A Writer's Journey

March 12, 2018

Oops, I Did It Again

I know with how off topic I’ve been lately, you might be worried that this is an ode to Britney Spears’ hit song from the late 90s. Don’t worry, it’s not.

No, no, I have another reason to invoke her song title. Because I have done something again.

I put The Christmas Wish on the backburner and so technically stalled it. Again.

deep sigh

Once again, it’s because of my other fanfiction. I’m still trying to wrap up my Valentine’s Day story (it’s coming. I can feel it nearing the end) but I’m also about to head into the prompt party. So that’s going to take a lot of my time because there’s another button on the line.

I want that button.

Sorry. These buttons are serious business in our fandom.



March 5, 2018

2018: Chapter Two

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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I can’t believe February has come and gone! Just like I did with January, I’m going to wrap up my month as if it were a chapter in the story that is this year.

So, let’s see how Chapter Two went for me.

February started with the Super Bowl! We had a party at work where we distributed the pool for the game and then we all watched the big game that Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots for their first Super Bowl win but I did not win in our pool. Maybe next year.

I also booked my trip to Paris, as recounted in last week’s blog post.

A few days later, it was announced that Once Upon a Time is ending this May. There will be more on that later as we get closer to finale.


February 28, 2018

Paris, Here I Come!

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I’m sure you remember a couple months ago, I mentioned that I had bought tickets to The Happy Ending Convention, a Once Upon a Time convention in Paris. Even though I bought the tickets, it didn’t really feel real.

Now, though, it does.


Because I’ve booked everything!

The company behind the con finally announced the hotel where it would take place as well as where we would get a discount on the rooms. Last year it was in Disneyland Paris. This year, though, it’s in the Hilton by the Charles de Gaulle airport. So I booked my room for that weekend and then decided to see how much a room would be for the rest of my time in Paris. It wasn’t too much more so I booked it until I leave on Thursday. I’m probably just going to be a problem child when I check in since I’ll have to check out and then check back in on Sunday.

Hopefully there will be somebody who can make that easy when I’m there.

I’ve also booked my flight—we got a discount on AirFrance that lasted throughout the time I wanted, so score! I am a bit nervous because I do have a redeye to Paris. While I handled my redeye to London pretty well, I still have concerns after my very first redeye (Hawaii to New York) ended with me sick as dog. I hope this is more like London and not Hawaii.

I’ve also booked the days off from work. So I’m all good on that front.

What are my next steps then?


February 20, 2018

How I Celebrated Valentine’s Day

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I know I didn’t post something for Valentine’s Day. You’d think with my main focus being on romance, I would’ve marked the holiday dedicated to it. I did…just not on this blog.

Once again, I participated in Love From OQ. What is that, you ask? Well, it probably won’t surprise you to know that it’s part of my participation with the Outlaw Queen fandom. It’s pretty much a Secret Santa but with a Valentine’s Day spin. We all signed up and someone assigned us Valentine’s. We then made contact anonymously to find out what kind of gifts they wanted and then got to work.

I was assigned someone who I actually had in a Secret Santa I participated in and was eager to write again. Though she requested angst and I was a bit wracked on an angsty idea. (I probably would’ve handled a fluffy idea a lot easier). It took me more time than I would’ve liked to figure out an idea and I went through a few before finally figuring one out.

Of course, it was eight days before Valentine’s Day when I managed to do that.

So naturally I was slightly panicked. I had only eight days to write everything and get it up. The heat was on.

What did I do? I pretty much put everything on hold and just focused on that story. And I did some research on my phone while I was at work, looking up lymphoma and its treatments to craft my story. Then I spent my nights just writing and writing, trying to get the story out.

It’s a big story, though, bigger than I anticipated and I’m still trying to get it all out. However, I did manage to get the first 10,000 words up in time for Valentine’s Day, so go me! My goal is to finish it before February is over and I think I can do it.

I just need to focus and write my ass off.

Wish me luck!

February 5, 2018

2018: Chapter 1

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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Have you ever seen those inspirational pictures where they refer to the days as pages and the year as a book of your life? Well, I have. It made me think—if each day is a page, that means each month would be a chapter. So I’ve decided to do a round up of each “chapter” of my 2018.

Let’s check out how January or “Chapter 1” went for me!

It started out pretty well though very, very cold as most of the country was gripped by a cold front. My aunt and I flew home from Virginia and I prepared to head back to work for the New Year. The first work week of January, though, was shorter than usual since a snow storm blew in on Thursday and my office was closed both that day and Friday.

A few days after that, my parents flew down to Florida to go to Walt Disney World (without me) and I had the house to myself. Unfortunately, I threw off my sleep schedule, using falling asleep for a few hours when I got home and then being up for most of the night. I managed to right myself that weekend though.


January 22, 2018

Once Upon a Time: My Thoughts on Season 7…So Far

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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We’ve reached the midpoint of Once Upon a Time’s new season. The midwinter finale was December 15th and the season isn’t due to start up again until March 2nd. I’m sure the producers, writers and the network executives have a lot of things to discuss and consider as it comes time to decide if the show gets a season 8 or not.

So now should be a good time to stop and examine the season so far. Fair warning: There will be spoilers for those who haven’t seen the season yet.

For those who don’t know, the writers decided to wrap up the original storylines of Once Upon a Time with the season 6 finale. Of course, the show’s fate was also still unknown so they had to craft something that could stand as a series finale if they were cancelled but they still also wanted to try something new. They wanted to reboot the show and hopefully breath new life into it and they got the green light from ABC to do just that.

The writers have aged up Henry, now played by Andrew J. West (though Jared Gilmore showed up in the first two episodes of the season to play younger Henry in flashbacks). He’s living in Seattle as a failed writer when a young girl named Lucy (Alison Fernandez) knocks on his door and tells him that she’s his daughter. This had actually been the last scene of the season 6 finale, a parallel to Once’s pilot.


January 15, 2018

Time to Knuckle Down

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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It’s a New Year!

Time for some new habits!

Starting today, January 15th, I will start to convert The Christmas Wish from an Outlaw Queen fanfiction into an original work with hopes of publishing it for next Christmas. I know I should probably dive right back in with the Big Project, but I feel like I would need to finish this first so I can meet my self-imposed deadline.

Then I will jump start the Big Project. I’ll let you know when.

I’ve decided to go back to my old system—a half hour a day dedicated to The Christmas Wish and then working on everything else. Which means I’ll have to figure out a new way to work on my fanfics—maybe putting them on a rotating schedule. I don’t want to neglect them.

I’ll check in every so often, I promise.

Wish me luck!

January 8, 2018

(Almost) A Week in Virginia

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 pm
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Happy New Year! I know I wished you all that last week, but I wanted to repeat it. I hope you all had a great holiday week and that you ended 2017 on a good note.

I also hope you ended it some place warm because even though I was in Virginia, we were cold. I think we only got above freezing two days.

I flew down to Richmond the day after Christmas. I worked that day, running my company’s payroll for the last pay of the year. Then I hopped in my car and drove the ten minutes to the airport, leaving my car in long-term parking at Newark-Liberty International Airport.

Which is about three miles from the airport itself. I just kept driving and driving until I found the lot. Planes were landing overhead and I had to take a shuttle back to the terminals.

I got to Terminal A and breezed through security. I grabbed some food and then did some writing as I waited for my plane to show up. Our flight ended up being delayed but not by much. I think we got into the air about a half hour after we were supposed to.

Our flight was only an hour so we pretty much landed on time, though we spent some time taxiing to the gate. I hurried off the plane and met up with my parents, dismayed to find out it was just as cold in Virginia. No relief from the cold for me.

I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before as I was still packing. And then I had developed a stuffy nose that woke me up, preventing me from getting a good amount of sleep. While it hadn’t effected me while working, I was definitely tired by the time I got to the hotel. I took a shower and pretty much went to bed.


January 1, 2018

My 2018 Anticipations

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is a lot less stressful than 2017 turned out to be for everyone!

As I’ve done for the past few years, I’m sharing my anticipations for 2018. I don’t like the word “resolution” and feel that’s just setting myself for failure. But if I anticipate something…well…that’s different.

So here are my anticipations for the year:

  • Work on The Christmas Wish with aim of self-publishing by Christmas
  • Jump start the Big Project and work for self-publishing in 2019
  • Finish “Better When I’m Dancing” and start to turn my Soldier Verse drabbles into a proper story
  • Work on some original pieces
  • Network more with authors, both in and out of fandom
  • Continue my regular posting schedule on this blog
  • Read 13 books this year
  • Review more books on my other blog

And on a personal note:

  • Exercise more and lose some weight

So those are my anticipations. Here’s a toast to 2018 and wish that it’s not as crazy as 2017 was.

Please share your own anticipations for 2018 in the comments. I’d love to read them!

    December 25, 2017

    Christmas Lights

    Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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    It was cold.

    She rubbed her hands together as they were getting cold despite the gloves she wore. Her nose had lost feeling a while ago and she could feel her body trembling. Yet she waited, knowing it would be worth it in the end.

    “I’ve brought hot chocolate,” he said, holding out a thermos. “You want some?”

    “Thank you.” She took it, smiling at the man. Like her, he came up here every Christmas Eve. She never asked him his name and he never asked for hers. They just sat on the hoods of their cars, watching the city below.

    He watched as she poured some hot chocolate into a cup and then took the thermos from her. Instead of going back to his car, though, he lingered. “May I join you?”

    “Umm, sure…” She scooted over a bit so he had some room to sit on her hood.

    Their shoulders brushed as they watched the sun set over the hills. “Almost time,” he said.

    She nodded, sipping the hot chocolate. “This is good. Thanks again for it.”

    “You’re welcome,” he replied before they fell into an awkward silence again.

    Setting aside her hot chocolate, she held out her hand. “I’m Noelle, by the way.”

    He chuckled. “Noelle? How appropriate.”

    “Thank you.” When he didn’t say anything else, she leaned closer. “And you are…?”

    “Kris,” he replied. “Like Kris Kringle.”

    She giggled, trying to hide it behind her hand. “Sorry. It’s probably not funny.”

    “No, it kinda is. I’ve come to accept it.” He winked at her and she flushed.

    “I get it, though,” she said. “I’m a Christmas baby and I was teased mercilessly.”

    “Christmas baby as in…?”

    She nodded. “Tomorrow is my birthday.”

    “Is it as bad as I’ve heard?”

    “I think it depends on your parents,” she replied. “Mine are pretty good at trying to separate the two, so it’s not as sucky. But I’ve never had a birthday with my friends on my birthday. When I was little, that’s all I wanted. I even asked Santa for it.”

    He smiled. “I doubt he could give you that.”

    “No, he couldn’t, though he did leave a very nice apology letter and a doll wrapped in birthday wrapping paper,” she said.

    “Santa was considerate.”

    She laughed. “Yes, he was.”

    “Today’s my birthday,” Kris said, sipping his own hot chocolate. “I’ve escaped my birthday party.”

    “What? Why?” She set down her drink, focused on him now.

    “Because everyone gets overly cheery in trying to pretend that my birthday isn’t Christmas Eve and after awhile, I need a break from all the attention, you know?”

    Noelle nodded. “I guess so.”

    “So, I come here and watch the lights with you,” he continued. “Then I go and get a drink at a nearby bar with my friends.”

    “That actually sounds great.”

    Kris nodded before looking out over the little town they called home. “It’s about to start.”

    They both fell silent as church bells rang to welcome the evening. Houses began to light up, block by block, until the whole town was illuminated in bright reds, greens, blues, yellows and whites. She could make out some Santas as well as several reindeer and an army of snowmen. There were also a few Nativities and a bunch of stars shining below them.

    It was a Christmas Eve tradition though no one knew why everyone started to wait for the bells to ring to turn on their lights. Noelle had discovered how beautiful they were from that particular overlook and that’s when she had met Kris. And now they were on their way to becoming friends.

    “Beautiful,” he said.

    She smiled. “It is. People are definitely missing out.”

    “I agree,” he replied. “But I hope they don’t catch on. I like this being our own private thing.”

    “Me too,” Noelle agreed.

    Kris hopped off her hood. “Well, now that we know each other’s names and that our birthdays are so close together, care to join me for my birthday drink?”

    “I’d love to.” She hopped off as well. “Where are we going?”

    “Just follow me. It’s not far away.” He headed toward his car.

    Noelle smiled before catching sight of his thermos. She held it up. “Do you want this?”

    He grinned, leaning against his door. “Give it to me at the bar. That way I’ll know you will follow me.”

    “Don’t trust me?” She leaned against her car again, grinning at him as well.

    “I do,” he said. “But a little insurance never hurt, right?”

    Noelle laughed and placed the thermos in her car. “See you there.”

    He nodded, getting the car. Together, they turned on their lights and soon pulled away from the spot. Behind them, the Christmas lights twinkled and beckoned them to a night they would never forget.

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