children's writer

Library Book Sale

Oct 20, 2015
Every year, in October, my library has a local book sale. You can purchase as many books as you want for just one dollar. Of course, my favorite section is the children's and teens section. Those books tend to go really fast. After navigating the rows as best as I could, I ended up with a total of six books. This year, I admit, I didn't get as many books as I would have liked. Well, that's not true. It isn't the number of books that matters but the "quality" of the books I got, both inside the pages and outside. I found a copy of Savvy by Ingrid Law, which is a gem as far as children's books go. I'm so looking forward to next year. Here are the rest of the books:

NaNo 2015

Oct 19, 2015

I can't help doing NaNo again this year, even though I've never ever won. I'm hoping this year will be my year. It helps that I already have an idea of my story line. I've written three character sheets for both of my main characters and the villain. Plus, thanks to a handy book called Fast Fiction by Denise Jaden, I'm asking myself questions I never would have thought to ask. Yes, this year I am going to win. And if I don't, I will console myself with lots of chocolate. I really really want that free copy of my book from CreateSpace. I've already started drafting, but because I want to win NaNo I've decided to put it aside until November 1st.

What am I writing?

A middle grade paranormal called LOVELY DARK THINGS. Necromancy. Ghosts. And hopefully a kick-butt villain, it's a little darker than the middle grade I've written in the past and that's why I'm so excited about it. Here's a very rough blurb:

No one knows why Lucy Lovell was born with the ability to raise the dead. It's a gift she both loves and despises. Souls are such fickle things and they don't always come back as intended. When her parents are killed because of her negligent use of her powers, Lucy and her baby sister Norrie hide from Death Herself in an old abandoned house haunted by the ghost of Wilfie Graham.

Lucy and Wilfie become fast friends and together they set out to find his body to bring him back before he is taken to the place where lost souls go. But when Death catches up to the both of them, kidnapping Norrie, Lucy must travel to the world of lost souls to find her baby sister before they become trapped there for good.

See, like I said. It's pretty rough. Anyway, I've been hard at work putting together a Pinterest board and playlist. Here's a song from the playlist that reminds me of Lucy:

That's it for me. Are any of you doing NaNo?

Waiting on Wednesday: Summerlost

Oct 14, 2015
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on Summerlost by Ally Condie.

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 

I do love a great middle grade book and this one sounds exceptional. I also think the cover is stunning. A few weeks ago the author wrote a post for Nerdy Book Club about falling into friendship and that was what led to me wanting, needing to read her book. There's just something so magical about friendships and summer when you're a kid.

Brainstorming Characters

Oct 7, 2015
I'm honestly not much of a planner when it comes to writing. And if I do outline, I usually prefer to have quite a few chapters written first. That way I can see how the story's progressing. This time, however, I want to try something a little different. We all know that plot is character. I find that my favorite books, the ones that really stick with me and have me thinking about them months later, have really compelling characters.

I've saved a few articles, I'm rereading a chapter from Writing irresistible Kidlit, and I put a book on hold at the library. I think it's time to buckle down and give some more thought to how I craft my characters, who they are, what they look like, their fears, and deepest desires. I really loved this article by Briana Morgan on creating a journal for your characters. In the past, I have done interviews and such which did help but only scraped the surface. I have to know my characters and love them if I want anyone else to. I vow to take some time to get to know them properly.

I'm starting with a Polyvore set for one of my main character's Lucy Lovell. So far I've discovered her sense of style. her favorite book, her taste in music, and her current hobby. I'm looking forward to discovering more. I'd really like her to breathe life into her.

On A Bookish Date:Tuck Everlasting

Oct 6, 2015
On A Bookish Date is a meme in which I share my love for books and cure my style cravings.

Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

I recently read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This book had been on my to-read list for a while and last week I finally took it out of the library. I'm so glad I did. The writing was magnificent, so full of life. There were many wonderful lines, the very first being my favorite. It's amazing how Natalie Babbitt was able to craft such a tale in so few words. Winnie Foster has become one of my favorite heroines. I loved her relationship with the Tuck family and I did hope that she and Jesse would get their happy ending. Still, the ending was perfect for the story. Tuck Everlasting really makes you wonder what magic is in our own world. What if there was truly a spring such as the one in the novel and a family like the Tucks? What then.

For my date with this book, I would wear a plaid skirt and burgundy turtleneck to keep me nice and warm on a walk through the park or at my favorite table at a cafe.

Fall Goals

Oct 5, 2015
Hey guys! It's officially fall. The weather has certainly changed. It is cold and it's been raining all week. The best part about fall, at least for me, is all of the hot chocolate I get to guzzle. This post isn't about hot chocolate however. I thought it would be swell to make a list of goals for myself for fall. I haven't done one of these in a while, and I'd really like to see how close I get to achieving them. Here are the things I want to accomplish during the sweater wearing months.

1. Read at least ten books. I've started and put down so many books, but I'd really like to buckle down and actually finish some of them. I'm a slow reader you guys.

On my list:
  • A book I've already started
  • A children's classic
  • A new middle grade
  • A book I've been dying to read
  • An audio book 
  • A book on writing
  • A book everyone's been raving about
  • Something spooky
  • An adult novel
  • A retelling or something with a fairy tale feel
  • A book I've had on my shelf forever

2. Finish my novel during NaNo. I've already started writing so during NaNoWiMo I will be a rebel. I'm writing a middle grade paranormal, so my goal is 45k-50k. It's a bit of a change for me because I'm writing in third person instead of first. It's going well so far. I've already got one chapter done and I'm excited. I hope I can stick with this one. I've made a cover for it.

3. Spend some time writing outside of the house. Most of my writing is done indoors, but I think it would be good for me to find a nice cafe or to maybe just go to the library. A nice change of scenery might help inspire some new ideas.

4. Enter the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award. This is still a maybe for me, though I've had my eye on this contest for a while. It seems like a great opportunity.

5. Try something new. I don't know what this will be yet, but I think I want to switch things up a little. It can be something simple like a new flavor of drink, a new TV show, or something large like another creative pursuit. I have always wanted to learn how to code or draw.

That's it for me you guys. What are some of your fall goals? As always, thanks for reading and happy writing!