus. These are the true points and goals of word wars.

Everyone has their own pace.

Find yours. And, when you war, it's you challenging other writers to all challenge themselves. That's what you're doing. You're pushing yourself. You don't need to measure yourself by other writers. Measure yourself by yourself.

I hope this was helpful to you! Word wars are wonderful and I really enjoy them. But the right mindset is critical to get the best out of them.

Do you enjoy word wars? Have you ever done one? What issues have you found with them? Please share your thoughts with me! <3


The Woes of Editing

6:00 AM


Every writer's greatest fear. Every poor novelist's downfall.

You've cranked out a massive manuscript. A whoppin' 100k beastie.

And it is. a. wreck.


Editing is terrifying. It is a massive, carnivorous BEAST. If you're not careful, it will eat you alive.

But like, what even is editing? I have composed a definition for you.

Editing: a brutal process designed specifically to slaughter any writer whose bones are not constructed of titanium.

Jk, jk.


While that definition is certainly true, it doesn't help us much. Let's try this instead.

Editing: anything you do to your novel after completing its first draft.

There we go. I can work with this.

My definition of editing is anything you do to your novel, beneficial or not, after the first draft has been written. Editing is what you do after you've laid the ground work.

Which (since I like lists) leads me to my first woe of editing.

Woe 1: Editing does not always make your book better.

I know, I know. *lets the shudder ripple through readers* But it's true. I can 'edit' my book, completely changing chapter one, and it could be worse than the first try. That's just reality. It isn't fun. It isn't nice.

The goal, of course, is to improve. But sometimes, that just doesn't happen.

Now, before you storm off yelling nasty insults at me, let me make something else clear: you can always write another draft.

Sometimes, we have to wreck our books to make them better.

Anyone here know about Rubik's cubes? I learned how to solve one last year. My little brother taught me, step by step. You start with a mess of colors. Then you make the bottom layer the same color. And then the next layer. And you work your way up to the top. And then there comes a point where there are three little pieces out of place. You're three pieces away from a solved cube.

And to put those three little pieces where they need to go, you have to ruin the cube.

Seriously. There's an algorithm. If you stop in the middle of it and just look at your cube, it will appear to be a wreck. If I ever stop, I always get messed up.

So I don't think about it. I don't think about how, to everyone else, it looks like I'm ruining all my progress. I just do it.

And then -- what do you know? It's solved.

I'm not saying editing is going to be that easy, but you have to keep in mind that sometime you have to seemingly wreck things to make them better.

Woe 2: There are a gazillion ways to write a scene.

Like, seriously. Say your MC and his mom are fighting. This could happen in MC's bedroom, the kitchen, the car, the hallway. It could happen in the morning right before school. It could happen as soon as he gets home. It could happen on the way to school.

And then, what they're fighting about - they could fight about a gazillion things. I assume since it's in the story, there's a purpose for the fight, but there are so many ways to word the comebacks.

Point being, you could write a single scene a million times, each way completely different, yet supposedly the same.


Choosing is hard. What if the way you've done it isn't good enough? What if it would be better this way? What if ...?

My advice for this danger would be to wait for betas. If you have doubts about how the scene happened, give it to betas or your critique partner and have them look it over. Do they feel the same way? If so, talk it out.

Don't let yourself fall into woe 3.
Woe 3: The Sloth Complex

You are a human.

Not a sloth.

Don't let one scene that doesn't feel right turn you into one. Just let go and move on. Your writer buddies will help you. Staying with that scene is just going to make you a nervous wreck. It's not going to help. Plus, moving on will help more than staying put. It will give you fresh perspective on the scene. It will also allow you to finish the draft and then you know everything that happens and can fine tune it to be properly foreshadowed.

Just move on. Your critique partner and betas will help you.



NOOOOOOO. noooooo.

just. no.


(hehe. you see what I did there? Yeah? aha. ha. ehem.)

I'm going to tell you guys something you probably won't like.

Your book will never be perfect.

You know why?

Because it is art. There is no perfect way. There just isn't. Since there is always another way you can write it, you have to remind yourself that you aren't writing it those ways. You're writing it this way. There are other ways that might be better, but no way is 'perfect' because there is no perfect way.

Are you with me on this?

It cannot be perfect. But it can be good. And it will be good. You just have to stick with it and keep trying. Don't give up.

Woe 5: "Must Start New Project Because This Isn't Good Enough" syndrome

I'm really feeling this right now.

Like, it would just be so eeeeeassssyyyyyy to start a new book. I love the thrill and freedom of first drafts. It's so glorious. But. There's something to remember: when you finish that first draft, it's going to need editing too.

And then you'll have TWO manuscripts to edit. So my advice would be to space it out. WAIT. Be patient. Let yourself write a new project, but wait at least until you've made it through the next draft of your story. Right now, I'm letting my next project The Dream Walkers stew in the back of my mind. When I finish draft 2, I'm going to let myself write it. Maybe draft 3 ... it depends on how thoroughly this draft kills me. We shall see.

Point being: it's really, really good motivation and bribery. So find something to bribe yourself with and push onward! You've got this!

You're not a sloth and you're not a machine. You're a lovely human with a gift and passion to write. Give yourself a pat on the back! Editing is hard.

There are so many other woes of editing that I could cover. But I think I've said enough for today. XP

*hugs all the stalker humans and hands out chocolate and coffee*

SO. Now it's your turn. What woes have you unearthed in the editing process? Do you struggle with any of these in particular, and do you have a certain way of dealing with it that I neglected to mention?


I Have Been Tagged (again)

6:00 AM

Hai guys!



If you don't want to know more about me, feel free to just ... leave. *sniffles* I'll get over it. *flips hair*

I have four tags I've been nominated for. I will try to be brief, since I'm mashing them all into one big post. The fourth one I will do next week, seeing as it's a three day challenge thing.

So. First tag is from Abigayle Ellison at The Left-Handed Typist!

  • Link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer all 11 questions
  • Tag 11 bloggers who have less than a thousand readers 
  • Ask them 11 questions
  • Let them know you've tagged them through social media I will try to be brief, since I am covering multiple tags today!
  • Bend these rules as you see fit

(okay that last 'rule' was not really on the original set of rules, but I can do what I want.)

1~ What's the story behind your blog's name? Stan was determined to be Stan. I don't know why. (As for the official name, ink blots and coffee stains are something I see quite often, so it seemed fitting. XP And as for my url, well ... all the urls were taken. Seriously. Even was taken.)
2~ What is your favorite stage of writing? AHHHH FIRST DRAFTING. DEFINITELY THE FIRST DRAFT. But I love planning, too (MAPS, GUYS. YOU GET TO MAKE ALL THE MAPS. AND BUILD THE WORLD. AND AHFKJSDHFLAKSD) Ehem. I love first drafts because when I start the book, I usually have a general idea of what happens, but I have no idea how. So it's so fun to see how everything just ... falls together. XP
3~ Where/in what conditions do you write the best? In the dead of night, when everyone is asleep. Tucked away in my room, I can write with or without music. I often like to write to silence, since it's so rare in our house XP (I'm sure you guys with big families feel me on this matter)
4~ What is a country you would like to visit? I WANT TO GO EVERYWHERE. But if I had to pick just one, I'd probably go with ... Ireland. Or England. Or Scotland. Somewhere British. Although, New Zealand would be amazing too ... JUST DON'T GET ME STARTED. I WANT TO GO EVERYWHERE.
5~ What is your favorite historical period? I actually really love bible times. That's the time period I would study if I had to choose. I love hearing about what it was like when Jesus walked the earth.
6~ What is your favorite dessert? ICE CREAM CAKE FOREVER, MAN
7~ What's the furthest you've ever been from home? Hong Kong. But sadly, I don't remember it. *heavy sigh* I was just a year old.
8~ What is your earliest memory? Oooof. Probably when my mom was trying to get me to eat baked beans (you know, the sweet kind) and I really didn't like them but she told me they tasted like sugar so I should eat them. But I really just didn't like them. At all. I still don't. Either this memory, or the morning of my fifth birthday when I ran to the bathroom mirror, terrified I had turned into an old woman (someone must have told me since I was turning five I was going to be a 'big girl')
9~ What is your happy place? Either in my room (I know, so sad) or up in the top of a tree on a cool, sunny day. I love climbing trees. *dreamy sigh*
10~ If you could pick one author/screenwriter to meet, who would it be? JENNIFER A. NIELSEN AND I'M MEETING HER THIS SUMMER AHHDSKJFALSDKJHAKJFHSDA. Ehem. Aside from her, maybe Jonathan Stroud because HIS BOOKS ARE WONDERFUL. Or Gail Carson Levine, because she's very wise and teaches creative writing and I love her books. There are so many more but I will stop now.
11~ What is your favorite book adapted movie/show? Lord of the Rings, hands down. THEY'RE SO GOOOOOOOD. (confession time: I haven't read Lord of the Rings yet. *sad sigh* I will soon. But I am a huge fan of the movies!)
Okay, that was kind of long. Oh well. Have some coffee or hot chocolate if you've made it this far! *hands out all the things* 
The next tag is from S B Williams at Life, Love, Writing and called the Writer Q and A Tag.
Tag info/rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post. (THANK YOU SARA!)
2. Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
3. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers.
4. Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nominations.
Alrighty. *cracks knuckles* LET'S DO THIS THING.
1) How do you organize your writing projects? I have a network of files on the computer. I'm very proud of them.
2) Has an author you formerly respected/loved ever disappointed you somehow? Rick Riordan. For a thing that happened in The House of Hades. *sad sigh* It was unnecessary but I don't really want to get into it. I just felt very betrayed and the series was ruined for me.
3) What is easier for you to develop, your characters, or your plots? Why? Probably characters? I never have much trouble. Once I figure out the plot, the characters just sort of fall into place.
4) Do you have a Fandom? If so, what is it? HAAAAHA. Do I ... Do I have a fandom? *giggles* I have a fan shirt, girl. On it are the logos for Captain America (*shriek*), Narnia (*screams*), Harry Potter (*faints*), Sherlock (*flails wildly*), and Lord of the Rings (*dies*). There are some more, but those are the favorites. XP
5) Do you read fast or slow? Kind of both ...
6) Describe your most recent Work in Progress in one paragraph. Oooh fun. I'm going to make it funny. A sad girl gets blamed for making a tiger go crazy and has to steal a very important thing to save her sister who is sold. Meanwhile, a prince is going crazy trying to find a man who's not very nice and killed lots of people, and he and the whole castle staff have to jump and hurtle cats along the way.
Yup. That's ... my book. In a nutshell.
7) Why do you write? Getting deep here. Oof. There are a lot of reasons I write, but the main reason, the reason I started, can be summed up in this quote from Carol Shields: "Write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find." When I started writing, the book I wanted so desperately was nowhere to be found. So my sis told me to write it. And here I am :)
8) What inspires you to write? Eh. Coffee. Always coffee. But also music. And scribbling various notes in Bentley (my journal). And playing Sudoku.
9) Name a bookish pet peeve that you have. Oh goodness. I have a lot since becoming a writer. But one of the main ones are typos or weirdly phrased sentences that I have to reread and the confuse me. Like, you had an agent and an editor and betas (at least, I think you did ...) HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Thanks for tagging me, Sara!

And for the last one I will do today, The Infinity Dreams tag. I was nominated by Emily over at A Purpose and a Promise. Thank you, Emily!


1. Thank the blogger who tagged you. (THANK YOU EMILY!)
2. Tell us 11 facts about yourself. (I'm going to skip this, since this post is already so long.)
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Tag 11 bloggers and give them 11 new questions to answer.
~Emily's Questions~

1. What is your favorite name that starts with K? Kate. I don't know why. I just love the name Kate. *proceeds to mutter Kate a gazillion times*

2. What are your birthday traditions? Our family isn't crazy about traditions? We always get to pick our cake, of course, so that's nice. (*screams quietly* ICE CREAM CAKE ASDFKJASDLKJF) OOOOh and funny story: on my tenth birthday, I waited in bed for like, an hour because I hoped someone would bring me coffee. Pretty sad, right? XP

3. Do you prefer to write by hand, or type things up? Lately I've been typing just about everything. I want to get away from screens for a bit though, so I'm seriously considering writing my next first draft by hand. I like to make all my notes by hand, too.

4. Do you collect anything? BOOOOKS. And coffee mugs.

5. What is your least favorite chore? BATHROOM UGH

6. How long have you had your blog, and what is one tip you would share? I am a newbie to the blogosphere. I started back in February. And one thing I'd say is, go comment on other blogs. I didn't realize how big of a deal comments were until I started blogging, but they make a big difference to the blogger. I have no idea if anyone liked what I posted, or even read it, unless the person comments. So when they do, I'm like, AHHH PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKED IT ADSJKFLSDJKFHS. So SHARE THE COMMENT LOVE, PEOPLES.

7. Do you prefer to read short blog posts, or long ones, and why? I prefer medium length. Long ones just take too long and it's hard for me to get much time for them, and short ones just seem like they're missing something. A happy medium is my favorite (unlike this post. HAAA SORRY GUYS I KNOW I'M BABBLING)
8. What is your favorite month of the year? Probably October. I love autumn.

9. If you were given $100, what would you do with it? Put it in savings to buy a laptop. (but let's face it -- I'd probably raid it within a week for emergencies like more books and coffee) 

10. If you could visit one fictional world, which would it be? AHHHH I DON'T KNOW. HOW COULD I PICK ONE??? In all honesty though, I would probably end up visiting the world for my current project. I mean, who wouldn't want to walk the lands of their own creation???

11. Do you write your blog posts way ahead of time, or do you tend to write them on the spur of the moment? HAAAA. Ha. Well. The first month of blogging, I was always right on schedule. Now ... well, I'm pretty much always up late on Fridays XP

That was fun! *dances* It took a while too. *stares at clock with wide, sleepy eyes* I'm going to cheat, sort of. I'm going to tag just five people, and I'm going to say, pick your favorite eleven questions or all of them! And you can take whichever tag you want, Liebster or Infinity Dream.
~I tag~
Rachael Steele at The Art of Writing for Him
Petra Grace at Noveling Novelties
Anna Holden at The Everstorm Comes
Aimee Meester at To the Barricade!
Jonathan Trout at Fishing for Ideas 

If you read this and I tagged you, please comment to let me know! If you don't, no worries. I'll just hunt you down bop over to your blogs and let you know there.
Thank you again, Abigayle, Sara, and Emily for tagging me! *hugs all of you* And thank you, my lovely stalkers, for reading this! If you want to do this and I didn't tag you, please feel free to do it anyway!
And now it's your turn. Where would you love to travel? What's your favorite part of the writing process? What fandoms are you a part of? What fictional world would you travel to, if somehow given the chance? TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELVES, LOVELY HUMANS.

Camp Nano: Wrap Up

6:00 AM

Well, stalkers. I have to say, this Nano was quite the endeavor.

This was my second nano event and I made it with one minute to spare.

That’s right, guys.

One whole minute.

I didn’t think I would make it there for a second. But with my lovely writer friends cheering me on, I managed to grind out the last thousand words I needed to finish.

Can we just like, hurl chocolate and confetti now? And maybe a few coffee beans? Thanks. *dances in all the things*

Needless to say, that's why I was a little late posting. Sorry about that. I'm sure you all were mourning my disappearance and drinking loads more coffee on my behalf. XP

I learned a lot of things during this nano camp, and I will now sum up a few. I already have ideas for some other posts going in depth of some of these, but here’s just a summary.



1: What works in one draft won’t necessarily work in another.

When I started this thing on April first, I was like, “oh yeah, this’ll get me motivated. This will make me edit, and I can totally do 70k in 30 days. Easy peasy.”

Ha. Haaaaaa.


I didn’t realize how much more time edits took. While in the first draft, 70k would probably have been doable, it was completely impossible in this second draft. And I had to bump down my goal a whole stinkin’ 30k words. Which I don’t regret, but still. That’s a big difference.

2: Editing is terrible.

Yeah, I already knew that, but Nano just kind of reminded me. I am going to take a nice break from my WIP for a bit, and I have no desire to edit right now. Like, I just want to go read. Please just … NO EDITING. DON’T MAKE ME EDIT. NOOOOO.


3: Second drafts are not going to be perfect.

Yeah, I’m still struggling with this one. I want to get it right, but I already know that’s not happening in this draft. Which means I might have to postpone giving this book to betas till later. *heavy sigh* I’m really not sure yet.

4: Writer friends are the best.

Yeah, I already knew that. *is saying yeah way to many times* *is also tired*

I regret nothing.


5: If you put on headphones and blast the playlist for your WIP, anything is possible.

At 10:30, after a hard night when I was ready to go to bed, I came in to the computer and sat down. I had an hour and thirty minutes … and three thousand words to pound out. I was rewriting mostly, also. I was able to copy paste a little bit at the end and touch that up, but most of those words were new and fresh from my fingertips.

I’m telling you, music works wonders guys. Any Spotify lovers here? *looks around hopefully*


6: It’s okay not to like your book a little bit.

I’m so frustrated with my WIP right now. I’m so mad. Like, why can’t you just be perfect, book? Why do you require so much effort? But complaining doesn’t get much done, so …

7: Sudoku is a life saver

Seriously guys. It’s great bribery to grind the words out. And also a great “brainstorming” excuse.


8: Coffee is life

But we all already knew this, didn’t we? XP

Okay, I’m done now.

Just kidding.


9: Editing is dangerous.

Yup. I said it. Editing is dangerous.

You have to be careful.

No, I don’t mean go into your second/third/fourth/etc. draft afraid. But you do want to watch out. There are so many ways to write just one little scene, and if you aren’t confident in the way you've chosen to do something, it’s all too easy to just rewrite it and change it up again. I’m planning a post which I will probably publish this Saturday about the Woes of Editing and I’ll go into more detail about this point.

But yes, I did complete Nano, but just barely! And my stats were quite wobbly, unstable things.

How are you guys? Still alive? Did you finish Nano? Did you not finish Nano? How do you feel?

Also: I went and ate a pickle after I received my lovely winner’s certificate. I would have gotten ice cream, but I was tired and it was all the way downstairs, and I’d already had a cupcake earlier that night so … *heavy sigh* Trying to be somewhat healthy hear.

POINT BEING: what is your celebratory food after accomplishing a great writerly thing?

*showers all the people in chocolate and hands out warm mugs of coffee and hot cocoa*

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