Update: March 2018!!!

Is it sad that every single time I do one of this “Update” posts that I have to go back to my previous posts to remember how to format them??

Also, I wonder if I should find a name for these updates that have a bit more pep and a bit more zazz to them? HMMM.

What I’m Writing:

Woo hoo!! I sent my revised manuscript back to my agent and am waiting to get more notes on them, which I’m very much excited about! I ended up making a lot of big changes based on the notes my agent gave me and cut a net total of 14k (which I am VERY proud of, heheh!! YAAASSSS!) The new version is faaaaar from perfect and still could use a lot of improvement, but I’m really happy with how much better it’s become!! Hehe, I’m actually realizing how BAD my previous draft was (😯)–which might sound terrible (??) but it’s something I really like about the writing process and I love the feeling of having made a better story! 😀 😀

 

What I’m Reading: 

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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia Mckillip

OHMYGOD YOU GUYS!!!!! THIS BOOK!!!!! It’s so good. SOOOOO GOOD!!!! I am so so obsessed! I’ve been meaning to read Patricia Mckilip for a long time now thanks to my wonderful friend, Axie Oh, who recommended her to me!!! (Thanks, Axie!!!–seriously guys, I NEVER go wrong with a book Axie recommends me–she is an GENIUS and Old School Fantasy QUEEN!!!!) OHMYGOD!!!! SO GOOD!!! It’s just so magical and lush, the prose is GORGEOUS, and I gobbled this book up!! After reading the first couple of chapters, I immediately got on my computer and ordered three more of Mckilip’s books! I am SO excited to read more of her stories!! SOOO GOOD!!!!

 

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The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip

AHHHHHH!!! I just finished this today–a few hours ago actually–and OH MY GOSH. It’s GORGEOUS. So so beautiful and magical and enchanting and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! Ugh, I am completely enamored of Patricia McKillip and I already flailed above about her other book, so I’ll stop now, but let’s just say, I maaaaaay have ordered three more of her books just now O__o heheheh. THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND SO GOOD GUYS!!! Okay! I’m done!!

 

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

AHHHH YOU GUYS!!!!!! I was somehow fortunate enough to get an arc of Spinning Silver, which is one of my most antiquated reads of 2018!!! As you guys know, I am a HUGE HUGE HUUUUUGE lover of Uprooted by Naomi Novik (read here 🙂 ) and so when I found out that Naomi Novik was writing another book in the vein of Uprooted, I FREAKED. I’m part way through right now and I’m really enjoying it!!! It actually reminds me of a mix between RumpelstilskinThe Bear and the Nightingale, teeeeeensy historical bits of The Crown’s Game, which is AWESOME. There are probably a looooot more myths and folktales in there than I’m recognizing, but it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to read more and be blown away, as I’m sure to be!

 

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An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

I LOVED this book, you guys!!! It’s a contemporary fantasy and rather different from the books I usually read, but oh my gosh, it was FANTASTIC!!!! I’d been meaning to read Kat Howard for a while now, ever since her debut Roses and Rot came out, but never got around to it! I have arcs of both her book and fiiiiinally decided to pick up An Unkindness of Magicians and I can’t believe I waited this long! It was so good! Amazing characters, plot, and writing’s beautiful but not overwhelming!! I ended up getting a finished copy of both An Unkindness of Magicians and Roses and Rot, which I am suuuuper excited to get to!!

 

UGH!!!! I’ve been reading the most amazing and most gorgeous books lately and I AM SO HAPPY!!!!! I’m in love!!!!! And because I’m that excited, here are a few books that I’m planning on reading that I cannot wait to get toooooooo!!!!!!!!

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace – just bought this one today and might gobble it up in the next few hours if I can manage!!

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye – I really enjoyed The Crown’s Game and can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel!

Circe by Madeline Miller – I received an arc of this and I’m sooooo excited to read it!! I really enjoyed The Song of Achilles when I read it a few years back and can’t wait to see what Madeline Miller has in store next!

 

My Current Music Obsession: 

I kind of don’t have one right now? I’ve been switching between Reputation by Taylor Swift (which I have lots of Thoughts about and maybe I’ll do a post on that another time!) and Anastasia, with a bit of Phantom of the Opera and BIGBANG mixed in-between. but I’m kind of in one of those phases where I don’t feel strongly about anything at the moment.

I started listening to the Shipping and Handling podcast by agents Jennifer Udden and Bridget Smith though and am LOVING it. Holy cow, they are HILARIOUS!!! And their rapport is SOOOOO GREAT!!! Whenever I start something–whether that be a tv show, book, movie, podcast, etc–I’m always a tad skeptical and need to be won over. OMG!!! They won me over IMMEDIATELY!!! I listen to podcasts at the park when I’m with my puppers and I looked like a crazy person listening to Shipping and Handling because I laugh SO HARD. If you need a great, hilarious podcast about publishing to listen to, look no further!!! Shipping and Handling is for you!!!

(Hehe, but here is the new Delicate music video for you! It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but I actually really like it! It’s super fun and different and I love the bright colors! Also Delicate is definitely one of my favorite songs from the album!)

 

 

What I’m Watching: 

Bahahahah ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!!! Which means I am now going around talking like Buster Bluth. It’s been a while since I’ve rewatched this series and every time, I’m astounded by how hilarious and yet utterly RIDICULOUS it is!!!

 

 

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What’s Happening: 

Nothing much? Life is good!!! Well actually, I did want to say a little on this year’s flu season!! It has been AWFUL, guys, as I’m sure you all know! I have never been so sick, so many times in my life. The reason I bring this up is because I am so grateful to be healthy. I recently suffered from some weird stomach bug on Wednesday and it was the worst. I spent all day–literally all day–in bed, sick to my stomach. I’ve never experienced anything like this and hope to never again. I’m still recovering and the saddest part is that I’m not able to eat much and as eating is one of my favorite things to do, this definitely sucks. But on the plus side, it makes me think of all those fantasy books with characters who after getting out of years of prison aren’t able to eat much–especially rich foods and all that–anyways–it’s been a good experience in that I’ll be able to use this in my books!! And also, imagining yourself in a fantasy book is always something I’ve loved and enjoyed, heheh nerdy as it is 😀

But this has made me think of the patients at the hospital who are very sick and are going through so much more than I did and again, it makes me SOOOO grateful for my health. It’s definitely not going to be something I’m going to take for granted! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF GUYS!!!! It’s soooo important!!!

 

ALL RIGHTY. That’s it for me!!! HAPPY SAINT PATTY’S DAY!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for reading!!! ☺️

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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!!!!!)

Update: December 2017

HELLO BLOG!!!

Wow, I was just looking over at my last update post and… Oh my goodness, has it truly been a year since I’ve last done one of these updates? WOWOWOWOW. It really has been a longtime and this post is much, much overdue!

EDIT: OH JUST KIDDING. Hahaha, I am just dumb. My last update post was in April! Which is still waaaaaay too long ago, but much better than a year!!!! Hahahah!

Um, obviously, a lot of things have happened since April of this year, so this might be a biggish post? I never know with these things! Anyways, shall we hop right to it?

What I’m Writing: 

EDIT: Oh my goodness, after chatting with one of my CPs (THANKS AND SORRY AMANDA!!!), I just realized that this portion sort of comes off as a very passive aggressive message to those with my manuscript and OH MY GOSH!!!! I am so sorry! That is totally not what I meant and it is not directed towards any of the lovely people that were gracious enough to read my story!!!! It is just my general feelings and nothing more!!! I feel like I should make that clear! Also, I forgot to mention below that antsyness and itching are kind of GOOD because it’s been a while since I’ve felt that way! It’s nice to want to write again and feel anxious to write again!!! Okay, yeah! Just wanted to clarify!!! 😃

At the moment: NOTHING. Okay, well, not nothing nothing!!! My beloved Fox Story is currently with CPs and I am awaiting feedback! I’m not working on my manuscript at the moment, but I hope to be soon. I’m not gonna lie: the wait is rather insufferable. I’m super antsy (which I just realized I have been spelling incorrectly as ancy *facepalm*). But I think it might be good? I am itching now. Itching to write and get back into my story, itching to be busy again and have my head full. I am bored without anything to do/write and I’m DYING to work on my story again. (Although I know when the time comes for me to actually get back in the story, I’ll be pining for a break, hahah  > . <).

In the meantime, I have been working on my query letter and synopsis (also with the help of some of my amazing writer friends and CPs!!) which is not exactly the most exciting of things, but as they say, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!! I am terrible at pitches, but one thing I’m so proud and happy to note is that I am sooooooo much better at writing queries than I was a couple of years ago. It’s a small thing, but it has been truly gratifying to know that I have improved! Something that once required multiple drafts and many heavy-duty revisions, and so, so much help from my friends is now a much easier task! Granted, I still get so much help from my wonderful CPs–especially, Query Queen Janella–but nothing like in the past! WOO HOO!!! PROGRESS!!!!!

Anyways, since I am dancing around like I have ants in my pants for all this waiting, I think I might start brainstorming my newest book idea. Hmm… what shall I call it? Let’s call it Spirit Story!!!!! Haha, it doesn’t really have anything to do with spirits really, but there is a reason for it aaaaaaaand it’s also the first thing that popped into my brain. Maybe I’ll change it later, but I’m kind of liking that right now, so I’ll go with it! But yeah, maybe do a little brainstorming/mulling with that in my spare time?

What I’m Reading: 

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

just finished this a few hours ago and it was a beautiful story, brimming with a lush winter atmosphere, reminiscent of a fairytale. The prose was so, so beautiful and every sentence made me crave more. It actually wasn’t quite the story I thought it would be (I thought it would be much more heavy on the romance aspect) and the pace was much slower than I anticipated, but it was a gorgeous read. I have the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, and I’m excited to get to it!

 

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The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Also known as Northern Lights, I read this book a long time ago when I was a child. I had been meaning to reread this series for a while now and I finally did so earlier this week! I really enjoyed this book as a child and I was hoping as an adult now that I would understand more of the nuances held behind this book. I did enjoy the book, but I didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped. I had a few problems with the style of writing that lessened my enjoyment. Regardless, this an amazing fantasy with stunning world-building and I’m really excited to continue on my reread!

My Current Music Obsession: 

MY CURRENT OBSESSION IS NONE OTHER THAN ANASTASIA!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, you guys!!!!!! I held off on listening to the musical soundtrack for the new Broadway production for a long time because I wanted to get the “full effect” when I went to see the show. However, I was telling my mom this and she insisted that I would enjoy the musical more if I was familiar with the music. And then, I was like:

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So I began listening to Anastasia.

And OH. MY. GOD.

It is beautiful. I love it so much. SO MUCH. It is everything that I have wanted and more. The music is perfect and I’m so obsessed with it! Anastasia has always been one of my favorite princess stories. I have a thing for Lost Princess stories and Amnesia stories and I don’t doubt that much of it came from Anastasia! I am seriously astounded by how amazing this soundtrack is. I had high expectations from both the songs and the singers themselves, but OMG ALL EXPECTATIONS AND MORE WERE MET. I’m so in love with all the songs and I haven’t been able to stop listening. I even like doing the dishes lately because it’s just another excuse to listen to Anastasia. The entire soundtrack has completely blown me away–the music is fabulous and in keeping with the movie songs and some of the lyrics are seriously beautiful and add so much depth to the characters and the story.

ANYWAYS. Here is one of my favorites, In a Crowd of Thousands. This is a song that I loved from the instant I heard it, which is rather unusual because most songs take lots and lots of listening to before I can start to form an opinion. It’s one of those songs that feels very familiar and as cheesy as it sounds, spoke to my heart.

But in all seriousness, pretty much all of the songs are my favorite. A Rumor in Saint Petersburg, My Petersburg, Quartet at the Ballet, and Everything to Win in particular are the ones that I’m currently majorly loving (and have been provoking feels and inspiration!!!!) But I’m certain I’ll be obsessing and sharing more in the future, so you shall be hearing more of this!!!

My Current Candle Obsession: 

Sooooo, I haven’t talked about this on my blog yet–mainly because it’s been FOREVER since I’ve blogged and this is a relatively new development, but I HAVE A MAJOR CANDLE OBSESSION. It’s so strange because I did not like candles at all before. Nothing against them, but I had nothing for them either and I was confused about why people were so obsessed with them. HA!!!!!

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OH HOW THE TURNTABLES HAVE TURNED. Because I. LOVE. CANDLES. They’re amazing!!! The Shift happened one ordinary day when I decided to light a few candles to set the mood while writing and BAM!!!!! I suddenly realized how awesome they were! So, about six months later, my rooms is now stuffed with candles and I can’t seems to stop, haha.

Anyways, I thought I would add this section to my updates! And right now, my obsession is Bite and Sting by The Melting Library!!!! As you all well know, The Winner’s Curse is my favorite book ever and when my candle obsession hit, I wanted to get one inspired by Marie Rutkoski’s book! I actually just got this candle today and GA;LKAJSF;LKJADSF it’s sooooooo good guys! One of my friends actually recommended this candle to me saying that it was one of her all-time favorites and NOW I KNOW WHY. It smell of black currant tea, jasmine, and oranges and it’s AMAZING. I love it so much and I highly recommend it to all you candle lovers out there! It’s sitting next to me as I write this post (as I’ve been carrying it around everywhere like a security blanket, hahaha) and I haven’t been able to stop smelling it. In fact, I love it so much that I’m going to order a few more when I get the chance!!! GET THIS CANDLE IT IS SO SO SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!

What I’m Watching:

I recently finished rewatching my favorite drama of all-time, You’re Beautiful! I sort of rewatched it last year (hehe, meaning I just skipped around to my favorite parts 😀 ) but this time I rewatched all of it in the whole! As usual, it gave me all the feels and I just love it so much.

I’m kind of in-between watching things though? I think I might rewatch The Office? So sorry! Not much to report on this end of things!

What’s Happening: 

Not much actually!! Life has been grand! Work is going beautifully, I don’t have school to worry about, and writing has been going! I am going to Los Angeles tomorrow with my mom for a little day trip, so after I finish this post, I’m heading to the library to snag a copy of Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier to read while on the plane! This is another book I read years back and am now happily embarking on a reread! Which is kind of funny because I went to Los Angeles last month, I read Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marilier, which was AMAZING. Oh my gosh! I had forgotten how addicting and entrancing Juliet Marillier’s writing was and it was such an absolute joy to be that sucked up in a book! It was such a great read that was reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, but not a retelling! I highly suggest it to you all!

Well, that is it from me, folks!! I am off to the library!!! Have a wonderful and happy holiday! TOODLES!!!!!!

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!!!! 😀

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!!!)!!

Update: August/September!

Aaaaah!!! Is it already September?? OH MY!!! I also just realized that I never did an update post for August!!! The shame!!!! Anyways, I’ll smoosh it together with September and we can pretend that this oversight never happened!! 😉

Soooo, to start off, you guys have probably noticed that I changed the look of my blog!!! What do you think?? I changed it on a whim when I was browsing through the different blog templates and thought this one was super cute!! I also get tired of looking at the same things all the time too, so thought it’d be a nice time for change!!

What I’m Writing:

Not anything as of right now!! I finished my first round of revisions a couple of weeks ago and am now taking a break. I’m planning on taking the rest of the week off and then dipping back into revisions next week!!! The timing’s a little weird though because I’m going on a trip to Europe the week after, so we’ll see what actually gets done. In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and tv show watching and relaxing. I’m super excited to get back to revising though and make my story stronger! I know there are a ton of problems right now even after that major overhaul, but I’m hoping that since most of the rewriting is in place, I’ll be able to tighten everything–make the world-building better, get more voice into my characters, increase the tension, smooth out the prose, etc. As of now, my main concern is the voice/my fear of the distant-narrator, so that’s what I’d really like to concentrate on these next round of revisions!

What I’m Reading:

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

My new obsession as of late, has been the amazing Erica O’Rourke!!! I can’t believe more people aren’t flailing over her!!! Her writing is incredible and her books are amazing!!! Dissonance was an AMAZING read!!! So much thought and research was put into it!! Resonance (the sequel) was no different!! And MY GOODNESS!! Isn’t that the most beautiful cover you’ve ever seen??

Torn by Erica O’Rourke

Like I said, Erica O’Rourke binge! Her Torn trilogy is another great read!! It’s actually not something I would have picked up by the description itself (nothing personal, just didn’t sound like my kind of book), but I’ve actually enjoyed them a lot!! I’m still in the middle of the last book, Bound, right now, and can’t wait to see what happens at the end of the series!!!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

GASDFASDFAAAAAA!!! NEED I SAY MORE??? Sarah J. Maas–yet again–writes another amazing, enthralling, incredible book!!! She’s SOOOOO much of an inspiration to me and reading this just makes me so happy and inspired and motivates me to (try to) write an amazing book like hers!!! Now the only problem is that we’ve got to wait another whole year before Book 5 comes out… *SIGH* It’s okay 🙂 I also get to see her (as of when I’m writing this post) TOMORROW!!! So excited!!!

My Current Music Obsession:

Big Bang still, what else?? The family and I are no less obsessed with this than we were a couple of months ago. Hahah, it’s gotten ridiculous–to the point where that’s all we’ve been listening to (all four of us!) and the obsession has definitely grown. We’re watching tv shows, interviews, documentaries, anything we can find on Big Bang. Merh, I love them so much!!!!!

ALSO: The Wildest Dreams music video from Taylor Swift is out!!! AAAAAHHHH!!! I freaked out when I found out she was doing a music video for this song because it’s one of my favorites on the album!! (Albeit, basically all the songs on 1989 are my favorite… but that’s besides the point). Wildest Dreams is one of those rare rare songs that I LOVED instantly!! I’ve already said this, I know, but I’ll say it again: Wildest Dreams served as one of my big songs for my Beauty and the Beast retelling and I love it even more because of it!!! Plus, don’t you think the whole 50s movies scene and the Serengeti is just amazing??? Love this music video!!

What I’m Watching:

Hahaha…. I think you know!!! Friends is ever-playing. It’s amazing how even though I’ve watched every episodes a bajillion times, it still makes me laugh!! Hahah, so many good jokes!!!

I’ve also, however, been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender!! Seeing as we’ve never had cable or satellite or any of the fancy tv stations, my brother and I never really had the pleasure of watching Cartoon Network (that’s where this plays, right??) except when we would go to hotels. So, I’d heard of Avatar before, but I never really got to watch it–until now!! I’ve really been enjoying it and CAN’T WAIT to see what happens!!! Thanks to Janella, Christine, and Amanda for making me watch this!!

What’s Happening:

Well, I’ve been hard at work on my PT school applications. I’ve sent out emails to my professor and physical therapists and two of them have replied back saying that they’d be happy to write a letter of recommendation for me (yay!!!) and I’m still waiting to hear back from one other physical therapist.

The application hasn’t been too bad… The first due date is October 1st, so I’ve still got a decent amount of time to get stuff done, but… I’m actually surprised to say that I’ve got pretty much everything but the essays done!! WOOO!!!!

So that’s pretty much all that’s been going on so far!!!

All righty, see ya guys next time!!!

Update: June/July!

Why hello there!

I figured it was time for a post because a) I felt like posting something (which is always a good reason to post something) and b) It’s time for another update! (I guess). Also, I realize I didn’t do a June update post, but that’s really because I was posting often enough that I felt like another post would be OVERKILL. You’re probably all sick of me anyways! 😀

What I’m Writing:

Or I guess, what the better statement would be: What am I NOT writing. I’m finally into revising mode!! Which is super cool because I’ve never really revised before! I recently read through my Faerie Story (which is disgustingly awful by the way :)) and for the past week or so, I’ve been brainstorming and re-outlining my story! I’m actually really excited! One of my awesome CPs gave me THE BEST idea ever and I’m super excited to implement it into my story! It’s going to take a lot of rewriting and reworking stuff, but it’s gonna be so much cooler than what I’d originally had! So that’s what I’m working on now–reworking this awesome new idea into my story! Thank goodness for CPs and revising, huh? So, yup, that’s what I’ve been working on and will probably be working on for the next couple o’ months.

What I’m Reading:

Do you even have to ask????? Doi! Uprooted!! Oh my times a thousand! This is such an amazing book! I love it so much!! I’ve talked about it a billion times already, but if you’ve read (WHICH YOU ALL SHOULD!) you’ll understand!! It’s AMAHHHHHZING! (As you know) I’ve been shoving it relentlessly up people’s faces, demanding they read it (Note: I told my friend to read it and she did and she loved it! So, if that doesn’t convince you… FOR SHAME!!)! And I wouldn’t put it past me to start going to the bookstore and force feeding it to innocent customers as well–IT’S THAT GOOD! Anyways….

Fire!! OMG, I forgot how much I loved this book and Kristin Cashore! Despite the many many books I have yet to read, I finally gave into the impossible urge to re-read this book! I love this book so much! This is another one of those books where if you haven’t read it–WELL WHY NOT??? I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU?? It’s beautifully written and the story is so engrossing! One of my all time favorite books! 🙂

My Current Music Obsession:

Does anybody else love Big Bang and/or G-Dragon? Okay, I admit, I haven’t really listened to them a lot (UM, actually, I don’t listen to k-pop really at all), but I recently saw some interviews/tv shows they did and OMG I’m in love! They are truly talented (and super funny too!) There are tons of k-pop boy band and girl bands out there, but Big Bang just sweeps them off the floor (no offense ;)). Holy crap–I saw their performance on Infinite Challenge (does anybody watch that???) and OMG. They’re so good. They are so good. So, now my entire family is obsessed and we’re going to order some CDs, but in the meantime, we’ve just been listening/watching online and this song happened to be stuck in my head all day today….

Also, I’ve been on a Disney/Musical kick. To be honest, when am I not on a Disney/Musical kick? But it’s stronger now than ever!! I listened to this one on repeat for a loooong time while I was drafting my Beauty and the Beast retelling! Love it!!

And I’m pretty much over-the-moon obsessed with this song and Lea Salonga. I listened to it constantly while I was in Mexico and the obsession has not ceased. It actually matches up perfectly with one of my story ideas/characters and Lea Salonga’s voice literally brings me to tears. She’s amazing! I’ve been planning on a post dedicated to her entirely, so, look out! Anyways, this song is beautiful! It kills me every time I hear it! I actually bought the sheet music and am attempting to play it on the piano (and guitar). I’m really bad at piano despite my years and years of lessons, but apparently enough of it stuck for me to be able to play a little bit! So doing that in my free time here and there!

Okay! Last one, I swear!! I’ve been belting out my Phantom of the Opera because it’s super fun and also the music is devastatingly gorgeous! Andrew Lloyd Webber is a genius! Plus, that story!!! I’ve known the music for years, but I finally got to watch it in London last summer and OMG the obsession has only grown stronger! When the music came on in the theatre, I remember crying because it was so powerful (wow, I talk about crying a lot, but it doesn’t really occur that often….) There are so many great songs from Phantom, but I’ll stop here (because seriously, I won’t be able to stop!) And again, Phantom has soooo many songs that have sparked ideas here and there and I. Just. Can’t. Stop.

(And yes: I totally do sing to this (or try to anyway))

What I’m Watching:

Pft! Wanna take a guess??… YUP, FRIENDS!!!! In my defense, I did watch 30 Rock throughout June and I am rewatching Arrested Development as well, but somehow I circled back to Friends, which is weird because I really thought I was done! Obviously not! 😉 Also, one of my favorite quotes EVER!!

What’s Happening:

So I went hiking on Saturday, aka the Fourth of July, and I came back like this:

The hike itself was beautiful, but I now have the worst sunburn in the history of the universe, I’m so sore–I literally felt like one wrong move and my entire body would go into spasm, ahahah–and to top it all of, I strained my hip flexors!

Also, the trail I went on was labeled as “moderate”. UM, NO. The whole thing took about five and a half hours! We (my friend and I) were an hour and a half way up, when we found out that we had another hour to go. I almost cried! And then the way back down took forever too cause my hip flexors were hurting so bad and it was probably then where I was literally almost cried and was basically swearing every foul thing that ever existed in my head. My poor friend that was with me had to wait for me every few hundred feet, but I’m infinitely grateful she was so patient and nice and I wouldn’t be surprised if she never wanted to go hiking with me again!

But good news! I can walk somewhat normally again!! Steps are still sort of hard, but I think they should be okay in the next day or two. My sunburn still hurts the crap out of everything, but I think it’s getting better (hopefully, anyway). I also feel like this is karma, because I remember slapping my friends who had really bad sunburns and then laughing… Hhaaaa, they were much nicer because if someone were to slap me now, I would punch them in the face without remorse (I’m starting to see where the karma thing is kicking in). Okay, I’ve complained enough! Here are some pretty pictures to end this long long post!

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Okay, thanks for reading!! 😀

Update: May!

Hi everyone!

Yay! It’s a new month! I can’t believe it’s already May! The year has gone unbelievably fast! And, aah! It’s going to be summer soon, which I am super excited for!

Anyway, here’s what been going on!

What I’m Writing:

I am in the midst of drafting my new WIP (My Beauty and the Beast retelling!) I am about 36K in right now. I’m a little worried at this point because my beginning is suuuuper long! I always seem to have a hard to with beginnings–they always seem to be so slow and take forever! I don’t know what it is! But, fortunately, I have finally gotten to the point where things are getting exciting! I kind of worry that my book’s going to end up being really, really long–especially since it’s taken 36K to even get to this point. Or maybe it just means my beginning is waaay too long… But I guess that’s what editing is for, right?

What I’m Reading:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

OMG GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO SO GOOD! Obviously, I love, love, love Sarah J. Maas. I have no words for how amazing she is! A Court of Thorns and Roses is already one of my absolute favorite books! There are just too many good things to say about it! To say I love the characters and that the plotting was wonderful is such an understatement.

One thing I love about it is that though you can definitely see where the fairytales (Beauty and the Beast, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and Tamlin) come into play, the story is original enough that it’s exciting and fresh. Also–I saw none of it coming! Because I knew they were based on fairytales, I had guesses as to where the story might go and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong!

And… Through some weird witchery that is the amazingness of Sarah J. Maas, I somehow ended up buying two copies–TWO COPIES!! I don’t even know what happened! But I regret none of it! Plus, look at that cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous!! How can you resist?

Anyways, if you haven’t read it, READ IT! So good!

An Ember in the Ashes

Again! Another great fantasy book! This book had a lot of hype around it, so I was a bit wary… But luckily, it lived up to the hype! It was one of those books I just could not put down! I had so much fun reading it and I feel like the story was pretty original!

I am desperately hoping for a sequel! I had the lucky honor of meeting Sabaa Tahir when she came to my local bookstore (she is incredibly nice and so adorable!), and she did mention that a sequel was in the works, but her publisher was waiting to see how well Ember would do before signing for another book! That said, seeing as Ember hit the NYT Bestsellers list at #2, I’m really hoping that sequel will pan out because–ah!–that ending!!

My Current Music Obsession:

I feel bad for only posting Taylor Swift music (I swear I do listen to other music), but what can I say, she’s the queen! I don’t always listen to music when I write (it really depends on how I’m feeling), but for the past couple of days I’ve been listening to Out of the Woods on repeat. I really love this song! So intense and so powerful, it’s haunting! My absolute favorite part has to be the bridge!

Remember when we hit the brakes too soon/Twenty stitches in a hospital room

When you started crying, baby I did too/When the sun came up I was looking you

Remember when you couldn’t take the heat, I walked out and said I’m setting you free

But the monsters turned out to be just trees/When the sun came up you were looking at me

It is totally part of my playlist for this new WIP and it is the song that I think epitomizes my story the most.

Anyways, well here it is!

What I’m Watching:

Yup! You guessed it! Still stuck in a Friends rut! I’m watching season nine right now and I can’t believe how funny it still is after watching it like a bajillion times! I’ve also been watching the episodes with the DVD commentary with David Crane, Kevin Bright, and Marta Kauffman and it is absolutely amazing! Though sitcom writing is completely different than novel writing, I love watching them! I’ll actually devote an entire post to this topic one day, so more to come!

Well, I guess that’s pretty much it for now! It’s gonna be a busy couple of weeks for me! I’m going to the LDS Storymakers Conference this Friday and Saturday, so I’ve been trying to write desperately since I probably won’t get much done. I’ve never gone to a writer’s conference before though, so I am excited/nervous for it! I’m hoping to learn a lot and hopefully meet some cool people as well!

And then after that, I’m leaving for Mexico next Wednesday with my family, so again, trying desperately to keep up with my writing because I probably won’t be getting much done during vacation!

Okay, now that’s really it for now!!

Thanks for reading! I’ll see ya guys later!

Update: April!

Hello!!!

Sorry it’s been so long (what, like almost two months now?)! I’ve been busy writing mostly–basically writing any chance I get! So, I guess it’s time for yet another update!

What I’m Writing:

So, I meant to write this up earlier, but… I FINISHED MY DRAFT!! As you may know, I’ve been working on a high fantasy story (tentatively called OUT OF THE WOODS) and NOW I’M DONE (with this draft at least!) But, oh wow, I’m so happy!! I finished on March 27th, 2015! It feels really good to finally be done with it! Now I’m going to let it sit for a little bit before I get back to it! There’s a lot to fix and tons of stuff that needs to be cleaned up, but I guess that’s a problem for later! Right now, I’m just excited to have finished! Yippee!!!

Anyways, now that I’ve finished with that, I’ve been brainstorming my next project–a Beauty and the Beast retelling! I’m not too far along, but I’m super excited about it. I think I have about maybe… a third of it plotted out? I can’t really tell at this point! 🙂 It’s going to be in first person, which I have never done before–so I’m really excited about it and slightly nervous!

So that’s what’s been going on in the writing front! I’ll probably spend till the end of the month or so brainstorming/plotting this new WIP and maaaybe even get writing in May or something! That’s the goal, but we’ll see what happens!! 😀

What I’m Reading:

So much good reading guys!! I’ve been reading a ton of books and so many have been sooo good!! Here is a list of some of my favorite recent reads!

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I LOVE this book!! It’s absolutely amazing! This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and it definitely fulfilled my high expectations! I think I read it in one sitting–it is SO GOOD! And after reading this, I had to go back and reread The Winner’s Curse as well! I can’t believe I have to wait another year for The Winner’s Kiss to come out!! Why???

Anyways, if you haven’t yet read these books, I highly, highly suggest them!!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

This is another one of my most anticipated reads! I loved this book as well!! I loved the world and the characters and the story, but OH MAN, the dialogue in this is brilliant! The conversations between Black Knife and Wil are incredibly satisfying–with just the right amount of tension and wit and snap to it! I don’t know how she does it, but it’s dazzling dialogue! But besides that, the romance and action were so much fun to read! I love Wil and Black Knife and the problems with the wraith and the magic and everything was so well done! I cannot wait for The Mirror King and the Black Knife novellas to come out!!

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Yay! Since I decided to write a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I thought it only prudent to read some other retellings that are already out there! I read this when I was a kid and it’s stuck with me every since. I can sincerely say that this is my absolute favorite and the best Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve read! Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales, so I’m always on the hunt to find some more, but nothing seems to beat Beauty!

In terms of story, it’s a very true retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It follows the story very well, but has enough little quirks and spins that it’s fresh! I also love the character of Beauty–she’s smart and brave and kind and I think she really embodies the full nature of the character!

Such a great, classic retelling! I think that fans of Goose Girl by Shannon Hale would really enjoy this!

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

My official new book obsession! I am so in love with this book! I honestly didn’t expect to like it much and I never would have guessed that I would become so obsessed! But I LOVE The Bone Season! It was just one of those books that even after I finished, I would keep thinking about and wondering about and reliving scenes in my head! I’ve actually gone back and read my favorite parts in the book and I still have it on my nightstand so that whenever the mood strikes, I can pick it up again! But OMG, it’s soooo good! Samantha Shannon is amazing!! I immediately dived into The Mime Order after this and same thing–love it so much!! I’m so upset that I have wait another year before I can pick up the third one, but it’s definitely going to be one of those books where I stake out in front of the bookstore on release day so I can read it right away!! I cannot wait! Until then, I’ll be rereading the first two religiously!!

My Current Music Obsession:

Who else? TAYLOR SWIFT! I’ve been listening to her new album, 1989, for about… six months, I wanna say? But, wow, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to her! This new record is just fantastic!

And I am in love with Style right now. I was writing one of my very last scenes in OUT OF THE WOODS and this song just popped into my head and I haven’t been able to forget it since. The music is SO epic! And more than that, I got an intense urge to see the music video again and I realized how much it reminds me of my two characters in my project (Leda and Faelan). Just something about their expressions and the emotions in the song really hits me in the core. So naturally, I’ve been playing this on repeat! And just in general, I think this music video is awesome, so… yeah!!! 😀

What I’m Watching:

Friends!

Yup, still stuck in Friends mode! I actually bought the DVDs–best decision I’ve ever made! I’m having so much fun with them! Yay!!

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

As a super fan of Tina Fey, I was super excited when I heard about her new sitcom (made with Robert Carlock)! I watched it as a reward for finishing my draft and I had so much fun! I loved the storyline–it’s completely ridiculous and therefore, I think it’s awesome–and I loved seeing the parallels between 30 Rock (amazing show, by the way!) and Kimmy Schmidt! It’s on Netflix, so I basically binge-watched it in two days and I can’t wait until the next season comes out (which, unfortunately, I hear is next year). But it’s really funny and I recommend to sitcom lovers everywhere!

All right, sorry about the super long post! Kind of got out of hand there! But that’s what’s been going on with me for the last couple of months! 🙂

Thanks for reading!!

Update: February!

Hello!!! So it’s been a while since my last post, so I thought I would give a little bit of an update of things that have been going on! 😀

What I’m writing:

Still working on my YA high fantasy!! I am officially out of the outlining stage! I’m actually in the revising stage now! I drafted pretty quickly (I wrote about 42K in a week and a half–seriously the fastest I have ever written and I didn’t even think it was possible–so aah!), though granted, my first draft was absurdly short (again, 42K). So now, I’m going through my draft, filling in the holes, revising, rewriting, adding/deleting new scenes, which I am very excited about! And, *fingers crossed*, I am hoping to have a solid draft by the end of April!

What I’m reading:

I’ve been going through a mini contemporary binge (I say mini because I feel it is coming to an end :)) and I’ve been loving the books I’ve been reading. Aaaand… Here they are!

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I’ll admit, I wasn’t going to read this book at first, because, well, it just didn’t seem like my type of book. BUT I am so so glad that I did! I ended up loving this book and I know it’s one that I’ll be going back to and rereading! I highly recommend this book!!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This one is another I didn’t think of reading, until it was recommend to me by a friend that told me it was her favorite book of the year! And wow, it’s a seriously powerful novel. I would definitely suggest preparing yourself mentally–cause I wasn’t, and oh my, I was completely torn into pieces! While it’s not really “my type” of book, I really enjoyed it and I know people are going to go crazy over this book!

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

This is the book I’m currently reading!! Again, not usually the type of book I read, but seeing as I loved Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series, I definitely looked forward to this one! I’m maybe about a third of the way through and I’m enjoying it a lot!

My current music obsession:

OMG guys!! I love this song/video so so so much! I’m already a huge Taylor Swift fan, but when I heard this cover of Riptide (by Vance Joy), I was completely blown away. It’s absolutely amazing! I cannot tell you how much I love this cover! I’ve been listening this on repeat continuously!! Seriously–SO GOOD!

My favorite, favorite line is: Oh lady, running down to the riptide/Taken away to the dark side.

Beautiful!!

What I’m watching:

FRIENDS, of course! I’ve basically been playing it on a loop! I went through all ten seasons rather quickly (hehe) and I started back from Season 4 and now I’m just working my way back up! Yes, I really am that obsessed with my sitcoms! 😀

Anyways, so that’s what I’ve basically been up to these days! 😀