Sex in YA: Everybody Does “It,” Nobody Talks About It

Originally Published: December 9th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 In Young Adult Literature, How Should Sex Exist? Sex is a basic human need. When we’re young, we’re curious about it; as we mature, we want it and once we have it, we crave it. If we aren’t having it, we’re daydreaming about it, reflecting on past experiences, looking ahead…

Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

Originally Published: October 28th, 2013; Updated June 24th, 2014 The end is nigh. The apocalypse is upon us. . The sparkly vampire, zombie, post-apocalyptic, dystopian craze is coming to an end. According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Sue Corbett, “New Trends in YA: The Agent’s Perspective,” agents are now looking beyond paranormal and sic-fi/fantasy;…

“Maybe”

Originally Published: August 26th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 “Maybe” I probably shouldn’t have told Nina not to wear her skintight plaid pants with zippers all over the legs. It wasn’t my finest hour. But I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight; it’s only good after the fact. Now I’m left alone, with only my…

How Adam Lambert Saved My Life

Originally Published: August 12th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 When querying a novel, the best rejections come from agents who take their time to write constructive criticism, and the worst, aside from stock letters, are when it’s painfully obvious that the agent just simply doesn’t relate. Me: From one [female] agent, I got a response that…

I Am., Part II

Last year, I wrote “I Am.,” and it quietly became “one of those posts” that people would write me about, saying how it spoke to them and inspired them. So I thought, “Why not revisit this post once a year?” After all, I Am constantly changing…   This is who I am.  I am struggling.…

My Summer Pledges

Summer has officially begun. For me at least. The life of a starving adjunct professor (click here to read more about my professional life, you know you want to) dictates that I shall bust my ass for four months straight, then have a solid three months off without pay as reward. Right. Since I’m about…

A Writer’s Reality

Being a writer is hard. Being a struggling writer is even harder. There are a lot of expectations. From everyone. No, seriously. It’s exhausting. My students constantly ask me: “What do you write?” When I tell them I write young adult fiction, their faces crinkle and say, “Ooookkk…” Kind of like this: Then they ask,…

Blogiversary Party!

Today is the one year blogiversary! I honestly cannot thank everyone enough for continuing to read and comment on my posts and show me love! This has been an insane year for me writing-wise and I can say without reservation that I’ve improved tremendously as a writer! When I started this blog, I didn’t know…

Puzzles, Science & Progress

I want you to be brutal. I want you to tell me everything I’m doing wrong. I need your advice on how to fix it. I want unabridged, unadulterated honesty. I need it. I crave it. It’s the only way I’ll ever get better, become stronger, improve as a writer. Nobody said it was easy.…

Beautiful Chaos, Part 100

The most beautiful parts of life are born from chaos. And from that chaos, we’re able to make sense of the world. . Hey all y’all Chaos-ers, It’s my 100th blog post! It’s a very merry unbirthday! Last week was my 6 month anniversary as well, so there is ALL the reason to celebrate this monumental…

The Possibility of Immortality

In an effort to sort through all of my old files and pieces that I wrote many, many moons ago in undergrad and graduate school, I have unearthed this piece that I wrote about Shelving Rock Falls in Lake George, New York. I don’t remember why I wrote it, but I definitely remember writing it;…

A Chaotic Pledge: NaNoWriMo

As of today, I’ve officially begun NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month! At the start of this past summer, I vowed to start and finish my next book. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. I got about 65 pages in and stopped cold. I need a reason. I need a motivator. I need NaNoWriMo.…

“White Noise”

This is the beginning of a YA Paranormal novel about twin brothers Dash and Rocco (Rock) who move into their grandmother’s old house with their father, only to find the house is haunted by some fucked up shit.  I was working on this a few years ago. I wrote a few more chapters, but could…

The Sounds of Soundtrack

I’m often asked what inspires me to write. How do I generate new ideas? How do I find the focus and discipline to write as much as I do? [I mean, can we just address that question for a second? My lack of focus is legendary, but I guess I generate enough blog content, add…

“Rooftops & White Walls”

More from the Vault of Forgotten File Folders. This time, I present to you the original introduction to the first full novel I ever wrote, which was the inspiration for the novel that I recently completed which I’m sending out to agents now. I’ve written about the process here. This is nothing like the book…

Why Self-Publishing Is Not For Me

Self-publishing is booming. Self-publishing is the newest trend. Self-publishing is better than traditional publishing. Self-publishing is the way to go. Or so I’ve heard. Call me a traditionalist, but I’m simply unfazed by self-publishing and have zero interest in the market. I’ve been asked by readers to write about my thoughts on self-publishing for awhile…