2015 Goals

On my 2014 goals, I completed two and a halfish out of three. I know confusing. I didn't lose my college weight, but I did lose some. So I guess that's progress! My second goal, I did perfect my manuscript, and I am still continuing to do so, because, let's be honest, revising never ends! I could revise forever and ever. But I did query a little during the second half of the year and will continue next year. As for my third, I am ready for my Vietnam trip next year! Whoo!

So now onto 2015!

1. Go to a conference! I've been wanting for awhile and I feel like this is the year to do it. Join me in L.A. for the SCBWI Summer Conference?

2. Network. This year, I'd like to make more of an effort in networking. 2014 was spent in a writing cave, which I admit, was kind of lonely. Let's be friends?

3. Visit family more often. In total, I spent only 11 days out of 365 in California with my family. I don't want a repeat of that in 2015.

4. Seek representation.

5. Start and complete a new writing project by year's end.

I'm so ready for you 2015! Bring it on!

My top 14 moments of 2014

Like last year's post, here are my top 14 moments (in no particular order)! It was a year of many firsts for me!

1. Canada - My first time going this year, I got to see and experience Vancouver and Whistler.

2. Snowboarding - Speaking of Whistler, this year was the first time I got to try snowboarding.

3. Sisters in Seattle - My sisters visiting me this year!

4. Boston - My first business trip where I was practically snowed in at my hotel.

5. New York - A visit to see my sister and a great experience in the big apple!

6. Divergent - Advance screening of Divergent! It's pretty neat to see a movie before it's released to the public!

7. Palm Dessert - This year I got to experience a different kind of California!

8. One Year - Michael and I celebrated our one year anniversary! I consider this big since my last relationship that made it to a year was in high school! Ha!

9. YA Writing Workshop - I went back to school, err, kind of! Just one course, but it was cool to take a class outside of school.

10. Walla Walla Weekend - First time in the Walla Walla Wine country. Oh yeah, and let's not forget that delcicious meal at Brasserie Four!

11. Kristen and Noah's Wedding - And my first time rafting and jumping off a cliff!

12. Crabsgiving - Seeing my family will always make my list! Add the crab is always a good bonus!

13. Christmas Spirit - Christmas was very dear to me this year. This year I got a real tree for the first time and Michael was healthy. Whoo for no health scares this year!

14. New Year's Eve in San Francisco - Technically this hasn't happened yet, but it will! I'll be catching a flight home tomorrow and seeing my family for a four day weekend! Gonna end this year big! Whoo!

Hello, October

I cannot believe it's been over a week since I last blogged! Nonetheless, a lot of fun stuff has been happening, but I have no pictures to show for it! Michael got the new iPhone 6 so he's been taking photos of our fun moments since his camera quality is better than mine. I still need to put in an order for mine since I am eligible for an upgrade, so I'll need to do that soon. But I'll still post a photo set of the end of my September sometime next week when Micahel returns from his business trip (I'll steal his photos muwhahaha *evil laugh*).

In the meantime, I can tell you what's been going on:

1. We celebrated Michael's mother's birthday at Spinasse in Seattle.

2. Michael and I's Friday Night Date Night was in Wallingford for some wine, ramen, and churros. (Not at the same place of course! We made three different stops.)

3. I met with my cool writer friend Lisa at this wine bar right in front of Alkai Beach. We had a fun time catching up while we caught the sunset.

4. Michael and I made the trip to Whidbey Island to visit his grandparents. They fed us, wined us, and showed us some family heirlooms. It was pretty cool.

5. I felt sick Monday and stayed home from work, afraid I was coming down with the cold. Luckily I wasn't! Turned out to be a one day fluke kind of thing. That being so, I had time to binge through Black List season 1, and read Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More.

Also, I know I still owe you that book review on Made For You, so look for that tomorrow.

Happy October everyone!

Random List: trips, traffic tickets, Blaire, and other randomness

This week has been so turbulent and out of control. It's just one of those weeks where you step back and think, What the hell happened? To which I have no answer. So instead of coherent blog post, today's will be a jumbled mess because that's kind of how my mind feels. Though I will make it into a list to make it seem sort of organized.

1. The last Bandol rose of the summer that Michael and I drank last weekend at his mom's. Luckily, we're heading into another 80 degree weekend which is a complete shock to me! I remembered last September was just rainstorm after rainstorm.

2. The hot and coldness of Blaire. Don't let that cute face fool you. Blaire's had a pretty turbulent week as well. Going from super affectionate, even sitting on my lap (which is a super rarity), to biting, scratching, and messing with the blinds. All I can say is, wow Blaire, like your life is so hard with the eating, sleeping, and sun bathing. *rolls eyes at his cuteness*

3. 'Junk food makes people depressed.' This was something I read in the elevator at work on a bad day. It was like someone up there knew I cheated on my diet. I'm such a stress eater. If anyone knows how to remedy this, please send thoughts my way. I'm not going to lie though, that spaghetti looks good.

4. On a healthier note, I did have a yellow watermelon for the first time! A coworker brought it into work, and as you can see I absolutely devoured it.

5. So remember that mentioned bad day I was having? Well to make matters worse I ended the day with a traffic ticket. I haven't had one since I was 16 years old. Now I don't know if I should just pay for it or fight it.

6. Da Nang, Vietnam is a GO! By the end of today Michael and I will be booking tickets to my homeland. That's right, my whole family is going back to Vietnam for the lunar new year. On a sad note, my grandparents are old and sick, which is the reason why my family has decided to go.

7. Today is Palaemon's 3rd Birthday! Congrats on another successful year in business!

*ends random list rant*

Thanks for reading!

My Top Ten Influential Books

Thanks to the lovely Michelle at the The Sunflower's Scribbles for nominating me on this cool blog chain. Now I have to list the top ten books that influenced me (which is a toughy for a book nerd like me). Though I would just like to note that this list is 'as of now,' meaning I'm sure my list will constantly change and shift as I grow older, so please have mercy on my choices!
10. The Norton Anthology of English Literature
I know, I know. Dweebie move, but this Anthology is reminiscent of my undergrad days when I finally switched my major from Animal Biology to English Literature. I lugged this big giant book around for a year and I learned so much from it.

9. Stolen
This book seriously gave me stockholm syndrome and made me cry. Not to mention I am completely envious of Christopher's writing. Normally I'm not into thriller/capture books, but the first few pages hooked me and didn't let me go until I finished. For my full review on this book, click here.

8. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
This book really intrigued me as a teenager and continues to be a reread for me as an adult. Because the main character has amnesia, it was interesting to learn about her character alongside her, making you feel like you're in her shoes. I also really enjoyed the complexity of her love interest and the complications of him falling for the mc when she wasn't herself. It's a dynamic I don't see too often. Click here for my full review.

7. Just Listen
I love Sarah Dessen. I practically read all of her books in high school, but this one continues to be my favorite book of hers. Here's one of my favorite quotes:
“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” 

6. Pride and Prejudice
Umm. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Enough said, right? I just love, love, love this book!

5. The Sun Also Rises and 4. The Great Gatsby
I lump these two together because they are the complete opposite in writing and style, but I love them both for those reasons. These were also two books I read in my junior honors english class that made me want to study the subject and be a writer. Then fast forward to college where I reread/studied these two books again and got even more insight and depth of these books despite their small size. Still blows me away. I am in awe of the writing still. Reread the first page of each side by side and you'll understand what I mean.

3. Twilight
Okay, okay. I know what you're thinking. How could I possibly go from American classics to Vampires? Let me just say I loved Twilight as a STANDALONE, not a series. I don't know what it is about Twilight, but I can still reread it and fall in love with Edward all over again. This was the first book that seriously made me swoon and I am not ashamed of that. Teenage me gobbled this book in a night. It also brings a lot of memories for me seeing as this was released when I was in High School and my friends and I just loved talking about it and sharing it with as many people as we could. I have yet to meet a fictional character to make me swoon as much as Edward. Perhaps it's because I'm older now, but nonetheless, I miss being so crazy and in love with a fictional character.
2. Harry Potter Series
Okay I cheated. This isn't one book, it's seven, but oh my gosh the power these books had on me. Never have I ever wanted a magical world to exist as much as the world Rowling created. I am so thrilled that I was a part of the generation that grew up with these books. It just goes to show how much books can affect us as the whole world was swept in its story. I'm not sure if a series like this will ever come again, thankfully words are enternal and as long as these books are around, this story will live on forever.

1. Flipped
This book will always have a special place in my heart. This was the book that made me fall in love with reading. It made me feel what words could do to the heart, soul, and mind. I read this book when I was really young and it made me cry within 40 pages. It blew my mind that words made into sentences, stacked in paragraphs across pages, could evoke emotion. I remember surfacing from the book and realizing my perception of the world had changed. That my friend, is magic.
To continue this blog chain, I'm going to pass it on to Lisa at Planning for Sun and Eva at In the Garden of Eva, both are fellow writers I met at Hugo House and admire greatly!

This Week

1. Michael and I watched a penis documentary on Netflix called 'Unhung Hero.' It was actually really interesting.

2. I'm currently addicted to CNN's Crimes of the Century (also on Netflix).

3. I reconnected with a close college friend and couldn't be more thankful for our friendship.

4. Reading through my November 2012 - February 2013 journal, when I was 21 and finishing my last two quarters of University, to get some perspective.

5. Yesterday, Michael pointed out that there's not enough Blaire photos on my blog, to which I replied, "I don't want to be a crazy cat blogger." Nonetheless, here are some more photos of the Blaire Bear.


6. Though we said we would lay off sushi for awhile, Michael and I are having our date night at Tamura tonight (It's just so damn good!).

7. Starting next week I'm working 4 ten hour shifts so I can get Fridays off for the summer, whooo! Friday = writing date with my manuscript at the cafe

8. Yesterday during my YA Workshop, we talked about publishing, and I don't know why, but I get so giddy thinking about it (though it'll be awhile until that time comes).

9. Today is Friday and there will be Sun in Seattle this weekend :)