Hiya

My computer has issues. I’ve been told it can be fixed.

But until I have it back in my possession, my hiatus continues. I’m posting this from my tablet. It’s not horrible, but a computer is easier.
Don’t worry. I have big plans, both for this blog and for life. I’ll be back as soon as I can be. 

Keep being awesome, reader peeps. 

Kate out. 

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So.

So, I haven’t posted in six weeks.

Which, I hope you noticed and missed me. If you didn’t, don’t tell me.

Truth of the matter is that life got ahead of me and that I have been running short on ideas for quite a while now.

No, this is not the end of Spiral-Bound. But it might be the start of something new.

I’m making my hiatus official. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Hopefully not long. But I need to take a step back and evaluate without my blog breathing down the back of my neck like a mob boss that I haven’t paid. Not that any such person exists! Totally not… 

Anyway, reader peeps, I’ll be back soon. Don’t forget to be awesome.

Kate out.

Running Part 2

The other day, I posted about running, how I started running and was enjoying it and was wondering if elliptical miles are equivalent to ground miles.

On Saturday, I ran one mile in twenty minutes, less than half of what I can do on the elliptical. I walked that last quarter mile.  And that running makes me feel very breathing, much ow. I’m still sore on Tuesday.

BUT I RAN A MILE!!! Well, walked some of it, but I did it! And now I have a goal to work toward. Emotionally, I felt ready to take on the world.

On the other hand, though, I’m not particularly looking forward to running outside and being sore again. My excitement about running has faded a bit, probably because I skipped a few days because, guess what, I’m sore!

So, here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m not going to run for the rest of this week, or at least until Saturday. I think I’m going to do yoga instead or just forget it because it’s VBS week and Vacation Bible School tends to wear me out anyway. It’s plenty of exercise, I think.

Next week, I will reevaluate. Figure out running days, figure out elliptical days, figure out other exercise days. Nothing super strict, since I have no desire whatsoever to run in the rain (and we got a flash hail storm yesterday so…).

Thank you to everyone who encourages me in this. Encouragement really helps and means a lot.

Short post today, but hopefully soon there will be a longer post, maybe even one about writing because hey this is a writing blog… i think. 

Kate out.

Running

I started running, reader peeps. 

Well, not really running. Elliptical. Which is kind of running, but indoors (and still feels a little like cheating to me).

 

So, the picture above is where I kept track of my times and how far I’ve gone. The elliptical is accurate on time. I don’t know how accurate it is on distance, which is the second column of numbers.

The first day I was doing this, June 8th, I did not really want to get on the elliptical. I knew I needed to, I knew I should, but I was procrastinating. But I did it. Then I was talking to a friend about it afterward and he told me that I had gone over 5k.

5k.

5 KILOMETERS.

As a kid, I hated running. I was slow. My chest hurt afterward. I came in last because all the other kids were faster. As a teen and even up to the last year, running was not something I could see myself doing. Not in a house, not with a mouse. Not with a goat, not on a boat. I did play with the idea a bit last year. But I never actually did it.

And then this. June 8th. I run over a 5k? (By the way, 5k=3.1 miles.)

It was a huge confidence boost.

For the next week, I did the elliptical every day.  I got up early, excited to run on Saturday, the 9th. Almost every day I would talk to my friend about running, sharing time/distance and asking questions (he has been running longer than me). Everything has been going beautifully. I’ve learned to hydrate pre-run so I don’t get a headache. I’ve learned that music works, Netflix does not. I’ve learned that I really have to warm up my knees and ankles pre-run. I’m kind of excited by obstacle races and would love to do one eventually.

Then two days ago, I start thinking about how I could take this running outside. Partially so I can figure out if I really can run 5k.

I live in Middle Of Nowhere, Indiana on a good sized property, but not in a town. I live out in the country. So it’s not like I can run around our town on the sidewalks or anything like that. So. How do I take this outside?

Run around the yard.

Now, to do this I need two things: a way to keep track of time and a way to keep track of distance.

Time is a minor issue. That’s what watches are for. Distance however…

So, I ask my dad how big our property is in miles. I figure I can lap the yard however many times to equal that 3.1 miles. We do the math.

About 4 laps around the yard is 1 mile.

Which means that 3 miles is 12 laps around the yard.

Holy plot bunnies… 

I wish that I could end this post with a heartwarming underdog victory and tell you how I absolutely did run 12 laps around my yard and I feel great about it.

But I haven’t done it yet.

I asked my dad about distance yesterday. Yesterday was kinda an emotional mess. Yesterday the morning elliptical went poorly and I wasn’t happy about how it turned out (it was a slow run, because I was sore, and Netflix made it go by too fast, so I felt like it had been too easy– seriously, guys, Netflix does NOT WORK FOR THIS). Yesterday I wanted to do everything and nothing. Yesterday food was making me feel sick.

Yesterday I asked my dad about the distance for running the perimeter of our yard. 12 laps for 3 miles.

Peeps, I’m terrified. Our yard is huge. For years, I’ve gotten tired just walking to the garden and back and that’s only half the yard.

On the one hand, the elliptical could be accurate enough and I can totally handle 12 laps around the yard. On the other hand, the elliptical could be horrifically inaccurate and I can’t make it at all.

And maybe that’s a completely stupid thing to be worried about. 5k is a huge amount. So what if I can’t run it?

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had Impostor Syndrome with writing. I’ve had times where I wonder if I can really write, sure. But worrying about being a fraud is not quite accurate there. That’s more of just writerly doubt, I think.

I might have Impostor Syndrome with running, though. A fear of finding out that I’m not really that good. That there’s no way that the 5k is accurate if I’m dying after one lap around the yard. It’s so inaccurate that it’s laughable. That I’m laughable. That I should’ve never tried running in the first place and there’s no point in continuing to try. That I was living in delusion. That I am a fraud.

So here we are. I want to run outside. I want to know.

At the same time, I don’t want to know at all. I’m terrified. My bubble of ignorance is safe.

But I think that if I don’t find out on my own, the truth will come out sooner or later. And if I find out sooner, I have a chance to improve before later.

Today is a rest day. Today is a day to read and write, two things which have been a bit ignored this week. Today is to recover, a day to rise from the ashes.

Tomorrow is a day to brush off the ashes and put back on my running shoes. Tomorrow, I will run.

Kate out.

Thinking About Outlines

I used to be a discovery writer.

When I first started writing 10+ years ago, I was definitely a discovery writer. I have notebooks and notebooks of discovery written stories in a tote in my bedroom. For quite a while, these stories had no structure. These were my characters having adventures, being kidnapped, being tortured (by me– in all seriousness, pretty much all of my characters should’ve died with what I put them through), falling in love, having kids, dying, coming back from the dead, having arguments with family members who tried to kill them…

I’m not sure when I started to integrate some structure. It was instinctive, I think, because I don’t remember ever thinking “oh, something really bad needs to happen almost at the end, where it seems like there is no hope for the main character”. But as I think about this and my past stories, at some point, they did gain low points. They gained inciting incidents. They must have gained character choice at some point, though also subconsciously.

There are very few of those old stories I would go back to. I can think of one, off the top of my head, that I would like to rewrite someday. It was basically four kids find out that two of the village elders are plotting to take over the world and none of the adults believe that, so the kids take it upon themselves to stop the elders. It was a quest. I loved it. I wouldn’t mind revamping it.

These days, I’m having trouble writing. I’m not sure what it is, but I haven’t been able to write a novel since October, when I finished Magic Teacups. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve started and scrapped several novels. Which I’d like to think is not a problem. Starting and scrapping has always been part of my process. If I’m not interested enough to write more than the number 1 at the top of the page, I shouldn’t write the story. (I have notebook pages that are completely blank except the number 1 at the top of the page.)

But lately, I’m a bit discouraged. There has been a lot of starting and scrapping.

But why? What happened? What do I need to actually get going with a story?

I’m trying to figure that out. Connect the dots between all these scrapped stories and figure out what is missing.

I need certain bits of story.

  1. I need more than just a plot bunny. I need to have more than “Oh that’s a cool idea!”. Because I have more plot bunnies than I do fleshed out stories. Not just novels, either. Short stories 100% apply here, too.
  2. I need to know what happens in between the Choice and the Midpoint. This is a part I keep finding myself struggling with. This is usually when the characters are just beginning their quest and things are just moving right along, but nothing horribly serious has happened yet, all the while working toward the Midpoint when things really do get serious and play time is over. I think too many times, I accidentally imagine a five-minute movie montage when I need to be imagining about 5-10 chapters for a book. I mean, lets face it, watching the Fellowship trek through snowy mountains on screen, doing nothing but trekking, is much more interesting on screen than it is on page. So, how do I fix this? I have goals (plots and subplots) for them to be working toward that can be broken down into steps. If our goal is to get to someplace, then we need chapters of them getting ready to go and then going through several places to get to the final destination.
  3. I need to know how the book starts. This used to not be such a problem. I need to be okay with false starts again.
  4. I need to be okay with discovery writing. I’ve lost my taste for discovery writing. I don’t like outlining every bit of a story, but I need to either go to that extreme and stick with it or I need to make myself not panic when I don’t know what’s going on. I think I may have locked myself into a perfectionist and comparison cycle, thinking this has to be perfect and all the while noting how much faster everyone is writing and how awesome their stories sound and thinking I need to be fast and perfect at the same time… this way lies madness. Don’t come any closer.
  5. I need to have emotional beats I’m looking forward to and can write toward. This is more than just the Choice, the Midpoint, the Low Point, though it certainly does include those things. These are my cookie scenes. The ones I spend the whole time I’m writing looking forward to. I think this is the most important thing. One of my favorite parts of storytelling is being excited about the things my characters are doing and the things I do to them. I love conflict. I love kissing scenes. I love injuring my characters. I love playful bickering between characters. I love emotions. I want my characters to be happy, sad, angry, in love, etc, etc, etc. The newest episode of Writing Excuses (12.22– Hybrid Outlining and Discovery Writing) helped me realize that I need these beats. (And this is a really good episode on outlining, so you should definitely listen to it.)

I don’t think I can use any one of these things as a complete fix-everything. A lot of this is finding my imagination and my willingness to chase it again. What is not that is learning how to plan effectively. Most of this is allowing myself to take time. Time to discover. Time to write. Time to figure out characters and plot.

Any thoughts, reader-peeps?

Kate out.

 

 

Summer! (TBR Summer 2017)

Hi, reader peeps!

image:

It’s summer (well, close enough) and I am putting together my summer reading list!

This is not a complete list of all the books I want to read and I hope I will read more than this. These are just some of the highlights for me. (click on the titles to go to Goodreads for descriptions)

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

This one is new (not even out yet at the time of this post). I read the authors first book Made You Up and loved it. This one sounds like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (which I LOVE SO VERY MUCH).

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Lizzie Bennet

I started this one a few months ago at the suggestion of a like-minded bookworm. I love it so far and dare I say the writing style is more enjoyable than Jane Austen? But it is a rather thick book. The last two classics I read were Les Miserables and The Count of Monte Cristo and both took over a year. I don’t want to spend that long with War and Peace.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The conclusion to glorious Russian-inspired fantasy trilogy (with firebirds and sea monsters!!!). I’ve read the first two books of the Grisha trilogy and I am looking forward to finally finishing it.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

This is the biography that inspired Lin Manuel Miranda to create Hamilton. I don’t want to read it until I’m done with War and Peace, though. I think that would be too much historical/factual all at once for me.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This is a contemporary romance about two Indian teens whose parents have arranged marriage for them. I’ve heard it’s absolutely adorable and so good to the point that I have preordered it (it comes out the same day as Eliza and Her Monsters— May 30th– which I have also preordered).

the Lydia Bennet and the adorbs  |  comfort vlog: the lizzie bennett diaries and the taming of digital media | THE STATE

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I read Breathe, Annie, Breathe in less than 24 hours. The author writes YA romances with sports and they are cute and light and good for days when you really just want to read fluff.

The Crown by Kiera Cass

I love The Selection series (though admittedly, I usually just skim through the political war bits and read the romance) and I love the second series (the ones twenty years after the first ones) more than the original. The Crown is the last one. Cue fangirl tears of the end of a series.

And that’s it! What books are you wanting to read this summer? Tell me all about them in the comments!

"Lizzie Bennet Diaries" Appreciation Gif-Blog:

Kate out.

Hi! Quick Announcement

Good morning, reader-peeps!

I have some awesome news.

I have a guest post at the H.U.G.U.S comic!

It’s a short story (in parts) with one of my characters as the MC and it’s set at the HUGUS Academy from the comic.

For those of you who don’t know, HUGUS is a comic about a magic college by Wendy Z./rajamitsu, who I met through Twitter and Twitter people. It’s my favorite internet comic and you should definitely consider reading it.

For those of you who are coming here from that comic, welcome to Spiral-Bound! I’m Katie and I talk a lot about writing, dragons, books, life, and whatever other thoughts I think deserve internet publicity.  I have no set posting schedule, but I’d like to post at least once a week.  Hope you like it here.

And that’s all I have for today! Please go check out HUGUS. It. Is. Awesome.

Kate out.

Camp Update: The Final Result

Hiya, reader-peeps.

How to Train your Dragon

On May 1st, I finished Camp NaNo for April 2017.

Hiccup looking very fieresome and sexy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More accurately, I finished the story I was working on for Camp. I didn’t meet my word goal, but I did finish a novella of 11k words, entitled The Glitter Syndicate.

rtte hiccup and astrid dancing - Αναζήτηση Google

It’s certainly not a perfect story, as no first draft is, but I am happy with it and it feels good to have finished a story since writing Magic Teacups.

Who wants a synopsis and snippets?

Synopsis: 

When Em, the youngest princess of her family, wants to more than a political pawn, she leaves her home to live with her disowned, wizard in training uncle. Her uncle uses the rooms of his falling down manor for tenants and magic practice. He isn’t good at magic, so the magic within the rooms had become messy and tangled up. Em is kidnapped by a person made of magic who wants to steal her magic. But Em doesn’t have magic that she knows of. Now she has to escape this madman and discover the truth about the magic everyone says she has. Being an independent adult is a lot harder than she thought it would be.

 

Snippet 1:

December Teresa Pearl Elia of the House of Winterbrook in the kingdom of Gloriana was no longer a princess. She was still stuck with her very long name, but since she rarely used it and usually just went by Em, she felt she could handle it.

She hadn’t expected to suddenly not be a princess, though. And the moment she stepped outside the palace walls, she didn’t feel any different. She still felt sad about the argument and shocked that it had come to her leaving home. She still felt her fake confidence and smile to the world, not letting anyone know that there was anything wrong.

If there was anything that felt new and strange, it was that she actually had no idea how to get to where she was going. She couldn’t turn around and ask for a ride to her uncle’s manor. That seemed like a literal step backwards. What was that one thing common people did in movies when they wanted a ride? Whistle? Shout “Taxidermy?”

No, not taxidermy. Taxi. Those strange yellow cars that took people places. Those were taxis.

Snippet 2: 

One sob escaped Em’s throat before the piano upstairs started playing. An appropriately tragic tune. Like a soundtrack to her current feeling. Which was a bit unsettling.

Then the tune abruptly changed. It sounded like Uptown Funk smushed with Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Em cringed. It made Em no longer feel like crying, but made her feel like smashing that piano.

Snippet 3:

“Oh! And that’s Piper,” he said, pointing to the ferret. “She plays the saxophone and she’s learning the cello, but she hates practicing.”

“Uh…”

“And I’m Gabriel, but no one calls me that twice and lives to tell the tale. Gabe is just fine. And before you ask, no I do not play the trumpet, that would be far too stereotypical of me. I do play the accordion and the English horn and if you ask nicely, I will play the bagpipes but I will not wear a kilt while doing it. Well, I might. Depends on my mood that day. But mostly not.”

Snippet 4:

“Anyway, the way the magic works is that I practice the magic and it’s not very good and it messes up,” Uncle Ashford continued. “I try to untangle it, when I have the time, but it’s a real mess and I’m just not that good of a magician. So, I bring in people to help. These people tend to end up becoming my tenants.” He gestured to the four people sitting at the table.

“That’s Mo,” he began. “She’s a doctor, who specializes in magic. And that’s Claudius,” he said pointing to the Jedi. “He’s a time traveling alchemist who happened to be in the area recently.”

He pointed to a young teenager, who was reading a comic. “That’s Bartholomew. He’s a vampire and a computer genius.” The boy looked up and gave Em a pointy grin covered in braces.

“And that,” Uncle Ashford said, pointing to pile of opaque green slime, “is Ms. Whatsit. She’s a shapeshifter. That is her natural form, by the way.”

The pile of slime bubbled. Claudius translated, “She says lovely to meet you and that you should join her for tea someday.”

Em smiled and nodded, though she had no idea how slime could be capable of drinking tea. Or having a gender, for that matter.

 

And that’s it! How did Camp go for you, peeps? Let me know in the comments!

Kate (and Hiccup) out.

toothless-flying Pictures, Images and Photos

Camp Update: How’s it going, Kate?

Hi, reader-peeps.

Galavant- I have a dragon
Yeah, this isn’t HTTYD, but it’s relevant.

Time for a Camp NaNoWriMo update!

Well, this is starting like many of my other NaNo events.

I write for a few days and then realize “This ain’t working”.

I think a lot of different things can contribute to the “This ain’t working”. Sometimes it’s me just being stuck early on. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing (yes, I used to be an extreme discovery writer. yes, this is very annoying.). Sometimes, it’s a problem with the story. The story is boring, too complex, it’s somehow in a genre i don’t like, it’s plot driven instead of character driven, etc, etc, etc.

19 Fun facts about HTTYD (gif-fest OC) - Imgur

This time, I think there are a lot of things contributing to “this ain’t working”. Very little of it is the story’s fault.

  1. This is an old story. This was my first NaNoWriMo story, in fact. And this is a story that I can’t let go of. Or rather, it’s characters I can’t let go of. But I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself in writing it. Because I want to get it right. I want it to be a good story.
  2. I’m scared. This was also the first story that ever got a real critique on it. I remember some of that critique. It’s not something I want to relive. I’m scared this story is just as messy as it was at first or that it will be. That it will scream that I haven’t learned as a writer.
  3. On the one hand, I have my mom loving this story to death, like I do, and wanting me to write it. On the other, I have my CP, who I have been lowkey hiding exactly what I’m writing because I feel slightly ashamed/embarrassed that I keep coming back to it instead of finding something new.
  4. This story may be too emotional for me right now. I’m tired. A couple different things are really stressing me out right now. I feel like I am being pursued by a bear, exit stage left, and can’t catch my breath. I’m not sure I want to write this level of emotions right now.
  5. I’m lazy. I see that this story might be hard so I get scared and back off. (Okay, not really. I hope. I’m worried that I actually am doing this.)

A lot of this boils down to “I care too much about what other people think”. And that’s a problem I’m not sure how to fix.

Image result for hiccup how to train your dragon crazy and weird gif

I’m sick of setting stories aside. But this has been part of my normal writing process for years. If I’m not feeling the story, I put it down.

But I wonder just how much of my concern for what other people think has leaked into my writing process. I write every day because I don’t want to look lazy. I see word counts go up, up, up at a rate of 10k a day and I look down at my own word count of 200. I see those people who write 10k do other things besides write and they are happy. I write 200 and feel like it took all day and feel like I am complaining too much or am asking for too much help.

Image result for hiccup how to train your dragon crazy and weird gif

 

When did writing become a “I have to do this” vs. “I want to do this”? When did I stop writing for the joy of writing and start writing to “have written”? When did my world become so fast paced around me and I felt the need to keep up and my stories aren’t keeping up?

Why do I care so much about story structure? I used to be a die-hard pantser and now I freak out if I don’t know what to do next. Like at all.

I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that I’m just freaking out because it’s a good week to do that.

 

I’ll be fine.

This story is not being thrown out. As I said, I can’t let go of it. But it might go on hold for a while longer. Or I might come back today/tomorrow/in a week/a month when things are calmer. Or I may work on it in bursts for the next five years, one scene at a time.

My CP suggested writing short stories for a while. I think I’m going to do that. Use up some plot bunnies. Finish some stories. Not feel like I’m failing someone. I want to get back to a point where writing stories is for fun and I’m not worried what other people think (well, not too worried). I want to write something crazy and weird and not care that it’s crazy and weird.

Image result for galavant dragon gif

 

 

Hopefully your Camp or even just your writing is going better than mine. How is it going, btw? Let me know in the comments!

Kate out.