Welcome to the first blog post on my new website! You might have noticed some snazzy layout changes, courtesy of my wonderful husband. In the coming months, more changes will be happening, so stay tuned for updates!
It’s kind of ironic that the heading for this post is June, briefly, because that’s exactly what June felt like… brief. I can’t believe I’m writing this post and that it’s the end of the month already. But here we are, and this month, I have been…
Working on: A variety of different things. My attention has been pretty scattered this month. The cover reveal for FIRSTS happened, which was totally amazing and so much fun! I’m tinkering with a couple finished WIPs that I had put on the backburner for the last several months, and also letting a couple new ideas take shape in my mind. I’m realizing that as a writer, I really need a bit of time every day to just free write, whether it be scenes for an existing project I’m revising or brand new material for a project that’s just getting off the ground. This process helps stimulate my creativity and ensures that I’m focusing on what I love doing—writing. With a book coming out (soon!), it’s easy to lose focus on that and concentrate my energy on other things, but I never want to forget why I love to write. I also want to consistently challenge myself to be better at the craft, so setting aside a bit of time to get out some words every day makes me feel like I’m working toward this goal.
Reading: June has been a fabulous reading month. I have finished four absolutely fantastic books, starting with GOLDEN BOY by Abigail Tartellin. The titular Golden Boy is Max Walker, an intersex teen dealing with the aftermath of a brutal incident while trying to keep his secret– and maybe falling in love in the process. This book is told in multiple POV, but Max’s perspective was my favorite– he’s an incredibly brave, perceptive, thoughtful, and sensitive character. As an author, Abigal Tartellin tackles very difficult subject matter with grace and intelligence, an GOLDEN BOY is smart, emotionally wrenching, and hopeful, all at once.
I also read BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, which I had heard great things about. Poetic and beautifully written, this is a book I’ll be thinking about for a long time. I loved the mystery, the romance, the hints of magic, and the history surrounding Bone Gap and the people who call it home. The relationships in this book were deep and important, and Laura Ruby’s writing style is flawless and lyrical.
I read VANISHING GIRLS by Lauren Oliver, an author I have admired since reading BEFORE I FALL last year. Lauren Oliver has such a unique way with words and a writing style that always feels so original to me. I loved the alternating POVs between Nick and Dara, two sisters whose lives are shattered after a tragic accident. The dynamic between the sisters is fascinating, and I especially liked how their complicated relationship with each other was portrayed. I thought this book was especially different because it felt like both a YA contemporary and a thriller, with a deliciously twisty plot.
I finished the month with THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by my fellow Sweet Sixteener, Marieke Nijkamp. I’ll be writing more about this one later, but for now, I strongly recommend that everyone add it to their TBRs. This debut is gut-wrenching and gripping and entirely captivating and you won’t want to miss it. Mark January 5, 2016 in your calendars! (That’s when FIRSTS comes out too– book birthday twins!)
Watching: After binge-watching Season Five of Game of Thrones (I don’t want to talk about that ending!), my husband and I started on Season Three of Orange is the New Black. I’m consistently so impressed by this series. The acting is amazing and the characters are so real that sometimes I forget they’re actors at all. I love the dialogue, the interwoven story lines, and the mixture of comedy and drama. My personal favorite has to be Crazy Eyes, and her space erotica that got passed around the prison had me laughing out loud.
(Her best line this season: “It’s about love. It’s about two people connecting. With four other people. And aliens.”)
I’m looking forward to a hot, sunny, and productive July! Now, if the summer could slow down just a bit, that would be great. Thanks, Mother Nature!