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.

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


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


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.

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Brown Paper Packages: Edition With All The Mugs

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!). 

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Even if He does not

So. This has been a week.

Today while I was scrolling through Instagram, I was struck by how my own posts really don’t accurately reflect the state of my heart. And all of a sudden, I felt this bizarre and urgent need to ask how everybody’s doing. To ask how you’re doing.

Or maybe it’s not so bizarre. I guess I’ve been asking that question a lot this week.

On Tuesday, the public transportation systems in Brussels were attacked by terrorists and just like that, 31 lives went out like candles. That was halfway around the world, and yet most people I know felt it hard, like we were reliving 11/13 Paris or 4/15 Boston all over again. Then the next day, just as we thought we could wake up to a better world, a woman was fatally shot outside my workplace in Skid Row.

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What to do when your seasons change

I just spent an hour staring at my screen, wondering if I could write this post.

It’s probably not going to be pretty. And believe me, I would love to seem like I have my act together. But, seeing as you guys already know that I’m a mess, there’s really no reason to care so much, right? Right.

Three months ago, I wrote this blog post called “This is our midnight.” In December, I was tired but optimistic, thinking that at least I couldn’t possibly get MORE tired before things had to get better. So I pep-talked myself in a new year’s post about weathering storms and preparing to enter a season of action or some such heartwarming bullsh*t.

In December, I had no idea what I was talking about when I said I was ready for an awakening.

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Brown Paper Packages: Spring Refresh Edition

bpp-flower2 Image: Green Wedding Shoes

Last year, I started a little series on the blog to feature a few of my favorite things on the first Monday of every month. The first day of spring is March 20th, and in LA this generally means that people might finally stop talking about El Niño. It also means that this month’s edition of Brown Paper Packages is a list of things that will help you refresh for spring (click here to see all past editions!). 

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5 ways to revise a 1st draft

Diving into my first draft revisions this time around feels freakishly different than last time.

The last time I started a second draft, it was 2012-ish (…WHAT IS TIME, YOU GUYS). I had never revised a novel before, and I thought I was going to shift a few commas around and have a bestseller on my hands.

It took me five drafts and three years to figure out that I am not, in fact, historical fiction Jesus. So, like, my first drafts? Yeah. They don’t come out perfectly the first time.

I know, right. *brains* *’splosions* *side-eye*


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