W.I.P: Writer is Procrastinating

As most of you may know, my dream is to be a published, best-selling author one day. When I was in middle school, I learned that Christopher Paolini had gotten Eragon published when he was nineteen, and he became my hero. Over a decade has passed since then, and the closest to getting published I have ever gotten is way too many Glee fanfics on fanfiction.net. I write a lot less now than I did back then, but I still write. That’s one of the main reasons why I participate in NaNoWriMo every year- it motivates me.

As a by-product of all those National Novel Writing Months, I have several projects in process. Most of them don’t even have a completed first draft completed, but I wanted to tell you all about them. Maybe it will give me some drive or ideas on where to go with them from here.

I’m going to start things off with the trilogy I mostly finished while I was in high school. I say mostly here because the first two books were completed. I have no idea where the third one ended up, but I never typed it and now it is gone. Children of the Moon was my first real attempt at writing a novel, and the story is basically Percy Jackson has the magic system of Eragon. Now, I did not read any of Rick Riordan’s books or watch the movie that doesn’t exist until after I finished writing the first one. That was a bit of a shock. I just really loved (and still love) Greek mythology. It does have all the Young Adult components: chosen one, prophesies, love triangles, etc- and I still love the premise of the story. It just needs to be completely rewritten so it doesn’t sound like a teenager wrote it right after reading books with the exact same elements. Fifteen-year-old me had some weird ideas of how reality worked, even for a fantasy novel.

Butterfly Kisses was the one and only time I won NaNoWriMo. It was either 2013 or 2014, so I had all the free time of a college student. My main character was an accountant and a mother (I have no kids, so basically that whole part of the story was guesswork based on observing my own mom and other maternal figures in my life). Her own mother had passed away from cancer when she was very young, causing her to be paranoid about her own health. Main character ends up getting diagnosed with breast cancer fairly early in the story. I actually did a lot of research for this one, and it was only half-finished at the end of NaNo. The chapters were specific dates to show the progress of the cancer and how it affected the relationships of everyone impacted. I was really proud of it, but it didn’t really have a direction. I lost steam and just abandoned it.

One of the characters I have been writing for eons is my favorite pirate captain: Destiny Dalma. Her origin comes from a Pirates of the Caribbean roleplay that dates back to my early teenage years, and she is the daughter of Captain Jack Sparrow and Tia Dalma/ Calypso. She is my go-to character when I want to write something random, and I really want to put her into the Children of the Moon universe. Sea of Destiny barely got started, but Destiny is ultimately the one that hears the prophesy that sets the trilogy in motion. And, of course, I would alter her backstory to avoid copyright infringement. I may be a cast member, but that does not mean I get to do anything I want. You have to be smart about these things.

My most recent, and technically current, project is titled Golden Soul. I used the Skin the Cat! Writes a Novel method to plan this one out, and my characters laughed at me and said “Nope!” within the first chapter. The basic idea was to do something like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” meets the myth of Orpheus. Should have been simple. But now these is royalty involved and the earth reset itself but a task force in the underworld made sure that some information survived so humanity didn’t start all the way over. It’s now an almost steampunk era, but not really? Also, there are now some Jane Austen elements/ feelings involved? Yeah, I lost control of this hot mess. All I wanted was for Lucifer to fall in love with a violinist and she would have to win his soul with the gold violin he gave her when he had to return to Hell. Sigh.

So, those are my main works in progress that I am not progressing on. It’s honestly really hard to find the energy to actively work on one of them right now. Plus, TikTok and Reddit are very addicting, and I’ve only watched Hamilton four times. I’m trying to get better at having a set time goal to write every day, but it is very hit or miss. I even signed up for July Camp NaNo with a goal of 20,000 words, but as of now I am somewhere around 5,000. I know if I want to achieve my dream of being published, I need to get to work. Because I love writing. It’s one of my favorite things to do… when I actually do it.

Anyone else having the same difficulties? How does one overcome them?

Camp NaNo Check In

Howdy! It’s a little over half way through April. So, I thought it was time to do a check in.

My goal for April Camp NaNo was 20,000 words on my novel from November. I have written a grand total of 707 words so far.

I just haven’t had the motivation to write on that story. I’m kind of at the part where things need to be set up, and it’s just UGH. I want to get to the good bits. Heck, the 707 words I did write are not even the part I was working on. It’s in the middle-end part of the book! But, it is something so small victory.

And I have written other things- like this blog for instance. The words just don’t count towards the goal I set. Also, I started playing Starfinder with a few members of my family which is basically writing without writing (I do take notes though).

It’s been hard to find the energy to write. Working from home has ended up being more hours than I was working before the quarantine started, and by the time I am logged off from my computer, my brain is tired. I don’t want to look at a laptop anymore.

But, the good new is there is still over a week to go in April. I can write 19,300 words in a week. I hope.

Create Stories

My career is in accounting. It took me four years to get my CPA license after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. The first year of that I was also getting my master’s degree while working full time. Accounting students that may be reading this: I do not recommend doing all three at once. Pick two. I used to be a tax accountant- did five tax seasons- and now I am a cast member. I create a story with numbers.

However, that is not the type of story I want to create. I started college as a creative writing major. I wrote a lot of fanfiction and a trilogy in high school. I want to be published. I want to write stories.

My goal this year is to create the stories I want to tell. But I’m treating it more seriously. I am reading books on writing. I am watching Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on YouTube. I even have a planner separate from my normal one to keep track of how much time I put into my writing. This blog included. It’s practice.

While my main goal is to finish the NaNoWriMo project I started in November, I also want to start creating more short stories. Ones that I can share here. I haven’t done that in some time, but I think it would be good for me. Exercise my brain and all that jazz. It should hopefully help with writer’s block as well when my main stories get to be difficult.

Speaking of NaNo, Camp NaNoWriMo starts next week! I have a modest goal of 20,000 words as it is a slightly busy time at work. I will be working on that 2019 NaNo project, and I hope you guys will join me! The people at NaNoWriMo are also doing a “Stay Home Wri Mo” right now. They are posting daily challenges and prompts on the Facebook page if anyone is interested.

Add me as a NaNo buddy: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/destinydalma. DestinyDalma is also my author name if you feel like reading cringey fanfiction on fanfiction.net that was written a decade or so ago. Tell me about your writing projects! We’re a large community, and I am excited to be a part of it.

The Complete List of Books of 2019

I am so sorry it has taken this long to reveal the full list. I read 42 books last year, and my Goodreads goal was 40. Yay me! Here they are in order that I read them:

  1. Red Queen by Victoria Avegard
  2. Empire of Storms by SarahJ Maas
  3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  4. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
  5. Catwoman by Sarah J Maas
  6. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  8. The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm by Christopher Paolini
  9. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas
  10. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  11. Phasma by Delilah S Dawson
  12. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas
  13. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  14. Rebel Born by Amy A Bartol
  15. Before the Broken Star by Emily R King
  16. Eldest by Christopher Paolini
  17. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
  18. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
  19. The Wrath of Darth Maul by Ryder Windham
  20. Into the Hourglass by Emily R King
  21. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  22. Fledgling by Nicole Conway
  23. Avian by Nicole Conway
  24. Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  25. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett
  26. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
  27. Wicked by Gregory Maguire and Douglas Smith
  28. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  29. Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire
  30. Finale by Stephanie Garber
  31. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  32. The Thorn Princess by Bekah Harris
  33. Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul
  34. Loki by Mackenzi Lee and Stephanie Hans
  35. Heir of Iron Hearts by Bekah Harris
  36. Game of Shadows by Bekah Harris
  37. Reign of Darkness by Bekah Harris
  38. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
  39. On Writing by Stephen King
  40. The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
  41. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  42. Everafter Song by Emily R. King

I would say that Song of Achilles and Spin the Dawn remain my top recommendations. Both had amazing storytelling, and I am still thinking about them almost a year later.

On Writing and No Plot? No Problem! were books I chose to help me with my author related goals. If you want to learn more about becoming a writer, especially if you plan on doing National Novel Writing Month, you should put these on your must read list. I have a couple more that I plan on reading this year as well. Do note that On Writing is about 50% autobiography of Stephen King. It’s a really interesting read.

Bekah Harris was a Kindle Unlimited find. I devoured her series on there. It’s a fun, quick young adult story dealing with fairies. I am mad at her for doing something to one of my favorite characters that I believe was not necessary, but that’s spoilers so… yeah. If you want something good and quick for a beach trip or school holiday, check her out.

Feel free to ask me about any of the books on my list. I promise to give honest reviews. I cannot wait to tell you all about what i am reading in 2020. My goal is 50 books, and I am currently at 17. I’ll do a post when I hit 25.

Goals for 2020

So we are six weeks into 2020, but I am still trying to figure out what my main goals for the year are. I am trying to have at least one for what I believe to be the important parts of my life. As soon as I share them, you guys can help hold me accountable. But, here are the couple I have so far:

My reading goal for the year is 50 books. That’s a little less than a book a week, and I think I can pull it off. Heck, I have 12 done already which will be good if I get into a reading slump later in the year.

Health goals are going to be non-scale based. I think that is part of the reason why I have such a hard time with it- numbers get into my head. I want to complete a 5k by the end of the year and move from power walking to jogging on the treads at my Orange Theory class. I just started jogging on the all outs without inclines, and man, that makes me super winded. Cardio is not my thing, y’all.

I want to finish writing my NaNoWriMo 2019 novel before NaNoWriMo 2020 starts. My plot decided to not follow my outline so I have been stuck with how to get things going again.

Make the most out of my annual passes. I am paying for Universal and SeaWorld, and I don’t want that money to be wasted. I don’t see it happening because I just love theme parks and roller coasters, but my life isn’t 24/7 Disney (it basically is, but we keep getting blocked out thanks to Star Wars).

Career wise I don’t have any specific goals yet. Last year was huge for my job, so I feel like this year will be honing my knowledge on skills I need for industry accounting. The change from public was a welcome one, but a lot of my every day smarts are not used here as they were tax related. It’s a different brain and I am enjoying it very much.

I plan on keeping you updated on these goals and more as they come up. I also plan on bragging about all the fun theme park stuff I get up to, so if you have any questions about Orlando theme parks, let me know and I will do my best to answer!

Happy NaNo!

Go start yours!

National Novel Writing Month is here! 20 days. 50,000 words. Roughly 1,667 words a day. Time to ration the discount Halloween candy to get through the challenge.

My project this year is Golden Soul. I am also using the software Schrivener for the first time. So far I really like it. Go start your project by going to NaNoWriMo.org and announcing your novel! Then add me as a buddy: DestinyDalma.

Well, I have writing to get to. Good luck to all the novelists out there!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Planning Update

I finally have a title! Golden Soul

One of my main characters’ name means empty light and I think that is the coolest.

While filling out a character sheet on Scrivener:

That’s right. The devil’s occupation is…. DEVILLING.
I cracked myself up with this one.

Right now the story is going to be set in Victorian era with a steampunk feel, but I may make it set in the future just so my MC has to have a music off in Hell with Elton John (I love Elton. It’s just a thing in my story that all musicians and script writers are in hell. ESPECIALLY the anyone who creates a musical. My devil is super into theatre.)

Just over a week before NaNoWriMo starts! If you are also taking the challenge, add me as a buddy: Destinydalma.

Everything is Finally Settling Down

Hey everyone!

I know it has been way too long, but I should be able to get back on a once a week (at minimum) posting schedule soon. The house is good. The furniture is delivered and set up. Random decor is being put in places. I’m more comfortable at my job. All is good.

The only threat now to being consistent is NaNoWriMo. It starts in like 5 weeks. I’m working on story ideas and rough planning now, but we’ll see if I stick with whatever I choose come November. For those who don’t know- NaNo is a challenge to write 50k words in 30 days. This will be my 9th or 10th year attempting it, and I only succeeded in 2013.

Want to join me? Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org! It’s free. You can add me as a buddy: DestinyDalma is my author name (look I set up my account in 2009 as a sophomore in high school. Everything was DestinyDalma then- see my fanfiction.net account for reference).

I’m keeping this short and sweet as I had no plan for this post and I don’t want to start rambling. Next time will be more structured- I have a lot to catch y’all up on like my Alaskan cruise, health goals, and 2019 reading list!

One Week In!

How’s your NaNoWriMo projects going? I am currently sitting at less than 3k words, but I have only had one day where I did not write anything. I also had my story idea change on Monday, so that has also had a factor in my word count. Actually, it almost feels like I’m writing this one backwards- starting at the end and going back through to see how the characters got there.

But, the main goal for me this year is just to write something. To have a habit of jotting anything story related down every day in between study sessions. I’m trending around 66% on my CPA exam with 3 weeks to go to get me to a 75%. It’s going to take some hard dedication, but I got this.

It’s not too late to start your project, even if you don’t want to get the 50K word goal like me. Just sign up at nanowrimo.org and start writing!

It’s Go Time

It’s November first, which means I have 29 days until my last CPA exam AND NaNoWriMo has started.

Because of said final exam, I am not expecting to hit the 50,000 word mark this year. I will be happy if I manage to write anything at all. If you want to join me, sign up at nanowrimo.org and add DestinyDalma as a writing buddy.

I’m going to double down on my study habits this month as much as possible. That means I will be studying while the turkey is frying in 3 weeks. I want to be done with this exam, especially before all the new tax laws become testable. To everyone thinking about taking the exam- take REG now. It’s only going to get harder next year.

I’m still going to try to post two times a week to keep y’all updated on what’s going on. They may be short posts, but I promise I won’t forget about you.