Poetry

Haiku: Cling

The world is crumbling

Disease, Hatred, Suffering

I will cling to You.

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©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life, teacher life

First Year of Teaching: The Day It All Changed

We had mentioned it in passing.

We had discussed it in hypotheticals.

We had never imagined it would turn out the way it did.

March 13th.

In the days and weeks leading up to March 13th, teachers and students alike were talking about COVID. Was it as bad as people said? Would it come to California? Would it come to our school? Would we have to shut down? We were so sure for so long that it would never come to that, but that whole week, it seemed like there was something in the atmosphere building to this day. The whole week it rained, and any teachers out there known that rainy days make for interesting school days. When there are rainy days back-to-back, tensions rise, we begin to feel couped up (teachers and students). It was the perfect preface for what was to come.

That Friday my phone continued to light up, but as I was teaching, I could not check it. At passing period, I would briefly look at my notifications: Disney announces closure, school district announces closure . . . Pandemic sweeps through the United States . . . COVID infection rising . . .

Between the rain, the notifications, the confusion amongst our own staff, (and oh ya, I was releasing the production cast list that day!) and the questions from the students, I just needed two minutes. Two minutes to gather myself, to prepare myself for another round of questions from my students: What is COVID? Will we die if we get it? Is this the end? Are we safe?

But it was rainy day, which meant that I did not have two minutes. My doors needed to be opened for students to come inside. I’ll never forget that I had a partner teacher who just happened to walk in randomly when I needed her most. She shut my door, told me that I was human, that I could take the two minutes I needed, that she would watch my kiddos so that I could catch my breath and regain my game face. I cannot say what her generosity and simple kindness meant to me.

I opened my door and the day resumed. Then, at 2:30pm, 15 minutes before the end of the school day, 15 minutes before I was to post my production cast, 15 minutes before the end of a very long, hard week, our principle came on the announcement system.

Due to COVID, we would not be returning to school the next week. We would break for Spring Break and we would most likely be back in a couple of weeks. Students were instructed to take all of their books home for online instruction.

During the entire announcement, students were whispering amongst themselves. When the announcement ended, some cheered and others burst into tears. Some thought it would be an extended Spring Break and others thought it signaled the end of the world.

We ended that day in prayer. We prayed for our nation, we prayed for each other and we prayed for wisdom. Looking back now, I am so grateful that that is the last memory my students will have of my “physical classroom.” Although we would continue to meet online, I am glad that we ended our classroom experience in prayer.

What was your #COVIDMOMENT ?

Let me know in the comments below!

Poetry

“Identity” (Eugi’s Weekly Prompt)

Today’s poem was written in response toEugi’s Weekly Prompt (Click the link; Join the fun):

 

Identity

What Is My Identity

But A Face

That Only Some Will Get to See

A Facade

That Often Goes Unseen

What If

This Face is the Only

Identity

You Ever Get to See of Me?

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: RE-WRITE instead of Revise

*This is a tip that I first found on Pinterest and used when re-writing Agency in the Hunger Games. I am using this tip again with my current WIP.

Often times, when writers finish the first draft of their WIP, most jump straight into the editing phase. We can’t help it; we’re excited and already thinking about querying and sending out manuscripts, but if you do that, you are missing a HUGE step in the publishing process.

Here’s a piece of advice that changed my writing life entirely. When you finish your first draft, you should not go straight to editing. Instead you should write the first draft all over again from the beginning. Literally, pull up a blank document and rewrite your manuscript sentence by sentence.

IKnow It Sounds Crazy Hear Me Out GIF - IKnowItSoundsCrazy ...

Before you turn away in disgust, hear me out.

Why It Works:

When you have to rewrite (or retype) your manuscript, you will inherently be more open to removing unnecessary parts (because you’re not actually deleting anything) and you are far more likely to add more material and flush out your ideas now that you know how your story ends. You can add in more foreshadowing, more world building, more character depth, etc. Instead of having to go through your draft and figure out where to put those items, they come much more naturally through the rewrite.

My Results

I am currently using this technique to expand my Contemporary Fantasy Young Adult Fiction piece (80,000 Word Count in 10 Weeks Challenge). In my original draft at this point in the story (finished four years ago), I had written about 80 pages and 22,839 words. At the same point in the plot with my new draft, I have written 163 pages and 49,235 words. And that is AFTER completing removing entire scenes and chapters. Not only did I DOUBLE the amount of story, but I can say whole-heartedly that it is a BETTER story. It’s a lot of work to re-write an entire draft when you just want to move into the next phrase, but I can say that the result was worth it!

Not only did I greatly improve the quantity of my writing but, more importantly, I also improved the quality of my work.

Have you ever tried this technique before? Did it work for you?

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s writing tip, be sure to visit my page “Writing Tips” on my main menu and learn more tips and tricks! Have any writing questions? Leave them in the comments below!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

80,000 Word Challenge

80,000 Word Count Challenge Update (3)

It’s Time for Update #3!

I started this 80,000 Word Count in 10 Weeks challenge six weeks ago. (If you did not read that post, you can read it here!) As of today, I have officially passed the half way point of my 2020 Summer Challenge.

After six weeks of writing every day, (okay okay, I actually missed one day due to illness) my goal word count was 48,000 words. I  currently have a grand total of . . .

 48,072 Words

Update 3

To be more precise, I am in the midst of Chapter 12. I have 159 pages and 48,072words.

Looking at the above graph, I can see that I had a bit of an extra lead at my last update, but I lost that lead this last week after I needed to take a personal day. But hey, at least I hit my word count goal!

There were a couple of scenes over the past two weeks that I have been looking forward to writing since the start of this challenge and wow, they evolved into so much more than they were in the original draft! (PROOF that REWRITING, NOT revising, works! I’ll have more to say about that at a later date.)

Now that I have finished those fun scenes, I have to deal with the fallout, leaving me looking something like . . .

kaylaannauthor – KaylaAnn

I know the next four weeks will be the toughest as I am completely changing the original ending of my first draft! I appreciate all the encouragement you have sent my way so far and hope that all of your writing adventures are going just as well!

May Your Ink Never Run Dry &

May Your Cups of Tea Always Remain Warm

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

“Or”

A Blooming Love,

Or just another Shakespearean tragedy?

Something solid and real,

Or just a dream that blows away the leaves?

Leaf

*This is something I wrote back in high school and recently found when going through my old writing notebooks.

What goodies or oldies have you found in your own writing note books?

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life, The Agency Games

GIVEWAY! Working Toward 3,000 WordPress Followers!

You still have a chance to enter the Agency in the Hunger Games FREE Giveaway! Do you love the Hunger Games? Do you know someone who does? Do you simply love receiving new books in the mail?

Make sure to reblog the original GiveAway (click here!)

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Rememeber, you can earn extra entries by sharing my Giveaway on WordPress, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just hastag #AgencyintheHungerGames

Every time that you share, I will award you a new entry (that means you can literally have countless entries by sharing and re-sharing!)

Thank you to everyone who have already shared; you guys are amazing!

See all the rules by clicking the link:

*Almost 3,000 WordPress Followers GIVEAWAY “Agency in the Hunger Games”

Poetry

Freedom Rang…

Freedom Rang in 1776 when the United States declared its independence (#IndependenceDay)

Freedom Rang in 1863 when Lincoln addressed the public after the battle at Gettysburg speaking out against slavery and promoting unity

Freedom Rang in 1865 when the 13th Amendment was passed, finally abolishing slavery (#Juneteenth #FreedomDay)

Freedom Rang in 1920 when women gained the right to vote with the 19th amendment

Freedom Rang in 1944 when the Allies landed in Normandy on D-Day

Freedom Rang in 1967 when interracial marriage was no longer criminalized

Freedom Rang in 2001 when neighbors rose up to help one another after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers

Freedom Rang when the first black president, Obama, was elected in 2009

Freedom Rings today in 2020 as our nation reflects on our past. It is not perfect, it is far from it, but it reveals a growing trend toward equality, toward growth, toward maturity. In society’s current “hatred” of the past, let us not forget the progress our nation has made. Let us learn from the errors of those who have come before us without forgetting the good they accomplished.

Let freedom continue to ring out in celebration of a better future; a future that is not built on hate but on growth, understanding, and learning. Let freedom ring in a nation under God.

Blogs / Life

Summer Blog Party! #writingcommunity

Hey Everyone! It’s been WAAAAAAY too long since I have hosted a Blog Party!

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For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another. On Twitter, something similar is referred to as a #writerslift but it’s meant to be a bit more social than that

Here are some simple steps you can take:

Like. Comment. Engage. Reblog

  1. LIKE: You do not need to be following my blog to participate, but I always appreciate a like if you’re enjoying the Blog Party!
  2. COMMENT: Tell us your name, leave us a blurb about your blog, and THEN attach your link!
    1. Please do not just drop a link (my blog is set up where it will see it as spam)
  3. ENGAGE: Blog Parties are not about simply promoting your blog/work. Engagement is where the party begins. Please visit AT LEAST two other blogs and leave them genuine feedback on their comments below.
  4. REBLOG: Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! The best way to meet and interact new bloggers is by spreading the word so that we can meet people outside our normal “sphere of bloggers.”

 

Blog Party Manners:

  1. You never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit.
    • Did someone stop by your blog, like a post, or leave a comment? Do the same for them! (It only takes a minute.)
  2. Please do not comment “I just followed your blog, please follow back!” or anything similar. You will be booted from the party.
    • Follow the blogs you are honestly interested in; don’t play the “follow game.”

 

This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively July 1st – July 3rd so don’t miss out!

Think I should host a Blog Party monthly? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to meet new bloggers, instagrammers, Twitterers, facebookers, etc.!

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Invite your friends, reblog, and share with your blogging community!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Facing Writer’s Doubt

“Just let yourself be creative.”

These were the words of wisdom I received from my sister a couple of weeks ago.

In the midst of this 80,000 Word Count in 10 Weeks Challenge, some days have definitely been harder than others. Somedays I struggle with writer’s block and other days I face writer’s doubt. Writer’s Doubt, for me, is different than writer’s block. With Writer’s doubt, I can keep writing, I actually have a TON to write, but I doubt every. single. word.

I doubt whether or not it’s good, or if it’s portraying what I am trying to say, or if I personally even like my story at all anymore. I get into that mindset that I’ll never be as good as [insert author name here]. I compare and contrast, and in the weighing, I feel myself coming up short. 

I have been weighed. I have been measured.. And I have absolutely ...
It’s a fantastic movie, I had to include this line.

So what can I do when I find myself blocked by Writer’s Doubt?

Well, luckily for me, I have a sister who I can reach out to (who is also my Beta-Reader for this current book). She gave me some great encouragement that I want to share with anyone else that might be suffering from Writer’s Doubt.

“Look at every author who goes back and talks about their debut novel, years later . . . Give yourself a chance to be that author that can go back years later and discover how much you’ve learned . . . Just let yourself be creative.”

When you are struggling with Writer’s Doubt, stop comparing, stop contrasting, and remember to simply give yourself a chance.

Dont’ rob yourself of the chance to make mistakes, to be creative, and to try something new. Don’t rob yourself of the chance to simply create a first draft that does not have to be perfect; it just has to be.

Don’t rob yourself of the chance to create something amazing and spectacular because your fear or failure gets in your way. You don’t have to be perfect today. You don’t have to be [insert famous author name here] today. You just have to be you.

Give your writing a chance today to become something incredible in the future and keep writing.

Creative

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.