Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Project Hellion Synopsis!

Hi! So I released the synopsis for Project Hellion! The cover will be coming soon. Right now, I sent Project Hellion to the beta readers, so I'm waiting for them to get back to me. I'm excited to see what they all have to say and get back to revising!

The past two days I plotted out this whole series of novelettes, which are longer than short stories but shorter than a novella. I wrote out the first one and I'm not sure if it'll go anywhere, I was more just messing around and clearing my head of Project Hellion for a little while, but it was fun to write.

Anyways! Here's Project Hellion's synopsis:

Delphi is ready to fight back. Two months have passed since Delphi acquired her icy abilities and the Shadows have kidnapped her and revealed her to the world. She’s fallen into the rhythm of a semi-normal life of friends, school, and training.

But after a mission where something goes terribly wrong, her cousin and Boy Wonder, leader of the Young Protectors, benches her from the team. Delphi runs away to stop the Shadows on her own, sick of the Protectors holding her back, and allies herself with the one person she never wanted to see again: Tremble. As she digs deeper into the history of the Shadows, dark and surprising secrets are revealed. Project Hellion, a sinister scheme set into motion by the Shadows longer ago than anyone thought, is the final piece of the puzzle and Delphi is the only one who can stop it before it’s too late.

In the final chapter of Delphi’s story, lines between good and evil are blurred, and Delphi finds herself in a role she never thought she would play. Maybe being a villain wasn’t so bad after all.

I hope you guys like and I can't wait to share the end of Delphi's story with you! Find out more about the first book in the duology Weapon Icean and more about Project Hellion HERE

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday in Review: Authors Who Have Inspired Me

Hi! So it's my birthday today!!

 I'm officially no longer a teenager. I'm twenty! Which is just crazy and time goes by too fast. I've loved being a teenager... Especially 16-19. A lot's happened in the past seven years of being a teenager. We've lived in Indiana almost the whole time. I graduated high school and started college and published two books. I got my first job and soon I'll be graduating with my associates this Fall. I've met a lot of amazing people and had a lot of great experiences. We've gone to Disney twice.

I've made some really close friends and been to three different churches! A lot of struggles and difficult times has happened to... I've struggled with panic attacks and anxiety and depression since I was like 16, and it's really encouraging to see how much I've grown in the past few years. My anxiety is still very real and most days its still a struggle, but I've learned to better manage it and have had far less panic attacks than I did earlier on.

As a writer, I've grown a lot. I published two books!! And I've grown so much in my writing and have learned so much about characters and plots and how to create a good, compelling story. My writing has grown so much since I was thirteen years old, since I was sixteen and I'm really proud of how far I've come and being able to see how much I've grown and am still growing in my writing. I couldn't have grown if I hadn't read well written books from amazing authors, so I want to share some of the authors who have influences and inspired me the most over the years.

  • Shannon Messenger is, of course, at the top of my list. I have been reading her Keeper series since I was fourteen! Her writing and stories and characters have been inspiring me for six years! When I was a little older at fifteen or sixteen I devoured her Let the Sky Fall YA trilogy and I love those just as much as the Keeper series. Her stories and characters have inspired me so much and honestly, have kept me going when I've been really down or in a writing rut. Just the thought of wanting to be as good of a writer as her one day has really spurred me on. If I can be half the writer she is and put as much time and effort into my books as she does, then I will be a happy writer. Plus, she just revealed the cover for the seventh book in the series yesterday! 
    Ahhh its so amazing!!!
    I love long Middle Grade series because we as readers get to grow up with the characters. Sophie was just a little twelve year old girl and now, I think by the seventh book she's like fourteen or fifteen? Shannon Messenger and her books will continue to inspire and influence me for a long time cuz just because I turned twenty doesn't mean I'm going to stop reading MG books. 
  • Rick Riordan is another author who heavily influenced me. I read his books when I was like twelve/thirteen. Right around the age Percy was in the first book. I really did get to grow up with Percy cuz by the time the last book came out and Percy turned sixteen, I was turning sixteen or seventeen. Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series was what made me realize my love for Greek mythology and his Kane Chronicles gave me a love for Egyptian mythology too. I'm sure I would have discovered my love for mythology and legends another way if I hadn't discovered his books, but without his books I wouldn't have this complete love and interest in history that I do now. I've spent so many hours over the years researching Greek and Roman and Norse and Egyptian mythology. I've read the myths and books about the myths and watched TV shows and movies inspired by the myths. Without Percy Jackson, and Sadie and Carter Kane, I don't think I would have the same kind of love and passion for ancient history that I do today. 
  • The same goes for Michael Buckley. Without his Sisters Grimm series I don't think I would have the same kind of love and passion for fairytales that I do today. I've spent lots of hours research and reading fairytales and reading about fairytales. I've spent hours researching their origins and learning about the Brothers Grimm. He opened up this world of fairytales to me and his series helped to instill in me a love and interest in folklore and fairytale studies. Not to mention, I read the Sisters Grimm when I was like eleven/twelve and read through all eight books as they came out throughout my teen years. I already read his latest Undertow series, a YA series. I was so glad I found that series because I got to enjoy the Sisters Grimm when I was in that age range for the genre so it was cool to read a YA series by him with a character around my age. 
  • I was introduced to the dark world of the Fay when I read 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison. Before then, fairytales had always been pretty light and fluffy with princesses and fairies. But Michelle Harrison introduced me to a now fairly popular world in the YA genre. A world full of Fay that are tricky and sometimes malicious and cruel, but also beautiful and dark. Her books gave me a different perspective on fairytales and the Fay and made me want to learn more about the Fay and their origins. 
  • Uph, I just want to mention all of my favorite authors because they've all influenced me and my writing so much but I'm trying to keep this list fairly short. So my next author is Marissa Meyer. Again, her books are a fairytale retelling. But I think, her books are some of the first real Scifi, futuristic books I read. I feel like I Am Number One was one of the first scifi books I read, but Marissa Meyer's books heavily influenced me and helped grow my love for the world of scifi. Her Lunar Chronicles were also so incredibly written and complex and inspired me to be more brave with my writing and my writing style. How she had a new POV per book, made me realize that books can come in all kinds of structures and still be good. I don't have to put my books and writing in a box. 
  • I have to mention Ingrid Law on here because I've read Savvy like a million times over the years. Besides Pictures of Hollis Woods, that is probably my all time favorite book ever. I read Ingrid Law's Savvy and knew that I wanted to be as good of a writer like her. I wanted to strive for my writing to be as good as the writing in Savvy. That is one of the books that made me fall in love with the MG genre and will forever be one of my favorite books. 
  • Ok.. so just two more and I think I'll mention them side by side. A.G. Howard and Holly Black. They're newer authors to me. I've always loved Alice in Wonderland, but A.G. Howard made me love it even more with her Splintered series. Her writing was so dark and so complex and intriguing. It inspired me to break more barriers, to try new things and not put my writing in a box. I also loved the romance in that book and I still study her writing, her characters, her plot and especially the romance subplot when I need inspiration or help with something. Holly Black is another go to to study her writing and characters and plot. She's newer to me and I've read three of her books. The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Cruel Prince. All of which are just so complex and intriguing. She is truly an incredible writer and I hope to be as good as her one day, especially when it comes to crafting complex and sophisticated characters and plots. 
  • One more! I promise! Victoria Schwab. Again. Another truly incredible writer. I study her book too, Vicious, not just because of her amazing writing, sophisticated characters and plot but also the structure of the book. She has like actual flashbacks throughout the whole book and I love flashbacks so I've loved looking through her book and studying it to figure just how I can do flashbacks well, because I know flashbacks are tricky and a tricky subject. Plus Our Savage Song and Our Dark Duet, are just amazing. The deep themes she hits in her books are just beautiful and bittersweet and I love reading her books so much. I am dying to get my hands on the sequel to Vicious called Vengeful. 
So yeah, those are some of the top most influential authors I've read. They helped craft me into the writer I am today and without them and their books, I wouldn't be the same writer or even person I am today. You should totally go check all of these authors out because they're all really awesome! And now, I'm going to go revise Silver for my birthday and do some other fun birthday stuff like eat cake! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Why 4's Are the Chosen Ones

Ok, so we're not the Chosen Ones, but I'm pretty sure a lot of us wish we were. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the 4 is a number from the Enneagram. We're the Romantics, the Individualists. In other words, we think we're pretty special. And what's more special than the Chosen One?

I've always loved the Chosen One trope. I know a lot of people, readers and writers alike, think that it's run out, a cliche, over used, but I can never get enough of the Chosen One trope. That special someone who has special powers and a special destiny.

 Think Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Sophie Foster, even the Sisters Grimm. They usually have something that makes them standout from the crowd, and even a supernatural destiny. For Harry Potter he was the boy destined to kill Voldemort, Percy Jackson (in the first and second book anyways) was the only known child of the Big Three (Poseidon, Zeus and Hades) and throughout the entire series and second series, he was the only child of Poseidon and super powerful. He was the main figure in several prophecies and was destined to come up against Kronos. Sophie Foster is an elf who had lived among humans. She's especially special because she has multiple powers, was created for a specific reason. In the latest Middle Grade book I read, The Lost Frost Girl, the main character, Owl, is the one and only daughter of Jack Frost. She has special powers and is only the second other half human, half fay child.

So yeah, the Chosen One pops up a lot, mostly in Middle Grade books and maybe's that's why I love Middle Grade books so much. The YA authors may have shied away from that trope, but the MG authors are still going strong. Since I've always been so drawn to the Chosen One, I've always wondered why. Why do I like these stories so much more than all the others? Usually, if the main character is sort of "boring" or normal and isn't special in some way I give up on the book or don't even read it at all. The only books that are the exception are Holly Black's books. She manages to craft normal, every day humans with no special powers that I always enjoy reading about. Probably because her message that humans, even if we aren't as strong or fast or powerful as supernatural creatures in her books, can still be strong and can still win and be the hero. They're kind of like books about the underdog winning against impossible odds. But it just came to me as I finished reading The Lost Frost Girl. Fours are the individualists. We love to be unique and different and special. Stand out from the crowd. And that is all the things that a Chosen One is.

Even as a writer, I've always gravitated toward the Chosen One. Every single book I've ever written, the character has been different or special in some way. Either has physical differences or special powers unique only to them or just something that makes them stand out. Because not only does that make them special, it can isolate them. As Fours... we're also sort of moody and I would say, some of us are pretty brooding too.
The perfect example of brooding 

We want deep connections and sort of do want to fit in? But we also want to stand out and be different, and that makes us isolated. Even if it we aren't isolated, I think we sort of over-dramatize our uniqueness and become brooding like oh no one could ever understand me! I'm just too different even though I really do like to be too different deep down. It's weird... but does that not make some of the best MC's? Just because they're all different or special, doesn't mean I write 4 characters all the time. Take Delphi for example. She's the MC of Weapon Icean and Project Hellion. She's different from the others because she has the rare ability of cryokinesis. Her hands and legs are made of ice and her hair is shimmery blue-purple. She stands out from the others. But she's also an 8 (sort of the equivalent of a Slytherin is how I imagine it). She's ambitious, impulsive and demanding. She's a natural leader, which also makes it hard for her to follow orders or work well with others. Then there's Renee. Again, she's special. She has a unique ability as well, only this comes from the alien/scifi side of the story. But she's definitely not an 8. Renee is defiant and she questions everything and is always suspicious of everyone and everything. But she also spends a fair amount of time attempting to not have a giant freak out over all the craziness that happens in her life. My third big and most favorite MC I've created is Tabitha Sterling, teen vampire hunter. She's different too. She has more enhanced skills and senses, sort of like Buffy, only not with all the crazy destiny, vampire slayer stuff. But Tabitha is also a classic 4. She wears neon boots and has tons of neon clothes so that she stands out in any crowd. She's also a total romantic and yet withdrawn and sort of moody too. A total 4.

Also, this is one of the problems I'm having right now with books, is that if a book doesn't have a good love interest or a romantic subplot, I most likely won't read it or won't finish it. I don't know if I can really relate this to being a 4, though we are called the Romantics. But lately, all these YA books are boring me! The only YA book so far, that I've absolutely loved is The Cruel Prince because Holly Black knows how to write a book without having an actual romantic subplot. Most other writers do not. This is probably a subject for another post, but it's seriously been getting to me. I guess I'm just a sucker for the cliches. I love the Romeo and Juliet plot. I love the star crossed lovers plot. Honestly, I love most all of the cliche love subplots. What happened to them? Now the YA market is dominated by strong, independent female protagonists who don't have a love story or romantic subplot at all!! It's all about them and how they have to save the world or the galaxy or whatever. It's exhausting to read. Or, if there is a love interest, he's not taken seriously. He's just sort of there for a kiss once in a while or a declaration of totally fake, not well written love. I'm really sick of it and I'm sick of female protagonists who think they're all that and of books who through away the romantic subplot or romance in general. Between a guy and a girl! I don't want any girl/girl romance. Anyways, that's just me.

So, yeah, if you read any of my stuff, just be prepared that my MC will probably be special or different in some way, whether it be in a big, world changing way or a small, important way and they will almost always have a romantic subplot. Always have a love interest.

I guess there really isn't a huge point to this post, besides the fact that I wanted to share something that I found interesting. Just an interesting observation about myself that has to do with books I read and the books I write. As a writer we should always be growing and changing and learning more about ourselves, especially through our writing. Over the years, I've learned a lot about the art of writing and I've learned a lot about myself through my writing and this is one of those times. No matter what genre I'm in, no matter what kind of personality my MC has, there will always be something special about them, because that's what I love and is an important part of who I am. Being different. Look through, your writing. Do a mental list of all your MC's and see if you have any specific patterns or themes. Maybe one day I'll try and leave my comfort zone and break out of the special one/Chosen One but for now, I'm pretty good with where I'm at with my writing right now. I would also be interested to know if there are any other 4's out there who prefer Chosen One books like I do?

So yeah, those are two cents on the Chosen One plot and the romantic subplot. I will probably end up writing a blog post on how annoyed I am at the YA genre right now, probably for next week. Anyways! I hope you've enjoyed listening to me ramble about the 4 and how special we are ;). I'll see you Friday! Which is my birthday. I turn twenty and I'm so excited!

But what are your thoughts? What do you think of the Chosen One trope? 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday in Review: Star Wars Rebels

So, I've been a fan of Star Wars for like ever. In my family, you just kind of grow up knowing how Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are. My little brothers watched the original trilogy when they were like five and six! I also watched Disney's TV show, The Clone Wars and have been watching Star Wars Rebels since it first came on. But now, Star Wars Rebels is coming to a close which is so sad cuz I think Disney does a fantastic job broadening the Star Wars universe in their shows. I feel like I know so much more about the world and the characters from those shows, than I ever did from the movies. They have so much more creative licence and it's also cool how everything that is introduced in the shows is totally cannon. It effects what they do in the movies. Anyways, in honor of Star Wars Rebels ending in just like a week or so, I think I would share some of my favorite, and in my opinion, best characters in the Star Wars universe.

Just so you know, I am a fan of the prequels. That always gets me a lot of weird looks when I mention that cuz everyone hates the prequels. I'm not going to say they were amazingly written or acted, but I will say, the characters, at their core, were compelling and complex. Especially, Anakin. I don't care what you say, his character arc and character himself had depth and was unique among the light vs. dark, black and white, good vs. evil theme of the Star Wars universe. Plus, after watching The Clone Wars (that did a better job portraying his character and making him more likable), he is by far one of my most favorite characters. And yes, I am a fan of Jar Jar. I don't understand the hate people have for him.

Anyways, so here are some of my favorite Star Wars characters from The Clone Wars and Rebels:

  • Anakin Skywalker: Like I said, he's one of my favorite Star Wars characters. Mostly because he had a really great negative character arc and I love my negative character arcs and antiheroes. In the Clone Wars, he also just has a really great personality. A rebellious streak and cockiness that is fun to watch. 
  • Ahsoka Tano: I love how Ahsoka has become this beloved character in the Star Wars universe. If you watched The Clone Wars, I can guarantee you ended up watching it mostly because of her. I think giving Anakin a padawan was the smartest thing the writers ever did. Ahsoka just has this great, snippy personality and I really loved the bond she had with Anakin. Even though it was sad, I did kind of like how she left the Jedi Order at the end of season five. I feel like, in the shows, they do so much more than just the cliche light vs. dark. Jedi vs. Sith. They really get to blur the lines and show people a different perspective on both the Jedi order and the Siths. Ahsoka left, which was really fresh and original and I feel like it would have been uncharacteristic of her to stay. She needed to learn how to trust herself and be who she is without the Jedi Order. She had to learn how to be a "Jedi master" in a way, without her master there to guide her hold her hand, which I think is a cool theme within both The Clone Wars and now in Star Wars Rebels. I was so excited when she came in Star Wars Rebels all grown up and wise! 

  • Sabine Wren: She's from Star Wars Rebels. I've always loved the Mandalorians, ever since watching The Clone Wars. Maybe it's their armor and how awesome they look in it, or the cool jet-packs and guns they have, or just how the writers set up their society. They did a lot of world-building for the Mandalorians in Clone Wars and I really enjoyed getting to know their society, their laws and codes of honor. Plus, Sabine is an artist and loves blowing stuff up and her armor is so stylish and cool and her hair is always different colors. She's just really awesome and spunky.  
  • Kanan Jarris: I liked Kannan from the start. Again, in the shows, the writers get to do more than just your either a Jedi or your not. Kannan, technically, is a Jedi, but the Jedi Order died when he was younger and he became a rebel. He respected a lot of the traditions of the Jedi Order, but he also did his own thing. The rules of the Order didn't tie him down, like the fact that Jedi weren't allowed to marry or fall in love (you know what I'm talking about if you've watched season 4). I wish we could have had more backstory on him and had some flashbacks because his life before Ezra, seems so interesting. Hera has mentioned his past several times, how they first met and stuff, and it would have been cool to see how they did meet and how Kannan ended up with the crew that he starts out with on Rebels. I also liked how he learned more about himself and how to be a Jedi, through teaching Ezra. It was like they were teaching each other and learning together at the same time. 
  • Ezra Bridger: Again, I really liked Ezra from the beginning, which I think shows how good the writers of these shows are. As I rewatch from season 1, I realize that he had the potential to become a Sith. If he had been picked up by someone other than Kannan, he would have been pulled to the Dark Side because of his past of growing up on the streets and the anger and fear inside of him. But Kannan found him first and Ezra has gone from cocky padawan to a true leader. A Jedi. I loved Ahsoka and Anakin, but I kind of liked having Ezra and Kannan as master and padawan. It just felt really right and balanced. Having a "nobody" kid who is picked up by a Jedi and trained, it felt like they were getting back to the roots of where Star Wars began with Luke Skywalker. In this latest season, despite being upset about the thing that happened that I won't say because I don't want to spoil it, I think it was for the best. It's a lot like how Ahsoka had to leave her master to become a person of her own and make her own decisions. To become the type of person she was meant to become. Like her, Ezra was at that time when he was old enough to sort of "leave the nest" or learn how to stand on his own two feet as a Jedi and leader and young man without Kannan there to guide or hold his hand. 

  • Hera Syndulla: She is such a lovable character in Rebels. I probably should have realized this sooner, but its cool how like in the Star Wars universe there are stereotypes and how within that universe, the writers try to break them. Like she's twi'lek and in most of the movies and other areas of the Star Wars universe twi'leks, especially females, are seen in skimpy clothes hanging around Jaba the Hutt and bars and stuff. They're more like objects to people than anything else because their pretty. But Hera is nothing like that. She wears baggy, yet stylish, clothes, is fierce and strong and one of the best pilots in the Star Wars universe. I would even say she rivals Anakin's flying. She's like the mom of the Rebel group, keeping everyone in check and on mission Plus, her and Kannan are just so sweet and perfect together. It's adorable. 
  • Asaj Ventress: Here's my list of favorite bad guys I guess. I liked Ventress from the beginning. She had a really cool look and she was just a really great bad guy. Her story and character arc through the Clone Wars was really cool too! Like she never truly turned to the light side, but she also didn't stay in the dark side. She was looking out for herself by the end of the series and even became a sort of ally to Ahsoka. The writers were smart and even gave her a few episodes just to her character arc and her story, which I think is really cool and made her a more likable character.   
  • Darth Maul: He didn't really say a lot in the movies, but again... he looked really cool and was just a really good bad guy. I liked how they made more time to develop his character in Clone Wars. Seriously the guy just doesn't die. You can cut him in half and he'll somehow find a way to stay alive. It was really cool though, when they explored his home planet and the culture he grew up in and it gave his character more depth. 
  • Cad Bane: I had to add him because even though he isn't in Clone Wars a ton, he's still pretty cool. He's a bounty hunter and has got rocket boots and a cool hat and voice and that's about all I can say about him. I guess when it comes to bad guys I swing one way or the other. Either I love them for a really deep reason like character arc and depth and complexity, or I just think they look cool. 

So yeah, I guess this is more just a goodbye to a sort of era of the Star Wars universe. I hope they do continue the Star Wars TV shows and I would love to see an older Ezra and Sabine and like Ahsoka and stuff in the next series they make. But I feel like, depending on how they close this series, this might be the end of the Clone Wars/Rebels period of the Star Wars world. Which would be bittersweet, because those are the two shows that made me more than just a passive fan of Star Wars. I've really loved sharing my love for the Clone Wars with my eleven year old brother and I look forward to getting to see Ever enjoy the show too. He's the true Star Wars fan of this family, and I think it's cool to watch him grow up playing Battlefront and watching the newest Star Wars movies that comes out. But yeah, I'll missing the characters of Star Wars Rebels and I hope they make another show because I think that would be pretty cool.

Have a great weekend everyone!! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Hardworking Creative Blog Launch!

Hey! So, I was asked if I could share the launch of this awesome new blog on here, so here it is! It's a blog for hardworking creatives, like writers, dancers, singers, painters, any sort of creative artist to gather inspiration, motivation and tips on how to become a successful creative.

It launched today and you should definitely check it out! Click HERE to check it out! This site was built to create community between creatives, and a fun fact, I think it's pretty cool that this idea was inspired by The Greatest Showman. So, definitely go check it out and visit the site often for updates and new blog posts!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monthly Wrap-Up: February

January felt like a life time, that month took forever, but February's always seem short... probably because they are. It's been a good month, but I'm ready for March! My birthday is next week on Friday and I'm turning twenty! I'll officially no longer be a teenager. :( ;) The weather is starting to warm up a little bit. I mean, it's still cold most days, but more frequently we're getting 50-60 degree weather, which is nice... but also... I love the cold and wearing jeans and boots. Spring is always bittersweet for me because by the time March comes around I'm sort of ready for a little warmer weather, but on the other hand... I'm also just not. I'm not ready for summer and the heat and having to wear shorts at all. 

Anyways, here's everything I've been up to over the past month. 

February Writing: Writing-wise, it's been a pretty productive month. I've finished the pen and paper revisions and edits on Project Hellion and am now putting it into Word. I'm ahead of the schedule I had planned for Project Hellion so I'm happy about that.
Also, I'm having a bit of a new idea for new books block, so instead of pushing it, I decided to work on a book that's been in the back of my head all of last year. In May 2016 I wrote a book about a teen vampire hunter with romance and action and awesomeness. It was probably one of the most fun I've had writing a book before writing Golden. Tabitha and Sebastian were so real to me from the very beginning and I know the supernatural genre full of werewolves and vampires so that whole world is very familiar to me and I can write it so easily. Anyways, I revised it through five drafts in 2016 and then I got stuck and just decided to take a break. I guess I sort of got caught up in other stuff, because I'm just now touching it after a whole year of not even looking at the document. But I've been itching to get to work on it again, so I'm excited and really excited cuz I have some great ideas for a second and third book! So yeah, that's what I've been doing. Along with writing a few things here and there, just sort of messing around with ideas. But right now, my main focus is Project Hellion and working on that. 

February Reading: February has actually been a really productive reading month. I read a sweet, fairytale-retelling middle grade book called Snow and Rose with beautiful illustrations inside by Emily Winfield Martin. Natalie Lloyd also came out with her new book The Problim Children, which is a first in a new series of hers. It was really good and sweet and funny and quirky and magical. Natalie Lloyd is one of my most favorite writers because of her sweet, silly and whimsical middle grade tales she spins. 

After reading those two books, I was feeling the middle grade magic vibe and went ahead and read the entire nine books in the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. I love those books so much and will never outgrow Michael Buckley's series. Just a few days ago, I also started the sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza called Blood of a Thousand Stars. So far, I'm liking it. I wish there was more romance, but it's pretty good. I know some people find this cliche or like its all run out in the YA genre, but I love the story of forbidden love and just romance in general in the books I read. This book is good, but like the first one, it's lacking some major romance. 

February Music: I've been listening to a lot of instrumental music like Two Steps from Hell and Autiomachine along with my usual. My Project Hellion playlist and now, when I'm working on Tabitha's story, I listen to the playlist I made for her like forever ago. 

February TV Shows and Movies: February has also been pretty full of TV shows and movies. At the beginning of February I went to see The Maze Runner: The Death Cure with some friends. I literally was about ready to have an anxiety attack when those creepy zombie people showed up. I had completely forgotten that the virus turns people into zombie people in the second movie and so it took me by surprise and they totally freaked me out! They were so gross and creepy looking! Of course, Dylan O'Brian was amazing and I enjoyed watching him in the movie. 

The movie was super action packed and full of near misses and near death experiences. It kept me on the edge of my seat like the whole time! I rewatched some Teen Wolf, mainly the Void Stiles season, cuz despite it being one of the creepier seasons, it's also one of my favorites. Then I saw Black Panther with some friends. I was really unimpressed with the trailer and went in with very low expectations. It looked like a total guy-action packed movie with no plot from the trailers, and after seeing Thor Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which had way too much humor in and Spider-Man Homecoming which was a total disappointment, I figured Marvel would continue their movie slump with Black Panther. 

I was so wrong! I was thoroughly impressed with Black Panther and honestly, T'Challa is one of my new favorite Marvel characters. He was a great leader, very wise and honorable. Not to mention the movie had the perfect amount of serious and funny, unlike the last few Marvel movies. 

But what sold me on the whole movie, was Erik Killmonger. 

Oh my gosh, he is my new favorite Marvel villain. They did an amazing job creating him and giving him backstory and making you understand where he's coming from. I really liked how they spent almost as much time on him as they did on T'Challa. He was just a really great bad guy and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him in the movie. 

I also just recently watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I'm a big fan of sci-fi. I love aliens and space and high tech gadgets and the weirdness that goes with sci-fi. This movie was fun... It was a good, like, zone out, forget life movie. The romance wasn't very good... though I did enjoy watching Valerian and Loreline's interactions throughout the movie and how devoted they are to each other as partners and friends. 

There was absolutely zero character development and some parts were just really strange, but that sometimes goes with the territory of odd alien races and stuff. Somehow though, by the end of the movie, I still found myself really liking Valerian and I did enjoy the movie quite a bit. 

I've also caught up on the latest and last season of Star Wars Rebels. I was like crying last night cuz of that... spoiler, that happened in the Jedi Night. Oh my gosh! I just knew it was going to happen. One of them would be gone, I just didn't know which one. It was very Joss Whedin of them to do that. The minute two characters are happy and they're ripped apart. It. Was. Brutal! 

February Life Stuff: I guess one big thing that happened in February is I got accepted to IU. I don't know... I guess I should have reacted more excited and like a normal person when they get accepted to a college, but I am just sort of happy? And a little indifferent? Probably because I was so confidant in myself that I figured I would make it in and didn't even have to worry about being rejected. But I do know it's a big accomplishment and an exciting thing and I'm happy and proud of myself for getting this far and doing well enough at Ivy Tech to actually get accepted. 

I signed in and I have a few other things to do, but yeah, I'll be starting IU in the Fall! I guess I should probably figure out what I want to be when I grow up, besides being a writer. Gotta make money while I wait for my writing career to kick off, somehow, right? So yeah, there's that. 

I got a new phone too! The Iphone 7! So I was excited about that, especially since my old phone was starting to kind of die.

Also, it was my little brother's birthday. He turned eleven this year! They grow up so fast and I can't believe he's already eleven. We had cake and Chinese food and it was a fun day and he had a good time. There was Valentine's Day which is always a good day cuz I get chocolate. And yeah, that's about it. Nothing super exciting happened in February haha Now I'm looking forward to March and my birthday and stuff. 

So yeah, that was my February. Lots of reading and writing and going to see movies. I can't believe I went to see two movies in theaters in one month! Usually, I don't go and see like any cuz they're so expensive! But it was fun and I had a good time hanging out with friends while watching those movies. Like I said, I'm looking forward to March, which is my favorite month. 

I hope you're guys' February was great and safe and fun and flu-free! My flu and cold season is still going pretty strong, but me and my family are out of the woods I think. We've gotten pretty much everything you could get over the Winter... or at least I did. So I don't have to worry about getting anything else. Have a great rest of the week everyone and a great March!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Writing Update: Project Hellion

Hey everyone! So, I thought I would give an update this week on my writing and what I've been up to writing-wise since the beginning of this year. I feel like a lot has happened since January 2018, especially when it comes to my writing. After finishing revisions on Silver, I decided to take a break on that trilogy (which makes me sad but I promised myself I would definitely get back to those books as soon as the big revisions on Project Hellion are complete), so that I could work more or less exclusively on the sequel to Weapon Icean. This book was my nanowrimo novel for 2016 and 2017 and I spent most of 2017 working and reworking on this book until it all finally fit together. I think this is the longest I've ever worked on a book, which just goes to show how incredibly fast I can be and how incredibly impatient I can be. But if 2017 taught me anything, it was to be patient, especially when it comes to my writing.

Anyways, so, I was calling the sequel Project Khione for the longest time. It fit all the earlier drafts, but after writing my 2017 nanowrimo version of the story and then spending all of January revising it, I realized that title didn't really fit the book anymore. But I still need a project-something in the book and came up with Project Hellion! It's a big deal in the book and it just fit really well, so that's the title! I know most authors have big title reveals and stuff, but I guess I'm not really doing that, so here's my title reveal. Project Hellion. Look for it later this year. I'm also working on the back-cover blurb and I'm hoping that will be revised and complete soon so that I can share a little piece of what the story is about with all of you!

Honestly, I was in a pretty discouraging place with this story last year. At the beginning of 2017 I had gone through one version of the story after another, desperately trying to figure out how I wanted to end or continue Delphi's story and what the story was even going to be about. I got to the point where I was just frustrated and sick of the story and needed a major break, so I gave myself the time to step away and do something else. To focus on something else. I focused on Of Magic and Mayhem and then Golden and Silver later in the year. I think I needed that. My writing-craft wasn't advanced enough to write Project Hellion at the beginning of 2017. Project Hellion required something more of me as a writer that I didn't have yet. Writing those short stories for Of Magic and Mayhem and then writing Golden and Silver, taught me the things I needed to do Project Hellion justice. All three of those books advanced my writing and made me a stronger writer and I'm really proud of how Project Hellion is turning out. I feel like it is some of my strongest writing and that's because I let myself step back and just leave the book alone and not obsess over it or rush it. I spent all of December working on Silver and decided that I was going to spend as much time as I needed on Project Hellion starting in January. All of January I've been through like six drafts, I think. Working and reworking the story. I practically rewrote the entire book during the second draft cuz my first drafts tend to be complete messes and all over the place with the story. I've changed and rewrote and switched up scenes. I've spent hours on character and thinking about how best to develop the theme and make this book as strong as it can be.

Now, I'm in the middle of doing something that I have never had the patience to do before. For a lot of my books I've always printed them out thinking, oh yeah I'm going to do this! I hear all these authors and writing saying how good it is to print out your book and go through it with pen and paper, I'm going to do that! A few chapters in my patience is gone and I just can't do it. Until Project Hellion. I've spent almost this entire month of February going through Project Hellion on paper with a pen and revising. It's amazing! I've noticed so many grammar problems, small inconsistencies and plot problems that I wouldn't have noticed on my computer. Now, when it comes time to plug all of the changes back into my computer... that'll be hard for me, but I think, after going through it all on paper, I'll have the patience to put it all into Word again. Even if I don't, I'll still have to make the time and the patience to do it because my book will be better off for it. So yeah, I've really enjoyed reading over Project Hellion. I've actually caught myself not wanting to stop reading it because I haven't like gone through the whole story since I wrote and rewrote the first and second draft! I really, really hope that all the readers who get this book, enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed working on it and reading it.

After I finish this next round of revisions of putting all my changes back into my computer, I'm going to see if I can find some beta readers. I know I have at least two or three people who will read through it and give me solid feedback, so that's good, and I'm hoping to maybe find some others. To be honest, I've never really had beta readers... but I feel like I'm more connected in the writing community now to where I can find people to help me make my book better. I also want my book to be read by several people before I publish it, so that I can change things and make it better and I refuse to publish it until that happens. So yeah, that's what I've been doing the last two months, more or less tirelessly working on Project Hellion. Writing has really taken up a lot of my time and I know some people (non-writers) may not understand how you can find so much joy and excitement and purpose in your life just by sitting at a desk and writing day in and day out, but I've had the best time. I love having a project to work on and make better and to create worlds and characters. It's the best thing in the world and I'm so excited to share this story with all of you. I've worked so hard on it and I really hope people will enjoy it! As someone who sometimes struggles with feeling like I have any purpose in my life, like I'm not doing anything or fulfilling anything, writing has really helped me with that. Writing makes me feel like I'm working toward something and making a difference and it just gives me purpose, which helps me to be a healthier person.

As much as I love Project Hellion, I'm kind of excited for when I can take a break from it or finish it, so I can get back to my Renee and Zayde. I miss them and I think about Golden a lot and how eager I am to get back to work on that story. While writing Project Hellion, I've also sort of gotten back into the fairytale phase... I read Snow and Rose and then The Problim Children, which is magical in it's own right, and now I'm rereading the Sisters Grimm series and after I finish rereading that series, I'm going to buy The Hazel Woods cuz that book sounds amazing! So, in my free time I've sort of been dabbling in several different little writing projects. I haven't really finished any of them and I'm not really taking any of them too seriously. They're most just to let me continue to practice my writing and stretch my imagination a bit as I work on Project Hellion. I was working on a sci-fi alien story with Area 51 and conspiracies, but now I have the fairytale feels and I've been dabbling in a few different versions and ideas of a Peter Pan/Pied Piper retelling. One is middle grade and the other idea is Young Adult so I'm just sort of letting myself explore a bit and see if I find something that really sticks.

So yeah, that's what I've been doing. Lots of Project Hellion and bits and pieces of stories scattered all over the place. My poor flashdrive has so many unfinished stories and beginnings of stories right now, it's crazy, but also awesome. I hope the last two months have been exciting and fun and that your writing has been productive and fun and purposeful as much as mine has. I'll post the back-cover blurb of Project Hellion up here as soon as it's ready and I'm excited to continue this journey of publishing my first ever sequel!

Have a great rest of the week and thanks for coming to my blog and reading! I hope you've enjoyed it and find encouragement on here!