24in48 Readahton!


Thursday\

 

Hey readers! I want to let you know about a readathon that I will be in at 12am Friday night ( early Saturday morning.) I am so excited because Booktubeathon starts next monday and well and I am so ready. But, first, let me tell you about 24in48.

Join me on July 22 & 23rd for a weekend full of reading. It promises to be another great one. (You’ll be happy to know I’ll not be steering the good ship 24in48 alone this round. I recently relocated for a job in another country and finally decided to call in reinforcements.

If you’re new to 24in48, this is the basic gist: beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between, whatever you’d like.

I will definitely be taking breaks because you guys know that I am also down CampNanoWriMo as well. I am going to be one busy reader and writer. But, I would not have it any other way.

My Choices For The Readathon

 One Plus One

I am so excited to read these books! Stay tuned for my wrap up and book reviews.

Danny’s World: I Need Your Help!


Hey guys! Check out this great guy. Please help me get his subsriber count up. He has a great channel.

Dream Big, Dream Often

I am working to grow my subscriber numbers on YouTube.  Here’s an example of my page and a link to subscribe.  Will you subscribe and help me out?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxOEBgfcBTOmprraynv_cPw

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Having A Good Writing Flow


Happy Monday

Happy Monday!

I know this day is gruesome for some, but try to keep an open mind. For those writers who are doing Camp NanoWriMo, how is it going? As for me, I just hit a little over 27k and I am loving the progress of this story. It is really coming along nicely. My total word count goal is 70k so please keep my fingers and mind in your prayers.

It is imperative to have a good writing flow once you are finish with your outline. This can be creating an awesome schedule, writing with a writing buddy or participating in sprints. Sprints are when you write for a certain amount of time by yourself or with others. They are really fun. At times the flow of writing can be so good that you forget to eat meals or even do other things that were on your to-do list. Yesterday, I started to write in the afternoon and I did that for 2 hours then took a break. Then I started back up at about 9pm until 11 and I wrote 4000 words! I surpassed my goal by more than half. I was so proud of myself.

Having a good writing flow is important, but allow yourself some time to take a break. The last thing that you want to do is suffer from burnout. Burnout to writing is like unemployment to workers. It does not mix at all. There are some people that are mood writers and like to write when they feel lead to. I used to be like that, but since I want to write for a living like Stephen King, I have to  write and read daily. Reading is just as important when you are taking a break from your writing flow. It keeps you fresh and innovative in my opinion. Whether you are writing every day or sporadically, enjoy the writing flow and let it take your story to another level.

Writing Update


Happy Friday!

Friday Reading

Happy Friday! I wanted to take the time to tell you guys how my writing has been. I must say that I am LOVING it! This new book is a great one and I am really enjoying the writing process for this book. The pace of my writing is slow and steady, but I am getting my daily word count in which is amazing. As stated in yesterday’s blog, this book will really put me on the map. I strongly believe that.

Here Is My Daily Process

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I have a desk in my living room, but everything else is on it. Papers, binders, books, you name it. Right now, my bedroom has made the best desk as of late. It is comfortable and I love being in the relaxed state when it is time to write. So, since starting Camp NanoWriMo, I have been writing my best words at night between 9-10pm all the way until 11pm. My eyes start to get heavy and it is time to turn the keys off. My average a day has been between 2-3k. My goal is to write at least 3,500 words a day to finish on time. I started a week late. My goal is to write 70,000 words. To some this may not be a lot, but for me, this is the LONGEST book that I have written in my writing career. My music choices are Evanescence, Bruno Mars, R. Kelly and DeBarge. I do take breaks to eat and get some snacks.  My snack choices are Veggie straws, water and Gatorade. Who knew? Today, I am trying something new and will attempt to write all day today. Wish me luck!

 Tips That Will Help You Along The Way

tipsWriting

  1. Time Management – Whether you are writing during the day or night, make sure you have a scheduled time of when you can write. If you can a write an hour a day go for it. If you are feeling the story and write longer than that, that is great too.
  2. Writing Partner – If you have a writer friend to write with you during your time, it will make things more exciting, especially on days when you feel that you can not write anything. This are called writing sprints. There are many Facebook writing groups who do sprints daily for an hour or two hours.
  3. Writing Goals – Always set a word count goal for the times that you are writing. When you have uninterrupted time ( meaning no scrolling through Facebook or YouTube, just straight writing), you will be able to calculate how many words you can write in that time span.
  4. Writing Mentor – It may be hard to find this. A writing mentor is someone who will guide you and always give you the inspiration to write. My mentor  Deatri 5 Crafty Top Writing Books ( see her book, ” How To Become A Successful Author). She always encourages me to write in a way that it is beneficial to me. Deatri has over 15 titles out and has tapped into TV and Screenwriting with my assistance :).
  5. Outline – I know this is weird for outline to be number five, but ” read” me out, lol. Have an outline for where you want your current project to go. What do I mean? Well, make an outline of your writing progress once the book is completed. So you may have editing, ( depending on what kind you choose whether it is line edit, developmental edit, etc), querying letters, proof reading and more. Make a plan on what you plan to do once the writing portion is completed. After all, writing the book is the easy part. It is what comes next that is a challenging, yet rewarding task.

Can You Be Your Own Support System?


Happy Thursday!

Thursday

We go through many things in our life where we need and desire support from others. But, when we are able to gain that support from our friends and loved ones, are we able to seek it in ourselves? Yes! It is called determination and motivation. Now, with my writing career, I am sure that there are MANY people who disapprove of my career path. In turn that is okay, but when you have people like that, it is time to rid of toxic waste.  In my opinion being a writer is a lonely world until your readers support your work. In my time as a writer, I have seen some great reviews and even some bad ones. I took a step back and re-assessed the bad reviews. I take into consideration what the readers have to say. My work may look great in my eyes, but the readers are the real judges.

Dream-Big

With that being said, I motivate myself often to make the next book or writing endeavor better than the last one. I wanted to make sure that my words were relatable and valid for anyone who even cracked a page or clicked to see my work. My motivation and determination for myself has to be strong because everyone does not see my dream the way that I do. Sure, you will get discouraged when rejection happens, but use that rejection for fuel to continue to work on your craft and be the best writer that you can be. One of my goals this year was to keep my blog updated and relevant. There were times where I did not wrote for months and I saw the change in that versus now to me writing on a daily basis. I appreciate your support with my blog.  You liking my blog posts makes me feel good about the posts that I will continue to have.  A year ago, I did a vision board with my previous position and I look at it every day now just to motivate and remind myself that I am destined for greatness. Now, I feel like I have to keep my work to myself in a way and not tell everyone my dreams because I will not get the support that I give myself.

40-writtengoals

I do have a journal with goals in it. I never look at it. In my mind, I know what I achieve to do. Every time I achieve a new thing, I go back to my goals journal and see how close or far I came to achieving them. Thus far, I am on track because I am motivating myself. Currently, I am motivated and determined to finish this novel for NanoWriMo way before the end of the July. I really believe that this book is going to put me on the map. Never allow anyone to tell you that you can not or deter you from your dreams.

Do You Know Your Worth?


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There are many people in life who do not know what they deserve as a writer and even a human being. Depending on how we are taught on how to love ourselves and not settle, knowing your worth just does not apply to everyone. Well, today, it will because I am going to tell you, You are worth so much! How do you determine what your worth even is?

From A Writer’s Perspective:

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As a writer, we want so much to make it! When I say make it, I mean collect the big checks and write for a living. Can it happen? Sure, it can. It will take a lot of determination, hard work and time. Time is the most valuable to any writer. Most of us work on a deadline, but depending on what type of writing you are doing, it can be a more lenient task as well. Once we have written that book or screenplay, it is time to shop it around. This is where she find out what our worth is. I remember when I shopped my work around I always said that I would take the first offer that was thrown my way. Don’t do this. Instead do your research to learn what your worth is as a writer. You want your work to be appreciated and bought, not just bought. There are some agents who are only about money, because let’s face it, their job is to sell so they can make money. You are as valuable as your work is, do not forget life.

Your Worth With Life

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

Men, you can be superman as well! I do not want to count you guys out. Life happens to a lot of people and it is has been said what we put up with what we think we deserve. Well, not anymore! This can be in your personal life, work life, and other relationships. Never allow anyone to make you feel you are not worth it. If you know you deserve that promotion, do what you have to in order to get it. One of the things that I have learned is to not tell anyone my dreams. Granted, many of you ( the readers) and friends and family know that I am writer. But, they do not know how my subjects for writing or what I plan on doing once I finish a novel, blog post, column, or whatever the case maybe. People will only do what you allow. I had a writing mentor tell me this today. It is so true. Do not be a push over. Know your worth! Your worth is everything. You deserve success and happiness.  If you do not know your worth, do not expect anyone else to calculate it for you. Love yourself and allow others to love you the way you deserve.

My BookTubeAThon TBR For 2017


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Hey Readers!

Happy Tuesday! I hope that is well. I know you are wondering by the title, ” Krystol are you crazy, you are writing a book?” I know. I participated in this read a thon two years in a row and failed miserably. I want to redeem myself and have a great experience with reading. Granted, I am already reading so many things that are posted on my TBR, but I can try and squeeze in a few more goodies. This read a thon starts on July 24-July 30th, 2017. I hope that you are able to participate with me. If you are, please let me know in the comments what books are you going to be reading.

Click here to see my TBR video. Also subscribe if you have not! 

Are You Optimistic Enough?


Happy Monday! Let’s Be Optimistic and Make It Great!

I Can Do It

But, can we really, you know, do it? Life can get us down, but it is up to us, to keep it together. Now, I am living witness of not being optimistic the last few months. It brings me to shame to, because I’m a Sagittarius and being optimistic is one our main traits. I used to be very optimistic until life started to show me that everything that glittered was not gold. I mean, I wanted it to be gold, well, I would rather that it was. But, let’s face it, the world does not work our way, which leads me to being more optimistic about life.

We often focus on the things that happen and are not working in our lives that we forget how blessed we truly are. Not to get all religious on you, but the bible says, ” When you are grateful for little, he will bless you with more.” This has been my new approach of late, being happy where I am. I have a roof over my head and food in my mouth. Things will get better in time.

Being More Optimistic

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The term optimistic means, ” hopeful and feeling confident for the future”.  Understand that you are not your circumstances or your struggle.  This also has to do with our mindset as well. Check out my post about having a positive mindset. Here are some ways that you can work on your optimism. I got some help from Wiki on how to be optimistic.
1. Recognize the good and bad in your life and examine how you’ve been affected by each. Optimism doesn’t mean you have to feel “happy” all the time. In fact, trying to force feelings of happiness during potentially traumatic experiences can be unhealthy.  Instead, attune yourself to the full range of emotions in your life, accepting that the negative as well as positive feelings are a natural part of human experience. Trying to repress a certain type of emotion can cause severe emotional distress. Not focusing more on one type of emotion than the other can actually help you become more adaptive and proactive in future unexpected situations. This will increase your ability to be optimistic and resilient in the face of uncertainty.
Negative feelings can become a conditioned habit over time. Avoid blaming yourself for negative emotions and associations. Blame is unhelpful because it doesn’t look forward to how you can grow; it looks backward at what has already happened.
Instead, focus on being mindful of when these negative emotions occur. A journal could help you do this. Write down when you experience negative feelings or thoughts, then examine their contexts and explore alternative ways of responding to them.
For example, imagine that someone cuts you off in traffic. You respond by feeling angry, honking your horn, and perhaps yelling at the driver even though s/he can’t hear you. You could write in your journal what happened, how it made you feel, and what your immediate response was. Don’t judge yourself as “right” or “wrong,” just write down what happened.
Next, take a step back and think about what you’ve written. Was your response in accordance with your values and the type of person you want to be? If not, what could you have done differently? What do you think you were really responding to? For example, perhaps you weren’t really angry at the driver; maybe you had a stressful day and allowed your stress to explode on that one person.
Look forward when you write these entries. Don’t use them just as a place to wallow in negative feelings. Think about what you can learn from the experience. What can you use to grow as a person? Can you use this experience to inform other experiences? If you encounter a similar situation next time, how might you respond in a way that is in line with your values? For example, perhaps realizing that you responded with anger because of your stressful day could help you realize that everyone makes mistakes and encourage you to feel more empathetic with other people the next time someone shows anger toward you. Having a pre-existing idea of how you want to respond to negative situations can also help you in the tough moments.

2. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a key component of optimism because it encourages you to focus on acknowledging your emotions in the moment without judging them. Often, negative reactions arise when we try to struggle against our feelings, or when we allow ourselves to become so blinded by our emotions that we forget that we can control how we respond to them.  Focusing on your breathing, accepting your body and your feelings, and learning from your emotions rather than denying them can help you become comfortable with yourself, which is important when those negative emotions arise.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown by many studies to help with feelings of anxiety and depression. It can actually reprogram the way your body responds to stress.
Look for mindfulness meditation classes in your community. You can also find guided meditations online, such as at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center[16] or BuddhaNet  (And of course, there are several great tutorials on Wikihow.)
You don’t have to commit a huge amount of time to meditation to see its effects. Just a few minutes a day can help you become more aware and accepting of your emotions.[18]

3. Identify whether your inner monologue is an optimist or a pessimist. Our inner monologue is a great indicator of whether we naturally take a positive or negative outlook on life. Pay attention to your inner monologue over the course of a day and see if any of the following forms of negative self-talk (that is, your inner monologue) are appearing regularly:
Magnifying the negative aspects of a situation and filtering out all of the positive ones.
Automatically blaming yourself for any negative situation or event.
Anticipating the worst in any given situation. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
You see things only as good or bad (also known as polarization). In your eyes, there is no middle ground.

4. Look for the positives in your life. It’s important to re-orient your inner monologue to focus on the positive aspects of both you as an individual and the world around you. Although positive thinking is only one of the steps towards becoming a true optimist, the effects of positive thinking for both your body and mind can be significant, such as:
Increased life span
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress
Improved immune system
Better psychological and physical well-being
Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Some of these situations I witness first hand, especially depression. But, now I have a renewed mindset and better control of knowing I can’t worry about things out of my control. Daily, it is good to speak positive affirmations and surround yourself with positive people. I hope that these tips have helped you a lot as it has for me.

Colby: Prelude To My New Novel


Camp-2017-Event-Banner

Hey guys! Let me know what you think. This is what I’m working on for my Camp NanoWriMo.

Prelude

We were staring at each other. She was waiting for me to talk, but I didn’t have much to say. This decision wasn’t mine. I didn’t want to go through with this. My father told me it was what was best for me. I wanted to do what was best, but he thought he knew better.

“ How are you feeling today?”

I didn’t say anything. All I could do was look at my nails. I just painted them red to pass the time last night. I couldn’t sleep. I’d been having nightmares all over again.

“ Deborah, we need to talk about everything. Therapy will help you, I promise.”

I sighed.

Since I have been coming here the last week, I have been silent. But, I have to talk. I want to sleep at night. I’m not a horrible person and my father made me do it. I don’t know why I listened to him.

“ What do you want to know?” I said just above a whisper.

“ I asked, how are you doing today?”

“ I’m the same as I had been since it happened. I’m lost. “

She didn’t say anything. She just wrote in her notebook.

“ Do you think you will have children again?”

“ I don’t know. If I listen to my father, no.”

“ What does your father say?”

“ He said I’m the devil and I can’t grow the devil inside of me.”

I rolled my eyes. I would rather be at home in my bed then to sit here and endure this conversation any further.

“ How do you feel about that?”

“ My father is crazy. Ever since he came home from the war, he has not been right. I don’t listen to him. I will be a mother again one day.”

The lady smiled at me.

“ That’s great to hear, Deborah.”

“ Yea. Can I be dismissed now? I am late for class.”

“ Yes. Our session is up anyway. Let’s schedule something for next week.”

“ Let’s not. This is my last day. I’m going to college to set up my dorm room.”

“ Oh?” She said.

“ Thanks for the session. They have really helped me.”

“ Please, call me if you ever want to talk. By the way, are you going to school for?”

“ I can’t decide on teaching or social work.” I said to her.

She sat back in her chair and took a breath.

I watched as she took her left hand and put hair behind her ear. She was wearing a lab coat and had ginger hair with freckles.

“ Both are very demanding fields, but with what has happened, I understand that you want to work with children in some capacity.”

“ Yes. Well, I love children. I baby sit all of the cousins all the time.”

I stood up and grabbed my purse.

“ Thanks, Doctor.” I said.

“ I told you, call me Carrie.”

“ Alright then, Carrie. It has been a pleasure, but with all do respect you will not see me back in here ever.”

“ No offense taken. I would love to not see you again. Deborah, you aren’t crazy. You’ve been through an ordeal that you just needed to figure out that’s all.”

“ Oh I know. Thank again. Take care.”

I went to walk out and quickly scanned the room before turning the copper door knob and sighed.

“ You can do it.” Carrie encouraged me.

I held my dignity in tact and left the room.

Walking fast through the building I hurried to my car where I sobbed for fifteen minutes before pulling off and heading to Delaware State University.

 

 

 

 

You Are Not Your Struggle


Struggle .jpg

Happy Sunday!

Sunday

As I was reflecting and thinking about my life,  wondering where I want to be, this topic came to mind. There are many of us who are struggling, and feel like we don’t know where to turn or what to do with our lives. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m still there.  Struggle doesn’t last always even though we fill it might. This can be affecting your personal, work, or even relationships with friends and family. Don’t allow it to get your down. The rapper T.I states, ” Tough situations don’t last, but tough people do.”   When I read his quote in an interview, I thought, ” He is so right! I am wallowing for nothing.”

The above picture reminds me of where I am and possible a lot of you are. You notice the man with the briefcase as he’s walking. He has a goal, somewhere to be! He’s not looking backward, even through his struggles are following him. He is still pressing on, so why can’t we? What is it about us as people that focus on not being where we want to be instead of appreciating where we are headed? This made me think! Here is what I came up with.

  1. Other Influences – We live in a society today where the media is booming with successful people. It is almost like successful people are throwing in our faces that we are not where we want to be. We focus on that and feel miserable. Well, not anymore! If we focus on what is important and just our goals, we will strive forward.
  2. Telling Our Goals –  Before you judge me with this one, please hear me out. Now, there is nothing wrong with telling someone who has their best interest for you about your goals. But, when you expose it to everyone, everyone does not have your best interest at hear. I know what you must be thinking, ” Who cares what people think?” Actually, some of us do. We as people need gratification and praises of other people, other wise we would do what we choose without having to tell anyone. My point is everything in our lives is not for everyone. Some people want to see us fail and not succeed sadly.
  3. Monitoring Others  – I used to focus on what my friends and other people that I knew was doing. I was envious of their success and them doing things that I wanted to do like travel, write for a major corporation, even down to marriage and children. Focusing on them was taking me off my square for me to be happy. Don’t allow this to happen. Be happy for your friends and associates. Your time will come. When it comes, it maybe even better than what others had going on.

accountable

It’s been said by many people that our struggle is what keeps us going. People are often stagnant when they are comfortable. Could their be truth to this? I think it depends on how bad the person wants to be their best selves. The picture above really captivated and resonated with me because the ball in chain is holding him back, but he is moving through this struggle. It’s almost as if his struggle is keeping him coming. Being able to move on says a lot about your character. Don’t sweat the small stuff and I know it maybe hard, but try no to worry about things that are out of your control. Life is too short. Work with your struggle, do not become your struggle.