Month: June 2014

USMNT likes to give us some drama

I woke up yesterday morning extremely excited and nervous about the USA/Portugal World Cup match. We were in a position where a win would send us straight to the round of 16 without even having to worry about our final group match versus Germany. Awesome! My boyfriend, two of his friends, and one of my best friends really wanted to go to the bar we tried going to for the USA/Ghana match. We’d arrived at the bar an hour and a half early for that match and couldn’t see a screen so we figured arriving five hours early should do the trick. So yes, we were at the bar by 1pm for a match that started at 6, and we still barely got seats. Luckily, the Korea/Algeria match kept us entertained in the interim.



By 5:30, the bar was grossly packed. I started questioning our choice to watch the game there when some late arrivers thought it would be a good idea to stand directly in front of the TV. No worries though, I was able to reposition my seat for a good view of a different screen. We all enjoyed a mass singing of The Star Spangled Banner and then the match was underway. It took Portugal less than six minutes to score but no optimism was drained from the crowd, this was typical USA style (in all of our World Cup history, we’ve given up 7 goals in the first five minutes, the most of any other team).

Joy came in the 64th minute when Jermaine Jones powered one into the back of the net from 28 yards out. It was beautiful. We all cheered and hugged strangers while beer…and elbows (ow) flew everywhere. Alas, we survived the celebration of our second goal to take the lead without injury. Dempsey cleaned up a bunch of messy attempts by sending the ball off his chest and into the goal in the 81st minute. Loud groans erupted when it was announced that there would be 5 long minutes of stoppage time added, but we all believed. The Star Spangled Banner erupted again sometime in the 93rd minute as we held our lead. Just as the chorus hit “…Gave proof through the night that our flag was still–,” horror struck. We were 30 seconds away from guaranteed entry to the next round and Portugal had scored. We had barely any time to process it before the final whistle blew. It seems that this team really enjoys playing with emotions. All hope is not lost, however. We are actually in a pretty a good place. Here is what has to happen for us to automatically advance:

1) Tie or beat Germany


2) Ghana and Portugal draw

There are a couple of scenarios where we could still advance, even if one of the above does not happen (tiebreakers).

1) Best case scenario in this situation based on current goal differentials: we lose to Germany, Portugal beats Ghana by less than five goals (I would be shocked and amazed if they were able to win by such a margin)

2) Close call scenario: we lose to Germany by no more than one goal, Ghana beats Portugal by no more than one goal


It’s surprising but, from what I’ve seen, Ghana is a better team than Portugal. This means that we really need to handle our business during the Germany match so we don’t have to worry about scary tiebreaker scenarios with Ghana. Both matches will be played at the same time so no team can alter their play based on the result of the other game. The interesting thing is, a draw with Germany is a win-win situation; they keep first place in the group and we both advance. However, if there is a loser, things could get tricky.

Go USA! #iBelieveThatWeWin … #ButaDrawWouldDoJustFineToo



*I guess I shouldn’t check out before mentioning the elephant in the room that is my writing progress. I haven’t mentioned anything about it in almost a week. :-/ I have been doing some outlining and some drafting, just no where near the amount I want to/should be doing. At this point, I’m also quite behind on some work for my two summer graduate courses. I plan to get some schoolwork done today and tomorrow and then figure out what I need to do to get back on track with writing.

Daily Word Count Check In

I haven’t gotten off to the greatest start this week but I did surpass my goal for today. Part of the problem is that I’m rapidly approaching the end of my detailed outline. I think I’m going to devote tomorrow to outlining alone. Ideally I’ll do this and still find a way to meet my word count goal for the week (5,250), despite skipping two days of working on my draft but it certainly isn’t the end of the world if I don’t.

Previous word count: 12,056

Current word count: 13,022
Today’s Progress: 966

Weekly Progress: 966
Challenges: managing distractions



Oops… but GO USA!!

I woke up at 8am yesterday, super pumped for World Cup Group G play. Germany was to play Portugal at 12 and I had a doctor’s appointment at 10:30. In the extra time before/after my doctor’s appointment, I added a total of 55 words to my draft and spent about an hour adding to my outline. The morning/afternoon was spent napping and watching the early games. At four, the bf and I headed out to a great bar (Brewhouse Cafe for soccer fans in the Atlanta area) to watch the game. We were there at 4:30 and the game started at 6 but it was PACKED. I laughed when I saw that the maximum capacity sign said “120 persons.” Right. People were spilling into the street. It was awesome… but it was also over 90 degrees, with no where to sit and no good view of the game. We squeezed around, hopelessly asking if random seats were taken before eventually landing in the edge of the parking lot, trying to convince ourselves that that particular spot “wasn’t that bad.” Finally, my boyfriend took a look at his phone and said, “If we leave right this second, we can make it home before kick off.” I was on the move immediately. It sucked to leave the fun energy of the crowd, but it would suck more to not be able to see the game… or pass out from heat exhaustion half way through.


Weekly Progress 1

Seven days ago I started tracking progress on my manuscript. I set a goal to write a minimum of 500 words a day for a total of no less than 3,500 per week. When I made the goal, I said I would adjust it if I was able to write significantly more. I want my goals to be achievable but also challenging. I surpassed my goal by 2,385 words, which tells me that I am easily capable of writing more than 500 words a day. For this reason, I am raising my goal to 750 per day/5250 per week. We’ll see how it goes. I know I seem ridiculously obsessed with the numbers right now, but again, my biggest (and very realistic) fear is not being able to finish this manuscript, despite having some really great ideas. My plan is to do daily check ins for one more week (we’ll see, I might have to return to my detailed outline sooner than that). After that, I’d like to see if I am disciplined enough to meet my goals without these frequent updates.

Previous word count: 11,483

Current word count: 12,056
Today’s Progress: 573

Weekly Progress: 5885
Challenges: nothing new



Daily Word Count Check In

Words have been spilling from my fingertips the last couple of days. I’ve really gotten into a grove and I’m learning so much about my main character. She’s been struggling with some rough stuff lately, but I’ve enjoyed watching how she molds into a rounder character. I’m finding myself looking back at my outline and saying things like, “Oh, she wouldn’t do/say that,” which is a good thing. It means she is developing and I have to adjust as she develops.

Previous word count: 10,061

Current word count: 11,483
Today’s Progress: 1422

Weekly Progress thus far: 5312
Challenges: I have some big concerns about pacing. I’m worried I’m rushing through some scenes, but I’m resisting the urge to read back through it. I’ve just made a mental note to be sure to flesh out the things that need fleshing out and trot on through the things that don’t.

I’m looking forward to Father’s day tomorrow. I have plans with my stepdad in the morning and my father in the afternoon. The evening will be spent with my manuscript, soccer (the World Cup has not disappointed! Thrill after thrill!) and Game of Thrones (Season finale! Pumped!). Sounds like a great day.



Bookmarks for Landmarks! #1

I’ve decided how I will commemorate all of my mini-milestones during this exciting time of writing my first novel. I’ll be purchasing a new bookmark and writing my achievement somewhere on it. I’m not sure if I’ll stop after my first draft or if I’ll keep collecting bookmarks until my novel is as polished as I can get it, but in the end, I’ll make a collage using all of the bookmarks and frame it. Here is my first one (for reaching 10,000 words, it’s written at the bottom but difficult to see in the picture). 🙂

Bookmarks for landmarks

Bookmarks for landmarks


Tense. What do you think?

I’ve noticed that more popular YA fiction is being written in the present tense. I usually don’t even notice the unusual tense until I’m well into the book, which is a good thing. An old blog post I read listed some interesting advantages to using present tense that had me debating about how to write my story for a while. Most of my past dabbles in writing fiction were written in third person, past tense. I knew I wanted this novel to have a more personal feel though, so I ended up choosing to write in first person, past. I read many articles that suggested writing in the tense that comes most naturally, especially if it’s your first novel. I think it’s good advice, especially since present tense can be distracting if not done well.

How do you feel about novels written in present tense? Do you find it thrilling or jarring?


Daily Word Count Check In

Well, I ended up hitting my 10,000 word mini-milestone today. 🙂 I’ll post tomorrow about how I choose to commemorate the small achievement. I’m not sure if I mentioned it previously but my novel would fall into the  young adult dystopian genre. I’ll be headed to the bookstore soon to stock up on some summer reads and I welcome any recommendation of books that fall into that category! I hope I can take more out of the books I read, now that I’m fully committed to writing my own. I also plan to go back and re-read some YA dystopian books I own. It’ll probably be easier to foc on pacing and how the authors approach certain content when I’m not experiencing the plot for the first time.

Previous word count: 9134

Current word count: 10,061
Today’s Progress: 927

Weekly Progress thus far: 3890
Challenges: I had some hiccups when it came to expressing movement today. My protag was in the woods and ran into a few different people. I found myself stumbling over how to orient the reader (she’s behind the tree, now she’s walking, wait she’s hiding again, now she’s backtracking) without sounding dry or repetitive. I think I worked it out well enough for now but it will definitely need some cleaning up later.



Celebrating mini-milestones?

I’m feeling very proud as I quickly approach the 10,000 word mark. Again, for me, a chronic starter-not-finisher, every word I put on the paper is an accomplishment and step closer to a big dream. I’ve put a few things in place to help ensure my success, like daily word count goals and check-ins (to keep myself accountable). I’ve taken the time to cater my approach to outlining and drafting to best suit my personality and I’ve let close friends and family know what I’m up to for outside encouragement. I need more of these “success-ensurers”… or maybe I don’t, but more sure won’t hurt. So, I was thinking about celebrating every 10,000 words of text. Maybe it’s cheesy but I’ve been proud of my progress everyday this week. I’ve even managed to blog 4 days in row, which isn’t much but I’ve dropped new things faster in the past. Anyway, I’ve been very proud but I know the low moments are waiting for me. Celebrating small accomplishments will hopefully be a motivator. Without diving into the drama final word count has been causing me, I should have eight to ten little celebrations by the time I finish this draft.

How should I commemorate my small accomplishments? If I keep my goal pace, I should hit 10,000 words… tomorrow.