A Writer's Journey

July 28, 2021

Putting Myself Out There

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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This past Friday, I went to my first theater experience since 2019. It was outside (and I have the mosquito bites to prove it despite wearing a repellant band) and had a great time. The show was called Staten Island the Musical! and was created by some friends of mine. They came up with the idea, wrote the book, wrote the music and the lyrics, secured a venue, put together a cast and created sets and props. And then they put on a very good show.

But this isn’t about the show. I’ll probably write about it on my other blog here.

No, this is about the title of my blog post. Because my friends put themselves out there and actually made their musical a reality. And I’m both proud and inspired by them.

It’s time to put myself out there as well.

Well, even more than I have.

This also coincided with my Twitter timeline having mentions of people entering writing contests. And I realized it had been a long time since I entered one, mostly because I’ve been focused on my fanfiction more than my original writing. But I’m now balancing my attention between the two and while I keep up with my fanfiction, it’s time to show off my original writing as well.

So I’ve started to look up some contests to possibly enter. And I’ll continue to do research. Contests tend to pop up throughout the year so I need to on top of it more. I’ll keep you updated as well.

I do have to be careful with this new spurt of motivation. Because I’ve already been toying with starting to post The Stone Sisters on Wattpad even though I’m only on Chapter 4. While that would certainly be a step in putting myself out there, I do feel that would be a later step when I have more of the story written. So I need to be more patient about that.

But I have the motivation. And that’s a very good start.

I’ll see you all next week! I hope you have a great rest of your week!

July 21, 2021

Prompt Party!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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We’re doing another Prompt Party!

Woo-hoo!

Just a refresher: Prompt Party is an annual event in the Outlaw Queen (fans of the Robin Hood/Regina Mills relationship on Once Upon a Time) fandom where people submit a whole bunch of prompts and then artists chose several to create new works. It last one week (seven days) and people are encouraged to post a minimum of entries to win a prize, either a button or a bookmark.

It’s always a fun week full of great new works to discover and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this year.

So I’m hard at work on my prompts, though I do worry I may have bitten off more than I can chew. In addition to general prompts sent for anyone to use, people can send in personal prompts for artists. And this year, I had a whole list of them! So I decided to try to do entries each day – one general and one personal.

Which might mean double the work but I’m determined. We’ll see how it goes.

How about I give you some hints on what I’m working on?

  • New siblings
  • Surprise baby
  • A dare
  • Secrets revealed
  • Family fluff
  • Royalty
  • Contests

Hopefully I can get everything I want to do! Wish me luck!

    July 12, 2021

    The Sister Stones: Update

    Filed under: The Sister Stones — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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    It’s been a couple months since I took on this prompt and it’s really coming along. It might be coming along better than my NaNoWriMo project, honestly.

    So I thought I would update you all about it!

    I’ve completed two chapters and am currently working on the third. I’ve gathered up some names for the people in the Sister Stones legends and will soon need to choose them as I’m almost about the write the legend. So far, I’m pretty happy with where it is. I’ve been able to recycle Louise and Ed to the new version and I’ve introduced Daniel as well.

    Though I did just dump about a week’s worth of work. I originally had Daniel and Nicola go to meet a new character, Dr. James, at a university but now I think I want to have them meet her at her house. So that requires a change. Which will be easier on me. Instead of making up some tiny unknown English university, I can just have them in her house. It’s easier to create the house and its surroundings than a whole university.

    But I’m sure I’ll catch up soon. It’s just a minor setback, especially when compared to all the trouble I had starting the story.

    I’m probably going to have to start really getting everything together. Starting with keeping a list of characters so I don’t forget who is who while writing. It’s happened before and I’ve sometimes realized I’ve renamed character halfway through the manuscript because I forgot their other name! So a list will help.

    I think I’m also actually going to put together something of an outline. Or rather a summary. I’m working on one for one of my fics so I can keep everything straight. And I think it’ll be helpful for this as well. It will give me a roadmap of sorts and I can always add as the story unwinds before me.

    So that’s my little update for this story so far. I think I’ll give you all another look at it soon. Stay tuned for that then!


    Please visit my Patreon page. I’ve updated the Quarantine Series at long last! Maybe I’ll write up what happened with that for next week…

    See you then!

    July 5, 2021

    Reading Challenge 2021: Q2 Update

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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    Happy July everyone! If you’re American, I hope you had a great 4th! If you’re not, I hope you had a great weekend!

    As another quarter has ended, it’s time for me to hold myself accountable for my reading goal of this year.

    To remind everyone, my goal is to read one book a month for a total of 12 books this year.

    For this quarter, I fell behind on that. I only finished one book. So I’m standing at four books so far in 2021. But I’m hoping to possibly get two books read in July, so I should catch up.

    Here’s the book I read this quarter, link to the Goodreads page:

    Remembrance

    Remembrance by Rita Woods: The story of four women interweave together around the power found deep inside them and a haven known as Remembrance.

    So hopefully my next update is either on target or better. We’ll see how the summer treats me.

    How are you doing with your reading challenge? Let me know in the comments below!

    See everyone next week!

    June 29, 2021

    Feeling Good

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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    Happy Summer to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere! I realized I didn’t say that last week so I wanted to correct it!

    I hope you’re already enjoying it. I know I am.

    And I guess that’s one reason why I’m feeling good right now.

    I’ve hit a groove with writing. Remember how a couple months ago I wrote about how I kept scrapping almost everything I wrote? Well, I finally broke out of that funk. So I’m glad for that. It’s nice to have everything flowing again and to see the words appear on the screen.

    So that’s another reason why I’m feeling good.  

    I’m also feeling good as we approach July. We’ve been redoing our deck so we can’t use our pool just yet but that’s okay – the water hasn’t warmed up enough yet. But with a heatwave predicted this week, I believe the water will be ready by the 4th of July for our annual barbecue. That promises lots of fun times.

    I want to have a great summer and hope to take advantage of a few fun things to do before the cool weather returns and I find out if my fears of a third (fourth?) wave of COVID prove unfounded or not.

    My room is still coming along nicely. I do feel like I’m caught in a catch-22 – I need more storage space to help clean my room but I need to clean my room to get more storage space – but I’m just going to keep chugging along and figure it out as I go.

    And I’m still trying to keep up with my reading and my bullet journal but I think I can catch up in July. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but hope springs eternal, right?

    How about you? Are you feeling good? Got any plans for the summer? Let me know in the comments below!

    Don’t forget to check out my Patreon for more content! Thank you!

    June 21, 2021

    The Big Screen

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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    So Friday night, I did something I haven’t done in almost a year and a half.

    I went to see a movie in a movie theater.

    After seeing the trailer for In the Heights, I decided that I wanted to make that the first movie I saw in theaters. I’m all vaccinated but I’m still cool about wearing a mask so I figured I’d be fine. Then New York lifted all restrictions since we hit the 70% mark (though I’m not sure that was entirely wise. That’s only those who’ve had at least one dose and there are several areas, including my own, who are fair below that percentage amount) so I did get worried but I decided to give it a go anyway. I bought my ticket online, changed into real clothes and headed out to my local movie theater.

    It was dead. When I got there, it was just me and two boys trying to get into the 7:50 showing of A Quiet Place Part II…at 8:15 PM. I’m not sure if they ever made it in. They weren’t in the lobby after I got my popcorn and soda. My ticket got scanned and I headed to the theater. I was alone for a while before two more people came in right as the previews began.

    So there were three of us for the movie, which is honestly around what I expected. I live in a pretty homogenous white area and I doubted people were clamoring to go see In the Heights and if they did want to see it, they would watch it on HBOMax.

    And I loved the movie. I never got a chance to see the musical on Broadway but I’m sure it was just as amazing as the movie. If you’re looking for something to watch, I highly recommend this movie.

    It did also inspire me as well. I got an idea watching the club scene for a one shot set in one of my fanfic verses. I hope I get a chance to write it – I think it would be fun.

    It was lovely to be back in a movie theater and watching a movie on the big screen. There’s just something about sitting in the theater and munching on popcorn that you can’t replicate at home, even with popcorn there. (Though I did miss having a pause button when I needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the movie).

    And I hope more people come back to the theater as well because there’s just nothing like watching something in a group setting. Like when I saw the first trailer for Cowboys vs. Aliens and we all seemed to bond over the fact we couldn’t believe such a movie had been made. (“Harrison Ford, you’re too old for this sh!t” stays with me as well as the laughter when the title was revealed). Or when I saw the first Fantastic Beasts movie and you could feel the shared disappointment in the theater when Colin Farrell turned into Johnny Depp. Someone was like “Bring back Colin” and we all agreed.

    So here’s to enjoying great stories, getting inspired and creating community once more at the movies.

    See you there!


    As I promised last week, here’s an update on my goals: I did start cleaning my room again and am making progress. I also am slowly resuming my bullet journal. Still need to work on the reading goal.

    And don’t forget to check out my Patreon for more content!

    See you next week!

    June 14, 2021

    Readjusting

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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    Wednesday will mark one month since I went on vacation. Sunday will mark one month since I returned. And I still feel like I haven’t gotten back on track yet.

    Well, writing-wise I have. Though the writing I tend to do at night still has been suffering as I’m still falling asleep earlier even when I don’t go into work at the branch. But I think it was just the time of the month so I hope the fact that it’s over helps.

    I guess I’ll see how the week goes.

    But I felt like I was in a good groove before I went on vacation, before I started having to go to the branch every weekday. And now it’s hard to get it back. So I’m going to spend this week doing just that, especially as it’s not a payroll week so I have more days at home again than I did last week.

    So, here’s what I need to kick my ass into gear into doing again:

    1. My bullet journal

    I really need to get back on it. June is halfway over and I haven’t even done my spread for it! So that will be a goal for this week.

    2. Resume cleaning my room

    I had made some good progress throughout April and it dipped in May. Time to start again as there’s still a lot for me to clean and I do want to have it clean by the end of the year. It’ll be a good time to hopefully start redecorating my room.

    3. Read more

    According to Goodreads, I’ve fallen behind by 1 book and I want to catch up soon. Hopefully before I do my quarterly check in but we’ll see.

    I also have a serious backlog of Once Upon a Book Club boxes that I need to get through to help with cleaning my room, so I want to take advantage of still being home. Which means stepping up the reading as well.

    I think that’s a good list to start with. And I’ll try to update you all next week with how I did this week.

    See you all then!

    June 7, 2021

    Summer Loving!

    Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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    Happy June everyone!

    We’ve had some uneven weather lately but it looks like warm weather is here to stay at last. My air conditioner finally went in this weekend, which is usually the indicator that summer has arrived.

    And for the first time in a very long time, I’m inspired by it!

    Usually around now is when I start talking about getting inspired for Christmas and writing my Christmas stories. Which I still am as I do want to try to be somewhat ready for December when it comes, especially if we truly are on the back end of the pandemic and we may be back in the office by the end of the year. But I can cover those when the time comes.

    Because I’m gonna talk about summer and the inspiration its giving me now!

    Isn’t it funny how even as adults we associate summer with “freedom”? Back as children, the final bell rang and we left the school building with two months to ourselves. Every day promised to be a new adventure of our own making. Summer was the best.

    Now, most of us don’t get two months off. But we still get excited about summer and feel like it hold an adventure. Maybe it’s because it stays lighter longer or because the night is still warm enough that only mosquitos chase us inside. Or because most of us still plan vacations for the summer months. If not vacations, maybe long weekends spent at beaches or amusement parks or other fun locations.

    As we celebrate Memorial Day and June dawns, the possibilities are endless.

    For the first time, it inspired me.

    Though I’m not entire sure of a particular plot. Right now, it’s just a story set in the summer. So there’s a lot still to do. Hopefully the summer keeps inspiring me and I get something that resembles the bones of a story written. I can always flesh it out later.

    This is not a serious project. It’s really just me feeding the plot bunny. I’ve learned to try to feed them when they pop up. Sometimes they hop away in the end but other times they turn out to be just the right project.

    We’ll see what happens with this but I think for now, it’s just going to be a fun little project while the days are long and warm.

    How about you? Is summer inspiring you? If so, let me know in the comments!

    And don’t forget to check out my Patreon for more content, including my May wrap-up!

    Stay cool!

    May 31, 2021

    A Long Weekend Hodge-Podge

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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    Happy Memorial Day!

    There are a few things I want to discuss in this week’s post so there’s no real theme. And I’m just going to bullet point them.

    Here we go!

    • So in this post, I talked about having to adjust my writing schedule and expectations for May because I needed to cover a shift at one of our branches during the week for a little bit. Starting now, I am only needed on Mondays and right now, that’s just through June. Hopefully by the end of June, I won’t be needed on Mondays either and get my full week back.
    • I am glad because I feel the vacation really threw off my overall routine in general and I’ve been unable to get back on it. I’ve just been so tired all week and falling asleep early. (For me, that is). So I think no longer having to go into the branch will help me get back on a schedule.
    • That also gives me hope for my June totals across the board writing-wise. I was worried about the writing I usually do in the afternoon but I think my nighttime writing was affected even more due to the fact I kept falling asleep early.
    • Right now, I’m just enjoying relaxing. I didn’t really get a chance to last weekend so this is a nice refresher.
    • I do wish the weather was nicer though. It’s been rainy and cold all weekend long.

    So that’s this week’s entry! I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend (if you’re American or have a holiday weekend wherever you are)!

    See you next week!

    May 26, 2021

    A Bit of a Crazy Time

    Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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    As I mentioned in earlier posts, I was on vacation last week. My family took our vaccinated selves to Hilton Head, South Carolina, for some beach time and time in a place that was not our own homes.

    It was a lovely though a bit anxiety-inducing. Because of course the week we traveled came right after the CDC loosened its guidance on masks and social distancing for vaccinated people so many states either loosened or completely lifted their mask mandates, including South Carolina. Flying to and from South Carolina was fine as mask mandates remain on flights and in airports. And United did their best to keep us in a clean airplane though they are still packing people on planes as if there isn’t a deadly, highly contagious virus still floating around.

    Disney relaxed some rules at their resort – namely that guests did not have to wear masks outside. However, masks were still required when inside any communal building and while in the shuttle to the beach. Staff continued to wear masks and the amount of people at the pool deck was strictly monitored. People also were not allowed to move beach chairs at the beach house’s pool as they were positioned at safe intervals. So I did feel safe on their property.

    And the stores and restaurants by Disney’s property were also still taking precautions. Every shop we entered required masks and the Mexican restaurant we went to still had their indoor tables spaced out. Staff also wore masks as well.

    (And the food was delicious – San Miguel’s located in Shelter Cove Harbour Shops & Restaurants, definitely recommend!)

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