Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy and Busy Holidays

Hello everyone! I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog post. I've been extremely busy with work and learning the organ. I was also planning on moving by the end of the month but that isn't going to work out now.

So, my boss has been letting me learn the ropes and I've been traveling through Iowa to help teach our classes. It's been going well, despite being in the cars on Thursday and Friday almost every week, and things were looking up. Our CEO was in town and decided to talk to me about managing those places we've been going to on Thursdays and Fridays.

This was great news for me, key word was, until he decided to bring up my salary. He was wanting me to double the amount of work I'm doing (trust me, it's hard enough to run a store with only 2 people) for less than $2,000 more a year. Needless to say, it was like a kick to the stomach. I have been busy every night and I even gave up attempting for NaNoWriMo after the first few days in November.

I decided to just stay at my location without getting the promotion. Otherwise, it would have been me also taking on a rent and food plus my other things I have to pay. I'm considering looking into other work that I would enjoy as well. I'm hoping to get back into reading and writing in January since I've missed it.

Otherwise, my holiday season has been very nice and I got to spend time with family. I'm actually writing this at work since my boss decided that we needed to have our normal class. Hopefully it won't be a long break in between post like it was in the past. Take care and I hope to write again soon.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Exciting News!!!

Hello everyone! It's been a while since my last post but I have some great news to share. I have actually been through 2 jobs this last month. The first lasted a whopping 4 days, it was selling a tv product and staying on my feet all day, so needless to say it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. My current job has kept me quite busy but it's enjoyable. I also have gotten a new computer but, sadly, I haven't had much time for writing.

So, my new job is with a music store and we sell Organs. It's been a challenge to learn how to play the organ but it's been fun. I mainly work with senior citizens, which wasn't what I had planned, but I really enjoy it! The only bad part is we have a fairly large group within our 6 classes during the week so it's hard to remember names. Otherwise, I really enjoy my job, and it sounds like I may get promoted around the start of the new year.

For the job I needed to get my own computer. I decided to try the Chromebook and I purchased the Samsung 11.6 Chromebook 3 from Best Buy. I was a bit worried with it only being 11.6 screen size but it's fairly nice. The keyboard is a bit cramped for typing but I was expecting worse. I really love how light the computer is and how the battery lasts a very long time. I may do a blog post focused on the computer if there is some interest.

Now, since I've been busy learning a new job, I haven't gotten a chance to write. The crazy election didn't do anything to help my muse as well. But, alas, I probably won't do NaNoWriMo this month due to lack of planning. I could focus on editing my novel but I may start a new story in the meantime. I'm still lurking on the NaNoWriMo forums so I can get inspiration.

Alright, I think I covered everything. Hopefully things will slow down in the next few days and I can make a plan to do some writing and brainstorm some blog post ideas. Until next time!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Brief Break

Hello everyone! I hadn't planned on taking another break so soon. My kitty, Tiger, was having some health issues so I've been fretting over him. I also had two job interviews for the same position but sadly I wasn't qualified enough. I've also been prepping for a position I would LOVE for next week. Plus lots of Netflix.

Towards the end of August we noticed Tiger was a bit sluggish. We made sure he drank more water and he seemed to be feeling better after a few days. Then a few weeks pass and he started noticing that he was peeing small clumps and there was even blood in his pee. So we went to the vet, found out he was 19 lbs, and that his bladder was very small. The vet even did an x-ray but told us that the masses would either shrink with food or surgery would be necessary. We got cat food (both dry and wet) for him and had to put him on a diet as well. So, after the first few days, things are getting better, and by the next week he seemed to be feeling much better.

The next vet visit had great news! While they didn't weigh him they were able to get a sample (which they do by using the ultrasound and guiding a needle so it's sterile) and it looked clear. We were happy that surgery wasn't necessary. But, Tiger does need to keep to this diet for the next month mainly so we can insure this won't happen again as quickly. Based on what I've found online it's not too uncommon for it to reoccur but we now at least know the signs so we can get him to the vet sooner.

So while he's been (happily) cooped up in the basement with us we've been binge watching Netflix. If you have free time I definitely recommend: Narcos, Blacklist, Stranger Things, How to Make a Murder, and Septembers of Shiraz (movie). Most of these are Netflix originals and really well done. Then was also a big release on some series of Netflix original shows that I haven't seen as well updates for series.

I wish I could say I was up to more exciting things but job hunting takes up a good chunk of my day and prepping for the interviews also took up some time as well. I decided to get the app HabitBull (free on Google Play) today so maybe it'll motivate me into writing again.

In the next few days I plan on finishing the FotoJet blog post that I wanted to publish at the beginning of the month.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Completed Hiatus

Hello everyone! I had hoped to get back to my blog sooner. However, after writing for the entire month of July, I was pretty wiped out. I decided to just take some time and not actively write. I think I was just getting overwhelmed with the story since I hadn't stuck to my original plot. I had also hoped that since I was applying to more places that I would actually hear back. Sadly that wasn't the case.

During my hiatus I've gotten addicted to a computer game called Stardew Valley. If you loved Harvest Moon, you will enjoy this game, and it should be getting an update in the near future. My boyfriend built his gaming computer (I held the flashlight!) so we've kept ourselves busy. He also helped fix his old laptop (which I promptly commandeered with his permission) so I have a working computer!

My hopes for the blog, now that I'm back, is to focus on reviewing eBooks and websites pertaining to writing, as well as other posts related to writing. I don't know how frequently these posts will come up but hopefully they'll get up eventually! I also have to spend the time and type up 90% of what I hand wrote during July camp. Another idea I have in the works is offering a set of prompts for new subscribers but I first want to go through and test out the short prompts.

I'm hoping to write another blog post in the next few days about a photo editing service called FotoJet. But I haven't gotten a chance to try out their different photo editing tools yet. So, that's it for this time!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Handwriting NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone! I was hoping to post more this month but decided to focus on writing. This NaNoWriMo I decided to participate by handwriting my story. It's the first time in eight years I've written out an extended story. Because I've enjoyed my experience so much, I decided to write a blog post on how I did it and what things I would do differently in the future.

How I got started:
Step one: Locate a journal/notebook/pad of paper that has at least 200 pages (unless you have really tiny handwriting) for optimal writing. If you don't horde pretty notebooks that you never use, then I would suggest going to Ross or the dollar store. At Ross's they usually have pretty notebooks that are cheaper than Walmart but, when I've recently visited, it was primarily religious related covers on the notebooks. If you do go to your local dollar store, make sure to sniff the pages (yes, it sounds and will look weird) but it's better than purchasing one that stinks of chemicals. 

Step two: Pens. Now, I'm the kind of person that prefers writing in pencil, but I decided to go with pens for two reasons. First, I know I wouldn't stop editing every two seconds and I don't like the look of constant crossing out on my pages. Second, I knew I would probably smudge it every five seconds so the pen had minimal smudges. Now you have to decide what color pen you want to write with. I personally chose blue because it was relaxing but, if you're visiting local places that have free pens available, it may be a good choice to just go with those. I bought the cheap pack of blue pens at Walmart for less than a dollar. But, unless you're just writing for 10 minutes, it will hurt. Otherwise you'll need to find one of the cushions to go on the pen.

Step three: Find your plot. Now, you can always go the non-traditional route of NaNoWriMo by having multiple short stories. Or this may be a great way for you to follow some writing prompts and improve your skills. Another great way, if you're stuck and need an idea, is to check out the NaNoWriMo adoption thread on plots. They do take down the threads (I believe once a year) so you will have to check back and see. But I definitely recommend being flexible with your story because I decided to take a completely different route with my story because of a great idea I had while writing. Whatever your topic, make sure you're passionate and ready to go!

Step four: Finding spot(s) and what works for you. I personally like writing alone so it helps that I have a separate room to go over to and just relax on the couch. But, some common spots to go write are in a cafe, at a library, or at a park! It may take a while but find an area that helps and don't be afraid to move around. I also recommend finding a playlist of music that works for you. I have Amazon Prime so I've been focused on listening to different movie soundtracks (mainly by Hans Zimmer) but I also enjoy using YouTube to listen to MixHound and Versus Music Official. There is a ton of other YouTube artist similar to them so I recommend looking in the side bar for other recommended music.

What I would do differently:
First, I would go with a normal notebook or spiral notebook. Another great idea would be to have a binder and just keep adding pages to it. While I like the convenience of the small journal, they do cost a lot more, and I only got half way through my story with one of those journals. 

Second, I would get all of my ideas in one place. I enjoy using Pinterest, follow me via the pin below, and I realized how many great resources are available to writers! I've found that it had a lot of great inspiration and I've also picked up some great tips from various websites. I would also gather a list of character names I would want to use and keep them on hand in case a great idea for a character came up.

Finally, I would make it a point to have a prompt/short story journal nearby. While it's great to just sit and let your muse run wild, it can make things difficult when you hit a roadblock, and I feel like it could be a good way to get over writers block. I haven't tried this method yet, but when I do, I'll try to  write a blog post saying if it worked for me.

Alright, that's my two cents on handwriting for a Camp NaNoWriMo! I do plan on continuing to hand write my stories first since it has worked well for me so far. However, you may try it and realize that it isn't the best approach, so find what fits YOU the best and run with it! Good luck writers!

PS - I plan on making some big changes to how to run my blog in August for my 2 year anniversary. Make sure to follow/sign up for email notifications to see what will be new!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Kindle Fire 7"

Hello everyone! This is my personal review of the kindle fire 7" tablet. Overall, I would highly recommended this tablet if you need  a cheap eBook reader or if you're a prime member. However, if children will be using it, buy the children's version because you can then get 2 year warranty and a case.

There are a lot of great features with the Kindle Fire 7". I know some reviewers do not like the speakers, but I really like them, mainly because they're louder than my computer speakers. I also hadn't really been using my Prime Membership to it's full potential so I've been mainly using music and the movies. They also offer a lot of great games and apps. I know there are ways to get the Google Playstore however, I'm picking apps I already don't have, so I can enjoy them on the tablet.

I think the screen size is great for me! However, if I got this for my dad or grandparent, I would definitely get a bigger size screen. I bought the tangerine color tablet and I love it! Finally, I love the option of Blue Shade because I can sometimes get headaches easily from reading screens or looking things up online. The Blue Shade helps block out blue light, which can make it harder to sleep, but it also helps if your headache/migraine is light induced from my experience. You can also customize the color and I ended up going with an orange color but it's on a scale between red and yellow.

These four things aren't deal breakers for me but can be a bit annoying. The category screens are great because they keep books, apps, movies, etc. separated however it would be nice to customize which ones show up. Also, if the different categories would loop back to the home screen it would be better. The battery life is pretty good but I usually have to charge once a day. For my tablet, I bought the 8 GB version but it stinks that the storage takes up 2 GB. However, if you're not planning on ever downloading anything but books, then you'll have plenty of room. Finally, reading is fairly decent on this tablet, however I would pick my Paperwhite any day over the Fire tablet for reading a good book. But, I do like the how you can change the colors of what you're highlighting on the Fire tablet.

These things are annoyances that I have but still aren't deal breakers. The camera's are a nice token touch but, until they're better quality, it's not worth it to use them. Most phones now a days have a much better camera than this tablet. When I go to delete apps, it usually takes a moment before the x's show up. While it's not the end of the world it feels slow especially after being on a phone that is much quicker for the response. Also, a close all feature would be really nifty. The notifications are alright except I had to turn off notifications for several apps because they refused to removed. It would place in the "Eh" category if you could actually go to an application from the notification. The game notifications never take me to the app but it may not be the case with all apps.

Charging can be annoying for two reasons: the port is hard to use in the dark and unless you charge in a single outlet, with the fire charger, it can take forever to charge. I have one of those outlet plug ins where you can use 3 different chargers and 2 USB port cords. For some reason it refuses to charge my tablet well. Finally, this tablet attracts finger prints like crazy! I finally put on a screen protector (I'm not reviewing it because I need to put a new protector on and see if some issues get resolved) and that reduced the amount of finger smudges.

My case:
I would give my case a solid 3.5 out of 5 but, most likely, some else would score it around a 3. I personally love the colors on my case and the fact that my orange tablet actually shows through. However, the origami case is awkward to say the least. Plus my case obviously has spots where the colors ave bled (look in the circled area on the back). While it doesn't bug me I know others would be upset. Another point I don't like is the fact that there currently aren't any tablet covers that have the sleep/wake function that the Paperwhite Kindle case has.

Final words:
If you get the Kindle Fire 7", I recommend getting a screen protector ASAP because I ended up getting a small scratch on my screen. It only really shows up when the tablet is off and doesn't bug me enough to send it in. Also, beware of dead pixels. I have one since opening the tablet out of the package. But, once again, it's not enough to bug me to send it in.

Do you want to buy a Kindle Fire now? Like the case? Consider buying them from the links below so I can get commission (and buy more books)!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Running Around

Hello everyone! I had hoped to post sooner however multiple things have popped up since the last post. A distant family member passed away (she was 101!) so my family was in town so I spent a lot of time with them. I was also pet sitting and helping paint a few rooms in my boyfriends grandmothers house.

I'm hoping to get the blog post about the kindle fire posted this week. So far, I really do love it! I haven't quite convinced myself to read a book off of it yet (I still love my Paperwhite) but it's pretty great! I didn't realize how much music and how many movies are available on Prime so I was ecstatic about that. I'll mention more in my blog post along with pictures I've taken!

Another blog post I plan on posting in the near future is my experience with my bullet journal. It turned more into a daily journal with a few key things that I wanted to get accomplished. In the future I would like to try having it be more list orientated but, at least for now, this works much better for me. I also bought some new things for my bullet journal so I'll mention those as well in that blog post!

I have started fixing up my Pinterest board and making different boards. I'll hopefully be more active especially since using my kindle fire works great with the Pinterest app. I'm planning on creating boards in the near future. I'll also (hopefully) get my blog posts on there eventually. Once I have a working computer again.

Alright, I believe that will be it for this blog post. I may do series review on Serenity's Plain Secrets, but if I forget it's an awesome series to read! I read through them all within a week since they're shorter than most books I get. Also, I'm still hoping to get through July Camp but it depends on if I get a job offer. Hopefully I don't disappear for another week! :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Prepping for Camp

Hello everyone! I had hoped to post sooner this week. However, my grandma was in the hospital since last Wednesday. She had been coughing for over two weeks which developed into pneumonia and then she had MRSA while at the hospital as well. But, she's doing better and was released yesterday. She was more excited to go home and shower more than anything!

So, not too much to update on the writing front. I've gotten over 80 pages handwritten (20 of which were from the Word document) so I'm quite happy with that. I may have my July camp project (which I was randomly assigned to a cabin!) be typing up what I've hand written to get to 50k. I haven't officially decided what I'm doing. And, I may have to put it on hold if I get a job and move.

I'm actually looking to move to Des Moines, IA. It's supposed to be a good city for young business professionals and they sound like they have cool events. Nothing is concrete yet though. The only bad thing would be the almost 3 hours away from home (which technically isn't much) but it would be cool to live in an area that has a lot to offer. It just is a bit harder since I'm not from the area but hopefully I'll get some calls back soon.

Also, some exciting news, is that I ended up getting the Kindle Fire 7 for $40 and I should get it tomorrow. What my hope and goal is to use it to read over writing, blogging, and other advice eBooks. I would also like to post reviews of these books on my blog as well. But first I'm hoping to write a blog post on Wednesday about the tablet and how I like it.

Alright, that's all for this blog post. Hopefully I'll have my next blog post up on Wednesday or Thursday. I have a visitation to go to tomorrow and I may be going to the funeral the next day. I haven't gotten that far so who knows. Until next time!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bullet Journal and Writing

Hello everyone! I realized I completely spaced and haven't made a new blog post recently. So, I'll update on how my bullet journal and writing has been going. Sadly I still haven't found a job. It's frustrating and I think once I get a job I'll be able to get a lot of things done that are stressing me out.

I'm shocked at the fact I've been keeping up with the bullet journal.Now, following it is a different story, but I'm getting a bit better. I did end up caving and getting a few items from Hobby Lobby*. I bought two sets of skinny of washi tape: Colorful and Black and White. I'm using a lined notebook that I already had and will probably use this until the end of the year. I also bought these "No Bleed" Sharpie markers and they work wonderfully plus the 40% off coupon helped. :) I also bought these other Sharpie markers but sadly they bled through. In the future I would definitely get either this 12 piece set of the "No Bleed" Sharpie markers or this 20 piece set of Triplus Fineliner Pens which are really popular with bullet journalist.

I've been writing a lot lately and it's pretty great! It's not my main series but it's been fun working on this story. I've been handwriting this story and I can definitely see the benefit of handwriting first. If (by some miracle) I finish the story by July I'll work on typing it for my camp project during Nanowrimo. Otherwise I think it's time to go back to my original series. Also, for this side series, I may post it to WattPad or a similar website and get feedback once it's done. Otherwise I'll try to get a few beta readers to look the story over and give some feedback.

A side idea I've had is to make a writing inspiration journal. It would be the similar set up of a bullet journal but focused more on writing. If you'd like for me to do a blog post on it, let me know! If I get some interest I'll definitely work on that.

That's all I have for this post. I'm hoping to post sooner for upcoming blog posts. Also, if you have some ideas on things you would like to learn more on or other things related to writing, just let me know! :)

*I am not being sponsored for this post and will not make any commission. But, HL can definitely send me more coupons or free things!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Month off!

Hello everyone! Technically, I graduated two Sundays ago (5/22), but I'm just getting around to posting! I have been sick for the past two weeks and getting horrible sleep most nights. I haven't landed a job yet (most likely the causing factor of my stress and unable to get better) but I'll just keep applying to different places. I have been working on this post for the last few days but, I thought it would be better to start fresh in June.

So, I've started working again on a side series. I'm still stuck with what I want to do with my main series so I'm going to wait a bit. I just need to figure out what my plot progression will be and what I want to focus on. But, it is fun writing out this other series by hand, because I normally type while writing. However, I don't look forward to when I need to type up everything I wrote out.

Which I can't even do (yet) because my laptop has not been fixed yet. Thankfully I've gotten some graduation money so I am planning on getting my laptop fixed. However, after this wonderful experience I've had with my HP laptop, I definitely want to get a desk top in the future for my main use. Mainly because they can actually last over the years unlike this poor laptop.

I've also stumbled across this concept call "Dot Journals". And I'm glad I didn't know this in college because it would have been the perfect excuse to avoid homework! So I'm going to see if I can keep this up for a month and, if I do, I will share my thoughts on it! I also think this would be a perfect way to keep on track for NanoWrimo and with characters.

I believe that's all for now! I'm going to be working on my side series and (hopefully) hand write the majority of it so for July NanoWrimo I can type and edit the story. I'll do my best to get more blog posts up this week!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Final Update of April

Hello everyone! I hope your April hasn't been as busy as mine. Between trying to apply for jobs, homework, and attempting to get sleep I wasn't able to finish NaNoWriMo. I knew there was a pretty good chance of this happening so I'm hoping next year I can finally be successful in an April Camp. But, I do have some exciting news to share.

So, on a whim, I decided to apply to a marketing position with just my resume. Surprisingly they called me and had me interview the next day. The 20 minute interview only took about 10 minutes, due to my interviewer asking only 4 questions, while I asked multiple questions on the business and what I would be doing. This, to say the least, was frustrating.

Since I haven't gotten a call back (which he would have done that day or the next) I'm assuming I didn't make it to the next round. Which, sounds like I should be sad, but what he hadn't mentioned was the fact that I would be doing in store promotions of products. Yeah, no thanks. But, he said my resume looked great, so that's a plus.

I'm going to keep applying for jobs. I have less than a month left of college (which so far has been flying by wayyyy too fast) so I'm being hopeful about being accepted for a job before then. I know I shouldn't put off writing but it's been my main motivator for looking and applying for jobs. Once I can get a steady income I'll be thrilled to write as much as I can.

Anyways, I also have made it extra stressful on myself because I decided to ditch an entire project I worked on and I'm redoing it. Thankfully, it's branching off of a project I did last term, so I've been able to make some great progress with it. I believe that just about covers the major points of whats been going on. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post again before May 22nd (when I graduate)! Until next time!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Busy Days

Hello everyone! I have been extremely busy. Last weekend I volunteered for over 7 hours to help with a fundraiser. This last weekend I went to my last formal with my sorority. And next weekend I'll be participating in Relay for Life! I'm almost to the end and still need to apply for jobs.

So at this point I'm going to hope that I can get 10,000 words for April's Nanowrimo. I would have liked getting to 50,000 but my coursework needs to come first. I also hate the smell of the notebook I bought (it smells like chemicals) so I'm going to transfer all the writing into another notebook. Which, to say the least, is frustrating.

It also doesn't help that I'm addicted to "The Emperors Edge" series (I'm on the 7th book) on my kindle. I've been fairly good about leaving my kindle at home during the day (otherwise I would constantly read) but I have enjoyed reading in the morning and night time. It's helping me think of how I could approach a third person style (since I normally focus on first person) but it's still fairly difficult for me.

So, if you don't hear from me again until May, don't be too surprised. I'm counting down the days until I'm free of academia. And yes, I know work will probably make my life busier, but most likely won't be as involved in different groups like I am on campus. Plus it will be a completely different mindset which I'm looking forward to. That's all for now! I hope you have a great day!


If you need a watercolor logo, please check out Gemmawilson! I just had her create a logo for a portfolio piece and it came out amazing. I got the simple $5 package of this watercolor logo and it turned out great. I just left some feedback so on the pictures you can see the logo that was made for "The Picasso Project".

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dying Electronics

Hello everyone! I was hoping to post last week but with petsitting it took up quite a bit of my time. So, last Monday, I found out my laptop is no longer working. I'm suspecting its the fans but I haven't gotten a chance to really sit down and focus on trying to fix it. Thankfully, my important files were saved over to my USB, but with Safe Mode I was able to retrieve all of my files. The only good news regarding electronics is that my kindle works.

Ironically, a few days before my computer decided enough was enough, I had decided to write out my April camp NaNoWriMo. Which, is actually going pretty well so far. I haven't gotten to write since before camp started but I did stumble upon an idea where I can see it expanding as a further series.

No worries on the series you old timers know about. I just really don't want to write something that won't be good. Or publish something and then change the plot completely (which is what I almost did). So, as soon as I'm done with college, I'll have more time to focus on all the writing I want to do.

Hopefully I'll start getting some more blog posts up. My week hasn't been too extremely busy yet but next week will be fun. I also have to figure out if it's worth repairing my laptop (the same one I decided I could spend $300+ to fix over the summer) so who knows how much that will cost. Also, I have a business plan that I could actually see myself doing. If you see me in the NaNoWriMo forums you'll know what it is.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Concerts and Homework

Hello everyone! I've been meaning to post on here. Hopefully this weekend (after getting some HW done) I can work on making a few blog posts. But, for now, I'm going to talk about some of the concerts I've been to this week.

First off is the Star Trek Ultimate Voyage which was on the 50th Anniversary Concert Tour. It was a great show to see! I've, admittedly, only focused on The Original Series (TOS) of Star Trek and then the most recent movies. However, after seeing clips for all of the shows, I will definitely consider watching the older shows if I get the chance. So, if you love orchestra music and it's nearby, I would definitely recommend. They're only going to 100 cities but if you look on the website it has the dates and locations they're visiting.

Next is the Starset and Breaking Benjamin concert. I've mainly heard the popular songs of Starset but I enjoyed their performance. I also bought their book "Prox" which you can find on their website. It is cheaper online but I was happy that the lead singer, Dustin Bates, was able to sign the book. :) Breaking Benjamin was amazing. I've listened to their music since high school and they sound as good (if not better) live. I didn't recognize all of the new songs but it was still pretty great.

Now I have to figure out how much I can actually do for April Camp NaNoWriMo. I would definitely prefer to do writing than homework but I'm hoping camp can motivate me to do both. Also, check out Emperors Edge Books (1-3) if you need a good eBook to read. I would be reading to avoid the homework assignment that was due yesterday (whoops) but my kindle isn't cooperating. That's all for now!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Quick Update

Hello everyone! It was my luck that I went through my experience as a writer and my muse only to have it float off somewhere. It doesn't help that my final term of college is shaping up to be a bit rough. I'll survive but it's annoying.

I have every intention to participate in April Camp Nanowrimo! I'm quite excited. I may end up working on a new project and hopefully my muse will reappear. I'm thinking long term with my trilogy book and I'm stumped on how I'm going to proceed!

In other news, I'm absolutely loving my entrepreneur class! I feel like I'm learning a lot about myself. It's also unintentionally eased some of my fears about trying to self publish. I feel more confident about what I'm doing and how I can approach having a business or book while balancing a job/life.

I may not be on for a little bit. I need to fix up my resume and send it out to potential employers. So far I think I'll be staying in or near my hometown. Which is nice because I know the area and it will make going to interviews much easier. But, it'll most likely be time consuming.

I'll attempt to post again soon! And something relating to writing rather than my personal problems. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Cover Designs

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to show some of my favorite websites when it comes to book covers. I'll also be going over several types of covers for self-publishing authors to look for. Now, if you break into the Traditional Publishing realm, most likely you will get a cover made for your book. But, that depends on the deal the traditional publisher presents.

So, in my opinion, there are three main types of covers to look for, such as: Pre-Made, Custom, and Self-Made. I'll be going through these and showing links that are under $200. Please note that I do not have any affiliation with the following links. Also, my list are based on my personal preference and what I was able to find.


With Pre-Made, these covers are generally complete and will only need the title and your author name changed. Generally these range above $30 but sometimes you can find a good deal. Another good idea is to get a bundle package (especially if you're writing a trilogy) if it's offered to save money in the long run.

My absolute favorite website is GoOnWrite and their sister site VamosWrite. The book covers look very professional and the main site has almost 30 subcategories. Most likely, no matter what genre you write in, they will have something for you. The covers start at $45 but they have package deals here that can make it a bit cheaper.

Another great website would be The Cover Collection. While there aren't as many categories, many of these covers could be used for a variety of genres, and their covers look very professional. Their pricing is based on the pound, so if you live outside of the UK, I suggest using a currency convertor to see exactly how much it will cost. But, the great thing about this website, is that there are discounted books.

Here is a list of other website's that I like of Pre-Made covers:

An important thing I'd like to point out is how active the website is. While google has many different pre-made book cover websites, not all of these services will be current.


Pricing can range quite a bit when it comes to custom book covers. Many of the sites in the previous section do offer custom covers but the pricing is generally higher than the pre-made covers. However, if you are having difficulty finding a book cover, then it may be ideal to get a custom cover.

I actually just found Rock Bottom Premade Covers while doing my search. While they do offer a few pre-made covers, I thought the website fits better in custom, because their book covers start at $10. This is perfect if you want to keep a low cost. However, I would at least do the $15 dollar package especially if you're publishing for the first time. Another great thing is that they say that there is a 24-72 hour turnaround. I would contact them first, especially if you're in a hurry, and see if they will be available.

Here are some more custom book cover websites:
Fiona Jayde Media: Starts at $199 but they have other useful services as well.
Alchemy Book Covers and Design: Starts at $85. They offer a few other services as well as pre-made covers.
Fiverr: Starts at $5 but can vary in price based on the package you get.

It would be ideal to go on NaNoWriMo or other writing websites to see which custom designers other authors used and the quality. My findings have been from links I've found as well as a few recommended to me but they may not be the best fit for you.


Self-made books can be successful if you have background knowledge with design. If you are confident of your skills then this would be the ideal approach. However, make sure that you can use stock images for your book cover and ensure that you won't run into any other legal troubles.

Canva is a great website if you don't have Photoshop or another photo editing software. They have a large selection of stock images for only $1 and they have templates made as well. They even have the exact dimensions for kindle covers. They also have a variety of design sizes so you can make banners, ads, and more. I've used this website for many school related projects and it's extremely easy to use.

While I do not have any experience with the free software editing programs, it may be an ideal choice especially if you want to keep costs down. I personally love Photoshop (I still use Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0) and, if you can't get the latest version of Elements 14, do some research into the older versions. Also, if you don't mind getting an older version, search for the program during Black Friday in November.


The best approach for your e-Book will be up to you. If you also plan on print publishing several of the websites above also included the formatting for a paper book. If you cannot find a Pre-Made book cover that you like and can afford to get a custom cover, then I believe it would be ideal go for the custom cover. But, ultimately, that will be up for you to decide.

I hope this has help you! If you have any comments, or if you are a book cover designer, please leave a comment below. I will update this blog post with any new information.

Monday, February 29, 2016

My Journey as a Writer

Hello everyone! I decided to take the last week and focus in on writing and relaxing. So far, it's been really successful. I thought that this would be a great time to reflect my experience as a potential writer and share my plans for the future. I'm also planning on releasing more informative posts (such as book cover websites, what platforms I hope to release an e-Book to, etc.) soon.

My writing career started when I was in 8th grade. I actually finished my book, the first time I had done so, but what had motivated me the most was my friends also writing as well. I believe it was a spy book but I haven't looked at it in a long time. During high school I wrote some stuff as well but I wasn't too serious with any of my work. I remember being inspired by Maximum Ride series by James Patterson and a few of the main character names.

Now that I've been in college I didn't get serious until my Junior year. The book idea I had thought of kept nagging me to write it. While it's no where close to what my first thoughts were I've certainly had a lot of fun writing it. I technically wrote the second and third book but, I can't really use much of it, since I decided to change my story line a bit. I've drifted away from this book several times with stories in different genres but I wasn't able to focus in as much as I had wanted to.

So, what are my next steps? Well I intend on letting my first book sit for at least another week before I do a serious comb through and massive editing. Last week I was focused on getting reacquainted with the story and look for things I wanted to expand on. I also found where I want to end my first book (Leaving me with 40 pages into my next book!) so I feel much better about what's to come.

My advice to anyone writing is to find a story you're passionate about. It may change a little from when you first get started or quite drastically. But, if you're not passionate about your story, it makes it a lot harder to write. And you should take some time away from your story. It's difficult but it helps give a fresh perspective and helps you think of new ideas for your book.

I hope that my experience has been helpful! If you want to talk to other writers I highly suggest joining NaNoWriMo and prowling the forums there. Also, they have Camp versions of this challenge in both April and July, which are also really helpful. That's all for now. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an e-mail!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Close to the Finish Line

Hello everyone! I hope you're doing well. I've decided that for my upcoming blog posts I'll be changing my approach. I won't comment quite as much as I currently do on my personal life. I'll instead be focusing in on what I'm doing with my book and posting links for affiliates of products I like.

While I have not worked on my writing recently I hope to start up again tomorrow. I will be free until March 7th after my presentation tomorrow. I have been waiting for a very long time to get back into the swing of writing! I've set a new goal for myself to have my book finished and ready to sell (either by harassing traditional publishers or going the self publishing route) by this summer.

This upcoming term I have an awesome schedule but my class load will still be intense (but hopefully not like this term). I also plan on posting more blog posts in the near future. I may go through the 5 books I purchased from Writer's Digest (over the summer) and haven't gotten a chance to read. And for one of my upcoming classes we'll be going through several different books geared towards entrepreneurship so that would be helpful as well.

So I shall end on a promotional item. Check out Audible and get two free Audible books. I've gotten The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Dragon Blood- Omnibus by Lindsay Buroker. I currently have The Dawning of Power: Godsland Series by Brian Rathbone that I haven't gotten to yet plus some other credits on my account. If there's a book you think was a great audio book comment below!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Two Month Break

Hello everyone! I did not intend to take a two month break from writing blogs. These last two months have been quite busy for me. First, my classes are enjoyable but hard to keep up. Second, we found out Ryan's Grandma in Germany has cancer again (more on that later). Finally, I've been thinking about my approach with my book and I've been reading a great series that makes me want to write more.

So, in regards to college, my classes have been quite interesting. But, my project that I need complete to graduate, has not been going the best. Thankfully my organization did get most of it's funding (thanks Illinois for the lack of funding for non-profits!) but they did have to let go the one employee that was supposed to help me find volunteers. So, now I'm on my own, and I'm also helping the organization get all the paperwork done since receiving the grant.

The trip to Germany was brought up right around Thanksgiving. We found out that his Grandma's cancer had returned (for I believe the fourth time) and we don't know how bad it was. So, we went from December 27th until January 8th and were able to spend a lot of time with her. It was so interesting to see Germany and now I can (somewhat consistently) count to 10. But everytime I went out I was either with my boyfriend (who knows a little German) or his mother (who grew up in Germany). If time permits I plan on writing a longer blog post but that might not be until February.

While I haven't been able to write (I need time to binge write to be happy) I have been thinking about how I am going to shift the story line a bit. I'm hoping this spring break I won't have to do much so I can write as much as I want. It'll be nice to be able to sit down and focus on the story again!

The book series I've been reading is by Lindsay Buroker which is pretty amazing if you love sarcasm and good characters. I recommend getting Dragon Blood Collection Books 1-3 since it's only $.99. And, as much as I loved listening to the audio book of the series, it's only recorded for books 1-3. But the narration was well done. I just finished the last book, Soulblade, and it was pretty great but I need someone who has read to series to fangirl with. I also have great timing because a short story in the series is going to be released tomorrow! She also has a short story on her website that I need to read first.

Alright, I believe that's it for now. I'll do my best to post again before February but who knows at this point. The term of my term is about 4 weeks away and I foresee it being quite busy. I hope you're doing well and have a good day.