Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Is Over?!

Wow. I blinked and 2015 is over. Insane.

This was a weird year. A really weird year. I'm looking back over it and wondering what I accomplished, and it feels like nothing. Well, I have one MAJOR accomplishment...I grew and birthed and started raising my first child. And that has truly been the focus of my year. Obviously.

So, because of Baby Love, all of my writing stuff pretty much got put on the back burner. The back, back burner. The back, back, back burner. When I was pregnant I had the attention span of a gnat, and once this guy showed up my schedule went all to hell and I really lost all the time and energy I had for writing before. When even getting a chance to eat lunch is a miracle, working on that novel becomes a pretty distant memory.

The one thing I managed to make progress on was my very last semester of my MFA program, which is my creative thesis semester. Even though it was really difficult, I managed to attend residency in Louisville while 35 weeks pregnant and then make every single packet deadline while working full time and caring for a newborn/infant, with 75+ pages of original writing and a 30 minute graduation lecture and pages of some new stuff, too. Now I have one more to go...just ONE, and I'm done. I'll graduate this summer. I can't believe it.

But, of course, with the end looming and my life as mom with full time job who also wants to have time for writing finally getting figured out, I have to figure out what's next. My second novel IN REAL LIFE (which I actually wrote before PUSH GIRL...heh) comes out in March, but...then what? I have a finished novel that needs a little revision and I have the novel I've been writing for my MFA and I have the beginnings of an IRL companion idea and I have an idea for something cool that I need to figure out. I have, I have, I have, but where do I start? And when?

So, I set some goals. As I do. Find time for reading OR writing every day. I won't be able to write every day, but if I can't write, I want to read. I want to do something productive for my writing career. And I also need to work on redefining what "writing time" looks like for me, because it's no longer going to be three or four consecutive hours of work, and that has to be okay.

And I set my focus word for 2016: SIMPLICITY
Keep it simple, stupid. No need to kill yourself going overboard. Do what you can do, even if it's the bare minimum. In the paraphrased words of Eliza Hamilton, that will be enough.

Bring it on, 2016. I have a feeling I have no idea what you have in store for me, but I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


It's been forever since I've had a chance to update my blog. Unfortunately, writing a decent blog post takes time, and for me, that's time away from writing or lesson planning or whatever else I have on my plate.

BUT I am taking the time today because I actually have updates about IN REAL LIFE! Five of them!

First of all, IN REAL LIFE has a release date! It's coming out March 1, 2016, and I am crossing an X through every day in the calendar, because I seriously can't wait.

Second, IN REAL LIFE has a plot!

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Third, IN REAL LIFE has two lovely blurbs from two lovely authors!

A witty and entertaining story of friendship and secrets with a sparkly Vegas backdrop. Jessica Love knows love! 
~ Kristin Rae, author of Wish You Were Italian

A sweet, honest story that begins as so many of our relationships do: online. 

~ Emery Lord author of Open Road Summer

Fourth, IN REAL LIFE has a gorgeous cover!

I SO didn't know what to expect with this cover, but I absolutely love it! I'm a huge fan of graphic covers like this, and I particularly love the title font. 

And fifth, IN REAL LIFE is up for pre-order a couple of places! (You know, if you're into that sort of thing.)

Pre-order IN REAL LIFE on Amazon
Pre-order IN REAL LIFE on B&N

I'm so excited that this book is actually going to be a book. (If I am inclined to blog again soon, I may share the timeline and evolution of this book, because, man, it was a journey.) I worked on it for so long and it changed so much, but I love, love, love it, and I'm thrilled it's actually going to be A Thing.