Tag Archives: writer

Book Unhaul #1

After several years, I’ve finally done my first book “unhaul”. This isn’t a traditional unhaul, where I’ve donated these books or given them to family and friends. I’m actually keeping most of them in case I ever want to reread them or use them as a reference for anything. However, these books are leaving the bookshelf to be hidden somewhere out of view.

There’s currently three bookshelves in our apartment. One is in the bedroom, where I keep most of my books. The second is also in the bedroom, but we use that one for comic books and other knickknacks. The third one is the living room, and we keep our boxset books and other special book series on the shelves in there. But this third bookshelf also has a lower cabinet beneath it, where I can hide anything unsightly I don’t want to see anymore. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, all of these books are being “unhauled” from the good bookshelf to the bad one.

Please remember, if these are any of your personal favorite books, then that’s okay! We all have different opinions and tastes, and what doesn’t work for me, might work for you!


Books I May Reread in the Future

Keeper by Kim Chance
The Other Child by Lucy Atkins
Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson
Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown

Books I Liked, But Not Enough

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Third Twin by Ken Follet
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Books I’ll Probably Never Reread

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West
The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mathers
Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mathers
Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
My Sweet Audrina/Whitefern by V.C. Andrews

Books I Just Didn’t Care For

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han
Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy
Eve the Awakening by Jenna Moreci
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
The Window by Amelia Brunskill

Books I Really Didn’t Like

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin
Shadow Crown by Kristen Martin
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Cho
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Chain Letter by Christopher Pike
They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
People Like Us by Dana Mele

Books I DNF’ed

Cradle and All by James Patterson
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Enter the Dark House/Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Books I Gave Away

The Cabin by Natasha Preston
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

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I decided to give away the last three books for a few reasons. The Cabin by Natasha Preston was a complete disaster for me, so I knew with 100% certainty that I had no interest in hanging onto it. The Bones of You I read several years ago during a vacation, and while I remember thinking it was okay, it just wasn’t memorable enough for me to want to hold onto it. The same thing goes for Pretty Girls. I decided to put these into the Little Free Library in our town, so I hope someone can appreciate and find more enjoyment in them than I did.

 


What books did you unhaul recently? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Interview with a Writer: Tauri Cox

Are you interested in getting to know more of the writers who are part of our amazing community? As part of my new blog series, I’ve interviewed some of the writers in an effort to get to know them better, as well as share their stories!

So today, I’m introducing Tauri Cox onto the blog! Tauri and I met last year and become fast friends and critique partners. I am so excited to share what she has to say about her life as a writer, the advice she has to new writers, and what her publishing goals are!


#1. What got you into writing? How and when did you first start?

I’ve been experimenting with writing for as long as I can remember: short stories, creative writing classes, etc. But I didn’t pursue it – or even consider it – seriously until my senior year of college. I had gone in as a pre-med student. Then quickly learned I sucked at math and science. But my professors always complimented me on my writing. So I switched over and immediately fell in love.

#2: Where do you usually get your ideas?

My ideas come from a variety of places. My first two novels were fictionalized retellings of real life events. But my third and current project was inspired by the city of New Orleans. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and I just knew I wanted my next story to be based there. Luckily there’s plenty of interesting subject matter to go with NOLA!

#3: What current project are you working on right now? What was the inspiration for this project?

Like I said above, New Orleans was the inspiration for my current project. Once I dug into the past and culture of the city, I found a story about Marie Laveau – the infamous voodoo queen – and the pieces fell into place.

My second inspiration was Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. I really wanted to write a female version of his character: a morally grey, reluctant, sassy but lovable antihero. My main character Jessa stemmed naturally from there, popping into my head fully-formed.

So my WIP is a NA contemporary fantasy revolving around a young woman who discovers she’s the missing heir to the voodoo queen but doesn’t really want anything to do with it.

#4: Traditional, Self-Publish, Small Press? What path to publishing are you pursuing/have pursued and why?

I am currently pursuing traditional publishing. I dream of seeing my book on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, and I believe traditional is the best way of going about accomplishing that dream thanks to bigger distribution and the backing of a big house and editorial/marketing team.

#5: What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?

Hmmm. That’s tough because I’ve been lucky enough to receive a lot of great feedback. But I think the best was a reminder to take breaks. Burnout is a very real thing, and it can happen fast. So pacing yourself, refilling your creative well and taking a break between drafts has really helped my process.

The other is to give yourself a little grace – especially with first drafts. I am a perfectionist and the first draft is paralyzing to me because it never comes out the way I want it to. But that’s okay. That’s what revisions are for. So just get it down on paper and fix it later.

#6: When are you most creative?

After a glass of wine 🙂 but seriously it’s true. It goes along with the above, loosens my control freak-ness a little so I can just write. I typically am most creative in the evenings – right after work and before dinner. I can crank out a couple of hours then.

#7: What authors inspire you the most?

I am sure everyone says this, but JK Rowling has been a huge source of inspiration to me. Her journey is just fantastic. Sarah J Maas is the same way. She was published so young and has created this incredible platform from scratch.

But I’ve also been really inspired by a lot of the writers I’ve met along the way. Writers who have been working for years and never given up, writers who have consistently published books – books that didn’t make it big – but slowly built a strong following, writers who advocate for each other. It’s really a phenomenal community.

#8: What’s your most anticipated read in the next few months?

Well, my TBR pile is so gigantic that it’s actually overwhelming. But there are some great books in there! One of my most anticipated books of the year just came out a couple weeks ago and that was Finale by Stephanie Garber. It was fantastic. I am also really excited to finally start reading V.E. Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic series.

#9: What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman. It’s fabulous – dark and atmospheric with well-crafted characters. I love seeing more and more “fantasies” set in the real world – especially since that’s what I am writing!

#10: What’s your favorite book or book series?

That’s a toss up. Favorite series are Harry Potter and both of Sarah J Maas’ series. Favorite stand alone is The Great Gatsby!

#11: Favorite childhood book?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – a classic! The Witch Family is a close tie.

#12: Biggest book pet peeve?

Insta-love. It drives me CRAZY! Insta-lust is fine. But I am a firm believe that you can’t really love someone until you know them and know them well. Plus slow burn romance is the BEST.

#13: What book has made you cry?

A lot. I am a big crier. But The Shack by William P. Young absolutely wrecked me in the best way possible.

#14: Favorite writing snack or drink?

Red wine and Goldfish.

#15: What’s your biggest fear? Writing related or otherwise – or both!

Snakes and failure.

#16: What other hobbies do you have outside of writing?

Reading obviously. I love puzzles and crafts and cooking. The rest of my life pretty much revolves around my dog and my family.

#17: Biggest real life pet peeve?

Slow walkers and people who don’t pay attention to where they are going in the grocery store. MOVE, GET OUT THE WAY!

#18: Any final words to aspiring writers out there?

Don’t lose faith if your first book doesn’t get you an agent. Don’t lose faith if your first book doesn’t get picked up by a publisher. It’s rare, and it’s all about the right book at the right time with the right person. And eventually the right combination will arise.


All About Taurisweater-headshot.jpg

Growing up, Tauri wanted to be a variety of things: marine biologist, veterinarian, equine chiropractor, neonatal surgeon. All biological, all scientific.

Until she arrived at college and quickly discovered… she was horrifically bad at science.
But she also learned that she had a knack for writing, and a passion was ignited.

Since then, Tauri has graduated from the University of Texas where she studied creative writing and psychology under Elizabeth McCracken, five-time author and James A. Michener Chair in Fiction. Immediately afterward, she joined the Writer’s Path at Southern Methodist University where she honed her skills under the tutelage of authors Suzanne Frank and Kay Honeyman.

She now lives in Austin, TX in a one-bedroom apartment with her eighty pound German Shepherd mix, her satanic cat, and a small shred of intact sanity.

You can follow Tauri on her blog and on Twitter!

 

7 Ways to Refill Your Creative Well

Back in April, I finished writing my YA Thriller, Little Lost Girls. While I was proud of my accomplishments, I was pretty burned out. It felt like all of my creativity had been run dry. No new ideas were running through my head, and I felt a little bit like a failure. Where did all my ideas go? What was I going to write next? Why can’t I think of anything to write about?

After a while of feeling that way, I knew it was time to take a step back from writing in general. I needed to refill my creative well. The well had run dry, and the only way to get back into a creative mindset was to give myself ample time to rest, recover, and refill the well. Here’s seven tips that helped me get there!


1.) Take a Shower or Bath

I think all of us writers swear by getting some of our best ideas when we’re in the shower, but it’s not a lie! Immersed in all that hot water, and feeling relaxed, does wonders. I’ve recently started taking bubble baths as a nightly routine, and it’s been amazing in helping me relax.

2.) Read – and Read a Lot

Reading has seriously helped get me back into a creative mindset. Just being able to absorb the words instead of worry about my own novel that’s waiting to be written, has really allowed me to just sit back and enjoy reading.

3.) Binge TV

I admit, I’ve been doing this quite a bit the last couple weeks. I’ve been loving Switched at Birth, and I admit, I may be spending a little too much time in front of the TV. But when I’m writing, I hardly do anything else, so it’s nice to catch up on all the things I’ve missed otherwise.

4.) Take a break

No, but really. Take a break. By that I mean don’t do anything that involves writing. Unplug from the internet, don’t think about writing or editing. Step away from anything – like Twitter or Instagram – that may make you feel guilty for not writing.

5.) Go For a Walk

I never use to go for walks. But due to some changes in my life, I’ve been able to take walks, and when the weather’s nice, they’ve become a frequent, evening routine (and Pokémon Go is a good excuse to take them). There’s something about stepping away from the inside world, and being immersed in nature, that feels so refreshing.

6.) Make an Aesthetic

Since joining the Writing Community on Twitter, I’ve come to love making aesthetics. I find all my pictures on Pinterest and use Canva to edit them. The simple acting of creating an aesthetic, and just browsing Pinterest for story inspiration, has helped me come up with entire scenes and ideas.

7.) Listen to Music

I’ve been an avid music lover all my life, and it’s always been a huge source of story inspiration for me. Lately, I’ve learned that I need total silence while editing, and while writing my recent WIP, I didn’t listen to any music. Being able to put my headphones back in and listen to my favorite songs and artists – and find some new ones – has helped tremendously in discovering new ideas and inspiration.


What do you do to refill your creative well? Let me know, and I hope these seven tips help you!

XOXO – Devon

Camp Nano: How I Did (April 2019)

With Camp NanoWrimo over, it’s time to look back on how I did!

If you don’t know, NanoWrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. In November, writers get together to join a “cabin”, and set a word count goal for themselves. The standard is 50k, but you can go higher if you want. You then try to write those 50k words in one month! There are different times of year Nano happens, like in April and July, where you can focus on not just word count, but if you want to edit a certain number of pages, too.

I did Camp Nano last July with several of my cabin mates Tauri, Kelsey, and Joy. This year we decided to do Nano again, and added Madeline to our cabin! Last year, I set a goal of 100k words for myself – which I surpassed and beat Nano with a few days to spare. That was the first draft of Forbidden.

This year, I sat down to write Little Lost Girls and set the goal of 70k words for myself. I went into Nano with 20k words down already, and was confident I could write another 50k…and, well, that didn’t quite happen. Since I was writing my thriller, the book was rather fast paced. I tend to write chapters between 8 – 10 pages long, but this time, my chapters were 4 – 6 pages. There were a ton of scenes involving police procedures, or other criminal investigations, that I flew through and made up because I didn’t actually know how those procedures went. It took me twenty days, but I finished writing Little Lost Girls halfway through Nano. It ended up being 54k.

That’s the shortest novel I’ve ever written. I’m definitely an over writer, and most of my revisions involve cutting or trimming down scenes, so I was shocked to see how short my novel actually turned out to be. While I did finish writing my book, I didn’t quite “win” Nano. Or did I? I don’t really know! Either way, I’m proud of myself for finishing writing another book!

It still needs a ton of work though. There’s a lot missing that needs to be expanded on, especially things like police procedures that I had no idea how to write. Luckily there are some people I can reach out to in hopes they’ll answer some questions I have.

Overall, I’m very happy with myself for using Nano as a tool to help propel myself into writing another book. And having cabin mates is a blast – we did writing sprints that really encouraged us all to write as much as we could and further our goals. If you’ve never done Nano before, I highly encourage giving it a try!

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XOXO – Devon

April Recap 2019

Well, April is over and May is here. The weather where I live has been up and down from good to bad. We even had a snow storm a couple days ago. I am so sick of this rainy weather, and am eagerly awaiting the sunny, warm days.

April started out a lot like March did. I was recovering from my kidney stone but continued to have pain, and ended up in the hospital once again. I’m feeling a lot better now after tons of rest, but I finally made an appointment to see a urologist to try and figure out what the heck is going on with my body.

I also finished writing my YA Thriller, Little Lost Girls! It ended up at 54k, which was 10k-20k shorter than I had anticipated writing. I’m not too bummed about it though, since it gives me a lot of room to really expand on the mystery and the characters.

Overall, April has been an okay month for me. I’m proud of myself for writing another book, but there’s still a ton of work ahead.

What I Wrote:

I am so happy to say that I finished writing my YA Thriller, Little Lost Girls, which took me about twenty days to write. Camp Nano really helped me shoot for meeting a daily word count goal. Unfortunately, I’m not too thrilled with the way it turned out. It needs a lot of work to get into shape, and I’m not rushing to dive into rewrites or revisions just yet. I have some other projects I really want to write first.

What I Read:

Total: 8

They All Fall Down by Roxanna St. Claire ★★☆☆☆

I actually posted a full review of this to Goodreads, which you can read here. I went into this book with high expectations, expecting a thriller with a lot of unique twists and turns. While the author did deliver on that – there are actually three different twists thrown at you – the ending is what failed. The final twist, while unique, is highly implausible and doesn’t make any sense. Your suspension of disbelief really needs to be thrown out the window to enjoy this book, and unfortunately, I didn’t.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart ★★★★★

Wow, wow, wow. I picked up this book on a whim because I’d heard such good things. But this novel did not disappoint! While I wasn’t a fan of the writing in the beginning, somewhere around page fifty I suddenly got hooked into the plot. The characters were great, the twists and turns, the story – everything about this book was amazing.

People Like Us by Dana Mele ★★☆☆☆

I love a good boarding school mystery, but this one fell flat. While I liked the premise, I had a hard time connecting to our main character, Kay. Much of the plot revolves around the characters ability to generally be jerks to one another, and the mystery itself was just kind of…boring? The first half of the novel was rather fast-paced and exciting, but somewhere in the middle, it really slowed down and became less than enjoyable. And while I didn’t see the twist coming, I was just too bored to be hooked any longer.

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Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser ★★★★☆

I’m a little torn on how I feel about this book. On one hand, I did enjoy reading it. I liked the characters and the story. But on the other hand, I feel like this was marketed as a thriller, and it really…wasn’t? The book focuses more on domestic abuse and the realities of what can happen in a situation like that. Because of this, the end twist was pretty obvious, and there wasn’t much of a mystery. Had I known going in that this book was more about abuse, I think I would give it five stars.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian ★★★★☆

The sequel, Lady Smoke, came out earlier this year, and I really wanted to reread Ash Princess before reading it. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love this book. I like the characters and the world-building is solid. I appreciate that our main character, Theo, uses her mind more than she does magic. Seeing a character only rely on their wits and not be some super badass assassin or magic wielder is refreshing to read.

All that said, the reason I haven’t given this five stars is because of the ending. There’s a particular twist at the end that I’m not a fan of. Reading it this time around I wasn’t bothered by it, but the first time I finished the book, I was really underwhelmed and a little upset. Ash Princess is still a gem, and I would definitely give it a read.

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian ★★★☆☆

I was originally going to give this book four stars, but after some reflection and reading other reviews, I decided to lower it to three. As much as I loved Ash Princess, I really think Lady Smoke suffered hard from second-book syndrome. While I thought the initial set-up was great, the rest of the book suffered from a saggy middle. The entire plotline about Theo trying to find a husband who could provide her an army pretty much becomes null and void in the end, and if you took it out of the book entirely, I don’t think it would have suffered.

On top of that, I was most disappointed about what happened to another character. In Ash Princess, something happens to another character and I was eagerly awaiting to see what would come of her in this book. Unfortunately, she doesn’t show up until the very end, and even then we don’t get to see much of her. I feel like the author really missed out by not including this character’s own POV in the novel, which would’ve been so interesting to explore.

In the end, I’m pretty disappointed by Lady Smoke, but I’ll still be reading the final installment in the series when it releases.

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Sea Witch by Sarah Henning DNF’ed

I’d heard mixed reviews of this book, but as a big fan of the Little Mermaid as a kid, I was excited to dive in. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with anything about this book. The writing style never pulled me in, and I couldn’t connect to the characters. On top of that, this story was just…boring. I never felt like anything really pulled the plot along, and the magic system and world-building didn’t make much sense. I got halfway through this book in one sitting, but when I put it down and began dreading coming back to it, I knew it was time to put it aside. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it though.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ★★★★☆

My mom actually let me borrow this book some time ago. She’s an avid thriller and horror reader, so her recommending it made me even more excited to read. That said, I read this novel in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down. The writing was beautiful and I loved the detail and interwoven mysteries of the plot.

My only gripe is that the final, big end twist just didn’t blow me away like I was hoping for. While I definitely didn’t see it coming, I just sort of shrugged me shoulders and thought, “That’s it?” On top of that, I’m a little over the “husband-who’s-too-good-to-be-true-is-actually-an-abuser-” plotline that seems to be surfacing a lot in thrillers lately.

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What I’m Watching:

The boyfriend and I finally caught up on all seven seasons of Game of Thrones, and he got HBO so now we can watch the last season live! We didn’t have it when the first episode of season 8 aired, but we got to watch episode two! I’m not going to lie that it felt good to watch and be in the loop with everyone else. I’m totally rooting for Daenerys to take the throne – she’s been my #1 since the beginning. Who are you rooting for?

Beside Games of Thrones, we also started watching The Magicians, which we’re both really enjoying.

Unfortunately, I gave up on watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I just couldn’t continue watching with the strange plotlines, the weird characters – I don’t know. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I did start watching Switched at Birth. I got halfway through season two last year, and for some reason I stopped watching, I think just due to time. I’m almost finished with season one, and am really enjoying it so far.

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How I Did: April Goals:

At the end of April, I gave myself several goals:

• Write 50,000 words for Little Lost Girls
• Outline my three new projects
• Finish my plan for figuring out how to go back to school
• Figure out new topics to blog about

I only managed to complete two of these. While I didn’t quite write 50k for Little Lost Girls, I did end up finishing the book. I also managed to come up with a list of blog topics and have been planning out my blogging schedule every month.

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up outlining my three other projects, or really figure out how to go back to school. I’ve been feeling pretty uncreative lately, and took the rest of April off to try and refill my creative well. I might take a few more days off in May, since I still don’t feel ready to outline the new projects, but I’m definitely beginning to get more ideas!

May Goals:

• Outline YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Outline Secret Project Idea
• Actually make a plan to go back to school
• Create my June blogging schedule
• Begin writing YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Begin writing Secret Project Idea

I’ve got my fingers crossed that May will be an even more productive month! What are your goals for May?

XOXO – Devon

 

Life as a Full-Time Writer

It’s almost May, and that means I’ll have officially been a full time writer for four months. For four months, I’ve been pursuing my passion and goal of publication. To be clear: I haven’t made any money off this. I’m not published, and I don’t have an agent. But I’ve always wanted to take the leap into full-time writing.

Let’s take a trip down 2018, shall we?

In May 2018, my boyfriend of almost five years graduated law school. For the last three years, he’d been a full-time student. While he worked during the summer and did internships, I worked a part-time job in retail. I worked odd hours of the week, and never had a set schedule. When I was home, I worked on my writing, but I’m not going to lie: I was miserable.

I didn’t hate the retail job. I actually enjoyed it, and I loved all my coworkers. But I hated working in a retail setting, and working with customers became exhausting for my mental and emotional health. I dreaded going to work every day, and I was always anxious and nervous. On top of that, I had several health problems I was dealing with.

After graduation, my boyfriend got his first job and like me – he quickly became miserable. I won’t go into too much detail, but this prompted him to look for another job – and he got an offer. The job offer he received required us to move two hours away, to a new town neither of us had ever lived in. But after much discussion, we agreed that him accepting this job would be for the best.

By December, we both quit our jobs and moved two hours away. As miserable as I was at my retail job, I had been afraid to quit. The pay was okay, and I made commission. The commute was short. I loved my coworkers. Management was easy going and the job was fairly easy. When it was slow, I could read or write behind the counter. The pros far outweighed the cons in my mind.

But quitting the job was freeing, and it opened a door I’d been hoping for: full-time writing.

The boyfriend knew I’d always wanted this opportunity, and neither of us took it lightly. We had multiple discussion on finances, budgeting, saving, etc. you know, all the important things. But he was adamant that I take some time for myself. After all, I’d spent the last three years taking care of him while he was in school, and he was determined to do the same for me. (I am so lucky to have someone as supportive as him in my life, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.)

After we moved, we spent most of December getting the apartment in order and traveling for the holidays. It wasn’t until January that I finally sat down and began writing once again. At first, I was terrified. While I did love it, I was constantly worried about money. I found myself in a constant state of loving and hating my decision.

I loved not going to work. I loved that my “work” was getting up and writing every day. I loved having a lot of free time to myself. I loved getting to do whatever I wanted all day. I loved that I took this huge risk.

But I hated worrying about money. I hated checking my bank account every time I wanted to make a purchase, and try to justify if it was worth it or not. I hated feeling like I wasn’t earning or saving any money. I hated that people looked down on me for not working. For depending on my boyfriend. For taking a risk that might not pay off in the end.

It’s been four months, and I’ve learned to quiet those thoughts. While they do pop up frequently, it’s easy to silence them when I remember how much I love what I’m doing. Especially when I go to my boyfriend and double-check that everything is okay, that we’re still doing okay. I’m lucky that he assures me everything is fine. We love each other. We can pay the bills. I can keep doing what I love for now.

The most important thing for me is treating this like a full-time job, because in my mind, it is. I wake up the same time every day, sit down at my desk, and start working right away. I spend hours sitting in front of the computer. If I’m not writing my novels, I’m writing blog posts, or reading, or trying to keep myself in a creative mindset. I make sure to hit a word count goal every morning before I get up and do anything else with my day.

But not all days have been good. I’ve definitely had some days where all I’ve done is stay in bed and read, or play video games, or sleep the afternoon away. But I’ve tried my hardest to keep myself going, and to keep pushing towards my goal.

My Goals:

The first thing I wanted to do when we moved in was revise my novel, Forbidden, and I’m proud to say I accomplished that. I spent all of January and most of February revising it, and finishing what is now the third draft. It’s currently out with beta readers and I am awaiting their feedback. If all goes well, I’m planning to do one more round of revisions before sending it out to beta’s one last time, and then hopefully I’ll be able to begin to querying process.

The second thing I’ve wanted to accomplish is write at least three more books this year. I can proudly say I’ve written one more book – a YA Thriller. It needs a ton of work, but it’s a finished draft, at least. I have two more projects I want to work on that I’m outlining.

The third thing I wanted to do was start this blog, and I did that! Not only did I start it, but I’ve continued to post frequently and on a consistent schedule.

And as a non-writing related goal, since moving into a new place, I’ve really been taking the time to get organized and throw out/donate all sorts of things I didn’t need anymore. The move really has felt like a fresh start for myself and my boyfriend, and we’re both getting our lives in order.

Once I start querying Forbidden, I think I’ll be ready to go back to work. My ultimate goal right now is to really get that novel ready, so that while I’m querying I can use work to distract from the waiting.


I know this isn’t permanent. I will eventually go back to work, and I’m actually hoping to go back to school. But for now, I’m proud of myself for making this leap, and following my passions. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I don’t regret taking this chance. Not one bit.

XOXO – Devon

My Top 10 Favorite Quotes About Writing

We all know that being a writer has its ups and downs, and sometimes we need a little motivation in our lives when things get tough. When I’m feeling down, I read some of my favorite writing quotes to pick myself back up. I hope these work for you too!


#1: “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
― Terry Pratchett

#2: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult

#3: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
― Anton Chekhov

#4: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
— Richard Bach

#5: “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
— R.L. Stine

#6: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King

#7: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
― Ray Bradbury

#8: “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
― Neil Gaiman

#9: “I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”
― Isaac Asimov

#10: “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”
― Ernest Hemingway


What are your favorite writing quotes? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon