Posts Tagged ‘The Midnight Novelist’

Lovely Blog AwardSometime last week Belle was kind enough to pass along the Lovely Blog Award to me! I’m so grateful and appreciative. Thanks Belle!
The rules of this award are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who gave it to you
  2. List seven things about yourself
  3. Pass it along to seven others

So, here we go!

  1. My favorite state is Rhode Island. I don’t know why. It just always has been. Someday I’ll get to visit it.
  2. I have an obsession with movies. I own over 180 of them and my collection keeps growing. It’s becoming  a problem, but I just…can’t…stop…
  3. Both of my parents are left-handed, but I’m right-handed, much to my dismay.
  4. I threw discus and shot put in high school. For someone that wasn’t particularly adept at sports, I was actually quite good at this.
  5. My favorite book series is and will always be Harry Potter.
  6. An author whose career I would like to emulate would probably be T.A. Barron’s, or maybe even Rick Riordan’s.
  7. My goal in life is to own a Great Dane named Zeus. Especially so I can come home and say, “Zeusy, I’m home!” (Hercules reference, anyone?)

Passing on awards like this is always hard because you don’t know who has gotten it already and who actually would be willing to take the time to pass it along to seven more people. So, I’m just going to link to seven blogs I think you should check out. If they happen to see this and write up their own post, even better!

  1. Jessica Therrien
  2. Ddog’s Gamerscene
  3. Reel Spot
  4. Kaitlin and Michael Branch’s The Athele Series
  5. Twist of a Millennia
  6. EM Castellan
  7. S.J. Maylee

I think each and every one of these bloggers is lovely, and that their blog is worth a follow. Go check them out, and then tell me one cool fact about yourself in the comments!

Today is the last day of 2012. Part of me is shocked – When did this happen? Where was I? Did I black out at any point in time? – and the other part is excited. A brand new year is upon us.

I actually remember quite vividly the beginning of 2012 and how hopeful and determined I was. I got a reality check fairly early on, but I never let that slow me down. This year has been – and I can say this without a doubt – the best year of my life. I accomplished so much and became a part of so many things that I value with all my heart. Not only that, but I finally cemented the idea in my head that yes, I am a writer, and yes, I will be published some day.

I feel so incredibly blessed.

The rest of this post is basically a list of everything I accomplished. I’m not doing this to brag or to show you how much I’ve gotten done. I’m sure the list isn’t nearly as inspiring or complete and yours would be. Feel free to not read it at all – it won’t bother me. This is for ME, because sometimes I feel like I haven’t done anything at all. I need these types of lists to remind me that although the steps I take may be small, they really do add up.

This is to remind me that at the beginning of 2012, I was literally standing at square one.

This is to remind me that at the end of 2012 I have become a completely different person, and in the best way possible.

This is to remind me that 2013 can and WILL be just as great as 2012 was.

~~~

Because I already do a round up post at the end of each ROW80 round, it was pretty easy to track down and grab all of my accomplishments. As a result, the list below is broken up into four parts – one for the four rounds of ROW80, each of which comprise of about three months. After the numbered points, I’ve written a few paragraphs describing my year overall. If you want to know what I did and are too lazy to read everything (:P), then just go read those!

My 2012 resolutions that I set up at the end of 2011 were pretty simple. I wanted to finish editing my completed novel (D1), start researching agents/publishers, finish writing my WIP (L1), lose 20 pounds, and read 25 new books.

I did all of this except lose 20 pounds (oops). I also didn’t get anywhere with researching agents and publishers, though I did find some great resources along the way (so I’m calling that a win anyway).

ROUND ONE:

  1. I finished editing my completed novel (D1), which was the first full-length project I ever finished.
  2. I finished my WIP (L1), which was the second full-length project I ever finished and by far the quickest written.
  3. I started writing D2, despite not being completely happy with everything I had in D1.
  4. I completed 50 blog posts, had 2,000 views, and 400 comments. I probably did a happy dance.
  5. I put D1 and D2 aside in order to focus on L1. This was the best decision I could’ve made in regards to my main projects. D1 is a dud (for now) and one of those things that needs to sit in a drawer and marinate for a while. L1 has so much more potential.
  6. I became a copyeditor for Hypable, which has been and continues to be such an incredible experience and opportunity for me.
  7. I decided to create my own Facebook page. This had been quite a scary thought at first (admitting to friends and family that I’m pursuing this whole “writer thing” seriously), but turned out to not only not be a big deal, but to remind me that my friends and family are super supportive of all of my decisions.

ROUND TWO:

  1. I wrote a short story called “The Necklace,” which is a modern twist on a Greek myth. It needs some work, but I plan on making a series out of this. Should be interesting.
  2. I wrote another short story – a twist on the Cinderella tale – for my best friend. She loved it, so I may write more for her.
  3. I finished writing “Trigger.” This is a short story that ended up in the final collection and actually became one of my favorites.
  4. I started writing Z1, the first out of 12 novellas I have planned for this series. I’m stuck on it right now, but it’s something I definitely want to pursue.
  5. I hit 100 posts on my blog. Probably did another dance.
  6. Finished writing “Found,” another short story. This one stayed in the collection as well – for now, at least.
  7. I got an iPhone, which has literally transformed my life. I can do everything 10 million times more efficiently now.
  8. I ate octopus, squid, and kimchi for the first time. Oddly enough, the cabbage was the one I hated.
  9. I saw Team StarKid in concert, which was definitely one of the highlights of my year.
  10. I joined Ladies Who Critique and found two critique partners that have helped me tremendously with edits for L1.

ROUND THREE:

  1. I wrote three short stories this round, and began editing the collection.
  2. Had both my collection and my novel critiqued by Beta readers.
  3. Started working with L.T. Ryan as his editor on his Jack Noble novels. I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate his enthusiasm and talent. I’m such a fan of his books and of him as a person, and I’m super grateful that our paths have crossed.
  4. I started writing columns for Hypable. I also started covering Teen Wolf and Percy Jackson news, and became a host on the new Once Upon a Time podcast on Hypable, called Onceable.
  5. I saw Karmin in concert – twice. It was a dream come true.
  6. I added an accomplishment page to my blog, which is a great way for me to keep tabs on everything that I’ve been doing.
  7. I passed 10,000 views on here.
  8. I won 6th place in the 81st Annual Writer’s Digest Genre Short Story competition with my horror short titled, “The Body.”

ROUND FOUR:

  1. Natalie and I started up Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast, a podcast dedicated to the show – you guessed it – Teen Wolf. This is my favorite project right now, and I’m so grateful that I am a part of it!
  2. Passed 15,000 views on the blog.
  3. I met and started working with C.G. Cooper on his book series Corps Justice.
  4. I started writing a new novel that I like to call The Watch Story. It’s just something to work on alongside all my edits, but it definitely has potential.
  5. I’ve continued editing L1, and it’s getting stronger and stronger.
  6. My short story collection is nearly complete.
  7. I’ve hit 200 posts.
  8. I had frog’s legs for the first time! Tasted like chicken.

~~~

So, what does this all mean?

Well, I elected to put away my first completed novel (my “baby” in a sense) in order to work on something that had more potential. I started several new projects that I have yet to finish, but they’re still words on a page and, therefore, a win for me. I also finished my short story collection and feel quite good about it actually being nearly complete. Winning that award didn’t hurt either.

The blog has been growing steadily, and some days I just look at the numbers and think, “People actually read what I write?” It’s a humbling experience, for sure, and something I never actually imagined happening, despite the fact that this blog is obviously a public forum. And I can’t even tell you the number of people I’ve met and befriended because of this platform. You’re all incredibly amazing, and I’ll never forget the support you all have shown me. Over a year of blogging, more than 17,000 views, over 200 posts, and 1750 comments. Is this real life?

I said it once, but I’ll say it again: joining Hypable has been an incredible experience and a wonderful opportunity for me. Not only have they allowed me to be an editor, but to spread my wings and write news articles, columns, and even become a podcaster. I feel my foot inching further and further in the door every day. And although that’s a wonderful thing, I can’t help but put an even larger emphasis on the people that I’ve met and become friends with. They live all around the world – much like you do, dear readers – which can be both enlightening and a little sad. How is it that some of the people that understand me the most, that I have the most in common with, live across the country or halfway around the world? It’s not fair. I’ve learned so much about people, different cultures, fandom, and the Internet because of them. I quite literally wouldn’t trade it for the world. (What would I do with an entire planet anyway? I can’t even remember to water the plants.)

Outside of writing, I’ve been having a good year as well. I saw two of my newest and favorite artists, Karmin and StarKid, live and in concert. Both were amazing experiences. I dove straight into eating Chinese food with a passion that my younger self wouldn’t have believed. I’ve tried so many new things and loved every second of it – even when I’ve had to spit out some of the more disgusting foods. Not to mention all I’ve learned since joining up with my local mycological society.

But none of that compares to how I’ve grown as a writer and as a person. At the beginning of 2012 I was naïve, shy, and a little scared. I’m still all of those things, but less so. And that’s a step in the right direction. I had high hopes, and even though I didn’t accomplish all of them, I started walking down the right path. This is partially – maybe even mostly – due to the blog post by Kristen Lamb called “Aspiring is for Pansies.” Yeah, that’s all it took. One blog post. Maybe I’m just really easy to persuade. Or maybe Kristen just really knows what she’s talking about. (Let’s go with the latter, shall we?)

I realized that all I want to do is become a writer. Maybe it isn’t the smartest choice. Maybe I won’t make a lot of money. Maybe I’ll constantly be fighting with those around me, trying to prove that writing is both a serious and important career choice for me. All I know is that I’m not going to give up, no matter how bumpy the road becomes. I can be an anxious person, full of indecisiveness and doubt. But this is the one thing that I’ve never, ever doubted. And it’s the one thing that I will never, ever give up on. I was meant to be a writer. And I will be.

Most writers lead a double life if they aren’t lucky enough to write full-time. I’m here to talk about that other part of my life – my day job.

In my world, The Evil Day Job doesn’t exist. I’m lucky enough that I really enjoy my job each and every day. Sure, I can’t say that the craziness doesn’t get to me sometimes, but 99 times out of 100, I look forward to going to work each and every morning. How cool is that!?

My day job consists of a 15 minute commute to the house of a family friend. Oddly enough, my mom and my boss met when they both worked at the same doctor’s office. I became friends with my boss’ daughters, and we eventually found out that my boss’ husband used to be friends with my dad when they were younger. I know, small world, right?

This is the name of our soon-to-be website, though the business is filed under ItsAllOurVault.

Well, fast forward about 10 years, and here I am working in the same place I used to visit in order to dance around like an idiot and talk about Harry Potter with just about the only other person who I knew that was as obsessed with it as I was. What do I do there? Oh, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. A typical day consists of:

  1. Arriving in the morning and saying hello to the 3 dogs, 3 puppies, 4 cats, 5 birds, and the mouse.
  2. Looking at old stuff I would normally only find in an antique store.
  3. Writing blogs posts. (Yes, I get paid for this.)
  4. Coming up with crazy ideas that we swear we’ll get to one day.
  5. Finding loose change to add to our road trip fund.

This is the lucky puppy that was adopted by my BFF. His name is Ares. All together now: AWWWW!

This just part of what I do on a daily basis. So, what is my job, you might ask?

Well, my boss sells antiques and collectibles on eBay. I originally began there as just the shipping girl – it was my job to pack up and send out all of the items that our customers bought and paid for. Eventually I learned how to list, and I suddenly became as addicted to online selling as my boss. Now I do a little bit of just about everything and I joke that I’ll become the Vice President when we become a multi-million dollar corporation. The stuff that I come across every day is absolutely incredible, and I can’t say that I’m not extremely lucky work there. Here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. I work out of my boss’ house, which can get crazy, but is SO much better than an office building with windowless cubicles. *shudder*
  2. I am actually friends with my boss and my co-worker, and we all get along perfectly. I never have to worry about being shot down if I’m suggesting ideas or questioning anyone’s sanity. (Someone has to be the voice of reason!)
  3. I get to come into work in my pajamas any day I want.
  4. The animals. ‘Nough said.
  5. A typical Friday in the summer consists of going to yard sales and antique stores to spend someone else’s money (whoo hoo!), followed by being taken out to lunch.

Oooo, shiny!

The best part about my job is the flexibility. I can work from home when I want to, and I can adjust my hours whenever I need to. Taking time off is not a problem at all, and I can always make up the work ahead of time. Better yet, I get to use a lot of my skills as a writer when I list items online and when I write for our blog.

The blog is the real reason why I’m writing this post. I want to show you guys another side of me, another passion that I have. Writing will always be my number one, but this is my second love: vintage and antique items. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on them, so I’m lucky that I get to be surrounded by them each and every day. I’d love for you guys to check out our blog. I’ve got three series that I run on there regularly:

Mondays are dedicated to our “How to Sell” posts. The blog is a way to help struggling eBay sellers who are just starting out and don’t know how to buy and sell inventory for online retail. In these posts, I pick a single topic (ie. costume jewelry) and explain our own process. Hopefully it helps someone to get their foot in the door – I understand how scary it can be to take that leap and start selling.

On Wednesdays I talk about our “Word of the Week.” I pick one word to discuss for that day – all related to antiques and collectibles. There’s a lot of jargon associated with this line of business, and it can get pretty overwhelming. We’re going to make a website soon, and this is my way of slowly putting together a glossary for our site.

And finally, on Fridays, I have our “My Weekly Score” posts. In these posts I pick one thing that we’ve sold that we have made a good profit on. I tell our readers what it is, what we bought it for, and what we eventually sold it for. The purpose of this is to show specific items that sellers can look for – things that they know will sell.

I’ll admit that this post is a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I don’t really expect anything to come from it. I know a lot of you like antiques and collectibles, so hopefully you get five minutes’ entertainment from checking out my other blog. If not, no worries! It isn’t for everyone.

If you are interested, you can follow the blog by visiting it here. Our Twitter and Facebook pages are on that site as well. If you know of anyone else who would be interested in our material, feel free to spread the word. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, I can take them here or over on the other blog. I run it all by myself, don’t hesitate to drop a comment over there!

This is what I get really excited about: costume jewelry!

Regardless of whether or not you go visit, I’m curious: do you collect anything? Do you remember your parents or grandparents having a collection of some sort? If you don’t have a collection yourself, what is the one item you’d be willing to splurge on just for the sake of looking at it?