**For my most up-to-date happenings, check out my Tumblr page: sararaasch.tumblr.com.**

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inspirational Nugget of the Day: Moon Harvesting

So remember that Inspirational Post I did a little while back, about intergalatic space travel?

Turns out that wasn't the end of it. Very soon, it seems, we could all be powered on Moon-harvested biofuels.

From a writer's POV, what is the outlook from here? A new form of biofuel or the beginning of the end of the Moon's ever-loving presence in our sky? Apocalypse or life-saving venture?

Inspiration, AHOY!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Things that make Monday worthwhile, Part 2

Last Monday I posted some good news regarding my friend Shannon Messenger.

Keeping with the good-news vein (because, let's face it, good news is INFINITELY BETTER than bad news), Shannon is hosting a WISHES COME TRUE contest in celebration of the awesomeness that is being unleashed upon the Universe in her name. Because her publisher is Aladdin.

That is so much fun it makes me squeal a little.

Shannon has clearly harnessed all the possibilities of being published by a publisher with such a FUN NAME. Not to mention that Aladdin is by far the best Disney movie, so that instantly adds two or three degrees of FUN on top of the already fun-filled excitingness of being published.

So go over there and partake in the magic wish-fulfilling that Shannon is bestowing upon us. Because you ain't never had a friend like her. YEAH!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch Aladdin.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The only thing that makes Monday worthwhile...

...is waking up to REALLY GOOD NEWS.

Shannon is one of the MAD SCIENTISTS behind a little thing you may have heard of: WriteOnCon. She's also nice and considerate and the gosh darn cutest Rainbow Brite ever. And she's also insanely talented, which helps with the whole soon-to-be-world-famous thing.

CONGRATS, Shannon!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspirational Nugget of the Day: To Infinity and Beyond

Soon enough, Star Wars won't be just science fiction.

The beginnings of intergalactic space travel? The start of habitation on other planets? A metaphorical quest to reach a star?

I especially love that they asked science fiction authors to be on the panels for this conference. Imagintion FTW.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Everything I know, I learned in Middle School

Well, okay, not EVERYTHING. But most of the Important Things. Like hairspray is best used in moderation; velour is not a material that should be made into pants; and positive habits can be reinforced with time.

Woa. That last one was deep, no? It popped into my head today (whilst in the midst of a discussion with JR Johansson, bemoaning our existence in the publishing industry) and I thought would make a good, inspiring blog post.

I first learned this Important Thing while in the throws of eighth grade. It was a trying time in my young life; I had just transfered from public school to private, and had suffered the ridicule brought on by too much hairspray and velour pants (clearly I was a regular fashionista). One of my friends, an equally-tormented eighth grader, decided she wanted to have a crush. Because having a crush on a boy looked fun, and we were bored, and maybe it would fuel us to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD buy normal pants.

So one day my friend picked a guy in our class, a nerdy-cute awkward eighth grade boy. And from then on out, she vowed that she was in love with him.

Now, she had no interest in him at first. Barely knew his name. But as time progressed, my friend continued to feed her certainty that she was in love with him -- went out of her way to see him, giggled when he looked at her, drew hearts around his name, etc etc -- and, a few weeks later, found that she no longer had to force these reactions. She had, as much as an eighth grade girl can, fallen in love with this awkward, nerdy boy.

The moral of this story: habits can be forced. People seem to think that if they don't FEEL happy or FEEL positive, they can't be. And while I definitely do NOT condone forcing your feelings all the time, there are certain instances (like being all woe-is-me over your state of publication) where you can afford to force yourself to act happy. Because if you do it long enough (point out the good sides of things, look for silver linings, focus on the one good thing that happened instead of the five bad things), you will eventually find that you don't have to force it. Like my friend, you will one day wake up and realize you ARE, in fact, the happy person you once had to force yourself to be. Or in love with a nerdy eighth grade boy. Which would be weird. Unless you're an eighth grade girl.

For instance, I could continue bemoaning by lack-of-publication status OR I could choose to PARTY PARTY DANCE because it's Friday.

I choose to PARTY PARTY DANCE. Join me, if you will.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Inspirational Nugget of the Day: Friday Edition

I'm at work, and it's Friday, and I want to be writing, but I'm a good employee, so I'M NOT.

But you should be. Because someone out there should be writing in my honor.

To help with this, here's another Inspirational Nugget of the Day, one I like very, very much and considered keeping for myself. But I like all of you very, very much too, so I'm sharing the inspiration with the world. Feel special.


A harmless enough cure, or the beginnings of a Zombie Apocalypse? Users will only get a headache side-effect or superhuman mind/eye powers?

You decide, writers, while I sit in the throws of Corporate America, slave to The Man.

That sounded more extreme than my situation is. And it's Friday. I can't complain too much.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Inspirational Nugget of the Day

For all ya'll who find yourselves staring blankly at the computer screen, at a loss for something snappy and awesome for which to write your little fingers to the bone about, behold: Sara's Inspirational Nugget of the Day.


You're welcome, friends. Now let the inspirational juices flow!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Inspiration: Mad Gab Edition


So, I've got my ghost book. And I like my ghost book. I've also got my pirate book, and, well, kind of goes without saying that I like my pirate book. But that's not enough. Because I'm selfish like that. So we're going to play Inspiration Mad Gab!

(It occurs to me every time I write blog posts just how often I start sentences with "so." I swear that doesn't happen in my books as much. Maybe. So maybe.)

I want/need another story idea. And, should any of the proceeding generated ideas spark an inspirational fire in you, you might just find that you want/need story ideas too. It's a win-win for all of us, really -- story ideas are generated, and you get to play Inspiration Mad Gab.

Rules are:

1) Pick an assortment of words (I trust you not to peak at the Mad Gab filler sentence at the bottom of the post. Don't break this trust, people).
2) Once you have your list, THEN and ONLY THEN may you look at the filler sentence at the bottom. Put your words in and develop a wonderfully inspirational sentence that you then post in the comments. Unless you like your wonderfullyl inspirational sentence so very much you have to keep it for yourself and a write a book about it that then becomes a bestseller. Just remember to thank my Mad Gab game in the acknowledgements.

Ready? Now, come up with:

MC name
Span of time
verb past tense
Secondary Character name

Remember, the more obscure the words you pick, the more inspirational the sentence will be. Guaranteed. Maybe.

I'll wait while you come up with words.

*twiddles thumbs*

Got it? Now using the words you came up with, in the order you came up with them, plug them into:

[MC name] is a/an [adjective] [noun] who lives [location] and has a [noun]. [Span of time] has passed since [event] during which all of [MC name]'s [noun/thing] were [verb past tense]. This has made [MC name] [verb]. In order to [verb] the [noun], [MC name] must [verb] with [Secondary Character name] and [verb] the [noun].

Though personally, I'm a fan of verbing the noun.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thoughts for The Universe

1) It's my birthday this Friday.

2) I feel the need to remind The Universe of a certain deal-io I made a few months back.

3) It's rude to keep people waiting when they make deals, isn't it?

4) I'd expect The Universe to have THE BEST etiquette in the world. Being, you know, the very essence that created good etiquette.

All of these things lead to only one rational conclusion, don't they? Now, I'm not about to go telling The Universe what to do, but...a nudge. We'll call it a nudge.

*nudges Universe*

Thursday, August 18, 2011


JR Johansson is taking over the WORLD, people.

Remember that post I did about why Germany is awesome? Well, read it again, but instead of "Germany" substitute "Italy."


INSOMNIA just sold in ITALY. So not only will Parker (Insomnia's snarky and dark MC) get to feast on brats and pretzels, he'll also get Gelato and pasta and sexy Italian men. Or, well, Parker probably won't want sexy Italian men. I'll leave the sexy Italian men-getting to JR. As long as she gets plenty to share. And if she mixes up sexy Italian men with Gelato I'll be okay with that too.

YAY, Europe! They clearly know what is awesome. Not that I doubted Europe. I mean, c'mon. Europe.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I tweeted for help with this, but I'm going to blog it too. Because that's how much I need help.

*tries to think of something snappy to lead into the problem*

*no cookies in the house*

*can't think of anything snappy*


There. I said it.

No matter how much I research and/or tweak and/or re-read and/or revise, my character arcs are always the last thing, the very very very last thing, to come into being. Ordinarily, having one thing that always must be done last isn't a bad thing -- but this one is. Because of the sheer amount of time that is wasted while wrestling with those bleep bleeping arcs.

In my head, there are certain detailed character arcs through a book:

1) Introduction of the Character (usually the first few chapters of a book)

2) First Emotionally Distressing Event (wherein the character encounters what should be the first event in which you see a change in his/her normally delightful persona)

3) Character Leveling (wherein the character regains composure and implements his/her new slight emotional depth into his/her normally delightful persona)

(2 and 3 can repeat a few tiny times)

4) Second Emotionally Distressing Event (in or near the climax of the book wherein the character encounters The Event that the whole book has been working toward and should, in theory, change the character for the better. Or the worse, if you're into that kind of thing)

5) Character Release (wherein the character accepts all the changes that have happened -- whether or not he/she consciously makes that decision -- and becomes the ultimate and well-rounded person we come to know and love)

Easy, right? Once you see laid out all pretty?


For whatever reason, I cannot get my characters from 1 to 3 in a smooth, believable arc. My character arcs are more Character Death Roller Coasters of Doom. And then they get nauseous and I get nauseous and everyone gets nauseous.

So my questions are: how do you get from 1 to 3 and 3 to 5 without making everyone involved in the process nauseous from all the jumping about? How soon is too soon for a character to accept his/her Character Leveling? What are your tricks for smoothly inserting a new, more fully-formed persona into your character by the end of the book?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my characters some Pepto. Why they continue to put up with me, I'll never know.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yay, Flutterbies! Butterflies! And all things that utter

I went on a writing retreat recently and had the pleasure of (re)meeting Michelle Davidson Argyle. She takes (awe-inducing) photographs and writes about Monarch butterflies and spies and murder. If that isn't a weird enough combination to get you to go "Hm...", then I don't know what is.

As I have become accustomed lately to doing blog posts regarding the exciting news of friends, I am deeply excited to show you this:

The Innocent Flower

Michelle's book, Monarch, will be sitting cozily on bookshelves everywhere starting September 15th. And, like any good soon-to-be-released author, Michelle has all kinds of fantastic giveaway goodies on her blog.

She also has links to all of the blogs she'll be a-hopping to during her blog tour. And let me tell ya, girl knows how to TOUR. She ain't taking no prisoners. And neither should you. Unless that prisoner is Monarch. Then take it and read it and be merry.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Germany is Awesome: A Tale by Sara Raasch

Once upon a time, I met a girl named Jenn. Her crit group was looking for another member and me, well, I was looking for a crit group. Destiny.

Jenn was funny. And clever. And had the most amazing red hair that made me want to find a rock and spring up on it while singing the climatic part of Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World."

She wrote a book. A book about a boy who couldn't sleep. And a lot of other really terrifying things. But the point is it was terrifying YA horror stuff, and guess who loves terrifying YA horror stuff?

This place.


And one day she got word that the Germans loved her book about a boy who couldn't sleep so very very much that they bought it. And hugged it. And stroked it a bit.

That buying and hugging and stroking looked like this:

Germany rights to INSOMNIA by J.R. Johansson, a debut YA supernatural/psychological thriller, about a teen boy who thought spending every night trapped in other people's dreams was bad, but discovers that losing control of his own body and mind is so much worse, sold to Heyne Flieght in a TWO-BOOK deal at auction by Agence Hoffman, on behalf of Taryn Fagerness Agency and Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

And they all lived happily ever after. Because it's FREAKIN GERMANY, people. I mean, they INVENTED FAIRY TALES, so good endings have to happen there.


Go tell her congrats. And how much better her story is than this wee tale.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Supernatural Things in SLC

Yeah. That's right. SUPERNATURALLY is sitting on a shelf in a SLC B&N. FIVE FULL DAYS before it's due to come out.

Be jealous.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Blog 'do

Thought it was long overdue for a change. Like? Dislike? Suggestions? I'll probably toy around with it for awhile, so if you come across anything you JUST CAN'T STAND, tell me, and I'll get my pirates to fix it right away.

Because pirates are surprisingly good with graphic design. I know, right?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Time to dance, ya'll

So, I moved to Utah in March. When I tell people this, they usually respond in one of a few ways:

1) "Why?"

2) "Why?!"

To both of those questions, I usually respond with: "Well, I have a lot of friends in Utah."

Which is partially true.

Now, I do have a lot of friends in Utah. I've met a bunch of people and hang out with lots of awesome writer-folk on a monthly basis. But when I moved here in March, I had one writer friend in Utah. And that friend, ladies and gentlemen, was Natalie Whipple.

Natalie has been one of my online writer buds for, oh, a few years now. Last fall, when I was nearing the end of my degree and had no freakin' idea what I was going to do with my life, she said, "Move to Utah." To which I replied, "Oh, yeah. Utah. Sure." Never thinking I would take the leap to move across the country, I visited her in September via a gift from The Parents to "check it out" should I decide to actually move there.

And now here I am, chilling in my apartment in Salt Lake City. This move has turned into one of the best decisions of my life. I'm happy. And it's all because one dear writer-friend dared to host me in her condo for a week last year and gently encouraged me every time I got anxious/scared/upset/angry-with-life to move to Utah. Natalie has been a constant source of encouragement for me, which is why I am THRILLED THRILLED AND EXCITED to get to share this exciting news with all ya'll:

Natalie Whipple’s debut novel TRANSPARENT, pitched as X-Men meets The Godfather, in which an invisible girl has to stop her dad—an infamous crime lord—from ruining her life, to Erica Sussman at HarperTeen, in a two-book deal, by Anna Webman at Curtis Brown.

In the summer of 2013, the world will be able to bask in the sheer awesomeness of a Natalie Whipple Original. I have been a huge fangirl of her books since she let me read her since-resting Ninja Novel, and not only does she know how to crank them out (with 13+ novels already FINISHED), she knows how to crank them out WELL. TRANSPARENT is no different. I mean, come on -- XMEN meets THE GODFATHER. Are you drooling yet?

So go over and give Natalie a cyber squeal of excitement and a celebratory cheer. She is now among the realm of the published authors. I can't think of anyone more deserving!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Snippet. Maybe.

I keep wanting to post a snippet from my current WIP, which I am oh so proud of in all its ghostly and snarky humor glory. But for the first time EVER I am experiencing major book selfishness, ie: I CANT LET ANYONE WHO HASNT PLACED THEIR HAND ON MY LAPTOP AND SWORN AN OATH READ IT BECAUSE THE AWESOMENESS WOULD DIMINISH OR SOMETHING.

So you understand then why I don't post a snippet. Lest the universe collapse around my book.

But what I CAN post, and what I thought you'd all appreciate, is a list of curse words I've compiled for my MC. She's Jewish, see, and while she's not a perfect Jew, she does harness the awesomeness that is the Yiddish language. In other words, today you will learn some Yiddish! Because when you're insulting someone, it's best to do it in the language of God's people. Amen.

Alter kahker – someone who is lazy/useless
Chutzpah – something unbelievable
Kibbitz – to butt in
Putz – fool, jerk
Shlemazl – chronic bad luck
Shlemiel – socially unadjusted person
Shmeer – spread on food

And my personal favorite:

Shmuck – a, um, certain part of the male anatomy. Namely a certain part of a certain part of the male anatomy that is sometimes removed. And sometimes not. Google it.

Dontcha feel smarter now? Start sprinkling your every day speech with such fantastically tongue-rolling Yiddish words as this and you'll be well on your way to being a friend all your friends envy. Probably.

Monday, June 27, 2011


So, Jill has a cover, ya'll. And can we talk for a moment about cover lotteries, and how much win Jill has in hers?

I mean, LOOK AT IT.

The cover says it all. Sometimes you just can't look away.

For those wondering what such a gorgeous cover could be hiding within itself, here's a summary:
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A few days late, but worth the wait

Hey, I can rhyme!


So on Monday for my Marketing Post about Something I Love Love and Adore, I was going to do a whole raving review of the video game Assassin's Creed, and how The Boyfriend and I are so madly addicted to it that we named our cat Ezio (which greatly confused the vet), and how when I found out at a GameStop that the 4th game will be released in November, I promptly squealed and shook the magazine the announcement was in, much to the shock of the GameStop employees (note to gamer boys everywhere: GIRLS LIKE GAMES TOO).

But I decided to hold off on that post, lest you all get to see my nerdy gamer side.

Turns out holding off was written in the stars, as today I stumbled across a FANTABULOUS post by one of the cutest, most talented writers on the blogosphere: Kasie West. Apparently she got this deal, see ,with a wee house called HARPER FREAKIN TEEN, for her YA book that I have heard so many people rave about I bet they reacted to its publication much like I reacted to the AC #4 release announcement. Squealing and computer-shaking.

So go squeal and shake your computer over her announcement, because PIVOT POINT is going to blow. your. mind. Luckily Assassin's Creed 4 comes out before PIVOT POINT (most likely) will, so I shall have something to occupy my time while I anxiously wait for this book I have heard oh so much about.

Squee, Kasie!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Marketing Monday: A little late to the game...

...but better late than never, eh?

So I'm currently temping as a data entry clerk. During this job, I have the freedom to listen to music and such, but music is only good for about an hour or so. Thus I decided to branch into audiobooks.

Which are awesome.


I downloaded Leviathan. Finished it in a day (not that that's terribly impressive -- it was only 8 hours of listening). Downloaded Behemouth. Still working on it, but will finish it soon. Suffice to say this has been an exciting trip back into the world o' steampunk, a world I haven't visited since I started White Like Ashes after Stream Pirate and left it behind.

But ya'll, steampunk is cool.

In what other world could you have air cannons and flying mechanical beastie-zeppelins and giant metal spiders with machine guns attached? Unfortunately this genre's rise to fame lasted all of about a month, but it still holds a place near and dear in my heart. After all, it spawned a super sexy one-eyed pirate in my little writing world. That and that alone makes it worthy of this week's Marketing Monday.

So yay Scott Westerfeld for bringing about a story of great awesomeness. Here, here, steampunk!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Lovable Bad Guys

Hey, I remembered to post today! *gives self a cookie*

My current (and perpetual) WIP is a Ghost Book. Ooo, spooky. It'd be really easy (and fun) to make the "bad guy" ("bad guy" sounds like such a kiddish term. But antagonist sounds too uppity. Dilemma.) one of those evil and twisted bad guys who lurks in corners or murders people in their sleep or something equally delightful. Which is expected in a Ghost Book, and happens in mine. Fear not.

But I always like to make things a bit more -- interesting.

I've always been in love with the idea of a lovable bad guy. One of those bad guys you find yourself rooting for until, you know, they get everyone killed. Like Lord Marke in Tristan and Isolde (I can only think of movie references now. I blame my mono brain). Granted, he wasn't the "evil evil" bad guy, but he was the obstacle that kept Isolde from being with Tristan. He was just so gosh darn lovable, to the point where I almost wanted Isolde to realize the value of her marital vows and tell Tristan to get over himself.

What made Lord Marke so gosh darn lovable was how much we knew about him. We knew his background, saw his wife and unborn child get murdered, saw him sacrifice a limb (literally) to save Tristan. He was flawed and passionate and stood for something, and we knew exactly what he was fighting for the entire movie. And this thing that he was fighting for hit home even more by being something we ourselves could fight for.

The trick of making a bad guy a lovable bad guy is just that -- making his fight just as understandable and sympathetic as the MC's. Though whatever the bad guy is fighting for is ultimately something that will change the MC's world in a negative way, it should be understandable. The bad guy's motives and reasoning should be as clear as the MC's, even if whatever the bad guy wants isn't something we as readers would want.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Something I don't say often

So, if you know me, you know I'm a bit anti...medication. Or, well, that's not entirely right -- I'm more anti-throwing-medication-at-every-ache-and-pain-and-twitch. Probably goes back to when I was younger and sickly for many a years and my conversations with doctors would go like this:

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

Me: *describes various ailments that no doubt have to do with stomach issues*

Doctor: Ah. I see. *writes prescriptions* Take this. Come back in two weeks. If it doesn't kill you, we'll up the dosage.

Okay, well, maybe they didn't say it exactly like that. But it sure felt like that's what they did.

Anyway, this always left a bad taste in my mouth as far as modern medicine went. I'd get put on anti-depressants and fight tooth and nail to "heal myself." I'd get put on BC (not because of THAT. Because of girlish hormone issues. Get your mind out of the gutter.) and slowly ween myself off them to avoid yet ANOTHER influx of hormones into my body (seriously America?? What is with this hormone obsession?? *twitches*).

Suffice to say, when I got sick last week, like really really REALLY sick, the last place I wanted to go was a hospital.

But then, you know, I couldn't breathe, and after some prodding from The Mother and The Boyfriend, I ended up in the ER. And this one experience shed a much needed beacon of light on modern medicinal stuffs.

See, turned out I had (have) mono. No cure for it, but what the doc's did for me left me feeling like a whole new woman. Two prescriptions, a dose of Motrin, a shot that if it were human I would marry and have its babies later, I went home able to BREATHE and stuff. And now, almost a week later, I am back at work and kickin' like I never had tonsils the size of golf balls at all.

Mondays posts are supposed to be about things that I LOVE LOVE AND ADORE. I'm not now suddenly an advocate of modern medicinal thingies (I still firmly believe that if you can heal on your own, you should), but something I do LOVE LOVE AND ADORE are second chances. If I had held to my previous bad experiences with doctors and hospitals, I might still be lying in bed gasping for air and cringing every time I swallow. But because I was able to let go of my own biases (and perhaps embrace a bit of my oxygen-deprived delirium), I got much better much quicker than I would have on my own.

So here's to second chances and being open to changing your biases -- because sometimes that thing you hate might not be so completely life-destroying as you thought. Or maybe it is and a second chance will affirm that. But probably not.

That didn't end as inspirational as I wanted it to.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


So this is me. Posting MORE BLOGS.

Knowing me and all my, well, Sara-ness, it will be metaphysically impossible (and even a bit theologically impossible, maybe even *gasp* anatomically impossible) (no I'm not just throwing fancy words around) for me to post MORE BLOGS without a set schedule and certain expectations for set schedule. Because I'm like that. This being the case, I must come up with certain topics that can be talked about on a weekly basis without becoming as overdone as love triangles.


So, my schedule o' Topics.

Mondays: M is for Marketing -- In which I selfishly promote some book that I am either SUPER SUPER excited about or LOVED LOVED AND ADORED. Or both.

Wednesdays: What am I Writing? The Wedneday Word -- In which I keep myself motivated to actually, you know, write by holding myself accountable to all ya'll with tales of writing wonder or woe. And the overuse of the letter "w."

As I go on, I may add days to the schedule if I come across topics I just must talk about. But until then, this is what you may expect. Be excited.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



So, turns out moving across the country is hard work. There's all these things you don't account for (like freak snowstorms in Missouri) and all these things you do account for but don't really REALLY account for (like just how LONG LONG OHMYGAWD LONG Kansas is) (seriously Kansas people, HOW DO YOU STAND LIVING THERE?) (No, I'm not still bitter). But overall, it's one of those soul-enlightening experiences that sticks with you.

For better or worse (definitely better now), for richer or poorer (mostly poorer), in sickness and in health (mostly sick -- stupid *cough* dry *cough* climate *cough*), til death do us part (or, you know, until I move somewhere else), I hereby pronounce Utah my new home.

*raises a glass or kisses the bride or whatever should be done in this situation*

Know how I knew I'd made the right decision? I came up with the next scene in SLIP NOT, my YA paranormal ghost story. Yup. I haven't had a scene pop into my head in, well, calculate how long it's been since I finished STREAM PIRATE. I'm telling ya, there's magic in the air here. Magic writing air. *breathes in deep*

So even though Kansas is a soul-killing drive that sums up America in its billboards (porn shops, shoe stores, antique malls, and "foot-high pie" diners), and even though Missouri tried to kill Natalie and I, and even though we may have spat curses upon every driver from Grand Junction to Salt Lake (those last hours are a bit of a blur), the drive was worth it, the transition was worth it, and the overall craziness of the last month was worth it. Because I'm happy, yo.

And I haven't been able to say that for a long, long time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Check It

My sister rocks.

Okay, not my ACTUAL sister. Though she rocks too, quite a bit. I mean my AGENCY sister, so not a "real blood and DNA" type sister, but a sister by contract. So like a sister-in-law? Maybe? Anyway.

Stephanie Perkins, the super adorable blue-streaked wonder of an author who also happens to be repped by Kate Testerman (where the sister-part comes from), has just released the cover and info for her next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. You should go look at it. And stroke your computer in awe and wonder and envy.

Put a towel down if you drool though. Drooling is bad for computers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Post Brought to You by Positivity

This really has nothing to do with my post, but I googled "funny success posters" and found this after perusing the results for about 30 minutes. I chuckled.

I made the decision to move to Utah back in January, in the heat of yet another what-am-I-doing-with-my-life, I'm-21-and-WASHED-UP-WASHED-UP-WAAAAAASSSHHHHEEDDDD-UPPPPP panic attack. It was a decision I made for me, totally selfishly, not because of a job or how it would benefit my family or anyone but me.

And it's kind of turning into the best decision ever. And I'm not even there yet.

Last summer, when I was in the throws of my Retail Job from Hell, I quit. Couldn't take it anymore and told my employer to kindly bleep off (okay, not really, considering my manager was one of my BFFs and my actual employer was a million-dollar corporation who probably doesn't take kindly to bleeps). I had no other job lined up and quit for purely selfish reasons. One month later, I landed a WRITING job.

Um, so, yeah. Turns out there might be something to living for your own happiness. Not saying you should go on massive selfish-sprees, but making the occasional life-changing decision based on no one else but YOU has its upsides.

Due to said positivity, I hereby cross my heart and promise to be more active in the publishing world once I get to Utah. Throw ninja stars at me if I don't.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We Interrupt This Regulary Scheduled Hiatus...

Shh. I ran away from the blogosphere. I'm not really here. I am a figament (figment? figiment? Figaro? Fee-ga-roh Fee-ga-roh Feeeeee-ga-roh...what was I saying? Oh yeah) of your imagination.

*trips over empty Chinese food containers and falls and makes a big, unavoidable noise because that's what empty Chinese food containers do*


So. Uh. How are you? Good. Oh, good. Glad to hear it. I've been...busy. So busy. You don't believe me. I'm hurt! How can you distrust me? I am so innocent and believable, like a kitten. You don't distrust kittens. See, I've been busy doing stuff like this:

And stuff like this:

...and I realize I probably just lost a bunch of you with that last pic. Computer burn out is understandable. But lots of men on a car? With packages? In a desert? What?
I may have forgotten to mention this:
I'm moving to Utah.
Without the men on a car, because I don't want to take any of my Ohio men with me. They can stay nicely in the Corn Belt, thank you. Though I will take a lot of packages, which is part of the reason I've been AWOL. Packing is ANNOYING. And HARD. And when I googled "moving" I got lots of pictures of smiling men and women holding boxes and those pictures are VICIOUS VICIOUS LIES. Moving is much more like this picture, only I'm the car.
So yeah. On top of work, I am now apartment hunting, packing, and apartment hunting. And buying Space Bags because they are God's gift to the moving world. Seriously, they'll change your life. But I am still alive, and still blogging (just not on my blog). I will probably most likely sort of have more time to blog when I get to Utah. Maybe. And yes I realize I have not yet answered the questions posed when I asked for questions a few many days ago. Fail, fail, much failing on my part. I'm okay with that.
But let's not overlook the important thing: I'm LEAVING OHIO. Can I get a woot woot??

Thursday, February 3, 2011


My friend Samantha is amazing.

Not only is she now among the realm of the agented authors, and living in France, and married to a guy straight out of a romance novel, she's also a romance guru who started this blog:

"Some Boys Are Toads: Tales from the Dark Side of the Dating Pond."

And guess who is a contributor? Yep. ME. I know, right? Not like you ever would've guessed that I would have dating horror stories.

*watches all my ex's shudder with terror*

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. But while you're being afraid, go check out the blog, because it's pure awesomeness for all ages. Dating blunders are the universal heartache that afflicts all women. At least on that blog, we can try to find a cure!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So some of you know that I work for a Russian travel agency. It is seriously my dream job -- I get to sit at home in my pj's and write stuff all. day. long. And I get paid REAL MONEY to do this, which is, you know, a nice perk to any job.

Monday morning, I woke up to my mom flipping through Yahoo's news. She called me to the computer to show me this article. And my heart dropped.

I did a post about it on the company blog. My job over the past six months has required me to research the crap out of Russia. I am well on my way to being a certified Russia expert (if they handed out certifications for such things) and even attempted to learn the language awhile back (further proving my destiny to be unilingual). I could tell you way too many details about Moscow, St. Petersburg, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Island, Siberia, and the upcoming Sochi Olympics in 2014. I have spent a lot of time flipping through Google pictures of St Basil's and the Hermitage.

All this research has made me realize just how little most of us know about Russia. It's always been "that really big European-ish country that used to be communist, right?" and most people have no clue what charoite is. This is due in part to the craziness of an oppressive government a few years back, but thanks to a lot of non-crazy people, Russia is much more open now, which is why I have a job at all.

But now this attack. Attacks like this change a lot. Or tend to. After 9/11, people got very hesitant to visit NYC, as though the entire city became a ticking time bomb of destruction. Every terrorist attack turns the victim country into a giant, flashing warning light that scares everyone away. This, though, is what I am trying to encourage people not to do.

This country is incredible. Ever since I saw the cartoon movie Anastasia as a kid, I have had a special place in my heart for it. And it is awful to think people might miss out on getting to know Russia because of gutless fear-inducers.

I know most people who read my blog aren't world travelers, so my sum-up message isn't the same as it was on the post I did for the company blog. To you, I say simply: don't let events like this control you. So many people get corralled through life by fear and miss out on so much wonder. It's not worth it. Listening to fear isn't worth it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Go over here.



Editors will be fighting over her gorgeous romantic memoir. Seriously, it'll be on shelves in NO TIME.

CONGRATS, Sam!! Three cheers for an awesome start to 2011!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ask Jeeves

Anyone else remember that website? Back before Google ruled the world, there was that little butler guy who would so politely find answers to your burning questions. I kind of miss him.

(Sidenote: I used Google to look for pictures of Ask Jeeves. IRONY.)

Anyway, not talking about Jeeves today. Today I thought I'd open the floor to a Q&A round because, ya know, I like to talk about myself. And let's face it, I am so massively dripping with AWESOME that you like to listen. So throw me your most tantalizing, ridiculous, outrageous, unanswerable questions, and I will answer them. Or throw me some serious writing-or-life related questions, and I'll answer those too.

To kick things off, I'll do a trick I do with Puppy to get her excited about playing fetch. Because, believe it or not, regular fetch isn't exciting enough. My dog is a *teeny* bit spoiled.

Okay, here goes:

on your mark...

*waves toy*

get set...

*pauses toy overhead at which point Puppy freezes in a very dog-like fashion*


*throws toy and watches as Puppy and Bloggites tear after it*

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Psychic Told Me To*

*the lesser-said sister phrase to "The Devil Made Me Do It."

I went to a psychic on Thursday

OW! Who threw the holy water?? Don't you know how DANGEROUS that stuff is?


Oh. It doesn't burn you? Um. Well then...this is awkward.

Aside from telling me I stuff I already knew (THE MOMENT I sat down, the psychic's first words to me were "Honey, you have trust issues." To which I replied "ME?? A clearly desperate, directionless 21-yr-old has TRUST ISSUES?? Shut UP!" I don't think she appreciated my commentary.) (Now that I think about it, that might explain why my reading was so full of "Leave! Leave! FLEE!" type things. Hm.), the psychic was...interesting. My expectations were way too high to begin with -- suffice to say my friends and I have been planning to do this since last fall, when we got our fortunes read at a RenFest and were absolutely certain our lives would CHANGE FOREVER. And me, being on the cusp of a new life, was desperate for someone to tell me "This is what you should do. Step 1, 2, and 3, and you'll be happy. Promise."

So I sat down in the psychic's relaxing little haven of purple sparkly fabric and bubbling rock-water fountains, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed...

Until she started, you know, talking.

Then all I could think was "Um...I'm going to do what in the next two years? With -- who? And I'm going to have money? Oh, okay, I like that. But I'm going to do what in three years? WHAT??"

Yeah, just lots of...WHAT??

And while my friends were very happy with their readings and raced home to set their Universe-instructed plans into motion, I just...didn't. According to the psychic, "the Universe" has set forth this plan for me: I will be a nomad-type-person for the next two years, moving all the time and never having a "constant person" in my life (she actually told me that lots -- yes, LOTS -- of men will come into my life, but I should let them pass over me like water. Not sure what to think about that.), and after those two years I will "nest" somewhere and go to grad school and meet someone and get married.

Firstly, I am not a nomad. I have way too many seasonal allergies to live outside in an animal-hide hut (psychic humor).

Secondly, GRAD SCHOOL?? Are you JOKING, Universe? Do you not remember how much I LOATHED LOATHED LOATHED AND DESPISED the sheer uselessness that was my UNDERGRAD DEGREE?? And how I now have a $15,000 loan that I took out to fund the first YEAR and a HALF of said adventure?? And you think I'm going to go to GRAD SCHOOL??

Thirdly, this all felt very, very familiar. My friends were gabbing excitedly about their adventures while I couldn't help but flash back to a time when I was in a similar situation. Listening to people tell me what a Higher Power had planned for me. And then hating myself, my very being, when I couldn't live up to/fulfill said Higher Power's divine plan.

Before we got to the psychic, my friends and I were all so lost, so terrified of our many opportunities and the vast expanse of possibility. What were we going to DO with it all?? What could WE, mere mortals, expect to form with all this potential??

Nothing. We couldn't do anything. I couldn't do anything. What if I made the wrong decision? What if it all collapsed around me and I had no one to blame but myself? That's the biggest reason, isn't it. If some Higher Power tells us what to do, at least we have them to say "They told me to! I didn't want to!"

But do you notice how often things that "Higher Powers" tell us to do work out? Because we commit to them with our whole being. We throw every part of ourselves into them because they're "destined" and "divine." We blindly trust and believe and KNOW that they will work out.

But when we make decisions on our own, no Higher Power instructing us, well, we're just human. And humans screw up. ie: this will get screwed up too.

The psychic was right. I do have trust issues. But they extend far beyond the usual "boys suck" issues. I don't trust myself to make my own life decisions. I need some Higher Power to sit back and say "You're going to do XYZ," even if I don't WANT to do XYZ (small sidenote: I realize sometimes people SHOULD be forced to do what they don't want to do. There's a distinction to be made between the two types of "don't want to"). I let the Christian majority tell me God wanted me to be a missionary/witness/leader even though I HATED doing all of those up-front things. For years I threw myself into those things because it was SUPPOSED TO WORK OUT. God said so.

Even though I've spent my entire life asking various divinities what they want for me, I've been too afraid to ask one simple question: What do I want? Like that question might strike me dead. How DARE I have a plan. How dare a little mere mortal WANT anything. How silly.

But what do I want? I want to find a home somewhere. I want to get married. I want to NEST, goddammit, not be a nomad. I'm not nearly artsy enough to be nomadic -- nomads are those freespirits who wander around with a backpack full of granola oat bars. And I'm ALLERGIC to oats.

So even though the psychic was a ridiculously nice old lady, I have to politely tell the Universe to go bleep itself. Because, honestly, I'm tired of trying to live up to something else's expectations of me. I'm going to try this weird new thing called doing what I want to do. Whatever the hell that is.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New You

I made a decision, remember? 2011 is going to be a GOOD year. I'm not giving it any other choice. It will be good and amazing and shiny and everything 2010 and 2008 weren't. It will be mine.

Ever since I graduated in November, I've been paralyzed. Suddenly I didn't have a buffer anymore -- this was IT. The beginning of my beginning. No more school, no more waiting -- it was time to do that big, scary thing everyone's always talking about and start a LIFE somewhere. But ever since college destroyed all of my childhood hopes and dreams (thanks a lot, American Education System), I've avoided making any cut-and-dry decisions about my future for fear of -- everything. I always assumed that once I graduated everything would magically fall into place, just like I assumed that once I got into college everything would magically fall into place.

I'm starting to see a pattern in my life. Apparently you can't WAIT for things to happen. Who knew, right? This shouldn't be news to me. I blame, once again, my dangerous dependence on religion growing up. Someday I will make a psychoanalyst VERY happy.

So the past month I spent flipflopping between being crazy spontaneous in one of two ways or staying put until I figured stuff out. Staying put has become increasingly less of an option -- I've said since high school that this city kills your soul. Why I expected it to change when I moved home for college, I don't know. But it does kill your soul until you reach a point where you think it'd be okay to live in some scummy apartment next to a bunch of wailing babies and creepy old men while your greatest joy is going to Buffalo Wild Wings every Friday night. Throw in your own baby or two, and you've got the makings of every. single. person. in this city who stayed here after graduation. Throw in a lot of backstabbing, sabotaging, and high-school like drama, and you've REALLY got the makings of every single person who stayed.

For a moment...I wanted that? I heard myself admit to that being an okay option for me tonight, and it made me go -- damn. What happened to me?

Fear. Fear happened to me. Completely and utterly paralyzed me in limbo, the land of the Gray Area, the place I promised myself I'd never, ever be. I was okay with it. I accepted being, for a moment, NOTHING, being undefined and hovering and waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to define me.

This girl wouldn't have been okay with that. This girl took a leap of faith and landed an amazing job. This girl just sounded awesomely optimistic.

But staying in this place of Gray Area Limbo has turned me into someone who accepts the prospect of a dead-end city and social life as enough. Someone who is content with an "exciting weekend" of hanging at questionable bars while a bunch of 40 yr olds drink so much their lives don't seem sad.

I'm not who I want to be. And I can't pretend staying here will make me who I want to be. I want to be the girl I linked to up above. I want to be PASSIONATE and OPTIMISTIC and FIERY. I want to be a WRITER again.

So I decided today. I made a decision. Today. To be that person, and to find a place that will help me foster ME back into that person. And it'll be scary and it'll be hard and I might hate it -- but I hate me here. And saving me is worth the risk, I guess.