Reading is essential for writers. It’s best to read more than one genre. I tend to write fantasy stories, although I try not to lump stories into one broad category. Anyway, so, I try to read quite a few stories along the lines of what I like to write.

But, I also think it’s best to read more than just books similar to what you like to write. So I try and read horror, literary fiction, thrillers, indie books, steampunk, classic, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I’ve been using Goodreads a lot. It’s a website/app that I use for book recommendations. And it helps keep track of what I’ve read, want to read, or am currently reading. You can also set goals.

I set a goal to read 25 books for 2015 because I wasn’t sure how many books I read in a year. Plus, I enjoy reading and want to read more. You may have noticed my Goodreads tracker on the right-hand side of the site. So far I’ve read 6 books. I’m not restricting myself on whether or not they are new books to me or rereads. Just as long as I’m reading something for enjoyment.

If you are an avid reader you should check out their site! It’s useful if you’re wondering what to read next and if you like checking out reviews. You can go to Goodreads if you click here.

I’ve got a couple of books lined up for what I should read next, but if you ever have suggestions feel free to let me know. I’m always willing to add more to my “to-read” list.


xo, Sarah

Writing Every Day

Many of you know that I have been trying to make a point to write every single day. So far it’s gone pretty well. One day I wrote almost 15,000 words. And one day I wrote around 325 words.

There have been a couple of days when I didn’t write at all and then I made up for it the next day. For those days, like today, when I don’t feel like pumping out over 1,000 words I try and find a prompt to inspire me.

Lately I’ve been Googling images and then writing about scenery. Sometimes I listen to a few songs and then grab a lyric to start a story with. Sometimes I write in silence. Sometimes I write with music blaring.

Sometimes I want to write so much I can’t even type fast enough to keep up with my brain. And then sometimes I get home and after some chores and relaxing I think of Nike (– just do it–) and sit down and write even if it feels like pulling teeth.

After 2 full months of writing every single day I have created a handful of poems, a few short stories, and I’ve written about 3 – 4 chapters for two different novels. Not bad, I’d say. And it makes me happy – so I’m going to keep writing, writing, writing.

When there is something you need to do, but don’t particularly feel like doing it, what do you do to help you complete your task?

xo, Sarah

Work In Progress — Sneak Peek

Sometimes I get hit with a story. I’ll be taking a shower, or doing laundry, or I could be in the middle of a conversation with someone and somehow my brain juices start flowing and then BAM I gotta write down this story or I’ll die.

That kind of happened to me today. I got an idea for a character while I was showering and thought, ‘oh, I’ll write about her later’. So I did that and then started working on my novel that I’m trying to focus on and then another story snuck along and I had to get it out.

I wrote out the idea that came to my head as quickly as possible. So here’s a sneak peek from the newest story I started writing:

+ + +

I pulled my key out of a pocket on the inside of my black jacket and opened the front door. I stepped in and and took in a deep breath. Smelled like home. That familiar, comforting smell of mom’s candles and all the fires we had in the fireplace. Just a bit dustier than how mom kept it.

I walked over to the kitchen and cracked open the window  above the sink for fresh air. Back in town Old Papa Dragan had told me it wouldn’t rain here for a few weeks and Old Papa Dragan was always right. I could stop back by the house in a few days and close the window.

I lingered in the living room for a moment and ran my fingers along the fireplace mantel. I adjusted my bangs in the antique mirror hanging above it and then headed back outside the cabin. I locked the door behind me.

In the fifteen years we had lived in the cabin not a single soul came knocking so I wasn’t exactly sure why we ever had a lock in the first place, but I was stuck to old ways.

Once I was back on the trail I picked up my pace to make up for lost time. The more I thought about the conversation I had with Helen, the more I realized how urgent this matter was to her. Plus, if I can make it back sooner than expected then hopefully mom and dad won’t go as berserk on me.

I took even breaths in and out of my mouth as I sprinted around the skinny, birch trees. I wasn’t following Helen’s map. I didn’t need it. I knew exactly where that old mine was and I knew a faster path.

My eyes wandered the forest floor in front of me, making sure I wouldn’t stumble upon a fallen tree, but I also kept an eye out for animal traps or any fires that may be burning the distance. People from this camp may have spread out and decided to search the forest and I had no intention of bumping into a scavenger.

A few squirrels and a rabbit skittered by as I switched from a light jog to sprinting through the forest. My legs were starting to burn with ache. I wondered if the blisters on my feet were bleeding. The reconnaissance trainer, my trainer, had been working me and two others in the town day in and day out. All we did was run, jog, walk, take small breaks to eat and drink water, and then more running, jogging, and walking. As scouts, we needed to be quick and used to running in case we couldn’t use a horse. Or in case someone was after us.

The military grade boots sucked and I decided on my next mission I’d be wearing my own shoes. I trusted them more, anyway. These boots were slick and I didn’t feel as balanced as normal. I probably wouldn’t be able to climb trees or hills or rocks as well in these compared to my old sneakers.

I gradually slowed to a walking pace to catch my breath. I took a swig from my water bottle and recapped it and swung it back into my backpack. I creeped down into a hunched position and moved around trees, occasionally pausing behind one. I was close to the edge of the woods. Soon I saw the end of the forest and the clearing.

“Holy shit,” I whispered to myself.

I stumbled down into an army crawl and elbowed my way back into the woods. Hopefully no one saw me creep out of the forest. Whoever Helen’s source was.. he was wrong.

This group was no small band of thieves. This was the type of group that old townsmen told stories of in the town bar. This was the type of group parents warned their children about to scare them so they wouldn’t leave town. This was an army of scavengers.

+ + +

Odd, how my brain works. So now I’ve got two novels I want to work on. I’m still going to spend more time and effort on my original novel and try to get that out as quickly as possible. Then I’m going to work on this new story that has me all pumped up and wanting to share it.

Then I’ll have two novels to revise and edit. Oh boy, what have I done to myself? ;)

xo, Sarah