L♡VE LIST

Guys, I won National Novel Writing Month!

I still have about 10K left to write in my story (the end — scary!), but I’m so super happy to have made it this far, and with time to spare. Yay!

To celebrate, I thought it’d be fun to share the Love List I made for this WiP, tentatively titled Stars Like Dust. Love Lists are kind of my favorite. ❤

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

Castle Turrets
Cemeteries
Chai
Cottages
Dandelions
First Kisses
Flower Gardens
Foreign Words
Fortune Cookies
Goldendoodles
Hand Holding
Milkshakes
Photography
Poetry
Prayer Rugs
Princesses
Rumi
Sandy Beaches
Salty Water
Shooting Stars
Star-Crossed Love
Wishes

And a few of the visuals I’ve spent hours staring at…

         

This a kissing book, obviously.
Would you expect anything less out of me? 😉

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What’s Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to.
And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Cristin Terrill’s All Our Yesterdays and loved it. Highly recommend! Now I’m reading 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. I’m not super far along yet, but the mystery is intriguing and the writing is gorgeous.

What I’m Writing: I’m still spending most of my work time beta/CP reading (aMaZiNg stories by Mandie Baxter, Riley Edgewood, and Alison Miller), but I have started revising The Road So Far (I’m happy to find that I still love it after six weeks away), and I’m thinking about my next project. Last week I asked my husband what I should write and his answer was REALLY GOOD. We’ve been brainstorming together (which is odd because he rarely helps me with writing stuff, but very cool too!) and I’m feeling super inspired.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: More of the usual…


I’m enjoying what’s left of Florida’s beautiful summer…

  
Watching Daphne and Daisy act extra cute…


And cheering on the sweetest little cheerleader.

What Works For Me: Visual inspiration. I use Pinterest obsessively and have boards for all my writing projects. I finally made my Where Poppies Bloom board public, though some WiP boards are still secret, like that of the story I’m musing now. Here are a few of the images I’ve pinned so far…

 
 

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

What’s Up Wednesday

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“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to.And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and and Siobhan Vivian, which I’m loving (no surprise — I’m a huge fan of both authors). I’m also beta reading for Jennifer Pickrell. Her contemporary YA has been delightful so far.

What I’m Writing: Now that my Where Poppies Bloom revision is complete, I’m back to working on my road trip manuscript, The Road So Far. Normally I much prefer revising to drafting, but after the challenges Poppies presented, I am more than happy to be pounding out new words. More about it all HERE.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: I’ve skipped the last few What’s Up Wednesdays because things have been crazy with family and revisions and life, but I’m happy to be back. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy…

   
We spent Independence Day at the (insanely crowded) beach with my parents, Nana and Poppy, and then we met up with my brother and his girlfriend for BBQ and chocolate cake.


We had tons of fun hanging with Nana and Poppy in humid Florida for a week. 🙂

   
I spent last week shuttling my girlie to and from Zoo Camp, which she loved. (Win-win for Mama, who had tons of extra revising time!)


And, we’ve been taking advantage of Destin’s shopping, restaurants, and beautiful sunsets.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Author Sara Zarr‘s “This Creative Life” podcast. I’m new to podcasts (if you have any recs, please do leave them in the comments!), but I’ve been catching up with this one obsessively. It’s awesome because it’s about as close as I’ll ever get to having a National Book Award finalist as a personal mentor. Sara is so wise and gracious and real, and I’ve learned so much from her and her guests (Stephanie Perkins, Nina LaCour, Siobhan Vivian, Nova Ren Suma, Sarah Dessen and Bennet Madison, to name a few). The conversations she has about creativity and balance and why/how/when creative people do what they do make me feel so… normal. And inspired. And like part of a community. All of the anxiety and doubt and fear and joy that’ve bounced around in my head as I try (and try and try) to get published are pretty standard, it seems. If you’ve yet to give “This Creative Life” a listen, I highly recommend it.  

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

What’s Up Wednesday

c0500-tree7025

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to.And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah. It’s one of those books where you’re not entirely sure what’s going on, or whether the narrator is reliable or not. I’m obviously not going to give away the ending, but let’s just say… You should definitely read it when it comes out this fall. Now, I’m halfway through Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. I’ve been wanting to read the Syrena Legacy books for ages, but somehow they’ve continuously slipped through the cracks. This first installment is a lot of fun. Cool mythology and a narrator who’s feisty and funny. Very entertaining so far!  

What I’m Writing: I crossed the 22K mark with my WiP and I still love it — yay! I also got revision notes from my agent on an old story I want to overhaul. She gave me awesome/insightful/brilliant feedback, which I’ve already started to incorporate. The incredible thing is, the new WiP I’m drafting and the old WiP I’m revising have the potential (in a perfect, perfect world) to be a duology. Working on them simultaneously is sort of amazing. The stories are narrated by different characters, so I’m having a lot of fun bouncing between POVs, and I’m finding that both narrators’ characterizations are becoming much stronger than they were before, which is so motivating. I’ve high hopes for these projects, guys.

Speaking of writing… Drop by Monday, June 2nd for the lowdown on this summer’s writing intensive, Ready. Set. Write! 

What Else I’ve Been Up To: So much… It’s been such a busy week!


My girlie and I went to another Blue Wahoos baseball game in Pensacola. This time we went with two friends and had a great time. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, take advantage. It’s gorgeous. At what other minor league ballpark can you watch dolphins swimming as you walk from the parking lot to the stadium? Plus, good food. 🙂

  
The more I write/revise, the more inclined I feel to whip up yummy treats. This week I made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from a tried-and-true recipe (the chocolate chips are my personal addition), and I also tried a new recipe: Almond Butter Cookies. I’ve recently developed a peanut allergy (tHe WoRsT), so I’m trying to get used to almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter. These cookies turned out so well! I took them to a barbecue and they were gobbled up by kids and adults alike. Yum!

  
I got a new Stitch Fix shipment, and I loved all five pieces. I had so much trouble narrowing them down to fit within my budget, but I eventually decided on a very cool striped date dress, a cute sleeveless printed top, and the adorable patriotic scarf pictured above. The stylist who put together my box visited my Twitter profile and, after seeing that I’m an Army wife, included it. Love! If you’re interested in Stitch Fix, you can learn more HERE.


Yesterday I volunteered at First Grade Field Day. It was hot (just over 90 degrees), but awesome, too. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to join my daughter at her school activities from time to time. So fun to watch her with her friends!

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Marriage. Romance. True love.


My husband and I marked our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Here’s to many, many more happy years! 

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

Love List ♥ ♥ ♥

Many moons ago, I read an inspirational guest post about Love Lists by contemporary young adult author Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog. Here’s what Stephanie had to say on the topic:

Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling! 

Brilliant, right? I made Love Lists for my stories Cross My Heart and Good Girls, and since I’ve crossed the 12K mark on my (currently untitled) WiP, I thought it might be time to write a Love List. Here’s what I’ve come up so far…

Bridges
Bubble Gum
Cold Noses
Crashing Waves
Diners
Drinking Games
Half Truths
Hearts
Highway 1
Hot Air Balloons
Impossible Choices
Jelly Bellies
Kissing (always kissing)
Kitsch Hotels
Light Houses
Lilacs
Lonely Roads
Lost Love
Love Songs
Mexican Food
Mysterious Disappearances
Reunions
Route 66
Sea Glass
Swimming
Travel
Tree Houses
Victorians
Winter

And, visual inspiration…

  

  

   

Have you ever made a Love List for one of your projects? 
What’s inspiring you today?

Cover Reveal: ONE, TWO, THREE by Elodie Nowodazkij

Today I’m thrilled to help reveal the cover of my friend Elodie Nowodazkij‘s contemporary YA debut novel One, Two, Three (June 26, 2014).

Here’s some information on Elodie:

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user. One, Two, Three is her first novel.

Elodie

*Learn more about Elodie’s upcoming releases by subscribing to her newsletter.*

And here’s the synopsis of One, Two, Three:

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive. But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her one-time prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career. At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

Sounds sad and intense and romantic, right? Right up my alley!
Ready to see the cover?!

ONE TWO THREE COVER

Isn’t it gorgeous? I can feel Natalya’s brokenness just looking at it.

And, because Elodie is amazing, she’s hosting a giveaway in celebration of One, Two, Three‘s cover reveal. Up for grabs: gift cards, an autographed ARC of One, Two, Three, ebook copies of One, Two, Three, and a charitable donation to the classroom book project of the winner’s choice. Enter by clicking the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

ONE, TWO, THREE...banner2

Elodie Nowodazkij’s Blog
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Tell me… What do you think of One, Two, Three‘s cover?