Keychains for Sale! (Handmade & Handwoven)

Mar 24, 2017

Happy Friday, friends!  It's been a busy week for me so I'm taking the night to work on projects and better myself.  Well, not really.  Haha.  But I did meet up with my friend Chelsea at the gym earlier so that counts, right?


I just finished dinner (Pesto tortellini & snow peas) and now I'm propped up in front of the TV with my laptop and a glass of wine.  What am I watching?  Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.  What am I working on? Writing.  But I also have a new listing in my etsy shop.


These keychains are very special to me.  Why?  Because they're made by my Mom!  I only have 1 right now but once this one sells, I hope she'll agree to list some more of her stock in my etsy store.

To find out more information, just visit this listing.  And if pink just isn't your color, I'll have more listings soon.  :)

Take care,
Marian

A Weekend Away & Some Blogging Changes

Mar 18, 2017

As you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, I've gone away for the weekend.  By Wednesday night I just really felt like I needed to get away so I tagged along with my parents to their beach house for the weekend in Delaware.


Last night we got in to town around nine o'clock and then we went out for St. Patrick's Day.  And let me tell you... I've never been to a bar with my parents before but it was QUITE the treat.  Haha.  I'm surprised we're not all a bit more hungover.

But anyway, I'm updating my blog today because I realized that I want to take it in another direction. For the last year or so I've been focusing more on developing my writing career and my posts have been a lot more informational than personal.  But being an infopreneur just isn't for me so I'm going to be taking my blog in a slightly different direction moving forward!

What you can expect from this blog:

→ Life updates
→ Writing updates
→ Book Reviews
→ Photos
→ Creative articles

Since you've already gotten a brief life update at the beginning of this post, let's move on to some writing updates, shall we?

Wattpad

I am having so much fun with Wattpad right now.  I love reading other author's stories and I love sharing my writing as well.  Right now you can read 3 of my works on there.
Get Over It
Alicia
Make Me Believe

Quietly Written Etsy Shop

New items are being added to my shop all the time!  For instance, I just listed some new paper packs last week.



If you're feeling creative and want to start a new project, make sure to keep checking back because I have a ton of paper packs that I will be listing little by little in my shop.  They're perfect for collages, mail art, decorating your journals, making cards and all kinds of other activities.

@Quietlywrittenshop on Instagram

That's right!  My etsy shop now has it's own instagram account, so if you're a fan on my zines you might want to check it out.  That way you get the first updates on all of my new projects!

Take care,
Marian

On Working Hard (& Relaxing a Little)

Mar 9, 2017

On Working Hard


Friends, I have gotten myself into a pickle.

See, when I got my new job and gave my old job two weeks notice, I told them that I would like to stay on as a seasonal employee and work weekends possibly.

POSSIBLY.

I did not want to work all weekend every weekend, which is what my manager apparently took that to mean.  So now I have been working every day since last Sunday and am scheduled solid for the next two weeks and have no idea when my next day off will be.

I'm saving up to buy a house, so the extra money will do me good.  But will I die of shear exhaustion from working almost 60 hours a week in the meantime?  I'm not sure.  Only time will tell.


On Reading


I've been disappointed in myself for not reading very much in January or February so I'm trying to turn that around this month.  Right now I am currently invested in Remembrance by Meg Cabot and The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines.  I should have book reviews posted for both of them sometime next week!

On Writing


I haven't been writing anything new lately but I am working on edits for Alicia, the first book in my This is Westwood series.  I've decided that for now I am going to publish this book (as well as the rest of the series) on Wattpad, where people can check out this fun young adult series for free.


Take care,
Marian

4 Things to Do When You Don't Feel Like Creating

Mar 6, 2017

Maybe it's the weather or maybe it's just me, but I have been feeling very unmotivated lately when it comes to creating.  I haven't been producing as much content for my blog or as much writing for my books and that bothers me because I'm a very goal-oriented person and I haven't been meeting my goals.

I've been brainstorming different ideas for what to do when I'm feeling less motivated, and here are some different tasks I have come up with.


1.  Read


Reading is a great activity because it is so versatile.  Not only can you read anywhere, but you can also read anything.  I know that I have to be in a certain mood to read certain kinds of books which is why I save some books/ebooks for when I am having a lack of motivation day and need something to take my mind off it.

2.  Watch an episode of a TV show


Sitcoms are best for this task because they're only like, 23 minutes without commercials.  That means you can sit down and watch an episode on Netflix and then get back to your work just twenty minutes later.  The only trick is how are you supposed to stop yourself from watching more than 1 episode? haha.  That's up to you I suppose.


3.  Exercise


Running clears my head and I know it does for others too.  Even if you just go for a short walk outside or ride a bike for 10 minutes, the movement will do you good.  I get caught up in my head sometimes and exercising gives me a way to de-stress and think about something else for a bit.


4.  Regroup (& Re-evaluate)


Planning, organizing, journaling, bullet journaling, keeping a calendar.  These are all ways that we attempt to organize our lives.  Some people (me!) do multiple of these activities.  When you don't feel like getting your work done or you're having trouble finding the motivation, sit down and work out a plan for what you need to do and how you need to get it done.  It's also good to know when you would like to get it done by.

That's all for now.  If you have any ideas you would like to share, please let me know in the comments and I'll add them on as a P.S. to the bottom of this list.

Take care,
Marian

Book Review: Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing

Mar 3, 2017

When it comes to writing books, are you a “plotter” or a “pantser?” Is one method really better than the other?
In this instructional ebook, author Libbie Hawker explains the benefits and technique of planning a story before you begin to write. She’ll show you how to develop a foolproof character arc and plot, how to pace any book for a can’t-put-down reading experience, and how to ensure that your stories are complete and satisfying without wasting time or words.
Hawker’s outlining technique works no matter what genre you write, and no matter the age of your audience. If you want to improve your writing speed, increase your backlist, and ensure a quality book before you even write the first word, this is the how-to book for you.
Take off your pants! It’s time to start outlining. 

To outline or not to outline? That is a question that I have asked myself many times over the years. Over the past year or so I have been studying the art (is it an art? I think so!) of outlining one's novel and Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing was a great addition to my research.

One of the best parts of Libbie's book is that she uses real live examples. Not only does she reference published works, like Charlotte's Web and Lolita, but she also uses her own work to explain how her outlining process works. I found this to be very helpful in understanding her ideas.

I plan on using the processes I learned about in this book to help me rework one of my novels that I am currently in the process of writing. I haven't quite figured out the motives behind my characters or the conflicts in my plot, and I think the things I learned about in this book will be very helpful in actually completing that book!

Whether you consider yourself a pantser or a plotter, there is a lot of valuable advice in this book. It is a bit repetitive at times, but the information is well developed and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the tips.


Take care,
Marian

March Goals (& Reflections on February)

Mar 1, 2017

Happy March!  We have already reached the third month of the year and that is exciting!  Right? Right! Let's get started with reflecting on February and developing some goals for next month, shall we?


February Goals

  1.  Complete first round of edits for Make Me Believe
  2.  Finish second draft of Write It Down eBook
  3.  Get to 400 Pinterest followers
  4.  Read 4 books
  5.  Finish Get Over It rewrite outline

Overall, I didn't do very well on my goals for this month.  Sigh.  I don't want to rely on excuses to make myself feel better, but I was pretty busy this month.  Haha.  But with that being said I did read 4 books and I did get to 400 Pinterest followers.  407 to be exact.  So yay!

As for my writing projects, I will be carrying those over until next month as well.  So I need to finish my first round of edits for Make Me Believe, finish writing the Write It Down ebook, and finish writing the Get Over It Outline.

And my reading goal?  I only read 2 books this month and one of them was incredibly short. I am going to review them on my blog though.  But for next month, I'll have more books to talk about because I'm actually half finished with a few.

March Goals

  1. Finish first round of edits for Make Me Believe
  2. Finish second draft of Write It Down eBook
  3. Get to 500 Pinterest followers
  4. Read 3 books (and write reviews)
  5. Write 25,000 words of fiction

So I might not have made all of my goals for last month, but February was a short month after all. Haha.  Excuses, excuses. What are your goals for this year?  Let me know in the comments!

Take care,
Marian

Book Review: Those Were The Days

Feb 27, 2017

from Goodreads.com:

Don't fall in love in high school.
Don't fall in love with your best friend.
Don't fall in love. At all.
When Claudia Lake's sister Wendy moves back home, everything changes. The boy next door wants to be more than just friends. Her best friend nurses a broken heart with revenge. When it comes to love, Claudia has learned that it's better to be safe than sorry... or has she?
Those Were the Days is a prequel to Jenny Bravo's debut novel, These Are the Moments, that explores what it means to be in love in high school, the excitement and fear of a first love, and how to survive broken hearts.


Those Were The Days is a short story prequel to These Are The Moments by Jenny Bravo. I loved These Are The Moments because it detailed the realistic relationship between Wendy and Simon, as well as portrayed a realistic transition from college to post-college life. The situation just felt very familiar to me and while I didn't necessarily relate to the characters (because friends, Wendy and Simon are a troubled couple from the start) I enjoyed reading about their lives and their interactions with each other.

While TATM focused mainly on Wendy, Those Were The Days focuses on her younger sister Claudia, who I LOVE! She's so cute and I love how in this prequel, you get to learn about her friendship with Casey and the way their relationship slowly progresses.
The dynamic between Claudia and Wendy is so different in the two books, so that was interesting to me as well. It's funny how time can change things.


Would I recommend both of these books? Yes! Which one should you read first? I don't know. But I read TATM first and TWTD second and that seems like a good way to go.


Take care,
Marian