Saturday, December 30, 2017

There. I think I screamed enough for everyone reading this post. If not, feel free to scream with me in the comments. I'm happy with how 2017 went. Obviously it had it's ups and downs... but that's just life for ya. Overall it was an improvement from 2016, and I'm feeling good about where I am in life. So, success! :P

And before we enter the craziness of 2018... here's one last look back at this year. :D
pictures in this post are an assortment from 2017
Ahh, writing. Writing this year has been a journey. A roller coaster type journey, with all of it's ups and downs and twisty loop-de-loops. I shifted my focus from my desert fantasy duology, to my heart's novel, Where Shadows Lie. It's always sad to shelve a project... but I'm confident I made the right decision and I'm ridiculously excited about moving forward.

I wrote two books this year -- my superhero novel, and the prequel to Where Shadows Lie. *celebrates* Both of them were for NaNo events (because NaNo + I = best friends), and after I wrote the first drafts, I made them into real-life copies! (except I'm still waiting for my superhero book to arrive. I ordered it a month ago... so I think it went missing in the mail. Or fell into a portal and land in the fires of Mt. Doom. Either or. (UPDATE: now as I'm editing this post, the book has arrived! so it made it out of Mt. Doom. Huzzah!))

After adding up the ending word counts of those two books + flash fiction + rewrites, the total words written this year came to 200,000. A little less than normal, as you can see below, but I'm happy with the outcome. :D
2014: 123,000
2015: 240,000
2016: 222,000
2017: 200,000
total: 785,000.
That means I'm 215,000 words away from writing one million words. UM. WHAT. (poor noodle fingers) I know I spend a lot of time writing, but... it's weird to actually think about how much energy and thought and emotion I've poured into my novels over the years. *mind explodes*

Oh and hey -- speaking of writing and stories, I posted two flash fictions on the blog this year! I read over them again before putting the links in this post, and I'm really happy with how they turned out. I wrote a sci-fi retelling of the pied piper, and then a tale about the dreaded "NaNoWriMo Beast." (the last one is more comical than serious. xD)

When I wasn't writing, I was editing! (and plotting... and procrastinating... but mostly editing.) In the beginning of the year I worked hard on my desert fantasy duology, but once I shelved that for the time being, I spent the rest of the time editing Where Shadows Lie. I CANNOT WAIT FOR JANUARY TO COME SO I CAN START EDITING AGAIN. << That's a big statement coming from the person who would usually choose to watch paint dry rather than edit. But I'm really pumped to dive into the third draft of this story!

I'm hoping to end this year with a total of 60 books. (I'm at 58... ALMOST THERE!) It's slightly disappointing since my original goal was one hundred. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Last year I whizzed through 120 books, and it was hard for me to even hit half of that this year. *sniff* Oh well. 

Below are my five star reads of 2017! There are only five... but that's because I've grown strict about how I rate books. I used to give out five stars to most of the books I read, but then that "high rating" becomes rather meaningless.

The majority of the books I read were fantasy, which came as no surprise to me. But I did read about equal amounts of sci-fi and contemporary? I'm starting to really like contemporary novels, because they're able to take the perspective of a beautiful story from the ordinary world.

There weren't a huge amount of bookish posts that appeared on the blog this year, but the one I did write turned out to be one of my most popular ones: Why I Would Be A Horrible Book Character. (I'm tempted to do a part two eventually, because it's just so easy to come up with reasons why I would never survive in fantasy novels. For example: the obvious lack of pizza. xD)

And now comes the big question: how many books do I shoot for in my 2018 Goodreads challenge? To which I immediately answer: I DON'T KNOWWW! But after a bit of thinking, I might need to set it for under sixty books. *cue the tears* I'm thinking about fifty-two, because that would equal to a book a week! We'll see -- I'll update you as I ponder on that a bit more. :P

YAY FOR BLOGGING. It's a huge part of my life, and I'm so thankful for it. Sure, it's hard and sometimes I run out of inspiration for posts and I stare at that screen, the clock ticking past midnight. I don't like the hard parts of blogging but yet I do, because blogging has taught me so much. It's taught me how to work toward a deadline and how to continually find ways to grow in my craft.

Aside from the work, blogging has brought me immense amounts of joy. ALL THE BLOGGING BUDDIES. Dude, that's what is so fun about the blogosphere. I get so happy interacting with people who can relate to me that are halfway around the world. Ugh, I wish there was a way to teleport to meet you all for Christmas because THAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING EVER.

For the majority of the year I kept up fairly well with visiting blogs and commenting and all that fun stuff... but I have failed miserably with that since NaNoWriMo began. *cringe* Like, I have close to a hundred unread posts kind of miserably. So I'll have to catch up on all of your lovely blogs in the new year. :D

I'm excited to see where blogging takes me in 2018, and the new people I'll meet through it. <3

Some of my most popular posts: editing encouragementfive reasons to participate in camp nanowrimo


Last year, 2016, was a year of change, and 2018 will be the same way. So 2017 was a nice "break" in between all the new things thrown at me. It was a year of enjoying where I am in life and trying to look forward at what's to come.

I posted about my "new findings of 2017," which captures some of the random fun of this year. And did anyone else enjoy Spotify's end of the year stats? (no big surprise seeing that Twenty One Pilots is my top artist. I don't that'll change anytime soon. xD)

Instead of boring you all with endless paragraphs, I'll list the top couple highlights of each month. Just to keep it short and simple. :P

JANUARY || bullet journaling, trying to stay steady with my new resolutions
FEBRUARY || twenty one pilots concert (AHHH), southwest vacation, Goodreads released their reread option!
MARCH || turned seventeen
APRIL || failed camp nano, went through a major writing burnout, but also had an awesome writing retreat
MAY || break from writing, finished eleventh grade
JUNE || started my senior year of school in order to graduate early, MYWW conference, finished my Camp NaNo novel
JULY || spider-man homecoming, began edits for Where Shadows Lie, got the idea for my superhero novel, finally finding the joy in writing again
AUGUST: lots of rewriting (on paper), three year blog anniversarydear senior year
SEPTEMBER || lots more editing, lovely, relaxing vacation
OCTOBER || halfway done with school, #nanoprep, about my superhero novel
NOVEMBER || nanowrimo (duh), painted my room, infinity wars trailer
DECEMBER || break from writing, christmas craziness, began watching the Marvel movies chronologically

Thank you for being with me on this journey. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings for all of us. <3

katie grace

what were your top three highlights of 2017?


Saturday, December 9, 2017
(phew, that's a long blog title. :P)

Happy Saturday, everyone! We're sixteen days away from Christmas (um, what). To tide you over until the twenty-fifth, my lovely friend and author, Kara Swanson, is graciously taking over the blog today. (and I've added in a giveaway of her book at the end -- The Girl Who Could See -- so keep reading for that. :)

I'll keep my babbling to a minimum and let Kara take over from here. :D

(Yes, that is a giant picture of her book's cover. You're welcome.)

Hi Katie!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. So appreciate you reaching out. And I can't wait to hopefully get to see her in person at Realm Makers this year! (Which, if any of you aren't familiar with it, Realm Makers is a Christian writers conference for speculative fiction authors!)

I met Katie through Go Teen Writers, and have always been so inspired by her tenacity and writing skill! She and I both started writing at a young age, and tend to weave our own stories into our fictional ones. My latest release, The Girl Who Could See, came out in June of this year and is about another young woman who is carried along on an adventure.

Fern Johnson can see the impossible. Since she was a child, she has had an imaginary friend named Tristan--but Tristan has never left. This blonde, weapon-wielding warrior has never been far from her footsteps, but while he claims he is here to help, Tristan's very existence is shattering Fern's life. Because she is the only one who can see this invisible hero, and the decaying city around him, while the rest of the world believes that he is only a figment of her imagination. That Fern is going insane. 
But Fern Johnson is not crazy. She can see into a parallel world--and if she's not careful, the monster that desolated Tristan's planet is going to destroy hers.
The Girl Who Could See started off with two short lines in my head, a prompt that I had to follow:

They say every child had an imaginary friend.
Mine never left.

So I continued to tug on that string, and a story about a young woman who stands in the hallway between two worlds is what unraveled. Beyond that, another large aspect that impacted the creation of this story was a real-life battle I was fighting--and am still battling. Lyme Disease. I've had Lyme for six years, and only this past year did I finally find a treatment that is actually curing the disease. I'm so grateful to be almost 100% Lyme-free, but when I wrote The Girl Who Could See, I was thick in the middle of my fight against the sickness. I was in constant pain, and could hardly trust my own mind as I was so tired my thoughts weren't my own.

The emotions and struggles that followed this were soon woven into my novella. Fern is unable to drive, and constantly feels like she doesn't fit in, like she's being pulled between two worlds. With my Lyme symptoms, driving was too dangerous for me to get my license, and I felt like I could see the world passing around me--but I was stuck on the outside, peering in. Unable to tangibly touch life.

Just watch it pass by.

But like Fern, I kept fighting, and eventually was able to survive--thrive, even--despite having a disease that to most would have seemed like a curse. Lyme allowed me to appreciate every moment of my day, it gave me a new gentleness toward the broken and hurting. I have been able to encourage so many with chronic pain, because I've experienced the hopelessness and agony.

I soon came to realize, just like Fern does in The Girl Who Could See, that what may seem like my greatest weakness can actually be my greatest strength. That it's the broken things that can shine the most light.

Thanks so much for that, Kara. <3 If you can't tell from her guest post, she's one of those people with a giant heart that overflows with enthusiasm. Before I skip right to the giveaway... can I flail? Like, how is that for a concept?? Cue the suspenseful music beginning to play because that sounds like pure epicness. *unfortunately doesn't own this book but needs to change that IMMEDIATELY*

Well, if you haven't already bounced to the giveaway with excitement, now's the time to enter for a paperback copy of this awesome novella.

(If the giveaway decides to be stubborn and won't load, follow this link.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be open up to the 25th! And on Christmas I'll contact the random winner. But until then there's no stopping you from snagging the book over on Amazon -- after all, it's a short novella that would be perfect to help you catch up on that Goodreads challenge. ;)

Thanks for reading! I hope the rest of your day manages to be both relaxing and productive. (is that possible? maybe. probably. good luck. xD)

(and if you're discovering my blog through this giveaway, hi! Eat some virtual pizza and introduce yourself -- you're more than welcome to stick around.)

katie grace

don't be afraid to leave a comment below for Kara!


Saturday, December 2, 2017
*barges in with carols and cookies and Christmas trees* MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! Yes, I know there are still twenty-three days until Christmas, but who doesn't love a little extra Christmas cheer? 

At least I need some extra Christmas cheer. Even though it's December, it doesn't feel like Christmas. All of the snow we had on the ground melted, I haven't listened to much Christmas music, and our tree isn't even set up. O.O (not to mention all of the cards and presents I haven't started on... *cries because I am the worst gift giver*)

ANYWAY, I'm here to talk about the highlights of November, so let's get into them!

THE INFINITY WARS TRAILER. PLEASE TELL ME YOU'VE SEEN IT SO WE CAN FREAK OUT TOGETHER. (here's the link if you haven't) I've already watched it five times and have freaked out every time. I only shed a couple tears out of excitement, so be proud. *absolutely cannot wait* (only 152 days away!!) It's been fun to see the internet explode with the conjoined excitement for this movie. :D

Speaking of movies, I watched more movies than I read books this month. (can I even call myself a bookworm?? o.o) It was a good mix -- Wonder, Thor: Ragnarok, Murder on the Orient Express, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Wonder Woman. I feel like there was maybe one other I watched, but my mind is blanking, so it must've not been that memorable. :P

The other "big happening" of November is that I repainted my room! Guys, painting takes so long. It took several days of me working from after lunch until nine at night to complete this project, but the finished result was worth it. *happy squeal* (is it okay if I dump a few pictures on you? Because that's totally what I'm going to do)

There aren't as many highlights as usual, but it's proving difficult to think past, "wait, I did other things than write this month??" #NaNoWriMoProbs

The Book of Lost Things [3.5/5] - for some reason I thought this was a middle grade book, but... #nope It was kind of a mashup of fairytales, each of them taking an unexpectedly dark twist. Very unique! But also somewhat scattered.

Eliza and her Monsters [5/5] - THIS BOOK. *hugs it* It's about a webcomic writer whose work goes viral, and how she deals with the confusing meld of her online life and "real" life. I really, really loved it and could relate. <3

The Girl Who Drank the Moon [3/5] - I wanted to love this book, but... it kind of dragged on and on and not much happened. :/

December is going to be my month of BOOKS. I have a long list on my phone of books I want to read in December, so we'll see if it's possible to get through all of them. Renegades is my next read! Also look -- I received pretty buttons for preordering it. <3

*tries to refrain from mentioning the obvious* *fails* So, NaNoWriMo happened. (duhhh) Instead of repeating more rambles about the insanity, here are the links to my wrap up posts:

If you don't want to commit to reading through all of those posts, here's a short rundown:

  • Coffeemaker broke 
  • Sadness over coffeemaker
  • New coffeemaker bought!
  • Words written
  • Lots of words written
  • Words deleted (not on purpose. bothersome crashing computer -.-)
  • Some despair
  • Some excitement
  • MORE words written
  • YAY I HIT 50k
  • So many characters, much character problems
  • Strange lacking of pizza eating
  • Lots of yawning
  • Lots of staring at the ceiling
  • Lots of procrastination
  • Wrote The End!
  • Time to sleep
  • Poor sore fingers

I saw this challenge below on my Facebook feed and couldn't help but participate: Scroll through your manuscript. Let the cursor fall where it may and you have one terrible title.

1. Weak Attempts At Talking
2. The Bottom
3. A Strange Experience
4. Kind Of A Mess
5. Screamed And Dropped
6. I Could Fly
7. Her Parents' Planters
8. Worrying About Life 

It's so hard for me to even choose a favorite. The last one is hilariously and unfortunately relatable, but "Kind Of A Mess" describes the novel's current state well. xD

What's next for me writing-wise? I usually take a writing break in December, but I'm so eager to start editing Where Shadows Lie again that I might just take it slowly. I ordered a coil-bound draft from Lulu for making scene edits which should be super fun. I've never edited on paper before. o.o

And I also ordered my first-draft copy of my superhero novel! (when I first wrote that sentence I accidentally wrote first draft coffee. #fail) I cannot wait to add it to my collection. I don't think I ever shared this in my NaNo posts, but there's a really special significance about my superhero story that I just realized. The whole concept is about superheros losing their powers at age eighteen, yeah? It's all about growing up and moving on from childhood, which is crazy because this is my last novel I wrote as a teen. o.o *sniff* I just thought that was really special. <3

Congrats to all the NaNoWriMo winners! It was neat scrolling through Twitter and seeing all the "winner" badges. But honestly congrats to anyone who managed to write words during this crazy month. You guys are all superheroes. <3

December is my annual blogging break! Which is sad, but I am looking forward to a break. Here's what the month will look like:

2nd - this post! yay for monthly highlights!
9th - a lovely guest post by a certain lovely author. (there may or may not be a giveaway, so be here for that!)
16th - no post! 
30th - end of the year wrap-up post!

I hope you all enjoy your December! This is the last month of the year, so let's try to make it count. 

katie grace

so. how are you nanoers?
what did you come up with in the "terrible title" challenge? xD


Saturday, November 25, 2017
*stumbles into the blog post with tired eyes, a half-finished mug of coffee, and a blanket tied around my neck as a writing cape*

The end is near, you guys. You're almost done. You've made it this far -- I know you can make it to the end. *hands you cookies to sustain you through the rest NaNoWriMo (and the rest of this post ;)*

THE CLIMAX IS HAPPENING. THINGS ARE GOING DOWN. I knew this was going to be an intense scene since I first brainstormed it, but... eek. (Though... I'm afraid that my mind thinks it's more climatic than what's actually going down on paper. When I read back on it I might think, "oh, that's it?" BUT OH WELL THAT'S WHAT'S EDITING FOR, RIGHT?)

*sobs quietly at the thought of editing* *banishes that thought from my mind forever*

Today was a break day! Sundays are always pretty busy days for me. Church and work and family and being tired from waking up early. :P So instead I did some reading. I'm currently reading The Book of Lost Things, which is kind of a modgepodge of fairytale retellings with darker twists? I probably explained that wrong but so far it's good. *nodnod*

ALSO. I totally forgot to share this on last week's blog post... BUT LOOK AT NADINE BRANDES' NEW COVER FOR HER HISTORICAL FANTASY RETELLING, FAWKES. (phew that was a lot of caps but this deserves allll the attention)

Isn't it gorgeous?? You can find out more about the book in her blog post where you can enter to win an ARC!

Even though today was a Monday, which means the start of another week of school, it was awesome for several reasons. Here's why.

  • I wrote at the coffee shop today! Which is always delightful.
  • I FINISHED THE CLIMAX?! Guys, I only have the resolution to finish, now. I could be done with this book in a couple of days. o.o *freaks out*
  • After writing, some of my coworkers and I went to go see Murder on the Orient Express. It was a "good" movie up until the twist, which it then became a "great" movie. My mind is still spinning. O.O
  • To wrap up the night I made myself some pizza. (mwahaha)

Today was a good day and I'm very thankful for that.


Ughhh today was another sluggish day and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. It is rather frustrating, but at the same time... I'm kind of okay with the words coming slowly? Because I probably have only around 5k left in this story, and it makes me sad to see it end. I've been incredibly invested in this story for the past few weeks -- it feels so weird to think about not working on it anymore. o.o

So maybe I'll write three hundred words a day for the rest of the month so I can my time with the book last more. xD

Oh! And I saw the movie Wonder today. It was a very emotional and touching movie that I highly recommend. <3

I started this writing day wanting nothing to do with my novel. I developed a strong urge to do nothing but REEEEEAD. I have a massive TBR pile and I want to try to make at least a dent in it. *sobs*

But once I started writing... THE WORDS CAME SMOOTHLY AGAIN. *cheers* That might be because I had pie this evening, so the sugar fueled the words, mwahahaha. It was a chocolate-type-of-something-pie that tasted like pure amazingness. I'm not usually a huge pie fan (especially fruit pies, because I feel like fruit isn't meant to be soggy and baked), but if it has chocolate? SIGN ME UP. 

Also... I'm determined to finish this book tomorrow. O.O I have two more small scenes and an epilogue -- EEK.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (I mean... by the time you read this Thanksgiving will have been two days ago... BUT I HOPE YOUR DAY WAS AMAZING ANYWAY. And filled with lots of food, mwahaha.)

To put it plainly: I'm stuffed. My dad surprised my sister and I with donuts for breakfast, and then we gorged ourselves with all the Thanksgiving food with our extended family. (mmm... dinner rolls... and mashed potatoes... and pie... <3 <3)

After the Thanksgiving festivities I did some writing, and then my family and I watched The Hunger Games. (which... is kind of ironic seeing that we watched it on a holiday that revolves around food) AND GUESS WHAT? 

During the movie...

BOOM. Just like that... I'm done with NaNoWriMo. Typing that out makes it seem a little more real. Wow. *mind explodes*

I think I'm happy with how my novel came out. Obviously there are lots of things to fix, because it's a first draft, but I have a nice little list of editing notes to look back on when I finally decide to improve this story. It ended at 69,000 words, but there'll be lot to add later.

Also, I wrote my first epilogue?? It's a very bitter-sweet experience. *sniff* I think everything about finishing a book is rather bitter-sweet. :P

 [these are stats from the whole month]

words written: 69,237
time spent writing: 41h, 35min
cups of coffee consumed: so many
books read: one and a half (this is a sad number)
movies watched: four
highest word count in a day: 5,441
lowest word count: 0

All in all, it was another successful NaNoWriMo. Is it weird to say that I'm a little sad that the insanity is done? I just really love the month-long thrill of being wrapped up in a story that I created.  And the incredible community that comes together during the crazy month! It's so cool. <3

I guess now the question is... what's next? First, I'm definitely devouring Renegades now that I've finished my novel. I'M SO EXCITED. (and I'm ignoring the negative reviews because I hope with all of my heart that I love this book)

And then for the rest of the month, I think I'm going to take it slowly. Catch up on blogging, reading, painting my room (yay!!), and anything else spontaneous that pops in my mind. ;) My poor brain could use a break. (and my sore wrists)

HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING. <-- I'm pretty sure I've asked that question in each of my NaNo posts so far... but it's a genuine question that the answer can change from week to week. xD

I'll be back next Saturday with my November highlights!

katie grace

have you been able to read any books during nano?


Saturday, November 18, 2017
Phew, this week of NaNo was an absolute blur. I found myself answering comments that were six days old on my last post -- eek! Usually I do that on Sundays, and I have no idea how it escaped my mind. It's just proof that NaNo is chipping away at my sanity. xD

Yup. My total today was a big, fat, stinky, old zero. I intended to keep up my writing daily streak... but once I sat down and opened my document, all of my motivation disappeared. POOF. GONE. (funny how often that seems to happen. -.-) I tried to summon the motivation to find my motivation... but, alas, I closed my computer and went to read instead. (which ended up being an A+++ decision because somehow we're eleven days into the month and I haven't read a single book. *sobs*)

TODAY WAS SO BUSY. I feel like I could say that about most days... but today I was busy from nine in the morning until nine at night and it exhausted my poor little soul. (I'm honestly surprised I gathered enough energy to write 1,000 words. :P)

It's weird being an extroverted writer, because once I'm out and about I enjoy connecting with people... but words! editing! novels! <-- those reasons are why I wish I could have more time at home sometimes.

Currently I'm bemoaning my past plotting self, because I skipped over the details of so many story logistics. Today I literally had to write [insert realistic motives for this character to hate other character] because SOMEHOW I kind of skimmed over that part during plotting?? This is where I need the logical side of my brain to step up and give some input. Usually that side remains suspiciously quiet. xD

Words were hard today. Despite having most of the day open for writing, it took me nearly the whole day to write 3,000 words. (which is a lot, yes! but usually I would've aimed for 5k+) I don't know exactly why they were so tough in coming... but I'm blaming it on the fact that I saw Thor today, and became distracted thinking about the movie.

It seems like lots of people are raving about the amazingness of Thor: Ragnarok. I enjoyed the movie, but I'm a bit disappointed by the different direction they took. It felt completely disconnected to the previous Thor movies and to Thor's character. It was hard to take him or the life-and-death moments seriously, and the plot was too jerky for my tastes. *shrugs* To each their own.

But the movie did make me laugh out loud a few times. Especially Korg. IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MOVIE YOU KNOW HOW WONDERFUL KORG IS. I need a miniature Korg. He's basically my favorite character ever now. xD *will rewatch that movie multiple times just for his screen time, hehe*

I also received Renegades in the mail today! It was so hard to gaze upon the beautiful cover and not crack a peek inside. *sniff* But like I mentioned in a previous blog post: since I'm also writing a superhero story for NaNo, I don't want to accidentally borrow anything from her hero world. It's just extra motivation for finishing this novel. o.o

So, after writing all the above... I think it's safe to say that the words were hard because of all the distractions. xD

I've been writing for three and a half years. I've written six novels. I've spent hundreds of hours slaving over fictional worlds. I've written about a lot of different things and subjects, but... for the first time ever...

I got to write about pizza today.

'Nuff said.

Sigh, today was another slow writing day where putting the words onto the paper felt like pulling teeth. Or tugging hair. Or pinching skin. Basically it was just hard.

NaNoWriMo this year has really showed me how much I depend on plotting. Which is weird -- two years ago I was a die hard pantser and didn't plan on changing my ways. But today I'm writing a section where I skimmed over the details during brainstorming. Because of this, progress is sluggishly slow. I need to know what to foreshadow! What are the order of the events?! Help!

I should hopefully finish this tough section tomorrow, and then I'm back onto my outline. AND THE CLIMAX IS NEXT. This book could be finished next week, you guys. How insane is that? o.o

Another smaller word count day, but Fridays are always tough for me since they're my blogging days. So I worked on this blog post you're reading right now during the afternoon and night... and during the evening I went to my second write-in!

So, if you don't remember from my previous NaNo update, the last write-in I went to was a bit, erm, quiet. Which was totally productive! Just... not as exciting as I expected. BUT THIS WRITE-IN WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

There were snacks! Hot cocoa! A super energetic bookstore host! Prompts and popcorn and lots of giggles! I was able to interact with other writers while writing 1,500 words, which is a definitely win-win situation.

And there were prizes?? I walked away with a journal, a ninja eraser (#NadinesNinjas, anyone? ;), an ARC of the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk book (!!), and a sharpie that said: for signing books when you're famous. <-- that's the cutest thing I've ever seen and I will treasure it until that day.

If you have an opportunity to attend a write-in, I say go for it! The NaNo site should have a list of activities in your region. (and you'll get a fancy NaNo computer sticker only available at write-ins. *ooooh* *aaaah*) I can't promise that all of the write-ins will have snacks and prizes... but for your sake I hope that there will be. :P

[i do not know why this image is blurry but it makes my heart sad]
word count: 11,892 [month total: 61,903]
time spent writing: seven hours, forty-six minutes [month total: 36h, 36m]
nights stayed up past midnight: 0! (wut, this might be a record o.o)
mornings with coffee: seven/seven. ahh, it's so lovely to have a working coffeemaker again. <3

This week was a lower word count week, but definitely still a productive one. It's crazy looking forward to next week because THE FINISH LINE IS IN SIGHT. Tomorrow (or... it will be today as you're reading this) I can finally work on the climax. Eek, insanity. o.o

HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING NANOWRIMO? Am I the only one who thinks NaNo is going suspiciously fast this year?? I mean, we only have twelve more days to survive! It's doable! Probably! Maybe! :P 

katie grace
my nano profile

how is your progress going??

NaNo Week #2 // 50,000 WORDS AND MY FIRST WRITE-IN!

Saturday, November 11, 2017
It's day eleven of NaNoWriMo! How are you doing?? Do you need a nap? Chocolate? Seventeen cups of coffee? All of the above?

Somehow, I'm surviving. It's been insane, but a good sort of insane. A type of insanity that only writers will understand. :P

DAY FOUR: 5,024
Like I mentioned in my last NaNoWriMo wrap-up, I went to a write-in at my library today! This was my first write-in, so I was super excited to meet and discuss books with other writers, but... everyone was so quiet. Literally the only conversation I had was with someone commenting on my NaNoWriMo shirt. The rest of the time was just frantic typing filling the silence.

It wasn't a bad thing, since I got lots of writing done... but still very different from what I was expecting. We were all so silent and still that at one point the lights turned off since they were motion-activated. xD

I'm glad I went, because I got a "NaNoWriMo superpowered noveling" sticker for my computer! It makes me ridiculously happy.

DAY FIVE: 5,017
I GOT TO WRITE A PLOT TWIST TODAY! I've been looking forward to this twist since I brainstormed it in October. I already know that this scene is going to need lots of editing... but hey! At least I have the bare bones on the page. xD 

And by the way... it is so tough to write a story with a large cast. I just... there are so many character arcs to juggle! So many backstories and fears and hopes and dreams and struggles and relationships and different personalities to sort out! Ugh, it's exhausting, and I already know that editing is going to be a nightmare. At least I'm passionate about this story so I have one thing going for me. :P

DAY SIX: 5,041
Ahh, day six of NaNoWriMo. It's a Monday: the start of another week of school and a thirty-hour work week. *collapses from busyness* But at least all the working means all the coffee drinking. ;)

OH! And speaking of work, the greatest thing happened to me today. A little boy came up to the register with his dad and ordered a hot chocolate. I asked him for his name, and he said in a small voice, "Landon!"

Um. What. Landon is one of my main character's name. O.O I couldn't stop grinning for a solid five minutes. I hope he grows up to be a reader and devours my book someday. <3

I also hope that he's not angry at me for putting his character through some rough stuff. (oops)

DAY SEVEN: 4,007
Today I was tired and unmotivated, so I stopped writing after I hit 4k instead of doing my usual 5k. I'm totally okay with that. Hypothetically, I could've stayed up until midnight writing... but... I wanted keep my sanity in check, so. xD (and if I continued writing, the words probably would've come out as nonsense so it's a good thing I stopped when I did)

Other things worth mentioning about today: Twitter exploded with their new 280 character limit. Obviously that makes it the perfect opportunity to scream about NaNoWriMo:
(this is one of my most popular tweets so I fear for the well being of all the NaNoWriMo participants XD)

DAY EIGHT: 5,002 
Guess. what. happened. today? I GOT A NEW COFFEEMAKER! My morning coffee will return! The caffeine consumption rate will rise! My fingers will be blurs of movement across the keyboard while coffee spreads throughout my veins. (MWAHAHAHA. :P)

Today I worked hard at finishing all my writing in the afternoon, because I had holiday setup at Starbucks from eight until midnight (decorating, updating menus, unveiling all the new cups, coffee, etc). I had a crazy fun time singing carols with my coworkers and eating pizza in the empty store at eleven at night... but it is not fun trying to change the drivethru menu boards in five degree weather while it is snowing. 100% do not recommend because you will end the night with frozen fingers. 

Otherwise, I had a blast. xD

DAY NINE: 5,108
Are you starting to sense a pattern with my word counts yet? Once I type that five thousandth word, it's rather difficult for me to summon any motivation to write more than that. But I'm getting soooo cloooseee to 50,000! If I manage to do 5k more tomorrow... there's a possibility that I can hit the big 50 on day ten. o.O

DAY TEN: 4,803
I DID IT! I HIT 50,000 WORDS! *collapses forever and ever*

One of the questions that keeps coming my way is: how close are you to finishing your book now that you've hit 50,000? 

My answer? I DON'T KNOWWWWW! I wish I was good at estimating. I know that I'm nearing the climax, but... I have no idea how many words it'll take me to actually finish the story. 75k? 80k? 90k? Somewhere in that range? I'll keep you updated on that mystery. xD


body count: just one! go me!
word count: 34,002 [month total: 50,011]
time spent writing: eighteen hours, forty-eight minutes [month total: 28h, 50m]
mornings without coffee: five
mornings WITH coffee: two!
nights stayed up past midnight: two (this is such an improvement from NaNo '16)

So, overall, this week of NaNoWriMo was a success. I'm feeling good about my story (albeit a little unsure about the characters/flow), and I'm excited to keep cranking out those words!

Also, shout out to my word warring buddies. I definitely wouldn't have hit 50k this soon without the motivation and accountability. o.o

How are all of you faring?? Keep in mind that I'm a naturally faster writer than most, so try not to compare your progress. NaNoWriMo is an extremely tough challenge, but ultimately the purpose is to get words on the page. And if you're doing that, you're doing well. <3

katie grace
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