Tag Archives: Writer

Disney Princesses Reimagined as Books

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The Princess Book Tag

Since Disney Princesses have been reimagined as pretty much everything under the moon (like hotdogs, really?!), it was inevitable that the reimagining would come around to something I’m passionate about–books!

(Although, I’ll admit, I do love a good beef hotdog.)

Thanks to my good friend R. Q. Woodward for tagging me in this fun reimagining!

The rules: 

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you
  • Tag Zuky’s and Mandy’s posts so they can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Book Princess Reviews & Book Bum)
  • Play a game of tag at the end

 

THE PRINCESSES AND THE BOOKS:

🍎Snow White – This Book (like the Movie) Started It All

Favorite debut book from an author:

It’s not technically a first book, but a first fiction book: Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet. This book is an enchanting tale of an unappreciated, special girl (Auralia) that I think artists of any genre can relate to. It instantly struck a chord with me and will always have a place on my shelf.

 

👠Cinderella – A Diamond in the Rough

Just like Cinderella, you didn’t expect much out of this character in the beginning but they turned out to be a total gem.

I don’t know about a specific character, but there was a book I happened across recently that turned out to be an unknown gem for me. Still Life With Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. I picked it up as I was rifling through random books at a used bookstore and started reading the first couple pages (to see if it was something I’d want to read, not knowing the author). I read through the whole first chapter and knew it was something I was going to love. It’s homey but different, with enough elegant prose to satisfy but a plot that’s easy enough to be comfortable.

 

😴Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

A book that makes you sleepy or just could not hold your attention

Allegiant (and Insurgent) by Veronica Roth. I liked the first in the Divergent series, but after that came a big mess of a second and total disaster of a third book. I finished them all, but after a few chapters into Insurgent, it was a miserable experience. I couldn’t understand the characters’ motivations or mood swings. The science felt flimsy. And I definitely couldn’t believe it when characters repeatedly claimed “this is the only way” when they wanted to rush from one bad idea to another (when other options had not been decently explored beforehand). Ugh.

 

🌊Ariel – Under the Sea

A book with a water/ocean setting

This one took me the longest to think up. While there are many books written in proximity to the ocean or water, I feel like I haven’t read many where it’s central to a lot of the story.

One of the first to come to mind was Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, the unfortunate story of a gentleman frog who goes fishing and gets himself caught. Then I thought of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare and had to mention that one. It has a lot of the sea in it, especially at the beginning and with the main character Kit’s upbringing in the Caribbean being an integral part of who she is.

 

📚Beauty and the Books

Name a book with the best bookworm/book lover

Not sure if you could call her a bookworm, but I’m going with Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Heck, that’s part of the reason Darcy deems her of worth, so yeah. Moral: read books and the right significant other will appreciate you. 😉

 

❤️Jasmine – The Thief and the Princess

Name a book with an unlikely love story (either in terms of romance or a book you didn’t expect to love so much.)

I’m going with Bathsheba Everdeen and Gabriel Oak in Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd. They are two very different people, who are constantly thrown together but kept apart until finally *spoiler* Bathsheba comes to her senses.  Plus, I’m pretty sure Gabriel Oak is the quintessential perfect man.

 

🌎Pocahontas – The Real Life Princess

Name a book that is based on a real life person you want to read/have read

Okay, this is a man’s book, so hopefully he doesn’t take offense to being listed in a princess tag (should he ever come across it), but I have On Writing by Stephan King on my “to read” stack at my desk. It’s a memoir and his take on the craft of writing, and I’ve heard it’s an amazing book for any prospective writer to read.

 

🐉Mulan – The Princess that saved her Country

Name the fiercest heroine you know

It’s hard to pick just one here, but I think I’ll go with Mara from Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Mara starts out as a slave, desperate for her freedom and jumps at a risky opportunity to gain it–not once, but twice. She works as an agent for both sides of a cause before realizing (too late) that she truly wants to make a choice between them.

 

🐸Tiana – The Princess With The Coolest And Most Diverse Crew

Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like Tiana’s group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and more) or just diverse in general

Winnie the Pooh. You have the chronically depressed Eeyore, an attention-deficit-disorder Tigger, anxiety-ridden Piglet, OCD Rabbit, and absent-minded Pooh-bear; what’s more diverse than that?

As far as human diversity: like Robin, I thought it was very well done in Rysa Walker’s The Delphi Effect, but it wasn’t central enough to the story for me to really nominate it in this category.

 

💇Rapunzel – Let Your Longggggg Hair Down

Name the longest book you’ve ever read

I’ve just started (and paused for CampNaNoWriMo–I’m awesome with my timing) Tolstoy’s infamous War and Peace. Because I actually enjoy long epics with numerous storylines, political subtexts, and cultural implications.

🏹Merida – I Determine My Own Fate

A book where there is no love story/interest or it isn’t needed

The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I remember this being one of the first “difficult” books I read as a child. Not to say that the books I’d read up to that point didn’t have difficulty in them, but they hadn’t affected me to the same depths that this book did. I need to go back and reread it to see if it still holds the same poignancy I remember.

 

❄️Anna and Elsa – Frozen Hearts

A book in a winter/cold setting

 

George R. R. Martin’s infamous A Song of Ice and Fire series has a good deal of Icy settings, especially as the series progresses with Winter coming and the threat of white walkers looming with it.

The Willows in Winter is probably more fitting a choice, but it’s been so long since I read it as a child that I don’t remember much from the story.

 

⛵Moana  – How Far I’ll Go

A character that goes on a journey

 

Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. I know it might be more of a quest than a journey, but the trip to the Lonely Mountain is more than half the book, and the journey of the mind that Bilbo undertakes is just as much of an accomplishment.

 

A Game of Tag

I tag…whoever is reading this (ha, I have you now!). 😉 Give your own book reimaginings in the comments below or feel free to make your own blog post! I’m always eager for some good book recommendations. And Disney Princess reimaginings.

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The Fifth Doll–Book Review!

Happy Friday, everyone! Since I almost always have a book I’m reading (whether or not I actually register it as “currently reading” in my goodreads account), I thought I’d start sharing personal book reviews now and again.

And what better way to start than with this gorgeous book (both inside and out) of Charlie N. Holmburg’s, The Fifth Doll.

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Seriously, how gorgeous is this cover?!

It’s clear from the get-go that something is not quite right in Matrona’s village, though she herself isn’t aware until a fateful action sets her on the path to unraveling the mystery. Charlie N. Holmberg’s latest book, The Fifth Doll, fluctuates between the romance of an old Russian village, the beguiling spell of a fantasy tale, and the compelling lives of the characters brought to life throughout its pages.

The main character, Matrona, is a dreamer who longs for love, but with realist parents and an impending arranged marriage, it seems she’s destined for a life devoid of it. When she happens upon the collection of painted nesting dolls in the mysterious Slava’s house, she can’t resist the urge to touch one–one with a remarkable likeness of her father painted on it! But when her father starts acting strangely, she realizes there must be more going on in tradesman Slava’s house.

But when Matrona goes to confront Slava, he turns the tables on her and decides Matrona is going to be the next keeper of his secrets–whether she wants to or not! Matrona must follow Slava’s demands…or else. Between his dictates and her parents’ and betrothed’s expectations, Matrona soon finds herself in a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. But with each action she takes, and resulting consequence she endures, Matrona grows in strength and resolve: she will learn the mystery of the dolls. And perhaps she might find the love she longs for after all…

Reading this book was itself very like opening a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. Each layer of the story had a new problem, a new hope, a new secret to learn, and every time I thought I knew where things were headed, another layer broke open and took the plot in a new direction. The Fifth Doll is incredibly unique, quite refreshing to read, and genuinely hard to put down! It only took two days to fly through it, and I could have easily read it all in one sitting if I hadn’t had the mundane distractions of everyday life plaguing me.

What made this story go above the average tale for me were the vivid characters and the beautiful language employed skillfully by Charlie N. Holmberg. Matrona is a very believable and likeable character–super important in a main character. I was able to easily sympathize with her without feeling like the author was manipulating me to do so. She does have real faults but they are understandable and true to her character. Slava walks the appropriate tightrope for his good-guy-or-bad-guy-? persona; menacing but weary, demanding but regretful. And the character of Matrona’s mother also stood out to me as a very realistic portrayal. Her harsh demeanor and sharp words were very believable traits, due to her situation in life and its toll on her.

As for the language, here are a few lines that I absolutely loved!

“It sent moth wings up her arms and over her shoulders.”

“By the time she reached the church, her lungs blazed like two oil lamps.”

“Serpents coiled around her chest, thinning her air.”

“Her entire body became a heartbeat.”

“A good sign, yet Matrona’s nerves stung her limbs like hornets.”

“Matrona’s skin burned like he was the sun.”

All in all, this is a gem of a book, with enough mystery, magic, romance, historical notes and action to please readers from virtually any genre. This is probably the best book I’ve read so far this year—I don’t give out five-star reviews easily!

I was given an advanced reading copy of this book, but my opinion is 100% my own and I’m already planning to purchase and give physical copies for myself and friends of mine after the July 25th release of this book. It’s that good. 😉

Check it out here for yourself!

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Touching Base & A Sneak Peek!

It’s late.

I have a glass of strawberry moscato at my elbow, my cat at my feet, and a limp bun sagging at the back of my head.

This is when I do most of my writing, it seems. Late at night or early in the morning, when the house is quiet enough for me to breathe. A hot cup of coffee or cool glass of wine at my side, urging me on.

So, without further ado:

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Progress Report:

I’m approximately a third(ish) of the way through on my manuscript, which is both exciting and disheartening. Every writer works at different speeds, I know. I simply function within a tortoise-like slow and steady pace. And that’s okay, but I’d like to work faster. Perhaps if I get myself in gear and follow R. Q. Woodward’s excellent advice, I can amp up my speeds a little.

Since the story takes place in a futuristic earth (over a thousand years into the future), that naturally requires imagining what has changed in a thousand years, what has remained constant, and what has fallen into disrepair. Which probably should be more exciting than terrifying, but coming from a historical standpoint, it’s still uncomfortable for me.

The latest I’ve dreamed up is some kind of fairly easily diagnosed disease and the medication used to treat it. The research for that (to make it at least a believable disease and medication) is both equally repulsive and mad-scientist-y too. I think. I’ve never been strong in the sciences, so I’m not sure exactly how that might feel. But I imagine it’s something like this fascinating feeling of loose control over something far beyond your own power.

I feel sorry for the poor characters already.

Well, enough about the process, I promised a sneak peak and here it is! A tiny snippet of what I’ve recently written:

I go to tuck my lip into my mouth, but it’s held taught in a chapped shell. “Look, if you want me gone, just give me an I.D. and point me in the direction of the nearest city.”

A laugh bursts from behind the man’s thick beard. “We don’t just give out I.D.s, girl. And even if we-” He stops, head turned to the side.

It takes me a moment, but I hear it too—a distant cry, piercing through the air with a haunting resonance.

Then a second voice, much closer. “Harlan!”

The man turns to the door behind him just before it bursts open. “Harlan!” The woman who flies through reaches for him. “It’s Delci—she’s worse, much worse.”

His hard face finally shows a crack in its composure. “How much?”

“I don’t know what else to do.“ She wrings her pasty-white hands like it’ll render some answer to the problem. “We need to send for someone, Harlan. We have no choice—Kennard won’t be back until Spring.”

Pressing a hand to his heavy brow, he considers a moment. “No, it’s too dangerous.”

“She’ll die!”

“Take me to her.” He follows the woman out the door, fixing me with a hard look before the slab of wood shuts between us and I hear the scraping of a lock falling into place.

More cries fluctuate from somewhere outside the door.

What kind of place is this?

I don’t want to stick around to find out.

Dun dun duuuuuun. Yep, **spoiler** someone has fallen victim to my horrible made-up disease. I’m sorry, but it was a necessary evil to move the story along.

In Other News:

I recently took an online course in Romantic and Sexual Tension that R.Q.Woodward suggested to me, and that was an interesting challenge. I’ll admit that I didn’t realize how many layers go into creating an engrossing Romantic story (whether by itself or within another genre like historical or sci-fi). I got a lot of fantastic pointers for not only romantic development, but character growth as well.

Last Notes:

I’m SUPER excited about July’s Camp NaNoWriMo coming up! (Look out for #SpottedSasquatch) I’m still working out what exactly my goal will be. 50k words is the standard, of course, but something as simple as an hour or two of uninterrupted writing every day would be a great habit to enforce during the month. As per R.Q.’s previously mentioned advice, I agree that setting aside designated time for the task is vitally important. Especially when you’re the stay-at-home parent and workdays are ambiguous and never-ending.

I’ll be chiming in soon with a fun book review, but in the meantime, let me know if you’re NaNoWriMo-ing in July or what other summer plans you have!

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Love and Taxes

It’s that time of year again…tax time.

I know, I know, it’s been that time of year for a long time, but I’m both a procrastinator and a tax-loather, so I’ve put it off until today and now I’m nearly cross-eyed from all the legalese. What do things like dividends and earned income really mean? Of course I earned it, what kind of woman do you think I am, Mr. Tax Document?!

If there were a word in my vocabulary stronger than hate…it’d have to be taxes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting the tax return at the end of it all, but it’s like I have to pass this long, convoluted test to get my own money back. Oh, and if I make a mistake on this test, no “B” for me, I get to go directly to tax fraud jail. (Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but that’s how I feel in the midst of the process.)

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Taxes make me want to do this: the adult form of running away from home…with your home.

On a lighter and completely unrelated topic, I recently had a friend notice the name of my wordpress site (foundmydarcy) and comment that I must be an Austen fan.

Why, yes. Yes I am. (Does the sun shine?)

But there’s more to the name than just being part of the crazy Jane A. fandom. And it was more than I wanted to reply in a comment on said friend’s post (hijacking and all that). So, here’s the story of how my blog got its name.

Long, long ago, (okay, it was 2005) in the age of dial-up internet and low-rise jeans, there was a girl (me) who decided to have my first ever blog. Only, it wasn’t called a blog. Not exactly. I vaguely remember the term online journal being thrown around, but suffice it to say, it was essentially a blog.

I had a friend help me set it up, and when it came to the username/blog name, I tried to be creative while honoring my newfound love of Pride and Prejudice (I’d just read the book–before watching the movies–and loved it, of course). So it had to be both witty but “cool” and unique, of course.

After debating a couple ideas, I came up with the perfect combo: Lookin_4_Darcy.

Yeah, I roll my eyes at it now, but at the time, it was PERFECTION.

Little did I know the joke was on me: I’d “met” my future husband by the end of that afternoon.

You see, my friend who had helped set up my page went ahead and subscribed me to all her favorite people’s pages as well–including a guy she’d befriended at summer camp and his younger brother (my now husband). Of course, not understanding a thing about how blogs worked at that time, I introduced myself to each person I’d been subscribed to lest they feel like I was some random weirdo stalking their page. (facepalm)

Granted, my husband described it as “cute”, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

So yeah, we commented back and forth on each other’s journal-entries/posts until mid-2006 when we both got distracted with other things. Later, mid-2008, we reconnected through the internet again and eventually met (because we found out we had all these friends in common who ASSURED us we were both real people–no catfishing on our watch). And about a year after finally meeting face-to-face, we were married.

So I started out Lookin_4_Darcy, but I have since found my Darcy.

I started with a little online journal and now I have a bonna-fied blog (that I tend to neglect, but I’m working on that).

So that’s where that name comes from; a double meaning. A Jane Austen tribute with a little back story of my own. Because that’s pretty much as “me” as you can get.

Unlike taxes.

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Sunshine Award!

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Just like the sun coming out after a storm, this award was a happy surprise after a long month of on-again, off-again illness(es). Being sick is horrible enough, being sick as a stay-at-home parent is the seventh circle of hell. I’m sure Dante would have written about it, if he’d been a stay-at-home parent.

It really tests you down to your very soul when you have an ear-splitting migraine and the man-child is running around the house giving some kind of deranged battlecry, waving around the lightsabers you meant to hide yesterday, all to the tune of Peppa Pig background noise.

So having an awesome writing buddy, who not only helps encourage and critique your work, but nominates you for a blogging award (even when you’re pretty sure you don’t know how to blog or when to blog or are just always blogging wrong)–that’s pretty awesome! And drags you from the pit of despair to fight another day. (Or concede to the four-year-old another day, take your pick.)

Thank you, R.Q.Woodward for the nomination! You are a stellar blogger who always has the best writing advice, from writing software to twitter, and you always teach me something I didn’t know I needed to know when I read your posts. I feel very honored to have known you before blogging, both as a student/peer and a coworker (for that one semester, remember?) because someday I’m going to be able to brag about knowing you way-back-when and everyone’s going to be really jealous of me.

SO, the Sunshine Blogger Award, other than being the sun-shiniest and possibly most cheerful of the award family, has a few rules:

  • Post the award on your blog (well, duh)
  • Thank the person who nominated you (because, manners; THANK YOU, ROBIN!)
  • Answer the 11 questions they sent you
  • Nominate bloggers you’d like to give this award
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

Since R.Q.Woodward nominated me, she got to choose the questions (cue dramatic music). Here’s what she asked and how I answered:

Q & A with R.Q.Woodward:

  1. What’s one of the wackiest dreams you’ve ever had?

    Great first question! I have had some pretty off-the-wall dreams, but they are usually action-oriented, not really “wacky”. One that comes to mind had almost the same feel to it as the movie “The Village”. If you haven’t seen the movie, be warned: spoilers (somewhat). Basically, I’d been captured and forced to stay in this colony of people living out their lives like it was the 1800s. Only, it was my parents’ ranch down in Texas where they’d taken over and set up shop. I tried to escape a couple times, but kept getting caught and brought back kicking and screaming (I do a lot of that in dreams…which is SO not me in real life! Haha!). THEN things took a turn for the weird when suddenly people started getting sick out of nowhere. Either someone was poisoning within the camp or there was an implication of spiritual/mystical activity that was causing it. I might have then been accused of witchcraft. I decided to again plan another escape, but woke up before it came into play.

  2. Name your favorite book, movie and TV show, and then tell me which of THOSE is your absolute favorite.

    The book is actually the easiest. I don’t know why, but Mara: Daughter of the Nile has been my go-to favorite. I’ve read it at least ten times, which is a lot for me (I don’t tend to re-read stuff). I’ve heard it decried as being historically inaccurate, but I don’t care. It’s a good story. Ancient Egypt, spies, tomb raiding, what’s not to like?

    Movie is a little harder. For years it was The Scarlet Pimpernel, the 1982 TV version with Jane Seymour and a young Ian McKellen. It’s very dated and not the greatest film quality, but it’s swashbuckling fun. It’s about a disguised Englishman rescuing innocent French Aristocracy from the guillotine during the French Revolution. I’ll go ahead and say it’s still my favorite, though I have a lot of honorable mentions (Sabrina 1995, Pride&Prejudice 2005, Far From the Madding Crowd 2015, Casablanca)

    TV show is almost impossible to nail down. That probably says that I watch too much of it, but I try to just watch shows that I enjoy so that’s probably the reason I’m struggling. A recent one that I watched and was absolutely fascinated by was The Man in the High Castle–an alternate history of what the world of 1962 would be like if Hitler had won WW2. I love that, especially in the second season, the “bad guys” and the “good guys” aren’t as clear cut as they seem. It’s very like real life people and I’m attracted to that kind of story. On the other end of the spectrum: I love Lark Rise to Candleford and Dr. Who.

    You probably are starting to see a pattern here, right? My go-to anything is usually historical in some sense. I think out of all of those, Mara is probably my all-time favorite. I’ve often longed for SOMEONE out there to make it into a movie, but then I’d probably be disappointed. (*cough* Ella Enchanted *cough*)

  3. What is the first favorite color you ever remember having and what is your favorite color now?

    Pink (gag me) was my first favorite. I don’t absolutely hate it, but I haven’t liked it for years. Now my favorite color tends to go between an off-white, pale grey or faint blue. Put me in the midst of any of those peaceful hues and I’m instantly relaxed.

  4. Who is your favorite person in the world?

    ME! Ha, no. As cliché as it sounds, my husband. Really, is there any other choice? He’s one person in the world (my son doesn’t count, he’s not an adult and doesn’t care) who I can be a complete mess around and not feel self-conscious about it. He’s there if I need him for anything, my quiet supporter. Plus, I think he’s pretty good eye candy too (don’t tell him I said that).

  5. What’s your favorite smell?

    Tough question! Hmmm… Top 2 are campfire smell and good ol’ vanilla. I don’t know if I could pick just ONE though. And baking bread. Ugh, I’m going to keep thinking of more good ones, so I’m stopping now…

  6. If you had to choose between living as an insect in the Amazon or as a fish in the ocean for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

    Wow, random! I like it. My instinct is to say fish in the ocean (despite all the plastic and crap going on with the oceans right now; though I’ve read some promising stuff on inventors creating ways to help clean them, so YAY!). I don’t really want to live in a swampy, humid rainforest for the rest of my life. Plus, I’ve heard scientists know more about outer space than the bottom of the ocean–I’d love to explore down there and find out its secrets!

  7. Coffee, tea, beer, or wine? (multiple choices are acceptable)

    All except beer. I just don’t like the stuff. When I’m sick or it’s cold outside, or I’m reading/watching British stuff, tea. When it’s a typical day, coffee to start the day and coffee in the afternoon. Wine occasionally in the evenings (especially if I’ve had a seventh circle of hell day from the four-year-old).

  8. How do you like to spend your leisure time?

    What’s that? Ha! In all seriousness, if I get an “evening off” or a “day off”, I usually hang out with my family here at the house and do bits of nothingness. Watch a show with my husband or put together a puzzle or play games with the man-child or read or do a crossword myself. If my husband tells me explicitly, “Go out and relax!” then I usually head to a coffeeshop (usually the kind in a bookstore) and get coffee, look at books, sit down to read and write and just decompress. That’s my ideal getaway at the moment. A few hours to read, write, drink coffee, and maybe buy a new book.

  9. Do you like to hike, bike, or do other types of outdoor recreational activities? (if this answer is a “duh” type of response because of #8, do not pass go, go directly to jail. Also, tell me anything)

    Haha! I do like to walk/hike. We have a small state natural area with a trail JUST down the road from us. I have grown to love it because hardly anyone is usually out there. I used to bike all the time until college, but not anymore (sad face). I used to swim a lot. I used to sword fight (not fencing, SWORD fight, like a complete nerd). I used to do a lot of things before the man-child magically zapped me of all my energy (almost totally kidding, but not quite).

  10. What is one (or maybe two) question(s) you wish I’d asked?

    How come you’re not a famous published author yet, Sarah?

  11. What is the answer to the question you just asked yourself?

    I can’t believe you just asked me that! You’re not supposed to talk about not being published until after you get published, and then you can joke about it. How insensitive of you…

    Just kidding.

    Real answer?  I’m slowly working towards it, but I’m not desperate to be published until I’m ready. When I’m there, I’m there. Until then, I’m content to write for myself a few friends who read it.

I Nominate…

I am not the best at blogging (the reading or writing of them; in fact, I wrote a post about it), but there’s one blog that I’ve followed since the beginning of the beginning of thinking about blogging. Because of that, I’d like to nominate Tina Bausinger! She’s someone who once went to a humble writer’s group when we were both still junior college students with creative writing dreams. Since then, she’s become a published author (yay!) as well as becoming an English teacher herself.

Here’s my 11 questions:

  1. What inspired you to start writing?
  2. What’s your favorite food?
  3. Dogs or cats or both?
  4. Which would you rather be if you had the choice–divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?
  5. What are your hobbies outside of reading and writing?
  6. Dream vacation destination and activities? (no financial restrictions–this is a dream)
  7. If you had to pick ONE author to read for the rest of your life (only his/her books), who would that be and why?
  8. Where and when are you the most productive in your writing?
  9. Favorite TV show or movie that’s based on a book?
  10. You find you can time travel once to any point in time: do you go to the future or past? If the past, what time period or year? (you return to your own time after the visit)
  11. City or country? Which specific city or countryside? (ex: San Fransisco or mountainside valley, etc.)

Happy blogging and I’m looking forward to your answers!

To those reading: have any random questions for me? Ask me in the comments below! (I dare you)

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February Wrap-Up

February always seems to go by too quickly.

But of course, you say, it’s the shortest month of the year.

Yeah, but I always forget that.

February 1st always kicks off with me going, “Oh, crap” and hurrying to make birthday plans for hubby. Early-in-the-month birthdays always sneak up on me. You don’t expect them because you’re off in a totally different month until BAM! You flip the calendar over, and there they are. (Flip? Does anyone besides me have an actual paper calendar anymore? I guess it’s more of a swipe on a phone. Or a tap. Anyway…) I dislike these early-in-the-month birthdays for exactly this reason. Not that anyone can help having one, but I always forget to plan for them (sorry, mom)!

This year was a biggie for hubby, too. The big 3-0. Three decades of life. And I had almost zero plans for it, right up to the day of. How could I not have something planned? Well, my husband doesn’t really like parties, or surprises, or gifts, or cake (basically, anything that’s normally associated with birthdays).

But I couldn’t do nothing. You only turn 30 once, ya know? Thanks to brainstorming with  writing bud, we managed to come up with a plan: a 30-clue treasure/scavenger hunt around the house that led to his birthday gift (a board game that I remembered the DAY OF  that he’d mentioned liking; yes, it’s that hard to come up with a present for this guy).

If you’ve never thrown together 30 sappy-rhyming treasure hunt clues in half a day, you haven’t truly lived, my friend. (And then hid all the clues, rushed off to Toys R Us to get previously mentioned gift, and finally sped home JUST before he got home from work so that the treasure hunt was waiting for him once he walked in the door.)

Of course, a smart person would have planned it out ahead of time, but what can I say? I like to live my life on the edge.

Next in the month came Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and before I knew it, it’s suddenly the end of the month!

This month, my son decided it was time to start really learning how to read, my nutritionist friend challenged me to join in on a group diet/challenge she created (appropriately coined, “Love Your Guts”), I picked up cross-stitch for the first time in years, and I’ve made it back in the gym at least a handful of times.

Oh, and through all this, I’ve been working on the new writing project I mentioned in my last post. And other than worrying that it’s not YA enough, I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out. More of that to come in future posts!

I feel a little stretched, but overall, it’s been a good month.

How was your February?

P.S. Treasure hunt was a hit! Definitely something to do for the impossible-to-plan-for birthday person in your life. 😉

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Imperfectly Perfect

IMG_20141111_223646781.jpgMy brain is on the fritz and my hands are killing me.

But let’s move on past the usuals.

It’s week 1 1/2 of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I’ve got just over 22k words down. Tonight, I might make it to the halfway point at 25k. Maybe.

It’s been a bit of a rough ride.

The first few days, nothing “felt” right. The scenes, the descriptions, everything tasted about as delicious as dried-out cornbread. It was equivalent to the feeling of having a child comb your very tangled hair or waiting in a line all day at the DMV.

Some of it was necessary, some of it I just had to get through, but I’m sure that I’ll be chopping some of the scenes when I read back through it.

And that’s okay.

NaNoWriMo isn’t about perfection. It isn’t about having a literal novel to publish at the end of things. (Although, I’m sure there are some fantastic writers out there who *could* do that)

It’s about challenging yourself and pushing through the dry spells and empty brains.

It’s managing to get in those extra words around regular life stuff that you can’t avoid.

It’s stopping every five minutes because your 4-year-old needs someone to come wipe  for him. (just being real, here)

It’s going to a write-in and meeting people like you who love to write. People who you can talk about your story with and their eyes don’t glaze over after the first couple sentences. People who are more experienced and write faster than you, but that’s okay.

It’s this great big enormous challenge to just get out (or stay in) and DO this thing that we all love! Together, through the magic of the internet, through long-distance writer buddies, through our local writer groups, through ourselves.

We are NaNoWriMo and we are imperfectly perfect.

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