Wordy Wednesday: Want

The semester is officially over! Thank. Goodness.

It’s been a whirlwind few days of cookie-baking and movie-watching (and email-sending and meeting-having and application-doing and research-researching–but still).

It’s so nice being off classes. Like, as much as I enjoyed my classes this semester, and as much as I’m looking forward to my classes next semester, it’s nice to finally have some time to get caught up and relax. (Also nice: Straight As, including an A+ in Mexican Cinema. Hecks yeah.)

Aaanyway: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

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Shaking.
Wanting something so badly,
I am shaking.
Haven’t felt this way
in so long that I
no longer thought
it was possible.

Please,
please
please.
Let me manage it,
let me make it,
let me trace my path
back to the place where everything
felt like a lightbulb turned
to full wattage—but where
I was a phoenix, not a burn victim.
Let the answer
please
be yes.

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Thanks for reading! (And merry two-days-until Christmas, if you celebrate!)

~Julia

Oh, and PS: I’ve got a new movie review up on [art]seen! Hannah and I went to an advance screening of The Danish Girl. Check it out: http://arts.umich.edu/seen/2015/12/21/review-the-danish-girl/

Other cool thing that happened: I won an ARC of Ally Carter’s new book See How They Run! I haven’t had a chance to finish reading it yet, but it’s super good so far (and now in stores), so you should deeefinitely go get a copy if you’re into twisty (but not too dark) YA thrillers.

And now I swear this post is done. ‘Later!

Wordy Wednesday: All Fall Down

Several things:

1.) I FINISHED REVISING. You know all those times I’ve cryptically referred to the project I’ve been revising for almost literally forever? Well, I finished finished. And it’s now off with critique partners. So fingers crossed I didn’t leave any gaping plot holes or anything. (For reference of how long I’ve been working on this thing: When I looked back at the original revision notes, a couple weeks ago, there were change suggestions listed there that I’d thought had always been that way.)

2.) We are SO CLOSE to being able to make these Ch1Con-related announcements. We’ll hopefully have them up tomorrow. Pinky swear!

3.) This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a song I wrote about Ally Carter’s upcoming novel All Fall Down (GoodReads link). Of course, I haven’t READ All Fall Down yet, because it doesn’t come out until January. (SO FAR AWAY.) But I love all of Ally’s other novels, and the plot blurb sounds amazing, per usual, so I got really excited one day and wrote a song.

Isn’t this cover BEAUTIFUL? [Image kidnapped from Goodreads.]

[Warning: The microphone on my new laptop sucks, I messed up a couple times, and I look like I just survived a day of class (because I did). So this isn’t the greatest recording ever. But it’ll give you a feel for how the song SHOULD sound.]

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[Bm, D, A, G]
VERSE1
New life in an old city
Don’t even bother to say hello
Tell me, are you trying to break me?
Or is this the only love you know

And I’m sitting here among her things
The memories press my eyes
Until I need to run away
But I am drowning

CHORUS
’Cause we all fall down
Between the cracks of this fading town
You won’t know where to go
When the light’s fading too fast
red, green, to yellow

We all fall down
Torn from the pages of our books
Running from the lands that we took
The sky’s too blue for the freefall to slow down

We’re nearing too near to the ground
We all fall down

VERSE2
Don’t know who to trust
My entire life is a cliché
Of all the ways
things can burn to dust

Not a child, but I’m still scared
The past doesn’t have me prepared
For what this city holds
Can’t fit your mold

[Repeat CHORUS]

BRIDGE
Gonna find my way, through the mysteries
You can’t keep your secrets safe from me
The fire stole so much, but I will take it back
I will smile as you have a heart attack

We all fall down

[Repeat CHORUS]

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Thanks for reading! (And not driving me out of town with pitchforks over that recording.)

Goal for today: 2,000.

Overall goal: 8,000.

Current word count: 7,140.

Off to NaNo!

~Julia

Happy 2nd Blogiversary!! (+GIVEAWAY)

I interrupt your regularly scheduled Wordy Wednesday to announce: IT’S OUR SECOND BLOGIVERSARY! This pretty young thing’s been around for two whole years now. Which I guess means it’s no longer all that young, but shhh.

Thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me through the highs and lows. It’s been a crazy two years and SO MUCH has happened since I started this blog.

I was a senior in high school, then, who had no idea what she would do after graduation. Now I’m a sophomore at my dream college with a dream major to boot.

My first blog postwas about how my cat, Willy, was on the brink of death (such a pleasant topic, right?) and I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d have with him. Willy survived through that first week of mindlessly blogging as a distraction and lived on to the ripe old age of seventeen, when he finally passed this summer.

I’ve met favorite authors and actors, traveled to all sorts of different places, and gotten to know so many wonderful new friends.

And I am incredibly grateful for all of it.

So, to show my appreciation, I am giving away TWO SIGNED BOOKS for this year’s blogiversary. (Geddit? Two?) They’re by a couple of authors I admire to pieces, and if you haven’t read any of these ladies’ novels yet, I highly recommend them.

Here we go.

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What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

I had the honor of meeting Kat Zhang this summer at the Young Authors Give Back tour, and she’s just about as awesome of a person as she is a writer (and that’s saying something). In addition to the signed copy of the first book in her Hybrid Chronicles series, this prize includes a signed card advertising What’s Left of Me and book 2 (on the side not shown in the picture above), Once We Were.

Goodreads Description: I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

*****

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

PERFECT SCOUNDRELS by Ally Carter

Ally Carter is one of my absolute favorite authors EVER, and I basically had a heart attack when I got to meet her in February. She’s such a sweetheart, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve reread some of her novels. I’m giving away a signed copy of one of her 2013 releases, Perfect Scoundrels, which is the third book in her Heist Society series (but no worries if you haven’t read the first two in the series, Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals, because it’s written fairly episodic, which means that you can jump in at any point and still follow what’s going on).

Goodreads Description: Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

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So, there you have it. Two fantastic, signed books. Two chances to win. One blogiversary giveaway.

The sweepstakes will run until the end of the year, so that means you’ve got until the ball drops on January 1st, 2014 to enter. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Follow this Link to the Super Crazy Awesome 2nd Blogiversary Rafflecopter Giveaway of Awesome

In other news, Hannah and I are participating in Project for Awesome this year (what is Project for Awesome? learn about it here), and it would mean a lot to us if you watched our video, left a comment, voted for our cause, whatever. Our video is about Girl Rising, which is an organization spreading education throughout the world one girl at a time. (And if you aren’t interested in supporting Girl Rising specifically, it would also be awesome if you just supported Project for Awesome in general, because it’s such a great opportunity to make the world a little bit better.)

Watch our video/vote for Girl Rising here.

Learn more about Girl Rising, from the source, here.

Check out Project for Awesome here.

And a couple other Project for Awesome videos you should watch: DFTBA UM for Cancer Support Community and National Novel Writing Month.

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Thanks for all the support the past two years, and Happy 2nd Blogiversary to you! Let’s make the next two years even better.

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“The Stars Do Not Speak”)

I just finished reading United We Spy, the final book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series (they’re young adult spy novels–check the first one out HERE). And as good as United We Spy was, and as much as I loved the ending, that darn book has left me probably the most depressed I have ever been over reading the last word of the last page of the last book in a series. I’m going to miss the Gallagher Girls a ton.

Yes, we’ve got more Heist Society and the new Embassy Row series to look forward–but watching Cammie and her friends grow up, and growing up alongside them for the past four years or so, has meant the world to me. And while I know I can always go back and reread their stories, now it won’t be the same. Because now I know all the stories.

I’ve figured out all the twists and turns, and dissected the foreshadowing and symbolism, and all that is left for me at the end of this series is a well-worn stack of paperbacks and hardcovers–top shelf, furthest to the left, so many memories attached to each book that I could cry just from a glance.

I remember being a sophomore in high school and picking out that very first Gallagher Girls book at my neighborhood Barnes and Noble. I remember the way it was difficult to breathe and speak and think as I met Ally Carter last winter and she cracked a joke while she signed every single book I’d lugged to her signing, and took pictures with me, and complimented my dress, and overall was just exactly who I want to be when I’m older. She’s on my Top Six List for a reason.

I remember gushing to her agent about how much I adore the Gallagher Girls while I was supposed to be pitching my own work at the Writer’s Digest Conference East in April, and how exciting it was each time I turned one of my friends onto I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, and the way I was so angry at B&N for not shipping my pre-ordered copy of United We Spy until the day of its release last week–how angry I was that I didn’t receive it until two days ago.

And then I put off reading it until now, last night and today, because both despite and because of all these years of lead up, I didn’t know if I could handle “the end”; if that could ever be enough. Because I love this series a lot.

But everything ends eventually, and if the Gallagher Girls series has to end, I’m glad it ended the way it did.

There’s something beautiful about endings, isn’t there? There’s something beautiful and sad and exciting–because as much as I don’t want to see the Gallagher Girls go, I’m also very excited for Embassy Row to begin. And we can’t have it both ways. For the new thing to begin, the old thing has to end first. And at least the Gallagher Girls did it beautifully.

If Ally Carter ever reads this (shut up, I’ll keep dreaming)–thank you. And congratulations on going out with style. I hope someday you’ll know how much your series means to me; in the meantime, I’ll just go reread the Gallagher Girls books over and over again while crying my eyes out and gorging on cupcakes.

Oh yeah, and here’s this week’s Wordy Wednesday! (I knew I was supposed to go somewhere with this, eventually.) It’s a short story I wrote for creative writing class last semester called “The Stars Do Not Speak.”

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[Sorry! I’m taking this story down to enter in competitions and such. Thank you for the interest!]

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~Julia

Meeting Ally Carter

So, some very awesome and important things happened this past weekend, and I wanted to tell you about them. 🙂

A) I have this thing I call my Top Six List, which is basically a list of my six favorite living authors. They’re writers who I not only enjoy the work of, but also admire as people and hope I’ll have the opportunity to one day be like. This Friday, I got to meet one of my Top Six for the first time ever– Ally Carter, the author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society young adult series.

I got to ask her a question during the Q&A portion of her book signing, and then talked to her while she signed my books. She complimented my dress and joked about sneaking me out in the trunk of a car after the event, since I was in enemy territory (it took place near Michigan State University–I go to the University of Michigan). She was the nicest, most down-to-earth and considerate author I’ve ever met, making sure that every single person at her signing felt special and like she cared about them individually (and there were A LOT of people there).

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a book signing someday, I hope I can be as sweet and considerate as Ally was. Meeting your idol is one thing–meeting your idol and having her be just as great of a person as you’ve always imagined is something else entirely. I can honestly say that it was one of the best evenings of my life. 🙂

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B) My high school theatre company won the competition they were in!! The company hasn’t won since before a good number of the students currently in it were born, so it’s a really, really big deal, and I’m so proud of them. 🙂 I’m also sad, of course, that I’m no longer a part of the company, since these totally awful things called graduating and growing up happened, but you know what? I had my time. It’s theirs now. And I am so, so, so proud and happy for all my friends who were a part of the play.

C) And, last but not least: If you haven’t already, make sure to go read Chapter Three of This Is a Book–the genre-bending novel I’m co-writing with my friend Mel–over on her blog here. We’re having so much fun writing this story, and we hope you’re having fun reading it too!

… So that’s it for now, and I’ve gotta get back to procrastinating from my Spanish project by glaring at it over my lunch, so I’ll talk to you later. Have a good week!

 

~Julia