Currently…

I’m participating in this blog hop thing my friend and fellow 2017 debut Katy Upperman has been doing for a while, which originated here. Check it out if you’re interested and join in whenever you like. And if you do, feel free to leave the link in my comments. I’ll pop over to your blog to see what you’re currently into!

Loving

I started working out again, and while I haven’t cut out wine completely, it feels really good to be back at it. I started using PiYo this week, thanks to an awesome friend who is a trainer, and my whole body is pissed off about it. Good times, you guys. Exercise is hard, but I feel like as a rule health is an important thing to invest in.

Reading

I’m reading the amazing YA debut The Island by Olivia Levez, about a young criminal girl marooned on a desert island. And it’s bold and stunning, but a bit of a nail biter. It’s a UK release, so right now we here in the States can only get it in ebook, but it releases in the US in September! Add it to your TBR, like, now! I’m also beta reading the YA WiP by my bestie Lindsay Cummings and holy moly you guyzzzz! I have all the heart eyes.

Watching

you-re-killing-me-smalls-the-sandlot-cast-then-and-now-551337

If you ever wonder what benefits there are to having children— besides, you know, tax breaks and someone to look after you when you’re old— getting to introduce them to your favorite childhood films is high up there. We watched The Sandlot with my son this week. He giggled and howled, nervously asked questions, grabbed my hand with anticipation, and we shared a story that greatly influenced my childhood and has become legend in American pop culture. At least, to me. And now, to him.

Listening To

I’ve been listening to a lot of Pokemon theme music with my son. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I throughly enjoy it. I know, you’re totally thinking, why, Rebekah, why would you share this with us? If you ever take the time to listen to the lyrics of the seasons one and three (Pokemon: Indigo League and Pokemon: The Johto Journeys) theme songs, and you can set aside the fact that these songs are about the pokemon life and not real life then you might find you’re like me. You might find you occasionally tear up because you too want to be the very best

 

Thinking About

My time away at Djerassi with Nova Ren Suma and eight other brilliant YA writers. I love my home, and my family, and I had work to come back to and life to submerge in, but it was hard to let go of the world we created there with each other, the quiet I found in my own head, and the words that flowed from it. Djerassi is a place where your creative spirit can roam free, and mine did. That freedom brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings, and when I had to harness myself again in the real world, I struggled. Still am, almost a week later. Djerassi is not the real world, it is a cocoon and so it makes sense that it hurt me to leave it. I am grateful for that time, and I think it was just what I needed.

Anticipating

The North Texas Teen Book Festival April 23rd!! I get to moderate two (two!!!) panels featuring AMAZING authors and that is all I can say about it right now so don’t ask. Subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook for updates! *nervous jitters commence*

Wishing 

You guys would pop over to Goodreads and add my swoony, murdery upcoming YA fantasy novel set in a magical world inspired by Hawaii, Of Blood and Promises, to your to-be read list. It would make me feel things if you did.

Making Me Happy

Remembering our trip to LA with my son for Spring Break. I went from LA to Djerassi. From one beautiful series of days to another. I made memories with these humans that will stay with me forever. I got to introduce my son to Chewie and Space Mountain, to Santa Monica Pier, and my brilliant friend Alex’s cats Gatsby and Daisy, and every moment was joy making.

 

 

What’s Up Wednesday plus #WriterRecharge: Retreat Style

writer-rechargeIn true mash-up fashion I will tell you what I’m up to on my retreat, in life, and in writing (which all three feel very intertwined this week) with help and inspiration from the What’s Up Wednesday* crew and #WriterRecharge.WUW7

What I’m Writing

I am writing a book. I am using all my words for this book. It is still (mostly) a first draft although because I am editing it as I go, and then abandoning editing to get more words on the page. I am trying to decide how to set my goal for this week. I want to get about 10,000 words or to a point in the MS that this one specific thing happens. Whatever I get to first/whatever I’m able to get done, I am writing and it feels promising.

What I’m Reading

This section will be boring. I am not reading much this week other than the pages we are workshopping at the retreat (just to refresh my memory) because there hasn’t been a lot of time.

What Inspires Me

Ummm…this place is stunning. The fog shrouded mountains. The lichen covered trees. The sculptures designed by world famous artists. Bah! I can’t even. I’m also having trouble getting my pictures to upload, but rest assured, there will be pictures.

This group of YA writers is truly incredible. Their talent knocks me off my feet. That in itself would be enough, but they go a step further. As women — as people — they are so kind, so encouraging, so thoughtful and diverse that I am left blushing in admiration. Conversations about process, or failures, fears or faiths, stimulate my creativity until I’m giddy.

What Else I’m Up To

See above.

#WriterRecharge Progress

I am writing and I know more about how to end this book than I did last week.

I haven’t started anything new since I’m not done with my older projects.

I still have a lot to do but I’m going to get there.

*What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime orErin’s blog.

First Time: A Writers Retreat

If you follow my blog, you may remember me mentioning over the past few months that I was doing a workshop and retreat through the Djerassi program in Northern California, taught by the incomparable Nova Ren Suma.

Those of you who don’t know me from daily life, will not know that this is the first trip I will take on my own. Ever. I am twenty-nine-years-old and until now I have only ever traveled in the company of someone else.

How is that possible?

I met my husband when I was eighteen. We were young and poor when we married. I was twenty-one, barely able to drink legally, when I began working full-time as a receptionist while my husband attended school on a full scholarship. We traveled with family for weddings. We took a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Life allowed us to experience many things together all over the country.

Fast forward five years, my husband applies for a job in New York city and for the first time in his life he’s traveling alone to interview for a tech start-up. He got that job, and together we moved to Brooklyn. As a girl from a groovy, smallish college town in Texas, moving to Brooklyn, NY was like being a house cat released into the jungle.

But still, in all my travels, I was always accompanied by someone.

This morning I sat alone in an airport full of people, tapping at keys, and I realized this trip signifies more to me than it may seem on the surface. The first trip I take on my own is one done to hone my craft. I am a writer, even if I’m not an author yet, and this is me raising my hand to say yes, I’ll go. I become. I do.

The thrill of being in Northern California, the excitement of meeting my critique partner Susan in person (and fangirl flailing in the flesh), the opportunity to talk with fellow writers about the process, to revise, write, and even finish our work-in-progress’s, and to do all of this with Nova — who is a huge inspiration to me and someone I look up to and admire — is made that much sweeter by my aloneness. There is no one holding my hand or walking me to the gate or chatting with me on the plane. It is just me, typing words 32,000 feet in the air, in a tiny seat by a foggy window.

I am never really alone, though. None of us are. Everything we do, no matter how grand or mundane, is only accomplished by the love and support of many. Many saying yes. Many taking up the slack. Many granting us grace, or a chance, or a shoulder.

When I got through security at DFW airport, I texted my husband this:

I made it through security. Alone. I am a real life grown up person now. 

I also texted my parents and Uncle because there is a part of me that will never grow up. Those three people support the woman I am even if they still remember the little girl I once was. A girl scared of skeletons and obsessed with Pollyanna, jumping from windowsills  while she reenacted the fateful scene that left her heroine paralyzed. The little girl dreaming larger than life dreams — dreams far too grand for the wispy sprite she was.

I am still that little girl who thinks she can do anything, but still want to be told that’s OK.

I’ll be posting on Twitter and on this blog when I can, sharing my adventures this week and imparting some of the knowledge I gain.