Challenged

I was watching a YouTube video the other day and something completely irrelevant but very interesting was said in it. 

The problem with diets is that when the time period is over, you just go back to what you were eating before. You can’t do that and expect things to go well; it has to be a lifestyle change.

Wow. 

It’s not a new concept or perspective (“Put off the old man and put on the new”, anyone?). But it is a game changer. It flipped my perspective. It was kind of inspiring, you might say. 

So, I’m doing a thing. A challenge. 

If you didn’t get that, basically I am getting up at an early hour every day for 21 days. 21 days is how long it takes to form a habit. With each day, there will be at least a photo or a mini vlog. I want most of these photos/vlogs to be of the sunrise, but no guarantees because Daylight Savings Time is starting soon and I’m not getting up at five just to vlog about a sunrise. 

The name of the challenge is 21 Sunrises and you are more than welcome to join in, if you wish. Just get up early, take a photo or short video of your sunrise (or just something in your morning), put it up on social media, and link me to it in the comments of my blog or the YouTube videos! 

Here’s to formed habits and lifestyle changes, reader-peeps!

Kate out. 

Advertisements

An Intro, Part 1

Hello, reader-peeps. 

To start off my return to blogging, I thought I would introduce myself again. After all, I gained a few followers in my hiatus and I’ve changed a bit since this blog’s birth in 2014. So, without further ado, 50 random facts about yours truly. 

1. I’m a writer. I’m not sure how you don’t know this because it’s literally everywhere but if you didn’t, now you do. 

2. I write mainly fantasy, mainly in the Young Adult category. Dragons and magic and angst all around!

3. On the note of writing, I am also a member of Chapter Twenty-One Con, which is a writer’s conference for twenty-something writers. If you’re interested in that, the Ch21Con site is here.

4. I also used to blog for YAvengers, giving writing advice under the persona of Vision. Sadly, that was short lived, but if you are interested in reading old posts, the blog is here

5. Back to non-blogging writing, I usually do not talk about my current projects until I get a first draft done. Keeping the plot mostly to myself helps me stay motivated. If you’d like small tidbits of my work in progress and me occasionally tongue in cheek complaining about writing, check out my Twitter

6. I used to use the pseudonym Robyn Hoode online. That should explain my blog URL, my Twitter handle, and XBox gamertag. 

7. I named my “internal editor” Lydia. She is basically just the subconscious feeling that helps me not write complete garbage. I do refer to that feeling as Lydia occasionally on the blog.

8. Besides writing, I love to read. My favorite books are all over the place in varying genres, but The Lord of the Rings trilogy will always be near the top of the list. 

9. I love movies too. Really, storytelling in any form. My favorite movies tend to be Disney movies or ones made for kids in general. It’s a fantasy of mine to write for Disney. 

10. Now, I’m extremely picky about tv shows. I do have a few favorites, though, including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Gilmore Girls, My Little Pony, and The Great British Bake Off. Note that three of those five are BBC. 

11. My favorite season is Autumn, which just smells like potential and motivation to me. (Something in the air. Mary Shelly actually describes this in the beginning of Frankenstein.)

12. My favorite holiday is Christmas. It’s not so much just one day as it is a season and everyone is happy. 

13. On that note, I am a Christian. I’ve been one since I accepted Jesus as my Savior back in 1999. And discussing the Bible is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. (And if you ever wish to discuss the Bible or beliefs, my comments are open.) 

14. I adore Bible Trivia. I was a semi-finalist of the 2009 Bible Bee. 

15. I have an extremely good memory, but I don’t memorize things well. It’s more like things just stick well. 

16. I like to bake and experiment with baking. But it is purely a hobby. 

17. I used to knit. Time and motivation got away from me, though. 

18. I love Minecraft. It is such a fun game and I wish I had more people to play it with. 

19. On the Minecraft note, one of my favorite YouTubers is CaptainSparklez. 

20. I don’t watch many other YouTubers, but my friend Hannah has a lovely channel (and her 50 Facts About Me vlog inspired this post). 

21. My MBTI type is ISFJ. This is supposed to be a common type and yet, I don’t think I know any other ISFJs. 

22. My official Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff, but due to some circumstances, I recently disowned Hufflepuff and declared myself as my second House, Ravenclaw. 

23. My favorite color is blue and my favorite shades are tropical blue and teal (the two blues that decorate my blog). 

24. I love GIFs. But I probably won’t be using them in blog posts until I get a laptop. 

25. I love glitter. Not big pieces of glitter, but the tiny, never going to get it off glitter. 

And I’m going to stop the post here. If you made it this far, you are awesome and have some cookies! Tell me some random facts about you in the comments. I want to know some cool things about you. 

Kate out.

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. 

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.