Best. Writing Motivation. Ever.

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I’ve used a lot of things to try to motivate myself to write in the past. But, this semester, I have a new method that has proven very, very effective. It’s an idea I stole from my thesis advisor. If I don’t make my target number of pages each month I have to donate $50 to a political campaign I don’t believe in. When she gave this advice back in October … I honestly didn’t think Trump would still be a considered serious candidate. But if every cloud has a silver lining, my silver lining is that the idea of giving money to his campaign is pretty much the best writing motivation I’ve ever had. Continue reading

Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asked bloggers to pick 10 books we’ve enjoyed in the last yearish (very scientific term) that weren’t our usual genre/type of book. I did some hunting on goodreads and saw that since January 2015 I’ve read almost 150 books (a lot were very quick middle grade reads). I also saw that about 15 of those 150 were written for an adult audience. Here are 10 of my favorite “adult” books. Continue reading

I’ll Meet You There, by Heather Demetrios

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I’ve heard Heather Demetrios read a few times since I’ve been in New York. As an author she’s pretty prolific, writing both contemporary YA and a fantasy series about genies. I’ll Meet You There is the first book of hers that I’ve read, but now I’m eager to read more. The pacing, the unique characters, and, above all else, the voice completely captivated me as a writer. As a reader, I couldn’t turn pages fast enough to find out how main character Skylar would react to difficult decisions in her life. The romance, predictably, also kept me turning pages. Although there was very little that felt predictable about the romance itself.

The story switches between the perspectives of Skylar, a 17-year-old girl about to escape the world of double-wide trailers, teenage pregnancy, and minimum wage work for art school in California, and Josh a nineteen-year-old veteran who thought the army was his chance to escape his town but has just returned after losing a leg in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Reading Books That (Figuratively) Kill Me

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I’ve been in a bit of a re-reading slump lately. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In 2013, when I was starting to take my writing seriously I read three authors who changed the world for me.

Rainbow Rowell. Jenny Han. Stephanie Perkins.

Since then I’ve read Fangirl, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and all three Perkins novels about twenty times each (the kissing scenes even more than that). I practically have them memorized. They showed me that YA romance could be intelligent and meaningful and funny all at the same time. More than that something I can’t pinpoint just resonated … it’s like I didn’t have a choice but to reread them. I wanted to spend as much time in those books as possible. Sometimes I still do (i.e. I read the scene where SPOILER Anna gets drunk and dances with Etienne at a bar on her birthday SPOILER last week on the subway … it was just a maddening and magic as ever). Continue reading

Workshop vs Thesis

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Happy Friday, friends! Anyone have fun Valentine’s Day plans this weekend? I think I’m going to see a showing of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina *maybe the best movie ever* with my roommate. Also I have a lot of writing to do before my second thesis turn in to my advisor next week. Like a lot, a lot. Luckily, the scenes I have left to write are at least a little romantic, so that seems in theme for the holiday. Continue reading

Extraordinary Means, by Robin Schneider

23149128I read this book in one sitting, in one night, in a yurt in Southern Oregon. When I picked it up I expected to read a few chapters an go to bed. But Rob Schneider had different ideas. With familiar, but well-drawn, characters and a pretty unique premise, this book hooked me. The book mixes a few of my favorite things together. (1) A unique, near future, slightly apocalyptic vibe. There’s a new strain of completely drug resistant TB. People with it are being shipped off to sanitariums – to try to heal, but also to keep them from spreading the disease to others. (2) Boarding school books. A sanatorium for teenagers is basically like a boarding school, but without much emphasis on school. Even though they have a terminal disease, that doesn’t stop the teenagers in this book from getting up to antics that don’t seem all that different from Looking for Alaska, by John Green. (3) Romance. Lane goes to Lantham House with two goals in mind – healing as fast as possible and keeping up with his AP classes while he’s away. These goals, and his entire life, will change when he meets Sadie. Let me tell you this book is swoon city.  Continue reading