(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)



The #AuthorLifeMonth photo challenge, hosted by Dahlia Adler. I’m still going strong, and so are tons of other writers. Check out the hashtag on Instagram to see how everyone’s responding to the prompts. A few of my favorites so far…


If you remember back to my last Currently… post, I mentioned I was reading The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. Well, I finished, and I loved it — it’s definitely a new favorite. Please, please, please pick it up! I also recently finished These Vicious Masks by fellow Swoon Reads authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas, and it was SO much fun. Protagonist Evelyn is the best sort of snarky, and the “Jane Austen meets X-Men” pitch is spot-on. Recommend! Now, I’m reading The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry and it is aMaZiNg so far. Guys, I’m so lucky — I’m picking up the BEST books this year!


Kendra Akins on YouTube. She posts videos on health and beauty and lifestyle. I love her makeup-focused videos most. I’ve learned tons about the big name brands, as well as lesser-known natural products. Check her out if you’re into beauty and/or healthful eating — she’s super savvy.

Listening To

I recently listened to Colleen Hoover’s November 9, which was everything I was hoping it’d be: romantic, but also angsty and overwrought — a total guilty-pleasure listen. If you can overlook some slight but irritating misogyny, you’ll likely be entertained. And I just finished Keith Donahue’s The Boy Who Drew Monsters, a creepy adult horror. Different from my usual fare, but I liked it!

Thinking About

Wrapping up the Kissing Max Holden revision I’ve been working on since Christmastime. I’ve completed all of the big-picture changes, and now I’m in the midst of a read-through, doing all the fun fine-tuning stuff. Yay!


My birthday… It’s Saturday! I’m going to (try to) sleep late, and then my husband and daughter are going to make me crepes for breakfast — yum! Be on the lookout for a Thirty Before 35 update later this week. Spoiler alert: I haven’t finished all of my goals, but I’m not about to let them go. 👍


For sandals and summer and sunshine. Simple as that…

Making Me Happy

These two, as usual. My girlie has had lots of time off school lately (snow days and end-of-quarter days and holidays), and while I do value my quiet work time, I really love having her home. ❤

Did you post a “Currently…” this week?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to visit! 


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 This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It’s incredible. I’m in awe of the brilliant plotting, plus the complex characters the authors created. And, there are some wonderfully steamy moments which, of course, I loved. I also read The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson, which is poignant and evocative and cold and lonely, just as beautiful as her Tiger Lily. She’s quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. Now I’m reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and even though I’ve only just started, I’m loving Finch and Violet and their authentic voices.


What I’m Writing: Continuing to read through my NaNo manuscript, (which still doesn’t have a conclusion). I’ve left myself tons of notes about things I need to research/revise, and I’ve cleaned up a lot of its messiness. I’ve also got a plan for The End, which (GOAL) I’m going to carefully plot in the coming week. I’m going on a most amazing writing retreat in February (yay, yay, yay!), during which I hope to do the actual writing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Playing around with Tumblr. I just signed up and though I have no idea what I’m doing, I’ve enjoyed posting (reblogging?) pictures of books and Disney characters and Taylor Kitsch and inspirational images, plus quotes on writing and success. Do you Tumbl? Is that even a word? I’m HERE if you’re interested in linking up!

Spreading the word about Cavalcade of Authors West, a literary conference for Western Washington middle school students. My longtime friend Kari Bradley is one of the organizers and their list of participating authors is aMaZiNg — Kimberly Derting, Peggy Eddleman, Kristin Halbrook, Mindy McGinnis, Richelle Mead, Marissa Meyer, Alyson Noel, Lisa Schroeder, Liesl Shurtliff, and Staia Ward Kehoe, to name a few. You can learn more about COA West on the post I shared last week, or you can visit the official site. If you’re able, I highly encourage you to donate to this fantastic literary event.

And, since one of my 2015 goals was to fix more treats, I present… A plate of super rich, super delicious Rocky Road Fudge. (You’re welcome.)

What Works For Me: Vlogagrams! Author Megan Whitmer had the brilliant idea to initiate a weekly vlogagram challenge on Instagram, and it’s been so much fun! I find vlogging daunting, normally, because I’m shy and I hate the pressure of coming up with a topic and having to speak in an entertaining manner for minutes upon minutes. Vlogagrams are short (fifteen seconds) and Megan is hooking participants up with weekly themes, which makes the process much less intimidating. I’ve loved “meeting” fellow writers and building on the sense of community I’ve already found via IG. If you’re interested, check out the vlogagram hashtag. The videos I’ve done so far are HERE

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

Quick: Three words!

I’ve been following mother/Australian/social-media-maven Fat Mum Slim (AKA Chantelle) for awhile now. Her Instagram feed is fantastic (she created #FMSPhotoADay) and her blog is an inspiration — full of tips on photography, entertaining, travel, and building a platform, as well as some very thoughtful reflections on parenting and life. I recommend following if you’re not already.


The other day, Chantelle posted the following question:

How would you describe your blog in just 3 words?

I’ve been blogging for over three years, and I love it. I’ve found my personal blogging style mostly through trial and error. While I’m sure I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, I’m very proud of what my blog has become. Through it, I’ve learned a lot and made some wonderful friends. I look forward to many more years of posting. Here’s how I’d describe my blog in 3 words:

Cheerful, conversational, bookish.

Tell me: What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

What’s Up Wednesday

Today I’m jumping in on “What’s Up Wednesday,” 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.

Awesome, right? Here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. It is FANTASTIC. I’m not a big sci-fi gal, but I’m finding this book to be very accessible. It’s also very scary in its feasibility. And it’s a total pageturner. The twists! The unknowns! Zombie! Loving this one. In addition to published fiction, I’m beta reading a fantastic contemporary manuscript. I’m lucky to have such talented friends!

What I’m Writing: Um… blog posts? Book reviews? Grocery shopping lists? Kidding! Now that my revision is done-done, I’m back to working on my shiny new WiP. I still love it, and I also love that I get to use Scrivener to draft it — a first for me. Want to read a bit?

He was going to step inside, Jenna realized with a start. He was going to step into the elevator with her and the enormous TV cart, and then the doors would seal up tight. She would be trapped with him, breathing his air, smelling his smell, avoiding eye contact like it was her job. She’d been confined to a tight space with a boy once before, and the experience had scarred her. 

Jenna’s palms were suddenly clammy, and her heart hammered with such force she thought it might burst from her chest.

But this boy—the boy with the midnight eyes and the uncooperative hair—was not that boy, she reminded affected psyche. And she was at school, a safe place. She was not drunk. She was not incoherent. She was not vulnerable.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:


Hanging  with my hubby and my girlie. Lately we’ve spent some time at Carmel Beach, and we’ve gone on a few Big Sur hikes. Both spots are incredibly scenic and lots of fun. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country (I mean, come on… that’s a waterfall cascading down onto the sand) and we’re trying to take full advantage before the Army makes us pick up and move again.

I’ve also been baking up a storm. I’m currently out of butter, flour, and brown sugar, and low on eggs. Over the weekend I made a favorite, Peanut Butter Cake, which is rich and comforting and always a crowd pleaser. And the other day I made classic Chocolate Chip Cookies to take to a barbecue. They went so fast!

And, finally, I’ve been doing lots of running, as usual. I’m trying to drop my five-mile pace to eight minute miles, which my husband tells me is the Ranger Standard. I’m getting closer and closer!  I’ve also surpassed 800 miles for 2013. Basically, I could have run from where we live now (the Monterey Bay area) to my hometown in Western Washington. No problem, right? 😉

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Wear Blue: Run to Remember, an organization with the goal of building a running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. One of my good friends organized a Wear Blue Memorial Day run here in our town and the turn out was fantastic. More than fifty people showed up to run in remembrance of fallen soldiers. It was inspiring and moving to hear their names spoken aloud before we began our run.

And, on a lighter note, I’m finding the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app quite inspiring. I could play with it all day. In fact, I have to refrain from adding text and borders and doodles to ALL of my photos. So much fun!

Tell me… What’s up with you?

Something to think about…

Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: The government could fix everything that's wrong with the country if they'd simply read my Facebook updates.

Ah, politics.

Your blog/Twitter account/Facebook page is yours to use as you see fit.


Please think about the way you present your beliefs (political or otherwise) if you choose to expound them via social media. Passion is a beautiful thing. Intensity is a beautiful thing. Informed opinions, differing theories, and thoughtful debates are beautiful things. But if you communicate your argument in a snide or aggressive manner, your point is lost on me. If you attempt to assert your case by belittling my beliefs or the beliefs of others, or try to make me feel stupid for thinking a certain way, I only end up thinking poorly of you.

So, cheers to sixty-seven mutually respectful, issue-focused campaign days.

Tell Me: Who are you voting for?


What are you up to this weekend, blog friends?

One Space or Two?

Lately, my husband and I (as well as some of our friends) have been involved in a rousing debate…

One space after a full stop (period, question mark, exclamation point) or two spaces?

I (being the brighter spouse) argue that ONE space is correct. Mr. Old School, on the other hand, swears fervently that TWO spaces are proper. I’ve shown him the online arguments for one space (specifically this article, which states: Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.), as well as informed him of the history of typography and the typewriter and fonts, blah, blah, blah. Still, the man insists he’s correct. He’s even gone so far as to ask a (published) teaching professional who (astoundingly) sided (wrongly) with him!

Naturally, I took the issue to Twitter and, predictably, the writing community sided with me. Here are a few of the brilliant responses I received when I asked for opinions on The Great One Space/Two Spaces Debate:

Melissa Blanco – I’d say that teacher is old school. Although I do have to admit two spaces is how I was taught. I’m a one spacer now though.
Sarah Goldberg – Absolutely not correct! I think it was preferred on typewriters (one space can be hard to distinguish), but no longer… I teach college, too, if that helps. 🙂
Bailey Kelsey – It depends on the style being used. It’s not part of MLA and I’m pretty sure neither APA or Chicago either… One is definitely the norm. In my methodology course for English we were told two spaces was really, REALLY wrong now.
Tracey Neithercott – I say incorrect. Though I do remember being taught that in school. Maybe it’s preferred for academics?
Ashton E. Silver – It’s one space! Maybe the teaching professional has a stutter.
Kari Bradley – I’ve never heard a definitive rule. I know many editors change it to 1. I changed to 1 after being taught 2 back in the day.
Zanne – I say incorrect, at least for advertising and journalism. Maybe it’s different in school?
Erin Bowman – It’s correct if you’re using a typewriter. Otherwise, NO. Period, one space, uppercase. The end. The two space rule came from the monospacing of typewriters… how letters all had equal spacing (like the Courier font) and distinguishing between spaces was difficult because it all looked the same. But fancy computer fonts fix this!
Kris Asselin – I’ve made the switch. I now believe one space is correct. But it was within the last couple years. Was taught two spaces.

What do you think, trusted blog reader?
One space after a full stop, or two? 

No, we don’t sit around debating grammar and formatting ALL the time! We went to see The Band Perry and Brad Paisley last weekend and had a blast!

One-Word Wednesday

Why I wake up early to run... #Desert #Sunrise #Flare
{Sunrise south of Phoenix… Last week my girlie and I road tripped 750 miles to visit family. Totally worth it!}

{My brother, my nephew, my girl, and me at sunset.}

{Loving this book SO MUCH! Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository.}

{Took a break last month, but I think I’m ready to jump back into the #PhotoADayAug challenge!}

#Inmymailbox: A #BEA surprise from @saramcclung! <3 her! #yalit #booksDreamy
{I’m chatting about cover art with Time Between Us author Tamara Ireland Stone over at YA Confidential today. Check it out!}

So, what’s new, friends? What are you reading? What are you writing? What’s the highlight of your week so far? Tell me everything!

Q is for Quiet

You might remember when, a few weeks ago, I blogged about my addiction to all things social media. Well, since then I’ve done something sort of revolutionary.

Something sort of… crazy.

Are you sure you’re ready for this?



No, really!


Not long ago, when I was working to complete a pretty intense revision, I turned my phone to vibrate. All of the pings and chirps and rings were a major distraction and, quite frankly, they were driving me nuts. Predictably, I was able get a hell of a lot more revising done — a hell of a lot quicker — without having to stop and fiddle with calls and emails and texts. Imagine that!

Unpredictably, the self-imposed break from social media (and the demands of constant communication in general) turned out to be something of a relief.

I never could have guessed how freeing it would be to check my email and Twitter and Google Reader when I felt like it, NOT every time my phone summoned me. Instead of answering calls and getting tied with a chat, I listened to voicemails and returned calls when I had time to give friends and family my full attention. I replied to texts and emails when I had a few spare moments, rather than dropping everything (or pausing in my revising) to key out immediate responses.  I let myself surf Pinterest and Facebook during lunchtime (and only after my daughter finished eating and left the table). It was… really nice, and even though my revision is since complete, my phone is still set to vibrate.

And you know what? I think it’ll stay that way for awhile.

Have you ever hushed YOUR phone?

A is for Addiction

You might remember when, a few weeks ago, I posted about a trip my husband and I took to Vancouver. In a nutshell, it was glorious… except for one teeny, tiny detail: My cell phone does not function internationally. “Oh, boo hoo,” you’re probably thinking, and you’re right. There are certainly greater tragedies than being unplugged for forty-eight hours. Still…

Admittedly, I’ve become quite attached to my phone. I use it for everything–calls (obviously), email, Twitter, Facebook, blog reading, blog writing, Instagram, weather checks, random Google searches, photography, Pinterest, calculating, directional navigation, Goodreads, blah, blah, blah… Plus, when I’m idle, like riding in the car or waiting in line somewhere, I fiddle around with Solitaire or read an iBook. So, as fun as Vancouver was, needless to say I was a *little* high-strung about not being able to get online. I mean, if something cool happens and you can’t tweet about it, has it really happened at all?

When my hubby and I crossed back into the US of A, we stopped at Bob’s Burgers for lunch (’cause that’s how we roll), and the second we sat down at our table I gleefully logged on. As I sat, zoned out, tweeting my little heart out, my husband created this (super flattering) sketch:

I at once tweeted a photo his artwork (YES), but I did take his message to heart.

I’m Katy, and I am a social media addict. (Hi, Katy!) But here’s the thing: I don’t necessarily think my addiction is a bad thing. It doesn’t (usually) get in the way of my day-to-day activities, and I connect with like-minded people online because 1) They’re almost always awesome, 2) I learn A LOT, 3) Professional contacts are never a bad thing, and 4) It’s fun!

My husband doesn’t get it at all, but to his credit, he doesn’t give me too hard a time about my love of the Internet. Thank goodness!

Tell me: Are you a social media addict? What’s your medium of choice?