Thursday, May 5, 2016

Beautiful People: April Edition

Happy May, writerlings! (How is it that we're almost halfway through 2016 already?) Our deepest apologies for skipping April, but we both got caught up in writing and the busyness of life. Never fear though; we're back with 10 more questions for your enjoyment!

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:






  1. How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?
  2. What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
  3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
  4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
  5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
  6. Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?
  7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
  8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?
  9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
  10. Who was the last person they held hands with?


It's been a while since we last chatted--how's your writing going? Let me know in the comments!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Write What You Need


"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." 
- Anne Frank

There's an old saying: write what you know. Some people agree with that saying. Some people don't. But I'm here to present a different saying: write what you need.

While there are many reasons why people write, one of which is getting published, there's also the fact that writing can be a kind of therapy. At least, that's the way it is for me. Often I bring out things I'm struggling through my writing, even if what I'm writing isn't completely related. This provides me a different lens with which to view my life.

I don't always write about what I'm going through. But often if I'm struggling, it finds a way to come into my writing anyway. Sometimes it's subtle, and it doesn't always directly relate to what I'm going through. For example, in 2011, I wrote Because I'm Irish. It didn't really have anything to do with what was going on in my life, but it did cheer me up and give me something to focus on and make me happy.

Then there are other times where I have to make a conscious decision to write about it for my own sanity. I've been participating in Camp NaNo with Evanescent Fireworks, but this month has been hard. I've been feeling terrible physically for a few weeks, which puts a big damper on my mental state as well. So, earlier this week, I decided to go with it, and I started a novel about chronic illness, one I've been planning for a long time. And within minutes, I felt better. It was extremely cathartic to write out what it's like to struggle with pain and not have any answers. And even though it wasn't on my list of writing plans for this month at all, it was really important for me to do.

I write for a lot of reasons (mostly because I can't stop), but one of the reasons I write is to help feel sane in the midst of life. And so that's why, whenever I need to sort through something, that takes precedence. Because I write for others, yes, but not right now. Not while I'm unpublished. Currently, I write for me, and I'm okay with that. If it makes life easier to bear, so be it.

If you're in a tough spot, please feel free to write about it. Whether in a blog post, a journal entry, or a work of fiction. Because life is hard, but for me, words are a refuge from that. And if they're your refuge too, then by all means, write. Write what you know. Write what you love. But most of all, write what you need. Whatever that may be.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Beautiful People: Evyn

Once upon a time, there was a book I had about a bluegrass band in the south and the girl who became a part of their lives. This book, Evanescent Fireworks, has been around since 2013, but after many false starts, I've finally begun to write a draft of it that's actually working. To celebrate, I wanted to introduce you to my main character, my dear Evyn.


1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off of?
Evyn first came to me via a pin on Pinterest. I don't really know how to describe it, but I saw her and I knew she needed to be a character. I pinned that pin to a board called "evanescent fireworks" on Pinterest, not really sure where it would go, but it soon became a story. It took me a while to name her, but I finally decided on "Evyn" because of the "Evan" in "Evanescent Fireworks." I know, I know. So subtle. I gave her the last name of Turnbow because of a birth announcement I saw on Pinterest with that last name. (It's weird to describe my naming process because it's completely random and unexpected.)

The picture that started it all.

For Evyn's personality, I actually gave her quite a few aspects of myself--the shyness and the social anxiety, which I both have. I used to be unable to even ask for more ketchup at fast food places... and that's Evyn. She is the twelve-year-old me, the me before I learned that talking to people doesn't have to be totally terrifying. She's one of my soul characters because of this, and I love her.

2. Describe their daily routine.
Evyn wakes up, does some schoolwork, then watches Netflix or reads. She's a super introverted person with severe social anxiety, so much of her time is spent alone escaping into other worlds.

3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
Sadly, Evyn would be one of those weird loner kids whom no one talks to. (Poor Evyn.)



4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives...
Her mom's unpredictability and her life circumstances in general. Evyn is pretty alone and has practically raised herself because her mom wasn't there for her growing up. She doesn't like this fact, but she does tolerate it, mostly because she can't imagine things being different.

5. How do they react in awkward silences?
Evyn reacts by keeping the awkward silence both awkward and silent. AKA, she doesn't do anything.

6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
Evyn can doggy paddle, as taught to her by her half-sister and her half-sister's mom.

7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
Evyn's dad left when she was little, and she constantly struggles with the questions of why. It's helped shape her immensely, though not really in a great way.

8. What things do they value most in life?
Evyn values the few people in her life, as well as her personalized, decorated bedroom and her solitude.


9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
Evyn definitely has trust issues due to her dad leaving. She does believe in second chances, only because she's too scared of the alternative (which would mean being disloyal to someone and kicking them out of her life).

10. Your character is having a rough day...what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
Evyn tries to escape via books and TV when she's having a rough day (which happens a lot). She doesn't choose to talk to anyone, but often the people closest to her can sense what's going on and try to cheer her up.

Did you do Beautiful People? If you haven't, link up here!
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Monday, March 7, 2016

Beautiful People: March Edition


Greetings, writerlings!

After three awesome months of Beautiful Books, a New Year's writing goals themed Beautiful People, and a Valentine's themed Beautiful People, I am here to announce that this Beautiful People is themed around... nothing. And I'm actually kind of excited about it!


While I really love doing themed BPs, I also love mixing it up and doing random questions. 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:





Now go forth and answer the random questions!


  1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
  2. Describe their daily routine.
  3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
  4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives...
  5. How do they react in awkward silences?
  6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn? 
  7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
  8. What things do they value most in life?
  9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
  10. Your character is having a rough day...what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?

What's been going on in your life? How's your WIP? Here's a fun tag I saw on Twitter: describe your WIP in three words in the comments!
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Novel Carousel


(Alternately titled: inspiration is fickle.)

Some writers have their one novel, their magnum opus, the one they've been working on since they could hold a pen. Some writers finish a novel, then move on to another one.

And then there's me.


I used to have only one novel at a time (which I would quickly abandon, but that's another story; pun intended). Then, for whatever reason, I got buried in all of the story ideas. (See above picture for reference.)

I wrote my 2011 fantasy novel, Silver Tears. Then it got a loosely-connected prequel novel. Then a loosely-connected prequel-prequel. Then a sequel to the prequel. Then it got about 5,000 other connected novels. And this was only the beginning.

I soon branched out from fantasy to sci-fi and contemporary. At the same time, my random short-story-turned-trilogy, the Because I'm Irish series, was flourishing and turning into three books. I had ideas for stand-alones. I had ideas for several series. I had ideas for flat-out SAGAS. 

This trend has continued. I have 96 boards on Pinterest, and approximately 45 of them are some sort of novel idea. (Yes, I just counted.) Some of them are finished, one of them has been rewritten, and some of them fizzled out almost as quickly as they began. 

The problem with having so many novels is that my brain is constantly at a toss-up as to which one it's going to focus on. I go through phases of inspiration where one novel is constantly on my mind. Can I predict it? Nope. Can I stop it? Nope. Can I write another novel when my mind is on another? Also a pretty big nope. 

This is a phenomenon... a phenomenon that I'm going to dub THE NOVEL CAROUSEL.


Instead of horses, my novel carousel contains ... my novels. It moves at its own will and in its own time. It's probably accompanied by that creepily-cheery music. (Actually, I desperately hope not.) And the most important thing is, it's almost always moving, taking my novels with it on a joyride (and me along with them). The novel carousel can be triggered by anything--a picture, a movie, a song--anything that reminds me of one of my novels. If the novel carousel lands on a novel, I get ridiculously inspired for it, and I almost have to write it.

In other words, inspiration is fickle. Example #1 of many: For my post on the blog this week, I was going to write about my current WIP, Evanescent Fireworks. But then I remembered that last week, my WIP was Here Comes the Sun. And before that, it was Spaceboy.

So, I'm not going to even try to pretend that I know what I'm doing. Here's the thing... YES, motivation and sticking to one project is so, so important. I definitely have stuck to one project, and I definitely will again. But currently, I'm stressed out and trying to give myself a little break. As per my New Year's goals, I'm trying to let myself write what I want when I want to write it. So, I'm just going to, um, sit back, and... enjoy the ride? Let the carousel spin as it may.


Do you have a novel carousel?
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Beautiful People: Damian & Fiona

February is a month to focus on all the cute couples, both in real life and in fiction, and today is Valentine's Day! In honor of that, Beautiful People's questions this month are relationship-themed, so I'm focusing on one of my most enduring book OTPs: Damian and Fiona from Because I'm Irish. They've been around for four-and-a-half years, and they just might be my favorites. (But shhh, don't tell my other characters that.)


Let's do this.

1. How did they first meet?
They met at Wal-Mart. Fiona was grocery shopping. Damian worked there. Fiona stopped him to inquire about something weird she saw. What a story--it'll be so fun to tell the grandkids.

2. What were their first impressions of each other?
Fiona hated him. Damian was panicked that she was inquiring about semi-illegal activities, but he secretly thought she was gorgeous.

3. How long have they been a couple?
As of the third and last book, they've been together for a little over a year.


4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
They're both extremely loyal and committed. They wouldn't break up over a secret or a disagreement, but they do both have some trauma and stress that ends up driving them apart for a little while. Yes, they would die for each other (though the possibility is painful to contemplate) (I'm not crying, you're crying).

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

Damian really loves food. But beyond that, Fiona knows that...

1. ... really likes Cheetos.
2. ... only likes Swiss cheese.
3. ... will drink coffee in any form, but especially black (and he will drink the bottom of the pot of coffee, even if it has coffee grounds in it).
4. ...loves doughnuts, perhaps too much.
5. ...always manages to eat cereal at some point each day.


Damian knows that Fiona...

1. ... loves root beer.
2. ... only eats cheese and nothing else on her burgers (and occasionally bacon). (No, she isn't based off of me, why do you ask?)
3. ... once accidentally left a banana peel on her counter for three months when she went on tour.
4. ... likes to graze throughout the day and can often be found snacking on something.
5. ... really, really hates spaghetti. (Why does she? I have no idea.)


6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
Damian's parents, particularly his mom, are skeptical of Fiona when they first meet her. As time goes on, they warm up to her. (I think.) Fiona's mom doesn't actually know about Damian until she meets him, and when she does meet him, she's so grateful that he's been helping her daughter that she can't complain too much.

7. What would be an ideal date?
A picnic, being outdoors, an aimless drive, and going on an adventure. They wouldn't plan much, just go wherever they felt like it, and they'd talk and laugh a lot. (Ugh. So cute.)


8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
Damian and Fiona are often complete opposites. Damian's laid-back and Fiona's particular; Damian is funny and Fiona is serious; and so on. They're very contrasting, but also complementary. Their MBTI personality types are INFJ (Fiona) and ENFP (Damian) respectively, so they are similar in some ways, such as their loyalty and their emotional sides.

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
Their best moments were when they first got together in Ireland. They visited the ocean, watched fireworks, and decided to give this relationship thing a go.

Their worst moments were all the times both of them were in mortal peril (which is a lot).


10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?
Honestly, they aren't sure. They're just taking things one day at a time. Marriage isn't anywhere on their brain right now, but that's mostly because they're trying to survive. Eventually, a few years later, they get married and have four children. (No, I totally haven't planned their married lives out via a Pinterest board.)


Happy Valentine's Day! 
Who's your number one book OTP (published or unpublished)?

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Beautiful People: Valentine’s Edition


Greetings, writerlings!

February is the month of Valentine's Day. To celebrate that, we've themed Beautiful People with couple-y questions. I personally can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day than getting to know our characters. Pick a couple of yours and grab some chocolate (or treat of your choice), then answer these questions!


But first, you might be wondering...

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 (feel free to steal the one at the top of this post as well!):





And now, feel the love... with these questions!



  1. How did they first meet?
  2. What were their first impressions of each other?
  3. How long have they been a couple?
  4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
  5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
  6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
  7. What would be an ideal date?
  8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
  9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
  10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?


How's writing? Are you doing anything for Valentine's Day (OR GALENTINE'S DAY?!?) Let me know in the comments!


Continue Reading →

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In a Nutshell: January 2016



Last year, I started doing monthly recaps. After a while, they got to be too much to keep up with, but I've always wanted to go back to them. Thus, I present a new bloggity feature thing: In a Nutshell. It'll be more condensed than my previous monthly recaps. I intend to use this as a way to let you know what I've been up to, as well as to keep as a record of what I've been doing in my life (since I am a very forgetful person). What was I saying? Oh. Well, let's get to it. Here's January 2016 in a nutshell.
LIFE!!!
  • I got my nose pierced. That was a huge thing. In order to start off 2016 right, I felt compelled to be brave and just DO THE THING. I haven't regretted it in the slightest. (Though the aftercare took some practice.)
  • There was a lot of taking-care-of-tiny-children. Our conversations include Hulk Smash and swimming pools full of chocolate milk.

  • My iPod completely broke out of the blue. Much of my time was spent agonizing over the sheer awfulness of using an iPod 2 as a backup, and then happily remembering the passcode to my old iPod 4.
  • I got back into crocheting for some random reason, and I completed an infinity scarf from last year and also made my very first HAT. (I've been crocheting since I was nine or so, and I have never made a HAT!!)
  • I watched a ton of Jacksepticeye videos. Possibly too many.
  • I. Fell. In. Love. With. Hamilton. I can't even speak coherently about this. I am not throwing away my shot.
In the Blogosphere


To kick off the year, I decided to take on the challenge of making myself an accordion menu. What resulted was a new novels page.

This was a busy month for me as far as writing blog posts goes. I posted here on Wednesdays and on The Fangirl Initiative on Thursdays. One of the biggest things was the accidental creation of Young and Sick, where I now post on Fridays. Integrating the word spoonie into my online identity was another huge thing, as was self love. Overall, I became bolder. I wrote some blog posts that terrified me, but I took steps towards becoming the writer I want to be.

It's been an amazing start to the year. If you want to see everything I wrote in January, click here. (I had to make this page for all of my blog posts because in two years, I will probably remember nothing.)

Here's What You Liked...


Some of you came to this blog via these search results...
  • "stink at bowling" gutter
  • bilbo writing
  • nose piercing 2016
  • sebastian stan grandparents

Here's What I Liked...


Writing

While quite a bit of this month was dedicated to nonfiction blog posts, I still found time to occasionally work on Spaceboy. All of it has been written in January, as far as I know, so my writing came to a total of about 8k (ish).

Music

Eyes Shut - Years and Years
Luxury - Jon Bellion
Lay It All on Me - Rudimental and Ed Sheeran
Polaroid - Imagine Dragons
Rumble - Brooke Waggoner
400 Lux - Lorde
Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer
Love Yourself - Justin Bieber
Who Do You Love - Marianas Trench
Ooh - Jon Bellion
Downtown - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
House of Gold - Twenty One Pilots
Waiting for Love - Avicii
Trouble - Avicii

(There was also Hamilton. So much Hamilton. I'm in love with Hamilton.)

Tune in next time to see...

  • Me fumbling through the second month of the year
  • Me crying, wondering how the heck you write a book about space
  • My attempts to make it through the day by rewarding myself with copious amounts of coffee (with dubious results)
  • My loud, almost-constant performance of Hamilton as a one-woman show (includes bad rapping)
  • Me trying to become an adult with my life together (just kidding, this will not happen)

What about you? What was your January 2016 like?

P.S. - As some of you may have seen on Twitter, I'm contemplating starting a story and posting installments of it on Wattpad. Should I do this? Pros? Cons? Let me know!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All About Spaceboy

It feels weird to introduce my novels when I'm not participating in a link-up. I've wanted to post about my WIP Spaceboy for a while now but didn't quite know how to approach the subject. There's also the fact that Spaceboy currently exists as a mess of tangled plot lines in my head, and any attempts to explain it have been complicated at best. I decided I needed more structure in order to introduce Spaceboy. So, what better way to introduce a book than to recycle old Beautiful Books questions? (Shhh, just go with it.)

I still feel super awkward about taking my WIP and showing it off (for some odd reason). But hopefully, this post will provide some insight in the project I've been oh-so-vague about lately. Let's do this.

Please enjoy this quickly-made cover constructed solely for this post!

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
This makes me so sad because I can't even remember where I came up with the idea for this. I think I just wanted to have a new, exciting story, and the phrase "spaceboy" came into my head. Thus, the title. Lux came out of nowhere, and I can't even describe how I came up with the book or any of its ideas. I feel so weird about that. Like, what happened inside my brain? I have no idea.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
So many things. Space, space, space. A protagonist with pink hair. A protagonist who's the daughter of the President of the United States. This novel also has an unsettling vibe that I do like (There's definitely a mystery to it. Some things even I don't know).

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
Spaceboy is the title, and Spaceboy is Interstellar meets Madam Secretary.

As daughter of the President of the United States, Lux is used to things being not-normal. But when her best friend Jay goes missing, things get weirder. Much weirder.

...Yes... yes. So mysterious.

I'm only 7,000 words into this, so it's so hard to write a synopsis for things that haven't happened yet... (Can you tell I'm a pantser?) I will update you as I know more about this novel. *salutes*

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

Lux
Open

'

Lux's word is "open" because she's open to possibilities, open to people, and open to the world. She's an ESFJ and loves people and the stars. 

Jay
Compassionate


Jay balances Lux out. He's quiet and thoughtful, yet enjoys all of Lux's shenanigans. He's so sweet and tenderhearted.

Graham
Brave


Graham is an astronaut. He's also Jay's older brother. He's slightly more forward than Jay is, with a logical mind and the ability to make quick decisions. (I felt weird that Graham didn't have a face for this post, so Chadwick Boseman has been cast as Graham for approximately 30 minutes. Please give him a warm welcome.)

Ambrose
Composed


Ambrose is Lux's half-sister, and Lux feels like Ambrose is 100% better at everything than she is. (Spoiler alert: she's not.)

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 
My current favorite is Lux, since she's my POV character (enjoying writing your POV character is always good). However, I lovelovelove the scenes with Jay. I just love Jay in general.

I also love writing Lux's interactions with her half-sister, Ambrose. Lux is a sensitive, outgoing person, and Ambrose is super composed and reserved, which leads to some friction. Ambrose is very similar in personality to my POV character Fiona, so getting to write a reserved character from the perspective of someone else has been super exciting.

Also, Lux's dad is played by Stanley Tucci, who is one of my favorite actors. So that makes me excited.


6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Her goal is to find Jay... what stands in her way is, um, the entire universe. Quite literally.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Currently, the novel has only taken place in Washington DC in a slightly-fictionalized version of the White House. However, eventually it will take place in space. I'm quite excited for this.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Oh my gosh. Lux and Jay's relationship is the crux of the book. They've known each other since they were six, and Jay has grounded her throughout all the changes (such as her dad's turbulent political career and inauguration).

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I have no idea yet. My stories just come to me.

One big thing that Lux discovers is that her snap judgments of Ambrose were wrong, and that Ambrose really does feel things. They become closer throughout the story, which I'm super excited to write. (Sister relationships are the best.)

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
The biggest themes in Spaceboy are friendship. The story revolves around the one between Lux and Jay. There are also other friendships, though--Lux and Graham, Lux and Ambrose. I just love character relationships.

I want people to finish Spaceboy and I want them to feel small in the best way. The universe is so big and potent and wonderful. I hope I can convey that through this book.


Though this post is slightly haphazard and was admittedly thrown together quickly, I hope your WIPs are faring better. What are you currently working on?

Continue Reading →

Friday, January 15, 2016

Introducing Young and Sick

Something super random happened this week. I got an email from Google Domains that said they were having a sale. This resulted in me being able to get a domain for free.

A long time ago, I had a blog called Spill the Beans. It was a blog for teens and young people with chronic illness. I've been thinking of redoing it, so I searched for a domain for Spill the Beans. There wasn't one, so I started thinking about renaming it. On a whim (and due to the suggestion of my dad), I chose the name Young and Sick.

At first I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I've decided to just go with it. Last night, I got a burst of inspiration for my first two posts. And so... I'm gonna do this thing.

I'll be writing about fibromyalgia and PCOS, the two conditions I deal with, but I'm also welcoming guest posters so that I can get a multitude of perspectives. I just want this to be a community for people with chronic illness. I want people who are young and sick to not feel alone.

I'll be posting here at Further Up and Further In on Wednesdays, at The Fangirl Initiative on Thursdays, and at Young and Sick on Fridays.

Here we go.


In Which I Am a Person
(Originally posted @ Young and Sick)

For a long time, my identity online has not included the fact that I'm a spoonie. (As a very-related side note, please read the spoon theory. It may change your life. Thanks to the spoon theory, we chronically ill people fondly refer to ourselves as "spoonies.") Online, I will occasionally mention that I have fibromyalgia and PCOS, and it's not a secret, per se. But I haven't talked a lot about it.

The reason for this is that, honestly, the online world is my escape. Ever since I can remember, whenever I'd feel sick or lonely or crappy in any way, I would turn to the internet. There, I didn't have a faulty human body to hold me back. There, I felt free. (This is also probably why I'm a writer and why I loved to read as a kid.)

So, whenever I've tried to write about chronic illness, it's been hard. It feels like my personal space is invaded by the crappy feelings of fibromyalgia, or a headache, or whatever I'm facing that day. It's not always like that--some days, I do want to proudly claim the badge of "spoonie." But some days I want to forget I'm sick at all.


Do you know anyone in your life with chronic illness or chronic pain?
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On Self-Love (And Getting my Nose Pierced)


It's no secret that we struggle to love our bodies. We see every imperfection. Every flaw. There are parts of ourselves we just don't like.

For me, that part of my body is my nose.

I have a different nose than anyone in my immediate family. It's kind of weird. Rounded. It looks different from all angles. It's just... got a weird shape. This is a family nose that's been passed down through my mom's side, which is actually kind of sweet. But to me, my nose has always been one of my least favorite parts of me. Because of this, I always said I wouldn't pierce my nose. I thought it wouldn't look good on me. Why draw attention to a part of your body if you don't like it?

Or so I told myself.

My desire for a nose piercing got stronger over the years, even though I had said I'd never get one. I loved how pretty they looked on other people. So why not on me?

Because... I didn't like my nose?

Suddenly that wasn't a good enough reason.

If I wanted to get a nose piercing, why shouldn't I get a nose piercing? I decided that maybe I'd get a nose piercing. Someday.

So I bought a fake nose hoop on Etsy, and I kept thinking about it. I kept telling myself, "This month we can do it." But I never did. I kept coming up with excuses. Most of them had to do with what people would think of me.

Then, with the beginning of 2016, I decided I needed to be brave. I needed to just do it. I had waited long enough. It wasn't a snap decision. This was what I really wanted.

So, this past Sunday, my friend Charity and I went down to a piercing studio, and I got my nose pierced, I still can't believe I actually went through with it.

(Because I know you all desperately wanted to see...)

Here's the thing: I denied myself something I really wanted for years because I was afraid I wouldn't like it. Afraid others wouldn't like it. Afraid it would highlight my nose.

But you know what?

I'm choosing to not care what people think. (It's still hard, I know.)

I'm choosing to love my nose.

My nose has been passed down through my mom's side of the family. It's tied to my mom and my grandma, two of the best women I've ever known.

My nose is what makes me me. Without it, I honestly wouldn't be the same.

So that's why I had to laugh when the piercer said my nose had a "unique architecture." That's why I'm committed to loving every part of me. Every part. It's not easy, and it's an ongoing journey. But life is too short to hate yourself. Embrace who you are. You might end up with a new piercing in the process. (Just kidding.)

I love you guys. Love yourselves too. You owe it to you.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Even More 2016 Writing Goals (As Told by Tony Stark)


Although I've already done a post on my writing goals for 2016, Beautiful People took it to the next level and asked some more in-depth questions. Thus, I'm here to answer them. (Side note: I really tried to make this post use gifs of Frodo Baggins, but Tony Stark wanted to be here instead.)

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

Somehow, I guess, I managed to write three books. (?!?) One of these was a total rewrite, which was a huge step for me since I had never rewritten or edited anything up until that point.


I also worked on The Angel Novel and Something I Need, both of which are still in progress. I plotted and came up with so many more novel ideas this year. (Gee, thanks, plot bunnies.)

So even though I didn't think it was at first, it was a seriously productive year.


2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Currently, my top priority writing project is Spaceboy. I'm about 5,000 words in, and I'd say it's Madam Secretary meets Interstellar. It involves a protagonist with pink hair, a man who looks a lot like Peter Quill, and... well, space and mortal danger. It's going to be fun (I hope).


3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

I'd like to work on consistency, finishing what I start, editing, writing as often as I can, and writing bravely.

Oh. Also, I'd like to stop procrastinating.



4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Yes. I'm participating in a challenge with a group to write a page a day. So far, it's going well. I'll also be doing NaNoWriMo in November of 2016. I will probably be attempting Camp NaNoWriMo too--even though I never win Camp, I apparently have a pathological need to participate every year.


5. What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

The beta reader sitch is currently non-existent. Yes, I'm hoping to expand this year, even in small ways, because it's time to stop being afraid of people reading my writing.


6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I need to research the White House, so a book on that would be good. I think reading something by Stephen King would be cool. I'll also take any recommendations for good books on the writing craft!


7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

Oh my gosh, just one? (I know, I know, I helped pick the questions...)

Okay, I'm going to say Fiona. I know I know her well already, but honestly, she's the only one that comes to mind. Her book is my absolute soul-writing-project, and I want to see her and her story grow in 2016. Obviously, though, since I'm writing Spaceboy, the cast of that is important to get to know as well. (Seems legit.)


8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Yes. I believe that I should work on Fiona's stories (Because I'm Irish and Because We Can). I'd also like to edit Lost Girls. My plan of attack? Um...


I guess my plan is to just do the thing.

9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?



I want to see more YA books that are deep, multi-faceted, complicated, and rich. I want to see more representation. I want to see more strong female characters. I want to see more intriguing plot lines. Give it all to me.



10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

At least two projects finished (whether an edit or a first draft). Bonus points if I have three. We'll see.


And simply put, I hope to have written my heart out.

Check out Beautiful People here! What are your writing goals for 2016?

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
― Oscar Wilde

All content is (c) 2015 by Sky unless otherwise noted. Powered by Blogger.
I'm Sky. Writer, editor, fangirl, spoonie, and purveyor of sarcasm. If you need me, I'm probably coming up with my next plot twist, searching for a way to make fictional characters real, or attempting to attain Tony Stark-like wit.

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