2011 Goals - How did I do?

At the beginning of the year I made a post about all the things I wanted to do in 2011. (Read it here) The only other time I looked at this list was when I did a 6-month check up. It was kinda funny reading over it now and what I wanted to accomplish and knowing all the things that weren't on this list that I DID accomplish. And I know it's still technically 2011, but I plan on being pretty MIA until next year with Christmas coming up (2 days people!!) and then my nephew (!!) flying in next week! So let's type out my goals and see how well I did!

Write.  I didn't finish a novel, BUT I did write a very crappy rough draft of one in NaNoWriMo. And because of that really crappy rough draft-not-even-finished-draft I have a better view of my story. A better plot line. And the drive to get my dream back. I wouldn't trade that struggle for what I'm feeling now.

Get healthy. Around June of this year I started having some massive stomach problems. So massive in fact that I ended up spending way too much money at the doctor's office, a trip to the ER, and missed class and work because of it. I may not have dropped 50 pounds, but I did loose 15. I started a work out routine, and I like it. But mainly, I learned that even if you are bigger, you can still live a life. You can still love yourself. And I think having a healthy mind frame is equally important.

Try new things. Did it. Got out way more this year. Stopped being such a hermit. Stopped shutting everyone out. Took some risks. Laughed at myself. Go mad at myself. Cooked new foods. Acted like a fool, and have no apologies for it.

Get another tattoo. This didn't happen. Dang it.

Keep up my GPA. I didn't strive as well as I could have, but I still did pretty good. In some ways I'm disappointed in myself, but in other ways, I'm okay with the choices I made. 

Go to concerts. I DID THIS! I didn't get to see Seether. I HAD TICKETS TO SEE SEETHER! But they cancelled :( I did go see:



Theory of a Deadman

Stone Sour

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Adelita's Way

Drive A 




Puddle of Mudd

Papa Roach


OH the Fire

Sent By Ravens

Nine Lashes

......and I "kinda" saw Ha Ha Tonka. Didn't get to stay for the show, but I did talk to some of the band members so that "kinda" counts, right?

Dress more girly. I never busted out a skirt, but I did wear cuter clothes. By cuter I mean a non-band shirt.

Don't let it get me. I still have those moments like anyone does. I noticed more than ever the heaviness I feel when I let things weigh me down. When I just don't brush things off. I know how sick I've made myself because I get upset over things I have absolutely no control over. Sometimes I can even stop myself and say: Hey. Wait a minute. Why are you upset? It's not worth it. This situation is not worth it. This person is not worth it. It's a process and I'm okay to work with it.

Enjoy life and be more productive with it! I may not have done a lot of things I wanted to do in 2011, but I think my family and friends can agree one thing I did do in 2011 was get back to me. For the past couple years I've let things drag me down to this deep hole that I thought I never was going to get out of. Depression, in whatever form it comes in, is a dark and scary place that can eat you alive if you let it. 

I'm not letting it anymore. 

I look back at so much time wasted and I regret it. I regret shutting myself out from others. For feeling like I'm starting all over at the age of 26. 

But I'm not regretting things anymore. 

This was my year of growth. My year that I got back to me, got back to the things that matter. What I learned most importantly about life is pretty simple: Faith, Friends, and Family. Life is a sad, sad place with out those three things. Glad I know I have it in mine.


Sister Road Trip: Day 2 Part 2

While cleaning up my blogger posts, I clicked the handy dandy "draft button" and saw I never finished or published the rest of the road trip I took back in April/May. While some think it may be dumb to contuine it seeing as big of a gap I did I say this: I have two days off, I'm not used to having free time, and I do what I want.

I was going to copy and paste, fix all the little things Livejournal has a crap fit over every time I do, but I don't want to so if you wanna hear more about the road trip I'm sure you forgot about. Here's the link:

Clicky Click Click Me

Book Talk: The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

(Seven Realms Series - Book One)

Release Date: September 2009

Publisher: Hyperion

Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy - Series

Pages: 506

Source: Library

Sites: Amazon
| Goodreads

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off. 

 While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. 

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.

Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.


Since my newest story consists of a lot of fantasy type elements, I thought it was probably a good time to ya a fantasy novel. Now I've read a few of them, but it's never been my go-to genre. And if you're like me then this book is definitely a great place to start your love for it!

What I love so much about the start of this series is how well written it is, and how I really never got confused. Everything is played out so nicely and the world is richly done with so many characters and events intertwining with one another.

Let's start with my favorite character: Han aka Cuffs. THIS BOY y'all! *dies over the computer and swoons* Han is in retrospect a bad boy. He has a very tough exterior, and he used to be the leader of the Raggers. But Han has heart. He has so much love for his younger sister and doesn't want her ending up in that life. So he does what he has to do to help provide for his family, but trouble just seems to follow him wherever he goes. That trouble leads to a very interesting plot along with those cuffs on his wrists.

Then there is Princess Raisa who is about to approach her sixteenth name day (I love that wordage by the way). This princess heir is not your average oh let me put on my dress on and prance around cause I'm a princess type of character. Raisa is smart. She is very curious and she doesn't want to just marry some prince and sit on a throne for the rest of her life. She wants to learn. She wants to travel. She wants to swamp some more spit with  boys. She has no problem speaking her mind or finding out what is really going on in Fells. That's when Han and Raisa come together.

Since I am apparently on a character kick here, I have to mention how much I adored Amon, Raisa's best child-hood friend who has now turned into a hunky solider who is all about protecting Raisa and Fells. He is quite possibly the only one who can talk some sense into this stubborn princess, but doesn't always succeed. Then there is Micah, son of a very powerful wizard. He's hot in that I-know-you're-a-bastard-and-you're- really-gonna-tick-me-off way. And he does succeed nicely into ticking me off, but he is such a great "villain" along with his father I cannot not like them. Other side characters like Dancer, Raisa's father, Willo - there are just so many great side characters that richly add to the process the book starts to take.

What really brings this whole series into a nice start is the world the author has created. There is A LOT going on in this book, and it does start off slow, but it's one of those things where you need all that information. The writing is so vivid and detailed, I couldn't get enough of it. And it has magic folks. Who doesn't enjoy some magic?!

Basically you need to read this book. You'll thank me later.
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How badly do you want that dream?

Reading and writing have always been a big part of my life.

At school when the teacher passed around Book Orders, I would start circling like crazy, take it home to my dad so he could decide how much money he wanted to shell out that month on my reading. I joined book order clubs like Babysitter's Club and Girl Talk. Every month I'd get two fresh new books, read them within the week, and be begging my mom to drive me to the library. I have to say my parents were quite awesome in supporting my book nerd habit.

When I couldn't find the story I wanted to read that's when I started writing. Which I assume is how a lot of people started writing as well. I don't remember what my first story ever was. The earliest one I can remember is one I made in Girl Scouts called: Susie Is Lost. All about a girl who looses her doll, only to find the thing shoved under a couch cushion.

I've always known that writing was a massive part of my life. Even in moments where I didn't write, I was creating a story in my head. My dad used to play his record player growing up, and there I would be in the living room, walking circles around the coffee table just thinking of adventures. Honestly, if I didn't have crazy scenarios, what if's, and characters constantly chattering away in my head - I think life would be massively boring.

A few years ago I decided that I needed to be published. I needed to fulfill this dream of writing. Somewhere from there and around the time summer ended, I lost something. I gripe about writer's block and failure a lot.. I am probably the best at griping about writing instead of actually sitting on my butt and doing it. The thing is, I know I haven't lost the ability to write. If anything, I have gotten better. I am not being self-centered about that either. I can look at a story from seven years ago to a story now and I can proudly say: I am a good writer. I may not be the best writer, but I'm still a good one.

But what I lost was my drive for it. I didn't come across this until about August. I was at work, talking to a lady who said she wanted to read an expert of The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. I started laughing saying: "Oh you know me, I dropped the story again!" She was trying to tell me: "Hey, it's okay. Writers do that all the time." Seriously this lady is like the best at encouraging me and has always supported my writing. While she was trying to give me a pep up speech, I realized something and blurted it out:

I don't think I want it bad enough.

And I didn't. I had no desire at all to write when it came down to it. If I wanted it bad enough, I would have been going for it. I would have just done it. I wouldn't care like I used to NOT care of what was wrong here and there. I would just keep going and writing and getting these characters are were so alive in my head out onto paper. I would tell their story. Life hadn't exactly been my best friend around that time or for the past few years, and I let all those bad things take control of me. And somehow without knowing it, I let it take control of my dream. I let it tear it and me down to a point where I felt like I just didn't care anymore. It's weird knowing that I didn't care about writing.

Then October rolled around. I started thinking about past stories, one in particular Fairy Tale. I decided that I would use it for NaNoWriMo. I had no high hopes. I've done NaNoWriMo, and even Camp NaNoWriMo (around the same time I claimed defeat of my dream), and I've never really "won". I plotted and I changed things. When November 1st rolled around, I sat in my chair, and I just started typing. Some days I didn't write anything. Other days I went crazy and wrote 7K or more. I did word races on Twitter. I texted Cheryl many times at all hours of different ideas and ways things could go. Then last night, I reached the 50K line.

And it felt amazing. Beyond amazing.

The story isn't finished. The first few chapters are going to have to be completely scraped and rewritten. I'm missing huge chunks of the story, and I even decided to rename my main character from Gabby (short for Gabriella) to Ari (short for Arianna). I know this is a very rough skeleton of a story, but it felt amazing because I wrote. I dove in head first, typed furiously, and kept going and going and I'm still going.

Every day on Facebook I have been putting something I am thankful for. When I woke up this morning, there was really only one thing to be thankful for: NaNoWriMo. For giving me back that drive. For giving me the kick in the butt I desperately needed, and making me realize what I've always wanted out of life was what I've always had. It's writing. It will always be writing no matter what I'm in school for or what I'm doing. I'm glad it's back. I'm glad that I can look at all 122 pages of complete crap and smile that it's there.

Things in life are going to suck. Sometimes they're going to tear you down and make you doubt yourself in ways you'd never thought could happen. But the trick of it is, get back up. Don't let it win. No matter how long it takes you - a week, a month, or even almost three years - get your dream back. Fight for it, and dont' stop until you know it's fully yours. You'll be glad you did.
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A letter to Summer.

Dear Summer,

While some people anticipate you coming along and soaking up all your sunshine and vacations, this extremely white girl did not enjoy you at all.

I may have enjoyed you a lot more if I didn't live in Missouri, where the second you walk out your door you're instantly covered in sweat. It doesn't help matters that I am in fact a bigger girl. Before you get all defensive on me Summer and tell me it's not YOUR fault I'm fat and sweaty, I'll tell you this: If you weren't so mother truckin' blazing hot this entire season maybe my fat butt could have gone for walks. Maybe my fat butt could have gone for runs. And maybe, JUST MAYBE my fat butt could have definitely worked out a lot more, but seeing as this attic is like 20 degrees hotter than the sun itself, it didn't happen.

Okay. Fine. I probably wouldn't have worked out the entire summer, but the thought is still there!


I also blame you for this ridiculously stressful semester I was put through. I was so excited to go through classes that actually would better my future in the medical program, but sadly, one class was absolutely pointless. I'm not saying that because my halfway dyslexic brain couldn't learn anything. I'm saying that because I kept falling asleep in the class (cause 1. it was freaking hot and 2. it was freaking boring). I'm saying this because I spent the entire summer in a classroom NOT learning how to medical transcribe. Don't even get me started on Medical Terminology. Ya know, the crazy medical language that I think is harder than Mandarin, and not to mention extremely crucial to my medical career. That entire experience reminds me of the four years I spent in Spanish class and can still only count to 13.

So you mix together you're menopausal weather, a horrible semester, and what do you get in the martini glass? A sick Amber. I've never given birth before (nor do I ever plan on it), but I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it feels like. So much that I took a little trip to the ER where I learned two things:

1. I'm allergic to medicine that makes my tummy feel all stoned and happy.
2. Cat scans cost around $5,000.

And if you're wondering if I about sharted myself when my uninsured self got the ER bill, you would be correct.  I cannot wait until I get to see the specialist at the end of the month and see how much that dude wants to charge me.

While I was busy sweating, stressing, and dying - my face decided it was going through puberty again. I have never been so badly broken out in my life. There are villages and villages creeping all over my skin. So much so that I basically use concealer like an underlying foundation for my foundation.

Then there's work. I won't go into details about how that place gave me a freaking ulcer and less hair. What I will tell you is that I did not appreciate being stuck behind an oven that blasts out about 400 degrees.  I'm sure you were laughing it up with all your death rays of sunshine blazing. I was not. I was slathering deodorant on and making trips into the freezer because I was constantly sweating like a whore in church.

Basically Summer, what I'm trying to say here is that I know you and I have never really gotten along that well, but I think after this horrible experience you have put me through, you owe me a vacation. A real vacation. One that involves a beach, NICE weather, an endless supply of fruity drinks with umbrellas, and a hot shirtless surfer boy. Or a Cabana boy. I'm really not that picky as long as he has nice arms and can strut it.

I'll have my passport ready June 1, 2012. I also expect to be put in first class.


Amber aka The girl who is anticipating Fall like no other.
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Wannabe Writers #57

Wannabe Writers is my Internet writing group. Anyone is welcome to join! It's a place to meet other writers, ask questions, and get feedback. Find out more information and where to link up this week's post HERE!

Where I am at in the writing process: Unpublished. Currently have been working on The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. Some days I write a lot. Some days I don't write squat, and for once, I'm perfectly fine with either one.

My current problem(s): Not being near a computer when the writing bug bites me. I know this isn't a problem that can be fixed. I'm sitting in class, usually during Anatomy and Physiology, and while I should be taking all these massive notes, I find myself brainstorming on what I should do next with Gracie and Ethan-Dean. BUT then I get so anxious about the idea, I just wanna write right then!! And I can't because I'm stuck in class. Of course by the time I get home, the writing bug is gone.

This is also probably the reason why I pretty much bombed this week's tests too.

It's Just Another Music Monday

A couple weeks back the lovely Cheryl was sending me graphic links of all the old banners she had done in past stories. (Yes, we make graphic art for our stories. Okay, well Cheryl makes awesome graphic art. I made like two banners and they kind of sucked so I just bug her if I want something.)

One of the links was to my story: The Unexpected Clash of Strangers with the tweet of something on the lines of telling me she wanted to read more from the story. So me being all nostalgic opened up my file and what do you know? I've been writing on it some more! I forget sometimes that I actually like my own writing, and how much fun Gracie really is. I've been brainstorming like crazy (mainly during class - who needs all those medical transcription notes anyways?) and have been writing on it some more. My hopes are for it to be done by the end of the month so I can do Camp NaNo. We'll see how it goes.

Any novel playlist I have is ridiculously long, but here are a few songs that remind me of my main character, Gracie.

Liz Phair - Extraordinary 
Yeah, I drive naked through the park
And run the stop sign in the dark
Stand in the street, yell out my heart
To make, to make you love me

I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me
I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary
Average every day sane psycho
Average every day sane psycho

Sugar Town by Zooey Deschanel
I got some troubles but they won't last
I'm gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass
'cause I'm in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

King of Anything by Sarah Bareilles
You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em, but I never asked
So let me thank you for your time, and try not to waste anymore of mine
And get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save


Whose Life Am I Living by Kristyn Osborn
Feel like an android
Living in a Polaroid
Just another reject
Who gets a little seasick
Whose life am I in?
Feels like deja vu
Don't know how or what to do
I point my finger to the sky
Finally ask the question why
Whose life am I in?
Whose life am I in?

You can probably see a trend on the song base I'm shooting for this novel playlist. So if you think of any songs that might fit, leave me a comment! I'm always up for new songs :)


This popped up in my e-mail earlier.


I don't know why people make fake accounts and pretend to be someone else. 

It's quite creepy. 

And more so if you pretend to be Robert Patinsen and start following me.

Wannabe Writers #53

It's been a while since I've done Wannabe Writers! I've been trying and trying to get back into the groove of writing. One thing I was scared was that school and work were going to get in the way of writing, and it has. I shouldn't let it be my excuse, but I am straight up exhausted most of the days to figure out how to form a sentence.

I've pretty much dropped Fairy Tale and The Unexpected Clash of Strangers for now. I'm not for sure what it is about Gus's story that makes me so hell bent on finishing (almost 3 years now!), but it's taken over my brain so I've been plotting it out once again. I think I may have a solution for a big part of why the story wasn't flowing right. There is so much back story that is essential so I'm really, really wanting this idea to work so it doesn't lag the entire novel down. But when I talk about Gus, she gets stubborn on me so mum is the word or however that saying goes for a while until things start to move along.

Then there is the other story that came to me last month that involves a cult. It's totally different from my normal type of writing. I blame it on the hype of the crazy guy who said the world was going to end May 21st and watching Criminal Minds (when the episode wasn't even about a cult, btw.) I'm kind of bouncing back and forth between the two. I dunno how anyone can stick to one story at a time though I kind of wish my brain worked that way.

And on top of all of this *waves hands around* I am contemplating taking an online writing course through Gotham next month, but I'm scared that it may just be too much on my plate. Some of the girls at work told me to wait until this semester is over since I'm having a hard time balancing things. (Hai there Pharmacology, A&P, Medical Transcription, and Medical Terminology.) I know that would be the smart move, but at the same time, I just have this itch that maybe this will help me big time in writing and I miss writing so freaking much!!

So yeah. That's my update on writing. My question this week for everyone is:

How's your writing going?