Category: writing

Friday Five: Songs I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like and Update

Hey guys!  This week on the Friday Five the topic is songs ‘I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like’.  In truth, I’m not really embarrassed by any of these songs.  They are all silly but I like a fun pop song on occasion.  They put me in a good mood.

What pop songs do you like?  Are there any songs you are embarrassed to admit you like?  Any bubblegum songs that are silly but you like them anyway?

As far as NaNoWriMo things are going really well.  I just passed the 25k mark so that means I am half way through and it isn’t half way through the month.  It isn’t quite as speedy as last couple of years but I’ve had a lot more going on, so that makes sense.  How are you guys doing on your word counts?

nanowrimo11-13This week was really fun.  I went and saw Home Alone on the big screen for the 25th Anniversary!  Home Alone has a special place in my heart because it is the first movie that really made me laugh my head off in the theater.  I saw it when I was 9 years old and on a special trip with my Grandparents to Disneyland.  I was a really independent kid so the story of Kevin McCalister defending his house and providing for himself was right up my ally.  I watched in a crowded theater and it was so neat to hear kids laughing their heads off just like I had 25 years previous.  It brought so many great memories.

Here’s my youtube review I think you will all get a kick out of.

 

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Friday Five: Instrumentals and Nanowrimo Update

Hi guys!  I hope you are all having a great start of Fall (or at least that’s what it feels like here in Utah with things getting very crisp and cold this week).  I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo so that’s why I haven’t posted on this blog this week.  My apologies for that but doing best I can.  My  novel is coming along pretty well.  I am ahead of the game as far as word count which makes me feel good because I don’t know how much I will be able to write this weekend with stuff going on.

wpid-snapchat-100529400831000105.jpgSo far I feel like the book has done a lot of describing things and not quite enough character development so that is something I need to work on but I am able to get my daily word count in and sometimes more which is what is most important to me. I really like the lead character I’ve created and feel a little bad for the mess that is about to happen in her life.  Poor fictional characters and their hard life! 😉

How are you guys doing with NaNoWriMo?  How are your novels coming along?

FRIDAY FIVE

This is Friday so it also means it is time for the Friday Five!  This weeks topic is all about instrumentals and being a movie fan of course I had to include mostly scores as my choices but I love the 5 songs I picked.

What are instrumentals that you like?  What scores from movies are your favorite?  Put in the comments section and if you like the video I would love if you gave it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

NaNoWriMo Tag and My Writing Process

So NaNoWriMo is coming and I feel a little unprepared but am excited!  I filmed this video about NaNoWriMo video today and it included a tag.  In the video I go into my process for writing and has little segments of all 3 of my books (this will be my 4th year doing NaNoWriMo).

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you writing about?  What strategies do you use to finish the challenge?  I would love to discuss it in the comments.  It is going to be a challenge for me this year with everything else I have going on but luckily I am a pretty fast writer so it should be ok.  I will certainly do my best.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo please follow me on the NaNoWriMo website and let’s support each other!

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/smilingldsgirl

Happy writing!!

I Have an Idea for Nanowrimo

nanowrimo2013Hey guys!  Well I am very excited to tell you I finally have an idea for this years Nanowrimo challenge!  This is the National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  This will be my 4th year participating and honestly it kind of crept up on me. The previous years I had an idea ready to go I had been thinking about all year but this year with my job, 2 blogs, and youtube channel I kind of forgot about Nanowrimo.  There was a side of me wondering if I should even try to do it this year, but a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a go so I figured why not!  But I still couldn’t think of a good idea…

Then last week I was watching the show American Greed about ponzi schemes and swindlers and I got the elusive idea.  The show was profiling a man who ran a ponzi scheme and got kind of exposed throwing a lavish party for his daughter on the show My Super Sweet 16 on MTV.  While watching the thought occurred to me ‘what must it be like to be that girl?’.  To go from your father throwing you this insane party with rockstars performing and Mercedes to drive to not long after it aired your father getting arrested and convicted for fraud.  In addition, many people saw her throwing away their money they had invested with her father.  I’m sure there must have been a lot of anger and outraged at the daughter since she was the one the show focused on.  It struck me as an interesting character to write a story about.

Again I asked the question “what must it be like to be that girl?”.  I wonder if she hates her father or maybe she always hated her father and he made her go on the show?  Maybe she just went on the show to spend time with him since he was always at the office?  Maybe she got caught up in it and had a change of heart after seeing the suffering?  Maybe she lost friends. a boyfriend, over the whole thing?  I just feel like there is something to talk about and will make for a good book.

What do you think of this idea for a story?  Do you have any suggestions for the story?  I would love to hear them.  Are you guys doing Nanowrimo? What are you writing about? If any of you are in Utah I would love to a do a write in or meet up.

Last year my book ended up being very intense and it was kind of tough to write but I learned a lot as well.  Hopefully this story is more inspirational but we will see where the words take me!

This is the girl on the Super Sweet 16.

Here’s a little thing about the Dad

 

Nanowrimo Surprise Attack

So friends of the blog will probably be aware 2015 will be my 4th year entering the Nanowrimo challenge.  This is a world-wide challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  I am a very fast writer so typically it hasn’t that big of a challenge; however, I have usually had a clear idea of what I am writing about well in advance of November.  This year it has kind of creeped up on me.   And now I am sitting with under a month to start date with no idea what to write about….Yikes!

I am also a little nervous because with two blogs and a youtube channel it is going to be tough to fit it all in (not too mention a job and other responsibilities!).  I’ve got to finish my animated Oscars series over on my channel before the challenge starts.  I have gotten a little bit behind but should post 2012 this week.  That leaves only 10 films to watch (only…).  Plus, there are new films like Bridge of Spies, Suffragette, Macbeth and Good Dinosaur to see and review in the next 2 months.  How am I going to fit writing a novel into all of this? Much less a novel I have no idea what to write about?

nanowrimoTo my fellow Nanowrimo friends has it caught you by surprise before or do you always have a plan on what you are writing about?   The two best ideas I have come up with so far is to basically take another stab at writing my first book.  It’s been a while and I’m not working in accounting any more so I’m not as personally close to the story as I was when I wrote it in 2012.  It would be entirely new prose but just the same core plot of me quitting my job (it’s kind of a Devil Wears Prada type story).

That sounds kind of boring though writing the same plot and characters over again so I’d like to come up with some fresh take on it.  Unfortunately my mind is just blank on what to do.

The other idea I have is to use all 54 Disney films and have a character go through each of the worlds of the films.  It would be kind of like Once Upon a Time but I would cover movies they don’t like Treasure Planet and Atlantis.  It would basically be fan fiction but who cares if it is fun to write!

nanowrimo1This is kind of new territory for me as I have always been so focused in the past.  Do you have any suggestions for getting the brainstorming creative juices flowing?  I just read The Martian by Andrew Weir and loved it (and the movie) so that’s always inspiring and I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker which is something totally new and different.  I wish I could write a book like Finding Audrey- my other favorite book of the year.

Anyway, I would love any feedback on those ideas or anything I could do to help me think of something else to write about.  Thanks so much!

Are any of you doing the Nanowrimo challenge?  I would love to know and follow you on the Nanowrimo website.  That way we can support one another.  Take care!

LDS Storymakers 2015

Another great year at the LDS Storymakers Conference has come and gone. Storymakers is a conference for Mormon writers where we can take all different kinds of classes and lectures on every part of the writing and publishing process.  This was my 3rd year attending and once again I had a great experience.  I feel a renewed commitment to improving my writing on this and my other blogs!

storymakers3The cool thing about the conference is it is helpful for bloggers and Nanowrimo writers like me but also great for actual published authors.  And it’s not all just religious writing.  Most of it is pretty squeaky clean but all different genres are featured and discussed in the conference.  If I was just a reader I think the conference would be good and well worth the cost.   It is also a fun time to interact with friends and make new friends.  My writing buddy Emilee was there and we had a good time catching up.

storymakersThe highlight of the conference was the Friday night keynote by Martine Leavitt. I wish you could have all heard it.  The tamber of her voice was very meek and soothing but then this incredible profundity kept coming out.  It was so well written and moving.

She talked about her 2 worlds, a gospel world and writing world and how living both to its fullest have made her the best version of herself she could be.

“I wonder if each writer gets an individualized life curriculum designed to make her the best writer she can be, specialized life learnings that contribute to her development as an artist”

She then spoke about her life and the lessons she’d learned a long the way including self confidence, humility, hope, hard work, children and faith.

“I couldn’t write to a certain word count, or a certain number of pages.  Nothing could be guaranteed.  But I needed to write myself soul-fed and happy.  I discovered that I didn’t need to write a lot to be happy, I just needed to write something good.  I found that even a single, perfect, beautiful sentence…could make me feel nourished

I also loved this quote

“I think it’s more likely your children will turn out just fine precisely because they have a happy parent who is happy because she writes”. 

I’m not a parent but I think we all can feel guilty on occasion for taking time to develop our talents.  Her point is our children, the world, our loved one’s are going to be better off if we are happy and especially happy writing.  I think that goes for my blogging a well as novel writing.  I am happy when I’m blogging and I hope that makes the world a little bit better.

Finally she said

“The Lord knew I needed one more thing to become the writer I wanted to be, perhaps the most essential ingredient of all, and that was love…Writers who love are curious about others.  They ask questions.  They observe without judgement.  They try to understand.  How can we write about people other than ourselves if we are not constant and ready students of humanity?”

I’ve thought about that many times with my blogging- wondered about the readers out there and what your struggles might be.  Wondered if there is anything I could say that might help you? You guys don’t know how much I love every last one of you who reads this silly blog!

storymakers2

Anyway, it was an excellent speech! There were many other great moments of the conference.  My sleeping has been bad lately so that mad the morning sessions a little bit difficult but I still got a lot out of it.  I really loved a lecture from Anne Perry on characters.  I took classes on romance writing, using food and music, blogging and more. All very helpful.

If I was going to provide some feedback I wish there were more classes on social media like there have been in the past and I didn’t care for the food (who knew I was such a picky eater!).  Convention food is the worst!

But it was a lovely weekend and I left feeling enlightened, overwhelmed and excited.

What Collar Am I? Survivor 30

Survivor-Season-30-logo-500x310So you guys know I am a big Survivor nut.  It’s such an entertaining show and a fascinating look at human nature and the way we interact with one another.  What alienates people from one another, gives power, forms bonds, and why they make certain choices never gets old and they are now on season 30!  I have seen most of the early seasons and later seasons and playing catch up on the middle (still got Fiji, Palau, Guatemala, Cook Islands and Pearl Islands and a few others to watch).

What’s amazing is given the similar rules of the game each winner has been different and used a different strategy. It makes it a fascinating show to watch. You just don’t know who is going to win.

My favorite season recently was season 28 Survivor Cagayan because of the fantastic casting and one of the most engaging winners the show has ever had- Tony Vlachos.  He was building spy shacks, voting off his friends, running around the island and all the while remaining incredibly likable.  It was so great to watch.

Season 30 is coming up and this time they are dividing the contestants into 3 tribes of 6 just like in Cagayan (I believe this is the 4th 3 tribe seasons).  Cagayan was also a 3 tribes and it was separated into Beauty, Braun and Brains, which at first I had an issue with because I felt they were objectifying everyone, putting a label on.  However, it ended up being kind of a wash because there were people on all the tribes who fit all the descriptions so it didn’t end up meaning much.

What’s got me thinking is season 30 has taken a similar approach of labeling the 3 tribes but instead of appearance they are going with careers- white collar, blue collar, and no collar.

Kind of an interesting concept for the show don’t you think?  What tribe would you be put on?  Their definition of collars according to Jeff Probst is a little wonky with white collar “making the rules”, blue collar “following the rules”, and no collar “breaking the rules”.  I don’t know anyone else who would describe it that way but it’s Jeff Probst and he can do whatever he wants when it comes to Survivor (especially after season 29 which was a royal snoozefest…).

So given that further definition what tribe would you be on?  I would definitely be on white collar because I have a computer job and I am part of a religion with a lot of rules (although I don’t really make them?).  That said, I also have little pieces of no collar in me.  I work from home, don’t have a boss and the idea of working in a cubicle ever again makes me want to jump off a cliff.

all collars
Survivor 30 cast

I feel like most people these days are a mixture of all the collars.  What do you think?  Now with computers, social media and the internet doesn’t everyone have to be pretty savvy?  The days of a large blue collar class of unskilled factory workers and farmers just doesn’t exist much anymore.  Even if you are in the service sectors like working as a hairdresser you need a website and facebook page to promote your business or you will get slaughtered.  Farmers have to be able to use complicated machinery, same with what factory workers are left in America.  It is by no means simple, mindless work of yesteryear.

Do you think this has any effect on our culture as a whole the fact we are collarless?  I could see some ways it is a good thing and other ways it might force people into a type of work that is outside their nature.  In previous societies there may have been more choices for such people?   Does that lead to a whole bunch of depressed blue collar and no collar types who are wedged into white collar?  I know the worst time of my life was when I was stuck in cubicle hell every day, never seeing the outside, entering data all day- and I was probably considered one of the lucky one’s with a decent job.

On the other hand perhaps with careers becoming similar there is less class division amongst the 99%.  After all, is it really a big deal these days to marry someone who has a different career path than you like it might have been the past? (At this point anyone would be glad for me to just get married!)..   I don’t think so as long as you can support a family and have similar values.  Perhaps we are becoming a little less judgmental based on jobs because they aren’t that different (or at least have more in common than they used too?).

I don’t know.  I certainly don’t feel any smarter or better than those with technical skills because I have an MBA.  It’s just a different set of skills but still using a lot of the same stuff I use everyday. In fact, they are probably better than me at more things than I am better than them (if that makes sense…).

Or perhaps the whole idea of self-identifying with your career isn’t as important as it used to be?  Maybe our jobs are more of a fluid thing and we will all have periods wearing many collars?  I have been hard core white collar in several jobs including as a missionary.  Now I’m white with a little dusting of no collar.  If I get married and stay home with my kids I guess that is blue collar?  I don’t know what collar are stay at home Moms? I’ve worked in food service so that was my blue collar and I was a teaching assistant in college and I’m not sure what collar teachers are?

Now that I have a job I love I do self-identify with it more than my old job but for about a decade people would ask me to introduce myself and my career was one of the last things I would mention.  Honestly I think I would say survivor fan before accounting clerk.  It just wasn’t how I saw myself.  I might have mentioned work from home.  I still would be inclined to say ‘I’m collar I would rather be swimming”

Are you that way?  Is your job a means to an end or something that is a big part of who you are?  Would you see yourself as part of a larger working group, wearing a collar if you will?

Anyway, what do you think?  Do you ever watch Survivor and do you think this sounds like a good twist?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

As the new season is starting check out Rob Has a Podcast for great post show debate and commentary by former Survivor Rob Cesternino.  I love it!