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-

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-