Friday, December 21, 2012

If This Post Posted…

If this post posted…

Then the world is still here.

The zombies haven't gotten to us yet, but that may be due to the blizzard bombarding us at the moment. Hopefully the snow slows them down…

Anyway, I am prepared!

I have my huge stock of pens, (which I've been told are mightier than swords…) and a sharp kitchen knife.

Actually, I don't have a sharp kitchen knife.

They're in the kitchen though, so I can get to it easily if the zombies get to me.

But most importantly, I have a strong will to survive! And I will be a published author, whether the end of the world likes it or not!

If there are any survivors, PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST so I know I'm not the only blogger left!

-麥潔思 (Jess)

I wrote this post at 12:30am so if there are odd misspellings, don't worry, a zombie didn't hack my mind. I'm just exhausted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In 2013, I Will

Hey guys!

Today, I'm featuring a video made by a friend of mine, the one and only Nick Hight! It's really cool and inspirational, so make sure you "like" it and comment on youtube once you've watched it!

Let's see.

In 2013, I'll write more novels.

I'll learn how to drive.

I'll draw more pictures.

I'll write some short stories.

I'll keep a consistant journal.

I'll pass my Novice Moves figure skating test.

I'll get better grades, and focus more on school.

I'll pass my Pre-Juvenile Freestyle figure skating test.

I'll read more.

I'll write more poetry.

I'll write some music.

I'll play my violin.

Yet best of all,

I'll become a published author!

What will you do in 2013? (If the world doesn't end, that is…)


I start winter break TOMORROW! So, I'm going to be really mad if the world ends on the 21st. One day of winter break is not enough!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Updates and Help Anyone?

Hey guys!

Sorry for posting so late today.

I'm really pressed for time at the moment, seeing that I'm extraordinarily behind in school. And it doesn't help that Monday's are our craziest day of the week.

Once again, I have failed to submit my back text to CreateSpace because it's just not quite right yet. I'm really hoping to have it done by TONIGHT. Otherwise, I'll be in big trouble.

So yeah.

We're eating pho tonight, which are amazing Vietnamese noodles. They're delicious.

And if anyone wants to help me with my cover release…

From the Ashes will be coming out on Amazon sometime in February, and if you'd like to help with my cover release, please sign up on the linky list below!

The blogfest will be held on Friday, January 4th. I'll email you with the book cover, and the summary on Wednesday, the 2nd, and then you can just link to my blog. If you decide to sign up after January 2nd, that's fine, but you probably won't be getting an email with the cover and summary from me. So you can just get it from a fellow blogger.

Have an awesome day!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Cover Release Blogfest, Anyone?

I'm horrible at summarizing things.

I wrote a novel because I couldn't tell the story in a few paragraphs. Not because I actually had my mind set on a novel.

After working on writing a summary all week long, I have *almost* perfected the back text for From the Ashes. Unfortunately, due to my failure at being able to summarize things, the back cover text is very… unique. So I'm a little nervous about how you guys will react to it.

Secondly, I have not been getting to bed on time this week.

So if this post is really rambly, or doesn't make much sense… just understand that I'm exhausted.

OKAY. Now for some exciting news. I have decided to hold a blogfest for my cover release! It will (hopefully) be ready by Friday, January 4th. So, I have TENTATIVELY scheduled the blogfest for the 4th.

So, if you're free on January 4th, grab the button ^ and please sign up on the linky list below! Please tell your followers about it, and see how many people we can get to join. I'll email you with the cover and summary on Wednesday, January 2nd.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random Stuff

You will not believe how exhausted I am.

I'll admit, I stayed up to 11:00pm last night, and the past two nights before that I've stayed up until 1:00am. But it was for a good cause, I can assure you!

In fact, I'm so tired I honestly slept in until 8:30 this morning. And then when I finally did wake up, I was relieved to think that I'd already scheduled a post for this morning.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I had not scheduled a post for this morning.

Hence, the lateness of this post.

The good news is, on Monday I passed BOTH of my Ice Dancing tests :)

Oh, also… I shall be receiving the FINAL draft of my cover VERY shortly. And shortly after that, I'll be releasing my cover to THE WORLD.

And I was wondering if any of you would like to help me out with that? I don't have a specific day set, but I can assure you it will be on a Friday.

Never done this before, so if you have suggestions for my cover release day, let me know!


Monday, December 10, 2012


Okay, I finally did it!

Made a facebook author page, AND a website. So, if you haven't "liked" me already, I'd really appreciate it if you took the time to check my Facebook Author Page. Oh and here's My Website. The site isn't very helpful yet, due to the lack of information, but I'm still only in the middle stages of publishing, so it WILL be updated once I've got more content.

I still can't believe that I'm ACTUALLY getting published. For the longest time, it seemed so far off in the distance, and I never fully thought I'd get here.

Anyway, I have to take two ice dancing tests today, so wish me luck! I'll tell you how they went on Wednesday :)

I will be revealing the cover to all of you soon!


Friday, December 7, 2012


Okay, so if you didn't see my post on Facebook, or didn't receive an email from me asking your opinion, then HERE'S THE NEWS.





So, after running around the house, screaming "OH MY GOD… OH MY GOD…" then staring at my covers again, I had a choice to make.

There was a darker cover and a lighter cover, and I LOVED them both so much! I cannot describe how beautiful both of them were.

Honestly, I can't say how amazed I was with both of them. Both covers gave a beautiful face to my precious baby.

The first was definitely more sophisticated. I liked it better than the second, until I noticed a few details I hadn't seen before. And then, I was completely torn between both.

Believe me, it was the hardest choice EVER. People buy a book based on the cover, the title and the summary. So those three things had to be ACTPAP (as close to perfect as possible).

In the end, what made a difference was that the first, darker cover lost detail from farther away. So, I chose the colorful one.


There you have it :)

Oh, in case you wanted to know, my new blog layout is based on the cover. So that should give you SOME idea as to what the cover looks like.

I just hope the rest of you love it as much as I do!


Now I just have to work on that dreadful back cover text…

Also, I've been contemplating changing my URL so that my blog can be my website or something. Does anyone know if that would change who follows me? I know it would change for links, and stuff. Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Yes, I'm Very Insecure


Here's the dealio.

I'm going to be published sometime in February.

At least that's the plan.

Yet, unlike those of you awesomely amazing people who have landed agents and publishers, I decided that I want to go indie.

Which is cool, because it moves along quite nicely, and I've got tons of input on the final product.

I love my story. If I didn't, I wouldn't have written it.

Yet as a writer in the process of being published, I also long for public approval. I mean, I know everyone isn't going to like my story, and that's alright. I just hope that the number of people who do like it outweigh the people that don't.

What makes me more insecure is the simple fact that I haven't been accepted by a publisher. No one (except for you super nice peeps :) ever said my writing was any good. No editor looked at it and said, "Oh, I like this and I think other people will like it."

The scariest part of going alone is that… well… I'm pretty much alone.

Anyway, I should be getting the first draft of my cover either today, tomorrow or Friday. I'm so nervous about it, and I really hope it's absolutely amazing. But it's been so excruciatingly painful waiting for it!

I even dreamed about it last night. I remember it looked really cool though, so hopefully it was one of those prophetic dreams. I'll be sure to tell you when I get it :)

What are you guys insecure about?

Don't forget to stop by Alex Cavanaugh's site to check out other insecure writers!

Have a nice day!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Surprise!!!! Coming 2013

What do you think? Curious? Excited? Bored? Lol.

It was my very first attempt at a book trailer EVER so, just keep that in mind.

Have a nice day!


Friday, November 30, 2012


Come back on Monday.

I'll need some feedback, but hopefully it's a nice surprise :)

Have a nice weekend!


Are you excited? I'm a little nervous.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Moving Along…

Yesterday, I got to talk to the CreateSpace team again (which I was actually looking forward to since they were so nice to talk to last time). And YES it was on the PHONE, which I usually hate. But they're so easy to talk to, so my usual "phone panic" didn't really occur.

Anyway, I discovered that I'll be getting a good look at the first draft of my cover sometime late next week! And I cannot describe how excited I am (actually I can… I just don't feel like it)!

Also my previous goal of getting published by the end of the year has sort of been tossed out the window. Due mainly to all the stuff I have to get done.

SO… my new goal is to be published by February 9th!

Which is Chinese New Year's Eve, and the LAST DAY of the Year of the Dragon.

And to those of you who've read my story know why it should be published on that day :)

Finally, I have a surprise for you on Monday, so make sure to stop back then! It's going to be cool, I promise!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Back!

Sorry for the unannounced leave of absence! Thanksgiving was CRAZY as usual, but totally awesome :)

My whole family came to our house (a total of 17 people), and we had a wonderful time! My dad rented a suite at a hockey game and we got to watch it from the top and have all kinds of delicious food! It was so much fun!

My grandma & my cousin dancing

The Game
And then we had a wonderful family picture taken by my other grandma (so she and my other grandpa aren't in the picture, obviously.)

We had TONS of fun!

What are you thankful for this year? To my readers in the U.S. how was your Thanksgiving?

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, November 16, 2012

I Did My Research

Yes I did.

Well not really, since I don't really have much time to read (yes, shame on me). I know what everyone says, you don't have to tell me. "A real writer makes time to read," or "to be a writer, you have to read."



I'm just so busy… ugh.

Anyway, as I was saying. While choosing options on CreateSpace for publishing, I looked at a lot of books. What sizes did I like the best? Which fonts? What would work best for my book?

After putting on my thinking cap and doing some very complex calculations (… like… addition, subtraction, and division…) I came to realize that if my book was 5.25 inches by 8 inches, From the Ashes would be just about the same size as the paperback version of Divergent by Veronica Roth. Just a little thicker, maybe.

So, that turned out to be a good size.

I also had to choose the page color. And after checking many books published by big name publishers, I noticed that ALL of the pages were crème colored. (Or cream colored. I prefer the "cooler" way to say it :) Naturally, I went with crème colored pages.

Then, I went through all the font choices they had, and finally decided on Hoeffler Text Roman. At least, I think it was something like that. I didn't choose a size though, because it always looks different to me on paper than it does on my computer.

Currently, they're working on my cover and interior design. I'm pretty anxious to see how it turns out.

Oh, and I have some VERY special news that I forgot to tell you on Wednesday.

Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh finally became my 395th follower! Thanks so much, Alex! Now, only 5 more to go. How long do you think it'll take me?

Oh, and since I love music so much, I'll leave you with this pretty song I found:

Have an amazing day!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Thanks." – KOMF #9

For those of who who missed my post yesterday, this month's Knights of MicroFiction prompt is:

In 300 words or less, write a scene where the MC realizes he/she/it is thankful for something. Include the words "turkey" and "mayflower" (this could be May flowers, too, or other creative variations.)

Okay, here's mine:


"You think we're safe here?" My voice echoes through the old, empty sewer tunnels.

Jasyn smiles then tosses a few more sticks into the flames. "They'll never find us here."

I can't help rolling my eyes. "Why are you so sure? They've got guards patrolling the borders."

"They don't check the sewers," he argues. "I was a guard for a few years and they never–"

A clatter sounds a few meters down a tunnel to my right. My hand reaches for the gun in my jacket, but I don't pull it out.

Jasyn grabs a flashlight from his backpack and shines it down the tunnel. A tiny, furry creature stares at us in the darkness, then scampers away.

"See?" he jabs. "Don't be a turkey. We're fine."

"You mean chicken." I run my fingers through my hair, doing my best to gulp down the nausea rising in my throat. "This was a bad idea."

Jasyn scoffs then scoots next to me. "You'd rather have been killed in the Purge? Last I checked, we were both Unsatisfactory. They'd have burned us alive as they do to everyone else who isn't Satisfactory."

Tears well in my eyes. "We're going to die," I whimper.

Jasyn wraps his arms around my shoulders. "Hey," he breathes. "Hey, it's alright. I know we're not so well of right now, but we'll make it out of this."

A soft breeze carries through the tunnel. Bits of dust and garbage float softly toward us. A mayflower stops at our feet. Jasyn picks it up and dusts it off. He lifts it to my face and places it behind my ear.

A choked laugh breaks the frown on my lips and I look up at him. "Thanks," I manage.

He nods then hugs me closer to him. "You're welcome."


Ta da!

Okay, so tell me what you think. It wasn't too cheesy, was it?

Anyway, if you still want to join in on the fun (trust me, we can always use more entries) just sign up on the linky list below. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on November 15th. It doesn't matter if it's Eastern time or Pacific time… just have it in by 11:59 p.m. YOUR TIME.

Have fun!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving & KOMF Prompt #9

Today is the 13th of the month, so you know what that means! Time for releasing the Knights of MicroFiction prompt!

Okay, here it is:

In 300 words or less, write a scene where the main character realizes he/she/it is thankful for something. Include the words "turkey" and "Mayflower" (this could be May flowers too, or other creative variations.

You have until 11:59pm on November 15th to post your entry. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with! You can sign up on the LinkyList below.

Speaking of turkey, Mayflowers and thankfulness, I can't believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! We've only got nine days to prepare!

Thanksgiving has always been the craziest (and best) holiday for me. On Thanksgiving, my whole family comes to our house to celebrate our thankfulness to have each other. And since there aren't enough bedrooms in our house, all the kids make a big bed out of blankets on the floor of the living room and sleep there.

Despite not being able to get comfortable, and tossing and turning until I decide that maybe writing is a better option than sleeping, it's quite a lot of fun!

And I'm really excited, because my cousin (who's 8 years old) is coming on Sunday! We hardly ever get to see her–once a year is about it.

Oh, and since I'm posting today, I may or may not post tomorrow. But I'll be back on Thursday and Friday :)

Have a nice day!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Siúil a Rún

First of all, here's a pretty song I found recently, called Siúil a Rún.

The video isn't very good, but it had the best quality sound. According to Wikipedia, it's a traditional Irish song about a girl who's love has decided to go to war, and though she doesn't want him to, she's supporting his decision. If you want to read more about it, go here.

Anyway, I'm just editing The Inferiors lately.

It needs a lot of work. Luckily, it's like 25,000 words less than From the Ashes so hopefully it won't take as long. And the first draft of From the Ashes was absolutely terrifying, which isn't quite the case with The Inferiors.

So yup, that's what I've been up to.

My goal is to get from page 109 (where I am right now) to page 180 by the end of the week. Think I can do it? I'll tell you on Friday :)

What are your goals for the week?


Saturday, November 10, 2012


Dear fellow bloggers,

Please excuse my absence from the blogosphere yesterday, I got pretty much nothing done. As far as school work, and stuff other that writing goes.

So yeah, yesterday was quite busy for me.


I uploaded From the Ashes to CreateSpace.


I did.

But it took quite a long time because I had to fill out a TON of information about my book, which is actually much harder than it sounds. For some reason, when it comes to talking about my own story, I get all tongue tied. Or keyboard tied, since I actually had to type it all out.

Then again, I get to talk on the phone again to the people at CreateSpace about my answers and other stuff… yeah haha I'm not quite sure what to expect. I'm just such an awkward speaker. That's kinda why I'm a writer.

Anyway, I'm really excited to see how things turn out!

How are you guys doing?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG~ Publishing

Um, yeah.

I'm very insecure about publishing.

Only a few weeks ago, publishing From the Ashes was a dream far off in the distance. Actually reaching it was a silly fantasy I had, not really believing the day would ever come where I'd have to worry about that rough, rocky shore of publishing.

Now that I've considerably closed the distance between me and that "rocky shore," I'm realizing it looks much more difficult to navigate than it did from far off.

Maybe I'd be a little more comfortable if I'd secured a publisher. At least I would feel like I'd been "accepted" by editors, and other people because they liked my story.

See, my mom has read my story like… ten thousand times for me. Okay, not ten thousand but probably around ten times. She's helped me edit it each time, and she always tells me it's really good, and it's getting a lot better and all the stuff a mom has to say. She's very critical, don't get me wrong.

As I'm reading through it one last time (as a reader, not an editor), I haven't found a single gramatical error. And I'm already on page 200.

Now maybe I'm just blind. But I have found a lot of stuff to reword, to make things flow better.

Anyway my biggest insecurity is… what will everyone else think about it?

I know some of you have read through it for me as beta readers and such, but that was the first few drafts.

(Very embarrassing that I actually let you read such a rough draft… I know…)

But what if you don't like the final version? What if no one likes it?

That'd be really awkward.

Anyway, what are you guys insecure about?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Sometime in 2013

Due to hurricane Sandy, Halloween was "rescheduled" in our neighborhood from October 31st to November 4th.

The one problem with this is that now I'm VERY confused about what day it is, unless I click on the time display on my computer every few minutes to remind myself that today ISN'T Friday, November 2nd.

So if any of my posts are quite confusing, please note that I may have forgotten the date.

I've been writing quite a lot lately, but not the things I should be. Mostly flash fiction and some Star Wars fanfic now and then. I know I should start writing Book 3 in my trilogy soon, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet. Maybe it's because I know I'll be sad when I finish it.

I'll probably start it once From the Ashes is published.

Oh, SPEAKING of From the Ashes being published, I will "officially" be a published author in early 2013!

Yeah, I won't be in 2012. So, I am really hoping the world doesn't end ;)


Friday, November 2, 2012

I Actually Have to TALK?

Well, it looks like I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I really wanted to, and I made a last effort to prepare for it on October 31st, but I wrote absolutely nothing yesterday. Sure, I have today to catch up, but that'd mean a TON of work.

I have a story idea.

Not a storyline, or a plot, or characters.

Just an idea.

And I like to have things planned out before I write it, otherwise I get lost halfway through the draft.

So, yes, this is my explanation for not being able to do NaNo this year. I feel like I'm betraying all of you who are joining in. This is the first year I haven't participated since I started writing novels.

I'm pretty sad about it.

Secondly, I have some exciting (or scary, either way works) news. I have to talk to a Senior Publishing Consultant at CreateSpace today.


What scares me the most is that I have to really talk. Not email, or IM.

I have to USE MY VOICE BOX and talk on the TELEPHONE.

You see, I'm not a very good talker. I have a writing voice, not a speaking voice. Of course, it's all right once I'm talking to friends, but my "writing voice" is still much better.  My speaking vocabulary is filled with an overuse of teen words like "like," and "cool," and "totally."

Worst of all, I say "um" a LOT. Especially when I get excited.

Another thing is, I'm not sure if these people know I'm only 16. I'd kind of like to see how long it takes them to figure it out. Oh well. They'll probably realize that today after listening to my limited vocabulary, lol :)

I'm really scared.

Wish me luck, guys!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Biggest News in the Galaxy!

Yes, you heard me!

Okay. I know a lot of people weren't happy with Star Wars I, II, and III, but honestly I loved them. So, you can't blame me when I say I'm OVERLY EXCITED about Star Wars VII, scheduled to come out in 2015.

Apparently George Lucas handed over Lucas Films to Disney. And they're planning not only a Star Wars VII, but a Star Wars VIII and IX.

So yeah.

I'm totally freaking out!

Of course, I can't help being a little nervous. Like, I'm a huge nerd. So I've read a lot of the books (before and after the original stories), and I'm really hoping the movies are just as good.

Not that they would, but I really hope they don't change the casting for The Clone Wars TV series, because Matt Lanter is Anakin Skywalker's voice, and he's such a great actor! (Not so bad on the eyes, either…)

Okay, enough said. I'll let George do the rest of the explaining.

Am I really that nerdy, or are you guys a little excited too? What do you think? Did you like the prequel trilogy? Are you excited for the new ones? 

--Jess has more info.

Oh, also, Happy Halloween! Trick or Treating was moved to Sunday, here, because of hurricane Sandy. It's been raining for three days straight now. Luckily, I wasn't going trick-or-treating anyway, so my mom just bought me a big bag of candy :)

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow?

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Stunned.

Oh my gosh.

I can't believe it.

It doesn't quite seem possible, despite how long I've been working on it.

Time seems to have come to a halt. After hours and days, and weeks, months and even years, have I finally finished editing my first book?

The urge to read through it one last time is so hard to resist, but I told everyone else this is the final draft. I keep thinking I should just tell them I was wrong. That it needs just one more read through.

But honestly.

How many read throughs will it take to make it perfect?

Never enough.

It's finally as close to perfect as it'll ever be. So with all it's flaws (I know it has them), I'm starting the publishing process with CreateSpace today.

Oh my gosh.

I'm absolutely stunned.

Any suggestions? If you've self published through CreateSpace, is there anything I need to know?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Please Read This Post!

Lately, I've been having lots of malware problems on my blog. Apparently it keeps blocking people and coming up with a warning that if you proceed to my site, it could download a virus on your computer.

So I think I've finally gotten it fixed.

Although, I'm not sure if it's only showing up for some people, or if it's COMPLETELY fixed now.

If you didn't see the warning when you visited my blog, please comment and tell me! If you did see the warning, well, I guess it wouldn't have allowed you onto my site. Either way, let me know!



If you're having problems like mine, here's a really helpful blogger forum where you can post a question and people can help figure out what's wrong and how to fix it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Excuse My Absence

Dear wonderful readers,

I am deeply sorry for my nearly week and a half absence. I don't know if you've seen it, but for some reason on all of our local computers, my blog shows up with a warning saying it could give you a virus if you proceed to my site. I think we fixed it, but I'm not entirely sure.

So that's why I haven't been around much.

Okay, so here's some exciting news:

I finished my final final draft of From the Ashes and once my mom is done reading through this draft, she'll go through all her comments with me and then I shall proclaim it DONE!

That's the plan, anyway.

Also, in figure skating, I'm going to take my Intermediate Moves test next Monday, along with two Preliminary Dances. And if you're not familiar with figure skating, if I pass those tests it just means I'm one step closer to becoming a gold medalist!

So yeah, it's fun :)

That's pretty much it for now, but I just wanted to let you know I'm BACK!

Happy Monday!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Have a Nice Weekend!

In school, I'm taking a Creative Writing class. And if you haven't guessed already, the class is so much fun.

All of the assignments are really creative, and there are a lot of writing exercises that are giving me so many new story ideas! The one problem is that I'm getting so many, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to write them all :(

Anyway, I'm just over 75% done with my final edits. After that, my mom's going to read it again and depending on what needs to be done, I'll either have my editor take a last look at it (which would probably lead to another "final" round of edits), or skim over it then publish.

I can't believe I'm actually getting this close!

Could it really be only a matter of time before I'm a published author?

Oh and just as a fun fact, I'm learning Chinese this year. Actually, I've been learning it since 6th grade, and I just love it (that doesn't mean I'm any good at speaking it…) Either way, I just wanted to show you my favorite Chinese character.

I think it's the prettiest out of all of them. It's pronounced like: long. But you have to follow the tone up, so you almost say it like a question. The actual pronunciation is: lóng. It means dragon.

(Now can you guess why it's my favorite? :)

(Zhōumò yúkuài)


Have a nice weekend!

--Jess (麥潔思)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Heater Broke (My 200th Post)

As the coldest day I can recall since fall started, today is definitely a bad day for the heater to not be working. Here in Ohio it's cold and windy outside.

Leaves litter the front yard, and every gust of frigid air that blows in your face makes you want to go back inside.

Unfortunately, it's not that much warmer.

So as I write this, I'm sitting at the table, wearing my snow pants over my fuzzy North Face pants, over my leggings, wearing my socks over an extra pair of fuzzy socks, and wearing my bulky sweater over my North Face jacket, over an Under Armor long sleeve shirt, over an Under Armor t-shirt over a tank top.

(Please excuse the run-on sentence.)

All in all, at least I can still get writing done! My fingers haven't frozen (yet) due to my backlit keyboard which actually makes resting my hands on it warmer.

Anyway, the guys who are supposed to fix it are coming tomorrow. I'm just hoping I don't freeze before then.

As far as editing is going… It's going okay. Too slow for my taste, but the credit for stealing my precious writing time goes to school and my dad. (He makes me watch movies to get more inspiration for novels.)

Still working to get published before February, but being only 2/3rds the way done with my final/second-to-last draft… I'm not sure I can make that goal.

We'll see :)

 OH Also, this is my 200th post!

How's your day been?

Happy Monday!


P.S. If there are typos in this post, please ignore them. I'M WEARING GLOVES ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Last week, I realized that I had to take the PSAT on October 17th. So I was freaking out because I had so much to study, and so little time.

I was so nervous, I think the stress was making me sick (literally).

And with so much to study for, I knew I couldn't get as much writing done as I wanted to. It really meant that for the next two weeks, I wouldn't get anything done.

My confidence was low, and my insecurities were high.

Yesterday, all my fears were put to rest, because we figured out that I don't have to take the PSAT until ELEVENTH grade.


Thank the stars.

So now I feel really great because I've got an extra year to study for it! And I think I might participate in Alex Cavanaugh and Ciara Night's Did I Notice Your Book blogfest on the 17th!

Although, I'm not completely "insecure-free". I entered in Deana Barnhart's GUTGAA blogfest. We all had to submit our queries and first 150 words. I'm entry #20 on her site, so if you want to check it out, feel free to comment! (I only have two so far).

Anyway, back to editing before I start my school work.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Expressions (Part 2)

On Friday, I was having multiple issues with how to show certain expressions without saying the same thing over and over again to describe it. Like "she smiled" to show she was happy. Or "he frowned" to show he was mad.

Once I've used those so many times, it becomes a word that doesn't mean much to the reader. I find that when I'm reading books, the words "he said" are nearly invisible to me.

So how do we make words visible? Well, they have to be different than what the reader is used to. By using creative ways to describe simple expressions, the reader is engaged.

Anyway, here are some other forms of nonverbal communication that may (or may not) help to describe/show your characters emotions.


Despite being based on a persons tone of voice, pitch, volume and intonation, paralanguage is considered a form of nonverbal communication. Paralanguage is important for reading people's emotions, but it can also be misleading.

As you know, people can consciously change their tone of voice to convey an emotion they're not feeling.

Ever spoken patiently when you're actually really angry? What about calmly when you're really excited?

The great thing about paralanguage is that it doesn't necessarily convey the emotion your characters are actually feeling, but it can show what your characters want others to think they're feeling.

Body Language

I guess this one could have to do with all nonverbal communication. After all, you use body language for all forms of nonverbal communication. Yet I consider this one really important.

You can do a lot of showing through body language.

If Liam (supporting characters) is listening to Jaina (my MC), but is deeply hurt by her words, he may grit his teeth in angry retaliation, or clench his fists, yet only make the softest of replies. It shows the difference between what he's feeling, and what he's choosing to convey.

Eye Contact

This one is my favorite. Maybe because the simple act of a glance can say so much with the slightest movement of your eyes.

Eye contact can indicate who the leader in a situation is. In many cultures, it's respectful to not make eye contact with a superior.

Prolonged eye contact tends to make people nervous, especially if it's with someone they don't know well. It can be considered a threat or as a way to show someone that they're interested in them.

It can convey emotions you may not intend to show. Eyes can tell the truth while everything else about a character lies. I think as far as my characters go, the eyes are truly the window to the soul.

I really hope all of this helped! And if you already knew it, I hope it was a good refresher :)

Happy Monday!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Expressions (Part 1)

Last night, I was slaving the hours away editing, when I realized I needed a better way for Altair to express his emotions. Over and over again, I use "furrows his brow" or "glances down at the ground". It get's so repetitive.

So, I looked up "nonverbal communication." I learned so many cool new things! There's quite a lot of science that goes into human behavior and it's fascinating!

Facial Expression

They're responsible for a lot of nonverbal communication. Think about how much you can tell about a person by seeing their expression. According to Wikipedia (search key: facial expression), there are seven universally recognized expressions. These are: fear, surprise, anger, contempt, disgust, happiness and sadness.

Here's a link to a list with 100 facial expressions. Though describing them is definitely more difficult than naming them.

But facial expressions aren't the only type of nonverbal communication. Another is gestures.


There's more to gestures than waving, or pointing. When you really think about it, there are tons of them that a person makes every day without noticing! They allow people to communicate emotions and feelings alongside verbal communication.

For a list of gestures, click the link.


This is another type of nonverbal communication. It refers to personal space, and relates to the comfort a person feels with someone a certain distance away from them.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

If a person you know well enters your personal space, you might smile, or reach out to hug them. Coming from them, the entering of your personal space is a sign of friendliness. Something you welcome.

But if someone you don't know well enters your personal space, you'll probably feel much less comfortable. If it's someone you have a crush on, your heart-rate can go up. You tend to blink faster when your nervous.

If the person entering your personal space is someone you despise, then entering your personal space can be considered a threat.

Reading a person's feelings depends a lot on nonverbal communication. But my problem remains... what if a person is trying to fake certain emotions? And what if they're good at it?

Anyway, this post could be really long if I tried to tell you about other forms of expression today. But I'll be back on Monday :)

Have a great weekend!


My sister Alyssa is competing in a skating competition tomorrow. Please head over to her blog and wish her luck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Your Star

So I've been thinking a lot about my characters lately.

In my first draft of From the Ashes, all of my characters were really flat. They had no histories, no connections, and very little life. They were characters in a story, and that's all.

What did I do to fix this? Or at least make it better?

Multiple things, actually.

First thing I did was make a 'cast'. If my book were a movie, who would my ideal cast be? It was really fun (and time consuming) to find people who'd work, but I finally settled on the top four.

Okay, now since I'm paranoid about being sued for using someone else's pictures (it happened to Roni Loren) unfortunately I can't just post them.

But here are the four Main Characters and who would ideally play them:

Jenn Proske as Jaina Indera (MC)

Matt Lanter as Altaïr Kasev (MC)

Taylor Lautner as Azad Viraak (Antagonist)

Logan Lerman as Liam Rodan (Supporting Character)

So those are my top four. By the way, the link leads directly to a picture, and it's pretty much exactly what I imagined them to look like. Still haven't settled on the 'perfect' Jaina, though. (Any suggestions?)

Anyway, that's the first thing I did.

Second, I wrote a backstory for each and every one of them. Not just those four. I mean like, all twelve important to important-ish characters in Book 1.

But of course I couldn't just stop there.

I had to make backstories for people that show up in Book 2 and 3, and sometimes for people who don't show up at all! Like Azad's dad...

I wrote so much about each person in fact, I think I could write a whole novel about most of them. (There's an idea!)

And, since I love music so much, I chose a song (or a few) to go with certain people.

The one I'm currently obsessed with is one that totally describes my Antagonist. He lost something very important to him in his past and it made him the 'bad guy' he is.

The song is called Your Star. Yes, of course it's by Evanescence!

The video has the lyrics in it so if you're not good at hearing the words, you can read it.

Do you guys have trouble making your character realistic? Have you written backstories for your characters? Have you chosen an ideal cast? Share your thoughts!

Happy Wednesday!



Check THIS out if you want something to post about today! It's really fun :)

What Are You Waiting For? Blogfest!

This blogfest is being hosted by Fairbetty because she recently reached 100 followers! So please head over to her blog to congratulate her!

Here is her prompt:

I really love flash fiction, so in 300 words or less, tell me about a character you are writing (or make one up) who faces a choice... and have him/her flip a coin to make a decision.

And here's my entry at exactly 296 words:

The air was cold against his skin.

Almost painful.

It didn’t bother him, though. He was used to pain. Used to yearning only for what he knew he could never regain.

She was gone. Rasha was gone, and he knew why. Azad knew all too well who was responsible for her death. All that mattered now was how to deal with him.

Darkness surrounded Azad, the only light was that of the moon shining through his window. The gun in his hand was heavy. He’d considered trying it on himself now and then. It would be so easy, lifting the barrel to his head and pulling the trigger, but something always stopped him. His paranoid servant would knock on the door to tell him she thought someone broke into the house, or the gun simply didn’t work...

Always something.

If the universe wanted him to live, to suffer with his grief, so be it. He’d live as long as the universe needed him to. As long as he had something worth fighting for.

Right now, that happened to be Rasha.

Azad was going to make the man who killed her pay.

All that was left was to decide how to do that.

He took out the coin in his pocket and examined both sides. The less time the man was alive, the better. Azad’s problem would be solved much faster that way. But shouldn’t he suffer? The man should be made to feel all the pain in the world.

“Heads, I’ll kill you,” he said to himself. “Tails, I make you suffer.”

Azad flipped the coin.

It spun in the air for a second or two, yet Azad knew what he wanted now.

The coin landed.


Azad smiled. “Looks like I’m in luck. You’ll suffer.”


Hope you enjoyed it! And you can still participate! Just head over to Fairbetty's Blog and sign up!

Have a great day :)


Friday, September 21, 2012



You heard me.


If you're not a follower of my mom or my sister, or missed their posts about our trip to California, read on!

We went to California at the beginning of September for a family vacation, so I'm sorry for not posting about it sooner! The reason I didn't was because both my mom and sister were posting about it too, and just hate being repetitive.

Anyway, here are some pictures:

Sea Kayaking in Monterey

Monterey Bay

Lake in Yosemite

At the foot of El Capitan

Tunnel View

Stanford University :)

So, those are pretty much all of the places we went! We LOVED it! And... now I really want to go to Stanford. Most beautiful college campus in the world!

By the way, the pictures are prettier if you click on them :)

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Much Ado About (my) Queries

Good morning, lovlies!

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and planning out book 3, but I feel like I'm not quite getting it right. Maybe it's just because it's my first draft of an outline, and I can't see it clearly enough in my head.

But since it's supposed to be the last book in my series, I feel like the ending has to be PERFECT. If it's not, I'm not sure if my characters would ever forgive me for it.

The one problem is, I've got like seven different ways I could end it, and they all sound like a good ideas to me! (No, I'm not going to tell you any of them :)

Also, I entered Deana Barnhart's Agent Pitch Contest. I'm so lucky I actually made it into that! Anyway, I'm getting lots of feedback.

The funny thing is, I can't tell if it's good or bad feedback.

My query isn't exactly a traditional query, but everyone's saying they like it. Someone mentioned that I didn't reveal much of the plot though, so I guess that's something I have to change. I also realized that everyone wants to meet my MC, Jaina, in my first 150 words.

Yes, I know all about the prologue discussion.

But my book has a prologue!

It takes place 10 years before the bulk of the story begins, and it's from Jaina's handsome love interest's point of view. And in the end, I think it works for the story. Then again, what do I know? I'm not an editor!

If you guys want to take a look at it, check out my Query: Rise: From the Ashes page. If you have any comments or suggestions, I'd be more than happy to hear them!

Anyway, have a great day!


I got a MacBook Pro with Retina Display for my birthday :) Thanks for all the awesome birthday comments on Friday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest and KOMF #7 Winners!

Okay, I wasn't going to participate in this, but... I decided to anyway :)

The rules are:

List your favorite genre of:
And guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!

Favorite Movie Genre: Sci-Fi

Fell in love with Star Wars when I was five, and haven't gotten over it since! It made me dream and wonder about space, the vastness of the universe, and exploring other worlds. I mean, really. How much more awesome does it get?

Favorite Music Genre: Rock

Four years ago, when I was in 6th grade, I came across a video on youtube of people skiing. Over the sound of the video was a song called Bring Me to Life by Evanescence, and I just loved it. I've expanded to Red, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Krypteria and Epica ever since then! The above song is one of my favorites :)

Favorite Book Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi

The Hunger Games really introduced me to Dystopian. I really love the concept of imperfect worlds opposed to perfect ones. (Although, what world is really perfect?) Of course, Star Wars had already introduced me to Sci-Fi, and I read a lot of Star Wars books.

Guilty Pleasure Genre: Comedy

No comedy movies are coming to mind at the moment, but I like watching shows like Gilligans Island. Mostly because they're not very thought provoking and I can write while I watch. And my brother loves that show, so everyone's happy :)


For those who participated in this month's Knights of MicroFiction, the winners are:

Kathy and I will be contacting the winners as soon as possible! Thanks for participating!

Happy Monday!


Saturday, September 15, 2012


Here's the prompt:

Kathy and I are giving you 5 TELLING sentences to choose from.  The object is to pick a sentence and create a scene in 500 words or less that SHOWS what the sentence is about.

For bonus points, don't include the sentence you chose (or any alteration of it) in your scene. Your readers should be able to guess which one you described!

Here are the sentences to choose from:
  • It was the most interesting birthday ever.
  • He/she's so obnoxious.  
  • It was dark.
  • The meal was delicious.
  • He/she was in a bad mood.
Okay, here's my entry!

The sky grows darker, and the surrounding trees bend in toward us. The light of day begins to fade.
“You okay?” His voice startles me from my thoughts and I look up at him. Desmond’s lips are pressed tightly together, and his face is woven with pain.
A spark lights within me, wanting me to forgive him. But I can’t. I don’t respond and turn to look at the trees.
He sighs. “I’m sorry.”
“You should be,” I snap, suddenly fighting back tears. “You lied to me. How could you?”
His footsteps crunch softly on the leafy ground, growing louder. “It was for your safety.”
I whip around to face him. “When isn’t it about my safety!? I’ll be just fine.”
He’s closer to me than I expect. Desmond reaches out and touches my arm, but I jerk away.
“Don’t touch me.”
Desmond swallows hard and clenches his jaw tight. “You know I’d do anything for you, Alira.”
“Why don’t you trust me?” I ask.
“I trust you with my life.”
I grit my teeth and push him backward. “No you don’t. Now leave me alone.”


Definitely not my best, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Here are the other entries, so go check theirs out!

Have a great day!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweet Sixteen :) and KOMF #7

Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm really excited about this weekend because my SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY is tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!

No, I haven't taken drivers ed yet so I can't quite get my licence. But that's okay :)

What I'm REALLY hoping for is a...


But they're ridiculously expensive so by asking for one of ^ these, I'm really trying my luck.

(A few new followers would be nice, too :) )

Also, I thought I should inform you that last month was my first blogaversary! I totally forgot about it until now, haha. It just hasn't felt like it's been a full YEAR since I started blogging!

Anyway, it's time for another round of the Knights of MicroFiction! Check out the Knights of MicroFiction page for more info.

Here's the prompt:

Kathy and I are giving you 5 TELLING sentences to choose from.  The object is to pick a sentence and create a scene in 500 words or less that SHOWS what the sentence is about.

For bonus points, don't include the sentence you chose (or any alteration of it) in your scene. Your readers should be able to guess which one you described!

Here are the sentences to choose from:
  • It was the most interesting birthday ever.
  • He/she's so obnoxious.  
  • It was dark.
  • The meal was delicious.
  • He/she was in a bad mood.
Have fun, and good luck! You may post your entry today, or tomorrow, but no later than 11:59 (on the 15th.) Kathy and I will each choose a winner by the 17th.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pitch Polish (late, once again)

Good morning, everyone! Hope you're week is going great so far!


Participating in Dena Barnhart's awesome GUTGAA Pitch Polish bloghop today! I'm not exactly sure if the participants are still going around to other people's posts, but hopefully you guys can help me out with my query a little bit?

Anyway, here it is!

MY NAME: Jessica K. McKendry
GENRE: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
WORD COUNT: 116,000


Those who are strong are chosen at birth. They are the gifted.

Trained to be highly skilled physically and mentally, they have the potential to become Superiors. They could live out their lives in the Crystal City, the richest, and by far the most beautiful city in the galaxy. But Superiority demands a deadly price.

To gain the title, they must survive the Trials.

Jaina Indera has been training at a Gifted School for sixteen years, waiting for her moment to prove herself worthy of competing in the Trials. Those who don't succeed will be marked as Inferior.

Yet being selected as a competitor is only the beginning. Each school sends a team of eight students to compete in a battle of challenges against other Gifted Schools around the galaxy.

Not all will survive.

In a world where mercy is a weakness, and only the ruthless prevail, Jaina must discover who she is and what she's really fighting for.


Altair raced through the jungle trees. His heart pounded so hard against his ribs it hurt. His legs wanted to give out. Every breath he took was strained, but he forced himself forward. He only had a little ways to go.

The edge of the jungle came into view, and he charged out into the open. White Tarnoshian marble buildings surrounded the courtyard, towering over him like giants.

A bell rang. Students rushed into the courtyard. The setting sun made the fountain in the center look gold.

Touching the cool stone of the fountain, Altair stopped to catch his breath. When his opponent ran into view, he smiled.

"I won!" he cried.

"Only because you're two years older," Liam protested between gasps. "I bet you weren't as fast as me when you were six."

Altair laughed. "I was way faster."

Liam kicked at a rock on the ground. "I'll beat you in something, someday."


Okay, so tear it apart! Be fierce and tell me what I need to fix.

Any suggestions?


Happy Wednesday!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...