Change of Plans

Remember a few months ago when I was like “I want to read more diverse books. I’ll get you guys a list”? Yeah, about that . . .

I know originally I said I’d be providing a list of books with neurodivergent main characters. I still am (sort of), but I’ve decided to add in a few more things to keep it interesting. So I’m actually going to have MULTIPLE LISTS!! (cue the confetti)

First up we’ve got our list of neurodivergent MCs:

Next I thought I’d provide you with a few books with some lovely trans characters:

  • Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey (amazon) (goodreads)

Thirdly we have our beautiful aces:

And finally allow me to present you with a list of books that have gorgeous bisexuals:

Thanks so much to my friend Caitlin for helping me compile these lists! You should all go talk to her. She’s cool I promise.

Yeah, okay, I know. This list is pretty pathetic. Do you want to know why? Because if I sat here and typed up every book I found, none of us would be going anywhere for a long, long while.

Here’s the deal: I found a lot of information. When I started researching, I was pretty overwhelmed. These books are definitely out there you guys. You just have to look for them.

I was so excited to share these titles with you. I actually started writing this post almost two months ago. At the time I had a more optimistic idea about it. And then I stopped and thought for a minute. There was no way I could read all of these books before posting this. It would take so much time, and I did want to get this list here for you. And the idea of posting a list of books I (or in this case someone I trust the opinion of) haven’t read? To me that is a terrible idea. They could be offensive or badly written or not representative in a good way. So, I went with listing a few books that Caitlin has read (along with a couple I have) because I trust her opinion on this and know she would never lead you guys astray.

But don’t think I’m just going to leave you guys at that. Nope, I found exactly what I needed in a Twitter thread. So, without any more babbling from yours truly, here is a list of trans #ownvoices authors, as recommended by Ana Mardoll on Twitter.

Here is a link to the neurodivergent #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

Here is a link to the bisexual #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

Here is a link to the asexual #ownvoices tag on Twitter.

I’m also going to plug Tristina Wright here because I’m so excited for her book 27 Hours it’s crazy. It’s got plenty of representation too (see you thought it didn’t fit in this post but it does)(I sometimes get stuff right).

If you guys want to do more research on this, I recommend just typing that into your searchbar to start. Yeah, you’re probably going to run into problems sooner rather than later, but it’s a place to start. And I would like to really, really stress the importance of supporting #ownvoices creators. Seriously. This is so important. I can’t even begin to explain how much it matters that you support your #ownvoices creators.

(Have you noticed I keep using the hashtag? Have you taken the hint and plugged it into your favorite social media yet? You should. Just saying.)

I know this isn’t what I promised. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what I thought this post would be. But I hope you explore the titles here and find some of your own that you love.

Well, I have editing to get back to. Bye!

Kailey

 

Island Of Exiles

HI WORLD HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Did you guys appreciate my excitement and all caps? You really should have. Excitement is a beautiful thing.

So it’s currently 10:57 as I type this I am on spring break and life is good but here’s the thing: I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I FINISHED ISLAND OF EXILES AND IT WAS BLOODY BRILLIANT! (I hope that’s a thing people say)(I’m sorry I’m such a dork).

I’m going to get right into this because I have so much to say about this book. It was truly fantastic.

SO. Island Of Exiles.

First off, let me just say that Erica Cameron is one talented writer. I had the opportunity to read the first few chapters on Wattpad before I could get my hands on the book itself. This was good, as it kept me happy until I was actually able to get to a bookstore (thanks mom).

WOW. Writing = phenomenal. Plot = fantastic. Premise = brand new.

Basically, I knew I needed to get my hands on this book. Now that I have, and have attacked it with the appropriate amount of gusto (aka I read it in one sitting last weekend and only came up for air to hang with my dad for an hour because it was his birthday) I am SO ready to give you my review.

Obviously I hated it. Oh, wait, I spelled “loved” wrong. (I know, my jokes are bad. You’re still here though aren’t you?)

Getting down to the review portion of this post now. For real this time.

In my Windwitch review I mentioned how I loved that romantic love was not the focus. Yeah, Island is much the same way. Romance has a presence, but it is small and not nearly as important as the other relationships. Family carries a lot of weight for Khya and I loved seeing that in a genre that tends to dismiss familial reltionships at times. Khya’s reltionship with her brother Yorri was at the core of the novel and it shaped the story around it beautifullly.

While love might not be the most important thing, I saw a little bit of it here and there. Tessen, who is my new favorite character in the entire world, is the male love interest for Khya, but that doesn’t mean he’s got her running after him. Truly the opposite. The dynamic between these two is intense and left me wanting more more MORE of them on the page. But, even then, it is not romance that holds them together. It’s a complicated, electric dynamic that filled in the peripheral and central stories.

The landscape was also a character in itself. It had a very Australia feel, from what I know of the continent. I couldn’t picture this story set anywhere else, otherwise it would have been a very different plot altogether.

One more thing that fits into the world in a different, but just as important, way: LGBTQIA+ representation is spilling off the page. In Island, bisexuality is the norm and asexuality is accepted without blinking an eye. There are three genders, male, female and ebet. I don’t want to mess up an explanation about ebets so I’ll leave the explaining to Erica Cameron. But, simply put, ebets are intersex.

See what I mean about representation? And, trust me, it is necessary to the overall story. Cameron weaved this into her world-building seamlessly and made it essential to her story.

The way this book was written hooked me in. I love when language is put to use in a detailed and deliberate way. Overall this read quickly and I had trouble putting it down to do my actual, class-required reading.(plot twist: I didn’t. I finished the book first, then did my work. Don’t tell my profs guys). 110% recommend.

Sorry for getting this review up so late. It seems like a theme with my posts lately, sadly. I’m working on it.

Okay, I’m off to enjoy my spring break with-surprise-a book! Bye!!

Kailey

Mental Illness Visibility in the Creative Arts

Hello. It’s been a while. I hope everyone has been fighting the horrors the world has been throwing at us and reading a good book or two. I know I have.

Update on my life (I’m going to pretend you all care for a few minutes). I am neck deep (fun expression, good band as well) in Windwitch and I am so upset I haven’t had the time to devour it yet like I wanted to. Rest assured it will get done. As soon as it does I’ll have a review up for you all.

I have not been writing nearly as much as I’d hoped. At least, I haven’t been writing for anything other than school. I wrote a speech the other day that had to be fictionalized. That was an adventure. Let me say, I do not think I have a future in speech writing. I think I’ll stick with fiction.

Also, I saw Twenty One Pilots in Chicago last weekend. (I know what you’re thinking: “What purpose does this have on a book blog Kailey? Why do you always go off on tangents Kailey?” I promise this has to do with my topic today. And I go on tangents because I have a lot to say that isn’t always relevant but I enjoy sharing anyway). On this subject let me just say something about that band: they put on a show. I’ve been telling everyone I know how it’s the best live show I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure everyone is really sick of hearing about it (minus my friend who brought me with her)(she’s a massive fan and this band means so much to her)(I’m trying to get her to meet them but it’s not going too well)(story for another time though). 

One of the reasons I say this was such an amazing show was because of the energy in the room. I have been to a lot of shows. I’ve seen a lot of crowds: good, terrible, and everything in between.

I have never seen anything like this. 

There is a moment when Tyler Joseph is singing “we’re broken people” and the crowd is singing along with him. The ability for thousands and thousands of people to take up this chant, not as an admittance of guilt but as an empowering truth, it blew me away. It really made sense to me then, why everyone loves this band so much. Yes, they make good music. Yes, they are phenomenal performers. But the reason they speak to so many people is because they have paved the way for everyone to admit that it’s okay not to be okay. They have done what people loathe to do and talked about mental illness, brought it into the world in a way that shows the reality, not the romanticization, of it.

This is something that I feel like needs to be done more. Yes, there are people out there who are open about their struggles. More and more people open up every day. In the world of creativity, I would argue doing this is more important than ever.

There is a long history of people in the creative arts struggling with a mental illness of some sort. Addiction, depression, and alcoholism are just three of the most commonly associated diseases that come to mind when people are talking about artists or writers. But the problem is, no one talks about this until after the fact. It’s the same with ordinary people. So many people cannot or will not talk about their struggles because there is still such a stigma surrounding mental illness. No one, save for a brave few, is willing to take on the judgment that comes with opening up about their problems.

I don’t think I need to tell you all how much I hate this. It makes me very, very, very, a thousand times very mad. However, I know you guys don’t read these to hear me rant. (Side note: I’m not sure why you read these posts but thank you if you do.)

Obviously this issue means a lot to me. Like the two men in that band, I want to help people. I want to reach out and show people that not everyone is okay, and that’s alright. Some people’s brains are just different and that isn’t their faults.

My very first manuscript is about a girl struggling with demons. It’s been a project four years in the making and probably another four at least before it’s  going to see the light of day, if it ever does. But I will not stop writing about this issue because it is one that needs to be addressed.

Off the top of my head I can only name a handful of books that have characters or struggles like the ones I’m talking about. This is potentially due to my lack of exposure to such books (as much as I’d like to I cannot read every book out there). I would argue though that it’s also due to the lack of people writing about these problems. I see more and more upcoming books that have characters like mine and who suffer from similar problems as so many in reality do. I cannot wait to read them. But there needs to be more. 

Like the men in Twenty One Pilots we need to talk about this. We need to show the world that this is what we look like, this is who we are, and that this is not our faults. That is why I write what I write. One day I hope to have helped even a fraction of the people that they have. 

I was inspired last weekend. I saw something I could never have even dreamed of. It was a reality that I want to see spreading, through books, music, anything, and everything. It was beautiful to witness, and certainly put a fresh energy into my writing. And this is just the beginning. I’m excited for what is to come.

So, that’s my incoherent, strange rant for the day. I hope this made some sense at least. Organizing this post was a struggle but I hope it came out alright. 

This definitely turned into a more pro-Twenty One Pilots thing than I had planned. They’re a great band and I hope you guys listen to them. If nothing else, do it for their lyrics. It’s some of the best song writing I’ve ever seen. Use it to inspire your own writing.

I am picturing people reading this going “Yes I already know that. I’ve been listening to them for years. What rock did you just crawl out from under that you just found out about them?” Well, to tell you the truth I’ve only been listening to them for a few months, and even then only because my friend invited me to go with her to this concert. BUT I was hooked in right away. So yes I know I’m super late to the party but I’m here now! (If you’re a super fan I’m sorry don’t hate me)(so many fans at the concert gave me looks guys. I was so afraid. They are intense human beings)(but they were all super shocked when I started rapping almost every song alongside them hehe)(okay I’ll get back to the point now).

This was a really long and confusing post but I hope it made some people happy, or thoughtful, or that it made sense to you in some way. If anyone can think of some good books that have characters that are neurodivergent feel free to comment them below (they don’t have to be YA but if they aren’t please specify)! I’ll be making a post soon of recommendations of books that showcase these stories, and would love some input if anyone has it!

And, as always, I must go do work now. I will leave you with this lyric that speaks to me from (naturally) the Twenty One Pilots song “Fake You Out”:

Our brains are sick but that’s okay.

Kailey

P.S. – I know this was really heavy about the band. I blame the concert partly. Almost a week later and I’m still buzzing from that show. But their message really is relevant to what I’m trying to say here. I am sorry if I went a little overboard though. Okay. Bye.

A Shadow Bright and Burning

Hellooooooooooooooo!

That was a lot of o’s, I apologize (but I’m not changing it. I like it). Anywho I hope everyone who is reading this is having a fabulous day/night. As I write this I am packing to go back to school (semester starts Monday. Send help). College is still hard (shocker of the century right?) but I’m really looking forward to a couple of my classes this semester. I’m taking a poetry workshop and a class about female writers, in addition to a bunch of other classes. So things are about to get VERY busy for me. 

Don’t worry, I won’t let it alter my reading or writing schedules (I sincerely hope). I just wanted to share, because I felt the need to do so.

Time to move on from all that boring school talk. So last night I finished A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. And, remember how I said I wanted to do more book reviews? WELL, I decided to make this my very first (short) book review of the new year! So, let’s get down to it.

This is a spoiler-free review.

From Amazon: 

“I am Henrietta Howel. 

The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years. 

The prophesied one. 

Or am I? 

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. 

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers. 

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. 

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?”

One of the first things I noticed about the book is the relationship dynamics. There is a mixture of friendships and love interests and the lines are often blurred and overlapping. While this is common in YA, the relationships weren’t the central focus of Shadow. They were motivation and important to the main character, Henrietta Howel, but there was only one that could be considered central to her goal. I liked the lack of “real” love interests. Some might argue Henrietta’s friendship with Rook is a love interest but I disagree. The bond there is strong no doubt, but desperation and a need for closeness does not make a true love interest to me. Their friendship triumphs over what romantic love they might possess, in my eyes.

Another thing I noticed was that the idea of a female sorcerer is nearly ludicrous in this world. Women are viewed as not being capable of handling magic. This, to me, is a thinly veiled representation of women in power in reality. I understand that this is at the core of so many YA novels as well, but I think it could’ve been done a little better. I think it would’ve added to the story. While I did not appreciate how transparent this was, overall I enjoyed the book. 

One note: in my opinion it’s a very plot-driven story. The characters are strong but not as fleshed out as they could be. As Shadow is the first in a series I’m sure they will be more developed as the books go on. According to Amazon, book two comes out in September. I’m hoping to see more character development in the sequel. As it is, the most eye-catching character to me was Blackwood, and he was one of the more silent characters Cluess chose to focus on.  

As far as books go I would rate it above average, but not fantastic. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads. Still, I recommend it if you enjoy YA fantasy (I know, I know, you’re thinking “more YA fantasy? Really?” Well guess what: YES). It might not crack my all-time favorite list, but it is for sure worth a read. 

I hope you guys found this helpful. If not, I’m sorry about that. If you’ve read Shadow already let me know what you thought in the comments!

I have to get back to packing, unfortunately. I hope everyone has a very bookish day/night!

Kailey

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

Happy new year!! A couple of days late, but the thought is still there. I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. Since it’s only been two days, I don’t have much to say as far updates. I’ve gotten a little farther in outlining one of my stories? That’s about it. So, let’s get down to talking about books!

Alright so the title is a little bit misleading. Maybe these aren’t the “most” anticpated books of 2017. And I guess this isn’t an “official” list. But for my first post of the new year, I thought I’d share a few books that I’m looking forward to being released this year. So, without further ado, here’s my top ten books as of today that I’m looking forward to coming out this year:

  1. Windwitch by Susan Dennard. The sequel to Truthwitch, one of my top five favorite books of all time (I’m not exaggerating)(when I read this I devoured it)(I told the author and she gave me a hug). I’m looking forward to the continued adventures of Safi and Iseult, plus all of the other beloved characters that sucked me into their world last summer. I know how hard the author worked on this (all authors work hard but if you follow her you’ll know she worked herself into creative exhaustion for this novel). I can’t wait to see how that pays off. Take me back to the world of the Witchlands! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: January 10th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Carnivals, and illusions, and murder, oh my! This debut author caught my eye back when I was applying to Pitch Wars. She has woven a tale of murder and romance all set in a travelling circus that has me drooling in anticipation. And her novel aesthetics? Swoon. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: July 25th. Putchase: Amazon B&N
  3. Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta. Yet another author I found through Pitch Wars. While working on revising I got to talk to Demitria a bit and she was kind enough to critique my query letter. The description of this particular book grabbed my attention when I was researching her and I’m excited and intrigued to see if it lives up to my expectations (here’s a hint: it will). A bit of mystery? That takes place in Scotland? Sign me up! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 14th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  4. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. LGBTQIA+ main characters? Deaf main character? Themes of friendship and romance and a story that is positively bursting with conflict? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes PLEASE!! This is a story I stumbled upon accidentally but that I quickly became excited to read. One of my goals for the year was to read more diverse books, and with these characters, this book may just top that list. Genre: YA Sci-Fi. Release Date: October 3rd. Purchase: Amazon
  5. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. If you’re like me, you love love love all things Shadowhunters (well, maybe not the tv show as much)(I’ve only seen a few episodes though. Still going to give it a chance). The Shadowhunters world is one of my favorites. Cassandra Clare is my favorite author. This next installment in the Dark Artifices series is highly anticipated, not just by me, but by all of those who love the characters and the stories, new and old. The continued conflict with the faeries and forbidden romance will make for another late night reading adventure that I cannot wait for. Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy. Release Date: May 23rd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  6. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen. So, Sarah Dessen is the reason I learned to love reading. She’s the reason I decided I want to be a writer. I’ve read everything she’s ever written, and I actually screamed aloud when she announced this book. The classic romance and lessons in learning to love and grow as people call to me with her books. I may or may not have a countdown set for it. If you like teenage romance and lessons in growing up, pick this up. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: June 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  7. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas. If you know me at all, you know that SJM is one of my biggest writing influences. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want to be her when I grow up (no 21 is not grown up shhhh). Her work ethic and writing style leaves me in awe. The worlds she creates and the characters she imagines are close to my heart. I have a particular (very deep) love for Feyre and her sisters (both blood and not blood)(Amren and Mor are killer don’t you dare fight me on this), and I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for ACOWAR since last year when A Court of Mist and Fury came out. (I’m serious. I bought ACOMAF the day it came out and finished it that night. Then I turned to my mom and said I want the next book). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this comes out the day finals finish at my school (okay maybe it is but shh don’t ruin this for me). Reward for studying maybe? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: May 2nd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  8. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Remember that book from earlier with the queer characters? Remember my excitement? You don’t? WELL GUESS WHAT THIS BOOK HAS LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION TOO! I AM VERY EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK TOO! (How about now? Remember that energy yet? Thought so.) But, in addition to this beautiful thing called representation, it deals with very serious issues such as tragic death and mental illness. Mental illness especially is something I think needs more visibility in YA. It’s an issue close to my own heart and I want to see how it’s laid out here. Plus, I am a sucker for a love story gone wrong. I found this book, once again, by accident. Accidents might just be getting me some great new books this year. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: January 17th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  9. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I have a minor (*cough* major *cough*) love for superhero movies (let me be clear here: I have never read a comic book. And I don’t care if I ever do. To me it’s all about the movies and novels). And I have a really major love for female superheros. You’ve gotta love women in positions of power being unashamedly badass. Plus, this novel holds basis in greek mythology which makes me go heart eyes (yes I know I’m a geek. Sue me). *Grabby hands* Can I buy it yet? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: August 29th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr. Let me just say something about this author. She knows how to write faeries. Her Wicked Lovely series was a favorite of mine a while back, and I still pick up the first book sometimes. If you want a faerie book go buy hers. I’m serious. Go buy her books, read her books, and fall in love with her books. It’s that simple. Seven Black Diamonds roped me into her world of faeries and spellbinding love stories. I am more than a little excited to attack the sequel and get back into the adventures of these complex and addicting characters. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: February 28th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Wow, those descriptions got long. I hope they tempted you to read some of these books though!

Keep in mind, these books were in no particular order (except for Windwitch)(because, I mean, come on. Truthwitch is in my overall top five)(Windwitch is clearly my number one anticipated). Also, all release dates are according to Goodreads, so I’m sorry if they are off. And, yes, there is a pattern of genres I like. Hint: it rhymes with Rung Madult Schmantasy. So there isn’t too much of a range of genres here, and I will be the first one to admit I need to broaden my reading horizons a bit. I’m working on it.

The reason I made sure to put that this is a list at the moment is because I’m always looking for new books. And there is always a good chance I might find a book I want to read more than one of these that comes out this year. There are numerous books being released this year and I can’t be aware of all of them right this moment. I’m looking forward to discovering them. Let me know some of your most anticipated releases below! Or talk to me on twitter! I’m always down to talk books.

Okay, I must get back to writing. I haven’t hit today’s word count yet, and I don’t want to develop bad habits so soon. Go read a book! Or buy one! Or write one! Just, go do something with books, okay?

Kailey

Updates & Some Notes on Inspiration

Hello I am alive! Barely. So for whatever reason I thought this semester was going to be super easy. HA GOOD JOKE! Nope it sucks. Crazy hard. Next semester is going to be worse. Yay for me.

But no one really cares how my life is going. Nope if anyone is reading this they are doing it for the writing stuff probably. So here is that writing stuff for you.

So in my last post I talked about how I had special beta-readers in mind for my WIP. Well they all said yes! I’m so excited. I’ve sent two of them the first chapter already (I don’t think they’ve ever done this before so I wanted to ease them in)(plus they’re kind of really busy too) and I’m sending out the other three the first chapter this week. It will probably be a month until I hear from them again but I’m excited to get this process going!

You also might remember I said I wanted to have this done by, oh, October 9th? Guess what? It didn’t happen! Writer’s block is a vicious thing. It likes to attack you right when you need to make things happen. And when you’re on deadline. And, well, just about all the time if you’re me. Luckily I’m (finally) able to get my life together and (double finally) able to write consistently again. I should have the whole thing done by time NaNoWriMo rolls around. (Have you seen my post about it? Go look at it! Let’s be writing friends!)

So you are officially updated on my writing life. (If you want to be updated on my life-life follow me on twitter.) Now that you’re up to date on all the parts you care about let’s move on to the part where I explain why I’m typing this up for the world to see.

So, inspiration. Inspiration can come from a lot of places. So many of my own stories and writings come from my dreams. I find dreams to be a good source of inspiration because mine are extremely vivid. Certain details or experiences tend to unravel into entire plotlines in my mind. I always tell my friends and people I know and random people I see on the street to pay attention to their dreams because they mean something. Okay not random people on the street but you should still pay attention to your dreams! They could turn into an idea and that idea could be The Thing that gets your writing going. 

But recently I’ve learned that ideas can come from songs and music as well. Theoretically, I already knew this. But I’ve only put it into practice recently. My inspiration for my current work in progress came from the album Stories For Monday by The Summer Set (available on iTunes and at Best Buy)(they’re one of my favorite bands do not judge me for plugging them because their music is phenomenal). I misheard one of the lyrics and BOOM twenty minutes later I was plotting this story out. So music can be a catalyst for writing as well. Obviously you can’t steal stories from songs (plagiarizing is wrong)(and punishable) but if one sparks an idea go for it.

I’ve found that inspiration can also come from people watching or listening to conversations. Certain phrases you overhear or a person in a seemingly odd situation can make a great place to start a story. Build off of that. The story will come eventually. 

I know these were pretty basic places to look for inspiration but they’re also very decent (and simple and easy) places to start. Your stories are not just going to come to you fully formed inside your head (in most cases anyway). Look around you. Use your resources. DO NOT STEAL SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEAS but let other people inspire you. Stories are everywhere you look. It’s up to you to find them and write them down for the world to enjoy.

On that super cheesy note, I’m heading out. This story isn’t going to finish itself and I have betas to get it to (and a NaNo outline to finish)(and a presentation for a class to make)(but no pressure or anything). Go write something down. Even if it’s just “This Kailey girl rambles a lot about nothing.” It counts. Byeeeeeeee!

Kailey

PS – I just got back after going to a concert out of state last night so I’m exhausted. I did proofread and edit this but I’m sorry if it still doesn’t make sense. 

Fall Contests & Some Ramblings

Hello!  My cat says hello too as she is currently butting her head against my hand as I type this. She doesn’t like to share my attention it seems.

Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather! It’s finally fall!! Time to break out the jeans and sweaters and hot chocolate right? If not, well, too late on my part! 

I love fall. Mostly because it’s my birthday season and because of all the great holidays. I’m a huge Halloween fan. Love October and the awesome Halloween themed everything it brings. And then we get November and Thanksgiving! An entire holiday dedicated to eating? Um yes please! But really I love seeing a spending time with my family more than anything. There’s something about doing it on that day that makes it so much better than every other time of the year. 

But November has another holiday too! Did you know that? Yes oh yes it does. November has … (insert drum roll here) … NaNoWriMo!

Okay, so I guess technically that is not a holiday. It’s a contest (ta da! We’ve reached the contest portion of the post! Hooray!) and it’s a huge deal. 

In case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is I’ll explain as best I can. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. During the month of November, if you are participating, you write a novel (or fanfiction if that’s your thing). You have all 30 days to write 50k words on it. You don’t edit it, you just update your word count on the website. And at the end of the month, you have a novel! A really rough novel most likely but a first draft is a HUGE accomplishment. 

You’re probably wondering, well what do I win if I finish this? Good question! You can find the list of prizes here on NaNoWriMo’s website. You can also check out the contest itself and poke around for more information if you’re interested in signing up. (If you do, feel free to add me as a writing buddy! I’m KSteward on there. Come join me as I cry over yet another book I’m writing!)

So yes, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’re probably thinking, “Wait, I thought she was writing a book right now! And doesn’t she have a manuscript she said she was querying?” Well you would be right! (This is where the ramblings part of the blog comes in. See aren’t I awesome at making this thing flow? What’s that? Shut up Kailey? Okay yeah probably should do that.)

I am currently more than halfway done wth my WIP. I plan to actually be done with it by next Saturday (original deadline was that but it will probably be more like late October). I have very special beta-readers in mind for this and I only get to see them two times this month and those are my only two chances to ask. So if you could please wish me luck on a) finishing the MS and b) asking them that would be really cool of you!

As far as the MS I’m querying, the original round of queries I sent out have all been rejected. I’m putting it through another round of edits before sending it out again. I have multiple betas sending me notes and two CPs who have already given me great feedback so I have a good feeling about the next time I query it.

In other news, I dropped way too much at Barnes & Noble last weekend but what else is new? Got some great books (and a coloring book) that I’m looking forward to devouring next time I get a chance.

I think that’s all I wanted to say. If anyone else is doing NaNoWriMo or has done it in the past let me know! My roommate is doing it too and we’re both sort of panicking aha. Advice welcome! 

Alrighty I’m off to go get a couple thousand words on my WIP. Bye!

Kailey