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? 

Currently- May Edition

General- Last time I wrote this post I had said it was officially summer in Vegas. Vegas wanted to make me a liar because I don’t think we’ve seen 90 degrees in weeks. There has been a lot of wind and a lot of rain and low temps for this time of year. I am the last one to complain, I’ll take whatever that holds the heat off for a little bit longer. 

My son and I just got back from a trip to California to see family and go to Universal Studios. It was Little Man’s first trip there. We had so, so, so much fun. Take trips with your kids, even when they are little. Will he remember this trip? No idea. I will though and this memory makes my heart fill up to the top with joy. I will be writing a post all about our trip in the next week or so. We came home Sunday and spent Memorial Day getting ready for the week and hanging out with each other. Plus spending time with our animals. (They missed us while we were gone.) 

I recently got a Cricut and this device has changed my whole crafting world. I’ve always wanted one and I finally just bit the bullet and got the Explore One. I’ve been making things like crazy ever since. I made the shirts my son and I wore to Universal. I made my mother-in-law her mother’s day gifts. Plus I’m working on how to make my own journals because that has been a dream of mine for years. I’m super excited to see all the things I can make with it. (Shoutout to my friend who has been helping me navigate this sucker too!) 

Reading- I’ve put Windwitch on hold while I focus on reading Girl Wash Your Face. I was reading these books last month but I still haven’t finished. I’m working on re-working reading into my schedule. Now that I’m all caught up on Gray’s Anatomy I don’t need to binge watch as much. On my trip I listened to audiobooks. So I just finished “White Hot Kiss” by Jennifer L Armentrout. It’s a series about a girl who is part warden / part demon. Very interesting, slightly steamy (if you are into that sort of thing.), and overall a great story. I’m halfway through the second book, Stone Cold Touch right now. I’ll probably keep listening while I drive to work and things. It isn’t as easy for me to listen to audiobooks at home.

Watching- I literally just finished watching the Captain Underpants movie with Little Man. He’s been asking a lot lately to watch things with me so I try to say yes when I can. Tonight after dinner we watched the movie before getting ready for bed. I’m also watching Designated Survivor on Netflix. This is the show I am binging now. Season three will drop on Netflix soon so I’ll be busy with this show for a minute. It is very intense and every time you think you know what to expect or you think you finally get what is happening, another twist gets thrown in and makes my heart race. It is SO GOOD. 

Other– I am officially on week four of this term which means I am almost halfway to the end of term! This term is rocky for me. I have one class that makes me want to rip my eyeballs out when I work on the coursework. The other class I am taking is Mythology and that has my interest like nobody’s business. I’ve always been interested in mythology, mainly greek mythology. We’re going over greek mythology along with other cultures. I just did some reading about the Hindu goddess of death and she is quite interesting. It is also sparking ideas for me for one of my writing projects so that is super helpful. 

Writing- Speaking of writing, my book is officially published and I am now having to ask myself what is next. I am brainstorming some journaling plan ideas. I’ve also decided to go back to a writing project that I’ve technically been working on for six years. I currently have 20,000-ish words. I’m about to start editing it and maybe even doing an outline and I am solely focused on this writing project outside of journaling things. When I started this project six years ago I had big plot plans and just never found the time to write. Now that I’m in a better habit of writing, I want to finish this project and do all the plot things. The main characters won’t leave me alone and now feels like the time for this project. It’s a YA novel, if you are wondering what type of project it is. It will be completely different than the journaling devotional I just published. However, I don’t know if I will be publishing this project. I am writing it for me, because the characters are stuck in my head and I want to finish it. The cool thing about writing is that you don’t have to publish everything you write. 

So what about you? What are you reading and watching and doing in general every day life?

Currently (April Edition)

I think I’m going to start a new series on this blog. I have the exploring my city thing that I am going to be working on but I am also going to do a currently post every so often to talk about the things I’m reading, the writing I’m doing and the things I just love overall right now.

GENERAL: It is officially summer in Vegas. Growing up my dad used to tell me that Vegas only had two seasons, hot and cold. I didn’t understand him at the time. My teacher had just explained to me how there were four season and I didn’t understand how hot and cold were seasons when my teacher said Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter. I get it now and he was right. It is either cold in Vegas or it is hot. There is no middle. Some people would probably point out that 70 degrees is a middle. 70 degrees in Vegas feels like have a blow dryer in your face. The wind only makes it worse. Vegas is also very windy, just ask my allergies. So currently, I’m loving anything that makes me feel like I can breathe without sweating buckets. Today I wore shorts and it was glorious. I am loving my shorts and the new skirt I got last week. I also bought a different pair of shorts last week but I’m still on the fence about them. It’s also a tad hectic in my casa. We are trying a new schedule with how we do things and the first few weeks were fantastic and the past week or two it has just seemed like the new schedule is biting us in the butt and there are not enough hours in the day. I’ll keep you posted on how this schedule looks and whether or not we stick with it.

READING: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis & Windwitch by Susan Dennard. I have not been devoting as much time as I would like to lately to reading. It makes my heart a little sad. Windwitch is the second book in a series by Dennard. I read the first one in a couple of days, I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t picked up this book in a minute. I really should, I want to get to the third book that she just published. Hollis’ book has me feeling things I didn’t want to feel but I needed to. I’m like 8 chapters in (I think) and I love it so far. I’m also about to start 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. I already went through this once but I want to do it again and do it right this time. Each day has a new way to try out being brave and I want to stick to it. Maybe I’ll even write about it. Challenge time!

VIDEO: We watched a lot of hockey this week. We had to end our season when the Knights were defeated by the Sharks in Game 7 on Tuesday. So now I will be cheering on the Avalanche in hopes they knock the Sharks out of the playoffs. Golden Knights forever though. We are also watching Game of Thrones every Sunday and we are slowly catching me up during the week. I have been told what has happened but it is always different to see it happen. We also watched Avengers End Game and the movie broke me.

OTHER: I’m currently amping myself up because I AM PUBLISHING A BOOK. This has been a dream of mine for YEARS. YEARS. The day has finally come and I am publishing a journaling devotional. You can preorder the ebook here. I’m also getting excited about a week break from school in between terms. This isn’t a usual occurrence in my experience. Usually my term will end on a Sunday and the next term picks up the following Monday. I love my school and the 8 week terms but getting a break for whatever reason is very welcoming right now.

COOL STUFF: I am also trying to be more active on my Instagram. Go follow me and say hi! Sometimes, I’ll post stories about the silly stuff that happens in my life. Some people say I’m funny when I do my talking stories, at least my friends like them. That’s all that matters, right? (This is going under cool stuff because Instagram is cool and I am trying to be cool.) 

Well, this is gonna wrap it up for the first edition of Currently! I had fun writing this post so it will definitely be coming back. Sometimes it’s nice to just chat about small stuff.