The Importance of Dreaming Big

Originally published as a guest post on Talk Less, Say More. “I want to be a doctor, a ballerina, and a house-builder.” At my kindergarten graduation, this was my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As kids, we know how to dream big, don’t we? But it seems like somewhere along the way between high school and college and needing a job that will pay the rent, we seem to forget those big dream. Instead of setting our eyes on the horizon, we set our eyes on the weekend to the time when we can binge-watch our current Netflix obsession. Don’t get me wrong, we need time to relax and unwind. But [...]

An Inside Scoop on Sketchy Tacos: My Year in Mexico

My YA travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, has been four years in the making, and it's now available for pre-order on Amazon. I could not be more excited! In honor of Sketchy Tacos' release next week, I want to share with you about the year I spent in Mexico. Get the inside scoop on the story behind the novel! I married my husband, Alan, on May 11, 2013, and the next day we traveled to Mexico. We spent a four days at Secret's Silver Sands halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It really was a slice of paradise. It was the perfect getaway for our honeymoon since we had a short time and just wanted to enjoy each other and relax. [...]

By | 2017-04-06T11:52:57+00:00 January 31st, 2017|My Journey, Relationships, Travel|2 Comments

Three Games to Strengthen Your Skills as a Fiction Writer

As I was growing up, we had family game night at least twice a week. We played all sorts of card games and board games, like Stratego, Family Matters, and Cranium. Mom refused to play Monopoly and Risk with my dad and I because our haggling sounded too much like arguing. They're some of my favorite childhood memories. That love of games has transferred into my adult years, and luckily we've found friends with the same fascination. We'll lose hours to wonderful games that build worlds of their own. In my gaming I've come across three games in particular, that I believe can strengthen a fiction writer's skills. The app game, tile game, and card game exercise different skills [...]

Put the Writer’s Brain to Rest in 10 Minutes or Less

There's nothing I love more than those flurried minutes or hours of incredible inspiration. The light bulb clicks on, a problem you've had comes into sharp focus, and you just go. I think, as writers, we live for those moments. They're an imaginational high that we keep coming back to again and again. But how do we put our writer's brain to rest after those crazy heady moments? I know I tend to be wound tighter than a spring after inspiration strikes, which is particularly unfortunate as my inspiration fairy likes to wave her magic wand late at night. I've tried so many different ways of unwinding, and for a long time I would turn to a book or a game [...]

By | 2016-12-20T11:21:54+00:00 December 20th, 2016|My Journey, The Mental Game of Writing|6 Comments

Adventures and Victories: Week 4

It's been a hectic week, where I've felt as if my wheels have been spinning non-stop, but I haven't gotten a lot done. This could be because I always over-plan my day and then when I can't accomplish it all (surprise, surprise) I don't feel like I've gotten enough done. I'll need to work on that. But that feeling is all the more reason that I'm glad I do this post. It's the perfect reminder of all the things that went right this week! Adventure: I've started bullet journaling! I'm so excited. It's been so much fun checking out all the amazing Pinterest pins and fabulous articles around the blog-o-sphere. I'm starting really simple, because those gorgeous, elaborate journals take [...]

By | 2016-12-08T22:39:57+00:00 December 9th, 2016|Everyday Adventures|1 Comment

Not My Story: Author vs. Character

My first novel, Sketchy Tacos, is coming out on Feb. 7! This has been a three-year-long passion project of mine. Ever since I traveled to Mexico for the first time, I knew I had to write a book set there. The world of Mexico was so different from the stereotypes I'd heard. It was beautiful and vibrant, full of life and culture. And I just had to share. But the moment I tell people that the book is about a sheltered, Indiana teen traveling to Mexico for the first time, they say, "So it's about you, right?" The answer is a resounding, no. I am not my novel. Sure, Mila and I share some characteristics, but I am not her, and [...]

By | 2016-11-21T16:45:28+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Character Development, My Journey|6 Comments

Who I Am: Writer

My site and my attitude have been undergoing some changes. Thanks to some lessons by Tim Grahl and Chris Guillebeau, I got a new perspective and new lease on life. That's right, on life. Not just on my blog. I've taken a serious look at who I am and what my goals are. And you know what? They haven't matching my actions. I'm changing that starting today by revealing something very dear to my heart that I've barely touched upon in this blog. Confession: I am 25, and I've been a novelist for 11 years. This is when people start to look at me funny at writer's conferences. I am too young to have so much experience tucked under my belt, [...]

By | 2017-04-06T11:46:46+00:00 November 7th, 2016|Books, Encouragement, Goals, My Journey|9 Comments