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Alaska, Agents, and Goodreads!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted! 

But I need to get back into blogging, because I’ve missed the blogging world, and all my blogging friends! 

Personal Update: Life up here in Alaska is so fantastic. It really is Camelot. Every day is a miracle. I love the cold and the dark, and I could live here forever. 

Writing Update: I’ve just signed with Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency, and I’m working on revisions right now. She is wonderful! 

I also have a YA Gothic Mystery novel coming out spring of 2020! It’s entitled, The Redpoint Crux, and I would LOVE for you to add it to your Goodreads! Here is the link: Click here.

Any updates with you? I hope you are all wonderful. I adore you all! Good to see you all again! 


The Year Of Lightning!!!

Once upon a time… there was a nerdy writer girl who didn't have any friends on twitter:

Nerdy scared girl.

But then she met a friend who was super nice and had the same writerly aspirations/interests as her. (Wanting to take over the universe by using orbital death rays, inventing cake vending machines, respect for evil overlords who executed rebels… yanno, the usual)

Yay Friends!

The two became great friends and even beta read for each other. The girl had beta read some scary books in her day, so she was relieved when her friend had real talent. 

The friends even went to fun conferences together and plotted how some day they would be successful authors and teach classes on world-building, perseverance, and how to turn normal words into slang by adding apostrophes. 

Aside from writing, these two friends were like-minded in other ways. Like how they felt about sports:

Or the questions about ninjas that kept them up at night:

Then something fabulous happened. The girl's friend signed a three-book-deal with Jolly Fish Press and she was SO happy she got to reveal his cover on her blog!!! 

Cue cover reveal:

Amazon Pre-order link

Ryan is holding a contest! If you want to participate, here are the rules:

How would you fight a lightning storm? In one paragraph, tell us exactly how youd do it, and dont hold back! Get as crazy/silly/stupid/super-tough as you want. The sky is literally the limit. Well pick a winner from each participating blog, and I will send each winner a package containing an awesome secret clue to the central mystery in THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING. 

Thank you, Ryan, for letting me be part of your cover reveal. You're a wonderful friend and I'm so excited for your success!!! 

Red. Head. Out. :) 

Don't. Give. Up.

I’ve been in one of those periods in life where I’ve been in a storm for so long, I wasn’t sure the clouds were ever going to clear. But I’ve experienced some moments this past week that have struck me deeper than anything has ever struck me before. I want to speak directly to you, because I know that you’ll all understand on some level what I’m talking about. 

We push. And cry. And push again. Obstacle upon obstacle finds itself in our path, and we find ourselves in a place where we can either stop, keep pushing, or find a way around the obstacle. But what if the obstacle is ourselves? What if the obstacle isn’t something that can be defeated overnight, or even in a few years, or ever? Sometimes obstacles are nothing tangible, nothing that anyone else can remove. Nothing but demon voices in our head telling us that we’re not capable of greatness. 

The fight is real. And the storms can last for years. But sometimes, there’s this little spark deep inside of us that won’t let us quit. It’s this little voice that TELLS us to hold on. That all isn’t lost, even though the tears won’t stop and we can’t see any light. 

But sometimes… there are moments where events unfold and suddenly you realize that the storm itself was a miracle. That the clouds that were covering you was only a way to help guide you to where you really needed to be. That the pain experienced was so absolutely necessary because we wouldn’t be able to create and become who we need to become without it.  

I really don’t want this post to be cheesy, but I love you. All of you. All of you who are reading this, even if you’re a person who doesn’t particularly like me very much. :) 

This past year has been difficult, with storms so intense that it’s been a struggle to find any kind of footing. Friendships have been gained. Friendships lost. Some people disappear during these difficult times, while others hold on and give you that hand you need to pull yourself out of the darkness. 

Writing this past year has been the most emotional thing I’ve ever been through. We each have “the one story” we have to tell. It might not be the best thing we ever write, but it’s the one that holds our heart—the one that is so us. And my journey with this story isn’t something I’ll talk about now, but as I’m only a couple chapters away from completing a piece of work that I’m finally proud of, I have to say that it was worth the years of struggle… even if nothing comes from it. To hold something in your hands that you’re proud of through and through is a feeling I’ve never experienced before—but it’s something I’m experiencing now.

I recently had one of my close friends have some huge success, and I look back to when she doubted herself. And having read her manuscript, I KNEW that it would make it—that it would be the one to secure a big publisher. I remember telling her to trust in that feeling… that feeling she first felt when she sat down to put the words on the page. That FEELING that floods into your whole being when you tap into that place where creativity happens. 

Sometimes all we have is that feeling—and it’s the only thing we have to push us forward. But it’s enough, if we allow it to be enough. It’s incredible what can happen in the darkness, if we just hold onto the little bits of light that we can find. I know we all have our own special story to tell, and all of our journeys are epic in their own way, but I’m pleading with you to keep going. Because time and time again, I keep learning that through each wave, no matter how big, we can emerge from it on the other side a stronger and better person. 

Red. Head. Out. 

A Day In The Life With WOVEN…

We all know books can change your life.

But they can also completely disrupt your life… unless you know how to function *while* reading them… especially one you can't put down…

My experience with WOVEN…
Mr. Woven and I spent a few hours practicing the piano together…
We also spent some time on the treadmill together…

I managed to write and read at the same time… 

My mad face when Mr. Woven beat me at Pictionary…

He even comforted me in the scary part of movies…

I've lost count with how many different positions I read in…

A day wouldn't be complete without watching the sunset together…

And big smiles all around with what a fantastic book WOVEN is!!!!!!

I'm so proud of David Powers King and Michael Jensen. I don't know Michael well (but I know he's wonderful!), and I consider David one of my most favorite friends. He's not only a talented writer, but he's one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. (He's also married to a gorgeous red head, which automatically gives him huge bonus points) :)

My review:

Woven is such a beautiful story!!! This book contains the kind of magic I’ve been missing in stories for a while. I love the uniqueness of the fantasy world… I was sucked in from the start and immersed completely with the plot and characters.  Pacing was great. Writing was beautiful. It’s the kind of story that is timeless---where it will easily hold its own in today’s crowded market and for years to come. Action, adventure, ghosts, magic, romance… I thoroughly enjoyed this!!!

Thanks, DPK for letting me be a part of your Woven tour, and I'm so excited to see more Woven success!!!!

Red. Head. Out. :) 

Reading And Finding Inspiration…

For me, I’ve always been inspired by the blank page.

But sometimes whatever magic we can conjure inside of ourselves just isn’t enough. I know a lot of us get inspiration from tv, movies, music, or even just stepping outside our front doors and observing people. It never ceases to amaze me how much magic and inspiration is just waiting for us to tap into it—grab onto it and put it on the page, and I think most of the time, all we need to do is just slow down long enough to notice that it’s there.

As writers, we work and work and work and edit and edit and edit—and what I find interesting is that a lot of us cease to read for pleasure while we get in work mode… we get to a point where we aren’t able to truly enjoy a book like we used to—where all we can see is plot/pacing issues, or too much telling, or character inconsistencies or unbelievable settings. Think to the last time you truly enjoyed a story without critiquing it to death inside your head…

For me, lately, I’ve gone back and reread the books that made me want to start writing in the first place. The books that first planted that seed of magic—those settings that lingered with me for days afterward—where I would do anything to stay in that world and spend time with those characters. I’ve been analyzing what it is that makes me love these books so much. Is it the ambiance? The characters? The conflict?

I’ve also discovered that whenever I beta read for someone incredible it restores inspiration fast. I think when we READ we can discover what it is that made us want to venture into this daring writing world. And even though I think we should immerse ourselves in stories as much as possible (not only for knowing the market and what’s out there), but so we can keep our creativity fresh and keep ourselves aligned with who we want to be as a writer. Because when we are right within ourselves, we’ll be in that place mentally where we can create what we’re trying to portray on the page.

Yesterday I received a package in the mail containing an ARC for Woven, David Powers King’s debut novel (Out in January!) with Scholastic. And already, I’m immersed in this wonderful world and pieces of inspiration are stitching itself back together in my writing soul. I’d forgotten what reading could do for my happiness and motivation. Can’t wait to finish it.

What was the last book you read that made you inspired to write? Do you reread books that take you back to that “magical place?” Jealous I get to read Woven right NOW?!?!? 

Red. Head. Out. 

Trees, Hugging, Change, and Moving Forward...

I’m a nostalgic person.

I know it’s probably not healthy to look to the past as much as I do… but one of my favorite things is to look back and see how all the little pieces of life have woven together, creating a pathway that in no way seems like a coincidence.

I try to live my life in a way so I’m aware of events happening in the moment—so I don’t have to look back and wish I had been more alert to the special nature of the moment. But more often than not, moments pass by and I don’t realize what I had until it’s gone.

Sometimes this depresses me… but as life speeds forward, the one thing that brings comfort is being able to see how I have grown or how other people have grown or how we’ve overcome trials and become better for it.  As I reflect on the past year, there might be times I wish I could push the pause button on and relive, but this has been a year where I’m beyond grateful to be where I am now!

Last Year: Exactly a year ago I was wearing a heart monitor and passing out every day, knowing that I wasn’t going to live to see the next morning. (Sounds dramatic, but true)

Now: Totally healthy—running 2-7 miles a day, loving life!

Last Year: Not having a handle on what I wanted as a writer, which decision was best for me, which pathway to take.

Now: I have clear direction and know exactly what I want and what I’m going to push for.

Last Year: In total fear for my cancer boy’s life, dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

Now: Have most of the new issues under control and managed.

Last Year: Overextending myself to try and please others. Giving other people the power to hurt me.

Now: Managing my time better with friends. Only aligning myself with people who I really want to give time to—with people I want to know forever. Weeding out the negative.

Last Year: I let fear paralyze me. I allowed doubt to take over my life and stop any kind of progression.

Now: I’m not afraid anymore. There are still things I wish I had answers to, but the fear of not knowing doesn’t control me anymore.

And the list goes on.

I know that if any of you were to make a list like this, you would be able to see the change as well. It’s been one of those years I wouldn’t want to relive, but like I said above, I’m also grateful for all the ups and downs. It’s such a cool thing to look back and see how much has changed—for the better.

This isn’t to say I still don’t have a list of things I need to conquer and overcome, but I’m choosing to focus on the good (and here comes the cheesy part of my post) … 
This is a pic I had my 7 yo take of me hugging (sort of) this tree. If you look on my instagram account, you can see how the tree used to be full and yellow and gorgeous, but now is barren. When I saw it, I pulled off to the side of the road because I was so struck with the change that had happened in such a short amount of time. It only reminded me that in a blink, the tree would be full of life again… which totally made me cry as I thought about my own life and how life comes back to us even when we think we're at our lowest and we'll never feel passion again. 

That's what this year has been. A cycle, just like this tree. Sigh. 

Anything you want to share? What is the biggest difference in your life right now that didn’t exist a year ago?

Red. Head. Out. <3