The Good Things (September, Part III)


It’s not been a great week, because of this. I am worried and feeling helpless, because mostly I am, and I’m having trouble concentrating. But as Dumbledore says, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only we remember to turn on the light…

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The Best YA (For People Who “Don’t Like YA”)

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I’ve decided Fridays are good days for book posts. So that is where they shall be from now unto eternity (or at least, until I change my mind again.)

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MK’s Book Reviews: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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I finished the latest Patrick Ness novel earlier this week (you may recall how obsessed I was with his Chaos Walking trilogy) and…

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On The Power Of Saying No


Lesson of the week: say no.

You may think you’re doing the right thing by saying yes when people ask you to meet their new baby/catch up over happy hour/attend a writing critique session, but when you go three nights in a row not getting home until after ten and subsequently not getting enough sleep, it leads to grumpiness and tiredness and you not at your best self, which doesn’t do anybody any favors.

You can sleep when you’re dead, right? But yeah, you also kind of need to sleep while you’re still alive in order to make your waking hours bearable.

I have trouble saying no (à la Monica from Friends: “I just have this uncontrollable need to please people!”) But sleep and downtime are good for me, and things that are good for me are good for the people around me, which is a lesson I am slooooowly learning. But slowly learning something is better than not learning it all, so there’s that.

I’m not going to be sharing links on Fridays anymore, except the occasional really amazing one. I think instead I’ll use the best day of the work week to do what I do best, which is write and share thoughts and hopefully spark something inside of you that encourages you to write and share thoughts as well.

I will still be sharing these, however:

Reading: I finally finished (and reviewed) this, and just started The Rest of Us Just Live Here. As are all things Patrick Ness, it’s brilliant and funny and incisive and my only complaint so far is that there aren’t enough pages left. Although the premise (a story told from the POV of the inconsequential background people in a Chosen One story–think Harry Potter as told by an unnamed extra, but focusing on their own problems instead of the larger plot) is an idea I had years ago and didn’t have time to execute yet, so thanks for stealing my idea, Patrick!

Writing: Last weekend I followed a burst of inspiration and reopened my first-ever manuscript, aka the YA mystery, aka the Chateau story. You know how you’ll always remember your first love? This novel is kind of like that for me. It has so many problems, which I still have trouble fixing because I spent so much time on it I still don’t have enough objectivity, but I don’t think I’ll be able to rest until I finally fix them and make this a publishable novel. Time shall tell. Do you have a manuscript like this, that you just can’t let go? What are you doing about it?

Listening to: Alabama Shakes. Totally different from what I usually listen to, and totally amazing.

Watching: Bleh I need something new. Recommendations welcome.

Cooking: Pure deliciousness.

Amazing image found here


The Best Series of All Time (according to me)


Since getting embroiled in yet another series I love, I’ve been thinking about my favorite series (plural) of all time…

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Friday Things


Happy Friday!

We’re heading to the beach this weekend and I cannot wait. Here are three things that interested me this week.

1. If you’re in the throes of querying, you may have encountered the issue of boiling your wonderful novel down into a synopsis. I attempted to do this once, then gave up entirely. Chances are I’ll have to do it at some point though, and to help, I’ll be using this amazing post on synopsis-writing, which I found through my favorite writing blog.

2. Warning: massive wanderlust alert: a self-driven tour through Tanzania.

3. My boyfriend and I are still struggling over where to live. We like our tiny, light-filled Brooklyn apartment, but it’s tiny with no outdoor space. We would love a house in the suburbs, but would not love the commute. This article gave me some things to think about.

Reading: I’m still reading the same thing I was reading last week because it’s 1000+ pages and I unfortunately don’t have unlimited amounts of free time. As expected, it’s terrifying and really good, but it’s actually so terrifying I can’t read it in bed at night. So at the same time, I’m also reading this. Patrick Ness’s other books were the best I’ve read this year so I have high expectations for this.

Watching: I watched this movie while cooking this week, and I really loved it. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially YA lit fans. I think writers can learn a lot from well-written movies.

Listening to: I’m on a Bruce kick. It’s summer, and I’m a Jersey girl at heart. (My favorite song of all time.)

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MK’s Book Reviews: Chaos Walking

chaos-walking-wide-560x282I’ve been reading up a storm lately, barely pausing to update my Goodreads, much less write a review. But I recently read a trilogy of books that merits one.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness merits a lot more than that.

 “Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

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Friday Things


After a good week last week, I’m back to feeling restless. It’s my job, it’s the city, it’s the winter that still hasn’t completely gone away, it’s my miniature apartment. I’m dreaming of wide open fields and blue skies and houses with actual kitchens. I go around in circles: leave the city–but it’s not necessarily cheaper, and I don’t want to commute–leave the east coast–but go where?–find a job somewhere–but there’s nothing I want to do but write books, and I could do that anywhere–I’m actually lucky, I work in a job that gives me the time to write on the side–so I should stay here…

You get the idea.

In every week, I have my ups as well as my downs. Here are some good things that made my week:

1. I discovered a new amazing bar in the no man’s land of midtown Manhattan: The Jeffrey. Sit on the espresso bar side, at the bar–there’s a bartender there who’s an absolute cocktail genius. I can’t tell you what I had, but it involved a flaming orange peel, and I highly recommend it. Also, they put truffle oil on practically everything.

2. I fortunately have not had to worry about dating in 4 years now, but for those of you who still do, this article is genius.

3. Oh, and I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY SECOND NOVEL. Now I’m going to do what I didn’t do with my first novel which is put it away and try and forget about it for several months. And when I take it back out to edit it, I’ll be printing it out onto physical paper.

Reading: The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me tweeting about them constantly because THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING. How had I never heard of them before? It’s a weird premise: There’s a town of only men, where everyone can hear one another’s thoughts, including the animals. There’s a boy name Todd, a dog named Manchee … and a beautiful, heartrending story. Just go read them. Now.

Watching: I’m a little late to the party, but I finally watched Frozen and now I can’t stop singing it.

Listening to: The Mumford and Sons Pandora station is absolutely lovely. I like Pandora better than Spotify because I actually like all the suggested music that comes with each station–it’s the only way I discover new music I like now.

Have a great weekend!

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