Monday, February 29, 2016

Goodbye February

February is my favorite month. Name, placement, number of days, weather, you name it. It's just the best. And I can't believe it's almost over, but at least we got an extra day of it's awesomeness this year :)

I may have taken this picture in January . . .


The biggest thing that happened for me this month was my mom went to Mexico for a week. That left me in charge of holding down the fort, writing, and working. Thankfully, my awesome grandmother dropped all other engagements and came to help out. She's the only reason I cracked a schoolbook that week :)

On a less happy note, our oven went out. Since it's itty-bitty, we wanted to replace it with something bigger. We finally decided what to do, but the new oven's not coming in until mid-March and it's going to require cutting our cabinets up quite a bit. So it's been an adventure to come up with only crockpot and skillet meals.

The other super awesome thing was that an adorable little girl I babysit found two purple mushrooms in her garden bed and picked them for me! Isn't that awesome? For a girl who wouldn't touch snails (which were everywhere), I was very impressed. (Yes, we washed our hands afterwards). Aren't they beautiful?!



pablum: n. (also pabulum) bland or insipid intellectual fare, entertainment, etc.

I had never heard of this word, but I find it very fascinating. Doesn't it just ring of the days when everyone used big, fancy words? I mean, you almost need a dictionary just for its definition!


"I believe in the proximate correctness of the date of our Saviour's birth. I believe he always comes in winter. And then let Winter reign without: Love is king within; and Love is lord of the Winter."

"Winter is only a spring too weak and feeble for us to see that it is living."

Don't those just sum up February? There's St. Valentine's Day which is all about loved ones. And then there is Groundhog Day; the day when we trust an animal to predict the weather, because February never can decide whether to be winter or spring.


So the only book I started and finished this month was Adela Cathcart Volume 1 by George MacDonald. I started it on a whim and blew through it. That was the source of both my vocabulary word and quotes above :)

I started Proofreading Plain and Simple by Debra Hart May. But I haven't made it very far and the library will want it back soon . . . 

I also started Sentinel by Jamie Foley again, because I thought it would be a good one to read aloud to my hoard of brothers. The 12 and 9-year-old, in particular, are really enjoying it.


This is as much for my benefit as it is for yours, so bear with me :) 

~Words: 10,714~

I had no idea it was that many. I feel better now. Especially since I'm pretty sure that's about 1/4 of my book so far. *cheers*

~Chapters: 3~ 

Three. Not too bad, since I would ideally get out one a week. I'm rather impressed. *pats self on back*

~Progress Update: 65%

I know I'm over half-way now. I just haven't outlined what happens next, so I'm not really sure on percentage or anything. (I know what you're thinking: but you put 65%. Well that was an educated guess.)

~Biggest Problem: Consistency~

Oh, consistency. I wrote a lot more words than I realized, but I know for a fact that I only wrote about 7 days this month. This is why I'm doing the 300 for 30 Challenge from Go Teen Writers. I can get a lot done if I just sit down and write. 

Overall, not as bad as I thought. But still not fantastic. I am determined to do better in March! And now that I'm actually tracking that sort of thing, I will pay more attention and hopefully be more productive. I will not let the fact that I will be extremely busy doing a choir tour over Spring Break deter me. Besides, Kansas is where my novel's set, so I can at least do some more research, right? :D


I have 5 goals for March.
1~ Write at least 4 chapters
Surely I can manage this? It's only one a week.
2~ Read at least 3 books
I'm taking suggestions.
3~ Finish editing Katie's book
(I'm not sure how practical this is, because she has to send me the last 2/3 still.) 
4~ Reach 25 followers
I'm counting on y'all to help me with this one.
5~ Blog at least 5 posts
Brace yourselves. If I get going, I may flood your inboxes.

Pretty simple, huh? Well, we'll see. I'll revisit these goals at the end of March to see how I did. And Happy Leap Day! Check out Google's adorable memento if you haven't. And also go read Katie's hilarious post to know how to celebrate. I'm ignoring her advice altogether and just eating chocolate :D


How was your February? What are your goals for March? Did you enjoy monthly wrap-up posts, or find them boring (be honest)? What writing and reading goals have you set (because I have no idea how I match up)?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why Girls Blog More than Guys

So, it's Saturday! Which means, the first official post, of course :) It wasn't supposed to come this late, but that's what happens sometimes . . . I had no idea what I was going to write about, but then I got that awesome moment of inspiration. It was a true light bulb moment. I was commenting back and forth with Jonathan Trout and he pointed out he was the first guy to comment. And that got me thinking . . . why do girls author and comment on more blogs than guys?


~My Assumptions~

So, obviously I'm starting this post of by assuming that girls blog more than guys. I'm just pulling that statistic from my own experience with teens, not professionals. Besides, if you're a professional, you can hire someone else to write your blog for you and then it doesn't really count :P In my experience, you get a lot more girls commenting and linking to their blogs than you do guys. Since this whole post revolves around my assumptions and experience, you are wholly obliged to disagree :D

~My Observations~

Here are some factors that popped into my head

1. Personality~ some people just don't blog. I was one of those people and here I am, branching out. But I think the more introverted you are, the harder it can be. And it seems to me that guys are generally more content to be disconnected than girls are.

2. Authenticity~ girls are known for being girls. They want girl time. Obviously, guys want guy time, too, but it's different. They want real guy time. And, judging from my five brothers, they are either playing around with their friends in person, or they are connecting with those same friends. Girls tend to be more comfortable forging new friendships on the fly even if they're never going to see or meet those people in person. I think guys crave the actual, in-person interaction more than girls do. We can make do with less.

3. Girls Follow Girls~ maybe the reason I've seen so many girls in the mix is because I was following only women's blogs (not anymore; now I follow Jonathan, too). I stalked Jonathan and Katie's follower pools and this is what I found.

Jonathan: 30% male followers (3/10)
Me: 11% which consists of Jonathan (1/9)
Katie: 3% or less (4 possible/131)

So maybe there is something to that. Guys are going to have more in common with guys and girls with girls. End of story.

4. Mom Blogger~ then there's the Mom blogger. I mean how many Dad bloggers can you name that aren't blogging for a living? I think this is one of the legitimate factors on why there's a bigger girl network. Mom bloggers cover life with children, cooking, beauty, DIY, and all sorts of other things. This lures in other moms and the cycle is unbreakable :) (I know they aren't teens, but I decided to include them anyway.)

~My Conclusions~

I think more girls do blogging than guys. However, I don't think blogging is a strictly feminine thing to do, just like I don't think video games are strictly masculine. And I also think it is a really good opportunity for guys to join the blogging world and get themselves out there (if they want to). They stand out in the crowd to me, just because they're guys. We girls may have to work just a little bit harder :)


Sorry this came so late in the day! I'm still a newbie :D So what do you think? Am I totally off base, or do you agree with some of the things I said? Anything to add? Do you follow any guy blogs?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Seriously . . . Another Blog?

Hey everyone! If you read my guest post over at A Writer's Faith, please don't feel like you have to read this. (Or if you got the chance to read this when I published it for like 12 hours to check some formatting things.) I like how it turned out so much, that it became my welcome post on my own page, too.

If you didn't hear of me from the wonderful Katie, read on! But let me warn you. I have never done this blog thing before that has taken over the world. To be completely honest, I have never thought of myself as the blogging personality. I would have laughed if you had told me last year that I would be starting a blog. But here I am, so I promise there will be a post every Saturday. :)

So. That brings me to what I just decided will be the main point of my post. Why am I here? And why should you join me?

1. Passion
(I was supposed to put a heart here, but it was breaking my html . . .)

I am mainly here because I love to write. And even more than that, I love to edit. When I have a huge pile of responsibilities and schoolwork, this is how I get away. Now most people will find that crazy. My sister, for example, thinks reading and writing are the worst possible cures for a headache. I disagree. And we all know people who love to write and hate to edit. Maybe you're one of those people. That's why we can be friends :D (Not the only reason, but it's a start.)

2. College Experience ~

After lots of prayer, I made the decision that I will not be going on to college this summer. Instead, I will be working through the paths of experience and self-education to become better at what I do. Because no amount of classes for four years (no matter how much I may love them) will teach me what experience can. You're probably thinking "so what?" But what no college means for me is I will have to branch out . . . through blogging and connecting with other people.

3. Support!

What boosted me from being a scribbling recluse in my bedroom to an actual budding author just this fall was people. I connected with some friends and (*gasp*) sent them my work. It was scary, let me tell you. Having their support, confidence, and interest is what motivates me to keep going. I realized that was completely invaluable. So here I am, trying my best to reach out to more people.

4. You :D

This is where you come in! I have learned over the last year, that I not only want the support of fellow writers and book enthusiasts, I need it! And to be joined with lots of people I have never met who have similar passions is truly amazing. (I mean, seriously, you have no idea how much I freaked out over my first comment.) So if you have any interest whatsoever, come check out my blog. But I warn you, joining my site is not for the fainthearted. I will expect you to be an active, supportive member, not just a passive onlooker who likes my sense of humor. What's in it for you? The same, of course! No relationship, even over the internet, can exist without interaction. So in exchange for your interest and time, I will pour back into you.

As my first means of reaching out to you all, I just signed up for this awesome challenge from Go Teen Writers. I am a notoriously slow writer, so this should help me out a little. But I need you all for accountability! You can sign up here: March's Monthly Challenge ~ 300 for 30 But only before March 1st!


Hey, that wasn't too bad! Before I go, I want to promise you I will read and respond to all of your comments, so please leave me one! It's part of my giving back to you :) I can't wait to hear from you and see where this journey will take us!