23 Things I Did Last Month

Confession time: I DID not blog at all last month.

When I said I was holing up in the revising cave, I realllllllly followed through. To a point where I was actually starting to suffer from bad hip pain because I was freakishly dedicated to nonstop BICHOK-ing (a.k.a Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard). Even though I was pretty knee-deep in revising land, June was all around awesome…especially because it was my birthday month! So to make up for the lack of posting, and in honor of turning 23, here’s a list of 23 things I did in June aside from being a writing cave monster.

  1. OBVIOUSLY I had my birthday, and it was full of editing, chicken nuggets, and yummy sangria.

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2. RECEIVED TICKETS TO A JOHN WILLIAMS’ FILM NIGHT FROM MY CP LOVELIES MADDY AND AKSHAYA!!!! Ughh, I can’t wait to be drowning in all the spectacular movie music. I’ll most likely be the sobbing fool in the audience.

3. I had the ultimate Pocahontas moment by going kayaking with my family. My sister and I were singing as we rowed the entire time, and by the time we were done, our arms were practically noodles.

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~JUST AROUND THE RIVERBEND~

4. Puppy sat Master Skywalker, who is the best writing companion when he’s not begging for attention and belly rubs.

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5. Discovered a maybe-new-story idea during my daily walks with Master Skywalker. Still super new, but definitely letting it stew in my brain for a bit!

6. Also taught Master Skywalker how to play the piano. He shall now be known as Maestro Skywalker. (ok no not really he just bangs on the keys when I tell him to . . . for treats, of course)

7. Received ample payment for my puppy-sitting services from my sister and her husband after their trip to Disney.

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Pocahontas Power Pins!

8. Went to my brother’s HS graduation, which was filled with lots of emotions, tears, and screaming. Casual.

9. Met Maggie Stiefvater on her Raven King tour! That woman is seriously a standup comedian, she’s HYSTERICAL. Plus, I absolutely knew which car was hers in the parking lot and love how badass USURPER looks on a license plate.

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10. Started reading a book of Rumi’s poetry and loving it.

11. Was a slush reader for the Writing from Color and Native Voices contest which was FANTASTIC. The entries were so amazing and a true honor to read, and I can’t wait to see all the successes to come with this contest!

12. One day, went on a super random impromptu road trip to Connecticut to see . . . wait for it . . .

13. ANASTASIA THE MUSICAL. It was SUCH a dream come true to see this because Anastasia is hands down one of my favorite movies. The musical is definitely way different than the movie, but I actually enjoyed the differences way more than I thought I would. The sets were gorgeous, the dancers were incredible, and the music was absolutely amazing. I’m aching for the soundtrack to come out!

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14. Finally went to a yoga session after more than a year away . . . and boy, did I feel the after-effects hard the next morning. In a good way. I’d love to pick it up again to improve my flexibility and not constantly hunch over like an old lady.

15. Went on a family nature hike during Father’s Day on an absolutely gorgeous day.

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16. Tweeted constantly (it’s my ultimate procrastination escape) and met even more lovely writing friends!!

17. Rewatched the Cheetah Girls, and forgot how funny the lines are in this precious movie.

18. Downloaded a text-to-speech converter which allowed me to listen to my manuscript like an audio book! My preferred robot narrator is Moira, and her Irish accent is very soothing.

19. Commiserated with my writing buddies over revision woes many a time because even if it feels like we’re all sinking, we’re sinking together which makes all the difference.

20. Realized a list of 23 things is way too much for my boring homebody self.

21. Journeyed into the city to meet up with my wonderful pal and Pitch Wars co-mentor Axie. And of course, we wouldn’t be able to properly call ourselves obsessive writers without squeezing in a work date.

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22. My pregnant sister is due fairly soon, and I finally felt my nephew kick in her stomach for the first time! Cue all the tears and baby excitement!

23. I may or may not have FINALLY conquered my first round of revisions . . . *slinks away mischievously*

Right now, I am in lovely Las Vegas again with my even lovelier writer friends Maddy, Akshaya, Erin, Amanda, and Axie for Leviosa Con! The hotel is AMAZING, and we are currently work-dating at a Starbucks because we’re clearly the kind of writers who can’t stop, won’t stop.

Tomorrow the con will officially be in full swing, which means HP fangirling, panels, meeting other writers, and meeting my agent! I’m SO excited to write up a longer post on all of these Leviosa shenanigans after this trip 😀 For now, back to critiquing work and hanging with my glorious CPs!

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Recent Reads

Even though previous post makes me out to be an outrageous TV monster, I have been reading! A lot! Sadly, I’m still about *mumblesmumbles* books behind on my Goodreads challenge, but I remain steadfast and determined. I’ll channel my inner-Pocahontas to get me through the rest of my TBR.

Going steady as the beating drum

Of my recent reads, I’ve been really enjoying the graphic novels and comic books I’ve picked up! I’ve been ordering them from the library like a madwoman, and all have been such fantastic gems to read. So funny and clever, wonderfully illustrated, and just infused with so much heart that my feels go out of control. Here are some of my favorites of my recent reads:

 

Fables has been on my radar for a long time, and it has not disappointed. I’ve already burned through the first three volumes and I’m dying to get my hands on the next ones! It has so many elements that I just love—it’s dark, gritty, mysterious, and revolves around fairy tales and folklore. It sort of reminds me of Once Upon a Time, but a way more mature version which really utilizes a lot of the different stories and characters out there in such inventive ways. Definitely pick it up if you’d like to see your fairy tale favorites a bit more jaded and slightly inappropriate.

 

Ohmygoodness, Rat Queens. This is probably one of the funniest things I’ve read in so long, filled with some of the most foul-mouthed characters I’ve ever met. I definitely felt a Guardians of the Galaxy/Sailor Moon meets fantasy-on-crack vibe while reading this because it showcases a rowdy, diverse band of misfits fighting in this crazy magical world that views them more as troublemakers than heroes. The girl power energy is off the charts with this one, and the ladies themselves are simply hysterical and awesome. I NEED the next one like now.

 

I seriously just finished Nimona this morning and am already sad that it’s over. This one has so much heart and humor to it. With every other page, I just felt like I was constantly laughing along because Nimona is such a spunky character, and her dynamic with Ballister Blackheart is both hilarious and endearing. Not only are the characters awesome, but the concept is as well in that it cleverly deals with our perception of heroes and villains versus who truly stands for good and evil. I absolutely loved it and hope the creator makes a sequel because I want moarrr.

 

Along with those, I’ve also been burning through a ton of other books (The Winner’s Crime almost destroyed me; and shout out to the Black Dagger Brotherhood due to Maddy and Ella‘s recommendations). And because I’m attending the Boston Teen Author Festival next month with my two writing partners-in-crime Maddy and Akshaya, there is even more to read from the impressive authors they have lined up! And on top of all I have to read for work, there is just so much reading to get through. Nevertheless, I’m still coming for you, Goodreads challenge, like Kocoum in attack-mode.

Nature Calls

Not in THAT way, sickos.

Just kidding. I set myself up for that. But while nature does call in that totally-not-blog-appropriate-let’s-stop-ew sort of way, it also calls to those seeking inspiration, tranquility, and gorgeous scenery to just escape in.

And for revisions, boy do you need escape wherever you can find it.

Random but relevant: anyone who knows me knows that Pocahontas is A) my favorite Disney princess, and B) my favorite movie of ALL time. The story behind that in itself deserves its own post (there was a lot of hysterical crying involved), so I’ll get to that tangent way later. Right now is all about how I love nature. I LOVE going on hikes, frolicking outside, sitting/reading in my backyard where all the flowers and birds are. And whenever I embark on these nature quests as I did on a morning hike yesterday, I like to embrace my inner-Pocahontas.

For reference—here is me during revisions:

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Me as I embarked on my morning hike:

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And finally, post-hike me diving back into work and revisions:

Even now, I’m still feeling that nature’s high and it’s AMAZING. Breaks are so necessary for me when I’m so focused on my stories I can’t even see straight anymore. Sometimes I’ll read a book or watch television in between, but nothing makes me more creatively rejuvenated than a workout or glorious outside adventure. Here are some pics from yesterday to keep me company since I’m miserably trapped inside all day:

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Feeding the (sort of hard to see) fishes!

With the weather becoming increasingly more gorgeous (praise), I will definitely be going on more Pocahontas-esque adventures to keep me sane throughout all the busyness. But now I must dive back into the revisions cave and hope I come out alive. Back into the world of pirates and writing, I go!

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Pocahontas OUT