The Best Writing Advice I Don’t Feel Qualified to Give…

Hey everyone,

So…it’s really weird being asked to give writing advice. I instantly want to say this…

tumblr_inline_miupfejdFx1qz4rgp

Fun fact: Nearly every writer I know (myself included) deals with imposter syndrome. Sadly, that does not mean we buy ridiculous outfits from thrift shops and pretend to be the reigning monarch of Khazibekustanzia. It means that we stare at the laptop screen and wait to read an email that says…

failed

Most writers spend most of their time thinking that they mostly suck at writing.

We tend to believe that everyone else has it figured out and that at some point (if we can just crack the NYT bestseller list!) then we’ll also feel like extra special unicorns. Except it doesn’t actually work that way. We just go right on doubting ourselves.

So why am I sharing this? It’s not, y’know…inspirational.

Except…it kind of is.

Hear me out, okay?

See, young aspiring authors tend to tell me that they’re scared to write a novel because they don’t think it will be all that great. It might even suck. Then they would have to admit that maybe they aren’t cut out for a career in publishing and…

Every. Published. Author. Feels. This. Way.

I’m not kidding.

But if we hadn’t forced ourselves to sit down and write–even when it sounded stilted and awkward and awful and repetitive and…you get my point–then we’d still be exactly where you are now.

So here is the advice that I in no way feel qualified to give you:

1. Write.

tumblr_mds2d2Rshy1qaqczz

If you want to write…then do it. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to tell you that you should. Most people aren’t all that encouraging of a career in the arts. Don’t let that stop you from telling the story that you love.

2. Write for yourself.

Don’t write for a bestseller list. Don’t write a dragon-unicorn-zombie love triangle because you think it’s going to be the next big thing. I like to remind my friends that if the writing doesn’t make you crazy, the publishing industry will. Chasing a popular trend will only exacerbate that by a billion.

3. Accept that not everyone will like what you’ve written.

9jFB5

Rejection is a huge part of this industry. I have some tremendously talented friends who have written heart-breakingly brilliant books…and they’ve been rejected by publishers. It’s not just publishers who will do the rejecting either. Everyone is a critic. This includes family, friends, teachers, and mentors. The trick is to find a select few people who can appreciate your writing style. If someone tries to make you sound like somebody else, ignore everything they tell you. 

anigif_enhanced-buzz-12246-1378530942-0

You might not want to say this out-loud though…

4. Try to accept what you have written.

It doesn’t have to be The Greatest Novel In The History of Novels. A dragon-unicorn-zombie love triangle doesn’t have to be a metaphor for anything.

FNJGqts

And yeah, it might suck. You might want to bash your head against a keyboard when you so much as think about that stupid book. That’s okay too. This isn’t baseball. An umpire isn’t going to yell, “You’re out!” if you write three less-than-stellar manuscripts. Nobody can bench you from writing except yourself.

5. Edit your work.

Let me be clear: YOU need to edit your work. Don’t just hand it off to a parent/teacher/friend/agent/paid consultant because you’re bored and editing is the worst. Nobody knows your book the way that you do. They can’t. Which is why you need to let your inner critic go to town before you hand it over to anyone.

6. Make friends within the writing community.

Not everyone understands our desire to spend time with people who don’t technically exist. So it’s incredibly liberating when you find someone who doesn’t find it weird that you want to know how to, oh I dunno, get away with muuuurder!

That’s right:

tumblr_m3gd8b0Vm71qbhh43o1_500

It’s okay to form this community online. We’re a really nice group of weirdos.

I haven’t so much as high-fived some of my very best friends. What can I say? A bunch of them live on the opposite side of the country, which means getting together for coffee isn’t easy. Typing instead of talking in no way invalidates our friendship. In fact, I highly recommend following your favorite authors on Twitter. Authors tend to post fascinating articles on a whole range of subjects, especially on gender, race, sexuality, and psychology. It’s an easy way to find out more about the writing industry and to engage with people you admire.

7. Please, please protect your mental/emotional well-being.

Mental health should not be taken for granted. Ever. Studies from Sweden have shown that writers have up to a 50% higher chance of suicide than non-writer people. (I learned this from Natalie Whipples’ blog. She wrote an amazing set of writing tips that you should definitely check out here!) I admit, I worry the most about teenage writers for the simple reason that high school creates a false sense of competition. The “best” in the class is the person who hands in assignments to a teacher’s liking. The “best” in the school is most likely to be the person who does well on standardized tests.

These things have absolutely no bearing on the publishing world, yet it is incredibly hard not to cling to them when adults in positions of authority insist that grades/exams/essays will determine your college path, and thereby, your future.

What makes this situation so dangerous? When there is no one specific person you have to please, it’s easy to feel lost. It can also make some people strike out in an attempt to recreate a sense of hierarchy. How can you write a romance if you’ve never had one? What makes your work different from alllll the other dystopian/fantasy/mystery, etc. books out there? Why would anyone want to read that?!?

If someone says stuff like this to you-don’t walk, run to the nearest exit.

tumblr_mn0aqcc0ye1s5tlj5o1_400

An essential part of protecting your mental health is maintaining a non-toxic writing environment.

8. Try not to get too far ahead of yourself.

Don’t worry about getting an agent when you are halfway through the project. You have much bigger things on your plate, like creating a satisfying ending. I’ve come to realize that my least favorite part of the writing process tends to be the one I’m in. When I’m writing, I daydream about editing. When I’m editing, I fantasize about publishing contracts. When I’m on submission, I imagine book covers and brilliant ad campaigns. When I’m in promotion mode, I realize that it’s been forever since I wrote more than a blog post and what if I suck at it now?!

One good thing I can say for this writing cycle is that it keeps me motivated. It also helps that I’m only thinking one step ahead. If you haven’t finished writing, don’t start researching agents. You might find someone you think would be a great fit, only to become frustrated with the two-thirds of a novel that still requires an ending, not to mention a boatload of editing.

tumblr_inline_mt8alitab91rrlh76

9. Remember that you’re doing something awesome!

You are creating something entirely from your own mind. It just doesn’t get any cooler than that.

tumblr_n3hg3fRLpg1rwyzdxo1_400

Heck yeah, you can make things levitate!

In fact, you can even make this happen:

tumblr_n2ths1R47T1r9khx4o3_400

So is the stress, frustration, panic, heart-breaking rejection and general emotional turmoil worth it?

Um…in a word?

tumblr_n08a3kVn9h1sd94mbo1_400

Seriously, guys.

tumblr_inline_mpqns9Y9EK1qz4rgp

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

Advertisements

My AWKWARD Pubversary is Here!!!!! Oh, and Happy New Year!

Hey everyone,

So here’s a fun author fact: a book’s official release date is often referred to as “pub day.”

This is not because authors tend to go straight to the nearest bar and order way too many cocktails while they brace themselves for reviews. Although I admit that idea has some merit. But most of us wake up on pub day and sprint to the nearest Barnes & Noble so we can find our books on the shelf.

tumblr_ma982ty3az1rq8zero5_250

“Hellooo!!!!!”

IMG_1871

 

IMG_1838

(My pub day for DECKED WITH HOLLY. No drinking was involved in the making of these photos.) 

But to the best of my knowledge there isn’t an industry term for the one year anniversary of  a book.

Until now!

Because tomorrow marks my AWKWARD pubversary!!!

MNraf

That’s right: exactly one year ago I was a college student freaking out over her debut novel.   One year ago maybe five people (excluding my relatives) had read AWKWARD. 

One year ago I feared my debut would look a lot like this:

JG35A

Or this…

9jFB5

Honestly, I think if you’re not afraid of getting this response there might be something wrong with you.

Photo on 2011-12-19 at 15.28

(Nervous author in the Serengeti. My resolution was to avoid being eaten by a lion.)

And now that I look back over everything that has happened this year…I’m kind of speechless.

Here are just some of the highlights:

AWKWARD was published!

20121127_162043

I laughed really hard when I saw this in my own hometown.

I met Ellen DeGeneres!

Photo on 2012-01-05 at 14.49 #2

My mom opened a fabulous quilt store in Ashland, Oregon called Sew Creative. And she drafted asked me to be a bobbin in the 4th of July parade for her.

Parade

I created some pretty awesome art projects at Southern Oregon University.

Photo on 2012-05-08 at 15.03

“Now who could have done that, I wonder?”

Photo on 2012-04-19 at 13.46 #3

I was going for a Statue of Liberty meets Starbucks meets heavily-caffeinated Marni look. I think it worked…

I failed to get my driver’s license…

20121129_151838

“I swear, I wasn’t driving over the speed limit!”

I graduated from Lewis & Clark college!

0

Certified college graduate and everything!

I went to the Romance Writers of America conference!

Photo on 2012-07-27 at 19.19 #2

Jackpot!

641415371

I also got to hang out with all of these incredibly talented authors!

My short story EPIC REVENGE was published in the Magical Mayhem anthology!

20121231_153704

I found out that Disney wants to option AWKWARD as a made-for-TV movie!

20121022_153337

DECKED WITH HOLLY was published and I seriously improved at making book trailers!

AWKWARD is going to be translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian!

(I don’t have a picture for this, but I am super excited)

And I finished writing my first draft of Chelsea’s book, NOTABLE! I’m almost finished with my first round of editing too. So that feels pretty darn great.

Honestly, this has been the most amazing year for me. And the best part has definitely been you! The love and support I have received is just…incredible.

So thank you for the best pubversary a writer could ever wish to receive!

As a sort of pubversary present you can win a copy of DECKED WITH HOLLY from the lovely Kathy at her blog I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Giveaway here!

She also asks me some fabulous interview questions that I hope you will all enjoy!

And don’t forget to check out all the other stops in my DECKED WITH HOLLY blog tour for even more chances to win!

DeckedWithHollyButton

Tour Schedule
Week One:
Dec. 31, 2012 – Kathy @ I Am A Reader Not A Writer – Author Interview
Jan. 1, 2013 – Karielle @ Books a la Mode – Guest Post – Author Top Ten
Jan. 2, 2013 – Krystal @ Live to Read – Review
Jan. 3, 2013 – Aeicha @ Word Spelunking – Guest Post
Jan. 4, 2013 – JennRenee @ JennRenee Read – Review
Week Two:
Jan. 7, 2013 – Tara @ Hobbitsies – Guest Post
Jan. 8, 2013 – Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best – Review
Jan. 9, 2013 – Hannah @ The Girl in a Cafe – Author Interview
Jan. 10, 2013 – Emilie @ Emilie’s Book World – Review
Jan. 11, 2013 – Rachel @ Parajunkee – Guest Post
And on that note, I hope everyone has an extraordinarily awesome New Years!
Much love,
Marni

 

 

 

INVISIBLE has left the laptop!

Hey everyone!

As many of you may have heard, I’ve been working away recently on finishing up my edits for Invisible (aka the non-spinoff sequel to Awkward).

Now editing is not my favorite part of the editing process. Usually I stare at my laptop and say:

 

And of course that inevitably turns into this…

 

 

Why must paragraphs be so sneaky?

 

Luckily, I have a fantastic editor, Alicia Condon, who gives brilliant suggestions. And with her help, I think I successfully pulled off some book-related karate.

 

This is the extent of my actual karate skills.

But it’s over now. For real, folks. I’M DONE EDITING INVISIBLE!

 

This is an accurate depiction of my Starbucks victory dance. 

How did I celebrate? By meeting up for more coffee with romance authors extraordinaire, Maisey Yates and Lisa Hendrix!

Which is kind of incredible considering that Maisey was the very first person I met at the RWA.

Maisey Yates: Made of Awesome.

At the time, I wasn’t exactly acting cool though. In fact, I’m still not entirely certain I was coherent. Probably because every fiber of my being was doing this:

So I was pretty thrilled to see her again, under slightly less intense conditions. And I’m so glad Lisa was able to join us!

Lisa Hendrix: Supernaturally Awesome.

It felt like a mini-RWA conference! Especially when we roped our Applebee’s waitress into a discussion of Fifty Shades of Grey.

It was a night of great hilarity that nearly didn’t end because I can’t give directions to save my life. Seriously. Maisey threatened to shank me and I still couldn’t produce a single street name. I just kept gesturing vaguely to my left and saying, “I think it’s that direction. Maybe.”

So if a young female character ends up abandoned by the side of the road in Maisey’s next book, we will know what inspired that particular scene.

 

And now I’m feeling all inspired to get back to writing. Well, maybe after I watch a few episodes of Veronica Mars

~Marni

 

 

P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, you should totally check out my book trailer for Decked with Holly! 

Secret Travel Plans and Upcoming Events Revealed!

Hey everyone,

I’m back in Oregon for Thanksgiving!

*Happy dances*

Normally, I like to keep everyone apprised of my travel plans before I hop on airplanes, but not this time.

Why you ask?

Because I’m here as a Thanksgiving/birthday surprise for my mom.

Although, apparently what she really wants for her birthday is a new trash can. I’m not kidding. And when I pointed out that the last time I checked never is the right year for a birthday trash can, she insisted that she doesn’t want just any old garbage bearing receptacle.

Oh no, she wants an enormous green one that’s up to Ashland code with a lid that actually closes properly.

“Sounds like rubbish to me!”

Still, when I jumped out from behind a white pillar to surprise her at the airport, her expression was priceless. I was pretty amazed myself…that my family managed to keep it a secret.

I may be the only blogger in the family but none of us are particularly good at keeping secrets.

Which is why I will reveal all my plans right now:

I’m going to be in Ashland until November 26th and then my aunt and I will be driving up to Portland. This is the point where an accurate Magic 8 Ball would insist that I should try again later because it cannot predict now.

One of the best parts of my job is the travel flexibility. I can pretty much work wherever I can get a steady supply of coffee and Internet access. So I’m not sure when exactly I will be returning to LA.

To be honest, part of the reason my travel plans are so open right now is because I’ve got a serious case of tunnel vision going on.

I have a week to turn in the (hopefully) last round of edits for Invisible.

“Damn you, evil paragraph! Why must you ruin everything? WHY?!” 

And the only other thing my mom requested for her birthday–besides the trashcan–was a copy of Notable. I thought that I might be able to appease her by printing out the 2/3rds of it which I’ve edited but…she’s finished it already.

And now she keeps not-so subtly dropping hints that she wants to read more.

Today as we walked together to her fabulous quilt store, Sew Creative, she sighed and said, “This weather is great for quilting. Or reading.”

When I merely nodded, her smile widened devilishly.

“Hint hint.”

Yeah…so no pressure there.

I also have a short story for an anthology that needs to be edited (More on that later! I’m so excited for it!) and I’m organizing two panel proposals for the Romance Writers of America conference this year.

And I have a super exciting Decked with Holly project that I’m hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving!

So stay tuned for that explosion of awesomeness.

It’s times like this when I laugh really hard when my siblings suggest that I get a real job.

Okay, so maybe I respond more like this:

But if everything goes according to plan, most of the pressure should be off in a week or two.

And in the meantime, I get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving in my hometown. I get to go for walks and see trees with actual leaves that are actually changing color. I’ve also found time to snuggle with our dog Rascal and to read romance novels in the hot tub.

So despite the time crunch, I’m enjoying the holiday season to the fullest!

Now I better get back to work.

Happy reading, everyone!

~Marni

Two Weeks of Awesome!!!

Okay, so I know my birthday is kinda old news now, but I have lots of fun pictures to share! So here’s what happened:

*Opening scene*

Marni wakes up to Birthday Banquet of AWESOME!

 

Anytime I can light my breakfast on fire, I’m pretty darn happy.

Then I spoke to family members and friends and felt very loved. Thanks everyone for all the well-wishes!

And then Gwyn and I went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena where we proceeded to crack each other up for hours.

I pretended that was Chelsea Halloway. This is the closest I managed.

 

Yeah…something tells me Chelsea would be rolling her eyes.

We thought this guy had the most flair:

 

“Does this armor make me look fat?”

This guy had the most anger management issues:

“How could you not say, SPOILER ALERT!?”

This guy was the swooniest:

Um, hellooo Mr. Darcy!

Then we created this brilliant still-life piece entitled, The Gambling Lobster.

 

But I think the highlight had to be when we saw a statue and simultaneously burst out laughing because he was totally doing Psy’s Gangnam Style dance.

For anyone unfamiliar with this reference (*cough* Mom) you can watch the music video here: 

For everyone else…enjoy!

 

We even got the security guard to start singing with us.

Then I had a birthday cocktail after reminding Gwyn’s older brother again that 23 is past the legal drinking age.

 

One sushi dinner later, and Gwyn and I were watching Pitch Perfect in a practically empty theater.

Definitely the right note to end the day on.

But the best part about living with a best friend and loving your job is that every day kind of feels like it could be a birthday.

 

And I definitely got my birthday wish when the election results came in. *Releases huge sigh of relief*

Oh, and I got to see an advanced showing of the last Twilight movie when I went to The Ellen DeGeneres show.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it into the studio audience. But I’ll get another chance for that in March. I can hardly wait!

And today I got some AMAZINGLY AWESOME news that I can’t wait to share with everyone! But I don’t think I’m allowed to share it quite yet. Since I have a hard time keeping secrets to myself, Gwyn and her older brother Owen made me keep editing while they read some pretty darn good books…

This one might by my favorite picture of them all:

It was a lovely, lazy afternoon… until they decided to drag me up a fricking mountain.

Gwyn just shook her head in disbelief and said, “you wanted to go!”

And since she is cooking my dinner, I plan to smile and nod…while I whimper in pain.

Still, the view of LA at sunset is completely worth the blisters. A great time was had by all.

 

I hope you enjoyed all the photos! Keep checking in for that AMAZINGLY AWESOME news I’ve promised to share!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

DECKED WITH HOLLY!

Hey everyone!

The spin-off sequel to Awkward comes out on Tuesday, September 25th.

Also known as this Tuesday! Also known as tomorrow!

*flails arms in excitement*

It doesn’t feel real yet.

In fact, it feels decidedly unreal. And I know I should be more familiar with the concept by this point. I wrote a book, sent it to my editor, banged my head against a wall a few thousand times and voila! It hits the shelves!

(Not an accurate depiction of the writing/publishing process. Obviously. Since I left out roasting marshmallows over candles at 2am when I get stuck. Oh, and my unbelievably awesome support group. Y’all know how much I depend on you!)

But it still amazes me to think of my book, sitting on bookshelves, waiting for super awesome people to read it!

Especially because this book holds a very special place in my heart. Which is not to say that I love my other books less (Oh wow, I have a whole lot more sympathy for my mom now. Having her children demand to know which one of us she would save from a burning house first must have been obnoxious. Hint: it would be me) but this one is extra special.

So I’m giving a behind-the-scenes sneak peek:

I was packing for my flight back to Oregon after spending the past three weeks in my cousin’s little apartment near Rice University in Houston, Texas–when I got The Call.

Marni doesn’t quite know how to blend in Texas.

Honestly, if I was in the middle of a mugging and my super agent Laurie McLean rang me up, I’d probably give the muggers the can you hold this for a moment finger and answer the phone.

Um, I think it’s pretty obvious from the photo why I believe she has super powers…

As it was, this particular situation was a lot less dramatic. Even if I did suspect that the humidity in Houston was trying to smother me.

“Hi Marni, I just got a call from KTeen” SuperAgent Laurie said and I instantly brace myself for the news that every copy of Awkward has been destroyed in a freak natural disaster.

“Uh huh…”

“They want to know if you would be willing to write a spin-off holiday novella.”

At this point in the conversation, I distinctly remember happy dancing like a demented chicken and squawking, “YES! Yes! I’ve never written a novella before but I am in!”

“Great. I will email you everything they just sent me and then . . . oh hang on. They want a spin-off novel.”

The demented chicken dance stopped. Probably because it felt like my heart was no longer functioning properly and all that blood was going straight to my head.

“Uh . . . wow! Okay. I mean . . . wow. I can do that. I’ll just set it after Invisible and then–”

“Actually, they want it released between Awkward and Invisible.”

This is when I started pressing buttons on my phone, convinced that I had misheard her and that my crappy cell phone was to blame.

“But I’ve already written Invisible,” I blurted out.

I could practically feel Laurie smiling patiently on the other side of the phone. “I know. That’s why they want this to be a spin-off.”

“Right. Spin-off.” I mumbled. “Um . . . who do you think I should . . . spin . . . off?”

“It could be anyone.” Laurie pointed out. “Maybe one of the rockstars?”

“But they’re guys!

Laurie waited patiently for me to make my point.

“I’ve never written from a male point of view before! I definitely can’t write a whole novel that way!”

“It’s just an idea, Marni. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

One of my SuperAgent’s most impressive powers is the ability to make me believe that I can do anything. I don’t know how she pulls it off, but when I’m on the phone with her I am willing to agree to just about anything

And four minutes later I was calling my mom and freaking out.

“I don’t know what I just agreed to do!” I confessed sheepishly. “They asked the Jewish girl to write a holiday novel?! Do you think I should tell them this? Because I refuse to write a Christmas miracle. And no way is Hanukkah Harry coming down a chimney to save the day! Do you hear me, Mom? THERE WILL BE NO HANUKKAH HARRY!

I made this point–rather loudly, I admit–in the airport and found myself on the receiving end of a more than a few funny looks.

Looking back, I’m just lucky that airport security didn’t consider this un-American sentiment and try to interrogate me about it.

Okay, I’m lucky for a whole host of reasons. I’m eternally grateful to KTeen for allowing me to write Decked with Holly the way I felt the story needed to be told: with two alternating point of views and no Hanukkah Harrys.

And to my SuperAgent, friends and family members who tolerated my Christmas in July tactic.

A special shout-out to my mom who must have stumbled upon me listening to the Pomplamoose version of Always in the Season three hundred times.

This book may have scared me at first but it was an absolute pleasure to write.

I fell completely in love with a certain rockstar drummer and enjoyed every second I spent in his head. I don’t want to spoil the ending but he does something that made me go all melty inside.

I want to discuss it with people soo badly!

So if you want to buy a copy of Decked with Holly you can do so quite easily here:

Decked with Holly!

And if you also want to click the “like” button, I know for a fact that the author will do a demented chicken dance.

You also might want to read Awkward (if you haven’t already) because it will make Decked with Holly even more exciting for you. That said, I promise you don’t have to read Awkward to completely understand what is happening to Holly and Nick.

Then again, with the awesome discount price of $2.99 for Awkward now is a really good time to get it.

Awkward!

Awkward is clearly still on my mind…

Anyhow, once you read the books I sincerely hope you will tweet me with your thoughts. I absolutely love hearing from people! Oh, and whenever I get fan art I call up every single member of my family and I brag about it to them.

One time someone messaged me that I was tied as her favorite with Justin Bieber and I geeked out.

Watch out, Biebs. I’m stealing your fan base!

My point is that I really do love to hear from you so I hope you’ll consider tweeting me at:

Twitter!

Or you can message me using my Facebook fan page:

Facebook!

I will absolutely see your messages in these places!

And if you feel like leaving comments on Goodreads, I probably will be too confused to respond but I will do my happy dance.

I have even bigger news coming your way soon so . . . I should probably stop writing before I give it all away.

Sincerely,

Marni

Living in the City of Angels!

Hey everyone!

I moved to Los Angeles!

And even though I’m approaching my two week anniversary in my new place, it still doesn’t feel real. Everything came together so perfectly for me.

Here’s what happened:

It all started with my signing event in Pasadena with YA superstars Brigid Kemmerer and Nina Berry!

Brigid is on the left, Nina is on the right, and I’m in the middle of an awesome YA sandwich.

We had a wonderful time at Vroman’s bookstore! But I have to admit, I definitely geeked out when my best friend since preschool and her older brother showed up!

Gwyn has seen it all, including a rather embarrassing rattail/mullet hair disaster. I still can’t believe my mom wanted me to have that haircut.

Even as a clown, Gwyn is cooler than me. It’s just not fair, I tell you!

So having her at my book signing really meant a lot. And after the books were signed and cupcakes were consumed (Mmm…cupcakes!) I had an absolutely brilliant idea!

I was taking Gwyn to the RITAs.

For those of you who don’t obsess over the Romance Writers of America conference, let me explain.

The RITAs is like the Emmys. The Golden Globes. The Oscars.

EXCEPT EVEN BETTER!

Everyone dresses up in sparkly gowns and…it’s magical.

Just…trust me on this.

I teared up at the event. Not even kidding. It’s a very good thing that Gwyn was there to hold my hand through the whole thing, because I was so nervous during the award part.

I’m not sure I could handle the excitement if I was ever nominated. Honestly, I would rather have a RITA than a Pulitzer.

Anyhow, Gwyn took me to her apartment so that she could get dressed up for the event. And as I was admiring her super pretty bedroom and her view, she mentioned that she was moving into her boyfriend’s place. Which meant that if I wanted to rent the apartment, that could be easily arranged.

!!!!!!!!!!!

A week later she picked me up from my dad’s place and I moved in.

She pulled up in a limo! Okay, I’m lying. This is from our high school graduation party. 

Gwyn also laughed pretty hard when she discovered that my romance novels outnumbered my clothes.

By a lot.

So now I have a new home in the Hollywood Hills.

There have been a few changes. I had to buy prescription sunglasses, which I never thought I would need back with I lived in Portland. And yesterday my route home from the coffee shop was blocked off by the police. Apparently a suspicious package needed to be checked out by the bomb squad.

I’m loving it though.

Even the domestic stuff. I have a kitchen that I actually use.

Turns out, I’m not a culinary failure. I totally made a couscous-bean-snap pea-barley stew thingie. And it was delicious!

This is what independence tastes like to me! 

Anyhow, I should probably get back to work. I have some editing left to do on Invisible before I can return to work on Chelsea’s story!

Before I go, I’ve got one more thing to share…

My short story for the Magical Mayhem anthology is now complete…and the book can be purchased on October 1!!!!

The last time I wrote anything magical, I looked like this:

Uh oh, Elementary School Marni thinks my blogging time it up!

I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of it!

Sincerely,

Marni