Why I Don’t Want to be a Serious Writer


Truth, Fact, and Fiction

Since I’ve been looking into this self-publishing business, I’ve discovered all the things I should be doing to promote my work and myself. The blog, the social media, the “sales funnel.”

In order to succeed at blogging, I have to start getting into photography to produce pretty pictures for my blog. Oh and I have to become a graphic designer to make those pretty pictures prettier. And I have to become a marketing expert to learn how to make proper ads, and take courses. And I need a website. And I have to be serious and treat it like a business. And and and and…

Ugh. Make it stop. Please.

Since when did being a writer become about something other than writing? Except of course, in those incredibly intimidating statements that read something like “unless you have perfect content, nothing you do is going to go anywhere.”

I am a bit of…

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10,000 Words Deep

I reached the first milestone in writing my YA book. I reached 10,000 words this morning. Actually, 10,343 words to be exact when I looked at my word count. The average YA story has around 55,000 words, so I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m a firm believer in celebrating little victories.

This is a sandpaper draftit’s rough, but I love it like the awkward toddling little creative creature that it is. I’m basically just spewing out the story as I write, but it’s very cathartic because I have been carrying my ideas around with me for about five years.

I’m doing a little happy dance (quietly because there is an actual baby in the next room still sleeping).

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Pic Pick Friyay: Seattle Flight

Miles and I lived in Seattle briefly (six months). During our short stay, Miles surprised me with a flight around Seattle. We had a total blast, and it still warms my heart that he included me on this adventure.

Miles up in the sky (eh, see what I did there?) Miles took some pretty fantastic pictures.










Happy Friyay!




A Book Review: ‘SO Shelly’ & What is YA?


Until now, high school junior, John Keats, has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy, Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.

After stealing Shelly’s ashes from her wake at Trinity Catholic High School, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie island where Shelly’s body had washed ashore and to where she wished to be returned. It would be one last “so Shelly” romantic quest. At least that’s what they think. As they navigate around the obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her tragic and premature end.

Warning: Contains mild spoilers.

Are you on the fence about reading young adult (YA)? ‘So Shelly’ by Ty Roth may be the perfect introduction to the YA genre for you. On Good Reads this YA novel has a mixed bag of reviews. Some readers thought that taking three poets from the early 1800’sGeorge Byron, John Keats, Percy and Mary Shelly and throwing them into a modernday setting was an epic failure. I thought it was a creative concept. I appreciate Roth’s clever turn-of-phrase and the literary devices and detail that Roth incorporated into ‘So Shelly’.


(That’s a big but)

After reading ‘So Shelly’ I had to wonder how this novel could classify as YA. There are some deeply disturbing scenarios that the three teens encounter in their lives: Rape, incest, pregnancy, abortion, death, child molestation, just to name a few. I decided to look up the definition of YA literature and this is the best description I found on The Guardian:

Writers across the board at YALC agreed that the sine qua non of YA is an adolescent protagonist, who will probably face significant difficulties and crises, and grow and develop to some degree – Patrick Ness described it as “finding boundaries and crossing them and figuring out when you end, who you are and what shape you are.” According to Matt Haig, YA is also remarkable for “blurring the boundaries” of genre and refusing to adhere to the rules of more rigidly defined literary fiction. There are YA “books that end on a hopeful note, books that end on a happy note and books that don’t”, Malorie Blackman has said, arguing for the necessity of both. And in a time when slut-shaming and body dysmorphia are endemic, and it’s especially difficult to navigate adolescence for girls, YA, according to Sarra Manning, is particularly rich in heroines, resonating with readers who feel isolated, freakish and”not good enough”.

So Shelly has:

  • significant difficulties.
  • blurred boundaries
  • a sad ending  and (kind of happy?)

So Shelly does not have:

  • character growth.
  • a strong female protagonist.
  • admirable characters.

‘SO Shelly’ was not inspiring for young women. Shelly (the female protagonist) was a victim and was hopelessly weak because of her infatuation with the womanizer Gordon Byron. Shelly didn’t even tell her own story, ‘SO Shelly’ was narrated by her friend John Keats. The two boys, literally carried her body around throughout the entire story and only in flashbacks did Shelly retain her body and voice. Shelly had zero autonomy, she was sexualized and powerless. The only time Shelly made her voice heard was when she had an abortion and committed suicide. But her voice was drowned (no pun intended) by the two egocentric boys that dominated her life. Even in her most decisive moments  she whispered rather than roared.

I appreciated Roth’s creative story plot and writing style, but I didn’t find any of the character admirable. I sympathized for them and their individual struggles, but I wouldn’t want my son to emulate any of their decisions or behaviors.

I am not a prude when it comes to reading material, but I don’t see how this book encourages teens to handle their problems in a healthy way. John Keats obsessed over death due to his family’s early demise. George Byron was molested and abused as a child and he becomes a cold-hearted  misogynist. Shelly was also molested, had an abortion, and decided to kill herself. Teens that have endured these tragedies need and DESERVE better role models.’So Shelly’ demonstrated the absolute worst-case outcomes.

After reading ‘So Shelly’ I have to wonder why we even have the category YA? What makes this controversial novel any different from an “adult” novel? Is it simply because of the age of the characters?

If you have read or decide to read “So Shelly” please comment on this post. I’m very interested to hear your opinions. Even if you haven’t read the novel ‘So Shelly’ what does YA mean to you?

Happy Reading.



Pic Pick Friyay: Colchuck Lake

Hello everyone. I hope the sky is blue wherever you are like it is outside my window.

I reached WAY back into the computer’s memory bank and found some pictures from a hike Miles and I did in 2009. We had a great time exploring Lake Colchuck located in Leavenworth Wa.


I make friends.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone.



The Ones That Stay

The Ones That Stay

While you were gone, working your 9-5, our blue-collar-town changed. People smiled, talked, engaged. Movement slowed, tension reducedWe are the ones that stayed.

I used to go.

My body in a suit of automobile armor, leaving home before the sun came up. I engaged the commute war.

I drove quickly past wild flowersI didn’t see them. The air conditioning blasted. The heated, wild roses of summerI didn’t smell them. I could not hear the bird’s song over radio advertisement. I was not anywhere. I was everywhere.

Now I stay.

My heartbeat pulses to the rhythm of community. I recognize faces—Happy exchanges. We enjoy our town, we share this space.

We stay.







Not Fade Away

I just HAVE to reblog this. The level of description and detail is admirable.

S. K. Nicholas


It rains for all the dead animals, and for all those that died too soon. It rains for all the lovers, and for all those with no love left to give. The streets are empty; they breathe for no one. Raining for hours on end, it rains in my heart as well. There are images, sometimes words. There are bodies in flight upon bedsheets that have seen better days, and there are imprints of teeth on porcelain thighs. The front door of a house you once knew is slightly ajar, and as you step inside, the ghosts of smiling faces reach out to you from picture frames that have fallen to the floor. It could be weeks since you last saw them, but then again, it could be months. Feelings that were once fresh are now raw, and as the light fades from the sky, a lone child runs through a…

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Book Review: Just Like Fate

One decision changes everything in this Sliding Doors meets Anna and the French Kiss novel that explores split realities of romance and family loyalties, “recommended for fans of Sara Zarr, Elizabeth Scott, and Maureen Johnson (School Library Journal).”

Caroline is at a crossroads.

Her grandmother is sick and, like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape—both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party for a few hours?

The consequences of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths—and she is about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

I just finished reading “Just Like Fate” written by Suzanna Young and Cat Patrick, it was very interesting and a good read. I enjoyed the way the book was written, (two authors, two versions of fate). I really admire books that tell a story in a unique way. Just Like Fate is creative and quite riveting.

I like the moral of the story and I think this line sums it up best, “‘I’m saying we have freedom to make mistakes’, Rivers says shaking his head. “‘I’m saying that our mistakes -one mistake or many of them-don’t define us. They don’t derail us. We end up where we need to be in the end.’ He pauses. ‘But hopefully having learned something from our stumbles… having grown into better people because of them.'”

Learning from mistakes and understanding that one lousy mistake doesn’t have to ruin your life is a valuable lesson. I can’t tell you how much I dwelled on my mistakes when I was a teenager. Now that I am older, I don’t agonize over many of my previous choices anymore. For once in my life I feel like I’m where I need to be. If only I could go back and tell my teenage-self that my mistakes won’t break me and fate will play out the way it was intended.

I recommend this book, it’s a quick read and the characters are entertaining. If you are interested in story structure this book unravels in a unique way.

Happy Reading,



How Writing a Book Is Algebra

Math was my nemesis all throughout school. From Kindergarten through college, I loathed math. I especially hated algebra. I still don’t get it and honestly I fear the day when my son asks me for help with his math homework. *Insert Dad*

Today when I was thinking about my YA book and the various plot points I’m trying to sort out, I realized how writing a book is a lot like algebra .

Breaking the story into the most basic of equations:

A+B=C or Begging, Middle, and End

I know C. The end has always been entirely clear to me, but there are undefined plot variables that are A&B that I have yet to solve.

Because I know C (End), My equation actually looks like this:


And like with most math tests you have to “SHOW YOUR WORK”. Your reasoning is just as important as getting the answer correct.

So far writing my book has been the “SHOW YOUR WORK” portion. How did I get to the end? What makes sense?  This is where the problem solving comes in, gulp!

And now that I have taken my least favorite subject (math) and married it to my favorite (English), I’m going to keep trying to solve my plot equation.


Pic Pick Friyay: Methow Valley

Hi guys,

Happy Friyay! My week has been BUSY! I’ve been working like a mad woman on my YA novel.  My manuscript has become my second child and a bit of an obsession.

So, I am happy to spend some time on Pic Pick Friyay. I started Picture Pick Friyay last week with my 50th post. This week I would like to show and tell you about The Methow Valley in Wa. Ladies and Gents, The Methow Valley is the hidden gem of Washington. It holds a very special place in our heart. Miles proposed at The Freestone Inn located in the Methow Valley in October of 2012. We spent our one year anniversary there as well.

I combined two trips into one for this post:

Engagement 2012.

One Year Anniversary 2014.

Ok, I am going to shut up now and let Miles’ pictures do most of the talking.

Engagement 2012

Miles proposed right after this picture was taken. We are standing next to The Lost River that runs past the cabin we rented.
The Beautiful Vintage Box Miles Made Into A Jewelry Box.
My Art Deco Engagement & Wedding Ring. Circa 1934.
The Fireplace In Our Cabin
Driving Home


Driving Home

One Year Anniversary 2014

Celebratory champagne. My last glass of alcohol for 9 months, about three weeks after our anniversary trip we found out I was pregnant!
Standing Outside The Freestone Inn.


If you ever make it to Mazama, do yourself a favor and get breakfast and coffee at The Mazama Store. I dream of their pastries.
Good Wine+Vacation=Happy Girl


Me Contemplating Nature, Nature Contemplating Me
Present Me Says To Past Me: “You Are About To Get Pregnant.”
Fireplace In The Freestone Lodge


My Man Crush Always & Forever.


Happy reading, writing, living, and loving folks.