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

Jamie’s 2016 Bucket List


So I’ve had a fairly interesting beginning to my new and shiny year, 2016, and for such reasons, I decided at the beginning of the month not to immediately throw together a bucket list for the year. Instead I’ve been riding January out as it’s progressed and compiled this as the ideas have come to me. I figured they’d be more genuine to what I actually want to do, and I believe they are!

While I came up with some unique things to do, my last item is something that just hit me today. So I’m really glad I waited to share this with you, because now you can read it too!
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Investigate more video game and anime soundtracks for writing.

Officially meet my best friend in person.

Learn the rules of the road.

Take better care of myself emotionally and physically.

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Finish reading and underlining my Creative Writing books.

Spend money consciously.

Find unique ways to express my personal creative spirit and needs.

Continue enjoying anime and anime blogging.

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Make a YouTube playlist of empowering/humanizing songs to memorize.

Play the piano more consistently again.

Continue maintaining online relationships and build new ones at college.

Write only for me.

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Re-blog my updated 100 Favorite Movies series.

Clean out my room of useless junk during my next furniture arrangement ritual.

Decide on a college major.

and

Listen more when others speak, but speak up more for the authentic me.

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How has your 2016 been treating you? Did you make resolutions or a bucket list for the year? What are some movies you want to see this year, or books or music? Making grand plans, or seemingly insignificant ones, or medium-fries-with-extra-ketchup-sized one?…does that even make sense. Ah, who cares. XD

I hope you’re having a good year already! <3

~Jamie

Christmas Day on Christmas Eve


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So, my traditional Christmas Morning happened today, on Christmas Eve. Since my mom got my little brother for the day from my dad, we did it a day early! So I technically get two Christmases! We opened presents and stockings, did our usual orange rolls for breakfast, and watched Christmas movies together. I wore my new red “I SHOT MY EYE OUT” A Christmas Story t-shirt. It was all very nice. Right now, Mom and I are rewatching Return of the Jedi together.

Tomorrow is real Christmas Day, but I might sleep in a little. I’ve opened all my presents already after all. XD Mom and I hope to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at some point tomorrow, but it will be a very quiet Christmas Day, otherwise. As far as I can tell. XD

I got rainbow toe socks for Christmas and they’re glorious. Hysterically, both my mom and my dad got me the Harkins Theater 2016 cup; it really is true that children of divorced parents get everything twice! ROFL. XD My mom is super fun because she got me a lottery ticket and I actually won ten dollars. XD My little brother gave me gummy bears; he knows me so well. One of my favorite gifts was my new tablet which I got earlier in the month, from my best friend James; always wanted one of those! I still need to open my sister’s gifts though. She’s thankfully home from Basic Training; it’s nice having her home. <3!

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I’ve kept myself from feeling guilty for not blogging at all the past few weeks, lol. I’ve needed the time for myself lately. But I have a lot of things I want to write about to share with you all and document, when I can find the words and the way. About passing my GED tests in September, about the biggest things I gained in my first community college class, about movies and music and friendship and adventure. I just need to find the words. XD But I hope to be back soon!

I hope you all are having a Merry Christmas! What’s your favorite Christmas Day tradition? I especially like the gift exchange around the tree each year! I bought my mom quite a few gifts this year and it was really really fun watching her open them! <3

~Jamie

“Its a Marshmallow World Out There…”


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That’s the song that I can hear playing off the Pandora station downstairs. Such a pretty song! ^_^ Of course there is no snow in the middle of Phoenix, but I dream.

Earlier today:

I’m multitasking at this moment! I just submitted my final paper as a creative piece on Booktrack to my teacher while I get ready to attend class; I’m copy and pasting scripture verses about strength into a letter for my sister, who’s still at Basic Training; and I’m mentally preparing to take my final two college assessment tests later today (for reading and writing an essay, both of which are two things I’m actually comfortable with, so I’m not that stressed.) It’s kinda fun to multitask!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged; I’ve been happy being alone in my head lately, working out personal feelings and making big decisions that I was afraid of making a few months ago. The last four weeks has been especially interesting, a brand new challenge or revelation cropping up almost every day. I feel like I’ve grown a lot and changed a lot on the inside and that feels really good, guys!

Oh, I know something I want to talk about!

Currently, my soul is completely obsessed with Pentatonix’s latest album. Its been a very long time since I connected so well to one group’s music; and I’m back in love with a Capella! “Water” tore me open and put me back together; I’ve been aggressively thumping to “Ref” and mouthing the words to all the people who’ve left me; “Na Na Na” is too much fun to walk the dogs too; “New Year’s Eve” makes me want to soar into the clouds; and “Sing”… I can belt out “Sing” and its like the best instant pick-me-up ever.

I’ve said for years that music is my soulmate, and I’m always reminded of how true that is for me whenever I find so many songs that just click. “Rose Gold” “Cracked” “Take Me Home” “First Things First” and “Can’t Sleep Love” are also incredible….so just listen to the whole album, guys. It’s what the inside of my head sounds like right now and it’s loud enough to make me write two paragraphs about it. XD

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This evening:

Talk about multi-tasking; I wrote all that this morning before I left for school. Now it’s the evening and I’m about to do my laundry before watching all the weekend’s anime episodes.

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Oh; I got good scores on my two assessment tests! And I got present Booktrack to my entire class and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. It was kinda fun presenting something off the cuff, too. I’ve found this semester, for not having much practice, I’m not bad at all with public speaking! Especially if it’s about something I love. :D

I could keep rambling but I’m going to go watch anime before it gets any later. I hope you all are having a nice holiday season? What have you been doing? Anyone survive finals in one piece? Anyone over-playing any specific pieces of music? Please share; gimme gimme gimme. I might love it too! <3

~Jamie

12 Things I’m Thankful For This Year…


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I’m thankful, in no particular order, of course ;) :

For music; for the songs that help me write, feel, and think, for the music that makes me feel understood, for it driving me towards both peace and insanity and adventure.

For wonderful comedies; for discovering the joy that is Frasier and watching the series straight through twice, for rewatching The Office when I feel down, and for Modern Family being so rewatchable!

For my brother Nathan; for his hugs and kisses and for his thoughtful remarks and nearly nine-year-old type teasing.

For achieving my GED after just over a year of studying; for it teaching me to work hard and for the school that gave me a social life and personal encouragement.

For my sister finding her life’s calling; for her courage and inner determination that inspires me.

For anime; for the companionship of characters, for the power of stories, for the beauty of animation, and for its general amazing magic.

For continued personal exploration; for growth and pain, for further learning my natural strengths and inner ticking, for learning I’m both weaker than I thought but stronger than I knew.

For my best friend, James; for our continued, growing friendship, for the year of many laughter fits over Skype calls, for our many anime adventures, and for all his thoughtful care for me.

For good Chinese comfort food; enough said. ;)

For my Mom; for all her love, for her trying so hard to help and understand me, for her example of fighting for one’s mental and emotional safety.

For the struggle that is a writer’s life; for the books that died this year, for the books that are simmering on the back burner, and for the books that unexpectedly took control when I happened to blink that one time. XD

and

For heart emojis; just for how cute and expressive they can be, and for the many meanings that can be behind them. <3 <3 <3

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A huge thank you to S at A Free Mind for tagging me to do the Twelve Days of Thanksgiving Tag! That was just the push I needed to write this post up! XD

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is probably the most nontraditional one for me EVER, as Mom and I decided we didn’t want turkey this year. XD I did make my cranberry orange bread though, and I hope to watch that one Frasier episode that happens on Thanksgiving. Because I’m still obsessed with Frasier, guys. XD

Talk to you all again soon! Enjoy your holiday! <3

~Jamie