Thursday, July 10, 2014

Becoming an Adult--Buying a House!

Hey there,
Boy has it been an exciting past couple of months! My husband and I are getting a house (we close on it next week actually :D). I must say, it is a crazy, but fun, experience. Looking at all the different houses was a lot of fun, though the market moves fast here so we'd find a house we really liked and within the next day it would be gone. Some places we never saw because they were taken off the market as we were driving to the house to view it! The crazy stressful part comes with the bank and figuring out all the financial stuff. I'm pretty sure we've killed at least one tree with all the paperwork we've signed. One day alone we signed like 60 pages of documentation. Now that just seems unnecessary if you ask me.

When we first decided to start looking at houses we really hadn't much of a clue what to look for either. We didn't really know what we wanted beyond a finished basement and a fireplace if possible. We quickly started to figure out what we liked though as we saw houses in our budget. I swear we saw close to twenty places by the time we found our house, probably more honestly. Aside from seeing houses with our realtors we also went to several open houses because the market moved so fast here.

At times it was hard to figure out why some houses cost what they did on both ends of the spectrum. Some seemed to be priced way more than they should while others seemed under-priced. The under-priced ones made us wonder if there was some reason why the house was so cheap. The houses that seemed over-priced were most likely so because the seller couldn't afford to sell for any less (at least that was probably true for some cases). We got to the point of knowing what we wanted that several houses we threw out of the running by just the pictures posted online. Other houses we didn't even have to see the whole place to decide it was a no.

All the other things that go along with buying a house, like the inspection and appraisal, were added steps along the way that had our realtors not given us a time sheet for when things had to be done by we probably would've been late with! It's also crazy the amount of financial information the bank needs from you too before approving to give the mortgage, like all of my student loans, for example. Since I'm still in school I figured it wouldn't be something counted against us since I don't need to start paying for any of them yet. One of the banks wouldn't give us a mortgage because of it though, because for them it didn't matter that the loans are in deferment, which was a headache in and of itself. But we eventually found one that didn't count them against us. Yay!

Now we get to start the fun-times of going through things to figure out what goes to Goodwill and what comes with us to our new place. We've just starting packing and I'm already not wanting to get rid of a lot of it. Oops. Ah well. I might find more things to part with as my motivation for packing decreases. We'll see!

Well, thanks for stopping by :)
Melissa

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Do Something Daring!

Hey all,
Last night as I tried to sleep I was bombarded with ideas on how to change a story I've been working on and one that the writing group I'm in has been critiquing. I'm thinking of completely cutting out a character! I kind of feel like I'm killing him in an odd way, I know a bit melodramatic, but still. I've never just completely taken an important character out of a work that is mostly finished! I believe my main reason for considering cutting him out is that I think he might be a crutch for me. Jeremiah served as a knowledgeable outsider that steps in to help (eventually). I know that as I was writing the story in the haste of NaNoWriMo that I eventually had an oh shit moment of what to do with him, his story ends up winding off in a weird way. So instead I was thinking of focusing more heavily on the main character Eve and her sister Samara and how they deal with Eve's kidnapping, etc. I think removing Jeremiah would help me build Eve as a stronger character in that she can't just rely on him as she does at times. It would also feed into her fear more if she truly was alone in the strange world of Faerhavan. I think I'm also going to make her older. Here's to hoping this only improves the story, but if it doesn't I'll still have the original to play around with!

Are you doing anything daring with your writing? :)

Thanks for reading,
Melissa

Friday, May 30, 2014

Oh Man Where did All That Time Go!

Hey all,
It has been way to long since I last blogged and I am incredibly sorry! Turns out that extra class I took really was a super crazy challenge so it kept me busier than usual. Now that it's summer break I am going to try to get back in the swing of things with this blog!

Do you have any goals for the summer? Mine are to read a bunch of books (maybe I should actually attach a number to it to keep me honest XD) and to write, write, write! Currently I am working on the His Dark Materials trilogy  by Philip Pullman to help me with writing a darker story for youth. It's hard to motivate myself to read it at times though, maybe the fact that all three books are together in one in my copy just makes it look daunting, or it's just not a story that draws me in. I'm not sure, but I'm hoping to keep it up.  I found another series at random at a used book shop called May Bird by Jodi Lynne Anderson, it looks intriguing to say the least! I did finally get around to reading the Watchmen though. The graphic novel is so much better than the movie (in my opinion any way), I don't know how the movie wasn't any good.

Anyway, here's to hoping I keep my goals up for the summer! I hope you do too :)!

Thanks for stopping by,

Melissa

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Value of a Writing Community

Hey all,

It's been a while, I know. I'm taking an extra class this semester and it's got a lot more to it than I thought it would. (I know this is still an excuse though!) Anyhow, I thought it might be good to mention how valuable it is to have a writing group, whether it's just you and a friend or you and a group of writers, it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to share your work with. It is also very nice to have someone who understands the challenges and rewards of writing--because writing isn't easy!

I've been a part of a writing group now I think for about a year and I have to say it is a increasingly beneficial group for me to be a part of. Not only does this group help motivate me to write, they also help me grow as a writer in regards to learning new or more appropriate writing techniques. This writing group is a great place to learn from other writers as well: writing tricks, advice on publishing the old school way vs. self publishing, and so much more! This group isn't anything extra, super fancy either. It's just a bunch of people who like to write that get together once a week. It's a Meetup group. Seriously nothing special regarding how the group started. The cohesion of the group is pretty awesome though. That part is special. So I definitely recommend forming a group, no matter how informal, no matter the size, just to help you get motivated to write and to have people you can bounce ideas off of.

Take care, keep writing, and thanks for stopping by!
 Melissa

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh the Internet

Hi all,
I know, I know...it's been a while, between getting my wisdom teeth out and class starting again I just got all distracted-like, not to mention playing around with Band of the Purple Feather on Blogger, I decided recently to also start a Tumblr account. I don't know what my issue is, I guess I love the internet! I am putting my attempts at a webcomic on Tumblr and then I also have a Cleo and Bailey page of all their silliness. I guess it's good to throw yourself into things, right? Maybe? Who knows, it might be more than I can manage, but I am going to try! Has anyone else tried maintaining all of these different modes of communication? Any tips on how to keep it all under control but also updated?

I also haven't written for nearly two weeks :o oops! I am reading a book for fun though and reading is just as important as writing, you can get ideas and see some pretty useful techniques that way if you read a lot. But balancing all of it can be tricky, believe me I understand, so it might be easier to lean to the side of just writing or just reading, but try if you can to do both, it can be so very helpful. :)

It's a short one, I know, but thanks for visiting!

Melissa