Thursday, 30 January 2014

Fears and Frustrations

I've been feeling so proud of myself, and happy that I will soon have a manuscript that I can start submitting to publishers. I was really hoping that somehow, I would have a book published this year.

Now that I've started researching publishers, I'm pretty sure I was overly confident about that. I have assumed from the start that my novel would not be chosen by some publishers. I'm okay with that. It's life and I'm new to the writing world. What I didn't realise was you can only send to one publisher at a time. I also didn't think about the fact that it will take that publisher 4-8 months to get back to you. Which means, if and when the first publisher doesn't want to be MY publisher, I'll have to wait another half a year for the next one.

I'm just finding it all kind of daunting. I won't let it scare me enough to stop, but it is something I'll worry about.

There is only one way to find out, I guess. I will probably start mailing out in a couple months. I just have to pick which publisher I want to send to first.

I don't know who is reading this, but if anybody does have advice for a panicked, unpublished writer, feel free to leave a comment, email if you can, or find me on twitter. I'm around.

Now to focus on good and non scary things.

February Writing Prompts

It's a three blog post kind of date, I think. I've got three all set up to write, so I better get started before I think of more things to write about.

This is a small one. My Writing Challenge will be over tomorrow, so I wanted something new to do when I take a break from stressing out about my novel. Also, I won't always have something to update. I am editing. (That being said, I am writing my next post of the day about my book fears).

So, of course, the month of love... my writing prompts are about love for February. I may change them as we go along, but here are the ones I've found on the 'ol Internet. We will see how it goes. I mean, there are entries about weddings and engagements, that obviously I won't have a lot to say. I guess I can actually try out making up a story about them though. We'll see.

1.       The love of my life

2.       Was it love at first sight?

3.       Best date ever

4.       Romance is...

5.       Head over heels for

6.       The best kiss

7.       Crazy about...

8.       This broke my heart

9.       Life is better with

10.   Warms my heart

11.   Favourite Romantic Movie

12.   True Love is

13.   How we met

14.   You make me

15.   I dream of

16.   Our Song

17.   I get butterflies when

18.   First love

19.   I knew

20.   Engagement story

21.   Wedding story

22.   Our first/worst fight

23.   Happily ever after

24.   Our love is

25.   You make me crazy because

26.   My favourite thing about

27.   The little things

28.   When you smile

I'll get back to this on February.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Fun Proof

When I sent my novel to my Ashleigh, Karen, my mom and Denise it was through email. I've only really seen it on my computer screen. I edited it the second round while reading it out loud, but still on my computer screen. I know Denise printed out a copy to go through -which is good. Easier for comments/critiques.

My mom printing a copy, but she also photocopied it so I could have a first draft edition, unmarked and original. (Second draft, I guess). She gave it to me last night. Even though, I've seen over 200 pages before, I was surprised at how many big it was! It made it just that much more real. Now, all I need is a title.

So here is my novel in paper form -but not book form! (A picture, that is.)

And speaking of complete and total gratitude of what I have, here is my newest blog (I'm a blogging maniac lately!): 
©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Writing Challenge Day 27-28
'Today’s task is a simple one: Write a blog post. This will be your third and final blog post for this specific challenge, but I hope you will continue to post on a regular weekly schedule.'

Apparently, catching up all on the same day means two blog posts in one day, even though, this is 3rd or fourth. So I'll combine Day 27 and Day 28 and make a blog post about my day 28. Cheating? Who knows?

Day 28
'Our task for today is to take your book idea and find comparative and competitive titles. While books have a better chance of getting published when they’re unique, they also need already existing titles around to show there’s a market for this sort of book.'

Actually, this is brilliant. I will head to the bookstore on the weekend and check out my genre. In the meantime, I'll check out online. Amazon, Chapters, and others. I'm going to publish this, but come back and edit when I find out the answers. I actually assume there aren't a lot about my specific book perspective, but the broader genre would have a few.

Update: There aren't a lot of books on bookstore websites about my topic. That being said, it may be my not knowing how to search it.

That being said... I'M CAUGHT UP!!!

Hopefully, I get the things I said I'd do not on my blog caught up tonight, and then I'll be back tomorrow with day 29.


Writing Challenge Day 25-26

Day 25
'For today’s task, spend the day brainstorming book ideas. Consider your experience, expertise, interests, etc. Look at books on your topics and other topics that might not be related to see if there are treatments that haven’t been applied to your topic. Just consider book ideas.'

I've got my book idea. I'll brain storm some more soon. Although, I'd rather focus on what I already have, and the idea I have for the next one.

Day 26
'For today’s task, take your book idea from yesterday and start fleshing out who your target audience is for the book. Age range? Gender? Profession? Hobbies? Etc. Try quantifying, if possible, through organization memberships, magazine circs, etc.'

Easy enough. Kind of. Sometimes, I don't find any of this easy. It's a start though. I'm changing this task just a little to focus on the target audience for the book I wrote.
I want to say age range would be from 18-50. Big age range, but I don't want to narrow it down completely. I guess if I were to, I'd make it 18-35. It's definitely written for a female audience. It's not to say males wouldn't like it, but it's not meant for males, and not really written with any male perspective. Profession shouldn't make a difference. I'm going to target it to people who read.
Turns out this wasn't that easy. I know age and gender. The rest I will soon learn.

On to the next challenge. I'm almost caught up.


Writing Challenge Day 21-24

Day 21
'For today’s task, take your list of characters and interview each and every one of them. Start by asking their names, what they were doing right before the interview, favourite movie, favourite song, happiest moment, saddest moment, love interests (if any), associations, etc. Be thorough.'

This sounds fun. I actually want to do it for my current, already written novel. As well as my new one that I have yet to start. I will be working on this tonight! Once again -not on here.

Day 22 'For today’s task, use your outline and character interviews as inspiration to write 500 words today. Don’t worry about finishing your story; just write 500-ish words and call it a day.'

You may know what I'm about to say. I will do this, but not on my blog.

Day 23
'For today’s task, write another 500 words today. I was asked on Facebook if you should be writing a short story or novel, and it’s up to your story, I suppose. Just write 500 words–wherever that leads you.'

Again: You may know what I'm about to say. I will do this, but not on my blog. I just want to write about what I am doing. Know that I'm working on these, and will have it done by tonight.

Day 24 'Today’s task is to write 500 more words. For a total of 1,500 words (over the past three days).'

This really is a great sort of writing challenge. I'm going to have a lot of writing done tonight. The start of my next novel, perhaps. I may as well take a break from thinking about my other novel while I wait for edits and suggestions.

So... nothing really to show today, but this is where I'm at.

Writing Challenge Day 20 'For today’s task, write another blog post.'

This is another easy one. I've done A LOT of blogging in the past couple of days because I'm trying desperately to catch up.

I choose to not blog about the challenge in this post. Other than the already mentioned above.

I'm going to start applying for grants. I'm not sure a lot of details, but they have writing grants available, and if it helps me in some way then I'll do it. I'm getting a little panicked lately about what I need to do next. After editing. There are still a couple of people who are and will be looking over my novel, and I have a feeling there will be a few changes coming to it as well. I think I have to remember that I don't have to make all the changes that are suggested. I know my characters the best (I've spent more than a year with them), and I have to keep in mind that a suggestion is a suggestion. That being said, they are pretty important to the future of my writing because the people reading them will hopefully also be my target audience.

Anyway, I'm getting anxious about the next steps. I really want to start submitting before summer.

Small blog post, but basically it says it all. I'm doing what I do best -worry. I try to cut that out of my life, but it is the one thing I have trouble letting go of.


Writing Challenge Day 18-19 'Today’s task is to write a story outline. An outline doesn’t restrict your story, but it does give you some possible directions to take.'
Well, I won't be doing this on the blog. I will do it right now though. To be honest, I don't usually do story outlines. I just write. So this will be a new method. It does seem as though most people do story outlines. I write the story as it comes to me, which actually sometimes make is a little confusing. An outline might help me remember things.
'For today’s task, make a list of all the primary and secondary characters you plan to include in your story.'

Once again, I will do this. Just not on the blog. It's SO important. While working on my novel, I wrote them as they came. Mostly because I wanted to remember names and details. Having them ahead of time may actually help a lot.

So basically, I'll do these, but not here. Just wanted to keep blogging about what I am doing.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Writing Challenge Day 17

Day 17
For today’s task, write about your saddest memory.'

If anybody has read my other blog, you know I have some experience with writing about my saddest moments. The happy memories all get grouped together as great days, but they're harder to place. The sad memories are specific things, but the sadness stays longer that I'd like, and still hits me at times. The roller coaster of grief. I've dealt with a miscarriage, break ups (which really, are the LEAST sad moments, looking back), I've lost all three of my grandparents,and my aunt. The day that I found out Cameron died in a car accident was my absolute saddest moment and darkest time. I will write about that. As I said, I already have in a different blog, but this is three years later, and not as fresh of a wound. I haven't updated that blog in a long time, and I think it's because to me, it is a blog about a really sad time(s) in my life. I needed to get away from it. I think, I may consider a gratitude blog. One good thing a day. It shouldn't be hard.

I got off topic. I do that. Also, it's lunch on a Monday, so my brain is still slow from the weekend. I'll get back to the sad memory right now.

I mentioned Cameron in my sweetest memory entry. The memory was about my Grandmother. Cameron and I dated for about two years. We met under strange circumstances. I was pregnant when we met, but had broken up with the 'father'. It wasn't ideal circumstances, but it worked, and it helped having him around when I later had a miscarriage. This was all very early on in our relationship. We eventually moved in together, and planned a future. I'm not certain that he ever completely fell in love with me, and as our lives changed, we grew more distant, and finally decided we would be better off as friends. He had been my best friend for a time, and I was content with him as a friend. I moved to Saskatchewan and he stayed in Alberta while we were still together, and then we broke up a couple of weeks after the move.

We broke up in July, and the last time I saw him was Labour Day weekend in September when I went out there to pick up some of my things. We still spoke on the phone, and tried to catch up on one another's lives though. This is basically just background information on who he was to me.

He was coming back to Saskatoon for Christmas, and we had plans to meet up. This is where my memory begins. He was going to give my friend a ride up to Saskatoon with him. She lived in Edmonton. I texted her on my lunch break on the day they were planning to arrive. I asked her how the trip was going. Her response scared me. She responded by telling me he hadn't picked her up yet, and when she called to ask where he was, a constable answered and told her they were heading to her house. She thought he was joking. I didn't. I texted her back, and I called her. At this point, she had already spoken to a police officer and he told her not to tell me anything else, so she wasn't answering my texts or my calls. I texted and called Denise to tell her what was going on. I was still trying to convince myself nothing bad had happened. I knew better.

Denise called Brittany, and found out what happened. Which basically meant, they both were unable to tell me anything. What they couldn't tell me, was that Cameron had been in a car accident the night before on his way to Edmonton. He died in the crash. Denise and her husband came to work and called me outside to tell me what happened. She knew that I knew, and couldn't leave me sitting at my desk worrying. The moment she told me, I felt a little like I was watching myself react. Although, I can't quite remember what I did. I know I went back inside to tell my coworkers I was heading home, and explain why. I cried. A lot. In fact, I can't really write this memory without tears coming to my eyes. I went back to Denise's house, and we waited. We waited for his parents to find out, and we cried. We also drank. Years later, I can say I don't really recommend that route, but I didn't know what else to do.

This was my saddest moment, but I worked through it. I had support of friends and family. I had his family, and I had my memories. I hadn't lost a boyfriend or a love, I had lost a good friend. He was 29 years old, and it was really hard thing to understand. To this day, I can't watch a car accident on TV shows or movies without tears. He wasn't my first loss, and that actually helped me get through it. I talked to people, I went to a counsellor, and I tried to live my life. I changed because of his death, but still have so much more learning to do.

The sad moments in my life helped to teach me how important being happy is. It took me longer than I should have in some cases, but it was an important lesson.

Now that I've written this, I'm going to start my daily gratitude blog because I need it. This can't be what defines me, but all my moments. Good and bad.

I'm very slowly catching up in this challenge. No updates on my novel.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Writing Challenge Day 14-16

Day 14
'Today’s task, start a Facebook account AND send me a friend request.'

I'm not following through with this one. First because I already have a Facebook account. Second because I use Facebook for my personal life. I use my twitter to share my blog and writing aspirations openly. I don't want an open profile on Facebook. One step at a time, I guess. Someday, I may change my mind about keeping it private, but for now, I'm not ready to open up my life to anybody. I do communicate my accomplishments with my friends, and share my blog. One step at a time. It took me a really long time to make my twitter account open. It's open now.

Day 15 'For today’s task, join at least one more social media site.'

Right now, I'm on Facebook (privately), Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, GoodReads, StumbleUpon and Pinterest. I share my writing on all of these. I think if I were to join another Social Network, I'd choose LinkedIn. It is meant to be a more professional, so I hear. I've actually been resisting it because it feels like there are only so many profiles I need. However, it is a task I can do, so I've just joined it. I'm not sure how often I'll use it, but there's only one way to find out.

Just one quick note, I didn't use to talk about my writing at all on any of my social media sites(except for my old blog). Now I talk about it on FB and Twitter. I provide links on Pinterest and Google Plus, and I take pictures of writing related things on Instagram. As soon as I figure out the point of LinkedIn, I'll be sure to continue the trend.

Day 14 and 15 are finished. Only tons more to go... and I still have to do writing blog entries along with these ones. Although, I haven't gone much farther on my editing, so I don't have any catching up to do yet for that.

Day 16: Twitter chat...

Here is another thing I didn't do. I didn't check the Challenge this day, so I missed the Twitter Talk. I was only half there the last time, as it was during work.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Writing Challenge Day 12-13

Day 12
'Submit your query and/or story and/or poem(s). If they’re ready, make a submission today. Get it out there and forget about it. The worst that happens is that you’re rejected and try again. So let the submissions fly today.That’s it. Be brave.'

I'm obviously not doing this one. I'll be submitting for sure later on this year, but for now, I'll be skipping this one. I also feel like some of these are for submitting short story ideas to magazines and things like that. I can't do that right now. I need to finish my novel editing first, and want to focus on novel writing.

Day 13

'Today’s task, write a blog post. If you don’t have a blog, start one today–and make your first post. If you have a blog with a publishing schedule already, great; share your URL with the group.'

I've done a few entries already today and will hopefully do a couple of more this weekend. I do already have this blog, so I'm finally a little ahead of the challenges. (although, not at all). I do appreciate how important this blog is right now. It's a way to get my name out there, and hopefully it'll help me with my novel and my writing. We shall see.

Another short one.

Until the next one,


Writing Challenge Day 11

This is for a spreadsheet to keep track of my submissions. It's quite brilliant. I'm not sure that I'll do it exactly like this. I'll be keeping track of everywhere I submit my work, and this seems like a pretty good way to start. I'll use it as soon as I start submitting. Hopefully soon.

Short but sweet.


Writing Challenge Day 10

'For today’s task, write about a sweet memory. It could be something someone did for you, something you did for someone else, or something you witnessed between two people. I know last week was happiest and this week’s is sweetest, so I promise we can get rid of some teenage angst next week.'

I always think of my grandparents when I think of my sweetest memories. I guess that's what grandparents are for. 

My Grandma McCrea had always been my favourite person growing up. She was always somebody I felt comfortable with her, even in silence. My memory (I have many sweet ones with her), takes place when I was older. It was the last time I ever spent with her.

Cameron (at the time, my boyfriend) and I had come in from Whitecourt, Alberta for the weekend, and from Saskatoon, my sister, and my friend, Denise, headed to Moose Jaw for the day. Denise was coming with the visit with a friend, and Jodi and I were going to see my Grandma. My parents were there, and my aunts, and we were heading to Grandma's place.

There are a lot of details that make the memory a sad one, but to me, sometimes, sad and sweet mix. I refuse to let my last memory with my grandma be a sad one. The family was there with grandma, and although she hadn't received the results yet, they thought she had cancer. Grandma was 'resting' in the bedroom, and my family told me to go sit with her, but make sure she stays in bed. They were very protective of her. My grandma was loved and respected by everybody. 

We sat together. We talked about my life, we spoke about my pregnancy and my new boyfriend, and she told me she didn't think she had cancer. We sat in silence, and we enjoyed one another's company. It was a perfect last memory with her, and I loved that I got it. 

After we left, things didn't get better for me or for her. I found out I was miscarrying when I arrived back in Saskatoon, and grandma would later get the diagnoses that she did have cancer. She died a few months later. I was too far away to see her the days before she passed away, but I am happy I saw her when I did. We were both in good spirits, and looking forward to the future. 

My grandma was the sweetest, and most of my memories of sweet or happy times include her. I wish I had more, but am truly grateful for the times I had with her.

That's it for now. On to the next challenge.

Writing Challenge Day 7-9

Day 7
'For today’s task, find a market to submit your pitch from day five. You don’t have to actually submit it yet, but spend today finding the best market for your pitch.'

I'm skipping over this challenge because the pitch I wrote on day five (many many days ago), isn't really relative. I decided instead of working on something else, to work only on my current novel because I have a goal to get it published this year. I'm not sharing the plot on here (yet). However, I will be looking into Saskatchewan publishers with a focus on 'chick lit', fiction, and short novels. I'm not going to begin submitting anything until it's ready though.

Day 8 'twitter'

This day involved a twitter discussion. I said a few things, but didn't really ask any questions, and was not yet comfortable in it. I was more of an observer I guess.

Day 9
'For today’s task, assemble your complete query letter. To do this, take your pitch from day 5 and bio from day 6–and combine them with a personalised slant to the market you selected on day 7.'

Once again, I won't be doing this one yet. I will be doing a query letter, but I don't want to rush what I'm doing. I'm still taking part in the challenge, but not going to do a query letter until my novel is edited and as perfect as I can get it. I also won't be putting the letter on my blog. I will have it done soon though.

Until next time.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Phase Three of my Novel Writing

Today has been a very good day for my ego. It doesn't always need help, but I think I needed an extra bit of encouragement today.

First, I will explain the title. I just started the phase thing, so I guess I'll explain it. It might be pretty obvious. Phase One was writing and creating my novel. Phase one, is done.

Phase Two was reading it out loud to Clint and editing as I read. Phase Two is done.

Phase Three has been to share my writing with three or four people. I emailed it to my mom, and two of my best friends: Karen and Denise. Now - I know that sharing a book with people who love you anyway is not really a proper 'feedback' technique, but these three are honest. I think they'd tell me if they didn't love it. They would tell me NICELY, but they would let me know it needs a lot of work. I'm not saying, of course, that it doesn't still need work, but the feedback I'm getting is making me pretty happy, grateful and excited for the next phases (although I'm only figuring them out one phase at a time, so I'm not sure when or what the next one will be). Either way, I know with the feed back and a bit of grammar checking, I'll be including the next group of changes in phase three of getting published. My friend, Ashleigh, is also reading it for me.

I'm looking forward to the negative feedback as well as the good stuff. Although, I do like the good comments the most. It's all helping me, make my novel the best I can.

Of course, at some point, I will have to decide on the title. That's pretty important, and right now, I have no idea what it'll be.

So, now I will share some of the feedback because it made me feel really happy with myself, and one step to more confident that maybe this will get published some day. Keep in mind, that these are comments from my mom, and two close friends -so they're good.

The comment below is not really a spoiler even though it looks like.

I'm not sure where Denise is at reading it, so I'll save her final comments for later. I do know she will be printing it out and getting a pen to mark up anything she isn't sure about or bad grammar. (Hopefully a red pen).

My mom plans to do the same, but she did read it all first before starting. She called me today at work to tell me she had finished reading it. I can't quote her exactly because it was a phone call, and I was just excited that she read it. (In a day and a bit... it's a quick read for anybody who is interested in quick reads -ONCE IT'S PUBLISHED). She told me she enjoyed reading it, enjoyed the dialogue and she thought it was very good. She may have said she was proud of me. I may have teared up.

Karen texted me yesterday before she was finished with this comment, "Erin, if your book had pages it would be a page turner! Seriously, it's really good! I haven't put it down since we got home from hockey at 4:30! I'm not just saying this because you're my best friend, I really love it and I'm so proud of you." Again -I teared up. And also, she read it on her phone, which was probably a bit annoying and is why it had no pages.

Then this afternoon she texted me with, "I'm done! You are an amazing author! I'm so proud of you."

So, like I said, it's been a really good day for my ego. It's been full of happy sighs, and smiles, and relief. To be honest, it's given me a moment where I really thought, 'This might actually happen'. Because like I said, writing it was a great accomplishment, but a kind of wondered if maybe that would be it.

So, this blog entry was all about showing off. Sorry. Not that sorry though. I wrote a book! And people like it! (Three people for sure.)

That's it.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

2014 Goals

I know I already did goals for my writing, but they were long and short term goals. I want some 2014 goals, and they probably won't be writing specific.

So here we go:

This Year:

  • I'm going to read more. I have TONS of books, and I should use them for more than making a Christmas Tree. (Thanks to Pinterest and my friend, Leanne for that). However, I think I'll leave the stack of the books up, and start from the top. If I've already read it (there are a few of those), and I don't want to read it again, I will give it away. This will be a good way to get rid of books as well. Also if Clint and I move, this plan won't work out, but it's a start. There are photo albums in this tree and journals (because I wanted to include my writing), so those don't count. Not that reading old journals isn't a great idea, but we'll see how I feel. Sometimes, it's a pretty daunting task. This is a picture of the tree after the decorations were taken off.
  •  I'm going to try to pay more attention to speeling (haha just kidding) spelling and grammar in all my writing.
  • I'm going to start writing letters to myself again. That may sound strange, but I wrote myself letter from nine years old until 19 to open on the day I turned 20. I did the same thing from 20-29. Unfortunately, I wrote a lot less. Here I am, 33, and I haven't written any letters to my future self. My forty year old self is going to be upset! So I'll be doing some catching up with myself. I should also find the old ones. Not sure where they are. I know I still have them though.
  • I'm going to do more journal writing. I say this every year, and I'm really good at writing on the bad days. However, my bad days aren't as bulk as they once were. Yay! So I need to work on gratitude writing as well as worries, doubts and sadness. Basically, I can write anything I want in my journal. I'm not restricted. It's the place I allow myself to complain about things nobody but me need to worry about. I guess the letter writing is kind of similar. It's not though. They're two completely different things. I miss journal writing.
  • I'm going to try my hardest to do something with my book. I'm good at procrastinating. I'm good at not trying as hard as I should. I'm not very good at quitting, but I'm good at leaving it or ignoring it. I can't do that with my book. I have to try. I guess if I can't find a publisher, I can self publish. That will be a last resort though.
  • I'll start a new novel.
  • I will blog.
  • Last, I found a pin that has photo or writing prompts for months. I'm going to start with February, and see how I go from there. Once again, that will be posted on here. As I did today, that means there will be more than one entries a day because I spent too much time in my last blog trying to do say too many things in one entry. Short and sweet this time. (Just like me.)
That's it. Until tomorrow. (Hopefully, but seriously, no promises.)

Also, I'm adding a picture of the snow. Why? I don't know. I was looking for an appropriate picture to add from my Nexus pictures, and this one popped up. I took a regular picture while it was snowing, but for some reason the snow is actually snowing. I don't know why, but I like it! So Happy Winter. 

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

2014 My Writing

Notice it doesn't have a day? That's because I'm about 7 days behind. Frankly, I may not catch up. I still need to read them all and catch up, and decide which ones I want to do and which ones I don't. I kind of realised something while working on the last one (or thinking about working on it). I could be using these for my actual novel. However, I'm not ready to share that with the world, so I may do the writing prompts and some of the other things on my blog, but as far as looking for people to send my novel to, and writing letters about my novel, that's going to be something I won't be making public until it works. I also won't be planning a new novel until I'm finished editing this one.

So what have I been doing in these 7 days?

I've been reading my novel out loud to Clint. About 10-20 pages a day, depending on my mood. I once read advice on editing, and it suggested reading out loud helps. So far, I've caught a lot of things. My grammar has never been perfect. I know my grammar, for the most part, but I'm quite lazy when I write, and don't pay attention to what I say or how I say it. (I write how I speak, and it works for me.) If you've ready ANY of my blogs, you'd know exactly what I mean. Either way, I'm catching them this time around, and I will probably need to read it a few more times to catch it all. It's good reading it to Clint as well because I trust his opinion completely. I trust him to help me make things sound better. Believe me, that does not come easy with me, and I hope he knows what it means for me to read it to him. I've shared short stories with people (strangers from Creative Writing classes as well as friends), but I feel like this is different. I mean, I'm scared to tell most people what it's about, never mind read it to them. That being said, I will be asking for volunteers to give it a test run after I'm done editing. Not a lot of volunteers, but one or two.

That's what I've been doing while not blogging my writing prompts/challenges. I think something else I'd like to do on here are specific 2014 goals for writing. I've found a couple on Pinterest that I will be using. Make fun of Pinterest all you want, other than planning weddings and babies I'll never have, I've also gotten a lot of writing ideas (and crock pot recipes). 

So goals will come next. Today even. This entry is specifically to explain why I haven't written. I know I haven't, and I think about it every day. I do think that editing takes priority over this, but I want to keep up with the blogging as well. Even if I'm not willing to share all my story details, I still want to share the adventure in finishing it.

So -that's it. Lots more to come, but I hate doing it all in one entry. I'll be doing one about my goals for 2014. Call them resolutions if you'd like. Actually, this is the first year I haven't done resolutions. I'm not sure why because I actually enjoy it. Maybe this year, I've decided to do instead of say.

I'll leave you with a picture of my purple computer and purple glasses. It seems to be my colour this year. By the way, all pictures posted are pictures I've taken. I just saw a different blog speak about what can happen if you 'borrow' photos from the Internet. Even if you give them credit. I've got the link to the entry on my Twitter account. (mccrea_erin)
Until next time.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2014 Writing Challenge Day 6

2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 6
Today’s task is a simple one: Write your bio in less than 50 words.

Erin McCrea is a Creative Writer for radio stations in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In her spare time she works on novels and short stories writing and blogs. Erin has a blog about her writing experiences at Or find her on twitter at @mccrea_erin
I don't have any publishing history, which would have helped with a short bio, but this is what I came up with for now. Someday, it'll have things I can add!

Once again, I'm a day behind, so day 7 will be on the way shortly.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Writing Challenge Day 5

2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 5

'For today’s task, write a pitch–preferably for the story idea you created for yesterday’s task.'

People teach English overseas for many different reasons. Some go for a year or two, and others choose to stay. I went for a change, and because I had an English Degree that was not helping my life in any other way. I quit my job as a deli girl at a grocery store, and after a couple of stressful and scary months, said goodbye to my family, friends and boyfriend to fly to Seoul, South Korea for a year. I didn't know if I'd make it for more than 4 months. In my novel, I will write about my experiences as an ex-pat. I'll write about things I learned, people I met, and the adventures I had. Adventures in Korea (name may for sure change) will be a humorous (at times) look at my life in Seoul. A go-to for people who also need an escape from their lives -or any other reason they leave.

Sharing my experience through my writing is something I've always wanted to do, and it will focus on the good and bad situations I encountered. It was a year of changes and just a little more self discovery. From birthdays and Christmas in a new country away from my family to snowboarding and para-gliding. Also a little bit of teaching life added in to the mix for good measure. I'll tell stories about drinking in Korea (soju), and festivals put on. It was a carefree and exciting life that I'd like to share with the world. Great times and many learning experiences. I came out completely different, but still with so much more to learn about life.

*Side note -I've never really done a pitch before. Actually, usually, I just get a story idea and start writing. This is a bit of a different experience for me. It's feeling a little like University again! Not that I'm complaining, it's just new. So far, I'm loving the flashbacks of good times in my life, and the encouragement to continue writing.*

All caught up now.


Writing Challenge Day 4

2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 4

Sketch out a story idea. 

I think I would like to write a collection of short stories about my experience teaching overseas, or make it into a novel someday. It would be non-fiction, which I've never really done other than through blogs. I think it would be a fun experience because although it was full of ups and downs, mostly it was a great experience, that I'd love to share. I'd start from the beginning, and end when I went home, but only share the stories I feel have meaning, or will give people a laugh. It won't all be about teaching. In fact, I'm not sure how much of the teaching will be involved. I will write it in first person (as I write both fiction and non fiction.) It was a really fun time for me, and I met a group of amazing people. I wish I had kept my blog from back then so I could read my stories and adventures. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I can still find it, and probably didn't do very well at keeping a journal at that point in my life either. I would highlight my favourite stories. Meeting random strangers, my birthday, breaking up with somebody in Canada while there, the snow day (mentioned before), para-gliding, living in Seoul, trips out of Seoul, the Mud Festival, and so much more.

This would be quite the story telling adventure for me. I'd have to do it one story at a time. I've always wanted to do a story about Katimavik as well. However, Korea is a more happy and care free time, and I'd like to focus on that first.

And - because I love adding pictures, I've got one of my feet while Para-gliding in South Korea.

Day 5 is coming up next. I'm a day late on my Day 4 post. :)


©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Writing Challenge Day 3

  • Day 3: Write about your happiest memory

   This task shouldn't be hard to do, but it kind of is. It's funny how the sad/tragic memories plant themselves in your brain, and you remember that one moment, but the happy memories (I've had many), aren't so easy to think of that one moment. I can think of so many moments that I consider to be some of my happiest. So, that's what I'll do, I will write more than one small memories. I've got three in my head right now, so I'll share those. There are more, of course, but these are the ones I'm choosing as my 'happiness'.
   The first one was in Seoul, South Korea in 2005. It was the one and only snow fall the entire year I was there. Seoul has the same seasons as Canada, but not as much snow. Anybody who knows me, knows that the first snow fall is my absolute favourite. I was missing it that year, and was so excited when that snow stayed on the ground. My friends (Susan and Sarah) and I went outside with our bottle of soju, and took pictures in the snow. We later went out to the bars, all with a happy 'snow high'.
   My second memory is my 30th birthday party in 2010. My friend, Denise, was the host, and gave me a wonderful celebration with friends and family. Again, anybody who knows me, knows that I love my birthday, and the celebration of me. I think what I really love about birthdays (and that one in particular), is all the people I love in one room. It's a room full of love and happiness. This is the reason all my birthdays are favourite memories.
   My third happy memory I want to share was a part of a trip to Mexico in May of 2013 with Clint. We went deep sea fishing, and I didn't realize how much I'd love the day. I wasn't the best fisherman in the world, but for my first time, it was pretty great. I just felt so at peace out there, watching the sea life, and hanging out with Clint. It was a perfect day.

   That's it for my memories. I didn't go into depth with any of them, but I don't think that was the point. Those were times, I loved, and can look back at with a smile. No regrets, no sadness, just peace. Like I said, there are lots of great memories in my life. These are just some 'snapshots' of moments.

And I'm attaching pictures of all three memories. The first is my 30th, second is Korea snow day and third is the fishing trip.

Talk tomorrow,

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

2014 Writing Challenge Day 2

Day 2 Road Map to my Goals
  • Write Every Day -write once a day (at least) for 15 minutes to an hour. Write before bed -write while Clint plays silly games. Routine. Write whether I have something to write about or not.
  • Edit the first novel: after I get feedback, I will read the story out loud, and make changes I feel are necessary. Then I will repeat. An hour a day.
  • Write a Second novel: Find an idea, and go with it. Don't stop till I'm done.
  • Look into publishing/submit: use all the resources I have to find publishers. Preferably in Saskatchewan.
  • Start Blogging again: Can do this during my writing time. Share my writing experiences... start a new blog about that.
  • Write Short Stories: Start with short stories, and if it feels like it could be more, keep going and make them novels.
  • Learn Something New Everyday: Never stop learning. Learn about something I'm writing about, or world events, or a new word.
  • Try different genres of Writing: It doesn't have to be sad all the time. Use my sense of humour.
  • Get Published: Don't give up. Keep submitting my work. Don't take no for an answer.
  • Make Writing a Career: Make enough money so I can work on only writing. Writing novels. Very very long term goal.
  • Write a lot of novels: One novel a year
  • Work on non-fiction: I have lots of stories to tell, and I should.
  • Make Money: Don't give up. Never stop writing, never stop trying to get published.
  • Don't Stop Writing: Don't stop writing.
  • Take Clint on Trips with Novel Writing: See 'Make Money' and 'Make Writing Career'

2014 Writing Challenge Day 1

2014 Get Started Writing Challenge:

Day 1: long term/short term goals:

  • Short Term Goals for 2014
    • Write everyday
    • Edit the first novel
    • Write a second novel
    • Look into publishing, and submit work
    • Start blogging again
    • Write short stories again
    • Learn something new every day
    • Try different genres of writing
  • Long term Goals:
    • Get published
    • Make writing a career
    • Write lots of novels
    • Work on non-fiction
    • Make money
    • Don't stop writing
    • Take Clint on trips with novel money (sugar momma)
Until Next Time,

My Writing Experiences


I plan to use this blog to write about things I'm working on, my fears, motivations, and anything that encourages me as a writer. I also hope to be able to show off my accomplishments. For instance, the fact that I finished writing my first novel in December of 2013. I now have to edit and figure out how to publish, but it's more than I've ever accomplished.

To start though, I'm participating in something called 2014 Get Started Write Challenge. It started January 1st, and I'll be doing an entry for each day I participate. Then hopefully, I'll be motivated to write more and more.

I'm excited for my year of writing. I've also attached a picture of my brand new purple laptop. The place I will be doing my writing. I call her, Big Purple. My newest love...

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please return the favour and Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.