Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Fortunate

Is 2015 really only a few days away? Where did 2014 go? There's something about getting older which makes time go faster I think.

I wish there was more I could say about 2014. It was pretty uneventful to be honest. Which I think is good sometimes. I think this year I needed it to be uneventful so I could relax and recover.

But now it's time to get off my butt and get moving again! I don't do relaxation very well for long.

I'm having a hard time thinking about what's to come in 2015 though. Heck, I can't even think of movies and books coming out this upcoming year I'm looking forward to! Which makes it hard for me to dream up of things I think will happen in this upcoming year. In my experience, you never know what will happen. Life throws so many curveballs at you - how can you predict what will happen?

Well... I'm sure some things will happen.

Babies will be born. People will get married. People will go to funerals. Celebrities will make mistakes and shock us all. Somewhere in the world there will be political and social unrest... Sometimes even a little too close to home. A big summer blockbuster will hit movie theaters and a pop song will get stuck in everyone's head to the point where we want to punch something but still jam out to it when we think no one is looking. Sports teams will win and they will lose. Cat YouTube videos will go viral.

Our world is pretty predictable once you think about it actually.

Unless the apocalypse comes of course.

But let's not go there.

Maybe there are some things I can predict, or at least hope for, in 2015.

Facing new challenges and choices. As it has been for the last year, I have a feeling my hunt for a full time job will continue through 2014. With that, I'll meet new people, have a different schedule, learn new things, and discover more about myself while also learning how to balance a new job with the other goals and dreams I have. How do you balance trying to write and participate in theatre and pursuing dreams while also still attempting to pay bills and get rid of those awful student loans?

Joining new theatre groups. There are a few shows I have my eye on in 2015 I'm hoping to audition for. I'm excited to jump back into community theatre and try my hand at new roles and groups.

Writing stories. I'm sure I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo once again in 2015 and one of my big goals is to make writing a priority. A draft will be completed. Thanks to some wonderful writing friends who are helping me out, I have a feeling this prediction could come true.

I'll continue to still be me and learning who that is. You'd think after a certain point in time you'd know for sure who you are. But I'm learning that once I figure it out, I change again. My views are constantly being challenged. My opinions change. My place in the world adjusts and I with it. Who I am at my core remains the same, but everything branching off it seems to constantly evolve.

There's no possible way we can truly predict the future. Life changes in an instant and we never know what it'll throw at us. But still, in a way there are things we can always depend on, and we can always
hope. Which I think is part of what celebrating the new year is all about.

Hope. Hope in knowing the past is gone and something else is coming. That there's always second chances, and we can always begin again.

Mr. Thomas & Me

What are your predictions for 2015?

And looking for Music Monday? Well... We've talked it over and we have decided to end music Monday. It was a fun idea at first, but have decided to have it end. Thank you to those who participated! We loved having you! 

I will leave you with one last song though. One of my holiday favorites and perfect for New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Book Wrap Up

And another Christmas has come and gone. The gifts are unwrapped, the feast was eaten, the movies watched, and the carols sung. Technically, yesterday was only the start of the 12 days of Christmas. Today is two turtle doves. Tomorrow I'm going to Indiana to see my family and have another small Christmas gathering. So, at least there's that. But, the day after Christmas I can't help but feel a small loss at how quickly the season passed.

Now, we move onto looking toward 2015. Which means... it's time for me to look back at all of the books I read in 2014! It's End of Year Book Wrap Up Time!

Last year I tried to make this a link up - but I failed horribly and something got all messed up with the link stuff. Boo. Besides, a lot of bloggers I follow have already done their book wrap ups for the year. However, if you haven't done one yet, feel free to use my questions and let me know in the comments if you posted your answers on your blog! I'd love to read them!

I was also going to make this as a video. But, after making videos for 25 days straight I just don't have the heart to do it. Maybe in a couple of days I'll post a video to YouTube.

Anyways. Onto the wrap up!

And if you aren't much of a reader - feel free to adapt this survey for movies, TV shows, music, etc.

1) How many books have you read this year?

My goal for 2014 was to read 60 books and I read 72!!!!!! 


That's just crazy.

2) What book surprised you the most?

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I had heard from a lot of people this book was amazing. That it was SO GOOD! But I didn't know anything about it. I couldn't find out what the heck this book was about! The only thing I kept hearing was how amazing it was. So... I picked it up from the library with my doubts.



And I'm going to do to you what everyone else did to me and not tell you anything about it.

Just... trust me on this one. Part of the amazingness of this book is the fact you don't know anything. I ended up finishing half of this book all at once and staying up far too late one night until I got to the end and sat up in my bed all "OMG WHAT DID I JUST READ?"

It's fabulous. Trust me.

3) What book were you the most disappointed in?

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen. One of my favorite authors, Erin Morgenstern, had reviewed this book on her blog and had a quote about it on the cover. I've never seen her put any reviews on her blog ever and this was one GLOWING. Naturally, I had to pick it up.


So diaspointing. The writing style was very sweet, mysterious, and lyrical. It made sense why Erin Morgenstern liked it because it slightly reminded me of her. The characters were also very sweet.

But nothing happened. I kept waiting for something to happen - and it never did.

4) Did you start any new series?

Naturally! What's a year of reading 72 books without starting up any new series?

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner*
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher*
The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences by Pip Ballentine and Tee Morris*
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas*
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Laini Taylor*
Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Lux by Jennifer L Armentraut*
Magnificent Devices by Shelly Adina
Queen Elinor of Aquitaine Trilogy by Elizabeth Chadwick*
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
French Twist by Sandra Byrd
The Maledection Trilogy by Danielle L Jenson
Finishing School by Gail Carriger
Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Allie's War by JC Andrijeski
V by Joanna Wiebe
Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

* = favorites

5) Did you finish any series?

But of course! Some of them I had even started and completed in 2014.

His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy by Stephanie Perkins
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

6) What was your favorite book cover this year?

I wasn't completely blown away by book covers this year. There were some good ones, but not a whole lot where I looked at them and was like "wow - that's gorgeous." That being said, I do love the cover of the book I'm reading now, Winterspell by Claire Legrand. The picture below doesn't do it justice. It's all shiny and wintery. Then, the actual cover cover (not just the book jacket) is this beautiful winter white with ice blue lettering. So pretty!


7) What was the best non-fiction book you read?

I only read three non-fiction books this year and all were so different from each other, but also so fantastic. Never Have I Ever... My Life So Far Without a Date  by Katie Heaney, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, and Choose Your Own Autobiography  by Neil Patrick Harris. All three were so fantastic!

Never Have I Ever was hilarious and so relateable. I swear, the author of this book has been stalking me because our love lives (or in our cases... non existent love lives) are basically the same thing. Right down to being in Jr. High loving JTT but dumping him for Justin Timberlake when NSYNC rolled around.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a book chronicling the lives of people in a slum of India. If you have a passion for learning about the world, social justice, and wanting to truly help people, you need to read this book. It's so eye opening and truly reveals what it's really like for the people in these areas and gives you a better understanding of the corruption and how complicated things truly are.

Choose Your Own Autobiography was hilarious. I loved the fake endings NPH would have for different parts of his life, and learning about who he is and how he got to be where he is now. But he also includes photos (or audio clips of him as a kid and such if you have the audio book), recipes, and magic tricks!

8) What are you currently reading?

Right now I'm working on Winter Spell by ... and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I'm also working on re-reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green for my Facebook book club!

9) Any reading goals for 2015?

I'm going to shoot for 70. I know I read 72 this year, but I also know my schedule changes like crazy and if I get another job in 2015 it'll change again. So I want to keep up with what I've already done.

I also found this reading challenge on Pinterest for 2015 and I think it would be fun to tackle it!

2015 Reading Challenge

10) What books are you looking forward to in 2014?

I honestly don't know. I looked up books being released in 2014 and there weren't a whole lot I was really excited about. But I am OUTRAGEOUSLY excited for Winter and Fairest by Marissa Meyer. It's the conclusion of The Lunar Chronicles and they are so good! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

11) What books deserve a shout out?

These are all of the books on Goodreads I gave five stars to and haven't mentioned yet that I just had to share because they're all so wonderful!

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series by Pip Ballentine and Tee Morris
AD 30 by Ted Dekker
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick
The Giver by Lowis Lowry
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Cress by Marissa Meyer

12) Your top 5 books of 2014. 

Gah! Why is this always so hard? I had to expand it to five books this year because I kept changing my mind and couldn't narrow it down to only five. Even now I'm looking back at other books all "But that one was so good too!" But I can't go beyond five books because then I'll just never stop!

How I Paid for College by Marc Acito


If you've been around these parts for awhile you know I've been talking about this book all year. It's just so hilarious and fun and clever. The main character, Edward Zanini is basically if Ferris Bueller and Rachel Berry got together and had a love child. JUST IMAGINE THAT.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers


This really is a shout out for the entire His Fair Assassin Trilogy but this really was the perfect conclusion to the trilogy. I found I could relate to Annith the most out of all of the girls and I loved her journey.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


As always, Rainbow Rowell's stories are so stinking cute! This was her first novel before she got crazy popular and I swear it is one of my favorites by her. The best way I can describe it is Sleepless in Seattle BUT CUTER and less creepy, but then add some quarter life crisis and self discovery in there. I loved it! 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare


Dare I say it? I enjoyed The Infernal Devices more than The Mortal Instruments. Not that I don't like TMI, I do. But I feel like this spin off trilogy was so much more well done. It's also what got me interested in TMI in the first place because I had seen these books on the shelves but when I saw they were prequels to another series I decided to hold off until I was caught up. So good! This was a fantastic conclusion and one of my favorite parts of City of Heavenly Fire was seeing the characters from this trilogy pop up. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor


I read the whole trilogy this year and there was no way I could only pick one. It's so unique and beautifully written and there's these wonderful and fantastic characters and creatures and world... it's beautiful. I can't say much at all without spoiling things because letting it all unfold is part of what's so awesome about this trilogy. So all I can say is you need to go read it if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Card from Bandit and Me

On one of the the bookshelves in my room I have on display all of the Christmas cards I've received during the season. Friends from college. Friends from the Internet. Friends from Missouri. All with pictures and stories and well wishes for the Christmas season inside of them. When I look at them I love to see their smiling faces back at me and it's nice to know they are thinking of me.

Then I feel a little guilty because another year has gone by and I haven't sent out any Christmas cards to my friends I've made over the years.

"I'm not married or have babies!" I tell myself. "They don't need a card from me!"

But let's be honest - it's just another way I fail at this whole adult thing. And that's what a blog is for. Right? Right.

Well... at least for this year.

So, since I didn't send out official Christmas cards this year. Here is your virtual one from Bandit and me. Because having a dog is the same thing as having a kid. Right? Right.

This year was a year of change for Bandit and I. At the end of 2013 we moved back to Chicago, just in time for Christmas, and started over. When I moved I didn't even have a job lined up yet, even though I had been applying and interviewing.

Then, sure enough, a friend of mine called saying she had been offered a full time nursing position and was leaving the preschool aid job she was working and was wondering if I would like to step in. Of course I would! A job is a job, and I'm good with kids.

With that, as the second half of the 2013/2014 school year rolled around I started work with the preschool and have been there ever since.

Since then I also started working at an elementary school for their after school care, and now over the holidays I've begun working at a company downtown as a work from home customer service representative. Which basically means I answer phones. I also have tried to dip my toes into some freelance writing, but haven't had the time to really dive in head first yet.

To be honest, on the job front things aren't what I thought they would be at this point. But I'm learning patience, trust, and going with the flow. I'm still working on trying to find one full time job, but for the time being this is working for the most part.

The biggest focus of my year was my sisters wedding. Natalie is outrageously happy in newly wedded bliss. Planning for the wedding was fun - but stressful at times. Overall though, the wedding was a wonderful day.

Bandit has adjusted well to Chicago life. Although, the harsh winter of 2014 was a bit of a shock to my poor Missouri dog! Most of the time I had to let him out in the garage because it was too cold or I had to put him in a little doggie coat so he wouldn't freeze outside. He and my mom's dog Indy play together all of the time and he's had to learn how to share his toys. Bandit has also had to adjust to life with the cat, Peanut. That is probably his only complaint about living here in Chicago now. He and Peanut do not get along at all. I was hoping by now he would have permitted her to come upstairs from the basement and explore during the day while he's awake. But alas, that hasn't happened yet. Here's hoping for 2015!

Mom and Dad are doing well. Mom was even busier than I was with wedding plans. She did so much work! But she also did a wonderful job. I think both Mom and Dad are glad it's over though because now they can relax a bit more. I will say, being back at home with them has it's perks. It's nice being able to spend so much time with them... and I don't have to cook for myself as often. ;-)

2014 has been full of change, but it's also been quiet. I think this was my year to rest and recoup from all of the crazy of 2013 and the big choices I made and all of the stress of ministry. While I'm not one for resting too much - I think it was good for me.

Now, it's Christmas Eve. A whole year since I moved back to Chicago. Crazy, isn't it? I've loved being back up here. I've been able to reconnect with old friends while still keeping in touch with those in Missouri (as well as I can... but I know I can do better). I love being able to go downtown again and see the city and go to shows and explore. I even have gotten used to driving around downtown Chicago if you can believe it. Not that it's my first choice or anything...

Some things haven't changed though. Jesus. My family. My friends. Love. The things that matter have stuck around even with all of the change in my life the last couple of years, so overall I think 2014 has been a good one.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all spend the holiday with those you love the most and enjoy the season.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. - John 1:14

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great job for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12

"Love is raining down on the world tonight, there's a presence here I can tell. God is in us. God is for us. God is with us Emmanuel." - God With Us by Casting Crowns

Monday, December 22, 2014

Believe God is With Us

Christmas week is finally here! I don't know about you, but I'm stinking excited. Maybe it's because I'm on Christmas break from the preschool so I get to sleep in for the next couple of weeks. (Even though I still have my other CS job. Oh well.) But I'm excited for Christmas too. I did a ton of gift wrapping over the weekend and I'll be tying up some lose ends in the next couple of days. But overall, I'm more excited to be able to relax at home, see my family, cuddle with Bandit, and enjoy the season.

I also will be (trying) to post something up later this week. I think Bandit and I will do a little blog "Christmas Card." (If I say I"m going to do it here, publicly, I think there's more motivation for me to actually do it! Haha.) But I have been successful in posting a video everyday on YouTube - so it's not like I've been slacking in the social media creativity department!

In the meantime - it's Music Monday! The other day as I was driving around this song popped up on my iPod and just... it always makes me want to cry and gets me in the Christmas spirit. Apparently, in my world crying and Christmas go together.

I blame it on the mean customers who call me working my customer service job.

But these are happy tears - so I guess that's irrelevant.

Anyways. I'm actually going to post two songs because - ITS CHRISTMS AND YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH CHRISTMAS SONG! I post them at least once a year on this blog... but they're so just so good.

The first one is "Believe" by Josh Groban. He sang it for the movie The Polar Express.

The next one is "God is With Us" by Casting Crowns. I feel like this song fits Christmas so well and my pastor was talking about God/Love coming down at Christmas yesterday during his sermon and it made me think of this song.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Petition for a Simple Christmas

I’m sitting here on the couch with my laptop searching my brain for something to write about for Christmas. This one of my favorite times of year. I love the weeks leading up to Christmas with Advent and counting down the days. I love putting up the tree and even sometimes braving the crowded shopping malls to try and find the perfect gifts for my family and friends. Yet, for once, I have no idea what to write about.
Then, as I’m trying to think of what to write about, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown is palying on my TV. So, I’m turning my attention to Charlie Brown. This little “blockhead” has been part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. My dad read the comic every single day in the newspaper and we love to give him little books and other reminders of the Peanuts gang. Naturally, Charlie Brown has always been part of my Christmas.
Want to read more? I'm blogging over at Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad... today! Click here to read my guest post. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Proud of Your Boy

It's Music Monday!

So, I was going to share my favorite Christmas songs each week through December because there are just so many that I love. However... last night my pretend celebrity husband, Darren Criss, sang on the 20 Years of Disney on Broadway, and it was fantastic.

He sang "Proud of Your Boy" from Aladdin and it was so good! I'm obsessed! It's such a great song and I feel like he did a wonderful job. It's a perfect fit for his voice.

Besides... Darren Criss hasn't popped up on here in awhile and I feel like it wouldn't be me if he wasn't here today.

What music have you been listening to lately?

Also, I know I haven't been posting on here lately, but I have been doing Vlogmas on YouTube every single day. So, if you want to see what I've been up to and what I've been thinking about click here and you can watch the playlist of videos I've been working on this month.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Questions Questions Questions

Not too long ago I was tagged in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by my friend Kirsti! So, I figured... why not join in on the fun? Thanks so much Kirsti!

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their website.
2. Post the award’s logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
4. Nominator ten other bloggers and ask them ten other questions.

Then, I give myself the following rule with questions like these: I can't answer anything with Harry Potter. Because obviously I could probably find a Harry Potter answer for each one.

Your questions are as follows:

1. What's your favourite Harry Potter book? (Come on, everyone has one)

Okay... this one is the exception to my rule because it's actually about Harry Potter.

UGH I have to choose just ONE?????? There are a few it could be. I love Goblet of Fire with the tournament, Harry and his friends transitioning more into being teenagers and the books start to become more mature, it's the changing point of the whole series, Cedric Diggory is in it, Draco turns into a ferret... what's not to love?

Then I also love Half Blood Prince. It was the perfect mixture of being hilarious but also serious and sad. We learn so much about Voldemort and his past and we learn about horcruxes and all of the things with Snape! But there's also all of the stupid high school relationship drama which cracks me up and I can't stop laughing.

But I have a tender spot for Deathly Hallows too because it's the end! I love how it all wrapped up and the epic conclusion - even the epilogue! I know... it's a controversial stance to have, but I LOVE THE EPILOGUE AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!

2. What's the book/series that everyone raves about but you just didn't get?

The first one that came to my mind was Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Don't get me wrong - I like the book. But everyone seems to have this one as their absolute favorite by her and it's my least favorite. I think a big part of it was that I was expecting something really fun and light and it definitely wasn't... but I enjoyed her other books much more.

3. Which real world places do you want to visit because of a book?

London. Paris. Although I think I already wanted to go to said places but reading books just made me want to even more. 

4. What bookish merchandise are you dying to get your hands on?

Well... I really need a new bookshelf. I've been able to rearrange my shelves a few times and at the moment my books are fitting. But I know it won't last much longer.

5. What's your most anticipated book of 2015?

It's a toss between Winter and Fairest. But they're part of the same series... so it's hard to pick which one I want more. In Fairest, it'll be so fascinating to learn more about the queen. But Winter is the conclusion of The Lunar Chronicles and it's Snow White! Snow White is my favorite fairy tale!

6. Which book character do you wish you could be best friends with?

I would love to be friends with Edward Zanni from How I Paid for College by Marc Acito. He's hilarious and we would have epic musical theatre duets.

7. What's the last book you gave five stars to?

Oh! I just finished Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers. It's the third book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy and it was completely perfect. 

8. Which secondary character do you wish would get their own book?

ZUZANA from Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. She's the actual best ever and I love her and her boyfriend so much!

9. Which author, alive or dead, do you wish you could meet in person?

Rainbow Rowell. From what I can tell from her Twitter account, she and I would be really good friends.

10. How many books do you own?

I actually kinda know the answer to this one because I'm a nerd like that and keep a record of all of the books I own. Yeah... I'm  a nerd. As of my last inventory I own 375 books. That's not including the ones down in boxes in my basement that I never unpacked. Those are mainly the youth ministry type books which were in my office back in Missouri.

Now, it's my turn to tag people and ask them questions! My questions are...

1) What is one of the most underrated books/series you've ever read?
2) What's your favorite holiday story?
3) If your pet wrote a story about the holidays, what do you think it would be about? If you don't have a pet, pick your favorite animal.
4) Tell me about your favorite classic story/book/movie.
5) What are you looking forward to in 2015?
6) What's your favorite holiday dessert? (Can you tell I'm in a holiday mood?)
7) Which fictional character do you think you are the most like?
8) What is your latest Netflix binge?
9) Who are your favorite YouTubers? If you don't watch much YouTube, share bloggers, Tweeters, Instagramers, etc.
10) What's your current background on your laptop/tablet/cell phone?

And I tag... (Even though I know most of them probably won't do it... but I don't care!)

Amber of Mr. Thomas and Me
Dana of Princess Burlap
Angie of Sailor July
Michelle of Wide Open Spaces
Brittany of Stories, Songs, and Praise
Amanda of Musical Poem
Anne of GeekBrarian

Okay... that's all I got. I know I'm supposed to do ten, but oh well.

Also, I've been awful about keeping you all updated on my YouTube channel and my doing Vlogmas. Here's the whole playlist of what I have done so far!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Just Believe

There's something about Christmas at brings out our innocence and naïveté isn't there? Suddenly we want to play with toys, listen to kids stories, watch cheesy cartoons on TV. It brings it out in us.

It's why I love the song "Believe" by Josh Groban from the Polar Express soundtrack. We for some reason as we get older let that go away. We stop believing. We stop playing. We need to be adult and do adult things! But Christmas... We find our way back.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

7 Lessons I Learned During NaNoWriMo

In case you haven't been keeping up via my blog, Facebook, or Twitter, I had a rough go of it this time around for NaNoWriMo.

This was the hardest year I've had yet. That's including the years where I had randomly stopped writing for a week or two at a time. Which means it was ridiculously hard. It frustrated me to no end. I loved this story idea! There was so much potential! But by the last half of the month I felt like I was pulling teeth to try and get words onto the page. Granted, I had a lot of adjustments I had to make for NaNoWriMo this year.

- Instead of living in Missouri in my own apartment, I was living at home. This definitely changed up the dynamic of my writing process!
- I didn't have a whole lot of writing buddies. I fully intended to go to write ups, but nothing ever worked with my schedule. Then my other writing buddies lived far away. We were able to do some chatting about our stories, but it wasn't the same as being in the same room.
- I started a new job in the middle of the month. This took up a lot of my writing time I had at the beginning of the month and put on some extra stress that distracted me from writing.

However, in spite of all of this, I still ended November with 50,115 words. Not my best number by any means. But I still got 50,000 words and that's what counts!

I still learned a lot about myself and my writing though through this process - even if it was painful at times.

1) All authors go through times when they hate their writing. The pep talks from the NaNoWriMo site by published authors just confirmed that. It's totally normal to sit there and think "This story is awful. My writing is awful. Everything is awful. I should just quit right now." But they get through it and keep going.

2) You can't edit what's not written. That really is part of the point of NaNoWriMo. Yes, your story might be terrible - but you can't edit it and make it better unless you have something written down. I had several friends via text and Twitter tell me to keep going and that it's okay to have an awful rough draft. That's what a rough draft is.

3) The vision I had for my story wasn't a novel - it was a stage production. If I decide to keep going with this story, it's going to need to be in a stage format. This is completely terrifying and some major adjusting will have to be done. But I really do think it would be better on stage than in a novel.

4) Planning is my friend. Part of my issue was that I hadn't thought it out well enough. I knew this going into November but decided to push through anyway. Some people are amazing at being able to "pants" their way through a story. I can to an extent - but I love my outlines! I need my outlines to at least give me a guideline of where I need to go.

5) Write with the ending in mind. This kind of goes with what I said before about planning. I really didn't know much about how my story was going to end. Sometimes this is okay, but I usually need an idea so I know where I'm going. I didn't know where my story was going so it floundered.

6) Being behind is a lot harder than I realized. So many times I try to encourage people even when they think they have no hope of winning. Or I cheer them on when they don't get the word count by the end of the month. When I got to points when I wasn't sure I was going to get to 50k, I realized that some of my encouragements in the past were really lame. Not doing well during NaNoWriMo sucks. Yes, you're still a "winner" just by getting words on the page. It's still awesome and an accomplishment, but it sucks to not know if you'll make it or not.

7) Fantasy and paranormal is my fiction "sweet spot." I can do realistic fiction, and that's great. But fantasy and paranormal is where I really get into it. It is my favorite genre and I missed it SO MUCH during November. I can't wait to get back to my project from last year and get that all polished and wonderful because I missed those characters and that story like WOAH.

How did you all do during NaNoWriMo? What did you learn this past month?

Also - here's my video for the day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Feel it in My Fingers

Today for Vlogmas, the topic is our favorite holiday movie. I can never choose my favorite because it's between Love Actually and The Muppet Christmas Carol. They're both so different- but so awesome!

Tell me about your favorite holiday movies!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's Music Monday - and today we're talking about our favorite holiday songs!

Which... let's face it... I'll probably do holiday songs every week this month.

Today I'm sharing with you Idina Menzel and Micheal Buble's version of "Baby It's Cold Outside." Their cover is so cute! I can't get enough of it. It's tied now as my favorite version along with Kurt and Blaine singing it in Glee. Seriously, watch the video and you'll see what I mean. Cute cute cute!

What's your favorite holiday song at the moment?

And, as promised, here's my video for the day!