Welcome 2013: Please Be An Awesome Year

welcome20132Welcome 2013, please be an awesome year. It’d be highly appreciated, I assure you. I’ve made my New Year’s Resolutions this year and I hope to keep them all.

I can’t fully control most of them, but I can do my best. I don’t want to reveal them all (I totally believe in jinxing myself!) but I will share a few. I wrote them all last night, sealed them up, and put them in a box in my desk drawer so I won’t be able to see them until I open them next year… and I don’t remember all seven off the top of my head. How bad is that? It was just last night.

Some of my 2013 Resolutions:

  • Read at least a 100 books (genres to focus on: YA, contemporary, horror, steampunk YA, pretty much anything YA, actually…)
  • Do something productive toward my goal of getting published EVERY DAY (things like writing, revising, plotting/outlining story ideas, reading, researching, etc)
  • Get a literary agent this year! (‘Cause that’d be awesome)
  • Start my career (as a recent college graduate, I have a job that’s OK but definitely not something I want to make into my career.)

2012 hasn’t been a bad year. It was the first full year I’ve been out of college. Sometimes I find myself regretting my decision to graduate a year early and not go to graduate school. But I didn’t graduate early or did go to graduate school I wouldn’t have been able to travel and intern in Australia and New Zealand for the first half the year. I made awesome friends and saw beautiful things. I did some ridiculous things that I never thought I’d do like swimming with jellyfish (so scared of those things!) and sharks at the Great Barrier Reef and jumping out of an airplane at about 14,000 ft over the Australian rain forest.

While all of that was amazing, I’m happiest about how much I’ve developed as a writer this year. I’d say I’m considerably better than I was this time last year. I’ve begun to reach out to other writers, attended my first writer’s conference, made some very good friends, and joined a few critique groups. The latter has really helped me see the errors in my own writing. I also finally figured out how the publishing world worked. At the start of the year, I was so scared of query letters, synopsis, and researching literary agents, but now I’m not. Granted, I still don’t like synopsis so much (but I learned the trick is to write them before you write the story!) and I’ve actually developed some love for writing query letters. And I love researching things. I really do, so the whole literary agent research work wasn’t so bad once I reminded myself that. It’s different doing research for something you love versus forced-research-college-stuff.

Overall, 2012 was a good year. I’m not really a big fan of odd numbers (I know, weird) so I’m weary of this oncoming year for no good reason. I do think that more good things are in store for this coming year. I hope that there are a lot of great things in store for you, too!

Good luck!

Books, Myths, Love, & More Books

Source: My Camerae

Usually, when I read books, this is how they end up. Highlighted, marked up, and posted-notes hanging out of them all over. It’s something I picked up doing in high school for obvious reasons and it helped in college a great deal since I had to read a lot of nonfiction and gather a lot of research information. Now? I just do it out of impulse. I find it difficult not to, it’s why I like actual books over e-books.

My Nook allows me to highlight and makes notes but it’s very annoying and doesn’t like to highlight when I tell it to. That aside, do you want to hear a sweet creation myth from New Zealand? I think it was my favorite.

There was no space for anything in the world, since Father Rangi (the sky) and Mother Papa (the earth) were always together. Their children, the young gods, wanted to make room for themselves and decided to push the two apart. Tane-mahuta, the gentle god of the forests, decided to push the earth and sky apart by standing on his head to push the earth and sky apart by standing on his head and pushing up with his legs, something like the way a tree grows. His shoulders touched Papa and his feet touched Rangi and slowly he pushed them apart. Trees still separate the earth and sky in the same way.

The parts of the gods screamed and groaned as they were pushed apart. But as the space between them enlarged, light and dark were separated. Now there was room for gods, for tall trees to grow, and for humans and animals to flourish.

Rangi is still saddened to be separate from Papa, and his tears form the dew every morning and sometimes even take the form of rain.

Most creation myths, that I read about, were just… I don’t know, not equal to that. That one ends with something sweet. It actually got me to say ‘aw’, which doesn’t often happen. I really liked that. Most of the posted notes in the book are filled with ideas for my WIP. Reading always helps me get ideas, not usually directly (like taking ideas from what I’m reading) but just because it gets my brain working in the right way.

I had another good reading experience recently. I read the Hunger Games trilogy this past week, it was so good! I was surprised, I knew it was popular and people kept telling me to read it but usually I hate dystopian society things. It was such a wonderful emotional roller coaster and I did like Kantiss a great deal. So if you haven’t read the Hunger Games yet, you should. It’s wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

So to sum it up read: Parallel Myths by J.F. Bierlein, 100 Characters from Classical Mythology by Malcolm Day, and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. All these books will help get the inspirational juices start flowing in your head.