Wildfires on the brain

Over the past few months, I’ve been drafting a new YA novel titled “Wildfire Girls” about–you guessed it–WILDFIRES and a gang of powerless/powerful girls that start them. And so, when the Santa Barbara mountains burst into apocalyptic flames again this summer, I felt my inspiration following suit. I’ve been furiously drafting, and now I’m closing…

The Mugsters in Seattle

Twice a year, my writing group (aka the Mugsters) throws our own writing retreat. This year, we chose Seattle because Mike started his MFA program in Washington, and most of my writing group lives in Southern California where we’ve forgotten the feel of rain clouds, and we’re all a little leery about that mysterious liquid…

How I Found my Agent on Twitter!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed with Tricia Lawrence at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency! Now, let me toss off my writer hat and bust out the math: AGENT QUERY STATS Total submitted: 33 agents Sources: – Writing in the Margins Query Contest Winner (6 agent requests) — this contest really helped me polish…

YA Winner of the SCBWI Los Angeles Writer’s Day 2016 Contest!

When I showed up at the SCBWI LA Writer’s Day 2016 conference, my biggest worry was beating Los Angeles traffic in time to catch a seat and a sip of coffee before the editors, authors, and agents began their talk. I had no idea I’d win an award for my YA work-in-progress titled Blanca and…

Save my Synopsis

Recently, I was writing a synopsis for my novel. I’d been dreading it for weeks. Go ahead, sum up all the complexities of your entire manuscript into an enticing one-pager without digging a grave under that lightning-struck apple tree. But luckily, the blog post “HOW TO WRITE A 1-PAGE SYNOPSIS” by author Susan Dennard saved me. Mental note, read…

The Secret to Writing

“The secret to writing is just to write. Write every day. Never stop writing. Write on every surface you see; write on people on the street. When the cops come to arrest you, write on the cops. Write on the police car. Write on the judge. I’m in jail forever now, and the prison cell…

Inspiration: Hitting the Streets

My current writing project digs into the graffiti underworld of San Francisco. What better way to get inspiration than walking the color-soaked streets. There’s an awesome organization called Precita Eyes Muralists that even goes into the history of graffiti and murals in the 24th and Mission. So much pain and hope on these walls.  Here’s…

Enchantia (Čarokraj): A Return to the Enchanted

What if you could rewrite your world every half century? Redesign the creatures, reassign the rulers, rewrite the book. And what if this magical book was an opera singer with a carousel dress of mythical creatures? On Sunday morning, I slipped on a black dress and rode a tram to the Národní divadlo (Prague’s National…

“Writing on the Edge” with Jillian Lauren

For five days at the AROHO Retreat, a successful author, poet, or playwright mentored small groups of students. My mentor was Jillian Lauren, author of the memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel Pretty. She’s also a talented spoken word storyteller for The Moth, and an overall rockin’ lady. Our small…