What Dickens got right about March

 

Great Expectations 5

 

Do you have a favorite quote about spring?  Leave a comment here, or tweet at me.

– TL –

2016 = FUN

 

I thought this quote on goals was a perfect way to kick of the first blog of the New Year. Not that I’ll be blogging very much, but still…

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Everyone talks about goals and resolutions as they kick off the New Year. I don’t do resolutions and am naturally a goal oriented girl, so the only thing I’m changing up this year is to remember to have fun. Somewhere in this epic publishing quest I’m on, I forgot the three reasons why I started writing in the first place.

1) To have fun doing something I love..

2) To get the characters in my head on the page.

3)To create awesome stories and worlds that you can get lost in.

Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of those goals because I’ll be honest, getting published is damn hard work. Take it from me – if you’re not careful – it can suck the joy right out of your writing. I’d almost venture to say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But on the flip side – aside from my two munch-ka-mites (I had to say that one right?) and my running career – writing a novel is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

So for 2016, I vow to have fun with writing and much more. I’m so excited to go on my first ever writing retreat with my writer girlz in a couple weeks. It’s going to be F-U-N. So will running a 5K with my daughter – yes she will smoke me, but I don’t care. And the writing conference I’m attending in March should be a blast. Watching my daughter run her first year of high school track and hopefully qualify for New Balance Nationals. Cheering my son on in whatever sport he decides he’s going to give a go this year. Starting another novel (and hopefully finishing the first draft). And, and, and… there’s so many more things I’m looking forward to this 2016.

Bring. It. On!!

– TL –

Go Forth with Bold Enthusiasm

Last week my daughter’s Health & Wellness class had homework for the parents. We were asked what advice would you give your child that would help them meet their goals. At the time I could only come with something lame like, work hard and don’t be afraid of chasing your dreams, but be flexible.  Seriously? What kind of shizzle is that?  Sure it’s true, but not that helpful.

What I really should have said was this…

Approach life #2

 

Negative thoughts are distractions that cloud your mind, fill you with fear, and sabotage your path to success.  When you bring positivity and enthusiasm to everything you do, you are far more likely to be successful and attain your goals. If you believe in yourself, it’s almost impossible to fail, unless you give up. You know why? Because if you believe in yourself, you’ll keep trying if you don’t succeed the first time. And you’ll keep trying until you get it right.

So when I’m in a low in my writing, I remind myself what I love about creating stories, and that enthusiasm keeps me going, despite the inevitable highs and lows that comes with the publishing business.

Do you have words you live by?

– TL –

What’s this corner all about?

I kinda have this problem, called “lack of things to blog about,” so then I don’t blog because my mantra is “I only blog when I have something interesting to say.”  I LOVE that motto and it fits in nicely with my hectic life. But what use is a blog when you don’t use it, right?

Well, I found this cool resource called 365 Days of Writing Prompts.  Too bad I found it like in August.  Anyway – I decided when I am so compelled (errr. when I have a few extra minutes on my hands with which to write a blog post) I’ll find a fun prompt and go with it.

Today, I’m doing a prompt called Bookworms.  In this challenge, I had to grab the nearest book, and find the tenth word. Google image search for that word and then describe what the image brings to mind.

Here goes… The nearest book is Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher and the tenth word is “corner.”

The corner of a street is really the first thing I think of, and when I did a search on Morguefile (so I’d be able to share the image), wouldn’t you know, the first image was of this cool street corner.

HORSEFAIR ANTIQUES

I know what you’re thinking…Cool??? That street corner looks a little wrecked. The paint is peeling off the woodwork around the door, the blinds in the windows look askew and in fact, the store looks abandoned. Wait! Take a closer look at the red door. Are those weeds growing in front of it? Yup. Definitely abandoned.

But you know what?!  I LOVE it!!  It reminds me of going to check out some HUD homes with my mom when I was a teenager. Checking out old, dilapidated buildings and just imagining what they could become with a little TLC still fascinates me. And I think places like these make cool settings for stories. This corner kind of reminds me of a scene in BN&A (acronym for my contemporary YA romance that is yay close to being done! YAY!!)

In BN&A, there is an abandoned building in the center of the downtown area where the teenagers go to hang out. See the wooden door to the right of the red one?  My characters would use that door to enter the building, where they’d walk down a long dark hallway, descend a steep set of stone steps which dumps them out into a labyrinth of underground rooms where they play capture the flag in the dark. Spooky, but it was a fun scene to write.

What do you think of abandoned buildings?  Do share!! Love them or Leave them.

– TL –

Truck driver, NFL referee or NOT

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I’m sure you’ve heard the question — What do you want to be when you grow up?  I’m going to be honest. I hate that question. Okay, hate may be a little strong. I truly don’t care for that question. Because I don’t ever intend to grow up and why do I need to box myself into one thing? 

I think that’s why this Sugar Ray Leonard quote resonates with me. Dreams and aspirations are a funny thing. What we think we want most desperately in the world sometimes shifts and morphs into something else. But just like this quote says, opportunities are found in our dreams and aspirations. Even a dream deferred or aspiration altered.

When I was little I didn’t aspire to be a doctor, or an attorney, or a teacher. Nope! I wanted to be a truck driver. Not just any truck driver. I wanted to drive a big ‘ole massive eighteen-wheeler. You see that big blue monstrosity in the photo below? That’s what I wanted to drive. A Peterbilt with a sleeper section in the back. Where I was going to drive this, and for whom, I had no clue. I just knew I was totally going to be a tractor trailer driver when I grew up.

Photo by Spanish Coches via Wikimedia Commons

Then when I was a little older I wanted to be that dude with the white and black striped shirt in the photo below. Yup. I wanted to be a referee. The first FEMALE NFL referee to be exact. I was so into the whole ref 1-IMG_1879thing that I memorized all the hand signals and practiced in front of the television on Sunday afternoons. Confused smile I’m sure my dad thought I was a lunatic, but I don’t recall him ever saying “Not. Gonna. Happen.” Yay for my dad!

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Fast forward many years…No I’m not a truck driver, or an NFL referee, or the host of the Today show, or a newspaper reporter or a sports agent.  But essentially, I have two dream jobs.

IMG_460491354Here’s my office by day, where I work as an analyst for a large healthcare IT firm.  Yeah, I’m not exactly doing what I went to college for, and who would’ve thought I’d be staring at a computer screen or hanging out on conference calls all day – but I can honestly say, this job is awesome. I mean I work from home, people!  And I work with THE BEST co-workers.

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And that’s my office by night, where I escape to my totally awesome job as an author of young adult fiction.  Since I’m an incessant dreamer, I write about teenagers who dare to dream. Who dare to aspire. Who seize the opportunities laid out in front of them. I write about girls and guys who BELIEVE

I’d love to hear what aspirations are you shooting for?

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p align=”center”>– TL –

Possibilities

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Go Confidently

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The Time Is Right

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Sharing a little something on #NationalTellAStoryDay

So did you know that it’s National Tell A Story Day?  I’ve been feverishly editing my Golden Heart® nominated YA novel THE CULLODEN IMMORTALS for what feels like the one hundredth time, so I’m not going to tell you a story, today.  Instead, I will share a story (of sorts) with you.  I am so SO excited to share with you the book trailer for Grey by Christi J. Whitney.

I hope you think it’s full of as much awesome as I do.  Release day is almost here!!  Grey is available for preorder in all these places:  HarperCollinsUK , AmazonUK , Amazon , B&N .

– TL –

 

Grey // Romany Outcast Series from Christi J Whitney on Vimeo.

A #TBT to #PennRelays

Some of my greatest memories, and dare I say – moments, in my athletic career were at The Penn Relays.  Today kicks of the 121st year of the three day relay carnival.

What’s so special about Penn?  It’s the 45,000+ fans crammed into University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field, cheering the runners on for three days of amazing and intense competition.

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It’s running, not for yourself, but for the three other girls (or guys) on your relay.  (This is one of my favorite photos from Penn.  It was my senior year, my last race wearing a Villanova singlet at Penn Relays, and I’d just anchored the 4 x 800 to victory.)

 

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It’s the amazing rush of doing a victory lap if you win. The photo above was from my senior year, on the 2nd day of the meet when myself, Jen Rhines, Becky Spies and Krestena Sullivan won the 4 x 1500.

 

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And being presented with a gold watch and “The Wheel” – an enormous wagon wheel looking plaque you receive as the winners of The Championship of America race.  The photo above was our 4 x 800 team being presented with the third “wheel” we’d won that meet.

 

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If you wear a Villanova singlet, it’s being a part of the rich Villanova tradition that is the Penn Relays, much like a rite of passage for a Villanova Track athlete.  It’s the deafening roar as you race past the Villanova section that’s filled with VU greats of past and present.  It’s the magic you feel when you step onto that track wearing the blue and white.  And even if you are the underdog, in that moment you feel that you can achieve anything.  In the photo above, I’m just finishing the 800 meter leg of the DMR and handing the baton off to Becky in the DMR.  The DMR was the first relay of the meet, always kicking off our weekend of awesome.

And if you don’t come in first… It means shaking off the defeat because there’s another race that’s just as big to run tomorrow.

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Today kicks of the 121st year of the Relays.  Wishing all the Villanova Track and Field athletes a great #PennRelays.  Let’s Go ‘Nova!  (quote via Villanova.com)

– TL –