The Long and Winding Road to Getting into Physical Therapy School

This is not strictly a writing post, but I wanted to write about my journey getting into physical therapy school because a long and hard journey, it was, and I think it mirrors a lot of journeys writers go through. Ultimately, this post is about NOT GIVING UP. So, although this isn’t about writing, I hope this can still inspire and help writers! I also wanted to write this post because there are people in my life that I will be eternally grateful to–who have changed my life–and I just want to say something about them (although they will never read this since they don’t know I have a blog, much less that I write, haha–but still!!!!)

I’m going to cut to the chase because I don’t want to this to get too long. It was an extremely hard journey. It took three–almost four–years to finally get into school. I almost gave up–at various times, I did give up only to return to physical therapy because there was literally–literally–no other profession I wanted to pursue, nor I was suited for. I had decided this time–my third time–would be my last time applying for school because I couldn’t spend any more money and any more time on this career path that seemed unlikely to ever happen for me.

I’m going to be very upfront about this: most of my failures was due to the fact my heart was not fully in it.

In a lot of ways, this journey was incredibly difficult because of the fact that while love physical therapy, it is not my passion. Don’t get me wrong–there is no other job that I would trade for physical therapy and I truly do love what I do, but my passion has always been and will be art. Writing, I know, without a doubt, I will keep going no matter what. No matter if I didn’t have an agent, no matter if I never get a book deal, etc–I will keep writing. People can tell me I can’t do it or that I’m not good enough, but frankly, I don’t care. With physical therapy, I didn’t have that unwavering flame beneath me. It made it easy for seeds of doubt to creep into my head and falter when things got hard and things did get hard. When others questioned me, it made me question myself. When I didn’t get into school, I was crushed in a way that rejections in publishing have never bothered me. I think it’s safe to say that it took time–and finding the right physical therapy setting and people–to truly make me love what I do, and when I did, everything got better.

The other aspect that made it so difficult was that I was utterly burned out from college, which were without a doubt the hardest years of my life. I was so so miserable and lonely and depressed during that time. I pushed myself to graduate school in three years because I was so desperate to get out, not realizing it would take its toll on me. I also didn’t realize it would take time to recover from the trauma of school. I’d moved back home after graduation, which I thought would fix everything–and in many ways, it did–but I didn’t fully understand I was still emotionally burned out from school and it would take a long, long time to recover. Not knowing that, I jumped right into applying to grad school, which was a mistake because even the thought of school made my chest ache with dread. Once I got better and got my act together and really commited, things did start going a lot more smoothly. Part of me is very upset and annoyed with myself for wasting time and money, but the other part finally understands that I was still recovering from the traumas of school, depression, and other things.

There were other things that played into this, but these two things were probably the biggest factors in why I failed getting into school the first two times.

But many things contributed to my doubt and hopelessness and sense of failure. I applied to schools without getting a single interview–all rejections. I applied a second time and got an interview, only to be rejected again in the end. In the meantime, I had a friend who suddenly decided to go into physical therapy and got into my top choice school the first time she applied. (She worked very hard and I don’t begrudge her for it, but it very much made me feel like an absolute failure–which was totally my problem and not at all hers!)

The worst was when I worked at clinics where I was told I wasn’t good at my job. I will be honest–I struggled a lot when I first started and even a couple years after that–and I don’t blame them for telling me that, even though it hurt. In some ways, I’m grateful for those extremely trying times because it did push me and it did make me a better physical therapy aide.

But.

Even at my best, I felt as though they didn’t believe in me. They didn’t look at the improvements I’d made, but instead only looked at what I had done wrong and the mistakes I’d made in the past. They still believed I didn’t belong in physical therapy and that I shouldn’t become a physical therapist. One of the therapists that I worked for continually questioned why I wanted to be a physical therapist. To him, it wasn’t enough that it was a job I liked and was interested in. This coupled with the fact that I kept failing to get into school, utterly crushed me.

In addition, at the time, I was working for the most awful person. This boss treated not only me, but all the other aides, like complete scum. We were considered to be “lesser” because were only aides, not physical therapists. He would make personal attacks and yell at us. He would nitpick and hold grudges and purposely find things to yell at you for. Accused me of breaking his 30+ year-old equipment. Snapped at me for saying “sounds good,” too much and ordered that I should respond with “okay” instead. He wouldn’t let us converse with the front desk receptionist or part-time physical therapist because it cost him money since they were paid hourly. Utterly ridiculous things like that, one after another.

It was when he yelled at me and threatened to fire me–in front of a patient–for forgetting a minuscule detail on the bike, that I had an epiphany. I realized that I should not be getting yelled at–for anything–much less for something as minor as what I did. Suddenly, I realized getting yelled at was not normal. I realized I shouldn’t be absolutely dreading going to work every day. I shouldn’t be nervous, my heart shouldn’t be pounding when I go into work, afraid of what I’ll be yelled at for. It was then I decided to quit.

I said this before, but I want to say it again. No one–no one–deserves to be treated like that–ever. I don’t care if you’re the most highly respected doctor in the world, you do not ever have the right to treat anyone like that. And FYI, this same thing applies to writing. If you ever think you are “better” than anyone else because you have an agent, you have a book deal, you are a bestseller–whatever it is that make you think you’re better than anyone else–well, think again. (Sorry, I’m a little fired up right now and just had to put my little piece in there *shrug emoji*. Also, I want to give a little shout-out to Amanda, who helped me quit this awful job because even after all of this I was scared to let go. Thank you, Amanda! You gave me the courage to quit! Hah, that sounds funny, but it is so so true!)

ANYWAYS.

This clinic was one of the most toxic, most awful experiences I’ve ever had. And yet, it was there that I met my physical therapist named Michelle.

There was a quote thread going around Twitter not too long ago, asking people to talk about a person who wasn’t related to you, who wasn’t your friend, that helped your career. I didn’t participate, but I immediately thought of Michelle. She was the first person to believe in me. Being a super shy and incredibly awkward person, sometimes it’s not easy to see when I care about something because of how reserved I am, but she saw me for who I was. She talked to me about physical therapy, answered my questions, told me stories, and shared her journey to becoming a physical therapist. When she left her job at the clinic, she let me come shadow her at her new job. When I asked if there were any open positions for aides at her new job, she helped me get the job I have now, which I absolutely love. She wrote me an amazing recommendation letter, not once, but twice.

And in all honesty, it took all my courage to ask her about that job because I was so afraid that she wouldn’t want me working there, so so afraid she secretly didn’t like me and she’d resent me for following her to her new job, but I’m so glad I took that chance because it changed my life.

She changed my life.

I’m not a big believer in fate or destiny, but I can’t help marvel at how incredible it is that had I not worked at this awful, awful clinic, I would have never met Michelle. I would have never gotten the job I have now. And who knows what else would have happened? I am so so grateful to her and my life has been completely turned around because of her.

This job I have now at a rehabilitation hospital changed everything. It was here, that I truly fell in love with physical therapy. I love working with the older demographic. I love the inpatient setting, where I feel like I truly get to see amazing progress and sometimes recoveries that seem like absolute miracles. I love getting to work with nurses and see different therapies. I love that I get to work in wound (which, believe it or not, is a practice within physical therapy!)

I have therapists who not only support and believe in me, but actually like me. They trust me when I work with patients and I am given freedoms that I never thought possible when I was working at my awful job. They tell me how grateful they are for my help and how much they appreciate me–and genuinely mean it! I feel so comfortable with the therapists and love them so much. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to find people who support you. Their support has meant everything to me.

I’ve been afforded some really incredible opportunities here at this hospital, including getting to work in wound therapy. It’s something I would have never been able to do anywhere else and I love it! I feel so incredibly lucky to have found my place here and I’m so sad to leave.

So without further ado, I’m very excited and happy to say that I’ll be attending a Doctor of Physical Therapy program this May! I honestly don’t know what to expect from physical therapy school, but I’m excited (and a little nervous) to be taking this big step in my journey to become a physical therapist! There were times when I thought this day would never come. Times when I’ve been so scared because if physical therapy didn’t work out, I had no idea what to do. It’s been a long journey. I’ve come a long way and I’m very proud of it.

Take heart. Don’t give up. Find people who support you. Whether it’s physical therapy, writing, or something else, you will get there one day. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself. ❤

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I HAVE AN AGENT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi friends!!!

I am just getting around to writing the official “How I Got My Agent” post, which is incredibly crazy. It’s absolutely surreal and though it’s been over a month since I signed with my agent, I’m still numb with shock. There are many times when I think, “Is this real? Did this really happen?” I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it, honestly.

I meant to write this much earlier, but to be quite honest, I FREAKED out about the whole agent thing and then I was fine, but then I got my edit letter from my agent and writing this post kind of got pushed to the wayside. ANYWAYS, here it is!!!

I’m not sure where to start exactly (I’ve written about four different iterations already, hahah), so forgive me if this post a bit awkward and weird (but then again, that pretty much sums up who I am, so hahahaha, is anyone surprised?!) Also, this post might be long and rambling and a total mess, so please feel free to skim as you wish!!! ❤

This post is going to be The Little Mermaid themed because first of all, I love The Little Mermaid and it’s one of my favorite fairytales. Second, because I think it’s fitting for my journey to getting an agent. And then thirdly, because my agent mentioned that she loves The Little Mermaid and collects different editions.

(IT WAS MEANT TO BE THE LITTLE MERMAID THEMED GUYS!!!! *CLUTCHY FACE*!)

***WARNING THERE ARE LOTS OF GIFS AND SOME DON’T NECESSARILY CORRESPOND WITH WHAT I’M SAYING, BUT I LIKED THE GIF AND SO I PUT THEM IN, HAAAA! FORGIVE ME IF THEY DON’T MAKE SENSE!!!***

 

 

I first started writing Fox Story back in the tail end of summer 2016. I had been working on my Faerie Story, but after getting some really awesome advice from an agent at a conference I attended (which you can read about here) I decided to shelve the project in favor of working on Fox Story.

Fox Story was an idea that sparked in summer of 2015. I was SUPER excited about it as it was an idea that I really and truly loved and possibly one of my favorites. After brainstorming and outlining, I began drafting.

Right off the bat, this book felt different than the previous books I’d written. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but the writing felt natural to me in a way that it had never felt before. This is definitely NOT to say that this book was easy to write, or even that it that it flowed out of me. But previously, something I struggled with my writing was that I seemed to write like the people I was reading at the time: if I read a book by Author, my writing would mimic Author’s writing style; if I read a book by Author B, my writing style would shift to imitate Author B’s writing style. As a result, my writing felt very disjointed and clunky–like it didn’t know what it wanted to be.

 

 

With Fox Story though, this didn’t happen. The writing felt natural, like taking a deep breath of fresh air. I was pleasantly surprised but didn’t think about it too much at the time. I went along writing and soon enough, I ended up with a very short, sparse first draft! WOO HOO!!!!

 

 

Now, the second draft is always the TOUGHEST portion of the writing process, so it was unsurprising to me that the real struggles began here. I dragged my feet, I procrastinated LIKE CRAZY, I found every excuse not to write–I even enjoyed going to work because it mean I didn’t have to sit at my computer and try and eek the words out, hahaha.

Little did I know that this was only the beginning… DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!!!

Then, other life stuff got in the way. I had to put down my book in favor of studying for the GREs and working on physical therapy school applications–BARF. So for a month, I didn’t get to write at all.

 

 

 

In April 2017 or so, I finished taking the GREs and finalllllly got to return to working on Fox Story. (Read here, if you wish!) Because I had been away for so long, I decided to read what I had. Er… and it was not good, which definitely wasn’t a surprise, hahah. So I rolled up my sleeves and decided to rewrite the whole thing from scratch! For a while, it went pretty well! I was writing and feeling pretty good about it!

But then I hit a snag. I wasn’t too worried about it. After all, getting stuck is pretty normal with writing. I trudged along, but writing wasn’t as fun anymore, haha. The snag turned out to be… snaggier than usual and the whole second draft angst came back in full force. Once again, I began procrastinating. Once again, I was dreading writing. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so I decided to reread what I had so far and yet again, I was… not happy about my book to say the least. I decided to start over again and rewrite from the beginning.

It wasn’t great guys. For MONTHS, every word was a battle. I dreaded writing like it was the plague. Still, every day, I forced myself to sit at the computer and try to write though it felt like pulling teeth. I was incredibly frustrated with myself because I could not figure out why this was so painful. Like I said, I had come to expect second draft angst, but this was far more and went on for far longer than I expected. I was especially angry and irritated because I couldn’t focus. I would spend hours procrastinating when I was supposed to be writing. I would be on Twitter or Instagram avoiding writing even as I knew that this would only hurt me further. I hated feeling like I was wasting precious writing time and hated how unproductive I was. And basically, this was how I was feeling:

 

 

I had originally thought I would be finished with the second draft toward the beginning of the year but somehow, it was summer again and I had yet to show anything for it. Finally, I was SICK OF IT. I was so close to finishing my draft and I made the decision that I would FINISH THE FREAKING THING. And finally, finally, finally, I did finish. (You can read about that here!)

I thought this was the end of my angsty period. I thought, Now that the grueling second draft is over, I’ll be excited to write again and it’ll all be much better from here on out! HA!!!!!! My book was like:

 

 

NOPE. Unfortunately, the angst did not go away with the end of the second draft. After a little break, I went back into revising the book. It still wasn’t great. I was feeling pretty down about the whole thing. I’m usually very motivated and excited to write. I go to bed each night, thinking about my book and then get up each morning excited, but alas, this did not happen. I went about like this for another few months, unable to understand why I wasn’t excited about writing. Why I had no motivation. Many writer friends suggested burnout to be the culprit, but it didn’t ring true to me because I had been taking LOTS of breaks and lots of LONG breaks (in fact, more breaks and longer breaks than I usually do) and I still felt no different. I trudged along until finally, I said to myself, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I wrapped up the last act of my story and sent it off to CPs.

It changed everything guys. (I wrote a long and gushy letter to my CPs, Amanda and Janella, about how they revived me, which you can read here!) Their notes and feedback and kind words were exactly what I needed but hadn’t know I needed. Suddenly, I was excited about my story again. I was inspired. I was motivated. I was excited to write.

 

 

I revised again, this time feeling refreshed and hopeful, despite the large amount of work I had ahead of me. After I finished my revisions, I sent it off to some more CPs, got their notes, and then I decided was I READY.

 

 

On January 2nd, 2018, I sent out my first batch of queries! It was SUPER exciting!! I am one of the few people who enjoys querying and it was incredibly exhilarating to finally send off my work to agents! This was my second time querying, and unlike the first time (which perhaps I’ll talk about in another post, for this one is getting faaaaar too long!), I started getting requests right away–some just a few minutes from when I sent the query. I sent off the requests and as I started getting responses back, I sent out more queries accordingly and then, of course, I waited!

Then, to my surprise, a few days later, I received an email from an agent asking if we could set up a call. My heart started pounding as I read those words, quite literally.

(Also, this doesn’t really have to do with querying, but I feel like I should mention that that day was a rather awful one for me. My little dog, Tiger, had run away earlier that day. He’s very old and he was lost in the cold weather. I was certain he had frozen to death and I spent the entire day crying. NO WORRIES. WE FOUND HIM AND HE IS SAFE. But needless to say, it was an emotional day of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.)

Anyways, I emailed back and we set up a call for the coming Tuesday. I didn’t really get my hopes up because, as you all probably understand, a Call doesn’t necessarily equate to an offer. But after some thought, I made a judgment call and sent out another batch of queries–this time to all to my top tier agents! I hesitated before I sent to one of the agents however–not because I didn’t think she was awesome. In fact, I had read tons of her interviews and I thought she was REALLY REALLY awesome, but I wasn’t sure if she’d like my writing. But after a long debate with myself, I was like YOU KNOW IMMA GO FOR IT. After spending literally about ten minutes trying to come up with a personalization that wasn’t I JUST THINK YOU’RE AWESOME and failing, I remembered some advice I’d read from a friend’s post that said: “Personalize when you can, but don’t FORCE it” which I thought was wise. So, I sent off the query!

Tuesday morning came. I got on the phone with the agent and we talked about my book. Part way through the call, she officially offered me representation and I was like *clutchy face clutchy face clutchy face*!! Unfortunately, I had to go to work after the phone call, but luckily it was a half day and as soon as I got off the phone, I texted my CPs.

This was hands-down the best part of the querying process. My lovely CPs are the ones who helped me and have been with me from the very, very beginning, through thick and through thin. I am so very grateful to them for supporting me and being with me every step of the way!!! JANELLA AND AMANDA!!!! I know I’ve said this before, but I say it again now THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!!! I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU AND I AM SO SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU GUYS!!!! BEST CPS IN THE WORLD!!!! ❤

 

 

Immediately, I sent out emails to the rest of the agents I’d queried notifying them of my offer of representation and when I needed to hear back by. More requests piled in–including from the agent whose personalization (or lack thereof) I had agonized over–as well as some kind step-asides! And then, of course, more waiting began!

The next day, I received an email from said agent I’d had personalization angst over. She told me that she had stayed up way too late reading my book and told me that it was beautiful. She even referenced a specific description she loved in particular and told me how she reread it twice and then out loud to her boyfriend.

 

 

I was at work when I read this email and I probably looked like a maniac because I couldn’t help but smile–and keep smiling randomly as I thought of this throughout the day. However, I didn’t get my hopes up. I knew she was still towards the beginning of my book (which I personally felt was the strongest portion of my book), so I figured there was a very big chance that she might not like the rest of the book.

I checked my Twitter and saw that this agent had followed me. I made the *clutchy face* emoji expression, but again, I didn’t get my hopes up because in the end, Twitter follows don’t necessarily mean anything.

The days went along. I waited. I got some very kind, personalized rejections.

Then, on January 16th, I received an email from the Agent, saying she’d finished my book and loved it and wanted to set up a call. So I emailed back and we set up a call for later that day.

We chatted on the phone and she was absolutely lovely. She was enthusiastic and very personable. Immediately, I felt so comfortable and… safe (?–I don’t know if that’s the word I’m looking for, but I can’t think of anything else). We talked about my book–she told me the things she loved about my writing as well as giving me some notes on what she thought needed more work. She reassured me on the things that I was concerned about and put me at such ease. Even though I had yet to sign with her, she was so supportive and made me feel very as though she already had my back. It was a lovely talk and I came out of feeling really awesome about this agent.

 

 

 

Again, there was more waiting. I received more lovely rejections. Finally the day came when I had to make a decision! I know a lot of writers say that choosing between agents is very difficult and stressful, but honestly… it was a no brainer for me. I knew without a doubt which agent I wanted to work with! Writing the rejection was really hard and I procrastinated for a while before I finally made myself rip off the bandaid. This was definitely the worst part of the whole process and I dearly am grateful that I don’t have to do this regularly!! And then of course, I sent an email officially accepting the second agent’s offer of representation!!!

I AM SO SO HAPPY AND EXCITED AND TRULY HONORED TO SAY THAT I AM REPRESENTED BY BRIANNE JOHNSON OF WRITERS HOUSE!!!!!!!! 

 

 

 

(Which you all knew from Twitter, but let’s pretend you didn’t!! Wheeeee!!!!)

Truly and honestly, I cannot believe this has happened. It’s been over a month and I’m still pinching myself. As corny as it is, I frequently reread over my emails from Bri and stare at my bio to make sure that this is, in fact, real and not some crazy dream my imagination has conjured up (although my even wildest dreams could not have imagined this happening!!) I don’t know how I am so blessed to be working with such an amazing and fantastic agent! I am completely over the moon!!!

 

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Now, to tie it all back to The Little Mermaid theme. The message kind of got lost in the rambling-ness of this story–OOPS.

 

 

I talked about how writing Fox Story (while grueling and angsty and incredibly difficult at times) felt so natural, particularly on a prose level. I realized later it was because, like Ariel, I found my Voice. This was a HUGE part of my writing journey. Voice was something I hadn’t even known I was searching for. In fact, I didn’t even realize just how important voice was until I found it. My writing previous to Fox Story felt disjointed and broken and it was because I didn’t know who I was as a writer. It’s truly a victory and above all else, I’m so very proud and happy to have found my Voice. I know without a doubt, I could not have found my perfect agent without it and for this, I am really so excited!!!

Okay, I did an supremely awful job of weaving that into my post, but oh well, I hope it kinda-sorta made sense!!

Anyways, I’m incredibly happy for this next leg of my journey! I know it’s far from over and there will surely be many, many more trials to come, but I can’t wait to see what happens!!!

As Ariel sings, I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know something’s starting right now. Watch and you’ll see, some day I’ll be, part of your world!

 

 

 

If you read all of that, WOW THANK YOU!! YOU ARE A SAINT!!! (Holy Mother of God, that was LONG). If you didn’t, no hard feelings–I would have skimmed if it were me, hahaha! Anyways, thank you as always for reading my nonsense!! I hope you have a lovely day!!!

(Sorry for all the inevitable typos!!! OKAY BYE FOR REAL THANK YOU!!!!!)

Things I’ve Learned, Things to Come, and New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody!

2017 is approaching and in just less than two hours, 2016 will have flitted away and the new year will be here to take its place!

I feel as though 2016 has been a very enlightening year for me. It was very… epiphany-filled. I realized a lot of things and learned a lot of this. So, as the end of the year and the new year approacheth, I thought I would share what I’ve learned!

So! Things I’ve learned in this very enlightening year! I have three main ones that have been huge, huge epiphanies.

1.Awareness 

I’ve realized this year that awareness is such an important thing to have in your life. And in particular, self-awareness. Being aware of what you do, what you say, how you behave, and especially being aware of how you are perceived by others is so so incredibly important. Why? Because if you aren’t aware of yourself, how can you ever know what to change? How to make yourself a better person?

Awareness is the first step to change.

For example, I am prone to hanger. I was not aware of this however for a while. I used to get really defensive and lash out any time anyone suggested I was cranky or irritable because I was hungry. I thought it was an implication that I was always looking for food/was a fatty. Anyways, one time after I’d gotten irritated with my mother, she asked me “Are you hungry?” Of course, I lashed out, thinking that the notion was absolutely ridiculous. Usually, I dismissed this idea immediately, but for whatever reason, I thought about this later on that day. And that was when I first even entertained the possibility that my mom was right and I had been cranky because I was hungry. And after even more thought, I realized she was right. Ever since then, I’ve become aware of my hanger and am much better at controlling my irritability.

I know that sounds like a silly story, but I really mean it. You can’t change (for either better or for worse) if you aren’t aware that you need to change.

2. First Impressions and Trusting Your Instincts

The original title of Ms. Austen’s novel that became Pride and Prejudice. Haha, I actually think about this a lot. While I do believe that first impressions can be misleading and that they can be woefully wrong, this past year, I have learned that first impressions are very important and actually say a lot about who you are as a person. I remember my 6th grade math teacher, Mr. Matson (a legend and one of my most impactful teachers), one time said that your first impressions are usually correct. I was actually surprised at the time. But you know what? He was right.

I only learned this this year. I used to feel so terrible about this when I’d meet a person and instinctively not like them, for whatever reason. Most of the time, I couldn’t quite pinpoint what exactly bothered me, so I felt incredibly judgmental and mean. I know myself to get annoyed easily, to judge people easily, to be very rigid in my thinking sometimes, and it is something that I try and work on, so for a long time, I’ve dismissed any misgivings I had.

But this year, through both personal and secondary experience, I learned to trust my instincts. I’ve found that even if, at first, I can’t quite tell why I dislike a person or why a person is rubbing me the wrong way, it usually is for a reason.

Yet. You still have to remain open-minded. It’s really easy to close up and forget everything around you and only see inside your bubble. It’s a hard balance and I’m still learning how to do this, but I think it’s something really important to consider.

In other words: Trust your gut, but give the benefit of the doubt.

3. Deception Never Works

It may work for some time, but deception always fails. Always. There is a quote from Sherlock that says:

“Do you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes? However hard you try, it’s always a self-portrait.”

I love this quote because it really is true. You can’t hide who you are no matter how hard you try. Who you are will always bleed through. Your true intentions will bleed through.

If you want someone to praise you, it will show.

If you are bragging about something, it will show.

If you are begging for attention, it will show.

I’ve seen many people this year–some that I know personally, some that I know only distantly–do this to some degree. But guess what? No matter how much you try and hide your true intentions, they will show.

***

They may not seem like much, but these have been huge, huge life-changing lessons for me. I don’t know how or why 2016 was such a big year in terms of epiphanies, but I’m glad for it. And I hope learning about these things will ultimately make me a better person.

So, now I’d like to share with you my resolutions. I usually post my goals here and now that I think of it, I don’t know if I’ve genuinely ever made New Year’s resolutions. Well, 2017’s the year!

1.Awareness

I’m sensing a theme… Hahah, like I said, I’ve learned this to be a very important thing and I’m still learning to become more aware of myself and how my behaviors might effect other people. I can be quite rude and callous sometimes–a lot of the times without even realizing it–and I want to change this. I know for a fact I’ve said hurtful things to my brother without thinking twice about how he might feel. A lot of this stems from my inherent belief that people don’t care what I think or say (especially when it comes to my brother), but I’ve learned that what I do and what I say do have an impact and I need to be aware of that. I’ve said some things in the heat of the moment that I regret when I think back upon them and I don’t want to say or do any more things that hurt anyone. It really won’t be easy, but that’s why I’m going to be working on this in 2017 and probably the rest of my life.

2. Be More Forgiving

And by “Be More Forgiving” what I really want to say is, “Be Less Spiteful and Petty.” Haha. Because I am. And this one is another really hard one for me. I’m not sure why I have a tendency to be spiteful and petty, but it’s there. I think it might come from stubbornness and pride?

Either way, this is something I want to get better at. Another thing I realized this year is that my mom and I are more similar that I gave credit for. I’ve always believed my mother and me to be vastly different people, almost opposites, and because of this, I believed us to butt heads sometimes. While this isn’t entirely incorrect, I’ve learned that the reason why we get into big disagreements sometimes is because we are too different in some ways, but more importantly, much too similar in other ways. For example… We are both petty and spiteful.

My mom and I had a time this year when we didn’t speak to each other and barely saw each other for an entire week because we were both so angry. Neither one of us wanted to cave and we both refused to apologize and forgive for what we had done.

I thought of this lyric from, Beauty and the Beast.

“Then somebody bends, unexpectedly.”

Hahah, in our case, neither one of us was willing to bend. And this is what I want to try and get better at. Because what did that accomplish? Absolutely nothing. It only wasted our time and energy. And especially because I love my mom and my relationship with her is something that I will keep forever (in contrast to someone I might be willing to let go.)

Anyways, this is what I want to work on. Not just with my mom, but in general. This one is going to be incredibly hard for me. Even today, I had a tough moment where I almost let anger and spite win out. Luckily, (at least today), it didn’t work. And it really was hard. But it’s possible and the more I do it, the better I’ll get!

[Note: All said and done, learning this about my mother and me was actually a very fun revelation because it was one I never would have expected! But I’m really glad for it because I can’t wait to see what it will do to our relationship!]

All righty… As I finish this post, it is now two short minutes till midnight, till the new year. I’m so grateful for all that I’ve learned this year and I can’t wait to see what the new one will bring me. New Years is one of my favorite times of year. I love the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning, of a clean slate. I am always excited by the days to come and ready for all the possibilities (no matter how cheesy that may sound).

And the clock strikes midnight!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! ❤

Let this be a good one!

Update: December!

It’s been a reaaaaaaaaaaallllly long time since I’ve done one of these update thingys (I think March was the last one?) which is too bad, because I actually like doing these!! Hehe, anyways, lots of things have been a happening, so I thought it’d be nice to actually catch up on everything that’s been happening since March in an official post!

But first things first… I know it’s been a month and a half since the 2016 elections have come and gone and initially, since it had passed, I wasn’t going to bring it up again… but that felt kinda icky to just let it slide by, so here I go!

I don’t have much to say other than that this is horribly disappointing, shameful, and I still have a hard time believing it. I am not at all into politics (I find it really boring) but that was the thing: This election was not about politics. It was about basic human rights and equality vs. racism and hate. Perhaps this is my privilege speaking, but I never, never thought this would happen. I was really excited and proud to live in a time where I got to see the first black president and the first woman president become elected. I was devastated that this didn’t happen. A part of me is still in a very shocked state, while the other part of me feels kinda numb and perhaps a little bit in denial. I’m not a very eloquent person (ironic considering I wanna write), so I don’t know if I can ever truly express everything that I want to say, but for now, I think that’ll work.

And if it wasn’t clear before, this is going to be a loooooooong post. So bear with me 🙂

 

What I’m Writing: 

I am working on the second draft of Fox Story! I won’t lie. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve learned that the second draft is always in the most grueling, most arduous part of the writing process. Not only in terms of the actual writing, but this is the point in which I struggle SO hard with motivation (not having very much of it) and procrastination (having waaaay too much of it). I hardly ever feel like writing and most of the time, I find myself letting myself get distracted by other, more fun things. As a result, it’s been a slow process, especially with the holidays getting in the way. However, I am determined to do better in the coming days and I will get this draft done! YEAH!!!!!!

What I’m Reading: 

Reading has also been slow this month… I don’t know, I just haven’t felt like reading much! I’ve learned this is just the way reading life is, so I’m going with the flow! However, I have read some books that I adored!

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard

I have long awaited this book ever since I finished Truthwitch last year! Truthwitch was one of those books for me that you want to love so so bad and are afraid it will let you down. Luckily, I LOVED loved loved it. It was at the same time everything that I wanted and nothing like I expected. My favorite part about it was how very classic it felt. I’m not really sure how to explain it better than that, but it had a distinct “feel” to it that I absolutely loved! Anyways, Windwitch was just amazing as the first, if not more amazing. Again, I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t be what I wanted it to be, but worry not, my friends. It was amazing. You will not be disappointed. If anything, you will be astounded by its sheer brilliance.

 

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Eep!!! Another book that I was dying to read. Okay, first of all, just look. LOOK AT THAT COVER. How could you not want to read it? Also the description. A tournament in which the prize is a wish??!!! I was actually really mad I didn’t think of that idea first because HOW COOL IS THAT. I just love that concept. Anyways, I loved it! The writing is gorgeous, the story unique. I think it was even better than The Star-Touched Queen! Part of it also reminded me of the k-drama, You’re Beautiful (my favoritest drama ever, in case you didn’t know!!), and literally right after I finished, I had to watch the last episode of You’re Beautiful and then sob tearfuls. So yeah! Read it! You’ll love it!

My Current Music Obsession: 

 

THIS. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER? HOW HAVE I GONE MY ENTIRE LIFE WITHOUT THESE?

Hands down, this is THE BEST–THE BEST–Disney medley I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It is so freaking clever how they connected the songs and you can tell that they put actual effort into this and I am so astounded by how creatively and how beautifully they produced this. Not only are the lyrics so beautifully woven together, they’ve also connected the songs with the notes. Every single time I watch this, I am so in awe. How brilliant is it???

Once upon a dream/ is a wish your heart makes.

When the prince of the my dreams comes to/look at me. 

I would break my family’s heart/don’t fail me now.

Finally they’re opening up the–what’s that word again? (gates)–street.

Wandering free, wish I could be, part of that world/what I’d give to return.

 And to think I’d complained of that dull provincial town/and you’ll never hear the wolf cry. 

I know I don’t really have to explain this because it’s really obvious in the video, but I thought I’d point out my favorite parts (which coincidentally happens to be the whole thing……. O____o)!!! 😀 Also, SO BRILLIANT when they go from For the First Time in Forever back to Part of Your World. It never fails to crack me up!

I could talk about this for months and months. And months. I’ve probably watched this literally 30 times. I love it so much. I could listen to it forever and marvel at how wonderful it is.

Also, Laura Osnes. Wow. She really needs to be a Disney Princess. I don’t understand how she’s not one already. She’s amazing! Her voice is so perfect! She was made to be a Disney Princess. (PS~ Big, big shout-out to my CO-G, Janelly Bear, for introducing me to Laura Osnes!)

What I’m Watching: 

OKAY ANOTHER NEW HORRIBLY BIG OBSESSION: THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES.

WOW.

Talk about brilliant. It is the best retelling of Pride and Prejudice I have EVER seen. It is so creative and just a perfect translation. The moment I saw Ashley Clements on screen, I immediately thought: LIZZIE. The way she looks, the way she talks is exactly how I would imagine Elizabeth Bennet were she living now. I have a feeling I’ll be talking about this more in the future and most likely in more depth (because I just have sooooooo much to say about this show!!!!!!), but just WOW. The character arcs, the little nods to the original, the medium, the sheer, sheer brilliance of it.

I binge-watched the entire show in just a day. A DAY. So get thee to Lizzie Bennet Diaries!!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!!!

What’s Happening: 

Actually… quite a lot. About a month ago, I QUIT MY JOB. While I loved loved some aspects of my job, I had a TERRIBLE boss. I was always nervous when he was around because he’d nitpick at every little thing. He’d yell at me for things that did not heed yelling. He treated us (the aides) like we were servants and morons.

The last straw was way back in September. I had forgotten to put the bike pedals back on the bike the previous night and when I came in the next morning to work, my boss exploded. He yelled at me and threatened to fire me in front of a patient and that was when I had this epiphany. I suddenly realized: I don’t deserve to be treated this way. While this seems obvious, it was actually a huge epiphany for me. I realized he treated me–and my co-workers–like complete trash. None of us deserved to be treated like this.

Not only did he yell and explode over nothing, but once he was mad at you, he would make personal attacks. He’d make snide comments and nitpick even more. He’d “test” me and ask me questions to see if I’d get them wrong, he’d interrupt while I was working with patients and say that I was doing something incorrectly, even though it’s how I’d been doing them all along. He’d do an “inspection” every night and make up a list of everything you’d done improperly. In addition, he would misunderstand things (not intentionally, but still) and somehow I’d be blamed for it. He also blamed me for a lot of things that weren’t my fault.

I bring this up because I just want to say: You do not deserve to be treated this way. You shouldn’t be looked down upon because the position you serve is “lesser.” Don’t let anyone treat you like that. I don’t care if it’s a boss, a “friend”, a family member, a random person–it’s not okay.

I constantly think of this quote from Sirius Black:

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. 

It’s so very true and so very revealing of what a person is like. I will never forget that.

I worked there for over a year. It’s shockingly easy for behavior like this to become your normal. I’d somehow forgotten or never quite realized until that moment that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I’d forgotten that it wasn’t normal for your boss to yell at you because of a tiny thing no one else notices. I’d forgotten that you shouldn’t be super nervous when you’re boss is around. I’d just kind of accepted that that’s the way things were.

I miss working for the therapists there (who were so great to me and the only reason why I stayed there as long as I did), I miss the patients, and I miss the work of it, but I’m glad for the change for many reasons. I’ve just started my new job and am enjoying it. It’s a hospital instead of an outpatient clinic, so it is different, but it’s been great so far! I love the people that I’ve met and I’ve met some hilarious patients!

 

Well, I hope everyone has had a wonderful winter holiday!! The new year is just around the bend, and how exciting is that! Because it means… SHERLOCK SEASON 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO SO SO EXCITED.

Anyways, that’s what’s been going on with me! I’m going to try and be more consistent with my updates, but I also know better than to make any promises because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I am very fickle and impulsive with my blog! But thank you all for reading and have an amazing day!!!! 😀

Snowflakes and Updates

Hello, my dear sweet blog!

Today was a good day!… (I didn’t have to use my AK)… Hahah JK (hey, that rhymes!!!)! Funny story–I don’t listen to Ice Cube (or really rap in general, excepting Eminem), but because of this scene from one of my favorite shows ever, Happy Endings:

I got introduced to this song and naturally began singing it (because I always get songs–especially from sitcoms–stuck in my head and the urge to sing become too much to resist… plus, I guess according to my mom, I’m always being loud and singing anyways… haha..). Haha, well, my brother (who’s a hardcore rap maniac) walked past and heard me singing and did the BIGGEST DOUBLE TAKE EVER. After a brief silence, he was like, “ARE YOU SINGING ICE CUBE?” Of course, I didn’t know this song was by Ice Cube, so I just shrugged and said, “I don’t know!” Ha… Anyways, I’m finding that this story is getting rather long and also it’s not that funny… Hehe, I guess you just had to be there??

OH BOY! Let me get to the point of this post now! So today was a good day! Here are some things I did!!

  • Took Husker Pups to her doggy training class and she graduated today! Yeeeeee!!!!
  • Went running with a friend, had lunch, and then had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte! (Technically this was yesterday, but whatever, it was still fun!!)
  • Went up into the mountains to take some pictures with said friend!
  • Slipped and fell in mud!
  • Hugged a tree and got white chalky stuff all over me (I was wearing all black!)
  • Stepped in dog poo
  • Sent Leigh Bardugo a long, fangirly email
  • Finally decided to write this blog post

That’s the gist of it! Like I said, it was a good day, despite all the stepping-on-dog-poo stuff that went on. Can you believe it? This is the second time I stepped in dog poo with that same friend! I raged real hard as my friend laughed her head off. Hahah, okay, I laughed too, because it was kind of funny, but it was also SUPER DISGUSTING and we both wanted to barf. The worst part of it is, we went up to Little Cottonwood Canyon, which has VERY strict regulations that do not allow any dogs up there due to watersheds. Like, you can’t even have dogs in the car up there! It was supposed to be a safe space!! So during my rage, I was like, “WHO BROUGHT THEIR DOG UP HERE?? I’M GOING TO REPORT THEM!!!”

(Hahah, I don’t even know who to report them to, much less how they would ever determine who is to blame… But ya know, when you’re in the heat of the moment, you just say a lot of stuff, haha).

WOW, LOOK HOW MUCH I DIGRESS. Well, I guess it’s because this is such a random post, but I do have some things that I want to report!

Sooooooo… in my previous post, I talked about how I was embarking on this crazy plan to finish a draft in like three weeks or something (D-Day equaling the release of Crooked Kingdom). While I still concede it was a Crazy Plan, it turns out it was for moot because I ended up not starting drafting.

MERRRRHHHHH.

You see, the reason I decided to start drafting is because I had stalled out completely on brainstorming. I didn’t know what was going on, or how to get the brain wheels turning again, but it just was not working. So after feeling very unproductive for a few weeks, I decided that maybe drafting would jumpstart my brainstormy, idea-rolling feelings. I mean, I wasn’t making any progress with brainstorming/outlining anyways, so why not try drafting and see what it does? Well, it turns out I had more brainstorming juice left in me than I thought! Once I got the ball rolling, it really started going.

A big part of me hates writing this post because it makes me look like a flake. And one of my BIGGEST pet peeves is flaky people. I need–absolutely need— to be able to trust people to follow through. If you say you want to have dinner tomorrow at 5pm, I most certainly expect you to be there. If you say you want to watch a movie, you better not cancel on me thirty minutes before. Better yet, you better not stand me up. Ha… Stuff like this has happened to me quite often by those who I considered friends, so I really, really, really dislike flakes/flaking.

(To be clear–of course, I 100% understand that things sometimes come up and it requires you to cancel! I’m talking about the chronic, reliable flakes!)

Failing to follow-up on my last post makes me feel like a flake and I really hate it. But I know that it was the right choice. I’m so glad the brainstorming juices started flowing again and I’d rather wait until I have a more solid outline in place before I start drafting. So, yeah. I didn’t draft. But I don’t feel bad about it.

Onwards and upwards, right?

On the bright side, this might have been for the best because I managed to find a copy of Crooked Kingdom in the wild a few days before its release date. I mean, that would have been absolute TORTURE not to be able to read it until I was done drafting.

So here’s the new plan!! The new plan is actually the old plan! Before my brainstorming rut, I had planned on drafting October and this is what I want to do again! I’ve got a much better, solid outline in place now. I’ll spend the rest of this coming week brainstorming and outlining some more and come Monday, October 3, 2016, I will start my first draft of Fox Story!

My goal: I would really, really love it if I could finish this draft within a month. I’m going to try my very best to meet this goal, but in the back of my mind, I know I’m going to be busy with school, work, and volunteering, so I’m going to (try to) not to be too hard on myself if this doesn’t happen.

Well, dear blog, I think that’s it for me today! I’m excited to start this new story and the itch to write has been creeping up on me the last few days, which is always a fun, fun feeling!

Thank you for reading!!! 😀

ERIN OUT!

 

It’s Levi-OHHHH-sa, Not Levio-SAAAA

So I just very, very, very recently learned that Hermione was correcting the accents on Ron’s spell in the scene where they’re learning how to make things fly. When I heard this line in Harry Potter, I thought it the quote went more like:

“It’s Levi-OH-sa, not Leviosaur!”

Because you know… Apparently my brain can’t comprehend stuff. HAAAA!!!! So here I was, all this time, thinking that this spell sounded like a dinosaur.

ANYWAYS.

I recently went to Leviosa Con and thought I’d write up a post about it!

CONFESSION: My dear friend Janella (who you all probably know by now), wrote up her Leviosa post, and so, I had to write up one myself, so that I could one-up her!!! HA! Just kiddddddding!!! I COULD NEVER ONE-UP YOU, JUJUJUJUJUJUJU BEAR!!!!!! The real deal is that I was inspired to write my own post after I saw Janella’s!!!! 😀

(Okay, I did copy her title though, because it was WAAAY too good not to copy!!!! 😀 )

OH GOODNESS. I am TERRIBLE at staying on topic!!!!!!

Okay. Sooo.. Leviosa!!!!

It was sooooo much fun!!!! The best part, as always, is that I get to hang out with some of my amazing CPs/writing buddies, i.e. Maddy, Amanda, Akshaya, Axie, and Janella!!!! It’s kind of crazy the amount of silliness and goofiness and pure fun that goes on when we’re all together. But the good kind of crazy!! (I hope O__O!)

But it really was so much fun getting to meet and hang out with authors, meet new friends, and flail about Harry Potter and books in general!

Some of the crazy shenanigans that went on:

Maddy and Janella flew into SLC and we drove down to Vegas together!!! 
Obviously we had some fun times on the way down!!! 

 

Janella ROCKIN’ it and Amanda gettin’ down to business during one of our write seshes. 

 

This very creepy photo Janella took for the sake of keeping up our Snap Streak.

Having some serious fun as we sit in on some panels!! 

 

Amanda and I getting our Snap on with crazy eyes. 

The awesome Diversity Panel with our very own, Axie and Janella, who absolutely were AWESOME!!! (And of course, Sooz being so lovable and adorable as per her usual self!) 

 

A rare group photo that is not a crazy selfie. (Aks conspicuously missing… *clutchy face*!!!)

A beautiful Nevada sunset.

In which Manda Panda tries to eat Janella’s fingers. 

Me, Maddy, and–OMG PERCY WEASLEY!!!!

A distinctly uncomfortable Juju Bear.

And of course, one of THE best parts of going to cons is being able to meet your favorite, favorite author!!! SUSAN DENNARD!!!! The most amazing person in the world!!!

Roshani Chokshi, another amazing, amazing author and person. So kind and gracious and absolutely so beautiful!

Sooz killin’ it on her panel about Book Friendships!

Leviosa was such a fun experience! I got to spend ridiculous amounts of time flailing to authors that I love and chatting with some new friends! I also got to pitch to some agents, which was an incredible experience (which I may delve into further in a separate post!). I had the greatest time with my friends and while you’d think that we’d be sick of each other, we’re strangely not! I loved getting to spend endless hours with m’buddies!!!

After Leviosa ended, Janella and Maddy and I drove back up to Salt Lake, where we had another few days of mischief and mishaps together! Basically we went CRAZY and did puzzles as we watched Austenland and played with Nabi the Husky and meandered around Salt Lake City!

Just the sheer amount of power that lies within these two intense stares…

Schnuggles with Barnaby

Maddy and Janella looking oh-so-fine after our hike to Lisa Falls.

Photo-inception.

The faces that pretty sum up who we are.

Success s’mores with my CO-G, Janella!

Nabi attacking Juju Bear (but with good intentions!) 

Probably my favorite picture from Leviosa!!! The Cult as we try to take a ridiculous selfie!!!! <333333

Yay!! So that’s it for Leviosa!! Honestly, I’m not sure when the next shebang’s gonna be, but I miss these cult crazies already!! I’m not gonna lie–I PASSED out after Leviosa and definitely caught up on some very-much-needed sleep!!! It’s been nice getting back into routine and no doubt, we’ll be reunited sooner rather than later!!

Thanks for reading, guys!!! <3333

Recap of RT16 and Book Con!!!

Woo hee… So it’s been a couple of months since I last posted on the blog… Hehe, guess things just got away from me! Anyways, as you might know, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the infamous Romantic Times Convention (which took place in Las Vegas!) as well as Book Con, which I got to attend rather unexpectedly! Sooooo, here’s a bit of a recap of what went on!

RT16: 

Ever since I found out about RT (which was like… last year-ish), I have always wanted to go!! I mean, a place where writers and authors come together in a giant explosion of books?? YASS!!!! The perfect place! So when I heard it was in Vegas this year (a paltry six hours from my awesome hometown of SLC!), I knew I wanted to go! Then BLAM! Some of my greatest friends and beautimous CPs who went last year (Maddy, Akshaya, and Janella) said it was a such an awesome experience and pretty quickly, we decided that we would all go to RT together!!! Which is a bajillion times more fun than going by yourself!

To say the least, I had a pretty awesome time!!!! I got to meet up with some of my favorite favorite people in the world, AKA Maddy, Janella, Akshaya, and Katy!!!!

I really don’t understand why we don’t all live together yet in a giant cabin up in the woods writing and laughing all the time! Hands down, my favorite part of any conventions like these is getting to spend time with my amazing CPs. Seriously. I have SO. MUCH. FUN. with them every time we meet up. What was awesome about RT was that I finally got to spend more than an hour with my friend, Katy, and spend more than 12 hours with Akshaya! I got to spend some quality time with Maddy schwimming to and fro, talking about our mss and life and books in general. And of course, as usual, much, much, much laughter ensued with Janella and me.

Here is some photographic evidence 🙂 :

 

Akshaya, Katy, Janella, and moi making our beautiful faces shine

Janella and me living our Masquerade Dream at the hotel grocery store while Katy and Akshaya were shopping

 

 

Another amazing thing about RT was that I got to meet some of my very favorite favorite authors in the world and literary heroes, AKA RENEE AHDIEH AND MARIE RUTKOSKI!!!!!!!!! OMG I THINK I DIED!!!!!! I fangirled SO HARD. It was such an amazing experience to meet these two writers. Haha, I think everyone knows here how much I freaking love The Wrath and the Dawn and The Winner’s Trilogy. They are HUGE inspirations of mine and it was ridiculous that I actually got to meet them. I made a complete fool out of myself and Renee and Marie probably think I’m CRAZY… But really… What did you expect?? Heheh…

 

 

Wheeee!!! Alex Bracken!!! Always so adorable and cute!!!!! 

The Infamous Victoria Aveyard!!!!! She probably thought I was a real creeper given the way I kept waving to her randomly every time I saw her! 

Holy Moly, guys!!!! TAMORA PIERCE!!!!!! A legend!!!! (SUCH a funny lady, by the way!!!) 

And one of my favorite people in the world, Leigh Bardugo!!!! I love her so much!!! 

And OMG OMG OMG IT’S ME WITH MARIE RUTKOSKI GUYS!!!!!!! I’m literally tearing up as I write this!!!! *sobface*!!! 


And then, another favorite part of RT… MEETING NEW PEOPLE!!!! I met my new favorite peoples in the world, Axie and Kat!!! They are AWESOME!!!! We had so much fun with them and seriously, it felt like we’d all been friends for a long time even though it had been less than a day that we’d met (erm… does that sound weird??? Also, Kat and Axie, if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t find it weird that we all obsessed over you two… O___O )

 

 

Photo Booth fun with the RT Gang! 

And a picture of us having fun as we wait in line!!! 😀 (Akshaya had to snatch the phone away from me to take this picture because I am so abominably SUCKY at taking selfies, hahaha!!!!)

To sum up, I had the greatest time at RT! I can’t believe all the authors we got to meet and the various people that we met! I’m so excited about it still and I cannot wait until next year, which I would very much like to go to if at all possible (CURSE YOU REAL LIFE AND WORK!!!)!!!

Onto Book Con!!!!

Book Con 2016: 

I just got back from Book Con yesterday and BOY am I tired. I definitely need to rejuvenate and recover from that crazy weekend, but like RT, I had the greatest time in the world!!! I’m so sad that I couldn’t stay longer (again–CURSE YOU REAL LIFE AND WORK!!!!). I actually hadn’t planned on going because I had already taken too many days off from work, but for once, the Universe blessed me and it turned out that the clinic was going to be closed May 13th and 14th…. Which just happened to be when Book Con was!!! So, I threw caution to the wind and hopped on a plane to Chicago where I was met by my beautiful friends Maddy and Janella (who also, on a whim, hopped on a plane to Chicago… I like to say that Janella was so much obsessed with me that when she heard I was going, she just had to copy me and go to 😉 JUST KIDDING, JUJU BEAR!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!)

I digress… Anyways! It was SOOO MUCH fun!!!! Again, my favorite part was hanging out with my greatest friends in the world!!!! Maddy and Janella were there, but guess who else was there??? OMG OUR NEW BFF KAT!!!!! Yup! The Kat from RT. To say the very least, we four had an outrageous time meeting authors, getting books signed, and general madness/happiness in general.

I also got to meet a few more writerly friends that I have known online for a while, but had never met before, including my flailing partner/CP, Mic!!!!!!!! For unfortunate reasons, our timing never worked out well so that we got to hang out, but luckily, we ran into each other during lunch and YAY GOT TO MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!!! Seriously so awesome!!!! And we also got to meet Meg!!!! She has awesome pink hair and red glasses and is freaking adorable!! Again, due to unfortunate planning, we only got to hang out for a very short period of time, but HEY! That just means we’ll all have to get together sometime in the future to make up for it!!! (Also due to some more unfortunate circumstances, I forgot to get a picture with these two awesome ladies… NEXT TIME!!!)

Woo hoo!! Here’s some more photographic evidence for you all!!!!

 

Our demon-eyed gang (and demon-eyed photobomber, whom Janella shrewdly brought to our attention)

 

Maddy posing beautifully on her Beauty and the Beast-esque ladder bookshelf. 

Janella and Kat, plus me and Maddy’s arms 🙂

A super blurry picture of Maddy and me!!! 

Lady Elizabeth, Maddy’s kitty, who I have decided is the cutest cat in the world and I love her to death. 

The reason I love Sooz so much

Janella and me as at the famous Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville!!!!! 

Sushi dinner before going to the Sarah J. Maas signing!!!! 

Bahahah, one of my favorite pictures from Book Con!!!! > . <

Aaaaah!!! Sarah J. Maas!!!! (And before you even ask, OF COURSE I acted like a complete blathering idiot in front of her!!!)

 
Gotta say, I’ve been having the best time this year getting to hang out with my friends that are across the country. And of course, I can’t wait until July when we get together once more for Leviosa Con!!! EEEEEE!!! Until then, we’ll just have to stick to our usual Skyping Thudnights 😀

Yay!! I hope you guys enjoyed this!!! See ya later!!!

Life Update: Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/March

Woooooooow, it has been FOREVER since I’ve last posted on my dear poor blog and even longer since I’ve done an update! Haha, man, I was on such a great blogging streak for a while there, but it looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon!! Anyways, here is a long, overdue blog post on what’s been going on in my life!

What I’m Writing: 

Faerie Story, what else?!! It really does seem like I’ve been working on this story for about forever. In fact, I started drafting this project just about a year ago (January 2015) and while I took breaks to work on other projects, I’m now spending all my energy on getting this thing into tiptop shape!!! Right now, I’m revising Faerie Story and by revising, I really mean rewriting for the third time. I didn’t actually mean/think I had to rewrite it again, but it kind of turned out that way and I’m actually very okay with it (I’ve probably already told you guys this and forgot I told you guys this… but whatever!!!). I feel like the story is FINALLY on track and going the way I always wanted it to. I feel like I’m falling in love with this story all over again and I’m excited that it’s FINALLY coming together. It’s been a very long process, but I hope in the end, I’ll have something that I can be proud of. I’m super close to being done with Draft #3 and while I missed my deadline (end of February), I’m just happy that it’s almost done. Hopefully after this round, it will truly be revising and not rewriting… again. I’ve still got tons and tons and tons of work ahead of me, but I’m optimistic!!

What I’m Reading: 

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Tides by Betsy Cornwell

I finished Tides just last night! My lovely CP Amanda (AKA MANDA PANDA) actually sent this book to me (and made me cry and sob and feel all good inside) because she knows I’m pretty obsessed with anything to do with mermaids or half-human/half-seacreature stories!! (I KNOW, ISN’T SHE THE BEST? GREAT, THANKS AMANDA, I’M GETTING ALL EMOTIONAL AGAIN!!!!) But I loved Tides! I had such nostalgia for it even though it was my first time reading it because it is exactly the kind of book I would have picked up when I was a kid. It had everything that I wanted and left me with such a good feeling.

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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts was also any amazing read!!!! I had heard good things about this book and so naturally, I was a little wary of the hype. But no worries! I LOVED it!!!! The writing style (though still very clearly YA) totally reminded me of Jane Austen. I loved the hate-to-love romance with Teach and Anne and the entire story took me by such lovely surprise! Highly recommend to everyone!!!

These are my most recent book loves, but other books I’ve read and LOVED LOVED LOVED over the past few months: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, Kings Rising by CS Pacat, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

My Current Music Obsession:

My music seems to be rotating through three things: Taylor Swift, Big Bang, and The Phantom of the Opera, which happens to be my most recent obsession. I’ve been listening to The Point of No Return on repeat for days now and I’m still not over it. Of course, I’m perpetually obsessed with Phantom, but I’m not sure what triggered my most recent round. Anyways, I’ve been watching this version with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karminloo a lot, a lot.

 

What I’m Watching:

I recently finished rewatching Arrested Development for about the bajillionth time (yes, I have FINALLY FINALLY moved on from Friends… for now…) and now I’m rewatching Parks and Recreation. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I forgot how great Parks and Recreation was!!!! For some reason, I still haven’t watched the very last season (I don’t know, maybe I’m in denial) but I figured, I’ll start at the beginning and finally make my way through to the end!!! Love Leslie Knope, love Amy Poehler, love this show so much!!!! I can’t believe that I ever forgot how hilarious it is!!!!

What’s Happening:

Merh…. Not much? Still been working, still been doing the same old, same old routine. I’ve been going to lots of fun book events where I’ve met SO MANY lovely people and authors and found a great community of readers and writers that I didn’t even know was there. I’ve met new friends and writers and I’m so excited about it!!

I got my rejections for PT school, which is kind of a bummer, but honestly I’m okay with it.  I’ve got a good plan for what I’m doing to strengthen my application, which unfortunately means taking some more classes (meh) during this summer, but it definitely won’t be bad at all! I’ll probably also be doing some volunteering and whatnot!

Well, that’s pretty much all that’s been going on with me! I’m hoping that once these revisions are finished I’ll have a lot more time to commit to my blog, but… don’t get your hopes up quite yet 🙂

All righty! Thanks for reading everybody!!! I’ll see you again soon (I hope!!!)!!

Goal Making Part 1

With New Year’s and all, I thought I’d write a post about making goals! I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I can’t help it!! I LOOOOVVVE making goals! Goals are what motivate me and inspire me to finish! Goals give me something to shoot for! Goals make me happy 😀 😀 😀 😀 !!!

I’m going to relate this post to mainly writing, but it can really apply to any goal that you have–running goals, school goals, music goals, weight loss goals–whatever!

I’m sure many of you have heard of SMART goals, but I think it’s really helpful and useful to go over! I learned this in my Sports Psychology class a few years ago and really loved it and think it’s a great lesson for everyone to know! For those of you who haven’t heard of SMART goals… Here ya go!

S – SPECIFIC

You want to have specific goals. Vague goals are hard to achieve because, well, they’re too vague. Vague, general goals might be a good starting point, but you definitely want to branch out from there and really get into the details for how you are going to achieve that goal. For example, “I want to write a book.” It’s a good place to start, but it’s definitely not specific enough. So you want to dig deeper. Think about how you’re going to write the book. You might say, “I’m going to write for an hour each day after work.” That gives it a lot more specificity and it makes it a lot easier to see how you’re going to achieve your goal, which in this case, is writing a book.

M – MEASURABLE

You want to be able to measure your goals and your progress. I mean, it’s already hard enough to achieve a goal, but if you aren’t able to see your progress, it makes it that much harder. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see yourself making progress. So make measurable goals. With writing, you might say, “I’m going to write an 50k book, so I’m going to write a 1k a day.” It’s really easy to see whether you’ve met that goal. You can very easily measure it and see how much closer you are to meeting your final goal. You write 1k a day, you’ll be finished in fifty days, right?

A – ATTAINABLE

This one is a pretty obvious one that everyone knows, but it can be really easy to make goals that are not attainable. I know I’ve done it. I’ve said things like, “I want to write 10k a day.” Umm… Yeah, not really realistic. Not only is it not really realistic, it’ll only discourage you when you don’t achieve that goal. Instead, you want to make attainable goals. You want to think about what’s possible for you right now. How much time do you have to write? How many words are you capable of writing in a day? How many other responsibilities do you have that might get in the way of writing?

R – RELEVANT

This one also sounds like an obvious one, but it’s important to think about. Make sure that your goals are in keeping with your overall goal. It won’t really help to make a goal saying, “I want to write everyday,” and end up writing in your journal every night. Not that that’s bad, but if your overall goal is to write a book, work on that book. Don’t work on other things. Stick to writing a book and make goals that will help you achieve your overarching goal.

T – TIME- SPECIFIC

You want to set a goal that has a due date, deadline–whatever you want to call it. You don’t want to work on something indefinitely because, it will feel like you drag it on forever and you never meet your goal. Of course, you still want it to be a realistic and attainable goal, so you definitely want to give yourself enough time to be able to achieve your goal, but there should be a time-limit for your goal. With the goal, writing a book, you might say, “I’m going to finish drafting this book in one year.”

Well, I hoped that helped! Part 2 will be coming next week!

As always, thanks for reading!!! 😀

 

New Year’s Resolutions 2016

2015 was a great, great year. I met amazing friends, I started a new job that I’m really liking, I applied to PT school (gaaaaaahhhh), and overall it was just a really good year. Writing-wise, I had my first run at querying (which was a GREAT experience though it led to nothing), I wrote two new manuscripts, and I revised for the first time ever (which really was a super cool thing).

As you alllllll know by now, I LOVE to make goals and so of course, I’m posting on New Year’s! I’m really excited to make new goals and see how they’ll pan out over the next year. All right! Here goes!

1.Finish revising Faery Story

I feel like I’ve been revising this story forever, though it really only has been a few months total, if you don’t count all the months I wasn’t/didn’t do much writing. But let’s face it, I don’t want to be working on this story for years on end. I like finishing things and it’s about time that I really hunkered down and got this story finished! And to be a bit more specific, I think my goal for finishing this third draft will be around the end of February or March. I hope to go over it one more time after that, maybe take about a month to do that, and hopefully send it off to CPs in May and once I’ve gotten their notes, see if I can query by June!

2. Query Faery Story

I’d really like to be querying this year! Now that I’ve done it once, I think I’ll be able to do a much better job, know what I’m getting into, and generally be a bit more reassured in what I’m doing! I want to get my Faery Story out and running. Of course, I want it to be query-ready, so I won’t rush or anything, but I think I should be ready to query by the summer or so, seeing how things go!

3. Write new MS

Draft and revise a new manuscript!!!!! I have so, so many ideas and I can’t wait to write them all! One of my goals for 2016 is to start and hopefully even finish it! I think I know what my next project is going to be (I’ll start sharing more once I start it, if that does, in fact, turn out to be my next project). But it’s an idea that has been consuming me and I absolutely love it and I’m soooooo excited to write it!!! I’d love to be able to start this new project and finally get it out of my head and onto paper.

And not really writing related, but another goal I have is to get more fit (I know, sooooo cliche, but hey!) I want to be running regularly again, or at least going to the gym regularly! I remember those days when I used to get up at 5am and run just a little under 3 miles–WHAT HAPPENED??? I know I’ve talked about this before, but I do like running and I want to get back into the habit of it. Having taking a whole lot of kinesiology classes, I, of all people, should know how important it is to stay active and unfortunately, writing has made a major dent in that :/ So, I want to get back to that! Maybe be able to run a few miles without feeling like I’m dying, if I’m really ambitious, maybe make a goal to run a 10K or something???

Well, these are my goals for 2016, or at least the ones that I can think of right now! (Might go back and write some more in, if I can think of it! 🙂 )

What are your resolutions and goals for 2016?