The Purr-fect Spot: Cafe to Open in Grand Rapids

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Story by Abigale Racine

We have delightful, ground-breaking news for cat-enthusiasts, the Happy Cat Cafe is set to open in the Grand Rapids area this upcoming fall.

Wait, what? What does this en-tail? Don’t get hairy, but in a press release, it is described as, “mix of a coffeehouse and a animal shelter. The cafe fosters cats from local shelters that live free-roaming in the cafe. Patrons can buy specialty coffee and pastry while renting time in the cat space to enjoy the happy cats’ company. They can even adopt one of the cats and bring it home.”

Is this heaven on earth? I do think it is. The two greatest loves of my love are being combined under one roof: espresso and cats. Considering that there is a humanitarian element involved makes everything better.

The Happy Cat Cafe’s intent is to build a strong sense of community, while taking…

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Grand Rapids Annual Writers’ Conference

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I am very pumped to be attending this conference tomorrow (3/29)! Everyone attending will be learning tips and insider advice on becoming published (for aspiring writers) and also tips in networking and overall putting yourself out there. I’ll be going with a group of close friends and fellow writers. So it should be prove to be an insightful and fun time! I’ll be updating later about the overall experience and what I’ve learned!

Stoked!

Long Time, No Update

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Well, here I am! It has been a pretty rough few months. In as brief detail as possible, I will tell you.

Physical Ailments
Knee pain is familiar to me, as is physical therapy. I went through two rounds of physical therapy for my knees (weak muscles around my knee caps).

I am due back for another round in two weeks, but this time it’s for lower back pain. I am not entirely sure where this pain has come from but I have a few speculations, all revolve around my method of exercise. Anyway, lower back pain sucks. I’ve been irritated randomly and just overall moody. Not too good for trying to post feel-good blog posts (and videos for my channel, for that matter).

School
School is school, and will always be school. I’m busy but this semester I enjoy the classes more and have a smaller workload. I am taking a Gothic literature class and it is awesome! I’m very excited to get to the unit when we read the vampire novels on our text list.

Last semester, however, is an entirely different story. I was bogged down by so much work, but then again I was finishing up my two minors. Oye. It’s done though.

National Novel Writing Month 2013
One of my favorite nano-novels thus far, but I hardly enjoyed writing it! With the aforementioned school bit, my momentum and motivation for writing and getting to the daily word count was almost fizzled to nothing by the time school and homework was finished for the day. I stayed behind in my word count almost consistently, and trying to encourage my newbies was almost impossible because I could hardly encourage myself.

But I did it.

2013-Winner-Facebook-ProfileI crossed that 50k finish line on November 30th (at the final Saturday morning write-in, in where the winners were rewarded with Starbucks!)

The Tragic Princess
This is my nano-novel for 2013 and I absolutely love it! When rereading some sections I can see my progress as a writer over the years, and since last year even. My characters sound less and less like one another, and they have believable problems that force the story forward. My writing style and ways of showing v. telling have improved immensely! I am incredibly proud of myself for pushing through NaNoWriMo and writing this novel, because I know my efforts are paying off.

The Sampler
In one of my last posts I mentioned that I was going write and prepare pieces to submit to my school’s annual creative/art publication, The Sampler. Every year Aquinas College accepts what they view to be talented works of art and creative writing. I did submit! This is unusual for me since I tend to be the type of person who gets excited, says I’ll do it, but then doesn’t when the deadline comes… But I submitted two poems and a short piece of fiction. Accepted pieces should be announced before spring break (which is the second week of March for me.) I’ll keep ya posted!

National Novel Writing Month has begun!

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2013-Participant-Vertical-Banner

Yes, yes! It once again time for 1,667 words a day, lots of coffee, late nights, and for pushing off homework–I won’t do that this year, I won’t!

On top of the usual November busy-ness, I’ll also be trying to keep up on my YouTube channel! (Self-promotion RIGHT HERE! <– Click, go ahead! It’s a gaming channel!) And yes, trying to update on this here blog.

So far I only have 805 words, but I was up until midnight to write these words. I am proud of these words! I feel like I’m already off to a good start.

This year’s novel
is fantasy! It’s on a more medieval path though. Here’s my synopsis:

The Tragic Princess follows Ren, a young, tom-boy princess who is preparing to take the throne in place of her late royal father and mother. Before she holds the crown, however, an ugly rumor surfaces that her family does not actually descend from royalty and thus she is labeled a usurper and sentenced to execution. In her final moments she’s thankfully rescued by her mentor and he escorts her outside the castle where she escapes…and starts the journey to find the truth about her bloodline.

With that, I shall leave you with a NaNoWriMo music video! (Not made by me.) Please be sure to leave her a nice comment for creating such a fun and fantastic video!

“The NaNoWriMo Song – Updated” by: Kristina Horner

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!

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At the beginning of the month I was hardly excited about NaNo creeping up. Maybe it’s the fall air but my muse slapped me across the face and gave me a brand new plot bunny. 

Plot briefing
(From one of my own posts on the nano-forums. Copy/pasting was easier.)
I am tackling a fantasy/adventure novel with medieval themes this year. Color me somewhat inspired from having just finished A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. My main character is a princess who’s to take over the throne on her birthday, but, in an act of mutiny, she’s labeled a usurper and thus exiled. It will be a loaded story, but I know I have plenty of material for 50k!

This November
I’m crazy! School is a full load this semester and I’m going to attempt at regular YouTube channel updates; I should think I’m nuts-o for taking on National Novel Writing Month again. Well…I should think this,

but I’ve ready dusted off my seat in the 2013 winner’s circle. I will win–five years running.

What I look forward to:
Seeing my fellow Wrimos
Word wars
A BIggby coffee overdose
Stupid a** antics at write-ins
Mentoring and encouraging others
Fighting for my work space when a cat decides to occupy my lap or keyboard
Oh, yes, writing too

For now…
I am happily plotting out this story! 

Poetry: I’m starting to get it now

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It’s been at least ten years since I’ve written a poem. I used to love writing poetry! Then suddenly, I didn’t.

I began to hate it after high school. Understandably, who still loves all of the same things they did at 17 or 18 years old? Well, as a person with a burning passion for writing (cliché I know… sue me!) I always wondered why I just up and hated poetry. I couldn’t stand it anymore!

Writing vs. reading poetry (in my opinion)
When I was writing it, I wasn’t required to read it. Actually, I don’t recall indulging in reading other author’s poems. I only wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote.

When I was required to read it (college), I just loathed every minute. Uuuuggghhh, soooo boooooring, I always thought. I just don’t GET IT.

I’m starting to “get it” now
It’s said that poetry is a form of nonfiction writing since most (or all?) poets tap into themselves and their life to create their poetry. So I was reading a bit of someone else’s life, and maybe it didn’t match my own life so I just didn’t get it. I’m understanding that common reason why people say they’re just not into poetry. They don’t get it.

I’m not saying this is a bad or limited thing to think or say. I don’t get many things: WWE, fishing, and hunting are good examples of human interests that I just let soar on over my head without regret.

I used to love poetry so much because it was all me. When I included reading other poems into the mix, I got frustrated because I thought I was doing so well, but then there was all of this other poetry out there that just made my brain hurt with ignorance. Therefore, I wasn’t good at it anymore. So I stopped.

So far I’m just two brand new poems into my poetry workshop class and already so much of myself opening up! I’m excited to see what I can create and then apply it to my fiction.

I may just start to love (writing) poetry again.

The Sampler — Taking small steps towards publication

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With the new semester now underway, I’m feeling that nostalgic feeling of what fall brings: writing energy! Two of my classes this fall involve create writing–nonfiction and poetry. One of the final steps in my nonfiction class is that each student will be submitting a revised and polished piece of work for publication! I think I am the only one who’s not scared to near tears about this, haha. I saw the deer-in-headlights-look on my classmates faces. Now I actually feel more motivated to get my act together!

The Sampler
The Sampler is my college’s literary and art annual publication. Realistically, I should have been submitting something every year; alas, my nerves and inner-critic got the better of me. However, that’s not stopping me this year. The deadline is Feb. 8 and I am able to submit three pieces of work. I am planning on submitting…you got it!…three pieces of work!

http://www.aquinas.edu/english/lambda.html

Not only will this give me mental preparation (on a smaller scale) when I am ready for the search of an agent, this will force me to keep working in my field and gain better practices.

Whether or not anything I submit is published in The Sampler between now and when I graduate, this will still be a great experience for me! On the very positive side, if I am able to become published, this can only help me in the end!

🙂

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