FLASH FICTION DASH 2018: The Day We Say Goodbye

Today I’m excited to be participating in the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, hosted by Rosalie Valentine of Penprints. I was super excited to receive my prompt from Rosalie, and when I did, I was even more excited to write about it! You can see the prompt and read my flash fiction piece titled “The Day We Say Goodbye” below. I had a lot of fun writing it and hope that you all enjoy reading it. Happy reading! =)
Note: I only loosely based the piece below on the photo, so not all of the details will line up perfectly. Bear with me, okay?I got a little carried away. xD

The sky doesn’t seem to know that this is the day we say goodbye. It beams at me, sunlight smiling, clouds as fluffy as cotton candy, the color blue so blinding it hurts. I wish that today could be a grey day. I wish that the sky would cry with me.

But it doesn’t. And according to the weather app on my phone, it won’t. 
I play with the camera Ben got me for Christmas. I think of all the pictures we took on it, all of the memories that it holds. I don’t look through those pictures right now. I couldn’t bear it if I did. I’m waiting for Ben. Waiting to say goodbye. Waiting for him to leave San Francisco for college in Philadelphia.

The waiting might be the worst part.

An older lady hustles by me, nodding in my direction. I fake a smile at her. But then it’s back to the camera and back to waiting. I look at my phone at least ten times before I see him. His dirty blonde mop of hair shoved under a Chicago Cubs baseball cap gives him away in the crowd. He smiles when he sees me. Waves even.

“Hey there, Lilly.” And for a moment, just a moment, I let myself think that this isn’t the last time I’ll see Ben Jamison.

But then his smile fades and he tugs on his backpack straps and we both remember.

“So…” Ben says, looking down at his worn Nikes.

“So.” I wish I could say more. I wish that I could tell him everything that I’m thinking and feeling right now. I wish that he could stay.

“How was your day?”

How was my day? His train leaves in ten minutes and he wants to know how my day went. I almost want to hit him, but I won’t let me hitting him or crying be his last memory of me.

“It was good,” I say lamely, staring at Ben as if I have to memorize every detail about him before he leaves. As if I don’t have the hundreds of pictures. “How was your day?”

He shrugs. “Okay. Adrian gave me a box of Pop-Tarts for the train ride.” Our friend Adrian is obsessed with Pop-Tarts. Like, eat-a-box-once-a-day obsessed. His girlfriend Raleigh can’t stand it. I can’t help but laugh at the thought of Adrian sacrificing a box for Ben.

But a little laughing doesn’t change today.

Ben seems to realize this too. He lowers himself onto the bench next to me, mesmerized by the trains already leaving. “You know, I’m going to miss you a lot.”

I try to smile, but I’m afraid that it’s more like a grimace. “I’m going to miss you too.” I really want to say that I’ll miss the sound of his laugh and the way he’s always messing with his hair because it’s constantly in his face and the fact that he’s always taking pictures of something. I want to say that I’ll miss going to get ice cream and roaming San Francisco during the day and—

Ben interrupts my panicked thoughts. “Don’t try to be okay.”

I wish that my coat could swallow me up. “Okay? What do you mean, don’t try to be okay? You’re the one who started the whole okay thing, you big, you big…” I can’t get the word jerk out before I start crying.

Because the whole world revels in my pain, a loudspeaker announces that Ben’s train will be arriving in five minutes. Five minutes. The tears come down even harder.

So much for not crying.

Ben pulls me in for a hug, pats my back. I sniffle against his coat, inhale his scent of too much cheap cologne. “I wish you didn’t have to go.”

“Me too,” he says softly. “Me too.”

And then he lets me go and starts rummaging through his backpack. I rub at my eyes, willing them to save the rest of the show until Ben is on his train and I’m safely in my room with a lifetime supply of tissues and desserts.

“I got something for you,” he says.

I make myself smile. “You didn’t have to.”

Ben hands me a package wrapped up in newspaper. “Yes, I did. Now hurry up and open it, before my train comes.”

Curious, I start peeling back the newspaper. And that’s when I see it. A gorgeous leather notebook, tied with a turquoise bow.

Ben starts talking as soon as my gaze rests on it. “My dad makes them, and he sent one for me to give to you before I go.” He takes his Cubs cap off, ruffles his hair.

“It’s beautiful.” I look up and tuck my black hair behind my ear. “I love it. Thank you.”

Ben sticks his cap back on and opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted by a train pulling into a station.

My heart sinks and my grip on the notebook tightens. The loudspeaker grinds out its most terrible announcement. Ben stands, hoists his backpack onto his shoulders. “I guess it’s time.”

I stand too. “I guess.” Do. Not. Cry.

He pulls me in for one last hug, and it’s so quick because the train has pulled in and the doors have creaked open. I waffle between trying-not-to-cry and wanting-to-cry.

“Goodbye, Lilly,” he says against my hair. Then, he lets go. Steps back. Waves. “Don’t forget me, Lilly Mae!”

“I won’t!” I yell back. I can see his weak smile from here. One more wave, and he’s on the train. The doors shut. The whistle blows.

I hug myself and watch as the train pulls away.

Away.

I wave as it fades into the distance. But I don’t say goodbye. Because I know, deep down, that this isn’t it. Even though it hurts now, it’ll all be okay. One day.

So instead, I whisper, “See you soon.”


Have you ever participated in the Flash Fiction Dash? Do you like writing flash fiction? Let’s chat, friends! =D 

The Get to Know Me Tag: Writer’s Edition

It’s time for a tag! And not just any tag… It’s the Get to Know Me Tag: Writer’s Edition, created by my friend Savannah @ Inspiring Writes. Thank you for letting me steal this tag, True! =) I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and am so excited! Before we jump into the fun, we have some rules…
The Rules
– link back to the person who created the tag –
– thank the person who tagged you –
– share the tag graphic (I kinda made my own… *hides face*)-
– tag eleven bloggers (this rule might be broken xD) –
Vital Stats And Appearance

Name: Micaiah Saldaña

Nicknames: My dad will sometimes call me Caiah, but that’s about it. =)

 
And for the questions I skipped… *points to above photo*
Firsts

First novel written: I’m going to go with Light in the Dark here, a serial I posted on my old blog. It just…. Never got finished. Ever. And I don’t know if I want to go back and see all the messiness. xD

First novel completed: Runaway was my first “novel” that I finished, but since that’s in a notebook I don’t know the exact word count. I still refer to it as my first novel though. xD

First award for writing: I got a second place award in Tessa Emily Hall’s Monday’s Minute Challenge. It was small, but I was so excited and kept sending in pieces. I ended up getting first place a couple times after I started honing my skills. *flexes writing muscles* xD

First publication: First publication… I had a few articles published in PURSUE magazine (check out the new issue here!), but my first piece of fiction to be published will be my short story Dear Jamie, Love Rory. And guys. IT COMES OUT NEXT MONTH!!!!

I hope to see you all here at Notebooks and Novels on July 19th, which is Dear Jamie, Love Rory‘s release date and the kick off day for a blog party I’m planning to celebrate its release! =D 

First conference: I haven’t attended any writing conferences yet, but I am working towards a trip to an ACFW conference. =D

First query/pitch: Nothing here either…. YET. 😉

Favorites

Novel (that you wrote): Ummm….. The one I’m working on now. Currently it’s in the idea/brainstorm/find-an-actual-plot stage, but I’m calling it Where Has the Sun Gone right now. I already love it!

Genre: I’ve dabbled everywhere and it is SO HARD TO CHOOSE. Can I just say anything that falls under the YA Christian umbrella? Yes? Thank you. =)

Author: NOPE NOPE NOPE I CANNOT PICK.

Writing Music: Anything Fleurie and Ruelle, although I listened to a lot of alternative/folk-style music for Dear Jamie, Love Rory.

Time To Write: At night before I go to bed. Like right now. *innocent whistling*

Writing Snack/Drink: Salted caramel hot chocolate and anything sweet/baked/bad for me. Lately I’ve been making Nutella strawberry sandwiches and eating Sour Patch Kids. SO GOOD.

Movie: Ummmm…… Every Marvel movie ever made? xD To be honest, if I could only pick one movie, it’d be Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version). That movie…. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Writing Memory: It’s a tie between seeing an email saying that I won One Teen Story‘s writing contest and having my mentor Tessa Emily Hall come to lunch at my house. ❤

Childhood Book: AGAIN I CANNOT PICK. I loved reading as a little kid as much as I do now, so it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite out of everything I read. But if I have to pick, it’d be the Chronicles of Narnia and The Jesus Storybook Bible. My dad read them aloud to my sisters and I when we were little, and I have such fond memories of them. Besides, they’re books I still enjoy today. =)

Currently

Reading: Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennet (see my interview with her here). It’s so good! ❤

Writing: A story about selkies, a rogue Fae, an English earl, a boy who tells the best stories, and a girl with eyes the color of the Sea. I plan on sending it to Spring Song Press this month. =) I’m also brainstorming THE STORY. We shall see where all that thinking goes. =) I know for sure that it’ll have lots of dessert…. xD

^^^^Lots of desserts like this. ❤

Listening to: Lots and lots of dreamy Fleurie music. Have I mentioned that it’s the best? AND HER NEW MUSIC VIDEO OH MY WORD. Click here to be amazed, and to have a great new song stuck in your head.

Watching: I’m excited to watch The Flash season 4 (it’s now on Netflix!) and am also hoping to rewatch Downton Abbey, my favorite tv show.

Learning: That new isn’t always terrible or scary and that it’s okay to take what feels like forever searching for and writing the story of your heart.

Future

Want To Be Published: YES YES YES YES. I would love to publish a novel of mine one day! =D

Indie or Traditional: Both. I think it would be fun to publish a novella indie style and publish a novel traditionally. =)

^^^^Aren’t inspirational quotes the best?
 

Wildest Goal: To write a timeless classic that would be ranked alongside the works of Dickens, Austen, Brontë, and other greats, and for it to be as heartbreaking and touching as Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. A girl can dream, right?

I Tag…
Anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice, ice cream, Downton Abbey, and salted caramel hot chocolate. Also, we could totally be best friends if you love all of that stuff. Think of all the binge watching and junk food…..
Do you like Downton Abbey? What is one of your wildest goals/dreams? Have you listened to “Constellate”? What is one of your favorite desserts? Let’s chat, friends! =) 

Interview With Taylor Bennet, Author of Porch Swing Girl

Guys. YA author Taylor Bennet’s novel Porch Swing Girl is finally here! =D I’ve been staring at it longingly on my Goodreads shelf for too long, and now and I finally have it! AND OH MY WORD IT IS SO GOOD. Seriously, if you don’t have a copy of Porch Swing Girl, go grab one. Now. I mean, it’s Hawaii. And shave ice. Who could say no?! And LOOK AT THAT COVER. Just look at it. 
Luckily, I got to interview the author of this amazing story. Taylor is not only a great writer, but she’s also a super great person. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her writing through this interview. =) 
When and why did you start writing?
I honestly don’t have a good answer for this, because I’ve literally been writing since before I could write (if that makes any sense at all!) My earliest memory of “writing” would be from when I was around four years old. I got the grand idea to write my mom a book for her birthday but, because I didn’t know how to spell, let alone type, I asked my dad to help out. In the end, I dictated a rambling narrative while Dad sat at the computer and typed it up, word-for-word. Another early writerly memory is of sitting at my mom’s old electric typewriter and pecking out pages full of gibberish for hours at a time. So basically, I’ve been in love with words for my entire life. But I never got serious about publication until I was in middle school.
What is your upcoming novel, Porch Swing Girl, about? 

Porch Swing Girl is about a sassy, stubborn teenager named Olive Galloway (yes, she’s the Porch Swing Girl) who gets dumped at her grandmother’s house in Hawaii after the tragic death of her mother. Olive is desperate to chase her dad back home to keep him from doing anything drastic, but an empty pocketbook keeps her stranded. She starts working at the Shave Ice Shack with one of the local guys to raise the money needed for a ticket home, but she discovers that one of his friends is harboring a painful secret. And suddenly, Olive begins to question every decision she’s made since coming to Hawaii…
What is the hardest part about writing? The best part? 

The hardest part of writing, for me, is coming up with a strong plot. I’ve lived a “fairy-tale life” as I like to call it and, admittedly, I haven’t gone through a lot of hardship. Sometimes (all the time) I want to go easy on my characters and give them a life just as glorious and beautiful as mine. But, alas, happy days don’t make for compelling stories. Thankfully my editors (and my mom!) are more than happy to help me brainstorm.

The best part about writing is definitely having the freedom to “visit” new places and make new friends. I happen to have a chronically overactive imagination, and I was always the kid that wanted to play pretend and act out scenes from storybooks. Truth be told, I’d still do that if I could get away with it 😉But then I discovered that I could—by writing! I can create characters, settings, and hop onto the pages to play the what if game as long as I want.
What message do you want readers to take away from your writing? 

I want readers to see God’s grace and goodness in everything. I want to show them that, even in the darkest night, God is still good. His love and grace cover over everything in our life. And we, as Christians, can be the light of the world. We can brighten the darkness and make life beautiful because of Him and what He’s done for us.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give to aspiring teen writers? 

Wait. Don’t feel like you need to get a publishing contract before you turn eighteen. That was my goal, actually, and it was a good one to have, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should strive for the same thing. The teen years are so full of change—of decision-making and pressure and just…life—that there’s no reason to rush your writing career. Take it slow. Write because you love itand see where that takes you.
About The Author
Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads. Buy her novel Porch Swing Girl here

Isn’t Taylor the greatest? =) Have you read Porch Swing Girl yet?  Have you ever been to Hawaii or eaten shave ice? Be sure to leave Taylor a comment! =) 

5 Places To Find Inspiration For Your Writing-Guest Post At Audrey Caylin’s Blog

Guess who did a guest post? MMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE. =D Click here to head over to my friend Audrey Caylin’s lovely blog, where you’ll find me rambling about five places to find inspiration for your writing when you desperately need it. And while you’re there, be sure to leave a comment and stick around! Audrey has an amazing blog, and she’s one of the most inspiring bloggers out there. =) I hope to see you there!

A Very BIG Announcement!

I have big news people. Big, ginormous, humungous news. Drumroll, please…

I WON THE ONE TEEN STORY WRITING CONTEST!!!

*insert confetti, fireworks, and my screaming here* 

My short story “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” won the 13-15 age category in One Teen Story’s writing contest! You can read the announcement here. And here’s a snippet (the same one from the announcement post):

“I hate that I had to sing happy birthday to a blurry figure on a screen that looks like you, but at the same time, with his buzz cut and camouflage…Doesn’t.”

So, dear readers, “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” is going to be PUBLISHED IN AN ISSUE OF ONE TEEN STORY!!! I am SO excited and blessed! God is so good! I am extremely honored to have won, and I would like to congratulate the other winners and thank everyone at One Story for this opportunity. I can’t wait for you all to meet Jamie and Rory in “Dear Jamie, Love Rory.” =) 

Also, happy early Easter, everyone! ❤ I hope that you all have a great Easter weekend! 


P.S. I know this is a short announcement, but don’t worry, I will have a regular post coming next week. =) 

Top 5 Writerly Fears

We’re all scared of something, although many of us don’t like to admit it. Spiders, snakes, public speaking, darkness… Me? I’m afraid of heights. Any and all heights. Once I rode a ski lift, and that was one of the scariest things I’ve done. It didn’t help that the ski lift was at a zoo and if I fell it would’ve been into a tiger’s cage. *shivers in memory* 
If you’re a writer, you probably have some things you fear that send you running away screaming, notebooks and pencils being scattered in your wake. Whether it’s a barrage of plot bunnies or the much-dreaded writer’s block, here are five things I’ve noticed that scare writers (or at least the writer inside me).
1. Having to Tell Someone What Your Story is About
“What’s your story about?” 
Ah, the dreaded question that every writer faces at one point or another. You either jump at this question, ready to tell all about your story, or you wish you could hide under a rock until you come up with a good answer. This question comes up in casual conversations, all innocent, and to the non-writer, it’s a safe question. But a state of panic is going on in the writer’s head, and once some coherent answer comes out, one that usually sounds like, “It’s about a human being with hairy feet who goes on an adventure,” you can almost see the other person saying, “Is that really the best you can do?” 
2. People Not Liking Your Writing
Who ISN’T afraid of people not liking their writing?! This one’s pretty self-explanatory, right? THE FEAR IS REAL WITH THIS ONE. 
3. Having to Watch Someone Read Your Writing 

Maybe this is a fear/pet peeve that I just have… But have you ever handed your writing over to someone to read… And then just couldn’t sit there and watch? I hate watching people read my writing. If I hand over a blog post/article/snippet, I have to leave so I’m not staring at the reader’s face wondering what’s going on in their head. I just… I CAN’T WATCH. I’m afraid of what’s going on in their heads as I watch. #problems

4. Losing Your Writing
Whether it’s the fear of losing a notebook or having your computer crash and take ALL your hard work down with it, the fear of somehow losing your writing is a particularly paralyzing one. All of your hard work and great “quotable” lines that you cleverly made up… What if they were all taken away?! 
This is a fear I recently had to deal with, as my computer was being stubborn. In my terror, I sent myself back-ups of all of my writing documents. But thankfully, nothing tragic happened. Yet. *nervously looks at computer* 
5. WRITER’S BLOCK

This is probably the king of all writerly fears (bloggerly fears too, if we’re honest) WHAT IF I HAVE NO IDEAS!?!??!?!?!? WHAT IF ALL OF THE OTHER GOOD IEDAS WERE TAKEN AND ALL MY IDEAS ARE GONE?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT IF I NEVER GET AN IDEA AGAIN!?! WHAT IF *fill in the blank here*?!?!? Writer’s block is serious business… And a serious worry/dread/fear.

 What are some writerly fears do YOU face? Do you have any to add to my list? 
Which of these fears do you fear the most? 

Guest Post: A Bit of Writing Tips and Encouragement by Jeanette van As

I’m super excited about today’s post, because today my bloggy friend Jeanette van As has taken over Notebooks and Novels! I’m not going to hang around too much more, but before you continue, you need to know that Jeanette is an absolutely amazing person and her words are super helpful and encouraging. Read on, and be sure to visit her blog when you finish! =) 

I’ve loved writing since . . . well, since I could write, I guess! I love the feeling of getting lost in a world I’ve created, seeing characters come to life as a story unfolds, and the exhilaration on days when the right words just seem to flow. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years, and I hope some of it will be helpful 🙂

Write what you love. 
Writing isn’t easy. If you write a genre you don’t even like reading, it’ll just make things harder. You’ll be far less likely to finish your story and you won’t enjoy the process at all. 
Moreover, what you’ve written will reflect your lack of passion, and it shouldn’t be that way. Writing, like all art, has to mean something to you, or it won’t mean much to anyone else. When you write, you strive to create something that adds sparkle and song to normal life. You can’t do that if you don’t write about what matters to you.

Remember your readers. 
When you write, don’t try to write for everyone, lest you end up pleasing no one. Choose a target audience. Decide who you would want to read and enjoy your work, and then write for them.

Ask yourself about your audience as you write. Which issues are relevant to them? What sort of humour would they appreciate? What kind of characters would appeal to them? Questions like this will help “tighten” your writing, making it more focused.

Don’t overwrite. 
Be careful not to be too wordy. It can be tempting to use a string of adjectives like, “The house stood empty. Ruined. Abandoned. Desolate.” Very often, though, less is more.

Try not to describe things to death or state the obvious because you’re scared your readers may miss something. Leave a bit of the figuring out to them and let them use their imaginations to fill in the details you haven’t stated explicitly. They’re smarter than you think! 😉

Put yourself out there. 
Often the scariest part of writing is taking the manuscript you’ve agonised over for months and emailing it to a friend to read, clicking “publish” when you’ve spent hours crafting a deeply personal post, or swallowing your fear and finally entering that writing contest.

It’s terrifying, but it’s true. If you want to grow as a writer, you have to put yourself out there. Pour your heart into your writing, and share it with others. Start blogging. Submit an article. Invite people to read what you’ve written and ask them for constructive criticism.

This is when you start to grow. It’s not easy, and it requires lots of prayer and deep breaths, but it is so worth it!

Write for God. 
God is the One who created you with a love and talent for writing. Remember this, and let your writing be a song of thanksgiving to Him.

Give your writing to the Lord and ask Him to use it for His glory. He may use it differently than you expected Him to, but you can rest in the fact that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. And He’s got the Master Plan for your life and your writing. 🙂

About Jeanette

I’m Jeanette, and I’m His 🙂 I’m a nutty South African bookworm, writer, muso and drama queen. I love Middle-earth, Narnia, Discworld . . . oh, and all things Celtic! I recently started blogging and it’s been quite a journey so far. I’d love to have you come visit! Click here to visit Only by Grace.

*applauds* Wasn’t that great? Thank you so much, Jeanette, for being on Notebooks and Novels! Be sure to chat with Jeanette in the comments and check her blog out. =) 

Writing Prompt Contest + Giveaway

I absolutely love writing prompt challenges. For me, it’s so exciting to brainstorm a gazillion story ideas after looking at just one picture, a couple words, or a phrase. To continue celebrating Notebooks and Novels’ one year blogoversary (see what all of the fuss is about here), I’m hosting a writing prompt contest here on my blog, judged by yours truly. =) And the best part? The winner gets an adorable bookmark (the same one I’ll be giving away!) Oh, that’s right, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY!!!! =D I’ll let you in on it a little more later. But first, the rules for the writing prompt contest… 
The Rules
Your entry must be between 150-400 words long.
Your entry must include a notebook and a novel OR the following phrase: This was never part of the plan. 
Please submit your entry via the Google Form below. You may submit as many entries as you’d like. 
The deadline is on January 21. The winner will be announced and notified on January 26. 
I can’t wait to read what you all come up with! =) 
Giveaway!
The bookmarks I’ve been babbling about… You’ve gotta love them! 

And now it’s time for that giveaway I was talking about! I’m giving away a GORGEOUS wooden bookmark made by nicolettenotes on Etsy (Nicolette has some beautiful stuff in her shop-check it out!). Isn’t it gorgeous? =D I had to get one for myself as well, of course… Enter below for your chance to win one! =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: This giveaway is for U.S. residents only-sorry. =( However, the contest is not. But if one of my international followers wins, I won’t be able to send the bookmark prize. But I will send an ebook copy of one of my favorite books, Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall.

Do you like writing prompt challenges? What is your favorite type of writing prompt? Will you be submitting an entry? How about entering the giveaway? C’mon, let’s talk! =D

Beautiful Books 2017 – Introduce Your Novel

So… I might be doing Naowrimo this year. *insert never-ending screaming here* I’m still deciding, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be signing myself up for writing craziness in 2.5 seconds…. I’ll keep y’all updated. xD In the meantime, here’s a lovely Beautiful Books link-up  about my newest story idea, Second Star To The Right (temporary title). Ready? =)
UPDATE: I’ve decided not to do Nano because my November is going to be quite busy, with a family reunion, school, Christmas prep, etc. One year, one year….. 
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
It all started when my family was sitting around the fire drinking cocoa and munching s’mores a couple days ago. Music was playing softly in the background, and then all the sudden I hear this song… 
Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free.
-“Lost Boy”sung by Ruth B.
And then a Peter Pan story idea smacks me in the face like BAM!!! And thus this story was inspired.
Describe what your novel is about!
WELLLLLLL…… I don’t exactly have the whole plot together but here’s a makeshift blurb:
Jane has spent her whole life as “the girl in the window.” Watching the world go by in London in the wake of World War II and the disappearance of her older brother, James, she is scarcely brave enough to go out her front door. Then she meets Peter, the boy across the street. 
He’s cocky. Outgoing. Brave. Loud. Everything she’s not. Their differences become even more stark when she realizes that he really lives in the world of her wildest dreams. And he flies. Oh, and then there’s a fairy named Tinkerbell and his arch nemesis, a pirate of all people…  
When he asks her to come to Neverland with him to care for his band of Lost Boys, she agrees, but on one condition: he in turn must help her locate her missing brother. A deal is made, and then Jane must do the bravest thing she’s ever done. Step outside her window and fly to a land of mystery and certain adventure, where nothing is as it seems… 
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Here’s the link to an aesthetic that totally describes my story. 
Girl in a window//Panpipes//Pixie dust//Thimbles//Lost Boys//A house underground//London
Wings//Mermaids//Tiger Lily//Stars//Mothers//Arrows//Acorn Button//Sparrow
Introduce us to each of your characters!
I shall be copying my friend Savannah in describing each of my main characters with a gif….. =)
My MC, Jane (temporary name), is sweet, kind, and full of wonder, despite all of that’s happened to her, but she’s very wary of others and a bit scared of the real world. 

Peter Pan, in my novel, is cocky and brave on the outside, but on the inside, he’s slightly insecure and has a pretty big heart. He kinda reminds me of the new Spider-Man.  

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Once I get a story idea I like to stock up on inspiration. For me, this usually includes making a playlist to listen to while I write and saving some aesthetics to a makeshift story board. For this Peter Pan story, I’m reading J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. I’m also going to be researching post-WWII in London, England, which is where my MC lives at the beginning of the story.
Meanwhile, I’m juggling making a list of major plot points in the novel, as well as little nuances that I can carry into my character’s personalities, dialogue, etc. This is also the point where I like to start making a rough outline.
Then I stock up on cocoa, sugar, and adorable notebooks. You know, to prepare for the draft to come. And there’s also just a little bit of screaming involved….

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Playing around with a classic story and making it my own-and need I mention that I’m in love with my characters whom I still haven’t come up with permanent names yet
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
magical and a bit ridiculous//no one grows up//second star to the right and straight on till morning
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Jane’s goal is to find a place where she belongs. She’s always been the girl watching the world from her window, making no difference, living but not really living. And when she gets the chance to go to Neverland and be a sort of “mother” for Peter’s band of Lost Boys, she jumps at the chance to do so, and also maybe find her missing brother, James.  
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
*SPOILERS* Also still figuring that part out.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

My story is going to be about growing up and saying goodbye, finding where you belong, and getting enough courage to step out into the real world, because sometimes, the most dangerous thing you’ll ever have to do is step outside your front door. Or your bedroom window, like in Jane’s case….
I want my readers to feel like they stepped out of Neverland and to be a little braver because of it when they finish reading my story.

What is your favorite version of Peter Pan? Who’s your favorite character? Are you doing Nanowrimo? Come join me in the comments and let’s chat about faith, trust, and pixie dust! =D 

5 Things That Excite Writers

There are lots of things that make me excited. Nice weather, American Eagle jeans, chocolate cake…. The list goes on. As I’ve wandered around the blogosphere, I’ve noticed that there are quite a few things that excite us writers. Things that make us throw confetti and jump up and down and stuff our faces with ice cream. Here are just five of those things that make us excited. =) 
Finished Drafts
Be it a first draft, second draft clean-up, or seventh draft touch-up, we writers can’t help but get a little excited. Okay, maybe more than a little excited. Crazy excited. Can you remember the first time you looked at a finished draft, the victory you felt, the feeling you had when you typed the end? Then it’s time for chocolate and balloons. =D 
Plot Bunnies
Plot bunnies either send us running away screaming or squealing and throwing around funfetti cupcakes. We have a love-hate relationship with these little guys, They smack us in the face randomly and sometimes never stop coming. But hey, how can you hate a bunny, be it a plot bunny or real bunny? 
Aesthetic Anything
You know you’ve seen them. All of those beautiful photo collages writers make with pictures they’ve stumbled across that pair perfectly with their beloved stories, or maybe just the stand alone images or Pinterest boards…. WE LOVE THEM. Take for example, the only aesthetic collage I’ve ever made, the following collage I made for a plot bunny I had.  
DO YOU FEEL THE INSPIRATION EMANATING FROM IT?!?!?! Writers totally dig it. 
Notebooks
Leather ones. Ones with puppies on them. Sparkly ones. Floral ones. Ones with locks. Old ones. New ones. Just show a writer almost any notebook and that writer’s next two words will be LOVE IT.

We collect them. We squeal over them. We display them. We scribble our words in them. And once all of their pretty pages are full…. We probably won’t part with them. xD That is, until we realize we need more closet space*…

*But I kept some pages from them and photographed them before I did that dark deed okay?!?! 
Hot Drinks
Tea. Coffee. Apple cider. And the queen of them all, HOT CHOCOLATE. *confetti and cocoa for all*  Nearly every writer has an affinity for a certain hot drink that stimulates our writerly senses. I personally prefer hot chocolate*, but coffee is popular with us writers as well. And an adorable mug doesn’t hurt either…. 
*I’m too weak for coffee, and who can turn down chocolate anything? Add caramel and salt and I am IN LOVE. =D

Okay, writers, what did I miss on my list (I’m sure I missed a lot xD)? What are some other things that excite you? Does anything I listed especially excite you? What did the prettiest notebook you’ve ever owned look like? What’s your favorite hot drink? DO YOU NOT LOVE GIFS OR WHAT?!?!?! C’mon and chat with me!