To the Salad Naysayers

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Adding a little lifestyle content to my writing and wandering blog…

Someone told me the other day that they “don’t like salads.” My response to that is: that’s because you’re doing it wrong.

So, how to do it right?

Start with an interesting green as a base (arugula, kale, swiss chard) and not one of those mixed-bag grocery store mixes. Add something sweet (strawberries, peaches), something crunchy (nuts, sunflower seeds), something in the onion family (like shallots!), a cheese of some sort (I like goat or feta), some random veggies you have (red peppers, asparagus) and as a bonus, a grain (quinoa or faro). Adjust to your personal tastes.

Then the most important part: the dressing. Skip the store-bought bottles—I’ve yet to discover a good one—and make it yourself. My favorite dressing on earth is the one my French host mother used to make, which was just good mustard mixed with good olive oil with a little salt, pepper, and water to thin it out.

Oh, and add some French (or Italian) bread. Voilà, an amazing meal.

So that was my big PSA for the week. Here are a few more things:

Reading: Still on The Rest of Us Just Live Here and still really liking it. My shorter commute has made me a slow reader this year. Someone else I know please read this so we can discuss.

Writing: Sloooowly working on the Play Story. Life is getting in the way.

Listening to: The Band. Really great pre-summer music.

Watching: Hodor 😦

Cooking: The aforementioned amazing salads.

Image found on this lovely Instagram

The Best Books to Read at the Beach


A few years ago, I went to St. John with my boyfriend and his family. I packed an eclectic mix of books, as I tend to do on trips. One of them was Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which had been recommended to me by several people.

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On The Power Of Saying No


Lesson of the week: say no.

You may think you’re doing the right thing by saying yes when people ask you to meet their new baby/catch up over happy hour/attend a writing critique session, but when you go three nights in a row not getting home until after ten and subsequently not getting enough sleep, it leads to grumpiness and tiredness and you not at your best self, which doesn’t do anybody any favors.

You can sleep when you’re dead, right? But yeah, you also kind of need to sleep while you’re still alive in order to make your waking hours bearable.

I have trouble saying no (à la Monica from Friends: “I just have this uncontrollable need to please people!”) But sleep and downtime are good for me, and things that are good for me are good for the people around me, which is a lesson I am slooooowly learning. But slowly learning something is better than not learning it all, so there’s that.

I’m not going to be sharing links on Fridays anymore, except the occasional really amazing one. I think instead I’ll use the best day of the work week to do what I do best, which is write and share thoughts and hopefully spark something inside of you that encourages you to write and share thoughts as well.

I will still be sharing these, however:

Reading: I finally finished (and reviewed) this, and just started The Rest of Us Just Live Here. As are all things Patrick Ness, it’s brilliant and funny and incisive and my only complaint so far is that there aren’t enough pages left. Although the premise (a story told from the POV of the inconsequential background people in a Chosen One story–think Harry Potter as told by an unnamed extra, but focusing on their own problems instead of the larger plot) is an idea I had years ago and didn’t have time to execute yet, so thanks for stealing my idea, Patrick!

Writing: Last weekend I followed a burst of inspiration and reopened my first-ever manuscript, aka the YA mystery, aka the Chateau story. You know how you’ll always remember your first love? This novel is kind of like that for me. It has so many problems, which I still have trouble fixing because I spent so much time on it I still don’t have enough objectivity, but I don’t think I’ll be able to rest until I finally fix them and make this a publishable novel. Time shall tell. Do you have a manuscript like this, that you just can’t let go? What are you doing about it?

Listening to: Alabama Shakes. Totally different from what I usually listen to, and totally amazing.

Watching: Bleh I need something new. Recommendations welcome.

Cooking: Pure deliciousness.

Amazing image found here


MK’s Book Reviews: Lady Midnight

I finished the 600+ page new installment in Cassandra Clare’s (neverending) Shadowhunter series earlier this week, and…

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The Best New App for Bibliophiles


Just a quick post to say that I am obsessed with Litsy, a new app that’s kind of like what would happen if Instagram and Goodreads had a baby, and you should all go download it and be obsessed along with me.

You know when you’re reading a book and you just want to yell out all the random thoughts you have about a character, a scene, a quote? But then, no one else around you is reading it, so no one else will care? Now you can find the people who care. You can write down anything you want about the book you’re reading, take a photo of a quote you love, write a little mini-review … and it’s all focused on BOOKS. You have to enter the name of the book your post is about before you’re even allowed to post it.

It’s free, it’s fun, it’s 100% for bibliophiles, and you should go download it (and be my friend: I’m wanderlustywriter, naturally) now!

Image found here

Writing Tip: How To Write Teenagers Realistically


After spending five years on a manuscript that still isn’t publisher-ready, I have learned the hard way that there’s a delicate balance you need to walk when writing a compelling teenage protagonist. Here, and I’ll be as brief as possible, is what I’ve learned…

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Things Making Me Think


Happy Friday!

This week was not great for me, but it’s over now (the work-week part, anyways). I have very little in the way of plans this weekend, which makes me quite happy.

Taking a slightly different approach to this post this week. Let’s see if people (including me) like it.

Something I’ve learned (about writing).

Something I’ve learned (about travel).

Something making me think.

Something I’m thankful for: The smell in Jersey right before it’s about to rain is the same in the city as it is in the suburbs.

Something that made me laugh. Hard.

Something that was clearly written just for me. (Fun fact: I have that jewelry holder.)

Something I’ve learned: When you’re frustrated about something, don’t stew silently. Tell the person. (Politely.) For people who abhor confrontation, such as me, this can be daunting, but for the most part it’s a preemptive strike against an inevitably larger confrontation down the road.

And could this be my new favorite social media platform?!? If you sign up, be my friend! (I’m wanderlustywriter. Obviously.)

Reading: This is finally picking up! As I suspected it would, it’s sucked me in, and I’m on board for the rest of the series.

Writing: Play story forges on and my only problem at the moment is finding time to work on it.

Watching: Still on the same thing as last week and still can’t look away despite the insanity.

Listening to: This guy. He’s good.

Cooking: Messy but delicious.

How was your week? Better than mine, I hope!

Image found here