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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

The Plot Thickens: Beautiful Books #2

NaNoWriMo is going gloriously, and by that, I mean it's been a glorious ROLLER COASTER. One day I hate my book, the next I don't. There have been many plot developments since I last spoke to you on the subject of Lost Girls, so prepare for the ride. (It will be a wild one, trust me.) And if you want to participate in Beautiful Books and answer these questions for yourself, check it out by going here!

1. Be honest: how is your writing going? 

It's been weird and a little hard. This novel is a tough nut to crack. We haven't quite gotten acquainted with each other yet. On the upside, I've seen the words "lost girls" so many times that they don't look like words anymore. Wait. That's not a benefit. Never mind. (I tried.)

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph? 

When I was born, my spine was crooked, and it seems my life hasn’t straightened out since. I’ve always had a weird sense of vertigo, like my world is spinning and I’m not quite right on my feet. I don’t know what causes this. If I did, I would have put a stop to it long ago. It eats away at me and makes me angry. I deal in hard facts and cold logic. Not knowing where I’m going bothers me. 

Some of this vertigo eased off when I landed my internship at Starlight Labs. If you go through the town of Manchester, there it is--a high spire reaching into the sky. I wanted to be like that; I’ve always reached for the stars. It became a dream of mine, then. When I was seventeen, I applied. Two years in and I’m still an intern, but I know I’ll climb the rails. Leading the company is my goal, of course. World domination, all that. I don’t aim small. 

*Manchester is just a stand-in name because I don't know where the heck this is set.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book? Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.) 

Book cover:
(Do any of you guys have color schemes for your novels? Obviously LG's is purples and blues.)

Jem, my first pov character:

Evee, second main pov (and the most troublesome):

Hal, Jem's brother and Evee's future intended... (hehehe.)


Daiyu & Joie

Sienna & Malia

Lily & Amie

There's also Scrapper and Freddie, two brothers who have been welcomed to the Lost Girls under extenuating circumstances. They look like Nolan Gould (I suppose) and some other kid whose face I can't name?! I'll figure it out. I'm not putting them here because I haven't quite settled on their faces yet, but they are definitely major players.


Dr. Susannah Lovelace & Dr. Christian Maxwell

Some guy who started out as a Barry Allen cameo for fun but now will have a personality and name overhaul, and his sister, Bryn Matthews

4. What scene are you most excited to write? 
ANY SCENE WITH HAL because so far he's just been a punk who won't listen to his sister and I haven't gotten to write him actually interacting with anyone. But he's so CUTE.

Also, I thiiink I've gotten a little out of my slump by agreeing to kill someone. So that'll be fun.

I can't wait to write Hal/Evee romance later in the book.

This will also probably be a scene at some point. Because reasons.

5. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing. 
On the second day that Scrapper is here, he runs in frantically while we’re eating breakfast. 
 “Evee,” he says, out of breath. “I need to talk to you.” 
“Okay,” I say. 
 “Found this.” He hands me a crumpled piece of paper. 
I unroll it, greeted by a crudely drawn sketch. And this sketch looks just like me. Under it is “WANTED” printed in bold letters, as well as a cash reward of $2,000. 
“$2,000? You’re worth more than that,” Joie says, then goes back to eating her oatmeal. 
“This is odd,” I say. “I thought they gave up the manhunt for me.” 
“Womanhunt,” Joie supplements. 

6. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined? 
Um, yes. For sure. Jem's boss was originally supposed to be a man, and then entered Dr. Susannah Lovelace, a kick-butt scientist who is rational, anti-social, and yet completely likable at the same time. Occasionally there will be cracks in her serious exterior, and those are so fun to write. Jem and I both love her. (Jem's other boss is the same man as previously planned, not to worry.)

In addition to that, the whole novel itself is just turning out more different than I imagined. I didn't imagine it to take such an Arrow-and-The-Flash-like quality in terms of the universe and setting. I also didn't expect to love the Lost Girls (as in the titular characters) quite this much. Also, there's a character I wasn't planning, who started out as a Barry Allen cameo, but whom will get a personality and name overhaul once I can get the brainpower and time. Until then, though, I remain in first draft mode and call him Barry, as well as dropping references to Peggy Carter, and calling my town Manchester even though it's probably not even close to there. This is what NaNo does to me.

7. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write? 
Yes. Surprisingly, the science-y aspect has been the easiest (but I'm just slapping down really random facts that are probably not true at all). The hardest has been writing Evee, who is bordering on a perfect Mary Sue like character due to lack of any moral ambiguity or tragic backstory. Howeeever, today I've decided she has some regrets and the illusion of perfection she presents is just that: an illusion. And there are beginning to be cracks in her illusion of perfect glass. (Whoa. Deep.) Anyway, I'm starting to love her again and I think this will be different than anything else I've written. Fun stuff.

8. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character? 
My favorite aspect is Jem's lab. It came to my almost fully fleshed out and it seems so open and inviting, but also conceals dark secrets. I love it so much. Writing about merges and inner-office politics and Jem working at her job is just so fun to me, I don't know why!

My favorite characters right now are Jem and Joie. Jem because I understand her more than I expected to and relate to her a great deal, as well as find her extremely lovable. Joie I love because she's witty and sarcastic and could not care less what other people think of her. She's extremely fun to write and the things she says make me laugh.

9. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and characters? 
Yes. Life experiences: I'm disabled, like Jem. While I'm not in a wheelchair, I have gone through similar struggles while facing my chronic illness, fibromyalgia. I've drawn upon that to create Jem's character, and while there are some differences between us, I'm hoping that I can help portray disability in a more positive light. (As well as just portray it in general, since we need more characters like this in books.)

Like myself, Evee is also a perfectionist (which is helping me make her more real and relatable). Joie reminds me a lot of a friend of mine, as well.

10. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters? 
Playlists are some of my favorite things. I haven't quite developed the one for LG yet, but here you go:

Photograph by Ed Sheeran
Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran
Home by Ingrid Michaelson
Abraham's Daughter by Arcade Fire
No Light, No Light by Florence + the Machine

So basically we go from cute to creepy in about three songs.

11. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with? 
I'd probably track down Hal and make him elope with me. (I'm sorry?) I'd also love to hang out with Joie. I'd love to visit Jem's lab, too.

12. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?) 
I think about how nice it will feel to update my wordcount bar on the NaNo site, and then I just write as much as I can. What helps is not looking at my wordcount for a while, and then I'm completely surprised when I see how much I've written. Come to think of it, I haven't used Pinterest as a motivator yet! I'm shocked.

13. What’s your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice? 
Prepare for the spammage.

“Don't tell me that the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” --Anton Chekhov
(click to enlarge photos)

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
― Ray Bradbury

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ― Ernest Hemingway

"Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open." ― Natalie Goldberg (quote found via my friend Annah)

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” ― Neil Gaiman

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting, but here you are!

14. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

This about sums it up.

*major props to Aimee @ To the Barricade whose gifs made me laugh out loud and inspired me to use gifs as some of my answers, as well as Allie @ Little Birdie Books and Cait @ Notebook Sisters for the inspiration to use gifs in general.
Gifspiration? Can we call it gifspiration? Can that be a thing?

What about you? How is NaNo going? 
Are you a mess like I am? Sound off in the comments!

And I'd love to read your answers, so go participate in Beautiful Books! You know you want to...

all novel information and excerpts are copyrighted to Sky Walden, 2014. if you steal it, i will come after you with a large stick. and possibly my wizard's wand.


  1. ALL THE GIFS! Yes. I approve.

    Also, I want to read this, like, now. Your cover is gorgeous. I'm a fan :-)

  2. My books usually end up with a color scheme too - my NaNo, for instance, is blue, red, and purple.

    I think all else I can say is good luck, and I hope you can find your feet before you're in over your head, and all that good stuff.

    And I need to figure out how to do gifs, because they're fun.

  3. Those quotes are so awesome—the Neil Gaiman one especially gives me a little extra happiness tonight. (Also, the Princess Diaries GIF. That gives me some extra-happy.)

    As for your book, your first paragraph is awesome and your characters make me so curious about their stories. So cool!

  4. I LOVE YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH! Your story sounds intriguing and really fun. Please keep us updated!

    NaNoWriMo is going well so far. I am staying on track, though not far ahead of that. The story is moving slowly and surely. Whenever I have writers block, I just go take a long walk and somehow the story and characters just sort of overtake my brain until I'm so filled with ideas I've got to get back to my computer and type it out right away. We'll see if that continues as I march into territory I didn't plan quite so thoroughly beforehand.

    So far this has been a fantastic experience.

  5. I love how diverse your cast is, and all of those characters sound awesome! I love great ensemble casts (maybe that's why I love all Joss Whedon shows...)

    Also, I don't know why but your inspirational quote about staying drunk on writing made me think of advice from a writing book (by Chuck Wendig) that says sometimes the way to get over writer's block is to get a little drunk (haha, I love that advice because it's not something I've ever been told, but I love that he was such a straight shooter by saying it).

    Your book sounds awesome, I'm excited this linky is letting us keep track of the awesome novels people are writing in NaNo (and in general).

    Kat @ Readiculous Blog

  6. I think gifspiration needs be a thing. *nods* I like that word.

    OH. But I'm glad you're moving forward with Evee now! Yaaaaay! And Jem? I just love her a lot. I love all your pictures too and ohhh those quotes inspire me. I didn't actually use pinterest as a motivator/procrastinator yet either! I'm proud. :')

  7. Awww, awesomeee. The quotes you posted here have been some of my favourite from this link-up so far!! Your opening paragraph is absolutely great. I was so intrigued! Your protag. has a strong voice.

    From the sounds of things, even though it has been challenging, you have a clear goal of where you're going. That's always a plus! It was also cool to see what your characters look like after just reading about them on the last link-up. Good luck on your novel =]

  8. Your GIFs are just perf... XD

    Also, I nominated you for Best Blogging Buddies Award!!

  9. Cool! I love the quotes. I've become addicted to gifs from reading this blog and the Notebook Sisters blog lol. My NaNo is going pretty well. :)

    Stori Tori's Blog

  10. This story and its characters sound amazing! And also, I LOVE that opening line.

    I love it when stories have color schemes! Not all of mine do, but my NaNo novel's is mostly made of greens and blues, with a dash of pink.


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