Adventures at Boston Book Festival!

First of all, I can’t believe October is already ending! I haven’t gotten much writing done these past few weeks because I’ve been busy planning for NaNoWriMo. But I will try to have this month’s WIPMarathon post up tomorrow. And I will also share some details about my NaNo novel! 🙂

Anyway … Last weekend, some of my friends and I went to Boston Book Festival! It’s a free book festival that takes place in Boston every fall, and it’s a super awesome event and a lot of cool authors come.

The first talk we went to was Libba Bray! I got to meet her and see her speak at an event like five years ago, and it was really exciting to see her again. She’s one of my favorite authors in the world and she’s a great speaker.


She talked a lot about her latest series, The Diviners (which is amazing!) and it was so interesting to hear about all the research that went into it. She also said some wonderful, thought-provoking things about writing in general.

One thing that really stuck with me: she said that she would never tell a reader what they “should” take away from one of her stories. She said that if someone came up to her and said they loved how her book depicted the invention of the bikini, she wouldn’t correct them––because if that’s what they got out of it and that’s what’s important to them, that’s what really matters.

After the talk, one of my friends and I stood in line to meet Libba. We were near the back of the line, and as she came up the aisle to walk to the table she walked past us and we were fangirling a little (okay, a lot). And she took us both by the arm and was like “AAHHH” and we were like “AAAHHHH” as if we were old friends reuniting after a long time. 😛 And she was like, “Come say hi to me!”

So we did! It was a long line, but we finally got to the table and got to talk to her. We told her about how we partly became friends because of her books (since one of our first conversations was about how we both love the Gemma Doyle trilogy). And then we took a picture with her! She was like, “We should do something scary because it’s almost Halloween. Zombies???!!!” And we were like, “Sure!” 😀



Later in the day, we went to another great panel with Andrew Smith, Matt de la Peña, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. It was a really, really great conversation. I had feared it would be kind of a “how do u write for boys??!!” thing––but all the authors had very insightful things to say about how they don’t just write “for boys,” how important representation is, how it’s important to talk to teenagers about real-life issues, etc. Initially I had just gone to see Andrew Smith, but I left wanting to read all the authors’ books and I was so glad I got to attend the panel.

And afterward I also got to meet Andrew Smith!!!! I was super excited to meet him and he was really nice in person. Unfortunately it was a pretty long and fast-moving line, and I had to leave in kind of a rush, but it was still awesome. 🙂


!!!!!!!!!!! (I look dumb and sweaty but oh well)

And thus concludes my post about BBF!

How about you guys? Have you been to any cool book festivals and/or met any of your favorite authors?


Music Monday: 10/19/15

Time for something a little different! My Goodreads friend Lauren has started a meme on her blog Always Me called Music Monday and I’m going to participate. 🙂 I know this isn’t exactly about writing––but music does mean a lot to me, and it is one of my main inspirations. So hopefully some of the songs I’ll be sharing can inspire some of you as well. And if you would like to participate in the meme as well, please do!


• Every Monday, share 1-2 songs. It can be any genre, it can be something new or it can be an old favorite. Whatever you want!
• Share a music/lyric video of the song.
• Tell us some of your thoughts/feelings about the song, artist, and/or music video.
• Submit the link to your blog post at the bottom of Lauren’s post here (where it says “Add your link”).

My Music Choices of the Week:

CHVRCHES – “Leave a Trace”

I’ve been a huge fan of CHVRCHES since they released their debut album a couple years ago, and their second album––Every Open Eye––definitely delivers. I recommend every song on it, but “Leave a Trace” is a good place to start. It’s extremely fun and catchy, but it also has that cool, edgy vibe that gives CHVRCHES their trademark sound. The music video is pretty much just Lauren Mayberry (the lead singer) dancing around––but hey, she’s super adorable so it’s worth watching. 🙂

Tribe Society – “Kings”

This song is so epic. It kind of a creepy dystopian vibe to it, which I love. Every time I listen to it, it makes me want to run around in the woods waving a sword … or something. 😛 Anyway, I highly recommend it if you are a sci-fi/fantasy writer because I could see it inspiring a lot of stories. Also the music video is a comic-book-style animated thing and it’s pretty cool.

WIPMarathon: September 2015 Check-In

So, this check-in is like a week late. Also I realize I’ve only been posting WIPMarathon updates for the past few months. But I’m sure you’re all tired of me starting every single one of my blog posts by apologizing, so I guess I won’t apologize. 😛

September was not a super productive month for me. It was going well at first and then … I don’t know. I just totally fell off track. Honestly I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately. I’ve had horrible, horrible insomnia all month long and it’s been really hard for me to gather the energy to do anything, including writing. I really wanted to finish my draft this month and I just couldn’t do it. As much as I’m trying not to beat myself up over it … well, I’m beating myself up over it. *Sigh*

But I guess all I can do is keep going, even if it’s at a snail’s pace. At least progress is progress.

The actual update:

Last WC/CC: 120,191 words / 43 chapters

Current WC/CC: 126,838 words / 45 chapters

WIP Issues This Month:

  • The aforementioned depression/insomnia
  • Procrastination
  • Having to kill off a character I really like––which I think is partly what has been keeping me from writing lately. I keep putting it off, telling myself I need to be in the “right mood” to write it, but I should probably just get it over with. 😛

What I learned this month in writing:

If I don’t keep to a schedule, then I just don’t write. And it’s a real problem. Also, I think I expected too much of myself this past month and it just ended up biting me in the butt. When I went through July/August with lower word count goals, I wrote every day. I find that if I set my goals too high, I just get scared and don’t write.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Eh, the usual. Internet. Work. Reading. But I also had a busy past few weeks. I went to Boston Calling which was amazing! Also I visited some college friends this past weekend. And I started teaching a writing class for teenagers––which is awesome and I should totally write a post about that. 🙂 I was also pretty sick during the last week of September so I didn’t feel like doing much, so yeah. But now I feel better (besides an annoying, lingering cough) so I’m out of excuses.

Goal for next month:

Well, I’ve already missed like a week of October but for the rest of the month, I think I’ll aim for about 250 words a day and hopefully that will at least get me back in the habit of writing, even if I don’t finish this horrible never-ending draft.

Also I need to start planning for NaNoWriMo! *screams*

Last 200 Words:

I’m not posting the last 200 words because of spoilers! But here are 200 words from a recent part. 🙂

Bracing myself, I take a step through the doorway. The room is very small, and the air is hot and musty. The dull light of my flashlight illuminates shapes on the ceiling, and I look up to see the walls are covered in old wooden carvings. Demonic faces leer at me from the highest corners.

My instinct is to back out of the room right away, but something keeps me in place. Something about … the smell. It doesn’t seem right. I inhale again and this time it hits me hard—the distinct, stomach-turning stench of something decaying. Something dead.

I take a step back, but I’ve already seen it. In one far corner of the room, across from where I stand, a pile of something pink and glistening lies on the floor. Dark red stains the wood floor around it.

Bile rises into the back of my throat, and I stumble backwards out of the room. I crash into something—someone, and they grab my arms. I cry out in alarm, and the sharp noise echoes from the walls.

“Nina?” It’s Juliet.

I try to catch my breath, try to slow down the wild fluttering in my chest. “They’ve been here,” I manage to say.


“In that room, there––there’s something on the floor. They killed someone here. Recently. We have to get out.”