#WIPjoy - Where Shadows Lie

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Happy Saturday!

Have you heard of #WIPjoy? If you're not familiar with it, it's a Twitter hashtag created by Bethany Jennings that involves daily prompts and chances for writers to share about their novel. She's created a lovely Twitter community full of writers encouraging each other and becoming excited over future stories. :D

The idea is that you keep up with the hashtag, tweeting your answers every day... but I have a habit of forgetting about it and falling behind (whoops). So I'm going to choose my favorite questions and compile them in a blog post. 

describe yourself and your WIP

I'm a pizza eating, pun making, and story flailing, and bad-at-describing-myself writer. :P

My WIP is called Where Shadows Lie, and it follows Eerie, a young girl, trying to save her parents from shape-shifting shadows. (and that's the best I can do for a one sentence pitch xD)

your first inspiration for this WIP

I feel like a lot of writers get their first inspiration for the plot or characters, but I usually get my ideas from a mood/aesthetic/vibe/feel (who knows if that makes sense xD). I was on the way to a youth retreat with my youth group. We drove past a hauntingly beautiful forest of birch trees and BOOM! I immediately knew that I had to make their twisting branches and shadows my next story setting. 

would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your life for a day?

BOTH OF THESE SOUND EQUALLY TERRIFYING. Have my antagonist enter my life? Uhh, no thanks, especially if they're specifically in my life to hunt me down, and, er, finish me. 

I would love to meet the characters in my world... but I'm not sure how I well I'd survive with the shadows and the creepy forest and the shape-shifting darkness. I'd probably have to go with that option, though. How could I pass down an opportunity like that? <3 (I feel like being trapped in my story is basically like being trapped in my own mind for a week. #research xD)

a line you nailed perfectly

I'm not one to share a lot of my writing, and it's rare for me to be insanely confident with one line... but I spent forever trying to come up with the title for my first chapter and I'm happy with how it turned out:
chapter one: beware the monsters of the birchwood forest  
I'm also fairly satisfied with my first line?? (below)
We can't leave, because the shadows won't let us.
So the first two lines are great, and then everything's a mess from there on out. xD

your MC's aesthetic in seven phrases

fierce little warrior sandy bare feet chopped hair adventurer best friend is a fox talks to the trees

would you rather: never publish this WIP, or watch it be adapted into a horrible movie?

OKAY THAT'S JUST AN EVIL QUESTION. *shudders* Are you trying to torture me? ('cause you're succeeding)

*comes back to this question after a literal ten minutes of thinking about it*

I've decided that I'd be okay with either. Yeah, I'd love to publish this WIP, but I have so many novels in my future! I've got time -- lately I've been talking about not rushing the process, and this is part of that.

If this WIP was made into a horrible movie, at first I would be terribly disappointed. But look at the Percy Jackson movies -- everyone hates those, but the books are still insanely popular and loved. If anything, it would drive more traffic back to the original story.

So, like any other "would you rather" question I'm given, I can't decide. But there's my reasoning for both. :P

choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book

reading spot: quiet window seat with the view of a gray, stormy sea
food: pizza DUH
drink: CHAI. <3 or tea. or coffee. really anything cozy and soothing would work
music: haunting instrumentals, Aurora, the sound of the crashing waves, aching silence

what's something you're still figuring out about this WIP?

Beside the plot and the beginning and the middle and the characters and the setting and the conflict and the story arc? (you think I'm kidding but I'm mostly serious. :P)

The ending. Endings are incredibly difficult for me. (because no matter how great of a beginning you have, I feel like the reader is always going to walk away from the book with the emotion you give them at the end: are they satisfied? disappointed? angry? inspired?)

share a thought that keeps you going as a writer

Here's a couple because I can't just keep it to one:
You're the only person who can write this story.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. (Richard Bach)
A writer is a writer not because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. (Junot Diaz)
The secret to writing is pizza. (Katie Grace (hehe...)
a line that was hard to write

The answer to this question would mean copying and pasting my 77,000 word novel into this blog post, because every. single. sentence. proved to be difficult and took much thought and creativity.

So. There. Writing is hard. :P

why do you yearn to share this story with the world?

It's a story that's unique to only my heart and mind -- one that God's given me to write, and I will write it to the best of my abilities. I yearn to share it so that I can meet and encourage others through it. Storytelling is a powerful, beautiful thing. <3

- - -
Here is the complete compilation of the #WIPjoy prompts (click on the image for a larger version). I encourage you to write a post about your WIP using the questions, because I'm always curious as to what everyone's writing. ^.^

katie grace

how did you get the inspiration for your WIP?

in which I endlessly flail about spider-man homecoming

Saturday, July 15, 2017

I've been counting down the days, waiting for this movie to come out, since last May. I've had multiple trailer watching marathons and frequent flailing attacks from the sheer excitement of it all. Dude, I've been so hyped that it's probably a bit pathetic.

My wonderful father bought tickets for the sixth -- the night before it came out. When we left to go to the theater I immediately became nervous -- what if I didn't like it? Maybe it'll only be, "good," and not the "BEST MOVIE EVER." And then maybe I've built it up too much for my family, and what if we're all just a sad bundle of disappointed movie goers? 

I will keep this post spoiler free... except for this: Spider-Man Homecoming is now one of my new favorite movies. There were no disappointed movie goers. ;)

Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite superheroes. The original movies with Toby Maguire were my first introduction to the superhero world. (MEMORIES <3) I wasn't a huge fan, but I think that's because younger Katie somehow knew that there would be a better Spider-Man in the future. :P

So then came along the second remakes with Andrew Garfield. (I told myself I wouldn't spend ages on the backstory of my life with these movies but HERE WE GO ANYWAY :P) I feel like these movies get hated on a lot. And yeah, they had some problems, but I still loved love them. And the second movie? It broke my soul. I cry a lot in movies, but outright weeping? I'm still pained over what happened. :P

Now we've moved on to the newest Spider-Man and I'll probably never be done screeching over it. I know many were wary about yet another remake, but I was stoked from the beginning. Because Marvel! How could I not be excited? xD

*weeps happily* I had every right to be excited. IT! WAS! SO! GOOD!

For me, one of the draws to Spider-Man as a hero is how gosh darn young he is. He's in highschool -- my age! (well, technically two years younger than me but close enough) The previous movies had old(er) actors and never really showed the school side of things. But half of Homecoming basically took place in the school. They did it very realistically, creating the struggle of balancing tests and friends and life. (I'm no superhero, but I can attest to trying to do all the things at once and instead just exhausting myself. So go Spidey. :P)

I looove all the characters. They're all unique and have such varied personalities, but it works. Heh, there was one scene where the students were doing sit-ups in gym class, and Michelle (one of the characters), just laid on her back, lifting her book up and down while reading. As a fellow bookworm, I relate. 

And it was a genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud movie?? It almost felt like a comedy at some parts because the theater kept exploding with chuckles. I expected the lightheartedness (because of what I had seen from the trailers) but then DUDE it got intense. My sister and I were shrieking (as quietly as you can shriek) throughout all the action. The tension didn't let up and I might've stopped breathing halfway through the movie from the sheer stress of it all (ESPECIALLY WITH THAT CERTAIN PLOT TWIST AH o.o). It felt like I was in the story and the scenes with the characters fighting the villain.

A++++ to the storytelling and character building and acting. In the other Spider-Man movies, I feel like they became accustomed to their powers suspiciously easily. This Peter Parker messed up. He struggled and failed at times, but that made me love him even more. Because yes, he's a superhero, but he's still a human and isn't perfect.

What I love about Peter's character, is how hard he tries to be a good person. There aren't any crazy anti-hero antics -- he's just a good kid trying to do good for his friends and I adore the important emphasis on that. He made mistakes but kept trying, which is a good lesson for all of us -- to keep persisting through our battles. He has such a raw determination and strength and energy to him and ackk I just really love seeing those traits in a hero.

*happy sigh* Basically, go watch Spider-Man. (and then tell me what you think so we can flail about it mwahaha)

katie grace

have you seen spider-man homecoming?
who is your favorite superhero?


Saturday, July 8, 2017
Before I start this post, I want to publicly announce that Spider-Man Homecoming met every one of my expectations and it is now officially one of my favorite Marvel movies ever. That is all, and you can continue now. (Got to get those priorities out of the way... :P)

Anywho... today I'm sharing a few of the things I learned at the Minneapolis Young Writer's Conference. I'm always astonished by how wise and thoughtful the authors are -- they're such an inspiration. Hopefully some of the tidbits below will strike with you as well. :)

I've always known this -- that stories are forever there. But when Wayne Thomas Batson mentioned this at the workshop, it actually clicked. Once a book is published, it's there until the world is no more (unless some dystopian/futuristic society comes to the ridiculous conclusion that books are evil and destroys them all. heaven help their souls). 

At least to me, I found this extremely encouraging. Even when I'm gone, my story can still touch and entertain and transport people to other worlds for generations to come. That's pretty amazing.

(it also makes me thankful that I'm living now in this time, because think of how many books will be published in another 200 years?!? Our TBR piles would be complete insanity. xD)

For one of the workshop classes, an amazingly kind and hilarious acquisitions editor (Jillian Manning) taught about her job and the process of signing on a story. She gave us a couple stats for the amount of proposals she receives which I found really interesting: (as a note: this is unique to her, so it will be different for other editors)

Estimated proposals she receives: 

Daily: 5
Monthly: 150
Yearly: 1,800

She only chooses thirty on a good year, which means that's an acceptance rate of 1.64%. I knew becoming published was hard, but... wow. Those are some crazy numbers.

Along the same lines, Shannon Hale talked about how she got rejected close to 50 times before landing a contract. AND HER BOOKS ARE AMAZING! In one of her classes she said, "Rejection doesn't mean you and your story are worthless; it's the wrong place and wrong time." Keep going. Keep revising. Keep writing. Your hard work will pay off in the end.

Ahh, crafting the dreaded pitch. They're hard for a reason -- summarizing a 80,000 word book in less than 35 words seems like an impossible task. But it's something that needs to be done (unfortunately... -.-)

Sabaa Tahir taught a class about characterization -- finding their goal, motivation, and conflict. After she expanded on each of these she wrote out a simple formula for describing the main arc of your story.

name wants goal because motive but conflict.

made-up example: 
Karen wants to escape the dungeon because her execution is soon but she has nowhere to go.

HOW SIMPLE IS THAT? Obviously this wouldn't be the finished pitch because it's pretty bare and sounds like it's copied from a formula ('cause it is)... but it's a great exercise to get the wheels in your mind turning to help write the official one sentence summary.

The authors from the conference had a panel together and they all adamantly agreed on this one thing: Live first. 

If you have the chance to go to a movie with friends, do it! Go and explore, go and live, go and interact with people. Writing will always be there, but not these unique opportunities to make memories with others.

This was encouraging for me to hear, because it's what I've been thinking about a lot lately. These teen years only happen once! I really want to make sure and enjoy them and create fun experiences. (except in the months of April, July, and November. Those will forever be dedicated to NaNo and my social butterly-ness might disappear xD)

I'll end it on that lovely message -- one that I hope you and I will both take to heart. Live first, and live well, my friends.

katie grace

what have you learned about writing recently?
if you try out the pitch formula, I'd love for you to share your result!
(because I am endlessly curious about everyone's stories :D)


Saturday, July 1, 2017
Guess who completely forgot about writing a blog post today?


So now it's nine at night and I want to finish a novel and prepare for Camp NaNo and bullet journal and make tea and reply to emails all before midnight and I think I have a bit of a problem. Sometimes doing all the things is not possible and that's unfortunate. xD

*whisper* I think this is my favorite picture I've ever taken. I REALLY LOVE DAISES. <3
I discovered an amazing new music artist, Aurora! She has a hauntingly beautiful voice and her songs are perfect for writing -- especially fantasy. One of my favorite songs by her is Nature Boy. This song is a cover, but most of her others are beautiful originals.

Speaking of music, I saw Switchfoot in concert -- one of my favorite bands. THEIR LYRICS. THEIR SONGS. Ugh, they just make my heart happy. I also saw For King and Country at the same music festival, and while I don't like their songs quite as much... they put on such a good show. I couldn't stop grinning from the epicness. xD

At the end of the month, I traveled to a lakeside resort with my extended family, which meant volleyball, rock painting, reading, singing twenty one pilots by the fire, and writing by the lake. It's refreshing to get away, and I made major progress on writing. So yay! 

I've also started school. (surprisingly, I've done this voluntarily. :P) Being homeschooled allows flexible scheduling, so I've decided to take advantage of that and start early so I can finish sooner next year. Hopefully I will stick to this. We'll see. xD

Also, we're halfway through the year. Heh. (scary thought, isn't it?)

(left) rock painting for Where Shadows Lie! 
(right) the gorgeous cover of the Evaporation of Sofi Snow

FINALLY a good month for books! Which is very needed, since I'm eighteen books behind on my Goodreads goal. Yup. Eighteen. I did the math (basically the only time I'll do math by choice), and I have to read a book every 2.5 days to meet my goal of 100 books. Please tell me I'm not the only one behind on my reading goal. :P

Oh! For the first time in forever (*resists the urge to start singing Frozen*), I read a book in one sitting! My attention span is too small to do that normally, but Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore held me tight and I couldn't put it down. o.o Sooo good, even though I'm not usually interested in that genre.

The Knife of Never Letting Go [3.5/5]
Angel Eyes [5/5]
The Evaporation of Sofi Snow [3/5]
Real Friends [5/5]
The Wish Granter [2.5/5]
A Torch Against the Night [3/5]
Unfolding [2/5]
An Ember in the Ashes [3/5]


And congratulations to my friend, Brianna, for published her book Unsanctioned Eyes this month! I have a giveaway going for a paperback copy, a notebook, and bookmarks, so might want to check that out. ;)

There wasn't a lot of writing done this month, but I'm starting to get into the swing of things again! I got around 15,000 words written, and I wrote about 5,000 of those words on paper! I never thought I would enjoy writing on paper because it goes sooo slowlyyy.. but I've found that the words come a lot smoother. There's never the problem of staring at the paper unsure of what to write next -- it all flowed beautifully. So maybe writing a whole novel on paper will be in my future. :D

Who else is doing Camp NaNoWriMo? IT'S NEVER TO LATE TO JOIN THE CRAZINESS! I will be editing my novel, Where Shadows Lie. (and finishing my prequel novel but that should hopefully only take one or two days) My goal is 45 hours, which is 1.5 hours a day. It'll be tough, but I'm READY FOR THE CHALLENGE. I've got an amazing cabin to help me out with the insanity. :D

Along the lines of writing, I went to the Minneapolis Young Writer's Workshop this month! It was a fabulous time of learning and friendship and sitting by established editors and authors over lunch. Such an amazing opportunity. <3

I had a bunch of my internet friends come to stay at my house (aka no sleep ever and bunches of giggles over silly puns instead), which made the experiences 100000x better. These ladies have encouraged me in my writing and faith and my general journey in life, and I owe them so much. <3

top: laura, hannah, olivia, kristana
bottom: aimee, caroline, meee! xD

Overall, it was a fabulous month. July will return to the normal hustle of work and school and writing and blogging and friends and all the things, but June was a nice (and exhausting) change of pace. 

May Camp NaNo be fabulous and filled with many words and productivity. You can do this. 

katie grace
what's your camp nano goal?
anyone else behind on their reading challenge?

Unsanctioned Eyes Giveaway!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
pictures courtesy of brianna's sister, lillian.

Hello everyone!

Wow, it's been awhile since I've last posted on this blog. It's been a good break, but I'm excited to be back. And I'm starting the return with a giveaway! Those who have been following this blog for awhile know that I don't do many giveaways unless I'm really excited about them.

And I'm really excited about this book. ;) 

I met the author, Brianna Merritt, last year at Realm Makers (during lunch, actually. there's something about food that can form fabulous friendships.)

Now she's publishing books and being all amazing and I can't be happier for her. Before we get to the fun interview and giveaway and about the fantastic book, WATCH THIS BOOK TRAILER. Alea Harper made it (who was also at that food-bonding lunch table at Realm Makers) and if this doesn't make you want to buy the book, I don't know what will.


what was the first book that made you cry?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The ending of the book is just... AHHH! So emotional!

what does a typical writing day look like for you?

A typical writing day for me looks like a trip to the kitchen to get a cup of tea, flipping through my social media accounts (including a trip through my Pinterest boards for the WIP I'm writing on that day), and then choosing my music. After that it's just a matter of letting the words flow. :)

if you could spend a day with any of your characters, which one would it be, and what would you do?

Tough question. I think I would choose Garrett. He's a very mysterious, very deep guy and I think it would be fun to get to know him better. We'd probably end up going for a drive to get coffee and then spying on the rest of the Unsanctioned Eyes crew.

tea or coffee? 

plotting, writing, or editing?
Writing, though all three are enjoyable.

morning or night writer?
Night writer.

introvert or extrovert?
Introvert with the insane super power of coming across extroverted when I need to be. ;)

Her death was just the beginning.
Quinn Rogers doesn't exist. There are no records of her name. Her DNA has no match. She is a ghost. A phantom killer no one can trace. The perfect assassin. Or so she thinks.
At the top of her game, Quinn's no longer looking over her shoulder. Her master will protect her, save her, like he always has. But there are forces at work neither of them suspect.
Can Quinn find the truth in a world of lies? Or will her unsanctioned past catch up to her in the end?
find Unsanctioned Eyes on Amazon and Goodreads! 

Brianna is most graciously giving away a copy of Unsanctioned Eyes, along with a matching bookmarks and a notebook! I'll be very happy for whoever wins, but I also might be a bit jealous. :P JUST LOOK AT THOSE PRIZES. *stalks mailbox waiting for my copy to come*

This giveaway is US only
(sorry... BUT I've heard rumors from Brianna herself that she plans to do an international one in the future, so make sure to follow her so you don't miss that :D) and ends July 7th. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Brianna grew up in a small town in Oklahoma learning the language of the wind and trying to survive the heat of summer. She fell in love with all things literary at an early age and the journey from reader to writer followed. With the help of One Year Adventure Novel, she finished her first novel in 2012 and hasn't been able to stop creating new worlds and adventures since.

As well as writing, Brianna is addicted to tea, chocolate, and music. When she isn't reading or writing, Brianna teaches Ballet and Jazz.

She lives in Virginia with her family and spoiled Dalmatian, Valentine.

Connect with Brianna on her social media!


Saturday, May 27, 2017
BOOM. What better way to start out this post than with a picture of donuts? I moaned over the sad lack of donuts in my life in my April highlights post, but I'm happy to say that the need has been taking care of. :') (but donuts are like pizza. there can never be enough)

May was kind of relaxing? Despite the fact that I squished boatloads of activities into my days? It's a weird concept but somehow that happened. I had fun spending more time with my family, playing board games, and we're almost to the end of the Harry Potter movies. It's been awhile since I've watched the last one so I'm pumped to see it again. :D

Speaking of movies, I'M GETTING SO HYPED FOR SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING. I just... *faints from excitement* It looks hilarious and exciting and unique and heart-breaking and I JUST WANT IT NOW. Forty-one days! (not that I'm counting or anything... *coughcough*)

And continuing on the topic of Marvel, I haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2 yet... but it will happen in June. I re-watched the first one this month in anticipation and it's so weird and dorky but great at the same time. xD

[still loving my bullet journal! I've found that color coding works well for me -- blue for fun events, black for work, and purple for Church. I change it up with a different color scheme each month. :D]

Working has been crazy! (as always) Starbucks had their Frappuchino happy hour deal (actual insanity). To make it bearable there were dress-up themes each day, so I had the chance to rock my Captain America shirt during superhero day. Always representing my fandoms. <3 (I wanted to wear my apron backward as a cape and be my own superhero, but... that unfortunately defeated the whole purpose of the apron. xD)

The most important happening of the month: SCHOOL. IS. OVER. I repeat: school is over. Glorious summer is beginning and I cannot wait. The season of graduation parties has begun, and it's a bit terrifying to realize that this time next year I'll be the one planning my own graduation. *gulp* Yikes. I'll stop thinking about it for now. xD

It's weird to realize how fast a year can zip by. I was reading my monthly highlight's post from May of 2016, and I had just started working for Starbucks! And Captain America: Civil War came out! *sniff* Time for a rewatch... <3

After deciding to take writing slower, I had high hopes for reading to take a giant leap this month. Think of how caught up I could get on my Goodreads goal! I could maybe binge-read ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty books this month with all the extra time!


Or... just five. :P Which is still good, I know, but... I just wish I stayed focused enough to get through all the books I want. *sigh* Oh well. I'm actually getting nervous that I won't make my reading goal of 100 books... o.O

And even though I have Resistance pictured above... I didn't read it. Instead I beta read Exiles, but since that's not out yet... I didn't have a way to take a picture. :P

Ahh, writing. There's not a lot to discuss in this section, since I discussed most of it in my last post, the joy of stress-free writing. Basically, I took a month off of writing (except for 500 words I wrote), and it was a glorious break. This happened more than I'm willing to admit:
My writing hiatus stops today, though. I'm planning to make major progress with some editing this afternoon/evening, and am actually looking forward to it?? I think it's because I'll be doing mostly line edits, and that's my favorite part of the editing process. <3 (don't talk to me about macro edits/big picture stuff. ew. -.-)

Not sure what I'll be working on in June yet. I'll be polishing my conference material for half the month, and afterward maybe I'll try to FINALLY finish my Camp NaNo project. That novel has given me so much struggle. It refuses to be written. *smacks it with pizza and glares*

I know I just took a week off in May for blogging, but I'm going to have to do it again in June. June is just so crazy, you guys. Lots of working, and then a two day Christian concert festival, a week long writing conference, and then a week long family retreat at a cabin. Very fun things... but... hard to squish blogging into the midst. 

I'll post a wrap-up of the writing conference -- memories, things I learned, helpful tips to pass on -- on June 24th. I'll do a June highlights post after that, and in July I'll finally resume my normal posting schedule. After this month there shouldn't be anymore random hiatuses. Thanks for sticking with me through the chaotic journey. <3

katie grace

what are your summer plans?
what's on your summer tbr?


Saturday, May 20, 2017

I've been thinking about writing. This should be no surprise -- since I'm always thinking about writing... but, more specifically, I've been thinking about my future of writing. 

Maybe I'm the only one who does this, or maybe you can all relate. But it's easy to think ahead a couple years and wonder if my novel will be on the shelf, or if I'll still be rewriting that Idiot Novel for the millionth time. :P

It's scary mulling over the future -- fantasizing the unknown. Throughout the last several months I've been setting bigger and tougher goals for myself, with that dream of becoming an author right before me.

Honestly? It's been exhausting. I've been hustling for the last two years, always writing editing (ha... ha...), always pushing myself. Don't get me wrong, it's important to set goals and encourage yourself to do better. Without all my goals, I would've gotten very little done.

But! It's also important to not push yourself past your limits.

As I've mentioned before, I'm taking May slowly with my writing. My goals for April's Camp NaNo made writing a little too stressful, so I had to take a step back and evaluate writing. I write because I enjoy it! Not to induce gallons of stress. (I don't think stress can be measured in gallons... but... go with it.) So taking a break and waiting to feel the yearn and the reason to return to the story again is a good decision for me.

And I think once I rekindle that fire and passion, setting goals will once again feel like a fun challenge and not a chore. :P I'm still doing writing related things (because how can I completely stay away?), but I pushed aside those crazy insane goals, and my head feels thousands times lighter. This break is exactly what I've needed. And I'm actually doing other things too!
played piano for fun - read through old drafts - spent time on bullet journaling - binged read books - longer devos - extroverted + hung out with friends - took several walks - cleaned my room (only for it to become messy right away, haha) - made a dessert - took a trip to the library - had more movie nights with the fam - spent more time with my sister - sucked helium out of balloons (hehe) - written 500 words - critiqued stories

^^ I probably wouldn't have done any of that if I had my overachieving writing goals to keep up with as well. I'm learning that it's important to pay attention to other passions and people! There are so many things I want to do. SO MANY. Becoming an author is a long journey, and I want to enjoy the process, living life to the fullest while I do so. (that means maybe not staying inside all day and ignoring the world :P) I'm doing my best to find a balance between it all. xD

Anyways, as you can see, I've only written 500 words this month... but I think that's okay. I've also started editing the first couple pages of Where Shadows Lie for the MYWW conference, AND I'M SO, SO EXCITED. I think this is one of the first stories I won't have to completely rewrite. o.o (of course there will be rewriting involved, but they key word there is: completely)

I don't know what will happen after May, yet. June is filled with concerts and writing conferences and vacations... and once that's all over, I'll be working near thirty hours a week (help). So we'll see. Maybe Camp NaNo in July is when I'll begin the writing craziness again, mwahaha.

Well, there you have it. This post is a bit messy and discombobulated (fabulous word, isn't it?), but I wanted to give a little update on this month.

You're all amazing. 

katie grace

(also, Christine wrote something kind of similar to this on her blog, but said it in a much more eloquent and readable manner than I managed. She's awesome.)

(also, also, how is it the twentieth of May?? I legit thought we weren't even halfway through the month and now I'm confused. :P)

how has writing been going for you this month? <3

Writing! Books! Stories! Oh my!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
I'm back from my one-week blog break! :P This is my first time doing something writing related since Camp NaNoWriMo ended. Apparently "taking writing slower" ended up translating to, "not writing at all." Oops. xD

More on the break and writing thoughts another week.
My mind is a pile of slush, so I'm going to do a simple lil' tag and work on a more brain/mind/thinking post another time. ;)

(I copied and pasted this tag from some blog... but... now I can't remember which one. (proof that my mind is slush xD) Do let me know who I can give proper credit to. *nodnod*)


I think a lot of it is the fact that I'm a young adult myself! (which sounds weird to say, because I usually refer to myself as a teen) I can relate to the struggles and the thoughts and the circumstances the YA characters are in.

... kind of. Actually, I often can't relate a lot of the time, because they're fighting battles and slaying dragons. Or drinking. Or kissing. Heh. Let's just say that I can occasionally relate to their emotions and thought processes. xP

Plus teens are just awesome. It's a confusing time of life, filled with decisions and the unknown, but together we can help each other not feel quite so alone. The journey to other worlds is always nice, and meeting other fellow bookworms. ^.^


I've explained this in previous posts of mine. Obviously my process changes with each draft, but here's an overall rundown I wrote last year, and this post is about my first time plotting a novel.

There's a short answer for you. :P


Three years and four months! Writing has done wonders, man. <3

Ha. Is there even an easy way to tell where one is in the writing journey? I'm at the stage of, "crafting art for pure enjoyment." Yes, publishing is a goal, but even more important than that is appreciating the process and not losing the joy in the journey.

I'm not even sure if that answers the question, but I plan on expanding this for a post, so I'll just leave it at that. ;)


Ahem. Well. Firstly, I need air. I find that attempting to pen the words is rather difficult without oxygen and feeling like my lungs are about to burst.

Secondly, I need a brain. For the first couple hours after I wake up, I lack this thing called "thinking," which is unfortunate. I am required to wait until the afternoon -- preferably late evening -- until my brain cells have developed into their full potential.

I also need something to write on, whether it be paper, a computer, a phone, tablet, my bedroom wall, etc... It isn't writing until you actually write. 

There. My literal needs. :P


Ahh, this dreaded question. I've been asked this a lot, and I'm never quite sure how to answer, because there's not one piece of advice that I view more helpful than another. Becoming a better writer is gathering all the knowledge and tips you can get. It's being open to feedback, staying determined, motivated, and sitting your butt down in the chair to write the thing.

If I had to choose one... maybe be willing to have someone else look over your work. It's a scary step -- for sure -- but that first time I let another writer critique my first couple pages opened my eyes to major improvements I could make. 

[and now for questions about YA books:]


(spoiler free, don't worry)

OOH. I had to consult Goodreads to help my snail-like memory, here are three:

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The plot twists in these books were the, "oh my goodness my jaw is dropping, my eyes are wide, I'm gasping and have no air to breath, what the heck is even going on," kind of plot twists. If only I could experience them for the first time again... <3 


Bless the person for writing these questions -- thank you for saying books. Plural. xD

There are many I'm looking forward to, but if I had to narrow it down to a couple, I'm most looking forward to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and Renegades. I have both of them preordered and CANNOT WAIT.

[covers lead to Goodreads]


All right. CONFESSION TIME. (here's what I got. #hamiltonreference) I don't track quotes in books. I didn't even realize that it was a thing that readers did until I discovered people writing down quotes on Goodreads.

I mean... it makes sense! Sometimes I do think, "wow, that was a great line." But since I read so quickly, I... just... don't pay as close attention to those individual words as I maybe should. Oops. Don't hate me, fellow bookworms. :P


Hmm, another hard question to answer. I know that some bookworms are against having their favorite books being made into movies because of the fear that they'll be terrible.. but I can easily just ignore the movie failures if that's the case. For me, I'd be more afraid watching the battles and the aliens and the murder mysteries on screen. xD

One series I'd really like to see adapted is the Lunar Chronicles. Most would agree on that, yeah? <3

On another bookish related note... I'M SO BEHIND ON MY GOODREADS CHALLENGE. ...Seventeen books behind. But I went to the library a couple days ago, so I'm stocked up and ready to read all the things. (especially since school is almost done!!) So if you're interested in seeing all my bookish updates... let's be friends on Goodreads. *nodnod*

katie grace

what book(s) are you anticipating this year?


Saturday, April 29, 2017

PHEW. You probably already know what I'm going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. "Wow, was this month crazy." Maybe when I'm ninety-seven (and still posting on this blog for the hypothetical situation), I'll be able to say, "Wow, what a lovely month of rest and relaxation." Or not because I also still want to be livin' life to the fullest when I'm old. So... maybe it's a good thing that all my months are busy and crazy? It's a sign that I'm actually doing things?

A lot of those busy things were good things, though. Like..
  • an amazing weekend youth retreat with mah youth group (so much fun and friendship <3)
  • cleaning my room! (this is considered worthwhile mentioning since it's a very rare occurrence)
  • lots of extrovert-ing and people-ing
  • finding my chapstick (that I thought I lost for several months, and it was really just at the bottom of my bag. oops.)
  • had the chance to babysit for the first time in a loooong time. I just really love small children. <3
  • discovering a new awesome song (Hard Times by Paramore. it makes me want to dance xD)
  • finishing up the second to last month of school!
  • I had to make the unicorn frappuchino several million times and that was almost the end of me xD
  • I'm finally getting better at consistently going to bed before 1am! Wahoo! (pathetic... but... #nightowl) 
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If I'm trying to be optimistic... I could say that I'm succeeding with my bookish streak of reading less and less each month? Which is just a really bad way of saying that I only read one book this month. And it was for school, so I'm not sure if it exactly counts. xD

I read This Changes Everything by Jacquelle Crowe. It's a very fresh and inspiring perspective of the gospel and how that bleeds into our every day life -- especially as teens. She's super young herself, so I'm impressed at how dedicated and motivated she is. Definitely an inspiration. *nodnod*

So... not much to talk about in the bookish section. One more exciting thing, though -- Tricia Mingerink released her fourth (and last *sniff*) book, Deliver, in the Blades of Acktar series! If you like Christian fantasy, assassins, amazing characters, and pure epicness... go read those books.

Ahh, writing. Writing did go well this month... just not as well as I anticipated it going. I had a high goal of 75,000 set for NaNoWriMo, but I ran out of steam and ended with a little over 50k instead. And I'm okay with that.

Lately writing has been getting rather stressful with all these goals and wanting to write and edit and do allll the things, and focusing too much on that has started to take away the fun in writing. So I'm going to take a step back and take writing slowly in May. I'm not going to set any big goals for myself -- I just want to write because I enjoy it. Yes, I'm a writer, but I'm also a musician, a blogger, a reader, an artist, a sister, a friend, a barista, a procrastinator, a student... and I want to make sure that I'm allowing time to explore and enjoy other aspects of my life.

So I'll still be doing some writing (I don't think I could completely stop)... but just little amounts for the next month or so. :)

I unfortunately have no pretty image pictures because... ahem... I was lazy.

At the beginning of this month, I wrote about the fear and freedom of first drafts. If you want to see some aesthetically pleasing pictures and read words from my heart... that's the one to click on. ;)

I posted a lil NaNo themed flash fiction... "Beware the NaNo Beast." (mwahaha, how threatening. how scary.)

And last week I went the easy route and summarized my Camp NaNo progress. (And since that update, very little progress has been made. How lovely. :P)
Do you like writing flash fiction? Or maybe you've been wanting to give it a try? Rosalie is holding a flash fiction challenge, and a giveaway is involved! It'll be a lovely Camp NaNo wind-down exercise. :D

I related real hard to the Christine's post about the struggles of being an extroverted writer

Aimee had this genius idea of listening to one new album a day this month, so I'm stalking alllll the music recommendations. xD

Since writing has become so exhausting and stressful, I'm taking May a bit slower and am going to catch up on beta reading, reading in general, and other art-ing things. (or maybe just napping. we'll see.) I'm not going to post on Saturday the 6th, but hopefully it'll work out so I can post the rest of the Saturdays. :D

I'm hoping to maaaybe give Nadine's #Walk30Days challenge a try, so if that happens, then I'll most likely do a wrap up of pictures (because I love pictures of nature <3).

I hope your month was amazing! Remember to rest. Eat some pizza. Buy a donut. (now I'm sitting here bemoaning the fact that I can't be spontaneous and buy a donut because it's 12am. Sigh. xD)

katie grace

what are your plans for may?
what's your favorite kind of donut? (because this is OBVIOUSLY important knowledge)