Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's Up Wednesday/Ready, Set, WRITE!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them knowwhat's up. It is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Jamie has a link at the bottom of her post with everyone who's joining in each week. 

So, I didn't get a post up last week. I knew I'd be traveling at the time, but I thought, surely, I'd have the time to write on the blog. Brought my computer, thought about blog posts...then I got to the beach, and all thoughts of my computer were gone from my head. I didn't open my computer once. I mean, can you blame me?

My nieces! 

Storms at the beach

Low tide

 Happy baby!


Well, I thought I'd be putting Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor here. Then last night, I could. not. stop. And finished it at 3 am. (Good thing I'm taking a break from working right now, eh?) Oh man, it was so good. 

So, now I guess I'm reading the next book. I have it on my shelf, but haven't picked it up yet. I have some things I have to do before I open it, or I know I won't be able to do anything else. I love books like that!! Oh yeah, it's called: Days of Blood and Starlight. I am so excited to read it!

(Also, finishing Daughter of Smoke and Bone means I've read 12 boos so far in the month of June. And I plan to read at least one, hopefully two, more books before the end of the month. YES!


Again, I didn't have a post last week CAUSE I WAS AT THE BEACH! (Oh...the button is at the beach...)

Anyway, my goals for the first week didn't quite work. I think I wrote 3 out of 7 days. I was hoping for at least 4 out of 7. But I should have known that between packing for the beach, and actually being at the beach, there just was not enough time. So, I didn't reach my goal, but I feel okay about it. 

Knowing that it was hard for me to get in 7 days of writing, I'm going to pull the goal back a little, but still have the same idea in mind. I want to get in the habit of writing every. single. day. But, maybe I need to work up to it. And that's okay. I'm allowed to not be perfect. And really, if writing every day was easy, wouldn't everyone do it?

So my goal for this week of Ready, Set, Write: Write 5 days this week. Hopefully write at least 500 words per day. 

Any 5 days between now and next Wednesday. I still have some wiggle room for things that come up and keep me busy (or occupied watching Sherlock), without one day ruining my goal. And if I can get at least 500 words in each of those 5 days, I'll be happy. Obviously, I'd love to write more than 500, but  I can go for at least that. 


Two words: Benedict Cumberbatch. 

I know tons of people have loved him for a long time, but the first time I saw him in anything was the weekend of my graduation when my family saw Star Trek Into Darkness. And I thought, "hmm... he's attractive. And his voice is delicious." But that was about it. 

Then the week before we went to the beach, I started watching Sherlock. And I was a goner. 

And then Saturday we saw Star Trek again and I about died. 

I exploded my friend's Pinterest feeds with almost 200 pictures of Mr. Cumberbatch. TWO HUNDRED. Ridiculous. 


My break is starting to wind down, so I'm hopefully going to be job hunting soon. Which I'm not excited about. But it has to happen, I guess.

I'm pretty nervous about doing therapy full time. It's very emotionally exhausting and I don't know if I'm quite in the emotional state to do it 40 hours a week. Part time I can do, for sure. But full? I don't know.

So, I'm also going to be looking at other options for a part-time job. I would love to find something related to writing, books, reading, publishing...who knows. The problem is, there's not a whole lot of options like that in my city. The only publishing companies here are for technical manuals or textbooks. Which is NOT what I'm interested in. So mostly, I just have no idea what options there are, or if it's even possible to find something like this. Hopefully I can find something.

Any ideas?

What are you up to???

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Note on Comments & NYC Pics

Hey all!

Like every blogger, I love me some comments. Yesterday was especially awesome. You guys are awesome.

I try to reply to all the comments y'all leave. Sometimes I'm better at it than others, but I do try.

And I've noticed something.

For some of you, the comment shows up in my inbox from a no-reply blogger thing. And some show up from your actual email addresses. So, I've developed a system.

If your email address shows up with the comment, I will reply to you through that and you'll get my response in your email inbox.

If your comment shows up without your email, I'll reply on the blog post below your comment. That's less fun cause I know I often forget to go back to comments I've made and see if there's been a reply. But, it is what it is.

So, if you care to check and see if I've responded, hop back over to the post, and there will probably be something there within a day or two.

This is definitely not the most insightful or important post I've ever written, but I wanted to get all that out there.

And seriously, you people are awesome and I'm so excited to connect with you!


To make this post a little less boring, here are some pictures from my recent trip to NYC! Some are repeats from my Twitter account (@RachReflects), so sorry if you've seen some of them. :)

Me at the new Cake Boss Cafe. Man, the cookies and mini cake I got were sooo delicious!

With the old French Horns in the Musical Instruments exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wanted to play them all. Especially that one with the intricate design in the bell. *swoon*

Those cute Elephants! I loved that little one, he's my friend. At the Museum of Natural History. 

Dreaming of being published someday. Possibly with Simon & Schuster. 

The Sister and I waiting for Wicked to start! Holy hanna it was so good. And I will be seeing it at least once more this summer (possibly twice) at our local theater. 

The Sister and I at the Survivor Tree at Ground Zero. 10 minutes later it was pouring rain. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's Up Wednesday #3

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. It is run by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Jamie has a link at the bottom of her post with everyone who's joining in each week. 

What I’m Reading:

I'm currently reading Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Book 3 of 4. I’m really enjoying this series. I knew I would, I just waited a long time to start. I love all the characters. Especially the supporting characters. I find the world incredibly interesting and appropriately frustrating. I read the first two very quickly but have been taking my time with this one. I especially love that, thanks to the movie, I now picture Macon as Jeremy Irons and hear his voice in my mind. Oh, that man’s voice…

Also, I love that this book was co-authored. I’ve written plenty of research papers with a partner and it was always hell. Only with a few of them were we able to come close to sounding like one author. It’s hard! But these two do it so well. Granted, I haven’t read any of their other work, so I wouldn’t know if their individual author voices came through at any point. But, if I didn’t know before that it was co-authored, I would have been shocked.

I also recently read Blood Red Road by Moira Young. LOVED IT! I can’t wait to finish the books I’m on so I can read the second book in this series. It was a little hard at first to figure out how to read it because there are no quotation marks with the dialogue. It all just reads together, as if the MC, Saba, is telling the story directly. Unsettling at first, but I ended up liking it.

It’s funny, with the combination of the southern accents written into the Beautiful Creatures series and the Dust Lands series, my internal voice has developed a much stronger southern drawl than normal.

What I’m Writing:

My Ready, Set, Write goal for week 1:  

Write every day. 

No word count goals. Just write something, anything every day.

I plan on working on my novel every day. But, if I’m unable to do that, I’ll write something else. Write a blog post. Write in a journal. Work on world building and write that in a notebook. Just something.

I know that’s a really simple goal, and general good practice for a writer. But it hasn’t been my practice so far, despite telling myself over and over it would be. So, hopefully with more accountability, I’ll come closer.

But, realistically, there’s a good chance this goal won’t happen. And if so, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. As is normally my reaction to not meeting goals. I’m going to try to accept it as part of my process and something I have to practice and fail at in order to get better. As long as I write more days than I don’t, I will be happy. Eventually I’ll get to writing every day and then I can move up from there.

But I have to start somewhere, right?

What Inspires Me:

You. All you other bloggers out there. Everyone who writes and puts that writing up to be seen and read and felt by other people. Strangers.

You. All you who have joined Ready, Set, Write because you want to not only write, but you want to be part of something. Part of a group of people with similar goals but depths of differences and uniqueness. A group full of people who want to improve their writing, but won’t settle for just that. Who want to also help others do the same. People who want to connect and build friendships over huge distances. Who want to share encouragement and experiences and hardships and triumphs.

You 5 women who put this together. Who joined together to create a group which has a scope small enough feel attainable, but big enough to be meaningful. Even doing things unknown and maybe a little scary (I’m lookin’ at you, Erin, and joining Twitter; though I am sure there are other aspects of this that have felt scary and new to each of you). You who recognized the need we writers have to come together and support each other, and made a platform to meet that need.

All for the love of words.

I think that’s beautiful and inspiring. 

And I can’t wait to continue to be inspired by every one of you participating.

What Else I’m Up To:

Well, I’m trying to pull myself out of the funk I’m currently in. I did a load of laundry yesterday, so that’s good. I have a few things I HAVE to do today, so I’m hoping that will get me off my butt.

Next week, my sister and I are going to a private island in South Carolina with my best friend and her extended family. I went with her 8 years ago after I graduated high school and I am so excited to go back. I am much closer to more members of her family now than I was then, so that will be good. Monday is my birthday and we’ll spend a good portion of the day travelling. Then Tuesday is Sister’s birthday. And then Thursday is my niece’s first birthday. (We refer to Best Friend’s family as ours; so her sister’s baby is turning one). Lots of birthdays, all celebrated at the beach!

I can’t wait to relax on the beach and read and soak up some sun. And lay tons of kisses on those babies.  I plan on bringing my laptop and still writing to keep up with my goals and get a little blogging in. But, if I’m having too much fun to open that laptop up, I am bringing a notebook, so I will still get some writing done no matter what. 

What are you up to this week?

Source for Beautiful Chaos
Source for Blood Red Road

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ready, Set, Write!

A lot of you have probably seen this on other blogs the past week, but today is the day to sign up for Ready, Set, Write.

Hosted by Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij, Ready, Set, Write is a Summer writing group...thing. Click on any of those names and it will you take you to a better explanation than I can come up with at 12:30 am.

So, yeah...*awkward silence, crickets chirping*...  


The past two weeks since I last wrote have been difficult. Hence the whole not writing for the blog thing. Which crossed into to not writing much anything in my novel either. Which then became a nasty cycle of self-criticism and doubt and worthlessness and all those fun things I tell myself we all experience. (We do all experience these things, right? This isn't just me? Cause really, hoping I'm not alone in this was the only thing keeping me somewhat in my right mind. More on this... sometime... hopefully soon).

Soon after I wrote my last post, my sister's little Yorkie died. Pippin. She was 7ish years old. It was very sudden and unexpected and way harder on all of us than we would have imagined. So, yeah, that was hard. Add on top of the emotional pain the physical pain of digging in packed clay in South Texas in the summer when you have chronic pain... Not exactly my definition of a good time. 

Then, the day after we buried her, we went to a funeral for a 22 month old boy whose parents I have known from church for years. He drowned. It was a beautiful funeral and the faith of that family is incredibly inspiring. I never met him, and haven't talked to the parents in years, but it was still really hard for me. 

So, those two things put me in a funk that resulted in sitting on the couch and watching Teen Wolf for a week. Teen Wolf. The show I made fun of and couldn't understand why anyone would watch. The show my dad loves for some reason, causing me to make fun of him mercilessly. But last Monday they had a marathon leading up to the Season 3 premier and I thought, "what the heck? Someone said there was great cinematography. And it has the super cute boy who's playing Thomas in the Maze Runner, so I'll just watch it for him." 

And just like that, I was hooked. Embarrassingly hooked. Now it is my sisters making fun of me. But it's a very entertaining show! With LOTS of great eye candy. And seriously, Dylan O'Brien (the one playing Thomas) is so amazing in this show I am left with my mouth hanging open in awe. 

So, yeah, I watch Teen Wolf. Get over it. :)

Anyway, that's a good explanation of the past two weeks. Two funerals, Teen Wolf, lots of reading, and general laziness and self-loathing. No biggie. 

But! I am going to try to do better! And I'm hoping this Ready, Set, Write will help me in that endeavor.  Anyone else interested in joining? Visit any of those blogs up top and join us!

Sign ups are today (thought I am sure you could still sign up later). Then tomorrow, we will all state our goals for the coming week at What's Up Wednesday on Jamie's blog. 

Be excited. 

*Goes back to check Twitter for any more Teen Wolf updates... and hangs head in shame...*