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May Book Releases I’m Eagerly Anticipating

May is coming and guess what? SO ARE BOOKS! BOOKS ARE COMING! BOOKS I WANT! Who wants to plot robbing a bank with me? No, FBI monitoring the interwebs, that there, was a joke…though seriously, I need to make more money…for BOOKS! I’m so excited for these five books coming out next month…which…

“You’re only a DAY a-wayyyyy!” -Annie sings

The One by Kiera Cass

• The third book in the Selection series
• On sale May 6th from HarperTeen

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Check out this BEAUTIFUL book trailer!

Rebel by Amy Tintera

• Second book in the Reboot series!
• On sale May 13th from Harper

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Rebel didn’t get a book trailer but check out the Reboot trailer (1st book in the duology)

After the End by Amy Plum

• A post-apocalyptic story!
• On sale May 6th

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

• The sixth book in the series!
• On sale May 27th from Simon & Schuster

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Mila 2.0: Renegade by Debra Driza

• The second book in this cyborg series!
• On sale May 13th from Harper

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Here’s the first book, Mila 2.0 book trailer

What spring/summer book releases are you anticipating most?

For more May releases, check out EpicReads:

The 15 Most Anticipated YA Books Publishing In May

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Why My Reading Has Been Suffering

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Why My Reading Has Been Suffering…

This has been driving me crazy recently. I couldn’t pinpoint the issue for so long. My TBR pile is stacked high and within it, there are a few I’m curious to dive into already but nothing was sticking. Lately, I’ve been busy with a long to-do list. By the time I get to bed (LATE) I knew attempting to read then would only make me suffer big time when I woke up the next day…

So what’s going on? I thought. My Goodreads challenge meter is telling me I’m 2 books behind schedule which makes me gasp and weep inside. With so many YA books being adapted into movies that are coming out just this year, I’ve been catching up on those reads I haven’t gotten to yet.

Remember when I told you all I was going to read ‘If I Stay’?  So I’ve been trying to get on that for two weeks now. I picked it up ten different times. I even started reading it at the salon and I was really liking the narration so far…but since then, I hadn’t picked it back up. I’ve sensed the hesitation and have wondered,

“What the heck is wrong with me?!”

Then, the light bulb.

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I’ve been in this “funk”. This isn’t a post where I’m going to get all raw and vulnerable with you all about my current issues–nope, we’re not doing that, but I will briefly explain that I have been feeling icky, grouchy, and overwhelmed with life lately.

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Once I realized my emotional state, I realized why I had been avoiding reading ‘If I Stay’…I’m not emotionally ready to do this:

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This happened to me when reading ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. When I first picked up Fault, I was beyond excited for it. Unfortunately, my family and me were going through a family death which means, I was an emotional mess and cancer was involved so…definitely not the best book to dive into during that time. So I read it…slowly. It took me a while to finish it because I knew it was meant to rip my heart out by the end but back then, I didn’t know all the spoilers, so I was prepared while simultaneously completely unprepared.

‘If I Stay’ feels the same way. I know it’s going to rip my heart but don’t know what to expect. I think emotionally, I’m just not in the right place for this read right now. I’ve been avoiding it while equally wanting to read it which has caused me to procrastinate and not read anything…which is not good because when I go too long without reading something, my heart feels it’s missing component that gives it life.

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So I am tossing all self-imposed pressures of reading certain books out the window and just gonna pick something up I might just enjoy–not too many feels. Epic Reads mentioned a Reboot by Amy Tintera read-a-thon before it’s sequel, Rebel releases on  May 12th. I have had Reboot on my TBR shelf for a while now which made me think,

“Hmm, why not? Bad-ass dystopian with a different take on Zombies…yeah, I’m down with that.”

So that’s what I’m hoping will pull me out of this reading funk.

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What are you currently reading? Are you anticipating any new releases for May?

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That Bad Word: Procrastination

Procrastination…

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“Ugh!” *groans, kicks, grunts, throws stuff, huffs, puffs, blows bangs from face away*

Yeaaaah. It’s been one of those…well, here’s the most frustrating part–it’s been at least, two weeks now. It’s bad. *scowls at self* I don’t know what’s going on. In the last two weeks, I had been at two different occasions, sick. One pertaining (sorry boys) to that awful, earth-shattering, over-dramatized time of the month you never cease to wave your fist at ‘Eve’ about. Yeah. That put a damper on things. Then, three days ago, I woke up with a stiff neck. *Puerto Rican raised brow*

 

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I have suffered upper back pain issues since young, so my neck likes to surprise me on random mornings and STOP. WORKING. It takes a few days of being out of commission before it decides to rejoin my humanity. No consideration or respect that life goes on and I must go on with it. No time to just shut life down for a few days. Pfft! Who does ‘neck’ this he is? (yes, apparently my neck is a ‘he’, just go with it)

I’m sure, those two factors were part culprits to my pro-*gags*…procras-*gags*. Well, you know what.

It has been so hard to actually get anything done. I’m drowning in this to-do list that continues to grow. I freak out because I need to do this and that, and then get overwhelmed. Then I try and tell myself that I can afford some rest. But then I think,

“Well, if I’m going to rest, I should read because my TBR is stacked pretty high.”

But then I feel guilty doing either/or because one thing will suffer if I attempt working on the other, thus ending with me doing ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING! Which ergo, heightens the anxiety levels which further creates that bad, baaaaaad word titled above. Oh. My. God! What a vicious circle of self-deprecation!

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Except…I’m not really a big drinker, so *begins to weep* I do this instead…

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Which then adds more anxiety because I’m thinking,

“Now I need to go to the gymmmmm” *sobs between words and stuffed face of ice cream*

This…this is a sad, saaaad scene. I’m so sorry I have succumbed you to such a sight. I promise I’m not in the ‘Eve fist waving’ time of the month…hmm, or maybe I should lie and say I am, so at least I’d have an excuse for such behavior…Hmm?

Yeah, the book? Don’t ask me about that…DON’T ASK, I SAID! I plan to, in the hopefully very near future, to get back to that. I’m more than half way done writing this new draft. Ugh! There is just NOT enough hours in the day. I’m juggling here and know it can be done. There are women who are wives and parents and have their day time jobs, write books and blogs, I mean, DAYUM! If they can do it…I question their humanity at times but if they can, gosh darnit, then SO CAN I! Right? …

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Yeaaah. We’ll work on that. You know, the whole getting pumped and actually believing it thing. FYI: I think Emma Stone is one of my spirit animals. Though we look nothing alike, I’d have her play me in a movie based on my life. The younger, quirky, ‘special” me. Then, for the more put together ‘me’ that I’d hope to be…

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Rachel McAdams…Hmm, I see a subconscious trend here because, I too am a fake redhead. Anyway, back to the point!

Well really, this post went no where. I guess I just needed to vent and well, y’all were here and willing to ‘listen’. Thanks for that! I’m hoping this funk with life will shake off soon so I can get back to everything I need to be doing. It’s A LOT. But, if I schedule my life better and stick to that schedule, I’m sure I will feel as though I have some sort of organized control of my messy desk drawer momentary life.

Fast forward: One day later…

Thought about it. While tossing and turning in bed last night, I reached for my phone and starting jotting down notes. I made two ‘TO-DO’ lists. One is my “Daily Goals: To Do List” and the other my “Work: To Do List”. Today, I woke up earlier…*sighs* for one of the only reasons that’ll get my arse up early…to color my hair at the salon. SAD, I know! Don’t judge me with those judgey eyes. Anyway, feeling more productive today. Baby steps. Lists are your friends! They really do help you silence the insanity that surrounds you, giving you clarity and guidance. If anything positive out of this rant is possible, then let’s say it’s this: Lists. Done.

BOOM *drops mic*

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Moments like these, I do have a heart for the male species who deal with the ever entertaining cray of women. But hey, you’d be bored without us over-dramatizing your life here and there. *winks* 

End of ranting sound bite.

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Where’s my Ryan Gosling to talk me down from my cray? 😉

 

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Are We Liking the New Layout?

Hey y’all! Quick, nonsensical post here…

For those who’ve been around, question? Are we liking the new layout? Was the old one better? or Goldie Locks and the Three Bears final answer: Go find a new one?

Let me know! Does it encourage further reading or stifle it?

And to make this post look more interesting…let’s toss in an irrelevant gif!

It took two seconds on Tumblr to find the perfect one. Oh, Epic Reads gals. Always reliable in the shenanigans department. *winks*

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‘If I Stay’ Movie Trailer Influenced Book Buy

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‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

Let’s talk about this book for a moment. So, this is one of those books by one of those authors you hear plenty about and in the back of your head, you know it’s on the TBR in your mind’s bookshelf. I hadn’t picked this one up yet. I honestly didn’t know what it was about but thought it was just one of those, “I trust that the bookish community says it’s a ‘must read’.”

Recently, the first trailer for the adaptation of this book came out. Holy capola! Can we say, ‘feels!?’ Wow! I was not expecting all of THAT, in the trailer because again, I had no previous knowledge of the story line. Yeah, let’s just say, the next day after watching the trailer again, torturing my feels into watery eyes, I called the only bookstore that would have it–Barnes and Nobles–and confirmed whether or not they had it. They did. I drove my impatient, happy butt over there and purchased the book. This scooted right up the TBR pile. I will be starting this one, hopefully tonight. If there was ever a trailer to pull book sales, this is one of them. Let’s reminisce on some trailer moments with…GIFS!

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I am most definitely excited for both the book and movie. Man, June and August are gonna suck in that ‘man, the feels you just ripped from my heart, leaving it to bleed but oh it was so good’ kind of suck. Sometimes, us booknerds are masochists, I see. haha

Check out the full trailer below! What did you think? Have you read the book?

 

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

coffee_and_books_by_poetriger-d6sgtb7‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey was by far, one of the most satisfying reads I’ve experienced in some time.

Goodreads Synopsis:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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I heard much about this read but knew nothing about it. My best friend sent me this for my birthday and on it went to my TBR pile on my bedside table. I wasn’t eager to get to it, since I didn’t know much other than the fact that it had some young girl and a teddy bear in it.

Omylanta! There is TOO much I can say about this book. It took me COMPLETELY by surprise. I didn’t expect the pace, I didn’t expect the romance, I didn’t expect an alien takeover concept to feel so NOT sci-fi and just epic, apocalypse adventure. Man, this book was so good. I could gush forever but I’m going to keep this short and just say, GO READ IT! It’s good!

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Found this Tumblr collage and thought it captured the feel of the book and main characters very well.

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A week ago, news broke that the main character Cassie, has been cast in the newly picked up film adaptation based on this best-seller book. Chloe Moretz, who is currently filming another YA adapted book, ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman, has been cast as the bad ass Cassie for Cassiopeia Sullivan.

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Have you read it? I think Chloe is PERFECT to play Cassie. I’m curious to see who they would get for Evan and Ben. *crosses fingers they cast it well* Who do you think could play Evan, Ben and are you satisfied with the casting of Chloe Moretz?

This wasn’t much of a ‘Book Talk’ per-say but I’m still on a book hangover from this one and desperately want the second book of this series in my hands…NOW! A cover and title reveal for the second book was released recently.

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Due to my hangover, words escape me to give you a sense of the awesomeness, so I will leave you with Christine of BookTube on YouTube (polandbananas20–random YouTube name I know, but there’s a video explaining the method to her madness).

Also, here is a FANTASTICALLY edited fan video inspired by this book and look at that! It stars currently cast heroine of the soon to be movie–Chloe Moretz as Cassie.


 

 

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If We Were Having Coffee: April 2014

photo courtesy of: Ransom Riggs-phtograph of @TaherehMafi 's hands
photo courtesy of: Ransom Riggs-photograph of @TaherehMafi ‘s hands

Long time no ‘see’, I know! Much has happened as of late and I’m excited to explain my absence. In the last couple weeks there has been ‘Divergent’ movie goodness and a great opportunity that has added to my busy days and I’m loving every minute of it. So I thought, what better way to share but through another ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ feature!

What are you drinking? Coffee? Tea? How do you take yours? Me, I’m having a creme brulee latte topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with cinnamon on top. I made my drink at home.

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Thursday, March 20th, my at-home bestfriend Vanessa joined me on this epic event–yes it was epic to me. Two days before that, I pre-ordered tickets to a midnight showing of ‘Divergent’ the movie! The movie was set to officially release Friday, March 21st, but many theaters released early showtimes on Thursday, starting at 8pm. This book means a lot to me. It will remain as one of my favorite books, as well as an influential one during a specific season in my life when I read it. I plan on sharing more on that as I mentioned in my previous blog post, Divergent Movie Review.

Luckily, even though Vane had never read the book, she heard enough about it through me, and was excited to watch the movie. My bestfriend (who lives in another state-Heather) loves YA books and understands fully my fangirl tendencies, but sadly, we could not experience it together. Vane indulged me and got all dressed up in theme of the book. We went Dauntless black, baby! I figured,

“Eh, one doesn’t always get the opportunity to dress up for something like this, so…why not?”

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Sported a ‘Be Brave.’ tattoo. (look at my Sharpie skills-Ha!)

It’s funny. Though it’s almost become a ‘cliche’ catchphrase within the ‘Divergent’ fandom world, this has been a significant phrase I’ve been contemplating a lot lately. Since starting this writing journey–seriously and intentionally starting it–I’ve had to learn to ‘be brave’. When I was a kid, I grew up with loud, negative voices in my life, always putting me down, making any attempts I pursued seem worthless, which would cause me to shrink back. I’d draw Ariel-The Little Mermaid, free-handed and show someone close to me, excited, believing I had done a good enough job but they’d tell me,

“Oh, I know ‘so and so’ would have done a better job. They know how to draw,” they’d tell me. I was eleven years old.

I believed their words and keep drawing because I liked to but kept it to myself, never believing it was good enough to show others. When I would sing a song, these same voices would tell me, actually they’d show me how they can do it better. Again, I continued singing because I loved it, but quietly to myself, never wanting anyone to hear. I did it for myself, but did not believe I was good at it. I did that with my writing too. All my life, I wrote songs, poetry, and scripts. I would go into my introverted hermit hole and write movie scripts for hours. I would even do research on the locations I’d pick to set the story in. I’d search pictures of actors and actresses because I’ve always been very visual. I have written tons and tons of stories that I kept away for no one to see, because in my mind, even if I thought they were good, that small voice haunted me,

“But remember Des, that doesn’t mean they’re actually good. Those who’s opinions matter won’t think they’re good so keep them to yourself.”

Even as I share this with all of you, it’s like a revelation even after all these years. I don’t realize how much those voices when growing up, stayed buried deep, deep, down, still affecting my self-esteem today. Almost a year ago, I chose to ‘be brave’ and email that author I’ve mentioned before and ask her if she’d be willing to meet up with me and answer some questions. I never thought she’d respond. One of her books were made into a big, well-known movie, with well-known actors. I sat in front of my computer, proofreading that email a hundred times before having the courage to click send. Then the waiting. Give it a few days and I told myself she wouldn’t respond, and that I should just forget I ever did it. But I still told myself,

“Hey! At least you did it. That was a big step on it’s own.”

It paid off. She responded, we met, she gave me GREAT advice and connected me with my now SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writer’s & Illustrators) writing group who I appreciate so much! I’ll share my other ‘be brave’ story below…stay tuned if you’re still with me. *winks*

So on I went to see ‘Divergent’, all dressed up.

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I dressed in black, overdid the jewelry, smoked the eyes, and tried making my hair a bit big and wild. It was fun! The theater gave out posters which I gladly accepted and now have hanging on my wall.

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In addition to content writing for an organic hair product website, there was an opportunity I came across through a Book Tube video one evening. I was sitting in bed with my laptop, contemplating what I wanted to pursue in life. Yeah, it was one of those heavy, late night, ‘analyze your life’ sessions that keep you awake even longer. For me, I wanted to figure out all the answers that night and see it in motion already. I may have an issue with impatience. Anywho, another ‘be brave’ opportunity dropped on my life. It stared me in the face like a boy from ‘The Outsider’s’ challenging me to ‘be brave’. The opportunity was a job as a news writer on a book to movie adaptation website called, Page to Premiere.

I reviewed the submission details and got to working. I really got into it and then wrote the email, sending over all the stuff. Again, it was one of those, review the email fifty MILLION times then finally clicked send before I talked myself out of it. Actually, I did talk myself out of it–three times. It was, I think almost three in the morning when I finally sent it. Then…I waited.

I am such a dork. A week and this girl’s already freaking out, convincing herself she didn’t get it–yes I’m talking about myself here.  I told my Mom and Vanessa which had them asking me every two days whether or not I heard anything-Nope. I found myself going the ‘negative’ route again thinking,

“It’s okay. You didn’t get the job but hey, you were brave enough to put yourself out there again–that’s huge!”

By the way, they were extremely busy with an event, hence I hadn’t heard back. Long story short, I got it! *happy dances* What made it official for me was when I was sent an invitation to the “Staff Page” for the website.

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It was a very cool moment! So where have I been? I’ve been learning the ropes, researching stories, learning how to format articles, while keeping up with my day job, writing for the organic hair product company, and tossing in there time to keep writing my book, also remembering I have you awesome folks to book talk with. It’s been busy now that I’ve added this awesome opportunity to my plate but it’s a matter of time management and well, *clears throat* spending less time getting distracted with the endless black hole of social media. *grins* 

What is Page to Premiere?

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Page to Premiere follows adaptations of books, plays, and graphic novels, that are generating buzz in the film community. News, exclusive interviews, and original opinion coverage is all written from the perspective of a reader!

The inspiration for Page to Premiere came from my six years of experience running fan websites for specific adaptations. People love following their favorite books from page to screen, and there was a space in the market for a website that offered extensive news and fun activities surrounding that topic. Many of the abundant general movie sites follow adaptations, but people who are excited about the process of seeing their favorite novel become a film like to know every single piece of information as soon as it happens. Our smaller niche allows us to be very thorough with our coverage!

Look! It’s official. I have my own bio/pic and page referencing all the articles I write.

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You all probably know by now that not only do I read YA (Young Adult fiction) but I write for the genre as well, and I love it! I’m also a movie junkie–almost attended film school to learn how to direct and bring my screenplays to life–so being able to write about my favorite YA books turn movies was right up my alley.

Again, I do this for the community. I believe what’s precious about the YA book genre is the all ages–really, ALL ages–community these books build and bring together. I, as a not so young adult anymore, believe our young generations need passion, imagination and a supportive, common interest community to help them through the most confusing and difficult years of our lives. It’s the time in our lives when we’re forced to figure out and then ‘know’ who we are. There’s a constant struggle between feeling all grown up at fifteen–cause we all did or do–to having life experiences that remind us we have absolutely nothing figured out.

Remember that Taylor Swift song, ‘Fifteen’?

when you’re fifteen feeling like
There’s nothing to figure out
But count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know
Who you’re gonna be
Fifteen

And when you’re fifteen, don’t forget to look before you fall
I’ve found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you’re supposed to be
I didn’t know who I was supposed to be
At fifteen

The ages of 13-21 are so difficult to maneuver. We don’t have our own convictions defined yet, even if we think we do. We don’t realize how much we believe at that age is influenced by our upbringings, and social surroundings. I just turned 30 and am now going through such a transitional phase of figuring out who I am and what do I really want. Spoiler young adults: EVERYTHING I wanted between the ages of 13-25 has changed and the few that haven’t turned out much more differently than I swore they would. Of course, nothing is that black and white and I don’t speak for the entire seven billion on earth.

Anyway…whoa, sorry, didn’t mean to get all ‘deep’ on ya and go down that bunny trail there. *chuckles* In the end, I’m liking the ‘brave’ moves I’m taking. I’m learning to be more positive.

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I’m almost at 60,000 words on my manuscript! It’s crazy to think I’m passing the hallway point of my story. Both besties have been beta-reading which has been very helpful. I trust their opinions, highly. Both are very literary minded. One is a reader of YA and the other is not, which I believe is smart, letting me know both perspective opinions. Feedback has been very positive. It’s always a good sign when you send them new chapters, and they get back to you saying,

“I hate you. Where’s the rest? I need to know what happens, NOW!”

*squishy heart feels* Moments like that make me think,

“Hmm. Maybe I’m not that crazy and can actually do this. Maybe people would want to actually read this story one day.”

Here’s to hoping and believing! *high five*  Thank you so much for having coffee with me! It was lovely!

How about you? If we were having coffee, and I finally stopped talking about me, what would you share?