Happy December!

How did it get to be December 2nd already?

Ah, look at that.  The Hamilton Mixtape is out today!

mixtape.jpg

In other news, another NaNoWriMo is here and gone.  Nope, I didn’t win this year.  Didn’t even come close.  But I’m A-OK with that.  I started a story that needed to be written, and I’m so excited to see where it’s taking me.  I’m back in The Writing Mode, which is the best place to be.  I’m editing and writing and excited to start querying again after the holidays.  (Most literary agencies close up shop in December and January because it’s such a crazy time of year.)

Also, here’s another fun writerly-resource that I stumbled across: it’s called Scapple.  It’s a plotting program made by the same people who made Scrivener.  Basically, it’s a plotting tool where you can outline events or characters and connect them and move them around and add notes about them.  And like Scriviner, it has a 30 day free trial.  (30 days of use, not 30 consecutive days.)  AND I LOVE IT.  I’m too much of an anti-plotter (pantser at heart, you guys) to stick to traditional outlines.  But I’m writing a series now and I really kinda need to know what’s happening when.  So Scapple has been wonderful and freeing. (I’m not getting paid to promote it or anything.  I just think it’s super cool.)  Here’s an example of what it can look like:

Sample Scrapple.png

Here’s the actual plotting I’ve done on it:

actual plotting.jpg

I really like it.  And I really like where this story is going.  It’s like I’m getting deeper and deeper into this world, discovering the heart of this series’ story.  The different story plots are weaving together and I’m madly in love.  Gotta go do some writing.  I have one week of classes left, and then I’ll have free days and late nights for hot cocoa and good books and writing.

Happy December everyone.  Turn on some Christmas music and write some words.  You never know the power your story has to change someone’s life.

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12 Reasons I Love Christmas Break

Exams are done.  Homework is a distant memory.  Sleeping in can happen every day of the week.  The colors on my blog have magically changed. (Actually I did that, do you like it?)

Ah, it must be Christmas break!  Which means I’m sublimely happy, because of these 14 Christmas Break-related things.

  1. Time.  Time to read, to write, to read some more, to sleep in, to read some more, etc.
  2. All things Christmas-related.  Tree, lights, ornaments, too many cookies, wreathes, red candles, smiles.
  3. The Christmas music.  Pentatonix is amazing.  August Burns Red is such epic.  Owl City’s “Permitting Winter” is glorious.  Heck, even Coldplay has a Christmas song. I adore Christmas music on such a deep level, getting to hear songs by my favorite artists, getting to explore new genres, getting to just soak it all up.
  4. Presents.  Figuring out what to get my family and friends.  Also, wrapping paper, bows, handmade gifts, hiding the presents so they aren’t discovered, thinking about what makes people happy.
  5. This is specific to this year, but STAR WARS!  Like, STAR WARS IS COMING OUT IN LESS THAN A WEEK.  I CAN’T EVEN.
  6. College peeps are home!  I have a brother and several close friends that go to school kinda far away, and they’ll be home soon.  I can’t wait.
  7. Christmas earrings.  I am currently wearing my most favorite pair of earrings ever – penguins in santa hats.  I can only wear them about 5 weeks out of the year, and I cherish every moment of it.
  8. That feeling when I come downstairs each morning and plug in the Christmas lights on the tree, and I just gasp a little at how lovely it is and the ornaments are wonderful and I can’t even.
  9. Also, I dug out an old lego “Holiday Train” that I bought when I was about 12.  I then installed a headlight and a motor from another train, and now it’s running happy little circles around our tree and each lap brings another wave of happiness and nostalgia into my heart.
  10. The little things.  Candy canes, warm coffee.  Christmas cards in the mail.  Houses lit up as we drive by at night.  That one ornament that brings back a special memory.  That Christmas movie that makes me laugh every single time.
  11. Doctor Who Christmas episode.  Enough said.
  12. The happiness that fills my heart every time I think of the baby in the manger.  God himself as a human, come to die that we might have life.  The joy and peace and hope because of him.

What makes you happy about Christmas?  Or do you celebrate another winter holiday?  What are your favorite details?  I think that the world is an overall better place when we make lists of things that are amazing.  So add to my list of amazing in the comments below.