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Born & raised in Seattle. Time in Hawaii for school. Aspiring YA author. Creative thinker. Compulsive shopper. Runner. Co-founder / co-captain of the YA Buccaneers. Active member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI. Represented by Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company. Want more? Check out my About page.

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Monday
Apr072014

Spring Writing Bootcamp: Check-in #6

As part of the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp, I posted my goals here when we first started in on this crazy adventure. 

And then the past few weeks / month kind of took a turn for the worse and things have been, well, they've been pretty hectic to say the least.

But...I am happy to say this past weekend I did jump back into the swing of things and started working on my new WIP -- which has me all kinds of excited!

So without further adieu, here are my goals as of today:

APRIL:

1. Work on my new YA Contemporary / Adventure WiP -- working title: NAME OF THE GAME.
Goal for now = 2,500 words / week (TBA: To Be Adjusted!)
2. Continue to read / finish CP's MS!
3. Host / participate in a Word Sprint or two!
4. Cheer on my fellow Team Rainier writers!

MAY:

1. NAME OF THE GAME writing goal: minimum of 10,000 words.
2. Host / participate in a Word Sprint or two! 
3. Same goal as April, cheer on the awesome that is Team Rainier!

TEAM 2 / Team Rainier 

FYI: If you haven't joined a team yet and you're still interested - hop on over to the YA Buccaneers and let us know! It's never to late to join and we'd love to have you! If there's a specific team you'd like to be a part of, don't forget to mention that too!

So how are your writing goals coming along? Post a comment here, give a shout out on Twitter using #YABBootcamp, or hop on over to the YA Buccaneers and let us know so we can cheer you on!

Monday
Mar172014

Spring Writing Bootcamp: Check-In #2

As part of the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp, I posted my goals here the other day! However, now that I've successfully completed the one goal I set for March (hey, it was a BIG goal), I realize I can't just leave it like that. I can't just leave two weeks left to the month, with no writing goals in sight. 

So, I've decided to add more to my list:

MARCH:

1. Send Agent revisions (with CP edits) to Super Agent Lisa. CHECK! Sent Saturday, 3.8
2. Dive in on a new MS from one of my awesome CP's! Started reading on Tuesday, 3.11 - and I'm LOVING IT!
3. Host / participate in a Word Sprint or two!

APRIL:

1. Pending Lisa loves the changes I've made to WTWF, we potentially will be headed out on submission!!! Fingers crossed, it's the moment I've been waiting for, for years.
2. However, if Lisa has changes she'd like to see, then I'll be working on those this month.
3. Otherwise, I have a SNI I've been itching to write - working title: NAME OF THE GAME
4. Continue to read / finish CP's MS!
5. Host / participate in a Word Sprint or two!

MAY:

1. NAME OF THE GAME writing goal: minimum of 10,000 words.
2. Host / participate in a Word Sprint or two! 

And in case you missed it, we announced our accountability teams last week - and mine is full of nothing but awesome:

TEAM 2 / Team Rainier 

If you haven't joined a team yet and you're still interested - hop on over to the YA Buccaneers and let us know! It's never to late to join and we'd love to have you! If there's a specific team you'd like to be a part of, don't forget to mention that too!

So how are your writing goals coming along? Post a comment here, give a shout out on Twitter using #YABBootcamp, or hop on over to the YA Buccaneers and let us know so we can cheer you on!

Wednesday
Mar122014

What's Up Wednesday: 03.12.14

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by my ever-so-lovely YA writer friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. The idea? Well, it's a great opportunity to touch base once a week with all of our blog friends and let them know what's up. Should you wish to join, head on over to Jaime's blog and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of her post! 

Well hello writing world! It has been FOREVER since I participated in a WUW post -- seriously. The last one was back in early December. Yikes.

See, I wasn't lying. 

So bare with me as I dust off that WUW hot air balloon and remember how this all goes!

WHAT I'M READING:

I just finished the RAZORLAND series by Ann Aguirre yesterday. I thought the first book, ENCLAVE, was good - after all, I have a thing for zombies / mutants! The second book, OUTPOST, was even better - and we got to know the characters that much more. By the third installment, HORDE, I was totally hooked...and it's not often I actually like the third / final book in the series the best! If you're a fan of Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series, then this is another set of great zombie reads that won't disappoint.

I started in on IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi last night and I just have to say how much I love her writing style. Everything about her writing poetically flows and makes it so easy to get lost in the words. I have to admit that I can't quite remember how the last book ended...so I probably should have read the first two over again, before diving in to this one. *le sigh*

I've also started in on a new WIP from one of my CP's - and I can already tell I'm really going to like this one!  

WHAT I'M WRITING:

I finally finished my agent / CP revisions for WHERE THE WATER FALLS and emailed it back to Agent Lisa on Saturday. And can I tell you how good it feels to finally have that done? Good. As in seriously good. Even great. Better yet, STELLAR!!!!!!!

It was my #YABbootcamp writing goal for March -- and I buckled down and finally finished the last couple of chapters...reread it to make sure I was happy, then sent it on it's way. 

Now, it's in Lisa's hands. And I'll standby patiently to see what she thinks. If all goes well, I might actually find myself on submission -- words I've been waiting a very long time to say. 

But before I get too excited about the possibility of submissions, I need to wait to hear what she thinks. So I'm here...waiting...yep, still here.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

My awesome team from the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp:

TEAM RAINIER!!!!

I'm so utterly impressed with the turn out for the bootcamp and honestly, when Bridgid and I were first brainstorming ideas for what we wanted to do, I don't think either of us had any idea what we were about to unleash! 

I'm excited to work with these ladies, along with everyone else, over the next 3 months - and I honestly can't wait to see what amazing writing feats take place!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO:

My new job has been incredibly busy. So much so, that I've had to prioritize my time over the past couple of months to focus on work. But oh how I've missed everyone in the writing world -- and I realized that I truly am miserable when I'm away for too long. 

The week before last, I had the opportunity of flying out to Hartford, CT. to open up Microsoft's newest retail store at the Westfarms shopping mall. It was seven very long days of prepping the store and getting everything organized before the actual curtain dropped on Saturday, March 1st. We even stayed to attend the store opening concert that Microsoft puts on, hosted by the ever entertaining FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE.

And even though it was sometimes 15 - 18 hour days, we did manage to make a trek over to see the homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. It amazes me that two literary greats managed to live within twenty yards of one another -- and the houses? Amazing. That's a picture of Mark Twain's home up there to the left!

I was also able to snag limited edition copies of HUCKLEBERRY FINN, TOM SAWYER, and UNCLE TOM'S CABIN - so I was definitely a happy girl when all was said and done.

So what have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear all about it, since it's been waaaaay too long!

Monday
Mar102014

Spring Writing Bootcamp: Check-In #1

As part of the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp, I posted my goals here the other day!

Today is the very first Monday check-in and I'm happy to announce:

I've already completed my goal for March!

I know, I know...it's only the 10th of March and I still have 2/3 of the month to go! But, I swear I didn't cheat. Pinky promise I didn't set a lame goal. Because I set this one late last month when I was neck deep in agent / CP revisions and was thinking it would take a lot longer. It's just that everything kind of came together over the past couple of weeks and I was able to push through much faster than expected. I tied up a few loose ends this past week, re-read my MS in it's entirety, and was able to hit send to my agent on Saturday. And man does it feel great!

I won't hear back from her for a couple of weeks, as she has a ton of reading that came in just before mine - but I think I'm okay with that...and I could definitely use the time to maybe relax just a little. Or, yanno, start in on my April goal?

Aside from that, I'm super excited to also share that we've announced the Accountability Teams for our Spring Writing Bootcamp -- and can I just say, I have THE. BEST. TEAM. EV-VER!!!!!! 

TEAM 2 

Yep, we're Team #2, and we're otherwise known as:

I know I may be biased, but I have no doubt in my mind that this team is going to BRING IT. We've got some lofty goals (okay, some more so than others) and by the time this three months is up, there is going to be some amazing writing by all. I'm already so proud of this team for stepping up to take the challenge, so I know that's only a glimpse into what's to come.

So to all those "other" teams out there...I hope you've got your hiking boots laced up tight -- because you're in for a hike!

Friday
Mar072014

Spring Writing Bootcamp!!!

Over at the YA Buccaneers, we're getting our writing in shape this spring!

For the next three months, we're challenging YOU to set writing goals and actually stick to them. And to help you out, we're putting together accountability teams, inspiring and informative blog posts on writing and revising, annnnnd PRIZES to help keep you motivated!

Check out this post for all the details to learn how you too can get motivated to write, set goals, and sign up to be on a bootcamp team! 

And what are my goals for the next three months?

March:

I finished my revisions on WHERE THE WATER FALLS (my YA Contemp you can read more about here), sent it out to my CP's for a final read through, and am now making last minute changes based on their feedback. I will have these revisions done this weekend, so I can finally get it back to Super Agent Lisa no later than next week.

April:

Pending Lisa loves the changes I've made to WTWF, we potentially will be headed out on submission!!! Fingers crossed, it's the moment I've been waiting for, for years.

However, if Lisa has changes she'd like to see, then I'll be working on those this month. Otherwise, I have a SNI I've been itching to write - working title: NAME OF THE GAME

May:

NAME OF THE GAME writing goal: minimum of 10,000 words.

So what are your writing goals this Spring? Need some extra incentive to get it done? All you have to do is join us, we'll make sure you're in tip top shape come June. I dare you.

And I promise, it will be fun - here's what you need to do:

1. Post your Spring Writing Bootcamp Goals on your blog.
2. Add your blog link
3. Join a support team if you want and/or support others on twitter and social media. Check out the YA Buccaneers Post for more details and info on prizes, etc.!!

Friday
Dec202013

2013 Rewind: My Top 10 YA Reads

As 2013 comes to a close, I joined my fellow crew over at the YA Buccaneers to look back at my top 10 YA reads for the year:

10. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake

9. SHATTER ME by Taherah Mafi

8. UNRAVEL ME by Taherah Mafi

7. JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

6. THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

5. THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

4. CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas

3. THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

2. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

1. SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo

If you hopped over here from the YA Buccaneers site***, you already know I picked SIEGE AND STORM as my #1 pick, for the following reason:

SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo wins my favorite book for 2013, thanks to the compelling story arc and amazing cast of characters. Like many, I'm a huge fan of the Darkling and can't wait to see where Bardugo takes him and Alina in book #3 -- but a new character introduced in this second installment, Sturmhond, was the one I couldn't wait to read more of! This character's quick wit and great sense of humor had me flying through the pages -- and I'm really hoping there will be more of him in RUIN AND RISING. A lot more of him.

So, so many great reads this year, it was hard to pick just ten. Especially since there were many I didn't get a chance to read yet, that I'm sure would've made the list -- like THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater, RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier, and FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell. Who knows, maybe they'll make my list for 2014!

***Don't forget to head back over to the YA Buccaneers to check out the top 10 lists for the rest of the crew -- and enter to win this month's giveaway to win an autographed copy of ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth!

I'd love to hear, what were some of your favorite YA reads this year?