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Hi! I'm Sky.
I love words, stars, and superheroes.
I'm a fangirl, writer, and spoonie.
Beautiful People
Beautiful People is a monthly link-up for writers designed to help you get to know your characters.
Hosted by myself and Cait @ Paper Fury.
A Novel Idea
A Novel Idea is a weekly link-up for writers focused on everything about the writing process.
Hosted by myself and Ashley @ Ashley Aspires.
Are you young and sick?
In all my spare time, I run a blog for teenagers and young people with chronic illness.
We are young and sick. But we are not alone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Novel Idea: 7/26/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.



This week, follow this writing prompt as a starting point and see what happens. Have fun with it!


Write something that begins with a character throwing a coin into a fountain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Novel Idea: 7/19/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.


This week, share a favorite quote from your novel: whether it’s one sentence long, a paragraph, or even a whole chapter. It can be from your current novel or one that you’re finished with. Writing can be filled with self-doubt, but this week, take the time to show off your hard work.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Novel Idea: Emilie & Evyn

Sky Destrian
This week's A Novel Idea prompt is to make a collage of one of your characters. Making collages of my characters is seriously so fun, and I don't know why I don't do it more often!


Today I'm featuring two of my female protagonists, Emilie and Evyn. I originally meant to feature someone else, but when I looked on Pinterest, the pictures of these characters spoke to me, and I'm happy I chose them. Without further ado, here they are!

Emilie Gray


Emilie Gray is my accidental protagonist of Leo Andromedus Saves the World. She's Leo's best friend who narrates his story. She's probably an INTJ--very logical, rational, and deadpan--and apparently, according to this collage, she loves flowers and sparkles. Even though I wrote a whole book from Emilie's POV, I'm still getting to know her, peeling back her layers like an onion. This collage actually helped me do that! Even though Leo Andromedus was a hot mess, doing this collage for Emilie reminded me of how much about that book is still worth saving.

Evyn Turnbow


Evyn is my quiet, tenderhearted protagonist from Evanescent Fireworks. An introvert with social anxiety, she loves solitary activities, which include her cats, her laptop, and her piano. I'm not sure if she plays the ukelele, but it's entirely possible. I'm pretty sure she also has some potted plants, though her best companions are her cats--Luna is the orange tabby featured here. I love how perfectly the color scheme of this sums her up--everything about her soul is pretty much green and spring-like. 

Did you enter A Novel Idea? If not, go here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Snazzy Snippets: Petrichor

Sky Destrian
Today I'm linking up with Alyssa and Emily for their bi-monthly writing link-up, Snazzy Snippets! If you'd like to find out more, read the latest post here.

There are three different prompts this month, and all of them worked out well for Petrichor, my NaNo novel from 2013. It's a bit of a trainwreck at certain parts (as all first drafts are), but at least I managed to find a few gems in my 100,000-word tangled up mess!

My narrator in all of these snippets is Cobie Stirling, and you can find out more about her from reading the snippets or clicking here.

Let's doooo it.



A snippet where characters consider their backstory
Yesterday, I saw things I haven’t seen in... well, ever. The stories my dad told me were replaced with real experiences. I saw blood and guns and an actual crime scene, and I had to watch as a bullet was pulled out of someone’s arm.

Now, Dad’s stories are real. Actually, they’re more like nightmares.

When someone I walked to the hospital--Decker--has a brush with death, it makes me want to marry Ryker while we still can. And maybe, if we do that, I can get out of this little house and this town that’s too small for my dreams. Except, for all the hell Oakridge has given me, I still love it. There are inexplicable things tying me down here, and I don’t know whether to stay or to cut myself free.


A snippet featuring a child
I think of Tommy. I’m just trying to give the kid a normal upbringing, sort of. As much as I can. While Mom’s cramming his still-chubby-and-baby-soft arms and legs into khakis and argyle sweaters, I just want him to feel alive, to know that life is so much more than church and tarts and social gatherings. That he doesn’t have to slick his hair back, that he can let the wind mess it up every once in a while. I just want him to live.

A snippet from something you wrote more than 2 years ago 
I lie down in bed. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to be awake. I don’t want to be conscious, I just want to float away and disappear. I wish I was back in the cove, I wish I was somewhere else.

My hair lays on my face, a soft, tangled mess, and I don’t care enough to push it off. I close my eyes and pretend I’m on the back of a motorcycle. It’s a small escape, but it’s something.

After a few minutes of that, the mental pictures have done nothing but make me homesick for a place or a feeling I’m not even sure exists. I get out of bed, the fall chill clinging to my legs, and I open my desk drawer and pull out Blade’s old polaroids. I lay back down and lay them all on my chest, holding up one at a time to study them in the moonlight. There’s one of me and Ryker, my arm wrapped around his neck. Another one is of the falls, which soothes me, because that’s my home. There’s one of the blue sky, the white clouds puffy, the blue of the sky deep and slightly grainy. This one makes my heart ache, and I’m not sure why.

I look at them for a while into the night, even though I’m still not sleepy, I end up falling asleep somewhere around 3 am. The last thing I remember is a shot Blade must’ve taken while Ryker and I were on a motorcycle. The shot is taken from the back, the motion blurring, the sun bright, and as I fall asleep, I can almost taste the freedom.


Did you do Snazzy Snippets? Let me know in the comments! 
If you want to link up, go here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All snippets copyright Kylie Walden 2016.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Novel Idea: 7/12/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.



This week, make a collage with pictures that describe one of your characters. You can use pictures of your character or pictures that describe him/her (or both!). Have fun with this - don’t overthink it! Hopefully it’ll be a nice break from actually writing and help you learn more about your character at the same time!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Novel Idea: Reese’s Pieces

Sky Destrian
This week's A Novel Idea prompt is so exciting! Let's get started.
Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?
Tell us about one of your first stories.

I've had a few different "first" stories--the first short book I ever finished, the first time I decided I wanted to be "serious" about writing, and the first novel-length story I ever finished. (I touched a bit on all of those here.)

For today, I'm focusing on that last one: Reese's Pieces, the first novel-length story I finished.

The title, a spin on the main character's name (Reese), is proof that I've always loved puns.

When did you start writing it, and why?

I started it in August of 2010 (a date I discovered through old blog posts). I finished it in March 2011.

I started writing it because at the time, I was really into books about ordinary girls just like myself. Miss Match by Erynn Mangum, In Between by Jenny B. Jones, and Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson were all inspirations that fueled me to start this novel. I also had a huge unrequited crush on someone at the time, which was a major plot point in this book too. I wrote Reese's Pieces at night after the day was over, entirely by hand in two or three notebooks. I often put events into my real life into the story, and I lived vicariously through it. And yes, it ended up being a bit of a trainwreck, but I had so. much. fun.

Do you remember the characters’ names?

I do, I do!
  • Reese St. Clair: My main character (but you already knew that). Socially awkward, hopeless romantic, and in love with Converse. AKA me when I was fourteen. (Self-insertion into stories, guys... we've all done it.)
  • Justin St. Clair: Reese's adoring older brother (who was probably too perfect and didn't pick on Reese nearly as much as he should have).
  • Janae McAlister-Kingston: Justin's crush. The girl Reese dreams will be her sister-in-law. Loves Mr. Darcy and coffee. Possibly a walking cliche.
  • Ella Kingston: Janae's daughter. Cute little baby. Enough said.
  • Addison Rhodes: Reese's best friend. Adorable. 
  • Ben Carter: Justin's best friend who quickly becomes Reese's friend and pseudo-older brother.
  • Trent Knightly: Reese's unrequited crush whom she's irrationally obsessed with.
  • Charlie McAlister: Janae's sister. Reese's new friend. Potential love interest. Cute and laidback. I want a real Charlie McAlister still.


Are you still writing it?

No. I finished the draft, then got a proof copy, which was awesome. It's an amazing feeling to hold your book in your hands.

(Cover made by my friend flambeau!)
I always intended to rewrite it, but the plot was such a mess (and way too similar to another plot), so I had no idea where to begin. As you may know, I only really did my first rewrite recently with another novel, so Reese's Pieces never went anywhere. (Poor baby.)

If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it?

I'm not sure! After writing this post, I kind of want to... (stay tuned.)

What did you learn while writing it?

Reese's Pieces taught me so much. I learned...
  • To not make my characters perfect. One running trend you may have noticed from the list above is that my characters kind of... didn't have flaws. (If I rewrite it, that will be remedied, just FYI.)
  • To not try to copy other people's plots. This is a huge one, and it's nothing to feel ashamed about. I think other people do this when they're young writers, and it's just something you have to learn from as you grow.
  • To write about what makes me happy. Reese's Pieces was by no means perfect, but it filled me with so much joy, and it was so fun to write.
  • It taught me to write consistently, work hard, and to stay motivated. I wrote Reese's Pieces almost every night, which paid off--I actually finished it! Towards the end it would get difficult to write, and sometimes my hands would cramp, but I was so determined to finish that I kept going. Though I'm still bad at staying disciplined as a writer, Reese's Pieces did teach me what can happen when you heavily pursue your dreams, and I definitely won't forget it.
A lot has changed since I wrote Reese's Pieces. I can no longer write by hand because of chronic pain. I now give my characters flaws, and I flesh out my plots and make them as unique as I can. I'm not the same person or writer that I was when I wrote this book. In some ways, that makes me nostalgic, and it makes me miss who I was. But it also makes me realize how much I've grown, which is a really good thing.

So thanks, Reese's Pieces. You were such a beautiful part of my early adolescence, and you taught me so much. You taught me who I am, how to write, and to never let anything stop me. Kudos.


What's one thing your first novel(s) taught you?

Beautiful People: July Edition

Sky Destrian
Good day to you, writerlings, and happy summer!!! Cait and I are back with another random assortment of questions for your character development! Dig right in and get to know your beautiful people.

But first...

What is Beautiful People?
Beautiful People is a blog meme hosted by myself and the ever-awesome Cait @ Paper Fury. Every month, we post ten questions to help you get to know your characters better. They can be elusive and enigmatic, but we hope every question we post brings you closer to the answers about your wonderful beautiful people (your characters). 

How do I join?
Just jump in! Snag the questions, post them on your blog, and come back to add your link! I also recommend checking out the posts of the other participants. It's a great way to make new friends.

Please also give Cait and I a link back--whether through a regular link, or these shiny blog buttons:





And now for the questions!

  1. Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?
  2. What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)
  3. What's the nicest thing they've done for someone else, and why did they do it?
  4. Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?
  5. Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?
  6. Are they organized or messy?
  7. What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?
  8. What do they eat for breakfast? 
  9. Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?
  10. What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)

How's your summer going? What are you writing? Are you doing Camp NaNo? Tell me all!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Novel Idea: 7/5/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.


This Week's Prompt

Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Novel Idea: 6/28/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My wonderful friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.


This week, we want to challenge you to write a scene about the following photo. Anything goes, as long as it relates to the picture in some way. Let your imagination run wild--we can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Description: Two people, only their hands visible, sit at a table drinking wine and having a conversation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Introducing Further Up and Further In Design

Sky Destrian
When October 2016 rolls around, I'll have been blogging for ten years. It's honestly shocking when I think about it. I've had many different platforms and blog titles, but in the end, I always came back to my home blog: Further Up and Further In.

One of the things blogging opened the door for me to do was design. Rather than make me my own blog design, my dad told me to learn how to do it myself. Though I was peeved at the time, it's something I can't thank him enough for because it led me to discover that I am truly passionate about graphic design.

So, with that, I'm pleased to announce that I've officially opened my design business to commissions. I've had the business in motion for almost a year, but it's never quite been official... well, now it's official! I'm open for business, and that feels really good to say.

If you're looking for affordable graphics--logos, blog designs, or book covers--I'm here to help! Head on over to my design site to check out what I offer and for how much. Affordability is my goal, and so is making a design that you will absolutely love.

As a special thank you to my blog readers (if you're reading this post, that's you), I'm offering a discount for you guys. When you fill out the contact form, enter the coupon code "FUFI" for 20% off your offer. This coupon code is valid until the end of June!

In summary, thank you so much for reading 
and for being a part of my life for the past ten years. 
Here's to many more! ♥

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Novel Idea: Quin & Andie

Sky Destrian
This week’s prompt is: What would the back cover of your novel say? Try to make it as intriguing as possible. Remember, this is all readers have when trying to decide if they’re going to read your book or not. Do the best you can to convince a hypothetical reader to pick up your book.
Today I'm focusing on a story that Ashley and I are co-writing. It doesn't have a title yet, but it revolves around two characters... Quin and Andie. Here's the back cover version of their story:

Ever since they met in high school, Quinton Lancaster and Andie Giordano were inseparable. But now they're miles apart, broken up, and desperately missing each other (even though they won't admit it). Just when they thought they'd never see each other again, their brother and sister announce that they're getting married... which means the whole family will be there, much to Quin and Andie's dismay. When finally reunited and forced to confront their emotions, will Quin and Andie remember that their love is worth fighting for?

Have you entered A Novel Idea yet? If not, do so here!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Novel Idea: 6/21/16

Sky Destrian


As a writer, keeping inspiration going from week to week can be tough. My wonderful friend Ashley and I want to change that. The point of A Novel Idea is to get your writing juices flowing even when you don’t feel like writing. We also want it to help you dig deeper into what writing looks like for you and let you share it with the world. We’ll be posting installments weekly, all focused on four things: characters, your novel, you writing process, and writing prompts. Follow the weekly guidelines and post it on your blog, then link up with us! We’d love to hear from you each week.


This week’s prompt is: What would the back cover of your novel say? Try to make it as intriguing as possible. Remember, this is all readers have when trying to decide if they’re going to read your book or not. Do the best you can to convince a hypothetical reader to pick up your book.

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