What I’m Thankful For

Ahead of Thanksgiving Day this week, I thought it would be high time to tell you about some of the things I’m grateful for.

Author life isn’t usually as glamorous as you might think. And with all the varied levels of uncertainty in the world right now, it’s so hard to stay focused and peaceful in the midst of the storm. So ahead of my favorite holiday of the year (Thanksgiving Day, DUH), I thought it would be high time to tell you about some of the things I’m grateful for. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list – I’ve just picked a handful of things to share. The real list would probably be way too big to share on a single blog post. And the biggest thing, is obviously Jesus – whenever I’m scared, I know He’s got my back and sees the whole picture, especially when I can only see what’s directly in front of me.

#1: Creativity

The ability to build worlds on paper is sheer magic. I honestly love how I can bring a story to life effortlessly. It feels like a superpower some days! Then again, it’s probably because I’m epically bad at anything math or science related. I guess Jesus knew that my brain would have to be good at something, so He made me extra artistic and creative. I am definitely not complaining! So whatever you’re good at, and whatever you love doing – just keep doing those things when times get hard. You’ll be surprised at how mediative and relaxing hobbies can be.

I’m also a big fan of music, and I’ve been studying guitar in various capacities for over 12 years now. My hope is to be able to teach guitar someday, but for now, I’m just really enjoying honing my skills.

#2: Home + Family

Yes, my parents drive me nuts sometimes (read, all the time) and I’d say Only Child Syndrome is largely to blame. But they love me so much, and they’re always there for me. Especially after losing my grandfather recently, they’ve really been an amazing support system for me even while they were obviously saddened by the loss also. If you’re grieving a difficult loss, you can read about my grappling with this in this post HERE: https://angelinasingerauthor.wordpress.com/2020/10/01/where-creativity-meets-grief-managing-emotions-in-the-wake-of-loss/

So I guess what I’m saying is, hug your loved ones tight, this season and always – you never know how much time you have left with them.

#3: My Friends

When OCS (Only Child Syndrome) sets in with a vengeance and I really need to talk to someone not blood-related to me, friends are an amazing alternative. When I was a kid, I didn’t have many friends I could depend on. That was probably compounded by the fact that I was always a bit more mature than other kids my age. Plus, it didn’t help that I exclusively attended private schools miles away from my hometown. Add in a good dose of bullying, and ya girl had it pretty rough. That’s why I’m so beyond grateful for the friends I found in high school and college. They fill in the gaps of friendships I was lacking in the past in the most honest, wholesome way. I even got to meet a long-distance friend IRL for the first time this year, and you can read about that surreal experience HERE: https://angelinasingerauthor.wordpress.com/2020/08/25/when-writers-meet-closing-the-distance-from-800-miles-apart/

But this isn’t meant to be a sympathy post – no. What I’m trying to show you is that no matter how bad things get, time and life experience fix most things. I used the struggles I had to write my latest book – Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember – all about overcoming bullying and the long-term damaging effects it can have. All fictionalized, of course – the story is about Vera Bartlet who travels through time and meets her younger self. Navigating some romance and estranged relatives in the mix too, this is a story you don’t want to miss! Grab a copy before the sequel, Forgiving What I Couldn’t Change is released mid-2021: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084QK6DFW?pf_rd_r=5TKMY5SCHQFM95MN0S40&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

So no matter what your holiday looks like this week, I truly hope that you find time to thank God for all that He’s given you, big or small. Even the tough things always happen for a reason, and that understanding is getting me through so many of my struggles. Things will get better soon! And until it does, counting your blessings is a great place to start ❤

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

P.S. – Although in person events are obviously cancelled right now, I’m participating in the digital Rhode Island Author Expo on December 5th. Click this link to see the events I’m in, and register for free if you’d like to virtually meet me!

https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/authorexpo2020/en/rhode-island-author-virtual-expo-2020/person/96/Angelina%20Singer?fbclid=IwAR1jN_iVQarAHEsysSm_wWcMuSWcHAYdtHVOWZj1qA-wWm30zTNdtTdn0uc

#authorexpo #whatimthankfulfor #thanksgiving #foodie #localauthors #fiction #struggles #thankyouJesus #thistooshallpass #youngadultbooks #newadultbooks #writers #novelists #localauthor #timetravel #comingofage #thrillers #editing #writing #holidayseason #hugyourlovedones #reconnectwithfamily #friendships #antibullying

Rolling with the Punches – How to Cope When Plans Get Derailed

I’m not giving up, but I’ve come to the realization that I might have to accept that there will be detours in my professional planning.

My biggest dreams are to be a bestselling author and a world-renowned music journalist. Of course, I’m well aware that the first thing is probably about as likely as becoming a pop star and the second thing takes years to accomplish.

Since those ideas obviously fell through (shocker, I know right?), I’ve been looking for remote work through all the typical job finding sites, preferably for something like copywriting or marketing. And due to probably a bunch of different variables, that just hasn’t happened for me yet either.

And I’m not giving up, but I’ve come to the realization that I might have to accept that there will be detours in my professional planning. No matter what happens in the future, I gotta be okay with where I am now (very zen-like of me, isn’t it?).

So here’s where I’m at, and what I’ve been doing lately to make the waiting productive and not a waste of time:

#1: I’ve embraced freelancing as a legitimate option.

At least for now, working for myself has been really really great, and I’ll be able to pad my resume for later. Hopefully the world stops imploding soon enough, and at that point, I’ll land a full-time gig. Or hey, if the freelancing thing goes well enough, maybe I won’t even have to at all! As my uncle put it once, I could work for someone irritating and make less money, or work for myself and make more money. The choice is pretty obvious!

As far as what kind of freelancing I’ve been doing, it varies. Sometimes it’s an article for Motif Magazine, Inkitt Writer’s Blog, or an edited manuscript for a client. No matter what it is, I’m totally busy enough with whatever I find and it’s actually really fun! I’ll attach some links to my work below if you’re curious about it.

Motif Magazine: https://motifri.com/author/angelinasinger/

Inkitt Writer’s Blog: https://degfhkjgfjhf.inkitt.com/author/angelinasinger/

I’ve also still been working on my latest book, Forgiving What I Couldn’t Change (Book 2 of The Rewind Duology), but I’m not expecting that to be a full-time venture anytime soon necessarily. So I’m diverting my attention to these gigs full time (for now).

#2: Trust God.

‘nough said, right? My faith in Jesus plays a massive role here, because it helps me remember that even when I’m convinced my life is spinning out of control (or worse yet, not going anywhere at all), He’s got it covered. It’s a pretty good feeling, once you retrain yourself to think through struggles that way. So just hang in there best you can until things start to change 🙂

#3: Be nice to yourself.

Lilly’s not worried – you shouldn’t be either!

Don’t blame yourself for not having a job yet (especially these days). There are so many totally valid variables that are making the job search harder than it’s ever been. Maybe the company you want to work for isn’t hiring right now. Or the one that is being extra picky in their hiring process because as it is, they have a shoestring budget. But the overwhelming consensus us that it’s not you. Everything is just tough right now, and that’s okay.

In the meantime, fill your time with productive action steps that could lead to getting out of your rut sooner versus later. As for me, I took a leap of faith and joined the Editorial Freelancers Association – a paid database that connects freelancers with people who need their services. It was a bit more expensive to join than I typically would have been okay paying for, but I think it was a smart investment. Point is, do things that are productive, even if it feels like a tangent.

In my limited experience, sometimes side quests end up leading you right back to the main path anyway 😉

#freelancing #writers #writerlife #selfcare #blogging #articles #music #authors #reading #fiction #breathe #staycalm #thistooshallpass #pray #trustGod #faithinJesus #focus #grace #kindness #businesses #investments #mindset #taketherisk #leapoffaith #gethired #opentowork #workforyourself #copywriting #editing #clients #rollingwiththepunches

Technology Dependence and Writing – How to Survive Without Devices

If you’re in the same boat as me and need to invest in some new hardware or a quick fix, read on for my tips on what to do while you’re waiting to get your device back.

I had to get my laptop battery replaced the other day, because it was dying on me way too fast and that obviously isn’t cool (especially when you’re a writer with heavy dependence on your tech). Anxiety around keeping your work safe is real, and I for sure was not enjoying gambling with my battery percentage before my computer would die on me.

So naturally, I made an appointment at Apple and got that fixed up. The tech people there are always super nice and professional, but I was still SUPER nervous. If you’re in the same boat as me and need to invest in some new hardware or a quick fix, read on for my tips on what to do while you’re waiting to get your device back.

#1: Ask any questions you may have.

Seriously. Like while I was there getting my battery replaced, I asked about some issues I was having with storage maintenance on my MacBook Air. The technician was able to help me sort through that, and thankfully warned me that even though I now had space to download the latest operating system, I should probably wait because it would change the formatting of my super-old Microsoft Word software (as an author, that’s a BIG deal, so I opted to wait until I finish my current book duology so that everything stays consistent). The point here is, asking those other questions helped because I had a plan of action, and a good reason to wait before stupidly downloading a thing that would create a massive headache for my formatting consistency.

#2: Plan to be without your device for at least a day or two.

If you’re a freelance blogger, journalist, and copyeditor like I am, you’ll know how important it is to follow through with your deadlines. Early is always cool, but late is not. So since I knew I’d have an album review due this past weekend, and a blog on Inkitt due on Wednesday, I went ahead and wrote those ahead of time. That took a lot of the pressure off, because I knew that when I handed off my computer, I’d be all set for essentially the rest of the week.

You can find my latest album review for local Rhode Island Motif Magazine HERE: https://motifri.com/jelly-side-down/

The only thing I wouldn’t be able to do was work on my story draft, but I figured a little break from that would be good for me anyway (and if I got really desperate, I could always write a scene on my iPad, iPhone, or even an old-fashioned notepad to add in later). And if blogging here called my name, I downloaded the nifty WordPress app and logged myself in. Finding other ways to stay on task even without my laptop relieved a lot of my anxiety, because I realized I wasn’t so limited without it.

#3: Invest in some YOU time!

If you’re a workaholic like me, use the time while waiting for your repair to be finished by doing things you might not typically have time to do. You already worked ahead, so there’s no need to worry. Maybe you want to spend time with family more, or pick up a dormant hobby that you’ve been missing. Or maybe you’ll just curl up with a new book (shameless self-promo here, but here’s my latest time-travel coming of age book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084QK6DFW/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1)

Regardless of how scary it can be to leave your beloved tech in the hands of someone you don’t know, it helped me to remember that these people are trained professionals. The odds of them breaking it or something are extremely low. I mean yeah, it’s good practice to still back everything up before you go, but you’re not likely to really need it.

And as for my repair? I literally got my laptop back within twenty-four hours (yes, I was shocked too). They told me it would probably be a few days, but they replaced my battery super fast and I was beyond grateful. So don’t worry about timing so much – I’d wager they’re often faster than they tell you.

#laptoprepairs #technology #devices #writers #batteryreplacement #copingwithanxiety #selfcare #indieauthors #timetravel #sciencefiction #loveyourself #hobbies #newideas #blogging #freelancing #freelanceblogging #freelancecopyediting #copyediting #writerslife #lifeofawriter #authorlife #youngadultbooks #college #newadultbooks

The Art of Becoming (Not Finding) Yourself

Recently, I saw a post on social media (probably Instagram) talking about how the age-old adage of “finding yourself” is grossly inaccurate. I’ve always hated the term, not only for its banality but also for its cheesy Disney Channel original movie monotony outdone only by the quintessential “it’s not my dream, Dad, it’s yours.”

But the post went on to explain that what people of any age should strive for, is becoming yourself. That is, stripping away the parts of you that have been hardened by life experiences, or needlessly censored for fear of what people might think of the real you. I absolutely loved this new, more confident and secured perspective, and I think it really rings true.

After all, I’m not lost – I’m still right here. I may have been through a lot, but the real me is still under all the muck and mire. It’s been said that psychologically, the real you (you know, the you that wasn’t at all affected by peer pressure and insecurities) was probably when you were about eight years old. My good friend suggested that she learned this through a self-help program that attempted to regress a person back to that freer sense of being (I think it was called the BREAK method). Obviously, I found that idea really intriguing, and I could easily see why that might be the case.

So what did I do? I got my nose pierced. Well, let me elaborate on this. In addition to dyeing my hair pink (which I did on my twenty-second birthday and have since kept it some shade of either magenta or cotton candy), I’ve been wanting to pierce my nose literally since high school. I joke that I’m a little punk-ass chick, but in reality, I just always thought it was super cute. So I did that earlier this month. After dealing with some new insecurities after an epic online-dating fail, a little happy sparkle on my face was legit just the thing to remind me to love myself the way I am. Heck, everyone has flaws, and I took this opportunity to remind myself that just because one jackass was vain enough to actually mention some of them to me, that doesn’t mean that everyone notices (or even cares).

I’m not saying that you should use crazy hair dye or spontaneous piercings as an unhealthy coping mechanism, but I can honestly say now that I’ve done both, that if it’s something you’ve been wanting for a long time, there’s no real need to wait. It will definitely boost your confidence, and you absolutely will not regret it. Plus, most hair dye (and even some piercings) are temporary in the sense that they can be faded out or healed up pretty quickly if you later decide that you’re #overit – Point in case, just be yourself – everyone else is already taken (I’ve always loved that Oscar Wilde quote, LOL).

My faith in Jesus plays a big part in finding my worth as well, but sometimes, you just need a little something crazy just for yourself. And for me, that meant punching another hole in my face 😛 But I think it looks really cute honestly! And even my parents really like it. So just be you, whatever that means for you, right now 🙂

QUICK WRITING UPDATE: I have officially found my writing mojo again, and have resumed working on Forgiving What I Couldn’t Change (The Rewind Duology Book 2). I’m hoping to release it in maybe mid-2021, but for now, you can read the first installment (Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember) HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Forgetting-Couldnt-Remember-Rewind-Duology-ebook/dp/B084QK6DFW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

#beyourself #selfcare #becomingnotfinding #youarebeautiful #writing #fiction #indieauthors #bling #piercings #pinkhairdontcare #prettyhair #cottoncandyhair #alternativefashion #poppunk #loveyourself #Jesuslovesyou #fearfullyandwonderfullymade #supportlocalauthors #fashion #confidence #truebeauty #personality #gorgeous #prettyface #youngadultbooks #sciencefiction #timetravel #romance #friendships #refocus #beautyisskindeep #confidenceisbeautiful

Where Creativity Meets Grief: Managing Emotions in the Wake of Loss

Hello friends,

As you may have already known from my social media posts, I lost my grandfather about a week ago. His funeral was yesterday, and I’m still feeling super numb honestly. This isn’t the first time I’ve lost a family member, but it’s the first time I lost someone who I was really close to. My Nono was my prayer buddy, biggest supporter, and best friend. I loved him with all my heart, and I noticed that he was often there for me in ways that even my parents couldn’t fully be.

Nono proudly in front of his “jewelry shop” of fruit that boosted sales significantly in his store!

We had music in common – as an accomplished musician who plays guitar, bass, and mandolin (which he had gifted to me a few months ago while he was still around), he would always chat about that stuff. He’d always tell me “never stop, honey” and “you’ll be just fine, Sweetie”. A big ol’ softy with a gruff exterior, my Nono was truly special, and will be so missed. He touched so many lives, and at the service yesterday, I was absolutely dumbfounded by the amount of people who showed up from his the grocery store where he worked in the produce department part time. They all adored him – friends, neighbors, even his boss loved him so much. Needless to say, she was in tears a bit too, so I reached out to her encouraging her to stay in touch with our family, as she had known Nono for so long.

We even had a really nice reception afterwards, and it was so nice to get to chat with family and friends some more. And I recruited my cousins from the other side of the family to play some songs for him (specifically, I got to choose “Words I Would Say” by Sidewalk Prophets, which I highly recommend you listen to HERE – it’s all the things that my Nono would always say to me, so I dedicated it to him at his funeral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t9u-LOa3OI)

This was the view from the reception venue – a super nice country club in a fancy outdoor tent. The Boston skyline was visible, and my mom put cute little cardinals in the centerpieces because they were Nono’s favorite bird.

I was telling my mom that it would be cool to go to his work and chat with people some more, and maybe even the coffee shop where he frequented for breakfast every morning. In the wake of loss, I think it’s so important to feel closer to that person by thinking about and doing the things they loved.

So now, I gotta take the time to grieve, but I’m also itching to get back into my writing groove (which I did, shortly before he passed very suddenly). It’s that balance that’s so weird, because I feel this gaping hole in my life now, but I haven’t cried a lot about it. I don’t feel obligated to cry, of course, but I do really want to get it out of my system somehow. But I also don’t want to forget him. Somehow, I gotta carry my Nono with me as I live the rest of my life without him. And that’s the trickiest part, in so many ways.

Do me (and yourself) a favor, and hug your loved ones please. No one knows how long they have in this life. I know for a fact that my Nono is with Jesus now, because he believed on Him as his Savior and accepted His free gift of salvation (John 3:16), but it’s still really sad. I’m trying to rejoice that he’s with my Mére (grandmother) now, but I really will miss him so much.

A recent picture of me and Nono ❤

Thank you for reading this long, drawn-out post. I’m going to try to resume the fun novel content soon, but wanted to update you on why I’ve been a bit quiet more recently.

In the meantime, why not check out my existing books on Amazon? Hopefully those can tide you over until I create new content. Thank you for being here, and for supporting me always ❤

My Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Angelina-Singer/e/B0743ZF23N/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

#grief #loss #lossoflovedone #grandfathers #imissyou #reading #indieauthors #managinggrief #familystuff #emotions #fiction #writing #blogging #followers #socialmedia #healing #family #hugyourlovedones #faithinJesus #salvationmessage #creativity #creativewriting #novelist #writingmojo #writingstruggles #emotional #crying #music #granddaughter #makeyouproud #sidewalkprophets #worshipsongs

Coping With Anxiety – 3 Tips That Keep Me Somewhat Calm

Yours truly, one of my recent selfies because I was feeling cute the other day 😉

Life happens – there’s just no getting around it. And lately, I’ve been so off-beat that I haven’t been able to work on my latest book (the time-travel coming-of-age sequel to this bad boy right HERE). And in my case, there have been some specific things that just threw me off my game in the past few weeks. Coping is key, and so I thought I’d share below some things I’m learning in my writerly journey that have really helped me as I cope with the curveballs that life has been throwing at me:

#1: Find your faith

For me, my faith in Jesus has really grounded me substantially while I’m trying to cope with the uncertainty of life (i.e., relationships, looking for writing jobs, finding a good work/life balance, etc.). Just knowing that God already has everything all mapped out for me, and that there’s nothing I can possibly do to derail that, is really comforting. I was literally crying out to Jesus last week and I opened up to Psalm 46: 5 in my Bible which says “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved…” and it was basically the most amazing thing ever because I just got through asking God for a sign that I’m really going to be okay – if not today, then someday very soon.

Anyway, all I’m saying is, if you have any questions about what I’m talking about here, I would be more than happy to share my faith with you. Just drop a comment below or reach out to me via my author Instagram HERE.

I’ve also been chatting with trusted friends that I know will lead me on the right path closer to Jesus, even when life feels stormy and scary around me. Leaning on others when you feel weak is a massive help, because if you’re anything like me, you just want to feel heard and validated. People you trust can do that for you from a very holistic point of view – and I bet they’ll appreciate you even wanting their help in the first place. See? Everyone wins.

#2: Find creative outlets that make you feel good

In my case, I channeled my conflicted feelings and frustrations into a song (and no, I’m not sharing it anytime soon, if at all. It exists, and that’s enough for me right now). This was especially impactful to me because I’ve been studying music and playing guitar for twelve years now, but I’ve never been able to write a coherent piece of music until the other night, when I was literally just getting ready for bed, and this incessant melody just started repeating in my head. SO I did the only rational thing and saved it into a super embarrassing voice memo in my phone so I could play around with it more the next day.

Oh, and I wrote out a bunch of lyrics too. It was a wild feeling – having my thoughts presented so emotionally on paper and in a sonic medium made me feel so much physically lighter. Just overall, really surreal and it felt so healthy. So I might keep writing songs, now that I’ve gotten the hang of it (and it also really helps to have sort of a stylized role model. For me, musically, that’s Taylor Swift, because her music has resonated with me deeply since I was a kid).

But if you’re not musically inclined like me, why not take up something totally new and different? Paint a picture. Try out origami. Or maybe even crochet or knit (I’m a big fan of amigurumi crochet myself, with even a digital shop on Instagram HERE).

#3: Amp up your self-care habits

If you’re feeling overworked and exhausted, this is CRUCIAL. Do some yoga, take a long walk, eat less sugary carbs and more fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. I know a lot of that is common sense, but when you’re feeling bogged down and unable to function as usual, this is such an easy fix to get you back on track to being your very best self.

In my case, I’m anxious to get my mojo back because I really want to make serious headway on my next novel before the end of the year, so that I can maybe swing a mid-2021 release (and hopefully, in-person events will be back by then too). Overall, an author is only as good as their health habits and body allows them to be, so fuel your creativity with the right foods and habits, and you’ll be feeling better before you know it!

If any of these tips helped you, feel free to sound off in the comments below! I’d love to compare notes and hear about how you’re doing, and if there’s something you’ve discovered that helps you, I’d probably be game to try it too!

#wellness #stressmanagement #anxietycoping #writers #authors #indieauthors #creatives #fuelingcreativity #leaningonfriends #faithinJesus #growinyourfaith #bereal #beyourself #embraceyourfeelings #itsokaytonotbeokay #publishing #writing #songwriting #beingcreative #music #copywriting #jobsearch #anxietystruggles #beinghuman #copingwithlife #lifeisabattlefield #fiction #sciencefiction #localauthors #amazon #goodreads #reviews #blogging #newideas #selfcare #healthyeating #Jesuslovesyou #prayerlife #churchfriends

When a Song Hits Just Right and You Feel Like it was Written For You

Sophie Pecora’s song “Seventh Grade” fresh from the studio really hit home for me, as she deftly tackles issues – like bullying and feeling like you don’t belong – with ease and sensitivity. I first heard this song while she was competing on America’s Got Talent a couple years ago, and it’s really stuck with me ever since.

But that’s not to say that she sugarcoats things either. Absolutely not. This girl took all the things I remember feeling in middle school. You know the stuff – like somehow no one understands you, and most other kids were too snotty and rude to even give you the time of day.

In my experiences, more often than not, I always felt like the odd one out, and that I had to just suck up whatever the bullies threw at me, because if I didn’t, the teachers would punish me worst of all. Looking back, I realize now that the entire situation was incredibly messed up, and it was beyond unfair of my superiors to take away my human need to defend myself (verbally or otherwise).

Listen to “Seventh Grade” HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kA10k_O3bw

So how is this relevant to my author blog?

My latest book, Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember (Book 1 of the Rewind Duology), tackles these very issues through the narrative structure of (what I hope) is a really fun and intriguing time-travel coming-0f-age romance:

Vera Bartlet is a soon-to-be college graduate with absolutely no idea how messy her life is about to become. It’s not just the job search looming on the horizon or her lack of a boyfriend that’s got her stomach in knots – rather, her dad has been missing for almost a decade, and no one knows what happened to him.

When Uncle Edgar mysteriously arrives back onto the scene, he comes armed with some interesting new ideas about what may have happened to Vera’s dad – and an even more revolutionary idea of how to find him. With nothing short of bending time and space, Edgar sends Vera back in time in the hopes that she might find the clues they need to get her dad home.

As she sifts through the mangled pieces of reality and her altered memories of middle school drama become jumbled in between truth and fantasy, Vera has to choose which elements of her past should stay in the past, and which she might like to incorporate into her future. Time travel is never simple, and there are always side effects – but in this case, it might just hold the key to finding her dad. Will Vera stay sane long enough to find her dad and make peace with the bullies who made her miserable?

View this book on Amazon HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084QK6DFW?pf_rd_r=JM9ZE02090JSY3VEVQZT&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

Thank you so much for your interest in my writing blog – I’m so excited to get to know my followers a bit better, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and tell me if any of this resonated with you too. For your sake, I hope you don’t relate, because it was a really tough subject for me to deal with and I’m still dealing with the repercussions even today, over ten years later.

But I’m convinced this is why art is so important – it’s an incredibly effective medium for sharing relatable struggles and connecting with others who have been through the same (or similar) things.

By creating and sharing our work, we can show others that they’re not alone, and maybe even connect on a deeper level.

So I guess I’ll get off my soapbox now, but I’ll leave you with this: Don’t be afraid to share the things that matter to you, because I’d wager there’s a really good chance that it’s going to matter quite a lot to someone else too (just the way Sophie’s song mattered quite a lot to me) ❤

#indieauthors #writing #storytelling #music #newmusic #middleschool #comingofage #antibullying #bereal #schoolstruggles #friendships #writing #sciencefiction #newstories #timetravel #romance #growingup #writingspace #pinkhair #cute #bravery #newideas #supportindieauthors #amwriting #authorcommunity #writingcommunity

When Writers Meet: Closing the Distance from 800 Miles Apart

This is what happens when an online connection becomes real life – and it’s nothing short of surreal.

Besides working on my next book (the sequel to THIS BOOK), I got the rare opportunity this past weekend to meet someone I’ve been talking to for literally 3 and a half years. Honestly, that’s part of the reason why my writing lagged quite a bit lately – I was honestly SO NERVOUS and couldn’t focus on anything else. But well, that was excited nerves (not bad nerves) because in my heart, I knew it would be a great time. I’ll walk you through this whole surreal experience, but first I gotta backtrack a few years. Back to April 30th, 2017, to be exact.

Meeting Online

Per the suggestion of another writer at my church, I went ahead and joined the Facebook group 20booksto50k. At the time, it was a really great research forum for writers to help each other figuring out anything from creative tips to technical publishing resources. I’ve since left that group because it started to get too strict about what you could and couldn’t ask (which I’d say really defeated the whole purpose, but I rest my case).

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His first message to me on Facebook

I noticed Joel’s post, talking about how he was a nineteen-year-old sci-fi writer. Wait, hold up – did he say 19? Yeah, he did. And that resonated with me because I myself was in my sophomore year of college, and I had just turned 20 at the time. It was rare to find someone my age even mention pursing publishing at this level, so I immediately commented on his post and introduced myself, thinking it was cool but not expecting anything really. That night, I had a new direct message in my inbox – and you guessed it – Joel reached out to me wanting to chat. Cool!

Building a Connection 

In the literal years that followed, Joel became someone I found myself talking to in some form multiple times a week, if not everyday via Instagram memes or something equally silly but entertaining. Sometimes I’d call him if I was especially upset, Or even FaceTime just to catch up on life and visit (the only way we could as we live about 800 miles away from each other). He even introduced me to other writers my age, bringing me even more friends I could relate to on a deeper level.

I also edited and formatted his debut science fiction novel, Terith (which you can find on Amazon HERE – and you absolutely should because even though I might be slightly biased, it really is great). Over time, he even started helping me to conceptualize my story concepts better, including helping me improve my fight scenes (the first of which he collaborated with me on was in book 2 of my dystopian sci-fi trilogy The Upperworld Series, which is available on Amazon and Audible HERE.)

Next Chapter

Fast forward to earlier this year (yes, as in 2020 and all the headassery that is this trash fire of a year). I was chatting with him on the phone, and on two separate occasions, he mentioned some exciting news that caught me very much off guard but in the best way. The first thing was that he would be vacationing nearby me, and would I like to visit him in person at that point? And the answer was absolutely YES.

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The very first picture of us the day we met IRL

So now this past weekend, I arrived at his brother’s house where he was vacationing, and I got to see him, face-to-face, no screens necessary. I’ll never forget the moment when he opened the door, and he was just there. I’m pretty sure I just said “wow” or something (okay, that sounds so awkward to type it that way, but I promise it wasn’t awkward in this context LOL). He just hugged me, and then we got to spend the next couple of days walking the coastline and enjoying the beach and shops in the area (totally felt like living an episode of Outer Banks, but that’s irrelevant haha).

I read some threads on Reddit to hear about what I could expect this experience to maybe feel like, and I have to say that the suggestion of it being like meeting a celebrity is an accurate one. The only main difference is that this person most likely actually knows (and cares) a lot about you at this point, LOL.

I noticed I didn’t feel awkward at all, even if my brain kept switching in between feeling totally natural and being totally dumbfounded that I even got to be in the same geographic location as this person that has slowly become such a big part of my life even from a distance.

What Now?

There’s one more thing I didn’t tell you – He’s relocating to be (coincidentally) a lot closer to where I live. Within the next year or so, it’ll be a very drivable distance. I’m really, really thrilled about that. Life is wild, and God is so good.

Joel even told me he only posted in that group page ONCE – the post that I saw. It’s definitely a good thing (God thing?) that I was scrolling when I did, or else I never would have met him.

I’m still coming off the high of this whole crazy thing. It was easily the best thing that happened to me all year, and I’m so so grateful to have had this opportunity. 

I would love to hear some of your experiences with meeting an online friend IRL if you have one! Lmk in the comments below ❤

#longdistance #friendships #meetingforthefirsttime #authorsofinstagram #authorcommunity #writingcommunity #fiction #strangerthanfiction #Godisgood #meetingIRL #vacation #summerliving #beachliving #shopping #Facebookgroups #editing #writing #indieauthors #youngadultwriters #youngadultbooks #sciencefictionbooks

 

 

Want a Sneak Peek of My Newest Book?

Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember (Book 1 of The Rewind Duology) has been available to purchase since February, but since I haven’t been able to schedule any in-person events in all that time due to the ongoing concerns surrounding the virus, I figured I’d pitch it to you on here. As you may know, I very rarely do this – I’ve found that my followers place a greater value on tips and tricks I’ve learned in the writing biz over promos of my work.

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One of my amazing friends holding her copy of my newest book – and she even matched her makeup to the colorful cover designed by Gracie Knight!

But desperate times call for desperate measures. So, perhaps you’ll consider humoring me and taking a peek? Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite scenes:

“Wait, you mean you haven’t kissed anyone besides me, ever?” His eyes were a bit bloodshot at this point, but they pierced mine with the same intensity as they might’ve if they were well rested.

I lifted my head off of his shoulder just enough to be able to shake my head. It wasn’t something I felt comfortable verbally admitting, almost as if the act of saying the words would make them all the more true.

“Oh man, Vera, I’m sorry I’m such a pathetic loser who can’t respect his friends better than this.” His head landed in his hands, which rested on his propped-up knees. “Dammit. I just, man. I wanted better than this for myself. And for you.”

Alex quietly sobbed while I just sat there with my arms around him, my heart breaking where it was nearly going to explode mere minutes ago. I’m a firm believer that some people are in your life for different reasons. Even if those reasons seem similar sometimes, they really might not be. And I was working on being okay with that.

“Shh, it’s okay. You’re okay, I’m okay. Don’t worry about me. I’m sorry you’ve been carrying this for so long.” I felt myself calming down a bit as the realization that this reaction he was having wasn’t because of anything I did – but rather, it was a flashback to our shared and very complicated past. Maybe he was starting to realize how much our awful school experience had affected him even now. To be honest, I was starting to notice the same thing in myself. The poison pumped into our young veins seemed to linger in our bloodstreams long after we moved onto high school and college. And there might be parts of us that will always resent those very frustrating things that happened to us.

If this caught your attention, I’ll attach the link to the full book HERE available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook forms.But no pressure of course! I just think it’s fun to share things that get me feeling enthusiastic about my work. After all, it’s hard to keep your confidence up without feedback (in this drought of in-person events and interactions). So thank you for being here, and for taking an interest in my work ❤

#fiction #comingofage #thrillers #timetravel #highschool #middleschooldrama #growingup #romance #friendships #indieauthors #buylocalbooks #supportindieauthors #audiobooks #writing #storytelling #antibullying #friendship #college #collegestudents #love

Battling Writer’s Block Amidst Crisis Fatigue: Three of My Best Tips to Stay Motivated

I’m tired of it all. Being at home, feeling bored (even though I always seem to have a million things to do somehow), and watching the world freak out perpetually without an end in sight. Regardless, it’s really freaking hard to keep working on my book (my current WIP in a sequel to my last release, which is extra challenging for me since I have to carry the cadence and themes from book one while still introducing new twists and ideas). My previous release was a time travel coming of age romance which you can find on Amazon HERE if that might interest you.

Regardless, the sequel has been tough for me to sit down and write, so here’s some stuff I’ve been trying in order to get myself back on  track (and I’m literally doing these now because ya girl be struggling).

#1: Write something that’s not your WIP

A random journal entry, a song, or in my case, lots of music articles. I’ve been interning and freelancing for a few years now, writing music and concert reviews for Boston Sports Desk and more recently, Rhode-Island based Motif Magazine. Since I’m a musician as much as I am a writer, I genuinely enjoy writing about music in a professional setting. And lately, my articles have been getting literally thousands of views, which is pretty awesome even if I have no real idea how it happened, LOL. But regardless, using your brain for something besides your story is a great way to get the wheels turning in a new way that should free up the ideas again (hopefully).

If you’re a music nerd like me, you can read my Boston Sports Desk Articles and my Motif Magazine debut online with these embedded hyperlinks 🙂

#2: Write something that IS your WIP

What I mean by this is, don’t be afraid to skip ahead to that scene you’ve been so excited to write but couldn’t get to yet. Indulge that passion and let your mind roam free. After all, no one said you had to write your scenes chronologically! Besides, I’ve found that by getting that exciting scene out of your head and onto your computer (or notebook, if that’s your vibe) lets your brain recharge itself and refocus on the sightly more taxing scenes. Overall, just be nice to yourself! It’s a tall order building a story and a world out of nothing. Don’t force it, just let it flow.

#3: Watch / Read something you like

Easiest trick in the book – step away and hang out with Netflix for a bit. It could also be helpful to pick shows that fit the genre you’re hoping to write in – that way you can visualize your ideas better while observing how the pros build characters and plot lines that keep even the pickiest viewers engaged and eating out of the palm of their hands. I’m about to dive into the second season of Umbrella Academy, and even though it’s not super relevant to my YA/NA contemporary romance style, it does have the time travel going for it, so at least I can use it for that. In reality, I’d say Outer Banks was maybe closer to my writing style (which I absolutely recommend, by the way).

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Outer Banks is an awesome show but, I mean, the eye candy’s not bad either haha 😉

Regardless, just roll with wherever your mind takes you. You can’t build something new until you let your mind rest, and this usually helps me a lot (I say “usually” because nothing is guaranteed of course, but these tips certainly can’t hurt to try). 

Thank you for being here, and supporting this little blog. I hope these thoughts are helpful! Leave comments below and tell me what you’ve been working on – let’s support each other as writers from wherever we are 🙂

#indieauthors #contemporaryromance #thrillers #timetravel #sciencefiction #youngadultbooks #newadultbooks #brainfog #crisisfatigue #writersmotivation #stayfocused #keepwriting #amwriting #editing #newbooks #sequels #netflixbinges #umbrellaacademy #outerbanks #obx #MotifMagazine #motifmag #bostonsportsdesk #blogging #authorblogs #newpost #whatareyouworkingon #supportauthors #commentbelow #taylorswift #folklorealbum