¡Viva Mexico City!

What have I been up to lately, you ask? Well, writing The Dirty Book Club, of course. But also THIS:

mexico city

 

I’ve just returned from an adventure in Mexico City.  It is THE coolest place. Safer than Los Angeles with cafes and restaurants everywhere. I didn’t even have to forego my Starbucks addiction to visit.

mexico city

Starbucks in Mexico City! Cafe olé! Although, my dreams of being a Mexican mannequin have been flattened. Literally. See below.

mexico city

mexico city

I have no jokes for this picture because it’s not funny. But you had to see.

Fried crickets…

mexico city

Ant eggs. Oh yes I dzid.

mexico city

Oatmeal.

mexico city

sorry not sorry.

Goatmeal.

mexico city

Of course there were plenty of mariachi bands… And one particularly popular photo bomber. Check him out below.

mexico city

 

mexico city

Then there was this little guy crashing all of our meals.

mexico city

I should mention there’s a place in my heart (and head) for garlands. Admittedly. Since I’m no longer 18 I will only wear them on vacation. Lucky Mexico.

Mexico City did my brain wonders, although I didn’t leave The Dirty Book Club back in the states. I had all the characters next to me poolside as I retooled plot lines and reworked pages. I’ll be updating the DBC character boards on Pinterest next week. Be sure to check them out so you can follow their development as I go, and don’t forget about my Facebook. Friday I’ll be posting videos of my favorite friend made in Mexico City.

 

TTYW,

Lisi

 

 

 

 

 

YALLWEST Santa Monica!

yall west

Last week I hinted at seeing some of your faces in person very soon. See that blue state on the map? If you live in it, or if you can get yourself to that little yellow dot on April 11th and 12th, you’re in luck. I’ll be at YALLWEST (YALLFEST’s sassy younger sister) with a gang of my author friends ready to get in some face time with you. I hope you’ll join me.

Check out the details below:yall westyall westScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 4.01.32 PM

yall west

Want tickets? Click the image below. I hope to see you there! 

get your tickets If you can’t make it, don’t fret. You can still keep tabs on event happenings over at YALLWEST’s Twitter page. Follow them here: yallwest twitter

And while you’re at it, help @YALLWEST kick off their new hashtag #PoseWithABook. Just take a picture of yourself reading in a weird position/place and post it online with the hashtag, and throw on a #YALLWEST so I can find you. I’m working on mine now–stay tuned.

yall westTTYW,

Lisi

In the Cards for Valentine’s

I’m giving you the gift of time for Valentine’s Day and taking the guesswork out of which cards are the most AH-MAZING this year. I’ve done all the Internet scavenging for you so you can run out and nab (or make) a few for your special someones–friends and family included–right after reading this post. Check these out:

In no specific order…

1) DIY your Valentine’s card by cutting out a heart from a map of the city where you met your boyfriend/girlfriend. *Star* the exact spot you two first crossed paths.

DIY vday card

 

2) Have some self love while giving it to others this year. They’ll respect you more if you do.

just the way i am

 

3) Or lay it out on the line and let them know they’re all you’ve got. It works.

suck without you

click through image to find where you can nab this card

 

 

4) Be up front with what matters most and why they make the cut.

grammar card

 

5) Test their observational skills with this fake-out Valentine. fake out card 6) Or keep it simple, keep it real.

you and naps

 

 

7) Give this one to your parents. They’ll love it.

for mom

 

 

 

8) Or if you don’t want your Valentine to get a big head, this will send the right message.

click through image to get this card

click through image to get this card

 

9) For the undying love(r):

zombie love

 

10) And for anyone else I’ve missed, this ought to cover it. Check off the pet name you see fit. How many of you marked Cover Stealer?

for all

click through image to get this card

 

 

Next week I’ll let you know what’s in the cards for me. [HINT: I’ll hopefully be seeing some of your lovely faces in person very soon].

 

TTYW,

Lisi

WRITE ON

writing.poster

I’m receiving a number of comments and messages from readers looking for help becoming writers. Some of them lead me to believe you haven’t been keeping up with the Writing Process section here on the blah-g. Check this out first in case any of your questions have already been answered in depth: Blah Blah Blah Writing Process

And a few of you have asked me for some tips and tricks. Tips and tricks for writing, huh? I wish, sisters. I’ve said this before, but there aren’t any tricks. You have to write every day. It’s that simple. Read books in the genre you are writing so you can see how other people do it. Stephen King says if you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have the time–or tools–to write. So do it. Read and write as much as possible. Keep a notebook with you and write down amazing details you stumble on during the day. It’s these details that will bring your writing to life. And read about writing. Books on the actual craft are very helpful and inspiring. Be sure to check out my Tumblr I devote entirely to writerly things (okay, okay, there are some pups and Internet memes thrown in there, too) that I update every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s full of great writing tips for character development, story structure, inspirational words, and anything else you need to spark your creativity while honing your craft.

Writerly Words

Most of all don’t try to sound like anyone else. It’s your voice we want to hear because no one sees the world like you do. Neil Gaiman has my back on this one, albeit his version is a little more harsh:

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.

― Neil Gaiman

Which reminds me, developing a thick skin is step 1 in becoming a writer. Harper Lee agrees:

I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee

Now hit it.

 

TTYW,

Lisi

 

Grit or Get Off The Pot

im/possible

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a**holes.”
– William Gibson.

Have you ever shared your life’s grand plan with someone and in an instant your dreams were dashed with negativity? We all encounter discouraging naysayers on our path, but it’s particularly difficult to stay focused in reaching our goals when those closest to us can’t or won’t be our support system along the way. Danielle is experiencing this right now and commented about it on my Facebook page. Here’s her story:

I’ve wanted to become a writer for quite some time. The only problem is my family doesn’t support me in my decision. They say things that really make me feel like I won’t be able to make it. I get tons of support at school with my teachers and I’m grateful for that, but my family makes jokes at my expense that make me feel self conscious for wanting to write. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t think I’ll be able to become a writer anymore. Any advice? 

People who try to talk you down from a dream are usually working from a place of fear. It isn’t necessarily their fault. They might be repeating discouraging words said to them long ago, or they might be too scared in their own life to follow their passion. It’s crucial that you keep this in mind. Remind yourself it’s their insecurity and like a virus, you will catch it if you don’t build up your immunity. Here’s how:

Shut them down.

Tell them to keep their negativity to themselves. If they keep this up you will never dedicate a novel to them. Ne-ver!

You could also try giving them a taste of it. Crush their goals and dreams just for fun. See how they like it. Infect them with their own negativity. Then (wait for it…) write a short story about it. Everything you experience—better or worse—is material. At the very least take notes on their behavior. The sound of their voices when they judge. Their facial expressions. The sound of their laughter. Show them, with your writing, how antagonistic they are.

Become Boobs. Now Find Your Bra.
Like a pair of boobs you need support. So go find a few bras. By this I mean people who support you. Share your writing with the teachers who believe in you. Join or start a writing club. Become an online member of a writing community. Read about writers. Read about writing. Surround yourself with other people who share the vision. That’s the bug you want to catch.
goals
Don’t dream it. Do it. 

Right now writing is your dream, but you should make it your reality. Decide upon smaller tasks instead of focusing solely on the final work. Write them down, tack them up on a wall near your desk. Look at those reminder notes every morning and put at least one of them into effect. Maybe that means writing a short story, putting a book of poems together, completing specific writing exercises each week, studying two books on the craft per month. Your family will see you working at achieving your goal and hopefully will respect your vision more and more. Or they won’t. (See: Shut Them Down.)

The most important thing a writer can have—more important that talent, skill, education—is GRIT! Stick with it. Thicken that skin. Shut out the noise. Cliche? Yes. But oh so true.

butler quote

Now go kick some ass.

TTYW,

Lisi

 

 

 

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