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I’m passionate about literature for young people. I love books that portray diverse experiences and cultures. I’ll be sharing my novel writing process, news from the publishing industry, books and authors, and other posts.
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1. Octavia’s Writing Advice

I was first introduced to Octavia Butler when I was in a book club and we read Kindred. I had just started on my writing journey and I devoured the book. Then I got my hands on everything I could find that this author had wrote and officially fell in love with all of her words.

My ultimate experience was when Octavia Butler came to Spelman College here in Atlanta for a talk and I got her to sign my book.

Kindred

I’m currently reading Conversations with Octavia Butler, which is a collection of interviews curated by Conseula Francis. I’ve been reading this volume very slowly, savoring Octavia’s words and letting them marinate.

This past weekend, I read an interview that originally appeared in Callaloo magazine in 1997. She talks about talent and how would-be writers always struggle if they have it. She also has an essay about this same subject, “Furor Scribendi” from her collection Bloodchild: And Other Stories.

I wanted to share this particular passage — because it speaks so much to the truth of the writing craft:

Writing is very personal and it does hurt sometimes to be told that something is wrong with some work you really love and feel is perfect. Your writing is an expression of your inner feelings and thoughts and beliefs and self. One of the reasons it is difficult to learn to write professionally is that that kind of thing is so painful; rejection is so painful. It sounds as though you are personally being rejected, and in a sense you are — no matter how much somebody tells you not to worry, “It’s not you; it’s just the work.” But the work is you; so it hurts. You need to go through that, and you never really stop going through that, even though you’ve learned to write professionally; you go on learning. If you don’t go on learning, then your writing becomes stale, and you do the same thing over and over again.

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2. Favorite TED Talks

I’ve been a fan of the TED Talks since the inception and one day I need to go see one of these talks in person.

TEDTalks

I love how you can always learn new things and discover new ideas so I wanted to share a few of my favorites:

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Isabel Allende: How to Live Passionately — No Matter Your Age

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Maya Penn: Meet a Young Entrepreneur, Cartoonist, Designer, Activist

If you love TED talks, you might also like the TED Radio Hour podcast, which takes a collection of similar TED Talks to create a theme and then digs deeper into the idea.

Do you have any favorite TED talks? If you do, please share! I’m always on the lookout for more.

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3. Non-Fiction TBR List

As most of you know, I love me some books and I’ve been reading a lot of them lately. Mostly fiction but I also read a lot of non-fiction as well.

I have a number of non-fiction books on my To-Be-Read (TBR) list and I thought I would share some of them with you:

nonfic1_small

Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

nonfic2_small

The Dancing Mind by Toni Morrison
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

2 Comments on Non-Fiction TBR List, last added: 8/22/2015
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4. Writing Inspiration (Twitter Version)

As ya’ll already know, I love collecting quotes — from books, movies, people — I also love when I find inspirational quotes related to specifically to writing.

I’ve already collected some of my favorite inspirational writing quotes that I posted on the blog previously but now I want to share some of my Twitter favorites.

2 Comments on Writing Inspiration (Twitter Version), last added: 8/12/2015
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5. Novel Wisdom (28)

This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.

Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. Technically summer is over here in Atlanta — school started this week! I’ve been reading so many books from my public library — they have the BEST selection. So much book goodness.

I’ve had this book on my To-Be-Read (TBR) list for awhile and found it during one of my library browses. Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors. He is best known for the Chaos Walking trilogy. This genre of this book is hard to define — kind of a mix of sci-fi and horror — but it is a craft study on writing suspense and keeping the reader turning the pages.

It also has a lot to say about life and how it’s more than just one experience or one moment and how if you make through a trauma then there could joy on the other side.

I actually have two Novel Wisdom quotes to share from this book. One regarding books — which ya’ll know I love — and then another just based on beauty of nature.

MoreThanThis

From Seth, the POV protagonist of the novel More Than This by Patrick Ness

A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.

He’s seeing the actual Milky Way streaked across the sky. The whole of his entire galaxy, right there in front of him. Billions and billions of stars. Billions and billions of worlds. All of them, all of those seemingly endless possibilities, not fictional, but real, out there, existing, right now.

So much more that he’ll never see. So much more that he’ll never get to. So much that he can only glimpse enough of to know that it’s forever beyond his reach.

2 Comments on Novel Wisdom (28), last added: 8/5/2015
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6. Share Your Work

I recently read Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. It talks about the creative life and highlights 10 ways to find your audience by sharing your work and progress.

showyourwork

Here are some gems from the book that I thought I would share with you:

When she was young and starting out, Patti Smith got this advice from William Burroughs: “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work . . . and if you can build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.”

Don’t worry about everything you post being perfect. Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon once said that 90 percent of everything is crap. The same is true of our own work. The trouble is, we don’t always know what’s good and what sucks. That’s why it’s important to get things in front of others and see how they react.

Just do the work that’s in front of you, and when it’s finished, ask yourself what you missed, what you could’ve done better, or what you couldn’t get to, and jump right into the next project.

Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.

If you spend your life avoiding vulnerability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people.

Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

I also wrote a a blog post about the author’s other book, Steal Like An Artist.

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7. The Audacity of Self-Care

I was at the beach when I heard about the Charleston shootings. It just broke my heart. The kindness of strangers exploited by hate and racism.

It can be so overwhelming to figure out what you can do to make a difference. On my Twitter page, I have this pinned tweet, which is a paraphrase of a Theodore Roosevelt quote.



For those of you who have read this blog for awhile, you already know how close I was to my paternal grandmother. Growing up, we didn’t have much but my grandmother always took Sundays to take care of herself. She would wear her red lipstick, paint her nails, and do special treatments for her hair. Self-Care Sundays were born and I still continue this legacy today.

Life will continue to bring us challenges and we definitely have a lot of social justice work to do. But don’t forget about yourself. Sometimes it takes audacity to take care of yourself. It means in spite of everything, even if you have people who hate you, treat you unfairly, or persecute you, the practice of self-care means that you still have enough love to give the person that matters most. To paraphrase from one of my favorite poems — when everyday something has tried to kill you and has failed — self-care can be an act of defiance.

Speaking of self-care, here’s someone who takes it to whole other level. Here’s an Instagram post of Shakira the Shih-Tzu lounging on the beach enjoying the breeze and the sun.

This is a happy beach dog #beachlife #beachdog #dogsofinstagram #shihtzu

A photo posted by Karen Strong (@karenmusings) on



Take care of yourself!

2 Comments on The Audacity of Self-Care, last added: 6/26/2015
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8. No Money, More Problems

Yesterday morning during my (short) commute, I was listening to Dear Sugar, which is one of my favorite podcasts.

dearsugar

In the 13th episode, the subject was about money.

One of the letters was about how a young woman felt bad that she was rich and wondered if it was her wealth privilege that gave her access to being able to be an artist.

It’s true that making art — especially writing — requires a lot of time, which many people don’t have because of family responsibilities, jobs, or bills.

Growing up working-class, it wasn’t even an option for me to even think about writing until I was on my feet financially and well into a career that could support me.

On the podcast, the hosts talk about the importance of having a patron. It got me thinking: Does being an artist require you to have a patron?

When I think of patron, I think of a rich person who sponsors you or getting an endowment or residency from an arts program. But maybe for people who don’t have access to such things, it could be as simple as a supportive critique partner or a writing mentor maybe even getting a scholarship to a MFA program. Cultivating an artist takes time, which in most cases also involves money.

It can be done of course. Anything worth having isn’t easy. It may take longer and require lots of discipline and focus to get where you want to be.

But I always think about the obstacles. I often wonder how many talented novelists we’ve lost due to them not having access to time and money.

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9. Library Love

My love of libraries started when I was a kid when I used to go with my mother on Sundays and we would stay until it closed. I still remember the pale pink library card that I got when I was eight years old.

Since I’ve moved into my new place, I’ve been reunited with the public library that I loved when I first moved to Atlanta. Since I my commute is so much shorter now, I’ve been able to spend more time reading books. So. Many. Books.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you already know how I post my library finds.

So to celebrate my love, here’s a collection of my library finds since I’ve moved back into the city.





2 Comments on Library Love, last added: 6/11/2015
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10. Imagine This

One of my favorite books last year was Imagine This: Creating the Work You Love by Maxine Clair. I recently revisited this book again to relish some of the gems of wisdom that it gave me.

imaginethis
The author goes through her journey from a scientist to artist. It is a book about how to find and develop our inner and creative outlets. Here are just a few of my favorite passages:

“Perceptions about who should be doing what at what age are unproductive. It is never the wrong ime to express yourself.”

“When something chooses you, choose back. Commit and follow through. When you choose back, you give your word to yourself and to the universe.”

“In order to commit, you have to be clear about your intention, and mentally evaporate the fog that stymies your imagination.”

“The choices you make about the work you would love to be doing are always tied to your life purpose, and will bring fulfillment.”

“There is no such thing as too late, or already done. You are always coming into your next best-yet-to-be, waking up again and again to your newest expression.”

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11. Novel Wisdom (27)

This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.

giveyouthesun

From Jude, twin sister of Noah and one of the narrators of the novel I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who’s pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life?

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12. Art & Fear

One of my favorite books on creativity is the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Art&Fear

It’s a book I always go back to when I’m struggling with revisions or staying consistent with my writing.

Here are a few of the gems that I wanted to share with you from this invaluable book:

In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.

Art is a high calling — fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, distinguishing themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others — indeed as anything that keeps you from giving your work your best show. What separates artists from ex-artists is that who challenge their fears, continue; those who don’t, quit.

Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping. The latter of happens all the time. Quitting happens once. Quitting means not starting again – and art is all about starting again.

Talent may get someone off the starting blocks faster, but without a sense of direction or a goal to strive for, it won’t count for much. The world is filled with people who were given great natural gifts, sometimes conspicuously flashy gifts, yet never product anything.

In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice…between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy.

If you’re on Twitter, you can also finds lots of inspiration and other quotes at #ArtandFear.

2 Comments on Art & Fear, last added: 5/13/2015
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13. The Writer’s Guide to Persistence

Still in the revision cave. The middle is a rough place to be but there is light at the end of the tunnel of this current novel project. Still on track to be finished with this particular novel this summer.

Currently I’m reading The Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld. She’s also the author of one of my favorite craft books Make A Scene , which I also highly recommend.

This book is for writers who want to start and preserve a writing practice. Persistence is the key along with finding ways to balance writing with the rest of your life.

WritersGuidetoPersistence

I’m really loving the book so far. When I’m finished, I’ll be sure to share any gems that may also be helpful to you in your writing practice in another post.

For those of you on Twitter, you can follow the author @Jordanrosenfeld. She has a great hashtag #WritersGuide2Persistence where she gives great motivation and advice for keeping your writer’s practice on track.

Hope everyone is writing and that life is treating you well.

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14. 2015 Spring TBR List

I’m so glad that Spring is here and the sun is shining. I’m revising and figuring out possible solutions to the mess I created in the middle of my current novel project. Can I just share with you how much I LOATHE middles? Such a pain.

I’m so happy about all the lovely Spring books that are coming out. I can’t wait to get my hands on to read them. Here are just of few that I have added to my To-Be-Read (TBR) list:

2015SPRTBRList

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
All The Rage by Courtney Summers
Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin
Endangered by Lamar Giles
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headle
The Messengers by Edward Hogan
The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

How about you? What have you read lately? What do you plan to read in the warmth of the sun?

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15. Novel Wisdom (26)

This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.

This book centers on a character who does production design for films. Since I’ve read this book, every time I watch a movie, I take extra care looking at a set design. I think about all the care that was put into a setting or room that may only be on the screen for a few minutes. Amazing how a book can stay with you long after you’ve read it.

I’m in the middle of revisions. Maybe I should say re-vision. I have 4 parts to my novel and I’ve finished the Part 1 but Part 2 is gonna be interesting. Several plot holes and snags to think about. But gotta keep going. Which brings me to this quote that I remember from this book.

everythingleadstoyou
From Toby, brother of Emi, the narrator of the novel Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

“This is how it works. You bust your ass. Not everything goes your way, and then, after a while, you get to that point. You get to make your own decisions and people look to you for approval on their work.”

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16. Pandemic Novels

I recently finished reading Station Eleven. I had heard so many good things about this book.

I wasn’t disappointed by the writing and the characters. But I have to admit, this book had me at flu pandemic.

I love a pandemic.

Pandemics in novels are not a new premise. It’s been done thousands of times, which proves that there are no new stories under the sun; however, it all depends upon what the writer brings to the story — the plot, the characters, the setting.

So then I started thinking of other pandemic novels that I loved — each of them very different. Here’s a few from my list:

pandemics

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson
A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Stand by Stephen King

Do you also love pandemic, end-of-the-world novels as much as I do? Let me know your favorites — I’m always on the lookout.

4 Comments on Pandemic Novels, last added: 3/12/2015
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17. Novel Openings

I love it when I open a book and I fall in love with the words and the character.

I’m currently working on the opening of my current Work-In-Progress (WIP). After this revision, it will probably change. But that’s okay. For inspiration, I tend to go back to some of my favorite books and relish over the opening.

Here’s just a few of my favorites:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

AristotleDante

One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the world was the same. I threw off the sheets and lay there as the heat poured in through my open window.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

ignoreveradietz

The pastor is saying something about how Charlie was a free spirit. He was and he wasn’t. He was free because on the inside he was tied up in knots. He lived hard because inside he was dying. Charlie made inner conflict look delicious.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

cress

Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours. It was a prison that came with an endlessly breathtaking view — vast oceans and swirling clouds that set half the world on fire.

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

darkhollowplaces

The city used to be something once. I’ve seen pictures of the way it gleamed – sun so bright off the windows it could burn your eyes. At night, lights shouted from steel like catcalls, loud and lewd, while all day long white-gloved men rushed to open doors for women who tottered about on skyscraper heels.

What are some of your favorite novel openings? I would love to hear about them.

4 Comments on Novel Openings, last added: 2/18/2015
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18. Trust Yourself

One of my favorite writing books is Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor. I found it last summer during a bookstore browse — and I’ve been raving about it ever since. It’s hard to define this book. It’s basically a memoir but based on the writer’s journey. I think it will speak to writers who are trying to find their way and their voice.

writingismydrink

Let’s face it, writing can be hard. I’m working on revisions and I want to be done in the Spring so that I can move on to my next project. But I want to finish the book I’m writing now. This book has put on the back burner so many times because of obligations and life events so I want to finish it. I also feel that I must make it worthy and then I start to freak out because what if I can’t make that happen?

When I was reading Writing is My Drink, this passage made me realize that I have to just let go and trust myself. Here’s what the author had to say on this:

Writing requires trust: trust that words will find you, that the unknown will become known, that the mystery will be solved, that the story will find its arc, that you will find your story and your voice, that your voice will be heard, that you will be understood. But most of all, writing requires you to trust yourself, the source of the voice inside you that supplies the next word, the next line, the next idea. And until you can access some of this trust, you won’t be able to write the stories you want to write the way you want to write them.

So whether you’re revising or starting new draft — don’t be so hard on yourself. Trust yourself. Know that you will find the structure of your story and find the best way to write it.

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19. Anatomy of a Morning Writing Session

NaNoWriMo is finished. I didn’t win but I did get more words down than I had in a long time. Winning was not my ultimate goal but to get back in the habit of facing the blank page and to start writing again.

Another thing that I’ve learned is that writing in the morning is where I got the best results. In the past, I wrote at night but my day job responsibilities have changed dramatically and my brain cells are low by evening.

It’s wasn’t very appealing at first but once it became a habit again, I loved the boost it gave me because it meant I was putting writing as a priority — the first thing I do in the day and word by word I found myself getting my confidence back.

It’s very hard to get back into your story after distractions or any kind of emotional trauma. And if you have a perfectionist bent like me, it can be even more discouraging because you know there is still work to do as well.

The point is, you must keep going. You can’t give up. You are not in competition with anyone else. You are unique and you also have a story to tell. You can only do this one word at a time.

With my morning sessions, I have a few things I do and I thought I would share them with you:

  • Coffee Meditation: The fact for me is that I need coffee to become conscious. After I make my coffee, I sit and sip and think about what I want to write or revise or on most days I sit in silence and wait for my mind to wake up. After the caffeine has kicked in and I can go face the page.
  • Reading Selection: I read a chapter from my always huge TBR leaning tower of books. It gives me the inspiration I need or if I’m reading fiction, it can give me an example of how a particular scene can be done. This week, I’m reading Imagine This by Maxine Clair.
  • Writer Journal: I’ve had a writer journal for years. This is the place where I write about my progress or story ideas. It’s a hodgepodge of things related to the writing process only. This is the first writing I do. It’s almost like a warm-up in a way.
  • Word quota or Revision Goal: If I’m writing draft, I usually set a 250 or a 500 word quota if I’m a drafting a scene. No editing, no correcting. Just getting words down on the page. If I’m revising, I set a goal to revise a specific chapter or a specific scene.
  • Next Day Prep: I think about what I want to work on the next day. It gives me something to look forward to and gets my subconscious percolating about ideas.

My writing session usually is around 2 hours (5:30 am to 7:30 am). Usually the sun is just starting to rise when I’m done. The city starts to wake up and then I go about my day feeling like a bad ass who has worked on her novel.

Morning sessions are what work for me. Do you have a structure or specific time that you work on your writing?

6 Comments on Anatomy of a Morning Writing Session, last added: 12/3/2014
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20. 2014 Book Favorites

I didn’t get a chance to read everything on my leaning tower of TBR books this year, but here’s a list of some the books that I did enjoy. I would love to hear about your favorite books that you read on 2014.

Young Adult Fiction

2014YA
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Tyalor
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Adult Fiction

2014Fic
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Girls With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Memoir & Essays

2014MemEssays

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Writer Inspiration

2014Inspir

Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer
Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
Imagine This by Maxine Clair

4 Comments on 2014 Book Favorites, last added: 12/11/2014
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21. (Re)Evaluating a Year

The year is coming to a close.

When 2014 first opened up, there were shiny new ideas, bursts of energy, and an overall hopeful outlook of a clean slate. It was a chance to get things right, get things done, and end the year with a feeling of accomplishment.

There were the things we thought we would manage: distractions, obligations, responsibilities.

But then there were the things we never saw coming: illness, social injustices, death of loved ones.

The year may have worn us all down. It could have been small cuts. Or devastating blows. Or deep wounds that are still quite not healed.

Either way, you’re standing on the cusp of a new year and you may not feel that you’ve done what you wanted. Now at the end, you may be left with the feeling that another year has slipped by. One more chance has been wasted. The initial evaluation of the year looks like another wash-up. No real successes. Another failure.

Maybe not.

Maybe it wasn’t at all bad. Let go of evaluating the disappointments, lost battles, and setbacks. Maybe instead concentrate on all the good things that happened to you in 2014. Focus instead on the intangible successes and give gratitude for your blessings — no matter how small. Make a list.

For me, here are some things from my list:

  • Being recognized and valued for my skills at my job
  • Selling my house and moving to the city
  • Developing a morning writing routine
  • Creating a total of 45K new words
  • Keeping the promise to travel for quarterly vacations
  • Making beautiful memories with my father
  • Listening to my heart and giving it a voice

I’m sure you can make your own list as well. Write it out. Glow in its truth and then get ready to face 2015 not as broken and bitter but as open and optimistic.

0 Comments on (Re)Evaluating a Year as of 12/17/2014 9:10:00 AM
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22. Terrible Titles Blog Hop

Today I was tagged by one of writer friends Courtney Leigh to join in the Terrible Titles blog hop.

The idea is simple. Scroll through a WIP and let your cursor randomly land somewhere. That phrase or sentence becomes a terrible title. Do this about eight times and see what you come up with.

These Terrible Titles come from my current novel project LINEAGE:

  1. Her favorite was the Lip Gloss Mafia.
  2. Until bras and body hair.
  3. Poor math deficient child.
  4. Yes, I do love the feel of cash myself.
  5. The Killer Girl would be me.
  6. Shut-up and thanks.
  7. The ultimate walk of shame.
  8. You playing stake out in front of my house was getting old.

Ha. These are not the best titles at all. But kinda of funny don’t you think?

Thanks for tagging me Courtney. :)

5 Comments on Terrible Titles Blog Hop, last added: 1/9/2015
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23. 2015 Winter TBR List

I still have tons of books on my “To Be Read” (TBR) list but I can’t seem to stop myself from adding even more books to my leaning pile. There are lots of new lovelies coming out.

Here are just a few books that I plan to read this Winter:

2015Winter_Small

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers
Vivan Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
Hold Tight Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
When by Victoria Laurie
When My Heart was Wicked by Tricia Sterling

How about you? What have you read lately? What do you plan to cozy up and read before the Spring thaw?

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24. Novel Wisdom (25)

This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.

This is a book I found at my public library. It’s been on my radar for awhile and I was happy when I saw it on the shelf. Ironically, I had just re-read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath the week before so maybe it was kismet since this book revolves around this author.

This novel centers around several teens who are all going through their unique traumas. This particular line spoke to me because we have all been through some type of trial or trauma ourselves and sometimes we just want it to be over — but sometimes you just have to go through whatever it is that has hurt you before you can move on.

Belzhar
From Jam, the narrator of the novel Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

“I hadn’t known that if you hold on, if you force yourself as hard as you can to find some kind of patience in the middle of all your impatience, things can change. It’s big, and it’s always incredibly messy. But there’s no way around the mess.”

1 Comments on Novel Wisdom (25), last added: 1/31/2015
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25. Some Zen For You

Hope that everyone is doing well. Winter is still with us and I hope you are nice and warm wherever are.

Things are getting back to “normal” — although it will never be like what my life was before — but the good news is that I’m reading a lot — I read 6 lovely books last month, which may be a record for me. A benefit of moving into the city and drastically cutting my commute time. The even better news is that I’m also back on my revisions.

For those of you who have known me and this blog for awhile, you know I love to connect with my “Inner Zen” — one of my favorite online places is Zen Habits. Here’s a recent post that I loved because it spoke to me about life and also can be translated to writing as well. So I wanted to share it with you:

So that day, she stopped trying to protect an imaginary gem. She stopped trying to be right, to be seen as good and competent and smart and perfect, to see herself as a good person at all times. She stopped thinking that other people’s words and actions had anything to do with what she imagined herself to be. She stopped trying to protect her position and self-image.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Get some writing done!

6 Comments on Some Zen For You, last added: 2/7/2015
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