So Resolutions, Huh?

Like I said in my new years resolutions post – you can find it here – I’m pretty bad at keeping on track. I thought I might have an easier time staying on the straight and narrow if I checked in with myself occasionally to see how things are going. This probably isn’t going to be a monthly thing, but I’ll try to check in regularly and see if it helps. Feel free to use the comments as your own checking in page! How are you getting along? Have you broken any resolutions? Changed any? Are you smashing through them like the gods/goddesses you are? Let’s chat in the comments, and spur each other on!

Continue reading “So Resolutions, Huh?”

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Update on my Reading and Writing Challenges 2015

Hey everyone. It’s roughly halfway through the year so I thought I’d update you all on my Reading and Writing goals. You can find the original post here.

I’m doing okay on the reading challenge. I’ve completed several of them (although I have yet to write reviews for most) and I have ideas for what I want to read for the others. I’ll get there. I still have half a year left.

As for the writing challenges…well. I haven’t written for at least half an hour every day – but I am determined to start, so hopefully I will be able to tick this one off. I started Camp NaNo but failed horribly. I am determined to do better on the actual NaNo in November though. Let’s see, shall we? I changed the “finish the first drafts of two books” goal to finish the first drafts of a book and a screenplay. I haven’t managed either yet BUT hopefully if I start writing every single day and kick ass in November then I will complete this one. There’s still hope!! And as for writing more fanfiction…I actually haven’t written any this year (although I have read a ton). I have a few ideas for fanfics though so I’ll definitely have written at least a few stories by the time the year is up.

So overall I’m not where I wanted to be in my goals so far, but I think that as long as I step up my game from now on, I can still complete most, if not all, of these goals. Wish me luck!

Camp Nano – How Badly did I Fail?

Well, I did better than last time that’s for sure. But still. I didn’t realise just how little time I would have to dedicate to it. I need to start practising making writing a part of everyday life and not a “whenever I get the chance” thing. But anyway.

My goal was 30,000 words across both of my projects (my novel and my screenplay). You can find my previous Camp post, detailing what my projects are about here. I wrote…4,612 words. Yeah. Not quite there, huh? My philosophy of “it’ll be fine, there’s nothing to distract me” didn’t quite work out. I’m going to work on incorporating writing into my daily routine for at least half an hour each day from now on.

Camp didn’t work out for me this time, but I’m not put off. The people in my cabin have been lovely and everyone is very supportive of each other. I’ll definitely be entering NaNoWriMo again this November – I’ve already got a couple of ideas floating around for novels. Hopefully I’ll finish rough drafts of these two projects this year too. Fingers crossed and all that. Just…maybe don’t hold your breaths, yeah?

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015

Hey everyone! Well, Camp NaNo has begun today and I’m really excited to actually finish this time. I entered Camp in May of this year, and also the proper NaNo last November and failed miserably at both. Third time lucky! In case you haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo takes place in November when you are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel. Camp is slightly more lax in that you can choose your own word count. I chose 50k in May but 30k this time – hopefully I can exceed it and not get disheartened like last time! Unlike May and November, I don’t have university this month and I don’t have any upcoming exams, which means that, aside from moving into my new flat, I don’t have anything to distract me from writing. In this post, I’m going to explain a little about my projects this month, and I’m also going to do a couple of follow up posts so you can see how I’m getting on. If you’re doing Camp this month and are blogging about it, please leave a link in the comments. And my Camp name is A J Maslin – follow me if you want! You can look on the Camp about page or the FAQ page for more info. Here’s a link to my profile.

You’re supposed to do one project, but this month I’m going to be working on two. The first is a novel, and the second is a script/screenplay for a television series. I’m going to put both together for my word count.

My novel is the novel I entered into NaNo last November and didn’t even start, and the novel I was going to work on at Camp in May but got overshadowed by my exams. So this is the third chance for Last Train to the End of the World (working title). It’s about a spy, Calum, and an assassin, Bella, who have an unfortunate meeting on a train while both on assignment. Well, unfortunate for one of them. While Calum survives the incident with little more than a dislocated shoulder and a severely bruised ego, Bella isn’t quite so lucky. But when Calum steals a locket from her body, he discovers it’s not just a pretty pendent, and while later sifting through reams of paperwork in an attempt to find out who she is working for, he finds some disturbing information.

He thought he knew which side he was on, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. The Allies and the Enemies have just signed a tenuous peace treaty, and one side is already looking to break it. The question Calum must face is…which side? He assumes Bella’s identity as a notoriously successful and anonymous assassin, and heads off to discover the truth about the war that’s been constantly threatening his country since before his parents were born. But as he sinks deeper into his lies and this stranger’s life, he worries that he’s losing his grip on the reality he fights for. But the most terrifying thing of all? He’s not sure that he can bring himself to care.

Last Train is an adventure story about a spy who isn’t sure which side he should be on. It follows him from the first seeds of doubt to his final confrontation, and all the while he struggles, not just with the pressures of a looming war, but with creeping feelings he’s not sure how to handle.

Naked Fridays/The Secret Lives of the Young and Wild (working titles) is a screenplay for a television show in a similar vein to Sex and the City meets Girls. It follows six housemates who live in the city of Edinburgh. They all have vastly different jobs but all are determined to rise to the top. They are young, budding professionals, and they can’t wait for the day when they can buy a house and stop having to borrow underwear off each other because they don’t have the money to fix the washing machine. Until that day though, they all hide a secret. While they might be almost-professionals by day, they run a sex dungeon in their basement every Friday night, where they work as dominatrixes. They manage to keep their lives separate by heavily utilising code names and masks, but there’s lot’s of close calls ahead of them as they attempt to navigate city life as 20-somethings with many secrets in their closets. The first season will begin will the arrival of the newest housemate in Edinburgh, and follow their journeys, both separate and as a group, throughout the year.

Reading and Writing Challenges Update 1

Hey guys! So some of you may remember that I did a post on my reading and writing resolutions (if you want to recap it, click here: https://secretsofthestudentlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/reading-and-writing-challenges-2015/ ). This is my January recap and update (a couple of days late). Enjoy!

I am failing ridiculously at my reading challenges. I haven’t finished a single book yet (I’m usually way better than this but I’ve put it down to settling back into the uni routine and recent stresses) BUT I am most of the way through three of the categories – “a book set during Christmas” (Hogfather by Terry Pratchett), “a book based on a true story” (I Miss Mummy by Cathy Glass) and “a book by an author you’ve never read before” (Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy). I will DEFINITELY finish these, and hopefully a couple more, by the end of the month.

I’m doing equally badly with my writing resolutions. Although I have been writing more recently, I haven’t been doing it every day, and I’m nowhere near any first drafts. This month I’m trying harder to write daily now that I’ve settled into a routine again. I haven’t written any fanfiction at all, but I’ve had some really good ideas for one shots recently so hopefully I’ll write all those and it’ll kick start my brain into wanting to write again.

So there you go! I’m…kinda failing. But it’s still early in the year and now that I’ve settled down here in Edinburgh again (and once I’ve sorted out my flat and everything for next year!) I’ll have more time and hopefully more inclination to knuckle down and read and write. Have any of you made resolutions or challenges for this year? How are you doing with sticking to them?

Reading and Writing Challenges 2015

Hey everyone! In 2015, I’m planning to complete a reading challenge and I’m also setting myself some writing goals. I’ll talk about the reading challenge first!

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Now I’m not completely sure where this is from (I think the website Popsugar had something to do with it but if you know where it originated, please comment and I’ll edit this post to give credit) but it looks awesome! Some of the challenges on here I think will be pretty easy for me and some will take me out of my comfort zone, but I think this looks really fun. If any of you guys are interested in also doing this, please comment because I’ll be doing updates on how I’m getting along and it’ll be fun to talk to some others who are also doing this challenge.

Now for my writing resolutions! They are pretty simple really:

1. Write for at least half an hour every day. It’s easy to just convince myself I have other things to do but this year in DETERMINED to write every single day.

2. Participate in NaNoWriMo and ACTUALLY START IT. In 2014 NaNoWriMo I wrote…2 paragraphs. Yeah. I didn’t even update my word count once. This year I’m determined to actually participate and finish NaNoWriMo.

3. Finish the first drafts of two books. I’ve just started planning a new novel which I’m really excited about, and I’ll also be doing my NaNoWriMo novel in November. My goal is to have two first drafts COMPLETED by this time next year.

4. Write more fanfiction. I know people have differing opinions on fanfiction but I LOVE IT, both reading it and writing it. My final writing goal this year is to write more fanfiction – not only do I find it fun, it helps get my brain into gear so I can write my original stuff too.

So that’s my reading and writing goals for 2015! Do you set goals for yourself? If you do, please comment and tell me – I’d love to know! See you next time, and keep a look out for regular updates on how I’m doing with my resolutions.

Life Update and Book Haul

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been super busy with university and exams – but they all finish this week which means I’ll have far more time to talk to you. I’ve got a tiny book haul here from Urban Outfitters; a gift and a small present for myself. Enjoy!

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For myself, I bought Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy and Broke – I love travelling and reading about travelling and this book seems ideal to flick through and discover a world of amazing possibilities, as well as tips on how to budget and where to start.

642 Things to Write About – this is a Christmas gift for a writer friend of mine, for when she has writer’s block or needs to get started on something. After having a quick flick through, I’m thinking of buying it for myself too!!

I’m sorry this post was so short, but I just wanted to check in and let you all know what was happening. Hopefully I’ll have plenty of time in the near future to think of some more exciting post ideas. See you soon!