Saturday, April 22, 2017

Letter From Camp: April 2017



Dear Readers,

Once again, I’m spending April at Camp NaNo. And like last April, I’m working on a new draft of TAD2. So far, it’s going well. I’m still a bit uncertain about some of it, but I can work better with flawed words than with no words.

I’m hoping to reach 40,000 words today. (If I don’t get distracted! There are so many fun things going on at camp—roasting marshmallows with the cabin mates and hearing about all the great stories being written this month!) And trying to spot all the creatures rumored to be hiding in the woods around here…

I haven’t seen the mythical storysquatch yet, but I’m pretty sure I heard the Block Ness Monster splashing around in the lake the other night. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking. Eight days is plenty of time, right?

Well, I’m off to chase after some of my characters.


Sincerely,
Jameson

P.S. Enclosed are snippets.



Vernin chose to say nothing instead of stumbling over a pitiful excuse.

For a moment, the smaller man remained on his hands and knees, head lowered. Blood colored the knuckles of his left hand.

Kilam stared at the door of his father’s study, and not for the first time in his twenty-six years, wondered whether or not to knock.

In the moonlight, he caught the shapes of the cattle in the field to his left. Heard the rustle of  wind in the tall grasses. And if he looked behind him, the glow of the fire was still there—like a beacon of ill tidings for all to see.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Launch Day: Masters and Beginners


Happy book launch day to Daley Downing!


The first volume of her YA contemporary fantasy series is now available! And it sounds like such a cool read! Check out the cover and description:

When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…

Faeries? Talking cats?

YES.



And here’s a snippet:
   The fact that they weren’t like other people, that their family was different – even if they didn’t want this to be true – wasn’t going away.
  Gramie Sheridan’s passing meant they couldn’t ignore it anymore. Her death had set their destiny into motion.
Doesn’t it sound fun? 

Currently, Master and Beginners is available in paperback (and there’s also a limited edition subscription box option!). You can find out all about about it by visiting the Invisible Moth!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Begins | March 2017


March was quite a busy month. Writing, reading, and moving were some of the primary things going on, but all in all it’s been a good month. :)

* Watched Kong: Skull Island.
First visit to the movies of 2017! It was different than I was expecting, but I liked it.

* Celebrated my blogaversary!
Here’s to another year of blogging! And if there’s a post idea you’d like to see in the future, feel free to leave a suggestion. I want to keep the blog fun for you all to read! :)

* Plotted stuff for TAD2.
It’s my Camp NaNo project for April, and I’m aiming to write at least 40K. This one is always a challenge to revise, but I think I have the plot threads figured out and am ready to get started! Lots of new stuff coming in and old plot things getting changed, but I think I finally have something I’ll be able to work with and start preparing for betareading later this year. 

* Moving.
*deep sigh* Moving is always a tiring venture but—I’ll finally have space for all of my books now! I had to put a lot in storage for a little while because of space issues, so I’m very much looking forward to having those around again. I’ll probably be a little bit absent from the blog for a few days in April while getting things in order.

* Started posting An Occasion for Laughter!
It’s the third installment of The Pursuit of Merriment stories and is full of fluffy moments and Lydia and Merritt and Nash and food. So much food. I’ll be updating on Thursdays. You can check it out here.


Tell me about your month! Are you participating in Camp NaNo next month?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 Reading Recap: January - March


For 2017, I have a goal of reading 100 books. At present, I’ve read 26. Unlike previous years, I (finally) joined Goodreads and have been tracking my books there rather than on Pinterest boards. I’ve also remembered to track my audiobooks.  (Yay!)

Here’s what I’ve read so far, along with some thoughts:




Unoffendable by Brant Hansen

I used to listen to Brant’s show on Air1 and enjoyed the humor and thoughtfulness. Interesting points and ideas to consider.

The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J Sullivan
I got this one as a Christmas gift. I’ve never read any of the other books in the series before, so I was a bit confused about some of the events and characters, but found the plot to be interesting all the same.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
A reread. I love the simplicity and magic of this book.

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Also a reread. This is one of those books I was unsure of when I first picked it up, but ended up falling in love with.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Another reread. This is a cute, fun read, and one of the few books I’ve ever read written in third-person  present.

The Lauren Holbrook Series by Erynn Mangum
Miss Match and Rematch were rereads, and I may have enjoyed them even more the second time. I enjoyed the other three books as well, though I think Laurie is definitely my favorite of the two narrators. Overall, I really liked the series (though I admit I’m disappointed it never mentions what happened to Keller).

Where the Woods Grow Wild by Nate Philbrick
This one is a really fun fantasy story that sort of reminded me of Narnia. I love Martin and Elodie’s friendship, as well as the secondary characters.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Another reread (or relisten?). I really enjoyed this one—this was my third time reading it!

All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Another reread. This time, I listened to the audiobook. I enjoyed it, and picked up on details that I’d missed the first time I read it.
   
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
I’m still not totally sure what I think of this one. The plot is cool and kept me guessing, but the main character felt kind of flat to me. I’ll probably check out the sequel though.

A Sherlock Holmes Devotional by Trisha White Priebe
This was also a Christmas gift. Interesting insights and ideas!

Twinepathy by C.B. Cook
This was a fast-moving story involving superheroes. It was a really fun read!

See How They Run by Ally Carter
I listened to the audiobook of this one too. It was okay, but I think I enjoyed the first book more.

Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath
This was a really interesting short story! The concept was unique and intriguing.

While You’re Awake by Amber Stokes
This novella was so, so cute. (And it’s a Sleeping Beauty retelling.)

Before the Fall: Arrival by Ally Carter
A short story that introduces All Fall Down. Just…not much happens in it.

How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes
Another cute novella. I liked While You’re Awake a bit more though.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill
I didn’t want to put this one down. The characters were intriguing and I was never quite sure what would happen next.

Threadbare by Bethany Jennings
Another short story. Very cool concept. The characters and story were really vivid.

Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum
I didn’t like this one as much as the Lauren Holbrook series, but I’ll probably check out the next book.

The Crown’s Game by Evenlyn Skye
Another reread. This time, I listened to the audiobook. Still enjoyed the story, though I think it’s one I preferred in print. It just seemed hard to keep track of everything when listening to it.

How to Make A Living As a Writer by James Scott Bell
Some interesting advice and ideas.


Currently Reading:
Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport (audiobook)

Tell me about what you’ve been reading! Any rereads of old favorites? Any new favorites? What books are you looking forward to?


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Snippets | March 2017


I’ve been balancing two writing projects this month: plot notes for TAD2 (which I’ll be working on throughout April for Camp NaNo as well) and the first and second drafts of my newest novella, An Occasion for Laughter. This month’s snippets are from the latter WIP. If you’d like to see more, check out this thread on Twitter!

It’s weird how quiet the house gets at night. No echo of the TV through the dining room walls, no traffic outside, no phones ringing. Just the clink of the metal tines against the glass bottom of the bowl.

“I’m trying to convince Natalie to bring blueberry crumble, so you should at least stop by for that.”

When he turns around to look at me, he’s smiling. A wide smile that hints at secrets and a little bit of mischief.

I hold out my hands. “Walk with me.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ten Years of Blogging | Lovely Whatsoevers Turns Three!


Today, Lovely Whatsoevers turns three! *throws confetti*

It’s a little hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for a decade! I wanted to do something a little different and fun to celebrate, so I went on a treasure hunt.

Some treasure is only found in the Comic Sans archives
of one’s old blogs...

I did not expect to find my very first blog post, however. So behold! An internet snapshot of thirteen-year-old Jameson:

Mar. 20, 2007
Hi & Welcome To My Blog!
Hi and welcome to [my blog]! I guess since this is my first entry I should tell a little bit about the things I like. I like reading, writing in my journal, watching tv and hangin' out with my friends. I'm also a huge fan of POTC & LOTR too. I guess you could tell that though by looking at the name of my blog, my icon(can you guess who my fave character is?) and the POTC:AWE trailer I've posted. I think POTC:AWE is gonna be awesome judging by the trailer. Well, hope you enjoyed reading my first entry and hope you enjoy the POTC trailer if you're a fan.  Later! ~Baby Girl

(Note: The background of my blog was a picture of the Black Pearl, my profile icon was Will Turner, and I was, obviously, at the height of my Pirates of the Caribbean obsession. I also wasn’t allowed to use my real name on the internet at the time, so I used one of my nicknames instead.)

So, yeah. I think there’s been some improvement in my blogging skills over the years. :)

I’ve made some really great friends through blogging, and had a fun way of chronicling life as a way to connect with others. It’s interesting to look back and see just how much my own blogging style has shifted over time, as well as the changes in blogging itself! Things are rather different than they were in 2007…

But I’m not only waxing nostalgic here today—I’m also having a little giveaway!

My apologies for the weird colors in the photo.
The journals really are green and orange! :)

Giveaway Info:
 Begins today and ends at midnight March 27th. 
Winner will be announced via Rafflecopter and notified by email by the 28th.
US only.

And the winner is...
Hannah Y.!  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Blogger Recognition Tag


This tag comes from Kate at Story and Dark Chocolate!

Rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Tell a little bit about how you started blogging.
Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
Nominate 15 other bloggers.


Blogging Beginnings:

In March 2007, my mom asked me if I would like to start a blog as an extra-credit thing project for school. It sounded like a cool idea, so I started a blog that was mostly themed around movies. As I got older and learned my way around the blogosphere, it became a place where I talked about life, faith, writing, reading, and all kinds of things. It was also place where I made some great friends.

And then in 2010, I started a separate writing blog on Blogger. I ended up preferring the way Blogger worked compared to my other blog host, so I decided to create a new blog for “life stuff.” I maintained the life and writing blogs for a while, but it was getting difficult to balance both, so I decided to start over one more time, this time with Lovely Whatsoevers.

Tip #1:

Blogging should be fun—if it feels like a chore or a thing to be checked off the list, consider stepping back from it. If it’s not something you enjoy, then you shouldn’t force yourself to do it. Sometimes that means taking a short break to recharge and figure out what you want to do with your blog.

Tip #2:

Be kind.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the disagreement and problems in the blogosphere. But it’s also easy to be nice to each other. :)


What are your best blogging tips? (And feel free to take this tag for your blog!)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Blogging Community Tag


This tag comes from Heather! I’m actually adapting this tag a little bit, because so many of my favorite blogs incorporate all of the categories and it was just too difficult to choose just one for each category! If you’d like to see the original list of questions, you can find them here.

Rules:
Answer the 7 questions
Tag others (as much as you want)
Provide link back to the creator of the tag (optional)
Include the above picture in your post



Christine writes so many inspiring things and leaves such lovely comments on everyone’s blogs. Also, her book photography is stunning.

Shay’s blog features lots of writing-themed posts, and her comments are always so full of encouragement! She also live-tweets her kitchen adventures, which are great fun to read.

Sarah’s blog features book reviews, writing tips and resources, and fun posts about life. (And her blog design is so cute!)

Nichole writes about writing and life with humor, seriousness, and encouragement.

Heather writes about fiction in a super fun and creative way, with thoughtful discussions about characters and storytelling.

Savannah’s blog features her writing journey and tips, including a neat series about crafting characters.
 
Jaime’s blog features her writing adventures as well as a ton of cool book reviews (and her bookish photos are so pretty!).


These are just a few favorite blogs I follow, though there are so many others too. :)

What are your favorite blogs?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Look At My Blogging Journal


With the third blogaversary of LW coming up (also marking ten years of blogging for me—what!?), I’ve got a few blogging-themed posts for this month. First up: A look at my blogging journals!

Blogging Journal #1:

I’d heard about blogging journals over the years, but didn’t keep one. Then for Christmas 2014, one of my brothers gave me a bunch of writing supplies. Among them was a hardcover journal featuring the Avengers. Because it was a slimmer journal and fit perfectly in my purse, I decided to use it as my first blogging journal. 


Usually, I scribbled post ideas on the next available blank page and referenced it when I was drafting the blog post on my computer. Sometimes, I also included notes for scheduling or images, or even blog design. 


And when all the pages were filled, I decided to start a new one!

Blogging Journal #2:

I wanted something similar in size to the Marvel journal, and found this pink one at Walmart for under $5. I also love the yellowed pages.


 

I decided to organize this one a little more than my first blogging journal. I’ve sort of been incorporating some bullet journal ideas for it. The front page features general blog info. Around the start of each month, I make a page for blog stats. (I track followers and pageviews.)


Then, I add the recurring post section. This is where I list the month’s Lessons post theme and reminders for snippets and a monthly recap. Beside these, I list the intended publication date for them (if these change, I just mark the new date there as well).


In the ideas section, I keep a list of—drumroll—post ideas. For example, this month is my blogaversary so I wanted to do some blogging-themed posts (like this one). I also list any tags or linkups I want to participate in that month.

In the pages after the stats page, I make more notes about the posts: questions for the tags and linkups, post drafts, or even any images I need to create or include for each post.

While I don’t always follow the schedule I put in my blogging journal, it provides a space to keep my blog info and post ideas so that I can come back to them and (hopefully) improve.

Do you keep a blogging journal? Tell me about your process!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Second | February 2017

February has been…something. It’s difficult to believe we’re already starting the third month of this year, but it also feels like 2017 is taking its time. Less blink-and-it’s-gone than how much of 2016 felt. Populated by sunny days and some weird emotional turns, it has, overall, been a pleasant month. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
 
* Published The Assassin’s Daughter.
It still feels very strange to have a book out in the world. Sort of terrifying but also freeing?
All the info can be found here


* Started a new  story for The Pursuit of Merriment.
“I’m taking February as a writing break,” I said.
“No, we’re taking over instead,” the plot bunnies replied.


I don’t know what it is about the TPOM characters but they throw together a storyline and plot pretty quickly. But writing them is really fun so I’m not complaining. (Also: #BoyfriendMerritt.)

I’m currently somewhere in the fifth chapter, which is approximately the halfway point. I’m looking at posting the first chapter on Wattpad in March (if things work out), so if you’re a TPOM reader, keep an eye out. Lots of fluff happening in this one.

* Spent a day in Cades Cove.
February decided to be a spring month this year, so my grandmother, aunt, sister, and I grabbed some snacks and spent the day in the Cove. It was a much-needed break from routine. 


* Joined Goodreads.
I’m still learning my way around it. If you’ve got any tips, feel free to share. (And you can find me here.) Speaking of reading, I finished eight books this month!


Tell me about your February! Favorite moments? What are you looking forward to in March?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to Make a Writing Calendar

Last year, I decided to bring some organization to my writing routine to see how it worked out. So in February, I grabbed some paper and pens and started making a writing calendar. While I moved things around throughout the year to better accommodate my schedule, I was able to stay on track with most of my goals. I’m doing the same thing in 2017 and thought I’d share my method.

(Disclaimer: My first 2017 calendar had some things marked wrong—plus looked pretty messy—so this is actually my second version. Much neater and with things in their proper order.)

Onward!


Step One: Make the calendar outline.

I make a list of the months (usually in a 3x4 layout) on paper.

I also make a note—at the bottom of the page or on a separate scrap of paper—of any writing events I plan to participate in during the year (like Camp NaNo and NaNoWriMo). If I know the dates, I note those as well. 




Step Two: Choosing Projects

If there are any major writing projects I want to complete, I make a note of them as well. While not all may be written as planned, I like having an idea of what could be ready to be written. This year, my biggest writing project will be making TAD2 ready for betareading. Most of my writing calendar is structured around this WIP.

In some cases, I know I want to revise or work on a new WIP, but I’m not sure yet which projects. In this case, I’ll just mark Revision or New WIP. This way, I can narrow my list of potential projects to a category and make it easier to choose.


Step Three: Breaks

I also include writing breaks on my calendar. During breaks, I may work on short stories or plot notes, but I try not to work on any huge projects. 


And that’s my method for making writing calendars!

It’s a flexible process too. If it takes longer to complete a project than planned, I can move things around to accommodate the overlap. Or, if I thought I’d be working on a revision but that project isn’t as ready as I thought, I can switch to a new WIP and move the revision to its place. To quote Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s more like guidelines than actual rules. :)

Do you make a writing calendar? Tell me about your process!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Assassin's Daughter Launch Day + Giveaway



Launch day is finally here! 


And I have a few surprises to announce:


Surprise #1: The paperback edition of The Assassin’s Daughter is available today.
Surprise #2: The ebook editions are on sale for .99 this week.
Surprise #3: I'm giving away two signed paperbacks!



And the winners are...
Devorah Bynes
Michelle C.   


Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you soon. :)

And thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!   




About The Assassin’s Daughter

For most of her life, Katira has trained to take on the role of assassin. While it’s far from the life she would have chosen, the law known as the Inheritance Proclamation dictates that she must follow in her father’s profession. At seventeen, she’ll be expected to use her training on a real assignment any day.



When new information about an old fugitive brings questions about Kat’s past to light, she must make a choice: Prove her loyalties to the Tederan Order and their laws, or become a fugitive to search after answers she may never find.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2017 Valentine Blog Party: Perfect Date



Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! And in the spirit of all things romantic and writerly, I’ve got a little something different for the blog today.


A few of my Twitter writing buddies and I are having a Valentine’s Day party! One day, we were discussing our characters, which led to the question of which of the fictional fellows would be the best Valentines. And thus, today’s theme:


THE PERFECT DATE


So are you ready to meet the two book boys who could just be the perfect Valentine date?



The Sometimes-Troublemaker

Edellion

(The Assassin’s Daughter)


How does he look? Eyes, hair, any tattoos or scars. What’s his style?
Black hair, sometimes messy. Gray eyes. A few little scars—mostly cuts and scrapes. Tall.

Ed dresses pretty well, usually in his uniform—sometimes with a white shirt, but his favorite is the maroon one. And you’d have a hard time finding him not carrying at least one weapon.

What kind of music? What kind of food?
Ed loves music, especially violin. And just about any kind of food.

What’s his family like?
Well, he remembers his mother being very kind, but she died when he was little. Aside from Kat and Bayor, he’s not close to anyone these days.

Why he would be a great date?
Despite his sometimes-brooding tendencies and the habit of getting into the occasional fight, Ed is actually rather sweet. He’s attentive and loves trying to make a girl smile.

Things he values?
His knives and his bow. The outdoors. Freedom. Food.

What he would do for a first date?
First, Ed would treat his date to a good meal. After, he’d take her dancing and maybe for a walk under the stars.

Looking for long term relationship or just a quick date?
Well, that all depends on the girl…

We’ve had our pros, what are the cons?
Did I mention he’s got a little habit of getting into fights?

Flowers, chocolate, or promises he doesn’t intend to keep?
Ed is definitely the boy who’d bring his date’s favorite candy.


The Accidental Heart-stealer

Merritt Kingston

(The Pursuit of Merriment and A Happy Mess)


How does he look? Eyes, hair, any tattoos or scars. What’s his style?
Blond hair, keeps it neat. Blue eyes. No tattoos or scars. Average height.

Merritt can usually be found in jeans and comfy t-shirt, but for a date he would dress up a bit with his favorite button-down shirt and a nice tie.

What kind of music? What kind of food?
Merritt’s taste in music is pretty eclectic, but old country is a favorite. And he’s not picky about food.

Unless coffee counts as a food. Then that’s definitely a favorite.

What’s his family like?
His little brother, Nash, is an energetic kid with a love for trains and occasionally trying to embarrass Merritt. But he’s a great kid and Merritt would do anything for him.

And he doesn’t like to talk about his parents.

Why he would be a great date?
Merritt’s a very attentive guy who would want to make sure his date is having a good time and would behave like a total gentleman.

Things he values?
First, Nash. And then coffee and their house.

What he would do for a first date?
He’d pick up his date and bring along flowers—her favorite if he knows them—and would go out for a nice dinner.

Looking for long term relationship or just a quick date?
Merritt’s definitely a long-term relationship guy.

We’ve had our pros, what are the cons?
He takes his responsibilities very seriously, and sometimes he gets distracted in all that worry.

Flowers, chocolate, or promises he doesn’t intend to keep?
Merritt’s not the kind of guy to make a promise he doesn’t intend to keep, so he’d bring flowers or chocolate—depending on which is his date’s favorite.



Ready to meet the other dates?



Which fictional boys do you think would be the perfect Valentine’s Day Date?