Blog

Isla Doesn't Give a F**K, Writing

What to Expect from Isla

Most people have seen the acronym I.D.G.A.F well it’s time to rethink the meaning. I’m excited to introduce you to

Isla

Dillon

Gabriel

Alec and

Finn

In this attitude filled new adult romance.

WHY BLOG THIS STORY: It’s closest thing to a complete manuscript I have despite not being complete. I want to release something new and thought this would be a fun way to do it.

RATING: Despite the name this story would be considered PG-13. The language is fairly tame and for the internet version will sometimes be modified/edited even further. Heat level: mild / behind closed doors.

UNEDITED: Perhaps the scariest part of this is, you’re my beta readers. This story has not been read or edited by anyone but me. This is my work in its rawest form and it’s terrifying! So please know I am completely open to feedback on grammar, plot, format, etc.

THE FUTURE OF I.D.G.A.F.: I am undecided if this project will ever go further than being a blog series. The initial idea was to have a full novel, and some day I may go back and add to the story to be published. For now I think I’m happy where it’s at (short story / novella length) and think this may simply be a fun transitional piece to get me out of the publishing rut.

SCHEDULE: If I stick to my current plan one chapter will be published each Sunday-ish from March 3rd – May 26th. I hope you’ll enjoy reading each installment and perhaps some reader suggestions could make it into the later chapters.

BLURB: If you missed it on my Facebook page here’s the current blurb for I.D.G.A.F.
“How much drama is too much drama? According to Isla Vander Hey there is no such thing. That is until her ex, her boyfriend, her work fling, and her childhood crush all wind up ‘accidentally’ invited a party together. Will she finally figure out which suitor is her knight in shining armor or will it be up to her best friend Nick to swoop in and save the day…again.”

IDGAF 1

Writing

Dedicated Direction

I have set myself up for perhaps the most confusing and sporadic schedule I’ve ever had, and if you know my story that’s saying a lot! I’ve been a master of multitasking and multiple jobs for years. Just when I think things are settling down, I go and add more to the mix. I’ve done what it takes to survive.

This past week I have decided that my writing needs to be just as important as my other jobs. I may not be able to dedicate as much time to it as I’d like, but some is better than none.

I’ve been diligent about keeping my 5 minute commitment, have started communicating with other authors again, and even managed to start reading a new YA romance (Don’t Forget Me by Judy Corry…I’m loving it!).

While my schedule is jam-packed right now, it is a unique arrangement in that I’m not doing one thing for longer than a few hours. As long as I can clearly dedicate that time to the given objective, and try my hardest to not let my mind wander to past or future tasks I think I’ll be on a much better path than I’ve been this last year.

 

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Writing

5 Minute Commitment

A year ago my world came to a halt as I unexpectedly lost my job and had to scramble to find a new one.
I wound up in retail where I thought I would only have to stay on seasonally until something better came along.

That didn’t happen because my husband then lost his job unexpectedly.

Honestly, things got ugly.

As you’ve seen, the only thing I’ve been able to write has been how I haven’t been writing.

This changes today!

This past year, I still managed to go to my monthly writing critique group despite not bringing anything since February. One of the other authors always talked about how she does most of her writing in a 5 minute time span each morning before she wakes her husband up.

5 minutes…that’s it!

She has managed to write a spectacular horror in 5 minutes a day.

I’ve been thinking if I could commit to AT LEAST 5 minutes a day I would feel much better.

So if anyone is out there reading this, please keep me accountable!

Personal

For Leah

What do you do when these are your best friend’s words?

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You cry, you pray, you get angry, you get hopeful, you lose hope, you scream, you sit silently…all in a span of a few seconds.
It has become my routine every time Michele messages me or I see a post from her. I hold my breath with anticipation, never knowing what kind of news I’ll be receiving.
I am honored to be in the inner circle of friends receiving updates on her precious daughter, Leah, but honestly it is hard.

To truly understand the scope of what Michele has been through we have to rewind seven years to her first birth. Her son was unresponsive with a five minute APGAR score of 1 and had a one week NICU stay.
Her second pregnancy was plagued with the onset of a suspected auto-immune disease that resulted in partial paralysis and chronic nerve pain. Her birth, which I had the privilege to be present at, was absolute perfection. I remember her saying how thankful she was for her first traumatic experience so she could truly appreciate her daughter’s birth.

Thankful. My mind was blown that those were her choice of words.

Along comes her third pregnancy; another son. Her health had improved compared to her previous pregnancy and everything seemed to be pointing towards another perfect birth, but several hours into labor a prolapsed cord occurred and an emergency cesarean had to be performed.

Certainly with that much “bad luck” the odds would be to have a healthy fourth pregnancy, right?

August 28th, 2017

Michele’s name scrolls across my phone screen as an incoming call.

I knew before I picked up something was wrong. I don’t think I even said hello.

“Baby is incompatible with life.”

If my world was crashing down hearing those words I don’t know how she was repeating them.

We talked for a while longer about how the recommendation was to terminate the pregnancy and how if she didn’t it was unlikely she would even carry her baby past 20 weeks.

“Is there a heartbeat?” I asked.
“For now.”
“Then there is hope and you need a second opinion.”

Second, third, and fourth opinions came. None were as definitive as the first which offered no hope, but none of them were great.

Down syndrome, congenital heart defect, and other possible complications were all in the mix now for her daughter.

The longest six months of pregnancy followed. By the time Michele was 38 weeks along, doctors had given baby Leah a 50/50 chance at surviving birth, but would be unable to determine the severity of her other health complications until after birth.

She not only survived, she thrived!

“February 17th 2018
Today God delivered the impossible. 

Meet Amelia Marie Grace Eastin
8:23am
7lbs 4oz
19.25 inches
Amelia meaning work of the Lord.
We will call her Leah because we love how she was unlikely in God’s plan and he made her central to the lineage of Christ over Rachel. Marie to have a piece of me and a bonus middle name cause shes already special so why not Grace. We will never forget that she certainly was not promised nor deserved nor earned but totally just a gift of grace.

 


Even with a nearly 3 week NICU stay postpartum, she was the best case scenario given all her medical conditions. She would need open heart surgery in the upcoming months to repair her AVSD and would need to be tube fed due to poor muscle tone.

Once Leah was released from the hospital it was time to adjust to the family’s new normal. For most people this wouldn’t resemble anything like life before such a special arrival, but Michele is not like most.

She kept life going for her three older kiddos, which included homeschooling, keeping the house running while her husband traveled for work, made it to Leah’s specialist appointments multiple times a week, and decided to open A Pocket of Joy Boutique. Yes, in the midst of everything she decided it was the perfect time to open her own business.

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Blush Little Baby Photography

There were moments of frustration and fear no doubt, but everything pointed to a miracle baby that would thrive beyond what anyone ever imagined. Then the bad news roller coaster started.

Days before her scheduled heart surgery Leah came down with a cold. What seems like nothing to you and I can be life threatening for a baby with heart defects.

Surgery bumped 6 weeks.

Days before the next surgery date she began showing signs of infantile spasms.

Surgery bumped 4 more weeks

Then another cold.

This one landed Leah in ICU, and catches us up to what they are battling now.

One thing after another.

Rhinovirus.

UTI.

Collapsed Lungs.

Pneumatosis.

Volatile blood pressures.

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And yet she keeps fighting.

So what do you do when your best friend tells you, “we need something! Prayers. Miracle. New lungs. I  DON’T KNOW!” ?

You write out her incredible story in your own words, words that don’t do her justice, and share it with the world.

Oh I have so many other words to say, so many emotions that flood my mind every time I think about different aspects of their story. For now this is the best I can do.

I ask that you keep the Eastin family in your thoughts and prayers in the upcoming days, weeks, months. This is going to be a long battle, but we’re not giving up hope.

Despite her reluctance to ask for help we know that is one of the only burdens those on the outside can help lift.  If you feel led to help financially a GoFundMe has been set up, or you can message me for her PayPal email if you’d like to avoid donation fees.

-Kelsey-

Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

Creative Output = 0

When you’re a “creative” not producing anything creative starts to take its toll.

Things I have noticed over the past months of being unable to balance work, home, and creating…

  • my anxiety is heightened
  • if I do get a rare moment to sit and write I feel like my writing is crap
  • I’m feeling “lost” and unsure what to do with my life…apparently that’s just adulthood but I still don’t like it!
  • imposter syndrome
  • Lots of ideas that just make me mad when I’m unable to start expanding upon them

The year is more than half way over and let me tell  you, it’s been a hard one. Much harder than I expected (and I wasn’t expecting much).

I am still fighting to find a way out of this rut, and when I do my creativity will be the first thing to benefit from the breakthrough! 

creative

I Will Never Be Her, Writing

I Will Never Be Her: Update

A quick update:
My sequel to You Will Never Be Him has been sitting on the side for a bit due to some serious writer’s block.

My critique group suggested I take a break instead of forcing words onto the page. So I started working on another project and hoped that inspiration would strike.

I’m excited to say that as of this week I’m finally working on draft number two of I Will Never Be Her!

I’ve had a lot of readers asking when this next book will be out, and unfortunately I’m still nowhere close to having an answer to that question. I would LOVE to have it out this year, but life outside of writing is a *bit* chaotic right now to say the least.

Hoping to have more updates soon!

-K. Lee-

Book Reviews

Review: Beneath the Skin ★★★★★

Wow! What an incredible book.

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Let me start by saying this is not a light or emotionally easy book to read.  It is, however, powerful, gut wrenching, and thought provoking.

The story follows Sidney Shaw through a horrific senior year. Just when you think things can’t get worse for her, they do. The safety of her brothers and the far off thought that she may be able to escape her town for college are the only things that keep her going.

When the possibility of new support and friendship arises, Sidney’s defenses go up. She doesn’t want to admit she may not be as alone as she thinks.

I was shocked to read that this was the author, Kyla Stone‘s debut novel. She did an amazing job at portraying difficult subjects with enough detail to make me feel the emotion, but not too much graphic detail to where I couldn’t continue reading.

Click here to read more about and/or purchase Beneath the Skin 

Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

March Update…because I’m too lazy to think of a different title

Just write….something!

I’m sitting here aimlessly scrolling, seven browsers open, overwhelmed by all the things I want to get out of my brain and checked off my to do list

I can’t pick a place to start.

  • I’ve been unable to work on my current manuscripts for several weeks
  • I want to write a post about emotional and physical healing
  • I want to prepare my writing prompts for the next few weeks
  • I want to announce to the world I have a head cold / allergies putting me further into a funk
  • I want to write about my fitness journey and how I want to focus part of my social media (Instagram most likely) on that side of things
  • I have letters I need to write to my daughter
  • I need a new “real” job
  • My kids REALLY need to clean their rooms ;-P

My anxiety is acting up every time I look at the calendar. How is it the end of March already? Oh yeah that’s another thing I want to write about

  • Comparing 2017 March to 2018 March…does everyone’s life change so drastically each year? How do people follow the same routine and have the same job for 30 – 50+ years?

Definitely feeling some impostor syndrome in regards to writing. Feeling incredibly lazy as an employee. And 100% feeling like a sub-par mom.

This is turning into a much more depressing update than I intended, but it’s the truth at the moment.

**insert inspirational quote to turn things around**

I so badly want to have a completely different update for you soon!

Time to get to work!

642 Things To Write About, Writing Prompt Wednesday

Dying House Plant

Prompt: A house plant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

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My Response: 

Dear Succulent,

I thought we had a mutual understanding. You keep growing, I keep gloating.

For the last seven months I have received an odd satisfaction when I see your green leaves, knowing Liam was wrong when he said I was too irresponsible to keep even a plant alive. Some may say it’s ridiculous to always be posing for my selfies with you in the background, but my hope that he will see you thriving keeps the tradition going. You could very well be the most featured plant on Instagram. Isn’t that worth living for?

You were supposed to be a sturdy plant, an impossible to kill plant. This can’t be the only time in my life I achieve the impossible. So if you want to do a girl a solid and, you know, not die that would be great.

3/14/18 Prompt: You have a time machine, but it can only go back in time two days. What would you change?