Have I ever told you guys how I met author Amanda Heger?
Yeah. Twitter. I was this new author, who had no connections and I stumbled upon this incredible community online. One of those standouts who reached out (or maybe I did...truthfully, I don't even remember) with a snarky/funny/encouraging comment (this, I can almost guarantee) was Amanda. We founded a group of new authors, who eventually became close friends. Now, Amanda is my favorite person to share a bed with (at conferences, friends, get your heads out of the gutter...) and quite possibly one of the funniest people I've ever met. Her sarcasm, witticisms, and outrageously subtle (and not-so-subtle) one liners are something I look forward to every time I talk to her. She is not only one of the best human beings I know but one of the most exemplary storytellers I've ever met.
It comes as no surprise, then, that I read her new book, Crazy Cupid Love, and once again marveled at her talent.
Every once in a while, you read a book that changes your life...that forces your empathy to grow, challenges the things you were certain of, and makes you question how you'd respond.
This Is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel, is one of those books.
"This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.
This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes."
But what would you do in that situation? Is everything as it seems?
"You have to lose the battle to win the war." You guys have heard that phrase, right? It reminds me of something they'd say on Suits (and probably have...) or a drama from the middle ages where strategy weaves into a lifechanging choice.
Through my writing career, I've learned the saying is true. Whether it's delaying the release of a book to polish it until it shines.
Whether it's holding back on writing because I need to focus on my day job.
Whether I balance or topple.
We all make those choices every day--the ones that have no satisfaction and hit your confidence now, because down the road they'll yield dividends.
In late October, I had my (now former) publisher revert the rights to The Rearranged Life.
When you publish a book, you sign over your rights to your writing--the publisher has the rights to put the words in the world. As you can imagine, reverting them takes those rights back and gives them to you again.
What does that mean for The Rearranged Life? For now...it's not o...
I never thought I'd see myself in a character so much--a little bit of a control freak, someone caught between destiny and choice, someone who has moments of grace but mostly moments of blurting out witty comments...Enter Winnie Mehta.
Winnie has dated a boy named Raj, who she believed was the man who would fulfill a prophecy about her love life...until they break up. Caught between what destiny has predicted for her and what she wants in life, the story explores the life of a high school senior as she navigates her life as a Bollywood movie, relates everything back to Bollywood, and lives out her own destiny.
Nisha Sharma knocks it out of the park, both with her descriptions of our culture and with the story itself. There's something so outlandish about Bollywood movies--the dancing, the songs, the melodrama, the overdone reactions, and the colors--and there's something so seamless about how she weaves it into the story. As she mentions time and again, the love of Bollywood isn't a love...
My mother is convinced that my reading habit is the reason I needed glasses at the ripe old age of 5...once my parents had turned off the lights, I'd often read in my dimly lit bedroom. My dad likes to tell the story of how he found me at 5 AM, under the covers of my blanket, reading the latest Harry Potter by a tiny reading light after staying up all night.
And with the love of reading came one of writing. I have years of journals that hopefully, no one will ever read, from 5th grade until freshman year of college, filled with the drama, descriptions of boys I liked, and all the things on any teenager's mind.
As I got older, and began setting better goals for myself, one that was always on the horizon was to become an author. And at 27 years old, I did. Here's the tale of forgetting the statistics, remembering the reason you love to write, and pushing until failure isn't an option.
In the summer of 2012, I was about to enter graduate school for my M.Ed. I had a month off between the day...