My Very First Giveaway!

I met Lara Zielin on Twitter some time ago and found out quickly how easy it is to like her. She is always sweeter than the donuts she loves and giggly as a teenage girl. This is obviously a winning combination for a Young Adult author. However, I wondered, should I pick up her book? At the time, I was struggling with whether or not I should be reading YA novels since I am, sadly, no longer a young adult. After blogging about rereading A Wrinkle In Time, I realized it would be more ridiculous to NOT read her book.

So, I read it. AND, I loved it. And because Lara is so superfabulous, she offered to give away a copy of Donut Days to a commenter on my blog! *happy dance*

Now don’t go hopping straight down to comment! At least read what it’s about first…geez…you guys are so impatient.

Emma is an aspiring journalist hoping to win a scholarship from a local newspaper so she can attend a non-Christian university, which is against her parents’ wishes. The neighborhood debut of Crispy Dream, a popular donut shop chain, is the topic of her story, along with the people camping out for days in anticipation of its opening. However, the events that have been occurring in her parents’ church threaten to distract her away from everything she’s working for. While she’s spending time at the camp, her mother’s minister status is being questioned because of a supposed prophecy made by a member of the church. On top of it all, Emma’s best friend has turned on her and is now hanging out with the daughter of the man who made the prophecy that started it all.

Lara has created a novel that is easy to love. The major events are not your typical teenage problems, but they are framed by the common issues of friend betrayal, growing up and falling in love. The combination makes for a relatable, page turning story. The characters are well developed; it’s not hard to endear to Emma and her family within the first few pages. And with Emma narrating, you are placed in her shoes, feeling her frustration of what has happened. This is not an action packed book, but Lara keeps from lingering in one spot too long, which avoids any lulls in the story line. And when it comes to Emma’s love interest, it’s simple and promising. I loved every inch of this book. Every word and every page had my full attention. I’m sure you will, too.

Ok, NOW you can go comment! Leave me a comment and I will use a random number generator to pick the winner of the book on Friday, May 21.   

10 Minutes of Random

When I was in school, we had this writing exercise to do. I can’t remember what class it was because I think it may have been in middle school, long before my Creative Writing class. We were given ten minutes to just write. Don’t plan it. Don’t think about it. Just write. Whatever is in your head, let it spill out onto the paper. Don’t worry about what you are saying. Forget grammar.

Just. Write.

So, I was in the mood. I needed to do something different. I recalled this little exercise and I wrote. Well, I typed. I typed for 10 minutes. It isn’t very long. I paused a few times…I’m out of practice.


And this is what came of it. I didn’t edit because if I had done it with pen and paper as it should have been, I wouldn’t have done so:

When I watch a movie or show that has to do with art, artists or any art related topic, it goads me to inspiration. But, I don’t always know what to do with that inspiration. Ideas are suddenly bubbling in my brain and it stews, but it doesn’t always produce something useful. Unfortunately, I enjoy the random creative thoughts more than the organized sensible ones most of the time. I have this vision in my head of me having a room in the house where I spend creative time. I paint, draw, write, craft. I take photos or organize the ones I have. Grand waves of the things I could be doing with my time undulate in front of me. My arms reach out to orchestrate the projects in front of me. And yet, I’m not sure why I never get started. I feel like maybe I’m in limbo by being unemployed. The thought of not having a steady paycheck is jarring to me. It’s an earthquake that occasionally shakes me into reality. These ideas, these dreams…they will never come to fruition without money. I mean, where are we without money? We need money to live, eat, survive. I need the security of a scheduled paycheck to be sure that I can do the things that I want to do. Why do I feel like I have to suffer for the paycheck to enjoy my free time? Will I ever find a happy medium? Is there even a slight possibility that I will find a way to support my family and still love what I do. Still feel the passion for my work and wake up every morning excited about what comes next?