Publication of “An Early Arrival”

I originally wrote this essay as a school assignment, and I kept it in my portfolio for possible publication someday.

Well, someday became today! I am proud to share this personal story about my premature birth and the obstacles I overcame to become who I am today!

Hope you enjoy!

“Magic Dew”

I wrote this in memory of my grandmother Evelyn, and I wanted to share it today. Happy #MayDay!

“Magic Dew”

     Her skin was flawless, just like the porcelain doll that rested in my mother’s handmade cradle. She told my sister and me that she used “magic dew” on her face. We were always mesmerized by all of the stories she told, and we wanted to be just like her. We hardly slept on the night of April 30th, waiting to climb out of our bed before the sun rose on May 1st. We cautiously opened the front door and walked out across the cement patio to place our hands in the wet morning dew. We wiped our hands across our faces, so our skin would be magically transformed. Our grandmother is no longer alive, but she lives in our memories and in the reflection of our porcelain skin that gets clearer with the magic dew we wipe on our faces every year on May 1st.

My Kipling 100 Pen Case!

Hi, everyone! I wanted to post about one of my favorite pen cases! It’s called the Kipling 100 Pen Case. You can get it on Amazon or at retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s or Homegoods. My mom got mine from Amazon for me!

I’m a huge fan of pen cases because I take my writing utensils everywhere with me, especially on long trips. There is lots of room to store my pens in the pen slots in the front and in the space in the back. Although it depends on the type of pen with regards to whether it stores 100 exactly.

I wanted more storage on the back of the canvas that separates the storage from the pen slots, so I put two hair elastics on it to store stickers.  I use weekly stickers from the Dollar Tree sometimes.

I’m still working on filling up the space in the back, but I’ll figure it out!

Thanks for reading! Remember to always be kind!

P.S. Check out some pictures!

Paper mate ink joy gel pens on the left; Pentel Energels on the right!

Hair elastics and stickers courtesy of the Dollar Tree!

The front of my Kipling!

Empty and ready for pens!

Empty storage space for now!

Author Apparatuses I Use Part Three: My Smart Pens 

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while! I wanted to add a third post to my Author Apparatuses I Use series! I’m hoping to keep this series going and adding more things to it over time! So without further ado, here is part three!

While I mainly use my laptop to write, sometimes I get ideas in my head when I am away from it. And other times I just like to write in a distraction-free way. Some authors use an AlphaSmart word processor for this. I use my smart pens!

The first smart pen I got was my Livescribe pen in 2009 when I started my junior year of college. I was planning to use it for taking notes in my classes, but I ended up not needing it. I kept it to jot down ideas for writing. I eventually got a second one, which I also use for writing.

A haiku poem I wrote one morning after seeing the sunrise last year.

The inside and outside of my Pulse and Livescribe 3 smart pen notebook!

Photo credit: Google image search

Photo credit: Google image search

This past Christmas, I got a Moleskine smart pen and notebook. I love using it! I recently used it to jot down writing ideas for my grad school class. I also use my smart pens as regular pens to write in my journal sometimes. 

Pages from my M+ Notes app!

Photo credit: Google image search

Something I love about my smart pens is that my handwriting can be exported to text. I can email my notes to myself to put in my laptop from the Livescribe or M+ Notes apps.

Basically, my smart pens work together with my technology. On one hand, I take a break from technology to write the old fashioned way, but on the other hand, it imports my writing into the apps to preserve it forever.

Thanks so much for reading! See you soon! Bye!

Laurie Halse Anderson and me!

Happy early birthday, Laurie Halse Anderson! Our friendship began by a random meeting when I was in second grade. This wonderful lady took the time to send handwritten letters to a little girl who aspired to be an author! Our friendship has stayed intact through technological advances and I never miss an opportunity to come to one of your book signing events! 

It is amazing how God brings special people into our lives when we least expect it. I hope someday that I will be able to impact the lives of young readers as you did for me and continue to do every day! 

I hope you have an amazing birthday tomorrow! And thank you for all you have done for me over the years!

Best of the Net nomination!!!

I am so excited to announce that “A Mother for Melvin” was nominated by Diverse Voices Quarterly for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net anthology in the Fiction category! I will keep everyone posted regarding the final results!

Author Apparatuses I Use Part Two: Scrivener

Thanks for the great response to my first part of Author Apparatuses I Use! Without further adieu, here is Part Two!
I’ve tried lots of writing software. I’ve been a longtime Microsoft Word writer. But there’s only so much it can do and I wanted to find a program that could do more.

On a whim two years ago, I tried Scrivener. I loved all of its features and after buying it, I’ve never looked back. I use it both for writing and for my grad school classes.

(Photo credit:

As shown above, I like how everything is in one place rather than scattered all over in separate Word documents. It breaks down a big project, like a novel, into parts.

(Photo credit:

Also as seen above, I like that you can set up word targets right on the screen. I do that for stories or papers that have a specific word count.

I still use Microsoft Word to finalize my writing and to save it in its proper format though. But other than that, I’m a Scrivener scribbler!

Stay tuned for Part Three soon!

Happy 4th of July, everyone! 

Author Apparatuses I Use Part One: My Bullet Journal

Now that the semester is over for the summer, I’ve been working  hard at getting my professional writing career off the ground. I’ve submitted many stories and poems to different literary magazines, I created a professional author Facebook page, and I’m working on a portfolio. But I also have been thinking about the tools I use as a writer and I wanted to do a series on it! So here is Part One of Authoring Apparatuses I Use!

As many of you may know, I am an avid journal keeper. I have my old school notebooks from first through fifth grade, which were spiral bound notebooks. It wasn’t until fourth grade that I began keeping a journal at home. I even brought it to school like Harriet the Spy, but I didn’t get into trouble for it, and nobody read it. I often had a habit of stopping journals in the middle, which is why I have over 70 now.
Now though, I fell in love with a new type of journal that combines my love of to-do lists with regular journaling. It’s called the Bullet Journal!

My current bullet journal, a Moleskine from Target

I first learned about bullet journaling through Kate Messner’s blog entry in January of 2015 and I am still doing it today! Here is the official Bullet Journal website.

You can use any type of journal for it, along with any pen or pencil (I’m a pen freak). The official Bullet Journal notebook is a Leuchturm 1917, and it comes in a rainbow of colors and page types (dotted, lined/ruled, and plain). I used a ruled Leuchturm before, but I also use other journals. I tend to use one journal per month because I write a lot, so it helps that I have a huge blank journal collection! 🙂

To paraphrase a classic Reese’s  Peanut Butter Cup slogan, “there’s no wrong way to” keep a bullet journal. You can draw pictures or pretty up the pages with Washi tape (I don’t) or just keep it minimalist. You can journal in it or just keep your collections in it. You do you!

I am very proud to be a bullet journalist and belong to two bullet journaling groups on Facebook! Boho Berry (also known as Kara Benz) is my favorite bullet journal blogger! I love her positivity and kindness, as well as the big impact she’s had on bullet journaling! I borrow techniques from her a lot and put my own spin on them! I belong to her bullet journal tribe, and you can sign up Here! And I’m honored that she included my bullet journal page along with many beautiful others in her The Right Way to Bullet Journal video!

Screenshot Credit
I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for Part Two soon! 🙂

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

When I was in second grade, my teacher introduced my class to the Ramona book series. I loved listening to her read aloud about Ramona’s adventures!

I laughed at her mishaps and felt bad when she kept trying to help solve problems and be understood by her parents and older sister. Ramona wasn’t the perfect kid, but she tried very hard and never gave up when faced with a problem. I admired her spunky personality most of all! I have all of the book series, and I had a Beezus and Ramona diary at one point.

Besides the Ramona book series, I also loved Dear Mr. Henshaw and its sequel Strider because it was an epistolary novel (which means that it’s written in letters and diary entries) and I liked Leigh’s character.

In third grade reading group, I read Muggie Maggie. I liked that book, even though unlike Maggie, I wanted to learn cursive writing!

Whenever I’m a flea markets or antique stores, I always look for Beverly Cleary books. I’ve found a lot of them that I have not read, so I am excited to discover them for the first time!

Thank you, Beverly Cleary, for these and other amazing books! Happy 100th birthday!

(All picture credits: Google image search)