My Desk for NaNoWriMo

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's October 31st!! Which means that tomorrow is...(drumroll, please...) November 1st!! In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I cleaned off my desk. Needless to say, it's the best it has looked in a long time.

Here are a few pictures of my desk for this month.

 (My cute little desk...)

 (I use my iPad & a keyboard attachment for practically everything, including my writing. I downloaded the Microsoft Word app & I can share the file to any computer.)

 (My pencil jar... Look at my cute little Dalek pencil topper!!)

 (My special Jane Austen Novel Journal... Just in case I need to take notes.)

 (My addiction... Coke Zero. I love this stuff too much.)

 (My Piano Guys tunes... They are the best!!)

Well, there you go!! This is my little setup for writing. I cannot wait for November to start!!! :)

H.M. Wilson

Everyday Adventure

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I don't know why, but the word adventure fills me with a sense of wonder like nothing else can. What is adventure, and why does it stir up that exciting sensation inside each of us? If I'm being completely honest with myself, I know that when I read the word, I just want to jump up and take off down the road to who-knows-where!!

(Yes, that would be me...)

So what does this mysterious word mean??

ADVENTURE: "an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity."

Adventure is just something doing different and out of the ordinary. We like routines, but we also like to change things up a bit every once and a while. In moderation, I personally think that it is a fairly healthy desire.

Let's be honest, we all crave adventure of some sort. That's why we have roadtrips, vacations, and... (here it comes...) BOOKS. We read books for adventure, right? I know I do. I am addicted to the burst of excitement when my favorite character expresses their love for another, to the rush of adrenaline when the protagonist is being chased by the "bad-guys," and to the sigh of relief when the protagonist declares victory. 

I think you will find that most book-lovers are this way. We go on adventures without even leaving our front door. We live a thousand lives in a space of a day. We experience beauty that exists only in our imaginations. It's amazing.

("There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away..."--Emily Dickinson)

I understand, of course, that there is much more to life than just reading. I realize that one cannot just hide away and live a life found in a fairytale. You must experience the richness of life for yourself, not through someone's words, but in your body and mind and soul.

GOD calls us to "get out of our comfort-zone" on a regular basis. That's what life's all about! So live life to the fullest!! Don't just rely on an author's point of view to tell you how things are; go find out for yourself.

"So how do I find Adventure in my everyday life? What is Everyday Adventure?"

Look at ordinary life through a different point of view... You might just be surprised at what you discover.

Sometimes something as simple as saying hello to a new person can be an adventure, only if you have the courage to do so... 

Understand that facing the future is an adventure all by itself... Keep walking, because you never know what you might find just around the corner.

Your life won't be perfect. But it must be lived. You can't hide from who GOD made you to be. ANd your can't hide from what HE has called you to do. 

Live your Everyday Adventure.

 H.M. Wilson

Character Sketch: Professor Howard Greer

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
This is the LAST Character Sketch for my NaNo Novel, Emma's File... And he is an odd one if you know what I mean. But, nevertheless, he is Emma's favorite teacher at her new school, Professor Greer!! He teaches in the Science department and knows practically everything about each student there. Though the strangest thing is, he doesn't have a power other than being smart... Or does he? Here is his rough sketch.

"Professor Howard Greer

(age 57)

Glasses, Crazy hair, Stubble on chin&cheeks, Big nose, Wrinkled forehead, Bushy eyebrows.

Likes&Interests: Teaching, Experiments, Studying Powers, Science, Inventing

Pros/Cons: Intelligent/No power, Teacher/Cluttered, Light-hearted/Disorganized, Understanding/Matter-of-fact, Busy/Absentminded"

As you can see here, he is going to be quite a puzzle!! And like everyone else, he has flaws and secrets. But that is what brings depth to your characters! I looked for some Pinterest pictures of him, but for some odd reason I keep imagining him like Stanley Tucci!!! Here are the ones that reminded me of the Professor...

I don't know why, but his face is what I see when I imagine Professor Greer!! (If my book gets published and then made into a movie, I guess I'll request for him to play Greer?? Lol!) 
I realize that with a few of my characters I haven't gone into too much detail... But there are reasons!! I have a few interesting secrets for the end, so I have to keep a few secrets. All in good time... 
However, I still wish for you to meet each character one-by-one, so here is Professor Greer, everyone! :)

(Let me know in the Poll at the very bottom of the site what type of posts you would like to see from me, now that I've finished my Sketches. Or you can leave a comment! Hope you have enjoyed this little series!!)

H.M. Wilson

Character Sketch: Hudson Elliott

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
He is tall, handsome, and dreamy... And he is Emma's biggest *love interest*!! Hudson comes and goes throughout the story because he isn't really close to Emma's friends. He has a big heart, and part of that heart belongs to Emma. He gives her the attention she craves, talks to her, and puts forth an effort to know her better. His power is similar to hers, so they have that common ground. Here is his sketch...

  • "Hudson Elliott
  • (age 17)

  • Manipulate Thoughts

  • Blond, Green eyes, Tall, Broad shoulders, Thick eyebrows

  • Likes&Interests: Running, Hiking, Sports, Reading, Emma

  • Pros/Cons: Manipulate Thinking/Spoiled, Protective/Bossy, Kind/Secretive"

  • Hudson is basically Emma's dream-guy... But, like all people, he does some bad things. Yet deep down he has a great heart. I think Hudson will be an interesting character to write because he is going to be much more complex than his sketch. (And FYI, his power makes it possible for him to send ideas and/or thoughts into people's minds. The whole "Manipulate Thoughts" sounds really weird, but that was the best name for it...) I found a few Pinterest Pictures that look kind of like him...

(Blond, not Brown...)

I can't tell you too much more about Hudson!! The reason for this is, he is a part of a secret-special-something at the end of the book... In fact, I'm probably telling you too much right now. But anywho, meet Hudson, everyone!! <3

H.M. Wilson

Saving Mr. Banks-- Movie Review

Monday, October 27, 2014

I have wanted to see this movie for I-don't-know-how-long. (I mean, come on, it has Emma Thompson, Tome Hanks, Paul Giamatti, and so many more! And plus, it's all about Mary Poppins!!) 
Well, last night my wish came true. I curled up in the rocking chair with a bowl of chips & salsa and watched this magical movie...

(Saving Mr. Banks)

{Basic Summery}
Mrs. P.L. Travers, a British author, is in financial trouble and must sell the rights of her book to Walt Disney in order to make ends meet. The only problem is she despises the idea of her book becoming a film. She and Mr. Disney do their best to come to an understanding that Mary Poppins will become an amazing movie that all people will love. Faced with the problems of her dislike for musicals, cartoons, and her childhood, Mrs. P.L. Travers has to come to terms with the fact that everyone has things from their past that they wish they could forget, but that those very things can be used in ways to change the world.

{What Did I Like?}
I loved hearing the backstory of one of my favorite Disney films!! After you watch it, you will never see Mary Poppins in the same light. I liked seeing how an author considers their characters family, and want to protect them as such. I loved the cast!! They did an excellent job of choosing amazing actors and actresses to pull this off. I also liked how they swapped Points of View throughout the film to tie everything together. The character development was fairly nice as well. And I laughed at the hints of comedy that popped up throughout the story.

{What Did I Not Like?}
There was a little bit of cursing off-and-on, but not to the point that it took away from the storyline. There was some drinking & smoking, but once again not so frequent that it took away meaning from the story. The Main Character is rather rude, but from what I understand, that was what the woman from the real story was actually like! 

{What Is My Rating?}
Out of 10 stars, I would give this an 8! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and felt like it gave a depth that many other films do not. I did not give this a 10 because it can be a little dry to kids who are used to more "exciting" entertainment. But on the whole, I loved it, and I would love to watch it again!

{My Favorite Character?}
That would have to be Ralph, the chauffeur, (played by Paul Giamatti.) He made me laugh, smile, and cry. His character was just great, and I can't tell you why without spoiling the whole thing!

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this movie!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! And yes, I posted twice today... I just couldn't help myself. <3

H.M. Wilson

Character Sketch: Nigel Cromwell

He's witty, prankish, and smart! Meet Nigel Cromwell, aka Lennon's *love interest*... Yes, he likes Lennon and all, but he plays a much larger role than that of a silly crush. Nigel becomes one of Emma's trusted friends, and helps her to learn to 'loosen up and let go'. He is pretty much the group's party-man. He sets the date, picks the place, and secures the food for all of their little get-togethers.
The funny thing though, is he also happens to be the school's advanced math teacher!! (or tutor, I haven't decided which...) Here is his little sketch.

"Nigel Cromwell

(age 17)

Mathematics Genius

Bleach-blond hair, Glasses, Hipster-like clothing

Likes&Interests: Teaching Advanced Math, Coding, Sneaking around, pranking, having fun, getting Lennon’s attention. 

Pros/Cons: MathSkills/Teases, Funny/Insecure, Teacher/Prankster, Genius/Afraid of being know-it-all, Patient/Stubborn."

As you can see, he is going to be quite interesting... I'm still sifting through his different traits and trying to secure the ones that would work best for him. I also found a few Pinterest Pictures that help with a bit of a visual...

 (That. Is. Him. Just without the piercings...)

(Lennon and Nigel if they were cartoons. This isn't going to be a scene, but the picture was perfect!!)

I like Nigel because is is a balance between goofy and nerdy!! But at the same time, you realize that his funny and laughable remarks are to cover up his insecurities... He is one of those characters that make you think about what's really going on inside their mind. We all know people who try to overcompensate for their insecurities by covering up with a joke or a prank. (Or maybe you are that person!) But Nigel's character, like all of the others, is going to undergo some changes. He is going to learn about how he can be his entire self, and not just over-the-top in one area.  

I'm pleased for all of you to meet Nigel!! <3

H.M. Wilson

Character Sketch: Lennon MacPierson

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Blunt, honest, and not afraid of standing-out, Lennon is another of Emma's closest friends. She ends up being the one who causes Emma to show her power for the first time their little posse. Lennon is very sharp when it comes to memorisation of her studies, and she keeps tabs on everyone in the school. She is there for Emma when she needs to hear the unedited truth. Lennon can come off as sarcastic and rude, but her friends know she means well. Here is her rough sketch...

"Lennon MacPierson

(age 17)

Photographic Memory

Black & Purple hair, Violet eyes, wears black & purple

Likes&Interests: Reading/Memorizing school files, Photography, Organizing, Being Different, 

Pros/Cons: Excellent Memory/know-it-all, Honest/blunt, Unique/afraid of being forgettable, Intelligent/sarcastic."

She is definitly going to be a interesting character to write... I've never worked with a completly sarcastic and blunt character before. Plus, her hipster-like attitude is something new for me to construct. I've had trouble finding anything on Pinterest that give me a clear replica of her, but I did my best...

(Purple & Black, but longer...)
 (Not the whole "tough-girl" attitude...)

 (Yes!! Just purple, not green...)

I connect with Lennon because I LOVE the art of sarcasm!! I know it's an odd reason to love her character, but I like characters & people with a sarcastic/snarky sense of humor. As I have said before, diversity is important... If all of your characters are super-sticky-sweet, you and the readers will become bored and frustrated. Add some "spice" to your character's speech and personalities... Make yourself laugh or groan with their humor. Make them real.

I'm happy to introduce Lennon, guys!! I'll introduce her future *love interest* tomorrow... ;)

H.M. Wilson


Saturday, October 25, 2014
Someone requested that I do some writing advice posts, so I decided to take a break from my Character Sketch series & talk about the writing process today... (And look, I made a hashtag!!)

I'm not going to lie... I have no idea what I'm doing. I have never published a novel. I am not a professional in any way! 

So how can I give advice? Well, if you think about what it is to share advice, all you are doing is talking about what helps you most! So, that's what I will do.

Today's #WritingAdvice post will be all about locating the abstract element of INSPIRATION.

Look to the authors who spoke to you as a child & are still speaking to you now

"What made me remember that story after all these years? Why did I enjoy it so much? How did I feel when I read it?"

Somehow they caught your fancy! Discover what it was about their stories that attracted you, and catch that sparkle again. Write in such a way that you feel that special glow when you play your story over in your mind.

    Look to the most important people in your life. 

    "What makes them special to me? What causes the strong bond between me and them? How do I connect with them best?

    Use these questions as fuel for your "Writing Fire," as you write about different relationships.

    Look at your everyday life

    "What makes my day shine? What life-lessons have I learned? What problems have I gained perspective from? How do my decisions affect me?"

    These questions provide the makings for theme & truth in your writing. No story truly "comes alive" without truth, and is pointless without theme.

    Look into your deepest memories. 

    "Can I remember the emotions I felt when experiencing something (good or bad) for the first time? Can I remember the nostalgic smells, sounds, tastes, and atmosphere from some important point in time? What moments (funny, sad, embarrassing, happy...) stand out in my memory?"

    The innocence and wonder of childhood is a precious thing to incorporate into your writing. 

    Look other people's stories

    "How did so-and-so become who they are today? What took place to lead them to a change of jobs, change of situation, or change of heart? What is the significance of the change?"

    Transfer this into your character development. If your character makes no change whatsoever in the entire course of your story, it's equivalent to writing about a hunk of meat in the freezer: boring, pointless, and somewhat frustrating. 

    Look at legends and tall-tales

    "Does my favorite historical figure have any legends or mysteries connected with them? Could there be any truth to that old-wives-tale told by that woman I know? Is there a story passed down by several generations in my family that I could research?" 

    These sorts of questions get your creative juices flowing & makes you think out all of the possible answers.

    Look at your deepest fears

    "Why am I afraid of the dark? What makes me jump? What makes me feel uncomfortable?"

    No character is complete without fears, including you. As mean as it seems, take advantage of your character's fear and exploit them to show that they are not invincible to  the most human emotion.

    Look at pictures

    "Where could that photo have been taken? What is that girl's name? Why is his hair so grey at such a young age? What secret are they hiding behind that smile?

    You cannot create a believable scene or character without some sort of description, however short or long. 

    Look at quotes from great people.

    "What does my favorite author say on this topic? What did the world's greatest singer think about this? What advice did my pastor give on this? What do my parents think about that?"

    Sometimes another point of view is helpful. You can find quotes by famous people on literally every topic, nowadays. Find some encouraging writing quotes that give you a bit of a boost & an idea or two.


    There you go!! As you can see, finding inspiration is not too hard. All you have to do is ask yourself questions and seek out the answer. 

    That's what writers do anyway, right? We write to answer questions that have been asked for years, to state ideas that we have accumulated, and to share our thoughts on various topics. Sure, we usually try to not make it too obvious... But that's what a Theme is! It's an answer to a question or a problem. It is supposed to make you think.

    I hope this was helpful advice!! Leave a comment, share, follow, and all of those lovely things!! Thanks, guys!! <3

    H.M. Wilson

    Character Sketch: Harper Blasdel

    Friday, October 24, 2014
    She's adorable, sweet, quirky, and kind!! Harper becomes Emma's best friend quite quickly... She is an encourager and comforter when Emma needs one the most. She helps Emma to embrace who she is and to have fun doing it! Here is her brief sketch...

    "Harper Blasdel:

    (age 16)

    Skill Imprinting

    Gold hair, Blue eyes, Rosy cheeks

    Likes&Interests: Music, Chatting, Learning new things, Meeting people, Dancing?

    Pros/Cons: Quick Learner/Perfectionist, Good grades/afraid of messing up, Good friend/very talkative, Energetic/hyperactive?, Encouraging/sugar-coating, Kind/somewhat naive."

    She is destined to be a favorite!! Such a cute, feminine character should be loads of fun!! And her cool ability to imprint skills, (which she uses frequently for mastering musical instruments,) is a really interesting power to create & flesh out. Here are some Pinterest pictures that remind me of her...

    I love Harper because she loves music like I do!! Plus, she has a cute fashion-sense... She is going to be fun, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to work hard to keep a natural balance between All-Good & All-Bad. (Giving your character enough flaws to make them realistic.) I tend to try to make my characters either on one side or the other, not in the natural middle.
    Other than that, she's going to be a great character to work with!! Meet Harper, guys!! :)

    H.M. Wilson

    Character Sketch: Asher Riley

    Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Let me introduce you to probably my favorite male character, Asher (Ash), who is going to become Emma's first friend at her new school. He enjoys anything to do with drawing, painting, or artistic. He is that one totally reliable guy, who always follows his word and doesn't fail to be there for you. He plays a large role in Emma's story, being one of the friends who helps her to love herself, because they love her already.

    He is going to be *one love interest*, but certainly not the only one... Here is his basic sketch.

    "Asher Riley:

    (age 17)

    Color-Manipulation/Blending in

    Dark hair, Brown eyes, Freckles, middle-height

    Likes&Interests: Art, Music, Outdoors, Talking, Helping others

    Pros/Cons: Blends in/feels invisible, Available/taken for granted, Kind/friend zoned, Always there/afraid of Abandonment."

    Still working on him, which is why we call this type of project a WIP or 'Work In Progress'... Below are some Pinterest pictures that help me to visualize him better.

    (Yes, this is a hospital scene!! But no spoilers for you!!)

    I love Ash so much because he is such a sweet-heart!! But he can be witty and sarcastic too... I think I connect with him because we both love beautiful things, (works of art, nature, the little things.) I can tell I'm going to love working with this fella over the next several months. Meet Ash, everyone!! :)

    H.M. Wilson

    My NaNo Novel: Emma's File

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Getting ready to start typing this thing!! I've got most of the plot outline finished and am currently working on my character sketches. 
    I thought that over the next few days, leading up to November 1st, I would share parts of my soon-to-be novel and just give tiny tidbits of info to tickle your brain.

    This particular story probably falls under YA fiction... (And possibly a little sci-fi too??) The basic theme is learning to love yourself and others despite your differences, and understanding that everyone has purpose.

    Here's the basic idea...

    "Emma is always on the odd side of the equation... And her ability to listen to people's thoughts doesn't help much. She is constantly misunderstood and hurt. But her life drastically changes when her father sticks her on a train headed for the middle of nowhere, where she attends a secret boarding-school for gifted teens. 
    As she meets new people, she gains friends who help her to help herself. Along with this, she overhears rumors about a curse over the Academy that causes students to mysteriously go missing. Before she knows it, her curiosity throws her into a series of shocking revelations about her new school, her friends, and herself..."
    Okay... Maybe there's a bit of mystery involved too. What can I say?
    I think the inspiration for the whole diversity theme came from me and my friends when we hang out... Because each and every one of us is different, in our own way. GOD created us with different personalities and strengths, and yet we are all the better for it! I mean, think about it, if all of us we one way, we would never accomplish anything. Because everyone has fears, doubts, and insecurities that the next person can help you to push to the side. (And vis-versa...) 
    We are stronger as a diverse whole. Notice I say "whole," and not, "individual pieces of a separate puzzle." If we all have the same purpose in mind, (i.e. Jesus, finding a pizza-place, creating story ideas...) we can reach it better together, not alone.
    So many people look down on others because they have different gifts, talents, and personalities. I think that is why this story is so dear to me right now; to show people we can use our differences to become stronger and unified.

     Alright, that's the theme and all, but what about the main character?? Well let me tell you something... I have had the hardest time choosing a name for her!! She has gone through maybe 3 different names until I finally settled on "Emma." (Partially because of Jane Austen's Emma.)
    Emma is somewhat of an introvert at first. The entire story is about her growth and coming out of her shell, learning that her power is not a curse. Here is her basic sketch:
    "Emma Winslow: 
    (age 16)
    Dark hair, Grey eyes, Small figure, Fair skin, Sharp features
    Likes&Interests: Reading, Listening, Thinking, Daydreaming
    Pros/Cons: Reading Minds/Introvert, Listener/Afraid of rejection, Empathetic/Internalizes, Talented/Hates her gift, Understands others/Cannot understand herself."

    Yeah, she still needs work, but she is coming along... I've scoured Pinterest & found different actresses that remind me of her and settings she is in.

    So... that's her for now. I feel a good connection with Emma because she knows what it is like to be the awkward-new-kid and to have a lot to think about. Plus, she loves books and Libraries!! :D

    (Feel free to comment, follow, share, and all that jazz! I'll update again with the next character soon!!) <3 <3 <3

                                                                                                                                           H.M. Wilson