Journal

Writing:

This year was all about revisions. I’ve definitely felt the level-up speed bump. Well, more like a wall? Revisions on the Gothic novel have been as pleasant as pulling teeth: knowing I’m not quite there, but almost, but not knowing what “there” means.

I took the last week off (the child was sick so everyone was exhausted), and you know, I think it’s just what I needed. I’ve got an idea that won’t let go. Unfortunately this idea means that I’m going to have to start over with this round of revisions. So it goes! I believe it’s worth it.

Living:

I don’t know what to say about 2018, except that it felt like forever, and I felt nearly every possible emotion. I’m glad to put it behind me, but I’m taking a few lessons out of it too…

  1. It only takes one yes.
  2. Writing gets harder the more you know, not easier. The frustration means you have gotten better not worse.
  3. People do change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. You can’t predict it, and neither is it your fault.
  4. People will get used to you wearing bold lipstick.
  5. Every story takes it’s own time. You can’t force a breakthrough. You just need to trust that you will figure it out someday. Sometimes that means setting a story aside for weeks, days, years.
  6. There’s always more work if you’re looking for it. The hard part is making time for everything else.
  7. Happiness is something you have to keep fighting for, even if it means doing one small thing every day that makes you smile.
  8. Sometimes being brave feels an awful lot like being afraid all the time.

May your 2019 be better than the last year. To more adventures! I can’t wait to see what good things happen for you all 🙂

Recommending:

Four Days Trapped at Sea with Crypto’s Noveau Rich by Laurie Penny – Even if you aren’t into tech, read it for the writing alone. It’s simultaneously brilliant, funny, and horrifying.

Reading:

  • Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA)
  • Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (YA)
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (YA)
  • From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon (YA)
  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins (YA)
  • Roomies & The Proposal by Christina Lauren
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston (YA)
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (MG)
  • A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
  • A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev

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Book Thoughts

Last year, at reader request, I created a recommended reading list, and in 2018 I nearly tripled the number of books I read, so this will be fun! Maybe you’re still looking for book gifts? I’ve got you covered. Not all of these books are 2018 releases, but I did read them this year so they’re still fresh in my mind.

Fave Adult Reads 

  • City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty 
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang 
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Fave YA Reads 

  • The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
  • American Panda by Gloria Chao
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber 
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

For The Most Intricately Crafted Narratives

  • Jade City by Fonda Lee
  • House of Binding Thorns by Aliette DeBodard

For The Worldbuilding Aficionados

  • The Belles by Dhionelle Clayton  (YA)
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland  (YA)

For the Dark Fairy Tale Lovers

  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Enrnshaw (YA)
  • Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (YA)

Notable Non-Fiction

  • Quackery by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
  • Steering the Craft by Ursula LeGuin

If You Like It Hot (Adult Romance)

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 
  • A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole 
  • The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Made me Laugh (And that’s a hard thing to do)

  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins (YA)
  • A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Stories That Left Me Twisted

  • The Devourers by Indra Das
  • MEM by Bethany C. Morrow
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

If you ever want a particular recommendation (Say, you like action packed narratives, or stories about ghosts) Please feel free to ask! I’ve always got plenty.

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