Snapshot 8/31/21 // “Centuries”

Currently listening:Centuries” – Fall Out Boy
Currently watching: Sailor Moon R
Currently playing: Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
Currently reading: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

August. I let August slip away like a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Turns out I needed another mental health month and some time away, at least from blogging. In the middle of the month, I picked up writing again. Well, revising. I finished rereading my first draft of The Lowell Saga and now I have stepped onto the revising plane for the second draft. It’s taking a painstaking amount of time to go through it chapter by chapter but I’m doing it. I want to make sure that all my foreshadowing adds up and all my characters stay true to who they are at this point. I say at the point because this is only the first book of four. I didn’t do my writing update this month but it will be back in September!

In other news, I did take a trip in August! I went to visit my brother out in the country and it was awesome. I had a great time and ate a lot of ice cream. I do love ice cream. (August is also when I was born so I ate a lot of cake too to celebrate!) Then got right back into the swing of eating health after both of those fun times. I’m really proud of myself.

Me, on my birthday #noregrets

August Goals:

  1. Continue to watch my sugar intake. Checkmate.
  2. Jog. Um. I did do this but then I got really bad knee pain lol. I’m not jogging but I’m exercising so I think I will let myself have this one.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. Checkmate.

September (the month where Dark Academia is my vibe) Goals:

  1. Work on The Lowell Saga. Until it’s done.
  2. Maintain my healthy habits. I’ve been eating better and exercising. So I want to carry on this goal into the next month so it becomes a habit.
  3. Be more open to possibilities. I think COVID got me stuck in bit of an anxiety loop. I want to get out of that so this September I want to try some different things. Exciting things. As for what yet, I’m not sure as of writing this. But something. Something more.

What I Read:

  • Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch. This was the perfect summer read. Just the right amount of angsty family situations, mythological lore and summer romance. Not to mention in all takes place in Santorini, Greece. Just like every other book Jenna Evans Welch has written I adored it. If you need a lighter read please take a gander.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I read this for the first time in high school and I really liked it then. Rereading it now years later, I still like this book. There are two types of people in the world. Those who like The Catcher in the Rye and those who don’t. I totally get why someone would not like this book. Honestly, nothing really happens. It’s just Holden stream of conciousnessing his way through every page, but despite that and his own biases and way of seeing the world he does lay down some fundamental human truths. Usually at the most unexpected of times. Holden is one of a kind and far from perfect, but reading his story always amuses me.
  • Kagerou Daze v.1 by Jin and art by Mahiro Satou.
  • Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynn Jackson. True, awe inspiring and eye opening. I loved this book. I can honestly say I think it changed me. I will never look at life the same.
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Vivid, real, and a book that I knew I needed to read. I am a very learn by doing kind of person when it comes to writing but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this book. I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone out there, not just writers.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Amazing Posts I Read in August:

My Round Up of July Posts:

I wonder what September is going to bring….

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Snapshot 7/31/21 // “The Widow in Black”

Currently listening:Aerith’s Theme” – Nobuo Uematsu
Currently watching: Pokemon S1 // every Marvel movie in chronological order
Currently playing: Final Fantasy VII: Remake
Currently reading: Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

I took a much needed break in July. Some of you might have noticed that I didn’t post my writing update this month. That was intentional since I didn’t write anything. Lol. After finishing the first draft of book 1 of The Lowell Saga in June I needed a mental break before I head back in to revising it. August is going to be interesting. A lot of work I know but something I am welcoming and looking forward to!

I also saw Black Widow this month and can I just say I love, love, loved it. Especially Yelena and her vest, omg. Black Widow is my favorite avenger and I am glad she finally got her own standalone movie. I loved it so much it put me in the mood to watch every Marvel movie every made again in chronological order. Yes, ambitious I know but I’m enjoying it so far. I just finished Iron Man and am going to start Iron Man 2 soon. In other news I was feeling nostalgic and a bit down as well so I started rewatching the original Pokemon anime from the 90’s. It’s doing wonders for relaxing me since it was practically all I watched as a kid.

July was a break I needed. I slept a lot, read a bit, and hung outside just taking in the sun. I might even need to do more of that in August since I have a vitamin D deficiency lol. It’s fiiiiiine. I’ll figure it out, like I always do. I also have a B-12 deficiency which could explain why I’ve been feeling so tired these past few months. But I’m taking vitamins now so all and all I should be on an upswing!

July Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake. Check. I gained some weight in July so that push finally got me back to making healthier choices so my sugar intake is definitely less.
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga. In a round about way by resting this month I did complete this goal because now I can head into August with fresh eyes for my manuscript and do an even better revising job because I stepped away from it. It can be like reading a new story now!

August (the month where I might have been born) Goals:

  1. Continue to watch my sugar intake. I did great in July and I am hoping to carry it through to August so it becomes a habit.
  2. Jog. I started jogging in July and want to carry this goal over into the next month while the weather is still so perfectly summer.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. This has been here every month and will be continue to be here until this is a published book, lol. My determination is strong.

What I Read:

  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I read this book all through June and ended up finishing it on July 1st. Right before the 4th. This book is probably one of, if not the top, book in all of the Raven Cycle to me. I love the whole series though as a whole of course, but there is just something about this one. The concept, the stealing, Ronan, Kavinsky, Gansey and Blue on the phone like…. (*INSERT MAJOR ROMANTIC SIGH HERE*). I’ve been rereading the Raven Cycle impulsively and it’s what prompted me to get my ley line tattoo back in May. I grew up with this series and because of that it made me who I am today as a person and as a writer. Maggie’s prose is beautiful and gives you just enough to surprise you and not spoil anything. I hope to be near her level someday with my own writing.
  • Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs. This was such a sweet, cute read and exactly the contemporary summer romance vibe I needed for my month of rest. Not to mention the main character suffers from anxiety so that was extra relatable to read about and the main love interest was a soft artist boy so that was also very enjoyable to read about. If you need something light with a happy ending I highly recommend.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Marvelous Posts I Read in July:

My Round Up of July Posts:

August is my favorite month. For obvious reasons. It’s my birthday month! And it’s summer! And I just love everything about that. How are you guys spending your summers? Got any interesting plans? I’m laying low but still enjoying listening to those cicadas sing outside my window and watching the ocean waves roll in.

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Snapshot 6/30/21 // “(insert big smile here)”

Currently listening: “Driver’s License” – Olivia Rodrigo
Currently watching: Gravity Falls
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

June went by really fast. Really fast. But I think that’s because I actually had a lot of fun this month. I saw my friends A LOT, I hung out with my family A LOT, and I ate A LOT of good food. Not to mention, like, it’s SUMMER. The greatest thing to ever exist.

June Goals:

  1. Focus on the present. CHECK.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. FAILURE. Turns out I like sugar, and s’mores, and donuts and blueberry muffins. Like damn.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.

July (the month where I just exist in bliss) Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake. Take 4?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga. I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT OF BOOK 1. Now, to edit!

What I Read:

  • Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. This book helped me immensely this month. I read it in one gulp. Faster probably than I’ve read any other book this year. I bought it awhile ago and had always been meaning to read it. The timing just never seemed right. After I lost my dog on June 1st, I knew now was the time. This book hit every beat. Every. Beat. It was the perfect remedy to how I had been feeling. The way grief was handled throughout the book, the subtle love story, the books, the ocean… it was what I needed. Five stars. Shout out to Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books for sharing her love of Words in Deep Blue on her blog. I wouldn’t have found it without you!
  • This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura. I enjoyed reading this one! Anything involving a flower shop immediately calls to me. At times I did find CJ the main character a bit difficult to like but she grows throughout and the book, and comes into herself in the end. The lessons learned, and the histories explored through the text also gave me great perspective. The story focuses on moving forward from the past and previous mistakes of our ancestors to building a better and more equal future and taking accountability. We all have the power to do that, inside of us, and that inspires a lot of hope.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Marvelous Posts I Read in May:

My Round Up of May Posts:

It’s been a slow reading month but it’s all good. I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT, AND IT’S SUMMER, AND LIFE IS FUN AGAIN!!!

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | June 2021 | It Is Done.

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | May 2021 | It’s Part of the Journey

Okay, um… so! I am just going to cut straight to the chase. I have some news.

I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT. I DID IT GUYS. I ACTUALLY DID IT. I REACHED MY GOAL. THE FIRST DRAFT OF (BOOK 1) OF THE LOWELL SAGA IS FINISHEDDDDDD!!!!!!! (But more on this later!)

It feels so weird to me to have actually finished a draft, because in my whole entire life I have never written a whole book before. I always stopped or had gotten bored with the story way before I reached the end. If my high school self could see me now!

As I mentioned in my last writing update, when I was in high school I didn’t want to be a writer. I loved writing and because I loved it so much I never thought it could actually be my job. School was my job back then and I hated school. Wrongly, I believed, that work had to be difficult and something that you really didn’t want to do. (How naive and misguided!) Thankfully, the universe had other plans.

One of the first signs that put me on the path of being a writer came in my sophomore year during English class. We were studying poetry and our teacher assigned us, simply, to just write a poem. I remember I didn’t think much of it. In fact I was in the mode that I just wanted to get it done so in the class following (Driver’s Ed) I finished the assignment. Just like that, between studying the driving manual and scribbling in my notebook, I wrote my poem.

A week later after we had handed them in and our teacher had graded them, she said something that I still think about today. It was a small thing. But isn’t it those small things that make us wonder what if ? My high school English teacher was notoriously hard to please. She was a difficult grader and held us, her Honors English class, to a high standard. What she said was small, and maybe not that significant, but it meant something to me, and apparently still does because here I am writing about it. I don’t remember the exact phrasing but she said something like this, “Some of you should consider having your work published in our newspaper.”

When my poem was finally handed back to me there in bright red pen was just simply the word “Wow!”

And that’s when it hit me she might have been talking about me.

At that point I hadn’t really considered publishing my work before. I was too shy and too nervous. I didn’t want anyone to see my work. I was afraid. I dismissed the idea of having my poem published immediately after the thought had been born. The me back then in no way would do something like that.

The me who exists right now though is completely different. I still wonder what would have happened if I had submitted my poem to the paper. But then I know it’s an impossible thought. Everything happens for a reason and that moment in time served as a marker to set me on the right path. It was a crucial stepping stone, one that seems so small but actually since I’m writing about it now, means a lot.

Especially now. Especially with this particular writing update post.

(And that poem, believe it or not, was eventually published. Just a few years after the fact 😉 Here’s the link if you want to check it out!)

Honestly, I am still in awe. I finished a draft. I finished a draft. I finished a draft!!! Is it perfect? No way in hot hell. But it is done. It is done. IT IS DONE.

I still have a lot of revision to do. That’s a given. But, from everything I’ve read and from all the authors I’ve listened to, I know getting the first draft done is huge. No matter how terrible it is. Because at least now I have something to build up from. You can’t build up from nothing. And I have something!

I plan on The Lowell Saga being four books. The first draft of book 1 is now complete. At the moment I am currently letting it sleep for a bit and letting my mind focus on other tasks. But then I am going to dive straight in and try to read the whole draft through in a day and see what all the major things I need to fix are.

After that revision begins. Then when I feel comfortable enough there I will be moving onto book 2. Then the same process will ensue through the last two books, until the whole story is finished and then I will make sure the whole series is cohesive and that all the foreshadowing is correctly plotted and all the little nuances make sense all throughout. Then the story really will be done.

It’s a wonderfully scary thought. A very far away thought but one I know I’ll reach.

My writing friends I have a question for you. What do you do once you finish a first draft? Do you have any advice for me? This is new ground.

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

word count: 79,327

Snapshot 5/31/21 // “Me in May”

Currently listening:Soul Mate” – flora cash
Currently watching: Steven Universe
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

May was an interesting month. It was the best of months, it was the worst of months. It was the month where I made a lot of stark changes. For one thing I got my yearly haircut, yes you read that right yearly. So the length is now at my shoulders and ready for the heat. BRING IT ON SUMMER. I also got a blond streak in my hair which I love and is something totally new. Yes, yes, yes, yes and oh one other thing. Did I mention I got a tattoo?

I wanted a tattoo since forever and was supposed to get one last year. So this month I decided to just DO IT. So I did. I know some of you know what this is haha, and all I can say is I’m in love!

May Goals:

  1. Focus on me. Yes, I think I did this.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. No, I think I did not do this.
  3. Watch my caloric intake. 😦
  4. Get at least 10,000 steps everyday. 🙂
  5. Do yoga every damn day. 🙂
  6. Work on The Lowell Saga. 🙂
  7. Watch your spending. :/ I may have indulged a little, but not a lot. It was on books, okay?
  8. GET THAT TATTOO. DONE!!!!
I did half so…

June (the month where summer is here and I am ALIVE) Goals:

  1. Focus on the present. It’s summer and I want to have fun. Enough said.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. Take 3.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. Keeping the dream ALIVE.

What I Read:

  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill. This book went above and beyond my expectations. I knew it would be good, I knew it would be adorable but then I read it and it was just SO good and SO adorable that I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series. The graphics are wonderful and warm and just give you this good feeling inside as you read. I felt calm every time I picked it up and can’t say how much if you need a book to get you relaxed JUST READ THIS. Diversity, wholesomeness, dragons, and tea honestly what more do I need to say?
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This book. This book. This book. I’ve read it over and over and no matter how many times it always feels like the first time. I fall in love over and over and over again. This book is complex, simple, reality, dreams, and magic all tied into one. And it all feels so real. I love it so much. I read this book years ago at the right time in my life and it has stayed with me since and will stay with me forever more. The Raven Cycle will always be in the top of the top of my favorite books and it is a series I believe that played a hand in who I am today and who I will probably become tomorrow. And I know a lot of you feel the same way if you’ve read it.
  • Fruits Basket v.11 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Kuroko’s Basketball Omnibus #3 (v.5+6) by Tadatoshi Fujimaki
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Five stars all across. A beautiful perspective on living, dying and all the paths we don’t take. Definitely deserves a read, and that’s all I can say.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Marvelous Posts I Read in May:

My Round Up of May Posts:

Summer. Summer! SUMMER!!! It is my favorite season and I can’t wait to go back to the ocean and eat ice cream and since we are all vaccinated now visit my family and hang with my friends and THRIVE ❤

Finally.

What are your plans for summer?

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | May 2021 | It’s Part of the Journey

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | April 2021 | Vienna

Doesn’t May make you sad sometimes? I don’t know… this could just be me rambling but May means summer is almost here, but not yet. And that’s the thing. Summer isn’t here yet so I’m sad. But also, the year moved by so fast and that means that summer (once it comes) will end again too. I don’t know about you but I love summer and I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever for it to come back.

What my beautiful metaphor of an opening paragraph is alluding to is that with writing too I’ve been sad this month, and I’m a little worried about like… everything. My emotions have been up and down, riding all the waves of May. Self doubt is a killer. Everyone has those moments of what am I doing with my life? I had a few this month, and I’ve come to the realization that at the end of it, even if I don’t “make it” or whatever at least I tried my best. At least I listened to my heart. I’ve been writing when I can and planning when I can’t. But I keep going and that’s the point.

Probably because I’m stubborn as shit. And I feel this weird incessant calling to have to write. So. There we go.

In high school, I loved to write for fun. I would scribble poems in the margins of my notebook and I would write fanfiction on the back of handouts. I think in the back of my mind I was subconsciously aware that one day I would end up as a writer, but freshman/sophmore year of high school it was just a very distant dream. I would even go as far to say that the me at that time would say she didn’t want to be a writer. Maybe even at all. You see at that time in my life I wanted to do something with my life. Like, be a firefighter and rescue innocents from burning buildings or be a physical therapist and help injured athletes rehabilitate. I (wrongly) didn’t view writing and becoming a published author as doing something with my life at that time which is so vastly different to who I am now.

So I resisted.

Part of the reason I believe I felt this way was because I thought that if writing became my profession than that would suck all the fun out of my favorite thing. Writing when I was young was escapism, it kept me calm, it made the world seem like a beautiful dream of possibility. But the reality of my life was school, and if I haven’t already said it enough before I loathed school. LOATHED. Literally.

School was my job and my job wasn’t fun. I never wanted that to happen with writing. That was part of the reason and the other was my idealistic sense of purpose that I wanted to be a hero. I mean who doesn’t, at least at some point in their life?

But honestly, maybe I was just afraid.

If I am being honest, I still am.

The Lowell Saga (TLS), as you all know, is the working name for my current WIP. The more I work on it the more I see all its faults. 😦 But I also see all its potential. 😀 If I can figure it out, then I know I can make this a great story that will hopefully one day be published. Gosh that’s my dream guys. I’m trying here.

This month I got more writing in. Not a lot, but something so I can keep moving in the right direction. May was all ups and downs for me but June will be much more steady. Calm shores and not rocky waves. No one can predict the future but this is what I am trying to manifest lol.

This month I think I’ll talk a little bit about one of the main premises of TLS which is what essentially the entire plot revolves around. The treasure hunt. Their is no one great category to put my weird WIP in but if I had to I’d sayTLS is some weird mix of fantasy, magical realism, young adult/coming of age/new adult, adventure, mystery, noir, anime inspired beast of a story vibes. (That is such a weird combination, Jai, like WTF?) Yes I know that is what you are all probably thinking haha, BUT by the time I actually finish with the story though who knows what it will be? The beauty of drafting is that things can change at any time.

But not the treasure hunt aspect. No that is a main part of the story and always has been. There are seven lost artifacts that my main characters, essentially the main trio, will be revolving around for the entirety of the books. And I can tell you they encounter at least three of them in the first book. 😉

How are your stories going? I would love to hear so we can vibe together!

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

word count: 75,752

Snapshot 4/30/21 // “Excelsior!”

Currently listening:All Too Well” – Taylor Swift
Currently watching: Shadow and Bone
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Um, hi. So I don’t know what April was if I am going to be honest with y’all. I mean, like, I didn’t get sick! So that’s breaking a previous two year strong curse where I always got sick in April. In fact it was quite the opposite. I got vaccinated!! So that makes me happy, and makes life at least feel somewhat better. Work has been hectic but, not bad? Just different and even though at times I get a little sad I know that where I am now is for the best. In fact since my promotion I’ve really been finding my writing groove. So another positive.

I got to see my friends who I hadn’t seen since last autumn. That was magical, and we had a magical time. Also my family which I never got to see for Christmas came over for a spring party!! So that was amazing because it was Christmas for me in April. I missed my family and friends so so so SO much times infinity. Another win for the month.

April was good actually. Just there was so much going on at work at times that I tended to get stressed out. Some of my healthy habits went wayside let us say and there was some cake eaten. In fact, a lot of cake eaten. A lot of delicious cake. So again, maybe not all that bad? Maybe I’m just really tired. But a good tired, the kind of tired you get after putting in a hard day’s work. But also happy? Because I got a lot done and got to see a lot of people I dearly love and missed.

Also, ya know, summer…. I FEEL YOU COMING.

April Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake! FAILURE. DID I MENTION THE CAKE?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga! Check. Go me.

May (the month where I become a hermit and focus on myself) Goals:

  1. Focus on me. I need to stop worrying about everyone else and just listen to my needs. I am an enneagram type 2 and this is the realest lesson I need to learn. That way I can stop reaching for the cake.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. Take 2.
  3. Watch my caloric intake. Girl, girl, no more binging. We got rid of this habit, don’t go back to it.
  4. Get at least 10,000 steps everyday. You lost your workout routine after COVID hit. Time to get it back.
  5. Do yoga every damn day. You get stressed, so get unstressed. (Cue me, realizing I’m talking to myself through this whole list lol. At this point I am just going to continue on. Excelsior!).
  6. Work on The Lowell Saga. Keep going. You are getting there step by step.
  7. Watch your spending. Girl. Save your damn money, you do not need more books when there are PLENTY waiting on your shelf .
  8. GET THAT TATTOO. You have wanted it forever so just. do. it.

What I Read:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Good read. Had me laughing out loud at times which is a win because it is hard to make me laugh when I’m reading a book. I would not call it a life changing read but it did open my eyes to some aspects of my own life that I know I need to improve upon. I also thought the ending was satisfying but I could see where some others might not find it completely so. But I think it ended well, and I’m glad I read it.
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Read this two more times this month.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Amazing Posts I Read in April:

My Round Up of April Posts:

I randomly started rereading The Raven Boys this past Saturday (St. Mark’s Eve, lol) and it has been the greatest form of self care I could ever imagine. Rediscovering one of your favorite books all over again is like falling in love. To me at least. I didn’t plan on reading it, I did it spontaneously at like 10 o’clock at night after I saw Maggie’s insta post about St. Mark’s Eve and since then I have not been able to put the book down. Like, Gansey… I am falling in love with him all over again. *SPOILER* Even as I watch Blue trying to fight it, I’m just like girl. Girl. GIRL. ThErE iS NO pOInT.

Come on guys be real with me…. tell me which favorite character of yours is it that you can’t help but fall in love with read through after read through no matter how many times you’ve read their story?

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | April 2021 | Vienna

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | March 2021 | Spring, Submissions & Moltres

Ahhhh April, yes. April so far as been a month of getting into a new routine. As the weather has been warming so has my writing. I cleaned my writing space up a quite a bit this month. I guess you could say I was…. spring cleaning lol. It was good for my head and it was good to head back into my WIP, The Lowell Saga (TLS). I cleaned up all my whiteboards and corkboards, then refreshed myself with my notes. Now I am going back through my rough first draft and making a storyboard/outline of all the scenes I have already written so I can better visualize and finally write out… the end… of draft 1 book 1. Wow…. still so much to do but guys…. this might actually be the year I finish a draft!!!

The first time I honestly ever really considered being a writer as a profession was when I was probably around 16 years old. This is a small story, a small memory really, that I will never forget. It was tiny and when I tell you it might not seem like much but in that moment it, and still today, it means a lot to me.

My family and I had gone to a craft festival. It was small, at a convention center not too far away, where all of these artists got to show off their wares and creations. My mom stopped at one particular booth. The artist was a photographer who had taken pictures from all over the world of letters in real life places. For example, a window in the shape of an “O” or a the arch on a bridge that looked like an “N” from just the right angle. Then he would take a frame and place all the pictures in a frame to spell out a word. I remember my mom wanted one really badly but she couldn’t think of what special word she wanted to frame and hang up in the house.

We paced around that whole showcase floor, all the while trying to think of the right word. We passed by so many vendors and artists selling all these beautiful, striking things. Music had been streaming through my headphones on the car ride here and I was totally zoned out… when this particular song came back into my head. I sang it over and over. Repeated my favorite verse again and again, humming it under my breath. The song was “Vienna” by Billy Joel.

That’s when I knew exactly what word. I told my mom and she agreed on the spot. Yes, that was it. That felt right.

Seeing all those artists following their hearts…. I knew one day I would have to write a book. At least try. Follow what my heart said even though it was risky, even though I didn’t know when I would attempt it… but that memory, that moment just solidified the dream in my heart. I was a step closer to deciding to follow my ….

“You got your passion, you got your pride
But don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true (Oooh)
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?”

The Lowell Saga (TLS) really is where my heart is. As I am rereading my draft I just keep reminiscing and knowing why I wrote what I wrote. I can tell just how I felt skimming through a certain scene. I remember all the feelings that went into creating a certain character. I remember why I am doing this. Even if I had been lost, now I am being found.

This month I’ll introduce you to Quentin. He is brilliant, truly. But also cautious to a fault, and resigned with his life. Oh, my poor boy. Two Pokemon that would be on his team are Alakazam and Furret. Of all seven of my main characters I believe he deserves the world… but he has to go through a lot to get it. 😦

So the writing goes on. I’ll keep chipping at it, and some day I’ll get there. I have to finish this book. I have to. Even if no one reads it but me.

What are your special writing memories?

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

word count: 72,183

Snapshot 3/31/21 // “Rejection and Renewal”

Currently listening:Heart” – Sleeping at Last
Currently watching: Anne With An E S3
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Every year March usually passes by in the images of onion soup warming my belly to mashed potatoes cooking on the stove, wool coats turning into green hoodies and the brush of winter’s shadow thawing into spring light. Marches come and go in my mind as if they were vestibules in an office building, that middle bit sandwiched between the outside of February and the inside of April.

A lot happened this month. I started to take on more duties at work because of a recent promotion I received which means, even though it makes me sad to leave my old position, this new job is a lot more stable and beneficial for the long run. I got two rejections so far from the three writing submissions I made this month but that’s all part of the process. Then lastly, I got news of an appointment for my COVID vaccine. So life is continuing on. Steadily and also all at once.

My mood overall this month has been in constant flux ranging from utter despair to complete bliss. I think we all can agree we want this pandemic to be over and for life to go back to the way it was. Life will never go back to exactly how it was but because of this I want to believe all of us will be more grateful for all the opportunities to do things that will come in the future. A little gratitude and kindness goes a long way. Truly.

March Goals:

  1. Make more mindful and healthy food choices! Check. I ate a lot better this month than I did last month. Love broccoli, might marry it one day.
  2. Finish the middle bit of The Lowell Saga! Check, sorta. I plotted the middle bit and the ending, but didn’t get to writing the actual words. But at least I have a plan. That was better than the no plan I had before.
  3. Find more focus in my life! Check, mostly. In March, I got my shit together in my work and writing lives. I have a plan for my writing life, & I have a stable job for my work life but my shit in my personal life is still a little unstable. It’s fine, everything is fine.

April (the month where the tulips bloom on my lawn) Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake! I am a sugar addict. Give me Nutella and Ben & Jerry’s any day. (Like, legit I just tried Chubby Hubby this month and it is the greatest thing ever. Where has this been all my life??? I ate the whole thing in one day between lunch and dessert.) Which is not healthy lol. This month I’m looking to cut back on my sugar. I’ve got my caloric intake more under control since I didn’t binge eat at all this month despite my weird mood so I think this is the next small step I am going to take.
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga! Just got to keep chugging. Finish that first draft. Hopefully start book 2 draft 1 in May. Crossing my fingers hardcore right now.

What I Read:

  • Fruits Basket v. 9 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Fruits Basket v. 10 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This is the most precious book in the world. My mom heard about it on the news and bought it for me right after she saw it. I love her so much and she could not have picked a more perfect book. I needed this book, badly. It’s a simple story but so full of wisdom, humanity and reminding us of what is truly important in life. Given the world we are currently living in, with all the loneliness and just overall negative feelings I know we are all currently or have been feeling, this book is the perfect antidote to boost you up. Five stars to infinity. I will read this over and over and over again. Ever word is important, every lesson unforgettable and every person should read this.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I get it now, I understand why this book is so acclaimed. The writing just has that beautiful way of sucking you right into the story and making your turn page after page just to find out more with an important lesson on morality waiting at its ending. It’s not in a dramatic, horror story kind of way but in a wow-I’m-really-curious-to-see-where-this-is-going kind of way. The story poses a vivid picture in your mind, I had no trouble picturing the settings or anything and even though the main characters aren’t physically described in great detail I had a good mental picture of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. I’m glad I read this book and I did connect with the really human aspects it paints and the moral lesson it teaches. I won’t spoil the story by telling you the lesson. Honestly for it to be fully understood you need to read the book 😉
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie is one of my favorite authors of all time but I had been hesitant for a while to go back and read her earlier things. The Raven Boys was my first foray into her world and I thought nothing could compare to the beauty of the Gangsy… until I happened to pick up The Scorpio Races, and that redefined my life once again. The Wolves of Mercy Falls was her debut series and after beating around the bush for a bit I finally decided to go for it. It definitely has the tells of a first novel but the story is there and I felt it. Longing and yearning were central themes throughout the book and I really felt it. Like that was 100% the mood I was needing at the time I read it. Occasionally though, I did think the love story between Sam and Grace took up too much time but also it is their story so (*shrugs*), like, I get it. But that bookstore scene (if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean) has marked its place as one of my favorite love scenes between two characters of all time. Also, sidenote, I LOVED Isabel. She really grew on me a lot. I don’t know if I’ll read the rest of the books in the series because I like where this book ended but I enjoyed reading it and am glad I did! 😀
  • Home Body by Rupi Kaur. I love her poetry so much, and that is why I own every collection she has ever put out. Her latest one does not disappoint. These poems fuel my soul and she has such a gift for letting her vulnerabilities loose and turning them into something beautiful and inspiring.
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. This book was something I needed. Light, incredibly funny and surprisingly smart. I definitely felt my self going back to my high school days with all the parabolas, graphs, functions and equations interspersed throughout the book. All explained for the readers viewing of course. This book is a breath of fresh air and I’m here for it. So fitting for spring. I would read it again, and again especially for Hassan. Man he was so FUNNY! Hassan is the best friend to Colin Singleton, our main character, and throughout the story Colin questions the idea of mattering, and the overall moral he comes to at the end makes good sense. Also the romance was pretty cute too 😉
  • The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger. Leigh Bardugo is such a queen. Honestly. She is my writing goals. This book of essentially fairytale stories and religious legends is such a nice connection to the Grishaverse. I hope one day to make something as wonderful and lush and alive as her Grishaverse for my own writing and WIPs. The illustrations are also so, so, SO incredible. Truly, Mr. Zollinger is a gifted illustrator indeed. He captured the stories of the saints in such beautiful religious sovereignty vibes while still being approachable. I hope that makes sense, lol. If you love Leigh just read this too. That’s really the gist of what I have to say. Also guyssss SHADOW AND BONE ON NETFLIX IS ALMOST HERRREEEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Kuroko’s Basketball Vol. 2 by Tadatoshi Fujimaki.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Marvelous Posts I Read in March:

My Round Up of March Posts:

I’m ready for a new, fresh me and she is coming. I read so many books this month, I got a promotion, I want to be better. And I keep on walking to get there. I still have some bad habits of course but the more I work against them the better I feel and before long they will be gone completely from my life. That’s all we can really do as humans, right? Just keep trying to get better than who we were the day before. I know that with summer of the horizon I will try my hardest to make up for all the lost feelings and keep moving forward.

How did March feel to you guys? Doesn’t it seem, I don’t know, like an imaginary month sometimes?

Till next time,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | March 2021 | Spring, Submissions & Moltres

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | February 2021 | Power of Notebooks

Hello Spring!! I’m glad you have finally arrived even if we have had a tumultuous relationship in the past. (I have had a tendency to get sick for the past two springs and I’m crossing my fingers this year will be different. ~MANIFEST~). Anywho, now that the days are getting longer my mood has perked up and so has my work ethic. I made a submission this month to one online literary magazine and am currently working on another to be submitted before March ends. Which all in all is excellent since I’m staying true to my 2021 resolution to KEEP WRITING!

This next trek into my writing journey takes me to the ripe age of around 15. When you’re 15 and high school is blah where do you turn? To your imagination on course! 😉 I’ve already told you about my ruddy red notebook in my previous writing posts but all I had were just a bunch of little stories a few hundred words or less in that. None much longer than that. Even though some of the writings that I did in that notebook and then later my black notebook, which followed after I finished my red one, were somewhat of a series I don’t really count it. Nowhere near the length of my Kingdom Hearts story (still lost in the void) that I mentioned a few writing posts ago.

My next full blown adventure into writing an actual long story was, *surprise*, another fan fiction and it stretched all the way back to my roots. Yes, y’all back to Pokemon.

It was going to be epic. I made my cousin and me the stars of said fan fiction and we were going to go on this epic quest to catch, like, all the legendary Pokemon out there. Starting with Moltres of course , who by the way the character based on me had an epic arc of bonding with said bird, while the world revolved around us into a full blown war zone. All the while leading to us then using the aforementioned legendary Pokemon we caught to take down the bad guys. Total self insert, and I am totally unashamed. For 15 year old me then and 25 year old me now I am still enthralled by the idea.

The point is though, that one story (that I never finished) snowballed and evolved and eventually became an entirely different story down the road. In a way it was young me learning how to draft. All throughout my room I have scattered notes about certain things that would have to happen in the story and I plotted out every character’s Pokemon team agonizingly. In fact I still do this today with every character I create. It’s a way of me bonding with them and figuring out their niche.

In fact two very special original characters from that Pokemon fan fiction were born. Now, they have evolved into key players in my current WIP, The Lowell Saga (TLS). I will even tell you their names lol. One is Catrina, and the other is Esmeralda. Catrina is my couch potato basically and Esmeralda is my flower child. And I love them both dearly.

Speaking of TLS, in between and around working on my submissions I did manage to get some writing in. I am still in the messy middle and figuring out out to get from Point A (the beginning) which is written to Point Z (the end) which is yet to be written but I do know what I want to happen. Now it’s just all the rest of the letters in-between. Sigh.

I find myself writing little notes to myself throughout this draft as I come up with some ideas of what I want to happen but as of late I just haven’t felt like writing it. I think I may skip around a bit more and see what happens. Not giving up though. Never giving up. Not in my character. But doing multiple things at once, oh yes that is me. Workaholic to the core, as well as an unfortunate procrastinator from time to time due to the very fear that lives in my bones. Okay, okay I’ll stop.

In the meantime though I am really vibing with just writing whatever I want. These books are going to be a real TRIP for you guys when you get to read them. Like, honestly. I am so weird and these characters are weird and this saga is going to be WEIRD. But also hopefully make you really sad and make you really happy. At least it will be memorable. Well, that’s the goal.

This time around I think I am going to introduce you a bit to Lowell. She comes from a family of 4, her mother, father, brother and her. Top three personality traits of hers are that she is original, longing, and confident. Two Pokemon on her team are Blaziken and Leafeon, and of all seven of my main characters she has the most secrets of them all. 😉

How is your writing going? How do you get to know your characters? Do you give them Pokemon teams like me, lol?

Ta ta for now dear readers,

Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

word count: 71,806