A 2014 Recap

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At the edge of 2014, I was really looking forward to leaving behind the emotionally traumatic remnants of 2013 with a hope that the new year would be more stable and peaceful. I wrote all about in this post, if you want to catch up to speed with my life’s story.

My life has been refreshingly calm and slow the past year, to the point of being mundane at certain points–and this has a good thing! A lot of fun, exciting things did happen too and I want to document some of them now!

Throughout the spring and early summer, I blogged about my life’s little happenings and things I had learned from the past year on how to be happy. I blogged about the movies I was managing to watch, too. I did my 100 Favorite Movies blog series which carried went from March to June! That’s easily my biggest blog series ever!

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I went to my very first Comic Con in June, and in July I turned twenty.

I continued using Booktrack, too. I entered a contest over the summer and two months later won the grand cash prize of 5k, leaving me completely floored. It was a huge esteem booster to realize my work had value. I self-published my third short story and officially called myself a published writer when it received positive feedback. One of my upcoming goals of this year is to write and Booktrack more short stories!

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click to read!

This past summer I also started attending a school to acquire my GED. My knowledge of math jumped from “how do you do fractions?” to doing geometry and the fancy math with letters. Ha. I defeated the Language Arts test in late fall! I’m still attending school and am hoping to take the Social Studies test in the next couple months.

Speaking of school, Mom put my little brother in a charter school this year, as well, where he’s been flourishing around people. It was a huge change for my family, as he’s the first child to attend a real school, but it has been a tremendous blessing in many ways.

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I jumped from watching Studio Ghibli to full anime TV shows; I loved it so much that I started to blog about it and then made a completely separate blog for anime posts alone! Anime revived the creator in me, to different degrees! I even made up my own 42 Question Studio Ghibli tag.

A fun part of my past year was getting to Skype with James nearly every week since the beginning of summer. I’ve been quite secluded from a social life these past two years, as I haven’t attended a church or done much of anything. So it was really nice to have a friend to literally talk. Thank you so, so much for taking all that time this past year to Skype with me, bro! It ‘s been so fun and I’m really grateful for the time we get to share talking and fanboy/fangirling together! XD

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we’re basically Kyoya and Tamaki XD

I wrote a lot of long, big posts right after summer. Two were incredibly hard to share: my Harry Potter story and my unpopular opinion of Doctor Who’s recent seasons 5-7. It was good to finally get those on the table. Others were more fun, like my massive collection of Studio Ghibli reviews, 15 Tips for Conquering NaNoWriMo, and my 6 Tips to Quit Procrastination Without Leaving Your Computer. After winning the Booktrack contest, I was also FINALLY able to host my first blog giveaway, which was an experience to say the least!

Outside of catching a cold, then being sick on and off, my autumn was ALL about school and NaNoWriMo. I wrote a story completely for myself this year and even participated in a three-month blog party, which I rarely do. December was a very low-key Christmas and here I am typing this up now.

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This past year has felt off but peaceful at the same time. Thankfully, the horrible experiences of 2013 have become a muddled jumble of memories that I can’t see clearly anymore. 2014 could be described the year of Waiting. When they got married, my parents signed a covenant marriage license, meaning they must live separately for two years before they can go through with a divorce. This waiting game is almost over! I’m really looking forward to this new year because the divorce will finally be over and hopefully that chapter in my life will at last close.

No matter what 2015 holds, I want to stay positive, and write as much as possible. Outside of that, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

~Jamie

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Giveaway Winner Announced!

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My giveaway closed this morning and the winner selected is Anna Baggins for the blog post comment that she left! Congratulations, Anna, I’ve announced this all over the interwebs already, but I’ll say it again! Congratulations!

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway within the last two weeks, it was awesome to see the different names appear! I feel so blessed to have been able to launch my first giveaway with the help of the prize money I made this summer! Without it and your support here at my blog, I wouldn’t have been able to do this! Hopefully someday in the future I can do another one! Maybe when I hit a certain follower count or something similar!

Thank you again to everyone who entered! Congrats Anna, hope to hear from you soon! (I’ve sent an email your way. 😉 )

~Jamie

Plotting and Planning

I didn’t mean to go this long without blogging, but being busy before getting sick creates a recipe for not blogging. As I wait to get better, I’m sitting here plotting and planning the last two months of the year–at least the best I can not feeling well! I’m also mad that almost everything in the fridge seems to have a diary product of some kind in it. Right now, I’m lying on my bed filling out my new Booktrack profile and watching The Sorcerer’s Stone as the beginning of my Harry Potter marathon.

I’ve finally figured out what my NaNoWriMo book is and what it’s purpose is. This year’s story is only for my writing exercise to practice in a new genre–zombie survival. I’ll be using my old fan-fiction characters instead of creating new ones to make story-telling easier on myself. As I know some people are interested in a synopsis, here it is: “Trapped in Florida’s peninsula, on the wrong side of the US’s safe board to quarantine the zombie infestation within Florida, friends from an old childhood club join together to make their way to safety without getting infected or eaten–along the way, they learn an old enemy is out to find them.” It’s going to be so cheesy but good fun to write! I’m looking forward to spending November with this story. Any last-minute joiners to NaNoWriMo yet?!

So far, my giveaway has been doing well; be sure to enter while you still can! Other than that, I can’t think of anything else to say right now, so I’ll bid you a do for now. 🙂

~Jamie

Jamie’s Follower Appreciation/Doctor Who Giveaway!

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I’m so happy to at last throw my blog giveaway this month! It starts today! I’ve had an amazing time writing on this blog the past three years and the people who’ve followed and commented throughout the years have been some of the best parts! Today, this giveaway is for you!

Since I’m using Rafflecopter to host this giveaway, and Rafflecopter wouldn’t cooperate with WordPress, I’m using a special page on Facebook to host this giveaway (Facebook wants me to say they’re in no affiliated with this giveaway I’m just using it to make the Rafflecopter app work!) It should still be really easy to do and I’ll still spell out rules here! When you’re ready, BE SURE to click to the link to visit the giveaway page to enter!

Simple Version:

Giveaway Length: 10/13/14 to 10/31/14

Item: Doctor Who Box Set of Seasons 5-7 on DVD Region 1!

Eligibility: Must live within The United States or Canada.

To Enter: Visit this page and see what Rafflecopter options you want to fill out to make lots of entries!

Terms of Use: Can be found on the Rafflecopter app on the Facebook page.

Note: In the Rafflecopter, to get extra entries, you can leave me a couple of comments answering the questions: please try to leave those comments here! This is, after all, a giveaway for this blog.

Extended Version

There is one prize–meaning there will only be one winner– and my giveaway items are the fan favorite Doctor Who Seasons 5-7 on DVD; in new and good condition! I have only viewed Season 7 once and Seasons 4 and 5 never. I don’t care if you watch Doctor Who or not for you to enter this contest; all I care is that you are a blog follower because this giveaway is a follower appreciation giveaway! This giveaway value is $240–I wanted to make my first giveaway big! (For some time, I wanted to also giveaway The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy but sadly that is no longer possible! So sorry about that!)

Want a picture of the three box sets!? Here you go; a raw photo from my desk! I

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The only restriction I have on this giveaway is that I can only ship these within either The United States of America and Canada. Sorry other-international-readers. I almost cried making this decision; I really do appreciate you following me! If you can’t enter, leave me your blog/twitter/Facebook link in the comments below and I’ll come follow you!

The only other thing I want to highlight is that when you enter, in case you win, you must be sure there is a way for me to find you and privately contact you for your address so I can send them to you!! If I can’t do that, then a new winner will have been chosen. But as long as I can direct message you through Facebook, Twitter, or can contact you to get your email, we should be in good business! (And of course overall rule: let’s all be adults and mature throughout this contest, no hating on the winner, ect ect ect. Come on. Let’s have a good time!)

Follow this link to my giveaway page and click on the tab “Giveaway” to get started! The giveaway begins today and you can enter in different ways up to October 31st when the giveaway closes at 6 AM Arizona time! Within 48 hours after the giveaway closes, I will announce the winner!

I really hope this giveaway is a success! It’s my first one, so I will be learning throughout this process myself! Good luck to the winner!

(As fate has it, I will be gone most of today, so any questions you might have I won’t actually see till later in the day–just a heads up!)

~Jamie

summers, giveaways, and winters

What a month I’ve had! Gosh.

Summer is pretty much wrapping up for me here in Arizona; it’s still quite hot but the promise of October whispers cooler weather is coming, so yay! Let’s look at this year’s summer bucket list and see how well I did!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore math at school | Have an awesome birthday | Catch up with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (didn’t do, I started watching anime instead.) | Finish the rest of the Ghibli movies (although there are two left, they’re not so well known so I’m going to count this as done.) | Learn Windows 8 | Play more music on the piano (fail, although I’m starting to learn Arrietty’s music) | Keep up my blog | Reorganize my bedroom shelves | Watch another movie at the theater | Hopefully host a giveaway at the end of summer (GONNA DO IT YES!) | Give my blog it’s every-six-month makeover | Hopefully buy My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Arrietty (all awesome!) | Begin a rewrite to my futurist sci-fi short story (getting sick and switching bedrooms was very distracting from everything but blog writing.) | Read some books (another fail) | Go swimming just once (no pool available)| Do something creative (I painted a room by myself I think that counts!) | Continue to figure out my life |

I feel like I did pretty good! I even freaking won the Hugh Howey Booktrack Contest, that’s pretty good for one summer! Still so excited about it; that was such a big deal for me and I still feel very blessed. ALSO, since I won the big cash prize, that does mean that I’ll be throwing my giveaway soon! I’m very excited and will be planning rules and running length for an upcoming post! So, keep tuned in, especially you Doctor Who/movie fans!

f1b5eb257e629d778201a0abecbe1795I am really looking forward to cooler weather! It means a couple of things for me:

I want to do NaNoWriMo this year! I skipped it last year because of stress from the last several years (non-writing related.) This year, though, my mind feels a lot better and ready for the rigorous work which NaNo demands if I want to pull through a winner. Since my account has been under a pen name, I’ve decided to start a new account with my real name this year. I did go through my writing buddies to make sure I bring you all over to my new account, though! Getting ready over a month prior is great, but I think I might keep writing plans vauge because I seem to write better when I really don’t know where the story is going… In fact I’m pretty sure I’m going to use my inspiration writing dice this year just to see what can come from “chance”. (IF YOU WANT TO BE WRITING BUDDIES JUST TELL ME AND I’LL COME FIND YOU BECAUSE I LOVE WRITING BUDDIES ON NANO.)

I want to pick up fast walking/running again this winter. I’m sorry, but it’s just way too hot to attempt anything like that during the summer. However, I enjoy doing it in cooler weather; it can be lots of fun with the right music, too!  I hope I can pick up the habit again! (Also early morning runs while pretending there are zombies behind you is literally the greatest motivation, at least if your a Walking Dead fan. Wait for me, Daryl, let me ride the motorcycle with you!)

7cac6ba68ddfd2d086b1c33d1b7bb8eeCurrently, I’m looking forward to the weekend; I have to say hi to the dentist but thankfully he doesn’t scare me that much. The longer I stare at the tools the less scary they look. Haha! I’ll probably pin more funny Lord of the Rings pics on Pinterest (to see them check my board, I won’t be posting many here) and watch more anime. Yes technically I like to start my ‘weekend’ on Thursdays because no school after Wednesday! I’m such a kid…

~Jamie