Wednesday, May 2, 2018

MOVED: Visit me at


For new content visit my new blog at:

Hi friends!

If you've been following me on social media then you probably already know that I've moved my blog. This has been a long time coming and I've been wanting to host it on my own domain so now I finally had time to do it so I'd appreciate it if you guys could update your bookmarks and follow me over there!

Hoping to revive the blog and bring you more awesome content! I hope you join me on this journey! If you do stop by over there, be sure to comment and say hi! I read each one! Thanks for reading and for sticking around with me during this phase of my life. I'll likely keep this blog up but will no longer be updating it.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Apr 2018 CampNanoWrimo Wk 4 - WritingProject: SSS #1 - Update #4

Secret Short Story #1

Want to follow my daily progress? Follow me at:
Twitter @ HE_Anev
Project Goal: To get a first draft this novel.

Stage of writing: First Draft

What inspired my current project: Spin off of a character of a WIP novel I've started and wanted to expand the story of that character for fun.

Last Update WC: 5,478
Week's Total WC: 5,343
Total Story WC: 20,259

Daily WC:
  1. 842
  2. 914
  3. 723
  4. 817
  5. 0
  6. 819
  7. 556
  8. 672
  9. 0
Thoughts of the Week

Total Words This Week: 5,343
Decided to list some of my thoughts I've had during the week to give you a little more insight on my progress and/or struggles.
  • When I knew I was ahead I started to slack more on the writing because I had the reassurance that I was ahead but once I was ahead I wanted to stay ahead. I was able to keep this up pretty well till the last week.
  • I forced myself to write when I wasn't in the mood and most times was able to hit my goals. The only times I had 0 words was because I wasn't inspired or was tired so I didn't even try. Lesson: Write anyways because some words are better than none. But I'm also in the camp where I don't like forcing myself to write every day or I'll get burnt out....
  • I ended up writing random scenes during the end of this week because I wasn't sure where the story was going because a plot point kind of derailed me. Also I didn't clearly plan the characters so I wrote and named them as I went.
  • Overall, still a fun story to write and will complete. It ended up being much longer than expected which is funny because I always thought I was an underwriter. I was supposed to write 2 short stories but I got 1 unfinished novella.
  • Still enjoyed writing the draft though. I know it will require a lot of editing and refinement but all stories do. :)
Other Updates:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Apr 2018 CampNanoWrimo Wk 3 - WritingProject: SSS #1 - Update #3

Secret Short Story #1

Want to follow my daily progress? Follow me at:
Twitter @ HE_Anev
Project Goal: To get a first draft this novel.

Stage of writing: First Draft

What inspired my current project: Spin off of a character of a WIP novel I've started and wanted to expand the story of that character for fun.

Last Update WC: 4,887
Week's Total WC: 5,478
Total Story WC: 14,916

Daily WC:
  1. 702
  2. 738
  3. 1,007
  4. 777
  5. 753
  6. 774
  7. 727


Thoughts of the Week

Total Words This Week: 5,478

Decided to list some of my thoughts I've had during the week to give you a little more insight on my progress and/or struggles.

  • Seems I'm able to write the amount of words I need (667) daily in about a half hour to 45 minutes depending on how motivated or inspired I am.
  • I can consistently write about 700 words a day, maybe even more but I don't want to push myself too much or I may get burned out. This seems like an acceptable daily word count but I may up it to 800 after the month if I can.
  • I'm realizing I'm using a bunch of filler words and gestures. I'm going to need to edit a lot.
  • The story isn't even nearly done, it will likely be a novella.
  • I thought I'd spend more time writing during my vacation this week but I ended working on other projects I've been wanting to do for months which is great because it will help support my writing. I still was able to go above the word goals but I wanted to finish it by then but I mostly spent it trying to recover and relax.
  • Part of the previous bullet, I'm planning to move blogs after I finish with Campnano. All my content will move to the new blog so please keep a look out! I'll be announcing it on my social media as well! I'm excited to share it with you guys!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Apr 2018 CampNanoWrimo Wk 2 - WritingProject: SSS #1 - Update #2

Secret Short Story #1

Want to follow my daily progress? Follow me at:
Twitter @ HE_Anev
Project Goal: To get a first draft this novel.

Stage of writing: First Draft

What inspired my current project: Spin off of a character of a WIP novel I've started and wanted to expand the story of that character for fun.

Last Update WC: 4,551
Week's Total WC: 4,887
Total Story WC: 9,438

Daily WC:

  1. 713
  2. 771
  3. 802
  4. 712
  5. 809
  6. 0
  7. 744


Thoughts of the Week

Total Words This Week: 4,887

Decided to list some of my thoughts I've had during the week to give you a little more insight on my progress and/or struggles.

  • Dictating is still easier than typing everything out, even when I have to make corrections.
  • Unfortunately when I'm so focused on writing, I don't always realize that the dictation of the words didn't come out right so I didn't fix it. Still don't have the time to correct it all since I'm typically writing right before bed. This will be fun to clean up during revisions/edits. / end sarcasm
  • Missed a day because I spent the afternoon on Friday to hang out with a friend. It was fun and I needed it but fortunately I was able to get ahead enough that it didn't even make a dent to my word goal. Unfortunately, that also means I no longer have a buffer. lol
  • As always, I write best when I can visualize what's going on before I write or dictate the scene.
  • This story will no longer be a short story but likely a novelette or maybe even a novella.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Apr 2018 CampNanoWrimo Wk 1 - WritingProject: SSS #1 - Update #1

Secret Short Story #1

Want to follow my daily progress? Follow me at:
Twitter @ HE_Anev
Project Goal: To get a first draft this novel.

Stage of writing: First Draft

What inspired my current project: Spin off of a character of a WIP novel I've started and wanted to expand the story of that character for fun.

Last Update WC: 0
Week's Total WC: 4,887
Total Story WC: 4,887

Daily WC:
  1. 193
  2. 1,148
  3. 670
  4. 714
  5. 636
  6. 729
  7. 797


Thoughts of the Week

Total Words This Week: 4,887

Decided to list some of my thoughts I've had during the week to give you a little more insight on my progress and/or struggles.

  • Dictating using Google Document Voice typing is super convenient but the recognition is not bad but not great for story telling. I think it'd be good for basic things like lists but for story telling or complex words it's a little frustrating and I have to delete words that were interpreted wrong. 
  • It's a bit annoying when it automatically capitalizes some words and it doesn't have a verbal command for using quotation marks so I have to type it in manually.
  • I apparently mumble or slur my words so I need to slow down for the words to recognize but it does make it easier than typing everything. This also helps with my articulation and pronunciation since I don't really like to talk much. It doesn't always recognize the words I say accurately and I don't really have time to revise the day I write it so some words are off.
  • I had been a bit worried about the story since I had a rough outline but didn't know a lot of the details but so far it's been working out. Adding characters as I go has been fun.
  • The story may be longer than a short story, I've just started the story and already at half the word count a short story should be so it might be a novelette.

Friday, March 30, 2018

WIP Progress + April 2018 CampNanoWriMo

(I'm so excited to win a copy of Sightwitch by Susan Dennard during a Clan Chat! That cover is dazzling and the book is signed! Plus everyone can always use a tote bag, I'll be using this for shopping. ^_~)

I know! An update post on my writing has been long overdue. Apologies!

I've been slowly making progress on revisions for my latest WIP, I've decided I'm changing the name of the novel but the title is still to be determined. The story has changed and grown more than I expected since I started it. It's funny, I thought this story would be quick and easy to write but several years later....nope. To be fair, I was busy doing other things and living my life but now that I had time away I am able to be more objective in my revisions but I struggle with identifying how to make it better.

Friday, March 16, 2018

DIY: Eyeshadow to Watercolor Paint Experiment

All right guys, if you know me then you know I like to be frugal. If you've been following me on social media then you know I've been playing around with watercolors which can be pretty expensive if you go for the artist quality which you should totally do. It's worth it. But why don't I use it here? Well my friend, read on.

Ok, the main reason I picked this up at my local dollar store is that I wanted a compact and affordable travel watercolor palette. I've seen loads of people get clever and use Altoid tins and old make up palettes as their travel kits. I thought I'd try it. Whenever I use this up I'll replace it with my artist quality watercolors.

Let me start with the disclaimers.

What this DIY eyeshadow to watercolor paint IS NOT:
  • Quality paint (I do not know the lightfastness quality of these pigments but expect it to be next to nil as this is eye shadow and not meant to last forever. But it's fun if you enjoy a little extra something in your art journals.)
  • Expert opinion (I've not mixed pigments before and have little knowledge other than what I've researched online)
  • Your results may vary depending on the type of eye shadow you use because each brand  makes it differently
Materials I used:
  • Eye shadow palette
  • Water
  • Honey (or an alternative binder like gum arabic)
  • Plastic knife
  • Synthetic brush
  • Ceramic plate
I don't enjoy wearing make up so I knew going in that I'd never use these eye shadows even though I love the colors. I also didn't want the powders to go to waste and decided to give this experiment a try.

It was really easy to take a plastic knife and pop out the eye shadows. You can see how powdery they were when I scraped them out.

Here I started to play around with proportions and the best way to mix the pigments. This is part of the fun. It seemed easier to mix the honey first then slowly add water until it becomes like a paint-like texture.

I used honey because it was on hand and seemed like a good idea because there are a few artist quality watercolors who use honey as a binding agent. I could probably use other items to make the pigments stay better but since it was just an experiment so I wanted to keep the ingredients minimal.

Now my proportions might be different from yours depending on the amount of pigments but I ended up using about two dime-sized drops of honey then mixed it with the synthetic brush and then slowly added drops of water till it ended up the consistency I wanted. It might be better to add as little water as possible or it'll get watery like the jade green (at the top of the picture) in the picture below. I'd say about 2 parts of honey for 1 part of water.

It took a few hours to do this, mostly because I had no idea what I needed, what I was doing and the proportions to put it. It got easier and I was doing this while watching some TV shows. 

Below you can see how the paints looked when I put them back in the palette.

Now I didn't take any photos of the paints in use but I can say it works for the most part.


  • I can say that the paint does work and lay down on the paper BUT once they dry they become powdery again. (It's a bit reminiscent of using pastels when blending. They do lay on the paper a bit streaky but it's easily fixed by blending with a finger. I don't think you can lay more layers on top of these so probably use this as a last step in your art work.) 
  • The eye shadow may rub on the other side of the paper because of the above. These would be fun to use in an art journal or just for fun. You could probably use a fixative if you wanted the powders to stay put afterwards.
  • Colors may shift and the eye shadows aren't as pearlescent on paper as they can be on skin and I suspect it's because of the honey.
One last thing, you could probably spray paint the palette white before you put the paint back in if you want a white mixing well. It doesn't bother me yet but I can fix that once I'm done with these paints and it's warmer outside.

That's all I've got for you today! Let me know what you think! Have you tried doing this before? Was yours more successful? I'd love to hear how you do it! I have other palettes I need to do this to. I'd love any insight on improvements!

Till next time friends!


Friday, March 2, 2018

Review: Ecosystem Journal

Yay! Another notebook review! 

I'm actually still using this notebook as a catch all but I have realized that it's been so long I think this company is out of business....ALTHOUGH you can find some on Amazon at the moment but some are sold out. I thought it was worth it to still do a mini review for those of you who like to be more eco-friendly with their supplies.

First off, I won this notebook as a giveaway from Diane at the PocketBlonde blog and had been wanting to try this type of notebook since I first heard of it.

Ecosystem claims their notebooks are:
  • Made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • 100% made in the USA
  • 100% Acid Free
  • 100% Chlorine Free
  • 100% Soy Inks
  • 100% Water-based dyes and adhesives

Seems good! I can't really say that I can tell there are differences in the paper quality but it did hold up to my fountain pen inks fairly well as long as it wasn't a super wet ink. I loved the spacing of the lines, perfect for the size I write but those with larger handwriting may find it cramped.

There were 3 types of printed pages: Lined, Grid (I think, their website is no longer up to compare), and Blank.

The notebook was shrink wrapped but I got excited and opened it before snapping a photo. This is the way the notebook is packaged with the small wrap around band over the notebook.

There is a rough cotton bookmark included but I think it's a bit thick and rough for those who may be sensitive to texture. Overall it was ok with me but I did not like running it through my fingers when moving it through the pages. Definitely prefer a smoother option like satin but cotton would be more eco-friendly.

The elastic outside is similar to the bookmark. Rough texture but thicker than the bookmark. Now I didn't really end up using this feature much. I do have a problem that within a few days of using the closure elastic it just popped out the back of the notebook! I tried to feed it back in the hole and used some Elmer's glue and it did work for awhile but then it came right back out! I had to use duct tape to keep it from popping out again but then I decided to not use the elastic as I ended up putting it in my traveler's notebook instead. I haven't had any issues with pages falling out with the adhesives which is good.

I suspect that it may have had to do with the water based adhesive and maybe it was the humidity that made it not stick but I am not certain. Just something to be aware of with this notebook.

There is a back pocket which I haven't really used other than to store the notebook band information and maybe a note or two.

There is this feature I like but it's no longer available. You can register your notebook online and find out the origins of the notebook, I think it's neat to know where it came from. Plus, if it gets lost, a person can look up the owner of the notebook with that bar code at the bottom. I never actually used this feature either but I liked the idea behind it.

Overall, I like the notebook and how the paper handles my fountain pen ink. The build was questionable with their water based adhesives but otherwise I was pleased using this notebook. I am a bit sad to see the company has gone out of business. Although the prices of the notebooks were a tad pricey for me, a medium sized notebook (approx 5x8 inches) cost $14.95, I was able to buy a few more notebooks before the company completely disappeared. There are still a few up if you're interested.

If you're looking to be more eco-friendly, this notebook is something you might want to look for while they have supplies. I haven't really seen any other notebooks like this in the market so it'd be good to pick up if this is the type of thing you're interested in!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Finished Journal + Life Update + Sketches

Just finished my latest journal! I'm so excited! I love starting new notebooks but I wasn't really in love with this one, it's by Markings from Staples but it only cost $5 but I still made every dollar count! This one took me almost 4 years to complete, since March of 2014. I used to have time to journal near daily but that slid off about when I got my previous job. I had been journaling off and on last year but I'm determined to journal at least weekly when I can. It's been fun to see my progress and journey in those 4 years. 

If you haven't considered writing in a journal, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do. You don't have to write personal stuff in there if you don't want to but I find that when I write uncensored I feel tons better. It's therapeutic and helps me sleep better at night without those constant thoughts running through my head. I'm the type of person who roles around in bed for an hour before falling asleep so it helps me unwind.

Here you can see the filled pages. Since I had gone on a few trips, I gathered some paraphernalia from the trips and decided to put it in the pages. Probably not the best idea because they weren't really put in order in the pages that I journaled about the trips. Also because the pages are so full the magnetic enclosure no longer closes the book which kind of bothers me but I don't want to cut the enclosure off but for the future I may keep separate journals for trips. The random papers and receipts were sitting on my desk and I finally decided I needed to put them somewhere. haha

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Internal struggles and Grace

Hey guys, decided to do a little real talk today. I've been feeling sick the last few weeks and I believe part of it is mental exhaustion and stress. Don't get me wrong, part of it is physical too as I've also had to take time off because I've been feeling feverish, achy, and have headaches which are rare for me. I literally took some night medicine and slept 15 hours, almost all the way through because I was so exhausted. The funny thing is that I ended up staying up 15 hours after I woke up because I had rested so much.

I think I have the flu or something like that. I was feverish and had chills off and on during the week, I just thought it was the fluctuating temperatures where I'm at where it's been jumping between below freezing temperatures to 40 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the span of a few days. I know the flu has been going around all over the USA lately so it's possible I got some version of it but I feel like it has held me down. The flu and my negative mindset.

Anyways, what I'm saying is to remember to give yourself grace.

I know I've been giving myself a hard time with the new job because I wanted to show that I am a hard worker, am capable, and do my best. But that's all I need to do, do my best. If I'm constantly stressing myself out while I'm away from work, I don't give myself time to relax and enjoy my life. All this builds up into an explosion of stress and anxiety that I felt this past weekend.

Now I don't believe this is the first time this has happened for me but this is the first time I've been actively aware of it. I'm generally an easy going person so minor worries don't typically bother me but as I've grown older, I realized that this anxiety has gotten worse. Part of it is the impostor syndrome and comparing myself to others my age but I constantly need to remind myself that I'm doing the best I can and am doing what makes me happy.

Most people my age are further in their careers or have families. I'm not at that stage, not that I don't welcome it if it's the right time. It's just that my life is different and I know that there are things that they envy about my current life style. I have little responsibilities and I'm doing fine in my current role so far. Not that my friend's aren't doing well or what they wanted to do, but they have families to take care of now so it makes it harder for them to chase their dreams or to connect with them. But I'm struggling because I don't know if what I'm doing is right for me but I'm also afraid to chase after my dreams. I mean I am chasing my dreams but not full throttle like some people are and I admire them for going after their dreams.

I want to write my novels, create art, and travel the world.

These have been goals I've had for years. I've felt guilty for not being further along, for not working harder towards those goals when I wasn't working full time. Now I am working on those goals a little at a time while working a day job because I want the financial stability. I write or edit a little at a time during lunch or after work, I sketch when I can too, I'm making plans to go travel. Although those goals haven't been achieved quite yet, I'm making little steps to reach them. That's more than what I've done in previous years.

Everyone is different, everyone's situation is different. Only you can decide what you can do or are capable of but do remember to be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself if you couldn't write that day because you weren't feeling well and decided to binge watch a TV show (I totally did that this past weekend). The writing will always be there waiting for you. Know that you're doing the best you can right now and as long as you're moving, even if it's slowly, you're doing the right thing to achieve your goals.

Stay strong, give yourself grace, and chase after your dreams! Whether full throttle or a little at a time. As long as you're chasing them with the right mindset!