Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review of Ellen Hopkins's Traffick.

I want to start out by saying I have loved every book by Ellen Hopkins I have ever read, this book is no different. A great companion to Tricks. The characters are developed well and distinctly different enough that you don't confuse them as you bounce between character story to character story.  I appreciate the way characters who make bad choices don't come out with as happy of endings as those who make good choices do.   

Throughout my time reading this book my husband asked me what it was I liked about Ellen Hopkins. I'm going to share that reason with all of you.  People can tell kids or even adults not to do something and give them ample reasons why but it's actually experiencing the shortcomings and problems that go along with the choices that people are grappling with making that actually convince them not to do it. In many of Ellen Hopkins's books readers are put into a world where they follow characters who are making choices that we would want our youth or adults not to make. By getting to put oneself in a book with the character that's making those choices readers can play out their possible choices without actually doing any of the things that they're debating about. It let's readers interest world they've never been in but are questioning and walk away saying you know maybe math sounds interesting but I don't think I want to go down that path. They also offer an opportunity for literature therapy. It's really hard to get used to talk about sexual abuse often but through literature therapy readers could read Identical.  for example and talk about the characters and come to their own revelations with I don't actually talking about themselves which can make you or anyone uncomfortable. 

Weekly update Dec 20

My computer died so that means my writing for the time being is going to have to be old-fashioned. I have a phone and a tablet but there's difficulties that come along with typing on either of those that make long jaints of writing troublesome. For the time being I will have to focus on reading like a writer and hand writing any inspirations that come my way. I am still working on drafting my review of Ellen Hopkins's new book Traffick.  

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone I will see you next weekend. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weekly update December 13

I know that it's been a while since I've posted and for that I apologize. My life has been pretty crazy The last few weeks. I did however finish NaNoWriMo.  Photograph below is my calendar.  The craziness that has ensued will only give me more writing material an inspiration in the future. While I have a student teaching placement I need to put a significant amount of focus pretty much all of it into that, I would like to try and continue to write at least 300 words a day.  I found that while sometimes the word count itself got a little stressful because I was worried about when I would fit the writing in once I got going writing was relaxing.  I'm hoping that if I shorten the word count to something that I could do in one small burst I will write more than 300 words a day but be not stress myself out over hitting any particular word count.  I am also happy to report that it will not be long before I have my first book review for my blog I am about two thirds of the way done with the first book I will review here. 

  If I don't see you again before the holidays I wish you a happy holidays now.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekly update

This month has been a very interesting month. As I've continued to not keep up with my daily tasks I have continued to push forward and increase my word count substantially. As my life is been in some turmoil and I've been forced to deal with what will come next I have struggled with keeping on task.  NaNoWriMo has been the only thing keeping me remotely sane.  The way I set up my rewards however I thought I was going to find a hump in the 20 to 30,000 words when in reality 30 to 40,000 has actually seemed more challenging.  I'm going to continue pushing myself and working to move forward with my career aspirations and trying to include writing more.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 14th update

Truthfully I've been doing a really bad job keeping up with my November tasks. Even this one I'm doing a day late.  I'm not getting down on myself however as I've been plowing through my NaNoWrMo goals.  It's certainly possible that I might have bitten off more than I could chew by trying to both establish a routine for writing that many words a day and trying to do an individualized platform challenge.  I will pick away at my tasks as I am able but as the month continues I'm going to focus on reaching my 50,000 word goal

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Weekly update November 7

So I know I'm a day late. I am actually behind on a number of things. As I got ready to host my husband's birthday party writing did get pushed to the side. I am three days behind on NaNoWriMo and even further behind on my November task list. I have to keep reminding myself that the only reason I am behind on my word count is because I was working to get everything else done not because I lost steam.  As November continues I realize that this will likely become a problem again around the holiday. What I have to figure out is what works better for me working so far ahead that I can take those days off or catching up afterwards. I was a little ahead when i got to where my writing dropped off but it certainly wasn't far enough ahead to make up for the lost days of writing. As of today before I started my catch up I had 8390 words. By the end of today I'm supposed to have 13,333 words. Let's see if I can get back on track. 

As I mentioned in my last post my goals were significantly to have to be for the first month of blogging and focusing on my writing. I'm going to try and read two books as my task list suggested this month one of those books will be Ellen Hopkins' new book Traffick despite my task list telling me to pick the other book I have not picked my second book. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

End of the month check in

Well, looking at my goals that were set I didn't do as well as I thought I would. I did complete the October platform challenge sponsored by writers digest and I did find that I wrote more than usual. I didn't come anywhere near my reading goals. This doesn't discourage me but tells me that I might be setting unrealistic goals for myself and I need to start smaller.  This month however I'm not going to set any goals outside of completing NaNoWriMo and completing my November task list. That doesn't mean I'm not going to read but I'm not going to set hefty goals for myself like I did last month, instead I'm just going to see were reading takes me and continue to journal as I read.

Monday, October 26, 2015

November Task List

As I've been participating in the Writer's Digest Platform Challenge it has been useful to have tasks assigned to every day.  Todays task wants us to make daily tasks for ourselves.  The specific task is to assign tasks for platform building, however; I'm going to address tasks all around and deadlines related to all my goals.  Note that every day I will also be doing my NaNoWriMo.

Date  Task
1 Focus on NaNoWriMo.
2 Write interview questions for interview blog post send to expert.
3 Pick books for the month to read at least 2. Begin one of them.
4 Blog post How did I do for my October goals?  Any changes to the goals? what worked what didn't.
5 Find an article related to my blog and read it.
6 write a response blog post to the article I found link to it on social media.
7 Blog post weekly update focus on progress on NaNoWriMo.
8 Find somewhere to submit an existing piece of writing to.
9 Focus on NaNoWriMo.
10 Free write.
11 make my facebook profile even more accessible and geared to both education and writing.
12 Work on house to create a good work space.
13 Ask around my circle for editors and copyeditors for when NaNoWriMo is complete.
14 Blog post weekly update.
15 free write.
16 Focus on NaNoWriMo.
17 Find writing notebooks with writing in them that are floating in my home.
18 Find an article pertaining to me and my blog, read it
19 Write and post a response blog post.
20 free write
21 Blog post weekly update
22 Compile writing from CNF class
23 Focus on NaNoWriMo
24 Connect with three new people.
25 Free write
26 Thanksgiving: focus on family and NaNoWriMo
27 Write december task list
28 Blog post weekly update
29 Focus on NaNoWriMo
30 Focus on NaNoWriMo

Of course one of my new goals will be to follow this task list.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Grammar is a weakness

As I work to improve my writing platform and prepare for National Novel Writing November I'm finding that having a weakness in spelling and grammar is a heavy weight to carry.  I'm motivated to keep at it both due to my desire to write for others and the growth I've already seen in myself.  I've been writing for a long time and the errors I see in my old work are errors I'm not making anymore. That being said as I continue to post on a blog my writing is likely to evolve not just in content but also in conventions and fluency.  I will be picking up more resources on grammar in December.  As you read this post and others I would appreciate your understanding that I'm working to grow.   If you have suggestions for resources feel free to put them in the comments. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

My reading folly

My house is completely full of books. There are books on shelves in almost every room of the house with the exception being the kitchen and one of the bathrooms.  There are stacks of books that I'm in the middle of a nightstand and on an armoire in my bedroom. My husband me that I buy more books that I can read it any given time but I disagree. Never knowing when I might need a specific type of inspiration or what type of book would best suit what I'm working on right now I find it better to have an arsenal of books in my home. Truthfully my biggest regret is that I have a storage unit that has boxes of books that haven't made it to our home yet. Now I recognize I can't buy every book and the public library is somewhere I spend a lot of time. Even there I check out more books that I could actually read in any given check out. But, I check out a variety of books from a variety of different genres. I've made an effort when buying books to make sure that I'm not just buying The books by author's I like and in the genres I'm familiar with but that I look for books in new Shabbos and buy new authors because they have something new to teach me.  Because of this love however the goals I set for myself to read proportionately to what I'm writing have been very difficult to achieve because as much as I love writing I love reading sometimes more.  That's not to say I don't want to write I want to write to give someone something to read that gives them the same joy that I got from reading someone else's work.  The bookcase posted below is one of eight floor-to-ceiling size bookcases complemented by nine bookcases that are 4 feet tall and stacks everywhere throughout the house.  I apologize for the mess on top of the bookcases currently is residual wedding things on top of the bookcases believe it or not more books. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14 update

I am going to again participate in national novel writing November. Honestly, I had poor success last year. I am hoping that participating in the October platform challenge will help me have better success this year. The challenge has been making me think through my writing process differently.   Today's challenge was to set forth and create some kind of schedule or a time management plan. Not knowing what my future holds us I'm not sure that I can schedule X time every day at this point.  What I can do is monitor the amount of time I spent writing versus the time I spend reading and notetaking. Truthfully up until this point I would spend 80% of my time reading 10% of my time taking notes on what I've read 5% of my time outlining and then the last 5% on writing.  I'm not sure what the right balances but if I only have an hour that I can dedicate to creative pursuits the amount of time actually spent writing is minimal. I would like to work toward Half of the time being dedicated to reading and taking notes and then take the last half of the time and divided by 10% outlining and 40% writing.   If I try and work under these parameters instead of set schedules since my current schedule doesn't allow for that whether I have an hour or three hours if I follow this I ought to be able to guarantee more chunks of actual writing time.  That would mean for an hour I would have 24 minutes to write.  That would be a significant step up from where I am now. Honestly at this immediate moment even if I have three hours I might break it up that way were the first part of the hour is reading and then work my way through and only work in 24 minute increments until I build up my stamina enough writing that if I had a long block I could write for 96 minutes if I had four hours.    But I haven't figured out is whether that time should be solely dedicated to creating a draft or whether that time is the appropriate time to do things such as revision and editing.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Truthfully as far as my goals go this week hasn't been productive.  I binge wrote 1100 words and haven't written since.  My reading has been nonexistent. Instead I've been binge watching Netflix.  With my life in disarray I've spent a lot of time thinking about why I want to write and who inspired me to write.  Why do you write and who inspired you.  Feel free to comment.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday October 4th, 2015

I spent my day hiding from the inevitable that was to come the following day.  I had grand plans of working toward my goals but instead binge watched Girl Meets World and American Dad.  I did read some of Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl, but only a whopping 19 pages.  I also spent some time cleaning up my computer and finding my writing and putting it into a folder.  My television time wasn't fruitless however.  As my most prominent writing idea at the moment is a middle grade fiction story binge watching a show aimed at that age proved to have some interest to me.  I also found myself pondering how a show designed for tweens could make me so emotional.  The answer lies in the parents, characters from my past, and how they were intertwined in the stories.  It's interesting how a show designed to interest youth could captivate an adult. A book could do the same.  more readers will be reached if there is something in the book for adults too, and not in the questionable content meaning.  As I related to Cory and Topanga both in age and in prior knowledge i related to characters from the old Degrassi when i watched the new Degrassi.  While a new writer can't create nostalgic characters concepts could be relatable to parents without being hidden jokes making something interesting to both parents and the intended audience.

Sunday, October 4, 2015



My name is Chelsea.  I have always had a love of stories.  I loved to tell stories before I loved to read them.  That passion took much longer to evolve.  Things have stopped me from pursuing writing in the past and they will still be a struggle but I can't give up.  I have always struggled with grammar and spelling, making editing brutal.    As I go on this journey I will document my writing, my reading, and my lifelong learning.

Some of my goals for the month of october are: complete the Writer's Digest Platform Challenge, Write an average of 100 words a day not including this blog, and read 6 books; a picture book, a juvenile fiction book, a middle grade book, a young adult book, an adult novel, and a nonfiction book at any level.  My stretch goal would be to also read something like a novelette, short stories, a magazine, a scholarly journal or poetry.

To put things in perspective last month I probably wrote on average 25 words a day with binge writing.  I read a picture book, a juvenile fiction book, a middle grade book and a non-fiction book.