As you may or may not know, One Direction is now a foursome. Also, as you may or may not know, I am an unashamed Directioner. Because of al...

As you may or may not know, One Direction is now a foursome. Also, as you may or may not know, I am an unashamed Directioner. Because of all this, we are going to listen to one of my favorite 1D songs today.

You’re welcome.

I tried really hard to tie this in with writing (be proud; in the midst of my grief, I’m trying to be a good blogger), and I realized this: the chorus of “Right Now” is exactly what one of my protagonists, Leiah, would say to her friend Jesse. In fact, the line “Right now, I wish you here with me,” is basically her goal. The entire book is her quest to not just wish it, but actually bring him back to her.

Which is not half as cheesy and romantic as it sounds because they’re not dating and she’s trying to break him out of prison. He’s a good guy, though, really. It’s a long story.

Anyway. Here’s the song, listen to it, love it, mourn with me in the comments.

Of course if you’ve never liked One Direction and, like my brother, wish the whole band would be overcome with grief and stop making music forever, you can still comment and we can have a spirited debate about music. Be forewarned, I will use caps and perhaps throw music videos at you.

If you don’t want to debate, we can talk about writing and cute charries instead. See, 1D opens up all kinds of opportunities! 

All right, I’mma stop now. Recap: Listen to the song, leave me a comment, all I ask.

Like last week (and probably all future weeks), not all these posts were actually posted in the past week because I’m still behind on almos...

Like last week (and probably all future weeks), not all these posts were actually posted in the past week because I’m still behind on almost all my blog subscriptions. But I am catching up. Or at least trying to catch up. Points for effort?

Anywho, on to the awesome posts:

Five Reasons Not to Leave Comments by Aimee This is actually a guest post on Heather’s blog, but it’s super funny, super sarcastic, and super gif-y (is that a word?).

The Secret to Killing It On Page One by Emily Another oldie, but a goodie. Emily gives some awesome advice on how to make sure your page one grabs a reader and doesn’t let go.

What Pressing Buttons and #PitMad Taught Me About Stakes by Alyssa In which we have more awesome advice, this time about stakes, which I really must apply to my novels.

How You Say It by Mrs. Dittemore Advice not just for writing, but for life.

Yes, I know there are way fewer posts this week, but I have a really good reason: Zayn Malik left One Direction. I was quite depressed and couldn’t do much besides listen to Half a Heart and other OneD songs all day Thursday. Also, life and other annoying things got in the way of reading blog posts. Hopefully, I will read some tonight (fingers crossed!), so if you check out my Google plus, there might be new ones shared soon. Or maybe just more posts in next week’s Posts of the Week. Who can say?

Either way, you have my permission to ignore me now and go read awesome stuff.

Hey guys! As is perfectly obvious from the title, I am, for the first time, participating in the Beautiful People linkup . Say hello t...

Hey guys! As is perfectly obvious from the title, I am, for the first time, participating in the Beautiful People linkup. Say hello to my beautiful person of the month, Kemp Austin Jones.

This isn't an exact picture, but it's as close as I could find on pinterest.
I posted about Kemp before, in one of my Melodic Mondays. That was months ago, though, so quick recap: Kemp is sixteen, one of the four protagonists in my manuscript, What’s Real, and the weapons specialist on their teen spy team. He talks quite properly (think Spock from Star Trek) and he has a very soldierly attitude: he rigidly obeys their team leader and almost never questions her judgment.

Now to the questions!

What is his secret desire?

Kemp was very unforthcoming with this, I suppose because it’s a secret and all. At first, I thought maybe he wished he didn’t have to be the man all the time (besides being on the spy team, Kemp also takes care of his 7-year-old twin siblings, Krys and Keenan, because his dad’s out of the picture and his mom...well, she’s not very helpful with that sort of thing.) But he then informed me that he doesn’t mind taking care of them, having accepted that he cannot count on other people and that the twins are his responsibility and his alone.

In saying that, though, he accidentally told me that his secret desire is to have someone he can count on (so, there, difficult charrie!). He accepts his responsibilities and does his best to execute them, but he also fears failure and wishes there was someone he could trust, someone he could count on to be his backup plan, just in case he did fail.

(Kemp: That is absolutely preposterous.)

You’re lying to yourself, bae.

What is the best and brightest moment he experiences during the story?

Story's not finished yet, but so far... ouch, actually Kemp doesn't have a lot of bright moments. The best one is probably when he's playing piano for his girlfriend, Kat. She tells him that he’s brilliant at it and he may or may not glow inside.

(Kemp: Indisputably not.)

Quiet, Kemp. I’m doing this, and it's your own fault because you’re horribly uncooperative during interviews.

What are the emotional places your character is afraid to go to?

Interestingly enough, there aren’t many of those. While he’s not forthcoming in interviews, in the quiet of his own mind, Kemp has an interesting way of dealing with emotions, a unique ability to simply accept and release them. So he often is as emotionless as he appears.

The one emotional place he’s beginning to fear, though, has to do with the twins. In the last few chapters, the three of them have been taken in by a sort-of foster family, and for the first time in a long time, they have two parental figures who actually act like parental figures. Because the twins no longer need Kemp as much as they used to, Kemp’s afraid he’ll lose them. But that’s one emotion hes too terrified to deal with it.

(Kemp: Your information is severely inaccurate. Krys and Keen will always require my presence, and I do not fear--)

Denial! And moving on.

Is there a place/city/room where he will never go? Why?

I actually don’t think Kemp has one of these. I mean, hes not all “I WANNA SEE THE WORLD.” But theres no physical place he’s scared to go either.

(Kemp: *sighs* You have finally managed to answer a question accurately.)

Stop talking, lovely.

If he was permanently leaving town, what would he easily throw out? What would he refuse to part with? (Why?)

Kemp would totally toss anything school-related. He sees high school as essential for intellectual people, like his girlfriend, Kat, but unrelated to his job, and therefore useless to him.

He wouldn’t want to leave his new piano, but he’d have to because it’s too big to carry. The only things he’d absolutely refuse to part with would be his weapons: a deadly assortment of guns and knives.

(Kemp: Well, yes. To have a weapon on one’s person at all times is a healthy habit.)


What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?

That’s a hard one. It’s not like Kemp’s life is anywhere close to perfect, but if you asked him what he wanted, he’d give this blank stare for like ten seconds and then be like, “You mean I get to choose?”

(Kemp: I don’t.)

After that, hed realize that he only wants his loved ones, the twins, Kat, a few other friends, to be safe, both physically and emotionally. And hell do anything to secure that.

(Kemp: I do believe you’re getting better at this.)

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?

Kemp needs to understand that he’s not responsible for everyone. He does not have to--nor can he--protect everyone he loves from everything. And it’s okay if someone else takes over for a little while.

(Kemp: That someone else will undoubtedly, as most teenagers say, screw it up.)

Why do you have so many trust issues?

(Kemp: You made me this way)

No, you and Kat banged on the door of my brain this way! Anyway...

If he could change one thing about himself, what would it be?

Surprisingly enough, Kemp was actually willing to answer this one for me. Perhaps because his answer has nothing to do with emotions and is slightly chilling. Take it away, Kemp.

(Kemp: If I could change one thing about myself, I would make myself a few inches shorter. At just over six feet, I stand out in a crowd far too much. Also, it would be inconvenient when trying to snipe someone, as there would be much more of me to hide.)

And there’s my little psychopath.

What is the most humiliating event of his life?

It took me a while on this one--you seriously need to share things better, hon--but the most humiliating incident of Kemp’s life actually happens in the book (hopefully, he doesn’t hurt me for sharing). Basically, on their first real mission, things go terribly awry. A gun accidentally goes off, people get shot, and Kemp freezes. He’s spent his life training for this, but no one was supposed to die that day. So when things go wrong and civilians get murdered, he temporarily goes into shock.

As a result, Kat has to push him into action, and then she ends up getting shot. That wakes him up, but he still can’t forgive himself for losing control of his emotions, for failing to be mentally present when she needed him most. On the bright side, it’s a mistake I don’t think he’ll repeat. Right, Kemp?

(Kemp: Undoubtedly. If you’ll excuse me now, I need to sharpen my knives.)

Oh, okay, sure. Wait... sharpen knives? Kemp? Hey, Kemp? Calm down, dear, we can talk about this. Kemp!

Oh boy.

What things does he turn to when he needs a bit of hope?

Kemp refocuses on the things he’s fighting for: Kat, the twins, his other friends. He focuses on the fact that they are there, that they’re counting on him, and that, since theyre still alive, he’s succeeded so far. That gives him the hope to push on.


And we’re done! Hope you enjoyed your peek into Kemp’s mind, because now I gotta go find to something to hide under while he cools down.

Did you participate in Beautiful People? Either way, pick a question and tell me about one of your charries! I promise to check the comments once it’s safe to come out.

One of my best friends/co-writer told me about this song because it rather fits Viliam, one of our MCs for Becoming Brave . Though awkwar...

One of my best friends/co-writer told me about this song because it rather fits Viliam, one of our MCs for Becoming Brave. Though awkwardly adorable when it comes to romance, that bae is utterly unforgiving when it comes to his enemies.

Author’s Note: contrary to the title, not all of these were posted this past week. That’s just the timeframe for when I read them. Some are...

Author’s Note: contrary to the title, not all of these were posted this past week. That’s just the timeframe for when I read them. Some are actually quite old, but still good.

On to the posts!

Emotional Intelligence by Chard Cool post with great tips I should probably try to apply.

Breaking the Writer's Block on L.E.G.I.O.N. W Another cool post with great tips, but about writer’s block (as you probably gathered from the title) not emotions. Also, it’s quite funny.

Satisfied by Chard So totally true and so totally beautiful.

Fictional Myers-Briggs by Aimee Another post where Aimee is awesome and hilarious. Plus, Myers-Briggs things!

Writers Are Found Artists by Mrs. Morrill Way to look at the bright side, there. ;)

Dragons, Books, and Giveaways by Ophelia Cute post, cool dragons, and free stuff!

Mark Twain on the Right Word by Mrs. Williamson Something to be applied not just in writing, but in everyday life.

Go read awesome stuff, peoples!  

Since it is still technically Fan Month, it’d probably be more accurate to say “Fan Two Weeks” or “Two Weeks as a Fan.” But those take long...

Since it is still technically Fan Month, it’d probably be more accurate to say “Fan Two Weeks” or “Two Weeks as a Fan.” But those take longer to say and they don’t sound as interesting, so I’m afraid accuracy will just have to go and sit in the corner for a bit.


If you hadn’t heard, I spent the last two weeks doing Heather’s Fan Month linkup, in which you spend the month (or however much time you can manage) being a fan.

For me, that meant the daily thirty minutes I’d normally spend writing my own blog posts were spent reading other peoples posts. In the interest of full disclosure, my original reason for participating was that I was really behind on my blog subscriptions and I thought, “what better way to take some time off and catch up?” (in case you’re wondering, I’m actually still behind because, let me tell you, thirty minutes a day for two weeks? Not nearly as much time as I thought it would be).

When I started Fan Month, I thought I’d reach around 200 posts before my two weeks was over. I even considered making that my goal, but in the end, decided against it. I honestly don’t remember why I chose not to, but I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have reached that goal. Which would’ve made me sad and stressed, which is more or less not the point of Fan Month.

By the end, I’d only read about 100 posts. I grossly underestimated the amount of time I would spend reading each post, thinking about my comment for each post, and then actually commenting on each post. Who knew being a fan was so time-consuming? lol

But anyway, I’m still proud of myself for taking the time out to do it, even if I didn’t read quite as much as I wanted to. Maybe I’ll do it again sometime and go for an hour or so each day.

Now I seem to recall making up some rules when I started this whole thing, so let’s see how much of a rebel I turned out to be.
  1. I shall visit at least ten blogs this month: This was more of a goal than a rule, but I’m proud to say that I actually surpassed it. I visited fourteen different blogs (thirteen old, one new), which I know isn’t anything record-breaking. But like I said, Fan Month for me was basically playing catchup and being the fan I should’ve been months before (yes, months. I was that behind).
  2. I shall comment on every post I read: This one, I actually made a rule. And, though I followed it most of the time, I did break it every once in a while. Sometimes, as hard as I thought, I couldn’t come up with anything to say about the post. Other times, I was so quick to read everything else on my list that I forgot. Which, I know, kind of defeats the purpose of Fan Month, but I’m not perfect, and it didn’t happen often. I’d say I commented on at least 90% of the posts I read, maybe more.
  3. Except for the posts sharing other people’s posts, I won’t do anything new on Summer Snowflakes: This one was also a rule and this one I also followed. All the March posts on Summer Snowflakes have been about Fan Month and Fan Month alone.
Well, would you look at that? I followed two rules out of three. Guess I’m not as much of a rebel as I thought.

And finally, what I learned from being a fan: That I need to spend more time being one. It’s easy to get caught up in your own little building in BlogVille, but you’re missing most of the fun if you’re not commenting on other blogs and interacting with other bloggers. Blogging isn’t just about making your voice heard (which is what I’ve been using it for); it’s about hearing other people, too. And not just hearing, but truly listening, commenting back, and starting conversations, and meeting people, and making friends, and fangirling, and having fun, and generally interacting with the rest of the blogging world.

If you want to have fans, be a fan. Not to say that that’s the only reason you should be a fan (if you missed it, see a paragraph up for more great reasons). But if you’re not interacting with anyone, no one’s going to visit your lonely little corner in BlogVille. No one’s going to hear your voice. Plus, you miss out on half the brilliance of being a blogger if you’re just being a blogger and not a reader too.

I don’t intend to miss out on that anymore. From here on out, every month is Fan Month for me. Which is why every Saturday, I’m going to share my new Posts of the Week! post where I will link to my favorite blogs from the week before, just like I’ve been doing all March.

There’s about two weeks left in the official Fan Month, guys. Let’s get out there and be fans.

Alexa, out.

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