it’s my party

Hey lovely people. Today is my birthday, and seeing how I mostly write about writing and books, I thought I’d take the time (as I did last year) to say hello and share a few things about myself.

After all, if one cannot talk about oneself on her birthday, then few things make sense. Right? Right.

17631997_10158544421455397_7634020482675049738_o1. At this
point, I have no idea what my natural hair color is. It’s somewhere between brunette and dark blond… at least I’d like to think it is.

2. Last year I  shared that I thought about writing picture books based off of things my oldest says, but I didn’t think I was cut out for it. Since then, I’ve written four based on my kiddos and have to admit I’m in love with writing them these days.

3. For the past few months I couldn’t tell you how many batches of different kinds of muffins I’ve made.

4. I am 32 weeks pregnant with my third boy. Yep. Third BOY. And  I am SO excited (and ready to be done).

5. I am the middle of three girls.

6. For the first time, I’ve shelved a true WIP. I was a good half of the way into writing a book and after two years of trying had to shelf it. As soon as I made that decision, I got a new idea and it is occupying my mind most of the time these days.

7. I have given in to living in Arizona. As my husband and I bought a house for our family here, I really have no choice.

8. My husband and I have been together (if you want to do it from dating-time) for ten years.

9. Initially I committed myself to one genre of writing, and have realized that I don’t need to do that. Writers gonna write what they NEED to write– and sometimes that’s all over the place!

10. We had our first 100 degree day on Sunday. It was depressing.

11. Just realized some of these aren’t really about myself.

12. My favorite color is YELLOW. It has been since I was at least three (just ask my parents). It’s the happiest of colors to me. Not a Taxi yellow, but a daisy/sunflower/pastel yellow.

13. We painted the guest room in our new house yellow, and I have dreams of making part of it my office at some point.

14. In about two weeks we have family visiting: my parents, in-laws, and sister-in-law as well. They are ALL staying with us.

15. I am an absolute control freak. I have my good days and bad days, but my husband likes to tell me to “do the Elsa” and let things go. Sometimes it works. Lots of times it doesn’t.

16. My favorite dinner is honestly what my husband is called our “European night.” Basically we get a bunch of gourmet meats, cheeses, a loaf of bread, some fruit, and (when I’m not pregnant) wine and we veg out with a movie or one of our favorite shows.

17. My favorite flowers are sunflowers and hibiscus. I intend to have them both in our new backyard eventually.

18. I love talking writing and strategy with other writers, but at the same time struggle. I recently became a planner, though I’ve always been a pantser.

19. Even though we have two boys and one on the way, as well as a doggie “baby” named Luna– I really miss having a cat.

20. I dream of having an Alice in Wonderland themed tea-party for a birthday party. Still. Someday.

21. I’m pretty awful at keeping up with housework when I have a good book idea brewing.

22. It’s a toss-up between coffee and tea for me during the day, but coffee is the only thing for me when I first get up.

23. I’m a genuine morning person and Monday-lover. Did I just lose you as a follower?

24. Keeping fresh flowers in the house really help brighten my days.

25. My favorite book I’ve read so far this year is a tie between The Hate U Give and All The Missing Girls. Nonfiction it has definitely been Present over Perfect.

26. I go back and forth between still thinking I’m 25 and just telling people I’m almost 30.

27. I’m genuinely okay with being in my late 20s.

28. Still attempting to make a splash with #Writerslifeapparel and loving it.

Everything Everything book review

IMG_6288EVERYTHING EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon was a book I kept seeing around Instagram, and honestly picked up once I saw the trailer for the movie (don’t hate). While I love YA, I’m not always a huge YA Contemporary person. I have had my moments with John Green and other authors and loved them, but overall I will admit I tend to stick with Historical Fiction the most.

However, one must always branch out. And I’ve made it a goal to do that more and more this year.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I loved the creativity that went into this book. All of Madeline’s drawings, diagrams, lists, etc– it adds so much to the book. I love books in any genre that take everything one step farther, and I really think this book did that.

The only negative thing I thought during my time with this book was how realistic some of it was. Of course that’s the fun of fiction, but books like these you have to wonder and question certain aspects of it all. Not saying things/situations aren’t possible, just saying I couldn’t decide how believable it was to me- even in moments I was immersed in the story.

No spoilers, but there was a twist that I was not expecting. And my goodness how it made my heart throb/break/beat. See what I did there? Now you hopefully don’t know what kind of twist it is!

I would suggest reading this before the movie (May 19) if possible. You won’t regret it!

own the word: you are an author

imageI used to say I was “just a writer.” That I “just write.”

Whenever someone would call me an author, I would humbly respond, “I’m just a writer. I haven’t been published.”

Somewhere in my mind was this idea that I wasn’t a true author until my book was published. Not until I could see it on Amazon or a shelf at Barnes and Noble. Only then would I be a real author.

Not before. Not now.

Right now, I just write and dream of being an author. I’m an aspiring author.

But what does aspiring mean?

aspire

to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value.

Do I long, aim or seek to be an author?

author

person who writes a novel, poem, or essay; the composer of a literary work….

Well, according to those definitions–no. I don’t aspire to be an author.

I AM an author.

If you ask if I’m a person who longs, aims, and seeks to write a novel, poem, or essay, that’s wrong.

I’ve already done that.

I’ve already written a novel. I’ve written two, actually, and I’m working on a third. I’ve already developed the words and sentences and chapters and characters and everything that goes into the literary work.

So, I am not “just a writer.”

(In fact, according to the dictionary, there isn’t a difference. A writer is an author. They can be simultaneous. If someone is in the business of writing books, he or she is an author.)

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been published. It doesn’t matter if you’re only halfway, or a third, or a fourth of the way through a piece of work.

YOU are an author.
You have come up with a beautiful, new idea. You are writing that idea. You are slaving away over every word choice, every twist and turn. You are getting to know your characters and bringing them to life. You are breathing the story in and out so others can one day do the same.

You ARE an author.
If you have queried a book that has been rejected countless times or you got an agent on your first try, you are an author. If you have gone on rounds and rounds of submissions, only to have to turn to another project, you are an author. If you have self-published and gone through the hard work of promoting your own story, you are an author.

You are an AUTHOR.
You have created a story, a life, a world out of nothing but words and your imagination. You have stayed up countless nights, lived off of coffee alone, and missed opportunities to make a deadline. You have sacrificed favorite characters or storylines for the sake of your art and stuck to your guns when you weren’t willing to sacrifice your hard work.

When you say you’re an aspiring author or you’re just a writer, you are saying that you are TRYING to be something, or you are MERELY something.

Don’t belittle yourself. Enough people are going to try to do that for you as time progresses.

YOU ARE AN AUTHOR.
Own it. Be it. Write it.

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Get your “own the word” tee in pink, blue, yellow, or purple ombre. Available in various styles and colors!

This post was originally posted on Stark Contrast Editing‘s blog and has also been featured on Golden Wheat Literary‘s blog.

 

Originally posted May 2016. 

Dream Eater book review

IMG_5575Happy book birthday to K. Bird Lincoln’s Dream Eater! I did a cover reveal for this book a few months ago, hosted a post from the very author, and now I finally get to share my review with y’all!

Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams.

Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact–a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee–transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Altzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.

I read through this book pretty quickly when I received it. I was very excited about the Japanese folklore inside, as I have little to no knowledge of it and was eager to learn and explore alongside the characters. Koi quickly drew me in with her hermit-like tendencies and desire to not touch anyone. It was easy to get sucked into what was going on, fast.

Kept entertained through the book, I only had trouble following sometimes as it was hard to figure out what was going on with Koi and the dream fragments from time to time. Once more, I also really wanted more character development from her sister, her father, and even Koi herself. Thankfully I know this is the first in a series, so I’m hoping more comes to life through more books!

My favorite part of this book was the descriptiveness. It was so easy to see Koi, the other characters, and the surroundings.

As Koi drew closer to accepting who she was and interacting more with those around her, it grew harder and harder for me to put the book down. Needless to say, I will definitely be looking forward to the rest of the series!