May the Fourth

It’s Star Wars Day, and in honor of it and #WIPWednesday, I thought to share my current writing diary.

(Fun fact, Star Wars Day is also my blog’s birthday–>I started blogging six years ago, and thought it would be kind of poetic to start again today.)


Isn’t this so cool?? It’s a limited edition Star Wars Moleskine notebook, with fun stickers and technical specs for the X-Wing Starfighter. ^_^

When I saw this in the store, I knew I had to have it. I’d even kept it in its wrapper forever waiting for just the right project to use with it.

Then a month ago, I thought: what was I waiting for? What better, more perfect book could there be to chronicle my WIP2 revisions? After all, didn’t I pitch WIP2 as “Star Wars meets DUNE with a teen-aged cyborg” once upon a time?? (To a couple of full manuscript requests, I might add, but I was too lame to actually send it off. A good thing, too, because it was NOT ready back then. Like, at all.)

So, after a years-long hiatus from this particularly project (because Reasons), I am happy to say that I’m finally hitting my revision-y stride and found the story that I wanted to tell years ago. I kinda had to go full-circle on it, and yeah, I suppose I lost a few years only to say the same story. This time, though, I like to think that I trust myself now and have confidence in the worthiness of my ideas. That I have the discipline, passion, and talent to keep throwing down words until I get just the right combination to fit this story. And, if all else fails, I surely have the ridiculous work ethic/drive to see this to a polished The End that I can finally (Finally!) be proud to send off to agent slush piles.

Anyway, it’s great to be back, hanging out in familiar worlds, chatting with my characters. It’s like a great reunion of friends–when you get together, you pick up your conversation exactly where you had left off years ago.

How about you? Whatcha been up to?

Be Here Now

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin

I’m about to dive in to the busiest time of year again, and no, I don’t mean the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month which kicks off at midnight (though I do enjoy that annual treat!). I’m talking about that blessed time of year that people love to hate: The Holidays.

Personally, I love the holiday season. I’m a sucker for the window displays. The more nostalgic and whimsical, the better! Bonus points if the window displays are animated! Anyway, even though I may end up mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted by January (yay for spa days!), I always look back on the Thanksgiving-through-Christmas rush with a feeling of ‘Whoa!’ Another mountain conquered, another wave I rode out, another notch added to my belt.

But before I dive headlong into the thick of things, I need to give myself a few ground rules/reminders. After all, I juggle multiple roles, and I want to ensure that I balance all aspects of my life.

1. Before I can be take care of others, I need to take care of myself. I’m not going to lie, I feel BLESSED to have my strong immune system, and I’m sure that my positive outlook on life is directly related to my health. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been sick, and I want to keep it that way. So. When do I schedule my work outs? What foods do I need to keep in stock to prepare my meals in advance? What does my routine need to look like so I can get a good night’s sleep?

2. Don’t Mistake Activity for Productivity. Instead of scheduling All The Things and prioritizing them, I just need to schedule my priorities. Ask myself, ‘Does This Thing require my attention Right Now or can I manage this later?’ Focus on the Few Things that will give me the biggest return on my investment. During the five weeks of holiday, those few things are: exercise/nutrition, family time, writing time. Everything else is a luxury.

3. Be Here Now. To me, all of the above planning and prepping is to set me up to be 100% present, whether at work or at home. So, where do I need to invest my time so that when I’m off the day job, the switch stays off and I can enjoy being with my family when I’m with them? When can I schedule time to write, so that when it’s writing time, I’m writing my novel and not tweaking a work schedule? How can I invest in my family time so that I don’t carry any emotional baggage with me to work?

So, if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines this year. There have been too many changes in my dayjob to spread myself too thin. Besides, I’m still revising WIP2, and my writing time will be devoted to finishing that.

Do you have any tips to keep yourself grounded during hectic times?

Road Trip Wednesday: What In Real Life People Can You Talk To About YA?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week’s Topic:

What IRL people can you talk to about YA?

I haven’t met many of my current YA book buddies, since most of of them live in my computer, and I have yet to determine whether or not they’re just cleverly disguised Twitterbots. However, I did have the pleasure of meeting and lunching with several YA writers IRL at my local SCBWI’s annual conference, and since then, have had quarterly business lunches with a few of them to catch up on…business. 😉 So, I do have an occasional outlet to talk books.

I’m also grateful that I have a bunch of book nerds in my family. So even though they may not be up to the specific goings-on of Young Adult literature, we can always talk about stories in general and what great stories we have read recently, and why it worked for us, and what didn’t work. And, these stories can range from every genre of literature to the latest movie or television series. I know that I’ve been over-the-moon enamored of the CBS series, Person of Interest, simply because of the intriguing storyline that show offers every. Single. Week.

(Oh, and my siblings and I have been SO EXCITED that Legend of Korra finally started airing after years of following news of its release!  Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then, we probably shouldn’t be friends. Just click over HERE, and soak in all the Avatar-goodness!)

Maybe you don’t get to talk YA with people IRL (heck, maybe it’s not even your genre, so why would you?), but do YOU have anyone you can gush to about stories? What story has captured your interest lately?

[I’m celebrating my blog’s Birthday Month! Hop over HERE to read the deets, and fill out the comment form to enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble e-gift card. Remember, any additional comments on any post this month will earn you extra entries!]

Happy Birthday Month, Blog!

My blogaversary is this Friday, May 4th (Otherwise known as Star Wars Day. Yes, I’m THAT nerdy). It’s been a really fun two years, and I have to admit that even though I haven’t been the most consistent blogger in the world, I’ve really enjoyed the side effect of blogging, namely, the accountability I have to make progress toward my goals (writing or otherwise).

I’ve enjoyed the blogging community, and have met a lot of lovely writers, readers, and delightful nerds (and in a few weeks, I will actually meet many of you in real life!) who have become some of my closest friends. Because I believe in sharing the love and “paying it forward,” I want to celebrate the month by hosting a little giveaway.

Usually, I would normally host a giveaway for a book or two, but since there are so. Many. Awesome. Books out this month, like Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Drowned Cities or Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, I thought it would be better for you all to pick the book you want!

So, for my Blog Birthday, I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) e-giftcard! (Winner’s preference, of course!) All you have to do is be a subscriber/follower of this blog, and comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations, Michele S!


Also, because I want you to know how much I appreciate you, any comment on any post this month, will count as extra entries!

So, tell me…Why do YOU blog? If you’re not a blogger, please feel free to share your goals for this year! If you’re a fellow writer, anything fun and shiny you’re working on?