Friday, August 8, 2014

1k A Day Writing Challenge--DEAD DOLL, Week 1

For those of you who follow my blog or know me from Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you know I finished Project 365--a challenge where you take a picture every day for a year--on August 1st, 2014.  You can find all of those posts on my blog, starting here.

I loved Project 365 because it helped me document my year in AmeriCorps and turned out to be an amazing memory maker. I've definitely learned to appreciate each day more because of it.

As one challenge ended, I added another. A good friend of mine, Taylor Newcomb, has been doing a 1k a day writing challenge for going on two months now. He's made amazing progress on his current works in progress, as well as started a lot of new projects. Since I've gotten to see and read his evolution, I realized this challenge was the one I wanted to undertake next.

I'm now 10 days into the challenge out of 365 and have written and edited just shy of 29k. Like Taylor told me, this isn't a challenge that I'll do for a year--it's a way of life.

Can you imagine it, writers? Churning out at the very least 365 thousand words? I know I'm in! And right now, I'm encouraging you to do this project with me. Just use #1kadaywritingchallenge whenever you post about your writing, and we'll be able to connect with one another.

I'd love to read your writing, and I'd also love for you to read mine.

So Welcome to my 1k a day writing challenge blog post. While I finish the edit of my current project, DEAD DOLL, a paranormal young adult romance, you'll see posts of it here. Check back weekly for updates!



If you made it this far, congrats! And thank you for reading! DEAD DOLL is a finished book, though those of you who've read it before will notice it's a significantly different story than it was a year ago. I've been going through it again, editing for a fifth time, and I think it's finally shaping into the book I want it to be. So if you like what you just read, don't worry! There will be more next week.

Until then, I hope you'll start your own 1k a day writing challenge and keep me in the loop! See you next time!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of RAZE by Tamara Grantham

A few days ago, I finished reading a novella by a good friend of mine, Tamara Grantham (find out more about her here). All I can say is WOW. Once I started reading RAZE, I couldn't stop until the last line pierced my heart. 

I'd like to tell you more about RAZE and where you can find a copy of your own.

To kick things off, here's a synopsis of the story:

"In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.

As professional hellraisers, sisters May and Lillie Wheaton believe they’re prepared for any situation. A client hires them to find her missing daughter and it seems like just another job until they realize the lost girl is a Shine. She’s been captured by New York’s most devious gang, the Xeros. May and Lillie track down the Xeros, but are horrified to learn the gang uses Shines in violent, deadly cage fights. Too late, May and Lillie realize the Xeros are smarter than they expected and, armed with the explosive power of Shines, are incredibly powerful. The lines between ally and enemy, between sister and friend, are about to change--fatally."


Super suspenseful, right? From the first sentence to the last, I guarantee that it is.  I've had the pleasure of reading quite a bit of Tamara's writing, and I've never not liked any of it. She writes hilarious, tough female leads who always get themselves into more trouble than it first appears they can handle. Her characters in RAZE are no different. If you like female characters who pack a punch, stop reading this review now and buy the book. 

This is the 6th book in the SHINE series, but just like Sabrina's book, LOST HAVEN, you don't have to read the others in order to enjoy RAZE to the fullest. I'm a picky reviewer, so since I can speak for any of the books before this one, I vote that you stick to Tamara and Sabrina's volumes. If you're hungry for more reads, keep checking back to my blog, I have more reviews upcoming! 

Also, you'll soon see an author interview from Tamara, so stay tuned! 

See you next time, readers.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Project 365 Comes Full Circle

As this year's Project 365 draws to a close, a lot of my life is changing. I'm moving to live and work at Mitchell College, which is a four-year institute in southeastern Connecticut. While I'll still be in AmeriCorps, we'll be getting an entirely new team of people. When I look back at the past year and all that's happened, I'm both nostalgic and excited for the future.

So much is different now, but in a good way. I foresee positive change continuing over this next year. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to continue Project 365, but I do know that I've learned to appreciate each day--maybe not all of it--but certainly the important moments. I want to live my life by recording those moments in whatever form works best at the time.

For everyone who's gone on this Project 365 journey with me, I just want to say a huge thank you. Without your love and support, I couldn't have done it.

Project 365 Celebration Badge

So here is my final post that completes my start on August 1, 2013 to my finish on August 1, 2014.

Day 342: When I returned from my trip, my girlfriend had cleaned my car inside and out from top to bottom. I found me a winner, folks!

 Day 343: Enjoying being buried alive in Cape Cod.

Day 344: Me with my beautiful girlfriend.

 Day 345: These lobsters were HUGE and delicious. 

 Day 346: Just me and the ocean...perfection.

 Day 347: If only this fortune were true, but in fact, it's the exact opposite! 

Day 348: A last glimpse of the food pantry at Three Rivers Community College. I'm happy to be leaving it full for students who will come in this fall semester. 

Day 349: Here is the building my new office at Mitchell is in. Pretty snazzy, no?

Day 350: I've started setting up my new office. I think it looks pretty good so far. And, yes, that is a window you see peeking in the right side of the picture! I'm moving up in the world, baby. ;)

Day 351: My girlfriend and I finished our first puzzle, and on a Saturday night, no less. I think this means we're officially old--and proud of it! This is going up on my wall. ;)

 Day 352: So I passed this street on the way to my first meeting with Mitchell College's new partner, United Way of Southeastern CT. PRETTY SURE IT'S THE BEST NAME EVER!

Day 353: I'm continuing to decorate my office at work. Can you tell I'm proud to serve my country through AmeriCorps?

 Day 354: These skinny little legs support a big personality.

 Day 355: I'd been promising my girlfriend lemon bars. Finally, I came through. ;)

Day 356: Lyci and I are on our second puzzle. This one has 500 microscopic pieces. Seriously, I'm going blind trying to piece this thing together!

Day 357: One of my best friends in CT and a former VISTA is headed off to graduate school. I got her a present to celebrate.

Day 358: The gym at my apartment complex reopened. All the equipment is shiny and new.

Day 359: After a year of wishing I'd brought mine with me, I finally got a crock-pot. I love Target's back to school sales.

Day 360: Annnd it's time for VISTA training again! This time, the returning members join the new members at Southern Connecticut State University. 

Day 361: While at the training, I got a little creative with pipe cleaners and made this present for my girlfriend. I told her I'd bring her something back!

Day 362: I'm starting to build a library for my career in higher education. Here are a couple of reads that I've collected since starting my new year of VISTA at Mitchell College.

Day 363: My plant baby continues to grow! Remember when I first got this sucker? Here's a link to what it used to look like. 

 Day 364: I brought back a lot from the first training for this new year of VISTA service a few days both--things both tangible and not. I also brought back this VISTA crown that I made out of pipe cleaners. As you can see, over the couple of days we were at Southern, my craft skills increased. ;)

Day 365: THE FINAL DAY: Here we have the 2014-2015 CTCC VISTA crew all together! I'm excited to work with this new group. Together we make a much bigger difference than we do on our own. 

This concludes my year of Project 365. Again, thanks to everyone who supported me in this endeavor. At day 20, it seemed impossible, but here we are--one picture a day for 365 days...

Keep checking back to my blog. I have a couple of book reviews and interviews with authors coming up, and after that, I'll be on to my next challenge, whatever that may be! So here we go! XOXO