writing

WRITERS, SEND ME YOUR MATERIALS

My beautiful readers!

Today’s post is going to be a little different than most, because I have a request to make of you. Though I could ramble on and on about nonsense to pique your interest even more, I’m just going to put it out there:

If you’d like someone to review your materials, I’d love to be that person.

What does this mean? Well, let me share with you guys. Over the past few months, a few of you have sent me your books, and I’ve loved every moment of reading and reviewing what you send. So…

For the people of you who want feedback, send me your books, poetry, etc. I’m not a full-fledged editor or anything, but I really do enjoy getting to know you more through your writing.

What I’m offering is simple: I’ll read your work, offer a review on Amazon/this blog/wherever, and let you know what I think. Why am I doing this? Because I want to. In the midst of wild life, this blog has been a source of escape for me, and you guys transport me to your worlds. You have that kind of power as a writer!

So if you’re down to share with me, I’m down to share in response.


THANK YOU!

This was a short and sweet little post, but I am super excited to write more in the next few weeks. This blog has grown so much in the past few months, and I’m super excited to see where it goes next. The sense of community here is amazing. Truly amazing.

❤ ❤ ❤

-K.

Smiling because I’m excited to see what you guys send me!
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thoughts

THE LAST 5 BOOKS I’VE READ

Well, it’s that time of the week again…

A blog post from yours truly! Thank you so much for reading this and supporting my blog, as you guys are such a joy in my life. It means so much to see views from all over the world. ❤

Today’s post is going back to my roots, when I shared my thoughts on certain books and movies I’d recently read and watched. Thanks to Goodreads, I’m able to easily remember the latest books I’ve read (considering I would not remember otherwise), and I really recommend this website/app to those who enjoy books. Goodreads is a way to keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read in a user-friendly model.

So let’s jump in already!


1. THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion

A romantic comedy set in modern-day Australia, The Rosie Project is an easy, enjoyable read for those who enjoy the genre. When Don Tillman, an analytical professor who isn’t the best in social situations, creates the Wife Project in order to find the perfect match, his world is tilted upside down with the introduction of Rosie Jarman, the opposite of what he’s looking for.

The Rosie Project has a unique point-of-view that cements the story. While rom-coms are hard to pull off in the realm of originality, Simsion’s Tillman is such a well-written and believable character that the book really revolves around his social awkwardness. These awkward encounters further promote the book’s comedic moments.

However, the book is rather predictable. Boy meets girl, and they fall for each other, get engaged, etc. As a romance writer myself, I’m just as guilty of satisfying what the reader wants (a promise of happily-ever-after, right?), but this book seemed to drop off at the last fifty pages or so. The first two hundred pages, I was really unsure what would happen for Don and Rosie, and I think Simsion got caught up in just getting the book done rather than tying the plot together at the end.

That being said, it was enjoyable, and a good weekend read during endless Tennessee thunderstorms.

Rating: ♥♥♥ (out of a possible five)


2. REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier

A classic that defined the mystery genre for decades, Rebecca is Daphne du Maurier’s legacy. It’s a spell-binding story that was groundbreaking in its day for its dark themes. When Maxim de Winter brings his new wife, the second Mrs. de Winter, to his grand estate, Manderley, secrets of his first wife’s mysterious death are brought to life.

You may recognize Rebecca by its perfect opening line: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Supposedly there was an incredible Hitchcock adaptation of the book (though I would disagree, as I only got through five minutes of it), but the book is pretty incredible. It centers on the shy Mrs. de Winter, who learns to push back against Manderley’s evil housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who is obsessed with Rebecca, even after her death. Slowly, Mrs. de Winter discovers the truth behind Rebecca’s death, and I refuse to spoil this. You’ll have to read for yourself to figure it out.

Rebecca relies on suspense, and du Maurier is a pro at this. She knows how to hook you into the plot, despite its faults, and leave you curious as to what will happen until the very end. Du Maurier is incredible at description, and Manderley is the perfect backdrop for her creepy tale. While these elements grounded me in the story, I do believe that reading this book in 2019 is very different than reading it in the 1930s, when it was published. Mrs. de Winter is a let-down character, a weak woman who suddenly becomes strong at the end of the novel, and her husband, Max, is overly brooding and boring. The shift of the novel that changes how readers perceive the de Winters is a bit unbelievable and anti-climactic in comparison to the discovery of Rebecca’s death.

I still recommend this book to those who like twisted suspense stories.

Rating: ♥♥♥


3. ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Stephen King

Stephen King is arguably one of modern American literature’s best writers. The unarguable king of horror, King has been a withstanding symbol in writing for decades now, and he remains as popular now as he was when he first came onto the scene. On Writing remains one of the my favorite memoirs, in my opinion, though it also acts as a manual for aspiring writers.

The book is split into two perspectives. King gives a peek into his childhood that inspired his writing that would eventually propel him into legendary status. The other perspective is his professional guidance on the writing front, in which he gives awesome tips that I am using now. (One of my personal favorites: Get rid of superfluous adverbs, such as, I was walking quickly.)

The way King writes is gold. He says things simply and magically, and this is really hard to pull off. However, I don’t think of King as a cocky writer; instead, he wrote this book as a response to a traumatic car accident that left him almost dead. And he knew he wanted to pass on his tips to future generations of writers, and this is quite admirable, in my opinion.

You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy On Writing. It has enough material to showcase how King went from a struggling teacher to one of the most successful writers known today.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥


4. THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

The most controversial book on this list (and I will explain more later), The Hate U Give is  the debut novel of young adult writer Angie Thomas, a native of my second-favorite state, Mississippi. Thomas is an honest, natural storyteller, and The Hate U Give radiates as a result.

For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of police brutality in the United States, Thomas offers her opinion on the subject through this fictional portrayal of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, who witnesses the murder of her friend when they are pulled over for speeding. The book is unafraid to be itself, and I appreciate this.

While I expected the novel to be very politically charged, I was happy to realize it wasn’t as much as I thought it was going to be. (While I do not want to go on a rant, I enjoy books that are not political. To be honest, I would not have read this book unless it hadn’t been required for a creative writing class.) However, Thomas does a good job of showing a society she sees as flawed while respecting others’ viewpoints on the issue.

That being said, the story itself was not my favorite. I’m not a fan of young adult fiction or teenage characters, and I haven’t ever been. I’ve always been a person to read adult fiction, as I like adult perspectives. Therefore, this story, though serious in nature, was not as interesting to me. You don’t have to agree with my opinion, but I hate love triangles and petty teen drama, and I did not understand why I was reading this book in a college classroom.

The book is important, and I won’t argue that. But it’s not my favorite.

Rating: ♥♥♥


5. SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES: AND OTHER LESSONS FROM THE CREMATORY by Caitlin Doughty

A total shift from young adult and romance, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a book I’d NEVER thought I would A) read, or B) enjoy. However, Doughty is an incredibly interesting person and writer, and this shines through her memoir/informational guide on funeral homes.

What in the world? you are probably asking. I asked the same thing before I dived into this book.

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician who specializes in cremation, and she is unabashed in her approach to the United States’s funeral home practices. She offers historical background, witty opinion, and clever stories that inform her readers on the misconceptions of mortuary work. Now this book is not for people who are uncomfortable around death, as the entire book revolves around it. What I love is Doughty’s direct and honest perspective, and it’s a unique career path she chose.

Read this book if you’re curious as to what morticians do. Hey, maybe I liked it so much because it wasn’t required for class or written for teenagers. Sue me.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥


MOSTLY AVERAGE.

So, if we’re being honest, the past books I’ve read are… In, my opinion, average. Though I am a very critical person, I do know a great book when I’ve read one, and I’m hoping to be impressed soon!

What are some of the books you guys have read recently? Do you have any recommendations for me? I love when you tell me what you enjoy, as you are exposing me to authors, novels, and genres with which I would not otherwise know. 🙂

Until next time,

-K.

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Books, books, books… Random books from my shelf (Tennessee // May 2019)

 

writing

TOP 5 WRITERS

Hello, my wonderful readers!

It is a joy to be able to write to you guys on this very important day (Good Friday). However, this post is going to relate to five very influential writers who have impacted my writing life. While these five are the ones I remember, there have been hundreds of other writers who have left me inspired to be as inspiring as they were to me.

Also please comment below which writers have inspired you and impacted you the most.   I am constantly on the hunt for a new book, and you guys are an amazing resource to do this!


1. WILLIAM FAULKNER

William Faulkner at his home, Rowan Oak; Oxford, Mississippi

The king of Southern Gothic literature, Faulkner has been the most impactful writer to me in the past two years or so. Faulkner is probably the most influential writer from Mississippi, and his works have secured his legacy.

When I was growing up in the South, I hated every minute of it (or at least, I told people I did). I wanted nothing to do with the culture or the history or anything about it. I’d tell people I was a Yankee since my parents are from West Virginia, and I’d refuse to associate myself with my home state of Tennessee. As a result, I was not a fan of Southern literature, though I’ve since converted, let me tell you.

However, that all changed when I asked my mom who her favorite writer was.

“William Faulkner,” she responded.

“Why?” I asked. I’d heard of Faulkner before, but none of his works were ever required reading at my school (though they should be).

“Read some of his books, and you’ll see why,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

And so I read As I Lay Dying in the summer of 2017, after I realized the South isn’t a terrible place, and that despite its problems, it is my home. Faulkner’s emotional depth struck a chord in me, especially with a wide range of characters and controversial situations that weren’t easy to discuss when he wrote in the 1920s and so on.

Faulkner is famous for Yoknapatawpha County, where several of his novels take place. Yoknapatawpha almost perfectly fits the Southern Gothic realm, in which deeply flawed characters are exposed to curious readers. Faulkner’s deliberate, pointed style of writing has also inspired me to play around with narrative.

While in creative writing class, my professor harps the concept of having one main character who struggles with internal conflict, Faulkner displays the beauty of having various protagonists whose struggles intertwine into one complicated organism.

Highlights from Faulkner: Southern Gothic; Yoknapatawpha County; stream of consciousness

What I’ve read by Faulkner: As I Lay Dying; The Sound and the Fury; Sanctuary; “A Rose for Emily”


2. JOHN GRISHAM

John Grisham, the legend.

Possibly my favorite writer of all time, John Grisham produces some of the most thrilling novels known to mankind (try to argue me on this, please). Another Mississippi legend, Grisham is the king of the legal thriller.

The first book I read from Grisham was The Pelican Brief in 2016. I’d heard of the master, but I didn’t think legal thrillers would suit a then-eighteen-year-old girl. But man… Was I in for a real wake-up call. This one book left me on the edge of my seat, and it challenged my perception of Washington, D.C., and our government system. Of course The Pelican Brief is fiction, but it felt real, and it was amazing.

As you can see below, I’m a Grisham nut. I have so many more books to read of his, but I can think of no other writer whom I talk about more. I wish it were acceptable to tell people, “Oh, yeah, John Grisham is my favorite writer,” because so many consider him to be a so-so writer since he is so popular (this seems like ridiculous logic, and it is).

So why do I like Grisham so much?

I think I can attribute it to the fact that his stories are so unique, and I honestly cannot predict what will happen next in any story he writes. Sometimes his stories are set in big firms in New York or D.C., and then another book will be something as socially relevant as A Time to Kill, his probable magnum opus. Then he’ll pop out with a book like Bleachers, which is more of a nostalgic ode to the past and has nothing to do with the law, and it’s like: I want to write like John Grisham!

His writing is very to-the-point. There isn’t much flowery language or description like some of the others on this list, but that’s because his novels are very much like movies in print. He wants to keep his readers hooked into the action of the novel instead of setting, and it’s why he’s one of the bestselling authors of all-time.

Highlights from Grisham: Legal thriller; political thriller; activism

What I’ve read by Grisham: A Time to Kill; The Firm; The Pelican Brief; The Partner; The Testament; Gray Mountain; The Summons; Rogue Lawyer; The Associate; Skipping Christmas; Bleachers 


3. LIANE MORIARTY

The beautiful and talented Liane Moriarty

Another writer I discovered when I was in high school is the Australian queen of women’s literature, Liane Moriarty. And also I hesitate to use the term “women’s literature,” because Moriarty is such a talented writer, and I don’t want to limit her to just the “chick lit” genre. Her books are primarily targeted to a female audience, though anyone can become easily invested in her material.

I’m not sure what the first book I read by Moriarty was, but I remember knowing her as the writer of Big Little Lies, one of the hits of 2014. Whenever a popular book comes out, I devour it: Gone Girl (2012) or The Girl on the Train (2015) are examples. While I am quite a fan of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins, Moriarty is a popular writer who has stuck with me in terms of how I want to write.

Liane Moriarty is an unapologetic observer of the world she writes. She is a professional at creating flawed but believable characters who make entertaining bad choices, whether that be the hypnotist in The Hypnotist’s Love Story or an amnesiac housewife in What Alice Forgot. 

When I was eighteen, I wrote a novel called The Forever Optimist that was an attempt at mimicking Moriarty’s writing style because I was in love with it so much. She is a magician at penning beautiful phrases and settings that make me want to hop on a jet for Sydney immediately.

Highlights from Moriarty: Complex characters; rich description; modern storytelling

What I’ve read by Moriarty: Big Little Lies; The Husband’s Secret; What Alice Forgot; Truly Madly Guilty; Three Wishes; The Hypnotist’s Love Story; The Last Anniversary


4. KHALED HOSSEINI

Afghan-American Khaled Hosseini, writer & physician

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most inspirational writers on this list. Though I do not know much of his personal backstory, I can tell you that this man escaped unbelievable horrors in his home country of Afghanistan in order to forge a future in the United States. Hosseini is an example of the American Dream, as he rose from a refugee into one of the 2000s most respected writers (all while being a doctor).

When I was thirteen, I attempted to read The Kite Runner for the first time, and I was disgusted by the first chapter. There was plenty of foul language and adult themes, and I refused to read more. When I was in my senior year of high school, my best friend and I decided to read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns at the recommendation of our teacher.

We were stunned.

Hosseini’s books are not appropriate for a thirteen-year-old, obviously, because they are so starkly honest and brutal. Hosseini’s literature focuses on the atrocities of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Hosseini writes with a forceful emotional capacity that left my friend and me speechless. As American girls we were astounded to read about things we had no idea were happening on the other side of the world. (Again, Hosseini’s books are fictional, though many situations are based in reality.)

Hosseini’s books are not for the light-hearted; however, they are for every human out there in the sense that we must listen and respect others from different cultures and backgrounds.

Highlights from Hosseini: Historical fiction and drama; sharp critique of culture; emotional writing

What I’ve read by Hosseini: The Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns


5. GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

El reino de realismo magico, Gabriel García Márquez (Gabo)

What would this post be if I didn’t mention the man who taught me my favorite genre of literature to ever exist? Gabriel García Márquez is the papá of magical realism, a medium of storytelling that uses magical elements to highlight a realistic or mundane world. The way I explain magical realism is to highlight the real world, and to minimize the magical.

My roommate freshman year of college asked me why I hadn’t read One Hundred Years of Solitude, a book she was reading. “You’re going to Argentina to study abroad,” she said, “so you should probably know what magical realism is.”

I shrugged. One Hundred Years of Solitude looked like a long book, and I was reading other stuff at the time.

But then something happened. A new novel idea dawned on me, about a young woman who goes to a mystical Mississippi town in order to find her missing sister. I wasn’t sure what genre it would be, as I am not the biggest fan of fantasy, and I’d read nothing like the story I wanted to tell.

Suddenly, I remembered my roommate’s excitement about magical realism and One Hundred Years of Solitude, so I gave the book a shot, and it was absolutely crucial for me as a writer. Anyone who wants to write magical realism has to devour the fine course known as One Hundred Years of Solitude. 

García Márquez’s world is believably magical, with characters who make no sense at all and the most sense known to man. There is a strict order to what is possible and what is impossible, and the reader is left to decipher the symbolism of the literary gold of this incredible man.

Now, though I love Gabo, I do think he can be wordy, and his books take a long time to read. Compare this to Grisham, and you’re looking at two very different writers. However, that is why we are looking at so many different writers today, to see what stands out from each.

Highlights from García Márquez: Magical realism; Latin American literature; almost biblical narrative style

What I’ve read by García Márquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera; “La prodigiosa tarde de Baltazar”


WHY THESE WRITERS?

Obviously each person out there is affected differently by different writers. However, I am so glad that I got to share a few of my favorites with you today. It is always fun to write about writing.

I’d love to hear from you guys! Who are your favorite writers and why? And if you want to argue with me on John Grisham, I’ll be waiting. 🙂

Until next time,

-K.

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Malibu, CA (March 2019)

tips

THE PERFECT GIFT IDEA

It is that time of the year… Christmas!

Here in the United States, it means that we’re surrounded by Christmas music, twinkling lights, decorated trees, hot chocolate, and, for college kids, finals season. Most people really enjoy the holidays, and especially a certain component of December 25…

So, you may be thinking, What in the world should I gift my loved ones? Well, I’ve got a solution for you this year, even though it may not be the most popular gift idea for the population at whole: Why not bring books back into the equation?

Though so many people do not enjoy reading, I truly believe this may be because they just haven’t found the right book. So why not try something new (and typically pretty cost efficient) and gift your loved ones a book?

Over the years, I have found that some of the best gifts have been books. I don’t remember my first book, but I do collect them whenever I can. Here is another life lesson: You never know which book is going to be your favorite. Maybe you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, and your sister gets you a book about the Serengeti. Why not give it a try, and expose yourself to something new? Reading can definitely be that outlet!

So, in today’s post, we’re going to go through some options for you, in case you’re struggling with that perfect book gift idea. 🙂


DAD

What should you get your dad? Well, you could try a book on planes or woodworking or insert whatever your dad happens to be interested in. That being said, my dad isn’t a big reader, so I am aware of that when I’m selecting the right choice for him. Therefore, I’d pick something short, realistic, and believable.

My choice: Bleachers by John Grisham.

The book focuses on whether the famous Eddie Rake, former coach of the Messina High School football team, was loved or hated by his former players.

MOM

Some mothers are into cookbooks (my mom), and others are into chick flicks. Some are into romance, and others legal thrillers. Since everyone is different, there is an endless array of picks for you. That being said, I am aiming this post more toward people I know, and therefore…

If I would give Momma J a book, my choice would probably be: Sanctuary by William Faulkner.

My mom’s favorite author is the incredibly talented Faulkner, who is famous for developing the Southern Gothic genre. Faulkner has had an enormous impact on my own writing, and Sanctuary is one of his best novels, though quite controversial.

Sanctuary is a novel by the American author William Faulkner about the rape and abduction of a well-bred Mississippi college girl, Temple Drake, during the Prohibition era.

SISTER

My sister is only twelve, so our interests in reading are quite different. That being said, I do believe that she is about to hit an age where reading truly matters, because at that point in life, you are beginning to figure out who you are and what you like. Therefore, I’d encourage my sister to pick up a classic that most of you will probably recognize:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

BEST FRIEND

Maggie Givenchy is not a reader. In fact, she’d probably do anything to avoid books if she could, since Christmas Hallmark movies are more her thing. However, I was shocked when I recommended a John Grisham book that inspired her (you will see what it is soon enough) and left her wanting more.

Though I know John Grisham is my go-to answer, I thought it would be more interesting if I picked a different book for her: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty. (And what’s better? It has a 3.69 average on Goodreads.)

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

ROACHES (my college friend group lol)

There is one book that I recommend to anyone and everyone I meet. It has become a sort of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants book for some of my friends, and therefore it has taken a special place in my heart. I bought my paperback copy when I was fifteen, gave it to Maggie, who passed it on to Even, who was supposed to pass it on to Hadley, and so on…

What is the book, you may be asking, that has captivated a bunch of college kids who typically don’t like reading all that much?

The Pelican Brief by John Grisham.

A Washington reporter helps an on-the-run law student who knows too much about a government cover-up.

GRANDMA

My Mamaw always reads these posts, and so I know she’ll be reading this one as well. 🙂 Therefore, though I don’t want to spoil what I will send her for Christmas, I do want to share what the book is for all of you.

Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry is an amazing book that everyone should read. It is not the most pleasant read, but the themes of hope and survival are universal. ❤

Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape.

 

GRANDPA

My choice this year for my grandpa is a book I read a few years ago, but it has recently come into my mind again. Louis Zamperini is a true American hero, and his biography by Laura Hillenbrand is an excellent choice to read. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is nothing less than inspiring.

Unbroken is a biography of  World War II hero Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in the Pacific theatre, spent 47 days drifting on a raft, and then survived more than two and a half years as a prisoner of war in three brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

YOU GUYS!!!

You guys are an incredible source of positivity for me, and I love checking/updating this blog to see what you guys are up to and what your thoughts are. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to include you in this post. If you’re looking for something great to read, I urge you to check out the following books that have left an imprint on my heart.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García-Márquez.

The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as “magical realism.”

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

The novel’s protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who designs modernist buildings and refuses to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. Roark embodies what Rand believed to be the ideal man, and his struggle reflects Rand’s belief that individualism is superior to collectivism.


Thank you guys for reading this post! Hopefully you’ve found some ideas for your own Christmas gifts (or your personal reading as well). I wish you guys a blessed holiday season, and I hope that wherever you are in this world of ours, you are happy and safe. ❤

Until next time,

-K.

P.S. A huge shoutout to sweet Maggie Givenchy, who was the one to come up with this blog post. Thank you for always reading my posts and listening to my wild antics. You are the best, chica!!

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Underneath the Christmas tree! Make sure to take care of your loved ones this holiday season. ❤

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SUMMER’S END (update)

Well, my dear readers, it is that time of year…

Summer is coming to an end. (At least in the States, where school has started… Yet in the South, it’s still as humid as a nightmare and will be for quite some time.) This also means that I will be leaving home to head back to college. Though I love being at home so much, I am ready for the adventures this next year is sure to toss my way.

At the beginning of the summer, as soon as I got back from Argentina, I wrote a blog post titled  SUMMER’S HERE (and reality too) where I talked about my goals for the past three months. Therefore, I thought it would be a little fun to update you guys.


GOAL #1: BOOK SITCH

  1. My goal is to find an agent, send out my manuscripts to as many people as possible, to gain experience and to get my name out there.

  2. Also, I expect to write about two to three novels this summer. I hope I can fulfill that goal.

Well, as you guys know by now, I love writing/books. It’s actually a pretty strong addiction that destroys my wrists from all the typing and takes up a large chunk of my time. This summer, I was writing for… Well, if we’re being honest… I was writing about four-to-five hours a day.

Writing this much can be great, but it can also be very physically and emotionally deteriorating, because I will admit–I am a workaholic when it comes to my stories. I am constantly planning the next book I want to write, whereas I need to focus more on the book I’m currently writing.

Before this turns into a winded rant, I will say that I am still looking for an agent, and I think that will be a goal for the foreseeable future. I am about to query for two novels I wrote this summer, and I will update you along the way.

To answer the second goal… I significantly challenged myself to write as much as possible, and I was able to crank out five books this summer. While this may seem ridiculous, it really is, but considering that I averaged between two and three thousand words a day, I still had time to edit these books as well.

Three of those novels are part of a romance trilogy I conceived abroad, while the other two are novels that took more of my time and creative juices. While I’d love to discuss more about these books, that will probably be a separate blog post so I don’t ramble forever and ever. That being said, I am very excited with one of my projects, and I can’t wait to write about it. Soon, I promise! 🙂


GOAL #2: PLANE SITCH

When I was a kid, I always told people, “I want to be a pilot.”

At sixteen, I had my first flying lesson. While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit to that path.

At nineteen (last summer), I bought a pilot book on learning the ropes of flying, and I became obsessed with it in Argentina. For all the classes in which I was learning nothing, my pilot book was able to give me new information, new knowledge, new insight.

At twenty, I hope to be flying.

Well, this is a goal that excites me beyond belief!

I’m also working on obtaining my private pilot license… More on that to come! Flying is truly amazing, though there is so much to learn and study. It is actually stimulating to be able to fly, and though I don’t want to hate on my college experience, I feel as if my experience flying versus working on my bachelor’s degree… Well, that would probably be an interesting blog post.

I’m at fifteen hours of flight time (forty hours is the requirement), and I think I’ll be able to get my license by December.


GOAL #3: MAKE MONEY (BUT MAKE THE MOST OUT OF MY TIME)

I only have two summers left before I graduate college and am expected to be a full-fledged adult. That means time is running out. However, I’ve still got time to pursue my passion (writing, of course), goals (a healthy bank account which will be destroyed by flying lessons), and creating long-lasting relationships.

Now that I’ve only got one summer left before the real world shows up at my doorstep, I’m excited. I have a plan. I know what I want to do, who I want to be, and how I can get there… And I know that things don’t exactly go by the book all the time. 😉

This summer has taught me that money is valuable, but time is even more so. Every day we get is one less day we have, and it’s crucial to make the most of the present. Some of my favorite memories of my summer are just snapshots of the most mundane situations: Laughing with friends and family; holding a paper copy of my book in my hands; jamming with my mom in the truck to ’80s salsa music.

Time  〉Money


So, there you have it, my summer in a nutshell. While some could see this as possibly very boring… Just a young chica writing, flying, and hanging out with family and friends… I think it was one of my favorite summers, because I got to do what I love with the people I love most.

Though this has centered on me, I’d like to shift the focus to you, my reader. You’ve got goals too, even if you haven’t put the pen to paper yet. Though I’m not typically a person to list things out, I’ve found that it is amazing to reflect on the seasons, and especially if you are a forgetful person like I am. Find your goals, and stick to them. Maybe you won’t make as much progress as you hope, but any progress is better than nothing at all.

Though this summer is ending, life isn’t. Go for whatever makes you happiest, and whatever makes you fly as high as you can go.

-K.

P.S. Here are a few of my favorite moments of this summer, because I’ll probably read this post a year from now and have forgotten most of these. 🙂

  • My final flight lesson for the summer with my instructor. We got to fly downtown, and I finally figured out how to land without killing us.
  • Taking pictures with one of my close friends who just got engaged!
  • Hanging out with my friends in Wisconsin and trying to pick up the Midwestern accent. I think I sound pretty neutral, but people tell me I’ve got a Southern voice. Bless their hearts!
  • Taking my sister to the library once a week.
  • On my flight to Baltimore, my mom was cross-stitching the whole time, and everyone enjoyed this. A pro tip for mending our divided world: Cross-stitchers unite!
  • Discovering the dream-pop band Beach House while driving my sister to and from school.
  • Finally learning how to decode what the heck ATC (air traffic control) is saying to me as I fly.
  • Reconnecting with old friends.
  • Connecting with new friends. 😉
  • FINDING OUT THAT I HAVE 61 AMAZING AND WONDERFUL WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS!!! A special shoutout to you guys. You make this such an enjoyable experience with your likes, comments, follows, and re-blogs. Thank you for spending some time on my blog. ♥
travel

MUSINGS FROM THE BALTIMORE AIRPORT

In the past three weeks, I have found myself in seven different states, and I’m about ready to take a long, long nap… While I love traveling, it wears me down, and it’s virtually impossible to work on books when I’m not in one place.

Why have I been traveling so much? Well, I wanted to visit my best friends in Wisconsin, catch a concert in Illinois, and vacation in Washington, D.C. (And I’m not really sure a vacation in D.C. is that good a choice, if we’re being honest.) Throw in Virginia Beach and Annapolis for good measure, and I’m still trying to readjust to being home after a trip way down south…

Anyway, I feel like I am complaining a little, and that is not my intention at all! I love traveling with my entire being. I get some of my best ideas from travel, as I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog in the past, but I also love planting roots and being able to be settled for a little bit too. So, since it’s been a while since my last post, I thought I would update you on some of my summer goals since it’s already mid-June (I can hardly believe this!).


BOOK UPDATE

After finishing a magical realism novel in early May, I was feeling sorta romantic… Which means I am halfway done with a romance trilogy that will be out very shortly! The first book in this series, The Third Wheel, will be out in the next few weeks, because it is just sitting around, collecting virtual dust. I am almost done with the second book, tentatively titled The Wedding Party, which I will finish in the next week or so. I plan on writing the third book shortly after I finish The Wedding Party, so stay tuned for a new romance trilogy on the way! (This trilogy will focus on three Argentine-American sisters!)

I have also begun work on a more serious novel that I labeled on Twitter as my first attempt at a Southern Gothic psychological thriller. A lot of words to say that this will take me a lot longer than a cheesy romance, but I hope to finish that book before the summer ends as well.


THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the future… Which is not typically normal for me. I suppose I have some stress as to what I want my adulthood to look like, and so I am thinking about who I’ll marry, what career I’ll have, and if I’ll ever be published as a writer. Those are just some of the things.

I’m not really sure why this is happening, but I think it’s a good thing to keep an optimistic outlook even when there is stress in life, because there will eventually be a time when everything will have happened, and it’s important to keep a good attitude through the hard times and good.

Therefore, I just wanted to give you guys a little update on this afternoon in the middle of June. I cannot believe the summer’s already passing this quickly, but I will post some more updates soon about my books (and hopefully some other topics as well)!

Until next time,

–K.

updates

SUMMER’S HERE (and reality too)

*I realized that summer does not start until June 21. Please 
excuse my inability to remember which continent I am on LOL.

Now that I am back home in the States, things have shifted a little bit. It’s summer, which means that I’ll be cranking out as many novels as my poor fingers can type…

***MINOR INTERRUPTION: Someone just rang my doorbell, and it turned out to be a neighbor, who literally threw her dog at me. For those of you who do not know, I’ve never had a dog, never really been around dogs, and am kinda scared of them… So that was interesting.***

Anyway, summer is my best time for creative thought. I am finishing my magical realism novel, starting another romance, and have plans for another late summer book. However, as a rising junior in college, I also have to get a job and attempt to book flying lessons. Therefore, I am a bit stressed!

I have been Stateside for all of four days, and I’m already feeling the pressure of my future. Money, location, and the unknown are all weighing on me, but I know that God’s got this. (Cue “God’s Plan” by Drake, thank you.)

***MINOR INTERRUPTION AGAIN: I discovered that I am allergic to horses last summer, when I came to the South from California. Just now I have been sneezing my head off because I held that pup…***

Therefore, I’d like to set some goals for the summer and see if I am able to conquer them!


GOAL #1: BOOK SITCH

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a writer who loves to write. I am almost done with my sixteenth novel (that doesn’t mean all sixteen novels are good, by any means). However, I think this one has some cinematic vibes to it, and I’m not sure if I’ll try to agent it or self-publish. I’m a little tired of trying to find an agent for my books, because I’ve realized it is such a daunting situation. Even if I get agented, will my book ever even get published? Who knows. That is the crisis I’m facing now.

Anyway, my goal is to find an agent, send out my manuscripts to as many people as possible, to gain experience and to get my name out there. If I don’t find an agent, so what? I’m not a writer to make money (although that would be nice). If I don’t find an agent, expect even more releases on Smashwords (which then converts my manuscripts to iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Store, etc.).

Also, I expect to write about two to three novels this summer. I hope I can fulfill that goal. 🙂


GOAL #2: PLANE SITCH

When I was a kid, I always told people, “I want to be a pilot.”

At sixteen, I had my first flying lesson. While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit to that path.

At nineteen (last summer), I bought a pilot book on learning the ropes of flying, and I became obsessed with it in Argentina. For all the classes in which I was learning nothing, my pilot book was able to give me new information, new knowledge, new insight.

At twenty, I hope to be flying.


GOAL #3: MAKE MONEY (BUT MAKE THE MOST OUT OF MY TIME)

Money is valuable, but my parents have instilled the concept in me that money isn’t everything. I want to be able to afford certain luxuries in my future, like travel and a nice car and a Mac computer, but I know that what really matters is time.

I took a personality quiz as a joke once (although I do love personality quizzes, just not the one called “Love Languages” or whatever). I thought it was hilarious that my friends and I were taking this quiz when virtually none of us have ever been in love or are in relationships. But then I remembered that there is more than one type of love, and my special “love language” (or the thing that I enjoy most about my relationships) is quality time. 

I only have two summers left before I graduate college and am expected to be a full-fledged adult. That means time is running out. However, I’ve still got time to pursue my passion (writing, of course), goals (a healthy bank account which will be destroyed by flying lessons), and creating long-lasting relationships.

While I may be freaking out about this “time crunch,” I am reminded that life is not certain at any point in time. Tomorrow, I could die in a car crash, or six months down the road, I could receive a terminal diagnosis. Therefore, I may be “stressed” by the pressures of becoming an adult, but this is actually a good thing.

Time has blessed me with choice.


THEREFORE…

Por lo tanto, I am encouraged after writing this blog post. My troubles are insignificant, but I know I have one life, and I want to make the most of it.

Expect more books from me. Expect more blog posts from me. Expect some complaining and some hard times, but also excitement and new discoveries. That is what I guarantee you!

Thank you for listening to another KG rant.

Until next time,

-K.

DSC_0459
A church in La Pampa (November 2017)