Book Squirt

Writing Process Blog Hop

I was tagged in the Writing Process Blog Hop (started by Kelley Harvey) by my awesome writer friend Rachel O’Laughlin!

1 – What am I working on?

Currently I’m working on a YA fantasy/romance project. I have ideas for six books in the series, and over 80k words spread out over the six books – about 60k on the first book and 20k of random scenes from the other books. My working title for this project is Grimsai – the grimsai are the dragon fighters in the first book, and the grimsai theme is carried through most of the series.

2 – How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most dragon books don’t have people fighting dragons, at least, not the way I do it. (At least I think so… I hope so…) And mine have the romance thread. Also, it’s a series, but each book is separate from the others. They have different main characters and a different goal, though main characters from the other books do appear.

The closest thing I can think of is the Narnia books. They’re all complete stories, and most have different main characters, but it’s all in the same world with the same characters popping up in random places and stuff like that.

This example works much better in my head. LOL

3 – Why do I write what I do?

Because the stories won’t leave me alone? Does that count? I was working on another project a few months ago, in March, when the idea for the first Grimsai book hit me in the head. I was trying to ignore it, and next thing I knew, I was making a Pinterest board for it and telling Skye that I WANTED TO DROP EVERYTHING AND WRITE IT.

She told me to wait for Camp Nano, in April. 

I couldn’t even wait that last week of March. Two days before Camp Nano started, I wrote the beginning, just to get it out of my head. And then another 2k somehow managed to sneak its way out of my head before Camp Nano officially started.

Four months later, I now have over 80k on this project, which is amazing for me. Normally I can get to about 12k words on a project before I lose focus and change to a new one. 

I guess that’s why I write what I do – fantasy romance. Because I lose focus on the stories that don’t interest me, and then when I find a world that I LOVE, I can write 80k words like it’s nothing. I love my characters – my kick-butt dragon fighting girls, my princesses and princes, the guards who end up falling in love with the princess, and anyone else that I want to create. I love all of the main characters in these books, and I love the world that I’ve created, and I love my dragons, even if they do make my MC’s life a living hell for a while, and I love how my writing can take me into another world. 

I could go on and on and on but I think the next question is going to have a long answer too so I don’t want to write too much on this one. 🙂

4 – How does my writing process work?

Okay, so this is difficult. Like I said earlier, most projects I don’t get over 12k words on. Three exceptions:
Project IAPTK, my first novel EVER. My introduction to writing was a friend convincing me that I should join her for Camp Nano. June 2012 was my first Camp Nano, and I successfully completed my 50k words, finishing the novel at about 57k words a week later.
Project Estermead. This is the project I was working on before Project Grimsai. I think I was at about 27k on that one when I couldn’t wait to start Project Grimsai, and I want to go back to that one at some point, because I liked that one. LOL
Project Grimsai. Officially my longest project ever, at over 80k words, I’m becoming quite attached to this baby. LOL

With only three projects ever reaching a decent amount of words, I’m still working out how I write. But when I looked at my projects, I found one thing that was consistant with all of them – from the 80k Project Grimsai to my 7k Project Locket. 

I don’t write from the beginning to the end. I write like I’m making a quilt – first I make all of my patches, then I sew them together. I know what scenes need to be written, and I write the ones I’m excited for, because if I’m not excited for them, the words don’t come easily, I lose momentum, and it ends up joining the pile of under 12k projects.

So I write all of my scenes, and then I connect them, which is the not-so-fun part, but by then I’m invested in the project enough that it happens, and then I rewrite the whole thing so it makes sense. LOL

It may seem weird, but that’s how I write. At least, that’s how my one MS and this WIP went. Are going. Whatever.

I did that with Project Estermead too, but with only 27k worth of quilt pieces, it’s hard to tell if that’s how it was going to end up.

So yeah, that’s my writing process! I’ve never gotten past a finished first draft – I’m hoping to change that with this project. Feel free to poke me until I can tell you that I’m done with it. 🙂

Here are the three writers that I’m tagging:

Kennedy is just a girl trying to navigate her crazy life. She’s beyond caring and creative and loves to spend time with her friends and family. When she’s not solving other people’s problems, she’s coloring in her dinosaur coloring book and hanging out with small people. Somewhere in there she manages to put story typing robots to shame.

Kennedy blogs at


Darci writes YA & MG SF/F. She’s a Mormon stay-at-home-mom of two animal children she calls Monkey (4yo) and Ribbit (2yo). A proud Gryffindor, she makes and sells wands at, is a  #WriteClub sprintleader and writes as Thor on She lives with her husband and kids in Arizona. 

Darci blogs at


Krista Newport is a 20-something professional blogger, writer, and poet. In the day she writes blog copy for hot businesses, and in the night she transforms into the scribe with a lust driven quill. Krista likes long walks on the beach, men with accents, red wine, and sensual novels. If she could, she’d use chocolate for currency. Dark chocolate will buy you a whole lot. Milk chocolate? Milk chocolate is the penny of her world.

 Krista blogs at


Has It Really Been That Long?

Exactly a year ago, my Mom sat me down at the table with my younger brothers and said “It’s time for you guys to start a blog.” We picked out our domain names, purchased them, and wrote our first blog posts.

Mom got us each podcasting, ignoring our protests. That very day she brought us upstairs to the podcasting equipment and made us each record our first podcast.

Even though I didn’t like podcasting, I wasn’t going to quit. So each week I forced myself to podcast, praying that it would get easier. And in time, it did!

When I went on Outward Bound, I did my best to get two podcasts scheduled before I left, but it didn’t happen. So I wrote a blog post from the hotel room in NC, explaining that I was sorry, but I hadn’t gotten my podcasts recorded.

When I got back from Outward Bound I jumped right into recapping it, recapping that first day with only two posts. That never happened again! As I kept going I started posting everything I remembered, making sure that I would never forget.

I promised myself that I was going to get back to podcasting. But as time went by I realized that it had been two, three, and then four months, and I still hadn’t started again. Oh well, I thought, I’m having much more fun just recapping my trip. 

As 2012 turned into 2013, I began feverishly writing posts. Starting September 3rd I had been publishing a blog post every single day, and I didn’t want our Florida vacation to ruin that. I wasn’t bringing my computer with me, so I had to get them all uploaded and scheduled before we left.

I wrote my last post the morning we left.

After we got back from Florida I started writing again, glad to be back to recapping. But after a while I wanted to do something different occasionally, so I wrote posts about the time I got the truck stuck while learning to drive stick shift, and the time I did a commercial with our videographer. But I kept up with the recapping.

Then kidding season started, and I wanted to blog about the baby goat births. So I did! I made sure that I wasn’t posting anything too graphic, but real enough that people could see what a birth was like.  I also put together a page with the more graphic pictures so the people who wanted to see them could.

March 2nd was smack dab in the middle of Kidding Season, but I knew I couldn’t ignore it. March 2nd was the day of the tornado last year, the tornado that we saw from our backyard. So I wrote a post about it with lots of pictures, including the post I wrote a month after the tornado.

After kidding season I went straight to another thing, the A to Z Challenge.  I managed to complete it, though I was really glad when it was over.

So, now I’m working on finished Outward Bound. I’m about to start the last day, which, honestly, makes me sad. I don’t want to finish. But I have to finish at some point. 🙂

And when I’m done with Outward Bound? I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might get back to “Book Squirt” and do book reviews. Not podcasting – been there, done that.

Thank you all for being there the whole time. I have gotten more views on my blog than I ever expected, and more and more people just keep coming. In this year I have written almost 300 posts (this is number 280), and I’ve learned a lot about writing. You could almost say I’ve gotten pretty good at it! 😉

Z is for Zephyr

This past week, one of our goats (Zephyr) got very sick. We didn’t think she was going to survive that first night, and yet, two days later she was still alive!

She is still alive, but we aren’t sure yet if she’ll survive. We’re praying that she will!

Love you, Zeph.

And in other words, I have officially survived the A to Z Challenge! Tomorrow I resume my regular blog schedule – I can’t wait! 😀

Y is for Yay!

Y is for yay, because YAY – I SURVIVED THE A TO Z CHALLENGE!

There were times when I didn’t think I’d make it any farther. There were times when I though that it was sooooo easy, and there was no way I wouldn’t finish. And then there are times like right now when I’m sitting here, typing today’s post, and I realize that I have absolutely NO idea what I’m going to post tomorrow!

I’m really glad the people at my Twitter chat convinced me to do this! It was fun to stick to a certain theme and make myself do it. (When I could, of course.)

So Nicole, Tui, Patricia, and everyone else, thank you for convincing me to do this. I had lots of fun doing this, and I had lots of fun seeing what you guys posted!

X is for Xanthan Gum

And this is where my theme falls apart – I don’t have an author for X, Y or Z. So I’ll just try to come up with something that happens to start with the proper letter.

When I was trying to think of something for X, the only thing I could think of that started with an X was Xanthan Gum. And that reminded me of this video, a Les Miserables parody:

So yeah, this was pretty much just me blathering about something to fill in my X post. 😀

W is for West

Last year, probably in October or November, I met an awesome lady at Story Dam, the twitter chat that I do. We started talking and soon became friends. I started reading her blog, where she was doing an interactive serial (which is now over… 🙁 ) and started talking with her even more. One thing led to another and she sent me a copy of her book to read, a week or two before she released it.

The Ruth Valley Missing

I loved it and immediately told her that she needed to write a sequel. When other people told her so also, she decided to write it.

Occasionally she’ll send me bits and pieces of the sequel, and it’s so cool! She’s also working on a new project that she’s been sharing with me, and I’m super excited for that one. (I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it, but when it comes out I’ll definitely be blogging about it!)

Amber was one of my first online friends, and I’m so glad we met! Hopefully one of these days we’ll get to meet in person. 🙂

V is for Very Close!

Well, we’re very close to being done with the A to Z Challenge! We have five letters left, (counting today) and I only have one more author that I’ve already thought of. This will be interesting…. *sigh*

Since my theme is “Very Close”, here’s some other things that I’m very close to:

-Moving into our new house!
-Not having to commute anymore!
-Getting my drivers license!
-A whole year of blogging! (Okay, so that happens in September.)
-Finishing my Outward Bound experience recap. (I don’t know whether I’m excited or scared of that fact.)

Hm… that’s all I can think of. I guess I’ll go brainstorm the rest of my A to Z Challenge posts. 🙂

U is for Um…

U is for Um because I have absolutely no idea what to blog about for U. *sigh*

Never mind, I remembered something. Remember how when I blogged about Jessica Day George, I said that I was super excited for her new book, Wednesdays In The Tower? Well, a couple of days after that she tweeted that there was a giveaway for a copy of it. So I took two minutes to enter and promptly forgot about it.

Two days ago I was going through my emails at the end of the day – I had almost fifty, but most of them were just Twitter/Pinterest/Google+ notifications. In the middle of the stack of notification emails was this one:

Thanks so much for entering our Shelf Awareness giveaway. I’m happy to inform you that you’ve won a copy of Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George! Please respond with your mailing address so I can send your prize.
Thank you,
Emily —–

I might have danced around the soaproom the same way I did with the last giveaway I won. 😀

So now I’m getting my own copy of Wednesdays In The Tower! I’m really excited about this – not only did I win one giveaway, but I won another one two weeks later! And I NEVER win giveaways. 😀

T is for Tolkien

I’m sure everyone knows who J.R.R Tolkien is. And if you don’t recognize the name, then just know that J.R.R Tolkien is the man who created Middle-Earth, the land of Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit is where it all began! In the Hobbit we meet Bilbo Baggins, who ends up going on an adventure with a company of dwarves. I used to have all of the dwarves names memorized, but I don’t anymore. I just remember Oin and Gloin, Nori, Dori and Ori, Fili and Kili, Dwalin and Balin, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, and Thorin Oakenshield.

Wow, okay, that’s all of them. Never mind, I still have them memorized. I’ll admit, I did look up how to spell Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. 😀

The Lord of the Rings

And then of course, there’s the Lord Of The Rings.

If you enjoyed the movie, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll enjoy the book too. It’s even more fun if you know the movie well – because then you can see exactly what they took from the book. 🙂

And if you want to get all four books, (The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King), they have a boxed set with all four of them.

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.*

S is for Smith

I’ve podcasted about this book before – it’s the book my best friend Abigail wrote!



Orion’s Son

It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but I do remember that I loved it! I thought it was a great book (and this had nothing to do with the fact that my best friend wrote it.)


I loved the shape-shifter, Mayine, and how Persus and Isobel’s relationship grew. But I think my favorite part about the whole thing was that they were actually together in the end – Abigail loves nothing more than ruining the love lives of her characters. 🙂

If you’re interested in a quick, cheap read, Orion’s Son is a good one. 🙂

R is for Riordan

When I say that Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors, I mean it! Every fall he releases a new book and about a month before it comes out, the countdown begins.

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus)

Gumpy (my Dad’s Dad) gave us a copy of the first book in this set, The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), years ago. Ever since then we’ve been hooked! Percy and his friends are a great cast of characters that make you fall in love with them. And while you’re enjoying a story about Gods and Demi-Gods, you’re learning things about Mythology.

When Mark Of Athena came out, I woke up at 5:00 that morning to download it on my Nook. I finished reading it at 7:28 that morning. And then I woke my siblings up and told them that it was really good and laughed as they glared at me before racing to find their Nooks.

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles)

While the Percy Jackson books are about Greek and Roman mythology, these books are about Egyptian mythology. And like the Percy books, they’re a great way to learn about Mythology

 I wish he’d written more of these books, but he stopped at three. 🙁

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues)

I was at my cousins house once, and none of the cousins my age were there yet. So I went into one of the bedrooms and browsed through the bookshelves, finding this book and the next couple in the series. I ended up borrowing them, because I loved them so much!

Rick Riordan is a great author! Currently I’m waiting for House Of Hades, the next in the Heroes Of Olympus series. 😀

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.*

Q is for Quandary

I’m in a bit of a quandary today. It’s Q day, and I haven’t found a Q author or even a book that I’ve read that starts with Q. And I guess that’s okay. Because there is no rule that says I have to stick to my theme if I have trouble.

So today I’m going to blog about a book that I won in a giveaway not too long ago.

Etiquette & Espionage

I never win giveaways. But I wanted to win this one really badly – Skye (the lady giving it away) had written a review of it on her blog, and it sounded like a really good book. And it was an ARC – an Advanced Reading Copy. So I used all the entries I could and tweeted Skye often, telling her how much I wanted to win. (Sorry if I annoyed you, Skye!)

I was on Twitter when she announced that she was about to randomly choose the winner. I tweeted her that I was really, really excited to know if I won or not.

After an agonizing five minute wait, she tweeted me. “You wouldn’t happen to know a Brett Jonas, would you?”

Yes, I had won the giveaway. I might have danced around the soaproom a bit, sitting down when I got the tweet that she was emailing me to get my address. And then I had to wait.

And man, it was hard to wait! And I had a bit of pressure too – Mom had declared April a No Reading Month. Basically, we were going to be moving and working on the new place and all that fun stuff, so she decided that it would be easier to get all the work done if we couldn’t run off and read whenever she turned her back.

E&E got to the soaproom on April 1st.

I begged Mom for special permission to read it. Then I asked her what I had to do in order for her to give me special permission. “Help me get the newsletter out.” she said.

Well, I got my special permission! And I can tell you this – it was worth all the work I did to get it. 🙂

I can’t wait for the next one to come out! And I’m still reading this one. 😀

P is for Pearson

Before I’d even read Peter Pan, I’d read Peter and the Starcatchers. But I didn’t know that Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry had written sequels until a few years ago.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Have you ever wondered exactly how Peter Pan became Peter Pan? And how Tinker Bell was born? These books do an amazing job of explaining it all! I can’t even tell you how much my siblings and I enjoy these books. 🙂 There are three other books in this set: Peter and the Shadow ThievesPeter and the Secret of Rundoon, and Peter and the Sword of Mercy.

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark

Two or three years ago, my awesome Aunt Ellie gave us the first book in this series. I was instantly hooked!

Because we go to Disney World every year, it was obvious to me that Ridley knew what he was writing – every single detail is perfect. For those of you that are Disney fanatics, this is a definite must-read. If you aren’t a Disney fanatic, you’ll probably enjoy it too!

All of the Disney Villains (the Overtakers) are trying to take over Disney World, and eventually the whole world. Will they succeed, or will the Kingdom Keepers stop them? To find out, read the rest of the books:  Disney at Dawn (#2)Disney in Shadow (#3)Power Play (#4)Shell Game (#5), and the one that just came out, Dark Passage (#6).

I haven’t read Dark Passage yet, and I’m dying to! I can’t read it until May, and it’s killing me. LOL

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.*

O is for Osborne

I seem to be writing about a lot of children’s authors! Today’s author is Mary Pope Osborne, the author of the wonderful Magic Tree House books.

My siblings and I have loved these books for as long as I can remember! We got my little sister a whole bunch of these when she first learned to read and she loves reading them out loud to Jade, the five year old.

Boxed Set: Magic Tree House Books 1-4

Jack and Annie are able to visit other times and places by simply wishing and pointing to a picture in one of the books that the Magic Tree House holds. And they go just about everywhere – they visit Camelot, Pompeii, the Titanic, and many other places. There’s always a mystery to be solved, and there’s always someone who helps them along the way.

These books do a great job of getting my siblings interested in history and they pave the way for many interesting conversations. 🙂

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.*

N is for Nesbit

I was having trouble coming up with a N author, so I ran upstairs to our library and started looking around our shelves. After ten minutes or so, I found our books by E. Nesbit.

The Enchanted Castle

Gerald, Kathleen and James discover a castle while they’re exploring during their holiday. In the gardens they find a sleeping princess. When woken up, she shows them the treasures of the castle, including an invisibility ring. When she tries the ring on and it actually turns her invisible, she panics and tells them that she’s just Mabel, the housekeeper’s niece. The children have to figure out how to get Mabel visible again, taking care of her while doing so.

Talk about difficult! Because Mabel is invisible the children have to be careful what they do with her. The maids start screaming if they see Mabel eat, because all they see is food disappearing into thin air. And she can’t sleep in one of the beds, because then there’s a body that no one can see.

I loved the way the children have to solve the problem and keep Mabel hidden the whole time! I can’t imagine trying to keep a human hidden for as long as they did!

I’ve also read Five Children and It, and enjoyed that one too. 🙂

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.*