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~

Finding My Footing

If you have a mental illness that requires medication, you understand those intense first two weeks when you start a new medication. It is like you are trying to balance on a tightrope where one side is the fear of becoming an emotionless zombie while the other is the fear of the medication not working at all. Side effects are the worst during those first two weeks before they begin to fade as the medicine begins to work. My new anxiety medication caused me to have some emotional moments that lasted longer than the other effects so, I decided to add CBD oil to my routine. I know what you are thinking, oh man this must be a weird post that is meant to boost the popularity of CBD oil, this is not that kind of post at all. Sure, the oil works well with my medication and helped me regain my stride but it is not meant to replace my medication. My anxiety would literally cause me to feel like I can’t breathe, my hands would shake, and my mind was a cruel place. The thought of possibly going back to that dark place if I couldn’t get past this scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, with the addition of CBD, meditation, and having a kickass support system, I was able to push through and regain my footing!

So, my lovely readers, I wanted you to know that the tight rope of balancing your brain can be excruciating but, once you get past it you will feel so much better. I read somewhere that medication is a pair a glasses for your brain, it fixes the chemical imbalance and can help you regain clarity. Now, I need to tell you that if those major side effects last longer than two weeks you need to visit your doctor and have your medication adjusted. Finding the right medication can take time but it is worth it once you find the perfect fit.

Regaining something you never realized you lost is a strange feeling. I did not realize I lost my creative stride and motivation again until a few days ago. A few months ago, you couldn’t even force me to sit and write. Now, I can write almost four thousand words a day again! Finding my perfect combination for my routine really helped me find myself again. Hopefully, if you are fighting your own mental battles, this post inspires you to take that next step. See the Doctor, cut the negativity out of your life, reach out to loved ones, or just get out of bed. I know you can regain your footing, if you need help or someone to talk to, reach out to me.

I will always be here for y’all!

🌻 Caitlin 🌻

Here is a photo of Bruce to help inspire you!

Zena The Catalina

While other macaws were born into warm and happy homes, Zena was born in a cold fireplace. The people that were supposed to care for her brood had no experience, her mother attacked her leaving one foot with no toes, and malnutrition made her look like a newborn when she was actually older with only a mohawk of feathers on her head. These people took her to a bird shop where the owners rescued her and helped give her the attention and care she needed. Zena would be her name and she would not give up her fight for life so easily. It took time but she was able to conquer so much like learning to perch with no toes, growing her feathers, and recovering from the effects of malnoutrition. One day, a family that had come in almost every day and knew this warrior decided it was time to take her home. 

Zena is turning eleven this year, she has a whole flock of birds, a blue and gold boyfriend,  and a loving family that is giving her the life she deserves.  Don’t let her nubby foot deceive you either, she rules the perch and is not afraid to smack the other birds or people. Who knew that a bird with no toes on her foot could climb down her perch and walk so quickly?

I hope y’all enjoyed learning about Zena! Every week, I will share the story of one of the members of my animal family. My animals are everything to me and I can’t wait for y’all to get to know all of them ❤️

You can find more content like this on my Patreon as well, click here!

🌻Caitlin🌻

Ghosts of The Past

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is quite the interesting destination, one half of the island is well kept while the other half is slowly fading away. Thankfully, My parents and I were able to go on a hard hat tour of the unrestored contagious disease ward since it is still safe enough to explore. Of course my mother, who is a nurse, clutched her purse like an old virus was going to mug her during the tour.

Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour

There is an eerie feeling as you walk along the corridor and face the split between the general hospital and contagious disease ward. It is one thing to read about historic sites like Ellis Island but to see these buildings in person really sends chills down your spine. The man leading our tour was actually a descendant of someone that passed through Ellis Island so he included stories that his grandfather passed to him.

Who knew that the Ellis Island hospital was such a trendsetter? Due to their protocols, there were no records of any nurse or physician dying while helping the poor souls within the contagious disease ward. Tragically, Ellis Island suffered at the hands of a city that didn’t want to care for it until the late eighties to early nineties. The years of neglect Ellis endured is evident when you look out the windows in the wards and see nature slowly creeping in.

For ninety minutes, we were pulled into a world of history and heard about the fight to save Ellis Island from literally falling apart. It is truly heartbreaking that the general hospital has become so dangerous that they do not believe it can be salvaged. walking into the empty and worn down rooms and looking at the gorgeous murals, created by artist JR (click here to go to his website), really left a lasting impact. It is time to save Ellis Island before one of the most important pieces of American History is lost.

Next time you go to Ellis Island, take the hard hat tour and learn about the fight of history vs. nature while admiring the beauty of what was left behind.

Fun Fact: The Muralist, JR, used photos from the archives and used a material that will naturally fade away so it won’t hurt the buildings!

Here is a slideshow of some of my favorite photos I took while going on the hard hat tour!

Go support me on Patreon to see even more haunting photos as well! Click here!

If you are interested in going on a hard hat tour visit the Statue of Liberty Cruise ticket website here to learn more about this one of a kind experience!

Want to help Save Ellis Island? Go visit their website here!

🌻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🌻

I Am Not Okay

I am not okay, I finally  realized this after trying to deal with my mental health for the past 3-4 months. At first, I thought it was just stress from all of the issues happening in my personal life. I kept thinking it was going to get better, that I have to be strong for the ones I care about. It never got better, anxiety crept back in and depression swept me away. I was numb, tired, and all of the projects I had been working on simply fell apart. My writing suffered, my loved ones had to watch me fall apart, and I kept fighting my monsters alone.

Going to the doctor was something I feared but I knew seeking help was necessary if I wanted to regain my spark. Not going to lie, I cried at least four different times while telling my doctor what has been happening and she calmed me down before telling me it was going to be okay. The medication I was on is apparently notorious for failing to work in the long run. All I had to do was take the first dose of my new medication and it felt like  I could breathe. The feelings that had consumed me have been calmed and I could actually go to sleep without worrying about everything. I can’t wait to finally regain my spark, to be able to enjoy the world again, and finish my novel. It does get better, you just have to accept that you can’t fight this alone and to always monitor how effective your medicine is.

I guess I wrote this because so at least one person can learn that it is okay to not be okay. Medicine can fail, things change, and it is important to realize when you need help.  Also, I needed to explain why I dropped off the face of the Earth on here! I will keep you updated as I adjust to this new medication and hopefully I will be sharing some amazing content with y’all!

I hope y’all have an amazingly literary day,

Caitlin ❤️

P.S. If any of y’all are going through a tough spot in your life and need someone to talk to, just let me know so we can connect. You are not alone

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