Posts in Writing
New book, same routine: rejoining the Morning Writers' Club

Last week, I started writing in the mornings again.

Full transparency: I'm not posting about it to make anyone admire me or my dedication to The Craft (jk please shower me with lavish gifts of donuts and champagne), or really for any reason other to keep myself accountable. I'm really rusty. And I'm only doing this because if I don't, I know I won't write at all.

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In memory of Ursula

Ursula Le Guin passed away on Monday of last week, and since then I've felt oddly like I have a hole in my chest.

The only time I can remember feeling similarly was when Nora Ephron left us, but my devastation over the loss of Nora felt more... obvious. That is to say, I'd unapologetically adored Nora's work for half my life, whereas I didn't read Ursula's books until college. It would follow, in my logical brain, that losing Nora would feel worse than losing Ursula. But that's never the case with grief, is it. Grief is weird and incomparable. If I've learned anything from celebrating the lives of these two women, that would be it.

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Farewell to Figment

I know I haven't been using this space very much recently, but I convinced myself that this was important enough to document online. Excuse me while I have a Very Important Emotion—

At the end of next month, Figment.com is shutting down.

It's okay if that means nothing to you, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that to a group of my friends and I, about seven years ago, it meant everything. 

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Turn the page

Yesterday morning, at around 7:45am, I finished the second draft of hail the pumpkin king -a novel whose first draft I finished almost a year ago today (I wasn't writing Draft 2 that whole time, I swear, just for about 4 months on and off).

This is the first book I've written multiple drafts of while also working full-time. It's also the first book whose first draft I've underwritten. And just when I feel like I'm learning things, I look up the D2 wordcount and there it is: 11,000 words that were not there before.

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Letters to my dead novels

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.

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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.

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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.

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How to Bookfest Pt. 2: YALLWEST 2016

(check out part 1 of the "how to bookfest" 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.

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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.

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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.

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