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.

text if we were having coffee

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?”

be brave tattoo

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.

2014-03-21 04.46.20

2014-03-21 04.43.42

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.

Divergent theater poster

text if we were having coffee

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.


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?

homepage divergent

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.

ptp bio

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

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.

text if we were having coffee

am writing at starbucks

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?

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