Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 To-Do List

I guess it's that time of year again. The time when people vow to do better than what they did the year before, or when they make resolutions they have no intentions on keeping; but not this girl!

At the end of 2012, I came up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I actually completed 7 out of the 12 items that were on my list, but if I hadn't put a specific number on some of the items (i.e. complete 2 scrapbooks), I would have actually completed 10 of them.

For 2014, I've decided to create another checklist, but this time I'm not limiting myself to a specific amount…life throws us curve balls every now and then and we have to be ready for them! I know how busy my life can get, which is exactly why I won't be putting specifics on myself, unless it can't be avoided.

Here's my To-Do List for 2014, in no particular order: 

Work on a novel
Publish a novel
Attend Maryam's wedding
Attend one of Scott's games
Do yoga
Successfully complete squat challenge
Eat king cake
Watch more television movies
Go to the movie theater
Go to the casino
Complete a scrapbook
Raise at least $20 for New Orleans' American Kidney Foundation through GoodSearch
Start a Prayer Journal
Create inspiration board 
Blog as much as possible
Post more photos on Instagram
Buy a book on my wishlist
Read a novel that's not from my preferred genre
Get an A in at least one class
Bake something/make candy
Cook a dish
Try a new snack from a store
Have Family Game Night
Go to the gun range
Try a new food
Review more novels on NetGalley 

  Hopefully, my to-do list will inspire you to create your own to-do list. Feel free to share your list with me in the comments. Here's to a great year! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Father, My Unsung Hero

Today is the day that I take this time out to celebrate my Unsung Hero, my father. My father has always been my hero, but after these last two years of witnessing my father's strength, it has made me realize that I couldn't have picked a better hero. If anyone knows me, they know that I'm the definition of a daddy's girl. I've learned so many lessons from my dad, but here are my top 22 favorite lessons that I've learned:

22. How a real man is supposed to treat a lady (he treats my mom like the Queen that she is).

21. How to deal with whatever God throws my way.

20. Burping is NOT ladylike.

19. How to shout really loud during basketball and football games.

18. How to shoot a BB gun.

17. Westerns are really fun to watch (especially Bonanza).

16. How to stew a chicken (this was my first and last cooking lesson with him).

15. Never agree to drink coffee that comes with the bribe of $1 (he still owes me $1). 

14. How to be independent.

13. To believe in myself and my talent.

12. His favorite quote:  "If you don't mind do it, and if you do mind, do it anyway."!

11. Family is all that matters.

10. Nah unh is NOT a word!

9. Charlie Wilson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

8. That I beg too much (but he gives in)!

7. To cherish family every day because they can be here today and gone tomorrow.

6. How to mow the lawn.

5. Health should be your number one priority.

4. Water guns are definitely allowed in the house...unless mom finds out!

3. How to play pitty pat.

2. No matter how old I get, I will ALWAYS need my dad.

1. How to be a FIGHTER!

Happy Birthday, Dad! Thank you for being an amazing hero and an inspiration to all of us!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow, and I couldn't be happier. Although I'm still prepping, I couldn't feel more prepared than I already am. I always find it interesting to see how participating in NaNo will coincide with my everyday life. For example, last year was kind of hectic because I was in two writing classes, and it was my first time participating so I had no clue what to expect.

Now that I know what to expect, I was able to prepare a lot better, which brings me to the point of this post. This year I had a few apps to help me along the way.

WordTracker (Which I'll start using on tomorrow to track my word count)

I only have one more day to finish my chapter outline. I will try my hardest to blog at least once a week to update you on my NaNo status, but if I don't it's because NaNoWriMo has taken over. Wish me luck!!

Friday, October 18, 2013


For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to come up with blog posts to write, but they were either too short or too dumb to post. Then a sudden spark of inspiration hit me, which led to this post. As my title promised, I have a couple of announcements to make.

The first announcement is that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo again. This will be my second year participating, and I cannot wait to start writing. This week I've been doing some major plotting for my novel, Beyond Their Beliefs, and I've been getting even more excited by the second! I've already interviewed both of my main characters, created my pinterest board of my dream cast, and came up with a playlist of the songs I'll be listening to as I work my way towards the 50,000 word finish line. I guess there's no question as to whether I'm a plotter or a pantser.

My next announcement is that I'll be hanging up my book reviewer title beginning January 1, 2014. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love reviewing novels, and I'll continue to do them for each and every novel and novella that I read, because I believe in helping authors out. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I won't be accepting as many reviews as I used to. Of course the authors I've gotten to know will always have a place on my blog with reviews and interviews, but in order to focus on my writing I have to learn how to cut back. Also, 2014 will be my senior year in college, and I already know that's going to take up majority of my time. So in 2014, I'll be focusing on my writing and my last year of college. 

I want to give special thanks to my family for supporting me (and not thinking I'm crazy when I live vicariously through my main characters)! I also want to thank a few authors who have inspired and encouraged me along the way, especially my Facebook family of Goddesses and the women at Marching Ink. Samantha March is the author who encouraged me to pursue my dream of being an author, unbeknownst to her. I also would like to thank Lacey Camy and Samantha Stroh Bailey. All of you ladies are so incredible, and I wish nothing but the best for y'all in the future!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Meaning of True Love

As an Author, you often wonder what the meaning of true love is, or at least I do. Well, I used to, but not anymore. Today we celebrated my parents' 36th wedding anniversary. I've only been present for 22 years out of the 36 years they've been married, and I've learned so much from both of them. I wouldn't say that my parents have a fairy tale relationship. What they have is a forever kind of thing. 

One thing I admired, and still admire, about my parents' marriage is their unity. In our home, there was no such thing as getting one parent to go against the other one to get what we wanted. Somehow they were so in sync to the point where they could tell what the other one said.

A major life lesson I've learned about love, from my parents, is if you're going to be married, you must take your vows seriously. My parents vowed to love each other through sickness and in health.

Two years ago God put my parents to the ultimate test. My father was diagnosed with renal failure. He was hospitalized for what seemed like months, and my mom never left his side. A lot of people were shocked by this, but not me. Like I said, what they have is forever, and they did promise to love each other even through sickness.

The one thing I'm thankful for is that I didn't have to turn to fairy tales or movies to witness such a great love because I was raised in a home where my parents never stop showing or giving love. From sending anonymous cards to each other in the mail to saying, "I love you" every time they get off the phone with each other, what my parents have is special. I pray that I'll have as much success with my husband as my parents have with each other. 

Here are the top 10 things I've learned from my parents' marriage, that I'll eventually expect from my better half:

  1. The true meaning of loving someone through sickness and his health.
  2. Always share your coffee with whomever finishes their's first.
  3. Always say "I love you" before getting off the phone with each other, even if you're in the same house, but different rooms.
  4. It's okay to wake your spouse up if the weather is scary.
  5. Always give your spouse a kiss before leaving the house.
  6. Like all of the same movies and shows they like, if you don't, pretend that you do.
  7. There is no such thing as mine and yours. . .it's ours. Unless it's coffee.
  8. Sending an anonymous card in the mail for no reason (it'll definitely make your brothers-in-law want to step their game up).
  9. You know you've found your better half when you've been married for 36 years and have NEVER had an argument.
  10. There's no need to renew your vows if you got it right the first time.

So Happy 36th Anniversary to my wonderful parents. I know you'll have a lot more wonderful years to come! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back to School

As Module One of the Fall semester comes to a close, I feel surprisingly content. This semester I'm taking a Story Development class and a Writing for Film Genre class. Both classes consist of watching movies that are completely out of my zone. As I read over the expectations of the classes, I thought to myself, "this is really going to take me out of my normal element." Honestly, I'm not too worried about the Story Development class because by the end of the semester, we'll all have come up with an outline for a movie. I'm a planner, not a panster, so I'd have fun with an assignment like that.

Now, my Writing for Film Genre class is going to be a bit more challenging, which I'm open to. We have to study four genres in this class: romantic comedy, horror, thriller, and science fiction. Out of all of these genres, I only watch romantic comedies. Not only do we have to watch three or four movies per genre, but we also have to come up with a detailed movie proposal for each genre. Just because I like watching romantic comedies, doesn't mean I know how to WRITE them. I don't know the first thing about being funny (without trying too hard). I'm more of a drama girl. I'm about that dramatic life. Hopefully, by watching all of these films I'll be able to whip up four A plus worthy movie proposals. I'll leave you with the movie posters for this week's movies.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's That Time Again!

As September gracefully makes its way in, the time has come for many things that come along with it. For example, Fall and its cool weather, hoodies, bonfires, and cuddling under the stars with your main squeeze. Honestly, that's what September may mean for most people, but for me it means school, school, and more school!

That's right, the time has come for my lovely Fall semester to begin. I have so much to be thankful for that made it possible for this semester to happen, so you won't hear any complaints from me! God has blessed me with so much in the last few days, and I know it doesn't end here. My semester begins next Thursday; hopefully, by Sunday I'll be able to tell you about my classes and what the semester holds for me!

Although I'll be starting classes again, there are a few things I intend to keep up. For instance, I still have a ton of books for authors that I promised I'd review, and I intend on getting to all 11 of them before the year ends! Also, my writing is something I REFUSE to put on the back burner! I'm making a vow to myself, and a promise to you, that my writing will be one of my top priorities. Then again, with editing my first novel, the need to finish writing my second novel, and the urgency to outline my third one, I'd say slacking off isn't even an option. If it's anything I've learned about this business, it's to always make time for my writing; even if it's just a page.

Last, but certainly not least, the month of September also means celebrating my beloved (twin) sissy's 21st birthday. Okay, so we're not actually twins, but we're extremely close and so much alike, and yet so different, that we might as well have been twins. She just happened to be a little late, or maybe I was a little early? Either way, September is bound to be a month filled with joy, writing, studying, and the celebration of my twin.

I hope you enjoy your September as well, and if you will, please enjoy a few bonfires and snuggling under the stars with your main squeeze for me!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Major Update

Since I haven't been blogging a lot lately, here's an update on some of the things that have been going on in my mind lately. I hope you enjoy it!

We're already halfway through the month, which means Camp NaNoWriMo is halfway through. In the beginning, I was striving for 55,000 words, but I reluctantly knocked my word count down to 50,000 words. Because you can't control the crazy things that life throws your way, I've had to lower my word count again! Had this been towards the beginning of the month, I would have been disappointed in myself, but that's not the case anymore. I'm not disappointed because I know my struggles better than anyone else, and I know that I've been going through a lot, so just the fact that I have over 10,000 words amazes me. Writing an entire novel in 30 days isn't as easy as it sounds, but it's not dreadful either. Because I haven't thrown in the towel yet, I think it proves how dedicated I am, and how much I really want this for myself!

As most of you have heard, George Zimmerman was found "not guilty" for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As much as I would love to rant and rave about why I'm against this verdict, I realize that I'm in the midst of creating a name for myself as an Author. I have an image to uphold. Sometimes that means falling back a little and let everyone else do the talking. Like the election, this verdict brought out people's true colors. The night of the verdict, I had to unfollow some people on Twitter and unfriend some people on Facebook. I refuse to allow such negative comments bring me down, or make me feel ashamed for being African-American. No matter what anyone says, they can never make me feel bad for being African-American. I'm comfortable in my skin, and if people aren't okay with that, then that's their problem! Whether I think this case was about racism or not is irrelevant, but what's relevant is that a child was still murdered; parents still lost their child. So instead of focusing on skin color, focus on the fact that a child is dead! As a country, we may have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go!

This week, we lost an amazing and beautiful little girl, Talia Castellano. If you don't know her, then you have some serious homework to do! My heart was heavy when I learned that Talia passed away due to her battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 7. Although she was only 13, she made a huge impact this world. Although she's no longer here physically, I'm positive her legacy will still live on. So before you say you can't do something, think of Talia and everything she was able to accomplish while she was also battling cancer. She is definitely a hero (well, heroine)!

During this month, I planned to outline my next novel, and write it in August before I started school again in September. This novel is entitled, Beyond Their Beliefs, and deals with the heavy subject of interracial dating. The idea came to me back in 2010, but it was originally an idea for a movie, back when I aspired to be a Screenwriter. Since 2010, so much has changed; for example, in 2011 my father was diagnosed with renal failure, so I felt more compelled to share a story dealing with an illness such as renal failure. In 2012, I changed my mind about wanting to be a Screenwriter to NEEDING to be an Author. During this realization, I've met some amazing men and women who encourage and support me daily! I didn't think BTB was a story that needed to be told at the time. After seeing people's reactions to the Cheerios' commercial, I've decided BTB is something the public needs to read! Interracial dating is something that's looked down on majorly. It shocks me that the close minded people that are so against interracial dating only sees interracial dating as a black and white thing. They don't realize that an Asian person dating a Caucasian person is also interracial. Fortunately, my parents only care about my sisters and my happiness, and whether that person is Caucasian, Japanese, or whatever they support us and stand by us. You can't help who you fall in love doesn't work that way.

Recently, I have been on this fitness journey with my "twin" sister, Nay. We're not really twins, we're a year and some months apart, but we might as well be twins because we're exactly alike, but also very different. Anyway, I've been on this new kick where I'm working out every night. So far I've done calm yoga, core yoga, lifted weights, and did squats. I've been participating in the July Squat Challenge, and as of tonight, I'll be doing 205 squats. This fitness journey, to me, isn't about losing weight, it's more about being healthy. I've been doing yoga on and off for this year, and to this day, I can barely hold my own weight. People think yoga is easy, but if you can't hold your own body weight, then you're going to run into some serious problems. So I've decided to put a pause on the yoga, and work on strengthening my arms. My sister is the best person to workout with because not only do we like the competition every once in a while, we also motivate each other. Last night when I didn't think I could get through my arm workouts, she was right there rooting me on, and I got through it! Tonight is 205 squats, abs, and arms, so wish me luck! Since my iPhone never leaves my side, the apps that have made this fitness journey a complete breeze are Cody and Nike Training Club. Cody helps you keep track of your workouts and NTC contains different workouts. Even the 15 minute target area workouts are a killer!

Last, but certainly not least, if you remember, instead of coming up with a list of resolutions that I'd forget, I came up with a to-do list. Since it's halfway through the year, I decided to go back and take a look at my list. So here's the list and my progress:

  • Read at least 30 books (I've read 16...and I'm currently reading 2 at this moment)
  • Complete at least 2 scrapbooks (I've completed 1)
  • Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo (I'm currently participating in Camp NaNo)
  • Publish a novel (currently editing it)
  • Write my second novel (planning it)
  • Start a portfolio
  • Get back to doing yoga (in the process)
  • Make more time for myself (if only this were true!)
  • Get an A in at least 1 class (I finished last semester with 2 was a rough semester, but I'll get it this semester)
  • Believe in myself (done)
  • Blog more frequently (failing miserably!)
  • Buy NKOTB'S new album (you already know this is completed!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mother, the Superhero!

First and foremost, I'd like to take this time to wish all of the mothers out there a "Happy Mother's Day!" Next, I want to apologize for my lack of blogging, this semester has been extremely demanding! Luckily I only have a week left, and then it'll be my summer break. Anyway, my real reason for making this post is to share my amazing mother with the world. 

My mom is the most awesome and strongest woman I know. I know everyone thinks that their mom is amazing, which I don't doubt, but because I've been so blessed to have this woman as my mother, I truly believe that my mom tops ALL moms! I can't even begin to explain all of the amazing things she's done (and is currently doing) for her family and others. There are so many things I learned from my mother in the past 22 years. Here are my top 22 things I've learned:

22.  The basics (walk, talk, use the bathroom)
21.  Always follow my dreams, no matter how long it takes to get there
20.  Always stand up for myself
19.  Never let anyone walk over me
18.  Never underestimate myself
17.  How to step up to the plate when my family needs me most
16.  How to be strong, even when being strong isn't an option
15.  To pray when things are good or bad
14.  Never settle for anything less
13.  Always count my blessings
12.  Never take ANYTHING for granted
11.  How to give respect in order to gain respect
10.  To appreciate my family
9.  That only real women can handle coffee (lol)
8.  How to pull off a HUGE meal for family gatherings
7.  That she doesn't raise dropouts
6.  Always make time for my family
5.  It's okay to be an extent
4.  It's NOT okay to use fingernails as a weapon...they WILL be cut super short if used
3.  How to raise children...the right way
2.  How to make a REAL marriage work

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just Popping In

Just wanted to pop in and say, "Hi"! I've been in school for a week now and things are already moving super fast! I've been trying to juggle homework, editing my novel, my fitness journey, and blog tours, so it's been really HECTIC! Speaking of blog tours, I have three stops on my blog, eBook Addict, that I have to get ready for tomorrow. Until next time!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NKOTB Update & My Fitness Journey

I've been meaning to blog about this since last week, but I've been super busy trying to edit Sliding into Love before I start school. Sadly, the Spring semester begins on MONDAY!! Where did the break go?? Anyway, NKOTB released their new single, Remix (I Like The), a little earlier than I was expecting. I'm pretty sure you're wondering what the verdict is, and I don't love it, but I don't hate it. I guess because it sort of gives you that "back in the old days" kind of feel, which is fine. Does this mean that the song won't grow on me? Absolutely not! I've been known to absolutely HATE a song (which isn't the case with this song necessarily), and when the song is like a few months old I absolutely love it. So I'll give this song a chance. 
On the right of this post, you can see the new cover for NKOTB's new album, which will be titled 10. Personally, I think all of them look absolutely amazing/magically delicious on the front cover of this album, but my babies are always going to be Donnie and Danny!

Yesterday I started my fitness journey, which wasn't as bad as it was today. I was literally sore from head to toe! With this fitness journey, I'm hoping to get in shape; I may be 110 pounds, but I'm so out of shape, and that's not good at all. My workout routine consists of Tia Mowry's Calm and Core Yoga DVDs. So far, I've been doing the Core Yoga, which has been semi-pleasant. Using this DVD, and focusing on my core, helps burn fat and tone your abs. The calm DVD focuses more on losing weight and dissolving stress. I'll try and keep y'all posted throughout this new journey!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Wait is Over!!

I've been (im)patiently waiting for NKOTB to release their news on The View this morning, and I can't believe that time has finally come! This morning it was revealed that not only will New Kids On The Block be touring with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men, but NKOTB is coming out with an album on April 2nd! I was so ecstatic when I heard this, my sisters were teasing me while I was half-way passed out on the couch from the news! The new single off their new album is releasing NEXT WEEK!! I'm super excited about this. I"m anxious to find out if it's going to be a ballad or something more upbeat, but whatever it is, I'm sure I'll love it! Until then, I'll just listen to all of my oldies by them (including their album I begged my mom & dad to get me for Christmas of 2008)! My birthday is literally right around the corner, and this was one of the best (early) presents ever! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Update of My Break

Since I've been out of school, I've been trying so hard to squeeze everything that  I want to do into my little break. I've managed to read four books for the year, which I haven't even reviewed yet (I'm lacking a bit)! Also, I've been doing some heavy duty editing with my novel. My next step, after I finished the first rounds of edits and rewrites, I'll be sending my novel off to a few beta readers and get their feedback. I'm crossing my fingers that my novel will have a March release date. The reason I'd love to have a March release date is because my novel is centered around renal failure, and March is kidney awareness month. If I can have this novel published by March 31st, it'd be the greatest accomplishment ever!