Filtering by Tag: Figment

We Could Fall in Love (Maybe. But I'm Talking About the Manuscript)

I've been very bad. For months now, I've been writing something and kept it a secret from you.

Considering how often I've written serially on Figment, this was EXTREMELY HARD to do. I'm terrible at keeping secrets. That's why my friends know better than to ask me about movies and books. I usually slip up with spoilers, though I try to give fair warning. Sometimes.

But now, the time has come. My newest novel manuscript, We Could Fall in Love, is officially online and ready for reading!

So I've been giving you hints about this novel, but really, what is it about? Well, well. I could give you a list, or I could be reasonable and give you a summary instead:

Fallon attends high school in the town of Grimbaud, where magic takes the form of crafted charms, potions, and fortunes. When she receives this year’s love fortune from Zita’s shop, the mysterious woman whose fortunes are said to come straight from Love itself, Fallon refuses to accept what her new fortune decrees: being eternally unloved–and a guaranteed residency at the Spinster Villas. 
But a rebellion is brewing, and she suddenly finds herself at the center of it, joining fellow ill-fated teenagers determined to end Zita’s reign. There she meets Sebastian, a handsome boy notorious for dating and dumping girls before they can know his heart. 
Her aversion to Sebastian fades as she gets to know him, but love is risky when heartbreak awaits her–unless the rebellion succeeds.

Where Can I Find It?

I'm glad you asked.

You'll find three sample chapters on The full manuscript, however, is exclusively on 

Swoon Reads is a teen romance imprint publishing under Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. The great part about them is that they work the same way Figment does, creating a community where writers can share their manuscripts with readers. Swoon Reads is focused on YA and NA romance novels, spanning many different genres and subgenres. The exciting part is the chance of publication: if readers and the staff love the book, you might get offered a publishing contract with Swoon Reads.

You'll need to make an account on to read my manuscript, and I hope you do!

Voting for this round ends May 31st.

It may mean that you'll need to shift around your endless reading lists to read and comment on We Could Fall in Love in time, and for that, I'm truly appreciative.

Fallon and Sebastian's story is near and dear to my heart. I've been eating way too many sweets over the past few months, seeing hearts on everything, and questioning the fate (or lack of it) that brings some people together and keeps others alone.

Now is the perfect time to break out into an 80s love song, but I'll save you the torture (I can't sing. Really). Instead, I'll just say that I've been waiting a very long time in Kim-years to share this story with you. Please enjoy!

It's an Update, Old Sport!

Ack! It's been entirely too long since I last blogged. July ended with a whimper; I barely knew that the month had changed until August's extreme heat finally hit. Everyone's getting ready for a new school year. My MFA friends finishing their last years are preparing to teach new sets of students. Theses need to get written. And I'm out of school. Done. Fin.

I feel like an explorer reporting back to academia. "It's strange out here," I'd shout into my walkie-talkie. "The sky's brighter, but I don't have a way to measure my life now."

Which is true. No more essays, pop quizzes, workshops, final exams. No more measuring sticks. It's freeing in the kind of way learning to fly for the first time must be for baby birds. A scary, exhilarating free fall.

Still, things haven't changed too much. So here's an update on what's been going on between the last post and now.

If you've been keeping up with my Twitter, you've probably noticed the steady influx of Gatsby nonsense. I've always enjoyed The Great Gatsby, but I guess the DVD release of the new movie has gotten me excited about it again. I've reread the book, gushing over some incredible lines I didn't notice the first time around. I also rewatched the Robert Redford version (fun) and started the Toby Stephens one (but I'm having a hard time, because I think that Stephens is too adorable to pull off Gatsby).

Meanwhile, I seem to be the only one half in love with the little book right now. My coworkers are like:

And I'm like:

Writing-wise, I've been busy with projects, as usual. After wrestling with Tread Softly for a long time, I've finally finished the complete draft. Right now, I'm going through each chapter one more time, fixing issues that some of my Figment readers have pointed out. It's been a lot of fun revising the chapters now that Merry and Hue's journey is complete. Have you been checking your mirrors at home for ensnared boys? Just asking! 

Speaking of Figment, I might as well say here that I will be taking down TS when my revision is done. I found a great press to query. Also, I will be taking Olivia down - but not because I've magically finished it. Far from it. My Toads & Diamonds retelling has stalled and I'm not sure what to do with it for now. A new setting may be in order (but don't worry - Ernie, Grendel, and the gang will still be there).

So, with TS and Olivia on their way out, it sounds like my Figment page will be barren. Well, never fear. 

my evil writer smirk
I will be back to writing Boys & Bees. Lorabeth is showing up in my daydreams, begging to get on with her story. You can imagine how tough that call is to ignore, considering her ability to control bees. 

My brain's stuffed with ideas for a new project too. I'm trying to stay focused on one project at a time, but I'm also eager to share a new story with Figment. So many things to look forward to. 

And then there's Pocket Forest. Only a few days ago, I received word from Goodreads that I was clear to have an author profile. It feels very surreal. I've been filling in the Pocket Forest page with information as I've been getting it from my editor. When she sent me the proof to look over, I pretty much had this reaction:

The book's innards look great. I got a little choked up when I saw it (and then wiped my eyes so I could hunt for typos). 

OH. And one more thing. I want to thank you (my lovely readers) for leaving wonderful comments about Birdcage Girl; your support means a lot to me as I continue to query. My feelings about the agent search are clear. Just replace "senpai" with "agent."

When You're Old

Hi ho, old things! On May 30th, I celebrated my birthday! Overall, it was a pretty quiet day, but someone remembered...

This little guy with the birthday hat is the Wii Fit Balance Board. He's very lively and cute. Mostly I step on him while exercising. I love the birthday hat and confetti - quite a wonderful thing to see before beginning the day's workout.

If you're a writer, you know that getting work done means putting your butt in a chair in front of a computer. The only body parts burning calories are your brain and your fingers... and that's not enough to stave off the packet of Oreos you ate after dinner. One my post-graduation goals has been to lose what I call my MFA weight: the weight I gained, especially in my last year of grad school, chained to my revision notes and grading.

Persistence. I have the same attitude exercising as I do with my writing. Obviously, haha. Long dormant muscles are emerging. I'm feeling great.

After a delicious lunch of fruit and homemade tamagoyaki (sweet, grilled egg), I took a break from my daily writing to watch some shows, read, and enjoy the fleeting sunny sky before the usual afternoon rain came crashing through the clouds.

Using my time wisely (of course, haha), I've been able to make a dent in my Netflix list (and watching PBS). Three shows have gotten my complete and utter attention: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Keeping Up Appearances, and Waiting For God. I highly recommend all three, especially if you love wit.

Keeping Up Appearances: Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet") reminds me of at least two of my family members. She's obsessed with manners, so Hyacinth is hilariously at odds with her embarrassing sisters.

I watched this show a lot as a kid, so it's been great to see it again now. It's even more funny.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Brand-new show. I started watching it on PBS after my mom said, "Hey, there's a 1920s mystery show on Friday nights." And then I collapsed in a fit of startled excitement. Watching this show makes me want to forget my other writing projects and start the second book set in my nautical 20s fantasy world (the first of which was my thesis). I don't know which aspect catches my breath more: Miss Fisher's outfits or Detective Inspector John and Constable Hugh. The price suddenly dropped dramatically on Amazon, so I'm now the proud owner of Season 1.

Waiting For God: I love, love, love this show. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and smart. The show follows Diana and Tom, two troublesome residents of the Bayview Retirement Home. I have an unhealthy fascination with "the idiot" Harvey Bains. Never have I seen such a well-developed villainous-yet-likable guy.

This was another show I watched as a kid. This time, of course, I'm happily drowning in all five seasons, soaking up as much as I can. I'm determined to use as many phrases and snide remarks from the show as possible (Hence, the greeting I gave you on this post - it's something Tom says to Diana all the time, haha).

Annnnnnnnd Figment News!

My flash fiction piece, "Here Is A Heart," won Figment's "Find Your Inner Strength: The Sweetest Dark Flash Contest!" Yesterday, my story, along with the runner-ups, were featured on the front page.

To me, the most exciting thing about the contest was that it was judged by Shana Abé, author of The Sweetest Dark. I've read her books since junior high, so it was an incredible opportunity to have her read my story.

I'm working on catching up with everyone's amazing comments on my stories! June is certainly bursting with surprises, haha!

Like One of Those Victorian Fainting Women

There was nothing romantic about this February. Usually I enjoy writing V-Day posts, usually cataloging all the fun, single things I do in order to make the most out of the lace-and-chocolate holiday, but this year was different.

On February 14th, I was writhing in agony on the couch, suffering from food poisoning turned stomach virus. I had to call in sick, miss the conference panel I was supposed to be on, and ate nothing but saltines and toast. I couldn't even read!

Me, calling into work at 5:00 am: 

"Hey _______, it's me again. I'm still not better. In fact, I've somehow taken on a fever overnight and the stomach pains are getting worse. Clearly, I have no shame talking about this. But I'll make it quick. If I were to come into work today, I'd either slump into a pile of goo on the floor, like one of those Victorian fainting women, or excuse myself multiple times each hour. Don't worry, though. I'm going to the doctor today..." 

Through the haze of pain, I daydreamed about the travel writing panel I was missing and the stack of handouts that were now all but useless since no one could hear me speak about my experiences in England and my travel writing tips. Booooooo. I also wished for many things: a new stomach made of steel and stocked with an ancient Greek army, chocolate cake, a book that wouldn't make me woozy while trying to read, and a nap.

"No naps," my intestines said, contorting into the shape of a rubber band ball. "Sleep is for the healthy."

The awesome poster in question.
But it's been about a week since then and I'm almost recovered. It is so good to be back at school, to say hello, laugh, and look at a computer screen without feeling faint. I have great friends in the program too, including the incredibly talented and frilly Namie of the blog "Good Morning Lovely." (We're BFF office mates at school, haha). She gave me, like, the best get well soon present ever when I returned to school: a Doctor Who poster that has a very witty saying on it that makes me think - well heck, maybe time traveling would have been a better cure for me than antibiotics.

Grad school takes no prisoners and my thesis is no exception. I'll be working on my last set of revisions this weekend before starting another ream of paperwork and getting the poor thing formatted. In other story news, I've been starting to get chunks of free time that, thankfully, have allowed me to write more of the current Figment stories I have up. I want to continue posting chapters in a timely fashion and I feel as if my characters, long dormant under the wild Thesis Sea, are starting to rise again to the surface.

A tiny story of mine called "Her Body Was Map" has recently been published at Lightning Cake, a brand-new lit journal started by Figment's very own, Linna Lee. Linna even illustrates the stories that get published and I can't convey how ecstatic I am with the one Linna made for my story. It. Is. Brilliant.

So happy belated V-Day. As I sit here, sifting through the chocolate that had to wait, I guess I can't complain. It feels amazing to be well again - or, at least, to be able to dash up a staircase, eat a whole sandwich, and laugh until it hurts while watching crazy-fantastic Food Network shows.

How has your February been?

Adventures at the End of a Year

Can you believe it? Winter break has finally arrived!

I've been trying to take it easy. A possible second cold may be coming - my glands are swollen without explanation, so I'm trying to nap it off in the hopes of a fluke. I never get more than one cold a semester, especially when the first one happens so late to begin with (how can I catch another cold when I just got over the one from November? Well, let's hope it's a really good fluke.

Due to the looming vacation in a few days, I may not be able to blog again until the new year. So here's what's been going on lately. Boy, December is full of events!

Home Away From Home

Her father's clever way to add Piper to the fridge.
When the semester ends, I have a tradition of visiting my best friend in Lakeland. That small town is full of nostalgia; I had spent all four of my undergrad years at school there and every little inch of it (it seems) holds some kind of memory.

After college, my friend ended staying there, getting a job, then later marrying and having her first child.

The baby is new - and last Saturday, I met little Piper for the first time.

I'm not shy about my feelings towards kids: they scare me. I get really uncomfortable around them, I don't know how to act, and that makes for a lot of squirming and awkwardness... on my part. But there's something different about meeting youngins that belong to family and friends. I fell in love with Piper when I first saw her. Like her parents, she radiates calm (and at only a few months old too - wow!). She has big, luminous eyes like her mother and chubby cheeks like her father. She also likes to fart and laugh about it. Piper snatched my fingers up in a vise-grip and even sneakily took my bracelet with her during a quick diaper change.

My friend and I snacked on blue chips while enjoying the bright morning. We reminisced, as we always do, about our college lives - it's strange to think that, here we are, finally away from the dorms and sticky mosquito weather on campus. All the while, Piper happily stared at us with her intense gaze. I cracked a smile and she laughed.

The kitchen fridge was covered in words. I wandered into the room with it's little window overlooking the backyard, the "Bless This Cook" apron draped over the cleaning bottle, and the spices all lined up on a shelf like soldiers. There were poems all over the fridge, small chunks of phrases, but still just enough unused words for me to make my mark:

Weird and obscure? Check.

New Fantasyland 

So. Who hasn't heard the news about New Fantasyland? Over the pat few years, Disney has worked on expanding Fantasyland to include actual castles, more rides, and Princess-themed restaurants and entertainment.

When I went yesterday, only half of New Fantasyland was open, so I'm afraid I don't have too much to report. I went on The Little Mermaid ride - it was beautiful. The line itself is great too, though, because the interior is designed to look like Ariel's treasure cave. While waiting on line, you can help tiny animated crabs clean up the place after another storm blew through and messed up the treasure (at least, that's what animatronic  Scuttle claims when you're far enough in line to see him).

You board sea shells against a painted sunset backdrop (very, very pretty) and watch as the movie flies by in a flurry of animatronic moments. My shell got stuck at the scene where Eric and Ariel are about to almost-kiss in the boat - the workmanship on ride, down to those tiny details, are truly marvelous.

1000 Figment Fans

Guys, it's been two years since I joined Figment (and, uh, since came into being). It's been such a long journey.

I remember finishing my first semester in graduate school, utterly frazzled by teaching for the first time and still getting used to the hectic lifestyle of higher education. As I unearthed myself from a pile of grading, glowed - bright and squeaky-new - like an oasis. I knew that Figment would allow me to have fun with my writing and to experiment, outside of workshop, with the kinds of plots and structures that I wanted.

Birdcage Girl was born and very slowly, I began to make friends and read some fantastic work by other talented writers on the site.

But never did I think, way back then, that I would ever reach a thousand followers.

I remember celebrating one hundred followers - readers who liked my work enough to keep track of me - and the feeling that comes with gaining more readers never gets old. I'm honored and thankful to have so many lovely readers.

With that said, 1,004 fans, I'll do my best to continue spinning strange stories for you. Hold on tight.

The Next Installment of Lookout

Last week, the new issue of Tripod Cat came out.

If you've been keeping up, you've already listened to part one of my serial, Lookout. You've been introduced to the seaside town of Helium and quiet, eagle-eyed Lorelei who won the summer job of being strapped to a cloud as a lookout for the beach.

In this new installment, you'll be introduced to Sculley, a wind-peddler who has arrived in Helium with his uncle for a mysterious purpose. And he's a bit of a ladies' man (that's what he'd like you to think).

All issues of Tripod Cat are free; you can listen to them (and both installments of Lookout) via iTunes.

Winter Vacation Plans 

With all these exciting events still swirling around in my head, it's hard to keep track what's to come: family vacation. The thing is, we don't really go anywhere during winter break. Disney is always a must, but other than that, we usually sleep in late and recover from the semester's stresses, including preparing for the next semester to come. I know that sounds boring (besides the Disney part), but it's been the standard for a few years now. 

This year is different.

On Thursday morning, we're going to pack out suitcases in the car and head out for a two-week whirlwind adventure: we'll be in Miami to meet cousins and admire the Art Deco buildings, then off to St. Augustine to climb a lighthouse and search for ghosts on a tour. Lastly, we'll be back at good old Disney, exploring this year's holiday decorations at the hotels, drinking more LeFou's Brew, and exploring the Boardwalk's nightlife for the first time.

With that said, I still don't have a fancy phone. I'll be taking photographs, but my posts will have to wait until I get back. When I find Wi-Fi along the way, I'll do my best to check in!

If I can't reach you in time, make sure you have a Merry Christmas and a relaxing, exhilarating break!