Writing Adventures #2: Discovering Evernote


Image Credit: Evernote

Welcome back! Thanks to everyone who read my first post in this new Writing Adventures series that I’ve started. I really appreciate all the support and encouragement, so far!

Here’s the link to my previous post:

Today’s post is about a new tool that I’ve learned about, called Evernote. I was intrigued from the very beginning, and I wanted to try it out and see how it worked.

I first learned about Evernote from my friend, Madison (Madi) Grace.

Here’s the link to her post:

I love their motto / tagline:

Get organized. Work smarter. Remember everything.

Yes, please! I love it!

I took some time on Saturday, June 16th (yes, the same day this post was published!) to sign up for Evernote and start playing with it. About 10 minutes in, I love it. I really do. This is a game-changer for me.

My first notebook has the tentative title of my WIP, “Experiences From Camp.”

I’ll load my chapters in from Microsoft Word slowly, piece by piece, but for now I just wrote myself some reminders, and where I started with this whole thing!

Here’s what my notebook looks like right now:

“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.

I also plan on using Evernote’s handy Note templates for creative writing projects.

I’m excited to keep playing around with Evernote. I love it already. Thanks again, Madi, for your awesome post!

Come back in about a month for the next Writing Adventures post!

What about you?

Have you used Evernote?

Are you writing anything special?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Blog Awards #18: Liebster Award – Number Three!

Liebester Award

I was tagged by Rory, who writes the awesome A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! Thanks, Rory!

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

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself provided by you nominator—or 11 random facts.
  • Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers with fewer than 1000 followers who you think deserve the award.
  • Create a new list of questions for your nominees.
  • List the rules in your post.
  • Let your nominees know of your nomination personally.

Rory’s Questions To Me

Do you read question lists from the top, the bottom or from the middle first?

Did you ask yourself why l asked you that first?

If l didn’t want an answer for question 4 would you supply it anyway?

Can you see what question 4 is yet?

How many questions are asked on this nomination in total?

If there was one big question you wanted this list to ask of you, what would it be?

What would your answer be to that question?

I don’t want you to answer any of these questions with the exception of number 7 and maybe 11, ok?

Who invented FAQ’s?

For this Liebster Award nomination who asked the 12th question?

What was it, and more importantly of all the questions asked, how would you answer the 12th question found in question 2?

Think about it numerically…

My Answers

I hurt my brain trying to sort the questions correctly. For several days.

But, here we go.

If there was one big question you wanted this list to ask of you, what would it be?

What would your answer be to that question?

  • What is your favorite decade, and why?
  • Answer: The 1950s, because it was a time of amazing fashion, recovery from World War II, and progress.

My Questions

  1. Do you play games?
  2. What are your five favorite movies?
  3. Do you have a favorite animal?
  4. Where is your favorite place to watch movies?
  5. Where is your favorite place to read?
  6. If you could have a dream breakfast served to you, what would you order?
  7. Do you have a favorite alcoholic beverage?
  8. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
  9. If you could have a house built anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  10. Where is the one place you want to visit, but haven’t yet?
  11. What is your favorite city?

My Nominations

I offer a similar disclaimer – Awards are meant to be fun, so please don’t feel obligated to participate if you don’t want to. It doesn’t hurt my feelings!

  1. Destiny – Howling Libraries
  2. Laurie – Work, Play, Chardonnay
  3. Hannah Undecided
  4. Kim – Over The Andes
  5. Vinnie
  6. Fiction No Chaser
  7. Tony – The Tony Burgess Blog
  8. Jenna – Bookmark Your Thoughts
  9. Thrice Read
  10. The Book’s the Thing
  11. In A Messy World

Thanks again, Rory!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #55: The Writing World Tag

Rediscovering Life

Image Credit: Rediscovering Life

Kirstyn Todd tagged me in a unique tag that she created! Thanks, Kirstyn!

Here’s the link to her original post:

The Rules

  • Thank the person that tagged you and link to their website
  • Post the rules
  • Answer your tagger’s questions
  • Share your two favorite writing tips and where you got them from
  • Share two random story/WIP ideas you’ve never shared before (It would be cool to include covers, but you don’t have to) (And also they don’t have to be ideas you’re ever going to turn into anything)
  • But don’t spoil them for us 😉
  • Tag five people
  • Let the people you tag know that they have been tagged
  • Ask five questions
  • No, you can’t re-tag the person that tagged you

Questions I Was Asked

  1. What is the first story you remember making up?
  2. How and when was (were) your current WIP(s) inspired?
  3. When did you “get serious” about writing, if you know what I mean?
  4. What made you decide to write your current WIP and actually publish it?
  5. What has been your biggest accomplishment in writing so far?

My Answers

  1. I’m pretty sure it was something related to the Barbies I owned. I loved thinking of different stories and scenarios for Barbie, Skipper, and Chelsea.
  2. I currently have three WIPs. The first one, tentatively titled “Experiences From Camp,” was inspired by an idea that came to me during lunch in the cafeteria at Capital Group in early 2012, which was my first long-term “big girl” job out of college. I didn’t have any paper on me, so I kept the idea in my head until I was able to get home and scrawl out my ideas and first characters. The second one was inspired by my parents’ love of Frank Lloyd Wright houses around the U.S., and wanting to write a historical fiction story. The third one, tentatively titled “Discussion of Differences,” was inspired by real-life experiences with friendships from college. You can read more about all three with my Writing Wednesdays series from
  3. I knew I wanted to be a writer by age 10. In fifth grade, when I was 11, my Young Authors book, titled “Electro Girl,” was recognized by Chesapeake Public Schools. I think my parents still have the program from the ceremony – The theme that year was “Take Me To Your Leader.” I met my best friend, Melissa, through this recognition process, too!
  4. I’m working my 2012 WIP to completion right now. It was bugging me last year that I’d only written about 13,000 words. Thanks to my friend Madison Grace, who is just 14, she inspired me to do Camp NaNoWriMo for the very first time in April 2018. I hope to reach at least 50,000 words to complete it by the end of 2018.
  5. Aside from this little blog of mine, I have to say that my first Camp NaNoWriMo experience was a smashing success – I exceeded my goal of writing 20,000 new words! I can’t wait to do Camp again in July, and I’m also hoping to do NaNoWriMo in November for the first time in four years!

Writing Tips

  1. Use whatever tools work best for you to tell your story. For me, it’s a combination / mash-up of a handwritten composition notebook, the blog here on WordPress, and Microsoft Word. I’ve seen others have success with just the Notes app on their smartphones! However, I’m always looking for ways to improve.
  2. Expand your reading horizons. When I was younger, I would re-read a lot of books because I was scared to branch out. Now, I read a variety of genres, and I find myself loving reading now more than ever. It’s opened my eyes to new authors, new genres, and different writing styles. Expanding your reading horizons will benefit your writing – It did for me.

Random Story / WIP Ideas

  1. “Tunnel Vision” – Nicole, a tough female police officer, goes off-duty one night, just trying to get across the water to get to her 35th birthday celebration. The bridge-tunnel separating the precinct and Nicole’s friends is suddenly shut down, and Nicole is quickly enveloped into a bizarre murder mystery.
  2. “Adventures in the Amazon” – Two sisters, Amanda and Katie, enter the annual, much coveted National Geographic contest. The grand prize – A three-week adventure into the Amazon jungle. To their surprise, the sisters win everything, but encounter multiple obstacles along the way. Will they get to experience the Amazon jungle for themselves?

My Questions

  1. Do you journal?
  2. Have you ever published anything?
  3. If you have been published, how did you go about that?
  4. How long have you been blogging?
  5. What are you currently working on? No spoilers!

Tag – You’re It!

  1. Kristian – Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  2. Didi Oviatt
  3. Olivia – OP Writes
  4. Damyanti Biswas
  5. Brian Ojakapeli

What about you? Are you in the writing world?

I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Adventures #1: Creating A Success Journal

Success Journal

Image Credit: Stacia Pierce

Welcome to a new series on Hot Shot Headlines!

After my rousing success with my first-ever Camp NaNoWriMo in April, I’ve decided to make more writing happen in 2018. I’m determined to finish the novel that I started in 2012, and outline the other novels I have in development. I have so many ideas!

So, when I stumbled upon this post from What Inspires Your Writing last week, I figured that starting with a success journal was a logical first step.

Here’s the link to their post:

I love this idea of a success journal!

In fact, I already kind of have one, but I haven’t written anything in it yet.

And, a success journal is certainly not limited to writing. Not at all! I encourage anyone to keep a journal, diary, whatever works for you. Writing is like therapy for me, so it makes sense that I document my progress, my successes, and my failures!

So, I’ll be posting about my writing adventures periodically on the blog. My initial goal is to post about once a month, at least in the beginning. And then, we’ll see what happens.

I’m excited to take my success journal everywhere I go!

Check back here about a month from now, and we’ll see what adventures I’ve gone on, and what adventures are to come.

Thanks for following along on this exciting journey!

Do you have a success journal?

Are you writing anything special?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #120: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Recap

Camp 2018 Writer Profile Photo

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

I was inspired to write this post from my friend Madi Grace!

Here are the links to her Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 recaps:

Here are the links to my posts where I mentioned Camp NaNoWriMo, and announced my decision to participate for the very first time:

As a reminder / refresher, my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo was to write 20,000 additional words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor / attempt, tentatively titled, “Experiences from Camp.”


Kristin, a teenager from Kansas, has heard of this experience called “Camp” in Maine. However, everyone who has gone there can’t accurately describe their experiences – Just a lot of mystery, suspense, some thrills, and a lot of chills. When she’s selected to go, she’s excited to meet Brennan, and see “camp” for herself. From the start, Kristin doesn’t get what she’s bargained for, and her excitement turns to absolute terror.

Previous Stats

March 27th

  • Current word count: 11,216 words

March 31st

  • Added 2,025 new words between March 29th and March 30th.
  • Current word count: 13,241 words.

And now, here’s how I did!

Day 1

Today: 785
Total: 785

Not a bad start!

Day 2

Today: 0
Total: 785

There were several days throughout the month where I wrote absolutely zero words!

It was frustrating to not have written anything on Day 2, but I persisted.

Day 3

Today: 602
Total: 1,387

More progress!

Day 4

Today: 892
Total: 2,279

This was my highest word count so far.

I felt like I was on a roll!

Day 5

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

This was the start of a days-long slump where I just did not make any time to write.

Day 6

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Again, little to no time was carved out to write.

Day 7

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 7 was the start of the first weekend of the month, and we were so slammed that I came home utterly exhausted.

Day 8

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 8 was also part of the weekend.

But, I was bound and determined to break out of this slump!

Day 9

Today: 983
Total: 3,262

That’s more like it!

This was my highest word count since camp started.

I was rejoicing!

Day 10

Today: 329
Total: 3,591

I started to notice that if I wrote a high number of words one day, then the very next day, my word count was typically lower.

Oh well, at least I added words!

Day 11

Today: 1,198
Total: 4,789

Holy moly! I knocked the daily word count (667) out of the park!

This was my highest word count of camp at this point.

The only way to go is up!

Day 12

Today: 0
Total: 4,789

Day 12 was shortly after my family started experiencing a big crisis.

So, I’m not surprised that I didn’t write much on this day.

Day 13

Today: 667
Total: 5,456

Nailed the daily word count, down to an exact science!

Day 14

Today: 0
Total: 5,456

Another weekend day – No progress.

Day 15

Today: 1,530
Total: 6,986

After a rough day, this was the highest word count of camp at this point.

My high scores, so to speak, were increasing!

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 6,986

Utter exhaustion again.

Day 17

Today: 435
Total: 7,421

Much better!

Day 18

Today: 1,006
Total: 8,427

Even better than the day before!

Inching closer to the halfway mark!

Day 19

Today: 0
Total: 8,427

Another rough day.

Day 20

Today: 820
Total: 9,247

I was thrilled that I exceeded the daily word count.

Just inches away from the halfway point.

Day 21

Today: 455
Total: 9,702

Word by word, I felt happy that I was getting closer to the 10,000 word mark.

Day 22

Today: 660
Total: 10,362


I crossed the 50 percent mark today.

Cue the happy dance!

Day 23

Today: 635
Total: 10,997

As the numbers increase, I’m hoping that I can actually succeed with my goal!

Day 24

Today: 795
Total: 11,792

The word count today was better than yesterday.

I’ll take it!

Day 25

Today: 0
Total: 11,792

Another weird day.

Feeling a bit stagnant, and unsure.

Day 26

Total: 1,080
Today: 12,872

In spite of the ongoing family crisis, I felt really good with today’s results!

Day 27

Total: 1,230
Today: 14,102

Amazingly, I exceeded yesterday’s word count.

I also took the day off from work, I needed a decompression day. The family crisis turned into mourning. My family lost three uncles within two weeks of each other.

But, I’m very pleased with my progress!

Day 28

Total: 3,051
Today: 17,153

It’s amazing what can happen when your husband takes a long nap in the afternoon.

This word count absolutely crushed all the other high scores.

I was on cloud nine!

Plus, the finish line was in sight.

Day 29

Today: 1,063
Total: 18,216

Inching closer and closer.

I really felt the pressure today!

Day 30

Today: 2,040
Total: 20,256

Oh, my goodness. I DID IT!!!!


I exceeded my goal for my first-ever Camp NaNoWriMo!!!!

Current word count: 33,507 words.

Camp 2018 Winner Facebook Cover

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

Final Thoughts

Wow. I’m stunned. Astonished. And thrilled!

I was immensely apprehensive about signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, especially since I didn’t participate in “regular” NaNoWriMo in 2015, 2016, or 2017.

But, through the encouragement of Madi, and several other friends, I decided to take the plunge.

I felt 20,000 new words for this novel was a very lofty goal, but I was very pleased that I not only met it, but I beat it by 256 words. It’s so inspirational!

I loved the camp environment and atmosphere. It was like a virtual writer’s retreat for a whole month! Also, you had the option of being placed in a “cabin,” so you could meet and interact with other writers! We had several lively discussions and cheering sessions in my cabin. So much fun!

I cannot wait for the next Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Bring it on!!

Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #114: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter Z)

Welcome back! Today is the final day of The A to Z Writing Challenge!

April 30th – Z

Zero to Hero, Hercules Soundtrack (1997)

The letter Z was an easier pick than I thought!

I’ve loved Disney and Disney movies ever since I can remember. In 1997, we went to see Hercules at the Movies 10 theater in Chesapeake. I loved the movie, but the music was great, too!

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with Z?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

And, this is the final day of The A to Z Writing Challenge! Thank you so much to everyone who followed along with my nearly-daily posts during the month of April. I discovered many new songs, artists, and bands along the way!

I loved this challenge so much, that I think I will do it next year, too!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #113: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter Y)

Welcome back!

April 28th – Y

Yeah, Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson is one of my favorite artists. I remember watching her perform on American Idol, way back in the very first, debut season!

This particular song comes from her My December album, which was released in 2007. It’s not her most popular album. But, I’ve enjoyed listening to most of her music throughout her career!

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with Y?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂