Esmeralda’s Story is Out Today! (Plus Hiatus Announcement)

Finally, after months of teasing and promising this release, it’s finally here! Empty Little Heart: Esmeralda’s Story is live on Amazon right now! You can buy it here, or add it to your shelf on Goodreads. I’ve been working super hard on this story, and I’m so glad that you can finally get to read it! If you do give it a read, please consider leaving a review on Goodreads or Amazon, wherever you review your books. I would be very grateful! 🙂

 

Esmeralda

Empty Little Heart is available only as an ebook, but if you don’t have an e-reader like me, you can read it on your phone or computer with the Kindle app! ^_^


Hiatus Announcement

As you may have gathered from the title of this post, I’m going to be on a short social media and blogging hiatus over the next week, starting Sunday. There’s been a lot going on lately, and I haven’t been getting nearly as much work done as I’d like to, and next week I have to finish up a bunch of school before our break, so I think stepping back from social media and letting go of the pressure to blog for a week will be a good change. But don’t you worry! I’ll be back starting the 25th, and hopefully have a lot more awesome stuff for you guys. If you do need to contact me for anything, please feel free to send me an email through my Contact page.

Well, that about wraps it up for this post! I hope you have an amazing day.

Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you again soon.

🙂

January Monthly Wrap Up Post (2018)

“Aria???? Where in the world have you been????” you cry furiously at your computer screen, as you smack your desk repeatedly with the palm of your hand, “You promised that this year you were going to actually write more blog posts, and then you just… disappear into thin air! What’s up with that??? Are you lying to us to our faces???????

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m sorry. One month into the year and I’ve already failed one of my goals, which was to post at least one blog post a week. I got off to a pretty good start and then… stuff happened. School. Work. Dare I say… procrastination? But that should have only been for last week! I was all geared up to try and get some posts out this week, and then disaster struck, in the form of a very nasty strain of the flu.

For multiple days I have been laid up in bed, basically unable to move, much less to write a riveting blog post. But, at last, I have returned. I’m still a bit sick, but I think I’m well enough to recount all the stuff that happened this month. Hopefully…


January Monthly Wrap Up

(Yes, I am making new banners without the year on them. I figure it’s way more efficient than making a whole new set of banners every single year!)


Highlights:

  • I went to see Secret Midnight Press on tour with indie musicians Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and it was amazing! There were more people there than I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed both parts of the show (they had the musicians do their sets first, and then Jesse and Ashley from Secret Midnight Press came and read their poetry). It was at a smaller venue, which was nice, and the atmosphere and ambiance they created was very cool. I even got to talk to Ashley a bit after the show, and she signed my copy of Smoke Signals! 10 out of 10 would see a Secret Midnight Press show again. I had an awesome time.
  • I discovered some amazing small YouTubers during this month/the end of last year, and I wanted to give them a little shout out because they’re all super cool, and you should go check out some of their videos. I don’t normally watch smaller YouTubers, because it’s difficult to find ones with good quality content, but a while back a couple of my internet friends started YouTube channels, and they are through-the-roof-amazing. So make sure you check out That Girl with a Blog (My friend Hannah Marie’s channel. She does vlogs, storytimes, and is just generally hilarious and relateable) and also Jeneca Zody, Bethany Stevenson (they’re both amazing artists) and MasterEth (he makes hilarious clean comedy videos and is a friend of Hannah’s)
  • I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale! You may have heard of it at some point or another on your journey through the internets. It’s a fiction podcast about a tiny desert town somewhere in America where really weird and random paranormal stuff happens. The podcast is super bizarre and a little creepy, but I actually find it quite funny, mostly because of just how random it is. I’m almost finished season 1, and I’m loving it so far! The creators of Night Vale have also made another podcast called Within the Wires, which has a totally different vibe and is super suspenseful and exciting. I listened to the first season, and highly enjoyed it. Until recently I didn’t really know fiction podcasts were a thing, but Aimee Meester’s Bright Eyes Project sort of introduced me to the format, and I love finding new podcasts to enjoy. ^_^

Posts from January 2018:


Looking Forward:

Yes, I am going to try to do better about actually making blog posts in the future. But, I mean, hopefully I won’t have any more surprise attacks of the flu, so we should be good. I’m also hoping to make a YouTube comeback as soon as my voice doesn’t sound like a dying rat! I made a channel a while back and posted like one video… and then I never posted anything again. I have a couple of super cool ideas, though, and I’m hoping to make at least a few more videos very soon! I let you know if/when that happens.


Thanks so much for reading my January wrap up post! How has your January been? Have you discovered any cool new YouTubers, podcasts, TV shows, books yet this year? Do you have any favorite small YouTubers? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon.

🙂

Unpopular Opinions: Automation Is Not the Brave New Future We’ve Hoped For

Driverless cars. Cashier-less supermarkets. An automated world. This is the brave new future we’ve been promised. But is it as bright and beautiful as it claims to be?


Automation


Amazon (you know, that big website where you buy everything from your books to your clothes?) recently opened a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle. Sounds a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Amazon is perhaps the top online retailer, selling hundreds of thousands of products that are delivered to your home without you ever having to lift a finger. But now, they’ve opened a store.

There’s a catch, though, and you probably know it already. This is a store without cashiers. People can walk into the store, swipe in their phones, grab whatever items they desire, and walk out without ever interacting with another human being. Cameras track items and deduct the cost from the person’s bank account. No social skills required.

Sounds amazing, right? It’s so futuristic! The computers do everything. You can pop in, grab lunch, and be on your way in minutes. This is the way of the future.

And… what if it is? What if this is the future? What if, in not too many years, all stores are this way? No more cashiers. No more retail jobs. No more human faces you have to pretend to smile at and deal with just so that you can get home and eat your food in peace.

For years, we have dreamed of a fully automated future; self-driving hover cars, robots to pander to our every whim, whatever we want delivered right to us, no human interaction required. We have, dare I say it, been dreaming of a future where we don’t even have to interact with other people, where we are the most important thing in our own little worlds, where we can forget everything else and just satisfy our own wants in the most efficient and effortless way possible.

And if that’s the future, what happens to everyone else? 

You probably remember the first job you ever had. And, most likely, it was working behind a check out counter or somewhere in retail. This article says that the most common jobs are in retail or as a cashier. It also predicts that while everyone keeps saying human cashiers are on their way out, that probably won’t happen. ‘They won’t be getting replaced by robots anytime soon’, the writer says. But what if people’s jobs aren’t getting replaced by robots, just eliminated altogether?

The same thing is set to happen in the transportation industry, as more and more companies are working hard on self-driving cars that could leave taxi drivers, and even truckers, out of a job. And that’s the thing. With enough technology, we could eliminate entire sectors of jobs. That’s already happening. Computers are getting smarter and smarter every day. Office jobs can be done from home, without ever needing to see another person. How long until they’re completely eliminated?

Maybe the elimination of these repetitive jobs will drive humanity upward; encourage more people to create art or study philosophy, to get bigger, better paying jobs. But I don’t think so. And there is a huge problem with the concept of automation itself. It assumes that human contact is a bother, a nuisance, a hassle, something that should be done away with, something that causes error and discomfort and annoyance, something that nobody needs. We used to know the names and faces of the people who grew the food we ate. Then, we didn’t. We knew the people who sold or made our food. Until we didn’t. How long until all we know is the inside of our own homes, or our self driving cars, and the pleasant voices of our AI companions? How long until this human ‘nuisance’ is eliminated entirely?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m an introvert! That doesn’t sound too bad.” But it does. Oh, it does. Imagine drifting through an automated world that exists only to please you, to supply you with your favorite items automatically, without hassle. Imagine a world where you don’t speak to anybody outside of your own home, not even for thirty seconds while you check out your groceries, or for a couple of minutes on the bus or in the taxi or Uber. Imagine being cut off from everybody else, isolated from everything except the cheerful, fake voice inside your phone. Does that sound like good future? We’re already half way there. We can already glimpse it.

Do I think that this will be the future? I don’t know. I certainly hope not. We humans were made to have relationships with other humans. No man is an island, no matter how much it may seem like that nowadays. Let’s not take away what little interaction with the outside world we already have. Let’s not insulate ourselves from humanity. Let’s love our neighbors and not hide away from them. Let’s not dream of a future made only to serve ourselves.


Thank you so much for reading this very depressing post! I was just thinking a lot about automation, as it’s been in the news so much, and me and my family were discussing it a bit at dinner. What do you think? Will a fully automated future be good for society, or for people in general? Would you ride in a self-driving car? Would you shop at a cashier-less convenience store? Let’s chat in the comments! ^_^

See you again soon!


 

My (Belated) 2018 Goals

Okay.

I apologize.

In my ‘Best of 2017’ post, I said in the Looking Forward section that I had basically zero plans for 2018. For me, this is always the case. It’s the end of the old year and there’s a whole entire 365 days spread out in front of you and its all so bewildering and you’re like “lol wat i don’t even know like what am I supposed to do with all this time?????” I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, but I always seem to have what I’m going to call ‘New Years paralysis’, as in for the first couple of weeks of the new year. Basically it feels like I’m just going through the motions and I feel totally bewildered and have absolutely zero plans to accomplish anything at all.

And then BAM! 2018 smacked me in the face with like eight million opportunities and goals and all that stuff, and here I am writing a belated ‘2018 goals’ post so that you, the collective internets, can hold me accountable when I recap all the slacking off I did at the end of the year.

Please enjoy this seemingly impossible (but probably barely adequate) list of goals.


2018 Goals

 


  • Publish Esmeralda’s Story. I’ve talked about this several times before, but I wrote a novelette set in the world of my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death, which features the backstory of one of the main characters. I really love this story, and I wanted to publish it around Christmas time last year, but what with sickness, poor preparation and, lets be honest, a lot of procrastination, that obviously didn’t happen. I’m hoping to publish it very soon, though, and I’ll let you know when that happens!

 

  • Write and revise at least one book. Recently, I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be. It started back in the fall when I forced myself to complete a 57,000 word first draft in less than a month, and ended up burning myself out. I am a very slow first drafter normally, and maybe trying to finish this project so quickly just wasn’t the right idea. Anyway, I ended up with a finished first draft, and actually wrote a bunch of the first draft of another book before the burnout caught up with me, and suddenly I looked around and for about two months I’d written absolutely nothing. I’m slowly starting to ease myself back into first drafting for another novel, a prequel to Behind Her Mask was Death that I hope to be at least 50,000 words at completion. I’d like to say that I’ll try to finish it and publish it this year, but we’ll see. I’m not always the best with sticking to the plan.

 

  • Get my driver’s license. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I should have at least started working on this by now. But I’ve been… procrastinating. Up until now I’ve been able to rely on my family to drive me everywhere, but I’d like to maybe get a second job, and sometimes it’s just difficult to get a bunch of different people to soccer practice and work and robotics meeting and whatever, especially when they’re all happening at the same time. So I’m studying up and hopefully I’ll be able to get my temporary license this month and have my full one by the end of the year.

 

  • Read more. Everyone who knows me would probably describe me as a voracious reader. And that’s true… sometimes. Or it used to be, anyway. But I honestly feel that I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should within the past year or so. It probably has a lot to do with finally getting wi-fi in my room, which while it sounds amazing isn’t necessarily the best thing for your concentration. Sometimes I feel like I’m at my best when the computer is off and I’ve forgotten where I left my phone. But I really do want to read more, and I especially want to read more indie books. As an indie author, it’s probably a good idea to know the market and read other authors’ works, right? Yeah. And guess who had literally only ever read one indie book in her life right up until Christmas 2017? Yeah.

 

  • Make more artistic stuff. I used to sew all the time. I always had a project I was working on; a cute plushy from one fandom or another that it seemed like I needed in my life. Now? Ha. Nothing. But, to be honest, I’m the kind of person that has to have an inspiration or some kind of goal in mind before I start a project, and I just haven’t had any new ideas for plushies in a while. So at least I could be honing my drawing/painting/colored pencil skills, right? Nope. This is yet another area where I need to have inspiration, and the muse does not visit often. But, hopefully, I’ll try to do a few more paintings or drawings this year. (You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you’re interested in seeing any of my artistic endeavors.)

 

  • Embrace my emo side. You may think that I am already emo, but this isn’t even my final form. I dyed my hair the other day (say what????),  but I’m not done yet. Dangly chain earrings, my favorite black choker, cross necklace, pencil eyeliner (if I can ever figure out how to apply the stuff) and clothes in varying shades of black are all on hand. In the new year, I plan to embody all the best things about my two style icons: Josh Dun (brightly colored hair, eye-catching earrings and necklaces, smudgy eye makeup) and Dan “black-clothes-are-the-answer-to-everything” Howell (self-explanatory).
Style Icons

My style icons: Josh Dun of Twenty Øne Piløts and British Youtuber Dan Howell (better known as danisnotonfire).

Even if I don’t do the full emo look every day, at least I can enjoy being v emo inside, and all the issues that go along with that.

*smudges eyeliner and runs off to join the Black Parade*


Okay, back to the goals:

  • Procrastinate less. This is a big one. Basically all my problems are caused by procrastination, and most of them would be solved if I just sat down and did whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing (right now I am procrastinating math and Latin homework by writing this blog post). Maybe this is an impossible goal, but I hope to do my best to put down distractions and actually accomplish the task.

 

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Kinda self explanatory, I guess. Get in shape, and all that. I’ve been doing a daily 10-minute Pilates workout, as I have a lot of back issues and pain and strengthening your core muscles can help alleviate this. I just need to buckle down and stop forgetting to do it or procrastinating my life away. I also want to get outside more and walk around the neighborhood or ride my bike, but the weather hasn’t been super cooperative recently, so…

 

  • Write more blog posts. Sometimes, I honestly just don’t know what to say. Weeks go by without a post. Some compassionate soul out there might be wondering if I’m dead (i’m not i’m just procrastinating again friend). I’m making it my goal this year to have at least one post per week, and hopefully more, unless of course I’m away or on an official hiatus or something. (So if you’re interested in getting sarcastic rants, cool quotes, movie and TV show reviews, and more sent right to your inbox, you can subscribe to this blog by email down below…)

And… that’s about it. Right now, it seems a bit like an impossible mountain, but I’m sure at the end of 2018 we’ll all look back on this list and laugh at how horribly I failed in completing anything.

In all seriousness, the best way to accomplish something is to have a good attitude about it, and then actually buckle down and just get it over with, and hopefully with that attitude, and with a lot of prayer and hard work and anti-procrastination methods, I can actually do something worthwhile this year. 😛


Thank you so much for reading this post! Sorry it’s a bit more sarcastic than normal. I’ve just been reevaluating my time-usage and it has come to my attention that I really do have a procrastination problem, so… yeah. Kind of being sarcastic at myself, if that makes any sense.

Talk to me, friend! What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? And does anyone else have trouble with this sort of ‘New Years paralysis’ I talked about at the beginning? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon!

🙂

The Best of 2017 (2017 Wrap Up Post)

Introduction:

2017 has finally wound to an end. It’s been a crazy year, but there have also been some pretty awesome moments, and I’ve discovered a few amazing things I’d like to share with you today, including books, movies, music, YouTube shows, and more! Scroll down to check out my ‘best of’ list and recommendations, as well as my end of the year wrap up!

DISCLAIMER: Just so you know, all opinions I express in this post are entirely my own. Nobody has bribed me, sent me free stuff, blackmailed me, kidnapped me, or hacked my blog to get me to say this stuff. I just love all these things, and I love sharing cool stuff with all my friends. I hope you enjoy the list!  😄


Best of 2017


Best Of:

Movies, TV, & YouTube

I have a difficult time making any real decisions, so for some of these categories there are multiple picks.

Best Film(s)

  • There honestly weren’t a ton of really awesome films that I got to see this year, so the selection I have to choose from for this category is relatively small. It’s honestly a bit of a tie between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: RagnarokWhile I did like Spiderman: Homecoming, I enjoyed Ragnarok a little bit more, maybe because I’ve been looking forward to it for at least a year now. It certainly did not disappoint. And The Last Jedi far exceeded any expectations I’d had for a Star Wars film, so they’re honestly about equal, in my opinion. You can read my review for Thor or read my review for The Last Jedi, if you want to hear my more detailed thoughts about the films.

Best TV Show

  • Maybe this is a little too obvious, but my pick for best TV show of 2017 is Netflix’s Stranger Things. There is so much internet hype about this show, that if you have been anywhere online you can’t help but here about it. And the show certainly lives up to the hype! Thrills, chills, adventure, as well as fabulous acting and writing abound, and I am very excited to see where the show goes next! You can read my full review of both seasons here. Another Netflix original, their new adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, also gets an honorable mention. It was very well done, and I would love if we got another season, as I would like to see the story continue! You can read my review of that here.

Best YouTuber/YouTube Series

  • This award goes to The Game Theorists (and Film Theorists) for their exceptional year of theories! I just discovered the Theorist Crew late last year, and they have become my all time favorite YouTubers. While I love MatPat and his hilarious, well researched (if sometimes far fetched) theories about video games, movies and TV shows, I also want to give a shout out to Austin, the creator of The SCIENCE! which is another video game themed show that can be found on the Game Theorists’ channel. His more recent episodes, especially the ones about Halo and Hello Neighbor, are chock full of cool facts, equations, and all around awesome science stuff. If you love video games (or movies) and like far-fetched theories and science-y weirdness, I would highly recommend checking out these two channels.

Best YouTube Red Original

  • I got a free trial of YouTube Red this year, mostly to watch the Game Theorists’ YouTube Red original show. While I highly enjoyed MatPat’s Game Lab, which is a real-life continuation of Game Theory, where they tested stuff from games in real life (such as playing soccer with cars, as shown in Rocket League, or trying to survive Five Nights at Freddie’s IRL) I would have to say that my favorite YouTube Red series was actually Mind Field, which is hosted by Micheal Stevens of Vsauce. Mind Field explores the science of psychology, particularly looking at the reasons why human beings behave the way they do, while also exploring a few other fascinating psychological concepts, such as isolation and its effect on the brain, or how people would respond in real life to the infamous Trolley Problem. While as a Christian I don’t agree with everything Stevens says, Mind Field is still a fascinating exploration of some of the science behind our behavior, and I would highly recommend that you check out the first episode of the show, which is available for free on the Vsauce channel.

Music

Once again, there are multiple categories here, and once again, I am an indecisive bean who had multiple picks for one of them…

Best Song

  • There is literally no contest here. The best song of 2017 is Machine by MisterWives. I was originally introduced to this indie pop/alternative band through Twenty One Pilots. MisterWives opened for them during the Quiet is Violent tour, and during the TØP hiatus I’ve been trying to find new music to listen to, often by looking up bands that have toured with them. I only like a few songs by the band, but Machine is a definite standout. Rebellious, rollicking, with lyrics that offer a candid take on the modern music industry (my personal interpretation of the song), it’s just an awesome piece of music, and you should probably have it somewhere on your  playlist. Give it a listen right here:

 

Best Album(s)

Two albums released in 2017 really stood out to me, one of them from an old favorite, and one from an artist totally new to me.

  • Canadian singer/songwriter Lights’ new album Skin & Earth is by far one of her best albums to date, and I have no hesitation in naming it as one of the best albums of the year. Savage, which is one of my favorite songs off the album, is totally unlike anything Lights has done before. Her vocals and lyrics are always on point, but there is a very raw and real anger coming through in this song that I really love. Savage also features Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots on drums, which is pretty awesome, as it’s basically a collaboration between two of my favorite artists ever.
  • The second album is After Laughter by alternative rock/pop punk band Paramore. I just discovered the band this year, and I am loving their awesome, kind of retro-style rock music. After Laughter has a good mix of slower, quieter songs, and fast, exciting songs that just make you want to get up and dance. Probably my favorite song off the album is Pool, although Hard Times and Fake Happy are also fantastic.

Books

There were several books I read this year that really got my attention, and they all deserve mentions in this post.

  • The first was Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. It was a heartbreaking, very real story inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement about a girl who witnesses her best friend get shot by a policeman when he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The book has some strong language and innuendo, but the raw, honest story, told through the eyes of a girl who lives with discrimination and fear of police violence every day, more than makes up for any of that. It is a very important book, especially for this moment in time, and I am very glad that I got the chance to read it.
  • Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt is an intense thriller that delivers all the feels. Brianna’s writing kept me right at the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, and I can hardly wait for the sequel, which should be arriving sometime next year. The story follows Quinn Rogers, a fearless assassin whose past is starting to catch up with her. The book is fairly dark and violent, but there are Christian themes of redemption, as well as a bit of hilarious humor to lighten the mood, and all in all it was just a fantastic read. (I need to read it again soon!) You can check out my full review over on Goodreads.
  • Finally, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia more than deserves an honorable mention. This was a bittersweet exploration of fandom, online friendships, and anonymity. I was very excited about this book, and it did not disappoint. You can read my review over on Goodreads if you’re interested in my thoughts.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few things that didn’t really fit into any of the other categories, but which I thought really deserved to be mentioned in this post.

Secret Midnight Press

  • Secret Midnight Press is an independent publishing company and curiosity brand created by authors Ashley Dun and Jesse Cale, and based in Columbus, Ohio. They publish emotional poetry books, go on book tours with artists like Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and create special seasonal boxes full of books and goodies. I just got Ashley’s book Smoke Signals (burn this) for Christmas (you can check out my review on Goodreads, if you like), and I have tickets to their January show in Columbus, which is also very exciting. They strive to create a safe space for people to express their feelings, and to provide hope to others who are struggling with mental illnesses like depression, or with difficult emotions and circumstances. Above all, they try to stay creative and curious about life. Ashley’s poetry is gorgeous, and I hope to be getting some of their other books soon. I also think that Secret Midnight Press will be a project that I continue to support for years to come, so I thought they deserved a mention on this list
  • Visit the Secret Midnight Press Website.

goodDYEyoung

  • goodDYEyoung is another independent company I’m happy to be able to support. They create vegan, cruelty-free, safe hair dye products in bright , beautiful colors, as well as providing temporary hair color products as well. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I dyed a bit of my hair using their purple color. I used it straight on my hair, without any bleach, and while it colored my natural hair pretty well, I’m planning to get some of my hair bleached sometime in January, and dye it again. Their semi-permanent colors are PPD free, meaning no nasty chemicals all over your head, and easily mixable so you can get exactly the shade you want. The dye also had natural conditioning agents, leaving your hair silky-smooth and brightly colored. I would highly recommend you check out goodDYEyoung if you’re thinking about dying your hair!
  • Visit the goodDYEyoung website.

The Bright Eyes Project

  • Created by Aimee Meester, the Bright Eyes Project Podcast is a creepy sci-fi adventure taking you to fantastical spaceships, strange purple planets, the depths of space, and more! Complete with enough aliens, conspiracy, mysterious disappearances  and cliffhangers to drive anyone crazy (*cough, cough* we need the next episode, Aimee *cough, cough*), Bright Eyes is perfect for any sci-fi lover, whether you’re completely new to the fiction podcast format (like me!) or are a long time listener.
  • Check out the Bright Eyes Project.

Personal Highlights

  • I completed the first draft of Book 1 of my super secret sci-fi project, and wrote over 30,000 words of Book 2… and then promptly got stuck. I’m still trying to figure out where to go next. I’m really excited about this project, but I’m just a bit stuck on it right now.
  • I wrote over 30 poems, which is very exciting. I used to hate poetry, but then I took most of a poetry course (I never actually finished it… :/) which made me super excited to try writing my own poems! I write in mostly rhyming verse, but I’ve experimented a lot with free verse as well. I basically have a whole book of poems now, but I don’t know if I will actually publish it. We’ll see!
  • I published my second book this year! The Tangle was released in both paperback and ebook formats on November 4th this year, after being run as a serial novel on Channillo.com. It’s a paranormal suspense novel, which has absolutely nothing to do with my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death (several people have been confused about this) and you can pick up a copy over on Amazon, if you’re interested. 🙂
  • My blog is officially more than a year old! I totally missed my blogaversary, which happened back in April or May, I believe, but I have now been blogging for over a year. I wrote a total of 70 posts this year, and I hope to write even more in 2018!

Looking Forward

I may have mentioned at some point or other that I was planning to release a novellette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death this December. Well, obviously, that didn’t actually happen. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish working on the book and getting feedback on it until a couple of days ago, so I will probably publish it sometime in early 2018.

Other than that, I actually don’t have a ton of plans for 2018. I’ll keep working on all my in-progress projects (of which there are a great deal…) and perhaps we’ll see another book at some point, but I don’t know. I’m still struggling with my super secret sci-fi project, so I’m not sure what will happen with that. We’ll just have to wait and see!


Thanks so much for reading my end of the year recommendations and wrap up! I hope you’ll check out a couple of the things on this list, and that your 2017 was a blessed and lovely year. See you in 2018!

🙂

November Monthly Wrap Up

December is upon us, bringing with it more cold, snow, holiday stress, and, most importantly, Christmas! And, it also means that it’s time for another monthly wrap up post here on my blog. Let’s jump in, shall we?

November Monthly Wrap Up


Highlights:

  • The Tangle was published earlier this month, and me and some of my author friends put together an awesome blog tour! I even got to be on my friend Hannah Heath’s YouTube channel for an awesome author interview! You can find the complete list of blog tour stops here.
  • I finally got out of my reading slump! I’ve haven’t been reading anything besides school books for a long time now, but I finally picked up a few things from the library including the Erased Manga series that was recommended by Hannah Heath, although the first book in that hasn’t actually come in at the library yet, so… Can’t actually read the series yet. 😐

Posts from November 2017:


Looking Forward:

Obviously, Christmas is coming up fast (Yay advent season!) and then it will be 2018! I’m working on a novelette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death, which I would like to publish on Kindle in late December. Other than that, I don’t have a lot planned. We’ll just have to see what happens!


Thanks for reading my November wrap up! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Are you excited about Christmas? (I know I am!) Let’s chat in the comments!

🙂

October Monthly Wrap Up

And suddenly, it’s November (which means a whole lot of pain and tears for many of my writerly friends out there in the interwebs, but oh well). The leaves are falling (finally), its getting colder outside, and it’s time for yet another monthly wrap up post!

October Wrap Up


Highlights:

  • The Goodreads Giveaway for The Tangle ended, and two lucky winners have been drawn! Over 1,200 people entered the giveaway, which is crazy awesome! Thanks so much to everyone who entered. ❤️
  • I recorded a video interview with my amazing author friend Hannah Heath! We had a ton of fun and got to talk about writing, The Tangle, and lots of other fun stuff. That video will be coming out on the 8th of November as part of The Tangle Blog Tour, so why not pop over to Hannah’s Youtube channel and subscribe so you don’t miss it?
  • I did a couple new pieces of Clique art this month for #FanArtFriday! Both are rather fancy  watercolor paintings, which I think turned out pretty well, but you can be the judge of that… I posted them both on my Instagram, and you can see them below as well. 👀
photo 2 (1)

“Dreamer” A watercolor painting of Tyler Joseph, the lead singer/pianist/ukulele player of Twenty One Pilots.

photo 1 (1)

“Believer” A watercolor painting of Josh Dun, the drummer of Twenty One Pilots.


Posts from October 2017:


Looking Forward:

November is going to be awesome. The Tangle is coming out on the 4th (you can still preorder the Kindle Edition on Amazon, if you like) and I’m having a special blog tour for the book from the 6th to the 9th! You can see the whole lineup for the tour here. I am super excited about this book, and I can’t wait for it to come out!

It’s also NaNoWriMo. I’m not directly participating this year (I had my own self-induced writing sprint back in July or August —30,000 words in 30 days— and it completely burned me out), but I’m going to try to write a poem every day during November, as I’m working on a poetry collection and I only have a few poems in it so far! We’ll see how that turns out…


Thanks for reading my October wrap up! Did you have a good Halloween? Are you excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas? Let’s chat in the comments!

🙂


 

September Monthly Wrap Up

Hello, everyone! Apparently, it’s the last day of September (What? No. This must be a lie! Where in the world did the month go???), which means it’s about time for another monthly wrap up post! Here goes…


Highlights:

  • My brother released his first album of electronic music! It’s called Junction 232, and you can find it on iTunes, Amazon, or wherever you get your MP3s!
  • My next book, The Tangle, has an official release date! It will be published in Kindle and paperback editions on November 4th. Preorder the book on Kindle or enter the paperback giveaway on Goodreads
  • I did some new art stuff! I did a Clique art drawing for Fan Art Friday on Twitter, which you can find here (Clique art is just another name for Twenty One Pilots fan art). It actually turned out pretty cool and I got to draw a bunch of neat patterns for the background and stuff, which was really fun! I also did a small pencil sketch of the members of Twenty One Pilots as well, which actually kind of turned out sort of looking like them??? I guess? 😂
  • My proof copy of The Tangle came and it looks really nice! I wrestled so much with the formatting for this book, so it’s great to see that the physical copy actually looks good.

Posts from September 2017:


Looking Forward:

I promise I will try to be better about doing blog posts! I’ve actually been in a bit of a depressive writing slump recently, and haven’t been motivated to write anything, so… yeah. Still working my way out of that one. 😓 But I did do a bit of work on my current WIP the other day, which is a good sign, so hopefully many more posts will be forthcoming!

So,  I’m thinking of maybe starting a YouTube channel? It wouldn’t be super fancy. I might do a few covers of my favorite songs for fun, and maybe some art stuff, and probably some vlog-ish things just talking about stuff, IDK. We’ll see.

I am working behind the scenes to organize a blog tour for The Tangle! I am super excited about this and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. No definite dates yet, but I’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s all figured out.


Thanks so much for reading my September wrap up! Did anything awesome happen to you during September? Would anyone actually be interested if I started a YouTube channel??? Let me know in the comments. 😛


September Monthly Wrap Up

Introducing: The Sound Architect!

If you read yesterday’s post, you probably know that I hinted about a super cool announcement that I would be posting today. Well, here it is:

My brother just released his first album of electronic music!

That’s right. My brother is now officially an electronic music artist, and you can currently get his first album, Junction 232, on CDbaby.com. Within the next week, it should also be available on Amazon, iTunes, and wherever you get your MP3s. If you like funky electronic music, you should definitely give this album a listen! It’s super awesome. Check out the cover and track list below:

Junction 232 Promotional Graphic

Learn more and buy the album on CDBaby!


Thanks for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoy my brother’s new music. What’s your favorite type of music? I like electronic, pop, movie soundtracks, and whatever random genre Twenty One Pilots is supposed to be (Ukulele-screamo? Emo-rap-piano-alternative-something with drums? Just plain amazing music??? IDK) Anyway, let me know your favorite music genres in the comments below!

See you again soon.

🙂

August Monthly Wrap Up

Hey, guys! I know that this wrap up post is about four days late, but there are very good reasons! Well, I assume that my reasons are good… Anyway, if you were wondering where in the world I’ve been for the past two weeks, wonder no more. Just read my recap of this month’s shenanigans!


Highlights:

  • I traveled more than two thousand miles this month (by car!) and visited tons of people that I haven’t seen for more than ten years. Yep, I went to Canada, where literally all of my extended family lives. But instead of just staying around Ontario at my grandparents’ house, which is what usually happens, we took a crazy road-trip across eastern Canada!
  • I visited Ottawa (the capital of Canada), Quebec city (where I kind of failed to speak French very well at all), then we treked through the vast wilds of New Brunswick to Truro, Nova Scotia, where we met up with my Grammie and my dad’s sister and then spent a couple of days down in the valley. Then, we went back to Truro and spent a couple of days there, before heading back towards the dear old USA and driving through Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts (where we visited Boston and saw some of the Freedom Trail) and finally State College, Pennsylvania, where we hung out with some of my dad’s friends from way back when. Aaaand, now I’m home! Yay.
  • I read some books on the trip (This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, mostly) and I also signed a copy of my book that one of our extended family members owns!
  • I got super stressed out.
  • I got my parents to put on some Twenty One Pilots music in the car! I’m not sure that they care for it very much, but we listened to both Blurryface (multiple times, due to the insistent requests from my youngest brother) and Vessel (once, all the way through). I think we may have a few new members of the Skeleton Clique to welcome in, namely my brothers, who were all very enthusiastic about the music.

Posts from August 2017:


Looking Forward:

There is a TON of exciting stuff that’s going to be happening this month. I’m back for good, so you can expect at least a few more blog posts from my corner of the internet to hit your inbox during September. I will also be officially announcing the release date and details of my next novel, The Tangle, so be sure to stay tuned for that as well. I will also (hopefully) have another super special announcement for your tomorrow, so make sure you subscribe by email to make sure you hear about it! If you like to listen to electronic music, you won’t want to miss this one.


Thanks so much for reading my August wrap up! Have you been on any crazy long trips recently? Have you ever been to Canada? My family and I go about three times a year, and I love visiting there! Let me know in the comments.

🙂


August Wrap Up