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Archive for the tag “writing”

Day 109 of Isolation: A New Site to Try

The other day, I was on Habitica looking for some new guilds to join out of boredom (not that I really participate in any of them) and found one for people doing daily journaling. Hey, that sounds like a guild I could handle since I already do a daily journal on 4thewords.com, and their one main challenge is to keep a journal for 7 out of 10 days. I haven’t missed a day in 3 1/2 years. I can do that!

So, I joined and was looking around when I found a link to an online journaling site they reccomend/run called AYearAgo.Today. I checked it out of curiosity because I sure don’t need anymore sites to keep track of but found out it’s sort of gamified where you earn “XP” by making entries in your journal and level up. The site seems pretty new and the levels apparently don’t do anything besides exist.

I signed up since it was free, figuring I could use it as backup to my 4tw journal, but after staring at it for awhile, I decided to use it for something different. So now, it’s mainly a personal journal about dealing with chronic illness.

I rant about my health a lot in my private 4tw journal but tend to not bring it up too much on this blog because it sounds whiny or would be overwhelming. Instead, I now have a journal to chronicle my journey with and trying to overcome all the issues I’m having. The entries are public, so it’s kind of like a blog but more focused than anything I write here.

You can check out my profile here. Not sure if you need to be logged in or not to see it.

If you’re looking for a place to journal with a little bit of motivation to keep the habit up, I highly recommend AYearAgo.Today. You can keep your entries private, of course. There’s also a simple “planner” which gets you XP by completing tasks and a logbook where you can make logs of whatever info you like (I have one for chore, one for food I eat, one for fun stuff I do).

It looks a if the site might be new and eventually have more roleplaying aspects added to it in the future. I’m curious to see where it goes. I’m also assuming it will one day be a paid site so get in while it’s free for now.

Day 77 of Isolation: Pride Event at 4thewords


I’ve mentioned numerous times that I belong to a writing site called 4thewords.com where you battle monsters with your words for fun and prizes. It’s a great site for motivation and community. I’m there every single day because I don’t know what I’d do without them.

pridenitanaWe have different special events throughout the year. I usually only mention the big ones that coincide with NaNo events in April, July, and November, but most months we have something going on if it’s just a weekend thing or a week-long festival. They’re a lot of fun and break up the monotony of finishing main quests or grinding for items for side quests while you wait to level up or a new area to open.

And today starts our Pride Festival!

I know it’s a few days early, but we’re kicking it off today with our own special parade which you can check out even if you aren’t a member of the site here.


I’m so excited about this event. It normally would only be a week long, but because of everything else going on in the world and pride parades being canceled, the devs went all out. So for the next twenty-five days, we’re rainbow central.


There are special monsters to fight that drop mini pride flags that you can turn in to get rainbow-themed gear for your avatar which is used in the forums. All the people in the parade are people that use the site. There were only a couple dozen in the parade when I first joined it, but now, it’s up to nearly 300 participants, all decked out in our finest attire. That’s me in the upper right corner with the rainbow hair and funky sunglasses.


I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ (did I remember those in the right order?) community. I’m just an ally, but even I feel included and supported during our Pride events. There’s so much love and acceptance to spread… it makes me tear up. And we need it now more than ever with the way the world is falling apart around us.

4tw_prideaviIf you’re a writer, 4tw is a great place to be. The only caveat is that it is a paysite. It’s $4/month, but you get a 30-day free trial period. And if you can’t afford the monthly fee there are options such as entering a pool to win free subscriptions, asking around the forums for a sponsor, or contacting the devs who often are willing to help those struggling (although their own income comes from the game).

If you decide to check us out, use this referral code WVBIY23608 when you sign up. If you end up sticking around and buy some crystals (our real-world currency that’s exchanged for subscription time and other items) then we both get a bonus.

The site is well worth the $4/month price. I may not get much creative writing done anymore because of various health issues, but I’ve kept a daily journal on the site that really helps sort through my thoughts. I haven’t missed a single day in over three years (today will be day 1247). I also count these blog posts as words to defeat monsters which is probably why they get so long, lol.

There’s also a great, supportive community in the forums that have helped me keep my sanity over the years. I’m a mod there so I’m always popping in and helping out.

So come on over and check us out and remember:

Love is Love

Day 39 of Isolation: A Comment

Got this comment on AO3 for Heaven Can’t Wait the other day:

This story is amazing. found link in tablet i bought. is there more somewhere?

heavencantwaitOn one hand, it’s another punch of guilt to the solar plexus because I haven’t added anything to this story in over a year.

On the other hand, this person bought a tablet and the previous owner had the story bookmarked. They found, read and loved the story because of complete serendipity.

I really had hoped I could find the energy to write a bit during April, but I’ve been more stressed with the kids’ schooling and my health deteriorating than I had anticipated. All I’ve done is keep up with this daily blog (which I honestly haven’t even been doing daily–most entries are back-dated).

I have so many unanswered comments on AO3 that are adding to my anxiety and guilt. People probably think I just abandoned all of my stories. I swear I haven’t. I just have a chronic illness that makes it nearly impossible to do anything creative. I swear I plan to finish it.

Taking a break

Apparently, I get a surge of energy at the start of each month that dwindles by the middle.

I wore myself out editing these old stories. It doesn’t seem like it would be a lot of work, but for some reason, rereading my old work is more emotionally exhausting than I expected. There’s a lot of cringe-factor involved with how I used to write then the stress of trying to bring that writing up to my current standard without completely rewriting the thing. Then the formatting that needs to be done and just ugh.

So, anyway, taking a bit of a break but have decided I’ll continue to post LOVE stories into March until I get bored or run out of stories.

Come back for more revised stories and maybe some new ones, too.

writer problems

Going over these old stories has taught me a few things:

  • I seriously abuse conjunctions (especially and and but)
  • Run-on sentences were a thing I did… a lot
  • I also used a lot of ellipses
  • I knew fuck-all about using commas

The older the story, the worse the errors. It’s giving me a headache. Thank god for Grammarly to pick up on a lot of the commas I miss even in editing (there are just so many that need to be added in).

2020 Goals

Floral-Happy-New-Year.jpegSo, I decided that this year, I’m going light on goals. I may or may not continue the monthly goals/round-ups–it’ll depend on how things are going later in the year after I’ve had my medical issues treated.

For now, I’m going with an overall theme of 2020.

Each month, my goal is to work on projects at least 20 days out of the month. Writing, editing, finishing, posting–whatever as long as I spread it across 20 days. Even if it’s adding just 10 words to a chapter of Heaven while editing… as long as I do that for 20 days, it counts.

For the year, I want to write/finish/edit/post at least 20 stories.

I think I’m also going to try to add at least 2020 words each to Heaven Can’t Wait and Uncalled For Actionsbecause why not. Ideally, it would be 2020 words per month for Uncalled For, but we’ll start with a yearly goal and go from there.

In other areas of life:

  • Read at least 20 books.
  • Finish at least 20 projects.
  • Lose 20 pounds.
  • Walk 20 minutes a day at least 20 days a month (Pokemon ain’t gonna catch themselves).

Year in Review

Another year ended and another just begun.

I haven’t been active lately. Decided for my mental and physical health, I needed a break from the self-imposed stress relating to writing. That included this blog. So no depressing monthly updates the last few months with nothing to show and all goals failed.

But it’s a new year, so I can at least make a review post of all of my work. That won’t hurt too much. I got some stuff done.


Goodreads goal: 52
Total books read: 16
Total repeat books: 3

Total webcomics caught up on: 6 (okay, that’s a lie–I still need to read December updates on all but one of them)

I didn’t really do much reading outside of the webcomics. Committing to a full-length novel seems beyond me right now. I have several that I started over the year and have never gotten around to finishing, including Pride and Prejudice. I either can’t get my brain to focus and therefore nothing sticks and I have no idea what is going on or I’m too busy doing other stuff. Changing my Goodreads goal to 25 this year because I didn’t even come close last year. Read more…

What to do with words?

I like to think of myself as a writer–a fanfic writer, sure, but still a writer. But I do have other hobbies that take up my time. I tend to rotate through them depending on my mood or resources.

Lately, that’s been crochet (and some knitting) thanks to my first grandchild arriving soon (due June 2).  I have to make all of the cute baby things for him before he gets here.

Besides all of the baby hats, sweaters and blankets I’ve been making, I have year-long projects I work on that have special meaning to me as a writer. It’s the way I combine my two favorite things to do.

You might have seen or heard of those mood scarves or temperature blankets (and the many variations thereof) where each row of color represents your mood or the temperature that day. Well, my mood sucks 365 days of the year so a solid blue scarf would be boring, and the temperature/weather here is pretty steady so I came up with the wordcount blanket using the same concept since I already track my words every day thanks to the Get Your Words Out challenge.

Doing my first wordcount blanket in 2016 was kind of a spur of the moment thing I started at the end of the year. I chose a corner-to-corner pattern because they’re fun and you can see your project growing the first half and then rejoice as it gets smaller and smaller.


Read more…

4 the words


I’m back to tell you about this great writing site called 4 the words.

With Camp NaNo upon us, anything that offers motivation and incentives is much needed. 4 the words is that place.

4twlogo-xs4tw (as we call it) is fun because it turns writing into a game. If you’re a fan of Habitica or role-playing games in general, this might be the site for you. See, it’s set up so you have a character–a Dust Warrior–and you must go on quests to fight monsters to advance in the game.


How does that relate to writing?



Well, each monster has a word goal and a time goal to beat it. Like the cute Wignow needs 250 words written in 30 minutes to beat it. In return, you get things like leaves and dust which are needed later to craft stuff you might need to battle other monsters or just need to collect for quests.

And there are lots of monsters of all sizes from the tiny Xin at 100 words in 20 minutes to the giant River Goddess at 5000 words in 72 hours. To help you along, you can collect gear for your character to affect three stats. Attack reduces the number of words you need to defeat a monster (1% per stat), Defense gives you more time to complete the batttle (.5% per stat), and Luck… does something–we don’t really know, but in theory it increases the drop rate of items.

4tw_play2There are currently nine zones to explore,  each with their own monsters (although there is some overlap) and quests. Quests are what get you motivated. They’re anything from keep a streak for a certain number of days or to collect certain numbers of items or to fight a certain number of monsters. There are main quests that move you along in the game (opening new zones) and side quests that sometimes offer fun items for your avatar.

There’s also a personal streak calendar that offers gifts for hitting milestones of daily writing which means hitting a 444-word goal on 4tw. And at the end of each year, you get a new set of spiffy angel wings. The site also tracks the number of words you’ve written on the site and the time you’ve spent writing and puts them into shiny graphs.

And if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, there’s a thriving and supportive community on the forums (full disclosure: I’m a moderator there).

If this sounds like the kind of site for you, now is the perfect time to check it out because a special event for Camp NaNoWriMo has just started (if they’ve gotten those pesky bugs worked out yet). Special events are a lot of fun because they offer a break from the main storyline of the game. There are three big events that correspond to NaNoWriMo events–the first of those being April Camp. There are also many mini-events (usually a week long).

The big special events offer a brand new zone with new monsters and quests that are only available during that event. So now’s the time to head over and check out our expedition that has just launched from the Base Camp.

I should mention that 4tw is a pay-to-use site, but you get a 30-day free trial to explore everything. Like I said, now’s a great time to check out the special event for free.

After that, the site is $4/month, which in my opinion, is well worth the cost.

corecrystal_sm-minIf you do decide to sign up (even for the free trial) use this referral code WVBIY23608 that way if you make a payment you get free c-crystals (our form of currency you use to buy subscription time and special clothes for your avatar) and so do I.

I really hope you try us out.

Now I must set off on an expedition to slay a few monsters and find the Guardian of the forest.

A Story Told in Sentences

I have a new project in mind for the year: a story told in sentences.

But aren’t all stories told in sentences? Well, yes, but this time, I’m only writing a few sentences at a time and posting them each day (or week–depends).

After reviewing my wordcounts the last couple months and considering my energy levels, I decided that having a minimum wordcount for each day isn’t currently working for me. It’s not motivating which means I’m not completing it even when it’s only 100 words.

Since that wasn’t working, I wondered if maybe I could change the format–instead of writing 100 words, I’ll write just one sentence. Obviously, writing only one new sentence a day won’t get me far, but what if I write two sentences on the second day and three sentences on the third day. I think you see where this is going.

So my goal for January is to write sentences each day–one more than the last day. I haven’t decided if I want to keep them all in one story or spread them around. And I haven’t decided what I’ll do at the end of the month. Will I restart with one sentence on February 1 or will I do 32 sentences? I guess it’ll depend on how I’m doing at the end of the month.

It seems like a silly distinction–words vs sentences. Several sentences are going to be well over 100 words, but I’m hoping just the change in format will help me stay focused. It gives me a different kind of endgame.

Here’s hoping.

Happy New Year.

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