04 January 2023


It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

I'm at least attempting to start the year out with a bang--this month, I'm a co-host! The other awesome co-hosts are Jemima PettDebs CareyKim LajevardiNatalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin

This month's optional question is: Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finished my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year is Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? Why?

I had an idea of what I wanted to write about for this post before I knew what the question was, and the word that comes to mind from that idea is not something that I ever would have thought could be a 'word of the year' for me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be a really cool word of the year if I could actually commit to it. 

And that word is: MASTERMIND

Let me backtrack a little here. It all started with Taylor Swift. 

"Mastermind" is the last track on Taylor's newest album Midnights (which I love, but that's not the topic at hand). I really liked this song right away, mostly because it reminded me of Jordan. Like in a I need to add this to his personal playlist kind of way (of course I have one of those!). Because he IS a mastermind! I've always known this. Perhaps a bit more sinister than this song implies, but still, it seemed to fit. 

But this isn't just about Jordan. It's also about me. And still a bit about Taylor Swift. HEAR ME OUT. I want to write books the way Taylor Swift writes songs. Not just that she's good at it or can bust out album after album. I mean the CRAFTINESS. 

I love being methodical when it comes to writing, especially with Jordan's stories for some reason. I love symbolism and Easter eggs and tiny details that seem like nothing but you find out later are extremely important. I want to plant tiny moments in the first book that you won't realize matter until the third book. It's really fun and these things kind of come easily to me somehow. 

So, I want to be a mastermind! I want to own it. Most importantly, I want to DO IT. I haven't been writing at all for quite some time, feeling like I've lost my mojo. Maybe if I start thinking about the things that I find fun about writing, the rest of it will start falling into place and I can actually get motivated again. 

Part of my plan involves figuring out my story's theme. I've always struggled on getting to the ending, and if I can figure out what it is I'm trying to say with this story, maybe it will become clearer. That also means really figuring out what Jordan's master plan is within the story, which is also fitting for this post. All his tiny little plans are very obvious, but I've always felt there was something else lurking beneath the surface that I hadn't figured out yet, maybe even a twist to reveal. 

So maybe this year I will own being a mastermind. 

07 December 2022

It's the Most Chaotic Time of the Year

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

We're gonna go ahead and ignore the fact that I haven't been very good at keeping up with my writer goals for the entire year and say the holidays are definitely a time to fall behind on them. 

Christmastime always feels very chaotic for me. Every year as it approaches, I tell myself I'm going to keep it simple this time, and every year, I do nothing of the sort. I go absolutely nuts with presents ideas. I usually come up with several themed gift baskets for family members. Here's just a few I've made over the years: 

Movie night



Christmas cookie

I guess technically this year I'm taking a step back by not making a basket for every single member (or couple) in my family. My main project is for my sister and brother-in-law (it's inspired by the album Harry's House and it's completely insane and I'm completely insane for doing it), but I'm also making a smaller bloody mary themed one for my dad (the drink! I've found some cute stuff like pepperoni straws and little cocktail picks with plastic pickles and olives at the end.). I'm also just filling a basket with candy for my niece, whose birthday is three days after Christmas so I tend to get her a lot of stuff. 

I swear that's it! Unless I think of more ideas...

I go kind of psycho with all of my ideas and running to different stores and websites to get just the right things for each basket idea. My husband just kind of lets me do my thing and says, "let me know when you need some money." 

Speaking of hubby, we are the exact opposite when it comes to gift giving. I'm always trying to find some gifts that he'd never expect, while creating an Amazon wish list that tells him exactly what to get me (LOL!). 

And we can't forget the baking! Hours spent browsing Pinterest for the perfect recipes (usually cookies...at least 2 different kinds...sometimes more...), and then the actual baking in my tiny apartment that takes forever. 

So yeah, not a lot of writing related activities around this time of year. The good thing, especially this year since I've felt so creatively drained, is that I get to actually use my creativity to the fullest extent. It's not for writing, but at least it's something! I'll take cookies and gift baskets over sitting around doing nothing. 

Happy Holidays!!

02 November 2022

Baby Steps

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I've made a few half-hearted attempts at NaNoWriMo over the years, but only really pushed through with it once in 2019, and I won! The book I was writing wasn't nearly complete, but I did get to the 50k word goal. I haven't really gone back to it since, though, even though I want to. I've struggled between wanting to just push through and get the first draft done with what I already have, or to start it over with some of the changes I know I need to make. 

My creativity level has been pretty low for quite some time now, so that's just one of the many things I haven't wanted to work on. But I think it's a cute, easy romance story and I would definitely be able to finish it one day if I can get that drive back. 

This past weekend I tried to at least think about Uneven Lines again. I just got in the mood to read it for a little bit. I didn't get too far, but that was because I started working on the Ultimate Playlist again, where I want to find as many songs for as many moments in the book, so I can basically have one long playlist that tells the whole story. I also edited a bit while I was reading because I can't help myself. So while I wasn't actually writing, I was at least doing something! 

I want to go back and finish the character arc workbook I started a while ago. I was also thinking about finding some books or workbooks on finding your story's theme. I think if I really figured out what I was trying to say with this book (and with the whole series if I choose to keep going with it), maybe I wouldn't feel so stuck figuring out the final third. 

Baby steps!

05 October 2022

Favorite Genres (and Vacation Pics!)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up! 

This month's optional question is: What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

It's hard for me to pick a favorite genre, especially for reading. I really like to read whatever sounds interesting to me. For writing, two of my favorite genres are fantasy and romance. I like fantasy because it can provide an escape, and when you're writing it, it can be whatever you want it to be. The possibilities are endless. You can create entire worlds if you want to. 

I also like romance because the kind I typically write is light and fluffy and not too heavy on the drama (unlike some of my main WIPs...). Mostly I just get to have fun with it and you're always working toward a happy ending. 

What are your favorite genres?

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw all the pictures from my anniversary trip to NYC last month, but I thought I would share some of them here as well. We had so much fun! 

For our anniversary, we went to Tao for dinner, and had fried rice, short ribs, orange chicken, and sushi (ok, it was tempura shrimp sushi...I'm not that adventurous...). 

Hubby used chopsticks for the first time! And I really loved my shoes. :)

On Tuesday, we went to a taping of the Tonight Show. They don't let you take pictures in the studio, but I snagged a few pictures in the lounge before you head in. It was lots of fun!

Wednesday was very busy!! First we grabbed donuts and walked around one of the piers (it had swings!). 

Then we went to Koneko cat cafe! I took way too many pictures to show, but getting to pet a bunch of cats for an hour was definitely a good time.  

Wednesday night was Harry Styles! So much fun! And we got all sparkly.  


Ok, I have many many more pictures but I feel this post is filling up enough! We got lots more yummy food and drinks and went to a rooftop bar on our last night. Check out my Instagram if you want to see the rest! We had so much fun we didn't want to come home!! 

07 September 2022

Up for (Almost) Anything

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Would you believe I completely forgot to do my IWSG last month?? Actually, what really happened is that I completely lost track of the days. I was on my break at work scrolling on my phone that day when I saw the IWSG Facebook post and went, "OOPS!" I could have tried to put something together after work, but I didn't think it would be worth it at that point. 

Oh well, I am here now! 

This month's optional question is: What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

I've switched back and forth between many genres ever since I first started writing, so there isn't a lot of genres I'd be too afraid to try. But for some reason, I've always been a bit wary of historical fiction. I feel like with any story, there is already so much research that you have to do to make certain things accurate, and adding on that layer of getting everything about the time and setting correct just seems overwhelming. But if the right story idea hit me, I'd try anything! 

Not much going on as far as writing goes. Hubby and I are going to New York City next week for our anniversary. I haven't been there since my 30th birthday over five years ago, so I'm excited. We've got a lot planned so it should be a fun week. We're going to a nice dinner and then to a rooftop bar on our anniversary, but we're also going to a musical, a cat cafe, a taping of The Tonight Show, and our main event, a Harry Styles concert. And we're gonna eat a lot. But hopefully all the walking will help burn all those calories. 

06 July 2022

Stuck in Many Ruts

*It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!*

I have been in such a rut lately. I know I've been talking about not writing for quite some time now, so much so that I actually skipped IWSG last month because I was so sick of talking about it. But it's not just the writing. 

I haven't been reading much at all. I've been stuck on the same book for literally the whole year so far, with no desire to finish it or to try reading something else. I feel like I don't know what I like to read anymore, so it's hard to decide. I have a few horror books on my wishlist recommended by a Youtuber I watch, and I don't typically read horror but I do like horror movies, so I thought trying something different would be a good idea. 

Speaking of movies, I haven't been watching too many of those, either (although I feel I should get some credit for binge watching the latest season of Stranger Things, especially since that last episode was movie length). I typically have a goal to watch 100 movies in a year, and I have so many streaming platforms with a ton of movies on my watchlists, but I've only watched 26 so far this year. I don't know what my issue is here, I think I just get sucked into watching reruns on TV on my days off instead of actually picking something to watch. 

I started using Letterboxd to track my movies, so if anyone else is on there, we can follow each other! You can find my profile here. 

I also haven't been using social media very much anymore. I very rarely post on Twitter or Instagram. Even when I've taken pictures, I just haven't had the motivation to post anything. I guess I'm experiencing social media burnout. I just don't have the desire to do it. 

The only thing I've been really focusing on lately is getting back into dieting and exercising. It's definitley something I need to do and if it's all I can motivate myself to do right now, then that's ok. I always work better with a deadline, and my husband and I are going to New York for our anniversary in September (I haven't been there in five years!), so I really want to lose some weight before then so I can look good! 

I don't really know how to get out of all these ruts. I try to just take things day by day. 

04 May 2022

Highs, Lows, and Bracelets

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

My writer highs usually involve, well...actually writing! I love getting new ideas and thinking about them nonstop, or flowing through a first draft and holding nothing back. And while editing and rewriting can be hard and tedious, one of my favorite things is when I actually figure something out and everything falls into place and feels perfect. 

Another writing high for me was getting a story published in the IWSG anthology Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.  

My biggest writer low was Pitch Wars, but we don't need to talk about that...I've had a few times where people read my work and I either got a negative response or no response at all. I have learned from these scenarios to not send out my work if it's not ready, and also who I should be sending it to. Just because someone seems excited to read your work doesn't mean they're actually going to do it. 

Not writing at all is also a pretty low time. It's hard to have absolutely no desire to write or even think about writing, but right now I'm just kind of going with the flow. I think the urge to write will come back eventually, but not until I'm ready for it. 

On a side note, a few months ago I mentioned that I wanted to get into jewelry making, partially just so I could do something creative, and I finally started! I'm just making bracelets so far because I have no idea what I'm doing and figured they were the easiest. I also just like bracelets.

These were the first four I made that went with the shirt I wore on Easter (lol), and considering the fact that I'd never made a bracelet in my life, I thought they were fairly decent; 

And these are the ones I made this past weekend. I've been playing around with what materials go better with certain beads and working on the technique, and I can already see the improvement. 

I'm just gonna keep doing it because it's fun and I like shiny things. I think someday it would be nice to actually turn it into income, but that's a long way away! 

Any writing highs or lows to share? What creative outlets do you have besides writing?