January 2016 - further up and further in

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In a Nutshell: January 2016

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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.
  • 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...


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).


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!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All About Spaceboy

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All About <i>Spaceboy</i>
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'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 balances Lux out. He's quiet and thoughtful, yet enjoys all of Lux's shenanigans. He's so sweet and tenderhearted.


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 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?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Introducing Young and Sick

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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?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On Self-Love (And Getting my Nose Pierced)

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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.

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

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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?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Beautiful People: 2016 Writerly Goals & Resolutions

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Beautiful People: 2016 Writerly Goals & Resolutions

Welcome back to Beautiful People, my blog link-up with Cait. This month we decided to embrace the new year and talk about our writing goals for this year!

I know a lot of you have already written about it, like I have, so we've tried to make our questions as in-depth as possible in order to prompt more thought and discussion. We'd love for you to join us!

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:

You can also check out our archive and our FAQ.

I just wanted to give a quick shoutout and thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who link up with us! It means so much to me that Beautiful People is still going, especially since it was created in 2011. As Cait said, we both care about this little link-up, and it wouldn't be successful at all if not for you guys. So THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Okay, now it's time for the questions!

  1. What were your writing achievements last year?
  2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
  3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
  4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?
  5. What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
  6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
  7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
  8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
  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?
  10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
So what's up with you in your writerly lives? What WIP are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments!