Frosty

Snowman Ornament

Alright, so I don’t think this little guy is actually supposed to be Frosty. But he’s cute, and he reminds me of Frosty. That’s good enough, right?

Whether it is or not, I’m still glad I snapped a picture of him. I saw him sitting among the branches of my Christmas tree, sparkling in the mid-morning sunlight, and I just knew he would make a great subject for this week’s photo post.

Though, I admit, his sparkles didn’t come through quite as well as I had hoped. That’s something I need to work on, but it doesn’t make me any less happy with the photo.

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Staying organized with: A bullet journal

Bullet Journal Key

Welcome to the second installment in my mini-series of posts on staying organized! Last month, I talked about how an online calendar helps me figure out everything from my monthly blog schedule to my daily schedule. Today, I want to tell you about the second step in my organizational process: my bullet journal.

The concept of a bullet journal isn’t exactly new; they’ve been featured on blogs quite a bit over the last couple of years. But, for those who aren’t familiar, here’s my quick overview: A bullet journal is a cross between a planner, goal tracker, habit tracker, general journal, and whatever else you want yours to be. You could, for example, track your budget, plan your days, keep a record of project progress, track which books you’ve read… anything you can think of, really. You start with a blank book and customize it in whatever way fits you best.

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Wednesday links: Books on writing, a book launch plan, writing a trilogy, and advice for young writers

I love regularly reading tips and advice articles in certain subjects — particularly writing and publishing. I don’t always need the information right then, but I know that it’ll eventually come in handy. Or at least, I hope it will.

I know there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same way I do, but sometimes it can be difficult to find every useful advice article that’s out there. So I thought I’d bring you a few. Here are the tips and advice articles that jumped out at me the most over the past week.

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Book excerpt: The Second Window, by Erica Kiefer

There are a lot of things that can draw me into a novel, but one of the strongest pulls–and sometimes one of the most difficult to achieve–is contrasting suspense against a light voice. I’m not just talking about the tension in a novel; tension is a given, and generally comes across clearly no matter the voice. I’m talking about books that fall into the Suspense genre.

Erica Kiefer’s young adult novel The Second Window falls into two genres: Suspense and Romance. I haven’t read it yet, but you can bet it’s on my list. Especially now that I’ve read this excerpt from the first chapter. The voice is light but gripping, providing that contrast I just mentioned.

Before you take a look at the excerpt, hop over to Erica’s giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box.

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Delicate

Orchid Petal

Plants can be such delicate little things, can’t they? I suppose that’s why I’m not very good at taking care of them. They always seem to die on me, no matter how hard I strictly I adhere to the instructions that come along with them.

Take this little orchid flower as an example. I swear, I watered it exactly as the instructions said: three ice cubes once per week. And yet, after less than three weeks, the flowers are drying up and falling off. I’ve tried moving it closer to a window now, in the hopes of giving it more sunlight. It really wasn’t getting much in its old home on the shelf above my fireplace.

So, though I’ve lost a few flowers off my delicate little plant, I’m going to keep trying to bring it back to life. Let’s hope I succeed.