Saturday, December 24, 2016


okay yes sorry to freak you out if you haven't finished but TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS GUYS OKAY EEKK. isn't it insane? like Christmas just crept up on me.
November: psh Christmas is a whole month away
Me: *agrees but Christmas shops anyways*
Christmas: HEEEYYY.
Christmas: lol nope. sorry.

(okay yes but I legit can't wait for my little bro to open his gift) oh, and all the gag gifts Julia and I have been making for our dad and grandpa lol

*hopes my dad doesn't get on here shhh*
I don't think i'd call this a gag gift but ISN'T IT THE COOLEST. my dad has always been a hand sanitizer guy so when Julia found this we were like YAASSS ^^ yep I made it credit to pinterest for the idea. and yes I'm made my grandpa edible coal.

can you imagine, God gave His only Son for us. Jesus died for you and me - He saved us - and He's coming back for us. it's so amazing and just...mind boggling.
for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. - luke 2:11


mom: *tosses kit kat at me* *kit kat hits me in face* "whoops"
me: "thaannkss"

have you ever done any prank gifts?
do you feel like Christmas came rly fast this year?

how to print your own book for $10 || using lulu and canva

Monday, December 12, 2016

Have you ever wanted a copy of your own book just for your own? To hold in your hands? (and maybe throw against the wall sometimes. shhhh) well, here you go. You can have your dream for only $10 - no joke.

well guys - here I am to bring you an in depth tutorial on how to publish your book with lulu. (including how to make cover with Canva, and actually being able to use it). I discovered that it wouldn't allow Canva images - but, well, I figured a way out of that. Want to see?

I spent 12 hours figuring this out for Julia's book so yeah, this may be long. but I'm here to save you time and headaches k? don't be daunted by my 12 hours on this - I made this test one WHILE doing this post and it literally took no time. I wish I had had this post for myself! well, here we go!

UPDATE: see the results here!

// STEP 1. first thing off is to choose the size of your book - then go ahead and download the word document sizing they give you and go format your book. It may sound daunting - but if you use the lulu formatting they give you it rly isn't that hard. Or, if you dare like I did, go free and format it yourself. (I won't be going too in depth with this bc it rly wasn't hard to figure out - comment below if you are having some issues and I'll see what I can do to help though!) oh, and in my case I chose the Premium Paperback 6x9

// STEP 2. now that you've formatted your book go ahead and write how many pages you have in the area selected on the lulu website. (I have 260 in this example). Choose if you want cream, or white paper. Select 'Make this book'

// STEP 3. go ahead and title your book and add your name. (feel free to use a pen name, or middle name).

// STEP 4. make sure to select this handy dandy little thing, k? This means ONLY YOU will have access to your book.

// STEP 5. go ahead and uploaded your formatted document. I uploaded mine as a Word Document btw.

// STEP 6. k it's uploaded? good. Now click 'Make Print-Ready File' go ahead and wait for that to load.

// STEP 7. pretty self explanatory. download, save and continue. From there, go to the 'advanced one piece cover wizard' 

// STEP 8. pay careful attention here. the dimensions here will not be the same as yours okay. DO NOT USE MINE. Use what is on your screen. Super important. Your dimensions will be where I highlighted it. okay? Use those. 

// STEP 9. we've done everything we can on the lulu website for now. SO, we are onto the cover. head on over to Canva  I promise. You won't be disappointed. Just, dont lose your head, k? Stay focused. Get over there and select 'use custom dimensions' in the right hand corner. Enter your info. (Mine is 3851x2775)

 // STEP 10. upload your image and design your cover (remember, if you are using a pinterest image as I am IT CANNOT BE USED FOR SELLING - only personal use, k? Keep in mind that a pinterest image could come out blurry - it's a chance to take.) If you are going to have a spine with font on it, you are going to have to get the measurements by subtracting where the spine begins from your total width with those same dimensions. when you are designing your cover be sure to leave space around the whole perimeter bc they cut stuff off. (btw i barely played with this cover - just did the basics for you all). 

// STEP 11. Okay so save this as ' PDF - print' 'kay? then download your image. Saving this as a PDF blows it up SUPER LARGE meaning, you can't just open it up and load it onto lulu like this. So I had to find another way. 

// STEP 12. To do this you are going to have to download a photo editing website called Gimp (you can do this temporarily and take it off your computer after). Don't worry, it's safe and free. You can go here to download it. It should take no time to download it. ^^ download it directly. 

// STEP 13. open up Gimp and upload your cover. See what I circled up there? Okay, put in your covers size. (mine is 3851x2775) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT OKAY. so change that and select 'Import.' Don't worry if it changes your dimensions slightly like mine is now (3851x2774). 

// STEP 14. okay very important here. See that up there? it says 'Flatten Image' Select that. 

// STEP 15. okay now you have to export it. Select that and a window will pop up. 

// STEP 16.  Scroll until you find what I have highlighted above. It needs to be saved as a JPEG image, k? now, wait. don't select Export yet.

// STEP 17. this is major right here k. It WILL NOT WORK if you don't do this. see how it says 'examplebook title.pdf' up there? Okay, well what it needs to say is, 'examplebook title.jpeg' to get that, you just type it in yourself. okay? (aka take out the pdf and add jpeg to the end) Do this. Now you can click the export button down there and save it.

// STEP 18. Go onto the lulu website where you left it and upload your cover. It should work perfectly. (I've been doing this as I go along and it works for me.) Select save and continue.

// STEP 19. go ahead and download then save it. 

// STEP 20. EEEPPP. LOOK YOU'VE GOTTEN THIS FAR. okay now. *clear throat* Select 'save and finish' okay so it says your book is now published 'order a proof copy' it may look like anyone could buy it. DON'T FREAK. it's just for you only. Don't worry. 

well, what are you waiting for? GO ORDER YOUR BOOK. also, don't forget about coupon codes. I got a special deal and was able to get a free book so Julia got the two copies like she wanted. I think it's a one time deal thing bc I had an unfinished book in my account. Go ahead and google "lulu coupon codes" and try a bunch to see if they work. I got two copies of Julia's book for $11 including shipping. Shipping is around $4 for one book and it was $5 bc we bought two. 

I spent hours trying to figure this out and I googled tutorials but found barely any. I love Canva so I'm glad I was able to figure out how to use it for my cover. I hope this helps someone out there!

p.s. I just wanted to say thanks to my amazing writing group for helping me out with this. Dealing with my constant groans as stuff wouldn't work, and, a special thx to Chloe for suggesting to "flatten" the image again.

p.p.s. I ordered the books yesterday - when I get them we'll definitely be showing you all the results. :D

would you try printing out your book?
if so, would you use my tutorial?

not your normal nano post || the truth - 50k rly doesn't matter

Saturday, December 3, 2016

nanowrimo yep we all know it. the 50k in a month along with insaneness, lots of cabin wars and headaches. yep, yep.

a few months ago, my friend asked me if I was doing nano.
me: "I dunno...I don't think I'll have time to finish this novel and come up with an idea for a new one. and like, 50k amidst crazy busy life. umm."

I literally thought I'd be passing up on nano this year. I did. I don't actually remember how it happened but I decided I'd use nano to finish up my book. ya know, maybe 30k more until this thing is done? ha. sure.

I was scrolling through my hangouts a week before nano -- having not done like any plotting to finish up this book. Someone in my writing group had send this link for a 5k in one day thing.
me: *clicks*
...wait. I'm in--wait what I just sign myself up for um

so I then proceeded to drag the Ju in and as you know, on November 1st I wrote 11k. INSANE OKAY. *still hasn't fully comprehended that* so moving on *presses fastforward* *skips 28 nano crazy days*

I was glancing through my calendar at the end of last month. For 15 legit days of the month I hadn't written--it shocked me. I mean, I know I had been busy. But could I have done better? could I have pushed myself to reach 50k? My book isn't finished--maybe I could have done it.

but that isn't the point--is it? I mean, yeah--it is. To write 50k in the month. but it's also just to get words written. and, I did that. My novel is 82k now.

yeah, I did feel like maybe I could have done better when I watched my writing group reach 50k like dominoes. I looked at all those empty wordless days.

this is wayyyy to accurate ^^
But if I showed you my calendar all you'd see is days filled (like literally there is no more space on those squares). It was busy. I mean, just look at my monthly post for november. like, nuttsss.

I've come to the conclusion that all those 30,000 words I wrote this month--well, I probably wouldn't have written them otherwise. I did write them and that's a fact. Throughout this crazy month I legit wrote 30k--no, it's not the normal 50k but I don't care. I did it--I reached my own personal goal and accomplished what I set out to do.

yes, my book still has prob 20k more until it's over. Yes, maybe I could have stuffed it in November. but rly,

that just wasn't what I wanted--I didn't want a "stuffed" ending. I did what I set out to do and, well, I wasn't going to write this post...but when I thought about it--I know there are prob some of you out there who didn't finish nano but maybe you did get some words written and you know what,

YOU DID IT OKAY. I don't care that you didn't reach 50k YOU WROTE. YOU ROCKED IT. don't ever feel that you aren't good enough, or you can't do it. bc you can.

and to all you nano winners out there YOU ROCKED IT TOO. we all did. Maybe next year I'll go for 50k--guess we'll see, right?

did you write at all this month?
do you ever feel that maybe you could have done better?

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