The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2)The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was cute. Not amazing. The love story felt forced. There were far fewer games or puzzles in this book than there were in the previous installment, which was disappointing, because without the puzzles and with a cringe-y love story, there simply wasn't a lot to keep readers wanting more. The characters showed very little growth or depth and the prose was just okay.

Overall, an adequate follow-up to the Inheritance Games.

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On Stress, Goals, Time Management, and Life

I haven't been keeping up with my 65 Days of Summer Writing Challenge lately. It's been three weeks since I started, and for the past week, I've been only managing to get to a writing prompt every other day, instead of every single day.

This is due to a lot of different reasons.

1) I've been writing a LOT on my new novel idea. It's still in the very early first draft stages, so it really looks more like a hot mess than a well structured story, but I'm excited for it. Excitement that gets turned into lack of motivation for other projects. Namely, when I finally get a chance to sit down and write on my computer, I choose it over the writing prompts. (And over blog posts, hence the lack of blog as well)

2) I had a really rough week a little over a week ago. I'm pretty open about my depression. Nearly everyone who knows me knows that I have been living with depression nearly my entire life. I'm not going to go into any details, but suffice it to say that when the two celebrity suicides hit the news last week, and Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled to the brim with messages like "Just ask for help!" and "Know that someone is always there for you!" I kind of lost it. I don't want to get up on a soapbox or anything, but for anyone who has NOT had suicidal thoughts, just remember that once a person gets to that point, asking for help is the hardest fucking thing to do. So if you see someone struggling, YOU reach out to THEM! They're not going to reach out to you. They're going to be too caught up in the negativity running through their heads. Anyway, that week kind of triggered a lot of my own issues, and I ended up taking a few days off from writing to self-care. And it paid off because...

3) I got right back into the querying game. Querying is so hard! It makes me feel anxious and terrified and fills me up with doubt and worry. During my rough week, I sent off zero query letters. I just didn't feel up for it. Then when I started to swing back into normal, I realized I needed to get back into it. I ended up sending off a whole bunch last week (and yes, I already got some rejections). Keeping my fingers crossed. Eventually it will pay off, right? Right? RIGHT?

Anyway, those are my big excuses for not writing more to the 65 Days of Summer Writing Prompts. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things this week. Exciting things to look forward to this week:

* Family vacation to Chicago (9 hours in a car with two small children) so I can go to...

* The Writing Workshop of Chicago next Saturday, June 23! Details here

I'm pretty excited, and scared. I have two meetings with agents to pitch Cody. Everyone cross your fingers that someone out there will love that story as much as I do.

(Can anyone love a story as much as the original author?)

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