Monday, August 15, 2016

Nothing New Today!

Thank you for checking in, but I don't have a new post for you today. Have a great week and happy reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016


It's always hard for me to dive back into blogging after an extended break. As you may have seen, I posted a list of last names last week. However, I thought that this week I would do something a little more personal and talk a little bit about what I did in July.

Ever since I did NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2015, I've become a big believer in it. I love the way it pushes you to write and achieve goals you never thought you'd be able to reach. And while I absolutely loved November's NaNoWriMo, I've found that I actually like Camp NaNoWriMo (which takes place in April and July) better.

Camp NaNoWriMo differs from the regular NaNoWriMo in a few ways. First of all, Camp NaNoWriMo allows you to set your own goal. While I went into April's Camp with a goal of only 10K words, I decided to really challenge myself and set a goal of 50K words for July. (Spoiler alert: I reached my July goal!)

Another difference between Camp and the November NaNoWriMo is this: you get sorted into a "cabin" with up to eleven other writers. You can set parameters (such as word count or age) so everyone in the cabin has something in common. I absolutely loved the way cabins worked! I found my cabin mates to be amazingly supportive and helpful.

NaNoWriMo has taught me that I work well under pressure. On the last day of Camp, I ended up writing 16K words in order to hit my 50K goal. For those of you who have never had to write 16K words in a single day...it's hard. But that's the sort of motivational magic that NaNoWriMo brings you.

So will I be doing NaNoWriMo again in November? Of course! But I wouldn't be telling you the whole truth if I didn't say that I'm more excited for April's camp than I am for the "official" NaNoWriMo.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Friday, August 5, 2016

205 Last Names For Your Fictional Character

I have A LOT of trouble naming my characters, and I find that deciding on a last name is almost twice as hard as picking a first name. I've compiled a list of last names to use whenever I can't seem to come up with a decent surname on my own. 

Here's my list of 205 last names, arranged alphabetically. I hope that it can help you name your character (or create a cool pen name!).

Adams
Ahern
Albom
Allende
Anthony
Arnett
Arroyo
Arthur
Ashbery
Asher
Baker
Baxter
Berg
Black
Blake
Blayton
Blyton
Braithwaite
Brigham
Bristol
Brown
Burnett
Burns
Butcher
Cameron
Campbell
Camus
Canavan
Card
Carter
Chapman
Christie
Clancy
Clay
Cole
Colfer
Cook
Correia
Crane
Cross
Crowley
Cummins
Cunningham
Dean
Dekker
Dolamore
Downer
Dragon
Duane
Duffey
Duncan
Dunn
Eager
Edgerton
Elliott
Escher
Evanovich
Evans
Extence
Feehan
Fisher
Flinn
Flyte
Fox
Franklin
Genova
Gilbert
Glass
Glen
Goldman
Grace
Gratton
Gray
Greene
Gregory
Griffin
Gristwood
Haddix
Haines
Halle
Hamilton
Han
Hannah
Harkness
Harrison
Hartnett
Heideman
Hein
Hernandez
Herron
Higginson
Hill
Hobb
Hoover
Hubbard
Hurley
Irvine
Iskowitz
Ivory
Jacobs
Jayne
Jefferson
Johnson
Jones
Keller
Kelly
Kendrick
Keys
King
Kingsbury
Kittredge
Klein
Knapp
Kolee
Lane
Larson
Lawrence
Lee
Leialoha
Leviathan
Lloyd
Lopez
Love
Lowe
Lowell
Madigan
Madison
Maguire
Manor
Mantel
Marie
Maxwell
McCollough
McCray
Meyer
Michael
Mills
Miranda
Monk
Moore
Morgan
Nelson
Niles
Noyes
Oke
Oliver
Olson
Osborne
Palmer
Park
Parr
Patterson
Paul
Penn
Perkins
Peterson
Pierce
Pike
Pinson
Poulson
Putney
Quest
Reed
Rhodes
Rivers
Robb
Roberts
Rosnay
Rovin
Ryan
Schwab
Scott
See
Sheldon
Sivec
Snyder
Sparks
Stassen
Steel
Stevermer
Stewart
Stone
Sullivan
Susac
Swells
Tapscott
Tomlin
Tuchman
Watson
Webster
Weeks
Werlin
White
Wick
Williams
Willingham
Wilson
Winlock
Woods
Wrede
Yalmon
Ying
Young
Zeine
Zhang

Friday, July 29, 2016

Well, look at the date...

Wow...it's been OVER A MONTH since I last posted. I'm sorry I disappeared without a trace. I promised you that I would warn you when that was going to happen, and I certainly did not warn you this time.

Things are really busy in the Land of Birdie right now, but I'll try to post something next week. With any luck, I'll get back into the roll of blogging weekly.

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Another Quote to Share

I was finishing Act I of Shakespeare's Macbeth, and I found a few very interesting lines:

And live as a coward in thine own esteem
Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"
Like the poor cat i' th' adage?

Macbeth, William Shakespeare
Act I, Scene 7


I certainly don't support the act of murdering another person, but I felt that the quote's message really resonates with me.

Against Maria's advice at the beginning of the The Sound of Music's song "Do Re Mi," I'm going to start at the end of the quote. Lady Macbeth references a proverb about a cat who wishes to eat fish but does not want to get his feet wet (for those of you who don't know, an "adage" is another word for "proverb").  I know that I can get tangled in what I want to happen rather than focusing on what needs to be done to accomplish the results I desire.

It's too easy to be caught up in the fear failing (especially if you are a perfectionist like me) and let your fear rule your actions. It's too easy to let that "I dare not" take the place of your "I would."

I've been focusing on trying to write more. I've come up with a different, more effective way of jotting down my ideas, and I've found that it has really helped. I'm planning on trying it out for a little while longer, and if I'm still loving it, I'll share it with you.

But that's not my point. I want to challenge you to find the spot in your life where you are too afraid act, even though you desperately want something. Go get your feet wet and go after that fish. You may fail, but you may end up with a delicious dinner.

So how are you going to turn your "I dare not" into "I would"?

Monday, May 30, 2016

My Month in Writing

As some of you may know from past May posts, I started this month off struggling to write. You've been such a wonderful audience as I stumble my way through the writing issues that have been plaguing me. I wanted to share what I was able to accomplish this month because your support has helped me drag myself out of the rut.

Anyway, here's the list of the things I've done (with my commentary):

  • Worked on the short stories that I mentioned earlier this month
I was happy to keep moving forward on my short stories, even if I didn't do as much editing/finishing as I wanted to.
  • Filled 65--that's right, 65--pages of a notebook with my atrocious penmanship. And this doesn't count the 13 from earlier this month!
I'm really proud of this one because those pages remind me of my commitment to writing. I'm a slow writer, and each page takes me about 10 minutes. 65 pages represents 650 minutes of my time, or roughly ten and a half hours! 
  • Wrote a poem
This one isn't as exciting. The poem wasn't very good, but it was the first poem I've written in a VERY long time. I was worried that it would end up as inedible word much, so I was thrilled when it proved to be mediocre (mediocre mush is edible, at the very least). 

--

That's it for today! I hope that June will prove to be more productive territory. Have a great day!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nothing New Today!

Hello! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I can't believe how fast May has zoomed by. I don't have a new post for you today (sorry!). I know May has been a boring month as far as posts go, and I'm going to try to do some fun things in June. Maybe a review or two would freshen things up a bit? If there's anything you would like to see, let me know in the comments! 

See you next week!