Snapshot 6/30/19 // S-U-M-M-E-R

Currently listening: “Señorita”– Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello
Currently reading: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Currently watching: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Currently playing: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

I love summer. I love summer. I love summer. The waves brushing against my feet at the beach, the sweetness of catching mint ice cream before it melts, the hours and hours of endless daylight… and the fireworks lighting up the clearest nights. I know I’m a happier person in the summer but maybe I’m just biased because my birthday is coming up. Did I mention I love summer?

This summer I plan on:

  • Taking advantage of as many swimming opportunities as I can (I don’t have a pool but luckily all my friends do!)
  • Getting to the beach as much as I can (so many things have been happening recently that there hasn’t been enough time or energy to get out to the ocean but I’ll be damned if I don’t get to go this week)
  • Finishing the first draft of my WIP (it takes place in the summer and around the beach so now is the perfect time to get it done!)
  • Having fun and going out of my comfort zone (life’s too short to not enjoy it, so this summer I’m going to try to push myself to try some new things)

I’ve been pretty distracted these past few weeks since my last Snapshot piece, a lot of stuff has been going on… almost like a dark cloud has been over my family but I’m praying (and knowing!) July is going to be so much better than June was. I’m almost finished with Descendent of the Crane. Usually I take my time reading so I can savor the story more although this month I have been all over the place busy but I’m loving this book and NEED TO FINISH IT.

Also my TBR pile is steadily increasing… here’s a taste:

And that isn’t even a dent into THAT stack but these are the books that I’ll most likely pick up soon! I’ve been hearing great things about all of them. 🙂 American Gods I have been dying to read since I started the show and SoC I need to reread so I can be fully prepared for all the badassery that is Crooked Kingdom (FINALLY).

As for the writing schedule I’ll still be posting a little Living Life vignette every week, a Snapshot post every month, any poetry that comes to mind as well as any tag posts or anything else I feel the need to write about!

On a sidenote here are some links to some of my posts since the last Snapshot update if you are in need of reading material:

Also here are some great posts I enjoyed reading this month from some amazing bloggers:

Do you have any goals for this summer? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,


Living Life #10 ( a collection of vignettes)

“Jump”

“I would rather not.” Aly shifted from one foot to the other, and in the process took another step back. The edge was still too close for comfort.

Peter gave a bland smile. His mouth was a straight line across his face except for the slightly tipped corners. If it wasn’t for those the rest of his expression wouldn’t count as a happy look at all. It was the face that he only wore when things were not going his way… yet. Aly took another poignant step back.

“It’s not going to bite.”

Aly raised her eyes from the frigid swamp. “You can’t promise that.”

“I can promise that.” Peter, on the other side, took a step closer so that his toes were dangling off the edge. “Pools don’t bite.”

“Water does.” she huffed, tapping a toe in and pulling it out just as fast. It felt like ice, especially when the pavement under her soles felt like fire. Refreshing ice but freezing nonetheless. Aly swallowed slowly. The water was so clear she could see straight to the bottom except for where her own face stared back up at her. The reflection was frowning. Jerking her head away, she looked to the other end of the pool. The steps seemed much more promising as an entrance.

Peter’s voice was a threat. “Don’t even think about it.”

“It would be a lot easier…” she trailed off.

“But”Peter moved another precarious inch closer so the edge kissed the arches of his heels. “a lot less fun.” He mirrored her across the pool slinging his arms across his chest, and then drawled “What promise did you make to me again?” Damn him.

“It was a mutual promise.” she muttered, knowing she was in the wrong but still trying to procrastinate.

Then he said it, the real problem that she was trying to avoid bringing up.

“We only have one more summer Aly…” There it was. As if dragging out the first trip into the pool in months would prevent him from leaving.

Peter ran a hand through his hair, pushing down the brown waves the humidity had given him. A gesture she had seen him do a million times, and now once more. When he was gone, would she miss that? Would she forget all these little things when he wasn’t there to remind her of them every day? Arching his brows in her direction, Aly realized belatedly he was waiting for her to speak.

“And we promised to spend it together.” She was running out of time. “Having fun.”

“With no regrets.” he finished. “If you can’t even jump into the pool with me, there is no way you are going to survive what I have planned for next week.” He held his hand out.

Aly’s mouth went a bit dry. “Okay.” She stuck her own arm out unquestioningly, mirroring him this time. Being brave enough to jump into the pool first was easy compared to the bravery she would have to have next summer, without her best friend. “I’m ready.” Liar.

“On the count of three grab my hand.” The corners of his mouth touched his eyes. It was his real smile, all teeth and crooked to the side. “One.”

Aly braced her legs and took a deep breath, “Two.”

Then finally together they both shouted, “Three!”

They locked hands.

But in the next breath the water rose to meet them, or rather they fell to meet it and lost their grips. It didn’t bite. Peter had kept that promise, like all the others though the years. Aly had to be sure to keep hers too.

Especially the other she had made to herself.

Gasping for air, she blinked the water from her eyes and found him staring at her. “Task 1 complete.” he laughed, slicking back the hair from his face. She spit pool water at him in response just before he ducked back under.

Aly forced herself to look away. The bottom of the pool was just as clear as before and also, just like before, her reflection was frowning. By summer’s end she would fall out of love with Peter. Just as she promised herself.

The Summer Bucket List Book Tag // All the Summer Vibes

Yay!! It’s my first tag ever since I started my website so I’m super excited! Thank you to Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for thinking of me for this ❤ and also to the original creator Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany for the great idea and tag graphics! Here we go…

First of all, SUMMER IS HERE! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons, almost too many to name. Here’s to endless daylight, ocean waves and ice cream to our heart’s content during these hot days. Not to mention all the fireworks and BBQ’s and just all around good vibes!

The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator in your post
  • Feel free to use any of the tag graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.

Whenever summer comes rolling in, know the ocean isn’t too far away. Lady Midnight takes place in California where sun, sand and surfers are everywhere you turn. Even though I wasn’t as fond of the rest of the Dark Artifices trilogy, Lady Midnight still holds a special place in my heart. The old school Hollywood, mystery and revenge vibes surf out a great story. Emma, the main character is badass, and I wish I had a best friend just like Julian. It demands to be read with the water in sight.

I will read anything by Sarah J Maas, and ACOMAF is tops when it comes to romance. The way Feyre and Rhys’s relationship changes throughout the whole story can’t help but keep you entranced. There are definite fireworks all over this book.

I took this one a little metaphorically, and picked what I am currently reading now. Little Women isn’t necessarily about a physical road trip but it’s a journey through life and how Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grow, change and become who they are meant to be. It’s a fantastic read, and I started it because I wanted to read it before the new movie came out. I understand now why it’s a classic!

This book undid me. I loved Madeline Miller’s spin on the Iliad. The retelling was beautiful, and harrowing and there were just too many feelings associated with this book that I can’t even. If you haven’t read it yet, PLEASE PICK IT UP.

This book. This book. This book! So many twists, so many turns and I haven’t even finished it yet but as soon as I finish this post I will be running right back to it. AHHHHH! The world building is fantastic and believable, and the story and characters keep you guessing.

This one is super cute. It takes place in Italy and there’s gelato which is the Italian version of ICE CREAM <3. Not only is the romance spot on and believable but the reader also gets to experience Tuscany through the main character Lina’s eyes as well. It will make you want to just run and jump on the next plane for the perfect summer vacay.

This book will forever have a special place in my heart. I’ve read it a few times which is a big deal for me because most books I only read once. I don’t know what it is exactly but the whole vibe of the story with the race, the water horses, the threat of danger in such a believable realistic way… and not to mention the November cakes is special. Rereading it recently this past autumn I discovered some things I had missed before. Thisby was a breath of fresh air in my lungs.

This book is not for everyone. It faces the very heavy topic of suicide. Murakami’s writing has a very mellow way of going about it. The story really makes you understand what Toru is experiencing around him after losing one of his closest friends and what happens after. It is a coming of age story with Japan as its backdrop.

I have yet to read this one yet but it’s on my TBR pile and I am very excited!! Food, food, food!! I have some dietary restrictions so I’m looking forward to getting my fill of delicious food through this book!

What book is more inspiring for a writer? I’m savoring this book slowly and taking in all of the experiences that Stephan King shares and knows that each and every writer has had or will have. Rejection, acceptance, thinking is this all going to work out?, safety nets, no safety nets, bad times, good times, and eventually success. 🙂 Which to say, it’s very relatable.

Tags

I tag anyone of you who wants to try it!

Have any of you read the books on my list? What are some books you are looking forward to reading this summer?

Love,

Living Life # 9 (a collection of vignettes)

“Undone”

Something was watching me. My breath caught in the back of my throat and I froze.

It was a nagging feeling, the type that says the oven’s on or the door’s unlocked. Not exactly the concrete creep of a touch to the shoulder but, for the fourth time today, I felt it. I wasn’t alone. 

First weaving through the high grass as I crested the hill, next meandering over the small bridge near the lake, and then sitting on the porch outside my front door. It was there, in all those places. And it was here, right now… this peculiar feeling. The best explanation I could give would be that it felt as if all my personal, private expressions were being noted. How earlier the way my arms had swung like reeds in the wind at my sides, or how my eyes had floated down to the water to catch something sparkling, or even when one of my boots tripped over the other and I tried to walk it off like it never happened. And I had been alone. Supposedly. Until in the next breath after each of those actions I suddenly became undone.

Each and every time, I turned. At the hill all I saw was the swell and buckle of the land beyond, the lake’s water had held still as if trapped in a glass and even though I heard the door creak on the porch it was held firmly shut just as I had left it. This time I determined would be different. It would be futile to turn, so I wouldn’t. Instead I would let whatever it was come to me. 

I released my long held breath and bushed it off as if I hadn’t noticed anything at all. I placed my hands firmly on my hips and looked off to the trees ahead trying to focus. The longer I stared though the more the feeling grew. Maybe I had made a mistake. 

In the tangle of the trees that marked the entrance to the forest, I could spy not a thing out of place. There was no wind so the leaves were still and the clouds above cast the shadows long and deep beyond the trunks. There was not a hint of movement. Trying to focus on anything else I strained to hear the birds but no songs touched my ears. My nails dug a bit deeper into my hips and I tried to tell myself maybe it was going to rain and that’s all the silence was. A calm before the storm. Instead, my heart insisted on not listening to this drivel. It pounded to its own rushed beat that even my own lies couldn’t stop. The truth it hammered again and again was this. There was nothing in the forest… but there was almost certainly something behind me. 

A ghost of a touch breezed by the back of my left thigh. I stayed still. The trees filled my eyes. Look to the trees, look to the trees. But maybe I couldn’t see the forest I was trapped in for those trees. No. Don’t think like that. Choose the high road. That wasn’t real.  

A trace of a tingle across my elbow. Look. No. Don’t. Look to the sky instead and try to tell one cloud from another, even though the imminent rain would make that impossible. 

A curl of breath against my neck. Too warm to be from the lungs of the nonexistent wind. My heart stuttered releasing my own breath from its cage and I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned.

The porch, the lake, the hills against a gray sky were all in sight… and someone was there. But still… they were the only thing I couldn’t see.

Living Life #8 (a collection of vignettes)

“Starved”

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. If your slumped shoulders are falling to the ground, if your empty head is spinning in aching circles, if your heavy heart is painting the world in black and white that means you have already waited too long.

If only I had a will to take my own advice!

Walking through those double wide doors, my senses exploded. Everywhere in sight was the nourishment that my body was so desperately craving. Out front were the staples, basic necessities to every health conscious person. My feet flew to them as if wearing winged sandals, not my ratty black sneakers with the frayed laces, and picked up the first to touch my hand. Of course, immediately going for heavy stuff.

Hardy and filled to the brim with adventure, The Odyssey I quickly tucked to my chest. Whenever my shoulders slumped too far I could heft it up to remember that a long and difficult journey is made with the ending in mind. It would be the perfect breakfast to get me through the rest of the day.

From there it wasn’t hard to spot lunch. Moving further into the stomach of the store I found just the right thing to feed my head with twists and turns, and break it out of its mindless rut. I plucked Descendant of the Crane between my fingers. That would distract me to help keep down all the bad thoughts and still the hunger pains.

Now the last. Dinner would be the most challenging meal. It would have to be nutritious and well balanced, something with good flavor and peppered with light to get me through the night. I wandered, I searched and so many things looked quite good but not quite right.

Until… with a off handed glance what did catch my eye was Howl’s Moving Castle and I picked it up with a cry. Finally, finally one to turn all those blacks and whites to green and blue and a red so bright. Something to give the world color again and help my heart sleep through the night!

I took my food to the counter and as the cashier rung up my order I realized with a start, I only had $2 on me and no debit card. In my haste to feel better I overlooked that important thing. Learn from my mistake, so you don’t stray from your diet. You have to be well fed to keep your spirit up, your head clear and your heart shining bright. Otherwise you’ll overlook things then need to run home burning more calories in two trips instead of one. Ugh.

BookCon 2019 Happened

So… I went to BookCon. This was my second time going. My first time was back in 2017 and let’s just say I was not ready for it two years ago.

This time, I WAS READY.

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It was crowded, which I expected from reading about others’ experiences from previous years and from my own experience in 2017. We didn’t arrive crazy early, getting on line at about 8:45 AM (when the doors open 10 AM), but there was already a pretty hefty line ahead of us. And of course when the gates finally opened, there was a mad dash.

I only had two tentative goals going into BookCon and if I didn’t get either of them I wasn’t going to be crushed. I was really looking forward to the experience, being around all my fellow book lovers and basically just breathing the same air as some of my all time favorite authors/heroes. I did not get a ticket to see Erin Morgenstern and get an ARC of The Starless Sea but I DID get a ticket to see Joan He and get her autograph for Descendant of the Crane!!!!!!!!! I was very lucky. I’m still reeling from the experience hours later and probably still will be reeling for the rest of the week (or maybe my life). ❤ ❤

She was so sweet and just gave off all the good person vibes. When I went up to see her she said “Sorry, I’m so flustered!” and me being the hot mess that I am was wildly fluttering my hands and saying “No, I’m the one that’s flustered!” I told her that I’m an aspiring author and also got to take a picture with her. Also side note, she has the most beautiful signature ever!!!!

I attended Cassandra Clare’s panel too with David Canfield as the moderator. That was another amazing experience. My favorite trilogy of all time is The Infernal Devices. I must have read that series six times, and that is A LOT for me. Usually, I don’t read a book more than once unless its one of my favorites. A reader asked her which of her characters she relates to the most and her answer was Simon and Tessa. What I took away from her panel especially was her advice to aspiring authors. There were two very specific things. 1) Read everything. 2) Write every day. Even if it’s only a sentence.

There was a lot of interesting booths at BookCon. Books everywhere so therefore I was in HEAVEN. I scored a lot of swag. Bookmarks, pins, stickers and I even got an envelope from one of the Scythes! I also bought myself a GoT Arya tee because I couldn’t resist. Not today. 🙂 My friend was even lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and got the last ticket for Crush by Svetlana Chmakova at the Yen Press booth.

Wandering around there were plenty of authors to see even if I couldn’t meet them. I saw Erin Morgenstern signing ARCs of The Starless Sea, RenĂ©e Ahdieh taking pics with fans, Stephanie Garber eating breakfast and Victoria Aveyard’s back. So, winning.

But believe it or not my most favorite part was right before we were about to leave. I knew there was going to be a meet up with Susan Dennard at one of the Starbucks but was a little pressed for time because I had to catch a bus. At first I didn’t see her because like I said earlier it was HELLA CROWDED but I didn’t give up and spotted her!!! There were only a few people left on the line to get their books signed so I got to see her real quick before I had to go!!!! GAHHH IT WAS AMAAAAAAZING!!! I said “Sorry, I have to run and catch a bus!” and she was so kind and said “Sorry you had to wait!” Then I said “No, I’m just so glad I got to see you!!!!!” I also thanked her for writing her newsletter. It has been one of the most helpful insights for me on this journey of mine to be a writer. I said, “Thank you for being so open and so honest.”

To which she replied, “Are you a writer?” And I nodded. Then, she added “Writing is hard.” I agreed. But then she said something I’ll never forget, “Write on.” She even wrote it near her signature in my copy of Truthwitch which I was able to bring with me. MY EMOTIONS WERE PEAKED!! I WAS SO HAPPY!!

BUT THEN IT GOT BETTER.

I’m not sure if I asked for one or she offered but I got to hug her! And then she asked if I wanted a pic and I was like “I get two hugs??!!” like a happy little girl lol. My inner child was out. So I got to hug her again for the second time before the pic was taken and then a third when the picture was actually taken!!!! It was funny and one of the best experiences ever. She is so great and sweet and all the feels. Good person vibes all over the place!!

So needless to say this year’s BookCon rocked!!!!! I WAS SO READY.

Now, to go back to business and write on.

P.S. Have any of you ever been to BookCon or any other convention or author signing? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

Living Life #7 (a collection of vignettes)

“Color”

It was a menagerie of colors.

Orange in flashes, the first lights of fire at night in the brittleness of the woods. Green everywhere, like vomit oozing from the same spot on the carpet that never would be the same again. Purple, the color of bruises that would show up after the fight the next day. Yellow, dead center, just like the perfect ring of a bullseye waiting to be stabbed. Pink, darting in-between and screaming for attention like the anger on a face of a manipulative man. Red… just like the trace of blood dripping down her arms from the thorns.

And white, the innocence lost and fading in the mess of it.

Her hold tightened on the bouquet. There was a note.

I’ll see you tonight.

She smiled. Yes, she could hardly wait. “Blue, the color you’ll be when I am through with you.”