Have You Hugged A Book Today?- May 2017

So, I’ve kind of failed at updating my Goodreads this past month. Sorry about that! I’ll try to do better going forward 🙂

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Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2) by Naomi Novik- I’m actually almost done with this and it is just as good as the first one! I really love this series, highly recommend it!
    2. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson- Still plugging away at this one, slowly but surely. I have not abandoned it, but it might take a while for me to get through.
    3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut- I abandoned this book last month. Because life’s too short to read books that aren’t interesting to you. I’m sure there is a powerful message in here somewhere, but I’m just not in the right state of mind to find it.
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. Gotta Read It!- Five Simple Steps to a Fiction Pitch That Sells by Libbie Hawker- Four Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have no actual words for this book. But I can say it is worth your time. Just read it. Trust me.

View all my reviews

Sorry this is so short, guys! Hopefully next month I’ll have more to report 🙂

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- April 2017

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What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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So… yeah. I was kind of single-minded this month ;P I wrote 50,022 words, and not much else. Which I’m completely fine with. Those of you who are waiting (im)patiently for a new chapter of Double the Baggins, Twice the Took are probably not as okay with it as I am, but I’m going to try to make it up to you this month! Starting tomorrow! Really!

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What’s Coming Up in May

  • Doubt The Stars- Evaluate feedback from beta-readers and edit accordingly. Send samples to editors and pick one.

The first comments are starting to come in from my beta-readers and I’m really pleased! So far the feedback has been mostly positive, and the criticisms (when viewed through the eyes of trusted peers) are nothing that I feel I can’t handle. It’s such a relief, because honestly? I’m channeling my inner Rapunzel right now.

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  • Good Intentions- Finish first draft

Despite the 50k, I’m still not done. Not even close. Honestly, I’m hoping this will only be 80k, but I’ve set my WordKeeperAlpha goal at 100k, just in case… because there is still a whole lot of story left to write… But it’s so good! Seriously, I’m enjoying the hell out of writing this! It’s going to be such a fun thing to post too, I can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions! 😀

Honestly, I’m putting that writing goal there, but I’m not really sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to do everything in my power to make the chapter postings happen (starting tomorrow, I SWEAR TO MAHAL…), but as far as writing goes, finishing “Good Intentions” is taking priority this month. It has to. Or, honestly? My whole plan for the year is going to fall to pieces. So there you go!

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And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

This month’s surprisingly cute animal:

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The poor, nearly extinct axolotl. Well, extinct in the wild. In ten years (from ’98 to ’08) they went from 6,000 per sq km to 100. Now, you can hardly find any. But they are thriving in captivity, so at least we have that 🙂

Look at it! Look at it’s happy little face! How can you not love that face???

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“Oh, stop it you!” *axolotl blush*

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I do not know how to get my hands on one of these sculptures, but if someone finds out, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING LET ME KNOW!!!

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Also, because puns:

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*runs away cackling*

 

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- April 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (April 1st-23rd):  45.8 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  914.6 miles
  • Milestones Reached: Raft-Elves, Lake-Town

“If you come in peace lay down your arms!” said the captain.

“We have none,” said Thorin, and it was true enough: their knives had been taken from them by the wood-elves, and the great sword Orcrist too. Bilbo had his short sword, hidden as usual, but he said nothing about that. “We have no need of weapons, who return at last to our own as spoken of old. Nor could we fight against so many. Take us to your master!”

“He is at feast,” said the captain.

“Then all the more reason for taking us to him,” burst in Fili, who was getting impatient at this solemnities.

~The Hobbit, Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome

Oh Fili, the great diplomat…

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So, guess what I started doing? Yoga! 😀 Yep, I’m teaching myself how to bend into a pretzel 😀

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Okay, not a really, but it’s actually way more fun than I thought it would be 🙂 I’m planning to start this 30 Days of Yoga on the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. I love her. She’s very chill, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is big into the “anyone can do yoga” mentality 🙂

If you guys wanna do it with me, here’s the playlist!

I have no idea how this is gonna go, but I’m starting on May 1st, come hell or high water! 😀 See you guys next time!

Have You Hugged A Book Today?- April 2017

 

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Look at this, I’m actually on time with this blog post! Who knew? I certainly didn’t ;P Let’s get started before something terrible happens…

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne- I kind of forgot this was a thing I should be reading… whoops. I guess I’ll try again this month 🙂
    2. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson- This is one that at least one person I know is going to be excited I’m reading (hi, Elissa!). I happened to get it for free from Tor, and it’s pretty good. A little more involved than I was expecting (I now understand the jokes about Brandon’s writing style on the Writing Excuses podcast ;P), but I’m actually pretty intrigued by all the storylines that have been introduced so far. I’m confused as to how they all tie together, but I’m sure that will become apparent the farther along I get. I have faith in you, Sanderson, don’t let me down! ;P
    3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut- This is… weird. I’m enjoying it, but it’s not a book I can (or want) to read in long chunks. I have a feeling it might take me a while to get through, even though it’s short. Stay tuned!
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, #1) by Naomi Novik- Five Stars
    2. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) by Jim Butcher- Four Stars
    3. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis- Five Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month
Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good, so beautiful, so sad, so happy. Ugh. I can’t even. I don’t even have the words. Worth every bit of five stars 🙂

ETA: Okay, I think I have a few words now. The most beautiful part of this book was how incredibly real it felt, while at the same time feeling like one of those great myths that are told through the generations. It was romantic and funny and painful, all at the same time, and it felt like something that could happen to anyone. I was terribly afraid that it was going to turn Romeo and Juliet on me, but it didn’t. It never got stupid, despite the high school protagonists, it felt young and fresh and immediate, without feeling shallow or unimportant (whether it lasted or it didn’t). It was a beautifully written book, a very immersive experience, Ms. Rowell wins again 🙂

Highly recommend for everyone, especially children of the eighties and nineties for the references (which were super fun to catch, like Easter eggs in book form!).

View all my reviews

Ha! Look at me, winning at blogging today!

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I’m gonna go now, before this all goes horribly wrong 😀

The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q1, 2017

Reminder:  For the second year in a row (go me!) I have made a set of yearly goals I would like to accomplish, and I’m breaking them down by quarter for you guys, so you can see where I am. And also so can see where I am, because sometimes I forget? And I get distracted? So I need this reminder every few months, it’s hella important to me. I appreciate your time and attention as I reorient myself in my life 🙂

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Here’s a recap of my goals for the year, in case you don’t want to go back and read the original post:

Overall goals for the year: Edit and (Finished, Q1) Publish “The Stars Are Fire” (now titled “Doubt The Stars”); Write, Edit, and Post “Good Intentions”; Finish Writing “Double The Baggins, Twice The Took”; Finish Writing “Wonderland Reclaimed”; Write first draft of Tempest in Space novel (tentatively titled “Such Stuff As Dreams”)

Okay, so I finished, like half of a goal this quarter. But, hey! Progress! And I did make some progress toward most of the others too, so it wasn’t a total waste 🙂

Here’s my WordKeeper Alpha graph for the year so far!

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As you can see, I’ve spent the majority of my time and energy on the self-edit of my novel from November, “Doubt The Stars”, which I’m feeling pretty good about. DBTT is also coming along nicely, so that’s two of my goals I’ve made significant progress on. I wish I’d spent more time on my “Good Intentions” outline, but I am only human, after all.

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Here’s the month by month breakdown!

Quarter One, 2017- Review

JanuaryFirst month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months, focusing on revising and editing. TSAF- make character sketches, flesh out settings, build up the system of planets, research the tech, and figure out my themes. Dictate my brainstorming for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT.

  • Um… Some of this happened. The posting of the chapters happened! The dictating experiment was a giant pile of fail.

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Apparently, I can’t words through my face, only through my fingers. I did a lot of wording with my fingers this month, so that was good. It was also the month that I admitted to myself that writing of the words was more important than the posting of the words and lowered my chapter goal from four to two. I also wasted a lot of time on a little story that no one cared about and I will probably never finish, but it was fun while it lasted 🙂

FebruarySecond month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?”. Self-edit TSAF. Continue to dictate brainstorming for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT (possibly start dictating new words?).

  • Ugh. The self-edit. The self-edit that I thought was going to take a month and instead took over my life for the better part of two months.

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I still managed to write the words I needed and post the chapters I needed, so that was good, but I went through a pretty terrible episode in which I was almost convinced I was never going to be finished with this book. I got out of it, but it was tough.

MarchGive TSAF to a select number of readers for feedback. Translate my dictation brainstorming to a workable outline for “Good Intentions”. Post four chapters of DBTT and write 25,000 new words (possibly through dictation).

  • So, since I obviously wasn’t finished with edits by March, the giving to readers thing didn’t happen. I did manage to finish the edits, so I’m only a month behind where I wanted to be. The outline of “Good Intentions” happened in the most basic sense, and if you add it up, I actually wrote more than the 25,000 words I had planned to write in March. I just stretched it out over a three month period, which I am completely fine with!

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I wish that I was able to post chapters faster, but I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. I just need to focus and readjust my goals for the rest of the year. Yeah, things are… fine. They’re fine. o.O

Quarter Two, 2017- Goals

So, my plan for the year has (of course) been derailed already and we’re only three months in. But that’s okay! Trying to stay positive! I can do this!

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So, Quarter Two goals! Here we go:

April: Give “Doubt The Stars” to beta-readers. Write 50,000 words on “Good Intentions” for Camp NaNoWriMo. Post two chapters of “Double the Baggins, Twice the Took”.

May: Read the feedback from beta-readers, revise “Doubt The Stars”, send to editors for sample edits and decide on professional editor. Finish the first draft of “Good Intentions”, let rest for the rest of the month. Post two chapters of DBTT, write 10,000 new words.

June: Send “Doubt The Stars” to professional editor, begin search for cover designer, start working on back matter, dedications, acknowledgements, and links to include. “Good Intentions” pre-edit prep. Post two chapters of DBTT, write 10,000 new words.

Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. But actually, it all seems… very doable. Is that crazy? I feel like that’s crazy.

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Thanks, John Green 🙂 Alright, you guys, I’m gonna try to do better with keeping up with the blog from now on, so stay tuned! See ya!

 

 

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- March 2017

March has come and gone, and April is well underway! Let’s take a moment to reflect…

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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…woah. Okay, let’s break that down a little bit:

I got SO MUCH DONE on this story!

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It’s been going so well, I’m very, very pleased! And yes, you read that right, I am working on the sequel already. I’ve actually been working on the sequel in bits and pieces for some time. It’s gone through several iterations, so I’m not even sure if this one will stick, but I had a great idea for a scene, so I had to write it down 🙂

  • “Doubt The Stars” Revision- Self-edit finished!

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HA! Suck it, negativity! I did not let you defeat me this time! The self-edit is done, and now it is in the capable hands of my beta-readers…

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Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine. I’ll be fine. O.O

  • Good Intentions outline- 2,129 words written

Okay, I didn’t finish the outline, but I DID get a lot of things written down and worked out, so I feel pretty confident that I can proceed from here. Speaking of that, let’s talk about:

What’s Coming Up in April

  • Camp NaNoWriMo- Good Intentions (Age of Ultron fic) first draft

That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again!

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I’ve set my Camp NaNo goal at 50,000 words this month, but my stretch goal is 80,000 words, roughly the length of the last Avengers fic I wrote, “Clarity“. I would love to have this first draft finished by the end of April, but I’m being realistic because (I’ll be honest here) I’m exhausted. Like, really really tired.

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So if I get my 50k, I’ll feel good about myself. What does that say about me, that 50,000 words feels like a break…?

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  • Post two chapters of DBTT

I’m not even going to make a writing goal for this fic in April. Because I’m crazy (see above), but I’m not that crazy. If the writing for “Good Intentions” is going well, who knows what might happen, but I’m not gonna commit myself. However, my posting schedule shouldn’t be affected (like it has been in months past), since I have several chapters in reserve that just need tweaking.

Hopefully. Barring unforeseen disaster. *crosses fingers*

And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

You might recognize this picture that got passed around the internet several years ago:

 

 

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However, that is not, in fact, a baby giraffe (seriously, giraffes are huge, yo, even as babies…), that is actually a dik-dik!

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The dik-dik is a tiny species of antelope (they barely grow over a foot tall!), that gets its name from the whistling call it makes when they’re upset or alarmed.

Here’s a clip (their noses extend when they whistle and it is THE CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!!!):

And look, more pictures!

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This is a problem I need to have…

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This picture is just begging for a meme, but I’m coming up blank…

There you go, your dose of cute (and reminder not to believe everything you see on the internet ;P). See you next time!

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- March 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (February 27th-March 31st):  58.6 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  868.8 miles
  • Milestones Reached: Leave the Path, Elven Prison

“Why did you and your folk three times try to attack my people at their merrymaking?” asked the king.

“We did not attack them,” answered Thorin; “we came to beg, because we were starving.”

“Where are your friends now, and what are they doing?”

“I don’t know, but I expect starving in the forest.”

“What were you doing in the forest?”

“Looking for food and drink, because we were starving.”

“But what brought you into the forest at all?” asked the king angrily.

At that Thorin shut his mouth and would not say another word.

~The Hobbit, Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders

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Go ahead… Tell me you were starving… ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME…

I’m sorry, but this scene just cracks me up every time I read it, I can’t even ;P

So, I didn’t get a lot of walking done, but at least we’re imprisoned now, so YAY! Now we just have to escape and convince Laketown to take us in. We can do this, right? Yeah, we can totally do this 🙂

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