Writing, Reading, All Things YA

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Teaser Tuesday: My WIP

For my Teaser Tuesday, I’ve decided to put up the OPENING PAGE, the very unedited opening page, of the new YA Contemporary I’m working on. It’s a story about a girl who’s discovering what it means to be a girl.

Legs hanging out of the car

Chapter One

The hardest question I’ve ever had to answer

“It’s not that bad, Edelle…” My sister calls me by my full name instead of Eddie, which is what everyone else calls me. That fact alone makes the whole thing bad. Very bad. Jacklyn clicks her bright french-manicured fingernails against her large white teeth staring at the hunk of grey and black metal that’s supposed to be my car. There are waves of heat radiating through the air but I’m unsure if it’s from the driveway or my anger.

“Jack!” I shriek, throwing my arms out through the humid prairie air. My beautiful car in a twisted heap, now closely resembling my insides. “How can you even say that it’s not that bad?” I know a lot about cars–way more than most seventeen year old girls–but even a complete idiot would know that the hood isn’t supposed to be obstructing the windshield, looking like a folded accordion.

My sister wraps her arms around her thin stomach and shrugs. Even behind her huge bug-eye sunglasses, with some fake diamond studded logo on the side, I know she’s rolling her eyes. This is no big deal for her. Nothing is ever a big deal when you have eyelashes like Jacklyn Glastenbury.

tap tap tap

Jack’s fingernail is back at her teeth like a pink glittery woodpecker and I reach out and swat her hand away from her mouth.

“How did you even get it home?” I step back, shoving my hands in the pockets of my thin hoodie to keep them from strangling my sister. We really don’t need one more thing to widen this growing gap between us. But here we are. Her. Me. The vast canyon of miscommunication, the edges cracking and crumbling with every second.

“We can’t tell Dad about this,” she says, ignoring my question, and I tilt my head up toward the dusty sky in frustration.

“Not possible,” I reply gesturing to the damage. “Look at it. Your idiot boyfriend stole my car–Dad’s car–and then crashed it into a tree. Dad loves this car more than he loves us and you know it. Unless you want to scratch the VIN, light it on fire, and push it off a cliff, we’re officially screwed.”


Friday Five: Five authors I need to meet in person

seven teens with opened umbrellas in pedestrian overpass. rainbow concept

I want to meet so many people it’s ridiculous. And living in the far northern reaches of Canada, very unrealistic. But these five authors I would go out of my way to meet. All of these authors built their worlds, their voice, their style and their characters in a way that makes me envious. And even more driven to connect with my own writing and develop my own stories.

Side note: These are five authors I look up to from a writing point of view. Now if we were just going from a straight up reader perspective than HP all the way. Always. ;) 

Anyway, here they are in no particular order!


James Dashner


Because Thomas. That’s all.

Gayle Forman


Because she could take such an emotional story line and spin it in such a way that it’s gripping and intense but not flowery, or sappy, or angsty. There is nothing forced about her stories. They seem effortless and still are all consuming. It’s like she trusts her readers to come to the right conclusions without forced language and emotional manipulation.

Huntley Fitzpatrick

Gawwwwd, this cover... <3

Gawwwwd, this cover… <3

Sam is a great character. She’s complex and deep. There are many sides to her and her growth is natural. She just is. Not once while reading did I say , “I don’t think Sam would do/say/think that.” I could really tell that Fitzpatrick takes the time to not just know, but UNDERSTAND her characters. They seemed more like real people than characters. It really helps to get lost in the story.

John Green


Looking for Alaska is my favourite John Green book that I’ve read. Miles remains one of my favourite characters of all time. Green isn’t just an author, he’s built himself an empire. He has a certain style and it’s easily identifiable. He’s comfortable with his voice and it’s never shaky.

Sarah Ockler


The book I’ve read that sticks out most for me is Fixing Delilah (reading Twenty Boy Summer right now). Along with Forman and Fitzpatrick, I love that she makes her stories about SO much more than ‘what the story is about’. Family drama is high on my list of things I love to read about. I need lots of layers in the stories I love. There are definitely layers.

And there you have it. Five authors I’d love to meet. Who are your top five? 

On an end note, I just realized that all these authors have something in common. They write nice guys. Complex, real, flawed (except Jase, of course ;) ) non-cookie cutter male characters. No prince charmings, no alpha-males, no gimmicks. Just genuine guys. I guess I like that… lol 

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Publishing: Suffocating in Expectations

I promised myself I was going to be positive all day today. I was going to see things through happy-glasses and I was going to change my perception. I promise this post is positive…in a backhanded sort of way!

Warning: From here on out there’s a whole-lotta opinion. All of it mine, and mine alone. And a little hyperbolic dramatization just for flare… 

With everything that’s happening in the publishing world today, I feel dizzy. There is change everywhere. Fighting everywhere. Crusades everywhere. And, yes, there’s also tremendous community, support, and encouragement, but that’s more on the WRITING side of things. I’m talking PUBLISHING here. I’m talking about where the money comes from.

The publishing model is (and has been for a long time) collapsing. I’m not going all trad vs indie here either, so chill. I’m saying that publishing as a whole is collapsing because change is seen as bad. Money seems to be Ultimate. Fame and best-seller lists are THE goal. The only way to ‘make it’ is to be the next BIG THING.

It is a YA Dystopian novel beat for beat, if you will. The death of an empire, and in it’s ashes Self-Publishing is rising. But Self-Publishing is new. It isn’t used to it’s new found powers. It’s shaky on it’s feet. Has the title of Chosen One thrust apon it before it is ready, and it’s not sure how to proceed. It’s confused, muddled, untrained in it’s weaponry. It’s navigating under the oppressive rules of a government that has never tried to understand it. A government that tries to control it–or destroy it–instead of finding a way to co-exist with it.

Self-publishing is emotionally exhausted. It’s being sorted into… Factions, maybe? ;) … and lots of authors are happy there. They love writing a specific kind of fiction and that’s that. They do tremendously well for themselves and even manage to get in all nicey-nice with the government. They are happy and I am happy for them.

But a lot aren’t happy. There are a lot who feel closed in and unheard.

A lot of Katnisses out there saying to hell with your walls, I just want to survive. I just want to write. I just want to … BE.

There’s pressure to conform. To choose sides. To abide by reader/industry set expectations and contracts if you want to survive. There are a lot of trolls and villains, willing to take advantage of wide-eyed, innocent newbie’s. And navigating this world can be suffocating.

I want to surface it. I want out. I want to breathe and in order for me to do that I don’t need to act like a hero. I don’t need to ‘toughen up’. I don’t need to be the main character. I don’t WANT to be. I truly and honestly just want to be me.

But how do I fit myself in a box? How do I choose ONE thing to be for the rest of my career?

I’ve always been the kind of girl to do what I want, no matter what. I don’t look to trends to decide what to wear. I’ll wear combat boots one day, hiking boots the next and high heels the day after that. I don’t care if it suits me or not. I don’t care if you think I’m too old to have green hair or hoops through my lip. In my day to day life my motto really is

I don’t care what you think of me. 

But in writing I care.

God, do I care. And it’s immobilizing. Every single little decision I make is followed by a rush of insecurities:

  • How does this affect your career?
  • What does this do to sales? 
  • Will people expect this from you from now until forever?
  • Do you really think a bunch of pen names is smart? 
  • Will your agent like this? 
  • Your heroine is showing weakness and readers put weak women through a meat grinder in reviews… Can you handle that? 
  • Are you writing what you want or what others want you to write? 
  • Is this the impression you’re trying to give? Can you handle it if readers misconstrue the meaning?
  • What if readers think you actually personally believe this crap your character is spouting? 
  • What if they don’t get it? 
  • You hate reading about a characters whole entire life from birth to neat little HEA, but that’s what readers want judging by the fact that it’s now common practice to state No cliffhanger/hea…so do you buckle, or stay true to what you believe a story is? Because you KNOW there are consequences either way…
  • If I put out a Trauma-Drama, angst filled sex-fest story this year and then a sweet romantic comedy next year under the same name is it really going to derail my career? 

And here we pause…

Derail my career. That’s where I can’t seem to shift my perception. Almost everything else I can brush aside. But I’m afraid that if I experiment, or try new stories, that I will ruin my career.

But is that the truth?

I don’t know. Maybe.

Some readers will hate it. They’ll say that “Rom-Com” book what cheesy and stupid compared to the deep emotional roller coaster of “Trauma-Drama”.

Others might say that “Trauma Drama” was vulgar and unrealistic and lacking story around the sex compared to the “Rom-Com”.

Some might even go so far as to say they won’t read my books anymore at all if they don’t know what they’re getting.

But should I care? Should that honestly be a factor, because I didn’t start writing because I wanted to please people (that would just be dumb…lol) I write for me. Now that I have some readers, does that mean it’s changed? That I don’t write for me anymore?

This sort of merry-go-round thinking goes on and on and on for me until I freeze and stop working completely. I revert into my little turtle shell until all the questions in my head fade, because eventually they do…and I can breath long enough to start working again. I fall in love with my characters again.

And I’m fine again, for a little while.

As I forge ahead in this insane path I’ve chosen for my life, I’m trying to stop listening to these expectations and just be no matter how difficult it is sometimes.

I’m trying to focus on the idea that through the chaos that is publishing there is this truely beautiful thing that I get to be a part of… History.

Because as the dust settles and publishing reshapes itself into a new industry, I can be there. Doing my thing. Staying true to myself. Encouraging others to do the same. Believing in my stories, even if no one else does, because I couldn’t stop writing if I tried.

And maybe… just maybe…in the New World Order I can help alter some of those expectations I fear so much.

If not…that’s okay, too. I’ll just be over here in my corner. Doing my thing.

Happy Writing!

And just in case you’re wondering, I would make a TERRIBLE YA Dystopian heroine…


What are some of your great publishing/writing fears?






The upside of doubt

Self-doubt is one of those nasty shadows that follow a writer around everywhere she goes. Well, self-doubt follows EVERYONE around, I’m sure, but today we’re talking writing.

I see posts on Facebook/Twitter/etc where authors voice this self-doubt and then are bombarded with a ton of comments that are well intentioned but in my opinion not helpful. It’s not helpful to lie to people to make them feel better (which is why I’ve been coined a “tough-critter” when I beta read).

NO! You’re amazing!

Everything you write is fantastic. 

Don’t think that!

STOP being hard on yourself!

You’re awesome/amazing/splendiferous and can do no wrong!

Everyone is going to love it more than rainbows and kitten gifs!

It all seems like great advice… ignore the bad feelings and focus on the good. This IS great advice generally. Don’t dwell on negativity. Sometimes we all just need a kind word to keep going…

But self-doubt isn’t ALWAYS negativity. Sometimes it’s that tiny critical editor in your brain saying “You can do better. Push yourself.” This is important, especially for self-published writers because it’s all up to you. Whether you stick to your comfort zone or drive yourself to push forward is up to you. There are no editors and agents telling you to make it better, so you have to be your own critic. I think that’s what that little nagging, doubting voice is trying to achieve.

Hating your book isn’t a bad thing. Thinking it’s a bad book isn’t the end of the world. As long as self-doubt doesn’t become all consuming and long lasting I believe that a little doubt can make you a better, more original writer.

I have a personal motto for my own writing and that is:

It’s not ready to be read by anyone else until I’ve hated it’s very existence at least once. 

It’s okay to doubt yourself as a writer. It’s okay to feel like you suck (for just a little while). Because when doubt creeps in you can either let it take over, believe it, and quit, or take that critical editor brain of yours and make it useful instead of destructive.

Use your doubt as an opportunity to grow. Turn the bad into good. I believe in you. :)


Happy Monday everyone!


I’m too busy to be in a rush…

When I first started this whole writing thing, everything excited me. Everything. 

E-mail notification… YAY e-mail!

Twitter follower… YAY twitter!

Reader notes for a book… YAY drop everything and work! 

I would burn through things at a ridiculous pace.

This was all super cool in the beginning but at first I only had ONE project, very few Social Media people, maybe a couple emails a day…

Today I have: 

  • One book about to go on submission
  • One book with the agent
  • One book with a beta reader
  • Working on first draft of new AJ Brooks collaboration 
  • Outlining new solo project
  • Working on a couple TJ Hannah projects

And that’s JUST writing stuff… never mind my personal responsibilities and commitments.

This post was spurred on when I got an email from my agent about writing a sales pitch style synopsis and before I was even done reading the email I was all pumped up about it. Yes. I can do this. Right this second I’ll rush this thing out between drafting and outlining!

Then my brain revolted. I was washed over immediately with anxiety as this one more thing was added to the pile of stuff I have to do and I sighed. Then these words came out of my mouth…(in an extremely whining tone, I might add)

“I’m too busy to be in rush…” 

I don’t have time to try and do everything at once. My list is only overwhelming when I think about everything at once. 

It was a reminder to myself to compartmentalize my tasks. Break them down. Work through them to the best of my ability. 

Most importantly a reminder to give adequate thought and care to what it is I’m doing. 

A rush job is a sloppy job and through my excitement I often forget that. A rush job also means that it will most likely have to be done more than once and I don’t like the sounds of that either! Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

I’m too busy to be in a rush.

I think I need to print that out and carry it with me… 

What’s the one piece of advice you have to constantly remind yourself of?


Friday Five: Reasons why I now only read by recommendation

(Full disclaimer: This post is as a READER. Not as a writer. I have a whole other set of views on this from a writer perspective but that may have to be a seven part epic series)ID-10088825

I only read based on recommendations…

• Because I no longer trust reviews

Readers are now editors…apparently…

Because of this boom in self-publishing, and the sheer volume of books that get put up almost entirely unedited, readers now feel it is necessary, nay, their job and honourable duty as citizens of the world, to comment in detail on the editing of a book.

Okay, fine. If a book is riddled with mistakes then yes, it should be mentioned.

BUT…authors break grammar rules on purpose. They spell words in slang form, they use fragments, they mess up orders of things, use double negatives in speech, they abuse phrases or words(or punctuation…ellipsis addiction anyone?)… etc.

On purpose!

I’ve seen reviews that slam an author for terrible editing, then I read the book and think “hmmm, that was a really unique style choice that totally fit the story” *cough* Blood Red Road *cough*.

I’ve also read reviews of books that claim it’s the best-book-evah and so well edited. I read five pages of the book and already needed two hands to count the spelling mistakes and misused/misplaced/missing words.

Reviews have devolved into this dichotomy of best ever/worst ever and then let’s fight it out in the comments. I’m just not into it.

I so rarely see a good constructive review that I’ve given up on them. Writing a synopsis is not a review and 90% of the ones I read are just that, a regurgitation of what I already know from the back cover copy.

A good chunk of reviews just spoil the story anyway *cough* Allegiant *cough* so now I tend to avoid them entirely.

• Because Bestseller lists mean nothing to me as a reader

They never have. Bestseller lists are exactly what they state they are. Best SELLER. And to me, a buhzillion copies does not a good book make. And now a days if an author makes a bestseller list once for one week they are eternally a bestseller? I have a degree in how to sell stuff to people, which makes me skeptical of almost all marketing…

Disclaimer: I’ll show my hypocrite stripes here and fully disclose that if I ever hit a bestseller list as an author I’ll probably be pretty freakin’ excited about it! This is my career after all and bestseller lists are good for the career because publishers love bestsellers (because…money!). But most of my favorite books were never on bestseller lists. Most of the books that changed me, broadened my views, stretched my comfort zone, and expanded my world were not bestsellers. Most of them were dusty, used copies I found hidden in the backs of second-hand bookstores. Or given to me by a friend with the words “Read this now” said in a demanding tone.

• Because anyone can have a stunning cover

I know this because I’m a designer. I have designed a lot of book covers and I can honestly say I’ve read maybe 1% of them. Designers that produce high quality work are becoming very affordable and because of the break out success of one of them, everyone seems to think that THAT is where their money is best spent.

Yes and no. Yes a book needs a good cover. More importantly a book needs a good editor.

• Because I know myself really well and I know what I look for in a book

I don’t do book boyfriends. Sure I swoon when two characters have chemistry, smile at the love-y parts, and root for my favorite couples to stop screwing up and JUST KISS ALREADY! But I don’t base my feelings toward a book based on the sexiness of a man. I base it on the story and whether or not I feel that the characters did the story justice and vice versa.

I also don’t do trends. I’m actually a trend resister. I didn’t read Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, or Divergent until a long time after they were EVERYWHERE. I waited to read Fault in Our Stars. It’s just how I do. I don’t like to be influenced by the masses.

Most of the time when I do end up caving and reading what’s ‘hot’ I think “Why did I wait so long to read this!?” but still, a new trend hits and I resist.

There are certain things, trend or no trend, that I just know I won’t like. Ever. I’m really good at staying away from those books, which is why I rarely read a book I don’t like.

Books that may have triggers for me, such as rape books, are heavily vetted for me by friends so that I can be SURE that it isn’t going to contain that thing I can’t handle reading. My friends know what I like to read but they also know they can push me. I read across all genres. There are very few things on my NOPE list, and it’s not stories as a whole it’s parts.

• Because I seriously know the BEST people in the world and they read the best books

The number one reason by FAR that I read only based on recommendation is because I try to surround myself with the best sorts of people. People who read a lot. People who are adventurous in their reading. People who challenge me to see a story for more than just my knee-jerk reaction to it. People who make me explain my reasons for loving/hating a book. People who aren’t offended by debate or differing opinions…

You know… awesome people… ;)


What’s Up Wednesday and secret pen names…

kite scalloped edge

What’s Up Wednesday is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk and is a fun way to keep in touch with what’s going on in the writing world!


Right now I’m beta reading for the lovely Christa Desir and the book is fabulous, but I expected nothing less… I’m also reading THE SPECTACULAR NOW by Tim Tharp which is one of those books that people hate because it’s honest. I know for certain I’m going to have a lot of feelings about this book but whether or not I think the Main Character is an idiot has no sway on my opinion that unhealthy relationships NEED to be written about in this way. Honesty is hard to digest.


I’m STILL working on my secret project. I just sent my manuscript for EVAN AFTER to my agent and have commenced the fingernail chomping. Finished a round of edits for mine and Jolene Perry‘s book THE RULE OF THREE (written as AJ Brooks) and that is off to the agent.

I’m working on some things on the side as well for a pen name that I write NA Romance under. Up until now it’s been kept pretty hush hush, but I am struggling to maintain the pen name without being up front that my first priority are my YA titles and the romance is sort of like my ‘play time’. They are fun, angsty, sexy books that make me smile and blush while I write them.

At first I thought they were ‘too sexy’ to have it mixed in with my YA, but when my own mother was like, “I thought there would be way more sex. They really weren’t that out there…” then I KNOW it’s okay to mix the two… ;)

So if you are interested my not-secret-anymore pen name is TJ Hannah!


Right now it’s the sun that inspires me. Spring/Summer is always a time when I decide to completely revamp my life. It must be the new leaves budding on the trees… I want new leaves, too!!

I try not to read a lot while I write, but in the summer I don’t write near as much as I do in the winter. That means I have more time to read. I’m often inspired by these books. Not just for story but for craft. There are so many writers I respect for their ‘voice’ and it makes me want to work on mine. Not to copy but to create my own and be that confident in it. I love authors who take risks.


Mostly my non-writing life consists of running, hiking, and garden planting (or planning, I should say. The long weekend will be planting.)

I got to meet a Canadian YA author Monique Polak and she was a lot of fun. I wish we could have chatted longer, but I guess this means I’m just going to have to make it to Montreal some day!

Jolene sent me books and I got Monique to sign a book for me so I’m thinking a summer giveaway is in the works… now to figure out what to do…


What have you been up to?



I interrupt regularly scheduled Friday Five for breaking news…

About a year ago my good friend, Jolene Perry and I were chatting about collaborations. Jo writes them all the time with a lot of different people. In passing (while we were both lamenting about how busy we were) we said(and I’m paraphrasing here to make us sound awesome… ;) ):

We’d definitely write spec fic together I think

Something sorta scary and other-worldly?

Yes, but still character driven.


Like reality… but twisted…

Not long after I found all these pictures as I was feeding my addiction (stock photography) and was like, this is super cool… THIS is the type of thing Jo and I would write together… so I plopped them all into photoshop put some horrible font on them that said something about fate, titled the image THINGS I SHOULD NOT BE THINKING ABOUT and sent it to her.

An hour later I had Chapter One in my inbox…

We wrote Fated in 10-14 days. It was super fun and neither one of us really thought about it, or expected much to come from it. Just a fun exercise in creativity with a friend.

That project is on the back burner right now.

Beacause, what happens when two people write a HUGE and INTENSE high concept book in ten days with no outline and or intensive world-building?

Plot holes… that’s what…

What we did learn from this book is that we make good writing partners… We value the same things when it comes to storytelling. We have similar styles. We have similar tastes in characters and topics. Most of the time we talk overtop of each other in high pitched excited voices about where we both believe the story should go.

We don’t always agree on details but we both see structure in the same way and we push each other to really understand what we’re doing. What the goal is. World-building is hard, and it makes it a little easier when there is another person to immediately say “That doesn’t make sense.” or “Is that really needed or do you just think it sounds cool?” or “OMG I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it!”

Both of us are flexible with ideas, we trust each other to write/edit each others chapters, we push back when we don’t agree, and we always always always make sure that the it stays fun! That’s not to say it’s EASY… It’s not easy, but it is fun!

A few months after we wrote our first book I get an email saying “Help! I LOVE this story, but it’s wrong. Something’s wrong. Her voice is wrong.”

I read the book thinking that I’d give her some notes on what I thought, and how I saw the story progessing. Terek was amazing. I could tell that Jolene really knew him. His character, his goals, his personality, his little ticks, like tapping his earlobe when he thinks… that was ALL there. It was true, however, that his counterpart in the story was lacking voice. Her voice really was not as strong as it could be, but I still loved her. The idea of her formed in my head like the magical being she is.

Well, I didn’t expect my girl be so loud, and I knew I’d miss her… so when Jolene asked if I’d just WRITE Rupashi of course I said YES!


Enough love-festing here and get to the NEWS!

We aren’t the only ones who think this story is sort of neat…

Rachel Stout of the DYSTEL & GODERICH LITERARY AGENCY is taking on our collaboration that we’ve decided to release under the pseudonym AJ BROOKS! I’m super pumped that our magical genie story will at least get a chance in the big world of publishing.

I’m also pumped to say that the agency has signed me on as well, so I can officially say ‘Repped by’ and feel like a badass… ;)

There’s still a long road ahead and zero certainty but the little team of people we’re building around this name makes me very happy and hopeful indeed!

You should totally go check out AJ’s website and head over to Twitter where we’ll be sharing fun and happy things with a magical twist!

beautiful girl with lantern seeking in night. Vintage retouching


Friday Five: Five reasons I should not be writing this post and writing my book…

seven teens with opened umbrellas in pedestrian overpass. rainbow concept

5. Because I’m at a good part. My wonderfully flawed character just made a really dumb decision and I am PUMPED to see how this plays out for her.

4. Because I have 6 books that need to be drafted by the time summer comes. I don’t tend to write a whole heck of a lot during the summer because P Charm and I like to be outside hiking tall mountains, and crossing treacherous rivers, and battling grizzly bears for blueberries… a.k.a camping… ;)

3. Because it’s tax season, and I have not organized a stitch of my information for the taxman. This makes me cringe. This is my first year filing as an author, and I need to finish this book I’m writing before I do taxes. My impending, and unavoidable, meltdown will derail me for while afterward. I find it hard to bounce back from doing finances and budgets and money plans… I’m stressed just thinking about it. You can tell because I’m rambling…

2. Because I promised myself I wouldn’t go back into EVAN AFTER and do my final round of edits until I was done the first draft of my secret project… I’m over halfway! I’m pretty excited slash extremely nervous to finish EA and put it on query… :|

1. Because… hmmm… I don’t have a number one reason? I guess I could just show you one of my inspiration pics for the secret project and say “Look at these two! How could I not want to write their story!”

Inspiration pic from Pinterest

Inspiration pic from Pinterest


What’s Up Wednesday First Timer

I’ve seen Jolene do this a couple times now and it seemed fun and I also had no idea what to blog about this week… so YAY problem solved!

Tree70%This is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, so be sure to go check them out, plus the list of other WUW participants!

I’m very anti-social so this will be good for me I think!

Okay, here goes:


I’m actually beta reading right now for a woman that contacted me because she read my blog post about beta reading… and usually I don’t say yes to random requests from strangers but for some reason I did this time. Then I found out she LIVES IN MY HOME TOWN! So weird! I always love meeting new Canadian YA writers but she’s from the same town as me!

Anyway, her book is great! But I don’t tend to read much when I’m immersed in first draft writing… I like to write in a bubble with out the fear that what I’m reading is influencing what I’m writing.


I’m working on a secret project right now about a girl who does some stuff and she sort of is in love with her brother’s best friend, but he’s got some stuff going on as well. There’s some adventure, some miscommunication, secrets (of course), a bit of kissing… you know, the usual…

I’m dying to jump back into my YA contemporary EVAN AFTER but need to give it just a little bit more time. My last reader (Jolene) left a crap-ton of notes because it was a fine-tune edit, and those alway intimidate me. Hopefully once my first draft of Secret Project and my beta reading is done I can dedicate some solid time to my lovely Evan (she’s my favourite character I’ve written to date).


I’m a designer for my day job so making pretty pictures with words on it really is what helps to inspire me.

Sometimes I make covers for books that don’t exist like this


Sometimes I make character boards like this


Sometimes I just take quotes I like and make them happier like this


The creative process is one that cleanses me, but sometimes I need a DIFFERENT creative process to unstick me from where ever it may be that I get myself stuck… I’m pretty crafty when it comes to wedging myself in corners…


My dehydrator broke yesterday so my life is almost completely consumed by panic because we need a new one. I love my food dehydrator.

It’s just about Spring Equinox and I’m pumped that the sun is coming back but I’ll be cursing it when it’s light out for 23.5 hours of the day and there’s nothing but mosquitos everywhere… The joys of living in Northern Canada…

I’m doing a 30 fitness challenge and I haven’t done it for the last three days so I’m going to get back into that because I’m starting to feel really guilty.

Running, working, hiking, writing, cooking…

Just finished watching Season Two of Ultimate Survivor Alaska.

Almost done Season Two of FRINGE.

Watched WORLD WAR Z and was reminded why I don’t watch scary movies…

Oh and Divergent comes out so I have a date with a girlfriend to go to that

And the Maze Runner movie trailer was released and I’m not ashamed to say I watch it a lot. I’ve never been so impressed with casting choices for a book to movie. And Thomas is my FAV ever (ever) character I’ve ever read (how many more times can I say ever?) so I was really scared to find out who was cast to play him. Wanna watch it?

Of course you do!


That was super fun! I’m glad I did this!

Come back Friday for my weekly Friday Five… I have no idea what it’s going to be about yet!


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