Jaylee Morgan is a teenage author with her sights set on publishing. She’s written short stories since–uh… um–before she can remember. Her family isn’t quite sure what to do with her (mental hospital, maybe?), as she carries around a folder that she’ll randomly open and start scribbling in.
She grew up (er, is still growing up) on a little hobby farm. She was basically born riding horses and hopefully will continue to ride horses for the rest of her life. She loves, loves, loves the cowboy lifestyle and might actually write about it someday. (Right now, she’s too scared that she won’t do it justice.)
She reads. Like crazy.
This weekend my family spent time with the rest of our close family for Labor day. We always have this weekend to ourselves and camp out on Grandpa’s yard to enjoy good quality time together. That being said, I don’t remember what RAKs I did. Helped with food? Held the door open at the musem?
Today I went grocery shopping and when I checked out, I avoided the self-checkouts. Because they hate me. Really truly. And because of that, I got to see some really cool earrings and compliment the cashier on them. It was dolphins.
Today, I (and my family) sent a card to a sick friend of ours. We just found out that he was sick yesterday, and so I snatched a card out of my stash (Yes, I have a secret stash of cards. Doesn’t everyone??) and sent it via snail mail. (I love getting snail mail, but that might be just me.)
With everything bad that’s been going on in America and the world lately, I thought it was high time to start something good. Cue RAKtivism. I know. Big word. Let’s say it together. RAK-tiv-ism. There we go!
RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness. It’s something you don’t plan, just stepping out of your way to do something good for someone you see in your day. It’s defined as a “selfless act performed by kind people to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier.” It doesn’t have to be big, but don’t feel limited either! (There is an organization that will actually help to fund expensive RAKs! Check it out here.)
More than just me doing it, I was wondering if you would like to join me. One person can make a difference. Two people can make a bigger difference. A whole host of people can make a huge difference. For the month of September (Sundays excluded for good behavior and a change to breath from all the posting 😉 ), would you join me in doing at least one RAK a day, posting about it, and encourage your readers to join in as well?
If you’re interested in joining, comment below and let everyone know you’re in! Then, with each of your posts, use the tag #SeptRAKs and display this banner:
Post about the different RAKs you did for the day to encourage each other and to give everyone ideas. If there are days when you just don’t feel well or didn’t go out or something, that’s fine! We all understand that things happen in life.
Are you worried about not having ideas? Check this site out right here for a ton of different ideas. You can also check out other people’s posts to get ideas or Pinterest, or simply help in an area where you see a need! An RAK is incredibly simple, yet can turn around an entire day or week for a person.
So. Are you in? Are you ready to change the world?
Hey, guys! I’m part of another blog tour, this time for Dawn Dagger! She is self-publishing her book, My British Bear, on the first.
Before we learn about her book, I thought it would be cool to have a quick little interview with her. I always think it’s fun to get to know an author of a book I enjoy!
Dawn Dagger has had a passion for reading and writing ever since she could remember. When she was six she drew and wrote her very own book, and though it hardly makes sense now, she was so proud. She has written many books, short stories, and poems since then, and continues to do so. Dawn placed highly in her two middle school years of Power of the Pen and even has her short story ‘The Haunting’ published in an anthology.
She admits she isn’t good at anything physical (except some ballroom dancing), or video games, but she does enjoy a nice game of Mario Kart, a trip fishing, or just a walk in the woods. She has a knack for taking pictures of whatever catches her eye; especially brightly colored flowers. Dawn is a sucker for a good fantasy book, lives off of coffee, and loves her wonderful family and friends, and her dedicated boyfriend, Nevin, who is just like a romance novel character.
School started up for me and for a lot of you too, I’m sure. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s not getting around it. It’s tricky, keeping everything else on track while working on school. Some of you may find that it’s easier to do anything when school’s around because it puts a schedule in your life. Others of you find it harder because school takes up your life. Either way, here are some tips to keep writing while doing school. Continue reading “How to Keep on Track With School”→
The other day, my mom, sisters, and I were the outriders for a wagon train in our part of the state. (It’s funny the wide range of places you can learn about writing!) After our waltz/drive around the neighborhood, we were talking to some of the teamsters. Ya know, swapping cowboy/horse stories and generally being friendly. One of the teamsters told a story that got me thinking about story beginnings.
One thing I’ve noticed about cowboy stories is that they usually start with the teller’s relation to the person in the story. That’s actually what got me thinking about the subject. My grandpa wasn’t there and I thought he’d get a kick out of the story. However, then I realized that it wouldn’t start off very interesting if I said, “so, the teamster that I just met yesterday–Mark, I think–well, his cousin had a farm with some Black Angus cows on it that he wanted to breed.” There had to be a more exciting way to start it than that! After all, it’s a mystery story, where the calves turn up the wrong color, and where a rogue steals the cows from their rightful, princely bull! Continue reading “Story Beginnings”→
My family and I might be taking our vacation a little late… I mean, August is cutting it close to when school starts again, ya know? (Knowing that school starts in 21 days is making it feel like the summer absolutely swooshed by. Anyone else feeling it too?)
Here are some ways that you can keep up with writing as you’re on vacation.
Via Ze Notebook
The good thing about the whole notebook thing is that it really goes anywhere you want it to. I took my notebook down to a balloon festival this weekend. (Okay, I only wrote half a chapter, but…) It fits nice into a backpack, or a suitcase, or a big purse. Then all you need is one pen and you are on your way! You can write in the car, write on the beach, write in the hotel room, write in the tent… there are no batteries to run out of, no screen to crack, and if you ever get in too big of a jam, you can use the empty pages to start a fire (and then listen to your mom when she says to never visit Alaska in the dead of winter.)
Laptops. Oh the everlasting practicalness and transportability of them. Bedroom? Yup. The beach? Oh yeah. The Appalachian Trail? Uh… if you wanna pack it. Which I wouldn’t suggest. Might wanna go with the notebook there. 😉 Even so, the laptop is great everywhere else. You can write in the car and the hotel room and if it’s charged enough, you can write on the beach and in the tent too!
Writing Prompts Are Great Too
You know all those writing prompts you have on your Pinterest board? Like this one? Or this one? Well, now’s the time to knock them out! Have fun, write to your heart’s content. The wackier the prompt, the better. 🙂 I mean, there are some really awesome ones out there. Like this one:
But Short Story Contests Are Awesome
Ya know… if you don’t want to work on your own, long novel, you could always take a “vacation” from it and try a short story contest. Here’s a site you can check for contests. Look them over, pick one, work on it… bingo. Who knows? You might even win! Wouldn’t that be the perfect vacation? *stares dreamily* prize money… my precious!
Yet If You Need It… Complete Break
You know what? If you’ve been writing for a long time, call it quits and take a break. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Enjoy the sand. Or the mountains. Or old Faithful. Or whatever and wherever you are. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and take it easy. Have a blast and then when you come back… well, your characters will still be there. Hopefully… they haven’t been too ornery in your absence.
So what have you done for vacations? Or have planned? How do tackle writing while on the move?
Good morning! It was a beautiful day when I woke up at 5 AM. The black darkness… gorgeousness. If for some reason you can’t get up that early to see it, I’d suggest staring at a black piece of construction paper– there’ll be the same soul-enchanting effect. I will admit though, it was gorgeous when the sun started showing its face and flooding the landscape with it’s red rays. Try it sometime. Construction paper will not, unfortunately for some, have the same effect.
Anyways, I was wondering what you all thought of the ever present word count. It seems like sometimes, a huge deal is made out of it, while other times it sits idly on the sidelines. What do you guys think about it? Is it worth the hype? Or should it be tucked away in a box in the attic? Continue reading “The Lovely World of Word Counts”→
Please excuse all the 4th of July references… this was supposed to be last week’s post.
‘Ello, y’all! How was your Independence Day? It was great for my family: morning balloon flight, relaxing in front of the TV (finally got my sisters to watch Night at the Museum), and then supper at Applebee’s. We were going to go on an evening balloon flight as well, but the winds were a bit too much, and so instead I got to eat Fiesta Lime Chicken! (Definitely try it out, guys. Delicious!)
Anywho. Today I want to talk about the different writing apps. I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys use and what is your favorites.
I’ve never used Word… I have a Mac and so it’s Pages for me. However, I think the two are pretty close, as is Google Docs. This way is probably as simple as you can get on a computer. There’s a document, you type in it, format your headers however you want (if you want) and bingo. Your story takes form and you can write your heart out without any hassles or any wait.
However, sometimes we want things a little more than that. For example… if you do any research for your writing, you can’t keep it right there with your story. Character spotlights or info… also in another document.
Scrivener is created specifically for writers– awesomeness. That makes it a little more complicated than just Pages or Word. For example, each chapter (or scene if you so choose) is in a different “document” within the document. It makes it amazing for organizing chapters and/or writing chapter 31 before chapter 28. (I’ve never done that before. Huh uh. No way.)
Character sketches? They’ve already got an outline set up for you! (It’s a pretty basic one, but it works). Research? You can download web pages right into the document itself. It even has a subsection for “Places” if you want to use it. (I haven’t yet, but I completely intend to as I do more research into the ‘wheres’ of Death’s Whistle). Another downside… it costs money. Upside… I got it for a Christmas present about two years ago and haven’t stopped using it since then!
I like how it’s flexible, it’s easy enough for me to understand yet complex enough for all the features, and it’s always worked for me. If you don’t mind me saying, ich liebe es.
I’ve never used Storyist, but I think it’s a lot like Scrivener, only for Macs. Have any of you bought/used Storyist? What do you think of it? Would you recommend it?
Pen and Notebook
This is most likely the easiest of all of them. Take a pen, take a notebook, write. (I just gave you the secret formula… use it wisely.) It does take longer, sometimes, than working on the computer. And then you have to copy it to the computer most often to edit it.
However… I like the notebook thing. When I pull out a brand new notebook or, as I like to call it, a brand new slate, you know I’m serious about the story. I don’t have a laptop (have you seen the prices for a nice one? I’m not that rich until my books hit New York Times Bestseller list) and so the story in the notebook is portable. I can work on it for a couple minutes while I wait for the rest of my family to get their supper, while I wait for my eyes to droop enough for sleep, while I wait for my toast to… toast. Yes, I do have to copy it into the computer. Yes, that can take a long time. However, copying everything, word for word, helps you to get a good look at your story that I don’t think you would ordinarily get. I find a lot of places to fix, boost, destroy when I do that.
I don’t do this with all stories. Listening to Destiny and Death’s Whistle weren’t written in a notebook, however, several of my other stories were and I think I’m starting to like it better and better.
What do you think?
What do you guys use? What’s your favorite? What would you like to try? Let me know! I’d love to talk about it!