my seeeester

First let me say, my sister is going to kill me for posting this picture. JILL BETTER PICTURES TO COME LATER IN THIS POST, I swear. Okay, so this picture: my mom (back), my sister Jill, and that cute as shit little tyke with the mullet-- that's me. The three musketeers. (Well, there's my dad too, but that's another post for another day.)
So March 1st is my dear old sisters birthday and I figured what better way to wish her a happy birthday than to do so publicly on the old blog.
Growing up, Jill was like a second mommy to me. Whenever I was sick in the middle of the night, it was Jill I woke up. And it was Jill who put me back to bed. But me and my sister, we're as opposite as they come. I'm a little rough around the edges at time and she is quite honestly so very lovely. We were always different, but one thing we always had in common was our crazy family. At the end of the day, no one understands your home life like your sibling(s). It was always a meeting point for us. Sometimes Jill had a hard time accepting why I had to do absolutely everything wrong before I could do it right and I could never understand why the hell Jill would ever dedicate all the time in the world to helping everyone but herself (seriously, she was a missionary for a long period of time, and in a way she still is).

When Jill was doing things like this (loving people w her giant heart) <----

I was doing things like this (getting cheesy tattoos)  ---->

But despite our differences we could always talk about why mom did this and why dad didn't do that and how much we love The Wonder Years. My sister is sweet and kind and selfless and all the things I've never been good at being. And I wish her the most happiest birthday yet!
My sister quotes Bible verses, and I quote books. So, Jill this one's for you:

But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go- We'll eat you up- we love you so!”
  -Maurice Sendak,  

Where the Wild Things Are 

Love you Jill!
- Julie 


You are here.

First off, saw this image online ages ago and I can't find the artist, so I'd love to give said artist credit. Hello? Artist?

Well it's been a bit since I've done a legit writing post. So this is me officially updating.
So November I cranked out my second novel. And here's the thing about writing a second novel, it's full of self-doubt. Things like, what if I can't do this again? Was that whole book thing a one-trick pony? And, what if my second attempt is even worse than my first attempt?
But here's the thing about writing, and basically every other fucking thing, THE MORE YOU DO IT, THE BETTER YOU GET. So yeah, this second go at writing and editing a full manuscript went pretty stinking good. I don't outline, there's no use fibbing about that. But this time, I had a sort of road map of how the experience itself ought to feel. An idea of what I should expect of myself. And not only that, but I had a more a solid understanding of what works and what doesn't. But really, what really changed is this: I swallowed my fears and wrote, even when I thought it would never work, I wrote it anyways. So yeah, back to November. I wrote my first draft in a little over three weeks.
 I took most of December off, because truthfully I was still licking my wounds. I had received two rejections on requested material and I had one last full request I was waiting to hear back on, and that rejection... that rejection came on Christmas Eve night. Literally you guys, I was pulling cupcakes out of the oven, my cell chirped, I fished it out of my apron pocket, and found a form rejection on my full manuscript in my inbox. (Sidenote: I understand the necessity of form rejections, but it doesn't make it any easier to handle.) So yeah I slammed the oven shut, and said eff it. And that was when I decided I to put away HOMESICK FOR GOODBYE. Maybe not forever, but for now. I had considered the possibility that this time would come, but now it had. And it sucked even more than I expected it to. In the end, I closed out my first manuscript at fifty-three rejections.
You wanna know what I did? I enjoyed my holidays and read some good books.  And I most definitely did not edit.
So, fast forward to January 1st. I cracked my laptop open and began to scour the internet for critique partners. Because there was one thing I knew. If I was going to make a second go at this whole writing thing, I would need some serious critique partners. Thanks to the incredible online writing community I was able to meet some really nice people I connected with. And one or two who I could not have done this with out. (SHOUTOUT: Valerie Cole!!!!) I spent the entire month of January editing the shit out of my second manuscript (which is currently titled THE SYMPTOMS OF OUR SHADOWS).
Come the first week of February, I started querying. I expected to just test out the waters, get a couple rejections, see if I could get any reactions. But then, I wasn't really getting a whole lot of rejections and I started getting a whole lot of reactions. So I'm still in the midst of it all, and I think I'm going to keep my stats privy for right now. But let me just say, things are going really well.
Really, really well.
Maybe I'll have good news for you all soon, and maybe I won't. But even if I don't this has been a ride I will never forget. That's all for me today you guys.
And don't forget to leave me some creepy comments.
But in the meantime, I AM HERE. And here is pretty freaking awesome.




So I usually try to blog like once or twice a month. Which isn't all that ambitious, I know. I figure the lower my goal, the higher chance I have of being impressive when I surpass my goal. My flawed logic. So I'm going to try to do a couple consecutive posts to make up for my sheer laziness.

In case you live under a rock, ALA (American Library Association) midwinter was in Dallas this year. And me and Ashly did ALAMW HARD. It was ridiculous, lots of publishers and vendors. And LOTS of peoples, some nice, some not so nice. But overall the weekend was amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I got a huge haul of ARC's (not all for me, promise!) and lots of awesome information. And did I mention I got to spend the whole weekend with Ashly?? Because I did and we had so much fun! Seriously, it would not have been the same had I gone by myself. (Pictures L to R: Me & Siobhan Vivian- highlight of my weekend!ALA ARC haul. Me & Ashley being famous, duh.)

Also sidenote: Ian got me a second edition Animal Farm for Christmas and I lost my shit. One of my favorite books of all time!

Yep. That's all I've got.


ps- for my review of any and all books I read check me out on Goodreads!