Hey, everyone! Just popping in really quick to say that I have to take a very short blogging break. Hopefully, it’ll be short anyway. I jus...

Hey, everyone! Just popping in really quick to say that I have to take a very short blogging break. Hopefully, it’ll be short anyway. I just started college last week and I’ve already had three quizzes, so kinda adjusting to that after taking so much time off :p. Plus, the one other page at my library quit suddenly, so I have to take on some of his duties at work until we hire someone else. So with that and school, plus other duties and commitments colliding at the same time, I’m unfortunately just not going to be able to get up a post this week.

I hope to be able to return to blogging very soon, or at least be able to post sporadically as I have time, so it’s not really a hiatus (I might even be back next week). I just know that this week, I gotta take some time off to work and study. :p

Rest assured, I will make this break as quick as possible (because honestly, I don't even want to take it. :p ) and I can’t wait to get back to posting for all of you lovely people. Thanks for being awesome!

Let us all pretend that this post went up 24 hours ago, shall we? Thank. First things first, it’s been ages since I shared music and I’...

Let us all pretend that this post went up 24 hours ago, shall we? Thank.

First things first, it’s been ages since I shared music and I’ve been getting into a lot of different artists lately, so I thought I’d share a few with you.

First off, Pentatonix.

This is currently my favorite one for them, but basically everything I’ve ever heard them do has been absolutely phenomenal. If you happen to not know, Pentatonix is a completely acapella group, but because they’re ridiculously talented, they sound like a full band plus auto-tune sometimes. It’s amazing and I love them.


This isn’t a new song or a new song for me, but I really love it and I’ve listened to it a couple more times over the last couple of days. Listen. It’s very story-inspiring, beautiful melody, plus it’s got some really nice feels if you're looking for that.

And now, to the posts!

Let’s Play a Game: Is It Worth It by EpicReads. I happen to be on their email list and got this the other night. Me and my best friend played it and it is so much fun. With questions like “You get an advance copy of that book you've been wanting forever BUT an entire chapter is missing,” this quiz is definitely worth a go.

Darkness Isn’t Cool by Aimee. In which she drops some major truth and brilliant reminders. I mean, I love dark characters, I truly deeplydo because a few of them actually do need hugs. Also 2-by-4s upside the head. However, there is a clear line between right and wrong, and we have to continuously reevaluate our love these characters, so that we can make sure to never cross that line ourselves.

Almost 19 by Alicyn. As I’m approaching the end of my teen years, I’ve wanted to do this more. Stop. Sit. And enjoy being the age that I am. I actually don’t like the idea of growing up at all, but like she said, we can’t stop time’s advance and each age will hold something new. So remembering to take the time to stop and enjoy the moment we’re in right now is something super important and super special.

Using Drawing as a Character Exercise: Guest post by Victoria on GTW. Drawing characters is awesome. Do it. I don’t care how good or bad you think you are, just read her advice, because drawing charries can go way deeper than just having a basic visual reference (as she explains in the post), and then draw them.
Three Things Villains Can Learn from The Joker by Sam. So the post is nearly a year old. Read. It. I’m personally not a huge fan of The Dark Knight’s Joker, but you can garner writing ideas from almost anything, and these tips are especially top-notch.

And that is it for this week! Are you a fan of dark characters? Ever tried drawing your own before? What were some of your answers on the Is It Worth It quiz? Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section!

Link to Original Post 1. What Were Your Writing Accomplishments Last Year? Honestly, I didn’t do a ton of actual writing last year,...

1. What Were Your Writing Accomplishments Last Year?
Honestly, I didn’t do a ton of actual writing last year, but I did get to go to a couple of conferences and such based on a project I’d already written. For instance, I was a YoungArts merit winner, got two agents to request more work at the James River Conference (neither has taken it on, but it was still a step in the right direction), and I gained a lot of clarity on what I wanted to do next with my career as a writer. Also, I launched my editing service and got down the groundwork for a similar service I’m doing with a friend, where we specifically target young writers and projects that don’t fit well into any one genre, creating unique editing packages tailored to each project. :)

So yeah, I didn’t finish a lot of works, but I did finish a lot of work.

2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
I plan to:
  1. Finish Low Expectations once and for all be in the process of either traditionally or self-publishing it.
  2. Restart work on The Supernatural Projects and finish the draft it’s currently on.
  3. Move forward with Becoming Brave(although TBH, I’m not sure where that one’s going yet. :p)

3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
I’ve already mentioned all of the above WIPs at one point or another, so I won’t completely rehash all that; but here are some summaries as well as links to a few of my favorite posts featuring these stories if you happen to need a refresher. :)

After a humiliating Facebook post shreds the remains of his reputation, fourteen-year-old Elliot Sharpe gladly trades the drama at his current foster home for a temporary one across the city. His plan: stay at the new place long enough for everything at the old home to blow over, but not so long that anyone—particularly he—gets any crazy ideas about being a “forever family.” It’s not the easiest assignment of his life, but Elliot’s pretty confident he can manage... until life, and a little girl named Mileya, conspire to convince him that even the lowest of expectations can’t protect him from reality.

Two years ago, Aleiah’s best friend Jesse was Chosen for The Supernatural Projects, a government program to turn exceptional citizens into extraordinary soldiers. Now, a random lottery allows them to meet again for mere hours, yet a moment’s naivete might change their lives forever.

Jesse knows that Leiah meant well with her choice—he also knows they’d both be better off if she hadn’t tried so hard to do the right thing. Leiah understands the danger she’s put herself in—and she despises her own stupidity. But at the same time, when the backlash could mean Jesse’s return, she finds it difficult to truly regret her choice.

As hidden truths return to light, Jesse and Leigh must make their own choices: freedom or safety?

Family or country?

In a world where all disabled people are arrested, “upgraded,” and forced into military service, a boy with a bad hand runs to the mysterious Forest People to avoid discovery. Meanwhile, his brother Vil infiltrates the Officers, the government’s police force, to find a way to protect his brother from the inside

By the way, if BB’s and TSP’s storyworlds sound similar, they should: they exist in the same universe and they’re at war with each other, Arbitrium, BB’s world, and Ciencia, TSP’s, each recruiting citizens to fight the other. So we get to show the war from both sides, which is honestly pretty cool.

4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I need to get better at using setting in not-obvious-setting worlds—like Low Expectations, a contemporary—both mentioning it at all and also using it to create conflict in my stories. I don’t know that I’ll be creating Inkheart-gorgeous storyworlds by the end of 2017, at least in my contemporaries, but I do hope to be a lot better with it and be using it to the extent that those stories require to make them the best they can be.

As far as where I see myself, I’ll still be editing (hopefully making a lot more money doing it), and hey, maybe even published. *fingers crossed* Also, me and my editing friend have officially decided to build an editing empire. So there’s that.

5. Describe your general editing process.
For me, it’s a lot of reading through, figuring out macro edits, doing them, then reading through, figuring out micro edits, doing them, planning to do a polishing edit, and then FINDING A MAJOR PROBLEM THAT MUST BE FIXED, and so I’m back at the beginning to rinse and repeat as many times necessary. Which is normally like 96,000.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Still in the middle of two of them, but for LE: it’s an 8 or a 9 so far. Much, much better than I thought it was going to be.

TSP: ... It’s been a while so it needs a lot of work. I’mma leave it at that. :p

BB: 10. I am so thrilled with this thing. :D

7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
In LE, just general polishing and brushing up. There’ll be a few plot tweaks, but I’m on the final stretch this time, lol.

BB: not sure honestly. Because I and my co-writer think it’s pretty solid, but our betas also haven’t finished the book yet, so we don’t know for sure what we need to work on. So btw, if the summary above happens to interest you, let me know. We’d be thrilled to have another reader.

TSP: *distant mumbles of EVERYTHING* The real question is what needs the least work. And the answer would be character development, because I knew where I wanted that to go pretty early and already did most of my edits for that.

8. What do you like the most about your draft?
Characters for all of them. But as I’ve said before, they’re the main reason I read and the main reason I write. So... yeah. The children are basically always my favorite part.

However, I also really love the themes of LE (cuz I strongly relate on my own personal level), and the setting and plot of BB and TSP.

9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
Dark hole would be most comfortable (for me, not the manuscripts), but like I said above, LE is being shoved into the spotlight sometime this year, BB is getting betas... and TSP will probably need another few rounds of edits before it’s ready to not burn out the eyes of other human beans. But I’m working on it. ;)

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those who just finished writing a first draft?
CONGRATULATIONS. According to every older writer I’ve ever heard, you are currently ahead of the majority of human beans who say they want to write a book. However, the easy part is over, and you are about to proceed into the jaws of exhilaration and despondency known as editing.

So, my advice?

Rest. Just rest. You can look up tips and stuff later. You can worry about your plot and writing later. You can question the strength of your character journey later. For now, rest and congratulate yourself—because until you hold your book in your hands it’s all downhill from here.

Okay, not completely, lol. There will be a lot of wonderful moments, I promise... but there will also be a lot of hard and heartbreaking ones. So seriously, for now, it’s time to just... chill. Remember this accomplishment, revel in it, and reward yourself for doing something this amazing. The 2nd draft can wait for the next of couple of weeks. :)

So everyone, tell me about your writing goals for this year! And if you did the linkup, be sure to put your posts in the comment, so I can visit yours later. Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

Hey, all, and welcome to 2017’s first edition of Posts of the Week! I was just thinking — literally just now as I’m typing this up—that it ...

Hey, all, and welcome to 2017’s first edition of Posts of the Week! I was just thinkingliterally justnow as I’m typing this up—that it might be cool to put taglines in each POTW title to make them a easier to find later. So. As you can see above, there’s the first one. Let me know if you like. :)

On to the posts!

Tell Me a Story of Loyalty by Ophelia. I’d never thought about it in terms of loyalty specifically, but characters and their relationships are the biggest part of what I love in most stories. So yeah, like Ophelia, I think those themes are especially beautiful when written well.

Perceiving That Illusions Are Not Truths by Keturah. “Just because you are upside down, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is, too.” I love this so much. There are definitely times when perspective really matters and it makes all the difference (she mentions those too in the post, so be sure to read the whole thing), but there are also times when facts are facts, and absolute truth has to come in somewhere.

A Mad Tea Party by Skye. This photo shoot is absolutely fantastic. I love how she tied it in with that scene of the book, plus the costumes and makeup... it’s all just amazing.   

10 Things You Should Regularly Tell Bookworms by Cait. Obviously, all of these are hilariously accurate. But what I really need someone to say to me are the island one-happily listening for 62 hours. Though I might need longer depending on the book, so best clear your schedule for about a week.  

Why Do We Reread? by Shanti. As you all probably already know, I don’t reread often, but I like what Shanti has to say about it and, when I do reread, many of my reasons are the same: to revisit the character journey, to remember what the story was about in the first place, and/or to compare my thoughts with my past self’s. Also, because there were really awesome quotes and I need to find them. I’ve done that too.

The Top of 15 of 2016 by Heather. Because who ever has enough book recommendations to crush their never-ending TBR? Also, there is a book on this list that is apparently much like Tangled. I shall find it and read it ASAP.
And that is it for this week! What was one of your favorite books of 2016? (please don’t ask me, because I don’t know because I can’t remember specifics like that across that wide of a time-span and that’s the real reason why I write reviews). Are you a rereader, and do you too enjoy stories of loyalty? Tell me what you liked most about these posts, and I will see you in the comment section!

Hey, all! So as the title so helpfully informs, today, the fifth of January, is Summer Snowflakes’ THIRD BLOGOVERSARY *tosses confetti and ...

Hey, all! So as the title so helpfully informs, today, the fifth of January, is Summer Snowflakes’ THIRD BLOGOVERSARY *tosses confetti and mini cookies everywhere*

Because I am who I am and dates and time tend to go right over my head until they are directly upon me, I didn’t even think about the fact that this was coming up until like two weeks ago, so unfortunately, I don’t have anything interesting like a cool survey or a book giveaway or a Q&A (though if you do have any questions for me, put them in them comments and I’ll answer them in POTW this weekend). However. Cake does seem to work for other bloggers, so I guess we’ll start there.





Salivating yet? I absolutely am.

While you all gorge yourselves on virtual sweet things, I shall now grace you with an Alexa original awful poem, as is tradition for my blogoversaries.

So this year, I thought it might be fun
To put my blog stats in verse.
But then I realized how hard that would be
And considered instead hiding in a hearse.

But there I was two days away
Committed, dumb though it may be.
Determined to give you the poem you’re due
For putting up this entire year with me.

As of the time of writing, all-time views
Has hit 40,124.
If you could properly rhyme something with that,
I would gladly give you the floor.

Yeah... that’s it for stats, although I am certain
I could find more if I tried.
Pardonnez-moi, I simply look at numbers
And my brain begins to fry.

Let us speak of something more engaging
Like the changes my readers have endured--
Yet of your faithfulness to me and my blog
I am consistently reassured.

I’ve dropped posts, missed days without explanation,
You could question the quality of some content.
And let’s not even begin on how long it takes
For me to reply to comments.

Yet you’ve all returned with deep thoughts and kind words
No matter the blog’s ups and downs.
And for your friendship and commitment,
My heart’s gratefulness shall ever sound.

Since launching on a Saturday in 2014,
My blog has endured many changes.
But whether new or old, many followers have stayed
At my side through various stages.

I can’t promise more differences won’t occur
Before 2017 sees its end,
But I thank you for reading all the same;
I’ll always value the time here you spend.

2016, what a year, my dears,
Difference and changes galore.
In all honesty, it does make me wonder
What 2017 has in store.

But with you supporting me and each other
Throughout the blogosphere,
I am certain that, whatever else occurs,
It shall be a wonderful blogging year.

That might be the one of the worst yet. Kudos if you actually read to the end.

In all seriousness though, guys, thank you so much for sticking with my blog, whether you’ve been here since that Saturday in 2014, you just arrived within the past couple of weeks, or somewhere in between. Every view, every comment, it seriously does mean more than I can say that people value what I have to say and are willing to discuss my various thoughts and keep coming back for more. You are all absolutely amazing, and I am blessed to know each and every one of you.

Another thing I’ve noticed I always do is a critique giveaway, and this year, I have an actual editing website that says I’m kinda good at this thing, lol. So enter the Rafflecopter below, and if you win, I will give you a free Reader’s Edit on any ten pages of your manuscript. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember, you are all incredible, precious, and loved. Thank you for making this blogging year what it’s been and here’s to an amazing 2017!

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