6 Years and Counting! Happy Birthaversary MLW!

January 8th, 2013.

A girl with a need to share stories that float in her brain, characters that have heartfelt discussions, poems, music/tv/movie reviews, fan girl stories, fashion, the list goes on. Today marks 6 years since I created Michelle Leigh Writes. It took years to work up the courage to publish my work online. Here I am 6 years later, keeping that little train rolling along. I am very proud of that fact.

However, the thing is…this year was a bit slow on posting content. As I review this year’s post history I can see there weren’t very many. Inconsistency strikes again! And sadly, I ended up taking 2 months off completely during the months of June and July, (which I don’t think has ever happened in all my years of blogging.) I guess you can call it a summer hiatus. But it mostly was a mix of lack of inspiration/my blog account was having some issues. But when I think about it, those are excuses, if I really wanted to write and post, I would have figured out a way. But the more I didn’t, the more I got comfortable just not posting at all.

But then the fall came, and inspiration struck. Besides I knew I needed something to kick my butt into gear again. So I challenged myself to do #BLOGTOBER. And I did, I blogged for the entire month of October, it was a fun filled time of Fall goodness! Then November came and I decided to give #NaNoWriMo a shot. Writing 1,667 words a day for the entire month until you get to the goal of writing 50,000 words at the end, which equals the length of a book. And I DID THAT TOO! But then the holiday craziness kicked in and my posting slowed once again.

I took a look back at my posts for 2018. Let’s do a little bit of a run down shall we?

January 2018- 10 posts

February 2018- 5 posts

March 2018- 5 posts

April 2018- 2 posts

May 2018- 2 posts

June/July 2018- 0 posts

August 2018- 1 post

September 2018- 1 post

October 2018- 31 posts (#BLOGTOBER)

November 2018- 4 posts

December 2018- 1 post

Total Number of posts: 62

*****

Now some boring math- if I were to have been consistent with my 2x a week posting schedule…

2 posts per week

About 8 posts a month

12 months in a year x 8 posts a month = 96 posts in a year.

96-62= 34 posts under.

Sad face. 

No matter the amount, I’m still excited to be celebrating 6 years online. I think it’s a big accomplishment for the girl who stressed at just the idea of posting her work for others to see. Naturally,  I baked some treats to celebrate. #GEEK #NOSHAME #DELICIOUS

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For these mini brownie bites, I used a good ‘ole Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate brownie mix, the oil/eggs/water it required, and a package of hot chocolate and mixed it all together in a big bowl. I sprayed the pan with some cooking spray, then I put it in the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. After they cooled I removed them from the mini cupcake pan with a plastic knife and got to decorating. I used a bit of Nutella as frosting, added some festive sprinkles, and a mini marshmallow! They are so cute and taste DELICIOUS! 

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So needless to say I’m not super stoked about last year’s posting history. But life happens. Technical glitches happen. And time passes far too quickly. So I am not going to dwell on it all, and scold myself for it, because let’s be real, I do not need that kind of negativity in my life! Instead I will be trying to keep my schedule afloat and inspire new and interesting content, and bring you many new, fun short stories and writing projects. I have a lot I want to work on this year!   

On the Brightside! Even though my posting hasn’t been as consistent as I would have hoped, I did complete two major writing challenges for myself in 2018. And even though my #NaNo story wasn’t posted to MLW (because it’s a book I’m working on and will take time to finish and edit and all that) I did write a lot! Which is always the goal. I realized I don’t always have to write to post. I can just write and lengthen my art. Any writing is good. But I do plan on coming back, I always do! This blog is my special place. My safe place for the written word. So thank you. Thank you for reading!

Take a look at my past Celebratory posts:

2013- Hey there…and welcome ❤  – First post ever!

2014- “Secret” Society, “Resolutions”, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! + (My 1st VLOG)

2015- Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary?

2016- Dear 2016, + Happy 3rd Anniversary!

2017- Happy 4th!!!!!!!

2018- Cheers to 5 Years! Happy Birth-a-versary!

 

Follow me on Social Media!

(I have a lot of #NaNo updates on Insta!)

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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STAY TUNED!

And God Bless.

Happy 6th Birth-a-versary to my blog baby michelle leigh writes! 

 

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FUN FACT! On this day in POP power couple history, Justin & Britney debuted their Denim ensembles. Today makes 18 years! Haha. I never knew my Blog baby’s Birthaversary shared this special day! 😉 

 

*All photos (except the JT & Britney pic) are my own.

-<3-

 

 

 

 

2018 Highlights- Year in Review

This past year, I actually didn’t end up using a memory jar. It kind of became more of a flower vase and I forgot about it. But as usual, instagram and this blog were definitely helpful in my yearly reflection.

Here are my 2018 Highlights

(in no particular order)

Justin Timberlake released his new Album Man of the Woods and I bought tickets to see him in October. (However as you may know from my fangirl report the show was postponed due to bruised vocal chords. It was rescheduled for January 31st (his birthday) so let’s hope it sticks and I get to start my 2019 off with my fav babe!) He also released a summer single too- Soulmate. It’s fire!

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MLW turned 5 years old! This blog has been with me through so many ups and downs. I have taken month(s) long hiatus’ and have gone MIA many times, and I’m sure it will happen this year too. But I always come back! And it means a lot to me to have this outlet. To have “a safe place for the written word.” We also got our own domain this year-michelleleighwrites.com
happy 5th

I took up Jewelry Making in order to teach a class at work and I realized I do really enjoy it. For some one who loves accessories and loves jewelry, it’s cool to have pieces that I created myself. When people say that’s so pretty, I can say “Thanks, I made it!” I’m hoping this year to get my own Jewelry supplies and make a hobby out of it!

 

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We started many new family traditions, now that we have a 6th person at our  usual table of five. My baby niece turned one and she’s learning so many new things, it’s so amazing and so exciting to watch her grow. Holidays are sweeter now that she’s here and we were able to celebrate many of her first holidays this year too. And as usual so many other special family moments with our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I also got to take my mom to see Summer (the donna summer’s musical) and help out with a mother’s day photoshoot for my sister in law, my brother is a photographer and he wanted me to shoot some behind the scenes footage for him, so that he could make a montage video.) 

Jack & Elizabeth’s Wedding on When Calls The Heart. This show is so magical. (Except SPOILER ALERT the actor playing Jack decided to leave and so they had to kill off his character just shortly after the characters got married. So Elizabeth was left a pregnant window. It still breaks my heart so much. But I’ve been watching reruns on Netflix of earlier seasons of their courtship and I can’t help but love this show. It is so full of strength and hope and grace. And these women are fierce as they come.) Despite the heartache, the wedding was absolutely beautiful and when it comes to TV viewing parties and themes, I can be pretty “extra.” I learned to sew in order to make my own custom WCTH tee and had a cup of tea and some pie in honor of the special occasion. I still don’t have the Hallmark channel so I totally bugged my brother and watched at his house.  The show did the wedding right, they even had a invitation that you can rsvp to, pick your meal choice and request a song. Hallmark still has a full wedding album up too. Such beautiful pictures, Elizabeth looked gorgeous and their vows were breathtaking. 

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^In other tv related news (because you know me, I’m a TV fan girl) I fell in love with the show The Resident on FOX and the Netflix film- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (it’s getting a sequel!) 
To all the boys

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I had a lot good times with friends (fell in love with a new tea spot, tried hot pot for the first time, had a few brunch meals, tried frose, and braved karaoke, etc)-work friends, high school friends, old friends, new friends! Caught up with some middle school friends I haven’t seen in a while. We actually were able to get in two visits this year, so we are doing really well, considering we are all always so busy- one is a mom and one is always traveling, so I’m so happy we made it work! My best friend got married and I was one of her maid of honors, so we got to do all the things-the shower, the bachelorette party (which was epic thanks to me and my co maid of honor), the rehearsal, and the wedding. It was all magical! And they are a beautiful couple.

 

*NSYNC got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on “It’s Gonna Be May” Day (April 30th) and it was broadcasted live for all to watch. I totally did, and I may or may not have bought a few *NSYNC merch tees, they are being sold in stores like target, and spencer’s/hot topic, but also on *NSYNC’s official site! The guys were also on Ellen!

So I was kind of in fangirl heaven!

I hosted a 90’s theme Girls Night In for my best friend, as our own little bestie send off before her wedding. It was A BLAST. I love nostalgia and I LOVE the 90’s. Butterfly clips, chokers, and blue eyeshadow, OH MY! 😉 

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My family participated in our first Alzheimer’s walk in honor of my Grandma who passed away in February of 2017. We all had t-shirts and it was a beautiful day, honoring someone we all really miss and love. We raised well over what our goal was! Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle who organized it all, and to all who donated. Our hearts are full! 

I did BLOGTOBER– blogged the entire month of October! My fall was so full of all the Halloween, Pumpkin things!

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I participated in my first ever #NaNoWriMo– National Novel Writing Month (November) October and November were very busy for me, it made me really proud to be able to write so consistently and meet my goals. 

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I continued writing my short story series- Move that I started at the end of 2017, but still have to continue and finish it this year. I also started another short story series that has yet to be finished and posted- tentatively called Crazy Stalker Love. (STAY TUNED! for all of the stories to come!)
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Crazy Stalker Love Sneak Peek-

I had a list of over 60 great memories for this past year, so I guess it was a really good one. So I can’t complain. But in the interest of time, I chose a few. Thanks for the memories 2018, I am very blessed. I look forward to all the magic ahead in 2019.

Happy New Year friends!

May all your hopes and dreams come true!

Stay Tuned for much more content this year.

So many stories to tell!

-<3-

December Favorites

Hey friends,

I know it has been a bit since I last posted. And quite frankly I should have known better than to expect that I could actually hop right back into my usual two week posting schedule after blogging for the entire month of October and then working on my first ever NaNoWriMo project all throughout November. See more on this HERE.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely miss blogging! But since NaNo wrapped I kind of just threw myself into holiday mode with the determination to actually get things done earlier this year and not have to rush all over on December 23rd.. I have to say, of course there were some hiccups and there are a few last minute things to take care of this weekend, but for the most part I did pretty good. And just in case you were wondering, I was able to cross quite a few of my Winter Bucket List items off my list! 

Normally around this time I would have posted way more holiday related content. And I can’t believe I haven’t yet. Christmas Eve is literally only 2 days away! I haven’t even started to plan out my 2019 goals yet either! And my full experience with #NaNoWriMo has yet to be written. I’ve gotten ahead of some things, but remain behind on others! You know what they say, life happens! Lol.

So I thought that for today’s random Saturday post that I could maybe do a little bit of a December Favorites. Show you some things I’ve been loving this December. This is such a festive time, and there are so many things I am loving lately. 

Holiday Favorites

Christmas mug with some hot chocolate or festive tea

My aunt bought me this mug from Burlington, and it has become my favorite for this holiday season. I love the hippie camper truck vibes, how adorable is it?

mug life

Christmas music

These are the songs I have to listen to every year! They just put me in the best spirit. And it never fails, O Holy Night by Celine Dion makes me cry every time. Gets me EVERY time. 

Christmas movies- Lifetime

Now I haven’t seen them all, but this channel has been on my tv non-stop. All the feel good, romantic Christmas vibes. I am here for it! So here are some of my favorites…

Noel- I cannot say enough good about this movie. It is incredible. 

The Christmas Contract

Poinsettias for Christmas

Snowed Inn Christmas 

Love at the Christmas Table 

Four Christmases and A Wedding

Hometown Christmas 

Christmas Pen Pals

A Christmas Arrangement

A Star for Christmas 

Christmas on the Bayou

The Spirit of Christmas 

All About Christmas Eve

A Christmas Wedding Date 

A Gift Wrapped Christmas 

…and the list goes on, because there are SO many!

 

Check your local listings!

 

Favorite scent

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My best friend was burning this in her house when I visited her and I fell in love with the scent from Bath & Body Works. I had ordered this mini one and burned it so quickly, that I just had to go out and buy the big size. It smells like a Christmas tree and it is perfect for anyone who has a fake tree, and misses that pine scent. I know I love it! And it’s made with essential oils so the scent is just so crisp and clean. 

Favorite treats

Every holiday season Entenmann’s has it’s holiday gourmet cookies with the chocolate coated bottoms and sprinkled pop’ems. So anytime I see them, I have to pick them up, because they are my favorites! 

Yes I was drinking tea in my new Christmas camper mug, eating my festive cookies, while watching a Lifetime Christmas movie. #LOVE 

 

So there you have it, my December Favorites!

*All images are my own.*

Have a Very Merry Christmas and  Happy Healthy New Year!

-<3-

 

 

NaNoWriMo Update- Days 1-5

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Day 1

Word Goal: 1,667

Word Count: 1,680

*Extra 13 words!

Day 2

Word Goal: 3,334

Word Count: 3,376

*Extra 42 words!

Day 3

Word Goal: 5,001

Word Count: 5,172

*Extra 171 words!

Day 4

Word Goal: 6,668

Word Count: 6,875

*Extra 207 words!

Day 5

Word Goal: 8,335

Word Count: 8,376 

*Extra 41 words!

 

Notes/Things I’m learning along the way:

My first 5 days of November NaNoWriMo, went surprisingly well. I have a notebook, I dedicated to Nano. Filled with summaries, plot points, dialogue pieces, character names and backstories, my daily word goal tracker, and other helpful tools for this month. I created Daily Reports to keep track of things- like how I progress, if I meet my word count goal, if I exceed it, the times I write, how long it takes me. I also keep track of any distractions that may have come up and where I left off (including character intros, and recurring ideas) and a note for maybe where I want to go next. So that when I pick back up for the next day, I wouldn’t have to re-read everything before.

I noticed that if I block out the hours of 9-11 AM, I can clock in my word count in about an hour and a half. I usually have my head phones playing some simple instrumental music, sitting at my kitchen table, and maybe making a cup of tea before. So far that’s my writing routine.

It has worked rather nicely for me and I am proud to say, I am making great progress, for this being my first “unofficial” go at NaNoWriMo!

I wanted to throw a quick update up here (it was supposed to go up yesterday) but things have been kind of crazy lately, so today it is!

For more day to day Nano updates follow me on Insta!

 

Happy Writing!

Is any one else participating in NaNoWriMo or taking on the 30 day

challenge on their own? How’s it going?

 

*I do not take credit for the images used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 31- Exciting Announcement!

Day 31. I made it! I can’t believe I blogged everyday for a month! I feel so accomplished. I was due for this challenge, since I basically went on a 2 month hiatus over the summer. 

For today I intended on posting a Halloween themed short story. But I’m still in the mist of writing it, and it’s not super Halloween related so I figured rather than stress myself out all night trying to rush to finish it, I will just finish it when I can and post when it’s ready. My stories always end up being longer, than I ever anticipate. 

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However, as I mentioned in my Fall Bucket List-  I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What, you ask? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

It’s basically the month where writers challenge themselves to write about 2,000 words everyday for the entire month of November- clocking in at 50,000 words. Resulting in the idea that you will then have written the first draft of a novel in a month.

There is a whole community of writers who have been doing this for years. I am a newbie. I never even knew this was a thing. I’m not much of a reader, so I’m a bit reserved about writing a book. 

But I figured why the hell not? I love all different types of forms of writing and I’ve dabbled in many. Why not try a book? So often I doubt myself without actually giving myself the chance to fail or to learn something knew about myself. When you really break it down, I just love to tell stories. 

I wasn’t sure I could do BLOGMAS (Blog everyday for the entire month of December) last year, but I did it. Which gave me the courage to then conquer BLOGTOBER this year! And I was committed and here we are at Day 31! I learned about NaNoWriMo a few months ago, so I started to jot down a few ideas for a book. I have a pretty decent notebook full of charcters and plot points, dialogue lines, some research. I know I have along way to go, there is still some things I don’t know, but I just didn’t have time to really dive into planning, what with doing BLOGTOBER too. 

In hindsight, doing that is a bit of a bitter sweet notion at this point. Today, I am so relieved to be done, but I know tomorrow, I’m starting a whole new venture of writing everyday. However, BLOGTOBER was really good practice for that. I kind of started my own little writing routine, and now I’m excited to get into my new story for this book idea.

Granted I have my reservations, I know there are already a bunch of days that it will be difficult to write but, I’m just going to really give it my best go. I always identify with being a writer, but I don’t write as often as I should. So by accepting these challenges, I am willing myself to write. To be the writer, I want to be. To let people know, that, that is what I am. And to accept that as a part of my life. 

So often I let my writing slide, because I have other obligations. But I’m learning when to choose myself and my writing. I’m learning when I can let it slide and when I know I have to say no. I wrestle with the balance, but I will never be a writer if I don’t try. 

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to officially sign up with the NaNoWriMo site, so I decided I was going to just to this thing on my own, just for the first time. Then if I find I want to try again next year, then I will register and join the online community.

So here’s the plan- Tomorrow is Day 1. I plan to get up early and write for two hours, and hopefully clock my first 2,000 words in. I don’t really plan/plot out too much, when I write. I guess I’m a pantser in that sense, or a mix of both a plotter and a pantser.

I just started following this Author/YouTuber when I was doing some NaNoWriMo research, she explains the whole Pantser/Plotter thing really well in her How To Outline Your Book video. 

I will plan and construct a timeline, when I feel like things aren’t adding, up, time frames, and flashbacks. Things like that. That’s when I know I need to sus out some logistics and plan ahead. Other than I that I just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. 

So that’s what I’m going to do. NaNoWriMo here we come!

I’m coming for you November!

DISCLAIMER: Michelle Leigh Writes will return to it’s regular Monday & Thursday posting schedule. 

Happy Halloween Folks!

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And Cheers to a new writing adventure!
Wish me luck!

 

*NaNoWriMo images from the official site.

I do not take credit for those or for the video used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 30- Fall 2018 Bucket List Update

Earlier in BLOGTOBER I posted my Fall 2018 Bucket List. [SEE HERE] I love fall, I love getting into the spirit of the season, and I love me a good to do/bucket list. 

sneak peek day 2

UPDATE!

So as Halloween rolls in. I wanted to check my progress on my trusty ole to do list.

There were 14  or so items on the list, and I was able to check off a good chunk of those this month!

Pumpkin Picking. CHECK

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Decorate for Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving. CHECK

My house is festive AF!
Pumpkin Carving. CHECK

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Buy pies, jams, ciders, and other fall drinks/treats. CHECK

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Trick or Treat with my niece…

After tomorrow…CHECK

Watch Hocus Pocus & Halloweentown. CHECK

Some things I added along the way- like watching tons of fun Halloween movies including House of Wax, and listening to spooky soundtracks like MJs Thriller on a loop.

Others like the JT concert was actually postponed til January- which hey is out of my control. But I am READY!

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I wasn’t able to get to the movies as I wished. But life gets busy, what can you do? I did buy a cheap copy of Halloween so maybe I’ll watch it tomorrow night.

I didn’t make it to Apple Fest again this year, because my family got super busy. But truth be told I was better off, since I ended spending quite a pretty penny at the little shop at the farm we went to for pumpkin picking.

Fall fashion has been a bit of a bust, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten a chance to swap out my summer clothes for my fall clothes. And because the weather has been so unpredictable I just never know. Let’s hope November is a bit more “fashionable. Lol.

My pumpkin party and wine & cheese party ideas didn’t happen this month but I’m hopeful for next. My best friend and I are trying to set up our pumpkin party. And to be honest, I’m dying to host a wine and cheese party myself! 

As for NaNoWriMo- I am still planning to do this, however it doesn’t start til Thursday so stay tuned for an update on that. November is going to be insane. But I am interested to see how this works. 

Fall isn’t over yet…November will be a time to conquer the rest…especially finding those Thanksgiving recipes and who knows maybe dye my hair purple? Haha. I know it costs a lot and it is a big commitment- I had my blue hair for ages. So when I do it, it has to be the right time. Stay tuned for that too!

Happy Fall All!

Did you get to check all the fall things off your bucket list? 

See you tomorrow for our final #BLOGTOBER POST! 

Working on a short story as we speak! The plan was to get half up today and the last half up tomorrow, but it’s taking longer to write than I expected. And it won’t be ready before midnight, so hang tight. Whether it’s done by tomorrow or night, I will still post it eventually.

 

*All images are my own.*

-<3-