Currently- August

General- Have I talked about the fact that I live in a dessert? Seriously, the past three weeks have had half of the week holding excessive heat warnings. Check on your dessert friends, they are burning up. This month has been very quiet around my house. We’re trying to stay home more and do more family time. We get plenty of family time, we are just trying to stay home while we do it. When we leave the house, we end up staying out way too long and spend money we didn’t intend to spend. Hubby and I have also been working on a lot of projects together. We made him a workstation in the garage (and reorganized that garage and go rid of SO MUCH STUFF) and he is building shelves. He made me a board so I can keep track of upcoming blog posts. I also made bible tabs for my bible and I’m in LOVE with them. They are so cute.

Reading– I’m still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it back up since my trip to Washington. I started reading some business books and books along those lines. It is a struggle to read those too. It’s been a struggle to read lately. It makes my heart a little sad. 

Listening– I quit the Saving Quinton I started listening to. I just couldn’t get into it the way that I did the first book. I might look up what happens because I’m curious but I could not keep listening to it.  I listened to the first books in the Program series. That was very interesting and scary. It reminded me a lot of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan where the government is scared of something and doing whatever they can to prevent it but since they handle teenagers they don’t care what happens to them. Although, in the Program, the program that is supposed to cure depression isn’t ran by the government, just has a lot of power. They were good books. There are a lot more in the world of the program, different story lines and what not. I’m good with what I read (listened to.) 

I’ve been struggling with music lately. I feel like I’ve been listening to the same 20 songs and I need new ones. Tell me what your favorite song is lately! 

Watching– We cancelled Netflix in favor of Hulu Live (heck yes, sports!) so I am no longer watching West Wing or Criminal Minds. We just started watching Leah Remini’s series on Scientology and WOAH. Scientology was always a weird religion to me. A sci-fi writer wrote the textbooks for a religion? Really? And I’m supposed to believe he knew what he was talking about? I’ll stick with Jesus. We’ve also been watching a lot of Cats, the musical. My son loves it. 

Writing– Projects, presentations, blog posts and Instagram captions. I started an outline for my book. It was painful. Since I’m currently on a week long break from school, I am hoping to get caught up on the outline so I can set word count goals and really get working on this book. 

Other– The project I was going to announce has been announced AND LAUNCHED! I started a podcast called Hasta la Pasta where I will talk about all sorts of fun things. It will be an extension to my blog. The first episode is live now! You can listen on the website or on Spotify right now. (I’m waiting on approval for Apple & Google Play) 

Book Review- Sweet Evil

Yay! My first book review. I’m not being paid or anything to do this review. I just really wanted to let you guys know books I enjoyed reading. I think I mentioned this book series in one of my Currently posts because I read this series in like a week. I would lay down to read, realize it was like 1 in the morning, and then see I was at like 68% and I might as well finish it at that point. Right? Any other late night readers out there relate? That’s okay, maybe I’m just weird. Also, yes, I am aware that I am reviewing a book that was published years ago. I don’t discriminate books because they are older.

Sweet Evil is a book I’ve had on my kindle for years. I read it back when I used to work a graveyard shift that wasn’t very busy. I would read a book or so a night so I was constantly buying new ones on my kindle. I don’t even know how I came across Sweet Evil but I read it and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to this summer where I’m looking for something to read and not spend all my money (because I’ve bought enough books this year already) so I go through my handy dandy kindle library and decide to give Sweet Evil another read.

Side note, this is why I don’t read series books. I read Sweet Evil years ago, knew there was going to be more books and promptly forgot about it. I love following series and seeing the character development but sticking with them until they are all published is ROUGH. The only series I was able to follow like that was Harry Potter. The first 4 appeared in my library in my room, I got the 5th one the day it came out, I lost track around the 6th book (because it took forever) and then got the 7th book the day it came out. Even with Harry Potter though, I still forgot about it. There are so many book series I am in the middle of that I need to just get the next book but I forget about them. However, I do enjoy reading a series after all the books have been published. Then I get to read them the way books are meant to be read, quickly and with lack of sleep.

I swear I have a point in this post. Sweet Evil! This book is by Wendy Higgins. The first of a trilogy if you haven’t put that together yet. We meet this girl, Anna. She has a best friend, who is a dude, typical YA things. She’s adopted, we learn and is being raised by someone straight out of the 50’s in parenting style. Her adoptive mom is named Patti and she is typical over-worrying mom. 

Turns out, she had plenty of reason to worry because we soon learn that Anna is a nephilim and has a demon for a dad and we get started on a wild ride. We meet Kaiden, who is also a nephilim and 100% trouble. Obviously, he is the love interest and equally parts bad to Anna’s good.  Sweet Evil is a journey to Anna discovering who she is and meeting her biological father (duke of substance abuse) and also trying to stay away from Kaiden’s dad (duke of lust) because of reasons. It’s really great and keeps you hooked. It’s also good for a second read. Plus it is the kickoff to a great series. There is demons, angels, prophecies and character development. (The most important thing!) 

At some points, Anna does seem too”good, like it almost unbelievable for a person but that is the ONLY flaw I have in the book. 

My rating? 8/10 & I would still reread it. 

Currently- July Edition

General- It is too hot to even think about going outside so we are attempting to learn the art of staying inside the house and finding fun things to do inside. We have been reorganizing and moving some things around at home so we feel like we have brand new spaces! So that is pretty cool. We took a trip up to Washington to visit some family and tried the BEST donuts ever. Plus we got to scooter all around town. It was a blast. I have awesome family and watching Little Man play with my cousin’s kids was pure joy.  

Reading– I’m currently reading The Bookish Boyfriends A Date with Darcy. I started reading it on the plane to Washington and haven’t picked it up since. I haven’t been reading like I was. It’s a roller coaster ride, my reading habits, a lot of ups and downs. Give me some book recommendations though! I’m always looking for a new book to read. Although, my shelves are filling quickly with more books I haven’t read than books I have. 

Listening– I just finished Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen and I am starting the second book in the series, Saving Quinton. I read her series with Callie & Kayden and LOVED the books. Her books do have trigger themes in them and I really wish book descriptions had trigger warnings sometimes. While I’m normally okay, I wasn’t 100% prepared so it was a little jarring at first. In fact, I was even considering not finishing the series after Breaking Nova but I loved the ending and I needed to know what happens next. There is a lot of redemption in her books, so I have hope. At least, Callie & Kayden had redemption. This month I also finished Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson. I bought the actual book years ago at a book fair and loved it. It’s a cute YA for when you don’t want to deal with adult problems. 

Watching– I’m still working my way through the West Wing. I stopped watching Designated Survivor. A friend said Netflix ruined the show with the 3rd season and when she gave me the reasons it was ruined, I no longer wanted to watch the show. No point in watching something to have to skip a season. I started Criminal Minds though! My best friend and I used to binge watch her seasons on DVD. Hotch is my favorite. I’m so psychology obsesses and curious that I wish I knew that this was a job possibility when I was in high school, before I discovered writing, because maybe I’d be working my way to the BAU myself. (Lol)

Writing– ALL THE PAPERS. I haven’t really been writing anything outside of school stuff and journaling. Oh, and some blog posts (duh!). The one thing that is keeping me going is that I have had another professor tell me that my paper was the best one they got so that gives me hope for my writing. This week, I got the comment “Excellent paper, as usual,” which makes me happy and smile. Seriously, it makes me think I actually know what I’m doing when I write. You gotta take the victories when you can, you know?

Other– I’m working on a project I’m hoping to announce soon. I’ve also started doing a bible study with my friends and we just did our first week and it was really cool to see how different parts of a single chapter of the Bible had different parts that stood out to all of us differently. I’m trying this thing were I go to bed before midnight and we are trying to not have our power bill look like a car payment. This summer has been really interesting and fun and I’m kind of excited to see what is going to happen next in our lives. 

Currently- June Edition

General- we are getting a small reprieve from the desert heat. We’ll apparently stay in the 90’s this weekend. Am I going to talk about the weather every single time I do one of these? Probably- it is too hot to function and someone needs to know. 

Outside of that things have been pretty chaotic around here. Hubby just got back from army training and while you might think having him home would just mean things would go back to normal when he got home, you’d be wrong. It’s like rediscovering our groove. This training about about 4 weeks so I had 4 weeks of making my own decisions without input or feedback, my own schedule and my own things. Now, I’m back at work, hubby is back at work, our schedules are wack and why does the army need to do training anyway? Hahaha. It probably didn’t help that he was home for about five seconds before we packed the car and headed to California for another Universal Studios trip. Basically my life is a mess this week and I’m just rolling with it. 

That being said, I will be taking a week off from the blog. Next week there will be no blog posts because I am going to sit down, focus on a set schedule and start things on a new project. Plus it is the last week of term so it will be nice to be able to be able to put all my writing energy into my final papers.   

Reading– I finally finished Girl, Wash Your Face! Also, in the past month I have read the Sweet Evil trilogy by Wendy Higgins. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, and I feel like I am forgetting one. Maybe I’m not. I’ve been picking up my reading game! I’m almost back to where I used to be a few years ago when I used to inhale books. It was good times. I’ve also been really into audiobooks lately. So I’m going to do a listening section.

Listening– I finished the Dark Elements series I was listening to back in May. I also listened to the Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (P.S. she is my FAV author). Currently I’m listening to Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West. (I inhaled every single book she had available at my library last year in three weeks. Love her!) I also have started to listen to podcasts more often! Currently I’m really into Rise by Rachel Hollis and Live Free Creative by Miranda Anderson. I’ve been following Miranda on Instagram for a year or so now, she is super inspiring and is very good at giving practical steps to problems. Rachel Hollis is awesome and I loved her book so listening to her podcasts just gives me the same motivation and feelings her book did, so it’s all good stuff. 

Watching– Descendants & Descendants 2! Hubby and I ran across the first one right before the second one was released a few years ago (maybe last year?) and fell in love with the movies. Disney movies just have a way of sucking you in. We had some of the songs on a playlist we made last year. I pulled up this playlist to listen to in the car one day, one of the songs from the soundtrack came on and my son has been asking for the “chill song” (Chillin’ like a Villain) ever since. So, we bought the movies and have been keeping it on repeat while we are home. In my heart lives a 5 year old. I’m okay with it.

I’m still hooked on Designated Survivor and am almost done with the first season. I’m also watching the West Wing. Basically, I love dialogue driven political shows. Oh, and technically I watch Friends every night sooooo that is what I am watching.

Writing– A lot of drafts of my papers for my classes this term! Gosh, I am writing more for those than I am writing for myself. Last month I mentioned I was pulling out a project I set aside 6 years ago. Well, I put that project back on the shelf and now I am working on another project I started, this one was about 4 years ago, and stopped for whatever reason. It is sort of a memoir project, but I know that is what I need to be writing right now so I dusted off that project and now I’m working on it from the beginning. Instead of editing the almost 20,000 words I had, I’m just started from the beginning and using the first draft, I guess you could call it, as a bouncing point. I’m working from a different angle this time so I am really excited to see where it goes. 

Other– I’m getting ready for our 4th of July BBQ. Independence Day is my favorite holiday and I light all the sparklers. This year is my first year having a backyard and a grill and all the adult things that makes having parties easier. (Apartments and parties are a tad rough. At least my old apartment was.) So I’ll be writing about that one soon, after my birthday party & book launch party I still need to write about. I just like parties, okay. I went to event planning school for a reason. 🙂 

Tell me what is going on in your life! I love writing posts like this, seeing all the details of my life in the current state. It’s pretty cool. 

Book Fest

Every year in October, Las Vegas has Vegas Book Festival. It is put on by our local libraries and there are tons of authors, book signings, speakers, workshops, vendor booths, all the goodies you want in a festival or conference. Apparently, Book Fest has been going on for over 17 years and I only found out about it 3 years ago. I’m not okay. I’ve missed 15 years of book goodness.

I’ve gone the past two years (the first year I discovered it I couldn’t make it) with my best friend and occasionally we’ll bring other book lovers with us. We mark our calendar the moment we get the date and we tell our husbands that they are on their own for that day. We brought my son with us the first year he went and he had a blast. 

I love Book Fest because it brings readers together to meet the awesome people that create the books they love. Growing up, I read the Series of Unfortunate Events consistently. I bought the books the moment they were released at Borders and I stuck with it almost as well as I did Harry Potter. I got to meet Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) and had a chance to talk to him and even had him sign the Bad Beginning book that I have had since I was 10. The reader heart in me told me that Vegas Book Fest is the happiest place on Earth. 

I still believe it is. As a writer, I look forward to book fest because I get to listen to writers talk about writing. I get to learn from the people who have been there and done that. I get to talk to them. I also get to discover new writers and authors and support their books. As a writer though, the information I get during book fest is invaluable. I learn more each year and I’m always looking forward to the next one.

As a writer, it is becoming more apparent to me that writers need community. Writing itself is such a lonely job. It’s important we make friends and connections with other writers so when we need to talk about it, someone who understands can listen. I have great friends, but most of them don’t know how hard it is to force myself to sit down and write page after page of words. This is where book fest comes in, I ask these authors where they make friends, how they stay motivated, what does their writing schedule look like. Do they outline or do they just write and hope for the best? Last year I got to hear Sara Shepard speak and I asked her how she tracked the plot lines of 16 books for Pretty Little Liars. It amazes me how she was able to add plots and twists based on what she got approved for in continuing the series. I also met Kasie West last year, who writes books like a maniac. Seriously, she is always putting out new books. It is very impressive. I got to pick her brain a little bit. I also got to meet the author of the Uglies series, who has a normal daily writing schedule. What? Teach me how to do that please.

As much as I love book fest and it feeds my little reading heart to the top just because I love books and I love reading them, book fest is my place to feel like a writer. Like, I already know I am a writer but being surrounded by other writers and being able to pick their brain for a few seconds is what sends me back every year. I would go even if I wasn’t a writer, but being a writer is what gets my heart the most excited to go.

In the next few years, I would love to go to a writing conference. Apparently, we have one in Vegas, I just discovered. These sorts of things don’t get advertised very well. I am always seeing author tours and conferences and wonder “why can’t things like that come to Vegas?!” Turns out they do, I just miss them. Maybe next year I can go to the writer’s conference. 

As a writer, what kind of events do you like going to?