Writing Adventures #3: Finishing The First Draft of My 2012 WIP

finish-line-900

Image Credit: Cottonwood Creek

Welcome back! I haven’t posted any new Writing Adventures posts for several months, but I’m excited to get back to it now.

Here are the links to my previous posts:


I’m very excited to be *this close* to finishing my first draft of my 2012 Work in Progress (WIP). I set a goal earlier this year to finish the first draft before December 31, 2018. I’ve mentioned before that my best friend, Melissa, has offered to edit the first draft for me. But, I have to finish it first!

Reading the last two Writing Adventures posts made me so proud of myself. I’ve made so much progress on this piece just this year!

In June, right before the second Camp NaNoWriMo session of 2018, here were my observations about “Experiences From Camp”:

  • I started this during NaNoWriMo 2012, which was my first-ever NaNoWriMo. I wrote around 10,000 words by the end of that month.
  • In March, I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for the very first time, thanks to Madi’s encouragement.
  • During Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018, I exceeded my goal and won Camp! My goal was 20,000 new words. On April 30th, I surpassed my goal with approximately 20,256 new words! Yippee!
  • June 2018 monthly goal: Write 1,000 new words.
  • Sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 before the end of the month.
  • Set my Camp NaNoWriMo goal before the end of the month.
  • Current word count: 34,130 words.

In August, I posted my Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 recap.

  • Before Camp started, my word count was 34,719 words.
  • In 31 days, I added 11,916 words.
  • I was so excited to add almost 12,000 new words!

Now, as of today, December 8th, here’s where I stand.

  • Current word count: 46,646 words.
  • Countdown to 50,000 words: 3,354 words.

I feel so confident that I will reach 50,000 words, or more, before the end of the month. I can feel it!

In fact, I think I’ll end this post now, so I can get back to it!


What about you? Are you writing anything special?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #67: The Christmas Tag

The Christmas Tag

Image Credit: The Bright Bookcase

I recently discovered Rose of The Bright Bookcase, and I’m loving her blog!

Here’s the link to her post:


The Rules

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you
  2. Link back to the original post (the one on this blog) and use the graphic provided.
  3. Answer the questions given.
  4. Nominate at least 3 people. (or more if your feeling like a nice person 😉 )
  5. Give the nominees 10 questions to answer (or use the ones previously given)
  6. HAVE FUN! 😀

The Questions

What is your favorite Christmas dessert?

Our traditional chocolate mousse!

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

When I was younger, I was allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, after we came home from church.

How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

Al and I set up our Christmas tree in our living room, with our pretty tree skirt and tons of ornaments. That’s pretty much it for us – No outside lights.

 

Have you ever built a snowman?

Absolutely! We typically don’t get a lot of snow here in southeastern Virginia, but when we have, it’s been a blast!

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Ours is fake, and pre-lit. My parents agreed to try a real tree a couple of times, but we quickly realized how hard it was to keep it watered and upright. The needle shedding was ridiculous, too. It smelled pretty, but that was about the only nice thing. My parents have a beautiful artificial tree that still looks great after more than 30 years!

 

What do you like to do on Christmas break?

Since I’m a working adult, I don’t have an official Christmas break anymore. However, with time off, we are planning to go to Al’s parents’ farm this year, which I love. As a kid, most of my Christmases were spent in Florida, since both sets of grandparents lived there. It was so much fun!

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

The Polar Express (2004). I grew up with the book, audio cassette, and the bell. When the movie was released, we went as a family and loved it. One of our family gifts was the DVD and soundtrack. Josh Groban’s “Believe” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

 

Where do you normally spend Christmas?

Since we married, we usually spend Christmas with one set of family. My parents are local, about 10 miles from our house. Al’s brother, our sister-in-law, and our niece live in Virginia Beach. His parents have a beautiful farm in Scottsburg, Virginia, about three hours due west of us.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

It’s so hard to pick just one! It’s cheesy, but I love “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey (1994). I always sing along and dance to it!

Be honest: Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts? 

I love giving gifts. I have so much fun picking out things for my husband, family, and friends! Plus, this year I’m being a “Secret Santa” for three teenagers, and I’ve had such a blast shopping for them.


The Questions to My Nominees

  1. How do you celebrate Christmas?
  2. Do you have a favorite Christmas carol or hymn?
  3. Do you like snow?
  4. What is your favorite contemporary Christmas song?
  5. What does your Christmas dinner table look like?
  6. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  7. If you could take a paid two-week break for Christmas this year, what would you do, and why?
  8. Do you have a favorite Christmas book / piece of literature?
  9. Is there a Christmas movie that you don’t like?
  10. Do you have a favorite Christmas special?

Tag! You’re It!


Happy Holidays!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Norfolk, VA Edition (Round 6 – An Evening with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox)

Al and I discovered Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) on YouTube within the last year. When we found out they were touring and coming to Norfolk, we bought tickets in April!

Sadly, Al wasn’t able to go because the concert date conflicted with his recent work trip to Mexico. So, we invited our 13-year-old niece, Mia, to be my date. It was awesome!!

The ensemble told everyone up front that photos and videos were definitely allowed, which was amazing!

This was the set before the concert started. The curtain was gorgeous!

There was such a vintage theme. I took pictures mainly because of all of the costume changes!

This woman. Holy cow! So soulful, and beautiful. She reminded me so much of Aretha Franklin!

All of the different dresses!

One of the singers, and the resident tap dancer!

The beginning of their rendition of “Africa.”

The whole band! Every single one of them was awesome!

They were singing and dancing to “Umbrella.” So colorful!

The trombonist’s last night on tour was in Norfolk. He was awesome!

The tap dancer! I love this action shot!

She sang a fabulous version of “Time After Time.” It brought the house down!

It was such a wonderful experience! If they come to your city/town, it’s completely worth the money!


For more information, check out these links and videos:

There’s so many more on YouTube!


Have you heard of Postmodern Jukebox?

If you have, do you have a favorite version / rendition of theirs?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #66: The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Autumn _ Winter 16

I was tagged by Daniel, who writes at Page to Page.

Thanks, Daniel!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


How long have you been blogging?

  • According to WordPress, eight years. For Hot Shot Headlines specifically, I started it in 2014.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

  • Probably never.

What is the best thing about blogging?

  • Being able to write freely, and publish my own work.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

  • It’s not really the worst thing, but sometimes I struggle with keeping up with all of the tags and awards that amazing people have nominated me for or to do. I work through all of them, one by one!

How long does it take you to find make/find pictures to use?

  • It depends. I use a lot of Google Images.

Who is your book crush?

  • Oh, wow. Ummm …. Probably Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

  • Any of the following: J.K. Rowling, Laurie Halse Anderson, Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, Ann M. Martin.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

  • Clothes.

How long does it take you to prepare?

  • It varies. I like to have at least 3-4 posts ready to publish during one week.

How do you feel about the book blogging community?

  • I’ve met some of the most wonderful people through book blogs! Everyone is so supportive, and it’s amazing to me that so many people, around the world, love to read books and write about books.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

  • Write from your heart.
  • Use tags – It helps bring your work to a bigger audience!
  • Engage with other bloggers – Like posts, comment when you feel led, and support blogs that you love. It’s a wonderful community.

Tag – You’re It!

  • I’m not tagging anyone in particular. But, if you feel led, I would love it if you participated!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #65: Friday Funday Challenge – Game On – You Name It!

I was tagged for this fun challenge by Rory, the author of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


The Rules …

…because there are always rules, are simple!

1] Thank the nominator

2] Answer Q1 – Q19

3] Nominate three bloggers of your choice and notify them.

4] Each selected blogger MUST answer 16 of the asked 19 questions, but also insert 3 new questions to make up the 19 compliment. Every time a new blogger is selected they MUST only answer 16 of the asked 19 questions as well as answer their own 3, and choose 3 new bloggers. Each time a new blogger sees the questionnaire it will be completely different to the next blogger along.

[Hint: delete three of the questions you don’t like or have no answer for and insert your own in its place]

5] Q20 & Q14  Must always remain intact.


Questions from Rory

1] Are you currently reading a book, if so what is it?

2] Toast or cereal?

3] Choice weapon for survival during the zombie invasion?

4] Horror or comedy films?

5] Skinny dipping or mud wrestling?

6] What was your favourite sweet/candy as a kid?

7] Going to the party or the library what’s your preference?

8] What is your favourite tipple [drink]?

9] If you were coming back as an animal which is the least you would like to return as, BUT knowing your luck you just might? [Provide image]

10] What are five of your unique selling points for your writing?

11] What were you like as a child?

12] How important is personal achievement to you?

13] How do ‘you’ define hard work?

14] Which 3 questions will you be deleting to add your own in?

15] If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

16] Ok, you are going to be shipwrecked on an island that has food and water, what three items would you need to have with you?

17] What was the most stressful situation you ever encountered and how did you handle it?

18] If we didn’t know what the colour ‘mauve’ actually looked like, how would you describe it?

19] What music is currently your favourite? [Provide link]

20] The three bloggers you are nominating are?


Laura Beth’s Answers

1] Are you currently reading a book, if so what is it?

  • Yes. I’m currently reading Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

2] Toast or cereal?

  • Toast. I don’t eat a lot of cereal anymore.

3] Choice weapon for survival during the zombie invasion?

  • Baseball/softball bat. I played for Little League one season in eighth grade, and then again as adult for the Presbyterian church’s softball team in 2014. I’d love to get back into it!

4] Horror or comedy films?

  • Comedy. I’m definitely not a horror film fan!

5] Skinny dipping or mud wrestling?

  • Hehe – Mud wrestling all the way!

6] What was your favourite sweet/candy as a kid?

  • I devoured the plain chocolate M&Ms as a kid.

7] Going to the party or the library what’s your preference?

  • Library, hands down. Give me all of the books!

8] What is your favourite tipple [drink]?

  • A Corona with lime.

9] What is your least favorite movie?

  • I didn’t like Requiem for a Dream.

10] What are five of your unique selling points for your writing?

  • (1) Character-driven, (2) As original of a story as possible, (3) Enjoyable/exciting content, (4) At least one thing/issue being recognizable/relatable to society/audience, and (5) accurate as possible in terms of details/setting/history, etc.

11] What were you like as a child?

  • I was/am an only child, so I learned to be independent quickly. I was also bubbly, enthusiastic, loud, talkative/chatterbox, stubborn as hell, and determined. After being born at 25 weeks and given a 50-50 shot of survival, I overcame a lot of obstacles.

12] How important is personal achievement to you?

  • Personal achievement is very gratifying. But, I also enjoy helping others.

13] How do ‘you’ define hard work?

  • Hard work means dedication, focus, asking for help, and getting the job done right the first time.

14] Which 3 questions will you be deleting to add your own in?

  • Numbers 9, 15, and 17.

15] If someone wanted to make a movie about your family, who would you want to portray yourself, your parent(s)/caregiver(s), and your sibling(s)?

  • Me – Emma Watson
  • Dad – Paul Guilfoyle (Original CSI:)
  • Mom – Diane Keaton

16] Ok, you are going to be shipwrecked on an island that has food and water, what three items would you need to have with you?

  • Unlimited books, Rodan + Fields sunscreen, and one comfortable outfit. I don’t want to be naked!

17] Where you do feel the most at peace?

  • Around water.

18] If we didn’t know what the colour ‘mauve’ actually looked like, how would you describe it?

  • A beautiful pale purple color that reminds me of flowers, and elegant Victorian decoration.

19] What music is currently your favourite? [Provide link]

20] The three bloggers you are nominating are?

  • See my Tag – You’re It section below.

Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #64: The Muppets Book Tag

The Muppets

Image Credit: Disney

I stumbled upon this tag from Bibi’s Book Blog at the end of June. Most of you know that I love the Muppets, so I definitely wanted to do this tag!

Here’s the link to Bibi’s post:


Swedish Chef

Name a book that should have been good but left the foulest taste in your mouth…

Swedish Chef

 

Allegiant. I had such high hopes …

Fozzie Bear

Name a book that you couldn’t help but laugh at the jokes or characters

Fozzie Bear

Harry Potter. Ron Weasley, especially.

Bunson Honeydew and Beaker

Name a book that made you feel a little smarter by the end of it

DR Bunsen Honeydew And Beaker

The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space. I learned so much about NASA, and it’s ties to the Hampton Roads area!

Crazy Harry

Name a book where a character or something about the book drives you crazy

Crazy Harry

The Casual Vacancy. I didn’t like how many characters there were! It was hard to keep up.

Janice

Name a book that was an easy read and gave you good vibes

Janice

Any of the American Girl books. I love reading about history!

Stalter & Waldorf

A book that you loved and was turned into a movie that you hated

Stalter and Waldorf

Oh, goodness. I’m not sure I have a true answer for this one!


Tag – You’re It!


Who is your favorite Muppet?

I’m with Bibi – I was disappointed to not see Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, Animal, and Rizzo!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #63: 3-2-1 Quote Me! – “Food, Glorious Food”

I love Rory’s quote challenges! He’s the author of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! He tagged me to complete this one.

Thanks for picking me, Rory!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged/challenged:


Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

  • Thank the Selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.


Topic: “Food Glorious Food”

If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare

Image Credit: BrainyQuote

Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. - Audrey Hepburn

Image Credit: BrainyQuote


Tag – You’re It!

  • Jenna – Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • Laurie – Work, Play, and Chardonnay
  • Bibi – Bibi’s Book Blog

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂