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What's New Monday - October 15, 2018

Curious. I definitely wrote a post for last Monday but it seems to still be in my drafts. Autumn is coming on quickly. It's cold outside and the heat is on in the house and the leaves are changing colors. I still haven't had my apple cider but I did have my first pumpkin latte last weekend so all is not lost. I love fall but I can already smell the snow.

What I'm Reading: 
I ended up DNFing When I Am Through With You because I just wasn't connecting with the characters. Instead, I read Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel. It was a nice quick read but struck me as more middle grade in feel than young adult.

I also picked up Dread Nation by Justina Ireland from the bookstore and adored it. I'm not usually one for zombie novels but if this is the last one I ever read (okay, last series because I desperately need that sequel) that's fine with me. The concept is great, the execution is even better, and the characters are all well-rounded and fascinating.

The last week I sp…

The Answer to Most Writing Questions

I've seen a lot of writers ask questions that come with a very simple answer: Read More.

"Is sex okay for YA?"

"What's the difference between YA and MG?"

"How long should be chapters be?"

"Can I do this thing?"


"How do I write a long scene of dialogue?"

"What genre is my book?"

If you read more books, you'll often find the answer to your question. Be well-read within your genre. Read other genres. Read for other markets. Read non-fiction. Read books from authors you like, authors you don't, authors you've never heard of.

Find those books you love and then think about what's so compelling about them. Think about the characters, the plot, the pacing. This doesn't mean try to turn those books into a formula for your own book, it just means studying from the masters to figure out what you can do to make your book better.

Read. More.

How to Write With an Office Job

When you spend eight (or more) hours at the office, it can be hard to come home, plant yourself behind another computer, and work on a book. There's family to spend time with, errands to run, movies and TV to watch, and sleep to enjoy. Here are five tips on how to make a book happen, without quitting your day job:

1. Write when you can
If you're an early bird, wake up half an hour early in the morning, just to write. Bring your laptop or a printed copy into work and write during your lunch break. Set aside an hour or even half an hour in the evening when you get home. This is my preferred writing time. Sometimes it happens later than others but as long as I'm sitting at the computer, I always try to get my words in.

2. Make your word/page count goals easily achievable 
If you use word count goals to motivate yourself to write, make these easy to achieve. I shoot for 250 words on work nights and busy weekends, and 1,000 words on days when I have more time. It's nice for m…

What's New Monday - October 1, 2018

Can someone please explain to me how it can possibly be October 1 already? Wasn't New Year's, like, last week?

What I'm Reading: 
I just finished The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Shusterman. It was a super sweet read with some A+ female friendships, diverse love interests, and a healthy dose of fandom fun. Now I'm reading When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn.

What I'm Writing: 
I'm currently in the process of writing a new project--my first since I wrote LP in college. It's YA fantasy told from a dual perspective set in the same world as LP. The two characters are polar opposites and I love both of them very much. I'm a little over 20k into the first draft and very excited about it.

What I'm Listening to: 
One of the perks of my job is that I get to listen to podcasts all day. I recently finished Wolf-359 and highly, highly recommend it to anyone that wants a sci-fi serial podcast with a great plot, laughs, and mo…

Almost Ten Years...

It's been almost ten years since I started this blog. My first post was back in January 2009. I can say a lot has changed since then.

I graduated high school and college with my bachelor's degree.

I moved out of my tiny hometown and into the city.

I accepted my first full-time job. 

Back in those days of 2009, I met a girl. Two months ago, she became my wife.

Other things haven't changed. I'm still writing and still pursuing publication, although I can say I'm a lot more knowledgeable about both now than I was nine years ago. I'm still riding horses. Tamora Pierce and Rick Riordan are still two of my favorite authors.

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts for writers lately and it's made me miss blogging. I know the writer blogosphere isn't as well-populated as it once was but it's one of my favorite platforms and I've decided to try--for real, not like I say I'm going to every New Year--blogging again. I'll be shooting for twice…

Happy 2017

This blog has become a bit of a New Year's resolution of mine. I swear that I'm going to start blogging again, make a post or two, and then disappear off into the ether.

I'm not going to make a resolution this year.

I'm just going to start blogging again.

I'm neck-deep in revisions for an entirely new book that I love very much. I have two jobs and a third volunteer position. Last year my only post was about Hamilton and I have to say my obsession has not gone away in the intervening months. Although now I can say all the words to "Guns and Ships" without (mostly) getting tongue-tied. I'm not reading as much as I should be and really trying to work on that. I can say 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year but I have hope for 2017. Somewhere.

So how's life everyone? What have you been up to?


Hamilton

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I'm back! I made a New Year's resolution last year to start blogging three times a week. Obviously, like many resolutions, it crashed and burned.

But a 2016 resolution is not why I'm here.

Hamilton is. If you haven't heard of it, it's a rap/hip hop Broadway musical about one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Sounds boring? Sounds weird? I thought so too.

Trust me.

I listened to the full cast recording three times in two days and my favorite songs countless times in between. I have plans to see it live in the eventual future.

Interested?

I have two recommendations:

Number 1: My favorite song and the one that actually got me into the musical in the first place

Number 2: From the beginning