Tuesday, July 26, 2011


As you may have noticed (and may or may not have cared,) I've been absent for a while from ye old blog. I can't account for most of those days, but this last weekend, I've been AWOL. With these gals. We were all hanging out at a writer's retreat in the desert. These ladies pretty much rock. The desert rocks as well. (Who knew, right?)

Here we are.From left to right: Michelle, me, Candice, Jenn, Kasie, Sara, and Natalie.

Though this picture is more accurate, I think.

Anyway, now I'm all recharged and brimming with writerly thoughts. Thanks to them, I have ideas for more blog posts, which will come soon. Until then, the only possible useful purpose I can give for this post (other than trying to prevent this from turning into a once-a-month type of blog,) is to say that having writer friends has been the NUMBER ONE smartest thing I've done for my writing career. No question. If you don't have friends who are writers in your genre, get some! Be brave. Be friendly. Be outgoing online. You'll be glad that you did.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Natalie Party!

As you may be able to tell by now, I love throwing virtual parties on my blog. They're the best. There's no clean up, the refreshments are free, and you don't have to worry about awkward conversations with that weird guy who corners you by the punch bowl!

Well today, I'm throwing a very special party here on Midnight Meditations. A party for my fabulous friend Natalie Whipple! Because today, she is announcing her new TWO BOOK DEAL with HARPERTEEN!!!

*passes out Dr Peppers* *throws confetti* *blasts dance jams over the speakers*

Here is the picture I told her she HAD to take. I mean, come on! Everybody loves the "Signing my book contract" pic!

I imagine Natalie needs no introduction. She has an amazingly popular blog. In fact, you most likely already know her. You probably came over to my measly blog because you follow her blog. :) At any rate, Natalie is amazing. She's one of my earliest friends and critique partners. We've seen each other through high high's and low low's. She's talked me off the edge of the "I'm gonna give up on this stupid book" cliff many times. And I love her for that. Also, she's smart, a fabulous dresser, and a fantastic writer. NATALIE RULZ.

So party hard here and my blog, and then head over to crash the party at her blog! But today, there will be partying. Oh yes, there will be partying.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No More Fear

When I first started writing seriously, I allowed myself big dreams. Dreams that glowed inside me as I drifted off to sleep at night. Dreams that tingled over my skin as I brushed the spines of books in the YA section. They made my heart beat fast when I read of other people's success online. These were the thoughts that made me get into this whole business in the start. The reason I write, if you will.

Unfortunately, with time (and rejections,) those dreams started to no longer feel safe. Little by little, almost without realizing what I was doing, I built up a wall around them, closing them off inside me. I'd tell myself it was good. It meant I'd grown. I was smarter now. More realistic. In stronger moments, I'd sneer at my earlier self for being so "clueless." In weaker moments, I'd mourn the loss of those dreams.

I've thought a lot about it in the past few weeks, and I've realized a very important thing. I haven't outgrown those dreams, or become to wise to have them. I've just been afraid of them. Plain and simple. I've been afraid to even look at or acknowledge them anymore.

So today, I'm going to force myself to break through that wall. I'm not only going to accept that my dreams are still there, I'm going to share them with you. Believe me, I'm terrified. I've edited and deleted and rewritten this entire post. I've waffled over whether or not to even do it, because I'm honestly really scared to share these things. I'm afraid of looking stupid or vain or naive. I'm afraid of people reading this post a year from now and thinking, "haha, I guess her dreams didn't come true."

But I need a breakthrough, guys. I need to do this. I'm not going to run away from my dreams anymore. They are still inside me, and they deserve to be acknowledged. So here goes.

1. I dream of holding my own book in my hands. Printed books are special to me, always have been. To me, they are beautiful, powerful things, both figuratively and literally. I dream of the day when I can feel my story beneath my fingertips, smell the new pages, and gaze at the cover.

2. I want to write an epic love story, one that makes people FEEL something when they read it. Longing or sadness or joy. I want to create characters that seem alive. I want to give those characters scenes that are beautiful.

And last, the hardest one to actually write out. (Trust me, I've deleted it about ten times.)

3. I dream of readers. I dream of a fan base. People that love my books and think about my books, and can't wait for the next one. To know that someone out there who doesn't know me personally is moved by my stories would be the most amazing feeling in the world.

What are your dreams? What is the reason you keep going? If you are like me, if you feel afraid of those dreams that once burned inside you, please, PLEASE share them now. I'd love to hear them.