Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Middle Grade of the Past #3: Have You Seen Hyacinth Macaw?

Here's the third post in my series called Middle Grade of the Past, where I review a children's book from anytime between 1950 and 1985.

Today's Middle Grade of the Past #3 is: Have You Seen Hyacinth Macaw? by Patricia Reilly Giff, published in 1981.

Here's the cover of the copy I have:

Back Cover Summary:

With a memo book full of notes, junior detective Abby Jones and her pal Potsie piece together confusing clues and soon they are trying to unravel more than one mystery.

Squeezing through windows, sneaking onto subways, and slithering into an empty apartment during the night, Abby must make sense of the puzzling information that she is piling up. She is hot on the trail, but can she solve the case?

Now, full disclosure: This book was one of my absolute favorites as a kid. But reading it as an adult was much different. Here are my thoughts:

The Good: I might be biased because of how much younger me loved this book, but in my opinion, Abby Jones is a fun and likable character right from the beginning. She has a “memo pad” like the detectives in her city do, and she writes notes to herself that are just so charming. Though as much as I like Abby, her scaredy-cat best friend, Potsie, has always been my favorite.

The Old: I noticed that anything that had a price was less expensive than it would be today. Example: one of the characters broke a large stained glass window that was worth fifty dollars, which sounds kind of inexpensive for stained glass. Also, this book brings me back to before there were cell phones, which wasn’t that long ago. As expected, there’s only one telephone per household, its bill is expensive, and the kids are told not to hog the line in case someone tries to call.

The Funny: The dialogue between Abby and Potsie is cute and kind of snarky most of the time. Abby can be a bit bossy, but they had a fun dynamic. Potsie is sometimes a little, well, dumb, and I got a kick out of the fact that she calls other people “Dumb. D-U-M,” which tells you a bit about her dopey character. All of the characters had something amusing or humorous about them, even if they felt a little bit like caricatures at times.

Overall: While I loved this book more as a kid than an adult (I really wanted to become a detective after reading this), I still really enjoyed it, maybe more for nostalgic reasons. I remembered how the mystery was solved, though, so maybe I would have enjoyed it even more if I’d forgotten the story. I think some kids today would have fun solving the mystery, like I did many years ago.

Was there a book you read or a movie you watched that really had an impact on you as a kid? I didn't end up becoming a detective, but man, I really wanted to be one when I was younger. Reading this book brought all of that back!
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Monday, November 9, 2015

What To Do With THAT Project

I have a question for my fellow writers and creative people: If I asked you about THAT project of yours, which one comes to mind?

For me, THAT project is a tricky one, because it's one that I don't know what to do with. It's one that I care about, and one that I enjoyed drafting, but now that it's complete, it doesn't belong anywhere.

All of my other completed manuscripts (16 total) have fallen into one of the following categories:

1) Hey, this might turn into something pretty great after exchanging with five or six critique partners and completing ten rounds of revisions. I'll plan to publish it.

2) Heck no, this is terrible! Put it away on the shelves for good -- never let it see the light of day!

3) Eh, I like the concept, but the execution could be stronger, so I'll keep the idea and do a complete, blank slate rewrite of it that might end up publishable.

When it comes to THAT story, I can't seem to fit it into one of those categories. It's not awful like my terrible stories in the #2 category, but it doesn't strike me as "my next published book" material, like the ones in #1. I mean, it could be, but I just don't get that immediate feeling that I've had for other manuscripts in that category.

It's possible that it's a #3. But I've had three manuscripts fall in the #3 category, and all of them were in desperate need of a full makeover (or else they'd be considered #2 quality), and this one is in better shape. But I'm not loving it as much as my WIPs I have in the #1 category, and I'd rather send my CPs those #1 projects instead of THAT story.

So, since I'm stuck, I'll temporarily shelf this one. I don't like rushing into decisions, and I always believe that if something is holding you back, listen to that something. Later down the road, I'll either revise the stuffing out of THAT story until it shines and earns itself a spot in the #1 category, or I'll shelf it for good.

Any other writers ever have experience with a manuscript that doesn't belong anywhere? Otherwise, what do you think of when I say THAT project?
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Recommendation: Indie Author Survival Guide

I can't remember how much I've shared about the very beginning of my self-publishing journey, but here's a short version of the story, in case I haven't shared it before:

I decided I wanted to be an indie author in late 2013, after spending much of the year considering my options. I chose this route intentionally, because my health issues affect my ability to work, and being my own boss is the best solution for my situation. However, even though I knew that the traditional, big publisher path wasn't for me, I wasn't completely sure that I could self-publish. I mean, where you do you even start with such a big task?

I read blog post after blog post, but it wasn't until I read Susan Kaye Quinn's Indie Author Survival Guide that A) I truly felt I'd learned enough about self-publishing to make a decision, and B) I made that decision wholeheartedly -- I was going to be an indie author.

The Indie Author Survival Guide is just what it sounds like: it's everything you could possibly need to survive as an indie author. It covers everything from the "Should I go indie?" type questions (with actual, researched statistics to inform the reader of the current state of publishing), to the step-by-step how to publish (formatting, editing, cover art, everything), to the reassuring support about what to do after you're published (write another book, of course! And don't obsess over sales numbers!)

Since the Second Edition released this year (back in May, but that was when I'd just moved into my new house, so I wasn't able to read it at the time), I revisited the Guide and wrote a review, which you can read on Amazon or on Goodreads here.

Photo from

Here's a quote from my review:

"Although I think this book is fantastic specifically for newer indie authors and writers planning to self-publish, I don't think there's a single type of writer that I would not recommend this book to. Even traditionally published, even veteran indie published, even not-sure-if-I-ever-want-to-publish -- everyone will get something out of this. The How To Publish aspect of the Guide helped me when I first started out, but the encouraging messages about the indie author career path is what I'll keep coming back to this Guide for. A definite 5 out of 5 stars!"

I love this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who could find it useful and inspiring, no matter where you are in your journey. Find it here on Amazon.

Writers, have you read a non-fiction writing book that impacted you and changed your writing life for the better? Please share!
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Middle Grade of the Past #2: A Girl Called Al

A couple of months ago, I started a new series called Middle Grade of the Past, which focuses on a children's novel from anytime between 1950 and 1985. You can check out the first post in the series here. (And if you have old books at home and would like to join in, feel free!)

Today's Middle Grade of the Past #2 is: A GIRL CALLED AL by Constance C. Greene, published in 1969.

Here's the cover of the copy I have:

Back Cover Summary:

Al is a little on the fat side, which is why I didn’t like her at first. She has a very high I.Q., she says. But she doesn’t work to capacity. She says things like that all the time, but I don’t like to let on that I don’t always know what she is talking about.

“I am a nonconformist,” she told me, like she was saying she was a television star or Elizabeth Taylor or something. Al’s mother and father are divorced. She says she doesn’t mind too much that they are divorced. She gets more presents that way.

We figured out the night before last that Al and I have known each other for exactly three weeks. It feels like forever. Some people you just feel like you have always known. That is the way it is with me and Al.

It's a bit offbeat, being told in first person. I'm guessing it's formatted that way because we never learn the main character's name. I remember staring at the cover of this book as a kid and wanting to read it, but I'd never gotten around to it. (Too much homework, probably.)

The Good: Right away, I love the main character’s voice, and I love the things that she and Al say. Fun dialogue (especially in middle grade) can promote an already good book to a very memorable one, and A GIRL CALLED AL is one that will stick with me. I’m also a big fan of kid/adult friendships that are written well, not creepy or unrealistic, and this story has a nice friendship among neighbors.

The Old: Though I’m not sure if it’s an old term or not, I hadn’t heard the phrase “dining ell” (as in, a portion of an L-shaped room reserved for dining) until reading this book. Also, when one character introduces another character, she says, “May I present [name of person]?” I’ve heard that expression before, but only in older media. From this book, I also learned the phrase, “Not on your tintype,” meaning, “Absolutely not.”

The Funny: Al matter-of-factly tells the main character that their teacher’s wife has “ball stones” in her “gladder.” I mentioned in the last Middle Grade of the Past post that I just had my gallbladder out, so I found this particularly amusing. A lot of their exchanges made me smile.

Overall: I loved this book! More than I thought I would, actually. It ended up having more depth than I expected, and even some sad scenes. A GIRL CALLED AL seems like it would appeal to the same audience as the manuscript I’m drafting now, so I read it at the perfect time. Even though this book is a little dated, I still think girls today might enjoy it.

I'm not sure how common this book was. Have any of you read it? I'm still so pleased with how much I enjoyed it. Have you read a book lately that pleasantly surprised you?
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Change of Plans

One thing has definitely changed around here, and that's my blog design. I wanted to go for a simpler theme this time.

I'm not always a fan of change, though, because I'm a major planner. I have a precious pocket calendar that I use to schedule almost all events in my life. I know that not everything works out, (which is why about half of the events I write down have a question mark after them), but I like the security of knowing when things will or might occur.

So, when I decided to change my next book's release date after planning it for months, I felt a little disoriented.

I originally intended to release another contemporary MG novel (more details coming soon) in October, but after a crazy busy spring and summer, I wasn't able to finish revisions by September 1st, like I wanted to. I don't like to rush any of my books, so I'm giving myself lots of extra time to work on this one. The new tentative release date is February 11th. Yeah, that'll probably change, too.

I'm striving to feel better about change instead of feeling thrown off balance. Because, really, it's quite all right that my book's release is delayed. Not only does it give me more time to improve that manuscript, but I'll have time to work on other manuscripts, too -- which is hard to do when you're formatting and preparing a book for publication.

What changes have you experienced lately? Are you easily accepting of change, or do you tend to be attached to your plans?

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Middle Grade of the Past

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I'm back! A few weeks ago, I had surgery to have my gallbladder taken out, so I wasn't spending all that much time at my computer. Recovery was rough in the beginning, but I'm almost back to normal and definitely feeling much better than I was the first week post-surgery.

In my free time, I've been rereading old children's books that I'd collected from when I was a kid. Some of these books were published as early as 1950, some as late as 1985, but they're each charming in their own way. I've decided to occasionally feature one "old" middle grade book at a time, to share with you guys how fun, entertaining, and endearing these books are.

Today's post is about ELLEN TEBBITS by Beverly Cleary, published in 1951.

Here's the cover of the copy that I have, though several other covers exist:

And here's the back cover summary:

Ellen Tebbits thought she would die of embarrassment if any of the girls at school learned her secret. But then she met Austine Allen, a new girl in class who was hiding the very same secret. They became best friends immediately. Embarrassing secrets weren’t so bad when you had someone to share them with. Even being teased by pesky little troublemakers like Otis Spofford was almost fun when you had a friend who stuck up for you.

But then Ellen did something terrible that made Austine stop speaking to her. Ellen was really sorry, and somehow she had to find a way to say so. Because without a best friend, nothing was fun anymore.

Aww. I love friendship stories. I can't remember if I read this one as a kid, since I read and owned many Beverly Cleary books, and some of them blend together after 20+ years, so I was happy to read it now, as an adult. My review:

The Good: Despite how many years ago ELLEN TEBBITS was written and despite the dated language, Ellen and Austine are still very real and relatable characters. Their friendship was one I rooted for from the beginning.

The Old: The “big secret” that Ellen has in the first chapter of the book is that she’s wearing woolen underwear, which isn’t something you’d hear mentioned in a contemporary middle grade book in 2015 (none that I’ve read, anyway.) One of the other characters, Otis, repeatedly asks his mom for a dime. What can you buy with a dime? (I guess a number of things in 1951.) Also, they use the word “swell.” How cute.

The Funny: Ellen’s thoughts and musings were really entertaining. I particularly like her thought process after her best friend’s mom asks the girls, “How would you like to go on a picnic?” Ellen doesn’t answer, because she’s not sure if the word “you” refers to one person or multiple, so she might not actually be invited. Haven’t we all been there in awkward social situations?

Overall: I thought this book was really cute! I think even girls today would enjoy it if they like stories that revolve around friendship. I like Beverly Cleary as an author, more for nostalgic reasons than anything, and I look forward to rereading more of her books.

Have any of you read ELLEN TEBBITS or other Beverly Cleary books as a kid? Do you still have any of your childhood favorites, whether kept from childhood or purchased as an adult?
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Monday, July 6, 2015

Well, That's Different...

Different. I like that word.

Not everybody does. To some people, "different" means that something's wrong.

For example, maybe you're supposed to look like everyone else (say the magazines), own the latest and greatest gadgets (say the commercials), and follow a traditional, conventional life path in your adulthood (says society). Since I do none of these things in my example (haha), that means I'm different -- the negative kind of different.

But I see it as a positive. I love the freedom that comes with nonconformity. Don't like something? Don't do it. Like something else? Do that instead. Granted, not every situation gives us a choice, but when we are able to make choices, I stand by this statement: Do what you want to do, even if it's the unpopular choice. (Within reason, of course!)

My writing is different, too. And not in the special snowflake, better-than-everyone-else kind of way. It's just that I write from the heart, regardless of what the current trend is. Since each writer is unique, "writing from the heart" yields different results from writer to writer. So, in a sense, we're all "different." (Unless you're trying to completely emulate a specific author, but I advise against this. You can find your own style!) Does this make each of us wrong? I don't think so at all! In fact, it's just the opposite.

In what ways are you different? Do you think positively or negatively about being different?

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Monday, June 15, 2015

What I've Learned After a Year of Being Published

For months, I thought about what I'd write in this post. I can't even believe it's time to finally write it, since it's been a whole year since Wishing for Washington was released. But here it is.

What I've Learned After a Year of Being Published:




Okay, let me think for a minute. I know I've gained some wisdom from this journey so far. I developed thicker skin for critiques and reviews, improved my formatting skills, gained public speaking experience, and really got acquainted with the worlds of Kindle and CreateSpace. So, why won't I expand on all that? Why can't I bring myself to write a list, or at least several paragraphs, about the things I've learned?

Because that's not what I'm feeling right now. This is the truth:

What I've learned after a year of being published... is that I'm still learning.

I want to be that wise old sage that's like, "Don't worry, darlings. I know all there is to know about self-publishing. I'm an expert. Just follow me." While I do offer to share my knowledge and walk others through the self-pub process, I'm not an expert. Not even close.

I'm still learning how to market my books.

I'm still learning how to use my time efficiently, between editing one book and drafting another, promoting the ones I have released, and doing all the less exciting business stuff in between.

I'm still learning how to properly incorporate images in my books without messing up the entire project. (*Glares at a collection of failed versions of One Hundred Thirty Stars*)

But sure, I have learned a lot. And I do want to make a post later on, sharing the few pieces of advice that I do have. But I also promised myself that I'd be honest about my writing journey, and while I love it and feel extremely lucky to have this job, I'm not the best at it. Even a year in, I'm still a newbie.

I'm thrilled to continue learning, though, and I truly feel that it will only get better from here.

What have you learned from where you are in your journey?
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Friday, June 5, 2015

So. Many. Things.

Wow, it's been quite a month! Sorry for the silence, folks, but I've had so many things going on.

We finally completed The Big Move across the country. We'd moved out of our old home many months ago and lived with family for a while, and then we lived in a hotel for a couple of weeks, so we went a pretty long time with most of our stuff packed in boxes. We're still getting used to our new house, but it's wonderful so far.

Between unpacking, meeting all my new doctors (yay for chronic illnesses), making new friends, and still doing writerly activities like critiquing awesome manuscripts and trying to get my own MS into shape, I haven't had much time to blog in the past month. I've missed this place and look forward to catching up on everyone else's blogs!

(Speaking of "this place," I plan to give this blog a makeover this summer. If things start to look wacky, that's just me fiddling around with it.)

Also, in the middle of all this craziness, this month is also the one year anniversary of publishing my first book, Wishing for Washington! To celebrate, the e-book will be free on Amazon today through Sunday, so if you don't have a copy, go ahead and grab one. (If it doesn't show up as FREE during this time period, please let me know.)

What have I missed in the past month? I'll find out; I'll be coming around to visit blogs soon!
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Once Upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich

Ready for something exciting? Author Cherie Reich has a book out called Once upon a Nightmare, a paranormal horror/thriller collection. Check out this intensely awesome cover:

Curious what it's about? Read on:

A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.

Disappearances every ten or so years make little impact on the small town of New Haven, Virginia. Hikers get lost. Hunters lose the trail. Even when a body is discovered, the inhabitants’ memories last about as long as the newspaper articles.

No one connects the cases. No one notices the disappearances go back beyond Civil War times. No one believes a legendary monster roams the forests in Southwestern Virginia.

I don’t either until the truck breaks down on an old mountain trail. Cell phones won’t work in this neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much a person can see by starlight alone. So what if we can’t feel our fingers or toes as we hike toward the main road. How many more miles left to go?


Hear that noise?

Purchase Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich at Amazon.

Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction author and library assistant living in Virginia. Visit her website and blog for more information.

I can't wait to check this out! It sounds like the kind of book I will think about long after I've finished it. Congrats, Cherie!
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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Interview with Author Linh Nguyen-Ng!

I'm happy to introduce my friend Linh Nguyen-Ng, author of the adorable picture book, MOMMY'S LITTLE WORDLINGS! I bought a copy of her book, and her illustrations are SO cute, and the message is really sweet. Go ahead and check it out on Amazon!

MOMMY'S LITTLE WORDLINGS was published by Anaiah Press on April 7, 2015. Here's what it's all about:

Little words hold big meanings. The Little Wordlings are children who use their simple words to express their feelings for loved ones. No one is more adored than the first person who made them smile. No one is more cherished than the person who gave them life. There is no one like Mommy. Join the Little Wordlings as they show Mommy how much she is appreciated and loved.

So. Cute.

You can buy the book here, or add it to Goodreads here.

And that's not all! Today, Linh is answering some questions on my blog. Welcome, Linh!

Thank you Shelley for hosting me! ^_^

Linh, how do you come up with your ideas?

I have several sketch books where I store my ideas. In those books is a collage of things—simple words, a leaf I found while walking at the park, a tear sheet from a magazine or a color that resonated with me. The important thing is to keep an open mind, let ideas flow into it.
The idea for MOMMY’S LITTLE WORDLINGS came to me as I was creating some greeting cards that featured these children called “Little Wordlings”. In my mind I saw them acting out scenes, so I decided to write a story.

What do you find easy and challenging writing for children?

I’m not sure there is an “easy” part about writing for children. Children’s minds are full of wonder, so in that sense, there are so many things you can write about. However, because there are so many ideas, how do you know which one is the right one? There are certain trends you can follow, but I think if you write from your heart, it will always end up where it’s supposed to go.

In longer children’s novels, I find it hard to balance out character, plot and world building in the beginning stages. So when editing, I try to do it in chunks; character review, plot review, and world building. I’m not sure if that is the most effective way. But it is one way that is working for me. Hopefully, I’ll find a faster method one of these days.

Did you go to school for writing?

No. I studied fashion design in college. It was a creative outlet for me. I learned form, function and creative ways to transform a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional object. I’ve applied that knowledge into my writing-- perspective, discipline and hard work. Did I wish that I went to school for writing. I think I would have wanted to take more writing classes. I think we all have passions that take us down different paths that somehow magically lead us to where we’re supposed to be. At that time, I wanted to be a designer. That passion guided me to be an author today.

Do you write every day?

I try to write every day. Try is the magic word. Sometimes it’s only ten minutes, other times it’s longer. I discipline myself to at least write something every day so that I don’t lose the momentum. However, things often occur that alter my plans. When that happens, I say “plot twist!” and move on.

Thanks so much for visiting today, Linh! It's a pleasure to have you here.

More about the fabulous author:

I live with my family in Massachusetts where I get to enjoy the four seasons. I love unique and interesting things—things that make a lasting impression. I am constantly looking for inspiration that I can use in my writing. Everything has a story to tell.

Twitter: @linhnguyenng

And if you live in the U.S., feel free to enter the Rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Wait, Let Me Write That Down!

A question for my fellow creative types:

Have you ever been in conversation with someone, or listened to someone else's conversation, and heard the person say something that gives you an idea for whatever you're working on? Maybe it's a line that a character would say, or maybe it's a perfect description of something you could incorporate into the story. But whatever it is, it lines up perfectly with what's in your head.

And you don't want to be rude or creepy and write it down right away. Especially not in front of them.

So you make a mental note to make a physical note about it later.

And you forget it completely. (Okay, maybe that's just me. But if I'm not alone, please let me know!)

That's where I am right now. I was in a conversation with someone, and she described something so perfectly that I just had to write it down. Except I didn't, and I lost it. Now I'm desperately trying to jog my memory. Hmm... maybe something having to do with shoes? Or clothes? I can't remember.

Can anyone else relate? Anyone have any tips for forgetful people? What was something interesting you've heard lately?
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Monday, April 6, 2015

A Change In Seasons

Boy, it was an icy cold winter on the east coast this year. But as I write this (I write posts in advance, so I wrote this weeks ago), I'm hearing birds chirping outside, and the snow has finally melted. Soon, I'll be living out west, in 100+ degree summer heat. ("But it's a dry heat," they say. And it is. But still...)

The weather sometimes makes it hard for me to focus on whatever season it is in the book I'm writing. My current WIP takes place in the fall and early winter, so I'm not in that mindset at all. School starting? Halloween? Leaves falling? Yup, I definitely have to use my imagination.

I'm glad, though, that I'm not writing yet another book that takes place during the summer. Since I write for kids and don't always want to incorporate school scenes in my stories, I tend to choose summer and use the two-month vacation as an excuse. (Although I did recently write a winter story and a spring story, so I've branched out a bit this year.)

What seasons do you enjoy writing about the most? Do you center your stories around certain holidays? What kind of seasonal imagery (snow falling, birds chirping, the warmth of sunshine) do you enjoy the most?
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Interview: What It's Like To Be a Self-Published Author

Today, my friend and critique partner, Kristi Wientge, is interviewing me on her blog about my self-publishing experiences.

If you're interested, go ahead and check it out. But if you're not, I still encourage you to stop by anyway.


Because Kristi recently had some awesome news -- she signed with agent Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency! You guys will love Kristi's book! It's incredibly heartwarming and sweet and so true to life.

So, I highly recommend that you head on over and say hi to Kristi (even if you ignore my rambling, it's okay, haha.) Chances are, you'll be hearing a lot about her book in the future!
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Upon A Time: Excerpt & Guest Post by February Grace

I am ecstatic to feature February Grace on the blog today! February Grace is not only an extraordinarily talented writer with the most amazing ideas, but she's also one of the sweetest people I've ever "met." Today, she's here to talk a bit about her newest release, UPON A TIME, and to share an excerpt of the book.

The floor is yours, my friend!

“For every soul whose heart defies the limits of their body.”

It is with that dedication that UPON A TIME begins, and those words are more than just words to me.


Because I myself am one of those whose soul is travelling around in a physical shell that feels too weak to hold it.

I have struggled with health problems all my life, and the list is too long to get into here. Most of them can, collectively, be attributed to a genetic disorder that I was born with but not finally diagnosed with until I was 38. The rest are just an unlucky roll of the Universal dice, I suppose.

Whatever their cause, I know what it feels like to be judged by your appearance and by your disabilities, visible and invisible. Anyone who has ever experienced such discrimination and humiliation can tell you that it definitely feels anything but good.

I wrote UPON A TIME to challenge the long-standing fairy tale myth that beauty equals good. To show that the notion is just that, a myth, and those who have physical challenges can often be stronger at heart than those without such obstacles to overcome.

I also wanted to show through the story that help, and yes, even love can come from the most unlikely places and people, and that those who seem most unlikely to lead can step up, take the mantle of leadership, and wear it with grace and dignity.

Brilliant minds, loving hearts, and amazing souls all dwell within people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. If I could send one clear message through UPON A TIME that would be it. Don’t judge people by their exterior, get to know their heart. That is where true strength, and beauty, lies.

About the Book

A blacksmith’s apprentice who would be a knight. The heir to the throne, at death’s door. One woman who would save them both, if she could… Charlotte was number sixty-four in the second group of young, hopeful maidens intended to meet the Prince at a grand ball in his honor. That introduction was not to be. She returned home to her tiny village—and her visions of a future limited by it—without any warning of the drastic turn her life was about to take. Soon she would be fighting against the odds to help keep a gravely wounded stranger alive; and waging war with her own heart, as he stirred feelings in her she’d never known. When the stranger’s royal identity is revealed, Charlotte is faced with an entirely different battle: one to keep her family, village, and the injured Prince in her care all safe from a madman set on taking the throne by any means necessary.

Excerpt from the book:


The proclamation was nailed to the largest tree in every village square, announcing the Prince’s betrothal.

“Well, good for them, I hope they’ll be happy,” Charlotte said, reaching into the bag at her waist and pulling out an apple for her horse. Poor old Beau was still expected to keep up his daily duties, even though he’d barely recovered from the long trip to the palace and back for the ball a fortnight ago. Still recovering as well, it seemed, was Charlotte.

“So, he’s going to marry her, then?” A familiar voice spoke nearby, and Charlotte looked up to see her friend, the young apprentice to the village blacksmith. She had known Thomas since they were both too small to climb the tree they now stood before. It became a contest between them as the years went on, until work took the place of play full time. Now, neither could remember when last they’d raced to that tree and grasped bough after bough until they overlooked the whole of their little village.

“Looks that way. They never even made it this far out with the slipper to try it on anyone. Not that I’d have bothered. I knew it wasn’t mine.” Charlotte shook her head. “Imagine, leaving a party in such a rush you lose your shoe.” She reached out as Thomas repeatedly tossed an apple he had brought with him into the air. She snatched it away and held it out toward Beau.

Thomas patted Beau’s swaying back, noting that the horse looked wearier every time he saw him. He didn’t know what Charlotte was going to do when Beau’s days upon Earth came to an end.

The horse gobbled up the fruit and whinnied his approval, nuzzling his nose into Thomas’s hand. “You’re not really disappointed, are you? About… you know?” Thomas let the question hang in the air. He hadn’t liked this idea of the Prince selecting a bride based upon one initial meeting under such strictly controlled circumstances. How could a man ever expect to find a woman to be his partner, his equal, in such a way? Someone with the strength to stand beside him and rule the people justly? For the life of him, Thomas couldn’t fathom the idea, and he was glad that, for Charlotte, any dreams of becoming royalty had ended the night they began.

“About the Prince?” Charlotte shrugged. “I didn’t even get a very good look at him, they had him sequestered in another room most of the night, and then he just danced the golden-haired maid past us all and was gone. I know nothing of him; nothing of his character or spirit. So I can’t say I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to marry a stranger...” her voice trailed off.

“But?” Thomas looked away, examining his rough-hewn hand as if he’d never seen it before.

“The idea of a different life, for just a moment...”

About the Author

February Grace is a writer, poet, and artist from Southeastern Michigan. She has created characters with clockwork hearts, told the romantic tale of modern fairy godparents, and has now put her own spin on a classic tale in UPON A TIME, her fourth novel published by Booktrope. She sings on key, plays by ear, and is more than mildly obsessed with colors, music, and meteor showers.

Find out more about February Grace by visiting
Or find her on Twitter and say hello! @FebruaryGrace

Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (eBook)

Thank you to February Grace for sharing with us today! I can definitely relate to the message behind your writing, and I can't wait to read this book!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nerds Rule! Guest Post by Stephanie Faris

Today, I'm swapping blogs with the super cool & fabulous Stephanie Faris! Stephanie is the author of 30 DAYS OF NO GOSSIP and 25 ROSES and the creator of a very fun blog!

We're both blogging about nerd-related topics today. I'm over at her place, talking about nerd conventions. Meanwhile, she's here today to talk about how much nerds rule!

The floor is yours, Stephanie!
* * *
Thank you for having me today, Shelley!

Since the first time I saw the Internet, I’ve questioned the use of the term “nerd.” After all, the guys behind the technology we use every day are the same ones who were playing video games on their Commodore 64s in the 80s. We made fun of those guys then. Today…

We still make fun of them? Really?

Shows like The Big Bang Theory have tried to make a mockery out of super-smart people who lack any social sensibilities whatsoever. Sheldon and his team of physicist buddies dress up in superhero costumes, hang out at comic book stores, and spend way too much time on online role-playing games. In other words, typical “nerd” behavior.

But when you break it down, nerds are merely people who are passionate about their hobbies. The only difference is, a passionate interest in video games gets someone labeled a nerd, but a passionate interest in sports doesn’t. What’s the difference?

Both nerds and sports fans set their lives aside for events related to their hobbies.

Both nerds and sports fans dress in costume for events.

Both nerds and sports fans spend an excessive amount of time talking about their hobbies.

Of course, without the social skills necessary to make it into the top social cliques in school, nerds will likely always be seen as outcasts…until they graduate. At that point, they go on to excel in college, land top jobs, make six figures, and serve as presidents and CEOs of the companies that power the products you use every day.

Perhaps books like Shelley’s are the key to changing all that. Once kids start to realize nerds are a lot cooler than they seem on the surface, they might try to get to know them. They might realize nerds are much more interesting than they ever realized. Even if those nerds are their own dads.

Yes! As a nerd, I definitely hope that people will start to see that nerds aren't so different from non-nerds after all. Thanks, Stephanie!

Here's more about Stephanie's latest book (which I will be reading very soon -- can't wait! I loved her first book!):

Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.

Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.

Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight.

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.

Find Stephanie and her books here:

Buy (Autographed)
Buy (Amazon)

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Winner Could Be You!

To celebrate my latest book release, I'm offering several chances for readers to win free books (and more)!

The Release Day Party giveaway via Rafflecopter has just ended, and the winner is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Tiana! (She was chosen at random, but I'm happy because she's super awesome!)

But just because that one giveaway is over doesn't mean there are no more chances to win. I'm currently running a Goodreads giveaway for the print version of One Hundred Thirty Stars:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

One Hundred Thirty Stars by Shelley Sly

One Hundred Thirty Stars

by Shelley Sly

Giveaway ends April 03, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And also, if you're still interested in winning an e-book, you'll have another chance next week. My critique partner, Kristi Wientge, will be hosting a giveaway on her blog on the 31st! She'll also be interviewing me about the publishing process, so if you're interested, be sure to check it out!

Thanks for all the kind words about One Hundred Thirty Stars the past few weeks! Now I'd like to shift gears and focus more on books by my lovely writer friends, so check back here for some fun guest posts in the coming days!
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Visiting Friends This Week -- Come Join Us!

A bunch of my wonderful writer friends are featuring me and/or my book on their blogs this week!

Today I'm over at Jemi Fraser's blog, talking about the difference between the two genres I've focused on: middle grade and romance.

Jemi is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people you'll find in the blogging community (and, possibly, in the entire world. She's that nice!) If you haven't been to her blog yet, I highly recommend it!

On Wednesday, I'm excited to be on Tyrean Martinson's blog, where I'm answering questions about my writing life!

Tyrean is SO incredibly nice, and she's the author of many books and short stories. If you haven't already, please check out my post about her book, A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts!

And on Friday, Medeia Sharif's blog will feature my new release, ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS!

By now, you must have heard of how awesome Medeia is -- she's written lots of books with unique and catchy premises. I can't wait to catch up on the ones I haven't read yet!

Also, just a reminder -- the random drawing for a free e-book and 20 page critique ends in less than a week! Check it out below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you guys have a terrific Monday!
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Friday, March 13, 2015

We're All Fans

Today, I'm doing a guest post over at Heather Holden's blog! You may know Heather Holden from her totally fun and adorable comic series, Echo Effect. You may also remember her from the Otto's Quest drawing she did for my upcoming book.

I'm talking about being a fan of something, so hop on over and tell me what you're a fan of!

If you missed my Release Day Party a couple of days ago, don't worry -- it's still going on! You've still got a chance to win some prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Thank you so much for attending the virtual release day party for ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS! (Even if you didn't know this was going on today, you're still invited! Come on in and cut yourself a giant slice of cake!)

Happy birthday to this brand new contemporary middle grade book! Here's where you can find it:

Paperback: Amazon
E-Book: Kindle

(Nook version is still being processed and will be available soon.)

And you can add it on Goodreads here.

After we've all sang to it and made it feel awkward, it's time for presents! Don't worry, you weren't rude by not bringing anything. At this party, YOU are the one who receives the gifts (or who has the chance to, anyway.)

Enter below to win a free e-book (Kindle or Nook -- also works with iPad and android devices as long as you have either Kindle or Nook apps installed), plus a critique of the first 20 pages (double spaced) of your MS! You can still enter for the free e-book if you don't want a critique; just please specify in the comments.

If you're looking for another set of eyes to go over your MS, don't let this opportunity pass you by. I've critiqued 29 manuscripts for other writers in the past few years, and I love providing constructive and encouraging feedback. While I mostly have experience with MG, YA, and NA stories, I'm also open to adult manuscripts, provided that there's no nightmare-inducing graphic violence. Also, 20 pages is approximate -- I'll read until whatever the closest chapter break is.

Excited? Well, I am! Go ahead and enter the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before the party's over, I just want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone involved in the creation and publishing of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS. Thank you to my family, friends, critique partners, writer buddies, cover artist, and everyone who is spreading the word through social media! (A more personal thank you can be found in the book's acknowledgements.) You guys are the best!

Thanks for stopping by and celebrating ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS' birthday!

P.S. I won't be at my computer for most of today, as I've got a ton of stuff going on (unrelated to my book's release), so I might be late responding to your comments and visiting your blogs. But I'll definitely be there as soon as I can!
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Monday, March 9, 2015


Today, I'm happy to feature Medeia Sharif's middle grade novel, THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS! Check it out if you have the chance. I absolutely loved mysteries as a kid, and reading this brought me right back to being a 10-year-old wannabe detective. It's awesome!

In THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS, the main character, Lily, has a learning disability. Her
mother has been kidnapped and she plays the sleuth, meanwhile many doubt her. She even doubts herself.

This is a quote from the book regarding her disability: “[Although] she was average in intelligence, she significantly lagged behind others in reading and math skills with her poor memory and short attention span.”

Here are her weaknesses in the beginning of the book:
*Reading frustrates her.
*She believes in “dummy” comments people hurl her way.
*She feels bad when comparing herself to others and their abilities.

Here are some ways in which she grows:
*She sticks to books, even when the text is hard, because the material helps her piece clues together.
*She starts to make connections between things.
*She’s empowered when she gets closer to finding her mother and the person who kidnapped her.

It was a pleasure creating this character. I have met young people like Lily, and they should never believe that a label or other people’s opinions define who they are. They are capable of doing so much.  


by Medeia Sharif

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning
disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using
supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger
to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires
to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems -
such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily
worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However,
there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's
normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world.
There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues
about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world
and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

Find Medeia – Multi-published
YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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Friday, March 6, 2015

I'll Share!

Because I like you guys so much, I'll be sharing a few things in the coming week.

Right now, the first three chapters of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS are on Wattpad for everyone to check out!

And on Wednesday the 11th, the release day for STARS, there will be a giveaway for a free e-book and a 20 page critique!

I'm also planning a Goodreads giveaway of the paperback version of STARS for the near future. Stay tuned for chances to win free stuff, and if you're looking for something to read, feel free to hop on over to Wattpad.

Besides free books, what other prizes do you like to see in giveaways? I'm looking to do more of them this year, so any tips are welcome!
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Today's the day! I'm sharing the cover for my upcoming (3/11) release, ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS. Fellow MG writers Kristi Wientge and Stephanie Faris are featuring my cover as well! Be sure to drop by and say hi to them, if you can.

If you missed it a few weeks ago, here's the back cover summary:

Eleven-year-old Kelly “Birdie” Knotts has the perfect summer vacation planned: she’s finally going to visit her dad, Arthur. Birdie hardly knows him, but she has high hopes that he’ll be the one family member who understands her.

Too bad her vacation is nothing like she imagined it would be.

Arthur’s plans for their father-daughter visit revolve around a video game convention, where he dresses head-to-toe in costume and makes a boisterous scene every chance he gets. When he isn’t shouting gleefully in the hallways, he’s belting out off-pitch tunes in the karaoke room. Birdie’s new plan? Hide under a rock for life.

It’s impossible for Birdie to get to know Arthur when he insists that he’s a video game character. And if he doesn’t step up and start acting like a dad, it might be game over.

And here's the cover, with a special shout out to Steven Novak of Novak Illustration! I highly recommend him -- just look how great his work is:

What do you guys think? (You can click on the cover for a larger image.)

There's a star-gazing scene in the book that this cover represents, plus plenty of references to stars in video games.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm so thrilled to share this cover with you guys!
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Monday, February 23, 2015

A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts by Tyrean Martinson

It's my absolute pleasure to feature this book today: A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts by Tyrean Martinson.

Personally, I enjoy reading through prompts for inspiration. The more open-ended they are, the better. These prompts were the best, because they were specific enough to get an image in your head, but brief enough that I didn't feel restricted to a particular type of writing.

There were prompts that fit all kinds of genres. Realistic stories, magical stories, stories for adults, stories for children... there truly is something in this book for everyone.

Today, I'm interviewing author Tyrean Martinson about this book and others. Here's what she has to say:

What made you decide to write A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts?

I started writing and collecting writing prompts at the request from parents at my home-school co-operative where I teach classes. Four years ago, it began as a list of a 100 prompts for summer writing, and then it grew each year in a messy jumble of prompts. Over the years, I discovered I like prompts out of order, not in line with a season or theme, because they prompt me to think outside the box.

(Side note from Shelley: I like prompts out of order too, which is why your book and I really get along!)

Do you have a favorite prompt (or prompts) from the book?

It’s hard for me to pick because I like all of them, but here are a few that stand out to me, today:

- in the wide, waiting land
- dear, angry henchmen
- a damsel not in distress
- an uncomfortable relative
- it is not impossible that I will make the catch

(I made a list of the ones I plan to write about, and "an uncomfortable relative" is one of my favorites on the list!)

Can you tell us about your other books?

The Champion Trilogy, a Christian YA fantasy series, came out of a conversation I had with my daughters and a dream image of a young woman cowering on a muddy battlefield while holding a sword struck by lightning. As a short story, it kept getting rejected with the words “it sounds like a chapter from a novel,” so I took it to novel length. After three years and seven content drafts, I realized that Clara, my MC, needed a trilogy to share her journey. The dream image starts the first novel, Champion in the Darkness, and acts as a prophecy that she must try to avoid to save someone she loves.

Ashes Burn is an experimental micro-fiction series that is coming out in seasons. Wend is on the run, Teresa is hunting down the man she loves, and King Bryant is trying to take over the kingdom and cover up what really happened to his parents and brother.

My other book-length published projects include a poetry collection called Light Reflections, and a speculative short fiction and poetry collection called Dragonfold and Other Adventures. In addition to those, I have some individual short stories available in e-story format, including “Seedling,” which is a perma-free MG urban fantasy story.

(Can't wait to check these out!)

Do you have any upcoming books in the works?


Ashes Burn will continue coming out over the next two years.

Three writing curriculum books, Dynamic Writing 1-3, which were previously published privately just for my writing classes, will be released publicly over the spring and summer.

Plus, the final book in The Champion Trilogy, Champion’s Destiny, will come out in September. Clara will discover a secret about the Champions of Aramatir that has been hidden for hundreds of years, but revealing the secret comes with a price.

(Wow, you write a whole lot! I'm impressed!)

Thanks for having me here today, Shelley!

My pleasure! Guys, if you're looking for inspiration, I encourage you to check out A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts!

Tyrean Martinson, an everyday writer, likes to write in jeans and old Christian concert t-shirts while drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee, preferably served up in her Tinkerbell or Eeyore mugs. She teaches writing classes to home-school teens once a week, and she writes fantasy, science fiction, space opera, poetry, experimental hint fiction, and writing help and curriculum books. You can find her online at Everyday Writer, Tyrean Martinson.

Her latest releases reflect her love of everyday writing: A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts eBook with the companion paperback, A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts, and the additional Jumble Journals. The eBook version is only 99 cents at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review of BAD HAIR DAY by Adrienne Vincent Sutton

You guys must know by now that middle grade is my favorite genre. I can't emphasize enough how much I love a good middle grade voice, and I'm always so excited to find a character with a voice so strong that it sticks out in my mind.

BAD HAIR DAY by Adrienne Vincent Sutton has one of those memorable voices.

A summary (from

Gabby McGee is a 12-year-old girl trying to shed her “bad hair,” her parent’s strict rules, and her insecurities—all at the same time. If only she could change her hair from nappy, kinky, and unruly, to straight, long, and flowing, she could finally fit in. But she soon learns that going behind her mother’s back to get a chemical hair relaxer isn’t the way to do it. After a failed trip to the hair salon leaves her in debt, she devises a hair-brained scheme to pay it off, which involves her crush, a French kiss, and a bake-off. Is it just crazy enough to work? Is changing her hair really what she wants? Or, could the money troubles of a classmate at her snooty private school cause her to change her attitude instead?

Gabby was such a fun character to follow around. Anyone who has ever felt insecure about anything regarding their looks will relate to her troubles. I recommend this book for kids and adults who love middle grade! You can find BAD HAIR DAY on Amazon as an e-book and paperback.

Have you read any good middle grade books recently?

P.S. Not to try to jump back in the spotlight when it's on somebody else today, but if all goes well, I'm planning to release ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS on March 11! I'll keep you guys updated on its release!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Introducing... One Hundred Thirty Stars

I previously mentioned that I have a new book coming out. It's called ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS, and it's another contemporary middle grade book.

Everything's really coming together for "Stars," and I'm planning to release it in mid-March. (Exact date will be determined soon!)

If you're curious, here's what the book is all about:

Eleven-year-old Kelly “Birdie” Knotts has the perfect summer vacation planned: she’s finally going to visit her dad, Arthur. Birdie hardly knows him, but she has high hopes that he’ll be the one family member who understands her.

Too bad her vacation is nothing like she imagined it would be.

Arthur’s plans for their father-daughter visit revolve around a video game convention, where he dresses head-to-toe in costume and makes a boisterous scene every chance he gets. When he isn’t shouting gleefully in the hallways, he’s belting out off-pitch tunes in the karaoke room. Birdie’s new plan? Hide under a rock for life.

It’s impossible for Birdie to get to know Arthur when he insists that he’s a video game character. And if he doesn’t step up and start acting like a dad, it might be game over.

ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS is already on Goodreads, so click here if you'd like to add it to your To-Read list!

I had a lot of fun with this story, especially all things video game-related. The game that Arthur is obsessed with is a fictional video game called Otto's Quest. And thanks to the fabulous and talented Heather R. Holden, you guys can get an idea of what the characters of Otto's Quest look like:

If you read "Stars," you'll hear a lot about the video game characters shown above! Please check out Heather's site at if you're interested in a commission of your own -- she's really fantastic!

Lastly, if you feel like getting involved in the release of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS, please feel free to fill out the form below. (If the form doesn't work for you and you still would like to get involved, please email me at shelleysly2 at gmail dot com.)

Stay tuned for more info, including the cover reveal (March 3rd) and the official release date!
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Dear Journal...

I'm a writer, so it would make sense if I kept a journal, right?

Except I don't.

I've tried and tried over many years. When I was a kid, I had a little purple and blue diary with a lock on it. I only wrote in it for a few weeks. As a teenager, I tried all different kinds of notebooks. Ones with cute animals on the cover, ones with inspirational quotes on them, big books with wide lines, small books with narrow lines... and each time, I just couldn't stick to it.

I'm even surprised I've blogged this long. Today it's been five years exactly since I started this blog as "Stories in the Ordinary," a blog that I hoped would help me to connect with other writers. And I've met so, so many lovely people here. (Most of my old posts have been removed, but I can explain that another time.) But before this one, I had at least five or six blogs that I attempted to start and eventually lost interest in.

Do you journal? If you do, do you have any advice for maintaining a journal?

I'm hoping to find just the right notebook, or maybe just the right time in my life to start journaling for real. In the meantime, I've been trying to blog more frequently again (or at least not take as many long, long breaks) so at least that's something, right?
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Get Real: Thoughts on Realistic Fiction

I'm a big fan of realistic fiction, which is why majority of my manuscripts fall into that category. Don't get me wrong: I love fantasy and sci fi and magical stories, too. I even wrote a couple of manuscripts containing magical elements before I realized that it just wasn't my strength. But contemporary, realistic middle grade is my passion.

I think realistic fiction in general has the risk of appearing boring. Magical stories might deal with grand conflicts such as defeating an evil wizard or saving an entire planet from destruction. By comparison, a realistic manuscript's plot revolving around failed friendships, complicated relationships, or trouble at school/work (as examples) might seem a little too... ordinary. (Though, of course, there are genres such as suspense and mystery that are both realistic and intense. I just tend to write quieter stories.)

But here are some things I love about writing and reading realistic fiction:

- That I've-so-been-there feeling, when a character does something that you can totally relate to. As a writer, I like to pull things from personal experience and incorporate them into a story.

- That I-feel-like-I-know-you-from-somewhere feeling, when characters and settings feel so real to you. I remember feeling like this as a kid when reading the Babysitter's Club books. Kristy and Claudia and everyone may as well have been girls I went to school with.

- That I-can't-stop-laughing feeling. I love a humorous book that causes me to reread the funny parts a second and third time. I'm looking at you, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Of course, the above list is applicable to fantasy and magical books, too. But since I read way more realistic fiction, I experience the above much more frequently with that genre.

What are your thoughts on realistic fiction? Do you tend to read/write it, or do you favor sci-fi/fantasy/magical stories?
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Things in a New Year

It's already 20 days into 2015, but Happy New Year, everybody!

Hope everyone's year is off to a good start. There are plenty of new things happening and about to happen around here, such as:

1) NEW house -- As I've probably mentioned before, we're in the middle of the (long, complicated, exciting, terrifying) process of moving across the country. I'll spare the details on this blog, but if you want to know more about our journey, just ask.

2) NEW email address -- Well, it's not 100% new, since I'd used it as a business email for a while now, but as of this month, I'll be using it as my personal email address, too: shelleysly2 (at) gmail (dot) com. Email me anytime!

3) NEW book -- I'll make an official post about this soon, but I plan to release my next book in a few months! It's a contemporary middle grade novel called ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS.

4) NEW WFW news -- Check back sometime this spring for something new related to my first book, WISHING FOR WASHINGTON!

What new things do you have going on in 2015? Feel free to share info on book releases or other happy news!
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