Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blog Party by Abigail!

Abigail at Abigail Kraft is hosting this blog party that I just felt like I needed to be a part of because it looks like a ton of fun!
{Party Questions}

1} What's the nerdiest/geekiest/weirdest thing about you?

Probably the fact that I'm so weird that I can't find just one thing to mention! My geekiest quality - well, I'm a writer, and I have glasses. Does that count??

2} If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie, or television show, what would it be?

I would love to live one day as Juliet O'Hara from Psych. I don't think that I'd forever want to be a police detective - but I think that it might be fun to do for a day or two!

3} Little or big, practical or frivolous, what is one of your favorite items in your house?

My favorite things, huh??? My iPod touch, my laptop and my guitar.

4} Do you like animated movies? If so, what is your favorite?

I absolutely, positively love animated movies. My favorite? Definitely Tangled!

5} What is your favorite household chore?

We're supposed to have a favorite? Maybe washing the dishes. Since I need to do it all the time anyway, I might as well enjoy it, right?

6} What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop)?

Vanilla Latte!

7} What is your favorite pizza topping?

I like pepperoni, ham, bacon & hamburg all together! So, meat lovers!

8} Waffles or pancakes?


9} Do you like to play games? If so, what is your favorite?

We don't play games too much, but when we do, I always have fun! I really enjoy the game Apples to Apples because every game is very different and there's always fun in it!

10} Have you ever let anyone win a game?

No! I like to win! ;)

11} Have you ever dyed your hair?

I've highlighted it a time or two, but I actually like the color of my hair and don't want to change it.

12} Do you make your bed every morning?

Um...no. Never. I figure that since I'm going to crawl back into it that night anyway, there's no reason for me to make it!

13} Picasso or Norman Rockwell?


14} Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors?

I grew up with hardwood floors - we live in an old house - so anything different is weird to me! So I prefer hardwood.

15} If you could put one thing in a safe under your bed, what would it be?

My notebooks full of stories that I wrote.

16} What's your favorite condiment?

Ketchup! My family says that I need that shirt that says "I put Ketchup on my Ketchup". It's only true.

17} Have you ever thrown up on someone (excluding when you were a child)?

Um...other than myself? NO.

18} What was the last thing that made you laugh?

Talking on the phone to my best friend, Kylie & thinking back to the time that we had together when I was at her house last November!

19} Think fast...what's the first song that pops into your head?

Firework by Katy Perry

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just Another Monday

Wow, Mondays always seem to be the craziest day of the week. We have to get back into the swing of things about an all-too-short weekend of sitting around and being lazy!

So our Monday today was particularly crazy. We started out the day working on laundry! Mom did it all today, so we don't have any to worry about the rest of the week, which is really nice! I don't mind doing laundry, but I'm so glad that it's done and I have stuff that I can wear all week.

Then Mom and I spent almost all day working on cleaning the entire downstairs. Most of the day I listened to music while I worked on the dining room! Now Mom and I have what we call our 'office'. It's a place for both of our computers and our calendars and planners and such.

I should have really cleaned my room today, too, but I didn't feel the need to since we worked on the whole downstairs. Although, I did clean off the landing up to my attic-bedroom. It had been full of clothes and shoes forever now and it was good to get all the stuff off of it. So now all I need to work on is getting my room all the way finished.

Tomorrow I'm working all day. Not sure of what I'll be working on tomorrow, but most likely I'll be answering the phones and doing receptionist work.

Wednesday, I'm going away with a friend and hopefully getting the rest of my Christmas shopping done! I am usually done by this time of year, and for whatever reason, I'm not! So I really would like to finish it up.

Thursday is Thanksgiving! I'll be sure to post about that later on in the week! :)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beautiful People - Holiday Edition

I think that this month, since it's the first "real" book that I've ever written by myself, I'll focus on writing about my NaNo book so the questions will be focused on that. :)
My main character's name is Lainey.

1. What kind of holidays do they celebrate, if any?
I almost always have the Christmas season in my books. If there's not Christmas, there's usually one of the other major holidays, such as Easter or Fourth of July. There always has to be some sort-of holiday in my book because it just adds spice to the book.

In Lainey's book, there is a Christmas season, and a couple of birthdays that are celebrated.

2. What are they most thankful for?

I think that Lainey is most thankful for the family and friends that she has been blessed with. She knows that she couldn't live without them & that they were given to her for a reason.

3. Do they have any family traditions?

Hmmm....well, her family gets together on Christmas day to exchange gifts and have a large lunch together. In the story, her brother, Kent and his wife Kaelyn, had just had a baby, so it was something fun to add to the story - having a baby around at Christmastime.

4. What is their most memorable holiday memory?

Mostly just having the time to spend with her family & being able to be with them during the season.

5. What is the most memorable gift they have ever received?

Lainey would say it was her guitar. She doesn't play it much - but when she gets the chance, she loves to. And toward the end of the book, she picks back up her guitar and starts strumming again, finding her love for it once again.

6. Do they consider it important to be with family during celebrations?

For sure! Lainey doesn't have an amazing relationship with her family, but she does think that it's important to be with them. She doesn't get along with her family a lot, but she does love them.

7. Do they usually wait till the last minute to purchase gifts, or do they buy them ridiculously early?

No, Lainey is definitely a planner. I think it's because I mostly based her off of me. She's so much like me, actually, that sometimes I even get surprised by some of the things that she does! I'm thinking 'um...am I gonna do that sometime?' Well, anyway, the point was, she's a planner and she always buys her gifts early.

8. Favorite Christmas song? For fantasy authors, is music a part of their celebration?

I'd have to say that it's a toss-up between Hark the Harold Angels Sing & Silent Night.

9. Do they celebrate for religious reasons?

As Christians, yes.

10. How do they celebrate the beginning of the new year?

Huh, I didn't even think about bringing in the new year in the story. Maybe I'll have to add that in a second draft. Gives me some ideas!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


So, wow. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started writing my NaNo story. I couldn't believe it when I wrote 20K in the first two days.

It definitely slowed down from there but I didn't stop writing all together because I knew more than anything that I wanted to finish NaNo and do it well, and as quickly as I could.

My story slowly started coming together and my characters became real to me. Especially when I found people that I could use for my main characters. Truthfully, I just found my main girl character yesterday, after watching Monte Carlo with Selena Gomez and Katie Cassidy. Well, after watching it, I knew that Katie Cassidy was my main girl character in the story. Her name is Lainey, and they just reminded me so much of each other - in looks. For whatever reason, the picture won't move from the top center of this post, that's why it's there and not here.

I reached 50K on November 16th - the day after my 18th birthday, so it was an awesome birthday present. I couldn't believe when I actually reached my goal. It was kind-of bittersweet though, but NaNo has seriously helped me get myself to write, and now that I'm finished with it, I want to keep writing.

Today, November 19th, I finished my story. Well, sort-of. I have a lot of things to add and subtract but the basic story is written. And I'm really excited about it.

NaNo made me want to write all the time. I have a million other plot ideas written in a notebook that I'm excited to get started on. Not that I don't already have a ton of stories that are already started that need writing.

There is one that I'm working on right now that I can't wait to get more writing done in. It was probably my best written 20-pages-in-a-notebook-story, but after that far, I didn't know where to go with it. I may have to start over and figure out a better plot, but I can't wait to get started on it and actually follow through.

I've gotten to a point where I know that the first draft of a story doesn't have to be perfect. Because it's not going to be. The first draft has to be just that...the first draft. It can be written sloppily and even stupidly, and the second time around can we fixed. That's the point. And I can't wait to write some more.

Because writing is fun.

And I love it.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week One = Finished


I didn't know what to expect when I started it. I was a little intimidated by it, to be honest. I didn't know if I'd be able to make it to the end of the 50K in the 30 days that I was allowed to finish it in.
I was scared, too. I had my plot down, but not very well - just the chapter summary, and a little about the characters. Not really enough to truly start a story and actually keep it going.

But when I started writing, I really got into the story. My characters came to life right away - the main character, Lainey, was really easy to get into (she's very much like me),and my best friend character, Taite, is very interesting in her own ways.

My plot is eh. I like it, but it's not coming along the way that I necessarily wanted it to. What I've learned about NaNo is that the point isn't for the story to be perfect, but for writers to get themselves writing. To actually sit down and write like crazy and not stop for any reason except to eat and maybe sleep?

At any rate, I'm loving it. Within the first two days, I had 20K but I'm starting to slow down some.

Total Word Count: 29,827

If you're a NaNo-er, comment and let me know what you're word count is, and how NaNo is going for YOU this year.

Also, if you'd like to find me on the NaNoWriMo website - my username is AshleyStraws