July 2020 Book Update & Camp NaNoWriMo Review

Did I accomplish my goals? What’s in store for August?

The one goal I had for Camp NaNoWriMo this month was to finish my book. That… didn’t happen. In fact, I only wrote each week because of the write-ins I hosted.

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July 2020 Camp NaNoWriMo Goals

What am I working on this Camp NaNoWriMo? Getting this damned book done!

It is July, and that means it’s Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s a bit more laid back than November, but it’s still a great time to get some words in. I’m so excited for this month!

Things will be a teensy bit different, though. I often try to get in an actual in-real-life camping trip during Camp (both in April and July), but April’s wasn’t even planned because of the pandemic and July’s is now cancelled due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases (so also the pandemic… yay for people who refuse to social distance and wear masks… ‘MURICA!). I might have to console myself by setting up my one-person tent on our patio.

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June 2020 Book Update

“How’s the writing going?” Well… About that…

Guys. A lot has changed in the month and a half since I wrote my May update.

Something I first really noticed in November of 2016 is that current events have a significant impact on my ability to write. It takes me a great deal of time to contemplate and process everything that’s going on in the world. The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has been no different.

Imposter syndrome (or the fraud police, to use Amanda Palmer’s fitting term) has been a friend to me these last few weeks. Who am I? Who am I to write a book? Who am I to follow my dreams and smash my goals when so many people in our country are unable to do the same because of systemic racism? Because they are dying?

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A Peek at My Desk

Come take a peek at my “organized chaotic” desk!

I love seeing other people’s writing spaces, so I thought I would share mine with you this week! Forgive the horrendous pictures, for I live in a cave of an apartment and have no professional lighting.

I write and work my day job at my desk in our dining room. Until last August, I had a tiny desk that was just big enough to hold my laptop and maybe a small notebook, but while my husband and I were on our honeymoon, my mom got me this secretary desk! Yeah, it’s supposed to fold up to save space, but I always have my keyboard and mouse out.

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Outdoor Play and Faceless Videos

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve been struggling recently with what to do with this blog.

One social media calendar says this week I should post a “day in the life of an author” blog or vlog. Another says that today I should share someone or something I’m grateful for. Could I write a blog post on either of these things? Of course. Those are actually pretty easy prompts to work with.

The problem is that it feels forced. It’s not like I would lie or anything. I wouldn’t say I’m grateful for the nice weather we’re having when it’s really reminding me that in a month or two it’ll be over 100ºF on a daily basis. I wouldn’t write that I had such a great day or week writing when really I struggled. I still doesn’t feel natural or like me, though.

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May 2020 Book Update

The answer to “So how’s the book coming?”

Since stay-at-home orders were issued in my state, I have been both more and less productive in every aspect of life. I thought I’d take this opportunity to update you all on what I’m doing and planning for my writing life and career at this point.

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Resilience

Recently, I finished a class on soft skills, put on by New World of Work and taught by the fantastic Natasha Palumbo. We covered ten skills that can help in the workplace, skills they don’t teach you when you’re majoring in English or pretty much anything else in school. One of the things we covered in the last class was resilience.

Historically, I’ve had a hard time with resilience. I think most people with depression do. One small failure can keep us from trying again or trying something new because it’s a glaring example of our perceived incompetence. That, paired with a poor view of my own self-worth, has been what’s kept me from finishing a novel and having a successful career doing what I truly love.

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“Beautiful” Woman, “Ugly” Man

I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive about the movie Long Shot. Don’t get me wrong. I have very high hopes for it. Based solely on the two trailers I’ve seen, it looks like it could be an enjoyable watch. (Please note that what follows is a discussion on a particular type of movie, which Long Shot may or may not be. I haven’t actually seen it yet. The movie’s trailer only sparked this discussion in me.)

Depending on how the actual movie plays out, it could be another in a long line of “unattractive”* guy meets “hot” woman and somehow woos/seduces/date rapes her movies (I’m thinking of Sixteen Candles and Hitch right now, but there are plenty of others). Who cares? What’s so bad about that? It’s cute and endearing and shows the power of love, right?

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Planner Love

Behold the beauty of my personally designed planner. After scouring the internet and bookstores for the perfect planner for–let’s face it–years, I finally decided to create my own. (Side note: I did try bullet journaling for a while, but I hated that I had to create new spreads every day/week/month by hand.)

I originally was going to have it printed at Kinko’s and put it in a binder, but that was going to cost in the hundreds of dollars (?!). I decided to check out a self-publishing website I encountered before (BookBaby), and to my pleasant surprise, my new planner (bound with a hard cover!) was going to cost less than $50, including shipping.

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Pen Commitment

catears croppedI just ordered 300 pens with my name and website on them. Perhaps I should post on this website more often. The pens are bound to get out. I do work in a restaurant, after all. Pens disappear all the time. We know not where they go, only that we enter the restaurant with five in our pocket and leave with two or three. I will use one pen obsessively in hopes of losing it so all my pens will be the same, only to lose the others and keep that pen until I intentionally “lose” it. I will buy pens that are different than the hosts’ pens, only to see the same kind of pens I bought show up in the hosts’ pen jar a week later. Well, not this time. And if it does happen, I won’t care because I’ll have 300 PENS WITH MY NAME AND WEBSITE ON THEM. I can take them back whenever I want because I know they’re mine. Or I can leave them there and hope the hosts lose them. Lost pens usually find their way to the right place at the right time, right? Perhaps. At least, I hope my $126.65 will encourage my pens to be lost in all the right ways.