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!!!!!)

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Muse-ic for Fox Story

HEHEHEHEHEH. MUSE-ic, get it? Hehehe. I think I’m so clever right now, hahaha. Sorry for being obnoxious!!

I thought it might be a fun post to list all the music that I listened to while I wrote Fox Story! I noticed while writing this book that during drafting I like listening to music that evokes the emotions and feelings of the characters and book; while rewriting/revising, I prefer to listen to just whatever song I happened to be obsessed with at the moment; when I’m revising/rereading, I prefer to have silence.

Which makes sense to me because while drafting I’m just trying to get everything down on the page, tapping into character emotions and all that. When I’m revising, I don’t need–or even want–the emotional connection because I’m doing more thinking and structuring. And of course, while rereading and deep revising, I usually prefer complete silence since I find listening while reading things very distracting.

Granted, I don’t listen to music all the time while I write. I think more often than not I don’t listen to music. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it–other than I either feel like listening to music or I don’t, haha. I also only listen to one song at a time on repeat, as I find that the change in music is REALLY distracting.

Anyways! Here is the music that I listened to while writing Fox Story! Or most of it–I may have forgotten a song or two 😀

 

1.Red by Taylor Swift

Red is one of my favorite songs and I felt like the emotions–the pain, the hurt, the loss, the sorrow, the grief–were exactly what I wanted in my story. Loving him was red–that lyric, I felt, was perfect and everything about this song was what my characters were feeling/what I wanted them to feel. I believe I listened to Red for the entirety of drafting!

 

2. Uma Therman by Fall Out Boy

I really love this song! In fact, I really like Fall Out Boy! I never seem to talk it about it much though! I listened to this song while I was rewriting Fox Story! (AKA, when I was working on my second draft!)

 

NOTE: I can’t remember what other songs I listened to, though I’m sure there were some others, but here’s the next one I remember!

 

3. Fields of Gold by Sting

A bit of a departure from what I usually listen to, but this song just had perfect touch of wistfulness and memories that made me want to write to it. I first became familiar with this song through The Office and I’d just rewatched it when this song got stuck in my head. I love the imagery and the softness and emotions in the song and while it wasn’t quite right for revising/rewriting, I listened to it anyways!

 

4. 에라 모르겠다 by BIGBANG

Okay. I LOVE this song. I LOVE BIGBANG (which you guys all probably know by now, hahah). I listened to this toward the tail end of rewriting for the second time (AKA Draft 3!!) in fall of 2017 while I was on a writing retreat with my friends in Boston! This is such a good song and I’m so obsessed with it!!!!

 

5. I Did Something Bad by Taylor Swift

This is the last song I listened to while revising Fox Story, back in November of 2017! To be honest, I listened to this song out of necessity–because I was at a cafe and it was noisy. I wouldn’t necessarily say I was obsessed with it? I mean, I like it and I think it’s a fun song, but I’m usually OBSESSED with a song when I listen to it while writing. I don’t know why I feel that’s significant, haha, but it is! In general, I have a whole lot of Thoughts about Reputation, but I won’t get into that today!

 

No doubt, there are songs that I listened to that I have forgotten about, but I suppose these are the main songs that I listened to while writing Fox Story! Hehe, this was fun! (At least for me!) I’ll try and keep better track of the songs I listen to for my next project! All righty!! That’s it for now!!!!! BYE EVERYONE!!! THANKS FOR READING!!!!

New Year’s Resolutions 2018 + Things I’ve Learned + Favorite Reads and Most Anticipated

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR’S MY FRIENDS!!!!!

New Year’s is one of my favorite times of the year because it’s a fresh start and a brand new year! And unsurprisingly, writing my goal and resolutions for the new year is one of my absolute favorite posts! In fact, I think it’s the one post that I have done consistently for the past few years! Woo! As you might know by now, I LOVE goals! So without further ado, here are some things that I’ve learned in 2017 and my goals and resolutions for 2018!!

 

Things I’ve Learned:

Work Smarter, Not Harder 

Balance has always been such a tricky thing for me because I tend to be an all-or-nothing type of person. Since learning this about myself, I think I have done a lot better, but it’s still a struggle! So it is not a surprise that I’ve struggled with balance in writing. For the longest time, I thought that I had to WRITEWRITEWRITE everyday, all day long to be productive. It meant I thought that any moment I did not spend working was a waste. I used what I call “brute force.” It means keeping your head down and powering through no matter what, using sheer force to get through everything.

This year, I learned that I don’t need brute force. In fact, brute force–while it can be helpful and even necessary at times–was actually kind of a dumb way to go, haha. It was a really unbalanced and obsessive way to live. (And granted, many times when I’m caught up in the moment, I don’t necessarily care about balance because there is a sort of high to being obsessed with something–but that’s a story for a different day 🙂 ) ANYWAYS, one of the most important and best things I learned this year was to work smarter, not harder.

For me, that meant learning my productivity. I’ve talked about this before, but I learned this year that I am most productive during the mornings and evenings and absolutely brain-dead in the afternoons. Like I said, before, I used to power through all day. That meant I woke up at the crack of dawn and wrote till the night–with the exception of meals and a few breaks. Afternoons went terribly and yet I would force myself to keep writing and writing and writing. I really am not able to get much done during the afternoons and in hindsight, I was wasting time and energy trying to get myself to write.

(Ironically, I am writing this blog post in the afternoon at the worst time possible AKA 3:00pm, so forgive me if I don’t make any sense at all, hahaha!)

By allocating my hours properly, I learned I am able to be just as productive as if I had used brute force to write all day. Now, I make sure that I keep my mornings and evenings free to write and use the afternoon to get other stuff done–i.e. chores, errands, exercise, etc–and it’s been SOOOO NICE. I no longer spending hours in the afternoon, agonizing as I try and write and I’m also able to get more chores and things that I need to do in during the afternoons. I used to stress so hard about not writing in the afternoons because it felt like a “waste of time”, but now I know better–why force yourself to write and spend hours to get 1,000 words when you could do the same amount of work in less time if you write in the evening? Get my drift?? I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!!!! I feel so free now and it’s been absolutely the best! Productivity is not a constant thing–it ebbs and flows–so make sure you utilize that and make it to your best advantage!

 

New Year’s Goals and Resolutions:

Writing

In terms of writing, my goal is simple!! I want to draft and revise another project! More specifically, the project I have dubbed Spirit Story!!! I am SOOOOOO excited for this story guys! The idea came to me not long ago while I was on the most beautiful hike I have ever been on (no exaggeration–though, granted, I guess I haven’t been on that many hikes, hehe) and it’s the most I’ve been excited about a project in a while now!! I’ll be starting brainstorming/outlining very soon and I’m super excited!! In fact, mayhaps I’ll start a Pinterest today… 😀 😀 😀

 

Reading

For 2018, my goals will pretty much be the same as it’s been for the past couple of years: I want to read more poetry and read outside my genre more! As I reviewed last year’s goals to see how much I had met, I found that I made the WORST GOALS EVER. They were waaaaay too general and I couldn’t tell if I had actually reached my goals because I had no way to quantify them. Hahaha! This time, I’m going to make more specific, quantifiable goals! I’ve made a TBR for the year of books that I want to get to in 2018!

In poetry, I want to read:

-Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

-The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

-Williams Shakespeare’s Sonnets

-Two other poetry books

 

In fiction, I want to read: 

-The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

-Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (or really any Neil Gaiman)

-The Secret History by Donna Tartt

-The Rules of Magic Alice Hoffman

 

Favorite Reads of 2017

1. Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Is anyone surprised this made my favorite reads list? Heheh, I LOVE the Witchlands series and this was one of my most anticipated reads for 2017! I LOVED it so much!! My favorite scenes were the ones with Iseult and Aeduan and I could not put this book down. In fact, I had promised my mom earlier that I would come with her to take Nabi to the vet and then regretted it SO BADLY because I was interrupted during one of the most amazing chapters. I was so antsy to get back home and finish reading the book, hahah. Anyways, I LOVED this book and am dying for Bloodwitch (WHICH I AM SO EXCITED FOR BECAUSE AEDUAN!!!!!!!!)

2. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

This was the most unexpected book I loved this year! I struggle with middle grade books so I went into this book fully expecting not to like it–not because the story or writing was bad, but because I usually have a hard time getting into middle grade books and end up leaving them unfinished. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This book was SO GOOD. SOOOOO GOOD. I loved it so much and it’s become one of my favorite books ever! It was laugh-out-loud hilarious and reminded me so much of Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan. I cannot recommend this book to everyone!!! HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!!

3. The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

I’m a huge fan of The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon and this book was no different! Her books are so much fun, filled with tons of action, and I adored this one. This was a fabulous addition to the series and I cannot wait to read more!

4. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

I read this early in 2017 and oh my goodness, I LOVED it. The story was amazing and I loved Vikram and Gauri (they had such great banter!) The world and atmosphere was gorgeous and fairytale-like and the prose was lush and glittering–basically filled with everything that I love in a story! SO GOOD.

5. Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 and it did not disappoint!!! It was a gorgeous, gorgeous story with captivating, lush prose. I LOVED this book so much! It had sooooo many Phantom of the Opera Easter Eggs and the Death and the Maiden trope is one of my favorites, so no surprise that this book was one of my favorite reads!

6. The Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen

This was a series that I really wanted to get to in 2017 and I’m happy to say that I did!! While I found the first book rather difficult to get into, once I got into it, it was SOOOO GOOD. I blew through the entire series and even had to run out to get Fate of the Tearling after I finished the second one. To be completely honest, I was not a fan of the ending of the series, but regardless I really enjoyed these books a ton!

7. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns was one of my favorite reads of 2016 and One Dark Throne was the same! I love this series–Kendare creates amazing characters and it’s such a thrilling read from start to finish. I also had the joy of meeting Kendare this year and she’s AMAZING. She’s so kind and smart and funny and so personable. I totally fangirled and wish I could have talked to her more! Definitely one of my idols!!! *heart eyes*

8. Chime by Franny Bilingsley

This was a book recommended to me by my friend, Axie Oh, WOW!!!! It was an absolutely amazing read! I couldn’t stopping thinking about it and I was completely blown away! Absolutely LOVED this book and recommend it to everyone!

9. King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

I decided to reread The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner this year and it had to have been the best decision I have ever made. I read these a long time ago when I was a kid and liked them, but I absolutely fell in love this time around. They’re incredibly clever and subtle books with incredible plot and characters. One of my absolute favorites. King of Attolia is my favorite of the series and tore me to pieces. I love this book more than words can say.

10. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This was a gorgeous story with some of the most beautiful prose I have ever read. It was quite a bit slower than I’d anticipated and a different story than what I thought it was going to be (I was expecting a Death and the Maiden story, but it turned out to be something quite different), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I find myself thinking about it quite often and craving a fairytale-esque story with beautiful atmosphere and language.

11. Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

One of my new favorite authors I discovered this year! Lauren Layne creates the best characters ever (which is something I rarely say) and she subverts tropes in such an amazing way. I binge-read a ton of her books, but my favorite was Walk of Shame. It had a Darcy-esque love interest (ahhhhh!!! ❤ ❤ <3) and the most adorable heroine, who quickly became one of my FAVORITE characters I’ve ever read in a contemporary novel (and seriously, I rarely love characters this much!!!!) I will say that the pacing and emotional beats didn’t quite line up for me the way that I wanted, but I adored this book so much and highly recommend it if you’re a fan of romantic comedies!!!

 

Most Anticipated of 2018

1. Rise of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was an amazing read and I’m SO SO EXCITED for this companion novel!!! As you all know, I am a huge fairytale lover and I cannot wait to see what sort of twists and turns Julie is going to create in this story!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

2. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #2 by Alexandra Bracken

I can’t wait for this book if you couldn’t already tell by my flailing above. I can’t wait to see what the next installment of this story will hold! I’m SO ready and can’t wait for the adventure and laughs that are sure to come!!!

3. My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

I absolutely LOVELOVELOVE My Lady Jane–such a hilarious read in a world devoid of comedic fantasy novels!!!–and I’ve been waiting for My Plain Jane for what seems like a thousand years. I’m doubly excited for My Plain Jane because Jane Eyre is one of my favorites! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!!!!!

4. The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon

I’m always looking forward to the next Samantha Shannon book! She’s also working on another book–a fantasy about dragons–that I’m dying to read, but I don’t know if that’s a book that will be coming out this year? Anyways, I always want more Samantha Shannon!!!

5. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I found out about this book a few days ago and FREAKED. As you might know, Uprooted is a favorite book of mine and I went around screaming like a headless chicken when I found out that Naomi Novik was writing another fairytale book!!! I. AM. SO. EXCITED. Spinning Silver is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t know much more than that, but honestly, I don’t need to know more than it’s another Naomi Novik book!!! It comes out in July which is waaaaay too far away! I can’t wait!!

6. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

I still have yet to read The Girl in the Tower, but regardless I know I’m going to crave more of Katherine Arden’s writing. I think I can safely say that I will want to read all of her books regardless of what she writes–though, I hope she writes more fairytale-esque books because they’re my favorite!!! *heart eyes* I also love that these books take place in a winter-y setting and seriously, the atmosphere is incredible!!! So lush and beautiful!

7. Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

finally read my first Anna-Marie McLemore book this year (Wild Beauty) and it was just as gorgeous and lovely as people have been saying. I’m super excited to read her other books, The Weight of Feathers and When the Moon was Ours, as well as this new book coming out this year, which is a Swan Lake retelling!!!

8. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book–coming out tomorrow–and I can’t wait to read! I love books about faeries and I love Holly Black, so I know I’m going to love this one!! Can’t wait!!! In fact, I may run out tomorrow and get it!!!

9. Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes is one of my favorites and I’m DYING for this book!! Sabaa’s writing is simply exquisite and every single one of her stories is phenomenal, so no doubt this one is going to be amazing as well. I know it’s definitely going to be worth the long wait that we’ve had!!! CAN’TWAITCAN’TWAITCAN’TWAIT!!!!

 

Wow, this was a mighty long post!!! Hehe, I had fun writing it though and I hope you have fun reading it! I’m really excited for the new year and can’t wait to see what’s in store!!! Have a lovely new year everyone!!

 

 

A Love Letter to My CPs

I am so grateful to have found some of the most amazing people in this writing world and so lucky to be able to call them my friends and critique partners. As this year comes to a close, and a new year begins–and as I come close to finishing my manuscript at long last, I’d like to say a few words of intense thanks, gratitude, and love to Amanda and Janella for their undying support and friendship. Now, warning, this is going to be an incredibly long and sappy post, so yeah… just letting you know in advance!!!

I was struggling hard this summer. I am not exactly sure why or what caused this, but it felt like my fire had burned out. Motivation is generally not something I struggle with. The prospect of The End is usually enough to keep me going and going and going. So it really shook me when that motivation–that fire I usually feel–seemed to vanish.

I was no longer itching to work on my story but dreading it. So badly. I told myself it was because I was working on my second draft, which is the most strenuous and difficult part of the writing process for me. It happened with my other manuscript, so I figured it was just what it was. But then I got to the third draft. And yet, still, I felt this horrible dread, this horrible feeling of not wanting to write. Every word was a tooth being pulled, every day, I would make myself sit at my computer and try and write and then hate myself because I would write eek out all of a few words in what seemed like hours, feeling like I couldn’t focus. At last, I would go to bed, trying to get myself excited about my story, wondering why I wasn’t, and all the while getting more nervous, more desperate. I felt so, so unproductive during these months and it’s the worst feeling in the world.

People would ask my how my writing was going. I would tell them it was going slowly, that I was struggling with motivation. Many writers suggested burnout to be the culprit and to take a breather. But the thing is, it didn’t feel like burnout. I had been taking breaks. In fact, the lack of motivation had me not writing for quite a while. A month. Maybe two. Maybe even longer than that. Usually when I take breaks, my brain is still whirling, stilling thinking about my characters and plot, things that I need to work on, brainstorming, etc. Usually, I’m still excited. But this time I wasn’t. I wasn’t thinking about my story at all, except for guilt that I wasn’t writing and confusion, anger, and frustration that I couldn’t seem to get my fire back.

In addition, I didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t feel like reading, I didn’t feel like watching any tv shows or movies, I didn’t feel like listening to any music, I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t feel like anything. I felt blah and meh about everything–like I was in a giant everything slump.

(Now, I understand this sort of sounds like depression–but it wasn’t that. I swear 🙂 More like giant mental block of some sort. And another note: I’m not sure that it wasn’t burnout? It didn’t feel that way to me, but perhaps it was? I don’t know!)

Anyways, all of that just made me feel so much the worse because if it wasn’t burnout that was causing my lack of writing, then what could it possibly be? I had no idea and I started to grow desperate in my panic. I tried to figure out what was wrong, what the cause of my lack of motivation and excitement was and couldn’t, which drove me crazy because if I was certain that if I just knew what was causing this, I could fix it, right? I felt like something was fundamentally wrong and it drove me insane that I couldn’t figure it out.

I talked about in one of my posts that my greatest fear about writing is that I would stop. Not because it got too hard or because I wasn’t getting anywhere with it, but because I would lose my love for it. I have an obsessive, all-or-nothing personality and I’ve lost my love for things, people, activities, hobbies that I was once passionate about and that I thought would last forever. So when this happened, I started to panic thinking that I had lost my love of writing, of stories. I kept going anyway because, well, probably denial. I was like, NOPE NOPE NOPE. NOoooo way this could be.

After months of this, feeling listless and hopeless, I finally decided that enough was enough. I wrapped up my revisions on my third draft after some painfully long months and I sent it to my CPs, Janella and Amanda.

By this point, I sent my book to my friends convinced that my story was complete rubbish, broken and useless, and an utter failure. I was feeling pretty despair-y and hopeless. I kept thinking about what a mess my book was–especially the third act, and it truly felt like there was no end in sight. I was sure that this book would never, ever be close to even decent.

But when I got back notes, it revived me. I felt motivated again, excited again, determined again. I had a clear focus and I knew what I needed to do to make my story better and above all, I wanted to make my story better, I wanted to write again. Before sending it to my CPs, I knew that I still had a lot to work on. I knew some things weren’t working and that’s why for the longest time, I held off on sending my book to readers–because I knew what was wrong and I wanted to fix it before giving it to others. But ah, it turns out that I only had a vague idea of what was wrong and what to do about it. And here in lies the importance of critique partners: Janella and Amanda were able to give me specific notes and turn my attention to why something wasn’t working and really put into focus what aspects needed to be fixed. Up until this point, I had been writing and rewriting–er, basically the whole book because I knew things weren’t quite right. I was floundering by myself, trying to figure it all out. My CPs were able to give me specific things to work on and really pinpoint what was wrong. That specificity made such a difference for me. It gave me clarity. I no longer felt hopeless about my book because now I knew what to fix and how to fix it. It gave me purpose again and the sense things could be fixed. My book was not as broken as I’d believed it to be.

Unsurprisingly, after that, writing went soooooo much better.

As I near the end of my book, I feel I need to properly express my gratitude and thanks and love to these two who have supported me from the beginning. Who, by the way, also gave me so much support when I was struggling during these months. I could not have done this without you guys.

Janella, thank you for giving me so many wonderful suggestions and advice when I was going through my awful reading and writing slump. Thank you for taking the time to read my book when you were so busy and giving me such wonderful notes! Thank you for taking the time to give me invaluable advice when I needed it in regards to all things. Thank you for reading my query again and again! (QUERY QUEEN!!!! *high five emoji*) Your notes were amazing and the unwavering support and love you’ve given me has been so incredible.  Thank you for being my friend and CP!

Thank you to Amanda, who read my book not once, but twice. And not only gave the most wonderful, thoughtful, thorough, detailed notes once, but twice, and made time for my book during an especially busy time in her life. I teared up several times and almost cried at work even when I got the most lovely messages from Amanda updating me on her reading progress. (Luckily, I was by myself and not with anyone, hahaha.) Amanda, I have no words to how thankful I am for your support and wisdom. Thank you for always giving me time and answering my bajillion questions (and also for solving a problem to which I had been angsting over for over a year!!!! WOWZA!!) Thank you for all your kind words and love for me and my book. I’m truly so grateful to have you as a friend and CP!

Wow, I just wrote like an entire Oscar speech, but this was something I really needed to say, so forgive me for how long and rambling and sappy this post is, hahah.

Amanda and Janella, I mean it, truly, from the bottom of my heart, that I could not have done this without you. You guys have helped and supported me in so many ways, so many times, more than you can ever know! Thank you so much for being there for me always. My book would not be what it is without you guys and I would still be feeling like an utter failure, hahah. I feel so much better, more confident, and know that my book is that much stronger because of the help you gave me. And most importantly, because of you guys and your words of encouragement, I felt excited about my story and writing again!! THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU GUYS, I LOVE 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!!!!!!

Writer Facts

HELLO!!!!! Once again I find myself apologizing for neglecting this poor old blog. I know I say this much too often, but WOW! Remember the days when I used to blog regularly (ish)?? WHAT HAPPENED?? I honestly don’t know. Well, haha, I am a bit busier now than I was then, but I swear, I still love my little blog and I wish I were better at updating it!

Now, I looked and saw that my last post was waaaaay back in July. HOLY MOLY!!!!!! It’s been almost six months!!! How has time flown so fast? I’m pretty sure that might be the longest time I’ve gone without writing a single blog post. Anyways, I know I should probably start off by doing a little update post to catch everyone up on what’s been going on, buuuuuut then I saw this fun thing on Twitter and I wanted to do it! I swear I am going to do an update post soon, but for now, here is a fun little post on writerly facts!!!

So technically this a Twitter thread thing, but I wanted to do a blog post on it so I wouldn’t be limited to a certain character count! Anyways, here is the graphic with all the questions made by @writer_jem!!

 

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1.Age you started writing?

I am a late bloomer (compared to most people, it seems) and started writing when I was twenty! (I am now twenty-four!) I’ve always loved reading books and I would occasionally try to write after reading books that impacted me profoundly, but I did not seriously try writing until much later in life.

 

2. Story that inspired you to write? 

My life changed when I read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. When I finished the book, I was hit with the biggest book hangover ever (which, at the time, I didn’t know what it was called, heheh). It triggered something in me and I thought: Oh my gosh, I want to write something that will make someone feel this way. It was very strange and sudden because, like I said, I’ve been reading almost all my life, and yet something about this book in particular made me not only want to read, but write. I didn’t immediately start, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was actually very scared to even admit I wanted to write, so I started out with poetry (which for some reason seemed less daunting) and dabbled in that for a little, though what I really wanted to do was write books.

After months, I finally said out loud to my mom, “I want to write a book.” I said it rather offhandedly, like it was just a whim of the moment rather than something I’d been thinking and secretly wanting to do for months and months. I was completely surprised when she said that I should. She even sent me a text later that night before I went to sleep and encouraged me again, saying that she would read my book. It was probably that very night that I started thinking about ideas that I wanted to write about and committed to writing.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I would have never written a book had my mom not given me that push.

(Wow, that’s the first time I have ever talked about that and bahah, wow, getting all the feels!!!)

 

3. First WIP title?

Oh goodness. It was called The Lost Young Women’s Society. It was a historical fantasy/steampunk retelling of Peter Pan and it was supremely awful. SO EMBARRASSING. I am so sorry for all my CPs for making you read this (special shoutout to Janella who read the entire thing and didn’t dump me as a CP!!!! 😀 )!

 

4. First, second, or third person?

When writing, third person seems to be my point-of-view of choice, though I do have a couple of projects that are in first!

 

5. Favorite time of day to write? 

Bright and early in the morning or in the evening! Evenings are my most productive hours! Mornings are not quite as productive, but I enjoy writing in the morning a lot! Perhaps even more than evenings! (Depending on my mood, of course 😉 )

 

6. Favorite place to write?

At my desk or my kitchen counter!

 

7. Most overused word?

Hmm… probably gaze? I know I use that one a lot. I also use the word heart a lot. I really love that word, hehehe.

 

8. Most overused punctuation?

Oh, comma for sure! I seem to stick commas everywhere–probably even when it’s not grammatically correct or necessary. I just like the way the add pauses and breaths to sentences and so I stick ’em in whenever I think there should be some sort of pause or breath. 😀 I also love colons though! They’re probably my favorite punctuation! *hearteyes*

 

9. Long or short sentences?

Hmm… Probably long sentences, though I love short sentences because I think they can be very poignant.

 

10. Plain or purple prose?

Haaaaa. Purple!!!!

 

11. Your first main character? 

Heheh, from said terrible first manuscript, my first main character was named Gwendolyn Darling–which I thought was sooooo clever because the name Wendy is in Gwendolyn!! Hahah!

 

12. Favorite trope?

Hate-to-love romance 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

I also love Death and the Maiden (which I’ve been thinking about very often recently, huh), lost princesses (again which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but probably because I’ve been obsessively listening to the Anastasia soundtrack), and a few other tropes I love, but can’t seem to think of right now, heheh!

 

13. Least favorite trope?

Honestly, hate-to-love romance done poorly/pseudo hate-to-love. My biggest pet peeve is when a character hates a character (who is obviously the love interest) yet is ultimately swayed by them because they’re “hot”. THAT IS NOT HATE-TO-LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! It is what I consider, kind-of-hate-because-he’s-a-jerk-but-wow-he’s-so-hot-so-I’ll-kiss-him-and-now-I-love-him.

Of course, I understand that people you hate can be attractive, but I find it very superficial for someone to suddenly fall in love with a person that they’d previously hated and fall instantly in love solely based on looks and not because of a true change in character or learning more about them.

Woo!!! Sorry for the mini rant, but this clearly gets my ire up, hahahaha!

 

14. Least favorite OC?

I feel really dumb, but what is OC???? *clutchyface*

 

15. Worst writing habit?

Probably ignoring people/not listening to them when they talk because I’m writing. Hahah… so sorry!!!!!

 

16. Weird personal writing quirk?

I save my document obsessively. Like every sentence, sometimes when writing is slow, every word. Hahah, I feel like that’s probably super common among writers though, so perhaps it’s not so much a weird quirk than it is just a writer quirk!!

 

17. Notebook or computer? 

I use a notebook and pen for brainstorming and outlining and then computer for all the rest (i.e. drafting and revising!)

 

18. Favorite setting to write? 

Well, a common setting that always crops up in my stories are forests. So I guess forests!!

 

19. Biggest writing fear? 

My biggest writing fear is that I will stop loving to write. It sounds strange, but I’ve come to learn throughout the years that I have a rather obsessive personality. I will become obsessed with something and run with it–sometimes for years–before I peter out and discover that the initial light has been extinguished. I am afraid that this will be the case with writing. That it’s a whim that I’ve gone with and I’ll find in a couple years that I don’t really want or care to write anymore. This fear has lessened greatly now that time has passed and I’m still going, but it does linger in the back of my mind from time to time and scare the bejeezus out of me.

My other fear is that I don’t have enough time to write all the stories that I want to! (Which is why immortality would be AWESOME, in my opinion, hahah. Since that’s not an option, better get cracking!!! 😉 )

 

20. Biggest writing hope? 

THAT I WILL BECOME THE NEXT JK ROWLING. Haaha, juuuuuuust kidding!!! (Although, I certainly would not say no to such thing!) My biggest writing hope is that I will continue to write and love stories and I’ll keep doing it forever!!! And hopefully improve, too!! 😀

 

Hehehe!! Well, this was fun!!! It reminded me of the good, ole days when I used to do this sort of thing more often! Anyways, I have some posts in mind that I want to write about hopefully soon! Thank you as always for reading! I love you, my precious blog!!!

DONE WITH MY MONSTER DRAFT

AT LAST. AT LONG, LONG LAST, MY FRIENDS!!!!!!

(I tried to think of a good title for this post for about ten minutes, but inspiration isn’t striking, so I’m gonna call it like I see it!!! Hahah!)

There was a time when men were kind. When their voices soft and their words inviting–

Har har har, I kid!

But in fact, there was a time when I thought this draft would never end and this day would never come. I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED MY DRAFT OF FOX STORY!!!!!

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*collapses*

This was a really hard draft to complete and there really were times that I thought the end seemed so far away. Even when I was nearing the end, I felt like I was no closer to finishing this draft because it was going so, so slowly. In addition, my motivation was dipping low. Every time I was writing, the words had to be pulled from me like teeth. I think I was writing only a couple hundred per hour, which made me go like this:

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It was frustrating to say the least.

There were couple reasons for this, one of which is that I started over a few times while in the middle of this draft, as seen in this post here. And I don’t think I blogged about it, but I end up going back to the beginning again towards the end of April when things got stuck and I realized I was going to have to go back. While I don’t regret doing this because it was all for the better, it made this second draft–which is already the most grueling part of the process–even… gruel-ier. And if at all possible, I’m going to try not to do this again.

I know there are some writers who revise as they draft (Laini Taylor comes to mind) as well as a few of my writer friends and it works for them. But for me, I need to have a sense of completion. Even though there will be many drafts to come, that sense of finishing a draft is what keep me going. It’s when a story feels never-ending that I lose my steam. I started this rewrite way back when in November. It’s July now. That’s… nine months! And I really thought I was going to go crazy.

I’m so excited to be finished with this second draft. (I actually have no idea what number to call this draft, since I went back a few times? So I’m just going to stick to Draft 2). It’s still very awful and it needs so much work–especially my third act, which is in major need of reconstruction as it is very rushed and disjointed–but it feels so good to know that I am done with this round.

Anyways, I feel like I’ve learned a lot (as always) writing this draft and I wanted to share! So here goes!

 

Reading is Integral to Writing

I cannot stress how important this is. I honestly had no idea how much my reading affected my writing, but I was proven time and time again during these long months that when I don’t read, my writing suffers.

For the first time ever really, I went through a really bad book slump toward the end of April and beginning of May? Timeline is a bit murky, but regardless, I was having the toughest time reading. I’m not sure what exactly caused this slump (and we may perhaps never know! I do have my suspicions, but I’m not going to get into them today 🙂 ) but it was kind of brutal. I wanted to read so badly, but every time I would start a book, it failed to suck in me and inevitably end up putting it down.

I came to an all-time low when I realized that I had still not read Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, which was one of my most anticipated reads from, as you know, one of my favorite authors! Normally, I would have been so excited that I would have binge-read it immediately. And yet, it sat on my shelf, unopened. This might not seem like a big deal, but it hit me hard because that was just very unlike me. And even though I had been waiting for Flame in the Mist ever since it was announced, I had absolutely no desire to read it.

(For the record, I still haven’t gotten to Flame in the Mist, though I have plans to binge-read it very soon… perhaps as soon as today, might I dare say?!!)

During this time, I struggled hard with writing. The words were not coming. I was procrastinating and dreading having to open my laptop. I dragged my feet and whined a lot.

I struggled with trying to read a lot of different books before ultimately putting them down. I would finish a few, but it still wasn’t quite hitting the stop. Somewhere in between there though, I began my reread The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. I read these books as a child (around ten or something years ago?) and enjoyed them, so when Thick as Thieves came out earlier this year, I decided the time was ripe for a reread!

I don’t know how to tell you guys, but this series is everything to me. Particularly, King of Attolia. I literally can’t talk about it–or even think about it–because I get overwhelmed by the emotions and it makes me cry every time. Literally. I love them so much.

Anyways, I became utterly consumed with these books and suddenly–everything was a little bit better. The words came easier, I got into the flow of writing. I had ideas for subplots I wanted to weave in for my next round of revisions and thoughts for what I wanted in a sequel.

It felt like taking a breath of fresh air after being held underwater for a long time.

I had my second experience with this just a few days ago when I started reading a book that I wanted to like but found that I was very apathetic to within the first couple of chapters. I forced myself to continue reading in the hopes that it would catch my interest; it was not long before I started dreading opening this book and as a result, I stopped reading.

And once again, my writing suffered for it. The feet dragging began. The lack of motivation. The words did not flow, but eked.

When I noticed that I was dreading reading, I knew it was time to stop. I don’t DNF books often and rarely do I do it consciously (many times I will just put a book down with the intention of coming back to it later and then never do), but this one had to go.

I picked up Finnikin of the Rock instead and decided to reread. And it was the best decision I could have made. First of all because I LOVE the Lumatere Chronicles and because Melina Marchetta is absolutely brilliant and I cannot get over how good these books are. And secondly, because I was able to write again.

Coincidence? *shrug* Maybe–

“Oh, Sherlock. What do we say about coincidences?”

“The universe is rarely so lazy.”

–but I don’t think it is.

I hear a lot of authors–published authors mainly–say they don’t have time to read anymore. That always made me sad because I could not imagine not reading for a sustained period of time, but now, I understand just how important it is to keep reading and in particular, to read/consume books/movies/tv shows/music–anything really that speaks to you and inspires you. It made WORLDS of a difference when I was reading a book I loved. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know sometimes, it can seem like you’re “wasting” time reading when you could be writing, but wow. Reading is so, so integral to writing. I had no idea how much I was inspired on a subconscious level. I had no idea how much reading inspired me to write.

Writing starts with reading: This is truly one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned and I am so grateful for it.

 

Magic Hour

“Magic Hour is when actors look their best.” 

-Titus Andromedon

Or in the case of writing, magic hour is when writers write their best. This one is more of a personal revelation for me, but I realized while writing this monster of a draft that I write best in the evening and night time!

This was HUGE for me. I am a morning person and consequently believed for the past few years that I wrote best in the morning and during the day. Because of this, I always stopped writing at about 8 o’ clock or so, give or take? I went to bed early so that I could get up early in the morning and write all day. It makes me laugh now because wow, I could not have been more wrong. I write best when the sun has set. I think of all the Magic Hours I must have missed and just laugh.

In hindsight, this was kind of obvious and I don’t know how I went this long without realizing it. It’s so clear to me now. It’s just easier to get into the writing groove during the evening for some reason. I don’t know whether it’s because I know everything I have to do is done for the day or what? I don’t really why but I’m not going to question it too much! Conversely, I realized that my worst time of day to write is the afternoon. Again, this should have been obvious to me considering that after lunch is when I get super sleepy and tired. And as for mornings? They seem to be the happy medium between the two! I don’t get into the writing flow as easily as the evening, but it’s a lot better than the afternoons!

This information has been vastly helpful because now I am allocating my chores and other tasks to the afternoon when my brain isn’t working and making sure that I keep my mornings and evenings in particular, free to write!

 

Random Fact

This isn’t anything I learned from writing, but I just thought I’d note that last night was the latest I have ever stayed up to write! I think I finished my draft at around 1:30 am! I have never stayed up that late before to write! I usually stop writing anywhere from 9:30-10:30pm and go to bed at around 11pm after reading for an hour or so (like I said, early bird!! 😀 ) Anyways, I don’t know why I find that so interesting but I do > . <  New record!!!

 

Anyways, those two things were the biggest things I learned from writing this crazy draft. They were both such great revelations and I’m so glad for them! I’m so, so excited to be done and I can’t wait to start a fresh round of revisions! I’m planning on spending the next few days reading through what I have (and cringing a lot) and taking notes on what to fix and all that jazz. I’m really excited because I think–knock on wood–that I’m finally at the point where it’s going to be more revising than it is rewriting, which is my favorite part of writing!

Oh! One more thing!!! I’m also super excited because though I cannot afford it and probably shouldn’t have, I bought some new candles as a reward for finishing!!!!! I recently discovered my love of candles and the mad, obsessive buying has begun O___o  It’s super nice because I’ve been lighting them when I write and it’s definitely so cozy and writerly! I am super excited to try these new bookish candles and can’t wait for them to arrive!

Wow, this post a lot longer than I’d intended! I’m going to stop here! And as always, I’m going to try and be better about posting, but no promises! Thank you all for reading!!! ❤

HEY OHHHHH!!!! :D

Long time, no see, dear blog!!!

MUAHAHAAH! For once that is not true!!! I have returned in a week!

I thought I would write a blog post today concerning some of my new goals with Fox Story! When I initially scheduled this story, I meant to be done with the second draft by the end of February… And that was my lower limit goal. I had planned to revise once more and depending on how that went, I was going to send it out to CPs and get feedback  in March-ish? And revise with their notes and possibly be querying by June? Perhaps even May if all went very well?

[EDIT: JK!!!! Hahah, I actually just checked back on the post that I wrote for when I first started this story–this one–and ya know what? I gave myself LOTS of time. Clearly Past Me was smart and gave me PLENTY of time to work on this story. Haha, this is actually making me chortle–yes, CHORTLE. Apparently I planned to query in September, not in May/June. I think May/June was what I was working towards as I was working on Draft 2. Ha, I find this highly hilarious for some reason. I guess I’m not as behind as I thought! Why does it still feel like I am ages behind??? Bahahah, more chortling! Okay, anyways, read on! :D]

Well, obviously, that’s not going to work. And while it was a little saddening to see time fly by and with it, my goals/deadlines, I suppose it was all for the best. And either way, I’m back on track and ready to write!!!!

I mentioned on my most recent post that I decided to start over Fox Story from scratch! Anyways, the past week or so has been spent brainstorming and figuring out what I truly want to do in my book. I reread The Wrath and the Dawn and also ended up rereading The Winner’s Curse, which is another FAVORITE FAVORITE and always provides so much inspiration and awe for me. (I’m starting my reread of The Winner’s Crime tonight, by the way!!) I’ve enjoyed rereading these books again so much and I feel so inspired by them!

I started rewriting this morning! To be honest, it’s always scary starting a new draft–especially after coming from a super long break–and I kind of had to force myself to get writing. But

ANYWAYS. Wow. Let’s get back to my original point of this point!! GOALS!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

APRIL-JULY:

  • Draft 3 – I want to finish this draft, at the latest, by the end of July! Now, seeing as I’m aiming for about 90,000 words (less if I can), that should be ample time! Of course, there are always things that crop up unexpectedly that cause deadlines go awry, but as far as I can see, there isn’t much standing in my way at this point! 😀 I really do think I can achieve this goal! Since I started rewriting today, that means I have 112 days to finish my book (yes, I did the math) and seeing as my goal is to try and write about 1,000 words per day, this should be very doable, even if I have days that I’m not able to write as much as I’d like!!!

 

  • That said, it would be AWESOME if I could finish earlier. Say… Like end of June? Which would give me about 81 days? Don’t know if this is quite a goal that I can achieve, so let’s say that’s my upper limit goal!

 

AUGUST:

  • CPs – Yayay!!! Hopefully, by August, I will have a draft ready to send to my CPs and be able to get some amazing feedback from them!!

 

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER:

  • Draft 4 – Of course it will depend on what sort of feedback and how big the notes I receive are, but I’d love to try and finish implementing their critiques by the end of September or so?

 

OCTOBER:

  • Query – MEEP! If all goes well and according to plan, I should (hopefully? maybe?) be querying in October! *clutchy face*

 

Of course, who knows if this will all work out the way I want it to? I guess good news is that I’m not really so far behind schedule that I thought! Hehe. Anyways–you know me–I love goals and I love seeing these written out and it’s making me really excited. I’m feeling pretty good and even though it’s always a daunting task to have to rewrite a book, I have to say, that nothing beats feeling like you’ve made improvements! And while I know that this is going to take many more drafts to get right, I know that the first couple of chapters I revised today are INFINITELY better than what they were. And that in it of itself makes me super happy!

Let’s hope the good spirits keep on rolling! Thanks for reading, everybody!!! 😀 ❤

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!!!! 😀

Ten Things About My Writing

So I ran across this post by Lyra Selene as I was stalking various authors’ blogs and thought this was such a cool idea! I found myself thinking about these things, so I decided that I may as well post them!

1.I always brainstorm in a notebook by hand. 

I’m pretttttty sure that I could open up a document on my computer and spew my creative juices as well as I could on paper, but for some reason (perhaps habit? Probably because I really like notebooks and pens!) I like brainstorming by hand. It usually is just a stream of consciousness about whatever idea is harping at me the most that day. It’s very unorganized and really just an explosion of chaos. Sometimes I have multiple book ideas in a single notebook because I’ll write down whatever comes to mind. I never really go back and read what I’ve written, but getting it down on paper and the acting of writing it seems to help fine-tune what I’m thinking!

 

2. I usually outline extensively, but after the outline is written, I hardly look at it again. 

Hmm… Not sure why this is?? I think the only exception to this is for my current book, Fox Story! I actually did have to go back and see what I had planned while I was drafting. However, I think this is because my outline was sparser than it usually is (which was definitely intentional!) and because I was trying out Leigh Bardugo’s method of drafting, which had me moving along my outline faster than I usually do (which was also intentional!)

 

3. Sometimes I like music, sometimes I don’t. 

Depending on what kind of mood I’m in, I’ll either write to music or write in silence. I’m not sure why I want music sometimes and not others, but it seems to come in giant spurts. I’ll go for a long time listening to music and then suddenly, I’ll switch to writing without any music for a long time. (Not sure what triggers the switch?)

 

4. I rarely listen to instrumental music

For the most part, I usually like listening to music with lyrics. Not that I have anything against instrumental music or soundtracks, but… I don’t know. I think it’s easier for me to connect to music with words in them. A phrase or a sentiment that I hear in the song will strike an emotion in me that I’ll become obsessed with. I know a lot of people find songs with lyrics distracting to write to, but I’ve never quite had that problem. (Haha, if anything I’ll just sing while I’m writing).

I think the one time I used instrumental music was the waltz from Howl’s Moving Castle (which is an AMAZING piece, by the way) when I was writing my Peter Pan Story ages back!

*SIGH* I LOVE this music!!!!!! *heart eyes*

 

5. I only ever use one song on repeat during a writing session.

Something about hearing songs switch REALLY distracts me. So I only ever listen to a song on repeat while I’m writing. Hence, this:

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Hahaha, and I also end up using A LOT of Taylor Swift for my writing! (And in case you were interested, I listened to Out of the Woods while drafting my Beauty and the Beast retelling and Style for my Faerie Story!)

 

6. I like different songs for drafting vs. revising.

This is actually a very new revelation for me (and who knows! I could be wrong or it could change–we’ll have to see!). I only just noticed I like to use songs that really draw out the emotion of the story when I am drafting but I tend to favor songs that have nothing to with my story when I am revising. For example, when I was drafting my Fox Story, I used Red by Taylor Swift (yup! Another T-Swift song >.<), which totally gets the pain and angst of my story, but now that I am revising, I am obsessively listening to Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy, which I LOVE, but let’s face it, it has NOTHING to do with my story.

(By the way, I’ve been trying to use the emotions in the song Red for the longest time! I’ve always wanted to use it for a story and I didn’t plan on using it for Fox Story, but it turned out to be a good fit, so YIPEE!!!)

And here they are, in case you wanna take a listen!

 

7. I don’t start truly loving a story until revisions.

You know how you’ll ask authors “What is your favorite part of writing?” and you’ll hear them say, “I love that moment when everything comes together!” I honestly had NO IDEA what those authors were talking for the longest time. I’d hear it again and again, but not really know what they meant and I’d think they were crazy. But I finally, finally understood when I got far enough my revisions in Faerie Story.

For the longest time, I was so scared and worried because every single step of the writing process was so absolutely grueling and felt like pulling teeth and I thought there was a very big possibility that I might actually hate writing. It wasn’t until I completed the third rewrite of Faerie Story that I felt, Yes! It’s finally coming together. I mean, it was still SOOOOOOO far from being a Good Book, but wow! That moment hit me and I finally saw the shape of story taking place. It’s definitely the most exciting part of writing for me. Honestly, everything up until that point is SO HARD and I have to fight to keep writing. But man! Once it started coming together, I was so excited to write each and every day. I didn’t have that Fear and the ugly procrastination that comes with The Fear. I was so motivated and I actually wanted to write and that was such an awesome feeling.

 

8. The most difficult part of the writing process is the Second Draft. 

Not only are my second draft usually complete rewrites, but wow, the procrastination kicks in HARD during this phase. And this is what I have to battle with the most during this draft. Luckily, I know this is a phase now. When I was revising Faerie Story and rewriting it for the third time, I was so frustrated with myself because I would procrastinate so hard and do anything I could to avoid writing. It took me months and months to finish that draft because of it (hence my extreme annoyance with myself) when it should have taken me about three. The strange part is, once I started writing and got in the groove, I had a pretty good time writing! So I have no idea why I had to fight that I DON’T WANT TO WRITE bug so bad.

But it really does help that I know it’s a phase now–The Second Draft Syndrome, if you will. Like I talked about above how I was scared that I didn’t even like writing? Yup! The third draft of Faerie Story was when I was very concerned that writing would always be awful and never get better and why was I still doing this???? The motivation is REAL low and the procrastination real high during this point–a bad combination! But now I know this is just a phase and it, too, will eventually pass! And that more than anything else, has helped me so much as I revise Fox Story right now!

(Oh by the way, the third draft of Faerie Story is what I consider my real Second Draft because I basically wrote two first drafts of Faerie Story because I misunderstood what revising was and what it required–anyways, I digress! That is a story for another day!)

 

9. I’m no longer afraid of rewriting.

When I first began writing (poor, wee thing I was!), I was SO afraid of rewriting. I would do anything in my power to prevent that from happening, which (surprise!) was very difficult because most of the words that I write are PURE CRAP and have to be rewritten (multiple times!)!! I’d try to piece together broken fragments, hoping somehow I could mash them into a book before giving up and realizing there was no way around it. But now, I’ve accepted that I will most certainly have to completely rewrite my first drafts and possibly many drafts after that! I’m no longer scared of this! I think this is one of things I am most proud of! It’s one of those things that makes me see how far I have come as a writer and I’m really so so excited and proud! I truly believe that had I known how hard writing was when I first began to even think about writing a book, that I would never have attempted it. It’s actually a good thing I was arrogant enough to believe I could write a book and that it would be easy (MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!! *laughs at former naive baby writer self*!!!!) It’s shameful to me that I would have walked away from this because it’s hard–because that really is the laziest, lamest reason to not do something–but that’s the truth! And while I have a long, long way to go in my writing journey, I’m so very glad for how far I have come!

 

10. My ideas have shifted and evolved very much since I first started writing. 

It’s hard for me to say exactly how they’ve shifted and changed, but they most definitely have. I do think my ideas have become more sophisticated (God that sounds SO pretentious, but I SWEAR, I don’t mean for that to sound so hoity-toity/self-congratulatory!! It’s just a statement!) and perhaps a bit less conventional (though for the most part, I think my ideas are all fairly commercial)???And I also think that I had less things I needed for an idea at the beginning. I would just get that Spark and that was that! Lately, I’ve been getting more ideas that I call “Dull Ding” ideas, meaning… it’s an idea without any Spark, an idea that seems really cool, but is missing that extra OOMPH. And honestly, it’s just a matter of time, waiting for the Spark to hit. I’ve also been getting a lot of emotions/series of emotions that I want to use in a book, but have no context or plot to support them yet. Or I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten more ideas that grow from a character than I have in the past, as opposed to ideas rooted from plot. For example, I somewhat recently got the feeling of a girl that was binge-eating everything in sight. She throws up and with tears in her eyes, continues to eat. I don’t know if that will ever become a story or it will simply remain a flash of an idea, but I really love it and feel for that girl. Her sadness and loneliness and self-loathing is strangely lovely to me and calls to me and I hope that with the right Spark, it’ll be come a fully-fledged Idea. 😀 😀

Wow. Sorry, that answer was very all-over-the-place and all kinds of incoherent… O__O !!!!!! Anyways, haha, I guess there’s at least some insight???

 

Hey! I talked A LOT about music, didn’t I?? Hahah, that’s fairly ironic considering I don’t think of music as a necessity in my writing process. Anyways! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this! This isn’t a tag, per se, but I think this is such a fun blog post that I’m going to force–AHEM, I MEAN ASK–my lovely CPs, Janella and Amanda to do this with me!!!!

WOO PASSING ON THE BATON!!!! 😀 😀 😀

Thank you, as always always, for reading my weird ramblings!!!