Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: Lost Words


The IWSG is a community where writers can share their fears and insecurities about the writing life. To learn more, check out their website here.

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There's no easy way to ease into this, so I'm just gonna do it real quick, like ripping off a Band-aid: I lost my flash drive that had my WiP on it. 

My story, gone. Somewhere out in the cold world, getting rained on and/or crushed by car tires. Or languishing in a store, kicked under a display of hand sanitizers (or maybe Pepperidge Farm cookies, that makes me feel better).
 
Thankfully, I had backed it up in October, and so in total, I've lost 9K words. Initially I thought I'd lost closer to 20K, so there's a silver lining.
 
But it still stinks and I'm still bummed and so mad at myself. I know how I am when I have to rewrite something from scratch that I'd already written. I try so hard to remember exactly how it was before, thus making my already slow writing process somewhere around the speed of a snail (and not the cute speedy snail from Turbo). 

I know I'll get through it though. I can do this! My plan is to write the final scene (I was so close to finishing before The Case of The Lost Flash Drive...*sob*) and set it aside for a few weeks to write a short story. Then I'm going to go back and piece the story together (I wrote most of it out of order) and get it into better shape with a few rounds of revising. After that, I'm hoping I'll be able to approach rewriting the lost material in a better frame of mind. 

That is my strategy anyway, dear friends.
 
And in other, better, cheerier news, my third short story released yesterday, and I have a release day post that you can find here, complete with a video, cookies, and weird plants that took over my bookcase. =D

Lastly, the question of the month: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

I see myself with an agent and with a traditional publishing deal. It's what I've been working towards for a long time now, and I know if I don't give up and put in the work, that I will get there. To quote Henry David Thoreau-- Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. 

And here's to all of us doing just that!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide Release Day!




(I never realized how much I say SO & UM!!) 




Sugar Cookies & Chocolate Crinkles








Kirkus Review:

A diverse collection of futuristic stories set within contemporary emotional landscapes, tailor-made for millennials.

Each author offers a distinct vision of what life may be like for teens of the future, from life on Mars to living with robots and having aliens for best friends. Authors interweave these plots with delicate true-to-life situations including coping with the divorce of one’s parents and losing a parent, themes that let readers know that with all of the wonder and possibility that future technology might bring, parents that live on Mars still get divorced, and human beings still die of cancer. Dianna Sanchez presents the story of a young Latina born into an agrarian Martian family who visits her extended relatives on drought-ridden Earth for the first time. Mike Barretta imagines a high school biology project that genetically modifies a live chicken egg into a dragon. Adding a dash of humor, R.W.W. Greene brilliantly depicts what a space-age timeout might look like. Other authors include Nancy Kress, Zach Shephard, Deborah Walker, Eric Choi, and Leandra Wallace, and more. This collection of short science fiction is an ideal entrĂ©e to the genre for neophytes, as it’s not laden with heavy doses of technological jargon or larded with dystopian violence.

Offering just the right amount of imagination, humor, and contemporary nuances to engage young readers, this is a must-have in science-fiction collections serving middle graders and teens.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kirkus Review & Cart Update


I'm excited that the 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide got a really great review from Kirkus! Here's the closing of the review:

"Offering just the right amount of imagination, humor, and contemporary nuances to engage young readers, this is a must-have in science-fiction collections serving middle graders and teens." 
 
I'm also pretty pumped that my name was mentioned, that gave me a nice glow in the heart region. =) You can find the full review here. And if you'd consider adding the 2017 YEAG to read on Goodreads, then I'd super love that! 
 
As for those of you curious about how the cart turned out from my last life update, it turned out great! I was able to put it together w/minimal frustration, and it's really sturdy. Gotta love Wal-Mart sometimes (just not when I'm grocery shopping, ugh).


Monday, November 21, 2016

Guest Post by Kristin Smith (Book Launch + Giveaway!)



Guest Post by Kristin Smith: An Inside Look at My Writing Space

My writing space has evolved over time, much to the relief of my back and wrists. I used to write here:



But now I write here:




I'm a sucker for all things girly, sparkly, and pretty, so when I was designing my space, I knew I wanted it to reflect who I am and what I'm about. I love inspirational quotes and sayings and since this writing thing has always been a dream of mine, I figured focusing on the "dream" aspect would be a good thing. Plus, the arrow decor is a hot item right now, and I'm a big fan! Obviously.



You can't have a writing space without a sturdy desk and a comfy chair, and I think I found the best for my budget.



And a writing desk isn't complete without a little chocolate pick-me-up for those long writing sessions.



And a writing session isn't complete without a cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate for those chilly winter days.



My Make it Happen board keeps me focused on what I need to get done that week and reminds me of my daily goals.



Oh, and can't forget about the perfectly placed copies of my book that inspire me every time I sit down to write. Hello, beauties!


Well, that's my writing space in a nutshell. Where do you like to write or read a book?


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Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.


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Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Life Updates

I've nothing bookish to talk about (still drafting), or any authors to showcase at the moment, so instead I'll tell you about my incredibly fascinating life (haha). 

I finally broke out the fire pit I got for my bday (picture evidence here) & put it together. I then discovered that I am hopeless at maintaining a fire. I think my chunks of wood were just too big, and I needed more lighter fluid. I was having trouble even getting cardboard to light! But I did have a fire going long enough to eat two s'mores and multiple burnt marshmallows, so yum-win. 

I'd mentioned that we were planning on selling our house next year. Well, since then, we've had some major car problems that we took a hit on finance-wise, which caused us to take a step back and really reevaluate. So we've decided to stay put and just update as we can. And I'm happy with that. I've found I'm really looking forward to painting the entire house, as I'd forgotten how something as simple as a new coat of paint can help freshen things up.

And I've decided in the spring that I'm going to have a major garage sale and get rid of so.much.stuff. I'm excited to declutter and go w/the less is more mentality. I've decided all I want in the living room decor-wise is a large mirror & an oversized wall clock (I love those). 

And speaking of decluttering, for the sake of just that, I did make a recent purchase. I bought this cart:


Because I am taking back my kitchen table!!

Every day when the hubs comes in, he dumps his gym bag on the table. And then there's all his bottles. He's big into fitness, and the table constantly stays covered in his protein powders & pills. NO MORE! This cart will be in its own designated nook & if I so much as see a dusting of protein powder...Well, it ain't gonna be pretty. 

So those are my big weekend plans, putting together a cart. And maybe toasting some more marshmallows as...more than likely...there probably won't be any chocolate left for actual s'mores by the end of this week. ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

IWSG: Let's Pretend, Shall We?


The IWSG is a community where writers can share their fears and insecurities about the writing life. To learn more, check out their website here.

So I'll admit I'm feeling a bit burnt out. I'm close to finishing my first draft, and while that should inspire me, all I can think about is all the work that's going to be needed to fix that bad baby. So you know what I'm going to do today? I'm going to show you some of my favorite pins that I've pinned to my secret Pinterest board for this story. Yes? Yes. (if you said no--go away!)

Please join me in pretending that the world I've crafted around these images is plot-hole free, is populated by fully-dimensional characters, and is polished to a blinding sheen. 


My main character's home.



There are a lot of fancy parties in this book.



Oh, and this otter. He's a cheeky little thing. 



Mustard yellow and messy hair.



There are hot air balloons at night, which I feel is pretty magical.



Muriel and Chessie, whom the story revolves around.



I really love this guy (let's not talk about what happens to him...).



Light As Clouds Meringue Drops, a treat from The Miner's Sweet Tooth.



And lastly, our setting, the glorious Lake District in the UK. 

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Now, on to the question for November: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

That would be the joy I get out of the fictional worlds in my head. Not the actual writing (ack, so hard!), but the time that I spend just thinking about my characters, and their problems, and solutions to those problems, and handsome men, and the villains, and the dialogue (that comes so easily & witty in my head, of course), and handsome men. Wait...did I mention that one already? ;)