Notebook Collection, part 13

That’s right. Thirteen. And by now, I’m running out of unique things to say at the start of these posts. So let’s just dive right into today’s notebooks.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8  |  Post #9 | Post #10 | Post #11 | Post #12

Barnes & Noble has some of the nicest-looking, leather-bound notebooks anywhere. Most of the time that I go, though, I see the same ones I’ve seen before and decided I didn’t have to have quite that badly (or the couple I already have). Every once in a while I’ll see one I don’t remember seeing before that I really like, and if I don’t hide my interest well enough, my husband usually pushes me to buy it. This is one such notebook.


Very few times have I known of a notebook’s existence in advance of then seeking it out to buy it. This is one such notebook. I’ve now read all but the last book of this series and enjoyed it overall, so when I saw on Goodreads that there was a notebook themed after the series, I looked it up online. Not only does it have a creepy cover that fits the overall feel of the stories, every 7 pages or so inside of the book has a picture like those in the books (some are ones I definitely remember seeing before) and a quote from one of the first 3 books in the series, like this:


This marks the first of the largest batch of notebooks I’ve ever bought in one outing, trip, etc. My husband and I went to Cincinnati to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, and being the thrift-shopping lover he is, we went to three different Half-Price Books that were not far from our hotel. HPB has lots of notebooks, all brand new, but my husband spotted this one in a clearance box. I guessed immediately that it was originally from Barnes & Noble, and that it would normally be a lot more than the $2 price tag on it, which meant it was probably written in. I opened it, and sure enough, the “This journal belongs to” line had a name on it. And that was all. My name may not be Emily, but I can pretend it is for such a great deal on a beautiful notebook.


This notebook also came from HPB in Cincy. It’s one of those that I can’t necessarily explain why I liked, but it caught my eye immediately. Maybe it comes from liking Stargate so much, who knows. Some pages inside have images of items in the Ancient Egypt collection in the British Museum, which I also think is really cool.


My only experience playing a musical instrument more than a brief moment in a general music class was when I was in the middle school band in 6th grade. Though I’d always wanted to play the trumpet, I was talked into playing the French horn, I assume because they needed French horn players more than they needed trumpet players. However, while my fellow French horn player had taken lessons before the year started, I was learning from scratch. I remember using the music book to try to understand how to play it while the entire class was learning new songs together, but it was a huge failure. Playing the French horn is about more than just knowing which buttons to push (other brass instruments probably are too, but from what I understand, the French horn is particularly difficult to learn for a beginner). In the entire year I was in band, I never really knew what I was doing and did not choose to continue on the next year. I don’t think there’s anything I could have done differently (YouTube wasn’t a thing back then), and though I don’t exactly look back on that time fondly, since I often felt inept at my inability to play the notes right, I do still think of the French horn somewhat fondly. This notebook, also found at HPB, has a magnetic closure, which is also kind of neat (though might be more trouble than it’s worth during actual use).


Wow, that last one took longer to explain than I expected. I have 4 more notebooks to share, and while I’d like to say they’ll be my last for a while, I’d be like a broken record if I did (plus, both my birthday and Mother’s Day are coming up, so I can’t completely control what those might produce). So I’ll just say…we’ll see what happens.

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Hardcover Release!

As a self-published author, I’ve long been thankful that KDP is pretty easy to use, but I was always sad that there wasn’t a hardcover option. But now there is! And I’m so happy to have a hardcover of my first novel!! I’ll eventually have one for the sequel, Outcast, but it’s a slow, somewhat costly process to get one ready and make sure it looks good. For now, I’m ridiculously thrilled to have this in my hands!

For independent authors, reviews are absolutely vital. If you’ve read any of my books, please consider leaving a review somewhere like Amazon or Goodreads. Thank you!

Notebook Collection, part 12

It’s official. I have a sickness. I had planned to get caught up on new notebooks with this post, but then, I bought 3 more. And then last week, my husband and I took a trip, and I came back with SEVEN notebooks! Even for me, even though buying notebooks on vacations is common for me, seven is a lot. Now it’ll take me 2 more posts after this one to be caught up. I know I say this often, but I really need to stop buying notebooks.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8  |  Post #9 | Post #10 | Post #11

Now and then, I buy a notebook for which I can’t really explain my interest. As soon as I saw this in a local bargain store, though, I knew that I had to buy it. The unique design that made it interesting to me will make it difficult to actually use, as the pages inside are split the same way the cover is. But since I have so many notebooks and won’t use most of them for a really long time (if ever, as sad as it makes me to say that), it’s easy to disregard the potential difficulty. The pages, both top and bottom parts, have images of various food on them too. I really wonder who the creator(s) of this notebook had in mind when designing it.


This notebook came from the store in our area that’s only open at Christmas time. Curious George was a major favorite show of both of my kids, now 20 and 12, so it will always hold a special place in my heart too.


This notebook and the one below were picked up in the Dominican Republic when I went down there for a week to visit my sister’s family and bring my daughter back, who visited for a month. I knew the one souvenir I wanted to be sure to get was a notebook of some kind that would reflect the culture down there in some way. In particular, I was hoping for some Spanish (which I don’t speak) as a reminder of my time there. Though both of these notebooks were picked up at La Sirena, a big-box store similar to Walmart here in the states, I really liked the look of them, inside and out. They seem to be geared toward students, based on the pages inside, like this one:


Also from the DR, I particularly liked some of the pages inside this one, info from various subjects, all in Spanish, of course. Below are a couple of examples:


I saw this one at Half Price Books and really liked the look of it. At first glance, it looks like the inside of a geode, but the more I look at it, the more I see other things in the cover. I can imagine it being different kinds of liquid swirling together. Or even a nebula up close. It’s like a Rorschach test in a way—maybe what someone thinks it looks like says something about their personality.


I have to laugh when I realize that at the end of my previous notebook post, I said I may have even bought a single new notebook by the time I get to writing the next post about them. Because in fact, I’ve bought ten more since then. One is the last one from this post, and the other nine, I’ll split into two posts. Even though it’s laughable to say this by now, I really am going to try to reign myself in going forward.

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 11

It’s been over a year since I last posted about most recently acquired notebooks for my collection. However, that’s not because I haven’t gained any; I’ve simply put off posting about them. Nine new notebooks since the last post isn’t too bad for over a year, but it’s definitely time to start sharing them.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8  |  Post #9 | Post #10

There are only a few thrift stores that my husband and I frequent where I even bother to look to see what kind of notebooks are there, since used notebooks have obvious issues. However, I did find this on a shelf at one store. I’m a little disappointed in myself that it took me a (fairly long) moment to recognize what it was, but having watched Annie a lot in my life, I snatched it up quickly once I did. Other than a layer of the cover being ripped off across the top where it looks like someone might have ripped off a sticker (seriously, why do retailers put stickers directly on books and notebooks?!), it’s in really good shape.


Because Meijer has surprised me several times by having notebooks that I really like, my husband now insists I check out that aisle every time we go. That’s where I found this notebook, which looks better in person than it does in the picture, with silver outlines throughout the artwork and some texture as well. Plus, purple is my favorite color.


One of many notebooks that my husband’s brought home for me, this was an unusual one. He found it at Walgreens in the post-Valentine’s Day section. He probably wasn’t sure how much I’d like it but knew I always like a good deal on a notebook. I also do think it’s cute, though; the decal on the front is like an iron-on badge.


I don’t have a lot to say about this one. I think I found it at Walmart and simply liked the cover.


These days, it’s not very often that I buy a notebook with a specific purpose for it in mind. However, when my husband and I volunteered to take over the planning of our church’s VBS program in the near future, I quickly realized a dedicated notebook would be helpful. The logical side of me tried to find a notebook I already own that would work for the situation, but none quite fit. So when we went to a bargain store that I’ve bought notebooks at before, one that I knew often has notebooks with Bible verses on it, I found one that seemed perfect.


I’ll save the rest of my new notebooks for another post. I may even have another one by the time I write it up, since I can’t seem to help myself.

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

NaNoWriMo Day 27

The Words: 1686 words today, starting with a 15-minute sprint with my daughter and the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter. Then I realized I was close to the end of the draft, so I just kept going on my own and finished it!

The Story: A lot of explanation ended up needing to fit into the final scene, and it wasn’t very organized. And then I realized I left something (smallish) out. During revision, I’ll have to figure out if it all needs kept or not, and how to make it flow better. But that’s future-me’s problem, along with the fact that the draft is 20k words too short, so I’ll need to figure out something else for it, maybe even an entire sub-plot. Now-me is just glad to have finished the draft as planned.

Final word count: 54,756

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 27, 2011. (Though you’re on your own to finish them, since this is my last of these posts for the month!

Oh, and be sure to watch the wrap-up of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 26

The Words: 1864 words today, all in one 30-minute sprint with the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter. I didn’t write at all yesterday, which wasn’t intentional. I usually try to at least get some words in on Thanksgiving, but it was an unusual Thanksgiving for us this year, and I completely forgot to write until after midnight. I’m a little annoyed that I ruined the daily writing streak I’ve had going all month, but not as much as I would be if I wasn’t already planning to stop early if I finished the draft before the end of the month.

The Story: Today was all post-climax falling action. I’m on the last scene of the book, though it’s probably going to be a fairly long scene. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll finish the draft tomorrow.

Total word count: 53,070

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 26, 2011!

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 1188 words today, written in a couple of sprints with my daughter. I have a tendency to allow the day after I hit 50k to be a lower word count day, and today was a good day for that. I only have about 3 scenes left to write before the draft is finished, and while the last few years I’ve tried to get the story to take me to the end of the month, I realized that it doesn’t bother me to stop early this year.

The Story: Today was the climax of the story. I struggled a little to keep the narrative from the right character’s perspective during it, so I’ll have to pay attention to that during revision someday, but I think it came out okay.

Total word count: 51,206

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 24, 2011!

With 6 days left of NaNoWriMo, be sure to check out episode 5 of the NaNoMusical, where the stresses of the month catch up to the characters in my favorite song of the whole thing!

NaNoWriMo Day 23

The Words: 4323 words today, starting with a 10-minute sprint with my daughter, who was at the end of her writing time for the evening by then. Then I did a sprint myself and joined in with the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter for a 15-minute sprint and then a #1k30 sprint. That last one ended 15 minutes before midnight, and when I entered my total words from it, I saw I’d just squeaked by the 50k mark!!

The Story: Between knowing that I was close to 50k words and writing a couple of scenes that were leading up to the climax, my adrenaline was pumping a bit tonight. Seriously, my leg still won’t stay still. And now I’ve just started into the climax, which I’ll continue tomorrow.

Total word count: 50,018

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 23, 2011!

NaNoWriMo Day 22

The Words: 2404 words today over the course of 4 sprints with my 11-year-old daughter. She’s been behind for a good portion of the month, but she wrote extra today, too, and bridged the gap a little more. I think she’s got a good shot at hitting her YWP goal of 20k words before the month’s end.

The Story: I came to a spot in my outline that I left blank. Earlier in the month, I saw that and assumed that I’d put it there in case I came up with something to put in it later, and just never did. So I figured that meant nothing went there. But as I approached that spot today, I realized something did go there, because I remember having an idea of what needed to happen to bridge the gap from a trap being laid to it being sprung in the climax. Those ideas are in a character interview somewhere, so I’ll read through it tonight so I can fill in the gap before tomorrow’s writing, when I’ll actually tackle that spot in the outline.

Total word count: 45,695

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 22, 2011!

NaNoWriMo Day 21

The Words: 2430 words today, starting with a 5-minute sprint sitting in the pew before church started. Then my daughter and I did 2 sprints alongside the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter, though I almost gave up before the 2nd because I’m super tired after getting up early this morning. My daughter pushed me to do the 2nd.

The Story: The main character was arrested for murder while trying to do a little investigating of his own. I don’t really like the way the information is unfolding for the reader, so I will have re-think some of the story flow in revision.

Total word count: 43,291

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 21, 2011!