Abigail Wyvon

I should be writing, but I'm probably reading

Move Over Shakespeare by Billy J. Barnum

Have you seen The Greatest Showman? Well, Billy Barnum is a direct descendant of Phineas Taylor Barnum, and he wrote a poetry book! 

Move Over Shakespeare was a delight to read. The poems were raw, honest, uplifting, and thought-provoking. “One by One” inspired me to get writing. “My Hair” had me laugh out loud. “Sycamore Tree” had me in awe. Many poems had me questioning life. I applaud Mr. Barnum for baring his soul with the world; it’s not an easy thing to do. I wish I could write poetry as well as him. The pictures were a nice bonus. If you’re a poetry lover, you won’t regret picking up a copy of this book! 5/5 stars!

Here’s one of the poems:

The Unforgotten Tale (Black Rose)

The rose that burns before my eyes 
Will soon my friend again arise 
My soul it burns with strong desire 
To find who lit the rose on fire

My life has been a tragic waste 
I do not bleed, but blood I taste 
The rose was black, like night my child 
Like the stallion I rode, when I was wild

The sun’s no more, the earth I see 
Will linger in my memory 
When I am gone, please carry on 
And journey till the quest is done

This magic seed that seems be stilled 
Was once the rose that evil killed 
My fondest wish I now behold 
The rose it grows so true and bold

And black as night, just like it was 
And give it light, and give it love 
If tales were told about the thorn 
I’ll tell you one, but do be warned

The rose it burned, so big and high 
That reached into the mystic sky 
The world it shook, the sky went black 
The children cried, and the moon it cracked

I feared this once, but I never knew 
That a sky so black, was once so blue 
The fate you see is in your hand 
So go my son, and make a plan

The rose it grows one day again 
But only you will know just when 
And when it does, all that you see 
Will only be a memory

MoveOverShakespeareBarnum

The Book That Changed My Life

I started writing novels in third grade. My first story was about two twenty-somethings from a small Montana town who went to New York City in search of love. I wrote only a few chapters. A year later, I started writing my next story, Haunted House on Halloween Street. Like the first story, I never got very far.

I was mad at myself for not finishing a novel. I felt defeated. I was stuck. I was lost. I didn’t know who I wanted to be as a writer; I didn’t know what kind of stories I wanted to write. Looking back on all of it, it was silly of me to try to figure it all out. I was only 9-10 years old, after all. I had plenty of time to figure all that out. Writing was so important to me, though. I felt I had to know at that moment!

I read my first book by Nicholas Sparks in the fifth or sixth grade. When I closed the book, I bawled like a baby. Seriously, I cried a river. I was a kid; I never knew books could cause people to feel such powerful emotions. I never knew a book could make someone cry like I had. It was a life-changing moment. It was at that moment I realized what kind of writer I wanted to be. I wanted to be able to pull at heartstrings. I wanted people to feel those strong emotions just from reading words on a page. 

Then Lucky Star was born.

It wasn’t long after I read the book by Sparks that I had a new story form in my mind. And guess what? I stuck with it! I started writing Lucky Star in middle school. Through the sweat, tears, and stress, I managed to finish the first draft on my 20th birthday. Six years later, I’m still editing. I will finish it, though!

If it weren’t for Nicholas Sparks and his book, my story, Lucky Star, would never have been written. And what’s the name of the book that changed my life as a writer?

The Guardian.

Julie Barenson was only twenty-five when her husband, Jim, passed away. He left her a present before he died—a Great Dane named Singer. He had also promised to always watch out for her. Fast forward four years, Julie has a good life and she’s finally ready to start dating again, so she starts going out with Richard. He’s an engineer in town for a project. Richard begins taking her out on fancy dates and giving her jewelry. When Julie starts spending more time with her best friend Mike, Richard is jealous. And controlling. Singer growls at him whenever he’s around. Julie, sensing something is off, ends the relationship. Richard doesn’t plan to give up, though. Fans of Nicholas Sparks can expect the love to blossom between Julie and Mike. All is going well, except Julie keeps bumping into Richard. He’s everywhere she is. Julie’s phone constantly rings, but there are no voicemails. Singer is barking and growling at random times during the night. Julie fears for her life, but as long as Mike is with her every night and Singer is guarding the house, she’s safe, right? When a colleague of Julie’s is found beaten and Richard is the main suspect, Julie, Singer, and Mike decide to leave town until he’s caught. The cops begin to look into Richard’s life and unravel his shady past at the same time Richard is closing in on Julie…

I absolutely adored Singer and Mike! The story itself was mediocre. 3.5/5 stars. It was Nicholas Sparks’ first time writing a thriller. See Me is a much better thriller by Sparks. I highly recommend it. However, The Guardian will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m still waiting for the movie!

What book changed your life?

“Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can.” -William Feather

LuckyStar - EditedThe Guardian

Derailed by Mary Keliikoa

Mary Keliikoa’s debut novel, Derailed, is a page-turner you’ll want to read until the end.

Left with her late father’s detective agency, Kelly Pruett is determined to juggle work, caring for her daughter, and her personal life. When a woman comes in asking for Kelly’s help to find out what really happened the night her daughter was struck by a train, Kelly can’t turn her away. After all, Kelly’s father left her a letter telling her to help this woman out if she ever needed it.

As Kelly begins uncovering the shocking secrets about her client’s daughter and her mysterious death, Kelly starts receiving hang-up calls and someone snooping around her house. The more she investigates the longer her suspect list gets, and the more danger she’s in. With the help of a sexy cop and a canine sidekick, Kelly won’t rest until the case is solved, even if that means losing what’s most important to her.

Filled with a lot of mystery and featuring a strong protagonist, Derailed was a joy to read. The twists and turns had me turning the pages and doubting my predictions. Just when you think you have the story figured out, there’s a new twist. I love that the story has a deaf person because I’m all about representation in literature. All of the infidelity was a little much. Overall, the story was a gripping read. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series! 3.8 stars!

Derailed will be published and ready for you to read on May 12th, 2020.

Derailed

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

I hope all of you are staying safe during this difficult time. Are you bored during the quarantine? Read a book! Then read another book! Oh, and wash your hands.

I’ve read A LOT books in the last couple of weeks. I finished reading Someone’s Inside Your House just this morning…

Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, writes a teen slasher/thriller novel.

To escape her demons in Hawaii, Makani Young moved to Nebraska to live with her grandmother. A year later, Makani has made a couple of close friends and starts a thing with the school loner, Ollie, who has his own secrets to hide. Makani is still adjusting to her new life in a small town when suddenly a classmate is murdered. Then another. And another. A serial killer is among her peers, lurking in the shadows. Even after the suspect is identified, the body count keeps rising. Makani and her friends try to warn other classmates that they could be next, but it’s too late. The killer strikes again. Makani will have to come face-to-face with the murderer and her past, too.

There’s Someone Inside Your House is a mediocre novel I’ll forget about by tomorrow morning. The characters were diverse, but they lacked depth. I didn’t care for any of the victims, but it was the mystery that kept me reading until the end. I had to know who the killer was and what secrets Makani and Ollie kept hidden. Perkins did a good job building the suspense, but I was left disappointed. If you’re looking for a horror novel, this isn’t it; however, if you’re looking for a story with a little mystery, murder and teen romance, you might enjoy it. Worth a one-time read. 3.3/5 stars!

There’s Someone Inside Your House is going to be a Netflix film! Keep an eye out for that. Can we make Anna and the French Kiss a movie, too? I loved that book!

Writing Community Support

Most people in my life think I love writing. Ha! I don’t love writing; I love having written, though. Writing is hard. It’s difficult to get in the writing zone and to stay in the zone. There are too many distractions! I procrastinate and I’ll do just about anything to avoid writing. There’s a dirty spot on my wheelchair? I better clean it! I just checked my email, but I need to check it again! My phone needs a new background. I’m sure many writers can relate.

“Why do you write then?” some people ask.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a writer. I started writing stories as soon as I learned to write. It was like a habit. I didn’t choose the writing life; the writing life chose me. I write because I need to. Whenever I’m not writing, there’s a constant voice in my head. “Stop what you’re doing and start writing!” the voice will whisper. “Why aren’t you writing? Write!” It’s there 24/7.

I’ve been a struggling writer for the past few years. I’d constantly doubt myself and wonder whether or not I’d ever finish a manuscript to publish. However, thanks to the writing community, I’m finding my groove again. I’ve never felt more inspired or encouraged to write. I’m actually excited to write! You might even say I want to write. The writing community is truly the best community to be a part of. Everyone is so supportive of one another.

To my 2,600+ followers on Twitter, thank you! It’s because of y’all in the writing community that I’m feeling encouraged and excited to write. You give me the boost I need. Are we not connected on Twitter? Send me your profile info and I’ll hit the follow button! Or you can look up Abigail Wyvon.

To the 270+ people following my blog, thank you!

To my family and friends that support my writing dreams, thank you!

The support means the world to me. I can only go up from here.

What are you drinking? It’s on me!

wine time

Write on, writers!

 

Introducing Naomi Waters

Life is hard. Writing is hard. January was a tough month for me, but I’m hopeful February will be better!

I’d like to introduce Naomi Waters, the main character of the new manuscript I’m writing, Wheeling the Halls. Here is her interview:

Q: Hi, thank you for joining me today! Can you tell me your name?

Naomi Waters. And thanks for having me!

Q: How old are you, Naomi? And where do you go to school?

I’m 17 and I go to Olympus High.

Q: What grade are you in?

I’m a senior.

Q: Are you excited to graduate?

Definitely! *giggles*

Q: What are your plans for after high school?

I’m planning to go to community college to study psychology.

Q: Good for you! Are you in any clubs or participate in any sports at school?

I am part of the newspaper team.

Q: That’s great! So, Naomi, what would you say is the first thing people notice about you?

My red hair. Or my yellow wheelchair.

Q: If you don’t mind me asking, why do you use a wheelchair?

I have cerebral palsy.

Q: What is cerebral palsy? I’m sure our readers would like a better understanding.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, or, uh, posture.

Q: Were you born with it?

Yes I was.

Q: What is one thing you would like people to know about your disability?

Hm. Uh, you don’t need to get down to my level to talk to me and you don’t need to pat me on the head!

Q: Good to know. What are your hobbies outside of school?

Um, I like to work out and go to the movies. Or work at my family’s restaurant.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie or TV show?

I like all kinds of movies. My favorite show is Chicago Fire.

Q: Who do you usually go to the movies with and hang out with?

My best friend Raven.

Q: You mentioned your family’s restaurant? It’s quite a famous spot! How often do you work there?

Part-time. A couple of times a week.

Q: Ever seen anyone famous there?

I haven’t, but my parents have a few times. Actually, the new kid at my school was there, um, the other day while I was working. He’s kinda famous.

Q: Oh? What’s he famous for?

He’s famous online, I think. I’m not really sure.

Q: Interesting. Do you have any siblings? Pets?

I have two older brothers, Owen and Tyler. I have a chocolate lab named Cappie.

Q: Aww, labs are great! I bet your brothers get on your nerves, huh?

*Laughs* They’re not too bad.

Q: Do they work at the restaurant too?

Owen does.

Q: Well, we have time for only a couple more questions. If you had one wish, what would it be, Naomi?

I would bring my grandpa back. He was murdered when I was eleven and the case was never solved.

Q: I’m so sorry to hear that! Were you two close?

Yeah.

Q: Well, I hope your family gets closure! To wrap things up, what are your plans after finishing this interview?

I’ll probably work out or finish my article assignment for the school’s newspaper. I’ve been a little distracted lately, so, uh, now I’m behind.

Good luck, Naomi!

Naomi Waters

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Have you seen The Duff movie? If so, what did you think? I only recently found out the movie is based on a novel by the same name. I loved the movie, so why not read the book? To be honest, I was a little hesitant to read it; I thought the movie would’ve ruined the book for me. Oh, was I wrong! The book is nothing like the movie.

When the school hottie, Wesley Rush, informs 17-year-old Bianca Piper that she is the Duff—Designated Ugly Fat Friend—in her friend group, she can’t stop thinking about it. She’s horrified by the label. To make things worse, Bianca starts having problems at home with her parents. She wants an escape, something to distract her from the bad things happening in her life. Surprisingly, Bianca finds herself hooking up with Wesley, even though she has always hated the guy. As the two start spending more time together, her friendships are tested, and she comes to realize she has a lot in common with Wesley. She hates to admit it, but Bianca is falling for him. Will she face reality or continue to try to escape it?

Kody Keplinger’s debut novel is a fun read full of laughter and charm. Though predictable, the ending had me smiling and my heart feeling warm. I might even have fallen in love with Wesley (shh, don’t tell my boyfriend.). This is one book I won’t soon forget. 5/5 stars!

“No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.” ― Kody Keplinger, The Duff.

 

Hello NaNoWriMo!

Happy Halloween! I hope your costumes scare all the little kids away and you get the candy all to yourselves. Just kidding. Mostly, anyway.

If it’s Halloween, that means It’s almost NaNoWriMo! Are you participating this year? Are you excited?

After much debate, I’ve decided to sit this one out. I have a lot going on: continuing education classes, job stuff, my reading goal, and don’t get me started on the adorable new kitten that is always distracting me. She’s so cute, right? Her name is Jasmine.

Anyway, where was I? Right! While I may not be doing NaNoWriMo this year, that doesn’t mean I won’t be writing. I have plans to start writing a new story soon. Naomi really wants me to tell her story; she reminds me every day. *eye roll* Y’all will meet Naomi soon enough. Also, I should be working on editing a manuscript. Don’t tell Naomi that, though. She might not like me focusing on another character’s story.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I wish you the best of luck! If you’re feeling discouraged, maybe this will help. My first completed manuscript took me YEARS to write. I started writing it the summer after 7th grade and finished it on my 20th birthday. You can imagine how hesitant and discouraged I was feeling to participate in NaNoWriMo the following year. I had so many thoughts running through my head. You can’t write a book in a month. It’s impossible. Don’t even waste your time trying.

I don’t know how but I did it! I wrote a book in a month. My first manuscript took me 5+ years to write and my second took me only 30 days. I’ve always struggled with finishing first drafts, but if I can do it in a month, so can you! You got this! I’ll even buy your book when it’s published. Good luck!

A Writer’s Questionnaire

Chilly weather, football, leaves falling, pumpkins—Yes, fall is here! *Sigh* I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the hot weather is gone.

A couple months ago I got a library card! You would think that I, a major bookworm, would already have had a library card, but I did not. Now I have access to thousands of free books from my favorite authors just on my phone. I also have access to online classes for free! Why did it take me so long to get a library card?! If you love reading and don’t have a library card, I suggest getting one.

I gave myself a new goal: Read a hundred books in one year. I started this goal on July 25th (the day I got the library card), and so far I’ve read eight books. I’m currently reading Split Second by David Baldacci and some weird book my boyfriend wanted me to read. Will I accomplish my goal? I guess we’ll find out on July 25th, 2020. You can expect a lot of book reviews, so I hope you like books!

I found this questionnaire in a Facebook writing group, and I thought it would be fun to post on here.

A Writer’s Questionnaire

How long have you been writing?
My entire life.

What kind of writing do you do?
Novels are my passion, but I do a little poetry, articles, etc.

When did you write your first piece?
I started writing my first novel in 3rd grade.

Ever been published?
Not professionally. I’ve had pieces published on blogs.

How old were you when you first published?
N/A

Title of your first published work?
N/A

What’s your opinion on the oxford comma?
I like it and use it.

Biggest pet peeve as a writer?
Probably double negatives.

Do you prefer traditional publishing or self-publishing?
I like traditional, but I’m open to publishing myself.

Your top five favorite writers:
Oh, this is a hard one.
1. Nicholas Sparks
2. Sarah Dessen
3. David Baldacci
4. Barbara Freethy
5. Nora Roberts
So hard to pick only five!

What’s your genre?
Mystery/thriller, suspense, YA, and romance.

Least favorite part being a writer?
Editing.

Favorite part?
The freedom of it. Being able to create worlds and people from scratch.

Why did you decide to start writing?
I didn’t choose to be a writer; the writing life chose me.

Do you have a favorite piece of writing or book?
The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.

How often do you write?
Not nearly as often as I should.

Who or what inspires you as a writer?
The world around me. Everyday people.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A little bit of both.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
To write more, edit more, and write some more. Don’t procrastinate.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yeah, I’ve experienced it a few times.

Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?
Yes, but I could never give up writing. It’s a part of me. Also, the voices would haunt me until i finished their stories.

Does your family and friends support you as a writer?
Yes they do.

What writers have most influenced your own writing?
Nicholas Sparks

What time of the day do you usually write?
Whenever it is most quiet, usually late at night.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Read a lot! It’s how I learned to write.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Getting in the zone and staying in the zone.

What writing projects are you currently working on?
Editing a manuscript and writing a new story.

Any future writing goals?
Finish editing and get an agent. Maybe self-publish.

What do you use to write with?
Mostly my laptop, but sometimes a pencil and journal.

Last but not least, do you enjoy writing?
We have a love/hate relationship. I mostly love having written.

Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday, Maybe

If you don’t know who Lauren Graham is, I’m assuming you’ve never seen the show Gilmore Girls. If you have never seen Gilmore Girls, you’re missing out! Lauren Graham is one of the stars on the show, and not only is she an amazing actress, but she’s also an author! When I discovered she wrote a novel, I knew I had to read it.

Anyway, let’s get to the review, shall we?

Someday, Someday, Maybe is Graham’s hilarious, laugh-out-loud, quirky debut novel about a struggling actress trying to make it in New York City.

The year is 1995, and Franny Banks has six months left to make it as an actress before her three-year deadline is up, a deadline she gave herself. In the two-and-a-half years she’s been in New York, Franny has only landed a line in a commercial and a waitress job at a comedy club, not exactly where she pictured herself. She dreams of being on Broadway and doesn’t want to give up on her dreams and have to move back home. Things start to look up when she gets the attention of two agents and the cute actor from acting class, James. But as soon as things start to go well, things start to fall apart. With the help of her friends and roommates, Jane and Dan, Franny just might achieve her dreams someday, someday, maybe…

Someday, Someday, Maybe is the perfect light read to pick up when you feel like your dreams aren’t going anywhere, especially if you wish to be an actor. The characters are relatable and witty. You’ll be cheering—and laughing—throughout the book. It is a story about chasing your dreams, finding yourself, and finding love along the way. 4/5 stars!