Friday, December 21, 2012


The Mayans said it first, but 
tea leaves said it second, her palm
said it third, and the boy 
down the road, the one with the blue,
blue eyes, said it fourth.

The world was going to end and she 
could not be happier. 

Her affairs were easy to arrange:
money sealed into envelopes,
the microwave unplugged, and one
last kiss for the blue-eyed boy.

She called her mother, 
and her mother did not answer. 
(But she did not expect her to.)

That evening she hid beneath 
a blanket with her dog and told stories
about the good times and the bad times
(but mostly the bad times, and how
now there would never have to be
bad times ever again).

Then she went to bed, heart lighter 
than light, winged with hope, 

and woke up crying.

Monday, December 10, 2012

1. turn on radio.
2. hear the the following lyrics: She’s in the Class A Team/Stuck in her daydream/Been this way since 18/But lately her face seems/Slowly sinking, wasting/Crumbling like pastries”
3. turn off radio.
just because you can use a simile doesn’t mean you should.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NaNoWriMo Part 83

Things that have cropped up in both of my NaNo novels:
- Men with unusual tattoos.
- People throwing up on themselves.
- Characters that are far too sassy.
- “Brisk” air being mentioned approximately 30 times.
- Jerks wearing very little clothing.
- Good luck charms.
- Halloween.
- Fog as a plot point.
- Breakfast pastries.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

person: hey, how’s it going?

me: i spend my life in a constant state of emotional turmoil, and every time you ask me a simple question i have to think back and wonder who i am at this moment. am i the happy face and the firm handshake, the slight nod of the head? am i the warm, understanding smile, the sympathetic ear? or am i just the person who invents different personas and fits a new face to every situation? you don’t really care how it’s going, and i don’t really care to tell you. your eyes are on mine, but you aren’t truly listening. what are you doing? what am i doing? where do we go from here?

me: …fine.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


what am i doing
how to word
help i can’t don’t even
do how type

Friday, October 12, 2012

NaNo Club

Last year a couple of the other teachers and I ran a NaNoWriMo club twice a week after school. It was an interesting experience, and it looks like we’ll be doing it again this year!
I’m practically beside myself with excitement. Knowing that my middle schoolers are looking up to me as an example makes me all the more motivated to write. A couple of them know what my book is about and seem to think the the plot is cool. Likewise, a few have shared their ideas with me and I’m thoroughly impressed with their ingenuity.
I’ve been ironing out a lot of the minor details in my story. I know the basic plot arcs and how the story ends, but it’s all too easy to say “they become friends.” Well, okay, that’s nice. How?
Usually I’d bounce ideas off my mother, but I’m trying not to spoil the book for her so that when she reads it, it’ll be sort of exciting. Last year I was basically just like “Okay, what now? And then? How do yo think ______ should happen?”

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Passage of Time

i don’t know how to make my novels last more than a couple of weeks. seriously. how are you supposed to indicate large chunks of time going by? new chapter = OKAY NOW IT IS WEEKS LATER AND ALL OF THIS STUFF HAS HAPPENED BUT YOU DON’T GET TO BE PRIVY TO IT.
guess this year’s novel will also take place over the course of a month!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I finally felt inspired to begin the editing I need to do on last year’s NaNovel. Yay. For those who aren’t aware, I visited Swans Island over the summer and took photos of the houses. Not in a real estate sort of way—I just wanted to pick out houses to belong to characters in my novel so that I could refer to them for descriptive purposes.

Today I did myself one better and used the pictures and my memory of where the houses were to FIND THEM ON THE SATELLITE VERSION OF GOOGLE MAPS. Then I did math (tm) to figure out how long it would take the protagonists to walk to each other’s houses, how long it would take to bike to the ferry terminal, etc.

Grade A sketchball up in here.

Someday the people who live in those houses will read my novel and be like, oh hey, that sounds like my house. Wait. Fuck.

Then they will look over their shoulders just to make sure I am not there. Lurking. In the shadows.

AND I WON’T BE, because I will be off doing famous person things like going to book signings and bathing in my tub full of cheesecake pudding.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


today there was a bite in the air which means sweaters and picking out pumpkins i won’t ever carve but mostly it means nanowrimo.

almost one year ago i completed 50000k of a novel, and then used the motivation and happy thoughts to finish out the project at a grand total of 89293 words by january. then i sat around patting myself on the back for a month or two. then i did nothing for AGES, because guess what, i wrote a novel and i rule and oh my goodness hurray.

then i went to maine and found out that the way i described the setting was all inaccurate, and that i used the word “eyes” like 3000 times, and that i needed to go back in and add another lobster boat. (yes, this is essential, okay, gosh.) so there’s that, which hasn’t actually happened because i am lazy and because NANOWRIMO OKAY I AM TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT THINGS TO EDIT OLD NOVELS GEEZE.

so yeah, i will do that eventually. hopefully before november rolls around, because i want to dedicate all of my time to nano. i already have my basic idea for this years story and have begun outlining, see.
can someone please be excited with me? pleaseee?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


i’m giving myself ten minutes to grow up, 
and with every minute that passes i am remembering
balloons and party hats and streamers 
and the second star to the right, 
straight on ‘til morning.

every year i write myself a poem for my birthday, 
but this year i think i’ll write a poem about 
peter pan and he’ll die in the end and everyone 
will be sad. i’ll be the saddest though, 
because there comes a point in your life 
when you realize that you’re not peter pan, 
or wendy, or even a lost boy.

(how sad, i think, to be lost but not a lost boy.
it doesn’t matter though, because neverland isn’t 
real and now look, i’m another year older, and what 
have i even done with my life?)

today i’m twenty-three and peter pan is dead.
my ten minutes have passed and i still haven’t 
grown up. people around me forget how to talk
to mermaids, and no one claps because no one 
believes in fairies, or flying, or themselves.

today every birthday candle looks like a bone
and i still have so many wishes left to make.
maybe i should know who i am and what i am 
doing by now, but i don’t know. i don’t care. 
i’m twenty-three and this is all i have, it’s all i
will ever have. you can keep your careers and cars
and aspirations. i will be waiting by my window 
for a little boy with stars for eyes who can 
never grow older because he is dead.

Friday, June 29, 2012

wouldn't it be sad

i used to play this game called “wouldn’t it be sad.”
here is how you play:
1. wait until there is complete an utter silence, such as while someone is trying to sleep or while there is a lull in dinnertime conversation with your coworkers.
2. think of something really sad. like if a bomb went off or you contracted some sort of flesh-eating virus.
3. say, “wouldn’t it be sad if ___(insert sad thing here)_____.”
i stopped playing this game because there is no way to win or lose.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

highlights of my trip to maine

1. being stuck right off the bridge to mount desert island for six hours in the fading light.
2. visiting cadillac mountain.
3. thunder hole and sand beach.
4. learning how to tell a lobster boat from a sloop from a yacht from a schooner.
5. feeding baby ducks by hand after kayaking great long pond.
6. visiting swans island, nearly falling off the ferry, being locked out of the museum, picking out houses for my characters to live in, getting a private library tour, and trying to break into the lighthouse.
7. befriending an inhabitant of swans island who willingly told me everything i needed for my novel.
8. cuddling lobsters and then eating them.
9. visiting college of the atlantic.
10. cooking one last delicious dinner for the man who’d cooked dinner for us all week.
11. realizing that all of my preconceptions about maine were wrong and that i need to rewrite about ¾ths of my book.
leaving tomorrow, bright and early.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


i dread the inevitable moment when people figure out that i have no idea what i am doing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the state of things

i tried to cut on the light in ben’s room and the bulb flickered once before sputtering out completely.
that was the final straw. a lightbulb that refused to light.

it truly felt like someone had died. i collapsed against the wall and tried to keep my breathing even and i could literally feel the blood pulsing behind my eyes.

“don’t worry,” he said. “it’s just a lightbulb.”

“but everything is terrible.” i spoke the words directly against the wall. it was dark. maybe because the lightbulb had burnt out. maybe because my eyes were closed.

“look, i’ll change the bulb today while you’re at work. it’s not the end of the world.”

but honestly? it felt like it was the end of the world.

shit’s bleak.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

i just wrote a book and now i am afraid. includes bonus "how-to" tips!

Holy shit, guys. I don't want to pat myself on the back here (just kidding, I do!) but I wrote an entire fucking novel. Like, a book. With story arcs and character development. And settings. And metaphors or whatever.

I created something that takes more than five minutes to read! The last time I did that was in second grade when I wrote a story called "The Adventures of Sugar and Cream." (Sugar and Cream were mice. The book was mouse-shaped. But I digress.)

I mean yeah, some of the sentences in my novel are currently like, "His eyes eyed me as he looked at me with his eyeing eyes that eyed," and okay, there was a tangent in there about juggling kittens...but it's cool. I have a team of editors (AKA my family) looking it over. The editing and revising is under control.

Now that I've completed the book though, people are asking me the inevitable question: "Are you going to publish it?"

I never know how to answer that. I mean yes, I'd sure love to have it published. I want to share my hard work with people and see my name on a binding in an actual bookstore. The only problem is that it doesn't matter how much I want it published. A publisher has to actually want to publish it too.

That's where I need your help, lovelies. What the heck do I do now? I have looked up exactly zero things about the publishing world solely because I am a huge coward. See, once I cut the bottom of my foot but I refused to look at it because I knew it would be gross and bloody. Then I got an infection...but that's another story.
The point is that I have no idea what comes next.

I need advice on how to go on this crazy publishing journey. I'll gladly accept random stories, words of wisdom, places to point me, whatever. Maybe you have a list of publishers you've considered, agents you've looked at that, perhaps your mom's friend's hairdresser's cousin once published a book, WHATEVER. I would really appreciate it if you commented or messaged me with anything useful.

I am but a poor thin-skinned girl with no real life experience, and I think I'm about to get my ass seriously kicked.

The only thing I truly know about this stuff is to expect disappointment.
And that is disappointing.


ON A LIGHTER NOTE: I just wrote a book and you can too. Really. You can.

1. To Outline or Not to Outline?

As many of you know, I began my novel as part of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. One of the biggest debates I saw was whether authors should outline their works or let them develop organically.

I am not an organic person, I guess, because I used a phase outline to plan my book out. (Find out more here.) It worked wonderfully. I never had to wonder what would happen next, because it was already planned out.

Some people hate being boxed in, but having an outline doesn't mean you can't deviate from it. Ultimately, it worked for me, and I considered it a worthwhile planning tool.

2. Find What Motivates You

Did you accidentally tell the hot girl in Calculus that you're a novelist? Are you trying to hit a NaNo deadline? Do you want to show up perfect cousin Sally? Your reasoning for finishing a book doesn't have to be altruistic, but there does need to be enough passion behind it to keep you plugging away.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Guess what? Most people won't care if you finish a book or not. You need to hold your own self accountable. It's all too easy to lapse into "Well, I'll just write tomorrow..." No. Write today, and do it for yourself. This relates to finding your motivation - how will you hold yourself accountable? Bribes? Publicly displaying your progress? Lashing yourself like that albino monk in The DaVinci Code? (Don't do that though. Srsly.)

4. Screw Everyone Else

This is your book. You don't have to let other people read it. If they do, you don't need to listen to their editing or advice.

Speaking of advice...

5. Disregard Well-Meaning Advice

A lot of the NaNo stuff I read said to write the fun stuff first. Jump around, they said. Be spontaneous! Forget your carefully planned outline!

I knew that if I wrote the fun stuff first, I wouldn't want to go back and write the boring connective bits. I instead chose to write in a linear fashion, and GUESS WHAT? No one gave a damn.

Do what works for you. Even if that includes ignoring this entire entry.

Now go write.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Go for China

I want to make waves.
The good kind of waves, whatever that means.

I have enjoyed mild to moderate success in my career as a writer. More than many people will ever get the chance to have, and I am grateful for every moment. It's truly unbelievable and amazing and a whole lot of other adjectives that I haven't decided upon yet. Guys, people write their AP English essays on my poems. Artists have painted portraits of me. A few weeks ago, a ton of talented people designed faux book covers for a novel I haven't even finished writing.

by the talented oxygenanddreams

(Also, maybe it's just me, but whenever I click to find more about the people who have found me, they're all really attractive. What is up with that? I feel like I have the most beautiful people interacting with me. It's pretty gratifying. So, uh, yeah. You guys are lookin' good.)

When I started posting my writing online, I didn't know what I wanted to get out of it. I didn't know what would happen, but I am so, so glad that things have happened this way. It just makes me want to be even better. Push farther. Write more entries that sound like they were sponsored by Hallmark.

Goddamnit guys, I'm going to make waves because of you. These ripples are good, but I want to show you what I am capable of. You're going to hear about me, I promise.

I figure, if you're already digging the hole to see how deep you can make it, why not go for China? Um, physical impossibilities aside.