2020

I don’t even have to say it, do I?

It’s been one hell of a year so far and uh… anything resembling normal has gone straight out the window.

But some updates are in order, I guess.

In January, I started a new job–outside of retail. A proper office job and everything. I miss the library more with every day, but this one at least gets the bills paid and puts food on our table. And, thankfully, it’s allowed me to work from home during this pandemic. I’m incredibly lucky to have secured this new job when I did.

Writing has been chugging along slowly; sometimes I manage to get some writing done, but other days, I’m just in Pandemic Response Mode (read: nap time). I finished a draft of the YA Fantasy I’ve been working on for a long time. It’s the first full draft of this new concept for it and it’s so radically different from what it was 12 drafts ago.

I’m also working on some revisions on some manuscripts I shelved a while ago. A YA werewolf story (that was 100% revitalized because of Vampires coming back thanks to Midnight Sun) that I’m thinking of turning into a MG, and my YA Siren Pirate Lesbians fantasy I’ve loved and want to come back to.

It’s finally starting to get nice around here. It’s been a cold May so far, but as of writing this blog post, it’s 70 degrees and it almost makes me want to go out for a run.

Almost.

Currently Reading

Currently Playing

Current WIP

Writing Update: Summer Daze

Har-de-har. Daze. Days. I’m a goshdang master of words y’all.

It’s been a little while. I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy on Booked All Night lately, as well as my job. I’ve since gotten a permanent position at a children’s department in a different branch, so it’s been kind of fun. The gremlins, I mean, children, are always a bundle of fun. My co-workers make it a wild ride.

I’ve put away the YA Queer Ex-Princess Fantasy I was working on. It was giving me a lot of grief and I need to step away from that world for a while. I picked up my YA Lesbian Pirate Mermaids (no actual mermaids in the draft… I should fix that) and finished the first draft. It’s only been several years. I wrote the first iteration of the story back during my undergrad sometime between 2014 and 2015. I lost access to the original file, since that was on my last laptop. And that laptop had a motherboard meltdown back in August 2018. Oops.

I’ve picked up and put down this piece maybe two or three times. It just goes to show that you never really know when it’s the right time for a story. Sometimes it just has to sit in a folder on your OneDrive for a couple of years after you nearly lost 1/3rd of it during a train trip because the cloud sync you had it set up on on Scrivener decided to be a pain and not work and delete the 10k+ words you’d written and give you a meltdown somewhere outside Toledo.

But you know. Creativity. Writing is a wild journey!

So I finished the draft at the back half of May, gave it a few weeks to sit and rest, and I’ve been slowly working through revisions.

Very. Slowly.

It’s been nearly two weeks and I’ve done six chapters.

I’m not great at this whole “consistent writing” business.

I’ve been slowly working my way through that as well as reading a bunch of arcs. So many of them are coming out this fall. It’s like an early birthday present for me!

Currently Reading

Currently Playing

Current WIP

Residency Log: Day Seven

I sort of missed yesterday’s log. We spent most of the day after workshop in the library doing some work. I plotted out the new parts of my thesis and I have a lot of things to do, but I have a new motivation for this story now.

I got some great news this morning and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

That, and we got an earlier flight that gets us home a little sooner and just the idea that I can sleep in my own bed a little bit sooner makes me so happy.

This residency is almost over. Soon, my last semester will begin and then I’ll be graduating and then I’ll be a post-graduate writer and that’s just… a whole plethora of emotions, y’all.

Residency Log: Day Four

We’ve mostly had the day to ourselves today. There was the option to go on the Tahoe Excursion to go into the city and do some ice skating and such. We decided to hole up in a classroom in the library and get some work done.

It’s always nice to help other bounce ideas around for their work and getting the chance to work on my own things without the feeling of being rushed because I only have a certain amount of time to do it before I have class again was nice. I’m still incredibly tired and ready to go back to sleeping on my own bed.

We also had meetings with our mentors today. Since my mentor isn’t technically hired by the school yet (paperwork troubles), I met with my “department” head and he lined things out for me and answered basic questions. We’re then going to call my actual mentor on Tuesday to discuss our semester plan.

I’m both ready for this semester and also not. I just can’t believe this is my final semester and I’ll be graduating come August.

Residency Log: Day Three

If the morning starts with freaking out your roommate cause of your meditation, can it really get any better than that?

No, not really.

It’s been a rough one. I hit my wall early today and things have not been going great. There’s so much to do that I run out of spoons by lunch time and I feel terrible for not being able to attend some readings. But I’ve burnt myself out before and I can’t really afford to do that again, not with this being my final semester.

I really do love the community though. The WCYA tribe are some of the coolest, awesome-est people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They’re all so skilled and awesome in their own ways and I love them. They make the residency worth it.

I can’t wait to see how their careers as writers turns out. I know every single one of them is going to be amazing at whatever they try to do. All of them.

Residency Log: Day Two

While the east coast is being slammed with a crazy snow storm, I’m over here in Lake Tahoe, where it’s sunny and 40 degrees. It’s not necessarily warm, but at least we’re not under two feet of snow, so I call that a lucky break.

I’m still ridiculously exhausted. Last night, I passed out at like 7:30. Out like a light and down for the count until like 4 or 5 the next morning. But I’m still hitting a wall in the mid to late afternoon and all I need is a nap.

My brain is a little fuzzy today, and I haven’t been able to focus on much, especially not writing. My lit crit class might break that a little, since it’s such an intense class, but I’d like to start meditation this week to free up my brain. I’m an incredibly great adult on the west coast, only cause I can wake up at 6 am no problem here. So in that time frame between showering and leaving for breakfast, I might benefit from a twenty minute meditation in the morning during sunrise.

Residency: Day One

It’s the first day of classes at my residency and I’ve only cried twice! (Once was cause I got sweet puppy kisses from Casey, the WCYA service dog)

The piece I had wanted to use as my thesis might not be my thesis. I’m working with my previous mentor’s editor this coming semester, a woman who’s really cool and awesome and I’m only a little intimidated

But it’s been so nice seeing everyone from the tribe and I know this residency is going to be good for me in a lot of different ways. Mental health wise, it’s going to be walking a fine line. But in terms of my writing, I already feel motivated to finish an old draft, despite having been burnt out by this piece a month ago.

I have a lot to rework in the piece that will probably end up being my thesis. It sucks that the story of my heart won’t be the thing I want to present to the world first, but it needs more time. I need to find the best story in this world that means so much to me and right now, I might not have it.

2018 Resolutions

There are a lot of things I’d like to get accomplished this year. Some are pretty far reaching, but some I think I can handle. Then again, if there’s some heavy depression sessions in my future, who knows. Every step is taken one day at a time.

Writing Goals

I’m looking to finish my YA Fantasy (which is in it’s tenth draft and featuring an all new rewrite) by the end of March. Ideally, I’d have most of it done before the start of the semester (which is in like, two weeks!) so that when I end up working with an editor, I have most of the draft done.

I’d also like to have aforementioned YA Fantasy polished and ready to query by graduation (!!!).

Reading Goals

Fifty books. That’s my minimum for the year; and I don’t mean like the fifty I do for a semester where some of it’s plumped up with picture books. I mean fifty YA books. Majority written by women, especially women of color and queer women, preferably.

School Goals

Try not to break down while writing my thesis.

Oh, also write a thesis.

Oh, and graduate as part of the first WCYA class from SNC. But that’s practically a given so long as I manage the others on this list.

Oh, and make Pablo cry at my graduation.

Personal Life Goals

Start running again. I won’t say that I liked running (cause I’d be a dirty, dirty liar) but I enjoyed the movement of it. I usually had better days when I ran.

Find a therapist and work on my mental health.

Love myself a little more, when I can.


All in all, I think it’s a pretty robust list, and these are things I think would make for a better me. I’ve struggled with my self image and self love for a very long time, so maybe having this as a reference point, something to look back on during the next year, would be beneficial.

One step a day at a time is still progress.

Taking A Break

These past few days have been incredibly hard on my family and myself. Dealing with loss is not easy, and especially watching it happen to someone very close to you is even harder.

I’ll be taking a short break from blogging and from social media for a few weeks. I’m flying out to Poland to visit family in the next week and will be gone for a bit. You can still find some of my reviews and my podcast, Booked All Night, over at BookedAllNight.blog.

I’m still going to keep writing, since that seems to be the only thing that’s easing the hurt, but it won’t be on the blog.

Thanks for sticking with me, lovelies.