Oh, Hello December

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Did you know that it’s December?

We’re not in November anymore. I repeat, I’ve lost the end of November. I don’t know where it went, or what happened to it, or how it passed by me without even a wave and a few words sprinkled in it.

None the less, we are in December. Technically we’re two days in now. We have 30 days until we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to a new year that will hopefully slow down and treat us kinder than 2019 did. Though, there’s never any promises for that from the years, is there.

I leave for a work trip in four days (on Friday) and am spending a week two timezones behind my normal one in the desert. Las Vegas specifically. I’ve had one of my co-workers all, you’re going to get to do all the things and see all the shows while you’re there, and all I’m thinking is ‘when!?’ because I’m manning the Residency Interview booth for my company and interviews start at 7:30am, which means I need to be there around 7am to make sure the booth is all set up for the day. And interviews run until 5pm, which means I’m sitting at this booth smiling and making idle and awkward chit chat for like 9 – 10 hours a day most of the days I’m in Vegas. What time do I have to explore and have fun? Because I’m not seeing it.

I am considering bucking up the courage to try my hand at some blackjack. I do okay virtually, who knows if I’d do well live. And if I lose $20 at least I can say I tried.

I am looking to capture some photos while I’m there and update Instagram as I can, so if you aren’t following me on Instagram, be sure to follow me there @meriscorner

I’m also looking to try and get some writing done, but I’m not sure I’m going to bring my laptop. I think I’m going to try and do some back to basics, pen and notebook writing while I’m in Vegas. Less distraction because I’m not sliding to instagram or twitter or facebook, but also, it’s not going to look like I’m ignoring interviewees when they come up to the table if I’m just writing in a notebook. I’ve also been having an issue staring at a blank word document just making me stressed that I haven’t written so I’m hoping this will help me in getting words down again. It’s been forever since I’ve really written and I’d like to get back into the habit, the groove, the writerly swing of things.

This week specifically I’ve been prepping my friend’s presents so they’re ready to mail. And getting everything ready to head to the conference. Not just with packing clothes and planning wardrobe for a professional conference, but making sure like, everything on my desk at work is okay because someone will be sitting at it the entire week I’m gone. O.O I hate the idea of someone using my space while I’m gone, but because I work at a front desk it has to be.

Any fun plans for your first week of December? Let me know in the comments below!

NaNo ’19 – Day Fourteen

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So yesterday, the 13th, was interesting. We had a gen contractor over at the house to fix a few things, and of course, the few things took a lot longer than expected. What was supposed to be a small fix became taking the old pipes of our shower out and putting new pipes, new fixture, and new tile in and took until about 10pm last night.

Which also meant that I spent a lot of time after getting home from work listening to banging, cutting, and overall contractor work being done in our only bathroom.

Which meant I didn’t really get anything done. Well, unless you count getting two episodes of Riverdale and an episode of Nancy Drew watched something. I’m still working out which of the many panels I want to go to this weekend, everything starts tomorrow! I’ve still got a lot of work on my words to do, but I haven’t actually given up hope either. I’m still hoping I can get caught up on things.

Queen of Nothing releases on Tuesday, so I’m also hoping to finish Wicked King this weekend. If you haven’t read The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King by Holly Black yet, definitely should give it a try. I recommend them. They’re sold as YA, but do be aware that there are some dark themes in them, as an FYI. I’m bouncing and waiting and chomping at the bit for the Owl Crate edition of the new book because they’ve been doing exclusive covers for the books that are a stark difference between the mass market covers and I love them and can’t wait to see how everything looks and what they do for this new release.

I’m going to try to update my blog while I’m at the con, maybe after everything settles from the day before bed. But that’s completely dependant on how the internet works at the hotel. More and more hotels are being super stupid with charging for internet these days, and I refuse to pay for it. If I remember correctly from last year though, this hotel gives complimentary internet just for staying at their hotel. We shall see.

NaNo count, still the same as it was when I first got a little written. Here’s hoping by Monday that number goes up though.

NaNo ’19 – Day Eleven

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Day Eleven started out with snow. Yesterday it was like 50 degrees, not terrible to go outside in a really thick sweater and enjoy the sunshine. Today, snow everywhere. I’m hoping there’s not too much accumulation before I get out of work, because if there is, well cleaning off the car to go home is going to suck.

This week is only a four day week for me at work though. Friday I’ve taken off because I’m headed to a Sci Fi Convention in my area. I’m still trying to narrow down what I want to attend panel/workshop wise. There are a lot of good choices both in the Science Fiction/Space Opera topic and the writer topics in general. All the expanding my horizons though.

This weekend, overall was pretty lazy. Mom and I did some shopping, I finally set my Cricut Explore Air 2 up. It’s all lavender and pretty and I love it. The Design Software could use a little work, it seems super slow on the computer when I go to design things. I’m not sure if part of that is because it’s mostly online. The phone app seems to work fairly well and smooth with few glitches. I’m not sure what’s causing the computer version to be so glitchy. Hoping to find a happy medium between the two so that it’s easy for me to both design and print/cut.

I also picked up a new printer, mostly because the last printer we used in the house is at least five to six years old, and hasn’t been used in that time frame. So figured new was definitely better. Also, I settled that in my study so it’s up and running as well.

The two are so happy next to each other.

But playing with that and fiddling with things took up a good portion of my time over the weekend energy-wise, so I didn’t get much else done.

Writing wise, this NaNo hasn’t been fairing pretty well. We’re a third into it, but I still have some time to catch up and keep working. While I plan to attend panels at the con, I also do plan to write. They have a writer’s room where some of the writer panels are taking place. And any time it’s between panels, it’s just open for people to come and sit and write so hoping to get some catch up done this weekend.

And Hoping to get home tonight in enough of an early hour that I can snuggle in and get some work done tonight. I’m finally starting to feel better in regards to my cold. Mornings and evenings are the worst, mostly when laying down. But between times are generally okay right now. Here’s hoping that it stays that way.

Hope your November is going well!

NaNo ’19 – Day Seven

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I was able to get my internet back up and running, thankfully. So we have internet in the house once again. I actually stayed home from work on the 5th to be able to be home for the tech to come and fix it. And once he had fixed it I took some cold meds and basically slept for the rest of the day.

Yesterday was back up and to work, and cold meds had me sick to my stomach on the car ride to work and then woozy all day at work. So made the decision to not take those again while at work/before work because that’s just not good for getting anything done.

Mom and I got home yesterday and cooked a Hello Fresh meal for dinner and then I crashed super early again.

I will say, I am starting, slowly, to feel better. I’ve taken to sucking on peppermint and wintergreen because the mint helps to clear out the congestion in my sinuses and help me to breath without the need for too much in the way of meds while at work and it’s helped me get through the first hour or so of work today so far. And I’m about ready to make myself some tea even though I’m warm because the steam helps to clear out my congestion as well and I have noticed I’m a little dehydrated so more liquids will be good.

I’m hoping to kick this by Saturday so I can really push hard and get better back on track this weekend to settle into where I should be.

Hope everyone else is doing well for November! Stay hydrated! Stay warm! and stay Healthy!

NaNo ’19 Day 4 – It got worse

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So, I missed Day three for this blog, but it’s not entirely my fault. I currently have no internet in the house.

Remember that storm I talked about that happened last Wednesday? Well, it had pulled a wire down from the corner of the house and Mom and I hadn’t thought it connected to anything because we didn’t have any problems when it came down. Turns out, that’s because it hadn’t been broken, the not causing issues.

It was our phone line.

You know, the one that grants us connection to the outside world via the internet?

We found this out because Mom, in a cold medicine haze, made the decision to snip it since it clearly wasn’t doing anything in our house…

So she left us with no internet…

Now I’m trying to get our provider to come out and fix it so we can have internet again. While barely being able to talk because my throat is super bad, my coughing is bad, and my head feels like it’s underwater with the sinus pressure and sick.

Needless to say too, I’ve gotten nothing done on NaNo too. I haven’t been able to think clearly enough to actually write anything.

How is your November going so far?

NaNo ’19 Day 2 – The Sick Has Me

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It’s about 3:30pm on Day Two of NaNo. I’m already a day behind because, as the title of this post states, the sick has caught me.

I have narrowed down that the nausea is caused by the medication that’s helping with the breathing and the coughing. Of course, I didn’t make that connection until about 1pm this afternoon so I’m still trying to feel better stomach wise.

On top of which, I’m struggling to stay awake because even just chewing lunch took so much effort, though that might have been because I was battling the nausea. I’ve managed to get about half of chapter one done this morning despite cats deciding my notes and laptop were THE space to be, and feeling like if I close my eyes I might just fall asleep.

I am thinking if I take a small nap, I’ll be awake later because the rest of the meds will be – hopefully – out of my system and I can finish getting through chapter one and slide through chapter two as well.

Of course the risk is also that it’s not how it’ll go down and I’ll just sleep right through to day three. Choices and risks.

Current word count: 1,291

How is your day two going?

NaNo ’19 – Day 1

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Happy November, Everyone!

I hope that your November is starting out a little better than mine. You might be asking yourself, well why say that, and thinking that you’re sure my November has started off fine too. Weeeeelllllll, I’m not so sure about that.

For starters, I’m in the Midwest portion of the country that received snow. LOTS of SNOW.

Enough that I had to clear off my car before I could drive home last night. Enough that we really didn’t get any trick or treaters last night.

The snow actually started on Wednesday. I woke up and looked out my window at my neighbor’s roof and even half asleep was whispering, “no, No, NO!” to myself. In prepping to go to work, I cleared a BRANCH out of the street and pulled something in my back. On walking back to the house to email work I would be tending to my back I heard a super loud SNAP and looked to my backyard where a thick branch had broken off the tree. It took down whatever cable was attached from my house to the pole in the alley (not my landline – still have wifi, and not my electric, so we still don’t know what it is. We’re calling the phone company tomorrow to see if they can come out and at least determine if it’s theirs or not). It also took out my neighbor’s landline to the pole, which took out their wifi too.

Thursday night, on the eve of NaNo, my throat got a tickle.

I’m now coughing and queasy, but I’m at work because bills to pay and all that.

Despite being under the weather, I’m looking to do some NaNo Work after I get home from actual work. I might try to con my mother – we car pool to work because we work across the street from each other if I haven’t mentioned before – into leaving a little early today. I got the sick from her, I can state this confidently because she stayed home Tuesday and Wednesday sick with it. I’m hoping having it hit today, I can spend the weekend tending to it, drowning it in tea and honey, and writing, and just get over this before Monday or it settles too much in my body.

Maybe I’ll use a hot shower as my word count reward today, hit word count, take hot shower to let the steam help break up the sick in my throat. It’s definitely a good motivator. Though I’m also super ready to nap right now – which may be the meds I took so I’m not dying at work.

Wish me luck killing the sick before it becomes a monster.
I’m determined to not let it disrupt my NaNo and my November goals.

Also, since I’m not too into the vlogs and on camera, but more the writer behind the blog, I’m hoping to do a blog a day for NaNo. Even if it’s just a quick snippet of how my word count went the day before. High goals for me, but here’s hoping that by the end of November I’ve updated this blog thirty days in a row. =)

Happy writing, for those that are participating in NaNo!
Happy November for those that are not!

Stay warm, readers. And stay healthy!

NaNo Just Around the Corner

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Design by Georgia Lange, Poster in the NaNoWriMo shop.

So, NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. Literally 4 days away. I’ve been so busy getting ready for it that everything else has kind of fallen by the wayside. It’s not a great quality in me, but at the same time, I admit that that’s how I am and while I try to change there’s no sense in getting mad at myself about it either.

I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I’d hoped with the prepping and getting everything as ready as I can make it be successful for November. I did try to do that GrimsList prompting that I mentioned in my last post, and while I did get about two thousand words overall, none of the shorts that I started are finished. So for now, it will sit and wait and I’ll try to work on them in December. Maybe I can have enough to do a small anthology of horror for next Halloween.

My biggest shift is I’ve decided to rewrite a novel from four years ago for my NaNo Project, officially. The current WIP stands at forty-seven thousand words with two to three chapters missing to close up the story. It’s basically in a zero draft stage where everything can change and nothing is safe. I’ve been editing what I have this month, being really hard on it, so that starting Friday my goal is to rewrite a chapter a day to catch up, leaving me a few days to finish the missing chapters and hit 50k. If for some reason it shortens in the rewrite and I don’t hit 50k for it, I have a sequel novella prepped and outlined and ready for me to start writing on to get me past that NaNo finish line.

November is always interesting because we have Thanksgiving near the end and as such we aren’t allowed to be writer hermits because our families demand our attention and to put down our pen, phone, or keyboard at least long enough to smile, chit chat, and pretend that while we’re eating our turkey we’re not also trying to continue writing in our heads so once we get back to our writing implement of choice we’ll be able to hastily continue our words.

On top of that, I’ll be at a Science Fiction convention for three days, though I’m not looking for that to stop me or slow me down. I have goals and they will be successful and I’ll get that NaNo Win!

If you’re participating in NaNo and are looking for a writing buddy, be sure to add me. My user name on NaNo is MerisCorner

Time Flies, and I lose half a year

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I honestly don’t know where the time has gone with a lot of things right now. The year seems to be flying by, and part of what doesn’t help is my 9-5 has gone from easy to 60mph and I’m barely keeping up some days.

I was given responsibility over like 30 people, all of whom have to attend a conference in December, that I will also be attending. So there’s registration and flights, and a room block to get the best price on all our rooms. And it’s been a circus and like rounding cats at the same time.

If you’ve been following my Twitter, you’ll also know this next bit, but if you haven’t been, in June I ended up falling and ended up with a small fracture in my wrist and was in a cast for three weeks. Having my dominant hand in a cast, not fun. And since then I haven’t really been writing too much.

I’m not sure if it’s a block, or a rut or if I’m just really drained after work that’s been keeping the words at bay. All I know is I sit down at the computer to write, and nothing really comes up to put onto paper. I don’t know if part of my problem is I’m putting too much pressure on myself, and on my tying to write and that’s not helping either.

I was thinking of maybe trying to go to bed at better times during the week and get up an hour earlier to try and write before work. I’m not entirely sure if this would help, or work because I’m so not an early bird, but I’m not sure what else to try because right now I’m not getting much in the way of writing done and I know something needs to change.

With it now being October, it also means we’re into PrepTober, the month that precedes National Novel Writing Month. It’s the 31 days (30 now that it’s the 2nd) where we decide on what we’re going to write during November, plot out the characters, create a list of names to choose from if we need to insert a new character, and outline the story that we’ll be slowly writing out to get all those creative juices flowing.

While I’m still trying to get myself out of this rut, what better way to try than with getting everything ready to write, working out plots and characters, and having my list complete. Also, possibly trying to do a few writer prompts during October. Someone on Twitter created the #grimlist2019 for writers to get both in the October mood and in the writing mood. You can find the original tweet here if you’d like a little more information to participate or the prompt list. I’m not sure if I’m going to post the prompts as I fill them in or keep them to myself for the time being. Part of it depends on how they flow.

And, if my talk of PrepTober hasn’t given it away, I am going to try participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I’m hoping to get one or two shorts finished, and maybe even some editing done for one story that’s almost complete but just needs a few more chapters.

And I do plan to update this blog with my progress for both PrepTober and NaNo. I didn’t mean to lapse in posting for so long, but I guess, as they say sometimes, that is life. All I can do is strive to be better and carve out a little more time for writing posts.

Are you participating in Preptober or NaNo? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you’re working on!

Book Review: Striking Midnight by Jennifer Ellision

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Author: Jennifer Ellision
Publisher: Jennifer Ellison
Genre: Fantasy, Reimagined Fairytale
Rating: 4 Stars

Striking Midnight is a Cinderella retelling that is done well with an engaging plot and vivid world building.

The story predominantly follows Cyndria, Princess of the Solian Kingdom, as she enters into the Kingdom of Noctis and becomes one of many eligible women vying for the chance to become the new King’s bride and Queen.

Cyndria’s kingdom of Sol has been blessed by the sun to forever be in daylight, even during the night hours. Without the reprieve from the sun that night can bring, her people have taken refuge in the tunnels below to escape the harsh heat their sun brings as they strive to work the fields as best they can as the warmth scorches the land.

Knox, new King of the kingdom of Noctis, is watching as his people try to stay warm in the forever dark that being blessed by the night and the moon has granted them. But with only the moon, the lands are cold, and little grows without both the warmth and light of the sun.

Both kingdoms are hurting, and both have a lot to lose if they can’t get the other to sign the Daylight Accords, a magical treaty that shares daylight and night equally between the two kingdoms. A balance to cool Sol and warm Noctis.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The prose is well written and flows smoothly to keep the reader interested and not really wanting to put the story down. I loved the spin on Cinderella that this author has taken. While she’s still poised and at the whim of her step-mother, she’s also deadly having been trained by assassins from a very young age. The world feels alive as she travels both through her own kingdom and the kingdom of Noctis. I also really enjoyed the internal struggle as facts came to light and hearts started to become involved.

There are only two mild complaints I have when it comes to the book. While this predominantly follows Cyndria’s point of view, it does occasionally shift to Knox’s but it does this without telling you. While not a huge deal because the characters are distinct enough to recognize the change, it would almost be nice to have a little title at the top of the chapter to tell me which point of view I’m currently in. And the story does leave off on a cliff hanger with everything up in the air. While I understand why authors love to use this technique for books, it leaves me feeling like I’m almost not getting the full story. There are ways to wrap up some of the plot to let me feel like I’ve finished a book and am only waiting for the second, instead of making me feel more like this is part one of a book and I’m waiting for part two of that same book.

In the end, I am looking forward to book two to see how everything will unfold in the stories of Cyndria and Knox.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. All thoughts are my own, and were not colored for receiving a free copy.