Sunday, May 18, 2014

Exciting Times

For the first time ever, I've gotten a novel to the point where I'm pretty much happy with it. I edited a novel, guys. Which means that now-- or in about two weeks-- I'm going to send it out to agents.

Since it's encouraged to put a link to your blog in queries, I've started a new blog: It's kind of boring and basic right now, but I want a space where I can be more professional for agents who might be looking at it. Look there for any posts from me in the near future.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Here are two of my favorite poems I wrote for my creative writing class last semester.

The Piano

The worst of it is,
I cannot make a sound.
I’ve never sung a note
with my own free will.
No matter how hard I wish
for the hammer to move,
I still sit quiet
as a coffin,
mirror black and long,
my innards dead when silent.

But when a hand lifts my lid
and presses my teeth-keys,
my string-lungs start to sing.
Breath wafts over me and I
breathe it in,
the smell of someone smiling.
The taste of dust is wiped away
fingers caress my teeth,
my tongue,
my diaphragm
bellows each chord
and I can sing
and I can sing

The lid is lowered down.
The room is shuttered,
all I see is blackness now.
I cannot sing
by myself.

Chocolate dreams

Dove dark chocolate is the
best, and anyone who argues
has never eaten it
while sitting in a cave
in Acadia National Park,
the ocean just a stone
throw away and the pounding
of the waves echoing
throughout your cave,
the cave which you
used to clamber into
with all your sisters
when you were young and
all together.

It’s similar to chocolate mousse
which has to be experienced
at Parson’s Beach,
standing on that bone-dead tree
where you can see the entire
curve of sand, the green-black
sea that has no bottom,
and the marsh grass waving
at you in the wind, hello, hello,
why are you alone today?

I admit I’ve never had
smores while lying right on top
of Cadillac mountain,
all the stars bright over me
the pop and sizzle of a fire
behind my head and voices
singing soothing sounds
that wrap me up and
carry me to sleep, I’ll sleep
when we are all together.



This year, I:

1. Auditioned at 6 schools
2. Went to Canada for the first time, though only for a few hours
3. Got accepted to 4 schools and wait listed for 2
4. Was offered two full tuition music scholarships 
5. Accepted one of those
6. Wrote a very strange novel
7. Worked three jobs during the summer, once going 16 days without a day off
8. Visited a friend in Boston, traveling by train by myself for the first time
9. Drove a jet bike for the first time, and loved it
10. Wrote a very weird novel
11. Went to a Women's Leadership summer program at my college, had a fabulous time and made some great friends
12. Said goodbye to Kennebunk
13. Went to college
14. Made some amazing nerdy friends the second day I was there
15. Met a boy two weeks in
16. Went to six flags for the first time
17. Watched roughly 80 movies
18. Went to a haunted house for the first time
19. Played many games of chess, monopoly, and risk
20. Went to a midnight premiere of Catching Fire and then got breakfast at 3 AM
21. Did some schoolwork in between all that
22. Played three songs in a recital
23. Did not do NaNoWriMo for the first time in nine years, sadly
24. Had all my sisters home for the first time in two years
25. Had a fabulous christmas
26: Wrote roughly 80 poems
27: And so much more.

Wow, this is late. But I wrote it in December and never finished it, so here tis!

Friday, August 30, 2013


That's pretty much where my head is right now. It's the end of August, and I've been writing this post for so long that I now leave for college TODAY. Say what?

Things that have happened since I last posted (majorly summarized): I graduated! Anti-climatic, but still, it happened. Orientation was really fun and I met some cool music people. I had the piano festival at the end of June which was a blast other than only being 3 days long. July I managed to visit most of my friends-- a few trips to the beach, a day at Sebago Lake with a friend (I LOVE jetskiing), and an awesome trip to Boston for a day. Other than that I worked all the time (sixteen days in a row is my record), babysitting an 11 year old (so it's more like playing games and driving her places), and working at the bed and breakfast I've been chambermaiding at since last summer.

Oh and, I wrote another novel. I took a long break after finishing my last one (didn't really edit it) and wanted to write one in the summer, but didn't think I'd have time. But then in the beginning of July I had a dream that I couldn't get out of my head, and I had a window of time to write it in (exactly 4 weeks), so I did. It's a really weird novel of course, and my first non-fantasy! It's pretty wacko. And it's my tenth novel!

And then and then, for a week in the beginning of August I went to the University of Hartford for a week for a Women's Leadership Program. That was amazing and I met such cool people, and got to do fun things like Dragonboating, going to see Hello Dolly, and going to a Korean music concert, which was the best. I can't wait to see all my friends from that week again.

And I leave for college TODAY. I started this post three weeks ago I think, and never got around to finishing it. But I have to post something before I leave. I cannot believe the summer is over. I probably won't post at all in college, but who knows, maybe I'll have tons of free time (ahahahahaha not likely). I can't wait to see what this fall will be like.

So long!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Books books books

I've read quite a few books this winter/spring, so I'll briefly talk about my favorites. (I don't really do reviews. Every time I try, I freeze up and don't write anything. Blabbing about everything I love is much easier.)

On the one hand we've got three sequels that in many ways surpassed the first book: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, which is LOVELY. It's been a long time since I read the first book, but I was so glad to get to spend more time with Miri and her friends, and in such a different setting and atmosphere than the first. Really enjoyed this one.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, which is also very different from the first book, a lot darker. It made the moments of happiness stand out all the more. And it made me sob really hard, completely unexpectedly. I have to wait a YEAR for the next one?

Prodigy by Marie Lu, which was just as fast paced and intriguing as the first. I think I liked the characters even better than in the first one, and what an end! Also waiting impatiently for the last one.

Then we have three books by authors I love, that I had long been looking forward to: The Diviners by Libba Bray, which was a huge epic book full of great characters and seriously creepy moments. Love the time period it's set in, the 1920s are always great.

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller, which is the first book I've read by this author other than the Kiki Strike series. This one was so different! I really enjoyed the main character, and the complexity of the plot, and all the other characters.

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff, I loved this one. It's about a girl who's haunted by the ghost of her best friend, and a serial killer starts killing girls in her town. Obviously it has a huge creep factor, but also a romance that made me swoon, and a great portrayal of friendship.

Two books I read by authors who I'd never read before (but not their debuts): Every Day by David Levithan is the interesting idea of a person who wakes up every day in a different body. He/she has to adjust to a new life every day, and tries not to screw it up for the person who's body he/she's in.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I've heard about this book for so long now, and it has gotten a million awards it feels like. I was almost nervous to read it because of all the buzz, but it really is a great book. I can't even talk about it properly yet, but I want to read everything else Elizabeth Wein has written.

Hopefully some part of that rambling was legible! Now I'm off to read more books.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Excuses, excuses

I know I haven't blogged in forever, but I have reasons!

Number 1: I kind of wrote a novel. Most of you will be saying: "We know, we know, you do NaNoWriMo every year, but wasn't that in November?" To which I say: "Yes, and I did write a novel then, but I wrote ANOTHER one." Which I've never done before. Yes it's my ninth novel, but it's the first time I've EVER written one outside of november. I've written a few short stories, and attempted to write novels, but I never got over 6 or 7K. So the fact that I wrote one is kind of amazing to me. I always thought I needed the stress and constant deadline of nanowrimo to write a novel, and having goals and deadlines definitely still helps me, but I actually finished this one.

It's the weirdest thing I've ever written. I fail miserably at trying to explain the plot, and it still sounds completely wacko to me. It's very dark (not the darkest, that dubious honor goes to my fifth novel, which I love dearly and want to rewrite again) and has a lot of death and it's fantasy and there are witches and ghosts and curses and a wee bit of time travel, and that's the best I can explain it. It's based on a dream, and it was one of those dreams where you remember the character's names. And while writing it, I dreamed about it two more times, which is odd, but helped with my plot. It's so strange, and I love the characters to death, and I don't if I'll ever have anyone else read it.

Total word count is 57,600, which also makes it the longest novel I've ever written. If I count only the days I worked on it and not the bunches I skipped, it took me exactly six weeks, which isn't too far off my usual month.

Number 2: College! I did all my auditions (six, ugh) and heard back from my schools, and I am officially going to Hartt School of Music at the end of August! It's beyond crazy that I only have four more months till college starts. Highschool is done so soon, and I have orientation in the beginning of June, and I'm trying not to think about it.

Number 3: The rest of life, which is mostly many music-related stuff, the most exciting of which was getting to have two of my compositions played at a new music festival! That was pretty strange, but nice. I wrote a piece for it, which was the first instrumental piece I wrote in two or three years, and I want to write some more but I got sidetracked with my novel. Maybe I'll try to write one now.

Hopefully I'll start posting again. The next post might be about books, because I've read some great books this year. The last one I read was Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff, which I LOVED. I'll go into more detail later!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favorite books of 2012

This year I read quite a few less books than last year, but I also delved into the world of manga. I read 44 novels in total, and 41 volumes of manga. Mangas are so much faster to read though, those would probably equal 10 or 15 novels. Anyway, back to the novels. I read a lot less fantasy than last year, or at least I read a lot of really good contemporary. Of these top 14, 8-ish (some are debatable) are non-fantasy/sci-fi, and it's definitely the first year those have been outnumbered!

This is going to be very haphazard. I gave up on giving most of them plot descriptions, sorry about that. And these are not in order at all (except for the last five, those are probably definitely my favorite five), I just found random categories for all of them so I wouldn't have to decide on an order!

Favorite classic: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I didn't think I would like this book, but I did. The tension was great, every chapter had me going 'Oh, crap,' at the end, the writing was gorgeous, and I loved the characters. The end was perfection. 

Favorite adult (non-classic) novel: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. True, it was the only non-classic adult novel I read this year, but I wanted to include it somehow. I actually just finished it today, and I really liked it. I've seen the movie before so I knew how it was going to end, but that didn't take away from it at all. I loved the haphazard way the plot progressed, it really drew me in. I also loved the frequently alternating voices, the present tense, and most everything about it.

Favorite book written in letters: Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. I loved this book so much. It's about a  boy who writes to a famous baseball player and their friendship, and it's not nearly as cheesy as that made it sound. It's set pre-WWII, and the details about that time were really natural. The thing I loved most about this book was the characters, they were all so real and believable and unique, which is especially impressive considering it's all in letters. This is one I'll definitely be re-reading soon.

Favorite book about zombies: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. This is definitely my favorite zombie book of all time, not just that I read this year. It's so unique: it's a book told from the point of view of a zombie, and it's a love story. That's all I'm going to say about the plot, but I'll also say that the writing is really good and the story made me think, and I am SO excited for the movie.

Favorite fairytale retelling: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. First of all, this novel is the author's debut, and she wrote the first draft during nanowrimo, which makes me happy. The book itself is a retelling of A Sleeping Beauty, but it's sci-fi, and Rose wakes up from a decades long chemically induced sleep to find that she is the lone heir of a lot of money. Things I loved: the world (I do love some sci-fi), the characters (I didn't want the book to be over, and I can't wait for the sequel that doesn't have a release date yet), and the main character's growth throughout the book. She had a really excellent character arc.

Favorite two books by the same author: Everybody Sees the Ants, and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. A.S. King is shaping up to be one of my favorite authors, her books get better with each one. I really loved these two books. They were both quirky, strange, had awesome characters, and compelling plots.

Favorite book that introduced by to an author I hadn't read before: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Obviously I'd heard of John Green (my sisters have loved him for years), but I hadn't actually read anything by him until I bought this book for myself as a birthday present. I loved it. I've read two of his other books since then, and I'm planning to finish his books next year.

Favorite book set in a desert: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst. This book surprised me a lot-- I've read most of Sarah Beth Durst's other books, but this one blew them all away. The world was very detailed and drew me into it, the scope of the plot was large, the writing was good, and of course I loved the characters. 

Favorite ensemble cast: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This book, more than any of the others in this list, was about all of the characters I thought. Blue and Gansey were the most prominent, but Adam, Ronan, and Noah were just as important in their own ways. And I loved Blue's mother and her friends. Anyway, this book is the weirdest of Maggie Stiefvater's so far, and I loved that. I loved the characters, the weird plot, the fact that nothing got resolved, the fact that it ended on an incredibly puzzling sentence, and the fact that I have three more books with these characters to look forward to.

Favorite sequel: Crown of Embers by Rae Carson. I squeed about the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns in my top ten list last year, and this one was just as good. Elisa has new challenges to face-- she's now a queen, her old enemy the Invierne are not really gone, and she's not certain she can trust her own counselors. Rae Carson is easily becoming one of my favorite authors-- her writing is SO good, I love Elisa and all the characters, Hector and Elisa's budding romance was one of my favorites of the year, and the action never stopped.

Favorite murder mystery: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I LOVED Jazz's voice in this one. And it's too good not to give a plot description: 'Jazz has a best friend, a girl friend, he's great in school-- he would be just your average teenage boy if not for the fact that his father is a world famous serial killer, and everyone thinks that Jazz is going to follow in his footsteps.' So obviously it's dark, Jazz struggles with an incredibly heavy past, the expectations of everyone around him, his own fears and worries, and he has to figure out who this copycat serial killer who shows up in his town is also. Because of the darkness and depth though, it made Jazz one of the most likeable and layered protagonists I read this year. I cannot wait to read the sequel.

Favorite book about cancer: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I also could have categorized this one as funniest book of the year, and it really was, not because of the subject but because of Greg's voice. He's hysterical. Greg is forced to spend time with an old friend who has just gotten Leukemia, but he's quick to tell you that this will not be one of those sappy "And I learned the meaning of life as she died" stories. The author made this story as real as he possibly could while making me laugh at Greg and Earl's teenage boy crudeness, and it felt like I was peeking into someone's life to watch. I'm not doing a good job at explaining it, so just go read it, as long as you don't mind tons of swears.

Favorite book that's hardest to categorize: Where Things Come Back by Jon Corey Whaley. This book is about a tiny town in Arkansas where a teenage boy's brother is abducted, an it's the hardest one to explain. It's about Cullen dealing with his brother's disappearance, it's about a town that is suddenly famous when the Lazarus woodpecker (Ivory billed woodpecker, actually, with a different name) is sighted, and it's a bunch of stories woven together that don't make sense until the end. It's a book that could have made me throw it across the room if it hadn't ended the way it did, it has writing I fell in love with, and even to me it's inexplicable why it affected me as much as it did. But I did, and I loved it, and you should read it along with all the other books on this list.