Monday, January 31, 2011

Late and Incomplete

This never happens to me. Ever. I am never late and I always finish what I start. But both have happened this week.

I turned in an almost-3,000 word essay to FEE for the Bastiat Essay Contest on January 15, 2011. The original due date for the contest was December 15, 2010 and they extended the deadline to January 10, 2011. Somehow, I got confused and thought the due date was January 15, 2011 (the day I turned it in). I never ever turn things in late... but five days late? That's pretty bad. And pretty disappointing. So, after spending a good 50+ hours on that essay over my Christmas/New Year's break, I turned the essay in five days late and it will not be considered for the competition this year.


I have not finished My Holiday Novel on time. I am not quite half-way through Ten Plagues (I am on chapter four of ten). So, even if I wrote all day, it wouldn't be complete. But, I kind of saw this happening at the beginning of January (as you might could tell from my 2011 goals). I will finish the first draft of this book sometime in 2011, though. I like the story and the characters and I'll keep working on it. Not completing a project is rare for me, but this time, it just happened. I wrote about 6,300 words these past three months which is probably about 6,000 more than I would have done otherwise. So, this was somewhat successful but it is still incomplete.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Honorable Mention

You know that post about playing and winning and all that stuff? And ya know how I said I didn't win a place in the Laurel Crown Awaken the Sleeping Poet Contest? But that I was still glad I played? You remember, right? Well, I received a letter today alerting me that I have won Honorable Mention in the contest! Basically, I get to do everything the winners do: read my poem at the contest and have it published in the anthology. I even get a certificate. What I don't get is a trophy, prize money, or a title. But who cares? This will be my second publication and I get to read my poem for a crowd -- how cool is that?

Technically, I mailed in this poem sometime in December of last year so it doesn't count toward my 2011 goals. But, I am entering another contest, an essay contest, in February. Once that essay is in, that will be two contest entered for this year.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ya Can't Win if Ya Don't Play

Sometime in December I mailed in a poem to the Laurel Crown Foundation for their Awaken the Sleeping Poet Contest. They posted the winners four days ago and my poem was not picked. I would be lying if I said I wasn't just a little disapointed. But, the contest was free entry for kids so I didn't lose anything of monetary value. And, I like to keep the attitude, "Ya can't win if ya don't play". If I had not turned in a poem to the contest, I never would have won. At least I gave it a try.

I am still waiting to hear about the Bastiat contest *fingers crossed*

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Writing History

I would have to say fourth grade really got me going with my love for writing. I wrote as much fiction as I could that year even if the assignment was calling for a non-fiction piece. For example, we were supposed to write a story about our hero so I started creating this elaborate story about how my dog saved my life... My teacher made me re-do the assignment and write about a real person so that didn't work out to well. But there were many other times that we could write fiction that year so I got my fair share of creative writing in. The next year my English teacher barely had us write at all so my love for writing died down until about seventh grade. I took a writing class that year where about half of all of our writing was fictional. 

In the spring semester of my eighth grade year, I started writing my first novel via long hand in a purple notebook. Once into the story a bit, I began typing it up and would continue to add to it long hand in the car. After about 15,000 words, though, I gave up. It is still an unfinished work that I don't know if I will ever get back to. The reason I gave up on it is simply because of my inconsistent writing schedule (or lack thereof). I would work on my novel several days in a row and then go a month or two without working on it at all.

Later, I thought about doing NaNoWriMo in 2008 with a different story than the one I had started in January of that year but I didn't write more than 1,000 words and gave up on that story too. I didn't actually finish a book until August Novel Writing Month (AugNoWriMo) in 2009 (over a year and a half after I first started trying to write novels) and even that book was only 13,000 words long. It felt good at the time, though, because it was my first completed novel. A few months later, in November of 2009, I competed in and won NaNoWriMo and then had a 50,000 word novel under my belt. I did that again in June of 2010 and was up to three novels.

Writing my two 50,000 words novels made me so happy and made me feel like I was a writer. Now if I sent them to a publisher in current form, the publisher would role on the floor with laughter. But it was fun, exciting, and educational. And now I have three completed novels because of three month-long challenges. Now I'm working on my fourth novel. But one of my 2011 goals is to edit one of my NaNoWriMo novels, Shiloh's Children. I haven't actually started editing yet but it is on my mind often and I will get to work on it soon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bastiat Essay

Back from my vacay -- had a blast! Now I just need to get back to writing. Half a month left in My Holiday Novel challenge -- we'll see what I can do with it. I wrote a few hundred words on the trip. Not a whole lot but at least I did something. I am finishing up an essay that is due today for a competition that is about Frederic Bastiat's book "The Law". After today, I'll get back to Ten Plagues.

Frederic Bastiat

Friday, January 7, 2011

Aim High

I am almost done with Chapter 3. I could cut it off where it is but I'm going to try and add a bit to make it a little longer. Right now it's about 1,400 words. The whole book is past 5k now :) Chapter 3 is about gnats - so gross! And Chapter 4 is flies...not a whole lot better. Actually, not better at all. But all ten plagues are awful so, you can't really compare them. I asked my mom which one she would hate the most...she couldn't decide. She finally decided the tenth plague (which involves a lot of death) but all are sad and miserable.

Ahh, vacation coming up! The holidays aren't over yet! And I'm taking my computer to work on Ten Plagues and to work on an essay for a competition. The essay is due by January 15th. After I turn that in I'll have one of ten writing competitions on my goals list complete! I heard on the radio the other day that in order to ensure that you achieve your New Year's Resolutions, you should "aim low". You know what I say to that?
I would like to achieve all four goals I listed on this blog  but even if I only achieve half of them, at least I did that much. Aim for the moon and if you miss at least you land in the stars, right? Aim high! Dream big! But keep everything in perspective.

Again, happy new year! I'm glad it's January.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Bit Behind

*cough cough*

Ok. So. The 750 words a day thing didn't exactly work out. I am now at a word count of 4,375. I wish it were more. Not to mention that I am in chapter 3 of... 10. At this rate, I won't finish the first draft until October 2011. I cannot let this happen! Even if I don't finish the challenge on time I can't be eight or nine months past the proper deadline! Oh dear. I have only just begun chapter 3 but I am going to try and finish it today.

On the flip side, my New Year's celebration was so fun! We went camping from December 31-January 1 at a camp site about two hours away. Some friends from Austin met us there. We just visited mostly and had some s'mores and cider. I was so cold that night in our tent that I didn't get much sleep. But all-in-all, a great way to start 2011.

I'm going to go write now.