Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial monday

as an American writer, i am especially grateful to the US veterans and soldiers that died in combat. after all, is because of these brave men and women that i and my fellow Americans have the freedom of speech and freedom of opinions so i can write.

perhaps the most striking example was in Nazi Germany where they burned books:

how different life would be if the world had been taken over by communists.

also, consider living in a middle eastern country where women are inferior to men. somehow, even if they didn't mind their citizens reading fantasy novels, i don't think they would be letting me write.

living here in America, it is easy to take these rights for granted. after all, they just make sense. they are RIGHTS. but so many people don't have these rights. how many girls and boys are living somewhere in this world, never to share their amazing thoughts and fantastical ideas because they don't have the opportunity? the education? the RIGHT?

Memorial Day is a chance for me and my fellow Americans to take a pause and reflect what we could lose if our soldiers did not lay down their lives for our freedoms.

to all of them, i say THANK YOU

Thursday, May 27, 2010

fantasy friday

for those of you who have not read it yet, i must recommend Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Ethan Carter Wate lives in Gatlin, South Carolina. All he wants is to leave his boring, small-minded hometown, but then Lena Duchannes arrives, and Ethan's life abruptly becomes much less predictable and much more interesting.

From the moment she steps into the hallways of Gatlin's high school, Lena Duchannes attracts strange accidents and out-right hostility. What's more, she's the girl from Ethan's dreams. Literally. Night after night, he tries and fails to prevent Lena's death, and, from the moment he lays eyes on her, she captures his conscious thoughts as well.

But Lena has bigger problems than unaccepting townsfolk and a blossoming romance. Her family has secrets, dark secrets that they are determined to hide and Ethan and Lena are determined to uncover.

After all, both of their lives may hang in the balance.

this story has everything that makes a good YA fantasy. it has an essence; a flavor; mystery, drama, magic, sorrow, love, page-turning suspense. this story is tangible. it draws you in.

(also, i personally loved the literary allusions and quotes that peppered the dialogue. i read To Kill A Mockingbird BECAUSE of this story, and it was awesome--thank you, Beautiful Creatures!)

the bottom line? it is a story that demands to be read.

*since most of you have probably already read Beautiful Creatures, though, what aspects particularly stood out for you?

**and don't forget to check out today's majorly awesome giveaway at YA Highway. here's the link! clickclickclick!!!

***Kate Hart also has a giveaway goin' on this friday--custom totes and handmade BOOKMARKS could be yours!! check this one out, too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

truthful thursday

i've really gone crazy with the alliteration this week, haven't i?

but i do have a critically important question. CRITICAL, PEOPLE. and i want the truth.

ahem. here goes.

if you could be any fictional character (walk in their shoes, in the story), who would you be?

deep, right?

i was thinking this question through. first, i thought Howl's Moving Castle. it's one of my very favorite books. BUT as much as i love this story, there's no way i'd want to be Sophie Hatter--or rather, go through what Sophie goes through (this will make sense if you've read the book). so scratch that one.

perhaps Melanie Stryder in my other favorite book (The Host)? uh, wait, i live in Phoenix, and no air conditioning (plus alien domination) are definitely BAD. scratch.

Hermione Granger? too much dangerous magic, plus she marries Ron. (sorry, Ron.) that one's out.

how about Meliara Astiar from Crown Duel/Court Duel (my favorite duet)? there's danger, but just enough to make things exciting. court life. intrigue. mysterious romance.

i would so be Meliara.

who would you be, and why?

wildlife wednesday

okay. i'm sure you did not see this one coming. but, remember that new camera i got? i've been playing with it again. and remember that thing about not taking anymore pics of my family mems? yeah, that's still in effect, too. so i went out in my backyard. (i took all of these IN MY BACKYARD). yeah, i totally have an awesome backyard. and a camera obsession.

a hummingbird eating from our feeder

a hummingbird sitting in our mesquite tree

Waxy, our tortoise

Waxy, our hungry tortoise

a cute quail. his mate is just beyond the range of the camera

who knew we had dragonflies, too??

one of our big spiny lizards. he started doing push-ups on the wall about 2 seconds after this

another spiny. i couldn't get close--sorry it's so blurry.

this one's actually an update: the mother just flew off, so i had a clear shot for a sec. or at least, semi-clear. it's a bit fuzzy : )

pictures speak louder than words. but who says you can't use both? i think they're both great

anyway, like the pics? what would you see in YOUR backyard? squirrels? raccoons? butterflies? your dog?

*update: ZOMG the awesomest giveaway is going on over at YA Highway--hundreds of thanks to Kate for the link. Enter to win lots of BOOKS!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

it's tellmewhatyouthink tuesday!

what a surprise, right? tellmewhatyouthink--a revolutionary idea!

but i have a question i've been kinda thinking about for a while. NaNoWriMo last fall got a free proof copy of a book from, an offer which expires June 1st.

however, i read a post by Kristen Nelson where she mentioned that having a barcode that doesn't show any sales can make it hard to find a publisher. my free proof copy would get a barcode assigned to my title, but i'm not going to be selling anything.

so what do you think? is anything really "free"? do you think the disadvantages might be greater than the benefit of having a book to share with my friends and family? or should i go for it?

p.s. i'm totally excited! Tahereh's contest ended last night, so we should find out the winners, uh, soon? and i'm curious to know what number she was thinking of....

Monday, May 24, 2010


yesterday was my graduation party, and guess what i got from my parents!!!


i have been terrorizing my family ever since, snapping photos right and left.
(i think their generous patience may be running out, though)

so i turned to a new subject: my books!

aren't they photogenic??

book shelf 1

my twilight collection : )

book shelves 2 & 3 and my desk plus graduation cards

my summer reading pile minus the books i've read so far

i also made videos of all my books (i'm going to try to post them on the side in the gadget area because Blogger is taking offense with me puting them in my post, so look --> sometime soon, and maybe you'll find them?)

...did i mention that i really like my camera??

Anyhow, did YOU do anything fun this weekend??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

fantasy friday again!

IS IT REALLY FRIDAY???? how did this happen? friday was only a couple of days ago, right? right?

*makes grab for calendar*

OMG WHERE IS MY SUMMER GOING?? i graduated a whole WEEK ago??

this isn't possible.

but the calendar says it is. i cannot argue with the calendar. (for one thing, it is an inanimate object. it wouldn't be fair.)

if it is really friday, then i guess you are expecting fantasy friday...i guess i should write a book review.

and i have just the book!!

this fantasy friday's feature:

The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

While Jim Butcher seems to be better known for his Dresden Files series, I personally prefer the Codex Alera books (of which Furies of Calderon is the first).

Set in the country of Alera where inhabitants control elemental powers in the form of 'furies' (think familiars, daemons, etc. here), The Furies of Calderon focuses on one boy, Tavi.

Tavi is an anomaly: he has no fury. This unprecidented occurance instantly marks him as weaker than any other Aleran. But Tavi has his own resources--wit, ingenuity, determination, and courage--which suddenly land him in the middle of a war. A war in which he may actually be the key player.

This book--this entire series--is breathtaking. Literally. I sometimes find myself panting because I have become so caught up in the action that I cannot breathe. Butcher creates plots that are unchartable until you have read the whole book--you can never tell what is coming next, and you will not be able to set the book down until you've found out.

By constructing a deadly world and filling it with very-likeable characters, Butcher has created the ultimate suspense fantasy.

Be warned: don't start this book unless you intend to finish. And by finish, I mean all six books in the series.

*update: if you're looking for great YA fantasy reads, Heather just mentioned some fantastic-sounding books. i was sold, and highly recommend checking them out if you haven't already!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

hope from discouragement?

reading 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected yesterday (btw, thank you Nathan Bransford for the link), i was shocked. some of my favorite writers are on this list:

Dr. Seuss (childhood fav, of course. i loved his books.)
Louissa May Alcott
Shannon Hale (wrote The Goose Girl, one of my current favs)
JK ROWLING (no explanation needed. one of the awesomest writers ALIVE TODAY)

and writers that i have read/have gained widespread audiences:

Meg Cabot
John Grisham
Beatrix Potter
Madeline L'Engle
James Patterson
Judy Blume
Stephen King
Richard Adams
Anne Frank

of course, there were many other names on the list, but these were the ones that stood out, for me anyway. if these great writers were REPEATEDLY rejected, clearly the process of getting published is frought with obstacles. clearly rejections do not mean a lack of worth.

actually, (confession time, deep breath) i have to admit that i'm morbidly anticipating my first rejection. (i'm sure this will wear off by the second one, though! so this is just temporary insanity!) but i actually have a sort of sane reason: i wouldn't really feel like a member of the writing community if i never got a rejection--rather than a closed door, it feels like the official initiation. (yes, i realize that this only reveals how young, naive, and completely un-rejected i am, but you can understand where i'm coming from, right? can you honestly tell me you didn't feel this way once?)

anyway, the one thing that i think all writers should remember and may occasionally need reminding of is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. REJECTIONS HAPPEN TO THE BEST OF US--REPEATEDLY.

it doesn't mean your book is no good.

it doesn't mean no one will ever want to read anything you have written.

it doesn't mean that you are any less of an author than 99% of the writing community.

on the contrary, it means that you are a WRITER.

WRITERS are the ones who keep trying despite the rejections.

so don't give up. the world wants to see your book(s). they just don't know it yet.

you can never go wrong with dragons

so the other week, in Nathan Bransford's This Week In Publishing, he linked an article that condemned using dragons to fill plot holes. while i agree that this would be wrong to do in a non-fantasy novel (obvs), i was somewhat offended. after all, you just can't go wrong with dragons in a fantasy novel!

and i can prove it.

Ex 1

"Hyacinth, you are my whole world!" Macho cried bitterly. "How can you not love me? I've risked everything for you!"

"Macho, I told you years ago I could never love you! Why are you doing this to me? To yourself?" Hyacinth wept, face firmly buried in her hands.

so why can't Hyacinth love Macho? the answer is obvious!

"Hyacinth, all I want is a reason. Give me one good reason you cannot love me, and I will leave you alone for forever." Macho's voice was filled with quiet pain, but he sounded resolved.

"Oh, Macho!" Hyacinth wailed. "I am in love with a dragon!"

see? plot hole filled. thank you, dragon.

Ex 2

Sasha backed up until she reached the cavern wall. This was it. This was the end. There was no way she was getting out of this scrape. How many times had Grandpa warned her to use her head before plunging into potentially dangerous situations? If only she had one more chance to heed his advice.

Fifty angry sorcerors closed in on her. Their hands were raised, and a wind was gusting around the chamber from the spell they were casting. Within moments, Sasha would be a tiny pile of ashes--fifty times over.

Good-bye, Grandpa! she thought. Please, let it be quick and painless.

oh, no! it's the end of Sasha! it?

Wait! What was that, skulking behind the sorcerors? Could it be....

"OMG A DRAGON!" Sasha screamed.

Chaos erupted. The sorcerors forgot about Sasha completely in their sudden fear and confusion. Sasha broke through the disorganized mob and fled through the tunnels.

Thank the High One!

yes, thank the High One! another impossible plot hole filled by a dragon! seriously, they should get paid at least a ten perent commission for all their great work!

Ex 3

"Kitheran, how do you do it? That demonstration back there was amazing--no one in the history of Generan has ever wielded such great power! Please, what is your secret?" Lirean strode beside Kitheran, gazing at him as though he had never really seen him before. The miracles he had just witnessed were beyond belief.

Kitheran did not immediately answer.

come on, Kitheran! what are you waiting for! what is your secret?? we won't tell....

"I regret I cannot reveal my secrets to you, Lirean, old friend. I cannot even tell you why. Please, do not press me on this point! My mind is resolute."

They were at Kitheran's chambers. With a hasty goodnight, he left Lirean standing in the empty hallway.

In his room, Kitheran made a soft noise of distress. He resisted as long as possible, trying to make sure Lirean was out of earshot before giving in. Then, with a blossom of hot air and a strange keening cry, he burst into the shape of...a dragon.

of course! Kitheran is a dragon! it all makes sense now...

and there you have it! have i not proved my point? are not dragon's the best patches for gaping holes in fantasy plots??? they are amazing! unstoppable! PERFECT!!!!

okay, confession time. perhaps the biggest reason i advocate dragons so heavily is that i actually used one in my novel...i can only hope agents will read this post and change their minds so i will not be rejected in the future!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

an announcement

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!! KEEP READING IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! (not that i'm insinuating any threats, but it's really that important!!)

i am announcing a contest.

no, not my own!!! it is Tahereh's contest and it calls for you to draw upon all your writerly skills to create an entry that will amuse Tahereh and perhaps allow you to win AMAZING PRIZES!!!

(omg, i am so not kidding, either.)

seriously. check it out.

i had a great time writing my entry and i know you will, too!

(oh, and how was my weekend?? tyvm for asking, it was lovely. i sunbathed by my pool, sipping smoothies and re-reading Poison Study. some of the time. in between chores and stuff. and how were your weekends?)

*important update: i just read Kirsten's (owner of A Romantic Enters the World blog) latest post. it's fantastic--she truly captures the emotions and stages of the writing process. i had to post a link. please, if you have ever attempted to write a book, you should really click. Like, now!

Friday, May 14, 2010

fantasy friday

it's already friday again! how can this be?? um, i guess i missed a couple of days posting. i don't have any excuse except getting caught up in my summer--sorry!!

so, back to fantasy friday and fantastic book reviews!

highlighted book this week:
Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson.
Katie Chandler, a small-town girl from Texas, has headed to the big city: New York. Plagued by bizarre incidents and troubling sightings of mythical creatures, she wonders if she made the right decision in leaving her safe hometown. However, her life becomes even more interesting when she learns that she is a magical immune and that the fate of the world may rest on the shoulders of her...complete ordinary-ness.
This book is light-hearted, comical, and a fun read when you want to relax. The characters pull their own weight thanks to their believability and relatability, even as they battle through crazy spells and a myriad of enchantments.
The series has four books, all of which I loved (the second was my very favorite, though). If you want an entertaining read (or four), then this is the fantasy book for you!
*sorry for the lack of spaces between paragraphs--Blogger doesn't like me today!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i couldn't ignore them any longer

so, after my somewhat non-cheerful post yesterday, probably the last thing you need now is a post about...e-books. *cue wild cheers*. however, i feel that i should FINALLY address the polls i had a couple weeks ago...(sorry for the delay, btw). and THANK YOU if you voted!!

since clearly my reader(s) enjoy fantasy, i've started fantasy friday (which, incidentally, i probably would have started anyway since fantasy is the awesomest genre...) but, i also had a poll asking for opinions about e-books.

this is a subject i've been doing a lot of research on lately. and something i've noticed is how divided the writing community seems over the whole subject.

first, there are those who think the e-readers like the Kindle are the greatest inventions ever. this group includes elderly people who have immense difficulty (ie, cannot) read unless they have very large print. e-readers like the Kindle have a large print option and therefore allow a large number of people to read when, for the most part, they could not before.

then, many people are indifferent or undecided. sure, it would be great to have books at your fingertips within seconds after you buy them. sure, having a lightweight, portable reader is highly convenient (plus, i hear that they are even easier on the eyes than traditional print). but is it really worth the cost, and, ultimately, the limited selection of books? not to mention, in many cases you can get the physical books for the same price don't really come out ahead in costs.

finally, there are the book patrons. this group seems to include the most dedicated readers (and writers) who know a little more about how the book industry works than, say, the Indifferents. these Patrons realize that a shift from physical books to e-books has much greater consequences than one might first realize. not only might we lose the glossy-covered books, but you could also lose that magical moment when a first-time author sees his/her name and story in print on the shelves of a bookstore. furthermore, the whole network of agents and publishers would be at risk of losing their jobs--after all, pretty much anyone can get their e-book self-published and start selling it on Amazon. why would you need agents? why would you need publishers? rejections--a thing of the past. i have heard predictions that the agents' infamous slush piles would start becoming the customers' slush piles. how would you know if a book is good if it doesn't have to go through any kind of professional scrutiny?

there is no easy answer. this issue has many more sides and points and problems, and this is only the quick summary of opinions. as a writer, this is an issue that i, and probably you, cannot ignore. we have to keep up to date on the happenings in our literary world, and, whether we like it or not, e-books certainly seem to be happening.

so where do you fit? are you an e-Book Proponent? an Indifferent or Undecided? or a steadfast Book Patron?

what do you think about all this?

Monday, May 10, 2010

monday musings

Soft, cool blades of grass tickle my feet as I breath in the warm, afternoon air. The trees, towering evergreens, are few and far between here.

I trade the grass underfoot for a worn dirt path through thicker trees. The humming of life in the air grows stronger here; it is full of the vibrant sounds of birds, insects, distant waves, and a quiet breeze. I thrill at the tingle in the air and the uncanny promise of adventure.

I pad dreamily onward, drinking in the lush green around me. I watch the waving, golden grasses where the sun breaks through. Ahead, though, the wood grows darker. More exciting.

I round a bend in the path--and halt, heart clenching in sudden stillness.

The forest is broken by an entirely wrong view: a rusty chainlink fence, and, behind it, a delapidated old trailer, sharp and painful in its ugliness. Nothing so stark and blemished should exist here. My haunt is utterly spoiled.

I turn, fleeing the sour tang of reality. Even the path back through the wood has lost its charm. I know now that it is only an illusion of perfection.

I reach the grass again, and, finally, the house is in sight.

I halt.

More than one contrast is at work here. The house I now face, sweeping and sceneic in its vast, riverfront setting, could not be more different from the painful eye-sore back in the woods.

Perhaps these imbalances show how wrong the world is. After all, indutrialization is intruding upon nature. Even within civilization itself, men are unequal, exploited. With this outlook, many people find the world depressing, unalterably broken.

But perhaps there is another view.

Perhaps these ramblings in the woods would not feel so wonderfully mysterious or thrilling if I did not know that safety and comfort lay just beyond the reach of the trees.

Perhaps even the repulsive trailer serves to keep a balance in its own way. Perhaps without the contrast between the imperfection of one thing and the aesthetic appeal of another, beauty would lose its power, its value, and its worth.

Perhaps there is a sense of balance in the world after all.

so, as always, what do you think? (try to ignore the flowery descriptions...i've been reading L.M. Montgomery lately, and it's kind of rubbed off on me.) even if you don't agree, i want to know what your opinion is.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

i'm back! (and i'm introducing fantasy friday...yes, be intrigued)


the reason that your ears are now ringing (or rather, your eyes are stinging) is that i just finished my last semster of college classes before i officially graduate...uh, from high school. so now i'm officially a college student? so confusing.

anyway, today, my summer is Officially begun. i can stop stressing about finals!

...and blog with my online writer friends!!

so, without further ado...

Today Is The Announcement Of Fantasy Friday!! (don't worry, it's rated completely PG. um, maybe PG 13, but i guess that depends on the book...but i'm getting ahead of myself.)

you're probably wondering what fantasy friday actually is. good. that means you're really reading this and not skimming (note: skimming is least, it is on my blog)

fantasy friday is when i review a choice fantasy book for the week!!!!

okay, so maybe that's not astonishingly thrilling, but come on, i'm a writer/crazyavidreader. what did you expect?

today's choice: Twilight

hahaha just kidding. there is no way i am opening that can of worms.

today i'm really going to review:
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

i haven't thus far seen this book featured on any blogs (but this is probably just because it isn't a new release. regardless, if you like fantasy, this is a must-read)

from the moment i picked this book up off the shelves at Barnes and Nobles, i knew i had to have it (this was back when it had just come out in hardback, and the fact that i was willing to pay $18 for a book i had never heard of before is a tribute to its instant awesomeness)

i was hooked from the beginning. the action drew me in, and i simply could not put it down (at least, not without suffering severe agony). i had no idea how the conflict could possibly be resolved, but i already (majorly) sympathized with the characters and i had to know what was going to happen them.

this book has everything a good fantasy needs: realistic and seriously beleaguered characters, a unique and captivating plot, a fresh setting, (a little love interest)....and some very cool fantasy elements. i don't want to give away any spoilers in case you haven't read it yet, so i'll leave my commentary at that (even though the restraint is killing me!!)

my only complaint: sometimes all the strange names and detailed history were a little confusing, but if you bear with it, everything will become clearer later on. it is more than worth the patience.

so what's the verdict? Sound interesting? Or have you already read it?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ready, Set, Go!!!!

so i had this idea.

hey--stop laughing! i have good ideas sometimes!!

anyway. today is a super-crazy day for me. I have two finals tomorrow to study for, classes to go to, homework to catch up on, blogs to read, and last-minute Mother's Day shopping to do!!

(btw, just a heads up, Mother's Day is THIS SUNDAY. just in case you forgot. i'm not saying you did...but just in case.)

so i was bemoaning my super-crazy day, and hit me.

sometimes YOU have super-crazy days, too!!!! and maybe they're even crazier than mine!!!!!

*insert shocked face* 'o'

so here's my idea. why don't you tell me about some crazy day you had, only, in the interest of keeping it internet-anonymous, you could tell the story in third person. you can also give everybody code names (like your boyfriend/husband/significant other can be Darcy. and you can be Elizabeth! and anyone annoying can be a Wickham. OR you can pick your own characters, like if you have kids, you could take a Dr. Seuss approach and call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.)

sound good? are you majorly excited??

excellent. i'll go first. (this will not be in third person. i have trouble writing in third person for some reason)

ahem, ahem.

so i (Elizabeth) had been stressing all day about my big night with Darcy.
should i wear my hair up or down?
should i dress casual, flirty, or formal??
should i use the hot pink mascara or the electric blue???
why is getting ready for a date so much harder for the girl than the guy????

it was a difficult afternoon.

when Darcy finally arrived, i was far from ready. my hair wasn't fixed. i had decided to go for a casually flirty look, but my perfect pair of shoes was missing!! half my eyelashes were pink and the other half were blue!!!

but i couldn't keep Darcy waiting, so i wiped off the mascara, pulled on the nearest pair of heels, and ran downstairs.

the night did not improve.

when we reached the restaurant, Darcy came around to my side of the car to open the door. thanks to my distraction, i didn't notice and whacked him with the door as i got out.

during dinner, i got salad stuck in my teeth, spilled water on my blouse, and accidentally snorted pasta when Darcy related an amusing anecdote. (yes, we were eating Italian. i think i also had garlic breath)

needless to say, i was stressed.

sensing my deperation for this humilating night to end, Darcy kindly suggested taking me home early. i agreed .

when we reached my front doorstep, i was sure Darcy was going to turn and run for the hills (or rather, his car). but he didn't. he didn't seem to be at all put off by my embarrasing gracelessness this evening. instead, he was leaning in towards me. i felt a fluttery sensation welling up in my chest as my eyelids drifted closed...

a light flared and the front door swung open. Darcy and i spun guilitly to see Wickham (my tyrannical brother) standing in the doorway.

"Elizabeth! you're back," Wickham said jovially. "thanks, Darcy, for bringing her home safely." the words were loaded with a subtle but clear message: the night was over.

"bye, Darcy," i said hurriedly before Wickham could do any more damage. "i had a...great time tonight."

he smiled, turned slightly so Wickham couldn't see, and winked. then, he was gone.

okay, you caught me. i made this up. but comparing it to my day today sure makes me feel better!

so what do you say? ready to give it a try? you don't even have to use a real story--you're a writer, right? you can make it up, too!

come on, what are you waiting for???

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Almost Here...

my idea for this post was inspired by A Romantic's (a.k.a. Kirsten's) post. She asked about Summer Reading Lists, and i wanted to expand on her question a little. (oh, and if you have a summer reading list, you should head over to her blog and tell her so!)

May is finally here, and that means summer is right around the corner! during the busy semester, i have put off doing so many things, mentally dismissing them to my Summer To Do List.

but now summer is almost here (Ah!!). and it's time to face my List. (gulp)

here's what i've got so far...

1. polish up that NaNoWriMo novel and work on the sequel.

2. read.

3. write every day.

4. read some more, perhaps a nice classic.

5. do some aerobic exercise (perhaps on the Wii, so it doesn't actually feel like exercise...) (this is my mother's stipulation, by the way.) (see, Mom, it's number 5.)

6. buy some more books to read.

7. learn a new guitar song. (this would put the total of songs i know at TWO!!! try not to be too wowed by my amazingness...)

8. mm, have i mentioned reading?

9. oh, yes, and friends! i have to make time for my neglected friends now that my classes are over (or they will be by summer, anyway).

10. take my annual trip to a certain secret, exotic location and...READ!

your turn! what are YOUR big plans this summer??