A Writer's Journey

October 18, 2021

Preparing for NaNoWriMo2021

We’re halfway through October! Which isn’t too much of a surprise since we’re at the end of the year. It always goes fast. In another blink of my eyes, it’s going to be November and November means one very important thing to me:

National Novel Writing Month!

Yes, this year’s NaNoWriMo is almost upon us and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do for it. I’ve received confirmation that OQ Advent won’t be running this year (sad face) so I won’t have a deadline to worry about in November. But I still want to get at least one Christmas OQ story out in December, so I’ll need to probably buckle down in November.

So there is option #1 – my OQ Christmas story. It wouldn’t be the first time. I wrote The Christmas Wish for NaNoWriMo after all. And though I didn’t end up having it finished until January, I did appreciate having the bulk written by December. So this would always be helpful.

Option #2 is The Sister Stones. While I’ve steadily been working on it – which you all know from the updates I’ve given – making it my NaNoWriMo project could lead to it being completed by 2022. And that would be lovely because then I could start posting it to Wattpad next year.

Option #3 is that I start a new story altogether. And honestly, I’m not feeling that this year. So I think I would rather debate between the other two options.

Yes, I know NaNoWriMo recommends starting a whole new story. But they do allow for people to use the month to continue working on/finish up an existing project. You just have to count the words you write in November. So I think that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll attempt to write 50,000 words in November and hopefully either wrap up The Sister Stones (which is about 12,000 words now) or be almost done/done with my Christmas story (which is probably around 2,000 words).

I’m leaning more toward The Sister Stones over my Christmas story but I’m still going back and forth. I have at least one more week before I’ll want to commit to one over the other so I can set everything up in NaNoWriMo before November 1st.

I’ll probably announce my choice in my next entry but if not, it’ll definitely get announced on November 1st since it’s a Monday, when I aim to post new entries.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, drop your name in the comments and I’ll friend you so we can cheer each other on!

October 11, 2021

Not Interrupting the Flow

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I write The Sister Stones in a notebook and then type up what I’ve written every Saturday. So I did that this past Saturday but it also got me thinking.

I’m still writing the chapter that details the legend of the Sister Stones. And as I was typing up what I’ve written so far, I realized that it’s probably way more in depth than it needs to be for a retelling of a legend. That I was probably allowing myself to get lost in the weeds. I tend to that after all.

So then I considered switching tactics and going back to writing the condensed version of the legend Dr. James would be telling Nicola and Daniel. But then I told myself there was no point in interrupting my flow. That I should just let myself keep writing the longer version and then pare it down later. After all, NaNoWriMo always encourages you to just write and then edit, right? I could do that.

And then it hit me – I should write out everything now. Then I would condense it from the full legend and intersperse the deeper dives as the story continues. It would help as Nicola and Daniel start on their quest to find the Sister Stones and break the curse. I can just keep the main parts in a separate document until it’s time to use them.

Because my plan is to give the villain of the curse time with each princess, earning their trust before betraying them – as well as showing off her magical abilities. So that’s taking a while and will fit more as they find out more about each princess. So I think that’s definitely a good plan for now.

I’ll write more about NaNoWriMo next week. I can’t believe it’s almost upon us!

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

See you next week!

October 6, 2021

Reading Challenge 2021 Q3 Update

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

We’ve finished another quarter of the year and it’s time to see how I did with my goal of reading a total of 12 books this year.

Once again, I sucked and all I managed to read in 3 months was 1 book.

Summer was clearly busier than I expected. Especially as vaccine mandates started to roll in and we saw the writing on the wall so we started to put one together for our organization.

Anyway, here’s the book I did read this quarter:

The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad: A special pigeon connects two souls during the dark days of World War II.

(Link goes to Goodreads page)

That leaves me seven books to read before the end of the year. Can I do it? Probably not but I’m sure going to try.

How did you do on your challenge? How many books do you still have to read? Let me know in the comments!

See you next week!

September 30, 2021

Spooky Autumn vs. Cozy Autumn

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

Hard to believe we’re almost in October! 2022 is just around the corner and I feel like I’m still processing 2020.

Anyone else feel the same?

Moving on…

Last week on my Patreon, I answered questions for an Autumn Tag. One of the questions was Spooky Autumn vs. Cozy Autumn. I answered the question with just my overall preference but it got me thinking about my writing plans for October.

I want to write an OQ story for Halloween this year. I tried to do it last year but I started too late and so I wasn’t able to do that. This year, I decided to start earlier so I would be able to finish on time. But I struggled to figure out what to write. I scoured Halloween prompts, considered some books I’ve read and just pondered it as I tried to find a good plot.

Then I got that question and it definitely made me think – did I want to my fic to be more of a spooky Halloween story or a cozy fall story? Because I could go either way and find inspiration in both.

Ultimately, I decided to do two things.

First, I would do the Spooky Autumn theme for my OQ Halloween story. I felt it more fitting and I have a good plot there. So I think I’ll be able to be spooky but romantic at the same time.

Second, I would use the Cozy Autumn theme for an original short story to be posted to Wattpad. That will help put myself out there, right? I have a basic plot but I’m still playing around with it. We’ll see what happens.

How about you? Do you prefer Spooky Autumn or Cozy Autumn? Let me know in the comments!

See you all next week!

September 22, 2021

Astrological Signs as Inspiration?

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I’m not really big into horoscopes or astrology. I sometimes read my horoscope for fun but I don’t make life decisions based on what it said. And there are times I am unsurprised to learn someone’s sign based on what I’ve seen. There are also two friends I have whose birthdays are close together and have similar behaviors. Sometimes, I can only shake my head and sigh: “They are such Geminis.”

Anyway, while I’m not into horoscopes, I’m addicted to those trends on Twitter where you building something using your signs. You know – “Build Your Disney Big 3” or “Design your perfect outfit” etc.

Some of them are really interesting, some are spot on and some are really off. But they are all fun to do and a way to pass the time, if you ask me.

I did one earlier this week that was really interesting. The tweet was to build a book storyline using astrological placements. The sun sign would be the genre, moon sign would be time period, rising sign would be the physical setting and the Venus sign would be the romance trope.

Here’s the book storyline I created:

I saw it and went “Hmm…interesting.”


September 13, 2021

Spooky Season is Approaching…

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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It’s September and the Autumnal Equinox is almost upon us. But I’m holding onto the last few days of summer while I can. However, it is hard because I’m sure by now, my love of autumn is very well documented.

Still, I’m trying to get another week or two out of summer.

However, it’s also clear that autumn is just around the corner. Nights are getting cooler and though I still need my AC, it does take longer for my room to warm up after I turn it off once I wake up. The other day I wore jeans out to a restaurant and when we left at 10:30 PM, I regretted not bringing a jacket. I also took a drive through my neighborhood a couple nights ago and saw Halloween decorations already up.

It is coming.

And so I need to start slowly turning my mind to autumn so I can be prepared. After all, I have a tendency to start my Halloween-related items way too late and then either abandon them or post them in time for Thanksgiving.

Not this year. This year, I’m going to be ready.

So I’ve already started writing my Outlaw Queen Halloween fic since I’m sure Spooky OQ won’t run again this year. (It didn’t last year). And I was not prepared last year so I want to make sure I am this year.

I’m also going to continue my October short story series for Patreon as well. Hopefully this is the year I finally wrap it up so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Meanwhile, I mentioned to my mom that if we wanted to get a few more Halloween decorations we would need to get them soon because once October hit, the stores tend to start switching to Christmas instead. So we’re going to check out online to see if there’s anything we want to add.

I’ve already gotten a fall scent to spray in my room – “Leaves” from Bath and Body. So yes, I’m taking those small steps to get ready for autumn.

How about you? Are you ready for the autumn? Let me know in the comments!

And have a great week!

September 11, 2021

Twenty Years

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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It’s been 20 years since September 11, 2001.

Sometimes it feels it, sometimes it doesn’t.

I wrote about my experiences on that day for the 10th anniversary. You can read it here.

Never forget.


September 6, 2021

Making Decisions and Getting into a Groove

Filed under: journey,The Sister Stones,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Sorry I didn’t post last week! I was busy finishing up OQ Prompt Party and totally forgot to write a post.

But here I am again, so let’s talk The Sister Stones!

I’m getting ready to post my monthly wrap up on my Patreon and so looking back at what I’ve done. And honestly, everything was down in August because of Prompt Party. But I’m okay with that since I still got a lot of writing done for that.

However, out of everything, I almost the least amount of writing for The Sister Stones. I continued to work on it but not writing wise. So what did I do and why did I not get much writing on it done?

Well, I’m currently writing the fourth chapter and it’s the story of the curse my main character Nicola has been tasked with breaking by her late grandaunt. As I was writing it, I realized I needed to really nail down the personalities of the three sisters. So I needed to do that before continuing as I was starting to run into problems writing the chapter without them.

It took some time but I finally figured it out. And once I knew who the three sisters were, the words started to flow. They’ve since continued to flow and I’m really pleased with what I’ve written. No more stops and starts, which is a bit harder when writing it by hand then typing on the computer.

I also chose which gems or “stones” the sisters would become, which was also important for the chapter. And connected back to their personalities and roles as princesses. My goal is to put mood boards together on Pinterest for each princess as well, maybe also Nicola and Daniel (the main male character).

I’m sure there will be other periods where I get stuck and need to find a way to move forward. But hopefully it won’t take too long so I can continue writing. I really like the flow I have with this story and I’m hopeful I can finish it by the time 2022 rolls around.

For all my American readers – Happy Labor Day!

For everyone else – Happy (?) Monday!

See you all next week!

August 23, 2021

Some Peace and Quiet

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Well, aside from the hurricane.

Thanks, Henri.

(Though to be honest, my area avoided a direct hit and so the conditions were more akin to a tropical storm than a Cat 1 hurricane).

Anyway, I’m currently home alone. My parents and aunt went to go visit my sister in Virginia and I’ve stayed behind in New York. (I plan to visit her in the fall, COVID willing). And it’s nice to have the house to myself and to only worry about myself for now.

Work has kept me busy so I haven’t been able to do some of the cleaning I was hoping to do while I had the house to myself but my aunt and mom aren’t due back until Thursday, so that gives me some more time.

Hopefully work is a bit slow this week and I’ll have the time and energy.

I wish I could also say I’ve gone more writing done as well but my computer hasn’t been cooperating. I’m not sure what it is but it just keeps freezing after a while when I try to do things so that it takes forever to do anything.

And I really hope that it’s not a sign that there’s bigger trouble to come. After all, this laptop is now 5 years old and has probably gotten as much use as my laptop from college did due to working from home. I guess I’ll just have to see.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me though, just in case.

In other news, a couple friends recommended the podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno and I’m loving it! If you’re in the mood for some bad sex scenes and several good laughs, I recommend giving it a listen!

Have a good week!

August 18, 2021

I Survived!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 8:00 pm
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I survived Prompt Party!


It was decided to turn Prompt Party from a weeklong affair to a month-long one, so Prompt Party continues! But I’m not in crunch mode anymore. After all, I’ve already won a prize so everything else is just gravy now. So I’ve resumed working on my normal projects while still working on prompts I wanted to write.

So I’ll just post when I’m done with the prompts. And that takes away the crunch time so that puts less stress on me as well as allows me time to really develop some of these ideas.

I think I’ll do a round up of what I’ve already written if you want to read it.

Miracles Can Happen: Inspired by the TV show “Manifest,” Robin, Regina and Henry board a flight that will change their lives in more ways than one.

Life With Gen: Part of my Soldier Verse, where Regina is a soldier in the US Army and Robin is the civilian she loves and who loves her. This was a series of vignettes involving Genevieve, their youngest daughter.

Finding Home: Set in my “Building a Family” verse. Robin and Roland move in with Regina and Sophie and it is an adjustment period for everyone.

Siblings: Set in my “The Nanny” verse. Roland meets the twins after Regina gives birth.

Picnic: Set in my “Crown My Heart” verse. Regina reaches an important milestone and she celebrates with a picnic with her husband and their son.

A Bundle of Joy: When Robin suddenly gains custody of the baby daughter he didn’t know he had, he turns to his best friend and housemate Regina to help raise her.

One Night Stand:  Regina is dared to kiss the handsome blond she has been eyeing all night and gets a lot more than she expected.

Those last two will have more parts coming. And I’m still working on other prompts. I’m hoping to keep up my usual schedule but I may just have to focus on finishing these up next week so I’m done before the month ends.

I’ll see what the rest of this week brings.

Have a good week!

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