Seven Quick Takes: Vlogs About Outlining

I love following vlogs about writing on YouTube. The writing community is just so amazing and supportive. So for today, check out these vlogs that talk about outlining. If you like what you see, subscribe to their channels.

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I mentioned Jenna Moreci before, but she’s seriously one of my favorites. Her vlogs are very honest, encouraging, and easy to understand. Jenna has two vlogs on outlining so far, so I’ll share the first video here:

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Katytastic’s 27 Chapter outline is another favorite of mine because it allows for a long story. It also allows for a consistent chapter length, which is good when writing a first draft. Not to mention all the plot points are basically spelled out. If you’re blocked as to what you think should happen, this outline will help you keep track of where you are in the story and guide you to whatever happens next for your character.

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Shaelin is an author of 8 novels and in the process of getting her Bachelor in Fine Arts. This video really speaks to pantsers because she says that she struggles with giving her plot structure. This particular plot structure is inspired by the “Save the Cat Beat Sheet,” but Shaelin explains those plot points with detail, in a way that’s easy to understand.

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Kristen Martin is someone who identifies as somewhere between a plotter and a pantser, or a “plotser,” as she calls it. If you want an outline that allows you to know the major events and keep things organize, but allows room to expand things, check out this video.

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You might know Brandon Sanderson if you’re a fan of the Mistborn series. He’s one of the most well-renowned fantasy and sci-fi writers. He has tons of videos on YouTube where he teaches writing to a class. Watching one of them is just as good as paying for a writing class. This is one of the many videos he has on outlining and story structure.

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Vivian Reis is a sci-fi writer who believes in plotting out a story. She’s self-published, so if you plan on publishing your novel yourself, check out her channel. This is one of the videos she has on outlining.

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Kim Chance is about to publish her first book, but she’s been vlogging about writing for a while. I love her channel because she’s very friendly and relatable. In this video, Kim explains different types of outlines. Here’s hoping you find the outline that works best for you!

 

Seven Quick Takes: Find The Fun Friday Edition

Amidst all the drama going on the current political sphere, I want to share some hope for humanity and also fill your news feed with some fun things that will make your October a lot more fun.

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Since October is the month of the Rosary, I want to take advantage of this time to promote Heart of Mary Women Fellowship’s Bible study on the Rosary. Each of the Mysteries comes with a free study journal. I’m also sharing a wonderful image from The Catholic Rose. I encourage everyone that no matter what your feelings are or who you plan on voting for this election, pray the Rosary for peace in this world. God knows we all need it. We may not get the results we expect when we pray, but prayer can help change us in ways we never expected.

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I had no idea that Who Wants to be a Millionaire is still going on, but I’m so glad it is because ChurchPOP shared this awesome article about a priest who competed on the show and walked away with $250,000 that will be donated to a Catholic elementary school!

It reminds me of when I was watching Sister Alicia Torres compete on Chopped. Catholic religious need to compete on shows more often.

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As someone who loves music, I highly respect Bob Dylan for his contributions to the industry. It’s no surprise to me, then, that he won the Nobel Prize for literature.  Bishop Robert Barron is a huge Bob Dylan fan. He did a podcast about Bob Dylan in August. I can’t wait to hear what Bishop Barron will say about Dylan winning the Nobel Prize. Dylan’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” is my personal favorite.

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In the mood for a good murder mystery? Wanna get into the Halloween spirit? Fan of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte, HG Wells, and Emily Dickinson? Check out Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, a  wonderful wacky murder mystery comedy that will keep you guessing! Warning: One episode includes a seance, but thankfully, there’s no overtly occult things going on here.

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If you want something more along the lines of high fantasy and/or if you’re a fan of Once Upon a Time or Grimm, check out the Rooster Teeth web series RWBY. The fourth season will premiere on October 22nd. If you haven’t watched the series yet, feel free to catch up on it here.

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Today is #NationalDessertDay according to Twitter. If you wanna treat yourself, check out this cool new brand of modern baking kits called Foodstirs, co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar (AKA Buffy) and Galit Laibow. It’s family friendly and they have awesome Halloween-themed treats that your kids are sure to love!

Photo courtesy of People Magazine and used for editorial purposes only.

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In case you or someone you know has food allergies like I do, Food Allergy Research and Education is launching the Teal Pumpkin Project. It promotes giving out non-food “treats” to trick-or-treaters who have food allergies. Ideas for fun non-candy treats include glow bracelets, stickers, Halloween-themed pencils or erasers, small toys. You can easily find stuff at a local dollar store or at a craft store.

As someone who has a ton of food allergies, I also recommend looking for candy or treats that are safe for any kid. It doesn’t hurt to ask the kid about his or her allergies as well. Bubblegum such as Dubble Bubble has always been safe for me as well as Charms Blow Pops and Dum-Dum lollipops. My favorite candy, however, is soft peppermint sticks.

Have a wonderful Halloween! Watch out for killer clowns and vampires!

7 Quick Takes: Pope Francis In Pictures

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Since I talked about Saint John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict yesterday, it’s only fair that I put Pope Francis in the limelight today.

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Aleteia shared this wonderful video from Pope Francis’s General Audience a few days ago. One can’t help but recall how Jesus went to visit the daughter of Jairus. I pray that this girl will receive great blessings and healing.

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Fellow Pope Francis fangirl Ana Plumlee shared me this article from the BBC about giving the priests from Missionaries of Mercy special license to forgive sins usually reserved to the Holy See. According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis said these priests will be “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”

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From The Catholic Rose:

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Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine!

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From Verily Magazine:

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From Catholic News Service:

POPE PLANE CUBA MEXICO

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EWTN shared that on the plane to Cuba, Pope Francis offered a special blessing to Mother Angelica.

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And in keeping up with the usual social media #FlashbackFriday tradition, check out The Catholic Apologist’s hilarious reaction to Pope Francis’s election:

Seven Quick Takes on The March For Life

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In case you haven’t heard, a serious winter storm advisory has been put out throughout the DC Metropolitan area. In spite of that, the March For Life is still going to happen. I know that I haven’t lived in the Mid-Atlantic for over a decade, but I hope that everyone who’s in the Washington DC area stays safe! So for my Seven Quick Takes, I want to look into the March For Life and the Pro-Life movement in general.

 

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Many people are cautioning people to think before travelling to the DC area. Deacon Greg Kandra and Joe Grabowski give their two cents on why it’s better to be safe than frozen and sorry. Granted, I only marched at a Pro-Life rally once. And it was during a time when it was seriously hot in Houston. While I applaud those who are going, I don’t want anyone getting hurt or injured in the name of the unborn.

That being said, for those who are already in the DC area, my prayers are going out to you. 

I expect to see a lot of this going around:

Or this:

brace yourselves

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So for those who aren’t going to DC or a March for Life in general, what the heck can we at home do? Marge Fenelon and other Catholics are promoting #FastFriday. Taking on an old Catholic tradition, be willing to fast in some way in solidarity with the unborn and those marching for life this weekend. If you have dietary issues like me, figure out a way to fast if you seriously feel like you can’t go one day without meat. You can fast from snacking or from sweets. Other things you can fast from today include, but aren’t limited to: texting, social media, Pinterest, television, gossiping, pornography, smoking, talking about politics, etc. For more ideas on what to fast on, check out this post! (It’s also a great thing to read if you want to get a head start on figuring out your Lenten resolution. Remember, y’all, Lent’s coming early this year!)

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If you want to know what kind of prayers you can pray for today in particular, Divine Office has a list of prayer intentions for all the mysteries of the Rosary. Have a bit of reluctance when it comes to praying the Rosary? Read up on 10 Ways You Can Pray The Rosary from my archives! Other prayers you can offer is the Angelus, usually prayed at noon, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, usually prayed at 3PM. I highly suggest praying throughout the day. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” This website lists off a lot of good short prayers, but remember, don’t rush through them. Pray with your heart as well as with your mind and lips.

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Being pro-life isn’t just a thing for old, Republican white men. LifeTeen has a funny guide on How to Be Bro-Life on Youtube targeted towards young men:

Fellow brothers in Christ, be more involved in the Pro-Life movement!

Same goes for teenagers and young adults: Check out the Prolife Youth website.

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Never overlook opportunities to evangelize. Check out this article from Aleteia which shows someone having a pro-life conversation with someone who is decisively pro-choice. The ending might surprise you.

Speaking of surprises, check out these videos from a pro-life feminist YouTube channel called Consistently Quirky. These ladies are not your typical pro-lifers–their crazy hair being the first indicator! There’s also an interview on Aleteia with the president of Feminists for Life.

So yes, there is such a thing as a pro-life feminist. We seriously need to redefine what feminism means. I hope being pro-life can be one step in changing that definition.

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Don’t forget to reach out to those who have suffered from the trauma of abortion. I’m not just talking about the abortion survivors like Claire Culwell. I’m talking about the women who had abortions and the families who suffered the aftermath of it. Lysa Terkurst recently opened up about her own abortion on her website. I also have a friend who has a blog dedicated to the siblings of aborted children called Surviving Sibling which I highly recommend you check out. Finally, if you or someone you know used to work in the abortion industry or is seriously considering leaving said industry, check out And Then There Were None. It’s a nonprofit founded by former abortion leader Abby Johnson.

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While I was gathering stories for this post, I saw that while #MarchForLife is trending, some pro-choice hashtags are also trending such as #Roe43 and #reclaimroe. If you’re not going to fast from social media today, make #whywemarch a trending hashtag. Post on Instagram and Facebook about why you’re pro-life. However, I would caution against using graphic abortion images. Read this article from Simca Fischer to find out why.

Seven Quick Takes Monday On This Weekend

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1) There was a slight delay on my Buffy Countdown due to me coming down with what could either be a sinus infection or the flu. Either way, I was resigned to my room since Friday. I couldn’t update my Buffy countdown until now was because the topic of the episode dealt with death. I’m approaching the death anniversary of a dear friend this week. Grief and loss are not something you want to think about when you’re sick. If all goes well, I’ll be writing more about dealing with grief and loss on the 24th.

2) I learned that you can make yourself sick. While I tend to get sick during the change of seasons, the last time I remember being this sick was when I was under a lot of stress. Before I got sick, I was trying to deal with the disappointment of not going to Dallas Comic Con. I might have some more disappointments in the future. But I can’t dwell on disappointments and let them get to me. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way that you plan and you just gotta learn how to cope with it.

3) The Rosary was a powerful medicine that helped me calm down when I was sweating at night. I started cooling down as I was meditating on each decade. Never underestimate the power of prayer. When I prayed the Rosary, I visualized myself inside the chapel I spent a lot of time in during my college years. I remember seeing Mary floating over the monstrance, smiling at me. It was a peaceful, wonderful experience.

4) One bright side to this weekend was that I got a lot of movies from the library before I got sick, which means I can watch movies all day. I also had Netflix and YouTube for when I was put on bedrest. One downside to being sick is that I seriously miss my friends. I can’t even talk to my online friends that often because I have to constantly sleep. Some of my friends are sick, too. It’s that time of year, I guess.

5) I watched the three-part “Girl Meets Texas” and feel like the drama bomb has finally hit the show. To my surprise, the last episode had a lot of quick scenes and didn’t exactly give the audience any answers as to what’s gonna happen with everyone. But then again, we’re not done with the season yet. I know that Tumblr is jumping really hard on the “Lucaya” ship. The two characters have amazing chemistry. But if there’s anything I learned from the Captain Swan ship of Once Upon a Time, a good OTP can’t just rely on chemistry alone. And no, I do not ship Captain Swan. I don’t really invest in any ships on Girl Meets World, either. I just want everyone to be happy.

6) I’m starting to hear about how people are asking Saints Louis and Zelie Martin to intercede in their dating life. I’m so happy that the Catholic Church canonized a married couple for the first time. And since I have such a devotion to St. Therese, I have no doubt that Sts. Louis and Zelie will start interceding in my life as well.

7) One practice a lot of single ladies like to do is pray for and write letters to their future husband. When I decided to pick up that practice again, I found myself wondering if such a person could exist. It’s bizzare, but I can more easily believe in the existence of God than in the existence of a human being that I haven’t met yet. And when I think of the person my future husband could be, my mind just went to the worst case scenarios. I’ve been hurt and disappointed in love so many times, it’s just hard for me to believe that there’s someone out there who can love me with all my complexities, fandoms, and obsessions. 

It’s times like this that I have to remind myself of a Bible verse that’s been on my tablet and hanging on my mirror: Jeremiah 29:11. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” God has already created my heart. And ultimately, my life is in His hands. Women may lament that “all the good ones are married” and I’ll admit, I have to wonder if I’m worthy of a husband. Then again, are any of us worthy of receiving grace? Of receiving God’s unconditional love? NOPE! Good spouses don’t come into our lives just because we want them or we feel like we deserve them. They come into our lives because God planned it that way.

As of right now, I believe that my future husband is out there. I also know that I’m not ready to meet him yet. If you feel like me, take this advice: spend this time preparing yourself. Take time to love yourself first. Your life won’t be instantly perfect when you get married. Check out this article from Verily Magazine if you don’t believe me.

Pray that I get well, y’all.