Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Recap

Here’s a secret: I hate New Year’s Eve, for three reasons: 1) For the first six months, my dates are always wrong, 2) January always feels like an enormously long Monday, and 3) I always look back and feel all down because I hadn’t accomplished all of the things I’d wanted to accomplish that year. So…I wrote this to prove to myself that I didn’t spend the entire year lying on the couch watching Big Bang Theory.

January: Made a New Year’s resolution to sign with an agent this year. Began re-querying my YA fantasy, WILDFLOWER. Sent nine queries, received four full requests. Fell out of my chair during Global Studies upon receiving a request from an awesome agent just ten days later.

February: Officially signed with the wonderful Emily Keyes of the L. Perkins Agency on the 23rd. Started revising WILDFLOWER for subs.

March: Made a twitter and this blog. Tried to balance revising, school, and extracurriculars with arguable success.

April: Finished revising WILDFLOWER…but it came in at almost 125K. Started working on another round of revisions with the sole purpose of cutting words.

May: Struck up a conversation regarding BEA, fake boobs, and man purses on Twitter, and irrevocably became writing friends with John, Ari, Olivia, and Mark. Started the For Love of YA blog with my wonderful critique partner/soulmate/brother-from-another-mother, Mark.

June: Took exams, finished up sophomore year, went to a few graduation parties, did some other generally stupid things to celebrate the start of summer vacation, like getting kicked out of Walmart for pushing my friend Noah down the isles at four in the morning, which, apparently, is frowned upon. Finished another round of revisions for WILDFLOWER and managed to cut 20,000 words. Started discussing subs, which was super exciting. Turned sixteen. Realized that I really, really needed to find the time to take Driver’s Ed, because all evidence suggested that I would be the last person in my grade to get my license. Ended up become very apathetic towards the subject as the month went on. Continued mooching rides off friends.

July: Got a marketing internship with Entangled Publishing, which I was truly terrible at. Wrote a novel about wolves and stars and hot chocolate. Officially sent WILDFLOWER out on subs. A few houses requested the manuscript. Then, on the 25th, I got an email while wandering through Walmart titled “Don’t Freak Out,” saying that a senior editor at Harlequin wanted to take it to acquisitions. Naturally, I freaked out. Actually, I almost fell over. A Walmart employee caught me and asked me if I was okay in a very Oh-crap-this-child-is-insane kind of way. I hugged her. And then ran away.

August: Became an intern for Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Larsen Pomada. Read some full requests, loved being on the other side of the querying process. Waited for the acquisitions meeting. Made the varsity team for tennis. Realized that real-life-summer-vacation wasn’t nearly as long as Phineas and Ferb’s summer vacation, frantically tried to finish AP homework.

September: Got kicked off the varsity team for tennis, which was…sad (meh. I still lettered, so I’m still putting it on college applications). Started junior year with a totally screwed up schedule, tried taking Pre-Calc as an independent study (which was a total fail), ended up having to take it as an online course. Assumed the editor-in-chief position for our school newspaper, published our first issue (which was so awfully awful it was just awful…but we figured out what to do by the second issue). Realized that taking AP Chemistry was probably one of the worst decisions that I had ever made. WILDFLOWER received its first rejection. I moped. Found out that the editor at Harlequin got called to jury duty, so the acquisitions meeting had been moved back yet again.

October: Found out that another senior editor at Harlequin had expressed interest in WILDFLOWER, and that both would take it to the board. Got an official date for the acquisitions meeting, which was later cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. Signed up and outlined for NaNo. Got a phone call at six in the morning saying that a boy in my grade had died in a car accident, almost quit NaNo because the novel I’d planned to write was about a car crash, and I didn’t think I could handle it emotionally.

November: Received the news that the board at Harlequin ultimately decided to pass on WILDFLOWER. Could not find enough chocolate to smother the sobby feels. Decided to participate in NaNoWriMo because I was tired of moping. Didn’t sleep very much. Was bribed into going Black Friday shopping, which was…terrifying. Finished my YA contemp, FOR EVERY LIFE, on November 30th.

December: Sent FOR EVERY LIFE off to my agent and critique partners, who all seemed to really like it. Started talking about subbing it. Had a mild life crisis regarding what to do with my life. Spent winter break studying for the SATs, revising FOR EVERY LIFE, and trying to watch all ten seasons of Friends. Wrote this blog post. Am currently realizing that I have not, in fact, wasted an entire year of my life doing nothing of importance.

In all seriousness, this was a great year. I wrote, I read, I made friends, and honestly, I'm so, so thankful for all of you. So...happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Which I Chicken Out of Swearing

Hi! I'm back! Yay! There are too many exclamation marks in this line!

I had planned to give you guys a basic overview of my NaNo novel last week, but things happened (namely, homework), and I didn't get around to it. So I'm doing it now! (Also, I was tagged last week by the lovely Olivia for the Liebster Award, so...I will eventually get around to that, too. Someone poke me with a stick if I don't. Please).

Here's a pitch for FOR EVERY LIFE:

Liz Emerson is not a good person. She spreads rumors. She drinks. She kisses her friends' boyfriends. And she's ruined a few lives here and there. Okay, so she's ruined a lot of lives. But because she is Liz Emerson, because she is ruthless and heartless and fearless, people don't expect her to care.

She does.

Liz Emerson, you see, is drowning. She is suffocating beneath the weight of all the things she has done, and now, she simply can't go on. But because she's hurt enough people in her short and catastrophic attempt at life, she makes her suicide look like a car accident, certain that she will die and be forgotten.

Except. She doesn't die.

Told from the perspective of Liz's childhood imaginary friend, FOR EVERY LIFE is a story about the loss of innocence, the art of being alive, and a heartbroken girl's countdown to giving up.

And here's a small excerpt! I literally closed my eyes, scrolled through the manuscript, stopped at a random place, and copy/pasted it below. Enjoy! 

WARNING: There is exactly one naughty word below. So. You've been warned.


There are three kinds of people in Liz’s world after the surgery is pronounced successful.

There are the ones who are breathless, shaking, crying in that crushing and desperate kind of relief—namely, Julia and Monica. When the doctor first told Monica that her daughter had not, in fact, died on the operating table, Monica went to Julia and held her, because she couldn't hold Liz.

There are those who aren't at all surprised. They shrug and say that they were never worried, that they knew Liz was strong enough, and this is true enough. Then they sit around and share stories about Liz, laughing together at the things she had done, things that were once b*tchy but were now decidedly hilarious and awesome and so freaking legit.

And then there is Matthew Deringer, who is just the slightest bit disappointed, because he had already ordered flowers for the funeral.


...yeah, okay. I chickened out of the naughty word thing.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NaNo Recap (or, Why I Have Been MIA for the Last Month)

So, for those of you who don't know, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever this year! And it was insane. And exhilarating. And exhausting. And so much fun. And here's a recap of what happened.

Before November 1st, I flip-flopped back and forth on whether or not I actually wanted to do NaNo. As you may or may not know, I'm a junior this year. Which means homework. And standardized testing. And more homework. And more standardized testing. And a whole crap-ton clubs and other things-I-do-to-get-into-a-semi-decent-college-and-maybe-have-a-future. And Forensics (which is a public speaking thing, not a dead body thing) season is about to begin, and winter tennis leagues are starting up. So I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to NaNo. But due to a number of very convincing CP's (oh, you know who you are. Stop trying to look innocent ;), I signed up on the website and made outlines and was totally pumped for November to begin.

The novel I planned to write was about a girl dying in a hospital from a car accident. Her car had slid down a hill and crashed into a tree.

On October 29th, a boy in my grade died when his car crashed into a tree.

So...I almost quit NaNo then. See, I go to this teensy school where everyone knows everyone, and our grade only has about a hundred people, so...yeah. That was a very, very hard day of school. I sat down to finish outlining that night, and I  just couldn't.

What happened? I don't really know. I didn't just want to sit there and mope, I guess. I wanted to distract myself. And so, all of my emotions kind of poured into the story, and it ended up being so personal that I'm actually kind of nervous to let people see it.

Also, my other novel (WILDFLOWER, remember?) was supposed to go to acquisitions in the last week of October. Because of Hurricane Sandy, it got moved back. Well, they ended up having it in the first week of November. And I had really high hopes because two senior editors were presenting it. And it had been at acquisitions for so long. And, I dunno, the two editors actually seemed to like it.

Only...the publishing house ended up passing it on because they had a similar project coming out soon.

And yes, I was crushed. I was at a friend's house when my agent called with the news (and yeah, said friend overheard everything and blackmailed me into telling the whole story, so now there's one more person who knows...I was SO annoyed), and I still had to go volunteer that night and pretend everything was normal while in reality I just wanted to kick unicorns off a cliff, and honestly, I just didn't want to write. I was in a very deep why-the-heck-am-I-still-doing-this-I'm-obviously-no-good funk. So the NaNo novel just sat there for a while. I was also very rarely home on weekends this November, and our teachers decided to just bury us in homework, so between all of that, I had almost no hope that I'd finish NaNo.

What happened? Um, I got sick of feeling sorry for myself. Guys, after a while, moping gets boring. And once I started writing, I couldn't stop. Also, I admit it--I really wanted to win NaNo (I have this weird thing with schedules. Once I make one, I am obsessed with staying on track). And honestly? I just wanted to finish.

And I did.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Writer's Block

Hi, guys! So, first of all, I got interviewed by the wonderful Patrice Cadwell this week! Check it out here.

So anyway, I have writer's block a lot. Like, seriously. A lot. Usually when a) I'm feeling lazier than usual, b) I'm Twitterpated, or c) I don't understand a character's emotions. So, like, 58.23% of the time.

Writing is about translating emotions into words. And it's hard. Sometimes, you just don't connect with your characters. You don't understand what they're going through. You just have a picture of your main character in your head, standing on a cliff and looking out at an endless sea called Mourning. You can see the wind shoving her hair into her eyes, and you can see the way she digs her fingernails into her palms and pretends that she's okay with being lonely. But the words don't come. Because seriously, what is she really feeling? What is she thinking? Why is she so afraid to cry?

So, when I have writer's block, I play piano. More specifically, I write music for my manuscripts. I think I've mentioned this briefly in other places, but I've always been too lazy/awkward/shy to put anything I've written on the wonderfully wondrous web. I wrote the following YouTube clip while I was revising my newest manuscript, tentatively titled BENEATH THE DISQUIET STAR, and honestly, it helped me me fix like, three plot holes.

So, how about you guys? How do you get over writer's block? 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Is Why

Writing is hard. It’s harder than math, because there’s no right answer. It’s harder than science, because there are no laws. It’s harder than staying awake during SAT. There are no formulas in writing. There are no foolproof plans. There are no shortcuts.

There is only you, a piece of paper, and a pen.

But writing is also easy. It’s easier than math, because there’s no right answer. It’s easier than science, because there are no laws. There are no boundaries. There are no certainties. There is no such thing as impossible.

Sometimes the words flow. Sometimes the story tells itself, the words fall into place and shift to become your castle walls, your distant, violet mountains, your character’s heartbeat. Sometimes you are so lost in your own head that this world fades into the background, and nothing exists except the endless tapping of your keyboard, the small black symbols appearing in neat rows across your screen, and the world, your world, that breathes between the lines.

Other times, it’s like you’re so insane that even your own insanity won’t talk to you. Sometimes there’s only a blank screen. Sometimes you sit glaring at your laptop until you get a migraine, but no story.

Sometimes, you really wonder why you’re still writing, when you are clearly no good at it.

And then. You get an idea. About a girl raised by spies and a boy who believes that love is a weakness. About a wolf and a sacrifice and a blood-red star. About a party, an impulsive decision, a trip to the emergency room, and the word cancer. About the imaginary friend of a girl who commits suicide.

And you remember.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

The First Look Challenge


I know. I haven't posted anything in forever. THINGS HAVE BEEN HAPPENING. Not good, writing-related-on-sub things. More like teachers-don't-understand-that-they-can't-expect-us-to-do-five-hours-of-homework-a-night things. So.

This week, I was tagged by the lovely Patrice Cadwell for the First Look Challenge. Basically, you have to find the word look in your manuscript and share the surrounding scene. The one below is from the manuscript I'm currently revising, tentatively titled BENEATH THE DISQUIET STAR. Y'know, the hot chocolate one?

This is a scene from the beginning-ish, from the POV of the male MC, who disappeared seven years ago and has just returned to the town of his childhood. He's watching an execution in a place that was meant for sacrifice, and is about to fall in love. And as I mentioned, it's being revised. So I apologize in advance for general suckiness.


The sun rains dusty light over us, and the haze bends time until I am seated between Million and Holloway again, younger and afraid of smaller things. Before my eyes, only my eyes, it is the Day of Disquiet, and the stadium is only noise and fire. I remember a burning star, a blue-gray fenrisulfr, a terrified dead man, an entire town watching. Million is on his feet with the rest of the crowd, but I have stayed seated, and Holloway’s hand is on my shoulder.

I ask him, why?

And he says that when the star fell and the monster wolf was born, someone had to fight it. Or the wolf would turn on the town and eat everyone. This is the only way.

I ask, but why do they cheer?

Then his face is grim, and he answers, “Because they want to live, lad. They are cheering for mortality, because it means they will not die this year.”

The stadium was built to be a place of sacrifice, but it contains more than the fire of the Disquiet Star now. It’s become a place of blood, because this town takes Finigal and makes it ugly. Men were meant to die here. But not like this.

I look around at the blur of faces, a sea of open mouths and words. I wonder what they cheer for now, when no one has to die.

Million has waited for this event for months and I had no wish to stay in Holloway’s store alone. But here I can feel a thousand pairs of eyes on me, and it makes my heart quiet and uneven. There are so many sounds echoing within this circle of stone, breaths and coughs, whispered words and shouted ones, and I am unused it. I left Finigal’s monsters for Finigal’s men by returning, but in this stadium of sacrifice, my eyes have yet to adjust to the difference between them.


Oh, and:

Mark O'Brien Writes

Olivia's Opinions

The Incessant Droning of A Bored Author

A Fuzzy Mango With Wings

Crazy Red Pen

Y'all have been tagged!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Be Inspired Blogshop Meme!

Hiya, everyone! This week, the lovely Silent Pages at Pro(B)logue tagged me for the Be Inspired Blogshop Meme! *cue confetti* Yay! So, I was trying to figure out which project to do this about, but then school started and I got distracted by the fact that 5 x 5 = 30 in Chemistry and my schedule was screwed up and I didn't have pre-calc first semester, and I totally forgot about this until last night. So. I think I'm going to do this one about the MS on subs right now. Because. I can't stop thinking about subs. So.

1. What is the name of your book?


2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
Hmm. Let's see. I was on a mission trip when I first got the idea for WILDFLOWER. It was in the mountains of Arizona, and it was dry and hot and my nose was constantly bleeding and I was dehydrated and there was only one toilet between twenty-five girls and it's highly possible that I was hallucinating slightly. I was lying awake in the middle of the night and someone was snoring across the room, and I was trying really, really hard to fall asleep because we had to wake up at four. See, when I need to fall asleep, I do this thing were I imagine things. By then, I'd already written one (very terrible) manuscript, and I think I'd been considering a revision when suddenly, this boy with a scar appeared in my head and told me that he had a story.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night.

3. In what genre would you classify your book?

Definitely YA Fantasy.

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?

Erm...I...dunno...I think maybe Ian Somerhalder for my MMC, Aro, because he has that arrogant, secretive look. Only, his jaw is too extreme. As for my FMC, Faye, I really don't know. Hmm. I'll have to think about that one.

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
In a world where everyone carries knives, Faye knows she should never be surprised to be stabbed in the back--until she's captured by Aro, a quiet, enigmatic soldier from the enemy kingdom who makes her realize that keeping her heart locked away won't be enough to save her life.
6. Is your book already published?

Sigh. It's still on subs. You guys will know if anything happens. I promise.

7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Well, it took me just about three months to write the first draft. I rewrote and revised thirteen times, though. So, all in all, about a year and a half.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
Well...hrmmm...I think it could be compared to Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief, because it's set in a similar world. Like, epic-ish fantasy without the dragons and elves, y'know? Make sense? No?
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
E.B. White, who wrote the first book that ever made me cry. J.K. Rowling, who made me fall in love with words. Lemony Snicket, who taught me that letters, when they are arranged correctly, have the power to break your heart. Frances Hodges Burnett, who taught me to see the beauty between the lines. L. M. Montgomery, who made me laugh when I was alone. And then there are the authors who made me want to keep writing...I could go on forever.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
I drew a map for it once! Wanna see? I posted it once a long time ago, but I'll paste it again. It's not the most recent version, but...hey, this is the land where the story takes place. :)

11. Tag five people!
Mark O'Brien, my fantabulous critique partner, who's writing this new story that is so beautiful and emotional and GAHHHH-inducing I just. Can't. Even.
John Hansen, who's writing a new sci-fi that sounds absolutely wonderful.
Ari Susu-Mago, because she rocks AWL TEH SOCKS OFF.

And...I don't know who else to tag. Everyone I was going to tag was already tagged earlier this week :\ So...have some cumin. Love y'all!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer Highlights

Guys. GUYS. You know what today is? It's the last Saturday before school starts on Tuesday. LAST. SATURDAY. Sad story, ain't it? So that's why I've been mysteriously absent for the last few weeks. I WAS blogging, just for AP English instead of here.

ERGH. Teachers don't let you sit in a closet all day and write. Can you imagine? Sooooo not looking forward to, let's relive summer a bit, shall we? Here, in no particular order, are the highlights of my summer, to prove to the world that I accomplished a few things (I know, weird, right?).

  • Hanging out with friends. Just in general. From shopping to bonfires at the beach to getting kicked out of Walmart at four in the morning (because I guess it's frowned upon to stick your friend in a shopping cart and push him down the isles...who knew?). Just being a teenager, I guess. Doing idiotic things. Laughing about them later. Getting grounded. Y'know.
  • Tennis season. So, I made varsity this year. Then three of our seniors decided that they DID want to play this year, after all...and so I got pushed off. Sigh. But I seriously love this sport so much. Like, I've never been a super-athletic person. I'm definitely not cross-country or track material. But still, I get to letter this year which means that I'm in line for captain next year which means that my design for sweatpants might actually be realized (I want them to say KISS MY ACE across the back).
  • Buying a new house. And it's big and beautiful and I have a Narnia in my room. Seriously.
  • Writing. Drafted a new manuscript and revised an old one and outlined a few ideas. I sat in my closet and in my bathtub and on my roof and in my other odd writing nooks and got lost in words. And it was wonderful.
  • Reading. I read and reread so many wonderful books this summer. I laughed and sobbed and remembered why I first fell in love with words (but I did a lot of reading outside, and outside=mosquitoes. Did I mention that I'm allergic to mosquito bites? Like, severely?)
  • Eating deep fried cookie dough on a stick. I KNOW, RIGHT?
  • Critiquing. I have such a talented critique group, guys. Seriously. I'm so lucky to have the privilege of reading for them. It's like getting AARCs in my inbox.
  • Interning. I got internship for a literary agent this summer, and it's been wonderful. I get to read full requests and I'm just like DUDE I WONDER IF SOMEONE WAS DOING THIS WHEN I WAS QUERYING THIS IS SWEET GAHHHH.
  • My mom is making crown roast for dinner. Legit.
  • The agony and ecstasy of being on subs. That is all. GAHHHHHHHHHH.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Short Story by Yours Truly

Evidently I was not thinking straight when I agreed to participate in Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain this month. Because this month's prompt is, "Write a retelling of your favorite fairytale, myth, or legend," and it means that you will all be subjected to my writing. Apologies. Bumblebee.

So, I chose to retell the story of Icarus from Greek mythology. This story has some meaning to me because it was the first Greek myth I ever heard (and so started my small obsession with different mythologies), and I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about it. See, the original is one of those kids-you-better-listen-to-your-parents-or-there-will-be-extreme-consequences-like-you-will-DIE stories. So Daedalus and his son, Icarus, get put in jail by King Minos and y'know, since Daedalus is such a genius, he builds them each a pair of wings to escape. But his less-genius son doesn't listen when his dad tells him not to fly too close to the water or the sun, or the wings will melt. So...he dies. Supposedly, he gets caught up in his own awesome flyingness. I never really liked this. And take on it is pasted below. Don't come after me with pitchforks, kay? Kay.


Footsteps. They are my greatest fear.

Footsteps mean pain. Humiliation. Anger. Footsteps mean that someone is coming, and that is never good for us.

My mouth tastes like metal, from the cell and my blood. It tastes like darkness, because that is all I’ve been for so, so long.

Footsteps. My heart.

I hear nothing else.

The door opens wide and then the guards are standing above me, and the air around me is stale with their breaths and ale and sweat. They take my arms and drag me in a thousand directions. I hear my father crying out my name, and he is answered with only footsteps and laughter and their echoes, because my voice was among the first pieces of me to die. I can make out my father’s vague shadow, held back by another guard as the rest pull me beyond his reach. Fingers beneath rough gloves grasp my chin and shove it in his direction, so he can watch my face as they beat me.

There is a whisper of old words above me, a taunt or warning from the king—I cannot be bothered to care. I hear my father say my name again.

Everything tastes of metal.


I dream of the sun, but I can only conjure up a weak, watery thing. I have lost track of the days since I saw it last; I have lost the memory of warmth. I remember only that I used to close my eyes and lift my face to the sky, and I would see red, red, red.

Red. Even this color is faint. I am a shadow that bleeds black blood, hidden in a darkness made of invisible shapes.

Sun. Red. Dreams. Sea. Sky. Wind.

I remember the words.

I only remember the words.


I flinch at his touch, and stagnant air rushes into my mouth as I gasp a plea that no one can hear. The floor of the cell is cold, damp against my cheek, and I am not alone. The latter is what I fear.

Please. I consider the shape of the word on my lips, because my pride broke when my mind did. It sits on my tongue, patient, but my throat can’t gather the sound.

The fingers stay on my face, almost tentative, stroking back my matted hair and circling the bruises. Not the leather touch of guards. But the calloused, dry touch of my father, roughened by dreams and failures.

He says my name. He says it again, again, again.

I say nothing. I close my eyes and do not allow myself this moment, because it is passing.

He whispers things, escape, leave this place, back home. Wonderful dreams, wonderful failures.

But then he is pulling me upright, and there is so much pain, a thousand small agonies and a thousand greater ones. I am too tired to scream. I let him drag me to my feet, and I am too tired to ask why.

He straps things to my arms, leather that makes my heart twist and clench and listen for footsteps. My breath breaks and I know nothing but fear, fear, fear. The leather tightens, and gently, my father’s hand turns my face around, saying incomprehensible words. My eyes blur and my vision shifts, and I know, suddenly, that I am dreaming.

For when I turn, I see that my father has given me wings.

And through my fractured vision, I see that he has sprouted them, too. Light, lovely things made of metal and a thousand feathers and countless other things that the guards have left unwanted. This is why the king fears my father. This is why we are here—not for my father’s genius, nor his deceit, but because he knows how to take broken things and make them beautiful.

He says my name again and tells me to look at him, his lips moving in shapes that finally, I recognize. Stay out of the sun, stay above the water, or the wings will give way. He does not let me look away until I nod, and then he takes me to the door. It takes only a single moment for my father to open it, and a strange thing rises inside me, a dark sadness twisted around a distant, bitter smile, because my father made this cage, and all of its secrets are his. The king didn’t chain him. I did.

He takes me out into the hallway and my heart fights inside me, my blood cold as everything I am stills, listening for footsteps. But my father is standing by a window in the tower, and behind him is the wide, wide sea, calling. The light is blinding and piercing and wonderful, and I breathe as though I could capture the sunshine in my chest.

My father swings his arm back and the glass shatters into a thousand stars, and I lean forward and fall.

My stomach clenches and my heart is lost. The rocks and the ocean spell out my beautiful death, and I have never been more alive.

And then I spread my wings. I soar. The wind lifts me and sends me spiraling upwards, and the sky cries my name. The air smells of salt and sunshine and a boundless world, and my name comes from a thousand and one directions.

So alive. I am so alive.

I lift my face upwards, drinking the sun. It stretches its fingers towards me and lures my sweat from my skin. My wings are wide, bending as the sky does, and I stretch higher, higher. The blue is endless, above me and below me and around me, and I have forgotten which is the sky and which is the sea, for there are suns on either side of me.


The wings.

My father’s words come back too late, after I have renounced sanity and given up sense. I am flying down and falling up, and the sea and sky are open to me. There are a thousand feathers swirling, catching the sun on their melting tips, and I am falling surrounded in so, so much light.

My father cries my name.

Then a flurry of color, and a passing, and then nothing. There is no pain.

There are no footsteps.


August 4 – – Musings From Neville’s Navel
August 5 – – Crazy Red Pen
August 6 – – Lily’s Notes in the Margins
August 7 - Olivia’s Opinions
August 8 –Snippets, Slices, and Scenes
August 9 – – Mark O’Brien Writes
August 10 – – One Life Glory
August 11 – – A Story of a Dreamer
August 12 – – Life, Among Other Things
August 13 – – Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author
August 14 – - The Teenage Writer
August 15 - – Scribbling Beyond the Margins
August 16 – – Dragons, Unicorns, and Other Random Things
August 17 – – Kirsten Writes!
August 18 – –The Zebra Clan
August 19 – – Miriam Joy Writes
August 20– – All I Need Is A Keyboard
August 21 ––The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
August 22 – Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)

Monday, August 6, 2012

In Which I Brag About My CP

So, y'all know how Mark O'Brien is my critique partner, right? Yes? No? He's probably tired of me singing his praises now, but he's going to have to deal with it. So, backstory. I wrote a short story for the TCWT blog chain (which will be posted on Saturday, so...stay tuned), and asked him to look it over before I posted it on the interwebz and made an utter fool of myself, and his critique was so brilliant that I decided I absolutely couldn't let it fade away in my inbox.  YAY!!! (Oh, and if you guess the spoofed song, the singer, and the big Hollywood production that used it as background music for its trailer a few months ago, leave your answer in the comments and you'll get a virtual cookie). 

There I was again tonight
Forcing laughter, faking smiles
Same old tired, lonely booooks
Walls of insincerity
Shifting eyes and vacancy
Vanished when I saw your SS
All I can say is it was
Enchanting to read you

Your email whispered "Have you read?"
Tripping up the stairs, your short story
Starts to make its way to meee
The playful blurb-reading starts
Counter all your quick remarks like
Passing SSs in secrecy

And it was enchanting to read you
All I can say is I was enchanted to read you

This story is sparkling
Don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck
Reading all the way home
I'll spend forever
Wondering if you knew
I was enchanted to read youuuu

The lingering question kept me up
Two A.M., why you so good?
I wonder 'til I'm wide awake
Now I'm pacing back and forth
Wishing your story was on my lap
I'd open it up and it would say
It was enchanting to read you
All I know is I was enchanted to read youuuuu!

This story is sparkling
Don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck
Reading all the way home
I'll spend forever
Wondering if you knew
That this story is flawless
Don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck
Reading around all alone
I'll spend forever wondering if you knew
I was enchanted to read you

And this is me praying that
This was the very first page
Not where the storyline ends
My thoughts will echo Icarus's name
Until Daedalus sees him again
These are the words I held back
As I was done reading too soon
I was enchanted to read you

Please don't be in love with some other story
Please don't not expand this one (I'm waiting on you)
Please don't be in love with some other story
Please don't not expand this one (I'm waiting on you)
Please don't be in love with some other story
Please don't not expand this one (I'm waiting on you)

This story is sparkling
Don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck
Reading all the way home
I'll spend forever
Wondering if you knew
This story is flawless
Don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck
Reading around all alone
I'll spend forever wondering if you knew

(Please don't be in love with some other story)
(Please don't not expand this one (I'm waiting on you))

*bawls* Is he not brilliant? IS HE NOT??? Gah. I was smiling so hard when this appeared in my inbox.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tag! I'm it!

So, Mark O'Brien the Fabtastic tagged me for this! Now you get to listen to me rant! Yay!

1. What are your 5 favorite movies?

Ugh. I'm too fickle to pick favorites. I'll go by genre.

Fantasy: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Comic Relief: Get Smart
Sappy Romantic: Roman Holiday
Book-to-Movie Adaptation: Pride and Prejudice (the one with Lawrence Olivier and Greer Garson)
Miserable Monday Night Go-To: The Little Mermaid (don't judge)

2. Would you rather go without makeup for a year, or without shaving your legs for a year?

Makeup. Not shaving legs for a year? Ew. Wait, but I'm still allowed to wear makeup for prom and stuff, right? Does bronzer count? Because I have awful razorback tanlines from tennis. And I can still use my eyelash curler, right? As long as I don't use mascara? I don't ever wear mascara because I always end up stabbing myself in the eye. But I curl my eyelashes. Is that weird? Have I made it weird?

3. What book have you read recently that you really love?

Recently. Recently...oh! I read Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein, and it was fabulous. Not just because she has an excellent taste in names. See my review of it here.

4. What book have you read recently that you really hated?

The Official SAT Study Guide. But my AP English textbook comes in close second.

5. If you had to eat one food for one meal every day of the year, which would you choose?

Oh! Right now, I'm craving the pomodorie e gorgonzola salad from my favorite Italian restaurant. It's to die for. Seriously. Like, I'm not usually a salad person when I go out to eat. But that stuff. Food of the gods of food.

6. What was the best part of your senior year of high school?

I dunno. I'll tell you when I get there.

7. What piece of electronic equipment do you think you could easily live without?

An alarm clock.

8. Do you prefer your beverages from a straw, a bottle, or another container?

Um. In the can it came from? Is that an answer? It is now!

9. Would you rather have glow-in-the-dark skin or squishy teeth?

Glow-in-the-dark skin. No competition.

10. Who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore?

Oh. Um. I guess...Gandal--wait, no, Dumbled--but, pass? Am I allowed to pass? I JUST DON'T KNOW, OKAY?!

11. Do you consider pushup bras to be a form of dishonesty?

Oh. Definitely. Sternface *runs to closet to hide the one bought during an eighth-grade identity crisis* Stop judging. Puberty makes you do stupid things, okay?!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

ARC Giveaway! (but not here)

Guys! Ari Susu-Mago the Wonderful is giving away her ARCs from BEA!!!

There are sixteen wonderful books up for grabs, so go check them out! Or don't. *cough* I REALLY want to win this, guys. :D

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Booker Award!

Hi, everyone! Sorry I've been quiet lately. Life has been, you

So, this week, I was tagged for the Booker Award. Of course, being my typical clueless self, I had no idea what this was. But Google is my best friend.

Yay! So, the rules:
  1. This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books (reading or writing is okay).
  2. Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favorite books you have ever read (more than five is okay).
  3. You must give this award to 5-10 other lucky book blogs you adore
 Alright, then. Simple enough, right? Here I go! Being me, though, I might have the overwhelming urge to explain everything, so bear with me.

Top 5 Favorite Books (in no particular order):
  1. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater: Because the writing is gorgeous, the voices of the two POVs are distinct, and the ending was heartbreaking. A lot of books now are raw and gritty, but this one was simple and beautiful and gripping without being dark. I was in love from the first page.
  2. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins: A lot of people didn't like this one as much as the first two in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I loved it. I bawled. So hard. Mostly, I loved that Collins wasn't afraid to make sacrifices, and that made it believable. She tore my heart out, and I loved her for it.
  3. The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak: If I were ever asked to recommend one book to every teenager in the world, it'd probably be this one. The voice is witty and dry and a tad wistful, and writing...THE WRITING. I loved the little snippets from Death, the "Here's a small fact..." sections. Also, one of my favorite things about this book was that the reader knows the end from the very beginning. Everything is flatly stated, and the realities of WWII are gritty and immediate, but the ending still tragic because we couldn't keep ourselves for hoping for something else.
  4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. This is a book I would have read just for the title. I have no way to describe it except: READ IT. Please. Keep a pillow handy, because you will sob into it uncontrollably. 
  5. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card: I'm being so repetitive now, but I seriously love this book so, so, so much. It doesn't fit at all with my usual tastes, and I expected to hate it. The premise is Children-stripped-of-childhood gets me every time.
Then there's Harry Potter, which first made me fall in love with reading, classics like Pride and Prejudice and To Kill A Mockingbird and A Little Princess (don't judge me...I fell in love with that book in third grade and never stopped), contemporaries like Before I Fall and dystopians like Divergent. I like the old books my library sells for a quarter each and I like the new ones on the display cases and the not-so-old-but-not-really-new-ones sandwiched on shelves...telling me to pick five really isn't fair.

And...5 other amazing blogs:
  1. Mark O'Brien Writes
  2. Write or Die Trying
  3. Truth, Justice, And Other Stuff
  4. Wonderland's Reader
  5. Olivia's Opinions
So that's it! Hope ya'll enjoyed!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

An Interview with Yours Truly

Hi, everyone! I got interviewed this week over at the Teens Can Write, Too! blog, so if you're interested, please check it out! Here's the link:

It's got some false advertising, though...I literally turned sixteen the day John posted the interview. Look at me, lying about my age already. I'm off to go look for gray hairs and wrinkles now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top Ten Mishaps--um, Events of My Sophomore Year

Sophomore year is OVER. And I can seriously say that I couldn't have asked for a better year. So, I thought I'd write a post about the top ten stupid/hilarious/unbelievable/gooey events the past school year (because, let's face it, as teenagers we measure our lives in school years, not in actual years).

10: In Global Studies, on Columbus Day:
Teacher: Okay, guys, let's talk about Columbus!
Classmate: Oooooh! Wasn't he the guy who rode through America shouting that the British were coming?!

9: Passed our state's WKCE test with high enough scores to exempt most of my exams. Pretty sweet. (Still had to dissect a fetal pig for Human Anatomy and Physiology, though. Teacher wanted us to have the experience. *shudder*).

8. Legend of Korra premiere! I know, I'm such a dork. But The Last Airbender was seriously my favorite show when I was younger (okay, fine, on occasion I still do watch it with my little bro and sis...), and there was no way I was going to miss the new series. It's not as great as the original...but still pretty epic, no?

7. The Hunger Games premiere. I had seriously started counting down to it in March of freshman year. And it was worth it. I had plans to sneak out of my second-story bedroom window and pay one of my guy friends to drive me to the theater, but I chickened out. Boo.

6. Performance of Bach's Concerto in F Minor in a Big Fancy Concert Hall. See, I'd originally learned this for a concerto competition, but I ended up losing to a 24-yr old with a trombone. So since I didn't get to feature with a symphony orchestra, my piano teacher signed me up to play in this Big Fancy Televised Concert. I even recycled my prom dress for it and everything.

5. Tennis season. I only joined the team last summer because I needed a sport for college applications. And I was horrible when I'd started out. Like, seriously. I'd never really played before. But by the end of the season, I was our number two JV, and officially Good At A Sport Besides Swimming. Chances of making varsity this year are fairly high :)

4. Started social networking. Which I hadn't really considered doing for my book before my agent mentioned it. See, I have this issue with fads. So I never made a Facebook, never wore Silly Bandz (because they were RIDICULOUS), etc. But since social networking is so integral to the industry now, I kind of, you know, had to start tweeting and blogging, and it's seriously been so. Much. Fun.

3. Found a critique partner who actually, you know, CRITIQUES. I'd given my manuscript to two of my friends before, and while I love them to death, they didn't actually give me any helpful advice. Also started a blog with the fabulous CP in question, which you should totally check out: Go there! Please.

2. Growing as a writer. Manuscript was rewritten...eight times this year? I'm very glad to say that I can look back and see that my writing has improved. It's encouraging :)

1. And the absolute highlight of my year...Finding an agent!!! :D Words cannot describe how amazing THE OFFER and THE CALL were. So. Unbelievably. Cool. I actually got the offer while I was in school, too! I totally wasn't on my phone at school or anything...

So that's it! This year really has been amazing. But that got me thinking...graduation was today, and of course the cliche "best for years of your life!" was thrown around about a million times. This year WILL NOT be the best I'll ever have (um, God forbid that I should count videos of heart transplants and pig dissections among the best in my life). So...junior year, no pressure or anything, but I expect you to be absolutely freaking epic. :D