Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving: Sabbatical Style

I know, I know. I've been AWOL for a few weeks now. There is reason behind this madness. But I will get to that later.

Since tomorrow is the U.S.'s Thanksgiving holiday, I'd like to offer my thanks.

I am thankful for:
  • God: I know I don't have as much faith as I should but for some reason You still stick around. I appreciate your unconditional love and great patience with me. I love you
  • My family: my constant strength and support. No. Matter. What! I love you all
  • My job: it couldn't have come sooner. It is stressful at times but enjoyable anyway
  • Love: it is what turns the world around
  • Friends
  • Sleep: it is my fuel, although I can't seem to get enough of it
  • Moose Tracks ice cream: Numms. Need I say more?
  • My writing, even though it stresses me out
  • Books: they draw me into beautiful worlds of wonder
  • My love of traveling: bring on Australia and Tasmania this coming summer
  • Pajamas
  • My car: Miss Razlyn
  • Pay checks
  • The ability to walk
  • Seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting
  • Clothing, especially skinny jeans
  • The miracle of watching a helicopter take off
  • Warm blankets
  • Not getting so many headaches as I did before (miracles)
  • Hot showers
  • Snow
  • Sun
  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Music
  • My random giggling for insignificant things
  • Mowing the lawn in the summer
  • Nutella
  • Make-up
  • Water
  • Puppy dogs
  • The pitter patter of the little girls feet as she runs around upstairs
  • And many, many more wonderful things that bring joy to my life
Anyway, I need to be more grateful. Isn't that the case with us all, though? What are you grateful for?

Well, I have decided to take a wee sabbatical away from my blog. Not forever, of course. Just for a little while. Suffice it to say, a break from blogging and writing is in order for the Jewels! I will come back soon. I don't know when soon will arrive but hopefully at the beginning of next year with new year's resolutions and the such.

Sigh. Super sigh. Super duper crazy sigh.

I'm grateful for you all. I will see you around the bend of next year. Have a wonderful Holiday season! Much love. I bid you farewell, a short adieu.

    Writing. Jewels.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Month of November Goals

Happy November, dear friends! I hope your Halloween was spooktacular! Well, I'll just jump right into my goals.

Here is how my month of October goals panned out:
  • Recuperate from spraining my ankle Uh... It turns out that I fractured a bone in my foot. I had to wear a hideous boot for a freaking month. Luckily I'm out of the montrousity of ugliness. But I've got to rehabilitate my poor foot now. Silliness, I say
  • Read BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION by Brandon Mull Check. Great book
  • Finish listening to DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum Super Check. I loved this book sooooo much. Read it. Now
  • If I have time, I'll edit some or all of one of my writing projects Nope, I did open up one of my projects and read the first chapter to my new roomie. She LOVED it! Just you guys wait...
  • Start my new job, love it, and learn it fast Check on all accounts
  • Find a new place to live in Salt Lake City before I'm driven mad by the long commute Check and it didn't happen soon enough. I truly was going crazy driving two hours a day.
  • Enjoy my half birthday... Check. I loveth growing old. haha
Well, I'm feeling good about my goals and hope to have success in the coming month. Here are my month of November goals:
  • Finish listening to the audio book CHIME by Franny Billingsley
  • Listen to the audio book SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater (I just got a library card and by golly I'm gonna use it--bring on the audio books. Yes!)
  • Read FINALE by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • NaNoWriMo--50K and/or finish writing my dystopian book called SPHERICAL
  • Do something social at least once a week
  • Have a super fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday *gobble gobble*
  • Be better at reading and commenting on other blogs. So sorry for being anti-blogospher-social
How did your month of October goals go? What are your month of November goals?

    Writing. Jewels.

     

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Angels Night Out: Becca Fitzpatrick et al... And Happy Halloween

First of all... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

*BOO*

Did I scare ya? Obviously. *grins*

Anyway, last week I had the amazing opportunity to meet Becca Fitzpatrick, author of the HUSH HUSH saga. The release party (called "Angels Night Out") for the last book in the series, FINALE, took place that night at the Provo Utah Library (where Fitzpatrick envisioned some of the scenes in the first book). What the perfect setting for the event, eh? Well, the party was sort of this cocktail-esque-with-hot-guys-strutting-around-the-ballroom-in-tight-jeans-and-t-shirts-while-serving-drinks-and-hor-dourves type of an unforgettable gala. And did I mention there was nummy-to-my-tummy cupcakes? Oh, nope, you're still swooning over the gorgeous hot guys, aren't you? Admit it!

The cool thing about the party was dressing up. On the ticket it said,

"Patrons are encouraged to wear angels wings and dress in red, black, or white."

Oh, I wore each one of the colors and wings to boot. Aren't I to die for? Well, the cool person is right next to me: Becca Fitzpatrick. So cool!


Well, not only was Becca and I to die for... BUT... the model (Drew Doyon) who posed as HUSH HUSH's character Patch on the book covers attended the event as well. Now how is that for way-beyond-the-universe cool? Well, it was awesome! And I've got the picture to prove it.


Three other amazing authors were in attendance, too: Kresley Cole, Tonya Hurley, and Elizabeth Miles. They were a delight to talk with and gave me some killer good advice (more to come on next week's Insecure Writer's Support Group post).


Have you ever been to a book release party? Have you met some really awesome authors? Who? Let's share and gloat for a bit. haha

    Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Better Late Than Never... Posting, Finally

Hi friends!

I haven't had any real time to prepare a post for today, as I always post on Wednesdays. Ugh! I moved last weekend and have been getting a new job under my belt (of which is going splendidly). *grins*

Well, as I said, I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. I never thought I would live in this neck of the woods, but alas, I am here. Very exciting, indeed. And I am through with a long commute to work, now. Yes! No more griping Julia at the wheel. *grumble grumble* Not a good combination, especially if I'm tired and heaven forbid hungry. Plus, I will be saving a bunch of money from the gas tank.

Here are some pics of the move:

Before...
 My crap made it upstairs at my old pad...
After... at my new place... My poor books haven't found a home yet. :(

Anyway, this is the third, count it, the third time I've moved in 10 months. Crazy-town for sure. Thus be the transiant life. I'd love to settle down into a permanant dwelling. Perhaps, I will do that sometime soon.

Anyway, what is the most times you've moved in a short period of time? Do you like moving? Detest it? Do you use movers or family/friend muscle (and your own too)?

Thanks for stopping by, folks! Have a great week until I see you again. Ciao!

    Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wanna Laugh?

A couple days ago, I was shopping at Target and overheard a conversation between a mother and her son. This is how is went:

Boy: I need these underwear.

Mother: No you don't.

Boy: But I need them!

Mother: You've got plenty at home.

Boy: But what if I run out?

I had to bite my tongue not to laugh in front of them. Aren't kids supposed to be begging for candy or toys? Needless to say, it was hilarious enough to me that I wanted to share it with you.

That got me thinking about a cute thing that happened this week. My sister-in-law brought up something adorable and super sweet that my niece did the other day. So, my nephews were complaining about the dinner she made (kids, kids, kids *shakes head*) With her beautiful small voice, her two-year-old daughter said, "Thanks for making my dinner, Mommy." What a sweetheart, huh? And she's my lovable niece.

Anyway, what are some cute or funny things you've seen or heard about the last while? Or have you written something funny lately that has made you laugh to the point of tears? Oh, golly, that has happened to me tons of times.

    Writing. Jewels.

 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Do Your Characters Feel?

So, how do your characters feel?

I've thought long and hard about how my characters would react in certain situations. How they would pull through a difficult time? How they would feel when happy, sad, excited, etc... Like how they would feel deep down inside of them, going beyond the surface one word adjective.

The thing is, as a writer, I have to show these things, not just tell them. How do I show? Well, I have drawn on personal experiences. I have stood in front of a mirror to figure out exactly how my characters face would look like during a scene. I have made myself feel giddy, melancholy, scared, elated. Yes, I may be considered a masochist by forcing myself to feel terrified just to write a scene. But it is worth it when I can lean back, sigh, and realize how awesome a scene turned out.

More often than not, I think of times in my life where I've felt exactly how my character is feeling. I may even write a scene as I experienced it.

For example: Whenever one of my old boyfriends (oh, how I adored him), would touch me, I felt electricity flood through my body. It was like hot, little prickles of pure joy spreading from my skin down into my nerves, muscles, bones until the feeling burrowed itself into my soul. Yes, I have used that sensation a few times in my books. Suffice it to say, the feeling was to die for. Sigh!

Or for instance, I've got some serious back and neck pain right now. I could draw from that to show one of my characters feeling bodily pain. PS: I'm really not looking for sympathy by having said that. However, my poor neck and back inspired this blog post, so yippee.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is this: Draw on your own life experiences to show how your characters feel. Perhaps, you can ask other people how they'd feel in a given situation. The options are there. It's just a matter of putting those feelings or emotions on paper (or laptop, if you're me).

How do you express how your character is feeling? Do you draw on your own life experiences? Do you ask others how they would feel? Do you close your eyes and take in the essence of the scene until the words flow through your fingertips? (Yes, I have done that countless times--pure magic, I say)

    Writing. Jewels.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Month of October Goals

Wow! Has September already come and gone? How is that possible? It just barely started. And that means that October is here and I have to report on my goals from last month. I felt far better last month than I did during the summer. What a relief!

Anyway, here's how my September goals panned out:
  • Finish beta'ing my sister-in-laws book CHECK and by golly it's a great book. Be ready to read stuff by Robin LuBean King, kids
  • Read Insurgent  by Veronica Roth SUPER CHECK and wow, what a great book! It's official, I'm back into reading.
  • Keep pluggin along with my new project, SPHERICAL (a dystopian novel) CHECK. I didn't do much but it's coming along
  • Edit one of my own works No check, I am waiting to get my second book BOUND back from a CP
  • Be social CHECK. I even went on two dates with the same guy. No interest there, though. And I spent time with friends, so that's great
  • Go camping with my sister CHECK Refer to the blog post I wrote about the camping trip
So, here's looking October straight in the eyes. But I have to tell you that I started a new job. Today is my fifth day on the job. I will be learning this job, so I might be overwhelmed with it all. I hope my goals won't stress me out more. Anyway, here are my goals:
  • Read BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELION by Brandon Mull
  • Finish listening to DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum (audio books are awesome)
  • I'm going to save writing more of SPHERICAL for NaNoWriMo, especially with all I'm going to be doing this month
  • If I have time, I'll edit some or all of another project
  • Start my new job, love it, and learn it fast
  • Find a new place to live in Salt Lake City before I'm driven mad by the long commute
  • Enjoy my half birthday tomorrow, October 6, 2012. Yes, I celebrate my half birthdays. What can I say? I love birthdays!
  • Recuperate from spraining my ankle. Silly me
What are your goals for this month? Have you read any good books lately? And how is life treating you?

*Mwah*

    Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: 5th Edition

A couple weeks ago, I saw Orson Scott Card author of ENDER'S GAME speak. He brought up something that I'd like to share on this Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Granted, he was focusing his talk on education, but I think it will relate to writing, too.

He talked about credibility--the credibility that comes from gaining a university degree. After four years (or more, if you were me) you obtain a degree. A lot of work is put into schooling. I know far too well. I spent many hours sitting in the math lab. Lots of hours writing papers. And tons of hours sitting in classrooms. But I did it! Now I've got a piece of paper that says I have a Bachelor in Anthropology degree.

Well, how does this relate to writing? As writers, we want that credibility that comes from having one of our books or all of them published. But is that really where credibility comes from? Ok, yes it is...sort of. But, it doesn't have to be.

We are credible because we write! Just deciding to scribble down a story and finishing chapter after chapter is credible. Just because you're not published doesn't mean that you aren't an author.

Yet, obtaining publish-dom is a fantastic goal to keep you typing out words. Having a book on the shelves at the local bookstore or online definitely will make you jump up and down, giggling up a storm (ok, that's what I will do). By all means, don't let not getting that big six figure book deal keep you from thinking you are a credible.

Just keep going. Keep writing. And be happy along the way. You are writer and that makes you AMAZING! An inCREDIBLY amazing person.

PS: Orson Scott Card also said that it doesn't matter where you get your education, be it Harvard or a community college or through reading books or community classes. It's the fact that you have learned something that matters.

The fact that you write is all that matters! And by golly, I've learned so much more about writing by writing a book than I EVER did during my college degree. This time could very well count as a masters program. :D

I hope this has made sense. Perhaps, I've just been blabbing.

Anyway --> *hugs* Especially if you are struggling right now with your writing. :)

    Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Funny Idioms

I saw some funny YouTube videos the other day of this German guy ranting about how American idioms are confusing. I thought I'd share one of the videos with you. But before that, I'm going to share some that definitely would be confusing to someone that didn't speak English well. Here are some of my favs that are hilarious when taken literally:
  • Tie the knot (Why would they tie a knot together? Is that a type of game?)
  • On pins and needles (Who in their right mind would want to be on pins and needles?)
  • To steal someone's thunder (There is no way that someone could possess their own thunder, let alone someone stealing it)
  • Kick the bucket (Why would someone want to kick the bucket?)
  • Flea market (Who'd want to go to a flea market? Disgusting)
  • Graveyard shift (You really work in a graveyard? Creepy)
  • You are what you eat (I'm not a hamburger)
  • Charley horse (if you were standing by someone and they were screaming in agony while clutching their leg, wouldn't it be odd for him to say, "I've got a Charley Horse!")
  • Raining cats and dogs (I don't see any cats or dogs anywhere and it isn't possible for it to rain cats and dogs)
  • Back seat driver (There's no way someone can drive in the back seat)
  • Elvis has left the building ("What?" they'd say. "I thought he was dead)
  • Pulling your leg (Why would you want to pull my leg?)
  • Get up on the wrong side of the bed (Which side of the bed is the right side to get out on?)
  • Hold your horses (What? There are no horses anywhere and if there were, why would I want to hold one?)
  • Let the cat out of the bag (Why would I put a cat in a bag in the first place? That's cruel)
  • Put a sock in it (Why are you talking about a sock, and what am I supposed to put it in?)
  • When pigs fly (Pigs can't fly)
  • Smell something fishy (*sniff sniff* I don't smell any fish)
  • Water under the bridge (Well, duh. Water is under the bridge)
So what are some of your favorite idioms? Do you have a favorite from the list above? Feel free to add your own confusing thought to any of the phrases above?

Writing. Jewels.

Okay, here's the video I promised... Get ready to laugh.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Great News


I've got some great news for you all. No, no... I don't have a publishing deal. Aww shucks. But I did find a new job! It's located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It will be a fresh new change for me, since I've worked at my current job for three years now. Change is good, right?

Right!

I'll be moving again...to Salt Lake City which will be incredible. I've lived in England, California for a brief stint, and Taiwan, but never anywhere outside of Utah County, Utah. This will be a new adventure for me.
This is happy Julia!
Anywho, I start my new job on October 1 and hopefully will be living in Salt Lake City before then. I'm so not going to commute. This is all sort of crazy and whirlwind. I'm nervous, not only for the move, but for the "new job learning curve". I hate not being able to dive head first into a job without being able to do it perfectly from the get go.

This is similar to writing (at least for me). I want my stories to be flawless from the beginning. That stems from having to go through my first book so many flippin' times, more times than I have fingers and toes. Talk about exhausting. It has gotten to the point that I don't want to look at it anymore. Ugh! Sucky.

But writing, as for day jobs, is a work in progress. We've got to realize that Rome wasn't built in a day (pardon the cliche). Good things will happen when they happen--sometimes not on our timetable, either. Thus be the writing industry.

Well, I feel blessed right now. I am getting the chance to have a needed change in my life and to progress professionally. If it weren't for a lot of rooting on from family and friends, including a whole bunch of Facebook followers, I'd have bombed the interview. I nailed it, though and what do you know, I got the job with high compliments from my soon-to-be employer.

Not to brag or anything. haha

Well, now you can congratulate me... LOL Anyway, how is your writing going? Day jobs? Life in general?

Loves and hugs from...

Writing. Jewels.

PS: Another piece of good news: I'm getting my hair trimmed and colored tonight. Goodbye splitends and grey hair.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Squirrels & Patience

I've already checked off one of my Month of September Goals: going camping with my sister. It was way fun. With my sisters help, we built our own fire (the first one we've ever built on our own). What fun, huh?! Our tin foil dinners chuck full of chicken, onions, peppers, and zucchini turned out excellent and super tasty. We've set up tents a dozen times. That wasn't hard at all. Of course I didn't sleep particularly well, even with the blowup mattress. No problemo. It was all for the fun and to have some bonding time with my sis. I will relate this to writing, so just wait. But for now, here are some pictures:

 
The campsite was infested (in a good way) with squirrels and chipmunks.
I captured this super cute picture. Pretty dang cute, huh?

Look at the squirrel photo... Okay, now that you've enjoyed my amazing photography skills, I will expound upon it. Ok, everyone can capture a picture in some way, shape, or form. It may look different depending on the camera, the skill, the opportunity, etc... But a lot about photography is patience. I waited for about ten minutes to capture that photo. I must have taken eight or nine pictures before I got it just right.

With writing, it's the same. It takes patience. Patience to plot, write, edit, query, go on submissions, and perhaps starting all over again. But the patience pays off, even if it is just the satisfaction of completing a chapter or a first draft, all the way up to getting your story published.

So be patient, my dear followers. Be kind to yourselves. And breathe. :D

So, how do you keep yourself calm while writing in order to be patient? How have your camping trips been? Or are you a Ritz Hotel kind of person?

Writing. Jewels.

Photography Copyright Julia King 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Month of September Goals

Hello, followers! How's it going? I hope I find you all well on this Friday (or whenever you read this). I've got to admit I didn't do super hot on my goals this month. However, I was getting over a roller coaster ride of a crazy summer. So, I'd say all is well. Here's how I did with last month's goals:
  • Move on August 18 and get settled into my new place Check. I like my new place. It's funny cuz my old commute to work took me 15 minutes. My new commute is 5 minutes total. Somehow I'm late for work even though I'm closer, when I was early before. *shakes head* 
  • Read Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull. I bought it. Does that count? haha
  • Edit a bit of my own works I started working on a new project. That counts, right?
  • Enjoy me some Netflix and time with loved ones Super Check. I socialized a lot more than usual and spent some time with family. As for Netflix--it turned into Hulu. I met an author (Natalie Whipple) at a book bloggers/author get-together a couple weeks ago. She recommended me watch a Korean drama called "Boys Before Flowers". Oh my gosh! I watched all 25 episodes in about 2 weeks. Love it. You definitely should check it out, too. Beware, it'll suck you in. So funny story: my roommate/coworker sat in on watching the first episode with me. She is obsessed with it now, but we are both on different episodes. We'll sit in the same room watching it together but not the same episode. haha
  • Beta a tweeps book if she needs my help. She's not ready for it to be read yet.
Well, now for September's goals:
  • Finish beta'ing my sister-in-law's book (I'm so proud of her)
  • Read Insurgent by Veronica Roth (I decided Beyonders can wait)
  • Keep plugging along with my new project, SPHERICAL (a dystopian novel)
  • Edit one of my own works (not sure which one)
  • Go on a couple dates (I have no idea who'll be the lucky man/men, though... haha)
  • Be social (writers tend to be solitary beings sometimes, or is that just me???)
  • Go camping with my sister Guess what? I've already accomplished this one. I went Wednesday-Thursday of this week. Nice
So what are your goals for this fabulous autumnal month? Are you excited for fall blowing in? I am!

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ISWG: Fourth Edition

For more information, click here
If you read my post from a couple weeks ago, you'll know I brought up how I lost my desire to write there for a while. Well, to be honest, I almost quit the whole writing thing altogether. The thought of continuing with my dream made me literally ill, like I wanted to crawl into a hole and die a brutal death rather than going through the writing process again. Yep, it sucked. Bad. And I became rather depressed due to the situation.

I had to give myself a break, and even shelf a project for a bit to distance and detach myself from the dreaded burden that was weighing me down. It literally felt like I was dragging a couple hundred horses behind me who were galloping the other direction at the same time. Ugh! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

One night, I had a cathartic event that helped me, even just a tiny bit, to dig myself out of my deep hole of writing despair. I decided to start plotting out an idea for a new project, which I have started working on. I thought that if I started with something fresh and new that I'd whip myself into shape. You know what? It worked. IT WORKED! Hallelujah and jump up and down and twirl in circles like a giddy little girl!

So what I'm saying here on this #ISWG Wednesday is:
  1. If you need to, take a break
  2. Shelf a project for a while to distance yourself from it, to breath again
  3. Work on a different project to get your writing blood boiling again
Writing is not easy for sure, but in the end it is WORTH IT!

What are your tips to get you writing again? How have you overcome wanting to quit?

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Emotional Scenes

Oops, this was supposed to post tomorrow. My human error for not scheduling it. haha Anyway, I'm obsessed with the SYFY show, Warehouse 13. I've watched up to the current episode in the 4th season. So, if you like sci-fi stuff, you'll definitely like this show. One of the closing scenes in an episode sure incited some major emotion in me. For one, I'm way attached to the characters and plot line. Also, the closing scene has a song in it called "Running Up That Hill" performed by Placebo (originally by Kate Bush). Here's a clip from the episode. Beware: If you haven't finished the third season of Warehouse 13, YOU DO NOT WANT TO WATCH THIS!!! *Spoilers*



Anyway, the music at the end of this episode made it an emotional rollor coaster for me. I almost cried. I think I stopped breathing. And the world stopped spinning for a few minutes (at least for me).

Well, here's a list of book scenes that have incited intense emotions in me, be it laughter or crying (Warning: There may be spoilers):
  • These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner. One of the end scenes that has to do with Jack. I cried all the moisture out of my body because of it. My nose was dripping snot, too *gross*
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The part where all the toilets are placed on a certain person's front lawn
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver. The super-I-growled-at-the-book-for-at-least-30-minutes cliffhanger ending. Super Grrr!
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: The end of course, but the part where Liesel and Rudy make the food delivery boy's bike slip on the ice and they steal the food. I couldn't stop laughing. At all
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Katniss singing when Rue dies
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. The troll farting scene in the first book. I was listening to the audio book while driving and almost had to pull over because I was crying so hard from laughing. Almost peed my pants, too. Oh, you know you want to read this book now, huh?
  • The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale. When a certain person dies. I'm not going to spoil this one too much
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Fred and George making their amazing departure when they decided to leave Hogwarts for good. Hilarious with all the magic tricks and fireworks they conjure up
  • And of course, when Harry Potter dies (uh...Dobby, too. Probably more so than Harry)
So, what movie/TV/book scenes have incited intense emotions in you? What's your favorite TV show as of late? Is there a song that's been played in a TV show/movie that has made it all the more amazing for you?

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Success is in the Squiggles

Take a look at this picture--another one of my Instagram creations.


The following question was posed in a class I attended the other day: Which line represents success?

So, which one do you think represents success? The straight line or the squiggly one? I suggest it's the squiggly one. Why? Because success comes from a tricky process of trial and error, failure, mistakes, ups and downs, and the list goes on and on. Anyway, what I'm getting at is writing is a process of squiggles--that is what produces success in this industry. 

I've got to be honest. The whole writing thing has been rather difficult lately. I lost my mojo to write there for a while. There was absolutely NO motivation to write in my soul, bones, fingers. Yet, over the last few days, it has been coming back. I want to write. I want to be in the thick of my words again. I have to create! But the fact is that I have to open up Word and type. And I will!

Lately, my journey has been stuck in one of the curves of the squiggles. It has been very hard. But this is just one of the twists is in the process. Embrace the curves. Success is at the end of the rainbow with the pot o' gold glistening a shinny gold. Uh, pardon my cliche usage.

I hope my difficult time can help you get through your squiggly road. That's what we are here for--to support and help each other. Keep going strong!

How has your road to success been? Is it squiggly for you? Have you ever lost the desire to write? How have you overcome it? 

Writing. Jewels. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Settings

Instagram Pic by Julia King
When I was eighteen, I traveled by chartered bus with a group for three weeks across country and back again. During that time, I hit up seventeen U.S. states. Supercool. And way fun! I enjoyed the entire trip, however, there was one city that stuck out to me the most: Boston, Massachusetts.

The strange thing is that I spent all of maybe four hours there. But, the essence of the New England state penetrated my soul in a way that has drawn my heart back there ever since. Yes, for twelve years, I've been itching to get back there but have yet to make my pilgrimage back. I'd love to live there. The thing is I'm too practical to up and move without securing a job. I'm a planner, you see. I've got to make sure I can survive. :D But the adventure is so desirable to me. And, of course, scary too!

Anyway, because of this intense pull to this beautiful area of the United States, I set my second book, BOUND, in a city near Boston called Wrentham. There is a scene that takes place in Boston, and the beginning and end takes place outside of Dublin, Ireland. Intrigued yet? You better be!

Although I spent a brief period of time in Boston, I didn't know anything about it other than I know it's gorgeous. I spent a a fare amount of time researching Wrentham and Boston. I don't know what I'd do without the internet. Sheesh, I'd be lost. Luckily, I've been to Dublin, Ireland, so I didn't have much of a problem there. Plus, the scenes set in Ireland are supernatural by nature, so I used my creative license to build the setting/world there.

Anyway, have you ever set a book in a city you've never been to? Or one in which you've only spent a short period of time there? How do you go about researching your setting? Internet? Library? Actually going there?

Writing. Jewels.

PS: Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caved. Cracked. Instagram.

I've finally caved or cracked or whatever and signed up for Instagram. I did this for good reason too. I read on a blog the other day about using images/pictures found on the internet as a part of blog posts. If I remember correctly, the post was linked on a blog I follow. I can't remember which one, though. Sorry! The topic piqued my interest, so I bounced on over to check out what it said.

Anyway, posts look so darn pretty when accompanied by pictures. However, as the post suggested, if you're not careful, you could get in trouble with copyrights. I've decided not to use Google images anymore on my posts to keep my butt safe. I might be a little paranoid, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

This is where Instagram comes into play. I'm going to take my own pictures, via Instagram. I'll try to be creative, as shown below. Hopefully, they can add a little flare of life to my posts and keep me safe in the process. :D

So here's the first one of many (Paperclips + Julia = Instagram):


Are you an Instagramer? Do you take photos of the food you eat and post it on Instagram? What pics do you commonly post on Instagram? Nature, friends, family, pets? And what are your thoughts about using internet images/pictures on blogs?

Writing. Jewels.

PS: If you want to follow me on Instagram, my profile name is "writingjewels".

Friday, August 3, 2012

Month of August Goals

Ok, folks... The month of July was bar-none the hardest flippin' month of my life. Alright, I've been through worse, of course, but this is so fresh on my mind that it feels all the more difficult. You know how bad/good things happen in threes? Well, that has been the case for me. I won't bore you with the goary details but, for all intents and purposes, let's just say that the things that happened weren't good. Anyway, because of this, my month of July goals didn't pan out very well.
Sigh!

I will review them quickly, though.
  • Beta a couple books I beta'd one friend's book. That's good, huh?
  • Start reading Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull Uh... I had no desire to read for the life of me. Super sad, huh?
  • Continue exercising three days a week I did fulfill this part of my goals. Woot Woot!
  • Only have one treat a week on Fridays Did I say that I had a really tough month? Well, that should tell you how I did on this goal. haha
  • Start the first draft of BOUND's sequel. I so can't wait No work done here. Shoot. I did have to do another edit on my first book, though. When will the insanity end?
Anyway, my month of August goals are going to be pretty light. I need a break, my friends. If I don't relax a bit, I might end up in a white padded room with a straight jacket on.
So, here are some simple goals:
  • Move on August 18 and get settled into my new place
  • Read Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull
  • Edit a bit of my own works
  • Enjoy me some Netflix and time with loved ones
  • Beta a tweeps book if she needs my help
Have you ever had a month where you wonder what's the next thing that's going to go wrong? How do you get through tough times? I do a great deal of praying, talking to family and friends, and trying not to eat too many sweets. Two weeks ago, I even got out of dodge to spend some time with a some good friends as well as my mom.

Anyway, dear followers, thanks for stopping by. And what are your month of August goals?

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG: Third Edition



I thought for today's Insecure Writer's Support Group post, I'd share an encouraging quote. It was said by a past leader of the church I am a member of. Religious or not, I know it'll be inspiring to writers. Or for whatever you are passionate about. So, here it is:

"There is within each of us a divine spark of greatness. Who knows of what we are capable if we only try? The abundant life is within reach if only we will drink deeply of living water, fill our hearts with love, and create of our lives a masterpiece." -- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, The Abundant Life

I have seen the spark of greatness in me as well as countless other people in my life, writers included. The sparks that direct our lives are priceless; they lead to beautiful adventures and endless possibilities. Those sparks will lead to the creation of masterpieces in our lives, if we only try.

So, I encourage you, and me alike, to continue to add fuel to your creative fire(s). There is greatness inside of each of us itching to be unleashed. Keep that in mind, friends. Whatever you are passionate about, keep on doing it. If you've lost your passion, find it again. The masterpiece is there waiting on the horizon just within reach. All you have to do is reach out and grasp it.

What are your thoughts about this quote? Do you have any encouraging quotes you'd like to share? And by golly, thanks for stopping by.

Writing. Jewels.

PS: I will be posting my monthly goals on the first Friday of every month. Other than that, I'll be posting on Wednesdays as usual.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Flag Flown Half-Staff

As I was driving through Salt Lake City on Interstate 15 the other day, I noticed many American flags being flown half-staff. Whenever I see flags flying in such a manner, I become somber, reflective. It causes my heart to feel heavy with compassion. This symbolic action brings attention to a horrific event that has taken place. I can only assume it was for the tragic shooting that took place in Colorado last week.   

It touches my heart that flags are being flown half-staff for what happened. I even heard that Christian Bale paid a visit to the victims of the shooting. These things show a great deal of respect.

I definitely can't believe that someone would do something so dispicable. The world is a scary place, indeed. Yet, there is good that permiates the earth as well. That's where respect shown through a simple act of flying a flag half-staff is so beautiful. It shows that light still shines through the darkness.

In honor of those who have been adversely affected by this tragedy, I send my sincerest prayers. And hope that your lives will be filled with peace and solace in the coming weeks, months, and years.

How do you feel about what happened during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises? What things show you that there is the light of goodness in the world?

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Makes You Laugh

My brother has a knack for saying funny things off the fly. For instance, my family got together on Sunday, and my dad asked one of my nephews to be careful not to break something. My brother said to my dad, "It's your fault for having kids who had kids." We all started laughing. Alright, maybe you had to be there... *shrugs*

Another example: Likewise, on Sunday, we were talking about my family helping me move next month. Funny bro said, "I'll be sure to schedule a colonoscopy on that day." I don't have that much stuff. Really! Haha My dad ended up saying, "I'll be scheduling a nap that day."

Anyway, there are parts of my books that crack me up every time I read them. Sometimes I wonder how I came up with those scenes. But when I'm in the thick of writing, my stories speak to me and tell me what to write--be it funny or sad or horrific.

I make myself laugh sometimes. Ok, that sounds funny and quite possibly crazy, I know. For example, a few weeks ago, I was working out at the gym. I decided to watch the pilot episode of a series I've watched before: Stargate SG1. As I was running on the treadmill, I was smiling so big and giggling quietly from remembering just how much I LOVE that show.

Whenever I see a Beagle, giggles find their way out of my lips. That's my favorite type of dog. Sigh!

The other day, I had a nice chat with a fellow Twitter/writing friend, Rob Weidmann. Somehow we got on the subject of Star Wars. He informed me that May the Fourth is the official Star Wars Day. Get it? May the Fourth be with You! haha I still laugh about that one.

So, what makes you laugh? Does it take a TV show or a book to bring to laughing tears? Do you have a family member or friend who keeps you on your chuckling toes? Do you laugh at yourself? Do your own books crack you up? What's something funny you've heard recently?

Writing. Jewels.

PS: The comic above cracked me up way too much, I think.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Little Change

Hi, friends!

There's going to be a little change in my blogging routine. I've decided to post only once a week from now on. I've got so many things going on in my life right now that simplifying things is all I can do. This is something that I've been thinking about for a while. Now I'm implementing it. Sorry for being such a party pooper. haha I need time to do all the fickle things in life. Plus, I really need to allow for time to visit other blogs. I've been a serious flake in that area recently. My apologies. My sincerest apologies!

So, stop by on Wednesdays for posts. That's my new day for blogging fun!

It's interesting how when I started blogging I randomly posted. It could've been four times a week to maybe once every three weeks. Then, I realized I had to have some kind of order in the chaos. I started posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After a while, I dropped my posting down to two days a week. Now, once a week.

But, alas, I'm still trying to be consistent. That's the thing with blogging, you need consistency so your followers know when to expect some brilliant (haha) posts from you. That's one thing I learned at a writing conference. So, dearest followers, stop by on Wednesdays for whatever I conjure up for posts.

Have you ever had to shave off a couple days from your weekly blogging routine? How have you decided how many days a week to blog? Or when you will post? 

I appreciate you all! Super Mwah!

Writing. Jewels.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Month of July Goals


It's reporting times, folks. Yay and a few woots all around! Here's how I did with my Month of June Goals:
  • Read The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare ---> Getting there...
  • Complete an edit of my wip: BOUND ---> Super Check. Oh, I love this story
  • Hand off BOUND to one more round of betas ---> I'm pretty confident with where it's at right now. I'll hand it off to my agent soon
  • Beta a friend's book ---> I've started going through it
  • Continue forward with my no sweets diet. ---> I went an entire 22 days without sweets as per my detox plan.
  • Exercise three times a week ---> Check. I'd like to thank the gym facility where I work and having an hour long lunch break
Here are my Month of July Goals:
  • Beta a couple books
  • Start reading Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull 
  • Continue exercising three days a week
  • Only have one treat a week on Fridays
  • Start the first draft of BOUND's sequel. I so can't wait
As always, I ask: what are your Month of July goals? You can voice your successes from last month as well.

Writing. Jewels.