Looking for more to read? Head over to my new blog, Rebekah Joan!


happy christmas

from Doctor Who {via Pinterest}

from Harry Potter {via Pinterest}

from Once Upon a Time {via}

from Percy Jackson {via}

from Sherlock {via Google}

and from the dork brothers, Thor and Loki {via Google}
I hope you guys all have a blessed, wonderful, and white Christmas!
Bekah Joan


My Writings Lately

You guys have no idea how happy I am right now. Like...
I posted a poem on TeenInk called "Key to Her Heart." It's a romance one, which I typically don't do, but that seems to be what the TeenInk people like. You can find it right here. If you read it and rate it on the left side (the stars), I will be veryveryvery happy. :)
But that's not all. It was voted as one of the top poems for today, so it's posted on the front page of the poetry section all day! (See it here.)
There's actually an odd story behind this poem. I bought a key and some chain like a year ago and made it into a necklace. My dad asked me if it was the key to my heart, and I told him no, because it wasn't. But that one question gave me the idea for this poem. Except it was supposed to end differently. The boy was supposed to die. But I decided not to have him do that, so he's alive! :p
And as for the rest of my writings...
I started:
I wrote and completed:
I updated:
Bekah Joan


an excerpt [3]

[From The Dixon Project. Enjoy, sweeties.]
. . . .
     Dara was in the dressing room, pinning her gorgeous hair into a bun. “Hey.”
     “Hi. How’s school?”
     “Fine. Homeschooling?”
     “As boring as ever.” Amber sat down in front of the mirror, next to Dara. “How’s your family?”
     Dara shrugged. “All right. My mom has been a little down lately. I have no idea why my uncle is up here. He’s being really protective.”
     She has no clue. “Weird.” Amber started working on her hair. “Although it has to be nice to finally have someone acting like a father.”
     “Yeah.” Dara shrugged. “I miss him. I wish he was still alive. My mom said I would’ve loved him. So in that sense, it’s nice to have my uncle. But I still like my alone time. He’s like a personal body guard, except he’s splitting his time up between two people.”
     Elias hasn’t tried to contact her yet. Just her mom. Good—he’s waiting on me. But why?
     Dara smiled at her. “Are you doing anything tonight? I wanted to go see a movie, but my uncle doesn’t want me going alone.”
     Because he knows she trusts me. That thought made Amber almost puke. She was lying to Dara, pretending to be her friend. Amber was keeping Dara safe, but she was betraying her at the same time.
     But the thought that came after that made her whole body feel cold.
     He’s watching me.
 . . . .
When I wrote that last sentence, I smiled my evil smile.
Honestly, this scene is probably one of my least-favorite ones from the book, because the dialogue is weak and the whole scene is virtually pointless, except the end. But this post has been sitting around, waiting for December to happen so I could post it. So I must've had some reason when I started making it. Oh, well. What did you think?
Bekah Joan
[1] [2]


Allegiant (Spoilers and All)

WARNING: This post contains spoilers (hence the title) and probably some typos. I just finished writing this post, but I can't edit it. Sorry. If you read all the way through, you'll figure out why. I'm terribly sorry if my sentences don't make sense and the whole thing is crazy.
{via google}

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I've been busy reading Also Known As by Robin Benway, and then Insurgent and Allegiant. Oh, and making a few-day trip to Baltimore.
But really I just need to rant about Allegiant. That. Stupid. Book.
This post is probably going to be short, because even thinking about the ending kills me inside. I get this sinking feeling in just about every part of my body, pulling me down to a dark place I don't want to visit again. Because Tris is dead. Uriah is dead. Basically, everyone is dead.
I don't remember when I realized what having Tris and Tobias splitting the POVs meant. I think it was somewhere near the middle of the book.
One of them is going to die. That's what I thought, and then I banished it from my head, because I couldn't bear it.
When Tris died, I started crying. Then I flipped through the rest of the pages to see if it was real. Maybe it was some trick. But when none of the other chapters were from her point of view, I started crying harder. It took me awhile to start reading again. But when I did, I cried a lot more.
See, Veronica Roth is a brilliantly cruel author (no offense...I'm just saying my opinion. I don't feel any real malice toward her. Awe, maybe, because she had the bravery to kill of one of her main characters, who I'm guessing she loved. A lot). If the book hadn't been in first person, it wouldn't have been quite as bad, but it was. She let us get inside of Tobias's head. Then she broke him. In the process, she broke us.
I kind of get why Tris died. Somewhere in the book, I remember someone talking about an honorable death. Dying for a bigger cause, the bigger picture. Making a sacrifice for those you love, because that's the only way a sacrifice can be done.
At the same time, though, I don't get it. Veronica didn't have to put David in that room. He didn't have to still have his gun with him. Or maybe Tris could've still had her gun with her. Either way, anyone with an ounce of sense would've seen that she still made the sacrifice. She had no idea if she'd be able to survive the death serum or not. She still saved Caleb. She still tried.
And if Veronica could've just been a little nicer, then maybe Tris would still be alive, Tobias wouldn't be broken, so I wouldn't be broken. Yes, I watched this. I get that her death did her story justice. I understand that they couldn't have a happily ever after, but Veronica could've put that in the epilogue instead. She could've said Tobias and Tris were together, married, whatever. She could've said that they were struggling, because life is full of that, but they were doing okay and the threat of death was gone.
But at the same time, I get it. I'm not okay with it. Yet. And that's why I can't think about that book. That trilogy. All of it. I. Just. Can't. I will not read the rest of the Divergent books that Veronica has written, at least not in the near future. If there are any comments on this post, I probably won't respond, because I can't. Maybe by spring I'll be okay with it, and I'll be able to watch the movie.
Right now, though, I'm stuck in this horrible sadness. I know it will fade, just like it did with Tobias's pain, just like it did when I cried over Beth in Little Women and Dobby in Harry Potter. (Yes, that's right. Before Allegiant, I only cried over two literary characters.)
All right. I have to go. The tears are threatening.

Bekah Joan



I did it. I won—barely. (YAYYYYY!) Congratulations to all of my other buddies who finished on time! And for those who didn't, you guys are awesome too! I mean, come on. How many people are crazy enough to do this?!? (Except the real writers with real deadlines. I've read that this is how quite a few of them write their novels.)
Just kidding about the whole "real" writer thing, though. WE ARE TOO. And we're all pretty awesome for even attempting this thing.

What I Learned:

1. It's okay if you don't make it. During the middle of the month, I was freaking out because I wasn't sure if I was going to win. But then during the last week-and-a-half, I calmed myself down and decided that was okay. And then I made it. (I'm not saying that thought has anything to do with it. I'm just making a point that stressing yourself out isn't worth it.)
2. It actually is possible to still hang out with friends, watch almost a whole season of Doctor Who, AND write 50,000 words in a month!
3. People really are important. When it comes to NaNoWriMo, doing this alone is a reallyreallyreally bad idea. Just saying.
...And more. But I've been working on this post forever, and I just want to get it published, so this is what you're getting on my NaNoWriMo 2013 experience. :p

On the random side:
The Ripple Trilogy. Go read it now. (At least today, the first one is FREEEEEEEEE on Amazon!)
Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book is on sale for 99 cents! Well, the ebook version is, on Nook, Amazon, and Kobo. I'm pretty sure it's just this week, though, so GO BUY IT.

Bekah Joan


an update (plus doctor who/divergent/catching fire)

-37,880 words overall (this will not be the same in five minutes).
-1,965 words written today (this will not be the same in five minutes).
-Tea. TEA.
-I kind of gave up on Dawnyelle, and now I'm working on a part of book four of my Three Worlds stuff. GUYS I'M STILL ON BOOK ONE. Ugh.
-I watched the 50th of Doctor Who. Oh, OH. Ouch. My feels have been broken, yet again.
-I watched it with my friend. We squealed and fangirled and screamed and octopus-armed (it's...it's an inside joke...) more than we should've. I'm pretty sure two of her younger brothers are scarred for life.
-I need to go write.
-OH AND I READ DIVERGENT. I should've waited until December, though...It killed my word count. Oh well. It was worth it. :)
-And then there's Catching Fire. I haven't seen it yet. Actually, for a couple days, I didn't care too much that I hadn't seen it because I was so obsessed with Divergent. But now? GAH. SOON.
-I really, REALLY need to write.

Bekah Joan


NaNoWriMo Interview #2: Ashley Tahg

Hey, guys! I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Ashley Tahg. (A wonderful girl, to be sure. You all should go check out her blog.) So, read on and enjoy!
What music do you listen to when you write?
It really depends on what exactly, for example, last NaNo I listened to a lot of Blackmore's Night, since it fit my novel at the time.  This NaNo, I'll be listening to the PoTC soundtrack, as well as rag tag mixture of other movie soundtracks.  I do have AWOLNATION's Sail in my list as well. 

What food/drinks do you eat/drink while writing?
Chocolate, skittles and Tea, preferably Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast.  But, I might add a bit of Jasmine to the mix since a balanced diet is a recommended thing. ;) 

Which movies/TV shows do you watch when you need to take a break?

I really don't know! I'll probably abstain from movie/tv watching as much as possible, since I can easily become uninspired/inspiredforotherthings when watching those, but I see myself doing quite a lot of book reading when I need to take a chill, and around the 16th, I'll be seeing Thor in theaters, so there's that.

How do you conquer Writer’s Block?

My philosophy, when stuck by the block, is that I've been pressuring myself too hard, be it over a plot hole I hadn't foreseen, or getting to that word count goal, and that I need to take a step back and relax. Granted, during NaNo, there will be a lot of pressure, but when I feel my head beginning to ache, I'll probably take the day off.  I'd rather tack the remaining words on to the next day and take the time to listen to music outside of my novel playlist and maybe go make some cupcakes, or even work on one of my non-nano novels.  I'm really just laid back on how I deal with it.

Do you write caffeinated or un-caffeinated?

Oh no caffeine for me.  It gives me a sugar rush that results in more dancing than writing, and a skull splitting headache in the end.  In the end, it does me more harm than good.  I'm really good at pulling all-nighters without it anyway, so, I'll just go decaffeinated.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Ready for a list?
Mirriam Neal (I beta read her novels and oh world, you are in for a treat after she publishes more of her novels!) 
Robin McKinley (she has really inspired my walk as a writer) 
John Flanagan (His skill at writing wit and smart talk remains to be something I seek to learn)
Amanda Sun (she still has a bit of becoming to do, but she really knows how to spin an entertaining story that keeps you reading)
and Chautona Havig (This lady knows how to pump out those novels! And she has a finger in so many genres, and has a real knack for writing books that never fail to cheer me up when I'm blue. When I'm sick, I delve into her books) 

What’s your novel about (either NaNo Novel, current piece, past novel, etc.)?

I'll talk about my NaNo novel, since all my other books are too numbered to speak about in one post and not monopolize your time. 
If I were to sum it up in a dreadfully short sentence, I could say, "Freed slave joins pirate crew to extract revenge for family's death", and while that suffices, it has a far too business like feel to it, wouldn't you agree? 
In Sails of Blood, Ababou, the FMC, is captured by slavers with her brother and sister when she is only 18, and is forced to one by one watch her family die before her eyes while she is left alone, chained in a hold.  
She is eventually saved by a tall, curly haired gentleman pirate (modeled after Tom Hiddleston in his appearance in Return to Cranford) who lets her stay on his ship until she can format a plan for what she wants to do.  She decides to stay on and use him and the crew of the Belladonna to get revenge on the slavers who ruined her life and her family. 
But she doesn't see quite how expensive the road of revenge is, and her new companions will slowly pay the price.

If you could give just one writing tip for NaNoWriMo, what would it be?

Don't freak out.
I know, it feels like a big undertaking, but in reality, if you keep your head on your shoulder, and take it in stride, you can totally do it.  People will be telling you how stressful and intense it is, but just keep calm and reach that wordcount and you will be perfectly fine. Maybe a little sleep deprived, and you may feel a bit anti-social, but you can do this thing. 
And then, if I may, a second tip, is find someone to talk to throughout the month.  Never devalue how life saving a fellow nanoer can be, someone to ask about your word count, and keep you excited. 

What’s your favorite part about NaNoWriMo?
The connection with other writers.  Its like, this big huge family reunion, and it brings writers together in so many marvelous ways.  Romance writers are word warring with Sci-fi writers, and you meet all these new people.  I know, its funny that an event known for making hermits out of writers, that I would say the socialization is the best thing, but it really is.
Last year, an internet friend of mine added me to a group she created for NaNo, and we've remained a tight knit group (not without our scuffles, granted. Don't get me started on the time we all got mad at each other over the American vs. British guys debate.  It was intense) and we've encouraged each other all through 2012 and 2013, and I'm just so very grateful for my writing group.  I've no idea how I could have made it through without them.

Where do you get your inspiration from, or do you just write without it? Both?

Music, music videos and Pinterest.
All it takes is a pin, and boom, story idea. and I've made so many blooming novels from kpop music videos. It's crazy.  I'm almost to the point where I can't watch kpop music videos without being fully prepared to have a new novel. 
And then, there have been so many times I've heard a song that has applied to my current novels, and I find ways to include all the new ideas it gives me in, even if the ideas are as minute as a sweater color, or as large as a new character. 

Have you done NaNoWriMo (including camp) in previous years? If yes, how many times have you done it/won?

I've never done camp, since summer is always just a really busy month for me, but I have done NaNoWriMo.  Last year (2012) was actually my first go at it, so I'm fairly a newbie, but I'm already a hardcore NaNohead, and I really just can't see why I would ever skip this event.
I won last year, reaching 50,002 words before realizing I had won, and then I stopped and haven't written anything in that novel since.

What’s your favorite writing website/blog?

I really love Go Teen Writers, it has been a lifesaver twice over.   I also kinda have a mini obsession with Imagine your OTP, since it's given me so many cute and fluffy scenes for my own characters. You just have to be very very careful, since it has some pretty dirty things, as some people enjoy writing dirty slash fiction.

Do you have an author who you look up to? If so, whom?
Robin McKinley. Oh my word that woman writes gold and magic. If I could only write half as beautifully and perfect as she, I would be content. 

Where can you be found on the NaNoWriMo website (if you don’t have an account, that’s fine)?

I can be found right here, thank you for asking. ;)  I'm totally open for buddy requests, just drop a hint on who you are (or, more than a hint would be nice. I'm not the best at decoding vague references) and I'll add you back!

Where can you be found otherwise?
I can be found at my blog, Cheery-O!, and I have a Pinterest.  I'm also writing a role play novel with a couple writing friends, and while it is in severe need of a new chapter (I'm working on ratting on the girl responsible for that) might as well share a link to The Incantevole Tales as well.

Awesome! Thanks so much for doing this, Ashley! It was fun.
Happy writing!
Bekah Joan


an excerpt [2]


[From the NaNo novel. Enjoy.]
. . . .
   When the doorbell rang, Dawnyelle was already asleep. Her parents weren’t—she could hear them talking.
   Before her mom knocked on her door, Dawn drifted off to sleep again. She refused to get up until her mom turned on the light. Dawn screamed into her pillow.
   “Sweetheart, it’s Austin. He said he really needs to talk to you.”
   “Boys are stupid,” she grumbled, but she still got out of bed. “Where’s my sweatshirt?”
   “On the floor.”
   “How did it get there?”
   “I don’t know, Dawn. Just put it on.”
   Sighing, she did so. I hope he’s okay. Not to be selfish or anything, but I’d rather not be up all night trying to help the idiot through his girl problems. And not that he’s an idiot all the time, but WHO comes ding-donging around houses at…what time is it…MIDNIGHT? Geez. Idiots do, that’s who. Ha! I rhymed! Ugh. Shut up, Dawnyelle…
   She’d managed to half-wake herself up by the time she made it to the stairs. She stumbled down to the first floor, trying to slap the sleep out of her mind and put a half-pleasant look on her face.
   When she got downstairs, she glanced at Austin by the front door. “Kitchen,” she growled, trudging in what she hoped was the right direction.
   Turning on the light, she shut her eyes and groaned. Why?
   Even though it hurt, she opened her eyes and put some water on for tea. “Do you want anything to drink?” She attempted to make her voice even and kind.
   “No. I’m fine.”
   “Well, I’m having tea.”
   “That stuff is gross.”
   “Tea helps to calm me down.”
   “Why do you need to have some? Bad dream?”
   “No, I just have a feeling you’re going to tell me something absolutely dreadful, and then I’ll definitely need it.”


Bekah Joan


NaNoWriMo Inspirational Quote #2

"If you want to change the world,
pick up the pen and write."

-Martin Luther
Bekah Joan


a rather quick update

{via} How I was feeling.

I'm behind.
I have a little more than 15,000 words instead of 20,000. Oh, well. It's only a little less than halfway through the month, right? I still have time to catch up!
And I will. I hope.
I was blocked for a couple days. Surprisingly, my characters are mostly sticking with the original plot (that's a first, I think). But before the next major thing in my plot can happen, a whole bunch of other stuff has to happen, and I didn't really know what that stuff was. I'm not sure if I still do.
But I'm getting there. I got unblocked, and then I got blocked in the middle of the scene. So I did my prompt from the calendar for the eleventh today. I added a quiet gymnast with mismatched knee socks, crazy sweaters and owl necklaces, and bright red hair (like Ariel's).
Yeah, that definitely got the scene going somewhere.
ANYWAY. I'm supposed to be writing. So, bye.

Bekah Joan


NaNoWriMo Interview #1: Rose C.

Hey, guys! Meet Rose. She's an absolutely wonderful writer. (Go check her out. Her stories are pretty darn awesome.)
Rose's interview will be the first one in a series of NaNoWriMo interviews that I'm doing. Hang on for the ride—personally, I think I've recruited some talented writers with a lot of good knowledge to share.

What music do you listen to when you write?
I don't usually listen to music as I write. It tends to distract my frazzled mind. :}

What food/drinks do you eat/drink while writing?
Frankly, I eat or drink anything I can find. O.o But since I usually do all my writing in my room and there's a "no food in your rooms" policy here... Water. Water is the way to go. ;}

Which movies/TV shows do you watch when you need to take a break?
Anything, really. From Disney's Jessie to AMC's The Walking Dead.

How do you conquer Writer’s Block?
I use many "conquering" techniques. I either: a) push on, b) take a big-ish writing break, or c) give up on that story [for now] and go to work on a different one.

Do you write caffeinated or un-caffeinated?
Un-caffeinated. I would use caffeine, if I could, but there aren't really any sources around here--so basically, the coffee is off-limits. :-/

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Andrew Fukuda, John Green...and those are just a few. ;)

What’s your novel about (either NaNo Novel, current piece, past novel, etc.)?
My current "Writing In Process" is about a teenage girl name Katherine, who was in a car accident with her parents. Kat not only loses both her parents, but suffers from memory loss, and has a mind-boggling, romance-filled journey on her way to recovery...

If you could give just one writing tip for NaNoWriMo, what would it be?
Don't give upThe writing is [probably] going to be hard, and you're going to struggle, but it will all be worth it in the end.

What’s your favorite part about NaNoWriMo?
I would say seeing the finished product is the best part. In the end, all your struggles are worth it because you'll have a BOOK on your hands! :)

Where do you get your inspiration from, or do you just write without it? Both?
I get my inspiration from lots of things. Real life, blogs, social media sights, quotes, photos... There always seems to be that one thing that catches my eye and makes me really think, yah know? And thinking almost always leads to writing, with me. ;)

Have you done NaNoWriMo (including camp) in previous years? If yes, how many times have you done it/won?
I have. I did a camp NaNoWriMo in -- I think -- July or August, of this year. So I've only done it once, but I am looking forward to doing it this year, in November.

What’s your favorite writing website/blog?
think. eat. write. read. <-- THAT is my favorite blog. :} Mackenzie has a lovely writing style and her posts are just flawless. But there's also Go Teen Writers, which is an amazing writers help blog that has saved me multiple times.

Do you have an author who you look up to? If so, whom?
I look up to many authors, but I think the one that sticks out the most is Veronica Roth. Her book/s have really inspired me, especially since she started writing her first book--Divergent--in college, which makes me think; though I've started writing at a young-ish age--which is both an advantage and a disadvantage--I still might have a shot at writing something people might think is worth reading...

Where can you be found on the NaNoWriMo website (if you don’t have an account, that’s fine)?
On NaNoWriMo.org my user name is radioactive_rose, so you can find me there. :)

Where can you be found otherwise?
I can be found at the blog, Truly. Madly. Deeply., on pinterestwattpadweheartittumblr, or you can email me at rosecolflesh@gmail.com!

Thanks so much for doing this, Rose! I enjoyed getting to interview you!
Happy writing!
Bekah Joan


NaNoWriMo Inspirational Quote #1


"It’s none of their business
that you have to learn to write.
Let them think you were born that way."

- Ernest Hemingway
Bekah Joan


the story of dawnyelle and austin

So, here's that post I said I might do on my NaNo novel. Currently, I think I've given it the title "Dawnyelle." This will probably only last a few days before I change it again. Enjoy, dearies. <3
Ugh. These two. They have put me through enough emotional trauma to last me a lifetime, and I haven't even started writing the freaking book yet.
Her name is Dawnyelle. She's broken and full of more self-hatred than anyone should have to bear.
His name is Austin. He's depressed, lonely, and lost.
They're next door neighbors who haven't talked in years. But when Dawnyelle talks him out of committing suicide (dramatic, eh?) and promises to show him why life is worth it, that all changes.
Soon the two are off on a journey of healing and finding beauty, together.
If I could describe it in one sentence (because that's what I had to do for the Snowflake Method), it'd be this:

"Two kids, one depressed and the other broken, find healing and beauty in Christ."

But it's so much more than that. So. Much. More. It's about struggling through the ugliness of the swamp to find a breathtaking waterfall. It's about letting go of loved ones, loyalty, grace, and learning to dance in the rain (literally and figuratively).
It's also about this puppy. And this cat.
This is Austin: (Aka Callan McAuliffe.)
I don't have a specific person that I think Dawnyelle looks like, but I'll stick with this one. It's, like, my favorite because of the camera (she has a thing for photography) and her gorgeous smile.
Pinterest inspiration board.
Also, I wanted to give some very due credit to this lovely woman. She's the one who taught me about the beauty of life, even in the rough times. So you should all go check her blog out. Her posts are amazing. (And, speaking from someone who knows her personally—asdfghjkl she's amazing and wonderful and beautiful inside and out. I seriously don't know where I'd be without her. Or her four absolutely ADORABLE kids.)
I told myself I wasn't going to get all sappy (HAHAHAHA.), so I'll just stop.
Bekah Joan


a desperate plea for help

I thought November was going to kill me.
Then I got a brilliantly stupid idea.
See, I barely have time to write now, so I figured I'd better come up with a way to be able to find time to write for NaNoWriMo.
I decided to get as much of November's school done before November actually gets here. Please note that it's the 22nd of October, I came up with this idea yesterday, and I was behind in all of my school except my math. Now I'm current in Chemistry, too.
Anyway, to get all of this school done, I have to do sometimes twice as much, sometimes one-third more of math every day than I normally do. I'm doing as much Chemistry reading in a day as I normally do in a week (thankfully, that's really not too much). English and vocabulary...well, those aren't too bad. I mean, I'm probably doing the most in those, but I don't mind them as much. They're language arts! Those are wonderful! (Yet so terribly time consuming.)
All the while, I still have to complete homework and such for my online classes.
So, I guess what I'm asking of you lovely people out there is to pray for me. I know I can't do this on my own, and I really, really need some help over here. I don't want October to kill me. That's November's job. ;)
Thank youuuuuuuuuuu.
Bekah Joan


Tips for Surviving Both NaNoWriMo and Life

I was asked to do a post on this, so we shall see what happens. I think I'll do it in a "do" and "don't" kind of way...


-Say no. Not to everything, mind you. Decide what's more important: spending time with friends or writing. School or writing. Work or writing. Your priorities must be straight. (And I am NOT saying that writing is always the way to go. Sometimes, people are more important.)
-Stay healthy. It'll help, I've been told.
-Be connected. Find other people involved with NaNoWriMo, whether on their website or in real life.
-Try staying up later than normal or getting up earlier than usual. (Notice the "or" there. I don't recommend trying both of these at the same time.)
-Remember that if you don't win, it's not the end of the world. This is something that I've had to learn personally, because I think there's a really huge chance that I'm not going to have 50,000 at the end of this November. However, I'm still going to try my absolute hardest. But I'm not going to sacrifice friendships/family/grades for this thing. (Yes, even school. I may not like it, but it's still a bigger priority than NaNoWriMo.)


-Edit. Pleasepleaseplease. November is not for editing. When it comes to NaNoWriMo, it's just a waste of your time. If you edit, you probably (definitely) won't have time to finish 50K words.
-Stop writing. You must keep going. Even after you've hit your word goal for the day, keep going. You never know when time will mysteriously disappear and you won't have time to write.
-Give up. Remember, though, that this isn't a life or death thing. If you don't win, it's okay. You tried. You most likely tried your hardest. That's good.
. . . .
Last November was a bit of a struggle for me. I didn't think I was going to make it until the last few days, but then I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I'm pretty sure I actually finished a day early.
But my point: you have to write (obviously), and you have to do a lot of it. I ended up writing a lot at night, after all of my school was done. It was really hard to actually have a specific time to write, because I didn't know when I was going to be done with school. It was (and is) basically different every day. Like I said before: school is more important than NaNoWriMo. I don't like that fact, but that doesn't change it. Work before play.
If you can schedule writing into your schedule, by all means, I've heard it's a brilliant idea! If not, I suppose we can struggle through writing at random times together!

Bekah Joan


the beauty of math

This is a slightly odd post that I may or may not disagree with in the morning. Oh, well...Enjoy my little rambling about the alphabet and numbers combined.
Math and I are not good friends. In fact, you could say we're enemies. I want to kill my textbook, and I'm pretty darn sure those numbers try to strangle me every time I attempt an Algebra 2 problem.
But I can't help but admire my enemy. I don't always understand it. Sometimes I'm quite angry with it. On occasion, though, I see this strange beauty flash through. All of the numbers fitting together just right, everything working out perfectly—that's what's beautiful about my enemy.
For a minute, I feel like I can see into something I'm not supposed to. Something amazing. I love and cherish those moments, along with the, "Oh! I get it now!" moments.
I love figuring things out, although it normally takes me ten times more time than it should. But still, it's fun—until it gets frustrating.
Normally, I'm screaming, "Where the HECK did that dang THREE go?!?"
But I must admit (now, after I've finished my math for the day) that those moments of seeing math as beautiful are worth it.

Bekah joan


NaNoWriMo Prep!

So, first off, I got a new notebook for my NaNoWriMo novel (along with three others, for stories that are yet to come. Yes, I have a small obsession with notebooks). This one fit perfectly for this novel, because a main theme in it is finding beauty.
 The next morning, I got up earlier than normal and made some tea. Then I opened up a window in my room, settled down on the floor, and made the cover page. I haven't done that before in my notebooks. But I got the idea, and I think I shall do it in all of my story notebooks from now on. It was quite fun.
Then I moved on to outlining with the Snowflake Method. I only got through step 2 before it was time for breakfast, and then school. But I now know the basic plot of my novel and am on step 4. Yay!
I'm thinking of doing a post about my novel (maybe). I would do it here, but I have to leave in, like, twenty minutes, and I won't be back until tomorrow night.
Oi. I need to finish packing.
Bekah Joan


it's october, and that's weird.

September went by way too quickly. It's almost as if it didn't exist. Odd.
And now October is here, and soon November will be. And we all know what November brings. (For the strange ones who don't: NaNoWriMo!) Oi. I need to outline my novel.
Anyway, I'm kind of really excited. Ecstatic. (For November.)
The leaves haven't started changing as much as in other places in my area, but soon. Oh, very soon.
Soon they'll fall to the ground, filling the empty, chilled ground with rusty and bright colors.
Whoa. Random flowery (or...well...leafy) sentence. Awesome.
Anyway. I'm not sure if I really have very much to look forward to this October. Just school, working, the general being overwhelmed-ness, etc.
Of course, October brings November, so that's nice. And I'm sure this October will bring wonderful moments that I'll remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I just don't know what they are yet.
Oh, and then there's this song. Beautiful.
Thank you for reading this positively pointless post. It's appreciated. :p

Bekah Joan



That number. That glorious, wonderful, amazing, crazy number.
Gee. I don't even know how to write this post, except to blurt it all out and hope it makes sense.
See, I finished it. I finished the first-slash-third (explained here) draft of the Three Worlds Series. 63,079 words. I believe I teared up three times when writing this dang thing. Once quite awhile ago, twice today.
I've been so close to the end of this novel for I don't know how long, but I haven't been able to find time to write it between school, the three homeschool co-ops we're doing, and writing another novel for school.
But, finally, I decided that I was going to finish this book, and I was going to finish it today. This is my last free weekend for a while, and I decided I was going to spend it how I wanted to. So I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
Clara, one of my characters. via

I'm not sure I like the ending. I mean, I like the last line. I personally think it's amazing. But I feel like it's kind of weak. After Alexa and Drew (the two main characters) come back from Abif (one of the three worlds, where the majority of the book takes place), there's a short scene between them, and then a short scene with Alexa's family.
My Novel in a Year teacher has said a few times that the resolution is supposed to be short. Two chapters at the most, I think she said. So I tried to keep it short. But Alexa went through so much emotional pain, and even though I had her realize that eventually she'd be okay, I guess it ended on a rather sad note. In fact, I feel like the last few chapters are a little on the dark side, because...well, they're fighting darkness.
via Pinterest
This, of course, is probably just my emotions going wild, because the author is so much closer to the story than the readers will ever be. So, for me, the ending is dark, sad, miserable, and...I don't know. But there's one happy scene. One very, very happy scene. And it should make everything better. But I feel like it doesn't.
Of course, it's only the first-slash-third draft. It's not perfect yet. So my inner editor is screaming, too.
But I think that once this book is finished, it's going to be pretty cool. Splendid.
I just have to edit it a bazillion times first.
Bekah Joan


NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

Hey, Rebekah here! I updated this post on my new blog with a 2019 NaNoWriMo calendar and everything. View the new guide right here!

Looking for something to read?

Check out my FREE book, The Runaway House, on Wattpad:
When Lee witnesses a murder, her only chance at survival is running. Somewhere along the way she meets a man who takes her to The Runaway House, a safe place for fugitives and runaways. There she begins to find peace, courage, love, and a real family.

Check it out here.

Hey, there! I'm glad you've stopped by to make your NaNoWriMo experience amazing!

This is a two-parted survival guide. Part I consists of tips and tricks I've seen, heard, read, or experienced. Part II consists of supplies I’ve discovered are helpful to have handy.
This is here to help you prepare for NaNoWriMo, along with struggling through it. Please, please don't read just summaries. You can do that at first, but click on the links. They're a lot more helpful than the summaries, and they're written by adults with more experience, not some sixteen-year-old girl who's only done NaNoWriMo once before.
There’s a lot of information here, and quite a bit of it is repeated. But the more it’s repeated, the more important it probably is.
I’ve been accumulating this information since May, so if this isn’t the best survival guide you can find, well…I wouldn’t be surprised. But I did put a lot of time and effort into this, so take a look. Who knows—you might even learn something (I did).
Oh, and here's a random thing (that's not so random, really. It fits here). Go check out The Office of Letters and Light's blog. It's quite helpful.

Image Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Part I: Tips & Tricks

1. Trick Yourself.

In The Write Practice's post 7 Tricks to Write More with Less Willpower, Joe Bunting talks about how to trick your subconscious into writing for you (#3). This works, guys. I've tried it. It's very helpful for when you just don't feel like writing in general. (To be honest, this whole post is a great reference for NaNoWriMo AND writing in general.)

2. Write or Die.

(No, not literally.) If you haven't heard of Write or Die by Dr. Wicked, I pity you. You need to check it out, especially if you're a NaNoer. I found it last year, at the end of November. Basically, the thoughts running through my head were something like this: WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE? You set your word goal and a time goal, and then write (you don't have to get the desktop version one. There's an online version, under "apps")! But you can't stop for more than a few seconds without some form of punishment. Dr. Wicked's methods of punishment can be harsh or gentle, depending on the mode you set it on. But be careful! He will start erasing your words if you stop for too long.

3. Backwards NaNoWriMo.

I haven't tried this form of NaNoWriMo yet, but I guess it works . Basically, you write a lot on the first day of November, and as the month goes by, you don't have to write as much each day. On Day 30, you actually only have to write one word. That's right. One. Word.

4. Watch People.

Whenever you aren't writing, watch people. They'll give you ideas, and as the Write Practice says, they're "free inspiration."

5. Don't Edit.

Whenever I read or hear tips about NaNoWriMo, this one is always there. Don't edit. It's a waste of your time until you're done. Right now, just write. You can't afford to edit. You don't have time, and personally I think editing can be very draining and frustrating. So just wait.

6. Have a Plot.

Please, oh PLEASE. As Nathan Bransford stresses in his blog post Do You have a Plot?, you need to have a plot. Duh, you might think. But bear with me. If you actually read the post, it is explained that a plot is very different from a theme, and people tend to think of the theme as the plot. So before I get any more confusing, just read the post. Okay? No, seriously. Go read the post, make sure you have a plot, and if you don't, MAKE ONE. And make an outline, too. (I recommend the Snowflake Method, which was recommended to me by Amy Wallace. It's a lot of work, but so worth it.) I didn't have one last year, and it screwed me up. So have one. You'll stray from it, for sure, but you need to have one. That way, when you feel lost, you'll have something to come back to.

7. The Write Practice Again.

Here are five tips from The Write Practice (yes, yes, I really do like that website) on how to win NaNoWriMo. They're simple tips, but very effective.
1. Write with friends.
2. Write fast.
3. Don't edit.
4. Use a timer.
5. This isn't just about 50,000 words.

8. Don't Worry About the Names.

Last year, I got stuck on names. I wanted them to be right, and it took up a lot of time to find the right ones. But I learned a lesson from that fatal mistake: forget about the names. Either already have the names planned out, or if you come across an unexpected but nameless character, use a random name generator, like this one. Specifically that one because it's more than a name. It gives you an address, an email, phone number, Mother's maiden name, birthday, and a whole bunch of other random information. And don't generate over and over until you get one that you like. Stick with the first one. You can change it all later. But when you're writing for NaNoWriMo, it doesn't matter.

9. Sometimes, You Might Need a Boost in Creativity.

Shana Lebowitz compiled a list of 36 ways to boost creativity right over here. Some of these won't work for NaNoWriMo (I think visiting a country is out of the question, plus the whole asking for someone's opinion needs to wait until December. Right now you're just getting the words out, not trying to please someone else). But listening to music, writing by hand (even for a bit), or going to bed can be great options.

10. "Seeing is not Observing."

In this article, the power of taking field notes to enhance your observation skills is explained. But to me, I got something for writing out of it. Whenever you aren't writing, have a notebook. Always. Even by your bed at night (we all know that's when the best ideas come to us). Notice everything going on around you. Write down how the little boy's smile turned into a laugh when his mom started tickling him. See that rose? Describe everything about it. Take a picture of it if you have a camera with you. Just remember this: always be observing, and find a way to put those observations into your novel. It'll boost your word count and give your scene a bit more depth.
Besides, who doesn't like pretending to be Sherlock Holmes?

11. Reward Yourself.

I got this one from over here. They'll give you links to other articles that explain why and stuff. The point of the post: reward yourself when you do something significant. Not after every sentence. If you finish your word count for the day, celebrate. Get more done? Celebrate. You're halfway? Celebrate. But do NOT celebrate by not writing. As it says in the article, "never reward writing with not writing. Rewarding writing by abandoning your schedule is like rewarding yourself for quitting smoking by having a cigarette." -Paul J. Silvia

12. Know How to Defeat the Two Types of Writer's Block.

One of the NaNo pep talkers from last year (for the YWP), Ally Carter, wrote a post that helped me a lot. It's about the two types of Writer's Block, how to recognize them, and what to do about them. (Also, here are all of the pep talks from the YWP, and here are all of the ones for the "normal" NaNoWriMo.

13. Writer's Relief Comes to the Rescue!

(Yet another great writing website!) Over at Writer's Relief, their staff have given seven very helpful tips for NaNoWriMo. They are: prepare mentally, clear your calendar, create an outline, have draft notes, stock the fridge (healthy food, guys), exercise, and set rewards. Go read the post. They get more in depth, and they're probably some of the best tips I've found while putting this thing together.

14. Timers are Great.

You know they are. Don't deny it. They help keep you on track. Write or Die is a great one with a goal all set in, but if you don't like that, here's another one.

15. Make a Long Playlist and Don't Stop Until it Does.

Don't stop for anything. No food. No internet. No messing around. Nothing. (Okay, you can get up to pee, but that's it.)


From The Office of Letters and Light, I show you eight tips they provide for surviving Camp NaNoWriMo, that are still very useful for NaNoWriMo. Or real life.
S-Size up to the situation. (You can do it.)
U-Use all your senses, Undue Haste Makes Waste. (Don't write so fast that your story is confusing, but don't write so slow that you can't finish in time.)
R-Remember Where You Are. (You're among friends, it's okay to suck, and you're at the beginning of the rest of your writing life.)
V-Vanquish Fear and Panic. (Forget about fear. It's pointless. Instead, have a plan, stick with it, and stop worrying.)
I-Improvise. (An acronymn.)
  • Ideas
  • Mayday Option
  • Punting the Critic
  • Reinventions
  • Open Doors
  • Volume
  • Interaction
  • Sidestepping
  • Experimentation
V-Value Living. (People, experiences, etc. are our inspiration. We need them, and we can't shut them out. No piece of artwork is worth losing someone over.)
A-Act Like the Natives. (Learn from the professionals, but don't be mislead by fallacies. Basically, writers write. So write. A lot.)
L-Live by Your Wits, But for Now, Learn Basic Skills. (Make the story exciting while still improving on alliteration, metaphors, dialogue, etc.)

17. No Plot? No Problem!

The Office of Letters and Light has come up with three things to keep in mind while brainstorming for your plot.
1. Ideas are like celebrities.
2. Document everything.
3. Two stormy brains are better than one.

18. Just Write.

Sometimes, that's all you need to do. Just write, write, and write some more!

19. Forget Everything You've Just Read.

I've read over and over again that, when it comes to writing, the rules are optional. There's almost always some exception (including exceptions to this rule). So if something isn't working for you, maybe you can break that rule. You're a person. I'm a person. We have different opinions, lifestyles, methods, etc. Some rules work for me, some don't work for you.

Part II: Supplies

1. Healthy food.

Don't let yourself go completely unhealthy while you're going through NaNoWriMo. Writer's Relief suggests over here that "maintaining a healthy diet will keep you focused and alert for the long writing journey ahead of you."

2. Notebook, Pens, Pencils, etc.

Always carry these. ALWAYS. As mentioned earlier, if you decide to take field notes, you'll need these. Besides, you never know when a brilliant idea will pop into your head. And, as I have often experienced, I forget that idea if I don't write it down. (Especially at night. That's why I have a special notebook that I keep on my nightstand.)

3. Your Favorite Movies.

Yes, movies. And TV shows. Whatever you need to help you get over your problems, whether it's Type 2 Writer's Block (as mentioned here) or a lack of inspiration. Compile a list of your favorite movies/episodes and keep it handy. But don't watch one EVERY time you feel tired. Sometimes you just have to push through, because sometimes what you're feeling is Type 1 Writer's Block being sneaky. Watch out for him. That little bugger wants to ruin your November. Don't let him.

4. An Awesome Mug.

Picture this: you're writing away on a cold November night, wrapped up in a blanket with a mug of tea or hot chocolate or coffee or whatever you prefer. And what mug are you sipping your hot beverage from? It could be this fantastic Writer Mug, designed by yours truly. I worked hard on this and lovelovelove it, and you should too! Buy it (or browse other products!) here.

5. Your Brain.

Please don't forget this. Just...please. While it might be quite amusing for others to watch you try to write 50,000 words in thirty days without your brain, you'd be in a lot of pain.

6. NaNoWriMo Calendar.

It’s helpful to have your goals written down. Even if it’s just your normal calendar with the wordcount goals written on every day, do it. I have one at the end of this post that you can use. You can set it as your desktop background or print it off or whatever. It has the number day, the wordcount goal, and an inspiring quote/note, along with a couple challenges and prompts. (Don't like mine? Google search for one and you'll probably find one you like.)

7. Character Profiles.

These will come in handy, I've heard. What color were your character's eyes? Refer to the character profile instead of searching for it. Stuck on not knowing how your character would react to a certain situation? Look at their personality in their character profile. Of course, these should be made before November 1st. You can find the Official NaNoWriMo Character Questionnaire right here. The Write Practice has  the 35 Questions to Ask Your Character From Marcel Proust. Both are wonderful.

8. An Outline.

Outlining probably isn't your favorite thing. I get that. It's not my favorite either. But it must be done. The Snowflake Method is the long way around. But there are others. Even if you just write the beginning, middle, and end of the story—it's something.
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EDIT: Here's a 2015 NaNoWriMo calendar for you all! Good luck this year!

2016's Calendar:

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to making a 2016 calendar for NaNoWriMo. But I found this lovely one by Kiriska on DeviantArt!

Have any tips or tricks I didn't mention that you love to use? Post them in the comments!
I am also planning on posting a series of reminders, bits and pieces of encouragement, and possibly some interviews during November, so stay tuned! (Edit: you can find those in the 2013 archives.)
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