It’s Levi-OH-sa

I just got back from Vegas/SLC a couple days ago, and I’m FINALLY starting to feel like a human again.

Slightly.

Barely.

But hey, I think the amount of post-con exhaustion is very telling about the amount of fun one had at said con, and I for sure had TONS of it at Leviosa Con! Once more, I got to hang out with my glorious CPs (you’d think at this point we’d be sick of each other, but huge nahhh), meet extremely wonderful people, and actually speak (and moderate!) at panels for the first time. Also, food. There was a lot of incredible food, too.

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Brunch for days

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Taking advantage of the poor HP cut-outs. Sorry Snape.

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Pantsing vs. Plotting panel! The brilliant term “plotypus” may have been coined here

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Draco Mouse-foy #snapchatfiltersgivemelife

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The hugest pancakes + bottomless mimosas = HEAVEN

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My buddy Erin and me, CO-Gs for life

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All the lovely agents on the How to Pitch panel!

What was perhaps the most rewarding part of this con had to be finally meeting my agent for the first time in person! Weirdly enough, having that meeting was probably akin to online daters meeting for the first time and having that flood of first date jitters. Oh no, I’m not online where charisma can be edited and inserted! What if I say something awkward? What if I look nothing like my picture and that freaks them out? What if we actually do not mesh well in person? What if, what if, what if . . .

Suffice to say, those worries were SO ridiculous. Thao really is as wonderful in person as she is online, and after spending time with her and seeing her rock it out on panels, I can’t even properly say how lucky I feel to have her as my agent warrior. Also, I may or may not have squealed too hard when she said that she totally pictured Roan from The 100 as one of my characters!!!

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Heart eyes heart eyes heart eyes (source)

Not only was meeting Thao wonderful, but also being on panel with her—along with a whole crew of equally amazing, super accomplished people. I have to say, for my first time on panels, I had MAJOR imposter syndrome beforehand. Definitely from the uncertainty that my words wouldn’t carry much weight since I still see myself as a more or less a newb in this industry. But you know what, what eased me soon enough was the fact that EVERYONE has something to say, and every stage—wherever you’re in—carries truths and values that people are always eager to listen to.

After that epiphany, I felt like I could finally breathe on panel. I spoke about what it meant to read YA and how diversity impacts my writing. There may have been a tangent about my previous fanfiction days (THANKS ERIN). I also moderated a panel on rejection, and the stories which came from that were so inspiring. Needless to say, my fear of public speaking is definitely diminishing, and I have nothing but thanks for ALL the people I spoke with for being the best and most encouraging panelists ever, and gratitude for this amazing opportunity!

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Adults Reading YA!

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Babies First Panel: An Axie and Janella saga

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Moderating the Dealing with Rejection panel meeeeep

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Diversity in YA Lit Panel was AMAZING

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My bud Katelyn to the right also moderated like SUCH a boss

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Axie being a scifi queen on her panel!

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Panel Survivors

Nothing was better than having my Pitch Wars co-mentor Axie by my side (attached at the hip, more precisely), and to be able to hang with all my CPs Erin, Amanda, Maddy, and Akshaya. In fact, being able to hang with ALL the lovely people at this con in general was the biggest highlight of all. Since we all stayed at the same resort, each day was pretty much like living in a small world where you saw everyone all the time and had the perfect opportunities to just mingle, catch up on life stuff, and gush about all the bookish things.

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Dat sunset tho

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I think we all can agree that Susan Dennard is SUCH an amazing person. Seriously.

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Cult Love

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Me and my agent sister Roshani Chokshi, aka quite possibly the KINDEST human being ever

Leviosa passed by in such a whirlwind, it still doesn’t feel real that we crammed in so much in so little time. But soon enough, we had to say goodbye to the lovely resort, and were back on the road to SLC aka a glorious 6-hour road trip with Erin and Maddy. Aka 6 hours of randomness, Disney sing-alongs, and gorgeous, epic scenery.

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Who else is getting Thunder Mountain feels?!

Post-Leviosa was a blur of more amazing food (priorities, because clearly I’m a very hungry person), hiking adventures, bookstore shenanigans, puppy cuddling, puzzle piecing, and just more fun times with CPs before it was time to return to the East Coast for what I suspect will be a very long time. Because it’s been a year full of traveling and con-going for me (aka a year filled with the sobs of my hollowing bank account), Leviosa was the best last hurrah a writer could ask for. I’m not sure where I’ll go next, or even when, but I am so grateful for all the experiences and memories and friends I’ve made throughout my travels so far.

At the moment, though, it’s so nice to be back home—to get back to work, and gear up for whatever is looming on the horizon next.

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Weeks Long Watching: She-Really-Should-Be-Writing Edition

At the request of my super delightful friend Erin, here’s a new TV post at last! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these—mostly because I’ve been writing like mad—but some times when I can’t write (you know, when I should keep going and SHOULD be writing), television is a happy place like no other. However, with the return of allllll the shows after the New Year and throwing myself into writing cave, I now find that I’m always falling behind, and just potentially end up getting horribly spoiled  whenever I go on Twitter (and I HATE SPOILERS LIKE I HATE RAISINS…WHICH IS A LOT).

But, being a semi expert spoiler-avoider, I’ve been able to settle down in front of my TV all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed . . . until, of course, shit hits the fan and I’m left muppet-flailing all by myself over an episode that happened weeks ago. This is really what happens when it feels like there’s just too much TV and not enough me to watch. First world problems in a nutshell, right?

BUT, without further ado, here are shows I’ve been keeping up with!

PROJECT RUNWAY JUNIOR

When watching this, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so inadequate and talentless since watching episodes of MasterChef Junior. These contestants are just SO. YOUNG. And they whip up such AMAZING clothes! This season wrapped up a while ago, and I’m already mourning the loss of all the wardrobe malfunctions, workroom freakouts, and fashion shows. I will say that the winner was someone who I was rooting for the whole time, which made me sososo pleased by the finale!

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1985)

Ohmygoodness, I cannot put into words how much I LOVED this. I’d read the book pretty recently (which I also loved very dearly) and knew I just had to dig up the infamous miniseries that is a classic in and of itself. Both are amazing, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re into laughing, swooning, cheering, and sobbing! Also, GILBERT BLYTHE. Just putting it out there, Anne and Gilbert are one of my top OTPs. I am certain they are the original James and Lily, and I WILL FIGHT YOU ON IT.

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And of course, because I was on such an Anne Shirley kick, I had to also check out the super charming vlog series on YouTube—and by “checking out,” I mean devouring episodes in between breaks because they are soooo addictive.

THE BACHELOR

The level of rose-wanting this season has been on this manic level up here ^^  This season has been highly entertaining to say the least. They just did hometowns this week (I was actually SUPER jazzed to have seen a Filipino family and food in the mix), and I’m already dreading the end because the preview of the finale from way back when looks so stressful to watch. If he does not choose my top pick, I will riot.

THE ORIGINALS

Still have an episode or two to catch up on, but holy emotions Batman! My love for Klaus continues to know no bounds. He is still the dark, tragic antihero of my dreams. My heart will never relent.

BLACK SAILS

Ohhhh man, I’m also behind on this one by an episode or two. But ughhh. Pirates. Corruption. And Vane. LOVE. HIM.

THE 100

Speaking of Vane, who else was freaking out when they saw him guest-starring on this season of The 100!?!? His fight scene in the gif above was SICKKK. All of the episodes so far have taken interesting turns, which have kept me intrigued to find out what happens next. And also, to keep holding out for Bellarke moments because I’ve been shipping them since episode 1.

LEGEND OF KORRA

AHHHHHH KORRA!!!! I have severe heart-eyes for this show, and franchise in general. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to dive into this because it is BRILLIANT. I was originally hesitant about watching, mostly because I’d heard so many people comment on how different LoK was from ATLA—which made me nervous, since I absolutely LOVE ATLA. However, as soon as I started watching LoK, I couldn’t stop. And I couldn’t help but appreciate how the differences I was initially wary of are actually what make it soooo fantastic. It’s darker in tone, the world is different but no less awesome and impressive (these shows are seriously master classes on A+ worldbuilding), and the cast of characters are made up of new figures. Of course, when old veterans do come back for a brief time, I am SOBBING—but I do adore all of the new characters who are so reminiscent of the former Team Avatar, yet still remain unique in their own way. I can’t wait to keep going with this one.

MY GIRLFRIEND IS A GUMIHO

OHMYGOD. K-DRAMAS. I CAN’T GET ENOUGH. Funny story, my uncle was actually the one who was super insistent on getting me into this show. He’s so passionate about it that I just HAD to check it out . . . which may have been the best and worst decision of my life because this show is so addictive. And not even because it centers around a fox spirit (though that was a huge selling point for me). I don’t think I’ve ever laughed or flailed so hard in a LONG, long time, and I’m already dreading the end because I don’t want this level of cuteness to ever be over. Thank goodness I still have so many more hours left with how blissfully long these seasons are!

BOYS OVER FLOWERS

I need to give a huge, HUGE thanks to Erin for introducing me to this show—as well as ruining my life because I. CAN’T. STOP. WATCHING. Ohmygod. This show drives me crazy, gets me flailing, makes me cringe, and everything in between. Just . . . gah, alllll the emotions. With this show, you’ll get a hate-to-love romance (probably one of my favorite tropes) and a main guy who is SUCH a jerk, but you can’t help but be intrigued and find him so unbelievably endearing as he tries to win the heart of a girl who’d rather have nothing to do with him. Sigh.

Okay, now that I’ve shamelessly written about all the television I’ve been attempting to keep up with, now it’s time to get back to my drafting cave to write down all the words. 😀