That End Of The Year Wrap Up Post.

Thursday, December 31, 2015
A bunch of bloggers around the internet are doing end of the year wrap up posts and surveys, and I'm just going to jump right along with the bandwagon. 

I'm going to split this up into five sections: 

4. LIFE. 

*pumps fist* LET'S DO THIS THING.



Writing was crazy this year. It was the first full year I became serious about writing and spent every spare moment typing furiously or marking up my manuscript with a red pen. It was also the first year I started editing. (And learned that I despised it with all my soul.)

I wrote two first drafts, one second draft, two third drafts, and started on a fourth draft. 

I participated in both Camp NaNoWriMos (in which I wrote 50,000 words in two weeks) and NaNoWriMo. (in which I wrote 105,000 words in one month) They were both incredibly hectic and filled with messes of jumbled words, but at least they're words!

I posted a Flash Fiction Entry on the blog and talked about Why Writing is Really Hard.

And with all the excess amounts of writing, I learned that I still really love it despite all the work it takes. 2016 will be a even bigger writing year, and I'm ready for it.

Isn't that a cool number? ^

I'm not going to lie -- blogging was tough at times this year. I forgot about it. I posted inconsistently. I didn't really have a schedule until the last few months. But, I stuck with it. And despite the fact that it was hard at times, blogging is seriously so much fun. I got to meet lots of new people -- including my wonderful critique partner! 

My most popular post this year was my post on "Why I'm Now Crazy Insane About Going to Writer's Conferences." Next popular was "Behind The Scenes Writing Tag." (<< Go read and find out allllll my writing secrets. Mwaha.)

The third most viewed post was "How You Can Help Your Beta Readers."

I also follow a bazillion blogs, and my absolute favorites are... To the Barricade, Nadine Brandes, Go Teen Writer's, Musings of an Elf, Gossiping with Dragons, The Everstorm Comes, and Words in my Soul.

It's crazy to look at my blog now with almost 30,000 pageviews and 150 followers when I started off with 3k pageviews and 30 followers. So to all who have joined me this past year.... THANK YOU! Your sweet comments and emails make my day every time. :)


2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Katie has completed her goal of reading 67 books in 2015!
(Go friend me on Goodreads if you haven't already!
We'll have wonderful bookish discussions. ;)

Look at that! Eighty books. EIGHTY! I'm really rather proud of this accomplishment, sorry.

Most Read Genre: Fantasy. 
Books Read: 80.
Pages Read: Roughly 30,000.
Most Books Read In A Month: 14.
I also read five books in two days, sooo there's that. xD


Yeah, I know I chose eighteen books for my favorites. And that's not even including all the favorites. I only did the first books of some series because I couldn't possibly fit all the books into one picture. :P So really I have about thirty favorite books.

(And one of my favorites (maybe even my favorite) is a book I beta read which had much steampunk awesomeness and tears and feels. But it's not published that so I can't really add it to the list above. :P) 

(I got all giddy picking out my favorite books because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I'll try to refrain from shoving them in your faces... virtually... or something... :P)


IN 2015 I...
  • Basically listened to Twenty One Pilots 24/7. 
  • Went to my first writing conference.
  • Started watching LOST.
  • Saw some amazing movieeees. 
    • my favorites: 
      • Mockingjay Part Two; Interstellar; Big Hero 6; Inside Out; The Book Thief; Bridge to Terabithia. I'm not going to comment on the fact that all of these made me cry.
  • Got my permit.
  • Discovered a new love of hot cocoa. Mmmm.
  • Was in a homeschool Shakespeare play.
  • Had fun times with my AMAZING youth group.
  • Went on a wonderful vacation with my family. :)
  • Tweeted lots and lots on Twitter.
  • Got to know some amazing friends through the online writing world. (Aimee, Kristana, Nadine, Sierra, Hannah, and Rosalie, I'm looking at youuu! <3)


Surveys are a WHOLE lot harder than you think to put together, people. But here it is, and it would be SO helpful to hear your answers!

But only answer honestly, please. If you hate my colorful sidebar, say that. If you love writing posts but not the monthly highlights, please mention it! Thank you so much, my lovely readers. <3

Here's the link if the embedded survey doesn't work:

Powered by Typeform

Once again... 


- Katie Grace

Have you read any of the books on my list?
What were your favorite movies of 2015?

Currently // December.

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Inspired by Emily's "currently" posts. 

I didn't want to do just a plain Christmas post because there are plenty of them going around in the blogosphere right now, so here's a life (with a touch of Christmas) post.
And here's the posting plan for the rest of the month:

I will be doing an "End Of The Year Wrap Up" instead on the 31st. 

Onto the post. :D


currently // LISTENING

Ahahahaha, you knew that was coming, yes? When have I never not listened to Twenty One Pilots?

I'm planning to listen to the audiobook of Winter by Marissa Meyer when it comes in from the library. I don't usually listen to audiobooks, but since the hardcover copy has 15 holds I don't have much of a choice. :P

And now you're waiting for me to say that I'm also listening to Christmas music, yes? Well.... I'm.... not. *hides* I really haven't liked it this season and instead resort to Twenty One Pilots or something else out of my eccentric music tastes. It's weird. *shrug*

currently // WATCHING

Still watching the TV show, LOST, and still absolutely loving it. (Ack, my mind at the sheer genius of it all.)

And here's another weird thing about this Christmas season: No Christmas movies.

Technically it's not that weird since my family's never watched many Christmas movies. But I hear of all these people watching one every other night and... nope. Do you have any recommendations of Christmas movies I should make my family watch? ;)

currently // READING

ALL I'M DOING IS READING. Ahh, it feels so nice to curl up with a book and just read. I haven't been able to since... September (*gasp*), and the happiness inside me has no bounds. 

I went to the library and this happened: 

(the quality of the picture is horrible so I apologize.)

I've already read nine books this month and am hoping for plenty more. :D

  • The Thing About Jellyfish. [3/5]
  • Illuminae. [5/5]
  • Cinder. [5/5]
  • The Schwa Was Here. [5/5]
  • Red Queen. [3/5]
  • Pride and Prejudice. [1/5]
  • The Gifting. [5/5]
  • The Revised Life Of Ellie Sweet. [5/5]
  • Walk On Earth A Stranger. [4/5]

I'm a master procrastinator. Right now I'm just trying to pretend that this horrid world of editing doesn't even exist. After Christmas I'll start again (or "try" to...), but right now I just want to immerse myself in this reading world that I have been away from.

Also, I have been procrastinating several Christmas presents. Mostly because I do not know what to get said people. *coughs and avoids the six days left countdown*

And procrastinating on blogging. WHY IS IT SO EASY TO PROCRASTINATE ON BLOGGING?! I'm always up insanely late the night before I publish a post because I'm never able to get it done sooner. *sigh* Oh well. Someday, someday... :P

  • Christmas! :D (duhh.) 
  • Reading allll the books over Christmas break. 
    • Maybe I'll get wild and read a book a day or something. xD
  • Repainting my room. 
  • Out of town friends visiting. (Yesss.)
  • Watching a Twenty One Pilot's show on TV.
  • NEW YEARS! (I seriously can't believe how fast this year has gone.)
  • Going to the movie theater to watch the new Star Wars on Tuesday. 
    • I've never been a huge Star Wars fan, I'll admit, but I'm looking forward to this one.
    • It's kind of weird how BIG people are emphasizing the "no spoilers" about Star Wars all over social media. I mean, shouldn't that be a general courtesy for all movies?
  • Sleeping in every. single. day. 
    • And staying up late every. single. night.
  • Eating pizza. (ha, you thought I could get through a post without mentioning this? Think again.)
  • Generally just relaxing and enjoying the break from school(!!!!).
  • Maybe... Someday... Getting snow? I usually don't like snow, but having none around Christmas is just WEIRD. Where I live, in the northern USA, there's always snow. Like three feet of snow. And there's currently none. What is this?! (except the below freezing temperatures do kind of make up for it, heh.)
- Katie Grace

What are you looking forward to this Christmas season? What have you been reading?
And since I won't post until after the 25th, MERRY CHRISTMAS! <3 Enjoy it, dear friends. 
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Easy Blog Design Tutorials For The Blogspot Blogger #2 // Sidebar Edition

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The look of your sidebar is one of the most important things of your blog. (Except for, perhaps, the header.) This is where readers can immediately look for ways to follow your blog, see where you are present on other social media platforms, and learn a bit more about you.

There are SO many times I arrive at a new blog and am overwhelmed with the sidebar. There's just too many gadgets -- and unneeded ones. You don't need that fish feeder or pageview stat counter. Unsure of what to put on your sidebar? Keep reading, and when in doubt, keep it simple. 

I thought of the sidebar as having three main purposes:

1. introduce.
2. follow.
3. promote.

Let's look at the points in more detail. 
1. introduce. 

Something your sidebar definitely needs is YOU. This is your blog, and readers will want to know quirks or facts about you upon visiting. (Is she a writer? A beauty blogger? Photographer? Pizza-lover?) 

To draw in a reader right away is with a picture of your face. (so we know you're human and not a robot.) Upload this picture with the "add an image" gadget, and add a "text" gadget underneath to share your short bio.

To make your picture a circle like mine, simply upload it to Picmonkey, click "frames," and then "shape cutouts."

And no, do not write out your whole bio. And please don't use the  basic blogger "about me" gadget. Like I said above, just add a text gadget  and type what you want readers to know. (No more than three sentences.) Underneath this small bio you can link to your more in-depth 'about me' page. [Ex. What I did with the read more text.]
2. follow.

If people like what they see on your blog, the next step for them is to follow it! *confetti* The most popular following methods (for blogspot bloggers): 

Google Friend Connect

Google Friend Connect: 

It took me absolutely FOREVER to figure out how to add this gadget. If you're having troubles -- you're not the only one.

Go to gadgets, more gadgets, and then proceed to scroll until you find the followers gadget.


Email is the second most popular way readers follow my blog. Here are a few customization tutorials to make it look nice and snazzy.


Haven't heard of Bloglovin'? It's another way to follow blogs -- an online reader feed. Each day it will update the new posts from the blogs you stalk (*ahem* follow.) and allows you to save posts you especially love into folders for later reference.

Make sure to "claim" your blog on Bloglovin'. You'll then receive notification when people follow you or save a post. Bloglovin' has tutorials on their site that you can follow.

Social Media Icons:

If readers really want to stalk follow you on all social media sites, social media icons are your next step. They're typically placed beneath your picture or short bio. 

3. promote.

If you're an author, you can promote your books. If you're an owner of an etsy shop, promote that. Keep it simple, keep it small, and there's no need to mention it multiple times. Readers will hunt down what they're looking for if they really want to know. 

Cue the bloggers who say: "But I don't have anything to promote..." 

... You're wrong.

One of the things you can do promote is your own posts! Here are the gadgets that will help you in doing so:

1. Popular posts. 

Once I visit a blog and want to see if I'll be interested in reading any more of their posts, the "popular posts" gadget is one way I can quickly be informed of the types of articles they post. Go to layout > add a gadget > popular posts.

Don't like how the pictures aren't very large or set up? You can enlarge your popular post pictures with this tutorial. (like I did.)

2. Archives. 

It's rare that I go through the archives of someone's blog. But if I REALLY love a blog, I'll take an evening and read all of their posts. Or sometimes I need to reference a post a couple months back. This is where the archives come in handy. 

The default blogger archive is just kind of... blah. But guess what? Just yesterday I found a fantastic tutorial to make the archives look non-blah. :P (example is over on my sidebar -- see the archives) I love the clean look and the easy to navigate panels. 

general sidebar design.

Every so often I come across a blog that has the sidebar on the left of the post area. While this is unique and catches your eye, it catches your eye too much. Instead of focusing on the content of the post area, your gaze will automatically travel to the sidebar and can become distracting. While this isn't a huge deal, I personally would recommend keeping it on the right side of the blog.

It's very important to keep your sidebar to one column. You have no idea how insane it drives me when the follow-by-email gadget and the archives are smushed together side by side making it impossible to navigate either of them. Keep your gadgets in a straight line; this will prevent the general look from becoming messy. 

Keep the number of tags you have to a minimum. I've searched countless times for a tutorial to fix this mess below, but I have yet to find one. *disgruntled sigh* So until I come across that live-saving tutorial, keep the number of tags you have to a minimum. I could label this post under: blogging, design, sidebars, link, tutorials, and how-to, but instead I have just one tag I put it under: blogging. Try to insert no more than three tags to a post.

I've actually deleted my tags gadget, but this is what it used to look like. Messy, but better than having 20+ tags. And if you DO have tons of tags, just delete the tag gadget on your sidebar. Readers will still be able to browse the posts under that tag by finding it in the footer of a post.

Notice how my sidebar has a colored background? Here's how to add a background color to your Blogger sidebar.

- Katie Grace

Phew! That was a lengthy post, but hopefully it was helpful. There's a lot to say on this topic. 
What do you like to see on sidebars? If you want me to check out yours, drop your blog URL below. :)

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How I Would Improve NaNoWriMo.

Saturday, December 5, 2015
Note: This was inspired by Cait's post on How I Will Improve Goodreads When I Rule The World. But seeing that I'm not planning to take over the world, I did not put that in the title of my post. :P

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So, unless you're a writer living in some sort of hermit shell (unless you're a actually a hermit crab who's a writer living in a shell without internet? ...), you've probably heard about NaNoWriMo.

If you weren't about to tell from my excess NaNoWriMo posting last week, I absolutely adore NaNo. I mean, hundreds of thousands of writers bonding together over late nights and overdoses of caffeine for a whole month? AND you're hypothetically walking away with a finished novel and/or 50,000 words? Please tell me how it can get better than that. (Actually, it could probably get better if pizza were involved...)

But just for fun, here are some NaNo improvements I would make if I was able to take over their website for a day. Mwahaha.


1. A NaNoWriMo App.

NaNo on the go? I think yes. It would be awesome if it was possible to check and update your word count on a phone or tablet.

And also, what about reminders and notification banners. "YOU HAVE 5k TO WRITE TODAY." 

Or maybe it could congratulate you on your buddies's accomplishments: "[name] WON! SEND HER A NANOMAIL WITH FLAILING AND INTERNET COOKIES."

2. Improved NaNoMail Formatting.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets annoyed with the NaNoMail system. I mean, it's nice that we're able to send messages to other writers, but can't we at least do it with normal formatting? The current format is really weird and nothing like an actual inbox. There's an automatic line break every time you press enter, and instead of having a thread of emails in one reply, each email appears in a separate thread. (Does that make sense? Probably not. Just go with it.)

3. Writing Buddy Achievements. 

It's hard for me to remember to check my writer friend's progress each day on the NaNo site. (and even when I do remember, I get distracted 0.65 seconds later with the thought of pizza or new plot ideas.)

So it'd be great to have a banner or space on the home dashboard displaying: [name] reached 50k! or [name] is halfway with 25k!

4. Change Your Username.

When I first joined NaNoWriMo, I wasn't thinking when I created my username. I made mine "Katie - Grace." Yes, with spaces in between the dash. How completely ridiculous was that? It's rather confusing to try to explain my username to people. Ah, what I wouldn't give to change it to KatieGraceWrite, now.

BUT, NaNoWriMo is weird and won't let you change your username. *discontented sigh* So, when I take over the NaNo site, that's definitely something I will change.

5. Editing Months.

Ew, editing. I can already hear the groans. (Or the excited cheers if you're one of those people.)

But after everyone finishes their novels, editing is VERY needed. (Unless you're a perfect first draft writer, but let's be honest here: no one is.) So why not have another NaNo month in January or February for editing? A lot of people would sign up. Or at least should sign up.

Hundreds of writers moping, complaining, and whining about editing for a whole month? I mean, what could go wrong?

6. Social Media Sensor.

Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, NaNo forums, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Goodreads... Most writers have some form of procrastination, and I know that at least for ME, I can get reaaaally distracted on websites like those when I'm supposed to be writing.

So, I propose that NaNoWriMo has a built in plugin. It could sense how much time you spend on a certain website, AND poke you until you get off it after a certain amount of time. (Five, ten, or fifteen minutes.)

I wonder how many more words we'd all actually get done if we stopped talking about writing online and actually wrote....

7. Group Writing Goals.

If you're familiar with Camp NaNoWriMo, there are cabins filled with 12 people, and together you all try to make a group goal. Which I think is epic, especially when you all gang together to write 40,000 words in the last day. (It's happened with my cabin, and it's awesome. xD)

I think the NaNoWriMo site should add up the 50k of all of your writing buddies participating, and then together you all try to make the same goal. It would make NaNo more of a team activity than it already is. I know this point has flaws because everyone has different writing buddies, but just go with it.

And finally...

8. A Complete Novel Editor.

*cough* Cause this is completely possible.

You know how you have to paste in your novel to get it validated for winning? 

I think NaNoWriMo should send you those words back, but completely edited. Just... perfect. The plot holes fixed, typos corrected, and characters fleshed out. You could immediately start working on the sequel or another series. ...

... *sigh* Only in a perfect dream world... 

But one can fantasize if they're already making up a pretend list about taking over the NaNo site... right? ;)
- - -

- Katie Grace

How would YOU improve NaNoWriMo? Any of these you particularly like?
(And have you recovered from the NaNo craziness, yet? ;)

Monthly Highlights - November

Monday, November 30, 2015
This month was crazy, crazy, crazy insane, but it's finally coming to an end. NaNo was the best and worst decision of my life. *collapses tiredly* xD 

(I've been collapsing a lot this month. It'll get better in December. I promise. :P) 

T h e    H i g h l i g h ts 

Well, I mean NaNo was pretty much the biggest thing of the month. A highlight, but it lost its fun pretty quickly. xD 

I went with my family to see the play Phantom of the Opera! *starts singing dramatically* We don't see plays very often, so it was fun and a really good play. :D 

I started the TV show, LOST. *insert dramatic music for absolutely no reason* I just finished the first season and it has already made me cry, scream, laugh, and sob. Ugly sob. It's pretty amazing. xD

We (my family) don't get too crazy over Black Friday shopping, but we usually go to one store Thursday night. This year we went to Best Buy and got Inside Out because it was cheap and its an amazing movie we've been wanting to own for a while. We stood in line for an hour and a half for that one movie, but... Ah well. :P

Christmas decorations! We don't do much for decorating, but we have our Christmas tree and stockings and it just generally feels nice. :)
B o o k   T h i n g s

Since NaNo has been taking up ALL OF MY TIME, I've only read ONE book this month. *sigh* It was A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. Amazingly epic and I read it it one day. xD I deserted NaNo but I don't care.

BUT, after NaNo ends, I'm going to turn December into a reading month (despite the tons of editing I'll be doing... -.^). The books I'll be reading: 

- Cinder
- Scarlet 
- Cress
- Winter 
     [all by Marissa Meyer]
- A Monster Calls 
     [Patrick Ness]
- Illuminae 
     [Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff]
- Walk on Earth a Stranger 
     [Rae Carson]
- Six of Crows 
     [Leigh Bardugo]

I'm totally going to read more than the list above, but these are the books I want to read for sure. So if any of you have some epic recommendations for me to read... *cough cough* *coughs very loudly* 

I bought five books this month (picture before) and in turn used up the rest of my Amazon giftcard. *sniff* Buuuut, Christmas approaches eventually... And I WON'T buy anymore books until then, so if you see me doing so, yell at me or something. xD

// A Monster Calls + Cinder + A Time to Speak + Dreams of Caladria + Illuminae //

A Monster Calls is actually going to be made into a movie, so before I see it (even though it's not coming out until later 2016, I think) I want to read it. It's made people cry and I've heard super good things about it. (Plus I always love books that make me cry...) 

Here's the trailer:

Definitely a teaser trailer since it doesn't tell you much, but I like it already.
T h e   W o r l d   o f   W r i t i n g



This is the first time I've written a novel longer than 100,000 words. o.O 

So now I'm just typing furiously today so I can finish my novel by midnight. (!!) I'M SO EXCITED. 

This month was awesome, though. NaNoWriMo brings all these writers together to shoot for a crazy insane goal, and I got to "hang" out warring with my lovely online writing buddies ALL month. I had such a blast. 

So, a special thank you to all my Word War buddies! I didn't realize there were so many people I warred/sprinted with throughout this month until I started writing down all the names. (yes, some of them are duplicate names, and yes, that was purposeful because they just have the same name. xD) I don't think I actually really wrote this month without warring someone... o.O 

nadine // anna // faith // hannah // athelas // anna // petra // sierra // aimee // emily // emily // krissy // adrianna // rachael // patience // sierra // bethany // erika

*exhausted sigh* I have done so much writing this month, that I am just done. xD *collapses* I am ready to go into hibernation mode and just read and sleep and eat pizza and generally do nothing for all of December. 

BUT, I will resist. December will be used outlining my new plot development, letting The Sand Dragon's Song rest in it's word document, and start continuing the edits of Song of the Desert. (Though I will also try to read an insane amount of books so I will have some fun. :D) 
  R a m b l i n g s   o f   t h e   M o n t h

So, remember at the end of last month I said that I was going to also do a Blogspot Blogger Design post sometime in November? 

Well, that didn't happen. So, I'm going to do it in December. Don't fear -- it'll come! 

My four posts about NaNo: 

O t h e r   A w e s o m e   P o s t s

So I was basically a horrible blogger friend this month. With NaNo, I couldn't comment on all the blogs and keep track of all the posts, but I did read/stalk my Bloglovin' feed throughout the month, so I'm caught up! I'm looking forward to being around the blogosphere more in December again. Buuut, there are some posts that stuck out to me that I remembered to link to. (It's actually more of a blog shout out this month, but oh well.)

My awesome friend and loyal commenter, Anna Holden, is starting a blog! *dances around* It's called The Everstorm Comes (epic name, yes?) Her first post will be next Saturday, SO GO FOLLOW IT NOW SO YOU CAN READ IT! *will reward you with cookies if you follow* *go ahead* *go follow it* *thank you* ;)

Rachelle has returned to the blogosphere with a reading and writing themed GIVEAWAY

Now I'm double the happy, because Ana has returned to the blogging world as well! I've missed her bookish and writing posts. :)

Cait's post on "what writer's are really trying to say" was so fabulous. It made me laugh and I can related to everything.

T h i n g s   t o   C o m e!

In December: (WAHT. IT'S DECEMBER TOMORROW. LIKE, HOW?! *tries to calm self*) 

   - Definitely a blogspot blogger design post, again. Last time people seemed interested in sidebars, so I'll share my thoughts on that. 

   - The year in review. My year in books, writing, blogging, life... Just kind of a GIANT wrap up post with some cool stats because stats are awesome. xD 
       - Also, maybe a survey to see what you guys are most interested in for the new year and such? *shrug*

(That's all the posts I have planned out for now, but there will be more.) 

If you don't remember what my posting schedule is, it's EVERY Saturday. If I have an extra post to write in the month, it will be on Tuesday. Otherwise the Monthly Highlights post will be up on the last day of the month no matter what day it is. :) 

- - -

- Katie Grace

Any books I HAVE to read over Christmas break? I'd love recommendations!
What are you looking forward to in December? (Anything besides Christmas? ;)

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NaNo Week #4 - New Books, Thanksgiving, And Plot Despair.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
NaNo was tough this week. 
Just... words. words. words. 

But, I did have the week off of school for Thanksgiving break which was THE BEST. (yay for homeschooling! And great moms. ;) So I was able to have lots of writing time that kept my word count up despite the plot struggles. -.- 

Despite writing behind hard, the week was awesome. I watched lots of LOST, set up Christmas decorations, had family over for Thanksgiving, and got new books! (!!) 

So begins the post: NaNo Week #4.

day twenty one // 5,037

(hey look it's my favorite number, twenty-one.)

So my original goal for today was 7,000, but by the big 5,000 written above I'm pretty sure it's obvious that I didn't make it. :P I woke up super late (like, eleven. Ooooops.), and unexpected plans came up in the afternoon. Still, I'm happy that I got in as much as I did and I can always make up for it another day.

Yay for Sarah for making it to 50k! *confetti*
day twenty two // 3,754


it looks like the most genius book ever.

It is officially the prettiest and most interesting book ever and I have heard nothing but good things. It will be my reward for finishing my novel at the end of the month. It's also super long -- 600 pages, written entirely in IMs, notes, interviews, and all that sort. And a long, good book makes me happy. xD

Writing was a pretty average day today. I am getting so close to the climax. Just a couple more thousand words and I'll there. I'm freaking out really excited. 
day twenty three // 2,838


You know how people get a "mental breakdown" and such? I'm having a plot breakdown. Or a writer breakdown. Something.

I was writing along around eleven at night, when my character said something. She said something that sparked a whole new plot idea for the story, but would in turn cause me to rewrite. A lot. Like, some of the first book and most of the 75,000 words I've already written. *headdesks repeatedly* 

Now, who knows -- this might not be as complicated as I think. I'll have to do some brainstorming, but after I first thought it through and decided to make the change, I just sat at the computer screen despairing for a good half hour. :P 

So, this means that beta-ing will not happen in January. *cries* Hopefully late February/March. But I truly think that this will make the book better. Fear not -- your time will come eventually. *rages and screams: writing is so haaaaaard* 
day twenty four // 5,369

Today started off pretty horribly. I only had about a thousand, maybe less before dinner. (I'm not really exactly sure. My memory is horrid.) But basically, things were not going well. I was feeling discouraged about the new plot stuff and the words weren't coming.

But once night came and my night owl awoke, that's when the real writing came. I couldn't stop writing. I set up three twenty minute sprints. I turned on the "deep focus" playlist on Spotify, and just wrote. 

Which ended up in over 3,000 words in an hour. 

Before you think that I'm bragging, I have nooooo idea how this happened. My fingers have never moved so fast in my life and afterwards my wrists were really sore. :P And my eyes were drooping because it was well after midnight oops.

And who knows how those words actually turned out. But now I'm SO CLOSE TO THE CLIMAX. *jumps around excitedly flailing* 
day twenty five // 4,023

So right now at the end of day twenty-five I'm at 85,000. I think there's roughly 20k or so left, which means I have to consistently write 5k a day or so. 

*collapses at all the writing* 


*ahem*  It's so hard just to put 100 words on the document right now, and it's not helping that the only time the words actually come is later than ten at night. (Maybe someone could tell my brain that I need to sleep sometime?)

So right now my main concern is that I won't be able to write enough words to finish the novel in time. *deep breath* We'll see how this goes.

Also Aimee finished 50k today and I am just screaming with excitement for her. xD
day twenty six // 2,469

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (It's not Thanksgiving anymore, buuuuut, pretend like it is?) 

I'm SUPER thankful for... 

- friends, family, and God. (you knew that was coming, but I am SO thankful for all three.)
- pizza. (you also knew that was coming, yes?)
- books and authors who write the wonderful books. (BECAUSE WITHOUT AUTHORS THERE WOULD BE NO BOOKS. I screamed that because it is important. Thank an author, okay?) 
- my online writing buddy friends. (I cannot explain how much I appreciate all of you. You guys know who you are. *hugs*) 
- music. (specifically: Twenty One Pilots and Switchfoot. My two favoritesss.) 
- computers. (makes writing a whole lot easier.)
- hot cocoa. (hot cocoa has been my writing fuel for this month. As well as chocolate.)
- NaNoWriMo. (I also kind of hate it but I'm more thankful for the website than not.)

I'm especially thankful for ALL OF YOU. I mean, how cool is it to have people read what I ramble about online and then comment on it? I've met tons of new friends, learned a lot about deadlines (ha... ha...), and just a bunch of fun. It's been great learning more about all of you and having conversations in the comments. *GIANT HUG*

Oh, and yes, I did write today, but Thanksgiving seemed more important to talk about. :P And this made me laugh: 
NaNoToons are my favorite.
day twenty seven // 3,309

I. Am. So. Exhausted. Of. Writing. 

I FINALLY HIT 90k! It feels so good. But I'm also dreading the end of this month because that means I'll have to ediiiiit. *dies* 

(I really, really don't like editing. And right now, I don't like writing over 3k a day consistently. Writing is so hard.)

Our family put up our Christmas tree today which was fun, and we also started -- *gasp* -- listening to Christmas. Speaking of which... Any recommendations of Christmas albums? 

Also, I would've kept writing today, but if I wrote another three sentences, I would've killed a character. 
So obviously I'm procrastinating on it. The good thing? I know what I'm writing next. :P 

A huge congratulations to Athelas for finishing NaNo! EDIT: Congrats to Mikayla for finishing NaNo as well!

days I went to bed before midnight: 0/7. (Heh... heh... Oops. Once NaNo ends, perhaps I'll actually get decent amounts of sleep. xD)

highest word count in a day: 5,369.

lowest word count in a day: 2,469. (I can live with this. And I love that both the numbers end in '69.' :P)

*cough* *ahem* I mean, I don't have a snippet for you this week. :P

obstacle of the week: Ugh. Man. Just. No. Figuring out all new plot stuff and all the editing I'm going to have to do and realizing that I'm going to be editing until the end of summer next year. *dies*

best part of the week: RECEIVING ILLUMINAE IN THE MAIL. I'm seriously so excited for this book. xD Also Thanksgiving festivities are always fun with the family. 



You totally got this. Three. Days. Left. 
*starts to freak out because I didn't realize there were only THREE DAYS AHH*

// Katie Grace 

And just for fun, what's the first sentence of your novel? (you can read my first paragraphs here in my first NaNo post.)

NaNo Week #3 - I Watched Six Movies, Became A NaNo Winner, And Wrote 10k In One Day.

Saturday, November 21, 2015
Week three of NaNo is just about to end, which means we're moving into our LAST WEEK OF NANOWRIMO! 

I'm kind of shocked. This month has simultaneously gone by so fast and so slow that it seems like I'm living in some sort of alternate time universe. 

But so far NaNo has been a blast. I've been tired all month and roughly pantsing, but the words are coming. One by one. :P (Certainly sounds like a blast, yeah? Freaking out about words and acting like a zombie? Only writers would understand...)

Throughout these next posts as my writing friends make 50k, I'll be briefly mentioning/congratulating them. Their names lead to their blogs or their NaNo profile if they don't have a blog. :)

day fourteen // 10,007

10,000 word day = SUCCESS! I wrote all morning (and even woke up early for it. On a Saturday. Ohhh, the horror and dedication.), all afternoon, and all evening up to midnight.

I like how it says "so far" like they're challenging me to write more.


It's a teensy bit discouraging when I think about that I could only be halfway done. Maybe even less if my novel turns out to be more than 100,000. (I don't think so, but I'm a horrible estimator and who knows where my plot will take me.) So, I won't really count myself as a winner until I complete my novel, but 50k is still an awesome milestone to reach. :D 
*hugs to all you encouraging people*

Huuuuuuge thank you to Aimee for warring with me all day, and congratulations to her for succeeding in 10k as well! We're kinda insane and will probably never do it again. Kidding. We never learn from our mistakes. Next NaNo we'll do it again. :P

I was very tempted to do this for the last hundred words of the 10k day. xD 

Congrats to Anna Holden for making it to 50k! And for succeeding in a 10k day, too.

day fifteen // 141

141 words.
Oops. *blushes*

I needed to recover from the crazy insane 10k day. So, obviously I did very, very productive things instead. Like watching The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and starting the TV show Lost. (!!) All in one day. Yeah, I needed the break. :P My mind was quite satisfied to watch stories instead of creating stories. 
Especially amazing stories that get me all inspired to write something epic. 

But.. NaNo... is officially... half-way... done... *freaks out*

Yay for Christine for completing the 50k!

day sixteen // 2,338

I'm still recovering from the 10k. Just... 
Words. Why do words give me so much trouble? *shakes head*

My mom and I  watched Pride and Prejudice this evening. I'm reading the book this year for school and wanted to watch the movie before the book because I'm a rebel like that. Ha. :P 

day seventeen // 4,774

I REACHED 60k!!! 

I need all the chocolate and pizza, now, because my brain is slowly dyinggg. Maybe that's the secret plot of the creators of NaNoWriMo. Slowly kill the minds of all the creative "geniuses." Then we don't have the strength to plan world domination. 


Told you my brain's dying. Or maybe it's the fact that I went to bed after midnight again. Or both. Yeah, both. *nods*

Eeep! Hannah, one of my awesome word war buddies, made it to 50k today!

day eighteen // 1,086

Something very, very bad happened today. 

*whisper* I lost my plot again. 

It's like trying to catch a minnow in the water of a bar of soap in the shower. Just -- poof! It suddenly disappeared. So now I'm sitting here at the computer, shaking, unable to type, watching my cursor blink. 

(speaking of blinking cursors, why do they blink? To get our attention? To annoy us? Remind us that we're supposed to be writing? Hypnotize us?)

I'm counting on tomorrow going better. *nods*

Super proud of my aunt Heather completing NaNo for the first time!

this is my fuzzy blanket that keeps me warm in the colddd mornings. 
day nineteen // 3,014

So, my plot's not completely back. I think I found an intern plot. Or an intern plot line for the moment. I half-know what I'm doing and am half-throwing words on the page hoping that they'll come out coherent. :P

I watched Mockinjay Part One today! (I know I'm behind on the movie watching trends. But after watching it I'm glad I waited, because that cliffhanger! O.O I'm not quite sure how to react to it. My heart definitely hurts.)

Back to writing:
I think I'm starting to notice a trend. Every other day is a good/bad day. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I'm going to defeat that trend. Tomorrow's going to be an epic day of writing.

day twenty // 0

"I'm going to defeat that trend. Tomorrow's going to be an epic day of writing." 

Or not. 

Do you see that word count? It's a big, fat zero. Looks ugly, yeah? *sigh* I'll make up for it by writing 7k tomorrow on my weekly writing marathon day. :P

(Okay, and here's a technical problem. Technically I didn't write any words today, but I did verify my novel on NaNo and it gave me an extra 600 words. So it LOOKS like I wrote 611 words today, but... lies. So... Just ignore it?)

So what did I do instead of writing today? (Aww, I'm so glad you were wondering.) 

I continued my movie watching/Hunger Games week by seeing Mockingjay Part Two with awesome friends in the theater, (much sadness and feels and epicness and despairing that the series ended) and then going over to my grandparents to watch part one again. 

Now it's after midnight and I'm working on this blog post because I was a bad blogger and put off writing days in advance this week. Procrastinator is my middle name. 
(actually it isn't my middle name. It'd be horrible to have procrastinator as your middle name, wouldn't it?)

days I went to bed before midnight: 4/7. 

highest word count in a day: 10,007. (AHHHHH.)

lowest word count in a day: 0. (MORE AHHHH.)

snippet: *shoves snippet (kindly) in your face*

obstacle of the week: Watching six movies and a gazillion episodes of LOST. I mean, that sure sucked away a lot of my writing time. But do I regret it? 
No. xD

best part of the week: Aaack, there were so many good parts of this week! 10k in one day, receiving super encouraging emails/messages from my writing buddies (you know who you are), reading a surprise chapter from a writing friend, watching lots of movies... xD

*whisper* Accurate besides the fact that I did not write 611 words today. :P

Whether you have 10,000 words or 100,000, you are doing awesome at NaNo. You signed up. You wrote words. You STARTED A NOVEL. Seriously. Be proud of yourself. :D 

And there's still over a week left! Get those words in while you can. I'm always open for wars or if you need a pep-talk I can do that, too. Though I'll probably get distracted and end up talking about pizza. But, you know. I'll try.

- Katie Grace

EIGHT DAYS LEFT! Seems like just yesterday I was counting down for it to begin... 
How is NaNoWriMo going? Did you see Mockingjay Part Two? Have you had a day where you wrote zero words? :P (You're not alone...)