// nano progress report //

NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant Banner

hey, guys! here’s some news on how my nano project is going. (making this post is just another way that i’m procrastinating. help.)

word count

i’ve written 10,591 words out of 15,000!

according to some graph on the site, my daily word count is a bit screwed up. sometimes i’ll write a few hundred more words than is necessary. others days, i’ll reach the bare minimum. i don’t know why i do that, but i’m currently about two days ahead of schedule, so it’s cool.

the first week was really tough. i hadn’t written anything since nano 2016, so my skills were a little rusty. i had to discover my style again, but now it’s going smoothly. well, as smoothly as writing can go, which isn’t really saying much.


i wasn’t able to do much plotting before nano because i switched stories last minute. when i write, i like having something to follow, so i started freaking out when i reached the end of my preplanned plot in chapter three. i have this huge empty space in the plot (between my characters leaving titan and reaching earth) that i’m not sure what to fill with. guess i’ll just wing it.


i finally decided on a name for “tommy,” the annoying kid that sneaks onto their spaceship: keirnan. he’s named after this kid in my co-op who was a couple grades below me. i’m pretty sure that boy and his siblings are demons, but *sips tea* that’s none of my business.

i didn’t flesh out my characters very well before i started writing, so it’s exciting to see their personalities develop as the story progresses. zen is a sweet, soft child that must be protected at all costs; taz is already done with everyone’s crap; and lulu has somehow morphed into izzy, my best friend (brilliant, kind of rude, has crazy ideas). a good thing about this is that if i ever get stuck on what she would say/do in a certain situation, i can text izzy and get her opinion.


some of you asked me to post an excerpt for my novel, so here you go. this is where i am in the story right now. it’s not the greatest thing i’ve ever written, but i’m ok with that, because i’m more concerned with getting the words down than if they’re good ones.

Sleep has almost wrapped its soft arms around me when there’s a thud close by. Then a moan. I open an eye and glance around. Zen is still out cold in the front, likely getting drool on the collar of his favorite sweater. He probably wasn’t the one who disturbed me, then.

“Lu?” I rasp, my voice scratchy and too deep.

“Nope.” She sounds tired. It must be awful, having to pay attention to the creeping traffic for this long. “I thought it was you?”

I shake my head. Not that she’d be able to see.

Maybe it was Zen, after all, twitching in his sleep. Or it could have been the ship. I don’t know. I lay my head back and yawn.


I jerk up. There it is again. “Lu –”

“Check on the engine, would you?” she asks distractedly. I can practically hear her fighting off a nap, struggling to keep herself aware of the pilots around us.

“I don’t know how –”

“Just do it! Unless you want to fly?”

“Uh, I can take care of it. No problem.” The engine is hidden in the floor, concealed by a trapdoor. It’s located right next to the emergency exit, which means that if I accidentally pick the wrong door, I will be sucked out into space and hit by the ship behind ours. That would be an unfortunate way to end the trip. “Lu –”

“Left one.”

“My left, or . . .?”


“Right, right.”

“No, left.”

I decide to shut up before we get any deeper. Yanking up the trapdoor, I bend close to the engine, craning my ear toward the whirring gears. Heat radiates up from the cavity, warming my cheek. “It sounds fine,” I tell Lulu, shrugging.

She growls in frustration. “Still. Try whacking it with my wrench. The toolbox is in one of the cabinets.”

I let the door fall. “Which one?”

“How should I know?”

I don’t even bother this time. I work my way around the ship systematically, opening each cabinet in turn, giving myself no more then a second to scan the inside for the toolbox. When I’ve peeked into all but the two closest to Zen, I hear a cough from the nearest one. And this time, I’m sure it’s not the engine, or any of us. “Lulu, there’s . . . ah, well, there’s someone in the ship with us.”

Lulu tenses, her back straight, her hands tightening around the yoke. She speaks slowly, her voice low and strained. “I can’t help you right now. The traffic is letting up. Don’t do anything till we get close to the police ships up ahead, where the accident was. They can help.”

I face the stowaway’s hiding spot, preparing myself to strike. “We can’t. No offense, but the fake IDs might not be convincing enough. We can’t risk it.”

She snarls again. After a moment, she breathes in a trembling voice, “Open it.”

Whoever is in here is scaring Lulu. I can’t allow this. I reach forward, rip open the cabinet, and launch a kick into the small space.

“Ow!” the intruder yelps, followed by whimpering. “Holy Pluto, dude, what was that for?”

My mouth drops in disbelief. Curled up in the cupboard is none other than the bratty nephew of our neighbor Nadala. “Keirnan?!” I sputter, letting go of the door in my shock. It catches his finger as it slams closed.

“Ow, ow, ow!” he wails.

“Lulu!” I screech, rousing Zen with my cry. “Keirnan’s in our ship! Our freaking ship, Lu!”

Suddenly, we’re picking up speed, everyone’s screaming, I’m losing my footing and toppling over. The world inside our fixer-upper, peaceful just moments before, is in utter disarray.

“Zen, take over!” Lulu orders, leaping out of her seat. “It’s just like driving your hovercraft. Well, not really. You’ll figure it out.” She tugs me off the ground and we crowd around the cabinet.

My brother, having just returned to consciousness in a loud, confusing world, sobs as he throws himself at the controls. The ship rears up and down, the result of shaky hands. Vehicles around us blare their horns irritably.

i need to write some more today and decide keirnan’s fate.

anyway, how are your nano projects going? do you think you’re going to reach your word count goal in time?



// two years + blogging tips //

yoooo, it’s my two-year blogiversary.

*my cat explodes, showering you with candy and confetti*

how rad. i would suggest a party, but 1) i hate parties, and 2) i pulled another all-nighter and i’m too tired for one.

i was trying to come up with something special to do for this very important moment in history. i came up with making mallowmelt and doing a giveaway, and although that would be pretty fun, i feel like my eyes are going to fall out, and fun just sounds like “getting tired while laughing.” so i’m going to post some really interesting stats while i think of something else.

but you should totally listen to party poison // my chemical romance to celebrate.

anyway. the stats.


*adjusts glasses*


315 posts



top commenters:

rutvi – 106 (get a LIFE, rutvi. honestly.[i’m kidding, i like your comments.])

sam – 45

mckenna – 32

allison – 32

kathleen – 26

gracie – 24

so i thought of something sort of special that i could do. blogging tips. *jazz hands* it’ll be fun, don’t worry. i’ve got three and a half years of experience total, so i’m definitely qualified to write this (sarcasm).

☼ if you’re trying to design a button, header, featured image, etc., canva will be your friend.

☼ white backgrounds look the cleanest.

☼ avoid colored text, it’s hard to read.

☼ reply to comments and comment on other blogs.

☼ hosting challenges is a great way to get views.

☼ experiment with themes and colors until you find something that feels right.

☼ try to write about a variety of topics (unless, of course, your blog is specifically about one thing).

☼ tag your posts! they’ll help wordpress users find your blog.

☼ whatever you’re working on for your blog right now will be embarrassing in time. you’ll look back on it someday and wonder why anyone let you put that on the internet. it’s alright, post it anyway.

☼ if your pictures are blurry, say that they’re aesthetic, and no one will be able to complain about it.

☼ write down your blog-related stuff in a notebook. it can be titles for posts, bits of poetry, ideas for challenges, things you want to take pictures of, whatever.

☼ when in doubt, do a tag or q&a.

☼ pictures are good. make them big.

☼ make a separate email for your blog, so your main one doesn’t get swamped with notifications.

☼ give credit where credit is due. if you’re using a picture you didn’t take, link it back to the owner.

☼ there’s no shame in editing your pictures. the photo editors i use are picasa and picmonkey.

☼ try not to check your stats obsessively.

☼ proofread your posts. preview them before you hit publish and check for spelling and grammar errors. make sure that they’re well formatted.

☼ leave a gap of at least one day between posts.

☼ take hiatuses whenever you need to. there’s no need to post if you don’t want to/don’t have inspiration.

☼ become friends with other bloggers. internet friendships are amazing (although a little painful, since you can’t actually be with them). you can share ideas, encourage each other, chat, etc. you might become closer to them than your irl friends.

if you’ve got any tips to add, leave those in the comments.

so if my blog is two years old, then i myself must be at least that old, too. maybe i got my blog as a gift on the day that i was born. maybe i’m actually a two-year-old who got ahold of a computer and a dictionary. i’ve tricked all of you into becoming friends with me, a baby. let’s be lost is run by a two-year-old, pass it on.

(i’m not actually a baby.)

(well, a crybaby, perhaps. but that’s different.)

now we’ve just got to see if i can survive another year and get to my three-year blogiversary. :)

Dance Tylerjoseph GIF - Dance Tylerjoseph Twenty GIFsx

^^ tyler knows how to party.



// cwwc 2017 | sign-ups //

hello, my friends! the time has come to sign up for cwwc 2017. before i get into all of the details, how to sign up, etc., here are the teams:

team narnia (the chronicles of narnia) — 95 votes.

team hogwarts (harry potter) — 90 votes.

team half-blood (percy jackson and the olympians)– 31 votes.

team shire (lord of the rings) — 24 votes.

“important” information:

what it is:

creating words writing camp is an online writing challenge. it will last the entire month of august.

how it works:

for each challenge, i’ll post three writing prompts, a mix between dialogue and picture prompts. the participants will have four days to complete their entry and post it on their blog/email it to me. your entry can be a short story, poem, or story that continues throughout the challenges.

the goal:

to grow as a writer, and to help your team win. the winning team is whichever one has the most points at the end of august. you can earn points by submitting your stories on time (worth two points) and using the provided writing prompts (one point per prompt).


this year, the teams are team narnia, team hogwarts, team half-blood, and team shire. all of the participants will be sorted onto a team.

if you don’t have a blog:

you can still participate! all that changes is that instead of posting your story on your blog, you email it to me instead. my email is happyhouseofag@gmail.com.

how to sign up:

☼ leave a comment on this post, telling me your name and blog url.

☼ for those without a blog: tell me your name and that you are participating through email.

☼ tell me which team you would like to be on, as well as a second choice.

make sure to sign up before midnight on july 30th. i will post the first challenge on august 1st.

still have questions? you can ask me in the comments, and i’ll do my best to clear things up.



// creating worlds writing camp 2017 //

yep, it’s official — creating worlds writing camp will be returning for its third year!

for anyone who doesn’t know, creating worlds writing camp (or cwwc) is a month-long writing challenge. i’ve been hosting it yearly since 2015. it’s quite popular among my readers, so i decided to bring it back this year.

cwwc 2017 will take place this august. every few days (either three or four, i haven’t quite decided yet), i’ll post three writing prompts, and all you have to do is write a short story/poem/story that continues throughout the challenge/whatever inspired by them, and give me the link before the time limit is up. (if you want to participate, but don’t have a blog, you can email your writing to me.) you’ll get one point per prompt, plus some points for submitting your story on time, and whichever team has the most points at the end of the month wins.

this is just an announcement post, so i’ll write up all the rules and open sign-ups closer to august.

the main purpose of this post is to decide on what the teams will be. in the past, the teams have always been team narnia, team half-blood, team dragon, and team keeper. i wanted to mix it up a little this year, come up with some new team names. there might even be more teams this year, depending on how many people sign up. anyway, i made a poll of name ideas. vote for your favorites, please, it would help me a lot. all the teams are going to be named after book series, and if you think of one that should be on the poll, you can let me know in the “other” section.

there’s another thing i need your help with. should you have three days to turn in your story, or four? (the day i post the prompts for the challenge would count as part of the time limit.) here’s another poll for you to vote on:

thank you for helping me out! i’ll start working on all the cwwc-related stuff before august, so hopefully it will be less stressful for me than in previous years. :)

are you excited for cwwc? do you plan on participating?



Giveaway Winner // I Hope You’re Ready

i meant for this post to be up this morning, but i was hanging out with my friend izzy, and i’m just now finding time to write this. we went kayaking, made flower crowns, watched “moana,” went to dairy queen . . . i really love izzy.


thank you for all the entries! i didn’t expect to get that many. you guys are amazing.

of course, there can only be one winner (though i would send prizes to all of you if i could). ready to find out who won the twelve pairs of earrings?

congratulations . . .


she runs the lovely blog the nerd notebook — which you should definitely check out and follow.

so, my dear, i will be sending you an email tomorrow with details on how to claim your prize. if i don’t get a reply by midnight, april 15th, i will have to select a new winner.

did anyone catch how i used the winner’s name in the title? i think i’m clever.

please be safe, guys. i really love you and i’m glad you’re alive.



Giveaway Reminder

just so you know, today is the last day to enter my giveaway. the winner will receive twelve pairs of earrings. make sure to enter before midnight. and there’s still time to get extra entries. you can see all the details here.

that’s all I wanted to say, but i don’t want this post to be super short. so i’m going to write about whatever.

i thought kellin quinn (from the band sleeping with sirens) was a girl when i first heard him sing. he’s got a freaking amazing voice, though.

i was writing down the names of bands i want to listen to. it’s a rather long list. THERE’S JUST TOO MUCH GOOD MUSIC IN THIS WORLD.

it’s seventy-four degrees right now and i’m wearing all black: black skinny jeans, black hoodie, black fall out boy shirt. black is just a great color, you know? so comforting.

i made pasta today, and i somehow managed to cook the right amount! *throws confetti*

i think that’s all. thanks for reading this rather pointless post.