Wow Wednesday /// 03


I was hanging out at my neighbor’s today, watching Ellen, and Demi Lovato was on. I remembered just how much I look up to Demi as someone confident and open about herself, how much I enjoy her music! Tonight I was flipping through graphics of her lyrics on Pinterest when I came across this one. And wow. I’d not heard this phrased quite like that before, and so bluntly too. Thank you, Demi. I needed that. <3

~Jamie

Highlights of My 2015


Today I thought I’d write out some highlights of 2015 for myself while it still doesn’t quite feel like “2016” yet: the big highlights, the ones that really stand out. XD I’m going to jump right in and will go in chronological order. XD

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I Created an Anime Blog.

My introduction to anime in 2014 led to a full obsession at the beginning of 2015, and I created my second blog “Jamie Talks Anime”. I’ve started second blogs before but they’ve never gone anywhere, but “Jamie Talks Anime” was very different. I actually had things to say about the stories and characters and music that came out of anime. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new people through that blog and it gained 85 followers in its first year! As long as I keep watching and loving anime, I’ll continue to blog over there. But that was definitely a big change to my blogging habits and highlight of 2015.

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The Great Divorce Ended.

After almost four years of turmoil, with a two-year divorce process for my parents, it all finally ended in April. We celebrated. That was all a huge deal for me and my family, like breaking the surface of the sea to breathe. It was nice to hear words like “lawyer” disappear from our vocabulary after April but new routines left me spiraling like crazy all summer. I’m finding my footing now.

It’s relieving but crazy that it’s all over. I remember being eighteen thinking… “I’ll be twenty when this will be all over. No way.” But here I am, at 21 and it’s all over and time is crazy. I can already easily say my family is better off now by having my dad go his own way. And a lot personal growth and good things has come out of the whole awful experience.

And I’m incredibly proud of my mom. She’s a fighter to have made it the end of it without changing her mind. She’s very brave.

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I wish I could write to eighteen year old me and tell her that twenty-one me is doing ok, near the end of the dark tunnel where the light is. Or at least, there’s enough light to cast my shadow on the tunnel wall to groove with me and my music. Things are getting better, baby steps at a time!

My 21st Birthday.

Yep, 2015 was the big year that I officially became an adult. But not much happened LOL. I saw Ant-Man in theaters, had my favorite sandwiches, and made the day a quiet one. I didn’t do very much but I felt very loved from the many messages and notes I received that day. Really though, not much happened in regards to my birthday.

The biggest thing that DID happen that day ended up being completely unrelated: my dad decided to get remarried at the courthouse before bringing my brother home to me. And I’m still baffled about why it was on my birthday (or why he decided to get remarried three months after going through divorce he *said* he didn’t want.) I don’t know, I try very hard not to criticize my dad on here as I’m just not really ready go into how he’s made me feel…but that’s not normal, is it?

So, yep, turning 21 was quiet but the day was bizarrely memorable.

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I Passed My GED Tests.

I never blogged about it, but I did get my GED in 2015! After just over a year of studying at a GED tutoring school, and knocking each test out one at a time, I passed the math test in September for my certificate! The math test was a huge deal for me when I passed it as I’m horrific in math. Horrific. Please don’t ask me to do your taxes. Don’t even ask me to find the total cost of three Big Macs in the drive thru, unless you’re handing me a calculator. XD

Mathematical intelligence is my lowest intelligence, so math is my immortal enemy. It was a VERY happy day when I stumbled out of that two-hour test, my brain fried, and became informed I’d passed. So now I have my GED, which will be extremely helpful when I begin job hunting! And studying for it filled in a lot of missing information I didn’t have since I really lacked a high school education.

So, hip hip horray! But screw you, math. I’d say “stay out of my life”, but I’m in a college math class now, so it seems I can’t get away from you just yet. XD

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Speaking of college.

That was another big deal for me at the end of 2015. Just before I got my GED, I began a class at my community college during the fall semester. It was for creatively geared people struggling to figure out what type of career would fit them. That class changed my perspective in positive ways for so many things and I ended up really loving it! And my plans for college took a 180 turn between September and Dec. I want to start working towards an associates degree of some kind!

And I have actual career ideas in mind that I know would fit me. Besides strengthening my writing skills, I became very aware of how much joy and personal strength I have in helping and cheering on people. I like helping people feel heard and understood and empowered to be their very best selves. And I know I’d love to have a career the field of helping people someday! It was amazing to learn that about myself thanks to college!

I have much more to say on this subject that will go into another post, but 2015 was the year that I tried college and liked it! <3

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I Get to Meet my Best Friend!

This is the last big thing that fell into motion during 2015 for me! After being friends through blogging for five years, with 2014/2015 being full of weekly skype chats, anime marathoning, and just getting to be best friends, James and I began the initial stage of planning our first visit! That stage is basically completed at this point; all that’s left is for my plane ticket to be bought for the visit this upcoming summer!

AND I’M INCREDIBLY THRILLED. You guys! I’ve always wanted to meet my different blogging buddies, several of you reading this included; but I’m so glad James will be the first because we’re such good friends and have known each other for a long time! The two of us marvel that once upon a time the extent of our friendship was merely in the comment section of our blogs talking about Star Wars and The Avengers! XD

But he’s the best, you guys! James is truly my best friend and he’s one of the kindest people I know. He encourages me everyday to keep my chin up and be the best me I can be. He’s also incredibly smart; he has excellent taste in stories; and he’s hilarious as heck! So I’m really excited that before 2015 was over we got to talk about meeting! Now it’s just a countdown to May!


5aa2b29a8d6caffe98ba30d6e7a8a6c3These are just some big highlights of 2015, the things that stand out of the most. 2015 was a lot, a lot of little things too:

2015:

was the year that I had blue hair for twelve months. The year my sister joined the military. The year I failed to do yoga. The year I began writing stories for myself again. It was also the year I lost a book in a hard drive crash. The year I realized I really liked lime slices in my water. The year I saw The Lord of the Rings for the first time. The year when on social media I stopped trying to be something I wasn’t. The year a family pet died. The year I rode the bus by myself for the first time. The year I finally confessed a hard secret and was still loved despite it. The year the shadows broke all over.

I don’t know how 2015 was for you, but I’m excited to have survived it! I’m desperately looking forward to what’s in store for me in 2016!

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~Jamie

Beautiful People: Writerly Resolutions and Goals


10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_n 1_zpsw3b8il6sI have a day left to join the link-up for Beautiful People, hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. Last month they had questions for writers on their resolutions for the new year! Considering I’m taking a very different approach to my writing this year than I did last year, I thought I’d join in and attempt to pin down my thoughts for 2016 and my fictional writing!

What were your writing achievements last year?

They were nothing that I originally wanted, at least in terms of “finishing first drafts and publishing”, but I still broke a wall last year that I’m happy a bout

I wrote completely for myself last summer. I was hit by a strange form of inspiration, for the continuation for an old saga that’d I’d been stuck on for years. After being scared of following that character route due its nontraditional elements, I decided to challenge myself to break the walls in my head and write completely for myself. I didn’t tell anyone but my sister about it, for the entire summer, and wrote completely for me.

Honestly, it was the best thing to happen to me as a writer last year…learning to write for myself. I wrote like I was mad (I felt mad too,) and I got to know my longtime favorite characters like I never had been able to, just by being experimental and brave! So, I consider that the best achievement of 2015 when it comes to my writing.

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Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

I have decided to do something different this year and not make any one book a top priority project. I did that last year and when I realized I needed to do something different, I almost felt guilty for changing my goal. I want to avoid that feeling this year. I’d like to give myself a more open path. I want to follow my heart and the words in my head without feeling the need to “reach a goal.” For one year, we’ll see how that works.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

I have actually only 1 area I want to work on this year, and its to stop stopping at the “boundaries” in my mind. Basically, to grow on what I learned last year. I learned last year that experimenting for myself leads to amazing breakthroughs, so this year I want to stop holding back on things I want to write. Especially when it’s completely personal anyway. I want to give myself permission to freely express what I need and thinkig in my fictional writing. I hope to bring that into what I blog as well!

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Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Noooooo, sadly. I’d love to think I could start writing every single day, but I won’t even pretend that I could give that an honest go right now. XD But since I took this past NaNoWriMo off, I would love to do it this year for sure! Every other year seems to work best for me when it comes to NaNoWriMo. XD

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

While I let my best friend and my sister read things when they can before I publish them, I currently don’t have anything else set up at the moment. I don’t have anything in particular that I need beta readers for, since I’m focusing on a lot of short stories at the moment. XD But…then again. I always need help with those too. I over think my wording too much. XD

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Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

Last year I bought several writing books cheap and I’d love to put a dent in them! I would like to read the book “Writer with a Day Job” and really use my copies of “The Pocket Muse” and it’s sequel (excellent books for inspiration!) “The Little Red Writing Book” is slim, looks extremely promising and should be easy to read as well!

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

If I had to get to know a character better this year, it would be my villain-turned-anti-hero, Kyle. I created Kyle when I was fourteen and for years he’s remained the bland, two-dimensional baddie whom I didn’t understand personally or know how to use properly. But last year when I got to know my lead hero better, I also realized that as Kyle’s role expanded, I began to understand why he felt the way he did. After seven years, we finally began to click.

So, if I had to get to know one character better this year, it would be him. He’s the angry, grieving, screaming sound in my head that’s slowly mellowing and releasing and changing when I reflect on him. I want to get to know him even better!

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Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Oh no, I can’t make any serious promises for that this year, like I did last year. I’m going to just write and follow my gut this year. XD

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

I desperately wish there were more books that followed a guy and girl friendship that didn’t have any real romantic tension or didn’t develop into romance. I’m determined to write stories like this myself.  It just would be refreshing! Also you then completely bypass all those annoying love triangles. XD

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What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I hope to have achieved a stronger sense of freedom in my writing, to be less terrified of exploring my own consciousness and writing inspirations. Right now, I think the most I want to ask of myself is to become a better writer than the writer that I am in this moment. Continuing self-improvement, at my pace and in my way, will be all that I’ll demand of myself this year.

And quite honestly, that's a tall order all on its own anyway.

Are you a writer? What are your goals for the year? Did you accomplish something you’re proud of in 2015, whether in blogging or novel-writing? 

~Jamie

For My Fellow Writers /// 04


It’s time for another addition to this series! I just found this specific link the other day and it kinda blew my mind as a writer! I’m determined to starting using it in my writing sessions starting today.

The link I have for you my fellow writers today is:

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I highly recommend you all read the short, original article above for full examples of what this means. But basically: instead of bogging down your writing pace by trying to come up with everything all at once, you use brackets with reminders in the places you get stuck at, to keep up your writing pace. When you’ve finished, you can then look back over your writing for the brackets and beef up your sentences as needed!

See article of an before-and-after examples of what this might look like.

I find this incredibly ingenious. I’ve lost track of the times my writing has slowed because I got stuck trying to find the exact wording for a minor detail. This trick will allow me to simply get the flow of the story out without those awful brain freeze moments!

Have you used this trick in writing before?

~Jamie