Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

 

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

 

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

 

 

 

2018 Goals

 

 

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

 

 

2018 Goals-3

 

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

 

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree

My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

 

 

3 Ways to Stay Motivated After NaNoWriMo

Hello World!

The month of November flew by! Now that NaNoWriMo is over I finally have the time to sit down and update my lovely blog. This year was the first year I was actually able to conquer my writing goals for NaNoWriMo and I have to admit, it feels amazing! It took three whole years but I am happy to announce that I am actually a winner this year and I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my novel.

I have been working hard to find different ways to stay motivated now that the pressure of writing so much during NaNoWriMo has been lifted off me. Life has a way of interfering with progress sometimes and staying motivated can be a bit tricky but it is crucial that this first draft is completed before the end of the year! If you are in the same boat then have no fear! I have managed to discover 3 tips that can help you stay motivated and crush your writing goals!

Let’s dive in!

  1. Set Weekly Goals!

Setting up mini goals for the week can be extremely helpful! Sometimes having one giant goal can be daunting and stop your creative flow in its tracks. By breaking your giant goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish every week, you are keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed while writing your novel!

Some examples of these mini goals are:

  • Write for 30 minutes every day.
  • Plot and write a whole chapter in a week. (You can do more than one if you want to!)
  • Flesh out your main characters.

2. Reward Yourself!

Rewards are a nice way to treat yourself as you meet your writing goals. Setting up a way to reward yourself for every writing milestone is a good way to help you stay excited and hopefully avoid the severe writer’s block that can hit after meeting a major word count goal!

  • A Good example of this is what I did for NaNoWriMo! I saved up throughout the month so that once I met my goals I was able to buy a beautiful owl purse that I had been wanting for awhile!

3.Take a Break!

This tip may sound a little odd! Trust me, taking a moment to breathe is absolutely crucial to staying motivated. Pushing yourself too hard can lead you to being burnt out and you can unfortunately lose the motivation to write. Taking a short break allows you to clear your mind and have a mini vacation from your novel. You can revisit your work after your break and be able to crush that word count goal!

I hope y’all enjoyed my post and I also hope that these tips help you along your writing journey!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Nifty NaNoWriMo Prep Ideas

Hello World!

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I am excited because I am actually going to be ready for it this year! I have been prepping and working on my novel for the past few months and I am excited to smash my word count goals this year. For those of you that don’t know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November and serves as a way for writers to crank out 50,000 words in one month. You can participate in local write ins and other nifty events while trying to accomplish your goals and it is honestly a blast. If you want to learn more about this amazing event click here!

One of my favorite things to do for this epic event is prepping so that I can be ready to tackle the word count in November. There are several creative ways that you can approach this task and I am here to share 3 of my favorite prepping ideas!

  1. Create a Pinterest Board for your Novel Project
    • Creating a Pinterest board allows all of your inspiration and reference photos to be in one place. You can even pin some interesting writing worksheets that can help you along your NaNoWriMo prep journey! If you want to see the Pinterest board I created for my NaNo project click here!
  2. Fill in a Workbook!
    • I discovered a really nifty writing workbook last year that really helped me shape my literary world. The workbook was actually created by the team at NaNoWriMo and it is Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook ! This workbook helps you with shaping your ideas, fleshing out characters, and even developing your plot. This nifty workbook can be found on the NaNoWriMo website along with some of their other prepping books! You can also find this lovely book on Amazon!
  3. Create a Bullet Journal dedicated to NaNoWriMo!
    • Bullet Journaling is a nifty way to keep all of your ideas and goals organized in one notebook. Starting a bullet journal can be intimidating but there are several bloggers that have created useful posts on starting  a NaNoWriMo journal. My personal favorite is the very informative guide written by Boho Berry! Click here if you want to go read through her post!

Those were 3 of my favorite prepping ideas for NaNoWriMo! Feel free to try any of these wonderfdul ideas and leave a comment below if you want to share some of your Preptober ideas!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Tips to Help You Recover From a Failed Writing Partnership

 

Hello World!

 

When you have a falling out with your writing partner that is also your friend it can honestly feel like the world is ending. At least that is how I felt. It didn’t help that the friendship I was in crashed and burned as well, so there will never be any form of reconciliation. Knowing that the project that you and the other person were working on will be on a permanent hiatus can be heartbreaking.

That is why I decided to share a few of the things that helped me recover from the pain and move on. Hopefully you can use these 3 tips and be able to successfully get over that creative break up and move on to other creative projects!

Now, lets dive in!

1.  The first tip is to take a breath and grieve. The one thing I wished I knew earlier was that it is okay to be upset. Taking some time to really grasp the situation can  help you accept what happened and allow you to let go of the negative emotions that you may be feeling. After you have taken this time to grieve you can move on to the next step of your creative recovery.

2. The next step is to decide if the project the two of you were working on was something you were passionate about. Depending on how  you feel about the project you can decide if you want to put the extra effort into making the project your own.

3. This step can be extremely time-consuming but it is crucial that you change every aspect of the story. You have to get rid of everything that you and your old writing partner worked on so that they can’t come after you legally. By doing this you also make the story your own and rework everything into something that you can be proud of. This step also helps you cleanse your creative brain of the old story and allow you to devote yourself to a new project.

     Here are a few things that you should remember to change when you are at  this step:

~ Any plot developments you developed together

~ Character personalities, appearances, and back stories

 ~ Anything created while you were world building

Those were 3 tips that helped me along my creativity recovery. I still can’t believe that it has taken me so long to finally move on from what happened but I guess that is how life works. Friendships end and you can be left picking up the pieces but everything happens for a reason. Sure, that project could have been awesome but now you have the opportunity to create a story that you are passionate about and allow your creativity to blossom.

I wrote this post because, in all honesty, I wished I had something like this when my creative break-up was fresh. The pain that accompanies any break is hard but you will survive.

Here is a quote to close out this post:

 

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

Ernie Harwell

 

I hope y’all found this post helpful and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day

 

~Caitlin

 

 

Time to Celebrate!

Hello World!

Today is a day to celebrate! I finally bought my domain name and changed it from My Magical Writing Adventure to The Curious Novelist.  I decided to change my blog’s name because, honestly,  it is a lot shorter than my original name and it flows really well. I also took this opportunity to give my blog a bit of a face lift and I am in love with its new appearance!

Another thing to celebrate is that my dad and I adopted two puppies yesterday from the shelter. The story behind these fur babies is that the local animal shelter found an abandoned box of puppies left in an alley last week. After being held by the shelter for five days and being cleared by a vet, the puppies were available of adoption yesterday.

Rosie and Jolly Mon

Rosie on the left and Jolly Mon on the right

My father adopted the boy and named him after his favorite Jimmy Buffett song, Jolly Mon. I fell in love with a little girl puppy with black markings and named her Rosie. That name is important to me because one of the best characters I have ever created was a pirate named Rose. Rose was a part of this beautiful writing project that I had with another person that had to be cancelled after I cut that person out of my life. All that work and love I put in Rose and her fantastic world had to be thrown away and it honestly broke my heart. In the novel, Rose was a fearless pirate captain that had a sense of adventure and never backed down. When I saw this little brave puppy run around and explore the world I knew that the name Rosie fit her like a glove.

That is all for this little life update! I am off to write now and I hope you enjoyed my little update!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Cuties

Jolly and Rosie are such cuties!

An Epic Literary Journey

Hello World!

I am excited to announce that I am going to participate in the Reading Quest read-a-thon! I just heard about this cool event a few days ago and knew that I had to join! 

The Reading Quest is hosted by Read at Midnight and it has a unique way of helping you take a good chunk out of your tbr pile. You choose one of the four different character classes and then read the books that fit the  themes on the game board that are associated with your character! 

           The Four different classes are:

                            ~Knight~
                             ~Bard~
                             ~Mage~
                             ~Rogue~

The board also displays interesting side quest themes you can  choose from and if you really want a challenge you can try and read all the book themes on the board! Read at Midnight and Read, Think, Ponder did an amazing job creating this challenge and all of the beautiful artwork and I am excited to embark on this  journey. If you are curious about this challenge, click the picture of the game board below and it will take you to the challenge’s page!

The Class I chose was Mage! I also decided to find all of the books for my challenge at the local library!

Let’s dive in and see what I will be reading during this read-a-thon! If you are interested in learning about any of the books just click the cover and it will take you to their pages on Goodreads!

                     The first piece on the mage’s path is: A Book With a One Word Title


I chose Epic by Conor Kostick! I haven’t read this book since high school so it will be interesting to pick it up again for this challenge! The book follows a young man as he tries to earn money and justice for his family by competing in the virtual reality that has dictated the social life of New Earth. The only catch is if you lose in the game you will lose everything you have earned in reality as well. 

                    The next theme on the board is: A Book that Contains Magic


I took a different approach to this theme by picking Lincoln in The Bardo by George Saunders. The way that Saunders approaches the death of young Willie Lincoln is enchanting. The young boy’s soul travels through  purgatory while encountering other spirits during the height of the Civil War. To me, this book sounds magical and I can’t wait to read it!

              The third theme for the mage to read is:  A Book Based on Mythology


When I walked into the library, I saw For The Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser sitting in the middle of a book display. When I picked it up and saw that is focuses on two of the women that were ensnared in the battle of Troy in Homer’s The Iliad. I have an intense love for mythology so when I learned that I could follow the epic battle through the eyes of Krisayis and Briseis I snatched that book off the display and added it to my tbr for this challenge!

         The fourth theme I must complete is: A Book Set In A Different World


The world created by Gordon Dahlquist in The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters sounds mysterious and magical. The journey of a woman trying to solve the mystery of her fiancée’s disappearance will also lead into a dark and mysterious world filled with magical mazes and a poetic assassin . I can’t wait to see what is in store when I open this intriguing book.

                 The final theme that lies in my path is: The First Book of a Series

The book I chose for this theme is I one that I have been wanting to read for quotes some time now! I am excited to dive into the magical world of  The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. This book is the beginning of a series that follows a spy organization that is trying to save literary works from different realities. This books sounds like it will be one epic journey and I can’t wait to embark on it!
That is it for my tbr! I can’t wait to start this quest in three days! If y’all decide to also participate, share what class you chose down below!

Have a Wonderfully Literary Day!
~Caitlin~

Progress

Hello World! 

It is hard to believe that it has been almost six whole months since I swallowed my pride and accepted the fact that I needed help for my anxiety. So much has changed in the last six months and I am so proud of myself for the insane amount of progress I have made. I feel like I can finally live again and not be controlled by constant worry, paranoia, or the  defensiveness that accompany anxiety. The people that I surround myself with now are positive and loving and that has made my journey a lot easier for me. Looking back at how certain events and friendships played out I feel like if I had figured out the anxiety situation sooner, then some of those events would have ended differently. That is life for you though! Can’t change the past but you can take control of your future! 

I guess I wanted to share this because I want y’all to know that it is ok to accept that you need help. Trust me, I was horrified at the thought of taking medication because I was afraid that I would lose my creativity. I know that is a silly fear but for me writing is everything, so the thought of losing the ability to create my literary worlds was terrifying. I realized after taking my medication that it does the opposite. By correcting the imbalance that caused my anxiety, I have been able to create, write, and adventure more because I am not shackled by my constant fear. All this progress would not have been possible if I did not decide that it was time to go see a doctor.

Six months and one medicine adjustment later and I can tell you that I defeated my anxiety dragon! Anxiety will always be a part of my life but I will no longer let it define me!
I hope y’all enjoyed my little update and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

A Magical Unboxing~

Hello World!

Today, I received my Wizarding World Crate for July and I thought I would share the epic contents with y’all!

For those of you that don’t know, Loot Crate has a bimonthly box for Harry Potter fans called the Wizarding World Crate. The theme for July was Defense Against the Dark Arts and I am in love with what I received! If you want to learn more about this magical crate click here!

Before I dive into this unboxing I must warn you that there are spoilers beyond this point. If you don’t want to be spoiled then turn back now!

Now, time to dive in to the box!!!

   This month’s theme is : Defense Against the Dark Arts

 

July T-Shirt

The first thing that I want to share is the exclusive t-shirt that was included in this month’s box. The material is extremely soft and I love the design!

 

 

 

 

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They also included a pocket-sized Dumbledore’s Army themed notebook. This little hardcover notebook is wicked and I can’t wait to scribble ideas in it. I also loved the little bonus roster that is on the inside of the front cover.

 

 

 

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I was surprised by the beautiful pen that looks like Snape’s wand. The details on this pen are gorgeous and it writes extremely well!

 

 

 

 

 

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This is my favorite item from this month’s box. I can now have the guardians of Hogwarts guard my bookshelves with these metal bookends. The detailing and quality of these bookends are incredible and I will proudly display these in my growing Harry Potter section of my bookshelves.

 

 

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The pin that was included in this month’s box is one of Voldemort’s horcruxes! It is cool that I now own both the ring and the diary in pin form and I hope they keep up the horcrux theme with the pins.

 

 

 

 

A little bonus that was included in this box is that the box itself folded into a pretty patronus shadow box!

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I hoped y’all enjoyed this magical unboxing! This is probably one of my favorite boxes I have received from the Wizarding World Crate and I can’t wait for September to come around so I can receive my next box.

 

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

 

~Caitlin~

 

 




 

A Few of My Favorite Fairytale Retellings~

Hello world! 

Today I am going to share a list of some of my favorite fairytale retellings! I noticed while creating this list that I love the darker retellings due to my love for the original fairytales. There is only one book on this list that is not too dark while the other three have a darker theme to them. I hope you enjoy my post! 

Okay (cracks knuckles) let’s kick off this list! If you want to learn more about a particular book, click the book’s photo and it will take you to the book’s Goodreads page!


                   The first book that I will be talking about is Bound by Donna Jo Napoli!

I love Donna Jo Napoli’s retellings so much but Bound is my favorite! She uses Chinese mythology as a tool to reinvent the story of Cinderella. Instead of  a glass or golden slipper there is a silk slipper that only a woman with incredibly small feet can fit into. The history of feet binding and the painful toll it took on women during that time period  plays an important role in this story as well. If you want a new cultural take on this classic then you should pick up this beautiful book
                
    The next book on my little list is Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright!

This novel is a reimagined version of the story of little red riding hood and it is incredible while also being  filled to the brim with  twists and turns. This  page turner will keep you guessing the true identity of the menacing wolf until the very last page. The characters and the plot curveballs come together to create a truly spellbinding story~

                  Another one of my favorites is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor!

This is my absolute favorite retelling of Alice in Wonderland. This is a cool retelling where instead of falling into wonderland, our little hero is the heir to the throne and is having to fight against her evil aunt  to regain power over wonderland. This book is  amazing and the mad hatter is quite the interesting character with his dangerous top hat~

                            And the final book on my list is Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige!

This book is AMAZING and I can’t believe the journey that I just went on when I picked up this Wizard of Oz  retelling. This book follows a young girl as she is brought to Oz so that she can kill Dorothy, who has been ruling ruthlessly in her sparkling red shoes. You also encounter a mad scientist Scarecrow, a Tin Man that is a slave to his heart, and a Cowardly Lion that feeds on fear. This is one tale that you need to read now!

Okay, that is my list of my favorite retellings! These are all books that I love and I hope that y’all enjoy them as much as I do!
Happy Reading,

~Caitlin