DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY BLOG PARTY WRAP-UP + GIVEAWAY WINNER

I can’t believe that the celebration for the release of my short story “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” is over! It was such a fun one though. THANK YOU SO MUCH, dear readers for helping make it extra special! ❤ Before we continue, here’s a quick recap of what’s happened during the party…

And now, without further ado, the giveaway winner is… Jeanette!

Congratulations, Jeanette! You should receive an email from me sometime soon about your prize. =) I can’t wait until you receive it! Once again, thank you all for celebrating with me! I hope you’ll stop by next week for more bookishness here at Notebooks and Novels. =)

Click here to buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” in print and see more fun extras. 
Click here to buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” on Kindle. 
Click here to subscribe to One Teen Story. 

Have you read “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” yet? Which of the blog party posts was your favorite? 

WHAT I LEARNED FROM WRITING DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY

I can’t believe that next week this fun little celebration for “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” will come to a close. It’s been so much fun celebrating with you all (and I’d just like to say THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments <3). But before the celebration ends, I’d like to share two things I learned from writing “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” with you all. 
The first thing I learned was that being afraid of failure (and letting that fear control you) can only lead to just that: failure. 
Here’s something I don’t tell anyone: At first, I wasn’t even going to enter One Teen Story. A couple years ago, I had written a story for them and ended up never sending it in. I was too afraid of losing, too embarrassed to think of others reading it. Yet I still wanted to enter someday. My fear of failure (which was fueled by plenty of self-doubt), however, kept me from doing so until One Teen Story‘s latest contest. 
About a week or so before the deadline, I told myself, “I’m just going to do this. If I lose, I lose, but at least I can finally say that I tried.” About three late-nighters, a few scrapped stories, and plenty of agonizing over everything, I sent “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” to One Teen Story

First picture ~ Grapes at a California Vineyard ~ Second Picture ~ Writing in the Redwoods

A couple months later, I received an email saying that my story was placed on a shortlist. I freaked out. A little while later, I got an email saying that “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” had won. I freaked out even more. 
Looking back at it now, if I had let my fear of failure keep me from sending my story in, I couldn’t be writing this now.  
I’m not going to lie: Failure is SCARY. It’s a crippling beast, but if you let your writerly fears rule you, you will never get the chance to reach your dreams and succeed. Being afraid of failure and letting that keeping you from taking risks can only lead to failure. Don’t be afraid. You CAN reach your goals and achieve your dreams. 
The second thing I learned was to write the story of my heart. 
In an interview with Patrick Ryan of One Story, I was asked what the best bit of writing advice was that I had received. My answer? Write the story of your heart. 
I’ve tried writing stories for others so much, that when it came time for me to throw together a story for this contest, I decided to finally let myself write the story of my heart. Once I let myself do that, my writing got better, and I began to fall in love with this beautiful craft even more. 

Let yourself go wild on the pages. Write the story you want to see on bookshelves. Write what you love. Write the story of your heart, because the world needs your story.
The Giveaway…
Before I go, just in case you didn’t know… I’m hosting a giveaway! =D I’m giving away a signed copy of “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” AND a beautiful California sticker from Kulana Stickers. Use the widget below to enter. The giveaway ends on August 9. =)

Click here to buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” on Kindle. 
Click here to subscribe to One Teen Story. 

What is one of your greatest writerly fears? 
What’s something you’ve learned about writing? 

DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY PLAYLIST + GIVEAWAY

In case you all missed my last post… “DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY” IS HERE!!!!! To continue the bloggy celebration in honor of its release,  I’m sharing the playlist I listened to while writing “Dear Jamie, Love Rory.”

Click here for the playlist!

Pretty much all of the music on this playlist was music that I listened to on my own trip to California. 
I can still remember singing along to “Take It All Back” on the way to a vineyard in Napa Valley, and playing some Mumford and Sons on repeat. I listened to this playlist on repeat while writing “Dear Jamie, Love Rory,” and it still hasn’t gotten old. And Nikki just so happens to be a fan of the Lumineers. 😉 I hope that you all enjoy listening to the playlist! =) 
And now, it’s giveaway time! 
I’m giving away a signed copy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” and a beautiful California sticker from Kulana Stickers (check out their Etsy shop, you will want EVERYTHING). The sticker is a gorgeous picture of California covered in the state flower–poppies! It’ll look great on a notebook, a water bottle, a phone case-whatever you can dream up for it!

Still working on my photography “skills.” xD 
Aren’t they pretty? AND I AM GOING TO POINT OUT THAT COVER AGAIN (I still can’t believe my name is on there, or how pretty it is…). Enter below, but be sure to hurry! The giveaway ends on August 9! 

Click here to buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” and see some more fun extras! 
Click here to buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” on Kindle. 

Do you listen to music while writing? Will you be entering the giveaway? 

DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY IS HERE!!!!!!!

It’s here! “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” is here!!! =D Typing that out feels so surreal… And holding my story in my hands, staring at my name plastered on the pretty cover… THIS CALLS FOR MORE FIREWORKS.

I want to give a BIG thank you to everyone at One Teen Story (they’re amazing!) who helped make this little dream of mine a reality. From editing my story with Patrick Ryan to seeing it in layout to then staring at a box full of my story, this has been an amazing experience just getting it closer to publication. And now to see it published… I’m blown away, to be honest.

My mom made funfetti cupcakes to celebrate! =D 

Thank you to my family, who didn’t complain when I stayed up way past midnight writing this story and brought me cocoa and snacks (very important) during the writing process. They’re my biggest cheerleaders, and I’m so blessed to have them. Jamie, Rory, and Nikki’s story couldn’t have happened without any of the people I’ve mentioned. Seriously, I can’t believe how much God has blessed me, and I want to say THANK YOU to Him to, for giving me this wonderful gift of writing and blessing me so much.

I’d also like to thank my amazing readers for being super encouraging and sweet-I couldn’t ask for better readers! To celebrate my story’s release, I’m hosting a blog party! There will be a giveaway, a playlist, lots of pictures, and more! I hope to see you here! =) 

Click here to see an interview with me, read a snippet, and more! 

Update: It has come to my attention that there was a change in the launch date that I was unaware of, so next week is the official launch! Nonetheless, the party will go on and the links updated as soon as possible. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! 

Do you like writing short stories? What about reading them?