Winter Feels & Reads & Writing

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Hello friends! It’s been a minute!

Winter Feels

I’m currently in LA visiting family (i.e. snuggling and watching endless Kardashians episodes and Olsen Twins Movies) and getting ready for Xmas. This is supposed to be the first year Santa doesn’t come … but I’m not convinced he won’t sneak in a present or two with help from my mom the elf. The last few months have been busy busy busy, but also good. I went through a HARD summer, but fall and winter are looking up. I’m trying to think of good details since this is sounding super vague. Here are a few highlights:

  • I dressed up as a Sand-Witch (because I always intend my puns) and sang Whitney Houston songs with my friends at Halloween Karaoke.
  • I went camping in Joshua Tree with my sister and visited The Ripped Bodice for the first time (and bought approximate one trillion romance novels).
  • I taught a Beyonce video in one of my college classes along with some Morgan Parker poems and it was EVERYTHING.

Winter Reads

PuddinPuddin’ by Julie Murphy was a beautiful and hilarious follow-up to the now-Netflix-famous Dumplin’It follows the pageant’s runner up, Millie Michalchuk who’s determined to skip fat camp this summer and go to a broadcasting summer program. Her dream is to anchor the news, but everyone – including her mother – keeps telling her that no one wants a fat girl in front of the camera. Sigh. She finds an unlikely ally and friend in pretty girl Callie Reyes, who has her popular boyfriend and the entire dance team turn on her after a prank goes wrong. This sounds like a lot … but it’s really such an aggressively feminist, body positive, friendship forward novel. Also there are cameos from Willowdean and all your favorite characters from Dumplin’.

What If Its UsWhat If It’s Us brings together real life author best friends Adam Silvera and Becky Albertali to tell the story of one sweet NYC summer between Arthur and Ben. Arthur’s a hopeless romantic from Georgia who’s only in town for an internship. He’s a big believer in fate and romance, despite his lack of relationship experience. Ben’s a cynical New Yorker who’s trying to get over his first really bad break up. But a swoony meet-cute in a post office  brings them together, and something (whether it’s fate or coincidence) doesn’t let them break apart. Will they give into the mutual attraction and kismet-like feelings or will their differences be too much to overcome? Regardless of whether Arthur and Ben find their own HEA or not, you will fall in love with these two characters and their authentic voices!

PridePride by Ibi Zoboi is the Pride and Prejudice retelling that I didn’t know we needed. But we did … do (what tense am I writing in?). It moves the beloved story from the English countryside to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Zuri Benitez hates the way her Afro-Latina neighborhood is changing. This gives her an immediate bias against Darius Darcy when he and his wealthy family move in next door, even though they’re also Black. Of all the Jane Austen updates – and I’ve read dozens of them – this setting makes for the easiest match with Austen’s original. It is also so so so romantic. I mean like whoa. And it also includes complicated family dynamics up the wazoo.

I’ve also been reading A LOT A LOT of romance novels this winter. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory and The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham are two favorites. And for “adult books” I’ve love love loved The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolizter, Eloquent Rage by Britney Cooper, and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green.

Winter Writing

I’ve taken my love of Marry, Date or Dump over to Book Riot and have also made some fun listicles too. Here are a few of my favorites!

I think that’s it for me! If anyone’s still reading this, would love to know what you’re feeling, reading, and/or writing. XOXO

Goodbye March!

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March was a wackadoodle month for me. Usually, I think February is the cruelest month (sorry T.S. Eliot) … but this year I think it might have been March. It was a very up and down month for me. Confusing! I’ve had my best and worst writing days. I’ve been busier teaching than every – which is wonderful but also so exhausting.  And the weather has been … let’s just say this California girl is ready for some spring weather on the east coast. Continue reading “Goodbye March!”

Most Popular Posts of 2017

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My least favorite thing about January is the snow (which is falling in copious amounts in NYC today). My most favorite thing about January is the ability to reflect on the year that has just passed. Bahhh six years of blogging! If there wasn’t the actual proof on this website, I don’t know if I’d believe it. Thank you to all the people who are still reading and the friends I’ve made on this blog that continue to support my writing journey like whoa. Here are my most read posts of the year:  Continue reading “Most Popular Posts of 2017”

My Year Writing Told Through Tweets

Continue reading “My Year Writing Told Through Tweets”

My Year Teaching Told Through Tweets

Continue reading “My Year Teaching Told Through Tweets”

Five Good Things

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Hello friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with some good things. There is a lot of pain, chaos, uncertainty, violence, and justified anger permeating these times. From almost weekly news of mass killings to the tidal wive of #metoo revelations of women who’ve experience sexual harassment assault, it’s easy to feel compassion fatigue, overwhelmed, and burned out. These are a few of the things helping me look towards the light and towards hope this fall. None of these make any of the darkness of these times less true. However, all of them make it more bearable for me. Continue reading “Five Good Things”

Thirty Days Until I Turn Thirty


I’ve got thirty days left in my twenties. That means I probably am not going to ever make it onto a 30 under 30 list, or publish a book before thirty, or get married and have *at least* two kids before thirty (lol childhood goals). And I know I’m being facetious. Like those things are definitely not going to happen. Continue reading “Thirty Days Until I Turn Thirty”

Five Good Things

  1. My summer commuting uptown to teach writing classes is basically over. It’s been hilarious, inspirational, and exhausting. I’ve worked with kids and teens ages seven to eighteen on short stories, novel beginnings, poems, plays, memoir, and essays. I’m constantly in awe of my youngest writers’ totally unselfconscious approach to writing. But especially after a week with all seven-year-old boys (poop jokes and dinosaur stories galore!), I’m ready to get back to college students next week.
  2. Also … more writing time! I have revisions to write and new stories I can’t wait to draft. I’ve done okay balancing working and writing, but I’m itching to have more time in front of my computer.
  3. YA Twitter for the win! After the YA Twitter craziness last week (I won’t even go into it), Sona Charaipotra and Zoraida Córdova set the record straight on what’s really going on. Then yesterday book twitter uncovered a very bizarre plot to scam the NYT Bestseller list.
  4. There is going to be another Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I obviously can’t get enough of these! 
  5. Thirty is right around the corner. I take birthdays hard most of the time. Like I had my first quarter life crisis at age ten. But I’m super pumped to turn thirty and say goodbye to my twenties, and this month I planned a fun trip to celebrate the big birthday.