Letters to my dead novels

Inspired by “How Writers Mourn Their Dead Novels.”

tumblr_n9qy8kLX5y1qa93vso1_500

Dear Dead Novel #1,

You were the one.

The one that made me realize I could do it. Really do it. Write a book. A whole book.

You were a few hundred handwritten pages of pure, magical dream-fever. Sure, you were about talking horses running wild in Wyoming. Sure, half of you now lies smudged, faded, and illegible in a drawer because I was too naive to write with a pen and not a pencil. But Novel, I remember the long summer nights we spent together.

Continue reading

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

More confessions of a yes-woman: take a f***ing vacation

Hi, guys. This will be short, I promise.

This past week, a post I wrote for The Yellow Conference went live, and I reread it for the first time since I wrote it back in May. It’s about saying no and having the courage to set boundaries for ourselves.

A quick excerpt from “Confessions of a Yes-Woman”:

selfless

(click to read the full post)

I know I’ve been writing a lot about self-care in the past few weeks, partly because of all the horrible things that have been happening in the world. I’m so happy to see beautiful friends like Christina Im and Topaz Winters championing self-care with gentle words and soaring voices, and the comments and messages you all have written me have flooded me with a peace I haven’t felt in a while. So thank you. Thank you so much.

Continue reading

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Let’s have breakfast: a post on self-care

It kind of feels like 2016 is on fire.

At least, to me. I know that most of my friends have felt the same sort of heaviness of this year – and it’s a bizarre thing to think that seven months ago we were all looking forward to a year in which maybe everything would be better. Was it naive of us to think that things could get better?

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I do know that right now, working in communications really sucks. Every time there’s another shooting, another attack, another mass murder, every communications professional in the world is trained to react to it not with heartsickness, but with calculation. We write the condolences and statements. We pen the thoughts and prayers sent out by public figures and companies. We organize the speeches and rallies led by social justice organizations. While the world is mourning, we are working.

But in 2016, aren’t we all communications professionals?

Continue reading

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Why we shovel sand

Here’s a fun party story: Over the course of my life, I’ve written five novels.

Despite this, it took me a long time until I found the nerve to start calling myself “a writer.” This was largely because for the majority of my writing life, I was unrepresented and unpublished and yaddayaddayadda I overvalued the validation of other people.

Now? I’m not unpublished anymore. But I am still unrepresented.

So when strangers ask me what I do and I say, “I’m a writer,” I know I’m about to face the inevitable follow-up question, which has nothing to do with The Craft or my artistic sentiments re: the state of humanity (I know, right???). Nah bro, strangers just want to know whether they can find any of my books on a shelf in a Barnes & Noble.

Continue reading

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

How to Bookfest Pt. 2: YALLWEST 2016

(Check out part 1 of the “How to Bookfest” series on the LA Times Festival of Books.)

This past weekend marked the end of book festival season with YALLWEST, the only dedicated Young Adult bookfest in southern California. After I got home, my roommate said, “And now you hibernate for another year in preparation for 2017 book festival season.” Which is, I have to say, like 99% accurate.

Early Saturday morning, I drove out to Santa Monica and totally forgot how to get to Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI). Then, magically, I spotted a Saturn on Olympic Blvd. that had a Twilight sticker in her window, so naturally, I tailgated her for two miles until she led me directly to the public parking lot across from SAMOHI campus. Never doubt the commitment of the Twihards.

Continue reading

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

How to Bookfest Pt. 1: LA Times Festival of Books 2016

(CHECK OUT PART 2 OF THE “HOW TO BOOKFEST” SERIES ON YALLWEST.)

This weekend kicked off LA’s bookfest season. AND WE SO EXCITE.

A few days ago I got the iPhone notification that I’d set up threemonthsagowhateverit’snotimportant, I almost had a stroke* because I had not yet planned out my day author-panel-by-author-panel. Also, 90% chance of rain all day? No problem. I am a strong, independent nerd who don’t need no umbrella.

File Apr 08, 4 31 30 PM.jpeg

Proof.

The LA Times Festival of Books takes place annually on my alma mater’s campus (University of Southern California), and yesterday, it was indeed raining on and off all day. NEVERTHELESS, I woke up and bounded majestically to the nearest Metro station in my neon blue raincoat, and hopped the Gold Line with my camera to document this beautiful day.

Continue reading

Brown Paper Packages: Edition With All The Mugs

bppstarbucks
Image: What Laura Did

Last year, I started a series on the blog to feature a few of my favorite things on the first Monday of every month. And most people who know me also know that I have a slight (very slight) problem with buying mugs. Yes, mugs. As in, for coffee and tea and other such… beverages… What. 

…so anyway, this month’s edition of Brown Paper Packages is a list of my favorite mugs because I really just want an excuse to buy more (click here to see all past editions!). 

Continue reading