CampNaNoWriMo and Life


CampNaNoWriMo is only a few days away. Are you participating?

My plan right now is to use Camp as extra motivation to finish the first draft of The Dreams. Right now I need about 58,000 words to reach the word count I think will get me to the end. I’ve kept my goal at the standard 50,000 for now, but really I just want to finish the draft. If I only need 40,000 to do that I’m fine with that. If I need 80,000 words, well, I’ll be crying and pulling my hair out, but I’ll deal with it.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing here on the blog. I don’t want to cut down on my posting like I did in November for NaNoWriMo, but I also don’t know if I’ll be able to keep the posting schedule I would like. My posting schedule has been messed up for a while now anyway. Life has been a bit turbulent lately and writing and posting stuff has had to drop down the priority list.

Hopefully April will change that. CampNaNoWriMo will be the perfect way to make writing a priority again. I don’t know how much energy I will have left over for blog posts, or even just for editing chapters to post. Should I even try?

Writing progress posts will probably continue as usual, but I’m really not sure at all about getting new chapters out next month. I only posted two chapters this month instead of my usual four because I felt so overwhelmed. Getting back to posting a chapter every Saturday would be ideal, but I’m not sure a NaNoWriMo month is the best time to attempt to get back on track.


Writing Progress March 21 – 27, 2016


March 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 93,046
  • Today’s word count: 446
  • Thoughts: I really love doing a mix of writing and editing in one day. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. I want to keep making progress with new scenes while working on getting the next chapter ready to post. I still feel really guilty about not getting a chapter posted every week like I wanted.

March 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,804
  • Today’s word count: -242
  • Thoughts: Editing! I made a lot of progress and it was great!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More editing. Hopefully some writing too.

March 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,654
  • Today’s word count: -150
  • Thoughts: More editing. I wanted to get more done, but my brain just shut down after a while so I took a break.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Do something to make progress with The Dreams. I don’t care if it is writing or editing. I just need to do something.

March 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 93,157
  • Today’s word count: 503
  • Thoughts: Not a bad writing day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More editing, I hope.

March 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,811
  • Today’s word count: -346
  • Thoughts: Today was a reasonably productive day for editing, but I wish I had more hours in the day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More editing. Hopefully posting a new chapter.

March 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,127
  • Today’s word count: -684
  • Thoughts: So much happened today. Most of it was not so great, but I kinda threw myself into editing and made a lot of progress (and cut a lot of words in the process).
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Finish up this editing stuff and actually get the chapter posted. For real.

March 27

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,830
  • Today’s word count: -297
  • Thoughts: I did it! Chapter Seventeen is finally posted. I feel so relieved to finally have it out there in the world.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Writing. No editing. Just writing. It’s going to be great.

The Dreams: Chapter Seventeen

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

This chapter has a couple moments that I absolutely loved when I rediscovered them during my edits. I still cut over a thousand words from the chapter, and I think it is all the better for it. I hope you enjoy.

This chapter was made possible by my supporters. Without them I don’t know if I would have managed to get this chapter done this month.

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Writing Progress March 14 – 20, 2016


March 14

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,056
  • Today’s word count: 537
  • Thoughts: Writing! It felt great to be writing new words again. Editing/revising has been taking up too much of my time lately.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same, I hope.

March 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,149
  • Today’s word count: 93
  • Thoughts: I did a hybrid writing and editing day! I’ve wanted to do this sort of day for ages! It was great.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same, I hope.

March 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,614
  • Today’s word count: 465
  • Thoughts: Writing is so much fun I really don’t want to stop and edit, but I must!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep on doing what’s working!

March 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,616
  • Today’s word count: 2
  • Thoughts: I love when adding and deleting words almost balance out.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. Yay.

March 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,613
  • Today’s word count: -3
  • Thoughts: I love reading longer chapters. I love writing longer chapters. I hate editing longer chapters.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I just hope I can get the chapter posted tomorrow. No promises though.

March 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,613
  • Today’s word count: 0
  • Thoughts: Fun times with editing. It’s sort of nice when adding and removing words perfectly balances out.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. I’m still not done working on this chapter. It’s long and a large portion of it was written during NaNoWriMo and needs ton of TLC.

March 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,600
  • Today’s word count: -13
  • Thoughts: I made a ton of progress and I’m still not finished!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I need to keep editing this chapter, but I also really want to get back to writing. Hopefully I can find the motivation to do a hybrid day.

I apologize for still not being back on track with posting The Dreams. Once I got off track it has become an almost impossible task to get back to my old routine.

I’m still trying to adjust to the changes the last few weeks brought to my life. I’m still recovering from the stress and worry.

Trying not to be too hard on myself is proving to be extremely difficult. So far the best I’ve managed is sort of ignoring my Saturday deadline for each new chapter, and with that I’m still feeling guilty each time a Saturday goes by without a new post. Writing The Dreams isn’t enough to cover my living expenses so for now it remains a labor of love. In the mean time energy I would love to put toward working on my own project is being funneled into worrying and searching the internet for freelance jobs. Even if I can’t live off my own project I still want to be working in the field I love.

Sorry this progress update got a bit ranty. I felt the need to get this stuff off my chest, but it didn’t seem worthy of a separate post.

Writing Progress March 7 – 13, 2016


March 7

No writing progress made.

March 8

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,012
  • Today’s word count: -19
  • Thoughts: I’m still trying to get back into the writing/editing groove. I think I’ll feel a bit more confident in a couple more days.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More editing. Maybe some writing?

March 9

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,012
  • Today’s word count: 0
  • Thoughts: It might look like I didn’t do anything, but I actually just managed to do some edits that ended with a net loss of 0 words.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same.

March 10

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,000
  • Today’s word count: -12
  • Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m still editing this chapter.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully stop editing this chapter.

March 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,994
  • Today’s word count: -6
  • Thoughts: My focus is just not that great these days. I really need to figure out what is blocking my concentration and fix it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I really want to get this chapter fully edited and post it. We’ll see if I can make it happen.

March 12

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,376
  • Today’s word count: -618
  • Thoughts: I did it! I finally did it! Chapter Sixteen is fully edited. I tried to make it as smooth as possible, but the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on in conjunction with how sporadically I worked on this chapter has me worried that it isn’t quite as even as I’d like.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Get the chapter posted. I wanted to get it done today, but finishing the edits took the last of my energy.

March 13

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,519
  • Today’s word count: 143
  • Thoughts: It feels wonderful to get back to writing!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Some more writing! Yay!

The Dreams: Chapter Sixteen

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

This chapter came due at the worst possible time for me. As you can see from the word count above, it’s huge! It used to be a couple thousand words longer before I hacked away at it. A lot of unexpected stuff dropped on me just in time for this unusually long chapter to need my attention.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to my supporters for continuing to encourage me through the last few weeks. You’ve been great!

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Classic Children’s Literature Checklist

Another checklist from Jess’s Reading Nook. I love these things!


  1. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christen Andersen
  2. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  3. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  4. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  5. The Wonderful World of Oz by Frank Baum
  6. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  7. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  8. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  9. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  10. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  11. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  13. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
  14. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Clooney
  15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factor by Roald Dahl
  16. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  17. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  18. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  19. Corduroy by John Freeman
  20. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  21. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  24. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  25. White Fang by Jack London
  26. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  27. Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
  28. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  29. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson
  30. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  31. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  32. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  33. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  34. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  35. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  36. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  37. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  38. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  39. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  40. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  41. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  42. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  43. Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson
  44. Eloise by Kay Thompson
  45. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  46. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  47. Stuart Little by E.B. White
  48. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  49. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  50. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

What I read in February

Better late than never! Here’s my list of books I read during the month of February. I managed to finish a few more books than I did in January, but I’m still a few books behind schedule if I want to hit my goal of 60 books for the year.

On to the books!

Books I finished reading in February:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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What did you read in February? Are you on track for your reading goals? Behind? Ahead? Let me know!

Writing Progress February 29 – March 6, 2016


February 29

No writing progress made.

March 1

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,722
  • Today’s word count: -54
  • Thoughts: I did a bit of editing to get myself back in the swing of things. It wasn’t easy after all those days off while still feeling exhausted from the weekend.
  • Tomorrow’s goal:  Continue to ease back into the writing and editing thing. I’m aiming to have a chapter ready for Saturday, but I’m trying to keep the pressure off.

March 2

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,689
  • Today’s word count: -33
  • Thoughts: More editing. I’m still having some trouble getting back into the swing of things. Trying not to put a ton of pressure on myself this week.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep working on this chapter.

March 3

No writing progress made. I had a crazy, hectic day! I got a new temp job on third shift and had to do my best to switch over to sleeping during the day in 24 hours.

March 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,132
  • Today’s word count: -557
  • Thoughts: Apparently turning my sleep schedule on its head leads to many, many words being cut from my draft. There’s still more editing to do too!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Continue editing and get the next chapter posted, I hope.

March 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,045
  • Today’s word count: -87
  • Thoughts: Trying to switch over to a third shift sleep schedule is taking its toll. I don’t have the mental energy for much of anything.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Sleep. Try to survive the new job.

March 6

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 92,031
  • Today’s word count: -14
  • Thoughts: I didn’t get much accomplished at all today. I spent most of the day trying to rest up and sleep for work, and then my body decided to freak out and make me sick. Over all not the best day.

The last couple weeks have been very disruptive to my writing. I’m hoping I can get it back on track, but I know working, especially a physically demanding job, will probably make me write less. Now I’m really hoping I can make a living off my writing soon.

It’s nice to dream, right?

World Literature Checklist

Another fun checklist from Jess’s Reading Nook. This one is for books originally published in another language. Highlight the books you’ve read and count up your total.


  1. The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
  2. The Divine Comedy by Alighieri
  3. The Arabian Nights by Anonymous
  4. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  5. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  6. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov
  7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  8. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  10. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  11. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  12. Medea by Euripides
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
  14. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  15. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  16. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  17. The Iliad by Homer
  18. The Odyssey by Homer
  19. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  20. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  21. A Doll’s House by Henrik Isben
  22. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  23. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  24. Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
  25. The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
  26. Metamorphosis by Ovid
  27. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  28. The Republic by Plato
  29. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  30. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
  31. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  32. Kokoro by Natsumi Soseki
  33. The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
  34. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  35. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  36. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  37. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  38. The Aeneid by Virgil
  39. Night by Elie Wiesel
  40. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin