writing help

Digital vs Paper Outlining

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

I hope that everyone is doing well on this fine Wednesday.  For my people on the east coast watching the hurricane roll in, I hope you got all your provisions and let’s keep our fingers cross that we don’t loose power too long…

On a different note…I was supposed to have a book signing event this past Saturday but something fell through and I had to cancel.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried.  But I pulled up my big girl panties and went on with life.  I’m hoping to get it rescheduled soon.  It was my first event and I was really looking forward to it.  Sigh…oh well let’s in on to the matter at hand.

Outlining is something that you either do or don’t.  Some writers get their ideas and just see where they go organically while others (like myself) outline our works.  I outline because if I don’t I either run off onto weird tangents that have nothing to do with the story or I don’t put enough details into it.  And if you’re like me then I highly recommend outlining.  Now I know that this seems like a simple concept…and it is but it’s not either.

When I realized that I needed to outline, I did everything on paper.  But I ended up with piles and piles of paper, post-it notes, and scribbles in my writing journal.  My thoughts were scattered every where, so I searched for paperless options and came across Notebook.ai and I thought that all my problems were solved…not quite.  I ended up spending a hellish amount of time on little things, but I still like the site.

So here are the pros and cons of using paper and digital forms of outlining.

Paper pros

You can work anywhere as long as you have something to write on and with.  Also your ideas are locked into where you initially thought they would fit.

Paper cons

Lots of little pieces of paper to organize.  You can also loose them.  Plus once you’ve finished your story, it’s a lot of recycling.

Digital pros

Everything is in one place and you can access it anywhere and everywhere.  It’s a lot easier to make changes and you don’t really have to worry about loosing your ideas.

Digital cons

If you’re like me, you’ll end up getting sucked into a new toy.  If it’s not something you’re used to working with you’ll end up forgetting about it and not utilizing it thus making all that work that you put in a waste.

 

In the end it all boils down to preference.  I like having paper.  It helps me to remember but I do the vast amount online.  I use notebook.ai for world building but avoid the character fields bc I will get stuck there.  For my paper options, I have this cork board that I pin picture inspirations, notes, and whatever else on.  The blended option works for me, and you just need to find what works for you.

So what do you guys use for your outlining?  Do you even need to outline?  Comment below I would love to hear from you!

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See ya next time!

 

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

4 Cups

General Overview:

We find ourselves once again in the mountains of North Carolina where magic still lives.  It is here that we meet the young thief Willa as she struggles to earn praise from her clan’s leader and to ensure her peoples survival.  Willa belongs to a race of creatures call Faeran. The were once a great people who were friends to all manner of flora and fauna, but now they are dying out.  They blame this on the influx of human homesteaders and developers who are encroaching on their lands. But not all is what it seams. When Willa gets hurt on a thieving job, her world gets thrown into chaos and she questions everything.  As she does, she discovers some horrible truths as well as some pleasant ones. By the end everything is settle but not in the way that you hope

My Thoughts:

Once again Beatty brings us to the magic that can only be found in the mountains.  I love how he works alongside Native American and folklorist. Willa is a character that I feel sorry for.  Unlike Seraphina in the first set of books, Willa’s world is harsh before everything hits the fan. It’s amazing that she even retained the capacity to grow at all.  I really don’t want to go into more because I fear it might end up in spoiler land and I don’t want to to do that to anyone. But this book sucks you in slowly and surely, leaving you crying but happy at the end.  

Reread factor:

This is one that I will definitely read again when the mood strikes me.  When I get around to having children, this will for sure be a bedtime story.

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

Patreon Page

 

See ya next time!

Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Greetings my lovelies!

I love witches.  I love reading about them and I am one.  I came across this book while looking in the non fiction section, although this book is a work of fiction. So let’s get started shall we?

I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

This book follows the lives of five witches from a French Gypsy line.  It starts off the the death of the current matriarch and continues until the current keeper of magic decides that she’d rather not use it anymore.  The time in this book spans 1834 Nannette to 1937 Victoria.  We see the end of the witch trails all the way to the World Wars.  The story focuses mainly on mother and daughter relationship and why each woman used her powers.

 

My Thoughts: 

Like I said before, I love witches.  I love seeing how each author interprets the mythos around them.  This author chose a little more traditional approach with grimoires and rhyming spells.  What I thoroughly enjoyed was how the actions of the mother affected their daughter and her approach to the craft.  Nannette grew up believing and practicing making her an outcast.  Her daughter, however, grew up knowing that it had to be a secret and thought it was fake.  Her daughter saw how hard her mother worked and how rough she was and wanted more.  Her daughter saw that her mother’s pursuit of power led to an unhappy life caused by using magic.  Her daughter knew nothing of magic until the end because her mother realized that magic wasn’t the end all be all to life.

Re-readability:

I’m not sure if this is a book that I’ll reread.  I enjoyed this book and loved following the family as they grew and changed throughout a century.  However, it didn’t give me that feeling of “yes!” that usually means that I’ll read it again.  Only time will tell, but I have a feeling that this book might end up in the donation pile once my bookcases get too full.

Question Time:

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Who was your favorite character? Mine is Nannette

Who’s your least?  Irene

 

Want more content?  Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram (links on About pg)

Want to help me continue to put out quality reviews, writing help, and kick ass stories?  Become a patron today by going to my Patreon page (on About pg)

Until next time people!

book reviews

Book Review: Trust Me by Mary Elizabeth Summer *Series Edition*

Greetings my lovelies!

The books that we’re going to talk about today aren’t really a “series”  in the traditional sense of the word.  There’s only two books and a novella, but they build off the other so it fits.  The rating system is still the same.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

The two books in this series are Trust Me, I’m Lying and Trust Me, I’m Trouble.  These books follow the main character Julep Dupree, a teenage con artist, as she tries to find her dad after he mysteriously disappears.  She and her computer hacker best friend delve deeper into the criminal world than they usually do. To make matters worse, the most cookie cutter boy in her school wants to get to know her better but she has a sinking suspicion that he has another angle.  The second book follows up with the events from the first.  I won’t talk about it because it will spoil the first book.  But it’s as equally fast past and twisty as the first.

 

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed both of these books.  I can’t exactly remember how I came across them, most likely Goodreads, but I’m happy that I did.  Julep is a no-nonsense type of anti-hero.  She’s a criminal, she doesn’t like getting wrapped up in other people’s problems, she’d rather cause them.  Her skill set is vast and she’s able to think fast on her feet.  She hate’s making mistakes and hurting the few people that she does care about (even if she won’t admit it).

 

Re-readability:

I initially read these books a few years ago.  While I already know the outcome, I love rereading books like this.  Already knowing the outcome allows me to pay attention to the minute details that I might have missed during previous reads.  But not everyone is like this so this may end up being a series that you only read once.  If that’s the case, best get it from the library and save your dollars.

Question time:

Have you read either one of these books?

What did you think?

How would you rate it?

Please comment below.  I’d love to hear what you thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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See y’all next time!!!!

writing help

Balancing Writing with Life

 Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Sorry I missed posting yesterday.  Normally, I write my posts for the week on Saturday or Sunday and then schedule them, but I forgot.  Things have been a little crazy with moving and trying to get my classroom ready before my students show, but hey, what a great topic to talk about today.

Now, I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard the advise to write every day.   While I like the idea behind it, I still disagree.  That’s just not plausible.  Our lives, especially if we have day jobs, significant others, children, a social life, are not always going to allow us to get behind a computer to push out a decent word count.  What you should, to me, take away from this bit of wisdom is that you should carve out writing times.  Whether it’s a particular day or a hour, carve out some time that’s dedicated to your writing life.

For me that means that most of my writing happens on the weekends, either morning or evening depending on what’s happening.  I do leave some time from 7-9 at night to get some writing done during the weekdays.  I also carve out time to work on my author’s platform and building relationships with other writers and people in the writing industry.

You just need to find time that works for you.  I needs to be easy to accomplish and something that you can do consistently.  And that right there is key: consistency.  The more you do something, the more it will turn into a habit so that it feels like a chore.  Once writing during your scheduled time becomes habit, it becomes a little easier to balance your writing life with the rest of your life.

But what happens if the muses bless me and writing takes over?

Hey roll with it, if that’s what you want.  Just remember to take a break from your writing for a couple of days.  Get out of the house.  Take a shower.  Let your loved ones know you’re alive.  writing is an organic process.  It’s different every time you sit down in front of that computer, typewriter, or paper.  Just try to not let it consume your life and try to not go three days without doing something writing related.

What do you mean writing related?

Anything that will help you on your path to becoming a kick ass writer.  Take a writing class. Read an article about the publishing industry or tips to improve writing.  Dig around pinterest for images that go with whatever story you’re writing.  Hell, read a book from an author that inspires you.  Just don’t let writing get placed on the back burner.  Put it more on your second favorite burner (you know you have a favorite).

 

Also, if you don’t make it during the time you schedule, don’t fret.  Just get it done another time.  Like me and this late post.

Question time

Do you guys have any helpful suggestions about how you keep your writing life and regular life balanced?

What are some of the problems you’re having right now?

I’d love to hear them, just comment below.

As always, for more content, follow me on Twitter and Instagram. You can find the links on the About Me page. 

What to help me keep posting writing help, book reviews, and kick ass stories, head over to my Patreon page link on the About Me page.

Until next time folks!

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

My Top 5 Favorite Vlogers

Greetings my lovelies!

 

Like many of you, I spend countless of hours on Youtube.  I watch a mix of music videos, nostalgia cartoons, and to learn stuff.  I’m a visual and kinetic learner which means that I have to see and do it in order for a skill to set in.  Plus, it’s entertaining.  As a writer it’s quite easy to get lost navigating the literal thousands of vlogers out there.  And in case you’ve been living under a rock, a vloger is a person who blogs with videos.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for these people.  I can plan an entire series in a three days but I can’t edit a 5 min video.  It turns me into a fire breathing bitch queen.

So here are my 5 ish all time favorite vlogers.

5. Try Guys/Ladylike

I can hear you guys now….”These guys are really vlogers or writers”  I know, but hear me out.  The Try Guys and Ladylike are my go to when I’m feeling fried.  After days of planning or hammering through a bought of writer’s block I need to reset my brain and these guys are the best.  Their videos are entertaining and they make my brain switch gears.  Now I set a limit as to how many videos I watch (usually 3).  This keeps me from falling down the rabbit hole.  To check them out for yourself, click the links below.

The Try Guys    LadyLike

4. Sea Lemon

Again, not a writer, but Sea Lemon is an artist.  Watching her work keeps me going.  It’s hard to not watch her make these and not want to create yourself.  Creation feeds creation people!  She’s also supper bubbly and sweet!  Check her out below.

Sea Lemon

 

3. Amy Landino

Her vlog Amy Tv is the newest addition to my list.  I stumbled across it one day and instantly fell in love.  I haven’t had a chance to see all her posts but from what I’ve seen she is the Queen of motivation.  Her vlog is about how to become and maintain success.  She as posts about habits that she’s adopted and how they’ve helped her, how to overcome things like self doubt and embarrassment.  Honestly, just check out and see for yourself.

Amy TV

 

 

2. Derek Murphy

I found Derek right when I needed him most.  I am an indie author, which means that I have to take care of everything if I want my books to be published.  I’ve used Createspace and Ingram Spark.  They have their templates that you can use for your books interior, but I’ve never been 100% happy with them.  Fonts don’t always come out right.  They can sometimes look cheap.  Sigh.  I had no idea how to make the interior of my books just as engaging as the outside.  Honestly, a little effort inside goes a long way.  Well that’s where Derek comes in.  He’s all about helping some indie writers get their shit together and his videos on formatting book interiors are easy to follow.  They’ve helped me out a lot and I keep going back to him.

Formatting Book in MS Word

 

1. Jenna Moreci

ALL HAIL THE CYBORG QUEEN! I love Jenna.  I mean seriously.  I have yet to met a vloger that I love as much as her.  She’s hilarious and incredibly kind.  She encourages everyone to go out there and get some shit done. Her videos have helped me as a writer and given me a laugh or two.  Her post include topics on story structure, outlining, and the darkest aspect of publishing….marketing….shudder.  But she also loves sharing with her audience and clearly appreciates every once of support she gets. She’s who I want to be when I grow up.  But in all seriousness, check out her and see for yourself.

The Cyborg Queen

Greetings My Peeps!

Special Announcement!!!!

Greetings my lovelies!

 

I have a special announcement to make.  After much deliberation and research, I’ve finally created a Patreon page.  If you haven’t heard, Patreon is a site that allows people to help sponsor artists and creators.  In exchange for help, patrons get special benefits.  Follow the link below to go to my page.  Help me to spread the word.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patreon Page