Get to Know My Project: Worlds Apart

Hello, my literary darlings!

This post is definite not something I thought I would have the guts to do so soon after making major changes to my book but, the only way for me to improve and build my audience is to share my literary worlds with all of you!

This week I will be talking about my Fantasy, Worlds Apart.

Created this cover for my little work in progress!

World’s Apart has been an important project of mine for almost three years now but, after dealing with creative issues and a general lack of motivation, I have finally found my flow and am in the process of finishing my weird little hybrid! Instead of it being a normal fantasy novel I have decided to make it this strange hybrid of fantasy novel  and poetry formatting, not written in verse but as a collection of different poems and musings, so that the magical combination of Ireland and my little fantasy world can be enjoyed in a truly enchanting way.  I know it sounds strange but it really flows and has created a unique reading experience!

Here is its synopsis:

Something deep in 24-year-old Beatrice’s bones drew her to the monastic ruins of Glendalough, Ireland, where unbeknownst to her the fate of the realms would lie in her hands.

During a quest for answers in the Emerald Isle, Bea is spirited away to the realm of Elarya, where she learns just how true the Celtic legends of magic are. Before she can come to terms with being in a land of myth and magic, the Queen of Nature threatens Bea’s closest allies, entangling Bea in the Queen’s plot to merge the realms and take her place as the ultimate ruler. Armed with this information, Bea must team up with the unruly Nessa, valiant Rory, and enigmatic King of Shadow Magic before millions of lives are lost. She will learn ancient magic, forge unbreakable bonds, and enter an enthralling courtship with the foreboding King in the forest.

Can Bea help protect the realms or will she succumb to the Queen’s untamed magic?

Sounds cool, right?  I love this literary world I have created and I can’t wait to share it with all of you! 

Have A Wonderfully Literary Day!

~Caitlin

If you want to see more content like this, let me know! Keep following so I can share snippets and other goodies with y’all!

January TBR

Why, hello there my lovelies!

In order to meet my goal of reading 50 books during 2020 I need to focus on reading and conquering my monster of a TBR pile. I also will be including the synopsis for every book so that you can learn more about them and hopefully find a new favorite!

Here are some of the books I plan on reading during January:

Don’t Keep your Day Job by Cathy Heller

This book is my Audible choice for the month of January. One of my goals is to listen to more audio books so I am going to start out with at least one per month. Check out the synopsis below!

“The pursuit of happiness is all about finding our purpose. We don’t want to just go to work and build someone else’s dream, we want to do our life’s work. But how do we find out what we’re supposed to contribute? What are those key ingredients that push those who succeed to launch their ideas high into the sky, while the rest of us remain stuck on the ground?

Don’t Keep Your Day Job will get you fired up, ready to rip it open and use your zone of genius to add a little more sparkle to this world. Cathy Heller, host of the popular podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, shares wisdom, anecdotes, and practical suggestions from successful creative entrepreneurs and experts, including actress Jenna Fischer on rejection, Gretchen Rubin on the keys to happiness, Jen Sincero on having your best badass life, and so much more. You’ll learn essential steps like how to build your side hustle, how to find your tribe, how to reach for what you truly deserve, and how to ultimately turn your passion into profit and build a life you love.”

Lord of The butterflies by Andrea Gibson

I received this book as a Christmas present from my best friend. I have been hearing great things about this collection of poetry so I am extremely excited to read this! Check out the synopsis below!

In Andrea Gibson’s latest collection, they continue their artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This is another book I received from my best friend for Christmas! This is a book I have been dying to read for a while now so I can’t wait to read this thriller! Check out the synopsis below!

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I went to Leigh Bardugo’s book signing back in October and have a signed copy of this amazing book! This thriller/fantasy mix has been on my TBR list for a while and I can’t wait to finally read this. Check out the synopsis below!

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After binge reading Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series I had to check out her other books! I usually don’t like too many books about fa but something about Maas’ worlds just draws me in. Check out the synopsis below!

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

That is my TBR list so far for January! I will make sure to write reviews as I knock out the books on this list and I can’t wait until I write to y’all again!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

New Year, New Resolutions!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday season! Usually, my anxiety flares up around this time of the year and I end up being miserable but everything went smoothly and my anxiety was kept in check! Now that 2020 has finally arrived I have made the decision to really buckle down and focus more on my writing. My self doubt monster had snuck up on me again but I realized that it is literally now or never. The only way I will ever get any writing done is by actually doing it.


That being said, I also realized that I need to keep two different categories for my writing and non-writing resolutions. This is to keep me from feeling too overwhelmed and I feel like this would be there best way to go!

Here are my Resolutions for 2020

  1. Become more consistent with my blog!
  2. Remember to actually write the reviews for books after I have finished reading them!
  3. Finish my damn book!
  1. Stay on top of my routines!
  2. Practice self-care!
  3. Grow my presence on Instagram and Pinterest!

Can you tell that I am trying to fix my consistency? I have always been horrible about keeping to my routines which has an effect on my anxiety. Hopefully being able to actually enforce a routine will allow me to crush my goals and improve my mental health!


I hope y’all enjoyed reading about my resolutions for the year! Feel free to share your resolutions in the comments!

~Caitlin~

A Curious Update

How can so many changes occur of the course of a month? Journeys, breakdowns, and discoveries helped shape my creative course during the month of June! After seeing how many of y’all loved my personal musings about my battle with anxiety , I have decided to shake things up. Gone is the cookie cutter blog and I am going back to my roots by sharing my personal thoughts and struggles.

I also want to announce that I have a Facebook Page and a Patreon!

If you want to support me on Patreon you will gain access to some incredible writing content, photos of my animals, and you can even receive monthly postcards or packages from me!

Click here to go to my Patreon

Click here to go to my FaceBook Page

Can’t wait to share my writing with y’all!

🌻Caitlin🌻

5 Tips For Traveling With Anxiety

Back in 2018, I made a huge step towards conquering my anxiety when I traveled to Ireland and New York City! Traveling has always been something that causes an extreme amount of stress, so this was like a test to see just how much progress I have made since my major anxiety attack I had a few years ago. The trips were amazing and I am happy to say that I will be traveling again soon!


During my adventures I was able to figure out a few tips and tricks to help make the journeys less stressful on me and keep my anxiety from flaring up, which is why I decided to create this amazing post! If you suffer from anxiety and are looking for ways to travel safely and enjoy yourself, this post is for you!

Here are my 5 tips for traveling with anxiety:

1. Make sure to pack enough medication to last at least 20 days after the end date of your trip and keep it in your carry on!
Anything can happened on a trip and it bringing along extra medication ensures that you can handle any situation thrown your way. Keeping it in your carry on eliminates the extra stress of worrying about it being lost in your checked bag.

 2. Remember to keep your loved ones updated!
I found it helpful to call my parents or at least send them photos almost everyday. If your anxiety was acting up during the day, you can talk about it with your support system back home and hopefully help you relax more and keep your anxiety at bay.

3. Keep a few of your favorite podcasts, audiobooks, or songs on your phone/iPod!
Sometimes, the world can be a little too much to handle. If you are feeling overwhelmed while walking around a strange city, pop in your headphones and listen to a few of your favorite things! My personal go to is the My Favorite Murder Podcast, I love being able to tune out the anxiety by listening to my favorite podcasts, especially while I am stressed out on the plane.

4. Travel in a group!
You don’t have to travel alone, traveling with others can help you lose track of your anxiety and embrace the experience with friends. Traveling with friends or even making friends within a travel group can help you create a support group that you can turn to if your anxiety is having a severe flare up during your trip.

5. Remember to breathe!
Breathe, you are going on a trip that could change your life. Enjoy the experience and don’t let your anxiety flare up. When it starts to emerge , focus on the beautiful surroundings and the different people. Be proud of yourself, you managed to conquer your anxiety and leave your home to go on a grand adventure!

I hope these tips help calm your travel anxiety a bit. Traveling is a stressful process but just know that you can handle it! Seeing the world will help broaden your horizons and introduce you to new experiences, people, and allow you to create memories. Time to use these tips and leave your comfort zone!

Have a wonderfully literary day!
~Caitlin~

Guess Who is Back

Why, hello world!

It has been quite some time since I last posted on my lovely blog and I do apologize. Life has a way of pulling you in so many different directions! Thankfully, everything has settled back down and I can finally start posting on here again.

Before I announce some of the amazing content that is going to coming your way, I just wanted to share 10 amazing things I did during my brief break!

  1. I finally went to Ireland and embraced the emerald isle!
  2. I traveled to New York!
  3. I finally managed to visit the amazing Bookcon!
  4. I lost 20 pounds! *Happy Dance*
  5. I finally started to take better care of myself mentally and physically.
  6. I mended a friendship with one of my writing friends
  7. I rediscovered my love for writing
  8. I got bit by the travel bug and now want to go on more adventures (probably because of my successful adventures earlier this year)
  9. My creativity has finally come back to me and I am no longer wanting to be a couch potato!
  10. I finally ditched my self doubt and embraced my fearlessness!

Whoa, that list is full of some amazing things! I know there aren’t too many details but, that is because I will be creating travel blog posts and more amazing content so you can learn about how I traveled with my anxiety and embraced my fearless self! I apologize again for my absence but I am so excited to share all of my amazing adventures, book reviews, tips, and writing adventures with y’all!

 

To close this short and sweet post, I am going t share this quote by Alan Alda. I hope that all of my new content helps you along your own creative journey and I can’t wait to share my life with y’all!

 

Have a wonderfully literary day!

Caitlin


” Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
Alan Alda

3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not a Mary Sue

We all know of these characters, the ones that barely encounter any obstacles during their journey while winning the hearts of all their potential love interests. I could name several extremely popular books that are focused on a Mary Sue or John Doe. Unfortunately it is also extremely easy to accidentally write your main characters as a Mary Sue, especially if you are in the writing groove and really cranking out that novel. Have no fear, I am here to help guide you along your literary journey and help keep you from straying off the path of a well-developed character and being sucked into the land of absolutely perfect characters that can do no wrong.
Before I can help you I must give you a in-depth guide to the mysterious Mary Sue. The Mary Sue/ John Doe character is one that can probably climb Mt. Everest on their first try with little to no issues. These characters learn fighting quickly and can do things that a normal character would not be able to do as accurately . They are also known for having no enemies, there have even been some instances where even the villain falls for them. This leads to the story becoming dull rather quickly because the main character is completely unrealistic. I know you love your characters and you want what is best for them but they need to be realistic. A reader needs a character to relate to not a character that shoot rainbows of friendship from their fingertips while gliding to the finish line.
What are some ways that I can avoid this from happening? I am glad you asked!

Here are 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not A Mary Sue:

3.png
1. When you are developing your characters for your novel you need to create a list. For the protagonists list 3 positive traits and 1 negative trait to help balance them out.

Ex. My Protagonist:

  • Optimistic
  • Intelligent
  • Adventurous
  • Anxious

Now when you are creating your balanced antagonist you need to also create a list but this time it needs to be 3 negative traits and 1 positive trait.

Ex. My Antagonist:

  • Manipulative
  • Cold
  • Sadistic
  • Intelligent

By creating these lists you are getting to know your characters and allowing them to become more dynamic and realistic.

2. Create a realistic back story. As much as you want your character to come from a perfect home and perfect life with amazing friends and no issues pre-novel you need to understand that a back story like that is boring. No one has a perfect life and in order for you character to evolve over the course of your novel you need to give them some form of obstacle or issue in their back story that needs to be addressed during the events of the novel.

Ex. My main character has to overcome her anxiety she gained after a frightening near death experience before the events of the novel. She learns to accept her faults and how to be a stronger person so her anxiety  can no longer define her.

Having something like this allows the character to be more relatable to the reader and it is a lot more enjoyable to write these characters and really watch them grow.
3. Make sure they fail. Yes, you read that right. Failure is a part of life and so it is important that failure is present at some point during your character’s story. You can make it something as minor as losing her car keys or something as major as running from the monster instead of facing them.

Ex. My character has problems mastering her bow and ends up missing a major target during the first altercation, this causes her to have a full-blown anxiety attack.

When you are writing about failure you are allowing the hero to travel along a journey where they can evolve and face their failures head on.

Creating characters for your novel may seem like an easy process but it is important to remember to make them human while you are actually writing your novel. It is easy to get swept away and dive into your story but you need to remember that a realistic and relatable character is one that a reader will love more and it will also allow you to grow along with your character as you write their journey to adventure, success, and freedom.

Have A Wonderfully Literary Day,
Caitlin

Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

2018 Goals

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

2018 Goals-3

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree
My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Ways to Stay Motivated After NaNoWriMo

Hello World!

The month of November flew by! Now that NaNoWriMo is over I finally have the time to sit down and update my lovely blog. This year was the first year I was actually able to conquer my writing goals for NaNoWriMo and I have to admit, it feels amazing! It took three whole years but I am happy to announce that I am actually a winner this year and I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my novel.

I have been working hard to find different ways to stay motivated now that the pressure of writing so much during NaNoWriMo has been lifted off me. Life has a way of interfering with progress sometimes and staying motivated can be a bit tricky but it is crucial that this first draft is completed before the end of the year! If you are in the same boat then have no fear! I have managed to discover 3 tips that can help you stay motivated and crush your writing goals!

Let’s dive in!

  1. Set Weekly Goals!

Setting up mini goals for the week can be extremely helpful! Sometimes having one giant goal can be daunting and stop your creative flow in its tracks. By breaking your giant goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish every week, you are keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed while writing your novel!

Some examples of these mini goals are:

  • Write for 30 minutes every day.
  • Plot and write a whole chapter in a week. (You can do more than one if you want to!)
  • Flesh out your main characters.

2. Reward Yourself!

Rewards are a nice way to treat yourself as you meet your writing goals. Setting up a way to reward yourself for every writing milestone is a good way to help you stay excited and hopefully avoid the severe writer’s block that can hit after meeting a major word count goal!

  • A Good example of this is what I did for NaNoWriMo! I saved up throughout the month so that once I met my goals I was able to buy a beautiful owl purse that I had been wanting for awhile!

3.Take a Break!

This tip may sound a little odd! Trust me, taking a moment to breathe is absolutely crucial to staying motivated. Pushing yourself too hard can lead you to being burnt out and you can unfortunately lose the motivation to write. Taking a short break allows you to clear your mind and have a mini vacation from your novel. You can revisit your work after your break and be able to crush that word count goal!

I hope y’all enjoyed my post and I also hope that these tips help you along your writing journey!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin